Editor’s Note: This week Superintendent Conrad focuses on Teacher Appreciation Week; Eid-al-Fitr; School Lunch Hero Day, Friday, May 7, 2021; Mother’s Day; School Nurse Appreciation Day; The Lenora Campoli Speaker Series; Citizens Scholarship of Bedford Dollars for Scholars; Sign up for the BEST/PTO Color Run; BHS Tenacity Challenge; a thank you to the Bedford Cultural Council; AFS One Week Foreign Exchange Summer Hosting Program!; plus Covid Protocols and Updates.
This week is Teacher Appreciation Week! The week kicked off last Sunday when President Biden celebrated with the national teacher of the year Kurt Russell and the honorees from each state. First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, a career educator told the teachers, “The lives you change go on to change the world.” Additionally, USA Today published an article about how corporations around the country were offering thanks to teachers in the form of gifts and discounts. To see the article navigate to USA Today Teacher Appreciation Week 2022
This past weekend members of the Muslim community celebrated Eid-al-Fitr. The holiday is timed to the first sighting of the crescent moon and marks the beginning of the Islamic month of Shawwal. The Eid-al-Fitr celebration commemorates the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. Eid-al Fitr means “the celebration of the breaking of the fast.” For more information about Eid-al-Fitr please navigate to Eid-al-Fitr History Channel
School Lunch Hero Day, Friday, May 7, 2021
On Friday, May 7, 2021, we celebrated the 8th Annual School Lunch Hero Day! School Lunch Hero Day is a chance to showcase the difference school nutrition professionals make for every child who comes through the cafeteria. School Lunch Hero Day provides us with the perfect opportunity to recognize the hard-working professionals in our school cafeterias. School Lunch Hero Day was inspired by author Jarrett J. Krosoczka, of the “Lunch Lady” book series, to remind everyone of the important role school nutrition employees play in our school communities. They really are superheroes! https://schoolnutrition.org/schoollunchheroday/
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers in our school community. Mother’s Day is a holiday honoring motherhood that is observed in different forms throughout the world. In the United States, Mother’s Day 2021 is this Sunday, May 9th. Our American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. For more information about Mother’s Day scroll to https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/mothers-day
School Nurse Appreciation Day
Please join us in celebrating National School Nurse Day on Wednesday, May 11, 2021. This year our nurses have continued to play a HUGE role in keeping our schools open in the safest manner possible keeping everyone healthy and safe. This includes but is not limited to their COVID-19 coordination of pool testing, and educating all of us on proper safety protocols. This is in addition to all of their everyday duties and responsibilities of helping each of us make it through the school day and year. We are grateful to our nurses and recognize them on their special day! https://www.nasn.org/advocacy/school-nurse-day
The Lenora Campoli Speaker Series
The Bedford Special Education Parent Advisory Council, along with BEST, MSPA, and the BHSPA invite all parents and caregivers of students in K-12 to attend The Lenora Campoli Speaker Series. The speaker series will feature Sarah Ward, M.S., CCC/SLP who will discuss how to teach children to manage their time, space, materials, and emotions with powerful strategies to help children develop independent executive function skills.
This in-person event will take place this Tuesday, May 10, 2022, at the John Glenn Middle School Auditorium at 7:00 PM. This is an in-person-only event.
Citizens Scholarship of Bedford Dollars for Scholars
CSF of Bedford Dollars for Scholars is at the halfway point of raising funds for their BHS Class of 2022 Scholarships. CSF of Bedford will be awarding scholarships at their 57th Annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony on May 31, 2022. They are grateful to the Bedford community for the donations already received. If you have not donated yet, please help them reach their goal of $60,000. Donations may be made online by clicking CSF of Bedford Dollars for Scholars or by mail by sending a check payable to CSF of Bedford Dollars for Scholars at PO Box 585,
Bedford, MA 01730-0585. All donations of $50 or more and received by May 5, 2022, will be acknowledged in the Awards Program for scholarship recipients. CSF of Bedford has helped students attend local colleges or technical or vocational schools. For additional information about the Bedford community’s longtime support for Dollars for Scholars, please see their website at bedfordma.dollarsforscholars.org
Sign up for the BEST/PTO Color Run
BEST/PTO is excited to announce the in-person return of their Spring fundraiser, the 6th Annual Color Run on Saturday, June 11, 2022, from 4 pm to 6 pm at the JGMS fields. The event features a racecourse with color powder sprayed by teachers and administrators, raffles, music, food, bounce houses, face painting, and more. Families are invited to Walk, Run, Roll, or Stroll as little or as much as they want. This event has raised over $85,000 for the Davis and Lane Elementary Schools since 2016. Please sign up today to help BEST reach $100,000 this year! Registration is $30 per individual or $90 per household and includes bags, t-shirts, and food tickets. Registrations after May 3rd will only include bags and t-shirts while supplies last. More details and sign up at BEST Color Run.
