THIS WEEK: Curbside Yard Waste Collection ~ April 20 to 23

Bedford’s spring curbside yard waste collection begins Tuesday, April 20, and runs through Friday, April 23. Residents should place the yard waste out at the curb in tall paper bags or open barrels with no lids by 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Patriots Day, 2021 ~ An Abbreviated Observance

On Patriots Day morning, past captains of the Bedford Minuteman Company gathered informally at Willson Park to honor Captain Jonathan Willson, the only Bedford soldier who did not return from the Concord Fight on April 19, 1775.

Rain! Sleet! Snow? SNOW!

Early morning weather reports predicted heavy rain from a Nor’easter passing through Bedford on Friday, April 16, with snow falling in the higher elevations of Worcester County and into New Hampshire.

The best-laid plans can change, and they did this morning.

Curbside Yard Waste Collection ~ Next Week ~ April 20-23

Bedford’s spring curbside yard waste collection begins Tuesday, April 20, and runs through Friday, April 23.

Residents should place the yard waste out at the curb in tall paper bags or open barrels with no lids by 7 a.m. Tuesday. Republic’s employees will not remove bags that are line up along a driveway.

Acceptable yard waste for curbside collection consists of leaves, pine needles, grass clippings, garden trimmings, and tree material up to one inch (1”) in diameter.

School Committee Praises Superintendent Conrad

The School Committee Tuesday took a few minutes to laud first-year Superintendent of Schools Philip Conrad for his performance.

After he spent several minutes updating the committee on progress toward professional goals for the year, committee members took turns thanking and saluting Conrad.

Considering that his tenure has been shadowed by the Covid-19 virus and all of its consequences, “I’m impressed that you have managed to get this much done,” said committee member JoAnn Santiago.

Now What? Helping Families Manage Emotionally During Uncertain Times ~ A Webinar for Parents in Two Sessions

The Health Departments in Concord, Bedford, and Carlisle, in collaboration with the Bedford Public Schools Counseling Department and Center for Parents and Teachers, offer a free parent education program: Now What? Helping Families Manage Emotionally During Uncertain Times! an online webinar presented by nationally renowned author, speaker, and therapist Lynn Lyons, LICSW

Superintendent’s Update ~ New Positive Covid Case at JGMS~ April 16, 2021

April 16, 2021

* One (1) new COVID-19 positive case at JGMS School (JGMS case #22).  No close contacts.

* There are currently (2) active COVID-19 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.   

* Please consider signing up your child for pooled testing so we can identify asymptomatic cases:  Bedford Pooled Testing Sign Up.

Parents Hear Bedford High School’s April 26 Reopening Plans

Bedford High School leadership is leaving no stone unturned in its preparation for full reopening planned for April 26.

But there’s only so much school officials can do to deter the spread of the coronavirus. For maximum safety, it will take “collective responsibility.”

That message was delivered during a Zoom webinar for BHS parents and caregivers Wednesday, presented by Principal Heather Galante, Assistant Principals Thomas Casey and Daniel Hudder, and Brian DeChellis of the Counseling Department.

Patriots Day, 2021 ~ A Virtual Celebration Presented by the April 19 History Coalition

April 19, 1775, saw the gathering of thousands of Massachusetts militia to repel the march of British soldiers into the interior of Massachusetts in search of a cache of arms and munition. For generations since thousands of Americans have traditionally gathered along this same route to commemorate the events of the day and the sacrifice of those brave men and women who took part.

The Covid-19 pandemic prevents such gatherings for the second time in two years, but a new coalition, the April 19th History Coalition, has formed to engage Americans for the purpose of commemorating the events of that day.

The Library’s Great Squirrel Caper

On a recent Monday morning, staff members were surprised to find a furry visitor in the Children’s room.

How the squirrel got in is somewhat of a mystery but it may have snuck in while the Facilities Department was working on the building.

Good News! Library Planning for Gradual Opening in May

Director Richard Callaghan outlined plans for “restricted” access to the building at Tuesday’s meeting of the Trustees of the Bedford Free Public Library.

Phase One is to make the computers, printers, and study carrels available to users, with May 13 as the target date for this service.  The Library staff is keenly aware of the need to begin providing these services to residents who may not have internet access at home. To make an appointment patrons may call the Library at 781-275-9440 and press 3 for the Reference Desk.  Patrons will also be able to email the Reference Department at bedmail1@minlib.net. The hours will likely be mornings from 10 a.m. to noon and afternoons from 2 to 4 p.m.

The Director emphasized that safety for both patrons and staff is paramount. Many staff members have not yet been vaccinated, so caution is the watchword.  Outdoor curbside pickup of Library materials, which resumed on April 5, will continue into the future.  This service has proven so popular with users that Callaghan sees it continuing even though, as the building gradually reopens, the need for it may dwindle over time.

METCO Program Director Relays Parents’ Concerns to School Committee

Several parents of Bedford METCO students are anxious that if there is a Covid-19 outbreak in a school, their children will be blamed,  program director Akil Mondesir told the School Committee Tuesday.

Particularly when the city was a hot spot, “Even with the understanding and appreciation for all of the principals and teachers, a lot of those concerns grew as the parents saw Boston numbers grow,” Mondesir reported.

He never suggested that there was actual finger-pointing. “A lot of my parents truly appreciate all the work by the administration, the School Committee, and the town. They wanted me to make sure this message is relayed to everyone. Their concerns are the same as everybody else’s.”

School Committee Hears Plans for Elementary Summer School Program

The Bedford Public Schools will sponsor a four-week morning summer school program for up to 200 elementary school children who are assessed as having suffered “learning loss” during this academic year.

School Committee members heard the details from Assistant Superintendent Tricia Clifford at their meeting Tuesday. And they urged the administration to investigate summer programming for older students as well.

Tips for COVID-19 Talks with Friends & Family

COVID-19 vaccines are new, and it’s normal for people to have questions about them. The sheer amount of information and misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines can be overwhelming to anyone. You can help friends and family make an informed decision regarding their health by following the tips below.