Sunday, May 24, 2020

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - May 26, 2020

Vision Statement
The Franklin Public Schools will foster within its students the knowledge and skills to find and achieve satisfaction in life as productive global citizens.

Per Governor Baker’s Executive Order suspending certain provisions of the Open Meeting Law, G.L. c. 30A sec. 20, the public will not be allowed to physically access this School Committee meeting. Members of the Public can access the meeting via remote conference. The School Committee reserves the right to implement additional remote participation procedures and will notify the public of these procedures as soon as practicable.

LOCATION: Remote participation via ZOOM Join Zoom Meeting 
Dial by your location +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)  Meeting ID: 813 5749 4092

“The listing of matters are those reasonably anticipated by the Chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law.”

I. Routine Business
A. Review of Agenda
B. Citizen’s Comments
In the spirit of open communication, “the Committee will hold a public participation segment (also called Citizen’s Comments) about matters not related to an agenda item at the beginning of each regular School Committee meeting. The Committee will listen to, but not respond to any comment made…. A Committee member may add an agenda item to a future meeting as a result of a citizen comment…. The Committee will hear public comments related to an agenda item when the Chair deems appropriate during the Committee meeting. Topics for discussion during the meeting must be limited to those items listed on the Committee meeting agenda for that evening…. ” - from Policy BEDH
C. FHS Student Representative Comments
D. Superintendent’s Report

II. Guests/Presentations
A. Retiree Recognition
B. Introduce Mr. Josh Hanna, FHS Principal as of July 1, 2020

III. Discussion/Action Items
A. Policy – 2nd Readings/Adoption
I recommend adoption of the following policies as detailed: EBAB (New) - Pest Management
EBC - Emergency Plans
B. Policy – 1st Reading
I recommend moving Policy ECAF – Security Cameras in Schools to a second reading as detailed.
C. Policy Elimination
I recommend elimination of policy JLDBB – Crisis Intervention Plan as detailed.

IV. Discussion Only Items
A. Closure Update
B. FY 21 Budget Discussion

V. Information Matters
A. School Committee Sub-Committee Reports (e.g. Ad Hoc Supt. Evaluation, Ad Hoc Facilities Analysis, Budget, Community Relations/Public Schools Advocacy, Policy, Transportation)
B. School Committee Liaison Reports (e.g. Joint PCC, Substance Abuse Task Force, School Wellness Advisory Council)

VI. New Business
A. To discuss any future agenda items

VII. Consent Agenda
A. Approval of Minutes
I recommend approval of the minutes from the May 12, 2020 School Committee meeting as detailed.

VIII. Payment of Bills Dr. Bergen

IX. Payroll Ms. D’Angelo

X. Adjournment

Agenda document

Meeting packet folder

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - May 26, 2020
Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - May 26, 2020

Graduation! It’s a Happening Thing

by Pete Fasciano, Executive Director 05/24/2020

"There are some things that just can’t not happen. High School Graduation is one of them. It’s an undeniable rite of passage, and our FHS Panthers will not be denied. Normally, we celebrate this milestone in the FHS gym for a few hours. This year’s graduation will happen in like manner, but it will take place over several days.

We are working with school officials to record each and every student’s moment. One-by-one, with safe social distancing, each student will walk the stage as per usual to receive his/her diploma. Each student, accompanied by his/her family, will experience that well-deserved, special moment of accomplishment. Their families deserve this celebratory moment of achievement as well.

This will take several days to record each student safely and edit all of their moments into the graduation program, scheduled to air on Friday June 5th at 7PM, and repeated several times thereafter.

Our 2020 Graduation may be happening in slow motion, but we hope and trust that all good things that spring from dedication and accomplishment will come to each and every student – not just in the fullness of time, but in the fullness of youth.

Even when we must be separately prerecorded, community television can bring us all together.

And – as always –
Thank you for listening to wfpr●fm. And, thank you for watching

Note: There is also a planned car parade for graduating students and families. We are in the midst of planning our coverage of this unique and fun event. As they say – stay tuned.

This event might become one memorable example of a new tradition – a new way that we can all celebrate the good moments in new ways, not just this year, but every year. I’m good with that.

Our heartiest congrats to all of our 2020 Panthers on Parade. Panthers rule!"

