Tuesday, July 11, 2017

First Day of School for 2017/2018 School Year -(Posted 07/11/17)

The first day of school for students in the Bedford School District for the 2017/2018 school year will be Tuesday, August 29, 2017.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Destination Imagination State Tournament

Bedford DI welcomes New Hampshire Destination Imagination (NH-DI) State Tournament to Bedford High School on Sunday, April 2nd, 8am - 6pm.  
Please check website for up a schedule of events. www.nh-di.org
NH-DI will be hosing the event where the top scoring teams will be competing for a chance to go to Destination Imagination Global Finals in Knoxville, TN, with almost every state and 20 countries.  Destination Imagination is a fun, hands-on system of learning that fosters students’ creativity, courage and curiosity through open-ended academic Challenges in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), fine arts and service learning. Participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas, and the collaborative problem solving process. 
      Good Luck to the 7 teams representing Bedford DI.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Youth Risk Behavior Survey Postponed - March 28, 2017

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) has been used on a biennial basis since 1990 to measure health risk behaviors of high school students nationwide. The YRBS measures behaviors related to intentional and unintentional injury, tobacco use, alcohol and other drug use, sexual activity, diet, and physical activity.  We have administered this survey previously and utilize results from the survey to guide our health curriculum as well as educational programming. 

In order to give parents enough time to thoughtfully preview the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, we are postponing the March 30, survey administration for at least a week.   I will inform you of the new date once it has been approved. I have included the link to the survey here for your review.  The links below are PDF's to Frequently Asked Questions about the survey as well as a PDF "Opt Out form.  If you have already sent in an “Opt Out form or request” you do not need to resend another. For parents choosing to Opt Out their children from taking the survey, please complete the form below and send to Jessica Bennett at  bennettj@sau25.net or hagenw@sau25.net

Monday, March 27, 2017

YRBS Survey to be given at Bedford High School -3/27/17

This Thursday (3/30), we will be conducting the YRBS with our students during an extended advisory (until 10:05). Sometime between tomorrow afternoon and advisory on Thursday please pick up the survey packet from your mailbox in the main office. Each envelope will contain the surveys for your kids, #2 pencils, FAQs about the survey, your script as the survey administrator and two forms that you will fill out.
Please read your script through prior to the beginning of advisory so that you are familiar with the content. Keep the FAQ handy in case any student has a question. I will send individual emails to the advisors of the students who have opted-out. If someone has opted out, they are still responsible for attending advisory and are asked to remain quiet while their peers complete the survey. 
"Only students who are able to take the survey without any type of assistance are eligible to participate. Students must be able to understand the questions (which are written at an 8th grade or lower reading level) and indicate their answers with a pencil on the paper survey. School staff are not allowed to read or explain the questions, view students’ answers or interact in any way with students while they are taking the survey." Please let me know if there are any questions about this!
Please drop off your envelope (with completed and any extra surveys) to the counseling office by the end of the day on Friday, 3/31. I do not need to pencils back.
I greatly appreciate your help in administering the surveys. Please let me know if there are any questions or concerns about any of it!
Thank you,
Jessica Bennett, LADC
Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Bedford High School
p: 603-310-9000 x33458 a: 47B Nashua Road Bedford, NH 03110

YRBS Frequently asked Questions

YRBS Opt out 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Thank You to Voters

Thank you to all the Bedford citizens who voted on Thursday . The school district budget passed and the contracts for our teachers, support staff, and custodians passed. This will make the district's pay scale more competitive and help get health insurance costs under control. The positive results will allow the whole district to continue to focus on our core mission, teaching and learning. 
Thank you! 
 Chip McGee

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Two Hour Delay for Students - March 15, 2017

Students will have a two hour delay today. There will be no AM Kindergarten and no AM Preschool. This will give time for the department of public works, our maintenance department, and our bus company to clean up after yesterdays blizzard.  Stay warm.  
Sincerely,
Chip McGee

Monday, March 13, 2017

Bedford School District Closed for Tuesday March 14, 2016 due to the blizzard

The National Weather Service has posted a Blizzard Warning. This means "severe winter weather conditions are expected, falling and blowing snow with strong winds and poor visibility are likely, and this will lead to whiteout conditions making travel extremely dangerous." The NWS has recommended that people not travel.  If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle. Due to the blizzard, the Bedford School District will be closed tomorrow.
Stay warm and safe,
Chip

