Superintendent Conrad’s Friday Update – April 2, 2021

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Welcome to April! Next Monday, April 5, 2021 we will welcome back the students of Davis and Lane to their five (5) day a week all-in-person schedule.  As you know it has been a long process to return to in-person learning and I want to acknowledge the work of the educators and administrators of each building for their hard work to make this a reality.  The educators of JGMS and BHS are working diligently to prepare for Monday, April 26, 2021, when they welcome their students back to five (5) days a week all in-person learning. Please continue to be vigilant against the COVID-19 virus so as to keep one another safe.

Mr. John Fichera

Long-time Bedford Public Schools teacher Mr. John Fichera passed away late last week.  Mr. Fichera taught in the Bedford Public Schools for over 30 years at the Page, Davis, and Lane Elementary Schools.  While most of his career was spent at Lane teaching fifth grade Mr. Fichera taught fourth grade as well. At the Lane School there is a granite marker that was placed there on the occasion of his thirtieth year (30) of teaching in Bedford. Thank you Mr. Fichera for all that you did for the families of Bedford.

Good Friday and Easter Sunday

Today marks Good Friday and Sunday is Easter.  Both of these are important holidays in the Christian faith.  Easter celebrates the belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the New Testament of the Bible this event is said to have occurred three days after Jesus was crucified by the Romans. For more information about Good Friday and Easter please visit https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/history-of-easter

MCAS at BHS

This week The Bedford Buccaneer announced the dates for the MCAS Assessments at BHS

The assessments will be held as follows:

  • Grade 11 ELA: 5/17 & 5/18
  • Grade 10 ELA: 5/20 & 5/21
  • Grade 11 Math: 5/24 & 5/25
  • Grade 10 Math: 5/27 & 5/28
  • Grade 9 Science: 6/1 & 6/3

Travel Order

Please note that effective Monday, March 22, the Massachusetts Travel Order created by Governor Baker was replaced with a Massachusetts Travel Advisory. The new travel advisory urges all persons entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, to be advised to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival if they have been out of the state for 24 hours or more. The advisory does not apply to anyone in the following categories:

  • Anyone who is returning to Massachusetts after an absence of fewer than 24 hours.
  • Travelers who have a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72 hours prior to their arrival in Massachusetts.
  • Workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions (as specified by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) while they are commuting to or from or while at work.
  • Travelers who are fully vaccinated (i.e. who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 14 days or more ago and who do not have symptoms).

Travelers are additionally encouraged to consult and follow the CDC’s guidelines and requirements for travel.

DESE Updates

Governor Baker announced that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will cover the cost of DESE’s Pool Testing initiative through the end of the school year.  We are excited by this announcement and hope that all of our families and faculty will take advantage of this free service.

Pool Testing Update

This week we tested 452 students and 66 staff.  I am happy to report that all of our pools came back negative!   Thank you to all families who were so cooperative in this process.  We will continue the DESE pooled testing program next week, and families may still sign up.

Please consider signing up your child for weekly asymptomatic surveillance testing. Routine surveillance testing is the best way to discover who is infected and doesn’t know it. If your child is part of a positive pool, we will arrange for rapid testing as soon as possible, and if the rapid tests are negative, it usually results in only a 24 hour timeline of individual testing.  Please see the information in the following document to register your child. Bedford Public Schools Pooled Testing Overview. If you have questions about the pool testing process, need assistance with the sign up process, or would like to request a paper consent form please reach out to our BPS Nurse Leader Tracy Fernald or your child’s school nurse.

Mental Health Seminars

The Bedford Health and Human Services Department in collaboration with the Bedford Public Schools Counseling Department are pleased to offer a number of upcoming webinars including:

Monday, April 5th at 7 pm ~ Supporting Emotional Well-Being for Tweens and Teens ~ This session will present the ways we can understand and support our teens and tweens regarding the developmental issues they face. Strategies will focus on helping parents and caregivers feel more confident and courageous to engage in difficult discussions with the youths in their lives. This webinar features Dr. Rachel Kramer, Ph.D. www.drrachelkramer.com

Monday, April 12th at 7 pm ~ Pandemic Parenting One Year In: Supporting Social Development and Combating Social Atrophy ~ During the pandemic, we are all getting much less practice with face-to-face communication. Children and adults worry about not knowing how to relate to people once pandemic restrictions are lifted. This session will focus on strategies for parents and caregivers to support their children’s social skills and combat social atrophy. This webinar features Dr. Rachel Kramer, Ph.D. www.drrachelkramer.com

For any of these webinars please register here: https://forms.gle/ozZAKtKDdpr63ewJ7 or contact Christopher Bang our Community Social Worker at cbang@bedfordma.gov or the Bedford Health and Human Services Department with any questions at health@bedfordma.gov  or 781-275-6507.

I’m Not Racist… Am I? Documentary and BHS Community Conversation – Thursday, April 8. 7:30-9 pm

Join the BHS Community for an upcoming community event based around the documentary I’m Not Racist… Am I? This film follows a diverse group of teens through a year-long exploration to get at the heart of racism. Through some tense and painful moments, we see how these difficult conversations affect their relationships with friends and parents, and ultimately challenge them to look deep within themselves. By the end of their time together, we’ll see these remarkable young people develop deeper bonds, a stronger resolve and a bigger, more significant definition of racism than any of us ever imagined. Participants will receive a link to watch the documentary on their own and then will come together virtually via Zoom for an engaging conversation to unpack the film and its impact. Use this link to sign-up.

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.

BPS 2021-2022 School Year Calendar

On Tuesday night the school committee voted on the 2021-2022 school calendar. Please navigate to the 2021-2022 School Year Calendar to see the calendar.

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

 


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