Saturday, April 30, 2016

Changes to curriculum, state funding, and the school calendar the consistent thread

The School Committee recognized the FHS boys hockey team as the State Division 1 Champions with plaques on Tuesday. 2 of the 4 team captains helped present the full team to the School Committee assisted by Coach Spillane. The 2 captains missing also participate in a spring sport and were unable to attend.

2 of the 4 team captains helped present the full team to the School Committee assisted by Coach Spillane
2 of the 4 team captains helped present the full team to the School Committee assisted by Coach Spillane

Digital learning and the changes to the science curriculum were key presentations to the School Committee. Additional details and a combination of screen shots from one presentation and a copy of the other presentation are contained in the live reported notes linked below.

A resolution to address state funding of Chapter 70 was also presented and passed by a 6-1 vote. Committee member Vanessa Bilello presented an articulate and thoughtful summary of the reasons for the resolution. The lone vote against was cast by Committee member John Jewel who wanted the increase in funds but objected to wording that seemed to have strings attached restricting on how the fund could be used. 

Two proposal for changes to the school year calendar were also discussed. While one of the calendars proposed was reported out by the subcommittee to contain 'no changes', it does make at least one change that would need to be negotiated with the teachers union. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is shown on the proposals as full days. They were typically half days until about 2007 when they became a no school day in recognition of the attendance patterns for both students and faculty.

The School Dept will bring the proposals to the teachers union for further review and discussion before the next School Committee meeting. The Committee plans to approve a calendar for the 2017-2018 school year at the May 10 meeting. If the desired changes are approved, they want to provide parents and the community enough time to plan for them.

Option 1

Option 2

representatives of the Digital Learning Committee at the School Committee meeting

Additional photos and notes from the meeting can be found here:

Student produced video on Autism Awareness

Demi Seremetis writes: 
"This is a video that me and my friend Lauren Ballinger made for our local police department. It shows the importance of autism awareness because most people in our community do not know what the disorder entails. We hope that in watching this you will learn and realise more about autism."

The video is shared on YouTube and by the Franklin Police Dept as part of their campaign on autism awareness

MassBudget: The House Budget explained

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.
We've made it easy to zoom into Wednesday's House budget proposal, and compare it to current funding and earlier proposals from the Governor and House Ways and Means Committee. The new House Budget Monitor for Fiscal Year 2017 enables you to quickly check the major programs you're most concerned about.

The House Budget changes the overall budget picture very little, but proposes a few significant changes for the next budget year. After three days of debate to consider 1307 amendments, the House changed the bottom line of the budget proposed by the House Ways and Means Committee by less than one fifth of one percent. Overall, the House added about $90 million in new spending, partially offset by $31 million in reduced spending as a result of reduced enrollment forecast at the state's Group Insurance Commission.

While many of the House changes were small earmarks for specific local projects, a number of the additions aim to address broader challenges. These include an additional $5 million to more adequately pay early childhood educators. Several of the larger increases approved by the House would actually just restore - or partially restore - funding that the Ways and Means Committee had proposed cutting. For example, the House adopted amendments that would add:
  • $7 million to provide employment and training for low-income parents receiving transitional assistance to help them enter the workforce successfully. The proposal still falls $1 million below current funding levels.
  • $1 million to the Shannon Grant program for anti-gang and youth violence prevention efforts. Including this increase, the House Budget proposal remains $1 million below the current funding level.
  • $7 million for the Office of Travel and Tourism, leaving total spending more than $2 million below the current funding level.
This Budget Monitor describes the amendments adopted in each major section of the state budget and offers comparisons to current and historic funding levels and the Governor's proposals for this year. To read it, click (here) or jump directly to a particular section below:

Overview page 1
Child Welfare page 10
Disability Services page 11
Early Education and Care page 1
Economic Development page 13
Elder Services page 11
Environment and Recreation page 5
General Local Aid page 15
K-12 Education page 2
Higher Education page 3
Housing page 9
Juvenile Justice page 12
Law and Public Safety page 16
MassHealth (Medicaid) and Health Reform page 6
Mental Health page 7
Other Human Services page 13
Other Local Aid page 15
Pensions page 18
Public Health page 7
State Employee Health Insurance page 8
Transitional Assistance page 12
Transportation page 15
Revenue page 19

