Notes from the Superintendent’s Update – Friday, Feb. 9

This is a portion of the Superintendent’s Update by Superintendent Cliff Chuang mailed to Bedford Public School community on Friday, February 9. 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,

We passed the 100 days of school mark this week! At Davis, one of the ways this occasion was celebrated was by the creation of cereal box reading house in which students will spend time reading in the house and recording 100 words. At Lane school, students are writing about their future 100-year old selves, with the inspiration of images of their potential older selves (accompanied by much joyous laughter in a 5th grade classroom I visited).

Also, last night, we celebrated 50 years of METCO in Bedford and dedicated the Irene Parker Foyer at BHS during the annual Black History Month celebration put together by BHS alum, current Bedford METCO Director and DEI Coordinator Akil Mondesir. BHS alum and our Lane METCO Coordinator Chauncey Williams with brothers from the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity performed step dance. The entire evening feature culinary and artistic talent from Bedford alum.

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Next week, at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 15th, we will be responding to additional questions from the Finance Committee about the FY25 School Budget request as members consider the overall budget for next year. I will continue to keep you updated on the budget process.

And 新 年 快 乐! Xīn nián kuài lè! Happy Lunar New Year!

Cliff Chuang 莊 宏 毅
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools

Upcoming Events

February 10th: Lunar New Year – Year of the Dragon

Presented by Sylvia Martins, 2nd grader at Davis school

Chinese New Year is an important celebration. It starts on the first day of the lunar calendar which is the first day of a new moon between January 20th and February 20th. This year is the Year of the Dragon. The symbol of the dragon has special meaning as it stands for strength and good luck. The dragon is strong because it’s made of the parts from many animals: eyes of the rabbit, mouth of a camel, horns of a deer, scales of a fish, whiskers of a catfish, claws of a hawk, legs of a tiger, ears of an ox, and the body of a snake. Since the Dragon symbolizes change and adaptability, everyone is predicted to experience both opportunities and challenges in the new year, brining growth and renewal.

February 12th – Catherine Steiner-Adair presents The Big Disconnect

Clinical psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair is the author of The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age and will share her work with the Bedford community on Monday, February 12th at 6:30 p.m. in the BHS auditorium. The presentation with Q&A will run approximately 90 minutes. As Steiner-Adair explains, families are in crisis as they face this issue, and even more so than they realize. Not only do chronic tech distractions have deep and lasting effects but children also desperately need parents to provide what tech cannot: close, significant interactions with the adults in their lives. Drawing on real-life stories from her clinical work with children and parents and her consulting work with educators and experts across the country, Steiner-Adair offers insights and advice that can help parents achieve greater understanding, authority, and confidence as they engage with the tech revolution unfolding in their living rooms.

February 13th: School Committee Meeting

The next School Committee meeting is Tuesday, February 13th at 7:00pm at TBD and via Zoom Webinar. The district’s Student Opportunity Act plan (focused on literacy) will be presented and potentially approved, among other business items. Full supporting materials can be found here: School Committee – Meeting Schedule & Supporting Documents. Feel free to reach out with any questions.

Video: Davis Family Forum with Dr. Alex Hirshberg

Dr Alex Hirshberg of Behavioral Health Services hosted a discussion with Principal Beth Benoit at Davis Elementary on February 6th on Social-Emotional Challenges in the Inclusion Setting. In case you missed it, you may watch the Bedford TV recording of the event here and review the presentation slides here. (This presentation built off of Dr. Hirshberg presentation in September entitled, Prepare the Child for the Road, Not the Road for the Child: Building Resilience to Emotional Distress; that recording can be found here).

March 9th: BEF Denim and Diamonds Bash

The BEF Denim and Diamonds Bash will be held at 7 p.m. on March 9th at Cafe Escadrille in Burlington. There will be music, dancing, delicious bites, a cash bar, our amazing silent auction, and more. All proceeds from this event – the biggest party of the year for Bedford’s schools – go towards funding creative and innovative grant programs at all four schools. Individual tickets are $55 through Thursday, 3/7 and will go up at the door to $65. You can also choose to be a “Deep Pocket Donor” for $250. This ticket level includes two individual tickets, a special memento, and entry into a raffle for one prize exclusive to these donors. The deadline to be a Deep Pocket Donor is Sunday, 3/3. It pays to plan ahead, so get your tickets today! Names for tickets are automatically sent to the BEF, just check in at the door on 3/9!

School Newsletter Links

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

Lt. Eleazer Davis Elementary School – Scribbles – February 6, 2024
Lt. Job Lane Elementary School – Lane Notes – Week of February 5, 2024
John Glenn Middle School – Buccaneer News Vol. #23 – February 5, 2024
Bedford High School – The Bedford Buccaneer – February 5, 2024
Special Education Director’s Update – February 2024
JGMS Student Newspaper: The John Glenn Journal – Winter Edition 2024
BHS Student Newsletter: The Lookout – January 2024

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