Superintendent Conrad’s Weekly Update ~ February 4, 2022

Editor’s Note: Superintendent Conrad’s message this week covers the Schools’ and District ESSA report cards; event information including Black History Month, Lunar Year of the Tiger, National Counseling Week, Just Talk About It, CSF Dollars for Scholars Trivia Night, February vacation, and the 2022-2023 school calendar. There is also an extensive section regarding Covid testing and recent statistics.

Bedford Public Schools School and District ESSA Report Cards are HERE
I am pleased to distribute this year’s Every Student Succeeds Act annual district and school report cards to all of our Bedford families. Our report cards include assessment and accountability data, teacher qualifications, and other information related to district and school performance.  Our report card data highlights our strengths as well as our challenges in meeting the needs of all students. For more information please visit ESSA Report Cards type in Bedford or an individual school in the search bar and explore the information.

Black History Month
Black History Month begins on Monday and is an annual celebration of the achievements of African Americans and a time to recognize the central role African Americans have played in our history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history. For more information please go to History.com Black History Month Information

Welcome to the Year of the Tiger
Tomorrow, February 5, 2022 is the celebration of the Lunar New Year! Lunar New Year is a festival that celebrates the beginning of the new year according to the traditional Chinese calendar. The celebration marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. For more information please visit https://chinesenewyear.net/

National School Counseling Week February 7-11, 2022
National School Counseling Week will be celebrated February 7-11, 2022. During this annual celebration, I would like to take a moment to recognize the contributions of our school counselors across the district. NSCW is sponsored locally by The Massachusetts School Counseling Association (MASCA). For more information check out this infographic that tells you more about the role of school counselors.

New DESE/DPH COVID protocol Opt-in
The new DESE/DPH COVID-19 Testing Program provides a test kit to anyone who opts into the program. This program is in addition to our pooled and symptomatic testing programs. Everyone who opts in will receive a new kit every two weeks.

If you would like to opt-in to the program please navigate to the At-Home Antigen Test Opt-In Google Form

Please sign up by Monday afternoon by 5 PM, to set our distribution lists for each school.  The home tests are meant to offset the testing days done at school so that there are two days a week of testing monitoring being done.

DESE Recommended Testing Schedule 

School In-school testing At home testing
JGMS Monday Thursday
Lane Tuesday Friday
Davis Wednesday Sunday
BHS Wednesday Sunday

It is important to note that this program is available to all who opt-in regardless of whether you are enrolled in pooled testing or not. The link to the opt-in form will allow you access to a two-week (at a time) supply of in-home antigen COVID-19 tests. These tests will augment our pooled tests giving each of us the opportunity to have two COVID-19 tests per week.

To be clear, both programs are voluntary and both are independent of one another. You can sign up for one or both. The at-home test should be used weekly, regardless of whether you have symptoms. If your child tests positive on an at-home antigen test, they should stay home and you are asked to inform your school nurse of the positive result.

NEW COVID-19 Email Addresses

All cases of COVID-19 (both home tests and tests from a medical provider) should be reported to your child’s school nurse using the above-listed email addresses.   When reporting a positive case of COVID-19 please include the following information.

  • Name of child
  • Grade of child
  • Date of symptom onset or the date the positive test was taken
  • Date of testing and type of test performed (PCR or antigen)
  • If the positive test was obtained from a home test, if possible, please schedule a PCR lab test to confirm.
  • Date the last time your child was present in school
  • Does your child attend school activities or sports and list the activity or team

Case Update Information
Moving forward we will continue to track reported positive student and staff cases via self-administered home-style antigen tests, as well as point of care tests (either PCR, rapid PCR, or rapid antigen).  DESE guidance has been updated, and with the shortage of testing available, self-administered home-style antigen tests with a positive result are accepted and treated as a positive case of COVID-19. The dashboard is now up-to-date and can be accessed here:

Link to COVID-19 Cases in the Bedford Public Schools This Week 

Please be sure to report any positive COVID-19 test results to the absence line or your school’s covid email address listed above.

Safety Check Testing
It is important to note that our COVID-19 safety check testing protocol is up and running weekly at each school. We urge everyone to sign up to be part of our protective testing program.
Next week we will continue with the single swab collection, we are placing 2 swabs in a “pool” to be processed by the lab, and if the pool detects a positive result, the school nurses will retest those 2 individuals with rapid antigen tests, and if positive families will be notified and instructed on isolation procedures.  If the rapid test is negative and the individual is symptom-free, they will be retested the following day, and if still negative and symptom-free, they can resume weekly COVID-19 testing.

