Superintendent Conrad’s Weekly Update ~ March 18, 2022

Editor’s Note: Superintendent Conrad’s message for March 18 includes a Covid-19 update; information on the school musicals, Mamma Mia! and Disney’s High School Musical Jr.; the 26th annual Regional High School Art Show at LexArt through Sunday, March 20; and Covid protocols, testing, and cases.

COVID-19

This week marks the two-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two years ago schools began what we all hoped would be a brief school closure to stop the spread of the virus. I don’t believe any of us realized what we would be in for. As the numbers improve we are hopeful but will remain vigilant. Please know that we continue to offer pooled and home antigen tests for all who sign up for them, we continue to provide personal protective equipment including masks to all who would like them, we disinfect our schools on a regular basis, our HVAC systems continue to operate at high levels for longer hours, and that each of our spaces continues to run HEPA filtration machines. We are hopeful that these mitigation strategies as well as the widely available vaccines will help in ending the pandemic. Thank you for all of your efforts on behalf of our students and schools, your efforts have made all the difference.

Mamma Mia at BHS

Bedford High School is presenting MAMMA MIA, this weekend March 16-19, 2022 in the Joseph Buckley Auditorium at Bedford High School. The show features lots of laughs, amazing dancing, and favorite pop hits, and is most suitable for a PG-13 audience.

Performances are March 18 at 7:00 pm, March 19 at 1:00 pm (a mask-required show), and 7:00 pm. The March 19, 2022 show at 1:00 pm was added to accommodate a mask-required performance. Masks are required at the 1:00 pm show and strongly encouraged at all of the other shows.

Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for students/seniors and are available here. Don’t miss your chance to see BHS’s talented performing arts students on stage for the first live spring musical since 2020!

Disney’s High School Musical Jr.

The John Glenn Middle School Performing Arts Department is proud to announce its first live in-person production since 2019! The student response for High School Musical Jr. auditions was record-breaking with nearly 70 cast members cast, and over 25 crew members. This dance-filled performance will delight fans of the popular High School Musical movie and musical theater fans alike! Performances will be held Thursday, March 31st at 7 pm, Friday, April 1st at 7 pm (this show will also have a live stream option available), and Saturday, April 2nd at 7 pm. All shows will be held at the JGMS Auditorium. Tickets are $10 plus fees. Tickets can be purchased by using the links below!

The 26th Annual Regional High School Art Show

The Artwork of Bedford High School students is on display at the 26th Annual Regional High School Art Show at LexArt located at 130 Waltham Street, Lexington, MA until Sunday, March 20. The exhibit hours are Tuesday through Friday from 11 am until 5 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10 am until 5 pm. A private reception for artists, family, and friends was held on Tuesday, March 15th from 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm.

Images of the installation can be seen at: https://www.lexart.org/high-schools/bedford

Testing

Want to be part of our FREE at-home testing program or our pooled testing program?

Masks for those who test positive for COVID-19

Please keep in mind that for infected individuals the current guidelines require masks to be worn within the ten-day infection period.

  • Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will need to wear a mask after a 5-day isolation and/or quarantine period when around others for an additional five days, except when eating, drinking, or outdoors.
  • Individuals who experience COVID-19 symptoms should stay home and obtain testing.  If they receive a negative result and their symptoms improve (including remaining fever-free for a 24 hour period without fever-reducing medication), they can return to school but should continue to wear a mask until their symptoms fully resolve.
  • Unvaccinated individuals should continue to wear a mask in school settings.

COVID-19 Email Addresses

Please continue to utilize the COVID-19 email addresses for all COVID-19 related inquiries. 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.

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 self-administered home-style antigen tests with a positive result are accepted and treated as a positive case of COVID-19. The dashboard is 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/Pooled testing/weekly PCR 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.

We are using the single swab collection, placing 2 -3 swabs in a “pool” to be processed by the lab, and if the pool detects a positive result, the school nurses will retest those 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 can resume weekly COVID-19 testing the following week.

Pooled Testing Results Week of March 14, 2022

  • BHS 80 students, 46  staff,  0 positive cases
  • JGMS 158  students, 46 staff, 0 positive cases
  • Lane 320 students, 40 staff  2  positive cases
  • Davis 270  students, 38 staff, 0  positive cases

COVID Case Updates

Please check the link below to review current and past cases of COVID-19 cases within our school community. 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

Cases Reported This Week Since March 11, 2022:

  • BHS 1
  • JGMS 6
  • Lane 4
  • Davis 4

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

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

 


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