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

BOSTON, MA 02108

Sent by in collaboration with
Constant Contact

Local food and craft fair at An Unlikely Story Bookstore - May 1 - 10am to 2pm

There will be a lovely, local food and craft fair at An Unlikely Story bookstore this Sunday, from 10am to 2pm. 
It is comprised entirely of local farmers and artisans, including a handful from right here in Franklin. 
It will be a great spot to shop for unique, one-of-a-kind gifts for Mother's day, to meet local artists, and to shop for the upcoming gardening season.

More info on the bookstore can be found on their webpage

flyer for An Unlikely Story local food and craft fair May 1
flyer for An Unlikely Story local food and craft fair May 1

Franklin Democratic Town Committee Holds First Meeting After Electing New Officers

On Monday, May 25th at The Alumni Restaurant in Franklin, the Franklin Democratic Town Committee held its monthly meeting. Massachusetts State Senator Jamie Eldridge was their guest speaker. Senator Eldridge addressed the commuting problems with communities in the Metro West area, the MBTA, and public transportation in general in Massachusetts. Expanding public transportation for Massachusetts residents, at a critical time of a booming Massachusetts economy, and growing populations is something the senator finds critical to the continued prosperity for all Metro West communities.

Following Senator Eldridge, newly elected Chair John May highlighted some ideas on growing the committee's membership and supporting teamwork. After collaborating with his fellow officers and a general discussion of all members present, the committee decided to move its monthly meetings to the Function Room at Alumni Restaurant. "Alumni provides a welcoming atmosphere, good food, and has the capacity to allow our committee to grow" said May. May also thanked the leadership of outgoing Chair Denise Schultz saying "We all owe you a great deal of gratitude for the work you have done in the past four years."

The committee also deliberated on the winner of the Carol Pizzi Memorial Scholarship, the results of which will be announced at The Franklin High School Scholarship Award Ceremony next month.

The Franklin Democratic Town committee will hold its next meeting on Monday, May 16th, at the Alumni, guest speaker to be announced. Meetings are typically held the 3rd Monday of every Month.

Left to Right: Max Morrongiello - Affirmative Action and Outreach Advisor  , John May - Chair,  Christine Manns - Vice Chair,  Henry Maddox - Treasurer,  Rob Vacca - Secretary
Left to Right: Max Morrongiello - Affirmative Action and Outreach Advisor  , John May - Chair,
Christine Manns - Vice Chair, Henry Maddox - Treasurer, Rob Vacca - Secretary

In the News: Dean commencement, Garden Club, Fitness fund raising

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin
"Franklin resident Allison Clarke will speak on behalf of the School of Continuing Studies students at Dean College’s 150th commencement ceremony at 11 a.m. May 14 at Dean College, 99 Main St. Clarke is a business major who will receive her associate degree at Dean College. She has appeared on the dean’s list and will graduate magna cum laude. 
“I am grateful for Dean’s School of Continuing Studies,” said Clarke. “Without this program, I would not have been able to achieve getting a degree. Going back to school showed me that I can juggle working two to three jobs, a family and school effectively. Dean has extraordinary professors who made a huge impact on me through their personal stories and lessons. I am very lucky to have had the best professors throughout my college journey.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Pat Morse, who operated Wadsworth Farm in Franklin for 26 years, will provide tips for successful vegetable and flower gardening 7-9 p.m. May 3 at the Franklin Senior Center, 26 Daniel McCahill St. 
Morse will speak during the Franklin Garden Club’s meeting. Morse’s sister, Sue Hehn, a lifelong gardener and partner operating the Wadsworth Farm greenhouses, will join her in offering suggestions for growing bountiful vegetable and beautiful flower gardens, including timing of planting, fertilizing and dealing with gardening challenges."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Lauren Tweed, of Franklin, will participate in a day of fitness at the inaugural Jimmy Fund Fit Fest on May 14 at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade at 47 David G. Mugar Way, Boston. She will learn from trainers while raising funds for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund. 
The event will feature fitness classes including:—CrossFit with Austin Malleolo at 8:30 a.m.—Bootcamp with Derek Durkin at 9:15 a.m.—Combat with Tyler King at 10 a.m.—Sh’Bam with Carmen Rojas at 10:45 a.m.—Reebok Spartan with Cara Bednar at 12:15 p.m.—Yoga with Elizabeth Ekborg King at 1 p.m.

