Saturday, September 12, 2009

Election line up card - penultimate update

A phone call to the Town Clerk's office resulted in a number of updates as the deadline approached for drawing papers for election this November 3rd.

This is the penultimate listing as the final listing will be available after Sep 15th. All the papers draw thus far need to be returned and certified by then to provide the final candidate list for the ballot.

Prior updates can be found here, here and here

Table below shows the positions available for election this November.

The Candidates column initially showed just the incumbents.
Those who have confirmed taking out papers are marked with a * and bold.
New candidates have their name in bold with -new.
The incumbents who have confirmed not to be running again have been marked in red text.
The existing position holders who have not yet taken out papers are listed for reference to keep track of the "line up card"

Name # of Openings Candidates Term of Office
Board of Assessors 1 Position (For 4 years) Robert Avakian* 2009 to 2013
Board of Health 1 Position (For 4 years) Bruce Hunchard*
Koren Kanadanian-new
2009 to 2013
Planning Board 2 Position (For 4 years) Anthony Padula* 2009 to 2013
* 1Vacant Joseph Halligan-new 2009 to 2013
Planning Board (Associate) * 1 vacant position (For 4 Years) John Carroll - new 2009 to 2013
Town Council 9 Positions (For 2 Years) Joseph McGann* 2009 to 2011
Deborah Bartlett - not running again
R. Scott Mason*
Christopher Feeley
Judith Pond Pfeffer*
Thomas Doak - not running again
Shannon Zollo*
Robert Vallee*
Stephen Whalen*
Glenn Jones- new

Daniel Ballinger-new
Bryce Kuchs - new
Robert Avakian - new
Matthew Kelly (switch from School Committee)
Tina Powderly - new
Glenna Richards - new
School Committee 7 Positions (For 2 Years) Cora Armenio* 2009 to 2011
Susan Rohrbach*
Paula Mullen*
Edward Cafasso*
Roberta Trahan*
Matthew Kelly - switch to Town Council
Jeffrey Roy*
William Glynn - new
Cynthia Douglas - new

In the News - election races shaping up

With the last day to pull papers to run for election this November, the Milford Daily News provides the latest update.

Town Council, School Committee races shaping up in Franklin

from The Milford Daily News News RSS

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cafe Dolce offers catering (updated)

Cafe Dolce, the new coffee shop in downtown Franklin has expanded into catering. Open since April 2009, Cafe Dolce has established a good morning and lunch business. After 3:00 PM, though things tend to get quieter. Catering is one way to leverage the business operation that owners BJ Carlucci and Dave Purpura have established.

BJ and I reviewed the current plan. A meeting, event, or party for 10 or more is what Cafe Dolce will look to help you with. They will start with the sandwiches and salads that Cafe Dolce offers. A customized menu could include food for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The menu can be extended as far and wide (within reason) as necessary to create a great experience.

Cafe Dolce wants to make the presentation appropriate for a catered event by serving in fine crafted wicker baskets in addition to trays. Call BJ and he will work out the menu together with you. What is the occasion? How many people? What special dietary requirements are there?

BJ hesitates to provide per item pricing for catering. “Say you have had the Cranberry Turkey Breast Panini and wanted to serve that at your event. You don't need to order 10 individual paninis for the group. We prefer to price for the total quantity of the food provided rather than by the piece. This method will work out better for you in the long run.” They do use a formula to determine how much food per person would be required adjusting to cover portions for any kids.

The catering package can either be delivered or picked up. Depending upon the type of drop off, or drop-off/setup, there may be a delivery charge included. You could also rent the space at Cafe Dolce to hold your event.

They have already served a party of 75, have some events scheduled on site, and others scheduled for delivery off site. When your next catering event comes up, consider contacting BJ Carlucci, at 774-248-4321 or via email at dolce dot 1 at live dot com.

