In a Pickle ~ When Will the Effects of Isaias Reach Bedford?

In mid-July, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency shared hurricane preparedness tips, click this link to refresh your memory. While the center of Isaias is expected to track toward Central Massachusetts, strong winds could remain a factor for Bedford.

Superintendent’s Update on Reopening the Bedford Schools ~ August 3, 2020

Hello Bedford School Community,

As I mentioned in my Friday letter I am letting you know that we have placed our Bedford Public Schools Draft Reopening Plan Fall 2020 on our website.

Click this link to read the Draft Reopening Plan for Fall 2020

This draft is nearly 50 pages long and answers many questions about the All Remote, the Hybrid, and the All In-Person models we have developed for the fall.  It also includes information about the Learning Management System (LMS) that will be offered by the state of Massachusetts, although we are still awaiting more clarity on this option.  Please note that this document is a draft and we will continue to add to it as new information becomes available. I hope that you will have a chance to review the document.

Town of Bedford ~ Update on Covid-19 ~ Monday, 3 August 2020

Editor’s Note: In addition to the current case count, read important information about adjustments to Bedford’s Food Bank now being held on Thursday afternoons.

Click this link to read the Town’s full update for Monday, August 3, 2020

Superintendent’s Update on Reopening the Bedford Schools ~ July 31, 2020

Hello Bedford Schools Community,

It has been another very busy week! The entire district leadership team, each building reopening task force, the district reopening task force, and town officials have all been working cooperatively to answer the Sixty Four Thousand Dollar Question (The $64,000 Question) how do we reopen [Bedford’s] schools in the fall in a way that accounts for the academic, social-emotional, health and safety needs of our students, parents, faculty, and staff and all of our families.

Our collaborative decision-making process has been guided by our core values and our commitment to the health and safety of our students, teachers, faculty, and staff

Learning About the Bedford Police Department ~ Part III of IV

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of articles about the Bedford Police Department – its philosophy, values, personnel, partnership, and plans – and how they fit into the current national conversation.  Click this link to read Part I, or this link to read Part II.

The Bedford Police Department likes to say it’s value-driven. As Chief Robert Bongiorno puts it, “We respond to good people who are having a bad day. We are here to serve.”

Conversations with a range of Police Department personnel – all Bedford High School graduates — indicate that they all walk the walk.

Town of Bedford ~ Update on Covid-19 ~ Thursday, 30 July 2020

In addition to the current case count, today’s update includes the following information:

Diapers and Personal Items Available for Residents In Need
Hand Sanitizer Recall
Governor’s COVID-19 Travel Order
Need a COVID-19 Test?
Food Bank-New Location and New Time!

Childcare Providers and Preschools Find Innovation Among Strict Regulations

As businesses around the state continue to reopen, parents face the challenge of finding childcare. Governor Baker’s executive order closed all but essential child care programs as of March 22, 2020. Childcare agencies were able to open in late June but face strict regulations as they reopen.

Mental Health and Young People, Ages 13 to 18

Mental health is an important part of overall health for everyone, including young people.  However, the percentage of young Americans experiencing depression and anxiety has risen significantly over the past decade.

Remembering Kevin Sullivan

In the words of Past District Governor Bob Cassidy, this has been a difficult time for the Rotary Club of Bedford, as it has suffered a terrible loss. “How do you say goodbye to an old friend who has been a member of Rotary for 35 years?

“Past President, Group Study Exchange Team Leader, Unsung Hero of Rotary District7910, and whether it was RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards), ESSEX (Eastern States Student Exchange), or Gift of Life. When the Gift of Life New England corporation was started back in 1999, Kevin and Ellen were on the original Board of Directors.

“If it involved children and students, especially those from other countries, Kevin Sullivan was whole-heartedly involved,” wrote Cassidy, “Kevin and his dear wife Ellen, have hosted numerous students and children from all over the world.”

“If it involved children and students, especially those from other countries, Kevin Sullivan was whole-heartedly involved,” wrote Cassidy, “Kevin and his dear wife Ellen, have hosted numerous students and children from all over the world.”

Click to read more

Tips For Safe Use of Reusable Bags During COVID-19

On July 10, 2020, the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA DPH) rescinded a previous emergency order related to grocery stores and pharmacies that, in part, prohibited the use of reusable checkout bags by grocery stores and pharmacies and their patrons. 

POMS Pop-Up Music: Treat Your Neighborhood to a Mini-Concert!

Are you missing live music this summer? Do you lament the canceled school musicals and concerts? Now you can relax while taking in the sweet sounds of student musicians—right on your own doorstep!—through a POMS Pop-Up Music event.

Bedford Patrons of Music Students (POMS) is offering brief (10–15 minute) concerts by current Bedford music students as a fundraiser, to be given at a time and place of the donor’s choosing. POMS has lined up a handful of BHS student musicians, from a trumpeter to a rock band, who are volunteering their time and talents in a safe, socially distant way throughout the month of August.

Op:Ed ~ A Message from Supt. Bradford L. Jackson, Ed.D. on Reopening Shawsheen Valley Technical High School

I am writing to provide you with an update to our planning efforts for the reopening of Shawsheen this fall.  I have been directed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to hold off making any formal and final announcement of our plans for reopening until at least Monday, August 10th, but I thought it was important to provide you with some information that might help you as you plan for the return to school.

All school districts in Massachusetts have been instructed to prepare 3 plans for reopening:

Reopen with all students physically attending school while observing required social distancing (Full Open);
A hybrid model where some students physically attend school (observing required social distancing) and the remainder attend school remotely (Hybrid Open); and
A 100% remote learning model with stricter expectations for student performance, participation, and graded work (Remote Open).

As an educator, I see the Remote Open as the least desirable option both from a curriculum/instruction and a social/emotional lens.  However, this decision must be, and will be, made based on student and staff safety, which has been informing all of the guidelines issued by DESE since mid-June.  The directive from DESE is clear: “our goal is the safe return of as many students as possible to in-person school settings, to maximize learning and address our students’ holistic needs.”  Accordingly, we are focusing our efforts on returning “as many students as possible to in-person school settings” and are viewing the 100% remote learning model as an option only if there are significant changes in the progress of the virus here in Massachusetts.

Town of Bedford ~ Update on Covid-19 ~ Monday, 27 July 2020

In addition to today’s current case counts, today’s update from Colleen Doyle and the Covid 19 Task Force includes details about the COVID-19 Travel Order that will go into effect on August 1; Check on Your Mental Health; When “Stay at Home” Isn’t Safe; Food Bank is planning for a new location and day/time; “Stop the Spread” Testing Sites Open in 8 Communities

Click this link to read the Town’s full update for Monday, July 27, 2020

An Obituary: Jack S. Geilfuss

Jack S. Geilfuss passed away on July 22, 2020. Mr. Grilfuss graduated from Bedford High School in the Class of 1991. He received a Fellowship at Cornell University Engineering ’95 and Advanced Degree in Chemical Engineering from CalTech ’97. Nominated as a Rhodes Scholar, he was accepted to eight graduate schools.

Mosquito Spraying Planned for Wednesday, July 29

The East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project is planning to use a truck-mounted aerosol sprayer to apply Sumithrin in Bedford on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.  

Spraying is scheduled for Bedford neighborhoods located in the vicinity of Washington Street, Marion Road, Short Street, Alaska Avenue, Dunelm Road, Ridge Terrace, Meadowbrook Road, and Sweeney Ridge Road.