Superintendent Conrad’s Weekly Update ~ May 13, 2022

Editor’s Note ~ May 7, 2022: This week’s report from Superintendent Conrad highlights Covid 19 resources and case counts, including a link to Ben Bennett’s spreadsheets. In other news, why Bedford flags are at half staff; ASPEN Upgrade this weekend; the BPS Art Show;  METCO Students Lead Tours of Nubian Square; Citizens Scholarship of Bedford Dollars for Scholars; Sign up for the BEST/PTO Color Run; BHS All Night Graduation Fundraisers and volunteer opportunities; and the AFS One Week Foreign Exchange Summer Hosting Program.

COVID-19

Like other school districts and communities in the area we have seen an increase in our COVID-19 infection rates over the past few weeks. With an increase in cases, we urge everyone to take extra precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. As a school district we continue to disinfect our classrooms each evening, we have our HVAC system operating for longer hours and with MERV-13 filtration, and we continue to run HEPA filtration air purifiers in each occupied space.

We recommend that each family have conversations about masking while indoors to make the best decision for each student and family.

For those individuals who need masks, please note that N95, KN95, and surgical-style masks are available at all schools in adult and child sizes. Testing continues to be an option and is available at all schools through our At-Home Antigen Test Option and our Pooled PCR Testing Option. Please use these links to sign up for testing. To review the current number of cases please follow this link to the Bedford COVID-19 Dashboard.

New COVID-19 Resources

This week I am happy to introduce our entire school community to Mr. Ben Bennett and his Google spreadsheet. Ben is a parent who takes our most current COVID-19 data and creates charts that delineate our COVID-19 cases. The charts include two-week case counts, total case counts for this school year with comparisons to last school year, and reported active cases. Please note that the data has not been thoroughly checked by the schools but is offered as data that is generally correct and is intended as a service to our community. To access the Google spreadsheet please navigate to Bedford School COVID-19 Cases

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?

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 Town of Bedford COVID-19 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 May 9, 2022,

  • BHS 45 students, 34 staff,  2 positive cases
  • JGMS 149 students, 36 staff, 3 positive cases
  • Lane 225  students, 40  staff   14 positive cases
  • Davis  202  students, 31  staff, 4  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 April 29, 2022:

  • BHS 22
  • JGMS 22
  • Lane  68
  • Davis 39

Flags are at half staff

As you arrive at school today and until sunset on Monday, May 16, 2022, you will notice that our flags are at half staff. The reason is that there was a Presidential Decree to mark the tragic milestone of one million American lives lost to COVID-19. For more information on this please navigate to White House Proclamation 5/12/2022

ASPEN Upgrade this weekend

Please be aware that ​​ASPEN, our student information system, is being upgraded this weekend and will be temporarily unavailable from 6:00 PM Friday, May 13, 2022, through 6:00 PM Saturday, May 14, 2022. Sorry for any inconvenience.

BEF May Soirée!
Thank you to everyone who attended the BEF May Soirée! Last Friday night at Tuscan Kitchen in Burlington. The BEF is a major supporter of education in Bedford and we appreciate their support.

BPS Art Show

Congratulations to all of the artists who participated in the Bedford Public Schools’ Art Department’s 28th annual K-12 Art Show. The event was held in person at Bedford High School last weekend and featured thousands of works from Davis, Lane, JGMS, and BHS students. Additionally, there were exhibits that highlighted our senior art majors. Thank you to Sean Hagen and the entire Visual Arts Department for hosting this wonderful event.

METCO Students Lead Tours of Nubian Square

Please join Bedford METCO students and others to discover the historic treasures of Nubian Square in Boston. The tours feature information gathered by our young METCO scholars. Join students from METCO’s suburban high schools on a walking tour highlighting stories of Black artistry, activism, and achievement you might not have learned before. The FREE tour culminates at METCO’s brand new headquarters with an in-depth exhibit on the history of educational activism in Boston. The tours are being held most Saturdays now through summer at 10 am and 1 pm. For tickets please follow this link METCO Nubian Sq Walking Tours

Citizens Scholarship of Bedford Dollars for Scholars

CSF of Bedford Dollars for Scholars continues to raise funds for their BHS Class of 2022 Scholarships. CSF of Bedford will be awarding scholarships at their  57th Annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony on May 31, 2022. They are grateful to the Bedford community for the donations already received. If you have not donated yet, please help them reach their goal of $60,000. Donations may be made online by clicking CSF of Bedford Dollars for Scholars or by mail by sending a check payable to CSF of Bedford Dollars for Scholars at PO Box 585, Bedford, MA 01730-0585. All $50 or more donations received by May 5, 2022, will be acknowledged in the Awards Program for scholarship recipients. CSF of Bedford helps students attend local colleges, universities, technical, and vocational programs. For additional information about the Bedford community’s longtime support for Dollars for Scholars, please see their website at bedfordma.dollarsforscholars.org

Sign up for the BEST/PTO Color Run

BEST/PTO is excited to announce the in-person return of their Spring fundraiser, the 6th Annual Color Run on Saturday, June 11, 2022, from 4 pm to 6 pm at the JGMS fields. The event features a racecourse with color powder sprayed by teachers and administrators, raffles, music, food, bounce houses, face painting, and more. Families are invited to Walk, Run, Roll, or Stroll as little or as much as they want. This event has raised over $85,000 for the Davis and Lane Elementary Schools since 2016.  Please sign up today to help BEST reach $100,000 this year!   Registration is $30 per individual or $90 per household and includes bags, t-shirts, and food tickets.  Registrations after May 3rd will only include bags and t-shirts while supplies last.  More details and sign up at BEST Color Run.

BHS All Night Graduation Fundraisers

The BHS All Night Graduation is hosting two fundraisers. Visit Club666 and CrossFit 600 tomorrow to make a donation to the All-Night Graduation and be entered into a raffle for gift baskets from local Bedford businesses. For more information please check out the Club600 Saturday 5/14 ANG Fundraiser Flyer or the Club600 Raffle Basket Flyer or contact  jane@summitbedford.com for details.

The All Night Graduation Celebration is also looking for volunteers to chaperone the event. The All Night Graduation Celebration will be held from Thursday, June 2, 10:30 PM to Friday, June 3, 5:30 AM.  This annual event is only able to happen with the support of all BHS families! Thank you in advance for your support of this event. Please follow the links if you’d like to volunteer.

Chaperone during the event (non-senior parents), set up and/or clean up (all parents, especially parents of seniors): ANGVolunteers2022

AFS One Week Foreign Exchange Summer Hosting Program!

American Field Service (AFS), working through local AFS Volunteer Ashlee Santerre, is looking for Bedford families interested in hosting an international foreign exchange student for one week this summer. This is a unique, rewarding, and enriching experience for one week this summer! AFS is seeking families willing to host older (18-19-year-old) students from Indonesia, the Philippines, Turkey, or Thailand for the week of July 11-17, 2022. Most of these students have already graduated from High School and are in their first year of university; their exchange experiences were delayed due to the pandemic. These students have completed a rigorous, merit-based selection process and have been awarded scholarships for this experience. They will spend their week here acting as youth ambassadors of their countries, enthusiastically engaging in community service and civic opportunities, and developing lifelong bonds with their host families. These students are for the most part proficient in English and are all COVID-19 vaccinated. If you are interested in opening your home to a student for this week, please contact local AFS volunteer, Ashlee Santerre at  ashlee.santerre@gmail.com

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


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