Saturday, November 20, 2010

A great "Holiday Care Package" idea for the members of our Armed Forces in Afghanistan or Iraq

First, I hope that this message finds you and your families in good health and spirits.

Second, as we approach the holidays, I ask that you give some thought to performing a random act of kindness for a member of our military serving in Afghanistan or Iraq. You can perform this random act of kindness by:

1. Sending a Holiday Care package to a member of our Armed Services


2. Making a donation to the USO (

For the first option, a holiday package can be sent via the USPS to one of the Chaplain addresses found at (skip the “Redeploying soon” addresses).

For example, my wife and I know someone at FOB Gardez so we are sending Holiday Care packages to:

Chaplain Section,
APO AE 09354

with a note asking the Chaplain to distribute the gift to a Service Member who may not receive a holiday care package from home. 

However, you can select one of the other addresses and use the above format. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find addresses for a US Marine base but perhaps a reader of this can share a Marine base address.

The Holiday Care packages that Beth and I are sending includes Xmas candy (chocolate bar and jelly beans), socks, trail mix bars, a small packet of Oreo cookies, soap, and a Xmas card. The Xmas card is addressed to “A member of our Armed Services at FOB Gardez” and signed the Kelliher Family. We are not addressing the card to “a Soldier” because members of the Army, Air Force, and Navy are all stationed at the base and the term soldier would be inappropriate for members of the Air Force or Navy. In addition, we are packing the items in a Holiday theme gift bag before we place the bag in the box so that the idea of a Holiday gift is reinforced.

Incidentally, the large Priority Mail Flat-Rate box, only costs $12.50 to send to a overseas military zip code like 09354 and the box can be filled with a nice collection of candy, socks, soap, and other items.

Please utilize the list to pick another base. We would like to show our appreciation at more than one base.

Please share the “Holiday Care package” suggestion with your friends, relatives, and co-workers.

Regards and Season’s Greetings,

Charlie Kelliher

Franklin, MA

In the News - Remington, trees on Common

Franklin students help needy with Turkey Trot

Franklin, MA

Sign the Food Revolution Petition

Jamie Oliver is working on his Food Revolution to change the way families eat and cook. He created a stir when he came to Huntington, WV last year and as I recall he is going to LA this year.

He has started a petition to take to the President to get the FDA to change the way they establish the requirements for school lunches.

You can find out more about Jamie's work on his website

You can sign the petition here

You can get recipes for school lunches here

Franklin, MA

Friday, November 19, 2010

5th Annual Casino Night - tonight!

Today, the Franklin Education Foundation (FEF) will hold its 5th Annual Casino Night at the Franklin Elks from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. The event will feature Black Jack, Roulette and Money Wheel as well as raffles, a Silent Auction, cash bar and FREE hors d’oeuvres. The event is well known as a fun evening out with friends and neighbors, all while contributing to a worthwhile cause.

Admission is $25. To avoid waiting in line at the door, advance ticket purchase is recommended. For ticket purchase, auction donation or sponsorship information, please contact Peter Minor at (508) 541-6700 or Cash only accepted for chip purchase. Checks and Visa/MC accepted for Silent Auction items. For more information visit

Since 1997, The Franklin Education Foundation events have raised well over $190,000 which has been distributed to Franklin public schools in the form of special grants. All Franklin Public School staff members are eligible to submit creative, innovative ideas for programs or activities that would not traditionally be funded by tax dollars. To see a list of programs FEF have funded over the years, visit

Franklin, MA

Attention Franklin: Important Dates for your calendar

Dec 8, 2010 - a new meeting was added to the Town Council calendar. This is the annual exercise to set the tax rate. I hope to have the data in time to update the analysis that I did last year. I expect the tax rate to increase from the 12.03%. The question is will it go higher than the 14.21% rate that was set in 1997. The low rate for the record was in 2007 at 8.86$

You can find last year's analysis here

Jan 25, 2011 - a presentation and discussion on the issue of full vs half day kindergarten. As has been said frequently by the School Committee, full day is on the table this year. It is likely to be included in the level service budget they initially come forward with. How much revenue the school budget can expect from the Town and state will determine how much of a gap there will be, and hence what options they'll need to consider to balance the budget.

