Notes from the Superintendent’s Update – Friday, January 12

This is a portion of the Superintendent’s Update by Superintendent Cliff Chuang mailed to Bedford Public School community on Friday, January 12. Please find this week’s full issue of Superintendent’s Update and back issues at bedfordps.org.

Cliff’s Notes

Dear Bedford Public Schools Community,

Winter has truly arrived to our region! Though it can come with headaches, I encourage everyone to enjoy the beauty that snow can bring (the picture above is the superintendent’s office the morning after our first snowstorm) and to follow the Davis students’ lead to have some winter fun! As we observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this coming Monday, I’m also happy to share the first in a series of pieces highlighting the stories of BPS alums, taking us into and out of Black History Month in February, highlighted on this BPS Black Excellence Site.

Sincerely,
Cliff Chuang 莊 宏 毅
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools

Upcoming Events

January 15, 2024: Martin Luther King Jr. Day – No School;
January 15, 2024Bedford Embraces Diversity – Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration (591 Springs Road, Bedford) from 10:00am-12:00 noon
January 16, 2024: School Committee Meeting
January 23, 2024: School Committee MeetingFY25 Open Budget Hearing
January 27, 2024: PDC Lunar New Year Celebration (Bedford Free Public Library)
February 6, 2024: 6:00 pm, Davis School. Resiliency Discussion with Dr. Alex Hirshberg & Principal Benoit (rescheduled from January 9th)
February 7, 2024: 6:30 pm, BHS LGI. Well Balanced Student Presentation with Jon Kleinman, Challenge Success

Jan. 9 School Committee Meeting Recap and Update

The School Committee met on Tuesday January 9th to discuss the following:
FY25 Budget Line Item Review
Approved SY25 District Calendar (2024-2025)
The next School Committee meeting is Tuesday, January 16th at 7:00pm in the BHS LGI and via Zoom Webinar. At this meeting they will discuss:
FY25 Budget Update and Discussion
Bus Contract Bids
The FY25 Open Budget Hearing will be held at the January 23rd meeting.

Full supporting materials can be found here: School Committee – Meeting Schedule & Supporting Documents. Feel free to reach out with any questions.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Reflection

As we approach the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We hope all can reflect on not only his legacy but also his words. We should think about how he spoke of the principles of justice, equity and compassion for all, all the while promoting nonviolence. In his life Dr. King’s unwavering commitment towards a more inclusive and harmonious world was met with navigating uncharted paths, facing obstacles and adversity and yet he persevered. His life and his words should be one of testament to the strength he and others had as they saw injustice and fought against it.

Dr. King’s words during that famous “I Have A Dream Speech” should be a reminder of the journey that we are still on to this day. His legacy ignites a stir of emotions, passion and a newfound strength to those who hear it. His words are a reminder that one person’s words can act as a catalyst for change, and it has the power to transcend barriers and time.

February 6: Resiliency Discussion with Dr. Alex Hirshberg & Principal Benoit

February 6, 6 pm – 7 pm Davis School Rescheduled from January 9

Dr Alex Hirshberg and Principal Beth Benoit are hosting a discussion with parents/guardians on February 6 from 6:00pm – 7:00pm. The purpose of this evening is to build off of the well-received presentation he did for the community in September (Prepare the Child for the Road, Not the Road for the Child: Building Resilience to Emotional Distress”; recording can be found here) around resiliency in children. This discussion will focus on the emotional needs in the early elementary grades and how to support all students within the community. Dr. Hirshberg is a clinical psychologist and the founder of Hirshberg Behavioral Health Services. He has spent the last several years providing consultation, professional development and assessment services for dozens of districts across Massachusetts. Over the past year, he has worked closely with Bedford Schools providing consultation and professional development, including special education social emotional programs across the district. We are thrilled to bring him back to work with our parent/guardian community with a focus on students in the primary grades. This is an adult only event. A small group of High School students will be available if you can’t arrange child care. Please fill out this form, need for childcare, by Monday 1/8/24 if you plan to bring your child and have them stay in the Davis Library during the meeting.

Feb. 7: Well Balanced Student Presentation with Jon Kleinman, Challenge Success

Wednesday, February 7, 2024 at 6:30 PM
Where: Bedford High School, Large Group Instruction Room

Open to all K-12 Parents and Guardians

Please RSVP here

Do you want the children and teens in your home and schools to be healthier and more engaged, but are unsure where to start? This interactive workshop shares data from more than 375,000 students on topics including homework, sleep, cheating, engagement and more, teasing out insights and concrete strategies you can use at school and at home.

Our research shows that far too many students are struggling with their well-being, experience a lack of belonging and engagement with learning, and are overwhelmed by constant pressure in and out of school. Instead of figuring out who they are and what they care about, students (and their families) are often consumed by external pressures such as assessments, test scores, extracurriculars, family obligations, college admissions, and future careers, putting their well-being at risk.

Real, lasting change requires the whole school community — educators, families, and students — to both identify challenges and drive solutions. This workshop will provide you with a deeper understanding of what children and adolescents are experiencing at school and home and you will leave ready to take action with a set of research-based, equity-centered strategies to reduce pressure and stress for the youth in your community.

Jon Kleiman, M.A., is a School and District Partnership Manager. Jon’s chief mission is helping organizations and individuals challenge the status quo. In his role as a School & District Partnership Manager with Challenge Success, Jon’s worked with dozens of schools over the past several years in reimagining how schools might better support the needs and growth of its students. Previously, Jon worked at a university helping students to engage in “vocational wayfinding.” Jon lives in Portland, Maine with his wife and three kids.

Challenge Success flier

School Newsletter Links

In an effort to support communication, here are the links the most recent newsletters from each school and our special education department.

Lt. Eleazer Davis Elementary School – Scribbles – January 9, 2024
Lt. Job Lane Elementary School – Lane Notes – Week of January 8, 2024
John Glenn Middle School – Buccaneer News Vol. #19 – January 9, 2024
Bedford High School – The Bedford Buccaneer – January 8, 2024
Special Education Director’s Update – January 2024

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