Superintendent Conrad’s Weekly Update ~ March 25, 2022

Editor’s Note: In his newsletter for Friday, March 25, Superintendent Conrad speaks to Annual Town Meeting, the Parents Diversity Council’s discussion of Jennifer De Leon’s book Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From that is open to parents and the community at large, a happy 56th birthday wish for the METCO program, the ‘Historic’ nation of the School Committee’s April 12 meeting, the Bedford Education Association’s Soiree on May 6, Disney’s High School Musical Jr. in production at JGMS,  the success of the BHS musical Mamma Mia!, along with ongoing testing protocols and case counts.

Annual Town Meeting
The 2022 Annual Town Meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, March 28, 2022, in the Bedford High School Auditorium (9 Mudge Way). Citizens may check-in beginning at 6:00 p.m. All Bedford registered voters are eligible to vote at Town Meeting, and everyone is welcome to attend. The Town Meeting webpage at bedfordma.gov/town-meeting contains the warrant, video presentations, and other background materials. Please note that the Town Moderator has determined that masks are required of all Town Meeting attendees. Masks must be worn except while speaking or asking questions. For more information please contact the Town Manager’s Office at 781-275-1111 or by email to townmanager@bedfordma.gov with any questions about Town Meeting.

The Parents Diversity Council presents A Discussion with Jennifer De Leon
In tandem with Bedford High’s optional reading of Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From and an author visit, the Parents Diversity Council offers a connection to this project by inviting parents and community members to read the book, then attend an in-person discussion with Ms. De Leon. Jennifer’s novel of a Latinx student accepted into a suburban METCO program inspires empathy and encourages getting to know people as individuals instead of types or skin colors, emphasizing that no single group’s experience or background is the same for everyone in that group. Please join the Discussion with Jennifer De Leon, on April 6, 7 PM @ BHS in the Large Group Instruction (LGI) room. A limited number of free copies are available from the PDC. If you’d like a copy of the book please email the PDC at pdcbedford@gmail.com.
To RSVP please click here: https://forms.gle/pP7yMVTGMURBnobV7

Happy Birthday METCO!
Fifty-six years ago this week (Thursday, March 24, 2022, to be exact!) a remarkable grass-roots civil rights program was incorporated in Roxbury when urban and suburban parents came together and took action to build an education system that would be integrated and equitable. They called it The Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity or METCO. Today, fifty-six years later, METCO is the largest voluntary school desegregation program in the nation, connecting thirty-seven communities and enrolling over 3,200 students. As a METCO district, we are proud to stand on the shoulders of the visionaries who organized it, the leaders who have doggedly defended it, and the tens of thousands of parents, students, and educators who have pushed it to reach its potential. METCO leaders continue to find ways to evolve. This year, METCO opened a new home in Nubian Square and created an exhibit of the history and creation of METCO. (Check out the personal tour video or stop by to see it for yourself!)

Bedford School Committee’s April 12, 2022 Meeting will be Historic!
On Tuesday, April 12, 2022, the Bedford School Committee will host a hybrid meeting at METCO Headquarters, 11 Roxbury Street, Boston, MA in historic Nubian Square. More information will be forthcoming, be assured community members will be able to join the meeting via Zoom.

The Bedford Education Foundation May Soirée!
The BEF Announced this week that they have been able to relocate their May Soirée! Committed to finding another indoor/outdoor venue the BEF was thrilled to announce that our neighbors at the Tuscan Kitchen in Burlington will accommodate the May Soirée! on their original May 6th date. So please mark your calendars again. More details coming soon.

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!
In-Person Performances: https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/61339
Friday Live-Stream: https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/61659

Mamma Mia at BHS
Congratulations to the cast and crew of MAMMA MIA! The show at BHS this past weekend in the Joseph Buckley Auditorium was amazing! Great job everyone.
The 26th Annual Regional High School Art Show
Congratulations to the senior artists at Bedford High School who were included in the 26th Annual Regional High School Art Show at LexArt. 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 21, 2022

  • BHS 25 students, 34 staff,  0 positive cases*
  • JGMS 148  students, 32 staff, 0 positive cases
  • Lane 331 students, 41 staff  1  positive case
  • Davis 282  students, 36 staff, 2  positive cases

* Please note that the BHS Pool numbers were lower this week due to the MCAS schedule

COVID Case Updates

Please check the link below to review current cases of COVID-19 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 17, 2022:

  • BHS 6
  • JGMS 5
  • Lane  4
  • Davis 2

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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