Jan 29, 2011 - school budget workshop, this will be a good opportunity to get into the details and nuances of the budget, cost drivers, etc. The information in this session will set the stage for the school budget actions to come later.

Feb 1, 2011 - announced as the presentation of the school budget formal presentation at the regularly scheduled School Committee meeting.

If you heard the School Committee on Tuesday evening, you heard clearly that they are not interested in changing their ways of communication.

If you did not view the meeting, tune into this section here

Given the reluctance of the current School Committee to consider changing their ways, anyone with any interest in the schools needs to start taking an interest now.

Re-districting is another distinct possibility, they really should have done it earlier to avoid some of the imbalance in class sizes amongst the schools. They have chosen to move slowly. Why? Maybe they can answer. I won't speculate for them.

Both of these issues affect the entire school population. Never mind getting into a tough budget year next year AND the high school renovation pending some realistic dollar figure being attached to it after all kinds of speculation.

Given all this, one would expect a significant communication effort to come forward. As was made clear by their litany of excuses explanations during their meeting Tuesday, they are comfortable with their efforts and don't see the need to change.

You can ask them. You can get involved.

Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA: Police toy drive

The Franklin Police will be conducting their annual toy drive. Details in the flyer below


Franklin, MA

Sunday - Downtown Partnership Needs YOU!

Franklin Downtown Partnership Plans Holiday Decorations

The Franklin Downtown Partnership will once again team up with the Garden Club to decorate Franklin's downtown center with holiday greens, ribbons and wreaths on Sunday, November 21, at 9:00 a.m.

Residents are welcome to put on their garden gloves and join volunteers on the center island in front of the Rome Restaurant. Volunteers are also needed on Friday, November 19, at 10:00 a.m. to organize the greenery at Hillside Nursery.

"It's become our tradition to put up the decorations the Sunday before Thanksgiving to spruce up the downtown for the holidays," says Eileen Mason, Beautification Day chairperson. "Volunteers from the high school boys and girls hockey teams are very much appreciated every year for their spirit and enthusiasm in the decorating".

Each year local sponsors donate funds to pay for the holiday decorations and the spring flowers. "We are fortunate to have such generous businesses that enable us to continue our efforts each year," says Executive Director Lisa Piana. "We accomplish all of this through donations and tireless volunteer hours."

Anyone interested in volunteering or sponsoring this activity should contact Eileen Mason at for more details. For more information please visit the Partnership's new website at or contact Lisa Piana at

"The whole project is done beautifully"

The project was permitted in 2004 as a senior housing development. Construction began one to two years later, but a weak real estate market and high unemployment made it difficult to sell units. In 2008, the Zoning Board granted a variance making two of the five buildings non-age restricted.
"It has been transformed ... into something that is unique," Gary Hogan, an attorney for the developer. "There is not another similar development in this town."
That variance coupled with a decrease in the selling price of units led to increased sales, Hogan said, adding that 25-30 percent of the units have been sold and 40 percent have been built.
Franklin condo developer wants to expand project
from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

Franklin, MA

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Quick Poll Question

Do you think the school committee earns an 'almost very high' level of engagement with the Franklin community on school issues?

Express yourself in the quick poll in the center column.

Franklin, MA

"Let’s Talk about Cyberbullying"

Thursday, December 9, 2010
7:00PM – 8:30PM
Dean College
Campus Center Multi-Purpose Room

We are all reading about cyberbullying in the news. Now Franklin’s own home-grown expert Teenangels and their founder, cybersafety expert and head of, will help the Franklin community understand how it works, how big a problem it is and what we can do about it. The Teenangels are teens who train under Dr. Aftab for 2 years to become cybersafety experts in their own right. They are sought after by the media, governmental agencies and Congress for what they know and their practical approach to addressing cyber-risks.
Parry Aftab is Executive Director of, the largest online safety and educational program and the cybersafety contributor to the Today Show, Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, CNN and MSNBC. She is best known for empowering families to use digital technologies more safely and responsibly. She is a member of Facebook’s five member international safety advisory board and MTV’s advisory board.
This event is sponsored by: Franklin WiredTeens Club, Franklin Community Health Council, and the Franklin Anti-Bullying Task Force.