Pooled Testing Results Week of January 31, 2022

  • BHS 100 students, 57 staff,  0 positive cases
  • JGMS 226 students, 52 staff, 0 positive cases
  • Lane 339 students, 49 staff 0 positive cases
  • Davis 295 students, 43 staff, 2  positive cases

If you have not done so already and would like to you can sign up for testing at

BPS COVID-19 Testing Sign Up Link

By signing up for testing you provide an additional layer of protection for your child, your family, and our schools. I cannot urge you strongly enough to participate in this free service.
COVID Case Updates
Please check the link below to review current and past cases of COVID-19 cases within our school community.  Thank you to our school nurses who have been continuing to update the case numbers daily. From Friday, January 28, 2022, to Thursday, February 3, 2022, we have had a total of 47 cases reported.   Please note that these numbers have been reported on the Bedford COVID-19 Dashboard.

Our case information to date is broken out by school below

  • Davis School had 9 cases
  • Lane School had 7  cases
  • JGMS had 3 cases
  • BHS had 5  cases
  • BPS had 24 cases

Link to COVID-19 Cases in the Bedford Public Schools This Week

Celebrate Lunar New Year with the Parents Diversity Council
The Bedford Parents Diversity Council and the Bedford Free Public Library will celebrate the Year of the Year of the Tiger on Saturday, February 5, 2022 at 11:00 am via Zoom. The event will include musical performances, a story read by Selectboard member Bopha Malone, and more! Craft kits are now available from the library now and include all the supplies you will need for the chopsticks challenge, a spin drum, coloring pages, plus other goodies. Supplies are going fast so get them before they are gone! Please email pdcbedorddavis@gmail.com to RSVP and for a link to the activities.

Bedford Dollars for Scholars Trivia Night
Registration is now open for the Citizens Scholarship of Bedford Dollars for Scholars Trivia Night! Trivia Night will be held on Saturday, February 12, 2022, from 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm. Get your team ready for some Trivia Fun. Similar to last year, this will be a virtual event, brought to you by Stump! Trivia.  Virtual Doors open at 7:00 pm, the Trivia game is from 7:30 pm until 8:30 pm.  Teams of 6-10 players, $25 per person.  REGISTER EARLY, as this event sells out!  Proceeds go to scholarships for Bedford/Hanscom graduates who plan to continue their education. Team Captains, please register your team HERE, for more information please visit the CSF of Bedford website at  http://www.bedfordma.dollarsforscholars.org

Bedford Health and Human Services Department and The Massachusetts Partnership for Youth Workshop  “Just Talk About It”
The Bedford Health and Human Services Department and The Massachusetts Partnership for Youth are pleased to present a workshop entitled  “Just Talk About It” via Zoom on Monday, February 14th from 3-4:30 pm. The workshop is geared towards caregivers of adolescents facing mental health challenges.  The goal of the program is to teach adults how to utilize inclusive and supportive strategies to identify, understand, and respond to adolescent mental health challenges. All are welcome. To view the flyer or sign up for the webinar please click here. For more information please contact Mackenzie Comeau, Bedford Youth Social Worker at mcomeau@bedfordma.gov or at 781-918-4331.

Reading is Uproarious
On Tuesday, February 15, 2022 at 5:00 pm BedfordTV & The Happier Valley Comedy Show will present “Reading Is Uproarious!” a virtual, family-friendly, improv show with a literacy positive theme, geared towards children ages 4 to 13 and their adult caregivers. This is an interactive show where students will be introduced to the idea of improvisation. Audience participation will be used to inspire improvised games. The program is designed to engage students and enhance their love of reading, stories, and laughter. This is a free event, however donations are accepted at BedfordTV Donations. For more information please navigate to Reading is Uproarious! or see the event link at www.bedford.tv/zoom.

February Vacation Week
Just a reminder that this year our February School Vacation Week is Monday, February 21, 2022, through Friday, February 25, 2022.

2022-2023 School Year Calendar
On January 25, 2022, the Bedford School Committee voted on the 2022-2023 school year calendar. The calendar can be found on the website here. The highlights include a start date for students after the Labor Day holiday on Tuesday, September 6, 2022.

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.

Stay positive, test negative!


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