Friday, August 14, 2009

New menu board - Cafe Dolce

I went running this morning and met up with Dolores at Cafe Dolce for coffee. There is a new menu board posted right at their door.

No Farmer's Market today

With St Rocco's Festival underway, there is no Farmer's Market on the Town Common today.

It will re-open next Friday and continue through October.

In the News - St Rocco's, Planning process

Thursday, August 13, 2009

In the News - FHS cell phones

You can read a follow up article on the School Committee meeting of Tuesday August 11th in the Milford Daily News. Even with this new policy on cell phone usage, one problem remains with poor cell phone coverage; apparently only ATT provides decent coverage within the high school building complex. Verizon's team hasn't shown up in the full strength it shows in most advertisements.

Limited cell phone use OK'd in Franklin High handbook

from The Milford Daily News News RSS by
The whole meeting was reported live here

State Approves Franklin’s Third Priority Development Site

On August 12, 2009 the State’s Interagency Permitting Board approved an application designating twenty parcels within the Town of Franklin as the Franklin Industrial Park Priority Development Site. Franklin Industrial Park Priority Development Site, Franklin’s third priority development site, consists of 20 privately owned parcels totaling 252.3+/- acres located on four roadways (Constitution Boulevard, Discovery Way, Freedom Way and Liberty Way) approximately 0.2 mile from Interstate 495’s Exit 16.

Tenants include Eagle Stainless Tube and Fabrication, Inc., Penske, Owens Minor, Fidelity Investments, Alpha Grainger Manufacturing, Inc., SMTC Manufacturing, Mid State Mold and Engineering, Wm. B. Meyer Inc., Federal Express, Barrett Distribution Centers, Lindenmeyer Munroe, Waters Distribution; William Donovan Mayflower, Schwarzkopf Technologies, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Des Lauriers Municipal Solutions Inc., Winchester Electronics, FE Knight Inc., W.J. O'Connel Company, Hilliard Precision Products, and EMC Corporation, the Town’s largest employer.

Franklin Industrial Park Priority Development Site is within the Town’s Industrial zoning district and can quickly accommodate substantial expansion and development. The Industrial zoning district allows light and medium industrial uses, warehouse and distribution uses, and business uses. Some accessory commercial uses (e.g., office park, restaurant, conference center) may be allowed by special permit. Several parcels contained within Franklin Industrial Park Priority Development Site are within the Town’s Biotechnology Use zoning overlay district.

In addition to being a priority development site, the twenty parcels are also part of the Franklin Industrial Park Economic Opportunity Area, and as such owners of these parcels are able to negotiate tax increment finance agreements with the Town for proposed projects that will result in creation of new permanent jobs, and also either result in redevelopment of empty or underutilized industrially zoned properties, or development of new research and development or manufacturing facilities.

Several buildings within Franklin Industrial Park are either empty or underutilized, and one parcel is undeveloped. The Town believes establishing large priority development sites that are also economic opportunity areas, will help create conditions favorable for business expansion, and assist property owners fill the Town’s currently empty or underutilized industrially zoned manufacturing, warehouse and office space. Creation of priority development sites within the Town’s office and industrial parks is an effective business recruitment strategy, and an important component of the Town of Franklin’s ongoing economic development plans. The priority development site designation provides a transparent and efficient process for municipal permitting, and guarantees municipal permitting decisions on priority development sites within 180 days. Franklin hopes to use the priority development site designation as an incentive to encourage existing businesses to expand, and to attract new businesses. The Town is hopeful expanding businesses will take advantage of these opportunities.

Please contact Planning and Community Development Director, Bryan Taberner, if you have questions or require additional information regarding the Town of Franklin’s priority development site initiative or other business recruitment and retainage plans.

Bryan W. Taberner, AICP
Director of Planning and Community Development
355 East Central Street
Franklin, MA 02038-1352
Phone: 508-520-4907
Fax: 508-520-4906

Household Hazardous Waste Day - 10/03/09

Franklin is holding a household hazardous waste day October 3, 2009 at the Town Hall on 355 E. Central St. from 9-1.

Tickets are $10 per car and need to be purchased at the DPW prior to the event.

Please review the attached information and reserve your space now. Any questions, please call the DPW office 508-553-5500.

Please forward this email to anyone in the town.

The direct link to the Solid Waste site -

Thank you,
Chris White
Franklin DPW
Solid Waste Coordinator

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Live reporting - meeting closing items

6. New Business
To discuss future business that may be brought before the School Committee.

Kudos to Peter Light for the most comprehensive news letter

7. Executive Session
Contractual Negotiations Motion to enter executive session not to return to a public meeting, passed 6-0

8. Adjourn

live reporting - superintendent's report

a. Staffing Update
a couple of unexpected changes have occurred, one hired in June got recalled by their district, so we will be running an ad for two positions

The hand out attached below shows the updated class sizes for the elementary schools where the teachers were added back:

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

b. Strategic Plan

c. Dean College Partnership
Rene Danho will be here in a future meeting to talk more about this

H1N1 - developing a Town wide pandemic plan on Friday afternoon, with other members of the Franklin town for a town-wide and school-wide response. CDC has changed their recommendation, backing down from the 7 days at home previously recommended.