The flyer for the event can be found here:

Aftab Cyber Bullying Event 12-9-10

Related posts on Cyberbullying

Franklin, MA

Town Council - 11/17/10

The collection of posts from the Town Council meeting on Weds Nov 17th can be found here:

Franklin, MA

In the News - zoning, toy drive, Vallee office hours

Downtown Franklin zoning proposal debated

Vallee to hold office hours in his district

Franklin, MA

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Live reporting - Closing

Happy holidays



Pfeffer - congrats on Franklin Arts Show
Senior Center held the Veterans Day, well attended, thanks to the participants
The Council did have an open meeting at the coffee shop and the only attendees were the councilors

Dec 10th -
Holiday Stroll - Dec 2nd
Tree lighting - Nov 28th 4:00 PM

motion to adjourn, passed, 7-0

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Action items


1. Resolution 10-63: Acceptance of Amendment to Chapter 138, Section 33B

Adds one hour to the Sunday hour for selling liquor
motion to accept, passed 7-0

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Sign Bylaw Proposal

Cable- Creation of a Non-profit access Corporation
Proposed Changes to the Sign Bylaw, the Commercial 1 Zoning District, & Creation of a New Downtown Commercial Zoning District- Zoning Bylaw –

Bryan Taberner, Department of Planning & Community Dev.
Nick Alferi, Asst Planner

(a copy of the presentation will be posted later, Bryan will be emailing it to me)
the document can be seen as part of the meeting document

TC 11-17-10 Downtown Bylaw Changes Presentation

Existing sign bylaw does not meet the Town's needs
treat the downtown as a separate commercial zone
re-zone 74 parcels into the new Commercial I zone

all the changes are coming through together as they are all related to one another

Change the district, zoning map, use tables, change the parking requirements

Eliminates the special permit for height by reducing permit for 4th and 5th story buildings to be only 3 story buildings

Could still get 4th and 5th floor outside the downtown district via special permit

Changes mixes uses for downtown to allow retail on the first floor and residential above

Residential parking .75 for one bedroom, plus one space for every ten bedrooms
option to buy out and feed a parking fund

sign districts similar to design review guidelines
permitted and no-permitted signs
exempt, temporary and political sign

signs allowed by district - in table (part of packet)
establishing a procedure for timing of the temporary signs and the political signs

bylaw changes are not going to make all current signs illegal (if illegal today, still illegal)
does not disallow all temporary and political signs

listing of the multiple bylaws required to accomplish all the changes required

Pfeffer - I was at that meeting in Jan 2008, why did it take you so long to get here
Taberner - The sign bylaw took multiple revisions

Pfeffer - When Mariani came downtown, the bylaws were changed to allow his building coloring
Taberner - That was before my time, I understand what was done, we are making it easier now

Nutting - the bylaws were changed back in 2003, we have learned from what we did then to incorporate them now. These proposals have a building setback, they add downtown parking, they allow a 3 story by right as opposed to the special permit.

Pfeffer - I don't understand why we changed it then and are changing it now

Nutting - changing the density from 40 to 20 is much more practical

Vallee - I like the mixed use, but there are a number of things that I don't like. What model did you use to get this?
Taberner - this is developed specific to what we need to do here, learning from what others have done

Vallee - what do you have against the mixed use.
Taberner, right now, these are not allowed by right, that is what this is about. I understand what you are saying about the upper stories. To get a special permit, right now will take a long time and there is no guarantee of getting it. With the 3-story, it is an appropriate use for that space and should be available by right. Leaving the option for 4-5 in the outside the core is possible

Taberner - if you change the use, then these regulations would kick in, unless you change the use, these changes wouldn't kick in

Alteri - the parking requirements are based upon the square footage of the building

Nutting - that is a non-conforming pre-existing use, if they don't change the use, this would not have an effect

Powderly - What is the feedback from the Downtown Partnership
Taberner - I was there several months ago, I will be there tomorrow morning
I expect that there will be additional input from them based upon the current proposals

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Cable Update

Cable- Creation of a Non-profit access Corporation

Jeff Nutting provided an overview, then Bob Dean, current committee chair went into the details
the committee would look at setting up a cable access corp, a non-profit to help separate the Town legally from some of the broadcast issues.

