Thursday, August 24, 2017

StoryWalk® on the SNETT - Aug 25 - 9 AM

"Come read and walk on the local rail trail. Book(s) are suitable for ages 3 and up, but all are welcome! Participants will be entered into a drawing for a free book. 
This is a pop up StoryWalk® that will only be available on Aug 25th between 9-11am. 
There is a parking area near the kiosk on Center Street, the StoryWalk® will be across the street from parking.

The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with Kellogg-Hubbard Library. StoryWalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.
Thank you to the Bellingham Public Library for help with the book selections."

StoryWalk® on the SNETT - Aug 25
StoryWalk® on the SNETT - Aug 25

For updates, follow the Facebook event from the Rail Trail Committee

MassBudget: MA becomes first state with majority college-educated workforce

 Massachusetts Budget and Policy CenterDemocracy.

MA becomes first state with majority college educated workforce

Massachusetts has added another chapter to its history as the nation's leader in education, becoming the first state ever with 50 percent of its workforce holding a bachelor's degree, according to MassBudget's new report, "Education and State Economic Strength: A Snapshot of Current Data." The study highlights the ever-strengthening link between educational attainment and strong state economies.
Massachusetts and New Jersey have the two best-educated workforces and the two highest median wage levels in the United States. Nationwide, 35.5 percent of the labor force holds a college degree, compared to 50.2 percent in Massachusetts. The U.S. median wage in 2016 was $17.80; in Massachusetts it was $21.22.

MassBudget: MA becomes first state with majority college-educated workforce
The report also finds a strong connection between educational attainment and earnings within Massachusetts. Among the state's 25 largest cities and towns, those with the highest rates of college-degree attainment have the highest household incomes while those with the lowest prevalence of college degrees have the lowest household incomes. Expanding educational opportunity can help a lot of young people and strengthen our economy, but it won't by itself ensure that economic growth leads to rising wages for working people.
The report's findings demonstrate that since 1979, inflation-adjusted wage growth overall has been flat or weak for most Massachusetts workers, including those with a college education. But over nearly four decades there has been growth in the "college wage premium" - the additional amount earned by workers with a college degree compared to those who have not attended college. By 2016, the median wage for Massachusetts workers with a college degree was twice that of workers with no more than a high school diploma.
The link to the MassBudget report is here

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
Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 15 Court Square, Suite 700, Boston, MA 02108

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New Franklin Rotary President - Scott Martin

New Franklin Rotary President Scott Martin (center) was inducted by fellow Rotarian Dan Gentile (left). Mr Martin's sons attended to share their dad's experience. Scott is the Executive Director for the Hockomock YMCA in Franklin.

(l - r) Dan Gentile, Scott Martin and sons
(l - r) Dan Gentile, Scott Martin and sons (Rotary photo)
Rotary is an international service organization of over one million members, dedicated to building friendship and improving the lives of people locally and worldwide. One of Rotary's most noted programs is Polio Plus, which has virtually eliminated polio from the earth through a massive vaccination program that only an organization as big as Rotary International could undertake successfully.

Franklin Rotary membership is open to anyone who works or resides in the towns of Franklin, Wrentham, and Medway. The club meets Thursday nights at 6 PM at 3's Restaurant in Franklin and guests or potential members are always welcome.

For more about the Franklin Rotary, visit them on the web

Jane's Frames: Music and Art on Thursday's in August

You're invited!
Join us for Music with Kai Olsson
Art Demo with Jane 
Select Thursday's in August
 8/24 and 8/30
from 5:30-7:30
Guest artists, appetizers and more! 
Plus, we'll be offering specials on all Art in stock
Don't miss the fun and festivities. 
Jane's Frames, 11 E. Central Street, 508-528-3256,
Zentangle spoken here
Jane's Frames | 11 East Central Street, Franklin, MA 02038

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In the News: Story walk, Exelon money

