April 9, 2021
* One (1) new COVID-19 positive case at Lane School (LS case #15). No close contacts.
* Two (2) new COVID-19 positive cases at BHS (BHS Case #55 and #56). Close contacts have been identified.
* There are currently two (2) active COVID-19 cases in the Lane School community at this time.
* There are currently two (2) active COVID-19 cases in the BHS community at this time.
* These cases do not appear to be connected or related to previous cases identified in the schools.
* Please consider signing up your child for pooled testing so we can identify asymptomatic cases: Bedford Pooled Testing Sign Up.
The Covid-19 pandemic has curtailed and compromised public education for more than 13 months.
But Sean Hagan, visual arts program director for the Bedford schools, won’t allow the virus to curtail or compromise his enthusiasm.
“There are fantastic things happening at each school, and our teachers are moving mountains finding ways to build community and keep students engaged through art during this difficult time,” he declared.
“The kids are really creating some wonderful work this year,” Hagan asserted. “When everything else in the world is terrible and you are just looking for something that’s good, students consistently surprise us with the quality and the value of the work they are doing.”
Teachers and students are planning the annual end-of-the-year K-12 art show during the first week in June. For the second year in a row, the exhibition will be online.
“Day-to-day is really the mantra,” Hagan said. “We are trying to keep kids engaged. That’s what all teachers are doing everywhere in the world. It’s incredibly hard to do, especially when they’re at home. It’s a Sisyphean task. You feel like you’re making some progress, and then…”
The 48-year-old Thanksgiving football rivalry between Bedford and Concord-Carlisle High Schools is no more.
“We thought it was the best thing for the future of our program to make the change,” said BHS Director of Athletics Keith Mangan. “This is something that we have been considering for the past few years, based on the outcome of the games and where our two programs are.”
Discussion and analysis involving the coaching staff, the superintendent’s office, and BHS administrators led to the decision, which was unilateral, Mangan said, and accepted by CCHS. “It certainly wasn’t an easy decision,” he emphasized. “There was a lot of thought and planning.”
Mangan said he is pursuing prospects for a Thanksgiving 2021 opponent “that’s more in line with our program.” That arrangement could be for a single year or develop into a long-term rivalry. “We want to evaluate to make sure it’s a good fit for both teams.”
Bedford High’s annual holiday matchup with Concord-Carlisle began in 1973. Bedford had been playing Burlington on Thanksgiving. The CCHS Patriots’ traditional rival was Lexington High, and that change was not well received for many years by fans and some players in those two towns.
Overall, the Patriots won 33, Bedford 13 on the holiday. Since that opener in 1973, which Bedford won, 28-20, the rivalry has been a story of two eras.
* One (1) new COVID-19 positive case at JGMS (JGMS case #18). Close contacts have been identified. There are currently two (2) active COVID-19 positive cases in the JGMS community at this time.
* This case does not appear to be connected or related to previous cases identified in the schools.
Today I was informed of one (1) new case of COVID-19 within the JGMS Community. This case is in isolation at home. JGMS Case #18 was present in school during their infectious period and close contacts have been identified within the school community. Information on close contact identification, contacting tracing and where and when to get tested, can be found in our FAQ.
Bedford High School scored 38 minutes into the game, but a deep, talented Milton High School football team tallied the next five touchdowns, as the visitors emerged from their first trip to Sabourin Field with a 35-21 win Saturday afternoon.
The matchup was less than three days old, as the original opponent, Malden Catholic, had to bow out because of issues with Covid-19.
Welcome to April! Next Monday, April 5, 2021 we will welcome back the students of Davis and Lane to their five (5) day a week all-in-person schedule. As you know it has been a long process to return to in-person learning and I want to acknowledge the work of the educators and administrators of each building for their hard work to make this a reality. The educators of JGMS and BHS are working diligently to prepare for Monday, April 26, 2021, when they welcome their students back to five (5) days a week all in-person learning. Please continue to be vigilant against the COVID-19 virus so as to keep one another safe.
What will the campus of Middlesex Community College on Springs Road be like in September?
It’s too soon to tell, said Dr. James Mabry, college president. But two things are certain: it won’t look like it does now, which is deserted. And it won’t resemble the college one year ago. The same goes for the Middlesex campus in downtown Lowell.
“We are preparing for multiple options in the fall,” Mabry stated. “We have been in very close contact with our students. There will be multiple modalities and multiple scheduling options.”
The Bedford High School varsity football season continues Saturday at noon, thanks to some quick work by Director of Athletics Keith Mangan and Head Coach Tom Tone.
