Friday, August 13, 2010

Spruce Pond Creamery - sign question answered

I slipped in a small trivia question to check on the observational skills of the Franklin Matters readers. The answer to the Spruce Pond sign question is shown below and on the original posting earlier this week.

Updated 8/13/10:

The answer to the question is that the sign is the "old" one and not the one showing today:

This picture was taken on an overcast day in June. The picture above shows the sign in April before Spruce Pond updated it to show that they can now server beer and wine.

Franklin, MA

Farmers Market - today - noon to 6:00 PM

The Farmers Market is open today from noon to 6:00 PM on the Town Common.

Franklin, MA

In the News - freshman intro,

Freshmen get an early introduction to Franklin High

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

Franklin, MA

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Looking for work? Hopkinton Networking Group meets Fri - 10 AM to Noon

The agenda for this Friday's Hopkinton Networkers Group (HNG) meeting will be featured by our speaker, Monica Brunaccini. The facilitator for this week will be Christine Hurley.

We will devote the first hour, from 10 to 11 AM to the following agenda: Welcome, Landings, Announcements, New Member Intros, and Needs/Leads.

Please arrive early, so we can make every effort to start on time. In the second hour, Monica will talk about "How to Standout in the Crowd."

How to Standout in the Crowd: (Making yourself known in this unique employment market)

  • Why you really need to network
  • How to build and expand your community
  • Developing your own approach - one that will work for you
  • Building your brand - a strong reputation and following
  • Leveraging your strengths and what makes you unique
  • Your toolkit - navigation resources and techniques
  • Q&A - open discussion

The group meets at St John the Evangelist Parish Center in Hopkinton.


Take Rt. 495 North/South and get off Exit 21A. Go through three traffic lights. Colella's Supermarket is on the right at the third traffic light. The first street after the third traffic light is Church Street, take a right turn. The church is on the right. Go around to the left of the parking lot and go into the side entrance of the parish hall.

Depending upon where you live, perhaps you may want to use Mapquest or Google Maps for a more direct route. The address of the church is:
St. John the Evangelist
20 Church Street
Hopkinton, MA 01748

From lead organizer, Gil Krispien's email to the Acton Networking Group mailing list.

Franklin, MA

In the News - car break-ins

Franklin cops probe car break-ins

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

Franklin, MA

Survey reminder

The current survey on the new trash and recycle system is open for your input through Aug 14th.

You can find the survey here:

As of 8/05/10 8:00 PM there were 43 responses.
As of 8/09/10 8:00 PM there were 62 responses.
As of 8/11/10 6:00 PM there were 66 responses.


Franklin, MA

Fundraising begins for Jimmy Fund in Franklin

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by GateHouse Media, Inc. on 8/11/10

The Franklin Police Department is looking to residents to help raise money for the annual Jimmy Fund Walk next month.

Chief Stephen Williams, with the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, will be participating in the event for the seventh year in a row and has put collection cans out at local businesses.

"Jimmy Fund canisters will be on display in local Franklin businesses from now throughout September,'' Williams said in a release. "We have always relied on the generosity of the businesses and residents of Franklin to make our fundraising for the fight against cancer a success."

To help Williams, visit and click "support a walker" to make an online donation.

Things you can do from here:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Live reporting - Financial Planning Committee

Present: Hardesty, Mason, Bartlett, Rohrbach, Roche, Nutting, Sabolinski, Trahan (late)
Absent: Zollo, Whalen, Cameron, (Morrison)

Agenda document and draft list of "things to do"

FPC Agenda Priority 2010-08-11

Town budget status:
Nutting - negotiating the contract with the architect on the high school, still targeting next Nov (Nov 2011) for a debt exclusion question to pay for the renovation

Lost almost $3.2 million in state aid the last couple of years; this was offset by 522,000 in school aid (which still has not been received).

Approx Jun/Jul 2011 should have a proposal for the MSBA to approve by the middle of July so that Franklin could schedule the vote for the regular Nov 2011 scheduled election. Otherwise, a special date would need to be set.

Brendan Morrison has left the committee, should there be a replacement? or stay with nine.

Make offer to consider adding any interested, Jeff will post to the Town website. Scott will announce at the Council meeting.

