School Committee Reviews Year-end Goals, Approves JGMS and BHS Construction Bids

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By Ben Oleksinski

At their June 4 meeting, the Bedford School Committee looked back on the performance of district goals over 2018-2019, as well as looking forward to projects to be initiated as soon as summer break begins.

Committee members considered just how effectively their goals were instituted in classrooms this past year, complete with summarized reports from grades K-12. Superintendent Jon Sills gave a letter grade for the outputs and outcomes of each. The review sampled the standardized test scores, class analytics, and the end work of specialized programs.

Annual Goals ~ The Full Report Card

Coherent, Higher Order thinking Curriculum
Strengthen K-12 Non-fiction Literacy: Outputs- A, Outcomes- N/A
Increase Student Independence: Outputs- B+, Outcomes- B

Equity and Diversity: Teaching All Students
Close Achievement Gaps and Deepen Cross-Cultural Understanding: Outputs- B, Outcomes- B
Improve Conditions for Social and Emotional Learning: Outputs- A, Outcomes- N/A
Continue to Improve Students’ Sense of Belonging and Outcomes through Inclusive Practices: Outputs- A, Outcomes- N/A

Collaborative Professional Culture
Shift Observation Focus from Teacher to Student: Outputs- N/A, Outcomes- N/A
Utilize Evaluation to Further Strategic Objectives: Outputs- A-, Outcomes- A-

Strengthen Communication and Deepen Our Community Support
Increase Opportunities for Family and Community Engagement: Outputs- A-, Outcomes- A-
Commence Strategic Planning Process: Outputs- A, Outcomes- A

The construction bid for the JGMS and BHS expansion projects

J.J Cardosi Inc. offered a bid price of $5,833,000 for the general contracting, which the School Committee found to be in concurrence with their estimates. Additions and renovations will begin this summer, with minimal impact to recreational activities on the school grounds.

At JGMS, additions will be built at the northeast and southeast corners of the buildings. Part of the roof renovations will also be presented as part of the upcoming solar energy project.

At BHS, part of the front parking lot will be sectioned off to build a new parking ramp down to the gym-side facilities. Construction will not affect activities going on in the gym; the fields will be available for use in fall 2020.

JGMS furthers its commitment to be a mission-driven school with a new improvement plan and handbook amendments

As part of the new strategic planning process, 2019-2020 goals include culturally responsive teaching, continued instructional and curriculum focus on literacy skills, expanding and extending student learning with technology such as Google sites, fostering a positive school culture with more integration of the H.E.A.R.T (Honor, Empathy, Acceptance, Responsibility, and Tenacity) initiative, inclusive co-teaching, and promoting student mental health, among other work.

Handbook changes will include a new description of the H.E.A.R.T initiative adopted at JGMS as a part of the overall school community, to put its values at the forefront of the school community.

The motion to add the description and other updates was approved.

A district-wide name change for the guidance department and its faculty

This is to more accurately reflect their roles in the academic environment. The new title of guidance counselor will be a School Counselor, and the department will be called the School Counseling department.

As such, the motion to amend the titles in the 2019-2020 BHS handbook was approved

And, a 2021 BHS Food Tour to Sicily and Greece!

The trip will be at no cost to the school or the committee.