The Bucs will entertain the Milton High School Wildcats beginning at noon. Milton, which plays in the Bay State League, has won two of three games, as has Bedford in this unprecedented “Fall II” season.
April 1, 2021
* One (1) new COVID-19 positive case at JGMS (JGMS case #17). No close contacts.
* There are currently two (2) active COVID-19 positive cases in the JGMS community at this time.
* This case does not appear to be connected or related to previous cases identified in the schools.
“Finding out you were assigned to Mr. Fichera’s fifth-grade class was like finding out you found a golden ticket to a world that only a few lucky kids got to experience each year.”
Eric Taylor spoke for hundreds of former students at Page, Davis, and Lane Schools, some of whom are in their 50s, about an educator whose impact helped shape their lives.
John Fichera died in Florida last Friday after an illness. Fichera taught in Bedford from 1973 to 2007, almost all of them in Grade 5.
“John was simply a terrific human. Polite. Creative. Funny. Caring. He loved his students!” said Lane School Principal Rob Ackerman, whose tenure overlapped with Fichera’s final year. “Not many people realize he attended every Bedford High School graduation after he retired until he saw his final Grade 5 class cross the stage and get their diploma.”
Mary Gallant recalled her Davis School class campaign to get the Legislature to declare the first Thursday in May as Right Whale Day. Students wrote letters and read them in person at a legislative committee meeting.
“To me, he was the life of the school. He was one of the reasons I became a teacher,” said Gallant, who has taught third grade in Cambridge for many years.
Facilitators at a virtual workshop on race and identity last week advised participants to start taking small actions now to support an endeavor that is lifelong.
“The only way to actually talk about race is to talk about race,” said Rebecca Smoler, who with Claudia Fox Tree conducted the session sponsored by the Parents Diversity Council and Bedford Embraces Diversity.
Editor’s Note: The Bedford Citizen thanks the Bedford High School Chapter of HOSA/Health Occupations Students of America for this article explaining coronavirus vaccinations. Contributing writers include Noy Toledano, Shahadah Manzer, Ella Mullins, Maddie O’Neil, and Harsheni Sudakar. BHS School Nurse Nancy Thorsen, BSN, RN, NCSN, served as an advisor for HOSA’s project. Many people are hesitant to receive a Covid-19 vaccine and for good reason! The phrasing of “emergency authorization” can be scary. In this article, we address all of those concerns and more, but if all your questions are not answered, you can find our Vaccine FAQs in our Instagram bio (@bedford_hosa) or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be glad to be of help.
Back in 2016, the question of 611 Springs Road was a saga. Now it’s more like a footnote.
The School Committee Tuesday voted unanimously to accept the children at that address as students in the local schools — even though part of the property is on the Billerica side of the town line. The school district can have a significant impact on the value of the property. School Superintendent Philip Conrad said the recommendation is based in precedent—and on advice from counsel.
March 1, 2020, was a fun and exciting day at Iskwelahang Pilipino, the Filipino cultural school based in Town Center. “We had our annual cookoff, with chefs, and it was a big day,” said Executive Director Myra Liwanag. “Then we put everything away nicely.”
That was a good decision, since a week later the school, like millions of institutions worldwide, froze in place, as the dangers of Covid-19 engendered a shutdown.
The school has been operating virtually since then and is likely to finish the school year online. But the leadership is hopeful about returning for its 24th year at Town Center.
“I think Shawsheen Tech is Bedford’s best-kept secret.”
Dr. Bradford L. Jackson, superintendent-director of Shawsheen Valley Technical High School in Billerica, is also a huge booster.
Jackson is not only in his first year at the helm of Shawsheen Tech, but also comes from a background of a traditional comprehensive high school system. He most recently served as superintendent of schools in Holliston for 16 years and is the immediate past president of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents.
Correction: Bedford’s return to school date is April 26, not April 16 as erroneously posted in Wednesday’s headline
Students at Bedford High School and John Glenn Middle School are scheduled to return to full-time in-person learning on Monday, April 26, School Superintendent Philip Conrad told the School Committee at its meeting Tuesday, bringing the school system ever closer to pre-pandemic conditions not seen for more than a year.
I wanted to let you know that we are busy planning for the return of students to all four schools five (5) days per week.
This is so that we can be in compliance with the Commissioner’s announcement on March 9, 2021, that Hybrid and Remote learning days will no longer be counted towards Student Learning Time (SLT) as of April 5, 2021, for elementary school students and April 28, 2021, for middle school students.