Note: Cafe Dolce is also exploring social media tools to spread the word on what they do and to help communicate with their customers and fans. You can join Cafe Dolce on Facebook here

Prior writing about Cafe Dolce:
  1. My talk with BJ and Dave prior to opening
  2. My write up about the opening
  3. Picture slide show from the grand opening
  4. The original catering article can be found here

Job Fair: Monday Workshops/Seminars: Sunday

The United Regional Chamber of Commerce Job Fair will be held Sep 13-14 at the Living Waters location in North Attleboro. The updated schedule of events looks like this:

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

For more information (and to register for this free event) check here

Note: newsletter subscribers will need to click through to Franklin Matters to view the document.

Farmers Market: Smalley's Cookies

One of my visits to the Farmer's Market I stopped by the tent to talk with the folks at Smalley's Cookies. The Farmer's Market is open today from noon to 6:00 PM.

Their web site is under construction so I can't provide a link to it now. Once available, I'll update this.

In the meantime, the decadent cookies they sell can be purchased with info contained in this document. The cookies are frozen and ready to bake.

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

For the full menu of cookies that they provide, you can view this document.

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

Note: for the newsletter subscribers, you will need to click through to Franklin Matters to view the documents.

In the News - grant money for downtown

The Million dollar grant announced as received by the Town during the Town Council meeting on 9/2/09 is discussed in more detail here

Franklin to revamp downtown

from The Milford Daily News News RSS

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kathi Meyer on teen drinking

The Taylor Meyer tragedy has lead to an increase awareness of teen drinking. Kathi Meyer is interviewed in this video from the Norfolk County District Attorney, William Keating.

Note: Email subscribers will need to click through to the web site to view the video.

Other info on teen drinking:

The W.A.S.T.E.D presentation at Franklin High School

Other videos from the Norfolk District Attorney can be found here

This we know


Found via

This We Know - Government Data About Your Town

from Free Technology for Teachers

Friday, Sep 11 - Jack Murray Performs at Cafe Dolce

Friday, September 11th

Jack Murray, a Downtown Partnership member, will be performing at Cafe Dolce, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

All donations will be given to the Dana Farber Cancer Center at Milford Regional Medical Center.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Franklin School Student Population Drops

The Franklin Public Schools start the year with 121 less students than one year ago.  The totals by level of school are shown for comparison in the table below.

2008 2009 Diff
Elementary 3091 2998 -93
Middle School 1524 1478 -46
High School 1622 1640 18
6237 6116 -121

That there are less students riding the bus shouldn't be a surprise. That the 'bus loss' number is greater than the 'student loss' number likely reflects something of the economic situation and the choices that parents have made.

The Milford Daily News reports on the School Committee meeting here

Fewer students riding bus in Franklin

School Committee Mtg 09/08/09

The collection of live reporting posts from the School Committee meeting of Tuesday, Sep 8th can be found here

Live reporting - Superintendents report
Live reporting - Action Items
Live reporting - Discussion only items
Live reporting - SIP Franklin High
Live reporting - SIP Annie Sullivan
Live reporting - SIP Remington
Live reporting - Presentations (School Improvement...
Live reporting - School Committee 9/8/09

Did you know?

How do you Remember the Warning Signs of Suicide?

Here’s an Easy-to-Remember Mnemonic:


I Ideation
S Substance Abuse
P Purposelessness
A Anxiety
T Trapped
H Hopelessness
W Withdrawal
A Anger
R Recklessness
M Mood Changes

 Read more about suicide and how to detect early warning signs here:

Franklin Citizens Rail Trail Committee - 9/10/09 - Agenda

Agenda for Sept 10, 2009
I.    Call to Order / Introductions of New Attendees
A.    Introduction of new attendees
B.    Volunteer to write minutes of the meeting
C.    Motion to accept meeting minutes of 8/19/09

II.    Report from our representative from DCR
A.    Gates at Spring St
B.    Leveling of the Trail

III.    Membership Committee Report (Denison, McKeown, Sawyer)
A.    Committee to present work and ask for Committee approval
B.    Meeting attendees will be asked to fill out Membership Forms and send in checks to our Treasurer

IV.    Report from Finance Committee (Rossetti)
A.    Report from Treasurer

VII.    Report of Fund Raising Committee (Sawyer)
A.    Shall we start planning for road race and other events
B.    Do we have the Lions Club for insurance protection?
C.    Do we have the Franklin Bolts or other local groups?

