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.

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.

Superintendent’s Update ~ New Positive Covid Cases at Davis, JGMS, and BHS ~ April 13, 2021

April 13, 2021
* One (1) new COVID-19 positive case at Davis School (DS case #20).  Close contacts identified.
* One (1) new COVID-19 positive case at JGMS School (JGMS case #21).  Close contacts identified.
* Two (2) new COVID-19 positive cases at BHS (BHS Case #57 and #58). No close contacts.
* There is currently one (1) active COVID-19 case in the Davis School community at this time.
* There are currently two (2) active COVID-19 cases in the Lane School community at this time.
* There are currently four (4) active COVID-19 cases in the JGMS community at this time.
* There are currently four (4) active COVID-19 cases in the BHS community at this time.
* The cases at DS and BHS do not appear to be connected or related to previous cases identified in the schools. The new JGMS case is not indicative of in-school * transmission, however, the impacted individual has had out of school connection with a previous JGMS case.
* Please consider signing up your child for pooled testing so we can identify asymptomatic cases:  Bedford Pooled Testing Sign Up.

Superintendent’s Update ~ New Positive Covid Cases at BHS and Lane ~ April 9, 2021

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.

Superintendent’s Update ~ New Positive Covid Cases at JGMS and Lane ~ April 7, 2021

April 7, 2021

* Two (2) new COVID-19 positive cases at JGMS (JGMS case #19 and #20). One of these cases is a result of a positive pool and close contacts have been identified for both cases. 

* One (1) new COVID-19 positive case at Lane School (LS Case #14).  This case was identified as a result of a positive pool and close contacts have been identified. 

* There are currently four (4) active COVID-19 positive cases in the JGMS community at this time. 

* There is currently one (1) active COVID-19 case in the Lane School community at this time. 

* These cases do not appear to be connected or related to previous cases identified in    the schools.   

* To sign up your child for pooled testing: Bedford Pooled Testing 

Ventilation in Schools Meets High Standards

Facilities Director Taissir Alani continues to assure the Bedford School Committee that ventilation equipment in the school is meeting the highest standards.

Alani presented contractor’s documents indicating levels of airflow in classrooms and other school spaces, comparing the designed capacity and the actual flow.

Superintendent Conrad’s Friday Update – April 2, 2021

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.

Superintendent’s Update ~ New Positive Covid Case at JGMS~ April 1, 2021

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.   

Full-time, In-Person Learning for All Bedford Students Begins on April 26

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.

Details from Superintendent Conrad for Bedford’s Return to Full-Time, In-Person Learning

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.

Breaking News: JGMS and BHS Students will Return to Full-Time, In-Person Learning on April 26

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.

The return is facilitated by the recent change in guidelines by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that three feet of student separation in the classroom is no riskier than the former standard of six feet, as long as masks and other protocols are observed.

“I have instructed the principals, leadership teams, and transition teams at John Glenn Middle School and Bedford High School to bring students back students back with three-foot distancing and maintain six-foot distancing in front of the room for educators,” Conrad reported. “Elementary students are all back in at six feet and I see no reason to change to three feet because they are making it work.”

All Bedford schools will be adding Wednesday classroom time to meet the state’s five-day requirement.

The commissioner of the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has announced that the hybrid model will no longer be counted as required learning time for elementary schools as of April 5 and middle schools as of April 28. Bedford will meet both of those deadlines, Conrad said, adding that the state commissioner has not announced a return date for high schools.

The current remote learning option will be retained for students who for medical or other reasons require them. Conrad noted that the commissioner announced that a remote option will not be required for the coming school year.

The superintendent and the committee Tuesday focused on ensuring that situations that bring children together — lunch and bus transportation — are in compliance with safety standards.

Superintendent’s Update ~ New Positive Covid Cases at BHS and JGMS~ March 23, 2021

March  23, 2021
* One (1) new COVID-19 positive case at JGMS (JGMS case #16). Close contacts identified. 
* One (1) new COVID-19 positive case at Bedford High School (BHS case #54). Close contacts identified. 
* There are currently four (4) active COVID-19 positive cases in the JGMS community and four (4) active COVID-19 positive cases in the Bedford High School community at this time. 
* These cases do not appear to be connected or related to previous cases identified in the schools.   

Shawsheen Tech will Return to 100% In-Person Learning on May 3

Dr. Bradford Jackson, superintendent-director of Shawsheen Valley Technical High School in Billerica, last week announced that planning is underway “for a full reopening before the end of the school year. We have not set a specific date yet—our goal is early May.”

In a March 23 message to the community, Jackson and Principal Jessica Cook confirmed the school’s plan to return students to a 100% in-person learning model on Monday, May 3, 2021.

Superintendent’s Update ~ New Positive Covid Case at BHS ~ March 22, 2021

March 22, 2021

* One (1) new COVID-19 positive case at Bedford High School (BHS case #53), no close contacts. 
* There are currently three (3) active COVID-19 positive cases in the BHS Community at this time. 
* These cases do not appear to be connected or related to previous cases identified in school.