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"There’s a new way for kids and families to read stories together that involves actually walking from one page to the next rather than snuggling in among comfy pillows and turning them by hand or swiping fingers across the display of an electronic reader. 
It’s all about being outdoors together, taking in nature and literature at the same time, and the Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee (FBRTC) is introducing the concept -- known as StoryWalks -- at the section of the Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT) in Bellingham. 
The committee on Friday is hosting a pop-up StoryWalk, weather permitting, from 9-11 a.m. Parking for that section of the rail trail is across the way from the trailhead, on Center Street near Fox Run Road, in Bellingham. 
As a pop-up StoryWalk, the walking story will be available just for the day."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"The town (Medway) will consider how best to spend the about $3.8 million brought in as a result of the Exelon power plant expansion. 
The topic arose at the Monday night selectmen’s meeting, with Town Administrator Michael Boynton saying construction on the project - a 200-megawatt expansion - has begun. He suggested a September session to consider options for the money - an increase to the plant’s payment in lieu of taxes to Medway. 
“There’s $3.8 million - there might be 3.8 million ideas for what to do with it,” he said. 
Boynton said among the options are providing tax relief to residents, or getting ahead of needed roadwork projects. He recommended that the town avoid using the money to fund new positions since there would not be similar increases in future years."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

#shopFranklin Family Movie Night on the Town Common - Aug 26

The 2nd annual #shopFranklin Family Movie Night on the Town Common, Saturday, August 26th. With a rain date: Sunday August 27.

The sequel to the movie show last year is queued for viewing this time!

#shopFranklin Family Movie Night on the Town Common - Aug 26
#shopFranklin Family Movie Night on the Town Common - Aug 26

"fight the epidemic at every level and save more lives"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"The number of opioid-related deaths in Massachusetts has increased each year since 2010, but new figures from the first half of this year offer some signs of motion in the opposite direction. 
Fifty-three fewer people died of opioid overdoses in the first six months of 2017 than over the same time period last year, according to state data released Tuesday. 
The latest quarterly report on opioid-related deaths in Massachusetts tracked 978 confirmed and estimated opioid deaths from January through June, a 5 percent decrease from the 1,031 in the first half of 2016. 
A year ago, the Department of Public Health reported that the opioid death rate was higher for the first six months of 2016 than in the first half of the previous year."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Deaths made be trending down but the problem itself is not resolved yet. The work of the SAFE Coalition (and others) is still quite important. The decline in deaths may be due to the increased availability and awareness of NARCAN which was coordinated by the SAFE Coalition in Franklin.

For more about the SAFE Coalition and what they are doing to help the substance abuse problem we have visit their webpage

GATRA Update: Suspension of service on Franklin Line begins Friday, Aug 25

The MBTA published two alerts on Tuesday that contradict each other. I think they mean to say due to a weekend event at Gillette, the GATRA bus service will stop on Friday and resume on Monday.

You can find the full text of the two alerts on the MBTA webpage here

Franklin Area Bus
Franklin Area Bus

What is GATRA? The Franklin Area Bus

Crackerbarrel Classic 5K Road Race - Sep 16

Hello to all past participants in the Crackerbarrel Classic 5K Road Race at Wrentham Developmental Center. 

Your support was greatly appreciated! I hope to see you again for the 37th Annual Crackerbarrel Classic Race on September 16, 2017. 

You can preregister on line through 

Thanks in advance, 
Rich Katno, Race Director

37th Annual Crackerbarrel Classic - Sep 16
37th Annual Crackerbarrel Classic - Sep 16

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Live reporting: Information matters to closing, Executive Session

5. Information Matters
Superintendent’s Report
leadership retreat held last week over 3 days
core values discussed
theme for work all year as team and district wide culture is built
unified approach for welcoming the families and students to a respectful learning environment
district improvement plan also discussed will be worked on individually within the buildings during he year

50 new educators welcomed today for orientation
laptops, bus tour of Franklin to visit all schools and highlights
meet in buildings on Thursday

C - approx 10% of staff replaced

School Committee Sub-Committee Reports
a. Policy Sub Committee – Ms. Scofield
meeting Aug 30, 7:00 PM, 3rd floor training room
policy topics

Community relations, coffee schedule coming together
one of the booths at the Farmers Market in Sep
also a booth at the Harvest Festival, Sat Oct 14
newsletter goes out after the schools open

budget subcommittee, workshop of sorts as budget remains a priority
open to the public

