Superintent’s Update ~ September 30, 2022

Editor’s Note: Superintendent Conrad’s message this week focuses on Yom Kippur; Lane School; Welcome New Police Chief John C. Fisher; National Bullying Prevention Month; COVID-19; 2022 Impact Aid Survey Opens Soon; Hispanic Heritage Month; Dial 988 for the Nationwide Suicide and Crisis Lifeline; Open House Dates; and MCAS.

Yom Kippur
“G’mar chatima tova” to all of our families observing Yom Kippur on Tuesday, October 4, 2002 and Wednesday, October 5, 2022. The greeting “G’mar chatima tova” translates to “May you be sealed in the Book of Life.” Yom Kippur is a Day of Atonement and is one of the most important holidays in the Jewish faith. For more information about Yom Kippur please navigate to History Channel Yom Kippur

Lane School
Congratulations to the Lane School for being included on the 24h for Change in Education website. The 24h for Change site showcases what schools, teachers, and students are doing to innovate and improve education worldwide over 24 hours on October 20, 2033. Scroll down to see the story about how Lane School is developing engaging hands-on minds-on exploration for students. You’ll see how grapes grown at Lane are made into jelly, apples are made available in the cafeteria and made into applesauce, and cucumbers are made into pickles. Congratulations to the Lane staff, students, and families with a huge thank you to BEST and our parent volunteers.

Welcome New Police Chief John C. Fisher
On Wednesday, September 28, 2022 Town Manger Sarah Stanton announced that John C. Fisher has been named the new Chief of Police for the town of Bedford. Chief Fisher is currently the Chief of Police in nearby Carlisle, MA. Chief Fisher brings nearly 30 years of law enforcement experience to his new role in Bedford. He spent 22 years with the Nashua Police Department, rising to the role of captain. He was named Carlisle’s chief in 2011 and has served in that role since then. The Chief will be officially appointed by the Select Board at their meeting on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 meeting. For more information please see the town website at https://www.bedfordma.gov/home/news/john-c-fisher-chosen-as-bedfords-next-police-chief

National Bullying Prevention Month
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. A time to focus on bullying prevention and to raise awareness about the effects of bullying.  During this month, many groups across the country will release new resources, campaigns, and efforts aimed at bringing awareness to the issue of bullying. For more information go to National Bullying Prevention Month Information

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.

2022-2023 Student Consent Form for Symptomatic COVID-19 Testing at School

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 to get 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

2022 Impact Aid Survey Opens Soon
Beginning on October 3, 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

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
BHS will host an open house on Thursday, October 6, 2022, and JGMS will host an open house on Thursday, October 13, 2022. Please check with your student’s school for details.

MCAS
On Thursday, September 29, 2022 the Massachusetts Department of Education released the results of the MCAS assessments from last spring. We have begun to dig into the data and will have more information for everyone soon. To read the press release please navigate to DESE MCAS Press Release 9 29 2022

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


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