Superintendent Chuang’s update for the week of September 15, 2023.
This week, we continue to welcome new families to our schools and are excited to grow the diversity and vibrancy of our school system. I am also pleased to welcome responses to my Entry Plan community survey and share the first of several reflections for Hispanic Heritage month.
Community Survey – Please Respond by by October 13, 2023
I am pleased to announce the release of the community survey component of the Listen, Observe, and Learn phase of my entry process. The goal of this survey is to gauge the perspectives and opinions of students, staff, parents, and community members with a vested interest in Bedford Public Schools. I will use the feedback to inform my entry findings and our strategic planning and goal setting process scheduled for Spring/Summer 2024. It is available in our prevalent languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, and Chinese. Other languages can be provided upon request.
Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15) Reflections & Stories
Throughout the month, I will be sharing reflections and stories from Hispanic staff members (and possibly) students. Here is the first one from Davis teaching assistant Daniela Rodriguez-Chang. Many thanks to Daniela for sharing her story!
|Danielea’s first ever Thanksgiving dinner, and Alan’s first altar for “Día de Muertos” we did everything by hand ourselves
|New Chapter: Welcome By Daniela Rodriguez-Chang, Davis Teaching Assistant My life’s journey keeps surprising me in monumental ways and thankfully all for good… even when it doesn’t seem like it. I was born and raised in Mexico. Mazatlan (my hometown) has one of the 3 biggest carnivals in the world, so I always grew up knowing that music, celebration and community embrace was important. Two years ago, I left my country for the first time, my family, my house and my job and came to USA, and it was scary to say the least, but I was excited and hopeful because I met an amazing person and we got married; turns out he’s a counselor and a coach at Bedford High (Alan Chang!). When the city, the culture… the food!… feels so different than what you’re used to, it’s overwhelming, or that’s how I felt until 3 weeks ago when I got for the first time in these two years, the sense of community, the feeling of teamwork, and the happy songs at my new job at Davis as TA. Being part of this school, in this district has finally felt like a WELCOME!
Another Update on these Superintendent Updates
It appears that I am settling into a weekly cadence of Friday updates like my predecessor, Phil Conrad. However, please note that I may continue to experiment with how to regularly communicate with the community, including transitioning to a more flexible blog format and potentially social media (…maybe), and will be seeking data for how well different types of communication work. I welcome ongoing feedback on the frequency, length, content, and timing of communication.
- Rosh Hashanah (September 15-17) and Yom Kippur (September 24-25). Please find more information about the High Holidays from Rabbi Amy Hertz and please remember our Religious and Cultural Holidays Policy.
- Family Training Event: Prepare the Child for the Road, Not the Road for the Child: Building Resilience to Emotional Distress, Alex Hirshberg, Psy.D., Monday, September 18, 2023, 7:00 – 8:30 pm, BHS Auditorium. The research is clear: rates of anxiety and depression are increasing in children and adolescents. What is less clear is why this is happening. At this evening training event geared to parents and guardians and other adults who support children and youth, Dr. Hirshberg will outline some of the factors contributing to the current mental health crisis and provide practical strategies to support parents/families in raising children who are resilient to emotional discomfort, so that they can achieve at high levels. District staff have also been working with Dr. Hirshberg, so this event is designed to strengthen the partnership between educators and families
- POMS Fundraisers. POMS (Patrons of Music) will be having a fundraiser on Sept 20th from 5-9pm at Maggie’s Other Farm restaurant. Just show the flier and POMS will get 10% of sales. POMS will also be selling concessions at the Bedford Day Fireworks on Saturday, September 23rd. They will be set up near the basketball courts at Bedford High School.
- Bedford Day (September 23). Please join our Town celebration on Bedford Day | Bedford, MA (bedfordma.gov). I will be sharing information about a new series of informal fall get-to-know-you events on Bedford Day.