VIII.    Publicity (Dave Labonte)
A.    Distribution of brochure, do we need a second printing
B.    Report on Meeting with Franklin PLUC (Svendsen)
C.    Comments from new attendees from PLUC
D.    Tentative date for next meeting w/PLUC is Sep 30th
E.    Date for Rotary Club presentation set for Sep 17th

IX.    Unfinished Business
A.    Questions from members / attendees

X.    New Business
A.    Update on End of Summer Cookout
        Date set for Sept 19 w/the 20th as the Rain Date

Set Date for Next Meeting and Adjourn

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Live reporting - Superintendents report

News you can use.
Previously posted to Franklin Matters

School Opening
Some enrollment glitches, over all a quieter start to the school year, the planning this summer paid off.

Enrollment comparison
Concerned about lossing 19-20% of what could have been the incoming freshman class
The class size is currently very reasonable.
Looking for ways to beef up public relations for the high school.

Q - can we break down how the students were lost?
A - Yes, we can do that now that we know.

Could usually count on 9-10 percent each year prior to this.
My note - are they forgetting that there was mass confusion during May, June and into early July about the FY 2010 year? The enrollments would have been taken place during that time.

Moving to executive session

Live reporting - Action Items

4. Action Items

  1. I recommend adoption of Horace Mann Middle School’s School Improvement Plan motion to approve; passed 7-0
  2. I recommend adoption of Remington Middle School’s School Improvement Plan  motion to approve; passed 7-0
  3. I recommend adoption of Annie Sullivan Middle School’s School Improvement Plan  motion to approve; passed 7-0
  4. I recommend adoption of Franklin High School’s School Improvement Plan  motion to approve; passed 7-0
  5. I recommend acceptance of a check for $554.22 from the Tri County Partnership as credit for Life Fair for the FHS gift account  motion to approve; passed 6-0, 1 abstain (Armenio)
  6. I recommend acceptance of a check for $100.00 from Kristen Redpath in memory of her late husband, Donald Redpath, for the FHS Science Department. motion to approve; passed 7-0

Live reporting - Discussion only items

3. Discussion Only Items

  • Facilities Update
  • Transportation Update
  • H1N1 Update
  • Superintendent’s Goals
Positive feedback from the FHS Student reps on the re-location of Guidance more into the center of the facility

The report on the listing of projects completed during the summer in all the schools will be added later.

90% of the work done was done at the High School, the remaining items will be done this fall.

Roy - typically at the end of the school day, the technology center is empty. A recent visit revealed 30-40 students working in the new area.


The following chart was not part of the School Committee package but was prepared with the FPS data as provided. The data tells a story at a glance on what the pay-to-ride fee increase has done to the numbers of students riding the buses.

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

No route changes on the transportation side.

While ridership is down, the same number of buses is still be run as last year.

Q - Is there a way we can recover some costs with a half ride program, having parents pay for the ride home.
A - We would have to look at the bus capacity by route. Some buses we have already heard have some extra seats. We would be better able to do the analysis as the situation settle.

Q - Can you clarify the rule on the free ride?
A - There was a school committee policy some years ago that if there was not a safe walkway to school, it used to be a free ride. It is not a state requirement. The State requires free busing for those within 2 miles. The State allows a student to walk a half mile to a bus stop. We try to minimize that.

Comment - caution on some parents who have bought the pay-to-ride to get the afternoon ride home. You may need to implement some re-funds to for those parents if the half ride goes through.

H1N1 - spending much time on this health issue instead of instructional issues. Part of the town-wide planning process. The State may be sponsoring the vaccination clinics. The schools put the information out, people tend to listen rather than if the Police or other Town departments.

The Schools are collecting data weekly on attendance and illness rates.

Dr Timothy Johnson will be doing a town hall style meeting next week on Channel 5 to review the does/don'ts.

Purell can't be stored in the schools due to the alcohol content. They are working to obtain a non-alcohol based with aloe to avoid overwashing and creating additional issues.

Superintendent's goals

Roy - suggestion to bring it up to see how it would be handled this year.
Mullen - to take lead on developing goals for Maureen. Committee members can send their suggestions to her.