ELECTIONS POSTPONED TO THURSDAY, MARCH 16, 2017

Due to anticipated weather conditions, our Bedford Town Moderator Brian Shaughnessy, Esq., has postponed tomorrow's town and school elections. The elections have been moved to Thursday, March 16, from 7am-7pm at Bedford High School. Full details about this decision are in this press release,

There are several key items for the school community.
  • All schools will be open on Thursday. 
  • Memorial, Peter Woodbury, Riddle Brook and McKelvie will have a normal schedule on Thursday. 
  • Lurgio Middle School and Bedford High School will have a two-hour delay on Thursday to allow morning voters easier access to the polls. 
  • For voters unable to vote on Thursday, the Town Offices will remain opne until 7p.m. this evening to allow for completion of absentee voting
  • For our professional staff, I will send a separate message this evening regarding our workshop day scheduled for tomorrow.
I appreciate everyone's patience as we work through these decisions.

Sincerely,

Chip McGee

Friday, February 24, 2017

A Survey, An Election, and An Award

Community Members,
I have been amazed at how hard our students have been working over the last few weeks despite the challenging schedule caused by the weather.  I hope everyone enjoys some well-earned time relaxing with family and friends over the next week while school is not in session.  When students return, it will be March if you can believe it!  I have three quick notes that I want to share with the whole community.
Sincerely,
Chip McGee

Survey of the Superintendent
Every year around this time, I ask the community for feedback through this survey. The survey takes about five minutes. I would appreciate your feedback so I can continue to improve.  I will keep it open though the next three weeks.

March 14 Elections
All eligible citizens are urged to vote in the Bedford School District and Town Council Elections. They will be held on March 14, 2017 from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Bedford High School Gymnasium.  ​​The Town Meeting is the next night, March 15, in the Bedford High School Theater at 7:00 p.m.. ​Here are links to two programs regarding the vote.
Here is the information for filing an absentee ballot for those unable to be present on the day of the vote.

An Award
I am delighted to share with the entire Bedford community that our own Mike Fournier was selected as the 2017 New Hampshire Middle School Principal of the Year by the New Hampshire Association of School Principals! We are thrilled (and not at all surprised) that the NHASP has recognized in Mike the qualities we have come to value during his 16 years as a principal in Bedford.  Mike is deeply committed to the students, parents, staff, and the town of Bedford. HERE is a a really sweet photo from Mike and his family at the award ceremony.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Schools and School District Offices Closed on Monday February 13, 2017

Schools and school district offices will be closed tomorrow, Monday February 13, 2017. The morning commute is expected to be very difficult to impossible to travel. The Bedford Police Department asks that everyone stay off the roads if you do not need to be out during the storm.  Stay warm.  Thank you.

Friday, February 10, 2017

2 Hour Delay - Friday, February 10, 2017

The Bedford School District will have a two hour delay this morning for students. This will give time for our bus company to dig their buses out of the snow. There will be no AM Kindergarten and no AM Preschool. Stay warm. Drive carefully. Thank you.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Schools Closed - February 9, 2017

Due to the significant snow storm forecast throughout the day, schools will be closed on Thursday February 9, 2017 in the Bedford School District. Stay warm.  Thank you.

2 hour Delay February 8, 2017

There will be a two hour delay for students today and no AM Kindergarten classes. This will give time for the department of public works to clear the roads and our maintenance department to clear access to our schools. There will be no AM Kindergarten and no AM Preschool. Stay warm. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Bedford School District's Deliberative Session Postponed to Tomorrow, February 8, 2017

Due to the weather conditions, the Bedford School District's Deliberative Session, which was schedule for tonight, has been postponed to tomorrow evening. It will be held at 7:00 pm tomorrow night (February 8, 2017) at the Bedford High School Theater. All residents of Bedford are urged to come and participate.

No School for Students - February 7, 2017

There will be no school for students today due to the forecast of snow and freezing rain throughout the morning and afternoon.  Stay warm.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Information- January 30, 2017

Budget information for the Fiscal year 2018 is available by clicking here.