For the complete Franklin.TV and WFPR.FM radio schedule check out the program guide

Additional updates will be posted to the FHS graduation page as they become available
Graduation! It’s a Happening Thing
Graduation! It’s a Happening Thing

"there are so many details that go into planning an election"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Legislation outlining vote-by-mail procedures for the September and November elections in Massachusetts “absolutely cannot wait another month,” electoral reform advocates said Wednesday as they renewed their push for action on Beacon Hill.

Under normal circumstances, local departments need several months to prepare fully for major statewide elections, particularly in a presidential year. But with the COVID-19 pandemic upending most aspects of public life - and with voters broadly supporting mail-in ballots - reform advocates argued it is critical for lawmakers to quickly find consensus on the myriad proposals before them.

The Sept. 1 primary is less than 100 days away, and Secretary of State William Galvin wants to begin printing ballots as soon as June 2.

“Election officials need to prepare for the fall, and they need to do it as soon as possible,” said Common Cause Massachusetts Executive Director Pam Wilmot during a virtual press conference alongside about a dozen groups. “We’ll see what the Legislature decides, but time is absolutely of the essence and it needs to go now.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"there are so many details that go into planning an election"
"there are so many details that go into planning an election"

"Sports Buzz" :Jay Horrigan and Kevin Papa talk with Mike Masto (video)

Jay Horrigan and Kevin Papa talk with Mike Masto in this episode of "Sports Buzz"
"Here is an interview we were able to do today with Natick HS head basketball coach and Franklin HS Health and Wellness teacher Mike Masto. We hope you enjoy it."
Video link =

Mike v2 from Jay Horrigan on Vimeo.

Shared from Twitter

Franklin TV - Memorial Day 2020 - Program Schedule

The schedule for the broadcast of the Memorial Day 2020 program is as follows:
  • Monday, 11:00 AM
  • Wednesday, 03:30 PM
  • Thursday, 08:00 AM
  • Saturday, 08:00 AM 
For the complete Franklin.TV and WFPR.FM radio schedule check out the program guide

Franklin TV - Memorial Day 2020 - Program Schedule
Franklin TV - Memorial Day 2020 - Program Schedule

Senator Spilka: Memorial Day Message

Happy Memorial Day

As this holiday weekend approaches, I am more grateful than ever for all Americans who have served our country—especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the bonds of community we hold so dear.

Memorial Day is an opportunity to reflect, to remember, and to say thank you. We commemorate the legacy that our fallen heroines and heroes have left behind, and also offer our condolences to our Gold Star families.

The freedoms established and preserved by those who died for us come with responsibilities. We must live our lives, and be in community with one another, in a way so that those who died did not do so in vain. It is the best way we can honor their legacy.

Wishing you all safety and health this holiday weekend.

Warm regards,

For additional updates, visit her update page
For the latest on COVID-19, visit her COVID-19 page

Video link =

Senator Spilka: Memorial Day
Senator Spilka: Memorial Day

Bill seeks to get meals to medically vulnerable seniors

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

"A bill that would establish a Medicare pilot program to address the link between diet, chronic illness and senior health has been introduced by a bipartisan group including U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern.

The Massachusetts Democrat said the bill would ensure that nutritious meals reach medically vulnerable seniors in their homes, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, while providing data to help build a more resilient health care system.

“There is no doubt that what we eat plays a huge role in our overall health, yet our federal policies are decades behind the science on this,” McGovern said in a press release. “We prioritize treatment instead of prevention.”

Other lawmakers backing the measure including Republican U.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski of Indiana and Roger Marshall of Kansas and Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

For the resources available locally, check out the Coronavirus portal on the Town of Franklin page
check out the Coronavirus portal on the Town of Franklin page
check out the Coronavirus portal on the Town of Franklin page

Please Respond Today to the 2020 Census

We have reached a 75.6% response rate for Franklin, there is still time to get beyond 80% (Franklin actually did 79.9% in the 2010 Census).

"The 2020 Census is underway and more households across America are responding every day. Over 88 million households have responded to date, representing 60.0% of all households in America. Make sure that you and your friends and family are included in this once-a-decade count.

Help us spread the word: Everyone can respond to the 2020 Census online in one of 13 languages, with assistance available in many more."