We will do a H1N1 Summit, one of the challenges we had was working with physicians office. Working with them in advance to ensure we'll all be on the same page. Seek their feedback and seek a partnership with them.

September 15th target date for the H1N1 Summit

Miriam left a copy to parents, to principals related to the new online pre-payment food payment system. Will also be on the schools website. Should expedite the processing of the food line for lunches. Can prepare for multiple children on one account. Can set up an alert for triggering an email when balances fall below a set amount. Goes live on August 24th.

Live reporting - action items

3. Discussion Only Items
Enrollment Update / staffing add-backs

Position add backs due to wage concession and Stimulus money received/confirmed. (chart to be uploaded later)

17 new registration in July
15 more in August

About 40 students, 6,7,8 are leaving Remington to go to private schools
By next week the schools, charter, Tri-County will be back to full staff in the next couple of weeks, so we'll be able to get some better numbers

4. Action Items
  1. I recommend approval of the Strategic Plan Core Values and Mission & Vision Statements as presented. motion to approve, 6-0
  2. I recommend approval of the school handbooks as presented. motion to approve, 6-0
  3. I recommend acceptance of the donation of supplies from the Castro family valued at approximately $200.00. motion to approve, 6-0
  4. I recommend approval of the changes to the FHS Program of Study as presented. motion to approve, 6-0

Live reporting - hand books

2. Guests/Presentations
b. Handbooks
Building Principals

Asst Superintendent Sally Winslow - provides an overview of the updates being done, some with a legal and compliance focus, bringing some consistency across the middle schools and elementary schools.

Elementary Schools

All the principals met to talk about the changes
  • use of ConnectEd
  • lunch purchase process
  • MCAS dates
  • added section on managing life threatening food allergies
  • Absentee call in via the ConnectEd program

Oak St added some language from the middle school in regards to the dress code as they had noticed this becoming a problem the last couple of years

How to access information online instead of sending so many copies home with the students.

The handbooks will be posted to the websites and hard copies will be available in each school office for those parents who request them

Rohrbach - Some hand books highlight new sections, others don't?

Middle Schools

policy in regard to special education for parental questions was added
no other major policy changes or additions other than that mentioned by above
some more continuity coming in regards to discipline
looking to find the best way to see how they can be read, signed and copy returned to the office

Added process prior to suspension, apparently it had been deleted in one version some where along the way to the Annie Sullivan hand book

Armenio - Looking at it across the board and see that they are more consistent is wonderful.
Trahan - any language that didn't need to be there, wasn't there. That is good. The individual covers add to the school.

Sabolinski - "the consistency speaks to the collaboration we see across the schools, we may not be perfect yet but we are getting there."

Roy - some of my questions are more in general, we should have Page come into help discuss that. If we have a policy at the School Committee level that is not consistenly applied across the district, then we could be in trouble

High School

Derek Folan, Assistant Vice Principal

Absent documented - there is some document from parent or medical office referencing the absence

Confusion arises when there is a phone call telling of the absence but not having a document to support it. Equivalent to the sick days that an employer allows, after that number is reached, then the absences need to be documented.

Last year only seniors were allowed for documented college visits, this year juniors will be allowed.

Additional wording to address tardiness when a case where a number of students come in and decide to go for breakfast. We'll be able to take steps to address this situation.

Multiple changes were addressed in the last School Committee meeting by Peter Light (multiple update sections) and in the letter to the parents.

Added a line for expectations around the students behavior at detention.

Naming of detentions - minor, office, major, etc. There were too many.
Teacher - comes from a teachers
Office - comes from Asst Principal
Extended - 2.5 hours on Tue/Thu (replaces Alternative)
Saturday - still held periodically
ADP - for students that need additional guidance in their lives with additional counseling
Academic - always had it, will try to implement more of this
Social - the big 'new' suspension, want the students to be substance free in and out of school, "co-curricular activities are a privilege not a right". If you are going to participate in our athletics, you are going to be drug and alcohol free in and out of school. Moving away from the option to do outside substance abuse counseling and drug testing. Very difficult to track and not very effective overall.

first offense - 6 week suspension from social activities (42 days from offense)
second offense - 9 weeks
suspension from social activities (63 days from offense)
third offense - one full school year

Q - What constitutes possession of alcohol?
A - What comes from due process, either from school administration or from a police report.

Q - If the kid is at a party with alcohol but not charged directly possession, then this section would not apply.
A - correct

Q - If on a Facebook page, there is a picture of a student posing with it?
A - On the internet there is less legal standing, it could be a cropped photo. If we talk to the student and they admit it, then they would be handled by this policy.

These circumstances are not out of the realm of the MIAA guidelines.
The MIAA guidelines go so far as to say when you are in a room with alcohol, then you should apply their policy. Kudos to the Franklin Police department for handling this very well. Especially after the Taylor Myer event, they have been giving us real good information.

