Superintendent Conrad’s Friday Update ~ September 17, 2021

As always, Superintendent Conrad addresses multiple topics of interest in his Friday newsletter:

Bedford Day is Back!
Tomorrow Saturday, September 18, 2021, is Bedford Day. The town will be celebrating with a number of events including The Friends for Matty 5K Road Race beginning at JGMS at 8:30 AM. The Bedford Day Parade at 10:30 AM. The Bedford Day Fair at Town Campus from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  During the fair, the  Bedford Department of Health and Human Services will be offering free COVID-19 and Flu vaccination clinics! For more information about these clinics please navigate to Bedford Health Free Shots, the Bedford Public Library will be having its Fall Book Sale from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM more information is available at Bedford Library Events, and the Bedford Arts and Crafts Society is hosting their annual regional art show from 9:00 until 2:00 PM in the Town Center building.  More information is available at  Bedford Arts and Crafts Show. The day will be capped off with fireworks! The fireworks will start at 7:30 PM. For more information please navigate to https://www.bedfordma.gov/bedford-day-2021

COVID-19 Page, protocols, videos, test and stay sign up, and other COVID-19 information
We have added a COVID-19 information page to our website.  It can be reached via the yellow banner on the home page or at BPS COVID Information Page The page contains information from DESE, DPH, AAP, and CDC. It also contains a short four-minute video that does a great job reviewing the DESE/DPH Guidance for Schools ArxEd COVID Video  It also has a link so that you can sign up for our testing program which includes symptomatic testing, routine COVID-19 safety checks, and the “test and stay” program. When you enroll you are automatically enrolled in all three parts of the program. Feel free to use this link BPS COVID-19 Testing Sign Up Link This link is also available in each of the COVID-19 letters that have recently been sent out.  It looks like this:  Please sign up for Symptomatic testing, Routine COVID safety checks, and our “Test and Stay” Protocol HERE  
We are working with the state’s testing vendor CIC and will implement pooled testing in our schools as soon as possible.  We will begin as soon as our supplies arrive and our on-site scheduling has been finalized with CIC Health. We are requesting that everyone who is not vaccinated to sign up for weekly COVID-19 testing in order to help keep our schools open and safe.

Thank you to the Bedford Department of Health and Human Services for putting our school COVID-19 cases on the town’s COVID-19 Statistics Page at Town of Bedford COVID-19 Statistics Page

We urge everyone to sign up for the testing program as an additional protective measure. Keep in mind that Test and Stay allows non-symptomatic close contacts to come to school, get tested, and if negative go to class.  If a child tests positive they are sent home.  Symptomatic testing is used when a student starts to have symptoms of COVID-19 at school; students should not come to school if they are feeling sick while at home. Routine COVID-19 safety checks (previously called Pooled testing) allow students and staff to be tested on a regular basis.  This year each of us will be providing two samples so that in the case of a positive pool each individual can be tested in the lab and the positive COVID-19 case easily identified. The samples will be taken via nasal swab at school. To date, 15% of BHS, 25% of JGMS, 45% of Lane, and 44 % of Davis students have signed up for the testing program.

Please keep in mind that to date our test and stay program has not revealed any in-school transmission.

Vaccination Rate Update
To date, 71% of students are eligible for vaccination (12 years or older) at JGMS, and 72% of students are vaccinated. Please keep in mind that the Bedford Department of Health and Human Services will be offering a vaccination clinic tomorrow as part of Bedford Day.  For more information go to Bedford Health Free Shots

September 11, 2001
Last Saturday I was able to join Hanscom Air Force Base Commander Colonel Stephens, Chief Master Sergeant Hebb, and their families aboard the USS Constitution along with 12 of the nation’s 67 living Medal of Honor recipients. The Constitution cruised from her berth in Charlestown to Castle Island and back. The cruise included a reenactment of Old Ironsides’s War of 1812 battle with HMS Guerriere, a 21-gun salute at Castle Island, a flyover by the Massachusetts Air National Guard’s 104th Fighter Wing with F-15E Strike Eagles, as well as a 17-gun salute as the Constitution passed U.S. Coast Guard Base Boston, the former site of Edmund Hartt’s Shipyard, where the USS Constitution was built and launched on Oct. 21, 1797. All of this was overseen by USS Constitution’s 76th Commanding Officer Commander John Benda, Executive Officer Andrew Broyles, and Command Senior Chief Angela Collins. The highlight of the day was the unexpected opportunity afforded to activity duty military personnel who were able to climb the Constitution’s riggings. It was a thrill to see both Colonel Stephens and Chief Master Sergeant Hebb make the climb. Thank you to Ms. Erin Crowley for this opportunity.

Latinx Heritage Month 9/15-10/15
Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual celebration of the history and culture of the U.S. Latinx and Hispanic communities in the United States. The event, which spans from September 15 to October 15, commemorates how those communities have influenced and contributed to American society at large. For more information on this topic please go to History Channel Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month or check out the ASCD Hispanic Heritage Month Infographic

National Suicide Prevention Month
Please be aware that September is National Suicide Prevention Month.  All month long mental health advocates, prevention organizations, schools, and community groups will be highlighting ways we can unite and promote suicide prevention awareness.  For more information please go to https://afsp.org/national-suicide-prevention-week

Positions available
The Bedford Public Schools are seeking substitute teachers and Special Education Teaching Assistants.  If you are interested please apply at BPS Substitutes or to BPS Special Education Teaching Assistants.

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


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