School Committee Approves Hybrid Learning Models

The School Committee Monday approved the hybrid learning models proposed for each of Bedford’s four schools, as presented virtually by each building principal.

Assistant Superintendent Tricia Clifford introduced and explained the process to develop building-specific hybrid plans.

Clifford said all four schools plan to begin on September 16 in an all-remote format. Students from Cohort A will attend school on September 17 for a half-day and those in Cohort B will attend in-person on September 18, also for a half-day.

The limited schedule is to allow time to fix any inconsistencies or issues. The regular hybrid schedule will begin on September 21.

Cohorts A, B, and C

Director of Special Education Marianne Vines explained the breakdown in cohorts, stating that Cohort A is compiled of students with last names beginning with “A” through “K.” Students in Cohort A will receive in-person education on Mondays and Thursdays and attend remote education on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Vines continued that Cohort B comprises students with last names beginning with “L” through “Z.” Students in Cohort B will receive in-person education on Tuesday and Fridays and attend remote education on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

Cohort C consists of students with special services that could not be offered remotely, Vines explained. These students will attend in-person education on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Students who choose the all-remote model will be in Cohort D. Students in Cohort D will participate in virtual classes every day of the week.

Preschool and Davis Elementary

Davis School Principal Beth Benoit announced that all preschool students will have class on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Students with specific services will also receive remote help on Wednesdays.

Benoit explained that individual preschool classes are composed of 10 children and represent a cohort. Different cohorts will not interact with one another so that the preschoolers are exposed to the same students daily.

While explaining the hybrid plan for the elementary students at Davis, Benoit presented a schedule that she said allows the school to meet the robust curriculum and the uniqueness of their students. Students will receive a lesson from a teacher that is in-person, while students learning remotely will receive the same lesson, but from a teacher virtually.

Lane School

For Lane’s reopening plan, Principal Rob Ackerman explained that when students in Cohort A are in school, they will be with their teacher. However, when Cohort A students are at home on Tuesdays and Fridays, those students will not receive remote education from that teacher, but through another teacher dedicated to teaching remotely.

Ackerman explained that this decision was made so that teachers could dedicate their efforts to the in-person students and allow remote students to focus on their remote education.

Students in Cohort C will receive in-person instruction from the same teacher on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Students in Cohort D will receive virtual education from the same teacher on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

John Glenn Middle School

Middle School Principal Kevin Tracey said his plan embraces a one-school model, allowing students to meet with teachers daily while in-person and virtually.

On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, students will begin to meet with all seven classes for 46 minutes and a 14-minute homeroom, a six-minute brain break, a 24-minute lunch, and a five-minute news period at the end of the day.

On Wednesdays, students will meet with all seven classes for 30 minutes, and an hour before school for music classes and a 15 minute break period.

Bedford High School

BHS Principal Heather Galante said the high school also uses a one-school model. Galante explained that students would attend class virtually in real-time so that their education at home is not disadvantaged.

The BHS day will span from 7:45 to 1:03. Students will be allowed to stay at school for extracurriculars but are permitted to leave following dismissal at 1:03. Galante explained that the school day would extend later due to classwork and homework. The BHS Principal emphasized the importance of using the last hour of the school day towards teacher preparation due to the unique circumstances that the pandemic has on education.

Galante also introduced the new Advisory and Remote Conferencing (ARC) program, which will serve as a 25-minute period that will occur twice a week. The new period, monikered as just “Advisory,” will allow a small group of students to meet with a teacher to ensure that students are emotionally healthy.

Galante said that Wednesdays will be a completely virtual day, with students attending every class for 25 minutes. This time will be a way for teachers to check in with students.

Parent and Caregiver Meetings

Following the adoption of a hybrid learning model for each of the four Bedford Schools, a schedule of parent and caregiver meetings was announced:

Lane School, Tuesday, September 1 from 7 to 8:15 pm

Davis School, Wednesday, September 2,

  • Pre-kindergarten from 5 to 6 p.m,
  • Kindergarten-Grade 2 from 7 to 8 p.m.

John Glenn Middle School, Thursday, September 3 at 7 pm

Bedford High School (for parents, caregivers, and students)

  • Grade 9, Tuesday, September 8 at 6 pm
  • Grade 12, Tuesday, September 8 at 7:30 pm
  • Grades 10 and 11, Wednesday, September 9 at 6:30 pm

The BHS meetings will be recorded and posted. However, parents, caregivers, and students are highly encouraged to attend.


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