Live reporting - SIP Franklin High

2. Guests/Presentations

a. School Improvement Plans
  • Franklin High School – Peter Light
Peter highlights some of the goals rather than going through all of them.

Increase summer reading
Increase graduation percent for lower socio-economic students
Continuation of increasing Advanced placement participation
open response questions within Math is a problem area and a team is being formed to look at more closely
Safety - run the lock down drill this year and develop an updated evacuation plan. In particular, the attendance procedures work but they are too slow.

EdLine is live now, students and parents will be receiving access codes in the next week or so. Access to grading will be deployed later to avoid potential misinterpretation of the results they would see.

They are looking to expand the concept of summer reading, expand to provide more choices, need to analyze what the level of participation was this year and then look to increase the offerings.

Looking at how to challenge the students in English with more AP or honors classes. Using the College Board predictive results to see what the students are that are not yet in the AP classes.

Goal for complete wifi access, it is complete (with a couple of classroom exceptions). It is a free public wifi but students using to access via a secure channel to their folders. Printing is not yet available this way but they are working on this. Trying to go paperless as much as possible. 200 laptops are in, 50-60 are being used daily. Some are going out overnight. Minor issues with some but tech support is handling those.

Own online course management system is now functioning, it was used for summer school. About 40-50% fof the faculty are using it (either in an experimental stage or deployed).

55 teachers have courses built into Moodle today, per Sabolinski

Sabolinski, thanks to the collaboration and coordination amongst the middle and high school.

Live reporting - SIP Annie Sullivan

2. Guests/Presentations

a. School Improvement Plans
  • Annie Sullivan Middle School – Beth Wittcoff

  1. Response to intervention
  2. Literacy
  3. Annual Yearly Progress (AYP)
  4. Mathematics
The literacy initiative is working

Q - on "Brain based instructional strategies"
A - getting students involved and engaged more completely with all their senses.

Q - What impact does differentiated learning have on the results?
A - differentiated instruction with an average of 30 students in a class is hard. It is a real issue. As long as we have class sizes and ratios that high it will be a challenge to continue to produce the results that Franklin has become used to seeing.

Live reporting - SIP Remington

2. Guests/Presentations

a. School Improvement Plans (SIP)
  • Remington Middle School – Paul Peri
Mostly a continuation and enhancement to last years goals.

  1. Incorporate reading/literacy strategies in the classrooms of all core content areas
  2. Targets the skills of the student who are at risk for not meeting district and state learning expectations in math
  3. Targets the skills of two sub-group populations of students
  4. Connecting RMS to the Franklin Community
Additional text will be added later

Live reporting - Presentations (School Improvement Plans)

2. Guests/Presentations

a. School Improvement Plans (SIP)
  • Horace Mann Middle School – Dr. Anne Bergen
Open response writing showing good results.

Video taped an interview with high performing students, cooperative learning doesn't always work for them, pay attention to them, they have a right to learn something new every day

28% of the student lacking in the basic fundamentals, added some focus to this and got great results (with pre- and post-test results)

Action plans
  1. Wide reading to develop background knowledge
  2. Writing goal
  3. Math goal
  4. School enrichment model
Additional text from the detailed SIP will be added later

The kids feedback was to do more pre-testing, if they already know it, let's move on to something else.

Live reporting - School Committee 9/8/09

Attending: Armenio, Cafasso, Kelley, Mullen, Roy, Rohrbach, Trahan

1. Routine Business

Citizen’s Comments - none
Review of Agenda - none
Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the August 25, 2009 School Committee Meeting.  motion to approve, passed 7-0
Payment of Bills - Mr. Kelly  motion to approve, passed 7-0
Payroll - Ms. Armenio

FHS Student Representatives – Welcome to the new student representatives: Zach Price (President of Senior Class) and Christie Gianetti (Student Government President)

  1. Budget to Actual
  2. Letter from Kristen Redpath (donation)

Interview with Obama on education

President Obama is interviewed by Damon Weaver, from the KEC TV News Team out of Kathryn E. Cunningham/Canal Point Elementary in Florida, in preparation for the Presidential address to students today.

