Superintendent’s Update ~ Friday, October 30, 2020

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By now I am sure you have received the information that due to a number of factors we have changed Bedford High School to the Remote Learning Model. We hope this closure will allow our community the time it needs to recover and reduce our risk of transmitting COVID-19 within the community. I hope that everyone will take this time to reinvigorate their diligence in combating the virus. For all those that are home with the virus, we wish you a full and speedy recovery. For those of you who are home because you were a close contact or you are waiting for test results, we hope your tests come back negative. This is of course a difficult time for all of us and it is important that we pull together and support one another. We will get through this together.

Reminder
Please note that next Tuesday, November 3, 2020 is the Federal Election. For the first time in many years we will not be holding school nor will we be hosting professional development. The schools will be closed and no classes will occur in either the hybrid or remote model. The weather is forecast to be mostly sunny with a high near 40 so please take the day as an opportunity to get outside and enjoy yourselves!

Learning Model Update
The school committee met on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 and requested that the schools review our current learning plans to see if we could bring more students back into the schools safely. We will be investigating this for our learners with identified challenges and our youngest learners. As we did this summer when we developed our learning models, we are currently working through the myriad of challenges to see what positive steps we can take. We are grateful for the support of the school community especially the school committee, our parents, and our dedicated faculty and staff.

Community Events
We hope that everyone will take extra precautions as you prepare for Halloween activities. For helpful hints on staying healthy and safe this Halloween please see the October 13, 2020 press release from the Bedford Police Department, the Bedford Board of Health, and the Bedford Fire Department – Bedford Halloween Guidance 2020

The Parent Diversity Council event via Zoom “Taking back Indigenous narratives” with Claudia Fox Tree is on November 10, 2020 6:30 – 8:30 pm. Please rsvp to pdcbedford@gmail.com to receive the Zoom link.

Technology
The Bedford Public Schools have provided electronic devices to all of our PK-12 students. We recognize the collective need to protect our investment by the school district, students, and families. Therefore we are reminding families that they will be responsible for covering the cost of repairs or replacement of their student’s device due to breakage, loss, or theft. The district strongly recommends that families purchase insurance to cover the cost of repairing or replacing devices.

Please click on this link for additional information and to complete a Student Device Protection Form. We ask that all of our PK-8 families fill out a Student Device Protection Form. Families of high school students do not need to complete the form as they have already provided information.

If you have questions about this or any other technology issue or concerns please contact: tech_support@bedfordps.org

DESE Guidance
This week we have not received any new guidance from DESE. Please note that we are working with DESE on how our COVID-19 cases are reported out here in the community and on their website. As soon as we have worked out the details our information will be updated on their website. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. Please see the department’s COVID-19 website for more information at http://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/.

COVID-19
This week has seen an INCREASE in COVID-19 cases here in town and in the schools. Please note that I have sent a separate letter via email about COVID-19 cases at BHS. As a community, we moved from yellow to red (10/29/20). This is disappointing but in line with many of our surrounding communities which have also seen an increase in the number of cases in their municipalities. 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) LAST CALL
This law entitles Bedford to submit a Federal Impact Aid application, it is however 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.

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 will be provided each Friday. This is due to a change at the state level from Wednesday reporting to Thursday reporting. The information is always available 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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