BHS Tenacity Challenge
On Saturday April 30th, 22 teams from across Massachusetts competed in the 11th Annual African American and Latinx Tenacity Challenge. Bedford High School had three teams participate: Project Excel (Bryan Aweh-Kisob, Kelly Aweh-Kisob. Ariel Navon, Karen Navon, Tomas Ou, and Colin Vieira), The Scholarly Six (Aledam Contreras-Rosario, Aleksi Dubaquie-Sanchez, Joseph Kponou, Kailiyah LaBoy, Kaylin Ortiz, and Gabe Paula) and The Furious Four (Jayden Bien-Aime, Alisha Marangi, Elena Sheth, and Arianna Triplett). Project Excel won first place overall, which means each member of the team won a $1000 scholarship. Project Excel also tied for second place in the math competition and won third place in the literature event. The Scholarly Six won first place in the art event and won second place in the literature event! The Furious Four placed in the top five of the art event. A special thanks to Ms. Elizabeth Marcotte, Mr. Jim Nagle, and Mr. Sean Hagan who spent many hours helping students prepare for the events. We are so proud of what the students accomplished. The teams enjoyed the keynote speaker, Ricardo Arroyo, Boston City Councilor of District 5. They were also inspired by the spoken word performance by Michelle La Poetica. A big shout out to Ms. Jen Ilchuk and Mr. Akil Mondesir for running the event. We are grateful to all the volunteers who made this special day possible.
From the Bedford Cultural Council
As we head towards the end of the school year we want to thank the Bedford Cultural Council for the many grants awarded to programs serving Bedford students. More than one-third of the funded projects this year targeted a student audience. The list includes both musicals at Bedford High School, upgrades to the equipment for media studies at BHS, Girl Scout field trips, a drum circle event at the Bedford Library, and literacy projects at all age levels. It is a joy to see the creativity of Bedford’s teachers and students flourish through these programs. The Bedford Cultural Council is proud to support projects that enrich the lives of Bedford’s citizens. For more information on the BCC and to view past or upcoming programs, visit their Facebook page or website.
AFS One Week Foreign Exchange Summer Hosting Program!
American Field Service (AFS), working through local AFS Volunteer Ashlee Santerre, is looking for Bedford families interested in hosting an international foreign exchange student for one week this summer. This is a unique, rewarding, and enriching experience for one week this summer! AFS is seeking families willing to host older (18-19-year-old) students from Indonesia, the Philippines, Turkey, or Thailand for the week of July 11-17, 2022. Most of these students have already graduated from High School and are in their first year of university; their exchange experiences were delayed due to the pandemic. These are students who have completed rigorous, merit-based selection processes and have been awarded scholarships for this experience. They will spend their week here acting as youth ambassadors of their countries, enthusiastically engaging in community service and civic opportunities, and developing lifelong bonds with their host families. These students are mostly proficient in English and are all COVID-vaccinated. If you are interested in opening your home to a student for this week, please contact local AFS volunteer, Ashlee Santerre at [email protected].
We continue to offer free COVID-19 testing via pooled testing (PCR tests) at each school every week, and free home test kits are distributed every other week.
If you would like your child to resume weekly pooled testing after they have been off the roster for 90 days after testing positive for COVID-19, please notify your child’s school nurse. You do not need to sign up again.
Want to be part of our FREE at-home testing program or our pooled testing program?
- Click Here to opt-in to the At-Home Antigen Test Opt-In Google Form
- Click here to view a video on How to use the iHealth COVID 19 Test
- Click here for instructions on how to use the iHealth COVID 19 Test in multiple languages
- Click here to consent to the ongoing Pooled Testing Pooled-Testing Consent Form
FDA Extension of iHealth (Home Antigen Test Kits) Expiration Dates
On Tuesday 3/29/22, the FDA granted a three-month shelf-life extension for the iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test. As an example, if the expiration date on a test is April 1st, 2022, the new expiration date would be July 1st, 2022. To confirm the expiration date of an iHealth test kit, you can enter the lot number on the iHealth website here (this feature is case sensitive!) Please note that this extension is only in regard to the iHealth test kits and does not have any association with the timelines of the DESE testing program.
COVID-19 Email Addresses
All cases of COVID-19 (both home tests and tests from a medical provider) should be reported to your child’s school nurse using the following email addresses:
- For the Davis School please email: [email protected]
- For the Lane School please email [email protected]
- For JGMS please email [email protected]
- For BHS please email [email protected]
Masks for those who test positive for COVID-19
Please keep in mind that for infected individuals the current guidelines require masks to be worn within the ten-day infection period.
- Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will need to wear a mask after a 5-day isolation and/or quarantine period when around others for an additional five days, except when eating, drinking, or outdoors.
- Individuals who experience COVID-19 symptoms should stay home and obtain testing. If they receive a negative result and their symptoms improve (including remaining fever-free for a 24-hour period without fever-reducing medication), they can return to school but should continue to wear a mask until their symptoms fully resolve.
- Unvaccinated individuals should continue to wear a mask in school settings.
COVID-19 Case Updates
The dashboard is up-to-date and can be accessed here:
Pooled Testing Results Week of May 2, 2022,
- BHS 94 students, 32 staff, 2 positive cases
- JGMS 247 students, 36 staff, 3 positive cases
- Lane 280 students, 44 staff 13 positive cases
- Davis 243 students, 34 staff, 3 positive cases
For weekly pooled testing we are using the single swab collection, placing 2 – 3 swabs in a “pool” to be processed by the lab, and if the pool detects a positive result, the school nurses will retest those individuals with rapid antigen tests, and if positive families will be notified and instructed on isolation procedures. If the rapid test is negative and the individual is symptom-free, they can resume weekly COVID-19 testing the following week.
Cases Reported This Week Since April 49, 2022:
- BHS 29
- JGMS 21
- Lane 63
- Davis 25
As always, thank you for your patience, your participation, and your continued commitment to our schools.