February 07, 2017 Deliberative Session

To All Bedford School District Community Members,

Tuesday, February 7 is an important date for the citizens of Bedford. It is an opportunity to participate directly in the governance of our school system.
At 7:00 pm, all registered voters in Bedford are invited to participate in the Bedford School District Deliberative Session, which is held in the Bedford High School Theater.
At the Deliberative Session, voters decide whether to make any changes to the Bedford School Board's Warrant. The Warrant includes the proposed ​operating budget​ for next year and ​the contracts with professional staff, school support staff, and custodians.​ The Board is recommending a "yes" vote on all of these articles. ​
I look forward to seeing you there. I have provided some background information below and the entire set of budget documents can be found at this link.
Sincerely,
Chip McGee

Proposed Operating Budget​ for Next Year​
The School Board’s direction for the budget was to maintain the district’s high standards but not to add any new programs. The proposed operating budget is $71​.2 million for the 2017-18 school year. This is​ up $2​.2 million (or 3.2%) ​compared to the 2016-17 operating budget. There are three primary reasons.
  1. Health insurance premiums are projected to increase by ​$1.8 million (19.7%).
  2. New Hampshire Retirement System employer contributions are projected to increase by over ​$5​00,000.
  3. Special education services are projected to increase by over $400,000.
The three budget drivers total $2.7 million in increases.
The proposed budget increase of $2.2 million is lower than the total of these three drivers. This is a result of the Board’s efforts to take a frugal approach to the rest of the budget. The School Board reviewed the budget presented by the Superintendent and made some changes. They deferred some capital maintenance plans, cut some of the Superintendent’s proposals, and made changes to staffing and benefits for non-union support and administrative staff. In total, the Board’s actions lowered the Superintendent’s original budget by $1.3 million.​
Even with these actions, the projected tax impact of the School Board’s proposed budget is $1.17 per thousand. This increase is due almost entirely to those three drivers.
In case the proposed budget is voted down, the Board also develops a “default budget.” The default budget is calculated based on the previous year’s budget with certain adjustments. The default budget is $560,408 lower than the proposed budget.

Changing Our Health Insurance Approach For Our Employees
Health insurance is our largest budget driver this year. All three of our employee groups (teachers, paraprofessionals,and custodians) accepted significant changes in their health insurance plans to get to agreement this year. The changes include certain consumer-driven strategies.
  • Reference Pricing: The district will pay a fixed percentage of the consumer-driven plan. If an employee wished to stay on their current plan, it is the employee who has to pay the entire difference in cost between the less expensive plan and their current plan.  
  • Site of Service: The primary plan being offered will direct employees to specific providers that have a track record of high quality and offer lower costs for certain high cost items.
  • Deductibles: The primary plan offered has a deductible, which encourages the employee to think like a consumer.
  • Health Reimbursement Arrangement: For certain lower wage employees, the district has offered an arrangement where the district “self-insures” to share 50% of an employee’s deductible expenditures.
These are significant concessions from the employee groups. In total, this would shift $2.4 million in annual premium costs back onto the employee. This will work if all three agreements can pass.

​​Agreement with Professional Staff
This proposed agreement is with the Bedford Education Association (BEA) which represents teachers and other professional educators. The agreement is for two years.
  • 2017-18 - Net salary (salary minus the employee contribution towards health insurance premiums) would increase by an average of 4.0% (or $2,295).
  • 2018-19 - We do not know the increase in the employee contribution towards health insurance premiums for 2018-19. Salary increases would be $400 plus a step.
  • Employees have agreed to the changes in health insurance explained above.
The projected cost of this Article is $1.2 million for 2017-18. The tax impact in 2017-18 would be $0.36 per thousand.
​​
Agreement with Custodial Staff
This ​proposed agreement is with the Bedford Education Support Staff Association (BESSA) which represents custodians and maintenance staff. The agreement is for three years.
  • 2017-18 - Wages would increase by $1.00 per hour.
  • 2018-19 - Wages would increase by $0.75 per hour.
  • 2019-20 - Wages would increase by $0.65 per hour.
  • Employees have agreed to the changes in health insurance explained above.
The projected impact of this article would be a budget reduction of $8,155 in 2017-18. The projected tax impact in 2017-18 is less than $0.01..