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA Area: FRI 4/29/16 - THU 5/5/16

FRIDAY 4/29/16
7pm   Art Exhibit by Jay Gluck at Franklin Art Center
9pm   Comedy Night at “3” - Dan Crohn

SATURDAY 4/30/16
9am-12pm   Earth Day in Franklin - Help Clean Up Your Town, meet at Beaver Pond at 9am
10:30am-12pm   Trail Walk and Clean Up at Charles River Meadowlands in Franklin, meet in the wooded area next to KinderCare (42 Pond Street)
12-8pm   Spring Art Show by Franklin Art Association at The Black Box
2pm   FSPA’s Summer Theatre Auditions (38 Main Street)
4pm   Sleeping Beauty presented by Illuminate Children's Theatre at 282 Summer Street
4-6pm   Bowl Away Cancer - Relay for Life Fundraiser at Ryan Family Amusements in Millis
7:30 - 8:30pm  Clafin Hill Symphony Orchestra "American Dreamscapes” featuring Vocalist Tommy Gatturna, Milford Town Hall

SUNDAY 5/1/16
12-3pm   Spring Art Show by Franklin Art Association at The Black Box
10am-1pm   Camp Open House at the Franklin YMCA
1-4pm  Horace Mann Birthday Party at the Franklin Historical Museum

MONDAY 5/2/16
9am   Franklin Public Library re-opens in a new temporary location at 25 Kenwood Drive
6pm   Autism Eats at Restaurant 45 in Medway

TUESDAY 5/3/16
1:30-3pm   Knitting Circle for Adults at Franklin Public Library (25 Kenwood Circle)

7:30pm   Let’s Laugh Today - Laughter Yoga at the FUSF

6:30-9pm   Paint your own vase at Franklin Art Center. Register at Lifelong Learning.

For all the Town of Franklin Public Meetings click HERE.

For event details click HERE.

*If you have any suggestions or events for the calendar, please email

The Top Ten Reasons to Attend the 2016 Mass Poetry Festival!

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The Top Ten Reasons to Attend the
2016 Mass Poetry Festival!
View the schedule here.

10. Prose Poets vs. Dadaists bake-off.

9. Find poems as hard as granite, as soft as forgiveness.

8. Commit Random Acts of Poetry at the PEM!

7. It's the best place to dote on Marie Howe and wonder how Mark Doty does it.

6. Have the submission process de-mystified—won't that be nice?

5. Slams—where poetry collides with performance and no one's got insurance.

4. The Atlantic's got nothing on Ocean Vuong!

3. Didn't that guy, right over there, win a Pulitzer Prize?

2. It costs hardly a cento.
And the #1 reason to attend the 2016 Mass Poetry Festival …

National Poetry Month may be ending, but we're just getting started!

See you in Salem!
If you love the work we do to support poets and spread the love and power of poetry to students, T riders, and more, please consider supporting us with a recurring monthly donation of $10.
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Downtown Project Update #27 - April 28, 2016

The curb and sidewalk installations will continue for the next two weeks on Main Street and in the center of town. 

Please be aware of any detours. 

We thank all residents and visitors for their patience.

pile of curbing to be used along Main St
pile of curbing to be used along Main St

FHS girls lacrosse, boys and girls tennis posts wins on Thursday

Results courtesy of Hockomock Sports


  • Franklin, 3 @ King Philip, 6 – Final 

– King Philip scored four runs in the third and added two more in the fifth to pick up a win over the Panthers. Jon Rolfe scattered seven hits but didn’t issue a single walk and struck out win in a complete game effort to get the win. Ryan Guenette had two successful suicide squeezes and Jack DiCenso added a pair of hits for the Warriors, who didn’t make any errors on defense.


