Superintendent Conrad’s weekly message for November 4, 2022, focuses on a Daylights Savings Time; Special Education Director’s Update; Marching Band; Shawsheen Tech Open House; Election Day; MSPA Bake Sale on Election Day; Veteran’s Day; “Murder on the Orient Express” performance; Workshop on 504 Plans; Special Town Meeting; Prom Dress Pop-up; COVID-19; Test kits for Holidays; Message from Health Department; and Impact Aid Forms.
The end of Daylight Savings Time
Reminder that we will turn our clocks back one hour on this the first Sunday in November. Believe it or not the authority to change or eliminate Daylight Savings Time rests with the Federal Department of Transportation. For more information about the history of daylight savings time please navigate to https://www.bts.gov/geospatial/daylight-savings-time
Our Special Education Director Marianne Vines recently published the next installment of the Director’s Update which can be viewed at Director’s Update Late Fall 2022. The update is full of wonderful information about our Special Education Department and Programs.
BHS Marching Band
The Bedford High School Marching Band recently completed a very successful competition season in the New England Scholastic Band Association (NESBA). On October 22nd, the band took a third-place finish at Wakefield Memorial High School with a silver-medal score of 84.00 and only missed second place by .1 of a point. This past Sunday, October 30th, the band performed in the NESBA Championship Finals, placing fourth in their division with a gold-medal score of 89.7. The third-place band earned a score of 88.1, so the band missed placing by less than half a point! This was a huge rebound year for the band as we move away from covid, with several 8th-graders and a 7th-grade student participating in the program this year. It’s a tremendous achievement for these young people, as our band only rehearses two nights per week for three hours, and were neck and neck with full-time curricular programs in competition. Mr. Felker hopes that community members can see the band at upcoming playoff and Thanksgiving football games, and he thanks the community for all of the wonderful support of the program.
Shawsheen Vocational Technical High School Open House Sunday, November 6, 2022
Shawsheen VTHS welcomes prospective students and their families interested in learning more about the program opportunities at Shawsheen Tech are welcome to attend the school’s annual community open house on Sunday afternoon, November 6, 2022, from 2 to 4 p.m. The open house will introduce students and families to Shawsheen’s academic, career, and vocational-technical programs as well as all athletic teams, extracurricular clubs, and activities.
Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, 2022
Tuesday, November 8, 2022, is the annual Fall Election and in-person voting will take place from 7 am until 8 pm, at the John Glenn Middle School gymnasium (99 McMahon Road). Please note there will be no school for students on that day.
MSPA Election Day Bake Sale
The Middle School Parents Association (MSPA) will be hosting a Bake Sale on Tuesday, November 8, 2022, during in-person voting at JGMS! So stop by for a treat when you vote and help support the various enriching school activities at JGMS! The MSPA is looking for donations of baked goods, so sign up HERE to donate! Your baked goods can be dropped off at the MSPA table between 7:15 and 7:45 a.m. on November 8th outside the JGMS gym. All items must be individually wrapped. Please include an index card with the name of your baked goods and a list of ingredients. If you are unable to drop off at that time, please email [email protected] to make other arrangements, and thank you in advance for your support!
Veterans Day Reminder
Please note that next Friday, November 11, 2022, is Veterans Day. It is a Federal holiday and therefore the schools will be closed and no classes will occur. Veterans Day marks the armistice that ended World War I on November 11, 1918. The armistice went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.” In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…” Since that time our nation has used this day as a day of reflection for all who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. For more information about Veterans Day visit the Veterans Administration website at Veterans Day.
Save the Date for Murder on the Orient Express
Bedford High School’s Performing Arts Department will present Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express from Thursday, November 10 to Saturday, November 12. The theatrical production is based on the Agatha Christie novel of the same name. The performances will take place in the BHS Auditorium at 7:00 PM on November 10, 11, and 12. The show runs for about two hours, and is appropriate for middle schoolers and up. Tickets can be purchased at https://bhschorusandtheater.weebly.com/tickets.html.
Workshop on Section 504 Plans
Our Bedford Parent Groups BEST PTO, Middle School Parents Association, BHS Parents Association, Parent Diversity Council, and SEPAC (BEST, MSPA, BHSPA, BPDC, BSEPAC) are co-sponsoring a free virtual workshop on Section 504 plans. All parents and families are welcome. Section 504 plans are formal plans that school-based teams develop to provide students with disabilities the support they need. The information will be presented by the Federation for Children with Special Needs (FCSN). The workshop will discuss Section 504 qualification criteria, the contents of a plan, and the major differences between a Section 504 Plan and an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). It will be held virtually on Thursday, November 13, 2022, from 7:00 until 9:00 in the evening. To register please use the following link: Bedford Parents Section 504 Workshop.
