School Committee Hears Cost to Return Elementary Students to School Full Time ~ Public Hearing on Budget Set for Feb. 2

School Committee Hears Cost to Return Elementary Students to School Full Time; Public Hearing on Budget Set for Feb. 2

Superintendent of Schools Philip Conrad told the School Committee Tuesday that elementary school students could return en masse to their classrooms sometime in March for a cost of around $150,000. A decision is likely at the Feb. 23 School Committee meeting.

Conrad also noted that the principals of the middle and high school are evaluating how to integrate struggling students into classroom seats that are currently empty.

Superintendent’s Update ~ New Positive Covid Cases: 1 at Davis and 1 at Lane ~ January 27, 2021

January 27, 2021

* One (1) new COVID-19 positive case at Davis School  (DS Case #17) no close contacts.
* One (1) new COVID-19 case at Lane School (LS Case #13) no close contacts.
* There is currently one (1) active COVID-19 positive case in the DS community and  2 (two) active cases in the LS community.
* These cases do not appear to be connected or related to previous cases identified in school.

Become a Candidate for Regional School Committee and Assure a Full Range of Opportunities for Bedford Students

When we moved to Bedford in 1975, I did not understand what Regional School Committee was.  As my children advanced through the Bedford schools, I learned that it was Bedford’s version of the “voke ed” that I grew up with.  But at that time, it meant automotive shop, for boys only.  However, things have changed dramatically.

I have always had an interest in vocational education with the belief that every student should find a school community that fits his/her needs and interests and also that some students are not on track for college. Neither of my children expressed any desire to leave Bedford’s schools and my exposure ended then.  However, when a position became vacant on the Regional School Committee, I made inquiries and learned a lot fast.

School Committee Hears Teacher Feedback

Jan. 19, 2021—The exigencies of being a Bedford teacher during the Covid-19 pandemic are taking their toll.

Principals of Bedford four schools told the School Committee last week that most teachers are hurting. But they are also models of “flexibility, adaptability, resiliency.”

“People are tired and frustrated – and we don’t blame them,” said John Glenn Middle School Principal Kevin Tracy. But he emphasized, “You would not be able to tell that if you were in our schools.” He added that appreciation for town support was clear from staff feedback.

Bedford High School Heather Galante said the feedback was acquired through several channels: surveys at the end of last school year and at the beginning of this one, school council meetings, faculty, and departmental meetings, and, less formally, emails, phone conversations, and principals’ walks through their buildings.

She said general themes emerged from the scores of comments: health and safety, self-care and wellness, expectations and workload, and teaching and learning.

The goal of the summary, Galante said, is to provide a perspective from pre-kindergarten through high school, based on feedback received this year.

Superintendent’s Update ~ Friday, January 22, 2021

The January 22 message from Superintendent of Schools Philip Conrad includes an appreciation for Bedford Embraces Diversity’s MLK Day breakfast, notice of the schools’ FY22 budget hearing on Feb. 2; an update on flu shots and DESE guidance, a link to the Town’s Covid dashboard; and other information.

Schools to Survey Families Regarding Full, In-Person Classes for the Current Academic Year

Bedford school principals soon will survey families to determine how many would send their children back to full in-person classes this academic year if there was that opportunity.

Superintendent of Schools Philip Conrad told the School Committee on Jan. 12 that the results will help determine if “we can fill the capacity we have.” He emphasized that safety will not be compromised, and “we really want to partner with the parents and the teachers.”

School Nursing in the Time of Pandemic ~ Tracy Fernald, Nurse Leader for the Bedford Schools

Tracy Fernald misses the kids. And that’s saying something—she is the nurse at John Glenn  Middle School, where hybrid learning has continued since September, tiptoeing around the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It couldn’t be more different than it was prior,” Fernald explained. “We don’t have the typical revolving door of students coming in and out of the nurse’s office. Now there are a lot of phone calls, emails, case management meetings. They are such a big part of our day.”

