The Bedford Buccaneer
April 10, 2020
April Vacation - Canceled
Monday, May 4 - Classes scheduled to resume at Bedford High School
Thursday, May 28 - Senior Prom, Tewksbury Country Club 7-11:00 pm
Thursday, June 4 - Graduation, Tsongas Arena 6-8:30 pm
Wednesday, June 24 - Last day of School
Thursday, June 25 - Graduation postponed date (if needed) Tsongas Arena 6-8:30 pm
I hope this bulletin finds all of you in good health. These have been challenging times and I know that everyone is doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 while trying to maintain a sense of routine and normalcy.
This past week, Bedford High School and our district officially launched our remote and live learning with all classes. This is new for our faculty and for our students as well. We anticipate some bumps along the way, but will work as a community to stay connected with and teach students in a meaningful and productive manner. Thank you for your patience as we try to find a balance with teaching and assigning work that is manageable for all students.
We are reintroducing the weekly bulletin for families. I know that inboxes are full so we will include all pertinent information in the bulletin which will be sent every Friday. We know the value of communicating with families as you navigate a new normal along with your child(ren). Additionally, all BHS students have been receiving a Monday Memo. It is important that they are responsible for reading it so they can remain current with important information.
At the high school, we are moving forward with scheduling and programming for next year. We continue to have regularly scheduled faculty meetings and are working hard to finalize the handbook and School Improvement Plan with a continued focus on our Challenge Success work for 2020-2021.
I know that this hiatus and quarantine is difficult for most students. However, I remain heartbroken for our seniors. As seniors, they want to celebrate the end of their high school careers with the traditions and events that allow for fun, reflection and closure. This is typically the time when nostalgia sets in and a fondness for our school, educators and friendships emerge. I know that they are all fully aware that this pandemic and health crisis is bigger than our school, our town and our state. However, it is important to acknowledge that this is a loss for the Class of 2020. Graduation is still scheduled for June 4th at Tsongas and we currently are holding June 25th at Tsongas as a postponement date. I know that the Class Officers are also looking at alternate dates for the prom. We are doing our best to preserve these events but also understand that we are in a holding pattern as new information becomes available.
On a final note, we are running our weekly attendance for classes today. We want all students engaging in their virtual classrooms. If there is a barrier that is preventing your student from connecting virtually, please reach out to your student’s guidance counselor. We will work as a team to ensure that all of our students have access to the learning and are emotionally healthy during this very difficult time. Thank you to all of you for your continued support and understanding. It means more than you know.
AP Exam Update
The College Board announced that they will be moving to online testing for this spring's AP exams. A letter will go out to students and families from Ms. Milano and Ms. Linsey this week. Please look for it in your email. Please click here to view the College Board website regarding AP Exam updates.
Link to Scheduling Timeline/Information
Academic Advising was nearly complete before school closed. To accommodate a few lingering questions an Updated Scheduling Timeline has been crafted and posted in the counseling classrooms. The override deadline has been extended by one week to April 9th. For students interested in pursuing an override, please email the program administrator (PA). A list of PAs and their contact information is available in the updated scheduling timeline. Counselors have been reaching out to students who are missing course requests and/or alternate course requests. Please feel free to email your school counselor if you have questions or concerns regarding your course recommendations and/or course requests. Course Request Verification Sheets detailing your course recommendations and course requests will be available in the Aspen student portal on April 17.