Web site:
Who can take on the task of checking on the posting of the committee documents to the website? Jim Roche will. Jeff will let Diane know that Jim may call regarding the committee documents.

Bargaining Confidentiality background:
No party discusses the status of what is going on until there is an agreement on both sides.
Broad parameters are set during an executive session prior to negotiation commencement.

Committee priorities:
(see listing - to be attached later)

Discussion to clarify what's on the listing and if there needs to be additional items.
Should the committee be "Just the fact's Mame" or should it be an advocacy group?
Creating a generally accessible document is one thing, advocating for the details, explaining the ins and outs is not the same thing as advocating for or against an override.

Need to understand cost control to reference readily
1 - What is under Franklin's control, what is out of our hands and in the hands of either the State (Beacon Hill) or Congress (Washington)

2 - There are two things to show: (1) the number of employees (i.e. Fire, Police, etc.) comparable to a similar sized community and (2) how their salary compares to other similar communities. These are available and updated regularly.

There seems to be a recurring theme around a lack of trust and creditability.

Ongoing item of differentiating the capital budget and the operating budget. How well do we explain the use of free cash and the capital budget?

Anything to add to the listing?

  • Clarification on the charter of the committee, at least to review and re-evaluate the current charter
  • If the Administration is already producing a three year outlook beyond the operating budget, why are we producing a report? Should we focus on validating and questioning the current process documents? 

For next time: committee to pick three things to do brilliantly well, what would be the most worthy of our time? Also choose two or three things that should come off the listing.

Exceptions: updating the five year plan remains on the listing and does not need to be amongst the three. Monitoring the web site hits is one that can come off the listing. It is necessary but not something that needs to be done everyday.

Next meeting Sep 8th, 7:00 PM

Note email subscribers will need to click through to Franklin Matters to view the documents

Franklin, MA

In the News - school ROI, youth hockey, Charter school, absentee ballots

Franklin schools garner national notice

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

Franklin Youth Hockey Golf Tournament planned

Franklin, MA

School Committee - 08/10/10

The live reporting from the School Committee meeting of Tuesday, Aug 10th can be found here:

Franklin, MA

Circle of Friends Coffeehouse: Musical Hawaiian Cruise in January

One of the musical gems that exists within Franklin is the Circle of Friends Coffeehouse. This is their newest email outlining the schedule of performers for the upcoming season.

You can visit the Coffeehouse website to view details and subscribe to your own copy of this email.

Email not displaying correctly? View in browser      Instant Unsubscribe      Report Spam

Circle of Friends Coffeehouse
262 Chestnut St , Franklin, MA  02038
Phone: 508 528 2541
> Map       > Official Site       > ReverbNation Profile

Songs of the Sea Hawaiian Cruise
Want to join me for a music filled Hawaiian Cruise in January? Musicians Johnsmith, Don White, Beaucoup Blue, & Doug Bell will provide music as we visit Honolulu, Oahu; Kahului, Maui; Hilo, Hawaii; Kona, Hawaii; & Nawilliwili, Kauai. Great cabin rates only available till the end of August.

Click the link above for more information or contact Eileen Baker or Theresa Mullen

PLAY Sat Sep 11 10, 08:00 PM
Tom Rush
Tickets: $35
PLAY Sat Oct 02 10, 08:00 PM
John Gorka, Meg Hutchinson
Tickets: $20
  Sat Oct 23 10, 08:00 PM
Kate Campbell
Tickets: $20
  Sat Nov 06 10, 08:00 PM
Jim Kweskin, Geoff Muldaur
Tickets: $25
  Sat Nov 20 10, 08:00 PM
New Black Eagle Jazz Band
Tickets: $20
  Sat Dec 04 10, 08:00 PM
Tickets: $20
Meg Hutchinson, Antje Duvekot, Natalia Zukerman, Anne Heaton
PLAY Sat Jan 15 11, 08:00 PM
Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian...
Tickets: $20
  Sat Jan 29 11, 08:00 PM
Vance Gilbert, Carolann Solebello
Tickets: $20
Carolann opens the show
PLAY Sat Feb 12 11, 08:00 PM
Greg Greenway, Pat Wictor, Joe Jencks, Ellen Bukstel
Tickets: $20
Ellen Bukstel opens
PLAY Sat Feb 26 11, 08:00 PM
PLAY Sat Apr 02 11, 08:00 PM
Erin Mckeown, Becky Chace
Tickets: $20
Becky Chace opens
> See More / Details

