Setting Goals for the 2019-2020 School Year

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School superintendent Jon Sills and Dan Brosgol, speaking for the School Committee, welcomed Bedford’s professional staff and outlined broad goals for the coming year in ‘opening day’ talks last week.

Sills urged the district’s professional staff to “Go Deep” using a classic iceberg image – what can be seen is barely a fraction of the iceberg’s actual structure and important components that exist below the waterline.

Sills further acknowledged that societal influences, disruptions to learning, teacher and student stress, achievement gaps, peer-to-peer disconnects, and other stressors combine to make the role of a teacher more difficult in today’s world. Given the complexity of their role, Sills named the teaching staff ‘Honorary Doctors of Education.’

Several broad goals were set forth for the coming year: Developing a student-centered program that fosters coherent, higher-order thinking and student independence; promoting equity and diversity; and establishing a collaborative professional culture through long-term planning, communication, and community support.

“Please consider [incorporating] “going deep” elements into your professional practice and students achievement goals tied to equity/anti-racism, trauma-sensitive classrooms, literacy, and student independence,” Sills asked.

Editor’s Note: Trauma-sensitive classrooms, according to the National Education Association, are places where students can feel safe, build resilience, and become active learners.

Brosgol repeated a statement he made during last year’s opening day, “The business of providing a world-class education for nearly 3000 children I would suggest is the most serious responsibility that this town has after public safety and clean water, and it is incumbent upon us to make sure we are doing our very best.”

He added that this will be a big year for Bedford schools:

  • At Davis, you will have the largest Kindergarten class in 50 years, the arrival of the Preschool to the building, new staff, and of course the small matter of the building addition.
  • At Lane you have an expanded playground, another teacher marriage and last-name change (I’m looking at you, Mrs. McKinney), certainly a new bunch of chickens in the spring, and an all-time high number of students in grades 3, 4, and 5… at least until next year when we set a new record.
  • At JGMS there is construction, a new gym floor, and, like at the Lane School, you will be dealing with all-time highs for enrollment.
  • And at BHS, you will be entering year two of Challenge Success, undertaking interior renovations, diving into disciplinary literacy, and continuing work on equity.

Brosgol ended his remarks by saying, “You inspire all of us with your passion and commitment, but more importantly than that, you inspire our children, so on behalf of Ann Guay, Jill Marquis, JoAnn Santiago, and Sarah Scoville, I wish you a wonderful start to school, and hope to see you both in the hallways of your buildings and at some point in front of the Committee sometime this year.”