It is winter time already! Mother Nature took a drastic turn as we moved swiftly from a beautiful Fall to below average temperatures to what we would expect in early December.
We have been busy in the Bedford Schools, finding various ways to enhance the opportunities for our students academically, socially, and emotionally. Our elementary students are currently attending the School of Cleveland Ballet in Downtown Bedford for lessons, as well as attending performances at Playhouse Square! We are also in the process of selecting approximately five students to take rowing lessons and become part of a competitive rowing team at the Foundry, located in the Flats. Girls who want to explore rowing in college are in luck, as it is the number one scholarship given to girls! I have chosen to use our discretionary funds provided through the county to provide our students with these opportunities. They attend at no cost and are provided with the proper uniforms, equipment, field trips, etc.
We have also added a mentoring program in partnership with Inspiration for Education, LLC, in which we have high school male upperclassmen mentoring male students at our elementary and intermediate schools. The BHS students attended a training in the summer and continue to meet throughout the year with the adult mentors, who provide guidance for our young men to help them be successful mentors themselves. Along similar lines, we are exploring the possibility of hiring a Linkage Coordinator to oversee a Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative, called “Students of Promise.” This program would provide our at-risk young men and women the opportunity to participate academic tutoring and enrichment, field trips to universities, parent and family engagement, and a summer bridge program. The program is 3-4 years and provides personal mentoring and guidance for our students.
Our service learning projects are going strong! I will be taking members of my Supe’s Troops to the men’s homeless shelter downtown to deliver gifts and help serve food at their annual party. As a district, we have collected donations in order to bring gifts to several families of the Bedford City Schools. We also formed a partnership with PCC Metals Group in Bedford Heights, who provided Christmas gifts to 29 of our students. Additionally, once again thanks to our four community police departments--Bedford, Bedford Heights, Oakwood Village, and Walton Hills-- so many of our students were able to enjoy choosing gifts through the Shop with a Cop program. There were also 25 turkey dinners delivered to various members of our community. An anonymous donor paid for all the dinners, and the boys and girls soccer teams shopped for the food.
Heskett Middle School has some good news to share, as they have added a Pre-Engineering course at the middle school and many students have taken advantage of this great opportunity! The classroom environment is like a smaller version of the Bedford High School MakerSpace, designed to to challenge and engage the natural curiosity and imagination relative to technology, physics, robotics, invention science and coding.
These are just a few highlights of the many wonderful things we have been doing so far in just the first semester of school.
For those of you who attended our community forums on new schools… thank you! We held three sessions to kick off our conversation and enthusiasm for the possibility of building new schools. We had approximately 100 people attend. If you were unable to attend and are interested in viewing the video or PowerPoint that was presented, please please click here. You will also find a form there labeled Community Forum Opinion Poll in which you can provide your feedback/comments. Your opinions matter. Our teachers, staff, and students deserve better facilities. Let’s gain the momentum and plan for tomorrow, together.
While we are receiving criticism for our report card, which yielded less than desirable outcomes for our schools and district, we put together a Bedford Report Card. This report card was designed to demonstrate the success that we have experienced. We must continue to focus on the progress being made. Please click here to view it.