Superintendent Conrad’s Weekly Update ~ April 8, 2022

 

Editor’s Note: For the week ending on April 8, 2022, Superintendent Conrad covers Pole Capping, Pete the Cat’s visit to Davis School, Women in Science,Assistant Principal’s Week, Bedford Fire Department Mass Casualty Exercise on April 12,  Autism Awareness Week, Covid testing and protocols, an increase to the schools’ substitute teacher rates, and April Vacation beginning on Monday, April 18.

Pole Capping

On Saturday, April 9, 2022 the Bedford Minuteman Company and the town of Bedford will celebrate the 56th annual Liberty Pole Capping ceremony and parade! The parade will step off from the Town Common at 10:30 and will proceed past Fitch Tavern and continue on to Captain Jonathan Willson Pak for the Pole Capping ceremony. After the Pole Capping ceremony, the parade will continue past the Bedford Free Public Library and end at Bedford High School.

Pete the Cat came to the Davis School

On Wednesday, all of the classrooms at the Davis School came together as an audience for the Theatreworks USA production of Pete the Cat. Theatreworks USA is an organization with a mission of making theatrical experiences accessible to young audiences and bringing beloved book characters to life. The performance was joyful and captivating and shared the important message that mistakes are okay to make. This schoolwide opportunity is a spring highlight at Davis School and we are grateful to BEST for helping to make it possible.

Women in Science

On  April 2, 2022, the science department hosted the 19th annual Women of Science Scholarship Competition. Thirty-three teams from eighteen schools including one from Pennsylvania. Each team consisted of three young women in their junior or senior year of high school.

This year’s theme was The Ocean Realm — all events connected to our oceans or related to Marine Science. Teams arrived at the competition with a mousetrap-powered boat (our pre-build event) with the goal of crossing the finish line in our “Bedford Canal ” in the shortest amount of time without touching the “banks” of the canal. The Mystery Build task asked the teams to build the tallest Whale Watching Tower that spanned an inlet. Our ever-popular Anything Goes event challenged our budding scientists, especially the station about pulley systems on fishing vessels and identifying marine organisms. We ended the day with an OCEAN trivia contest.

Bedford High School sent two teams to the competition. Both teams did wonderfully, so if you see Isabella Fernald, Audrey Mense, or Shahada Manzer, please congratulate them on their 6th place finish overall!  And if you see Abhigna Reddy, Erika Falco, or Sahana Kumar, congratulate them on their 4th place finish overall!

We thank our sponsors – Millipore Sigma, UMass Lowell, and the Bedford Public Schools – for supporting our scholarship competition since its inception. Without their support, this event would not be possible.

Assistant Principal’s Week

This week April 4-8, 2022 was National Assistant Principals Week. National Assistant Principal Week is a celebration sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the American Federation of School Administrators to honor the enormous contributions of assistant principals to student success.

This year, our celebration takes on even greater significance as we recognize all that assistant principals have conquered amid the pandemic and consider what their ever-expanding and evolving role might look like moving forward. Through it all, America’s assistant principals have demonstrated unwavering leadership becoming a source of strength and inspiration for us all. Thank you Mr. Bacagalupi, Mr. Casey, Ms. Colby, Mr. Hudder, and Mr. Kinney for all that you do! For more information navigate to NASSP Assistant Principal Week

Bedford Fire Department Mass Casualty Exercise

Please be aware that the Bedford Fire Department will be conducting a mass casualty incident exercise on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, with a rain date of Thursday, April 14, 2022, from 10:00 am until 12:30 pm. The exercise will take place on the bike path adjacent to the gravel parking lot on Railroad Avenue. Participants will include the Bedford Fire Department, Lexington Fire Department, and Concord Fire Department. Teenage actors from BHS will simulate injuries and will be transported to Depot Park.

This exercise will prepare the fire department to respond to incidents that involve a large number of injuries, necessitating coordination with multiple agencies to manage the incident. The fire department does not anticipate blocking Railroad Avenue or any nearby streets during the exercise and hopes that any disturbance to the neighborhood will be minimal. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this exercise please contact Captain Mark Sullivan at msullivan@bedfordma.gov or 781-275- 5266 ext. 4204.

Autism Awareness Month

On Friday, April 1, 2022, faculty, students, and staff wore blue in honor of World Autism Awareness Day on Saturday, April 2. For more information please navigate to World Autism Awareness Month  

Disney’s High School Musical Jr.

Congratulations to the John Glenn Middle School Performing Arts Department for their wonderful performance of High School Musical Junior.

COVID-19 Testing

We continue to offer free COVID-19 testing via pooled testing (PCR tests) at each school every week, and free home test kits are distributed every other week.

If you would like your child to resume weekly pooled testing after they have been off the roster for 90 days after testing positive for COVID-19,  please notify your child’s school nurse.  You do not need to sign up again.

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

FDA Extension of iHealth (Home Antigen Test Kits) Expiration Dates:

On Tuesday 3/29/22, the FDA granted a three-month shelf-life extension for the iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test. As an example, if the expiration date on a test is April 1st, 2022, the new expiration date would be July 1st, 2022. To confirm the expiration date of an iHealth test kit, you can enter the lot number on the iHealth website here (this feature is case sensitive!) Please note that this extension is only in regard to the iHealth test kits and does not have any association with the timelines of the DESE testing program.

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 following email addresses:

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 Case Updates

The dashboard is up-to-date and can be accessed here:  Link to COVID-19 Cases in the Bedford Public Schools This Week

Pooled Testing Results Week of April 4, 2022,

  • BHS: 69 students, 45 staff,  0 positive cases
  • JGMS: 184 students, 32 staff, 1 positive case
  • Lane: 317 students, 40 staff  3  positive cases
  • Davis:  262 students, 31 staff, 0 positive cases

For weekly pooled testing 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.

Cases Reported This Week Since March 31, 2022:

  • BHS 5
  • JGMS 10
  • Lane  24
  • Davis 4             

BPS Substitute Rate Increase

As of April 1, 2022, the daily substitute rate for Bedford Public Schools will increase to $100.00 per day.  If you are interested in becoming a substitute, please apply at BPS Substitutes.

April School Vacation

Remember that April School vacation is the week of April 18, 2022, through Friday, April 23, 2022. April School Vacation as always includes Patriots Day on Monday, April 18, 2022. Patriots Day commemorates the events of April 19, 1775, in Boston, Lexington, Lincoln, Arlington, Bedford, and Concord. Events include a Patriots Day Parade in Boston plus dozens of major re-enactments of the first day of the American Revolution.

Thousands of members of local Minutemen companies, militias, and historical societies participate in the re-enactments in and around Boston Including at the Minute Man National Historical Park, Concord’s Old North Bridge, Lexington’s Battle Green, and other historic sites in the Boston area. For more information about events in our area please navigate to Discover Boston Guide – Patriots Day

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


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