Superintendent’s Update ~ January 6

Superintendent Conrad’s weekly message for January 6, 2023, including well wishes for the year, Perihelion Day, Orthodox Christmas, Massachusetts Eastern District Music Senior Festival, SEPAC speaker, Lunar New Year, Letter from DPH, The Help Line, BHS Textile Collection, Budget Update, and Special Education Update .

Welcome 2023

As we begin the new year I share with you this poem that speaks to the hopes and dreams that the end of one year and the start of the next brings for all of us.

The Year

By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That’s not been said a thousand times?
The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.
We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.
We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.
We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our brides, we sheet our dead.
We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that’s the burden of the year.

Perihelion Day

Wednesday, January 4, 2023, was Perihelion Day. The day of the year when the sun is closest to the Earth. On January 4th, the center of the earth was 91,406,842 million miles from the center of the sun. On July 4, 2022, we will celebrate Aphelion Day. That is the day when the sun is farthest away from the earth. On July 4, 2022, the sun will be 94,509,598 miles away from the Earth. For more information about Perihelion Day navigate to What is Perihelion.

Orthodox Christmas

Tomorrow, Saturday, January 7, 2023, marks Christmas for Orthodox Christians. Merry Christmas to all of our families celebrating tomorrow. This date is due to the use of the Julian Calendar  as opposed to the Gregorian Calendar  For more about Orthodox Christmas navigate to Orthodox Christmas Day

Massachusetts Eastern District Senior Festival

Congratulations to our BHS students participating in the Massachusetts Eastern District Music Senior Festival in Boston tomorrow Saturday, January 7, 2023. The Festival is sponsored by the Massachusetts Music Educators Association. The students auditioned and were chosen to participate, beating out students from thirty nearby schools. They are Rei Brown and Kate Woo playing clarinet in the concert band, Matt Shen and Zach Shen playing percussion in the concert band, and Jacob Choi singing bass in the chorus.

Bedford SEPAC Speaker

The SEPAC would like to invite everyone to the Lenora Campoli Speaker Series to hear from ADHD expert Brendan Mahan, M.Ed., M.S. Mr. Mahan is the host of the ADHD Essentials Podcast and world-renowned expert in the field. He  will join the Bedford Parent/Caregiver Groups for a presentation on ADHD on Monday, January 9, 2023, at 7:00 PM. at the John Glenn Middle School auditorium – 99 McMahon Rd, Bedford, MA 01730. Mr. Mahan will discuss topics such as 

  • ADHD and the brain
  • Executive Functions as they relate to the brain
  • The emotional impact of ADHD
  • Lifestyle strategies for managing ADHD
  • Effective and practical strategies to help children with ADHD 

For more information about this and other programs sponsored by the Bedford SEPAC or to get involved with the group please navigate to https://bedfordsepac.com/

Lunar New Year Celebration

The Parents Diversity Council and the Bedford Free Library present an in-person Lunar New Year Celebration on Saturday, January 21, from 2-3:45 PM at the Bedford Free Library. The afternoon will feature crafts, games, and activities up until 2:45 at which point there will be stories, music, and performances, featuring students and families from Bedford sharing their cultural traditions for Lunar New Year.  The afternoon will close with time for everyone to continue crafts, games, and activities. This event is best for ages 5+, is free, and no registration is necessary.  For  more information head to the Bedford Free Library Calendar Page or find the PDC on Facebook 

Letter from DPH

Just prior to vacation we received a letter from the Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education DESE which was developed for parents and guardians. This letter was finalized on December 21, 2022, and shared with school leaders on Thursday, December 22, 2022, for distribution just after vacation. The letter discussed how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded the use of updated (bivalent) COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 6 months through 5 years. The CD approved this expansion on December 9, 2022. The letter is posted on the DESE website and can be accessed here. The letter is available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

The MA Behavioral Health Help Line (BHHL) Launches

The Massachusetts Department of Mental Health launched the new Massachusetts Behavioral Health Help Line  on January 3, 2023. The Help Line is available 24/7 to provide assistance across the state and in more than 200 languages to help anyone in need of mental health services connect with a provider. For individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing contact MassRelay at 711 to be connected to The Help Line. The BHHL is free and available to all Massachusetts residents.

BPS Textile Collection

We are happy to report that the Bedford Public Schools now has Textile Collection Bins at all four schools. We recently added bins to Davis and JGMS. This is a fundraiser for our schools. The money received from collecting the textiles is then given to each school’s administration  to be used for various student oriented programs such as, green teams, and scholarships for school trips and events. To date we have collected over 46,000 tons of clothing! Parents and residents are encouraged to contribute to this program which benefits our school programs and the environment by keeping these clothes out of the waste stream..

Budget Update

The School Committee will do a line-item review of the Superintendent’s FY24 Budget on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 and has scheduled a public hearing and final vote on Tuesday, January 24, 2023, with a presentation to the Bedford Finance Committee on Thursday, February 9, 20223. All of the presented budget materials are posted to our BPS website.

Superintendent’s Proposed Fiscal 2024 budget       FY24 Superintendent Budget Presentation

FY24 Preliminary Budget Preview                            FY24 Highlevel Budget Overview

Special Education

Our Special Education Director Marianne Vines recently published the next installment of the  Director’s Update which can be viewed at Director’s Mid-Winter 2023 Update.  The update is full of wonderful information about our Special Education Department and Programs.

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


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