Bedford School Committee ~ October 15, 2019

Among its other work at their October 15 meeting, the Bedford School Committee voted its new leadership for the 2019-2020 school year. The new Chair is JoAnne Santiago, the Vice-Chair is Sarah Scoville, and the Clerk is Jill Marquis.

The Committee voted to accept an exciting gift based on a recommendation by Science Program Administrator Michael Griffin. Former Biomedical scientist Don Kirsch has donated a Mettler Toledo AG104 analytical balance and a Zeiss Stemi2000 dissecting microscope with Foster ACE fiber optic illumination. Both items are in excellent condition and will further the education of students in the science program; their combined value is estimated to be $7,385. The Committee and the School Department extend their gratitude and appreciation to Kirsch.

Capital Expenditures Report

Facilities Director Taissir Alani and  Finance Director Julie Kirrane presented schools’ Capital Budget to the Bedford School Committee in preparation for their CapEx presentations on November 13 and 20.

Alani reviewed the projects in last year’s capital expenditures that have been completed in addition to the renovations at Davis School. The list includes painting the BHS flagpole; refinishing both the BHS and JGMS gym floors; interior painting; a new dishwasher for Davis School that in the end required new electrical service and a grease trap; LED lighting for Davis School and Town Center, provided at no cost to the Town through the Green Communities Act; exterior security cameras for BHS and Lane, along with exterior painting and a double-entry vestibule for Lane; as well as solar panels and a liquid waste removal sink for the cafeteria at JGMS.

He added that the BHS renovations are well ahead of schedule and will perhaps be complete by the end of December.

The School Department’s 2021 Capital projects will be presented to the Capital Expenditures Committee on November 13 (Facilities and School Department) and November 20 (School Department).

Class Size Report and Guidelines

With a total student population of 2,685, distribution is spread among the schools: Pre-School, 51; Davis, 598; Lane, 601; JGMS, 594; BHS, 841.

  • Kindergarten: Guideline 18 students per class, with a maximum of 20
  • Grade One: Guideline 20 students per class, with a maximum of 22
  • Grades Two to Five: Guideline 22 students per class, with a maximum of 24
  • Grades Six to Eight: Guideline 23 students per class, with a maximum of 25
  • High School, College Prep: Guideline 18 students per class, with a maximum of 20
  • High School, Honors, and High Honors: Guideline 22 students per class, with a maximum of 25

Dan Brosgol noted that in prior years, class sizes skewed to the maximum, but with the new construction and renovations, the numbers are more favorable.

The report was unanimously approved by the Committee.

Balancing Security and Privacy

Superintendent Sills will propose a policy on the impact of exterior cameras, already installed at BHS and JGMS, and planned for the other schools, to discuss at a future meeting.

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