Special Town Meeting – November 14, 2022
Reminder to all voters that a Special Town Meeting will be held on Monday, November 14, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. at the Bedford High School gymnasium. Please note that the location has been moved to the gymnasium in order to better accommodate a larger number of citizens. The Town Meeting webpage contains information about the Town Meeting in general as well as video and printed presentations, background materials, and links to project web pages related to articles on the warrant.
BHS Prom Dress Pop-Up Event
Prom and semi-formal events are coming up soon and BHS will be sponsoring recurring “Prom Dress Pop-Up” events throughout the year. Students can “borrow” a prom dress and accessories, or formal suits from our donated collection. At this time, See we are looking for donations of long and short dresses that are sitting in closets at home and not being used; as well as formal wear accessories like shoes, purses, jewelry, and shawls. We are also looking for formal suits, ties, and tuxedo donations and would greatly appreciate any contributions beginning this week. Please dry-clean your donations before dropping them off.
If you want to help but don’t have a dress to donate, you can make a financial contribution to offset program costs, which include alterations, dry cleaning, and the purchase of dress racks and refreshments for the Pop-Up event. Checks can be made payable to BHS – Prom Pop-Up. All donations can be dropped off in the Bedford High School front vestibule after notifying the main office via the buzzer that you’re donating for the Pop-Up. Please email Sandy Arena or Heather Thacore for more information. The schedule for the Prom Dress Pop-Up is
- Monday, November 7th from 7:45 – 8:45 AM (Locker Room Area)
- Wednesday, November 30th from 7:45 – 8:30 AM (Locker Room Area)
- Wednesday, January 11th (Jr/Sr Prom Pop-Up) from 7:45 – 8:30 AM (Locker Room Area)
- Monday, April 3rd (Jr/Sr Prom Pop-Up) 7:45 – 8:45 AM (Locker Room Area)
The Bedford Public School nursing staff is able to provide COVID-19 symptomatic testing at school. This testing service is optional and consent is required prior to testing. See the link below to sign up for your student. The school nurses will administer rapid antigen testing using Abbott BinaxNOW or iHealth tests on-site at each school health office.
This service is for students who develop symptoms while already at school. Please continue to screen your children each day before school and refer to the COVID-19 symptoms checklist on the BPS website. If your child has mild symptoms of illness, please test them at home with a rapid home antigen test before sending them to school.
We encourage all families to keep a supply of COVID-19 home rapid antigen tests on hand. Home test kits are available from the following town offices during normal business hours: Health Department, Council on Aging, Town Manager’s Office, or the Bedford Free Public Library. Students may attend school with mild symptoms as long as they are testing negative on an antigen test before coming to school.
Many families signed up for iHealth home tests last Spring and may still have them left over. The expiration date for this product has been extended. You can check the expiration dates with the lot # using this link: iHealth Expiration Date Extension
We encourage everyone to get vaccinated with the most recent booster.
For the latest information on COVID-19 cases within the school district please navigate to the Bedford COVID-19 Dashboard
Test Kits for the Holidays
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will make iHealth Test Kits available to school districts just prior to Thanksgiving for students and staff. The Bedford Public Schools plans to participate in this free program. More information will follow soon.
A message from the Bedford Health Department
While we have become accustomed to the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 over the past years, thankfully, we now have the opportunity for antigen home testing, in addition to PCR testing, to identify COVID and if positive, follow the prescribed isolation guidance. There are, however, two other viruses that we are confronting this season. Influenza (flu) and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) cases are already making an impact on hospital admissions this fall, especially in the pediatric setting. Click on this link to learn more and how to safeguard against these viruses’ Fall and Winter Virus Information.
Thank you for completing the 2022 Impact Aid Survey
Thank you to everyone who completed the 2022 Impact Aid Survey. The survey is now closed for this year but will be back next October. Keep in mind that the Town of Bedford receives a substantial sum of money under this provision, which lowers the cost of education for ALL taxpayers.
As always, thank you for your patience, your participation, and your continued commitment to our schools.