School is out and most children are enjoying their summer vacation, but it's never too early to get an update on plans for the new school year in New Bedford Public Schools.

Superintendent Thomas Anderson joined Townsquare Sunday this week for a preview of the school year that begins in September and some thoughts on education issues in general.

In the aftermath of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, it's likely that officials in every school district in America are looking at ways to improve school safety. According to Supt. Anderson, New Bedford is no different. He said the focus has been on older school buildings.

"We're increasing the layers of protection before people can access the building, like cameras and better phone systems, and walkie-talkies for better communication," Anderson said.

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Beyond equipment, Anderson said New Bedford will engage in active shooter training for teachers and staff. The budget also contains more money for nurses and counselors and teachers, and all will receive training to build strong two-way communication with students and families.

Thanks to increased funding from the state, Anderson said a number of school improvements will be carried out in the next school year, including modernizing the elevator at New Bedford High School, upgrading the library at the high school, and putting the planetarium back on line.

The Pacheco School is also getting an auditorium upgrade, and a new central kitchen is expected to be up and running by September.

Work will also continue with the state to design a new elementary school to replace the Congdon and DeValles schools in the South End.

Anderson also talked about a recently-announced program to add sports at the middle school level.

"It's critical. Kids have a lot of energy at that age," Anderson said. "Now we have a great opportunity. There's a grant from the Play Ball organization that's supporting us, so we're able to bring in more coaches and make it happen."

The complete interview with Superintendent Thomas Anderson can be heard here:

Townsquare Sunday is a weekly public affairs program heard every Sunday morning at 6 and 11 a.m. on 1420 AM and 99.5 FM.

The program focuses on individuals and organizations seeking to make Greater New Bedford a better place to live and work.

If you would like your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please e-mail the host at

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