Superintendent Conrad’s Weekly Update ~ March 4, 2022

Editor’s Note: In his report for this week, Superintendent Conrad writes about Women’s History Month, Bedford Dollars for Scholars, Testing, Masks and Masks on Buses, Masks for those who Test Positive for Covid; Covid Emails and Case Update Information, Testing, Spring Paving, and Positions Available.

Women’s History Month
March is Women’s History Month. March is dedicated to the contributions of women to the History of the United States. The celebration of Women’s History Month grew out of a weeklong celebration of women’s contributions to culture, history, and society and was first organized by the school district of Sonoma California in 1978.  For more information about Women’s History Month please navigate to one of these websites https://womenshistorymonth.gov/ or History.com Women’s History Month

Bedford Dollars for Scholars
CSF of Bedford Dollars for Scholars will be kicking off their 57th annual Dollars for Scholars Fundraising Campaign. Bedford High students are stuffing and labeling the letters, which will be mailed to Bedford neighbors the week of March 7, 2022. Please help make this year’s scholarships for the Class of 2022 the largest awards yet. In May 2021, CSF of Bedford awarded over $157,000 to graduating seniors. For additional information, please see their website, bedfordma.dollarsforscholars.org

Testing
Thank you to everyone who utilized the free DESE/DPH COVID-19 Testing Program, COVID-19 Test Kits provided by the town, or privately acquired test kits to test prior to returning to school on Monday.

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

Masks and Masks on Buses

Beginning on Monday, February 28, 2022, masks are no longer required in school or on school buses. These changes came about as DESE and the CDC changed their guidance around mandatory mask-wearing in schools and on school buses. Please note that our nurse’s offices are considered medical facilities and do require masks. All of the nurses have and will provide masks to students and staff as needed.

For more information please review this public service announcement produced by BHS Now and our Student School Committee Representative Prakhar Gupta at PSA on Mask Wearing and Testing. Thank you to the staff of BHS Now for producing this PSA!

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.   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)
  • Date the last time your child was present in school

Emails

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 February 28, 2022

  • BHS 81 students, 43 staff,  0 positive cases
  • JGMS 163  students, 32 staff, 1 positive case
  • Lane 324 students, 44 staff  0  positive cases
  • Davis 278 students, 40 staff, 1 positive case

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 Over February Vacation                Cases Reported This Week Since Feb 28

BHS – 0                                                                      BHS – 1

JGMS – 2                                                                   JGMS – 1

Lane – 3                                                                     Lane – 0

Davis – 3                                                                    Davis – 1

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

Paving this spring

Like many residents we received notification from the Department of Public Works that Concord Road, McMahon Road, and Railroad Avenue will be micro surfaced this year. As we get more information about dates and times we will let you know. The repaving efforts could affect traffic coming and going to BHS, JGMS, and tangentially the Davis School For more information please go to the Bedford DPW Website

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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