Continue to improve PEG (Public Education and Government) access for the citizens

Continue existing lease for now to go through the non-profit establishment/creation
Approx $1 million in fund currently

Possibility of putting the studio in as part of the high school renovation, that is possible
but not likely to happen within 3-5 years due to the construction timeline

Existing fees and capital grants have contributed to the current fund level

Jeff -  Bob was a little shy in getting a studio set up

There are two options, we (the Town) keeps operating or we set up a non-profit to operate it

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Town Council

Present: Kelly, Jones, Whalen, Mason, Pfeffer, Powderly, Valle
Absent:  McGann, Zollo

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – October 20, 2010
motion to approve, passed 7-0

Meetings of the Town Council are Recorded by Verizon, Comcast and Franklin Matters


Steve Sherlock spent a couple of minutes making three recommendations to the Town Council
these are available in more detail in the FM #77 Mid-Term Update

Franklin Disability Commission (Mary O'Neill)
motion to accept, passed 7-0

Library Board of Trustees (Karen Gerwatowski)
motion to accept, passed 7-0

Long Range Financial Planning Committee
The names of seven citizens appointed will be added, their appointed was accepted 7-0

Updated 11/18/10  - this update was removed and the correct names listed below

Doug Hardesty, Deborah Bartlett, Graydon Smith, Greg DiMarzio, John Hogan, Ken Harvey, Orrin Bean
Updated 11/29/10


Franklin, MA

The Franklin Food Pantry says "Thank You"

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Gratitude Hugs to our many supporters who touched our hearts and shelves this past year – With you we are able to make a difference. Thank You.

Thank you:

Linda, Dave, Michael and Tony for your extraordinary dedication in keeping the shelves stocked and clients satisfied 

Vicki, Karen, Amy, Linda, Maureen, Paul and Steve for bringing your talent and collaborative spirit to our new Board

Rockland Trust
Susan and Pat for your support during this transition

75+ volunteers who helped us unload, sort and stock over 8,000 lbs of deliveries and donations this month

Volunteers for helping us assemble more than 200 Thanksgiving bags

Interfaith Council for working together to collect food donations to fill our Thanksgiving bags

Davis Thayer Bobcat Buddies and Mrs. Wayne for organizing, assembling and delivering 65 Thanksgiving bags

Mayflower trucking for picking up our turkeys from the Greater Boston Food Bank

Tony M for donating turkeys in memory of your wife Dora

Panera, Elizabeth's Bagels and BJ's bakery for your weekly bread and pastry donations

Lisa for your time, mentoring spirit, generous resources and connections

Stop and Shop for hosting a collection bin for the Franklin Food Pantry resulting in more than 6,000 lbs of donations this year

Rich Brachold, Bigelow Station and 3 restaurant for organizing a wonderful evening of friends, fundraising, great food, music and dancing

Legacy Place for including us in your inaugural event

Tangerini's Farm for your generosity and fresh, local produce which made Mondays our favorite day for 20 weeks

Amy and Tony for meeting us at the Farm every week to help with UPick and loading 15 CSA shares

Brenda for helping us back at the pantry every Monday for 20 weeks of free, fresh produce distributions

Backyard gardeners who donated their garden harvest to those in need

Acorn Animal Hospital and Vet Med for keeping our pet food shelves stocked

Andrew Wilson (& Wilson family) for Eagle Scout project organizing and completing more than 130 hours developing our database

