Superintendent Conrad’s Friday Update ~ August 27, 2021

School begins next week! I am so excited! As I told the Bedford Rotary Club on Tuesday, while many people look to New Year’s Eve as a new beginning, as educators we look at the start of the school year as our New Year and our time to celebrate with our students and families.  This year is no exception.  Thank you for everything you do to prepare our students to be at their best for each and every school day.  Please know that we are all in this together and want to work in that spirit so that each child has the best experience possible. Best wishes for a wonderful school year.

Masking
On Monday evening the Bedford Board of Health approved an indoor mask requirement applicable to “all indoor spaces open to the public,” effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday, August 27, 2021. The mandate specifies houses of worship, fitness clubs, lodging, personal services, performance venues, and common space in multi-unit residential buildings. The board also voted to include schools, where it lacks jurisdiction, assuming that state and local education officials would approve a mask mandate on Tuesday. A full recap of the meeting in the Bedford Citizen can be accessed here.  Bedford Citizen BOH 8 23 21 Meeting Recap  

On Tuesday, August 24, 2021, the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education held a special meeting. At that meeting, Commissioner Riley received the authority to issue a mask mandate for public school students and staff in all grades through at least October 1, 2021. The meeting was followed on Wednesday with an implementation document. The document was released by Commissioner Riley on August 25, 2021. It can be seen here at Implementation of DESE Mask Requirement

Tuesday evening the Bedford School Committee reaffirmed its commitment to masks for all students and staff in all of our Bedford Public School Buildings. Masks, as well as all of our other safety protocols are designed to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19. We will continue to work cooperatively with DESE, the BOH, and the Select Board to keep students and staff healthy. I appreciate everyone’s assistance as we continue to work together to keep one another safe.

Message from the Bedford Police Department
The Bedford Police Department put out a communication on Friday, August 27, 2021, in preparation for the opening of school next week.  The flyer about safe travel to and from school can be seen at BPD Back to School Safety Tips. Thank you to Chief Bongiorno for this important message.

Hanscom News
This week district and high school leaders were invited back on base to meet with our counterparts from the Lincoln Public Schools and the base commander and her leadership team. Colonel Stephens hosted the reception at her residence and we were thrilled to meet her and her senior staff.  This was another opportunity to continue to strengthen our relationships on the base so that we can assist the students of our military families. During the meeting we learned that Commander Stevens threw out the first pitch at the Red Sox game at Fenway Park on August 15, 2021, it was of course a perfect strike. Congratulations Colonel Stevens!

METCO P.L.A.N. Students
Congratulations to Bedford High students Michaela Minott, Que’Mya Brewster, and Reidon Green-Ford who were among 35 METCO students to complete the Preparing Leaders and Achievers Network (PLAN) program last week at METCO. The interns created and shared a tour of historic landmarks in the Nubian Square neighborhood around METCO HQ. The students researched, planned, and presented their information laying the groundwork for walking tours to be conducted by future student ambassadors.

Survey for METCO families
METCO HQ has launched its second summer survey for parents of METCO students.  The questions range from children’s experience in school to the value of HQ’s programs to areas of improvement in the application process. We encourage all of our Bedford METCO families to take a few minutes to share their perspectives anonymously with METCO HQ. Please access the survey at https://forms.gle/FZrgEhYizZhc1HFg7

Pool Testing/ COVID Safety Checks
We are in the process of getting matched with a CIC Health Project Coordinator for the Bedford Public Schools. Once we have a CIC Health Project Coordinator our goal will be to get information to all families about the COVID safety checks, the diagnostic testing, and the “test and stay” protocols as soon as possible. Keep in mind that the DESE program is a voluntary program and requires active consent on the part of all participants.  It is our hope that we can test as many individuals as possible in an effort to keep our schools safe. Please stay tuned for more information!

First days of school
As we prepare for the first days of school please keep the following dates in mind:

School Hours

We will be updating the District calendar with the following school start and end times.

 Regular School Day

Three Quarter (¾) School Day

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


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