Cohort C Expansion and the formation of Cohort K
I am excited to announce that on November 24th the Bedford School Committee voted to expand the number of students who would be able to return to school for four days a week of in-person instruction. We have targeted two groups for this expansion, our moderate special education students and our kindergarten students. Throughout the fall we have been looking for ways to provide these two groups with more in-person learning.
We will be reaching out to both Kindergarten and Cohort C families soon to give them details of when and how the transitions will happen. This expansion of in-person learning means that we will be bringing some students back in four days per week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday) and will be done within the guidelines that were established this summer and include our continued adherence to our six health and safety protocols:
Mandatory mask wearing for all students, faculty, and staff
- Six feet of social distancing at all times
- Increased hand sanitizing and hand washing practices
- Increased air flow through our HVAC systems, including improved filtration
- Inclusion of HEPA filtration systems in all classrooms and offices
- Disinfecting of all school buildings nightly
Flu Shot Reminder
Thank you to all parents, families, and caregivers who have already sent in the documentation that their child has received the 2020 flu vaccine. As you know, the Flu Vaccine is required for all students in Massachusetts and must be completed and reported by December 31, 2020. It does not matter whether your child is hybrid or remote, the requirement is for all students. The Massachusetts guidance around the vaccine requirement can be found here. If your child has not yet received the flu vaccine please be in touch with the school nurse of your child’s school so that we can comply with the new regulation.
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) COVID-19 Task Force and the MIAA Board of Directors have made recommendations for winter athletics and Athletic Director Keith Mangan spoke to the School Committee on Tuesday night about the modifications and adjustments that we and our fellow Dual County League (DCL) schools will be taking to protect our student-athletes. Bedford High School Students will participate in basketball, ice hockey, swim and dive, alpine skiing, and rifle. We are grateful to everyone for their cooperation as we get the winter season underway beginning on Monday, December 14, 2020.
School Committee News
Reminder that the school committee has decided to meet weekly from now until the end of December in order to discuss potential changes to our current learning models and to discuss the FY22 budget process. Links to the Zoom meetings will be posted as required. We hope to see you there.
Teaching Assistants, Educational Assistants and Building Substitutes Needed
If you would be interested in joining the Bedford Public Schools as a teaching assistant, an educational assistant, or a building-based substitute please check out our openings on our website at BPS HR Website, and thank you!
Town and School Staff Support Webinar Offered
On Wednesday, December 16th from 2-3 pm, the Bedford Health and Human Services Department and Bedford Public Schools Counseling Department are sponsoring a support webinar for the town and school staff with Jon Mattleman, a mental health counselor and presenter for over 35 years. Jon will present “Supporting Families Is Rewarding…And So Challenging During COVID-19. Understanding our new norms and supporting ourselves during the COVID-19.”
Recognizing that the challenges that families face during these challenging times are complex, and often exhausting, Jon’s work is grounded in delivering tools and techniques that can be implemented in real-time. Please set the time aside to join us for this informative presentation for Town of Bedford Staff and Bedford Public Schools Staff with a Q&A period at the end. Please register by navigating to https://event.webinarjam.com/register/172/q7m5rswr
Have you ever wondered about the history of activism for educational activism in Boston and Massachusetts? METCO created a student internship program called B.E.A.T.: Boston Education Activism Tour to uncover the history of activism for educational equality in Boston, including the founding of METCO itself. The group created an amazing presentation of their research which can be viewed at https://metcoinc.org/programming/beat/. I hope you will take this opportunity to allow these students to guide you through decades of untold history including introductions to the brave organizers who envisioned a better world.
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Community COVID-19 Dashboard
The Bedford Board of Health Bedford COVID-19 Dashboard contains data related to case counts, active/recovered cases, case demographics, and school case data. The majority of the data on the Dashboard will be updated Monday through Friday, with some data tables and charts updated on a weekly basis. We invite you to view the new dashboard at www.bedfordma.gov/covid-stats
As always, thank you for your patience, your participation, and your continued commitment to our schools.