Monday, November 10, 2008

Ed Cafasso - Letter 11/2/08

Note: this is late posting. It got lost in my "things to do" box.

Hello Everyone!

I hope you had a good weekend and enjoyed that extra hour of sleep! Here’s a brief update on recent school issues in Franklin…

New Superintendent: The Franklin School Committee moved closer to appointing a new Superintendent last week, unanimously endorsing the candidacy of Deputy Supt. Maureen Sabolinski. Ms. Sabolinski has been a resident of the Franklin for 16 years, and has worked for the Franklin schools for most of that time, starting in special education and eventually working her way up to become second in command. Her children went through our schools, and Maureen has experienced just about every issue one can imagine as both a parent and as an administrator – budget challenges, redistricting, the opening of new schools, personnel evaluations, etc. The next step for the Committee is to work out a smooth transition for Ms. Sabolinski to officially take over for outgoing Supt. Wayne Ogden.

Two Milford Daily News stories are available regarding our consideration of Maureen’s candidacy: (Oct. 29) and (Oct. 15)

School Calendar Survey: So many parents have expressed strong feelings about the fact that classes in Franklin begin before Labor Day that the Superintendent’s office has launched an online survey on the topic. Parents are strongly encouraged to make their views known at: With only eight questions, completing the survey should be quick and easy. Please feel free to pass along the link to others in the school community. The survey will remain open until November 24.

Field House Advertising: Last week, after months of study, the School Committee voted unanimously to authorize a pilot program allowing advertising within the Field House at Franklin High School. Ads in the style of 4’ x 6’ vinyl banners (navy blue with white lettering) will be available for sale at $40/month with a minimum three-month advertising commitment. The banner ads will be hung along area where the curved roof meets the building’s long walls. By conservative estimates, some 45,000 adults attend or participate in events at the Field House each year, and potential advertisers began coming forward within hours of the Committee vote. The success of the pilot will be evaluated in six months. Local businesses and boosters can learn more about this inexpensive marketing opportunity by visiting:

School Enrollment: The total number of students enrolled in the Franklin Public Schools declined by 26 to 6,232 as of September, compared to the 6,260 students on the books when the 2007-08 school year ended in June. Elementary enrollment declined by 63 students during the period, and the number of middle school students decreased by eight. Franklin High began the 2008-09 school year with 43 more students than last year, bringing the student body at FHS to 1,617. In case you are wondering, total Franklin Public School enrollment has increased from 5,962 in May 2005 to 6,232 as of September 2008. That's an increase of 270 students (4.5 percent) during the course of the last four school years.

FEF Casino Night: The Franklin Education Foundation is holding its Third Annual Casino Night on Friday, November 21 at 7 p.m. the Elks Hall in Franklin. This has become a much-anticipated fun, adult event. As with the popular FEF Trivia Bee, proceeds from Casino Night go directly into grants for teacher initiatives at all levels of the Franklin Public Schools. This year’s event will feature Blackjack tables, Roulette, a Money Spinning Wheel, and a Silent Auction. A limited number of tickets are available at $25 each, or six tickets for the price of five. You can learn more about the FEF and Casino Night at:

Commuter Rail Parking Rate Hike: As many of you know, parking fees at MBTA commuter rail stations are scheduled to double as of November 15. If you’re a daily commuter rail user like me, the proposed hike is maddening. It’s insensitive to the needs of working families during the worst economy since the Great Depression; it sends the wrong environmental message at a time when we all want to use less fossil fuels; and, it targets just one class of MBTA customers, the commuter rail riders who have already absorbed recent fares hikes and who play a big role in the capital city’s workforce.

Unless the cost of painting yellow lines on tar has dramatically skyrocketed, I feel certain the T is already making a sizable profit on commuter rail riders. You can express your opinion on this unfair rate hike at or by filling out the Commuter Rail Customer Comment Form at Or, you can write directly to MBTA General Manager Daniel Grabauskas, 10 Park Plaza, Suite 3910, Boston, MA 02116

These e-mails are provided as a constituent service. I try to distribute at least one e-mail update each month during the school year, as issues warrant. As always, I welcome your thoughts and suggestions. If you are receiving duplicate e-mails or if you no longer wish to receive these e-mails, please let me know and I will remove you from the distribution list. If you know of someone you would like to add to the list, please send along their e-mail address.

Don’t forget to vote Tuesday! Thanks!

Ed Cafasso, Member

Franklin School Committee

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