Superintendent’s Update ~ October 21

Superintendent Conrad’s weekly message for October 21, 2022, focuses on a Diwali; Massachusetts Enhanced 911; upcoming Bedford METCO and PDC tour at Nubian Square; National Merit Scholarship News; National Bullying Prevention Month; COVID-19; Impact Aid Forms; Superintendent’s Blog, Davis School Fall Festival; an upcoming BY&FS community dinner; and BHS “Murder on the Orient Express” performance. 

Diwali
Monday, October 24, 2022 is Diwali which is a festival of lights celebrated by Hindus around the world. The celebration is about the triumph of good over evil. For more information about Diwali please navigate to History of Diwali. For all who are celebrating the holiday, we hope that your Diwali is free from darkness and abundant with Light.

Massachusetts Enhanced 911
The Massachusetts Next Generation 911 system has added two new life saving features. The first is “Text-to-911”, which allows a person that is unable to speak or hear to communicate via text with a 911 dispatcher. The second is the “Silent Call Procedure”, which allows a person that is unable to speak to call 911 and when the call is answered by the dispatcher to press the following digits on their phone: 1 for the police department, 2 for the fire department, and 3 for an ambulance or medical services. This way the dispatcher can immediately send help. These two features of the 911 system are valuable and can provide the ability to save a life when used.

Please be sure to share these new features with friends and family throughout Massachusetts. 

Bedford METCO and Bedford PDC Event
BPS families from Bedford, Boston, and Hanscom are invited to gather for lunch at METCO’s new headquarters at 11 Roxbury Street in Nubian Square. This will be followed by a special viewing of an in-depth exhibit on the history of educational activism in Boston on Saturday, October 22, 2022, from noon until 2:00 pm. Then, two METCO students (one of them from Bedford!) will lead a walking tour of historic Nubian Square highlighting stories of Black artistry, activism, and achievement. Space is limited for this FREE event. If you are interested please email PDCBedford@gmail.com by Oct. 18 to register.

National Merit Scholarship News
This year, Bedford High School has a total of 20 total students who have been recognized as Semi-Finalists (4) or Commended Students (16) by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.  The four semi-finalist students have applied for consideration for designation as National Merit Finalists. This means that 10% of the Bedford High School’s Class of 2023 was recognized in some capacity by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. This is a wonderful accomplishment! Congratulations to our semifinalists Anna C., Emily K., Emma S., and Mihir V and our commended students Adam C., Selima C., Erika F., Rachel G., Brian H., Paul J., Anirudh K., Sahana K., Connor M., Luca M., Manasi R., Shirley S., Denis Y, Emily Z., and Eric Z,  Edward Z.

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

Each of our schools takes a unique approach to bullying prevention. At the Davis School, we utilize Responsive Classroom to build classroom communities that teach communication and social problem-solving skills. We also share stories that help children determine when something is hurtful, unfair, and/or unsafe and how to take action to help the person or themselves. At the Lane School, we work with students so that they can understand, identify, and prevent bullying by understanding what bullying is or is not, the impact of bullying, the role of bystanders/upstanders, and how administrators handle reports of bullying. At JGMS we expect everyone to show Empathy and Acceptance every day and everywhere in our school.  These values make up the E and A in HEART and are the core of our conversation when we work to prevent and address bullying. The entire acronym stands for Honor, Empathy, Acceptance, Responsibility, and Tenacity. At BHS we utilize our advisory curriculum to build strong relationships that help students understand that we are all in this together and that bullying has no place in our school.  Through all of these efforts, we aspire to create a safe, respectful, and inclusive learning environment where all students can realize their growth as a learner.

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 Is Closing Soon
The 2022 Impact Aid Survey opened on October 3, 2022, and will remain open until October 31, 2022, we are 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 received 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 is 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.

Davis School Fall Festival Tomorrow
The Davis School will be holding its annual Fall Festival to celebrate the start of the year tomorrow Saturday, October 22, 2022, from 11 am until 1 pm. Davis School families are invited to join us  for music, a petting zoo, fire trucks, a bounce house, a balloon artist, ice cream, and more! This event is for Davis School families only, please RSVP on the link sent out by Davis School (in the Davis Scribbles and flyer).

Bedford Youth and Family Services Event
Please join the Bedford Youth and Family Services (YFS) Department for a FREE Community Dinner and Discussion on Monday, October 24th, from 6 until 8:30 pm at the First Church of Christ Congregational, 25 Great Road, Bedford. Dinner will be served from 6 -7 PM. The discussion to follow from 7:00 until 8:30 pm. The discussion will focus on QPR – how anyone can Question, Persuade and Refer Someone Considering Suicide. The discussion will feature Counselor Jon Mattleman. QPR is an evidence-based suicide prevention program based upon the following concepts: The person most in need of help in a suicidal crisis is the least likely to ask for it; the person most likely to prevent a person from dying by suicide is someone they know; and prior to making a suicide attempt, a person typically sends warning signs of distress and suicidal intent to those near them. Free transportation and childcare are available. Please email health@bedfordma.gov with any questions. Registration is required and can be done at Community Dinner and Discussion Registration Form

Save the Date for Murder on the Orient Express 
Bedford High School’s Performing Arts Department will present Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express from Thursday, November 10 to Saturday, November 12. The theatrical production is based on the Agatha Christie novel of the same name.

The performances will take place in the BHS Auditorium at 7:00 PM on November 10, 11, and 12. The show runs for about two hours, and is appropriate for middle schoolers and up. Tickets can be purchased at https://bhschorusandtheater.weebly.com/tickets.html.


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