Superintendent’s Update ~ New Positive Covid Cases: 1 at BHS and 1 at Davis School ~ January 21, 2021

January 21, 2021

* One (1) new COVID-19 positive case at Bedford High School (BHS case #39), no close contacts.
* There are currently three (3) active COVID-19 positive cases in the BHS community.
* This case does not appear to be connected or related to previous cases identified in school.

Last night I was informed that there has been one (1) new case of COVID-19 reported within the Bedford High School (BHS) Community.   This case is in isolation at home.  BHS case #39 was not present in school during their infectious period and investigations revealed that no close contacts were identified within the school community.

January 21, 2021,  later in the day

* One (1) new COVID-19 positive case at Davis School (DS case #16), no close contacts. 
* There are currently two (2) active COVID-19 positive cases in the DS community.
* This case does not appear to be connected or related to previous cases identified in school.

Today I was informed that there has been one (1) new case of COVID-19 reported within the Davis School (DS) Community. This case is in isolation at home. DS case #16 was present in school during their infectious period and investigations revealed that no close contacts were identified within the school community.

Bucs Basketball: Tuesday’s Big Win Over Wayland

Trailing 26-4 after the first quarter, and losing a couple of players to injuries early in the game, the Bedford Bucs had their work cut out for them if they were going to compete with the unbeaten Wayland Warriors in boys’ basketball on Tuesday evening.

“When you face a deficit like we had, along with some early adversity, you really get an idea of the makeup of your team,” Bedford coach Ryan Kilian said. “It takes a total commitment on both ends of the court, and great effort and execution to forge a successful comeback.”

Virtual Community Forum on February 10 to Address All Local Aspects of Covid-19

A virtual community forum addressing all local aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic has been scheduled for Wednesday evening, Feb. 10.

School Committee Chair Dan Brosgol announced the plan early in Tuesday evening’s School Committee meeting. In an interview later he pointed out that the presentation will not focus only on schools.

Superintendent’s Update ~ New Positive Covid Cases ~ 2 each at BHS & Davis, 1 at JGMS ~ Jan. 19, 2021

January 19, 2021

* Two (2) new COVID-19 positive cases at Bedford High School (BHS case #37 & case #38), no close contacts. 
* One (1) new COVID-19 case at JGMS (JGMS case #9), close contacts have been identified. 
* Two (2) new COVID-19 positive cases at Davis School (DS case# 14 & 15), no close contacts. 

There are currently two (2) active COVID-19 positive cases in the BHS community,  three (3) active cases in the JGMS community, two (2) active cases in the Lane School community, and (3) active cases in the Davis School community at this time. 

These current cases do not appear to be connected or related to previous cases identified in these schools.

Weston Prevails 74-66 ~ Jan. 15 at Bedford

Jan. 15, 2021—The presence of Weston’s six-foot, 10-inch center Sawyer Mayhugh proved to be the difference on Friday night, as the standout junior scored 29 points to go with 10 rebounds, as Weston (2-2) defeated Bedford, 74-66, in Dual County League boys’ basketball at the BHS gymnasium.
 
Senior Imani Jones came off the bench for the Bucs (2-2) and contributed nine points and 10 rebounds, providing a necessary lift in the second half. The Bucs cut a one-time 17-point deficit to just four points in the fourth quarter, but Weston prevailed down the stretch with timely baskets and key defensive stops.

School Committee Budget Deliberations Move Forward

The Bedford School Committee is getting closer to decision time. Will it recommend a 3.75 percent budget increase for the coming year that reflects a return to pre-pandemic conditions? Or will it opt for a 7.1 budget increase that allows for a gradual recovery, including smaller class sizes across the elementary grades?

Some committee members say they need clarity on the advantages of a reduced classroom population before deciding

Bedford Ski Team

The Bedford High School ski teams lost their opening contests of the 2021 season Thursday against combined teams from the high schools in Leominster and Lunenberg. The giant slaloms took place at Nashoba Valley Ski Area in Westford.

Superintendent’s Update ~ Friday, January 15, 2021

Just a reminder that Monday, January 18, 2021 is a federal holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The third Monday each January is a national day of service.  For more information about service opportunities please visit the MLK Day of Service website.  For more information about Dr. King please visit the National Park Service MLK Memorial website.