Visit the 2020 Census response rate map

The current results for Franklin (as of Saturday, May 23, 2020):

Please Respond Today to the 2020 Census
Please Respond Today to the 2020 Census

Saturday, May 23, 2020

FM #274 SAFE Coalition - Their Story 5/13/20 (audio)

FM #274 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 274 in the series.

This session shares my conversation with Jim Derick and Jennifer Levine of the SAFE Coalition. We had our conversation via conference bridge to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

We walked through the development of the Coalition from the first meeting at FHS through to the evolution to where they are now, with a facility in Norfolk and Jen in the role of Executive Director. From what was truly a ‘coalition’ of stakeholders volunteering and making things happen to the newly evolved Board and Executive Director non-profit format to better accomplish their service delivery. And they are continuing to adjust during this pandemic.

Among the topics covered:
  • Recovery is a journey
  • Vaping and addiction cessation
  • Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
  • FHS high school peer-to-peer group
  • Newsletter monthly
  • Fundraising begins in earnest to support the new delivery model
The recording runs about 45 minutes, so let’s listen to my conversation with Jim and Jen    Audio file =


Local Resources:
​SAFE Coalition,, Franklin, 508-488-8105
​Turning Point Recovery Center, Walpole (508) 668-3960
​Wayside Youth and Family Support,, Milford, 508-478-6888
​Riverside Community Care,, Milford, 800-294-4665

National Resources:
​ ​​This resource highlights support programs online nationwide

Learn 2 Cope parent peer-to-peer support

Road 2 Recovery - 12 step meeting for parents and loved ones contact Jim Derick or

Franklin Public Schools Substance Abuse Taskforce

SAFE Coalition supports:
  • Peer to Peer mentorship
  • Peer to Peer parent mentorship
  • Zoom Group Programming:
  • ​Mondays: Learn2Cope
  • ​Wednesdays: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
  • ​Wednesdays: 12 Step for Parents of those with children who are living with an addiction
  • ​Saturdays: Parents general support group
  • Grief Counselor
  • Chaplain
  • Section 35 aid
  • Narcan Training
  • Narcan Dispensing
  • Medication Disposal
  • Vaping education program in partnership with Stanford University
  • Direct clinical counseling in partnership with Wayside Youth and Family Support Systems
  • Referrals to all levels of substance use and mental health treatment
  • One on One care planning
  • Public and Private Consulting
  • Support Line: 508-488-8105

*All services are free of charge. Donations accepted.


We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.

How can you help?
  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors
  • If you don't like something here, please let me know

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit
If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana" c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!

You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

FM #274 SAFE Coalition - Their Story 5/13/20 (audio)
FM #274 SAFE Coalition - Their Story 5/13/20 (audio)

Town of Franklin - Department Spotlight - Recreation

Check out our latest Department Spotlight on the Recreation Department! Recreation Director, Ryan Jette, shares some history, current happenings, and a look towards the future.

Town of Franklin - Department Spotlight - Recreation
Town of Franklin - Department Spotlight - Recreation

The collection of Department Spotlights can be found

Town Fields and Parks to Reopen with Restrictions - May 25

Town Fields and Parks to Reopen with Restrictions
As part of Governor Baker's recent Executive COVID-19 Order No. 33, the Town of Franklin will reopen its athletic fields, courts, and parks on Monday, May 25th as part of the Phase 1 re-entry.
Please see the attached document for details, protocols, and guidelines for the safe use of our facilities.
Signage will be posted.

May 22, 2020
TO: Town of Franklin Residents, Businesses & Visitors
FROM: Jamie Hellen, Town Administrator
RE: Athletic Fields & Courts reopen Monday, May 25th

As part of Governor Baker’s recent Executive COVID-19 Order No. 33, the Town of Franklin will reopen its athletic fields, courts and parks on Monday, May 25th as part of the Phase 1 reentry.

The following actions apply:
● All town and school athletic fields, courts and parks and parking lots will reopen.
● Dacey Field Dog Park will reopen.
● All playground apparatus will remain closed, gates will remain locked, signage will be posted prohibiting use.
● All Nature Trails remain open in town and state forests and parks.