The video interview (about 10 minutes) can be viewed here:

Schools - Brochure/Flyer Dissemination Process

Based on feedback received from parents and guardians about the overwhelming number of flyers and brochures that have been traditionally sent home in student backpacks, we will be piloting an innovative way to disseminate information this year. In lieu of sending home paper copies of information we will establish a website where all approved brochures, notices and flyers will be posted. A link to the site will be featured prominently on the district web site, school based web sites and in the monthly schools newsletters to parents. The link will be titled NEWS YOU CAN USE and the link is:

With approval from the Office of the Superintentendent of Schools, we will continue to disseminate information from all Town of Franklin Departments and non profit community groups such as the Parent Communication Councils (PCC), Franklin Education Foundation (FEF) , the YMCA and non-profit community based service and athletic programs such as Boy/Girl Scouts, Metrowest basketball etc.

In the last two years we have been inundated with requests from a number of local and out of town businesses to sponsor programs, fundraisers and special events. We will forward some of these requests to the PCC officers for consideration as we are not in a position to sponsor these types of activities as per our district policies.

Non-profit groups that would like their information to be posted for web site publishing should contact the Office of the Superintendence at 508-553-4819.

National Suicide Prevention Week - Sep 6-12

Did you know that? 
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15 to 24 year olds;
  • One youth completes suicide every 2 hours and 5 minutes, which approximates 11.5 persons each day;
  • For every completed suicide by youth, it is estimated that 100 to 200 attempts are made; and
  • In 2006, more than 33,000 people died by suicide in the U.S.
National Suicide Prevention Week is September 6 – 12, 2009. This year’s theme is “A Global Agenda on the Science of Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery.  According to the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), suicide prevention is everyone’s business and anyone can participate in Suicide Prevention Week, including schools. BoardBuzz agrees: the statistics above communicate the need for schools to be more proactive about increasing awareness of suicide warnings and signs and helping prevent its incidence among youth. 

Only 5 Minutes to Influence - What Do You Say?

In reference to the recent School Committee discussion on the policy surrounding the use of electronic tools (i.e. texting) I found this article interesting.

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Free Technology for Teachers by (Mr. Byrne) on 9/4/09

Earlier today I posted on Twitter, the question "If you had only 5 minutes to convince a school administrator to ease Internet filtering, what would you say?" I got a bunch of good replies and as someone on Twitter requested, I've included those replies a little later in this post. But first, I'll explain my motivation for the question. Most teachers are back in school now or will be in school next week. Once school starts everyone involved in schools becomes busy and we have less time to discuss ideas and even less time to discuss ideas that involve systemic change. Therefore, if you're working in a school environment that doesn't offer a least restrictive Internet environment and you want to get that changed, chances are you'll have to make your case succinct and influential at the same time.

Last year when my school district was considering enacting a filtering policy that would ban all websites containing a social networking component, I did not have much time to make the case against the policy. To get my district's administrators to reconsider, I simply pointed out that this blog and many like it would be inaccessible to teachers because they include the Google Friend Connect widget. In my case I had some leverage because of the 2008 Edublog Award and, at that time, 6000+ subscribers. Additionally, I was given the opportunity to talk with my district's superintendent and my district's technology administrator who were both quite willing to listen although those conversations were only a few minutes in length.

If you're in a position where you're trying to change your district's filtering policy, but you only have a few minutes to influence people, consider some of the advice offered by these great folks on Twitter. You should also read Jeff Utecht's latest post which offers great evidence against using the "walled garden" approach to filtering.

Things you can do from here:

In the News - standoff, Milford rail trail, guest conductor

One arrested after armed standoff in Franklin

from The Milford Daily News News RSS by Phil Sweeney/Daily News staff


Obstacles delay Milford rail trail extension construction

from The Milford Daily News Homepage RSS by Danielle Ameden/Daily News staff


Franklin music teacher gets a chance to shine

from The Milford Daily News News RSS by Angel Roy/Daily News staff

Monday, September 7, 2009

Presidential address to students

President Obama speaks to students Tuesday on the first day of school for many across America. Of course, Franklin opened their doors last week and Boston opens their doors on the 10th so there is some variation in opening days.