Annie Sullivan Middle School
Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter School
Berry Insurance
Birthday celebrations who collected Food Pantry donations instead of presents
BJ's Franklin
Boston Sports Club
Boy Scout Troops
Caritas Norwood Hospital
Chestnut Dental
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Church of the Redeemer
Circle of Friends Coffeehouse
Clients for your gratitude and patience
Cost Cutters
Curves Franklin
David Thayer Elementary School
David & Pat
Dean Bank
Dean College
Define by Design
Digital Federal Credit Union
Donations of gently used refrigerators and freezers
Dr Mark Valle DDS
Dr William Koplin DDS
ElemenTree House
Elizabeth's Bagels Franklin
Emma's Quilt Cupboard
ERA Key Realty
Fallon Community Health Plan
Families who collected food while trick or treating this year
Feed the Need
Feet in Motion School of Dance
First Universalist Society Franklin
Franklin Alden Club
Franklin Art Association
Franklin Chargers
Franklin Childrens School
Franklin Community
Franklin Country Day Camp
Franklin Downtown Partnership
Franklin Elks
Franklin Federated Church
Franklin High School
Franklin High School National Honor Society
Franklin Interfaith Council
Franklin Library
Franklin Lions Club
Franklin Newcomers
Franklin Postal Workers
Franklin Rod & Gun Club
Franklin Rotary
Franklin School for the Performing Arts
Franklin Schools and PCCs
Franklin Senior Center
Franklin Skilled Nursing
Franklin Sons of Italy
Franklin United Methodist Church
Franklin VFW
Franklin Youth Hockey for bringing a Giving Garden closer to reality
Friends of Franklin
FX ORegan ECDC Preschool
Girl Scout Troops
Greater Boston Food Bank
Gutter Gals
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
Helen Keller Elementary School
Hockomock YMCA
Horace Mann Middle School
HP angel who helped us stay within our technology budget
Integrated Defense Solutions
Jefferson Elementary School
Keller Williams Realty
Kennedy Elementary School
Kimberly Clark
Legacy of Giving
Liquor World
Longobardi Construction
MA Track Coaches Association
Metrowest Community Healthcare Foundation
Middlesex Savings Bank
Milford Daily News for Gifts of Hope and helping us share our stories
Mom's Clubs
Next Generation
New England Chapel
Oak Street Elementary School
Obers Express
Panera Bread Franklin
Parmenter Elementary School
Paul A Longobardi Trucking
Pierce Aluminum
Prospect Hill Country Day School
Random Smile
Remax Executive Realty
Remington Middle School
Ricks Restaurant
Rockland Trust
Santa Foundation
Shaws Supermarket
St Johns Episcopal Church
St Marys Catholic Church
St Vincent de Paul
Stop and Shop
Sunrise Montessori School
Tangerini's Farm
Team Fitness
Temple Etz Chaim
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Town of Franklin
Tri County High School
United Regional Chamber of Commerce
United Way of Tri County
Vendetti Motors
Vet Med
Weight Watchers
WGAO 88.3 FM (Dean College)
WMRC 1490 AM (Milford)
Women's Success Network

to the many individual donors who we are unable to mention by name

to the many neighbors who support us anonymously

Gratitude Hugs to All - Happy Thanksgiving

Please forward our Thank You to anyone associated with those listed above.

in gratitude,
Anne Marie
Anne Marie Bellavance
Franklin Food Pantry
43 West Central Street
PO Box 116
Franklin, MA  02038
(508) 528-3115

School Committee - 11/16/10

The collection of live reporting from the School Committee meeting on Tuesday, Nov 16th can be found here:

Franklin, MA

United Regional Chamber’s New Franklin Office

The United Regional Chamber of Commerce celebrated the opening of its new downtown Franklin office location with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house on Nov. 12. The new office is located at 4 West St. in Franklin. Local dignitaries and members of the Chamber came to the ribbon cutting to welcome the new office.

Chamber members and local dignitaries attended the opening of The United Regional Chamber of Commerce’s new Franklin office at 4 West St. recently. Attending the event from left to right are: Brian Doherty of B & M Clambakes, Olga Allen of The United Regional Chamber of Commerce, Franklin Town Clerk Deborah Pellegri, Matt Kelly of the Franklin Town Council, Renee Danho of Dean College, Jean St. Andre of Time for You Massage, Carl Scheinman of Dean Bank, Charlene Cabral of Ayotte-Cabral Insurance Agency, Terry Katsaros of Rockland Trust, Carie Ann Bailey of Middlesex Savings Bank, State Rep. Betty Poirier, Oreste D’Arconte of The Sun Chronicle and president of the Board of Directors of The United Regional Chamber of Commerce, Nathan Suhrer of Wedding Reels Video, Jack Lank of The United Regional Chamber of Commerce, State Rep. James Vallee, State Rep. Richard Ross, Rose McGrath of Ferguson Enterprises, Ed McDonough of Executive Coaching, Lisa Nelson of US Rep. James McGovern’s office, Mary Graff of Berry Insurance, Lisa Daly-Boockoff of The United Regional Chamber of Commerce, Irene Pelley of The United Regional Chamber of Commerce, Amanda Gentile of Hampton Inn Franklin and Wayne Reid of Hampton Inn Franklin.