The Town mandates that all requirements in the Governor’s order be followed. Signage will be posted at each park and all conditions apply for Phase 1 reopening:
● Group size. Groups larger than 10 are n ot allowed to gather.
● Practice social distancing. Remain 6 feet away from others.
● Mandatory face coverings if social distancing is not possible.
● Wash & Sanitize hands and equipment before and after play.
● Please refrain from contact sports.
● Please take out what you bring in for equipment, trash, bottles, and clothing.
● Please disinfect or use precautions on railings, doors, gate handles and other common spots where transmission can be higher.

We ask all users of athletic fields, courts and nature trails to be courteous of one another as the Commonwealth looks to expand activities and climb out of the COVID-19 crisis. Please respect everyone's distance and personal safety as the Town reintroduces back into sports. Please be diligent in the above practices, use common courtesy and common sense. Most of all, enjoy!

Download a copy of this document

The "until further notice" has been determined to be May 25!
The "until further notice" has been determined to be May 25!

FHS "Keeping Music Alive" #10

Good evening!

I am sure that you will enjoy today's posting which includes a jazz trumpet solo performed by our very own freshman, Colin Manocchio. Colin is actually a phenomenal trombone player who decided to pick up the trumpet while home! Colin is a member of the FHS Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band and studies with Mr. George Murphy. Colin participated in the 2020 MA Central Districts Jazz Band. This is a pretty remarkable accomplishment as a freshman. Congratulations Colin!

ALSO! Members of our string orchestra put together an arrangement of Amazing Grace. I would like to present this to our graduating seniors. We will miss you and we are so sad that our year had to end in this way. We wish you all the best!



Diane M. Plouffe
Director of Music
Franklin Public Schools
Franklin High School

Don't miss HMEA's incredABLE Auction

HMEA's incredABLE Virtual Auction ends Sunday, May 24th at noon!

Concert tickets, weekend get-away, Patriots tickets, private wine class for 20, and other great prizes to bid on!

You Still Have Time to Do Something incredABLE!

Don't miss HMEA's incredABLE Auction
Don't miss HMEA's incredABLE Auction

Legislature Passes Bill to Provide Relief and Improve Access to Unemployment Benefits

The Massachusetts Legislature on Thursday May 21, 2020, passed a bill that will provide additional Unemployment Insurance (UI) relief to low-income families, non-profit institutions and employers. The legislation now moves on to the governor.

An Act Providing Additional Support to Those Affected by the Novel Coronavirus Through the Unemployment Insurance System builds on UI legislation already signed into law waiving the one-week waiting period to receive benefits.

"From the outset of this public health pandemic, our focus has been on easing the burdens felt by working families, and this thoughtfully crafted bipartisan legislation exemplifies that commitment," stated Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). "With this legislation, we are taking steps to ensure Massachusetts workers and employers can maximize the benefits available to them through state and federal actions. I am thankful to my Senate colleagues as well as Speaker DeLeo and his members for their work in moving this legislation one step closer to becoming law."

"This bill protects employers, including non-profits, and workers as we deal with the economic crisis in the wake of COVID-19," said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). "I thank Chair Michlewitz, Chair Ferrante, Vice Chair Hay, Senate President Spilka, and my colleagues in the House and Senate for their work on this important UI Bill."

"With the passage of this bill, the Senate is building on its commitment to support the workers and business owners of the Commonwealth who are struggling with the financial impacts of COVID-19," said Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D- Westport), Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means. "I applaud my colleagues in the Senate and the House for continuing to work collaboratively to provide relief to the state's most vulnerable citizens during this challenging time."

"Throughout this pandemic our unemployment system has been put under tremendous stress as employers and employees try to navigate the system," said Representative Aaron Michlewitz, Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means (D-Boston). "By passing this legislation we will help both businesses and workers alike have a more streamlined relationship with the unemployment system."

The legislation builds off the legislature's ongoing efforts to address the COVID-19 public health crisis and its impact on workers and follows the passage of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which significantly increased UI benefits and expands eligibility during the coronavirus pandemic."

"Our Commonwealth is confronting both a health crisis and an economic crisis. Due to no fault of their own, more than 1 million Massachusetts residents have now filed for unemployment. Our communities face layoffs on a scale that has no modern precedent, with potentially devastating long-term consequences if policymakers fail to act swiftly," said Senator Eric Lesser, Co-chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies (D-Longmeadow). "It is urgent that families receive their benefits in a timely matter, that the benefit period is extended and properly compensates families with dependents, and that small business owners also get relief from fines and penalties that are unjustly applied. This legislation will help offer such relief, which is why it passed both the Massachusetts Senate and House with bipartisan support. On behalf of the more than one million families and hundreds of small businesses facing urgent need, I urge Governor Baker to sign this legislation immediately."

