Superintendent’s Update ~ Friday, October 16, 2020

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Thank you for all of the continued support as we continue in our hybrid and remote learning models. I appreciate that everyone is working together to make the very best of the current situation. If you or your children are in need of support please check out the Counseling Department’s BPS Health and Wellness Website which contains a number of wonderful resources for all of us.

DESE Guidance
This week we received information from DESE about MCAS for high school students and guidance on music classes. The administration of ELA and Mathematics for high school students will be done in January and May, which is a change from previous years. For detailed information please read the detailed announcement at Statewide Testing Schedule Memo.

As for the information on the use of wind and brass instruments, that guidance can be found at the department’s COVID-19 website http://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/.

USDA extends to June 2021
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the extension of universal free meals to continue to be available to all children and teens throughout the entire School Year 2020-2021. This will allow us to leverage the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) to provide meals at no cost through June 30, 2021.

COVID-19
This week has seen a decrease in COVID-19 cases here in town and in the schools. As a community, we moved back to green from yellow (10/14/20). However, many local communities in our area have gone in the other direction. Please continue your increased vigilance when it comes to maintaining social distance, wearing a mask, and washing/sanitizing our hands.

Impact Aid Survey (PL 874)
This law entitles Bedford to submit a Federal Impact Aid application, however, it is dependent on our collecting data from families that are Armed Forces personnel and/or parents/guardians who work on federal property. All Armed Forces personnel are eligible regardless of where they are stationed including overseas deployment as long as the family residence is in Bedford or on Hanscom Air Force Base. For your convenience, we have set up a dedicated website that can be accessed at Federal Aid Impact Survey PL874.

Technology
I am pleased to tell you that you will be receiving an email very soon from the technology department that will outline our deployment of Lightspeed Relay.  We have recently purchased the Lightspeed Relay system for all of our devices. The system will allow us to provide protections on all school-issued devices regardless of what network the device is connected to when devices are outside of our school buildings. We researched and tested several options and found Lightspeed Relay to be the best solution for a safe online experience while meeting the regulations and approval of the TEC Alliance. For more information please go to Lightspeed Relay product information.

If you have any technology issues or concerns please contact tech_support@bedfordps.org

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.

As always, thank you for your patience, your participation, and your continued commitment to our schools.

Wishing you continued health.


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