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Physical inquiries can be sent to: 262 Chestnut St, Franklin, MA, 02038, US
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Live reporting - Closing

School Committee Sub-Committee Reports
Space Needs subcommittee met today, meeting again, Oct 5th
getting data needed on the facilities from Mike D'Angelo

School Committee Liaison Reports

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

Rohrbach - congratulations to Jeff Roy and Jeff Nutting for successfully completing their PanMass Challenge ride

7. Executive Session
Contractual Negotiations

Motion to enter execution session, no intention to return to open meeting, passed 7-0

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Superintendent update

3. Discussion Only Items - none

4. Action Items - none

5. Information Matters

Superintendent’s Report
a. MSBA Update 
architect negotiations underway

b. Personnel Update
still looking to fulfill some positions

c. Schedules / Teacher Assignments
should be out next week, been getting phone calls on teacher assignments

d. Center For American Progress

Franklin selected as a spotlight district for ROI.
Selected by a Washington, DC think-tank

used a variety of data to per pupil numbers, from state websites, and national databases, took out Special Ed costs, looked at AP scores
looked at 15,000 districts

e. New Staff Orientation (8/24, 25, 26 – RMS 8:00 A.M.)

we have had a lot of personnel changes over the summer
OT/PT consultants were hired instead of being outsources via the collaborative
three new health PE teachers, foreign language teachers moved to the high school
unexpected resignations during the summer
7 teachers were non-renewed who were not performing up to district standards during their 1-2-or 3 year before they obtained their professional status

enrollments continuing to grow, 20 this week alone
6th grade classes are at 28-29

f. Foreign Language Technology Presentation
met with Rosetta Stone
maybe able to utilize in a future budget year

g. Proposed School Committee Presentations 2010-11

very general outline on forthcoming presentations (to be shared post meeting)

Meeting with committee on full-day vs. half-day kindergarten
should be ready to report in January

Rohrbach - some people don't realize how much the administration does to help

Glynn - do you think there is an opportunity to help the foreign language situation we have?
Sabolinski - Kristy and Michelle are looking at that, once the students come back we want to get a survey out to see how many students would be interested.

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - District Improvement Plan

2. Guests/Presentations

b. District Improvement Plan

Sally Winslow (asst Superintendent), Maureen Sabolinski (Superintendent), Michele Kingsland-Smith

The document being discussed was posted earlier and can be found here

1st goal - page 4

From the Strategic Plan they developed the first DIP
Next year, to continue the evolution of the planning process, the whole team will be here to present

developing district wide benchmarks for writing for each grade level
writing expectations in the sense of genre themes (friendly letter, list, story, etc.)

Inching towards 2014, where every student should be at 100%
while we are a high performing district, our growth rate is slowing
in the next MCAS cycle, the bar will be raised higher

Will need to update this for the new core standards that MA just accepted

2nd goal - page 5

Learning how to use the data
Learning walks, how can we work together to be better
a departure in culture, empowering our teachers and teacher leaders
need to develop a communication plan, how it should be communicated out

3rd goal - page 6

Sally - updated to include other data sources
K-12 health wellness added
MA bullying prevention requirements, evidence based
develop curriculum with kids participation
using the open circle as more a proactive than reactive tool
utilize the bullying task force to help in this area

4th goal - page 7

updating the emergency plans to account for staffing changes, new principals
training for all staff required by the MA bullying requirements
attempting to do similar to the Ethics regulations, PowerPoint, and sign-off

Q - Glynn - Does DESE provide training materials?
Winslow - They did provide some at the training but they are supposed to be supplying more
Sabolinski - We are so far ahead of other districts, we would likely take what DESE provides and customize it to our needs, we are poised to use open circle having used it for 10 years

Q - Glynn - is there any quantitative measure to this?
Sabolinski - there will be, there is not yet currently, DESE hasn't established the source yet, the timeline is for September, so we are awaiting their guidelines, we do anticipate having additional data points to work with

5th goal - page 8

Leveraging positive relationships with Dean College to expand in this area
Healthy futures with the Y, Miriam spent time in Boston on the nutrition conference, helping student makes better decisions

6th goal - page 8

Our community resources are dwindling

Evaluation resources are more structure to provide implementation status

Added an observation check list to set some consistent instructional expectations across the district
minimal instructional info for lesson plans

I add that wile the Strategic Plan (which I had helped to work on with the Steering Committee) has come a long way, it is really being fleshed out nicely. The community relationship section is lacking however, we (the big group 'we') have an issue with getting sufficient funding. One commenter already asked where the PCC's were? We should add something more in this section. Specifically to engage the community.