President Reagan spoke to students in 1988. You can view the video of his 36 minute talk and then Q&A period with some students at the White House here

President George H Bush spoke to students at Alice Deal Junior High School in 1991. You can read the text of his address here

The text of President Obama's remarks is available on the White House website here. It will be broadcast via the web or C-Span at noon on Tuesday (Eastern time).

The video promo by NASCAR drivers is included:

School Committee - Agenda - 9/08/09

1. Routine Business

Citizen’s Comments
Review of Agenda
Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the August 25, 2009 School Committee Meeting.
Payment of Bills Mr. Kelly
Payroll Ms. Armenio

FHS Student Representatives – Welcome to the new student representatives: Zach Price (President of Senior Class) and Christie Gianetti (Student Government President)


  1. Budget to Actual
  2. Letter from Kristen Redpath (donation)

2. Guests/Presentations

a. School Improvement Plans

  • Horace Mann Middle School – Dr. Anne Bergen
  • Remington Middle School – Paul Peri
  • Annie Sullivan Middle School – Beth Wittcoff
  • Franklin High School – Peter Light

3. Discussion Only Items

  • Facilities Update
  • Transportation Update
  • H1N1 Update
  • Superintendent’s Goals

4. Action Items

  1. I recommend adoption of Horace Mann Middle School’s School Improvement Plan
  2. I recommend adoption of Remington Middle School’s School Improvement Plan
  3. I recommend adoption of Annie Sullivan Middle School’s School Improvement Plan
  4. I recommend adoption of Franklin High School’s School Improvement Plan
  5. I recommend acceptance of a check for $554.22 from the Tri County Partnership as credit for Life Fair for the FHS gift account
  6. I recommend acceptance of a check for $100.00 from Kristen Redpath in memory of her late husband, Donald Redpath, for the FHS Science Department.

5. Information Matters

Superintendent’s Report

  1.  News You Can Use
  2. Back to School Update
  3. Enrollment Comparison
  4. Preliminary AYP Update

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

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Chamber Job Fair 9/13-14

The United Regional Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce:

Job Search Sunday, September 13th 12:30pm – 5:00pm 
Career Fair Monday, September 14th 10am - 4pm

At Living Waters Church, 15 John L. Dietsche Blvd, North Attleboro MA.

Do you or someone you know need help finding a job?  Then you are welcome to these FREE EVENTS.

Job Search Sunday will offer career development courses like:

  • Resume Writing
  • Interviewing Skills 
  • Using Social Media to Network (by Tricia White of the Mass Small Business Development Center at 1:30pm)

Career Fair Monday will include companies who are actively hiring and seminars on "Staying Motivated While Unemployed."

Keynote speakers Include:

  • Ann Crawford , Life Coach 11:30am
  • Bill Napolitano, Institute for Business Excellence 1:00pm

To register for this click here

For additional information contact

Jen Osojnicki at the United Chamber, 508.695.6011,

Where do you put open space on the budget priority listing?

Currently, the Department of Public Works is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of all town parks, recreation areas and School grounds. The Recreation Department is responsible for scheduling the use of the Town of Franklin athletic fields and facilities. Recreation Department Director, Ryan Jette indicated that it is a difficult challenge to maintain all the open space and recreation areas in Town and there is not adequate staffing for the upkeep.

The Conservation Department maintains a list of open space and conservation sites in Franklin. The current level of staffing for the management and maintenance of open space is not satisfactory, there is insufficient staff and resources to complete routine property inspections and maintenance. Issues such as hiring a forester to oversee the cutting of the Town Forest have proven challenging for the Conservation Commission due to a lack of funding.

If the Town continues to obtain additional open space and recreation areas, there will likely be issues providing sufficient upkeep due to a lack of funds and staffing available to provide upkeep of the sites.
As the Town Council candidates declare themselves for election this November, this would be a good topic on which to find out where they stand.
While the Town has a number of budget needs (the school department is the single biggest item of our Town budget), where open space management sits amongst the priority list would be important to understand.
For additional information on the Open Space and Recreation Plan, read the full report on the Town web site here (PDF)

In the News - FHS GPA,

Franklin High School tosses old GPA system