Superintendent’s Update – October 13

Superintendent Chuang’s update to the Bedford Public Schools community sent on October 13, 2023.

I know this week has been hard for so many members of our community, and I have labored over the few words we are about to share. I apologize if the words are too little, too late, and I ask for grace as we all grapple with the devastating impact of the horrific terrorist attacks in Israel and the escalating conflict underway in the region that has taken so many innocent lives in Israel and Gaza. I know that these events have deeply impacted families in our community, including many on the Bedford Public Schools team. Dealing with and seeing such horrific devastation is a profound challenge, one that puts our resiliency and strength as a community to the test. I still can’t fully grasp how deeply painful these events have been for many, and I am growing in understanding (and was incredibly moved by a reflection shared with me by Dan Brosgol). My thoughts and prayers are with all of our families and the innocent civilians who are still suffering and in harm’s way. Though the history of the longstanding conflict in the region is complex, it is clear that we must stand together against antisemitism and all forms of hatred and acts of violence. Our counselors, educators, and administrators continue to be available to provide support to any students and families in need. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for support. We will also continue to do our best to educate our students about difficult periods in our history with truth, compassion and in developmentally appropriate ways—in the fervent hope that our worst moments will not be repeated. We appreciate the heartfelt feedback and engagement we have received from many who have been impacted by this tragedy (and unfortunately many other terrible situations in our world), and we are committed to continue learning about how to best communicate and support our students and families.

With a heavy heart,
Cliff Chuang 莊 宏 毅,
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools

School Committee Meeting Summary for October 10, 2023

The school committee passed a new security camera policy and endorsed the district’s 6-year capital budget plan, including a recommendation to accelerate implementation of security cameras at the high school later this year. The committee also approved my 2023-2024 superintendent goals. More details and supporting documents can be found here.

Entry Plan Community Survey –  DEADLINE EXTENDED to October 23, 2023. I especially encourage Boston and HAFB families to respond. 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 to inform my entry process. Please respond to the survey here. Por favor responda la encuesta aquí. Por favor, responda à pesquisa aqui. Tanpri reponn sondaj la isit la. 请在此处回复调查。

Military Impact Aid Survey – DUE BY OCTOBER 31. Please watch your email for reminders from DOCUSign to fill out and sign this survey. And help secure significant federal resources to support our schools! More information here

Patriotic image with words "Annual Impact Aid Survey, October 2 - October 31, 2023"

Upcoming Observances and Events

  • School-Based Flu Vaccine Clinics for Students – October 24, 2023. Reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses, like influenza, this fall and winter is more important than ever. The flu season traditionally starts in September and ends in April, with a peak in cases from January through March. Influenza can cause serious illness and result in missed days of school as well as missed days of work for those caring for sick family members. Vaccination is the best way to protect your child from this potentially serious disease. The Bedford Health Department is hosting school-based influenza vaccination clinic this year on Tuesday, October 24, 2023, at Bedford High School from 7:45 to 8:55 am in the Large Group Instruction (LGI) room and at JGMS from 9:25-10:26 am in the School Lobby. The flu vaccination will be offered free of charge to any student regardless of the insurance status. However, insurance information will be required from those who have health insurance for reimbursement of the administration cost. Steps for securing a vaccination appointment for the School-based Clinics on 10/24 and required forms can be found here – https://www.bedfordma.gov/201/Flu-Clinic-Information—School-Based .
  • October is LGBTIA+ Month which is celebrated in October in the United States with a goal of recognizing and celebrating the contributions of LGBTQIA individuals throughout history. Learning about LGBTQIA history has the capacity to reduce prejudice and discrimination and promote acceptance among students and the wider community and understanding the contributions of LGBTQIA individuals provides a more comprehensive and accurate view of history, reflecting the diversity of human experiences. Below are some resources, with thanks to Jill Butler (she/they), an English Teacher at Bedford High School:
    • GLSEN was founded by a group of teachers in 1990. They conduct extensive and original research to inform their evidence-based solutions for K-12 education and developmentally appropriate resources for educators, including a variety of materials (audio files to coloring pages) that focus on historical events and people from the 1960s- today. 
    • Digital Collections — GLBT Historical Society. Founded in 1985, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) Historical Society is recognized internationally as a leader in the field of LGBTQ public history. This resource leans towards information appropriate for young adults and adults. It is a vast collection of history that promotes understanding of LGBTQIA  history, culture and arts.
    • Introduction – LGBTQIA+ Studies: A Resource Guide. This guide offers an introduction to the LGBTQIA+ collections of the Library of Congress and is organized by subject, format, and time period.

Reminders:

  • Fall Trail Walk & Talks throughout October – Please Sign-Up! There are five walks remaining. The full slate for the month can be found here. Please register here (or use the QR code below). 
  • October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a time to focus on bullying prevention and to raise awareness about the effects of bullying. For more information go to National Bullying Prevention Month
  • October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. In an effort to debunk some common myths about dyslexia, we are sharing this handout that you may find useful, “Myths and Truths about Dyslexia.”
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