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - 5 minute recess

5 minute recess to allow the principals to clear the room and the remainder of the meeting to continue

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Middle Schools/ High School

continuing the

2. Guests/Presentations
a. School Handbooks - Middle School Principals

similar updates, effort to work together on getting the handbooks more user friendly and equitable
recognizing that going green has been bringing good benefits, not just financially

There are very much consistent with quality handbooks that you would see anywhere else


Derek Folan, Asst Principal, representing the High School

This year was much more of a tune up for the handbook
Kept notes during the year on parent questions and from other events that occurred during the year
Change to more explicit language to help explain the policy

College visits
verbal request before May 1 okay, post May 1 - requires Asst Principal approval
found a few students making college visits after they had already committed to a college

when the number is exceeded per term, the student is in jeopardy of loosing credit for that course that term
Lays out the what the guidance and appeal process is
going to use Plato an online tool for credit recovery of classes missed to earn credit back
if the student doesn't pass the Plato option, then the student would have to re-take the course
Plato covers the core courses (math science, etc.) other courses could be designed and added by the teachers

Data on class cutting jumped dramatically, used social suspension as required

Dismissals from school
nothing new here, some pieces made more explicit for parents.

Per notes from the year, added cheat sheets, notes, etc.

Q - Cafasso - "What is unauthorized collaboration on an assignment?" can you give an example
This came from a specific instance, a collaborative project worked together on the data but the report had to be individually written.

Q - Cafasso - how do you define unauthorized use of computers?
The students were to research and provide definitions and terms on their own

Q - Cafasso - Do you use a scanning tool to find plagiarism?
Yes, "Turn it in dot com. Primarily to scan the English writing projects.

Q - Cafasso - Do you think there is
We try to teach them to use these devices responsibly. Cell phone use policy changes worked nicely.

Academic Assistance
moving the tutoring to the tech center to make it more visible

Due Process Rights and Procedures
this change was done across the board in the district based upon advice from the school district's Attorney
teachers can authorize use of devices for educational purposes after conversation with an Asst Principal; the conversation is more to alert the Asst Principal into the specific and accepted use of such devices and circumstances

high school used the middle school template for the bullying/cyberbullying

Q - Cafasso - Can we get a full and finished copy?
Yes, that would be easy.

Sabolinski - at the next meeting you'll be asked to vote to accept these handbooks as part of the action items
I'd like to compliment the high school, they are getting away from punitive measures and they are making progress, student dropouts are down, student discipline is down, they are helping to form young adults to make good choices.

Add the requirement for a "Constitution Day" to the handbooks

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Elementary principals

2. Guests/Presentations
a. School Handbooks - Principals

Sally Winslow - provided an overview on handbooks
All the Elementary school principals, and Karen Seyfried (ECDC)

Statement in five major native languages present in the district
Documents to be converted to HTML format which will enable an automatic selection of language
Student friendly language
consistent policies across the schools
policy on early childhood school readiness added
new policy on bullying/cyberbulling added to the handbooks
principals work on this effort to apply it to each of the levels within the district

I reported on my survey results of the handbooks on the websites this afternoon.
They were all found but some were called "family", some "student", some had the school name and one had "parent"
Could there be some consistency in the naming of them; perhaps using the school name to reflect some of the specialization that each does.

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - School Committee

Present: Douglas, Cafasso, Rohrbach, Mullen, Roy, Trahan, Glynn
Absent: none

1. Routine Business

Citizen’s Comments - none

Review of Agenda - no adjustments

Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the Executive Session and Open Session of the July 20, 2010 School Committee Meeting.
Motion to approve, passed 6-0 (1 abstain)
Payment of Bills - Mr. Glynn
Motion to approve, passed 7-0

Payroll - Mrs. Douglas

FHS Student Representatives

Correspondence: none

Franklin, MA