"Clearly, Covid-19 has presented many challenges to the Commonwealth. Chief among them are protecting residents from a potential life threatening virus, financial ruin and hunger. In Massachusetts and across the country, we have seen unparalleled levels of unemployment," said Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante, Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies (D-Gloucester). "As our residents try to navigate an enormously difficult health care and economic crisis, this unemployment legislation allows the Commonwealth to work more effectively with the business and non-profit communities by streamlining unemployment regulations and mitigating costs while simultaneously tending to the needs of residents, who may require additional time to return to work."

"It is so important that we continue to support the people who have had their incomes interrupted by the efforts necessary to contain the spread of COVID-19," said Senator Patricia Jehlen, Co-chair of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development (D-Somerville). "I am glad we are able to take this step to expand unemployment to help more people, and their families, longer and with extended benefits."

"This bill provides critical support to businesses, non-profits, and municipalities facing an unprecedented crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, this bill contains a necessary change to the unemployment system to help low-income families struggling to make ends meet by raising the cap on dependency benefits," said Representative Stephan Hay, Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development (D-Fitchburg). "I am proud of the work done by this legislature to respond to the needs of the Commonwealth during an extremely difficult time."

"Unemployment benefits are a critical lifeline in an economic storm and the pandemic has brought into sharp focus the importance of having a sound unemployment insurance system that responds effectively to people depending on it," said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester). "The measures contained in this bill will go a long way to strengthening our system and helping individuals and families when they need it most."

"The economic fallout from the COVID-19 global pandemic has been devastating, with over one million Massachusetts residents filing for unemployment and businesses struggling to survive. This bill takes additional steps to assist residents and employers impacted by the pandemic," said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading). "It allows for a four-week extension in benefits if new unemployment claims filed in any week exceed 100,000, and lays the groundwork for lifting the dependency cap. It also protects employers from being penalized and hit with rate increases if they are forced to lay off workers due to the pandemic. This bill will help families and businesses as we continue to navigate through this unprecedented public health crisis."

The components of the bill are as follows:

Protection for Employers. Employers who participate in UI pay contributions based on their layoff experience. Like other forms of insurance, employers that are more likely to have workers use unemployment compensation are asked to pay more in the system. The system does not anticipate a situation where employers across a number of sectors have been forced to significantly reduce their workforces due to situations outside of their control. This bill prevents layoffs related to coronavirus from negatively impacting employer's future UI contributions.

Extending Unemployment Benefit Period. The number of weeks of unemployment compensation available in Massachusetts is tied to unemployment rates around the state. This trigger did not anticipate a situation, however, in which unemployment grows rapidly in a very short period of time. This bill ensures that the 30-week benefit period is triggered by a significant uptick in weekly unemployment claims.

Lifting the Cap on Dependency Allotment. This bill eliminates the 50% cap for the dependency allotment providing additional benefits to low-income families. This increase will be in addition to the $600 per week benefit add-on provided for in the CARES Act for all workers eligible for state or federal benefits. This provision is effective for 18 months after the end of COVID-19 emergency and the end of enhanced federal benefits.

Currently, UI recipients are entitled to an additional $25 per week for each child in the family, capped at 50% of a recipient's base allotment. The result is that workers with particularly low allotments, such as low wage workers, can easily be capped out of receiving these additional amounts.

Non-Profit Contribution Grace Period. Presently, many non-profits self-insure for unemployment claims. This means that when layoffs in the sector occur, non-profits pay the cost of those benefits dollar for dollar at the next billing period. This bill provides a 120-day grace period for non-profits to make these contributions. This delay will allow the state to review additional changes that are warranted to mitigate the impact on non-profits. The CARES Act provides 50% reimbursement for self-insured benefit payments during the Coronavirus crisis.

An Act Providing Additional Support to Those Affected by the Novel Coronavirus Through the Unemployment Insurance System now moves to the governor for consideration.

Legislature Passes Bill to Provide Relief and Improve Access to Unemployment Benefits
Legislature Passes Bill to Provide Relief and Improve Access to Unemployment Benefits