Superintendent’s Update on Reopening the Bedford Schools ~ September 4, 2020

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Welcome to September!

This week has seen us welcome faculty and staff back to school (virtually and in-person). Faculty and staff are preparing for the return of our students on the 16th. The staff is engaged in a wide variety of professional development activities that will prepare us for the return to school.

It was exciting to be able to speak to the entire staff on Monday morning. I was joined at the virtual podium by Bedford Education Association President James Sunderland and Bedford School Committee Chairman Dan Brosgol. Wonderfully and without kibitzing each of us spoke about togetherness, cooperation, and collaboration. These have been fundamental to our success this summer and I am excited that we are beginning the year with a unified voice.

Reopening Plan
For those who have not seen it, the Bedford Public Schools School Reopening plan is on our web page at Reopening Plans Information. This is the document that was a detailed expansion of the plan approved by the school committee on August 5, 2020. The expanded plan is eighty pages long and contains many details. Additional details can be found at each school’s website.

DESE Guidance
While there was no new guidance from DESE this week, they did let us know that The United States Department of Agriculture has announced that it will allow summer meal program operators to continue serving universal free meals to children through December 31. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will share more details as they become available. To review any of the information DESE has released on COVID-19 please visit their website, http://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/.

Massachusetts and Bedford COVID-19 Information
We continue to use Governor Baker’s enhanced community data map which tracks COVID-19 cases and gives a colored rating from clear through red. This information is also being utilized by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to alert school communities about the risk in their
particular city or town. That information can be found at MA.GOV Covid Dashboard as part of the COVID Dashboard information. Here in Bedford we are fortunate to receive weekly COVID-19 updates from Town Manager Sarah Stanton. The updates are on the Bedford Home News and Announcements page at Bedford Home News and Announcements.

Start of the School Year
Just a reminder that the school year has begun for will begin and will begin for students will with a remote learning day on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, Cohort A will have their first day of in-person instruction on Thursday, September 17, 2020, and Cohort B will have their first day of in-person instruction on Friday, September 18, 2020

Labor Day
This weekend is a long weekend in honor of Labor Day. This federal holiday began in 1894 as a celebration to honor and recognize the contributions of laborers to the development and achievements of the United States. This year it is a particularly important opportunity to honor and recognize all of those who have pulled us through the various stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also the unofficial end of summer and usually indicates the beginning of the school year. This year that is delayed a little bit.

Next Steps
After Monday’s Bedford School Committee Meeting the schools are holding parents meetings to review their individual school plans. Please see each school’s website for the times and dates of these meetings and recordings of the meetings after they have happened. If you have questions about your child’s schools plan please reach out to the principal, counselor, or registrar to get the information you need.

Thank you for your patience, your participation, and your continued commitment to our schools. I hope you enjoy time with family this Labor Day weekend,

Wishing you continued health.


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