As you can imagine, both high school students and college admissions offices are uncertain about the landscape as it relates to standardized testing during the pandemic. Many colleges (even the most selective) have already begun to communicate that they are ready to receive transcripts with “P” grades on them, and that they will continue to review applications with care and understanding of context; still others have altered their expectations around standardized testing for the 2020-2021 admission cycle in response to the situation. Here are four examples, and the list is growing daily:
ACT scheduled for April 4 has been postponed to June 13, go to ACT.org for more information
SAT in June is still on so far, check updates at this College Board page
AP Information from Ms. Milano is here
More information from AP/Collegeboard is here, and they are planning an update for April 3
Counseling SeminarsJuniors: be on the lookout for Junior Seminar Session III information soon
Sophomores: be on the lookout for Sophomore Seminar information soon
Some COVID-19 Resources
Child Find Institute: Supporting Families during COVID-19
Counseling Communications and Resources
BPS Mental Health Resource link is here
Follow us on Twitter @BedfordCounsel1
A Student/athlete peer tutoring program is being started by some juniors, specifically geared toward remote tutoring and support. See below for description:
My name is Alex Lin and I am currently a junior at Bedford High School. Because of the challenging circumstances due to COVID-19, I realize that some students are missing educational opportunities schools provide and maybe going a little stir-crazy without organized sports. Because of this reason, my friends Shaan Manocha, Connor Loughlin, Jasper Paez, Jessica Lin, and I have decided to provide free tutoring and virtual sports coaching during this time of social distancing to fellow Bedford students. We feel that our personal knowledge and experience of the curriculum at JGMS and BHS would be very valuable to those looking to excel in the coming years. All of us are high honor students and have collectively taken several AP courses. In addition, as varsity athletes in a variety of sports, we all are experienced with the school sports teams in Bedford and would be more than happy to provide information to help Bedford athletes get to the next level or even discuss sports selections.
Specifically, we offer:
Free tutoring in any of the academic areas below via free virtual platforms such as Zoom or FaceTime
Free skills, coaching sessions in any of the sports below by a BHS varsity athlete (or learn a new skill you haven’t tried before!)
Confidentially discuss sports selection, which sports to pursue, time commitment, and other considerations
Provide advice for summer training for high school and middle school athletes
If you or your student is interested in getting stronger academically or getting ahead in athletics, please contact us at email@example.com and indicate your interest. We will contact you within 24 hours.
We are offering a free 40-minute virtual Zoom or Facetime tutoring on any of the following classes or specific skills in the following sports for your child during the April/May.
In addition to your faculty speaker Mr. Morrissey, your class President, Jonathan Pierre, will also speak. In the past, an additional student speaker has been selected. The student and faculty speakers help to personalize the commencement ceremony. If you have a story or message to share with your class, please consider submitting and presenting your speech to a panel of faculty members and students on Monday, May 4th during Flex Block . Please read below for details:
If you are eligible to graduate, you are eligible to be considered as a speaker at graduation-no further prerequisites
Interested seniors should submit a speech to Mrs. Sweetland by Thursday, April 30th.
You may email the speech to firstname.lastname@example.org
The speech should be about 3-5 minutes in length (rubric is attached to this email)
You will be required to read/present the speech to a panel during Flex Block on Monday, May 4th. Please email Mrs. Galante is this poses a problem for you.
SAVE THE DATES
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Tewksbury Country Club
1880 Main St, Tewksbury, MA
(Possible alternate date for the prom TBA)
Thursday, June 4, 2020
6:00 – 8:30 pm
Tsongas Arena, 300 Arcand Dr, Lowell, MA
Postponed Graduation date if needed:
Thursday, June 25, 2020
6:00 – 8:30 pm
Tsongas Arena, 300 Arcand Dr, Lowell, MA
No tickets required
Parking information: http://www.tsongascenter.com/parking.php
Community Service Update
I hope you are all hanging in there during this tough time. I'm thinking about all our students, but you especially. Sending you lots of good vibes.
Due to the March school closure due to Covid-19, Seniors will not be expected to complete the community service expectation. Students may still submit community service hours, but the expectation of completing 20 hours will be waived. If you have hours you would still like to submit, the information and links are available at https://www.bedfordps.org/high-school/parent-information/pages/community-service-bhs-students
Stay well and keep busy!
IMPORTANT - FILL OUT THIS LINK FOR CAP AND GOWN
The Senior Class Fund will be purchasing your cap, gown and tassel for you.
*If you are wearing heels to graduation you need to add 2 inches to your height when filling out the form. https://jostens.typeform.com/to/nghXHS
You will find this and other important information by clicking below or by going to the BHS website under Extra-Curricular Yearbook Info
_____________________________________________________________________________________________The All Night Graduation Decorating Committee needs elementary class photos of Seniors (class of 2020) to complete a project. If you are a Senior parent and have an elementary class photo (or more), please email: email@example.com with the name of the teacher of that class. We simply need to scan the photo or you can scan it at a resolution of 600 DPI and send it to the email above.
