Superintendent’s Update ~ September 23

Superintendent Conrad’s weekly message for September 23, 2022, focuses on Lane Teacher receiving an Educator of the Year award; COVID-19 testing; Bedford Day; Founding Day; Rosh Hashanah; Mid-Autumn Festival; BHS in the Special Olympics; Bedford YFS free dinner and discussion; Impact Aid Forms; Hispanic Heritage Month; Suicide Prevention Month and Dial 988; Open House Dates; METCO Students Lead Tours of Nubian Square; Free Lunch for All; Kicks for Cancer; and The Wall that Heals. 

Congratulations Jennifer Ferrari!
Lt. Job Lane Elementary Art Teacher Jennifer Ferrari has been named Massachusetts Art Educator of the Year by the Massachusetts Art Education Association (MAEA). MAEA is Massachusetts’ professional association for art educators and an affiliate of the National Art Education Association (NAEA). The mission of MAEA is to advance high quality visual arts education throughout the state by empowering art educators to excel in the practice, instruction, promotion, and celebration of visual art. Jennifer Ferrari as Massachusetts Art Educator of the Year is an exemplary educator who demonstrates outstanding instructional support to students, advocacy for the arts, engagement with community, exceptional history of active participation at the state level. Jennifer also has a history of leadership, service at the state and local level, received honors, and/or presented at professional conferences. Congratulations to Ms. Ferrari for her continued passion for arts education and the energy she brings to her classroom every day.

 

COVID-19
The Bedford Public School nursing staff is able to provide COVID-19 symptomatic testing at school. This testing service is optional and consent is required prior to testing. See the link below to sign up for your student.  The school nurses will administer rapid antigen testing using Abbott BinaxNOW or iHealth tests on-site at each school health office.
This service is for students who develop symptoms while already at school.  Please continue to screen your children each day before school and refer to the COVID-19 symptoms checklist on the BPS website. If your child has mild symptoms of illness, please test them at home with a rapid home antigen test before sending them to school.
We encourage all families to keep a supply of COVID-19 home rapid antigen tests on hand.  Home test kits are available from the following town offices during normal business hours:  Health Department, Council on Aging, Town Manager’s Office, or the Bedford Free Public Library. Students may attend school with mild symptoms as long as they are testing negative on an antigen test before coming to school.
Many families signed up for iHealth home tests last Spring and may still have them left over.  The expiration date for this product has been extended.  You can check the expiration dates with the lot # using this link: iHealth Expiration Date Extension.
We encourage everyone who is eligible to consider getting vaccinated with the most recent booster.

For the latest information on COVID-19 cases within the school district please navigate to the Bedford COVID-19 Dashboard

Bedford Day
It was wonderful to see so many parents, students, and staff at Bedford Day! Thank you to everyone who ran in the road race, marched in the parade, worked at a booth, got the flu or COVID-19 vaccination, or purchased books at the library sale. To learn more about the origins of Bedford Day check out the recent Bedford Citizen Article The origin of Bedford Day click 
Founding Day
Happy Birthday, Bedford!  Today, Friday, September 23, 2022, the town of Bedford celebrates its 293rd anniversary of incorporation. Although Bedford was settled in 1640 it was not incorporated as a town until 1729. To read more about Bedford’s history check out the information on the Town Website or at the Bedford Historical Society website.
Rosh Hashanah
Happy New Year to all of our families celebrating Rosh Hashanah on Sunday, September 27, 2022, through Tuesday, September 27, 2022. Rosh Hashanah is one of the holiest days in Judaism.  Happy New Year to all who are celebrating. For more information about Rosh Hashanah please navigate to History.com Rosh Hashanah
Mid-Autumn Festival
On Saturday, September 10, 2022, was the Mid-Autumn Festival or Mooncake Festival. My apologies for not having wished everyone a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival prior to the celebration. Mid-Autumn Festival, or Mid-autumn Day, is the second grandest festival in many Asian countries after the Lunar New Year. The holiday is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, which is always in the middle of the autumn season in Asia. The day is also known as the Moon Festival, as the moon is believed to be at its fullest and brightest on this date. The holiday is a time for family gatherings and reunions. For more information navigate to Britannica Harvest Moon Festival Information
BHS Named Unified Champion!
In August the Special Olympics of Massachusetts designated Bedford High School as a Special Olympics Massachusetts Unified Champion School. This designation is due to the leadership of Principal Galante, Athletic Director Mangan, and the entire faculty, staff, and students of BHS. The high school was recognized for its embodiment of the importance of social inclusion, for providing opportunities for all students, and for creating a space where everyone feels valued and respected. Congratulations BHS!
Bedford Youth and Family Services Event
The Bedford Youth and Family Services (YFS) Department is hosting a Community Dinner and Discussion to nourish your body and mind on Monday, September 26, 2022, from 6 until 8 pm at the First Church of Christ Congregational at 25 Great Road in Bedford. YFS invites community members, parents, caregivers, teens, and tweens for programming about youth mental health. Mallory, from Minding Your Mind, will share her inspiring story about managing her mental health and how she uses self-care and coping skills to support her wellness. Mallory will share self-care and wellness skills that anyone can use. Space is limited. Dinner and childcare provided. Registration is required. To register go to https://bit.ly/mym926

If you need transportation or have questions, please call 781-275-6507 or email health@bedfordma.gov. This event is made possible with funding from Emerson Hospital.