​​Agreement with Support Staff
Th​is proposed agreement is with the Bedford Education Personnel Association (BEPA) which represents paraprofessionals, school secretaries and clerks, and food service workers. This agreement is for three years.
  • 2017-18 - wages would increase $1.00 per hour.
  • 2018-19 - wages would increase $0.75 per hour.
  • 2019-20 - wages would increase $0.65 per hour.
  • Employees have agreed to the changes in health insurance explained above.
The projected impact would be a budget reduction of $368,454 in 2017-18. The projected tax impact in 2017-18 would be a reduction of $0.11 per thousand.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Five Signs - A presentation by John Broderick January 19, 2017

Thanks to BCTV, we have a recording of The Five Major Signs of Emotional Distress with Former Supreme Court Justice John Broderick. Justice Broderick spoke to students, teachers and parents about his own experience with mental illness in his family and the need to change our perceptions of mental illness. The show will start running on both the public (16) and school (23) channels starting on January 27. The show will be available on Video on Demand at www.bedfordtv.com.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

School Cancelled and School Offices Closed January 24, 2017

Bedford Schools and School Offices will be closed today due to ongoing sleet and freezing rain throughout the day. Stay warm. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Two Hour Delay due to snow - January 18, 2017

The Bedford School District will have a two hour delay today for students. This will give time for our bus company to get the snow off of our buses and for our maintenance department to clear access to our schools. There will be no AM Kindergarten and no AM Preschool. Stay warm. Thank you. - Chip McGee, Superintendent of Schools

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Bedford School District Public Hearing Tonight (1/10/17)

Bedford School District will be holding the Public Hearing for the FY18 School District Budget.  The meeting will take place at 7:00 p.m. in the Bedford High School Theater.  Materials for tonights meeting can be accessed here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Five Signs with Justice Broderick January 19, 2017

“I wish I had known the five signs 20 years ago, it could have made a difference in my family’s life; it can make a difference to you now.”  -- Former Chief Justice John Broderick

January 3, 2017

Dear Parents:
Happy New Year! I hope that you and your children were able to enjoy a little downtime during the holidays.  For many, the holidays are a time of joy and laughter. However, we know they can also be a difficult time for some families and friends because personal challenges are larger and more complex than we are prepared to admit or to handle without help.
In that spirit, our schools, along with public schools throughout New Hampshire, are sending home a simple informational card, called The Five Signs. It describes the five major signs of emotional distress, which can be connected to mental health issues.  Whether things in your family’s life are going well or someone is facing challenges, I am hopeful you will read this simple information and that perhaps it leads to a family discussion about the importance of mental health, and the need to communicate when and if there are any signs of problems that rise above what most of us would call a bad day or a tough stretch.
This letter is not intended to make any assumptions about your family’s state of well-being.  It is rather an invitation to shed light on a topic that impacts 20% of the nation’s families, and is frequently not met with necessary treatment that can and will make a tremendous difference to those facing mental health challenges.
Perhaps this information will be useful in your workplace, or among other members of the family, with neighbors and/or friends.  The Five Signs card is part of a statewide awareness campaign sponsored by Change Direction NH.  Co-chair, former NH Supreme Court Justice John Broderick, is touring the state, talking to civic groups, businesses, school leaders, students and families, encouraging them to help him break the stigma of silence around mental health challenges. Judge Broderick’s goal is for people to recognize these signs as quickly as they might recognize signs of a stroke.
John Broderick speaks from experience on this issue, and he has become a high profile leader in raising awareness about mental health.  His personal story is one of both tragedy and triumph, as his own family is dealing with mental health issues.  As his quote above suggests, if he had known about these five signs when his own grown son was much younger, he might have spotted trouble before it grew.  Justice Broderick will be speaking to our Bedford community on the evening of January 19th from 6:00 pm to 8:00 p.m. at the Lurgio Middle School Library. I invite you and all those in our community to attend, to listen to his message, and to join in this effort to recognize that mental illness is a disease. Just like any other disease, it cannot be treated with silence and stigma, but instead with communication and active treatment. [The evening event will be most appropriate for parents. There is a voluntary student event at the high school at 1:30 and a staff event at 3:30 at Peter Woodbury School.]
Talk to your children, invite them to learn the five signs and not to be afraid to speak out if they feel this way inside, or perhaps see these signs in others around them.  We can all take part in helping those who often don’t recognize they need help themselves, but can overcome their challenges with compassion and communication.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office or to email me directly at mcgeec@sau25.net.  My very best wishes to you and your family for a prosperous and healthy 2017.

Sincerely,
Chip McGee