2021 Home and Home Series: Boys Basketball ~ Game 1 at Weston, Game 2 at Bedford on Friday

One of the few advantages of the virus-shortened high school basketball season is teams don’t have to wait long for a rematch. The Dual County League schedule is a weekly series of home-and-home matches.

And that’s motivating Coach Ryan Kilian’s Buccaneers, who host the Weston Wildcats Friday and hope to avenge a 71-70 loss earlier this week. That was the boys’ first loss of the season.

The game will be live streamed on Bedford TV’s YouTube channel beginning at 6 pm. There will be no spectators in the BHS gym.

“We are building a nice little rivalry,” Kilian observed. “It always seems to be a battle lately when Bedford and Weston lock horns — thrilling endings, overtime classics. We lost in OT last year at Weston and it was a heartbreaker.”

Superintendent’s Update ~ New Positive Covid Cases ~ 1 each at Davis, Lane & JGMS ~ Jan. 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

* One (1) new COVID-19 case at Davis School (DS Case #12)
* One (1) new COVID-19 case at Lane School (LS Case #12) 
* One(1) new COVID-19 case at JGMS (JGMS Case #8) 
* There are currently three (3) active COVID-19 positive cases in the Davis School community,  three (3) active COVID-19 positive cases in Lane School community, three (3) active COVID-19 positive cases in the JGMS community, and seven (7) active COVID-19 positive cases in the Bedford High School community. All are at home in isolation.

Bedford Schools are Safe Places to be During the Pandemic

Jan. 12, 2021—Superintendent of Schools Philip Conrad Tuesday presented the School Committee with four months of Covid-19 case data that indicate Bedford schools are safe places to be during the pandemic.

Between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, there were 26 cases of the coronavirus verified among faculty and staff and 14 involving students. Only one of those 40 cases was possibly transmitted in school, Conrad said, adding that even that one is categorized only because the source could not be ascertained.

The school-by-school breakdown is Davis School, five adults, and three students; Lane School, three adults, and three students; John Glenn Middle School, three adults, and one student; Bedford High School, 15 adults, and seven students.

“We had one case where there was no real clear transmission from person to person. We had to make the assumption that it was an in-school transmission,” Conrad reported. “All the others have been confirmed as outside of school.”

“It sounds like the schools are a very safe place,” said committee member Brad Morrison. His colleague JoAnn Santiago pointed out that the policy of six-foot physical distancing precluded close contact that could have resulted in transmission.

Superintendent’s Update ~ New Positive Covid Cases ~ 1 at BHS, 1 at Davis, & 1 at Lane~ January 11, 2021

January 11, 2021

* One (1) new COVID-19 positive case at Bedford High School (BHS case #34) no close contacts. 
* One(1) new COVID-19 case at Davis School (DS case #10) no close contacts.  
* One (1) new COVID-19 case at Lane School (LS case #11) close contacts have been identified. 

There are currently seven (7) active COVID-19 positive cases in the BHS Community,  two (2) active COVID-19 positive cases in the Davis School Community, and one (1) active case in the Lane School Community at this time.  

Bedford Board of Health Statement on Protective Measures in Bedford Public Schools

Bedford Board of Health encourages and supports that the Bedford Public Schools employ maximum social distancing possible, use of masks by all students and staff, promote frequent handwashing/sanitizing, regular cleaning and sanitizing of high touch surfaces, maximize air exchanges, have consideration for implementation of a testing program, and conduct daily screening for symptoms to minimize the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in students and staff.

Approved – January 4, 2021

School Committee Explores Ways to Bring More Elementary School Students Back to In-Person Learning

Jan. 5, 2021—School Committee members Tuesday continued to push for exploring ways to bring more elementary school children back to in-person learning during the current academic year.

Superintendent of Schools Philip Conrad agreed to prepare one or more scenarios for restoring full-time, in-person school for at least the youngest learners. He expects to present to the School Committee later this month.

The impetus was provided by the newest member of the committee, Brad Morrison, who asserted, “I believe we have time to make three or four more moves toward a phased return between now and the end of the year. I don’t think we can stop now.”