2022 Impact Aid Survey Opens Soon
Beginning on October 1, 2022, and going through October 31, 2022, we will be asking parents, guardians, and caregivers to complete the annual Military Impact Aid Survey. Completing this survey allows us to meet the requirements of Public Law 874. Under the provisions of Public Law 874, The Bedford Public Schools must conduct an annual Military Impact Aid Survey. The Town of Bedford receives a substantial sum of money under this provision, which lowers the cost of education for ALL taxpayers.
Parents/Guardians/Caregivers will receive a unique email with a survey link for each student. It is very important that all surveys are completed and electronically signed for each student, as reimbursement is made for all eligible students on a per-pupil basis.  This year the survey is fully electronic with e-signature – The district will be using Docusign for the survey. This survey is repeated annually.

If you have any questions, please contact the Business Office of the Bedford Public Schools at (781) 275-7708. We thank you very much for your assistance with this important annual survey.

Hispanic Heritage Month
Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual celebration of the history and culture of the U.S. Latinx and Hispanic communities in the United States. The event, which spans from September 15 to October 15, commemorates how those communities have influenced and contributed to American society at large. For more information on this topic please go to History Channel Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month

 

National Suicide Prevention Month
Please be aware that September is National Suicide Prevention Month.  All month long mental health advocates, prevention organizations, schools, and community groups will be highlighting ways we can unite and promote suicide prevention awareness.  For more information please go to: https://afsp.org/national-suicide-prevention-week

 

Dial 988 for the Nationwide Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
The national suicide prevention and crisis lifeline toll-free number 988 has been created as a resource for individuals needing information or resources to strengthen suicide prevention and mental health crisis services for everyone.  For more information please navigate to: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/988

 

Open House Dates
The Lt. Job Lane Elementary School held its open houses last week. Next week the Lt. Eleazer Davis School will host an open house next week on 9/28 and 9/29. BHS will follow the week after on 10/6 and finally, JGMS will host an open house on 10/13. Please check with your student’s school for details.

 

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 extended into September. To sign up click on the date and time. For 9/24/22 @10AM or 9/24/22 @1PM.

 

Free Lunch for All
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has decided to support another year of free lunch for all students!  The state legislature recently approved funding for school districts to continue offering lunch to all students without charge.  Districts will be reimbursed for all lunches served by the federal USDA program as well as by the state to reach the free lunch rate.   Districts are required to use point-of-sale cashier systems to document lunches served.  Additional a la carte items will be available at a cost.  Free and Reduced applications will continue to be collected.  For more information go to https://www.bedfordps.org/district/food-services-department
Kicks for Cancer Event
On Saturday, September 24, 2022, both of the BHS Varsity Soccer teams will participate in the 16th Annual Kicks for Cancer Event. Bedford Varsity Women’s Soccer will play at 4:45 pm and Bedford Varsity Men’s Soccer will play at 7 pm both games are at Concord-Carlisle High School which is located at 500 Walden Street in Concord, MA. Come join the thousands of fans from 23 surrounding communities and support the Bedford teams! Tickets can be purchased at the event for $5 for students/seniors, and $10 for adults.
Kicks for Cancer started with one soccer game in 2007 (created by Coach Ray Pavlik in honor of CCHS soccer coach Steve Wells’ mother who passed away of ovarian cancer in 2007, a year after diagnosis), which led to a donation of $8,000 to Dana-Farber Women’s Cancer research. Kicks have donated $665k over the past 15 years to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This year, all funds raised go to ovarian cancer early detection research which is a joint lab with Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The website and schedule can be found here.
Kicks had a record-breaking year last year and made the Dana-Farber “Honor Roll of Donors” and was recently featured in an article in the Dana-Farber Impact Magazine (Summer 2022 edition, page 10).
The Wall That Heals
The Veterans Administration Hospital in Bedford will be hosting The Wall That Heals. The Wall is a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Wall arrived at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford on Thursday, September 22, 2022, and will be on display until Sunday, September 25, 2022. The exhibit, along with a mobile Education Center, will be open 24 hours a day and is free to the public. The Wall That Heals closes at 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 25, 2022. For more information please navigate to Bedford VA The Wall that Heals


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