Cell phones - there is no magic solution, here is what we are going to try this year. It is often the parent that is calling or texting the child. We are making our classroom sacred. If they are not there, they can not be used. We are a little away from the cell phones becoming an instrument in the classroom,

Hallways, students will be allowed to check messages. There is an eight minute break between classes, it would be a good time to check. We don't won't calls being made. If they make a call in the hallway, they wouldn't get to class on time.

What you get comes with responsibility. They still can't be used in the cafeteria. The nature of the texting is an issue.

ATT works at FHS, nothing else seems to.

My addition to the meeting:
This is going to be an interesting piece to work on. One suggestion from another state somewhat low tech and relatively inexpensive was to use a shoe caddy hanging on the door. The students would put their phone in the slot as they entered and take it with them as they left.
Some bathrooms opened during the time passing between periods.

On the higher standard element, if a student is going to participate in an extra-curricular activity, they used to be required to have a full day attendance. Now they can come in after 9:00 AM

Prom guest from an other school had a contract where an administrator from their school signed that they were in good standing. This is being added to the handbook.

Dismissing a team captain, some due process for the protocol to be followed.

Trahan - this is the best hand book I have seen, this is great progress. Are they allowed to drink water in the classrooms?

I believe it is okay other than in the science classrooms where it may be a safety issue.

Roy - Based upon the first clause, if someone had a cell phone, you would have this language to enable a search. Consider the recent Supreme Court case and have the language modified accordingly.

I understand what you're saying.

Roy - I would rather have a policy that specifies more clearly what should and shouldn't be done.

Sabolinski - the notice was lacking and that has been addressed. The practice has not been to search the car.

Live reporting - Strategic Plan

2. Guests/Presentations

a. Strategic Plan Core Values / Mission

Miriam Goodman
Judi Bassignani

The final mission statement, core values and vision can be viewed in this file below:

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

The overview of the Strategic Planning Process can be found here

Q - Will the individual school missions be changed to reflect this?
A - Yes, there will be some allowance for personalization as necessary but they will be derived from the overall mission, values, etc.

Q - It would be a good idea to add it to the handbooks, manuals
A - Yes, it makes sense, we did not want to presume your intent but we can add that. It will also be added to the web site once it accepted.

Live reporting - School Committee

Attending: Armenio, Kelly, Mullen, Roy, Rohrbach, Trahan

Missing: Cafasso

1. Routine Business
Citizen’s Comments - none
Review of Agenda - none
Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the July 21, 2009 School Committee Meeting. Motion to approve - passed 5-0, 1 abstain
Payment of Bills - Mr. Kelly
Payroll - Ms. Armenio
FHS Student Representatives none at this time
Correspondence: Budget to Actual

3 candidates

For Franklin's election coming up November 3rd:

Two newcomers have stepped up to vie for available seats - Glenn Jones for Town Council and Koren Kanadanian for the Board of Health.

Incumbent Jeffrey Roy is seeking a two-year term on the School Committee.

Read the full article on the first day nomination papers were available from the Town Clerk in the Milford Daily News here.

"Can we have a lemonade stand to help Lucas?"


Like many 7-year-olds Sarah Spanek opened a lemonade stand to earn some extra bucks during the summer - but unlike most kids her age, Sarah has a mission and a slogan: Cups for a Cure.
Read the full article about Cups for a Cure being held this Saturday here in Franklin in the Milford Daily News

Monday, August 10, 2009

Artful Presentation - Ben Franklin

Maira Kalman does a monthly column in the Opinion Section of the NY Times. Her art and writing combines for a truly wonderfully good experience. This month's subject is titled "Can Do" and features the inventive exploits of our town's namesake Benjamin Franklin.

Please consider clicking through to the site and enjoy the scrolling story and wonderful art along the way.

Trust me, it will be worth it.

School Committee Agenda 8/11/09

Call to order Mr. Roy
Pledge of Allegiance
Moment of Silence

1. Routine Business
Citizen’s Comments
Review of Agenda
Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the July 21, 2009 School Committee Meeting.
Payment of Bills - Mr. Kelly
Payroll - Ms. Armenio
FHS Student Representatives
Correspondence: Budget to Actual

2. Guests/Presentations

a. Strategic Plan Core Values / Mission
Miriam Goodman
Judi Bassignani

b. Handbooks
Building Principals

3. Discussion Only Items
Enrollment Update / staffing add-backs

4. Action Items
  1. I recommend approval of the Strategic Plan Core Values and Mission & Vision Statements as presented.
  2. I recommend approval of the school handbooks as presented.
  3. I recommend acceptance of the donation of supplies from the Castro family valued at approximately $200.00.
  4. I recommend approval of the changes to the FHS Program of Study as presented.

5. Information Matters
Superintendent’s Report
a. Staffing Update
b. Strategic Plan
c. Dean College Partnership

School Committee Sub-Committee Reports
School Committee Liaison Reports

6. New Business
To discuss future business that may be brought before the School Committee.

7. Executive Session
Contractual Negotiations

8. Adjourn