Support for our Challenge Success Family during COVID-19
During these uncertain times with school closures and significant shifts away from normal routines, many people have expressed concerns about the impact on students’ academic journeys. I want to encourage parents, educators, and students in the Challenge Success family to remember the big picture. This is a time to focus on — and be grateful for — your family’s safety, health, and well-being. Make building strong family relationships a priority. Reach out to neighbors, friends, and others in your community to check in, offer support, and connect virtually. We will get through this together.
For families concerned that their children are missing out on academic content, remember that at a time like this, less is more. I encourage you to broaden your definition of learning and focus on playtime, downtime, and family time. Think about how to help your kids continue to develop skills rather than trying to re-create school content by assigning extra worksheets and flashcards. Critical skills for kids of all grade levels include reading, problem solving, and communication, as well as social-emotional skills like resilience, collaboration, flexibility, and positive coping. Use this time at home to support these skills along with prioritizing students’ well-being and engagement with learning. As a family, discuss and agree to a routine that might include the following activities.
READ FULL MESSAGE
Join our community! Check out BHS Challenge Success on social media
Facebook: Challenge Success Bedford High School (this is a closed group)
Strategies to Nurture Resilience in Ourselves and Our Children
Robert Brooks, Ph.D Child Psychologist, Professional Speaker & Author of 16 Books
When: April 29, 2020 @ 7:00pm
Where: Virtual link will be sent once available
How do everyday challenges become formative assets for our kids? What experiences and factors help keep our kids healthy - even in the midst of change? How can we, as adults, foster resilience?
In this presentation Dr. Brooks describes factors that help children and adolescents to deal more effectively with stress and pressure and become resilient. He discusses:
(a) the importance of empathy in understanding and responding to children
(b) why some children from birth have a more difficult time developing a positive self-image and resilience than other children
(c) the importance of identifying and reinforcing each child or adolescent's
"islands of competence," and
(d) specific strategies for nurturing self-discipline, responsibility, caring, hope, and resilience in our children.
Some relevant articles on resilience (the first three are written by Dr. Brooks and are located - with other monthly articles - on his website www.drrobertbrooks.com:
A faculty member of Harvard Medical School who has also served as the Director of the Department of Psychology at McLean Hospital, Dr. Brooks offers practical tips for parents of children in grades K-12. He has lectured nationally and internationally to parents on topics of resilience, motivation, school climate and family relationships. His talks are filled with practical, realistic suggestions, and he is renowned for the warmth and humor he uses to bring his insights & anecdotes to life.
Board of Health-Social Distancing
As you know, Bedford is adhering to the social distancing guidelines put forth by the Governor. Our BOH shared the following PSA and informational videos for students and families.
Bedford Food Bank open at John Glenn Middle School
The town of Bedford will offer a temporary food bank at John Glenn Middle School on Fridays. Current food pantry clients may pick up food from 12-2 pm. For all the details, check this link.
We expect the Bedford Food Bank to operate for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. The food pantry and community dinners will resume when the food bank closes down and it is safe to reopen.
Help with Digital Access
Proper hand washing with soap and water is still the most effective way to keep viruses and germs at bay. Here are some tips from the CDC on proper hand washing to share with your children.
Steps to Proper Hand Washing
Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them
Also, as an additional means of preventing transmission of any respiratory infection, please practice the following activities:
Frequently clean common touchpoint surfaces, including but not limited to electronics, door knobs, and countertops;
Avoid sharing food utensils, containers, and other personal items;
Distance yourself from someone who appears sick
Practice proper cough etiquette.
Have Unwanted Textiles Piling Up? Put Them in Our Bin For The Win & Turn Trash to Cash!
You can now recycle your used textiles through drop bins at the back right corner of the high school parking lot! By doing so, help the schools green initiatives earn some CASH! It's also environmentally friendly. 95% of textiles are recyclable and it diverts TONS of textiles from the trash. Unwanted clothes, towels, sheets, shoes, stuffed animals and more. Learn more about what can be donated and what actually happens to the textiles here Thanks for your support!
**Please make sure your items are bagged & tied (not loose), and are put IN the bins, not left outside**