  • Franklin, 4 @ King Philip, 12 – Final 

– Franklin held a 2-0 lead but King Philip rallied for five runs in the fourth inning and never looked back. Hailey McCasland led KP with four hits, Kali Magane had three hits and Christa Wagner had a pair of hits. Brooke Taute added a home run for the Warriors.

Girls Lacrosse

  • Franklin, 15 @ King Philip, 8 – Final 

– Franklin’s Julia Jette and Kenzie Pleshaw each scored three goals and had an assist to lead the Panthers. Head coach Kristin Igoe praised the defensive play of Sam Jones, who had three draws and four ground balls.

Boys Tennis

  • Franklin, 4 @ King Philip, 1 – Final 

– All three singles matches went to three sets and open doubles needed a tiebreaker in what was a terrific match between Franklin and King Philip. Junior Rahul Herur was able to pull out a marathon win at first singles, prevailing 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (10-8) while classmate Eli Brooks won 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 at second singles. Tom Mancini and James Johnston were solid for Franklin at first doubles with a 6-1, 6-1 win while Cam Piana and Jeremy Gan won 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) at second doubles. King Philip freshman Blake Ginter emerged with a 4-6, 6-0, 7-5 win at third singles for the Warriors.

  • King Philip, 2 @ Franklin, 3 – Final

For all the results around the Hockomock League on Thursday

FHS Panthers
FHS Panthers

Circle of Friends Coffeehouse: DALA with The Young Novelists May 7

Next show is May 7th featuring DALA with The Young Novelists
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DALA with The Young Novelists
May 7th 8PM $20
Canadian duo DALA returns to the Circle of Friends Coffeehouse on Saturday, May 7th at 8PM. Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine of DALA have come a long way in a short time. The two best friends, who met in their high school music class and wrote their first song together in 2002, have since become darlings of the Canadian music scene and are now poised to bring their fresh brand of acoustic pop music to the world. DALA has become one of the hottest selling acts in the folk-pop world, selling out concerts wherever they are booked. They won the coveted Canadian Folk Music Award for "Best Vocal Group", were nominated for a Juno, Canada's Grammy, and they were featured in a PBS special "Girls from the North Country".

According to Exclaim they are "…the angels of folk music. Ethereal, eloquent and downright beautiful, the music they create is faultlessly performed." Drawing upon influences like The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Bob Dylan, Dala write songs that are both catchy and insightful. Amanda's ethereal soprano voice blends seamlessly with Sheila's velvety alto, creating the lush harmonies that have become their trademark. The sheer joy with which they perform is infectious, turning first-time listeners into instant fans.
Toronto based roots duo The Young Novelists have had a busy year. Husband and wife duo Graydon James and Laura Spink are known for their beautiful harmonies and songs culled from their small-town roots. They won the 2015 Grassy Hill Songwriting Competition at the Connecticut Folk Festival and the band recently returned from Edmonton where they won the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Award for New/Emerging Artist of the Year.
The Circle of Friends Coffeehouse is a non-profit organization affiliated with Franklin's First Universalist Society. Concerts are presented in a smoke free and alcohol free environment at the Society's handicapped accessible Meetinghouse, 262 Chestnut St. in Franklin, and begin at 8:00 PM; doors open at 7:30 PM. Beverages and gourmet desserts will be available. Admission is $20. Please call (508)528-2541 or visit to purchase tickets or for more information. 
Upcoming Shows
May 14     Jim Kweskin and Samoa Wilson

Sep 10      Garnet Rogers with Shawna Caspi
Sep 24      An Evening with Tom Rush
Oct 15      Jim Henry and Abbie Gardner (Red Molly)

Circle of Friends Coffeehouse · First Universalist Society · 262 Chestnut St · Franklin, MA 02038 · USA

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