Superintendent’s Update – October 6

Superintendent Chuang’s update to the Bedford Public Schools community sent on October 6, 2023.

I had three wonderful trail walks during the beautiful weather this week and wonderful conversations with parents. Join me for an upcoming Trail Walk & Talk! This update also includes news about the first-ever JGMS schoolwide charter, the final Hispanic Heritage month reflection, and new upcoming events and observances. Also, please remember to help us secure more than $500K in federal resources to support our schools. I anticipate providing an update next week on how we are supporting our emergency migrant shelter in town.

Caption: With HAFB School Committee Member Kim Howell and BHS Counselor Brian DeChellis and BHS freshman before the walk at HAFB.
Caption: With two parent walkers at Hartwell Town Forest.
Caption: Superintendent Chuang with HAFB School Committee Member Kim Howell (in hat in front) and BHS Counselor Brian DeChellis in purple back right) and BHS freshman before the walk at HAFB.Caption: Superintendent Chuang with two parent walkers at Hartwell Town Forest.

Another Update on this Update

I continue to experiment with the format and content of this update. I anticipate shifting to an online format shortly that will allow for translation and easier readability. I also wanted to share about the translation notice above (which may soon be obsolete). The languages represented are based on the translation requests that have been made by families in districts. In addition, the holidays and observances that may be highlighted in these updates are usually based on requests made by community members who want to share about something meaningful to their family and community. I welcome the opportunity to learn and share about observances/traditions that may be meaningful to your family/community.

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JGMS 2023-2024 School Charter Compete! By: Kim Comeiro, Instructional Coach 6-12

“In an astonishing feat spanning just four days, the students of JGMS undertook a monumental task: the creation of a comprehensive School-wide Charter. This Charter has been carefully crafted with the purpose of nurturing and sustaining a positive emotional environment within the school community. It accomplishes this by creating a common set of agreements that guide individuals in their aspirations for emotional states, while also fostering collaborative efforts to help each other attain their own desired feelings.

The journey commenced in August when the dedicated JGMS staff initially formulated a charter tailored for the adult members of the school community. Subsequently, the students embarked on their own phase of this transformative process. Every JGMS student participated by identifying how they want to feel within the school setting, along with identifying a specific goal for the academic year ahead. In doing so, they pinpointed the actions and support required from the broader school community to not only achieve their goal but also to experience the emotions they yearn for while at school.

Through unwavering perseverance, tenacity, and commitment, 32 student representatives took on the challenge to distill and synthesize over 600 individual ideas into three core agreements for their respective grade levels. Ultimately, on Tuesday of this week, one representative from each team collaboratively designed this year’s overarching agreements: “Create a safe environment,” “Cooperate with others,” and “Work towards goals.” As the school year progresses, both staff and students will engage in ongoing dialogue to define the nuanced implications of these agreements for the school and assess their effectiveness in addressing the diverse needs of all members within our school community.”

2022-2023 MCAS results mailed on Friday, October 6, 2023

All 2022-2023 MCAS results have been received and were mailed today to students at their listed home address. 

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 final reflection in the series–thanks to all of the staff who participated!

Reflection by Elizabeth Larrabee, Occupational Therapist, Lt. Job Lane Elementary

“My father was born and grew up in Valparaiso, Chile.  Above the equator, my mother was born and grew up in Lowell, Massachusetts, the sole daughter from her first generation Italian immigrant parents. My parents met while my mother was a principal in a small American School in Potrerillos, Chile and my father was working at Andes Copper Mining Company in the middle of the Atacama Desert (at 10, 000 feet altitude, the driest desert in the world) in the 1960’s.  Married and two children later we moved to The United States when I was three years old as a result of Chilean political upheaval, and my father’s mining company was at risk of closing.  My mother returned to her roots in Lowell, MA searching for her place back in her American life, but now with two young children and a husband who spoke “broken English.”  My mother continued her path as an educator in Lowell Public Schools, as she started her American career as a bilingual school psychologist in her 30’s.”To read Elizabeth’s full story, click here.

Picture: My family (Mom, Dad, myself, & my brother Hugh), Obispito, Chile 1971
Picture: My Dad, Hugh Bryant, Santiago, Chile 1971

To read Elizabeth’s full story, click here.

Upcoming Observances and Events

  • Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration (October 8 from 1-3 pm) at the Middlesex Community College Quad (or East Café if raining). Join a multi-town celebration of this land’s First Peoples! This free event for all ages will feature a fun and educational performance by the Mashpee Wampanoag Red Hawk Singers and Dancers. More information can be found here or by contacting [email protected].
  • Bedford Chamber of Commerce Blood Drive (October 11, 2023) is being held on Wednesday, October 11 from 9:00am to 2:00pm (102B Conference CRoom, 213 Burlington Rd., Bedford, MA). Use this link to schedule a donation: Schedule a Blood, Platelet or Plasma Donation | American Red Cross (redcrossblood.org).
  • 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. Each of our schools takes a unique approach to bullying prevention. At the Davis School, we utilize Responsive Classroom to build classroom communities that teach communication and social problem-solving skills. We also share stories that help children determine when something is hurtful, unfair, and/or unsafe and how to take action to help the person or themselves. At the Lane School, we work with students so that they can understand, identify, and prevent bullying by understanding what bullying is or is not, the impact of bullying, the role of bystanders/upstanders, and how administrators handle reports of bullying. At JGMS we expect everyone to show Empathy and Acceptance every day and everywhere in our school. These values make up the E and A in HEART and are the core of our conversation when we work to prevent and address bullying. The entire acronym stands for Honor, Empathy, Acceptance, Responsibility, and Tenacity. At BHS we utilize our advisory curriculum to build strong relationships that help students understand that we are all in this together and that bullying has no place in our school. Through all of these efforts, we aspire to create a safe, respectful, and inclusive learning environment where all students can realize their growth as a learner.
  • October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. Dyslexia is a language-based learning difference, neurobiological in origin, that impacts 1 in 5 people.  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.”

Reminders:

Patriotic image with words "Annual Impact Aid Survey, October 2 - October 31, 2023"
  • Fall Trail Walk & Talks throughout October – Please Sign-Up!

There are six walks remaining. The full slate for the month can be found here. Note that the Franklin Park has been rescheduled for Saturday October 21 at 9:30 am. Please register here (or use the QR code below). 

Trail Walk & Talks QR Code and image of Superintendent Chuang walking on a trail.
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