School Committee Liaison Reports

6. New Business
To discuss future business that may be brought before the School Committee.
o Public Schools Advocacy Sub Committee
share legislative updates, foundation budget, increase opportunities for increased resources

o Ad Hoc Superintendent Evaluation Sub Committee

7. Motion to Adjourn to Executive Session and not return to Open Session – (Roll Call Vote) Dr. O’Malley

8. Executive Session
a. Strategy with respect to potential litigation
7-0 via roll call

This was shared from the School Committee webpage

Live reporting: Action items

4. Action Items
a. I recommend adoption of the ECDC Student/Parent Handbook as presented.
b. I recommend adoption of the Davis Thayer Student/Parent Handbook as presented.
c. I recommend adoption of the Jefferson Student/Parent Handbook as presented.
d. I recommend adoption of the Kennedy Student/Parent Handbook as presented.
e. I recommend adoption of the Keller Student/Parent Handbook as presented.
f. I recommend adoption of the Oak Street Student/Parent Handbook as presented.
g. I recommend adoption of the Parmenter Student/Parent Handbook as presented.
h. I recommend adoption of the Horace Mann Student/Parent Handbook as presented.
i. I recommend adoption of the Remington Student/Parent Handbook as presented.
j. I recommend adoption of the Annie Sullivan Student/Parent Handbook as presented.
k. I recommend adoption of the Franklin HighStudent/Parent Handbook as presented.
l. I recommend acceptance of two checks totaling $1012.89 from the Davis Thayer PCC for supplemental supplies as detailed.
m. I recommend approval of Unified Basketball proposal as discussed.
n. I recommend acceptance of a check for $500.00 from the Oak Street 5th Grade Class for in-house enrichment.
o. I recommend approval of the 2017-2018 District Improvement Plan as discussed.
p. I recommend moving policy BEDB – Order of Business to a second reading.

Sara read the listing of approval requests
no questions were raised, motion made to accept all items, seconded, passed 7-0

Live reporting: Discussion Only Items

3. Discussion Only Items

  • Unified Basketball Proposal
  • Superintendent’s Entry Plan
  • District Improvement Plan 2017-2018

Unified Basketball

Sep to Nov, twice a week practice, share space with volleyball
registration through Family ID process
proposed expenses for transportation for 3 games, coaching fee, team jerseys
graduated fees, include volunteers for clock keepers, officials, etc.
an action item for approval later in the program

participant fees would cover some of the costs, other expenses would come from the athletic budget

(proposal doc to be added later)

Entry Plan

Superintendent Sara Ahern's Entry Plan

listen to stake holders
review of key documents and data
observations of schools and classrooms

looking to expand circle even wider with schools opening
looking to shadow students at each school

document outline; communications, cultural and human resources
process has begun, as it unfolds, I'll share tentative findings periodically as we go along

C - I think it is a wonderful document, I like to see the feedback mentioned
perhaps in your doc review you might see some gaps with your fresh lens

C - this is exptensive

This will be shared on the website for parents and other stakeholders will be prepared 

Revised - District Improvement Plan

Revised - District Improvement Plan

website update part of the plan added to this version

Policy Update

Proposed agenda

Current agenda

how to engage the high school students for feedback
discussion on presentations and format
better coordination of content and who speaks when on the agenda items
policies for two readings don't change; only some items would have the discussion and action aligned together

this could be voted on this time, move to second, and approved next meeting
would then be effective for the 2nd meeting in Sep (assuming approval)

I stepped in to make a citizens comment and suggestions around sharing of info before hand to enable better communication and conversation during the meeting

Live reporting: School Committee - Aug 22, 2017

Present: Bilello, Scofield, Douglas, Bergen, O'Malley, Schultz, Jewell
Absent: none

1. Routine Business
Citizen’s Comments

Review of Agenda
nothing to change

Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the August 8, 2017 School Committee Meeting.
motion to approve, seconded, passed 7-0

Payment of Bills - Dr. O’Malley
Payroll -  Mrs. Douglas
Register of Deeds announcement of Informational Seminar on Land Record Research

2. Guests/Presentations
a. New Superintendent Induction Program – Dr. Irwin Blumer, Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents
coach for Sara in the new program, previously Superintendent at Concord/Carlisle and Newton Public Schools
program has worked for last 8 years, over 175 superintendents total covered
very lucky to have her, 'biased' opinion
thinking from 'managers' to 'system organizers'

3 year program, 8 content days, 2 attended, 6 more
6 hours of coaching each month

2nd year, 4 days, 4 hours of coaching
3rd year, 3 days, coaching in group

objectives defined over a three year period
entry plan (tonight)
3 components: talking, reading, seeing (being in school)
report on progress, final report in Dec/Jan to SC
not to be confused with strategic objectives

at end of this year to provide the 3-5 year plan to improve instruction for all children in Franklin 

C - O'Malley - previously was thrown to the water and allowed to sink or swim, it is appreciated

Q - Bilello - given how educated candidates are and the positions maybe needing to create culture
A - answer is to look at the culture, how to allow the folks within the building to do what they need to do; making sure it is in synch across the stakeholders; the social media piece has added another dimension to the position

A - my role is to work with Sara, Dorothy Presser-School Committee association has met with you; Sara needs to do the team building, how do we measure success; it is an integral part of the program

b. New Hires – 2017-2018 / Introduce new Administrators
Kim Booth, interim at JEfferson
Christopher Naylor, Director of Lifelong Learning
Matthew Terril (?), Asst Principle Parmenter
Linda Ashley at Kennedy
Shannon Barca, Parmenter

listing of new hires across the district
names, positions, backgrounds, some added today

c. Student/Parent Handbooks

changes and updates
Peter, district level
elementary, middle, high school

3 sections
sec 1 district wide, sec 2 level specific, sec 3 - school specific

all of the changes have come before you as they are your ploicies
dress code, homework, substance abuse policies were adopted and this is their first appearance in the handbooks

Eric Stark - elementary - sec 2
homework policy meant to provide meaningful work with recognition of students backgrounds, removal of the number of minutes

Beth Witcoff - middle school - sec 2
Google classroom has helped the middle level in improving the homework experience tremendously

Q - are teachers working to stagger the reports and tests out over a period
A - one of the common planning items is to cover the schedule of assessments, I can speak confidently, teachers are always looking not to create conflicts

Paul Peri - high school - sec 2
157 pages for FHS alone
attendance records, looking for interventions early on, the 1% drive the #s as mentioned before
discipline adds e-cigarettes and paraphernalia, some of the handbooks was missing for sections, now complete
ban on phone usage being interuped by parents texting students
enrollment at 1787, may be over 1800 as school year begins
352 spots for parking, 351 seniors signed up, hence none for juniors on the high school grounds; parking at the rink is an extension of the high school so the students there are under the handbook rules as well

Freshman banquet and sophomore banquet, will be made for the class only avoids some of the substance abuse issues previously as well as feedback from the seniors on spending more time together as a class

recommendation to read the handbook

Q - on parent notification for middle school, possible wording issues to be research
A - related to legal language

C- thanks for inclusion of the new policies
Q - school committee members are not listed alphabetically

C - thanks for improvements to the process and amount of details
format in Google is so nice to see the sections, can that be done so parents can read it as well

restrictions on web and translations, maybe also provide a link to the 'other version'
Peter thanks to the principals for all the work done on the language and the format
it is something they do well, it is a great starting pointing, attention to detail

d. Summer Professional Development recap / September 1 Professional Development Preview

Summer 2017 Professional Development

2 high school teachers presented to the Boston Learning Centers (BLC) conference in Boston this summer
session on mystery skype use in classroom
other attendance in professional development camps run by participants (ed camp model, or 'open space')

Peter, Sara, and Joyce attended a conference that provided great sessions and networking opportunities

mentors in the District working with others
Google training, presentation at conf in FL this summer
1 teacher on standard setting and MCAS development of questions

all in, above and beyond the normal reimbursement of professional training

C - possible to bring some of the presentors to a future meeting

C - presenting requires learning at a higher level, they should be commended for putting that together

Professional Development - Sep 1

extensive 7 page plan for the Friday before
Jessica Minehan, a specialist on Social Emotional Learning for half day
second half devoted to curriculum development
adoption of the science standard

special education working together
at high school, working by department
nurses working together on best practices with Police Dept

most either team based or curriculum based
lot of logistics to bring it all together

the work done this summer gives confidence that the district will be ready for the opening