Franklin, MA

In the News - Downtown Partnership, Price Chopper, MCAS

Franklin Downtown Partnership launches new website

The new website can be found here:

Franklin Downtown Partnership plans to decorate the town Sunday

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Live reporting - Closing

5. Information Matters
Superintendent’s Report
Big Lots - opening the 19th, will donate $2500 to the Parmenter School

Still looking for folks to participate in the visioning sessions
Can't move them away from during the week, already scheduled

School Committee Sub-Committee Reports
budget subcommittee did meet on Friday
did come up with a game plan to run by everyone

Kindergarten full day, half day discussion - January 25th

Saturday budget workshop, January 29th
level service budget, same services with the increased costs
explaining the budget in detail, allowing to have conversation in detail with the administrators

Once the money we will get from the State and Town is clear, then we can adjust

Feb 1 public hearing
Budget adoption on Feb 15th

Space needs subcommittee tweaking the report for a Jan presentation

School Committee Liaison Reports

6. New Business
To discuss future business that may be brought before the School Committee.
FEF Casino night Nov 19th

7. Executive Session
Contractual Negotiations
motion to enter, not to return to public meeting
passed 7-0

8. Adjourn

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Action items

4. Action Items
a. I recommend acceptance of a check for $250.00 from College Board for FHS Scholarships and AP Testing. motion to accept, passed 7-0

b. I recommend acceptance of a check for $500.00 from BJ’s Community Relations Program for Remington Middle School.  motion to accept, passed 7-0

c. I recommend acceptance of a check for $733.40 from Remington PCC for Remington Middle School.
motion to accept, passed 7-0

Live reporting - Discussion only items

3. Discussion Only Items
Budget to Actual - no questions, no discussion

Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan
Public comment period open through Dec 9th
Final discussion and vote on plan Dec 14th

Community Outreach
Bill Glynn
Why do we face such a challenge year after year?
The community needs to discuss this, all the stakeholders
I have attended PCC's meetings, I wholeheartedly agree with Steve, more of this is necessary

Cafasso - Community Relations Subcommittee needs to have a meeting
Engagement, everyone has their own style
if you are talking about communications as a committee, then we need to think about what we want to accomplish
the idea of an open mic night has come up before, a brief presentation then answer any and all questions
I prefer communications around specific matters of importance, i.e. the budget, the high school renovations
It is hard to talk about individual topics, logistically hard
No one is not in favor of it
Not just the channels, the medium, parents love the school newsletters
We have a lot of different options, take the different presentation and put them online and promote it
The problem is our website is not user friendly
A really good website would make this easier
We could revive our Facebook page, what do we link to?

Certainly the high school has to be a communications topic, and the budget has to be

Mullen - we need a more strategic effort, we have the subcommittee in place
attending the high school PCC, you have a good place where parents want to be, they don't meet that often
are you taking time away from another presentation that might be more strategic?

Rohrbach - I am sitting here thinking about what people are thinking about
We are communicating, we meet the Joint PCC's regularly and wait for an invitation
In addition to that, we are out pretty much everyone of us, at coffees, etc.
Our spring is virtually on the road if there is an override
The School Committee blog is active, the meeting is available via video on demand
we do do a lot, currently, we need to do so in a simplistic way so we are not overburdening them with data
I think we communicate very well, we need to assess how we can do it differently
I am in favor of doing a town wide forum once or twice a year

Roy - I do want to acknowledge the level of engagement is very high
Sabolinski - maybe our own category, almost very high

Roy - Franklin School Advocacy group, 7:00 PM 3rd floor training room
I can't think of a better public forum, we have a 100 comfortable chairs
I make an attempt to make these meetings as comfortable
I would love to see more people to engage in this forum
I get fearful that if we do too much people will get sick of us, I get fearful we'll burn out
People in the long run, will do the right thing

Trahan - challenging people in the community and empowering them
they need to come forward and want to get the information
Maybe what we need is to issue the challenge, tell us what you need

Cafasso - We need to talk with Tim Raposa, we need to focus on the website
it will take money to get it hosted.

Glynn - I agree with Ed that the budget and the high school are two key items
I think it is all opportunistic, it is all good

Sabolinski - the four top topics
budget, override, redistricting, programmatic (kindergarten, etc.)

Policy – First Reading

GBEBA/JIA Staff Research Policy

GBEBA Staff Research Projects

Sample MASC Policy for Facebook and Social Networking
Looking for direction from the committee as to whether to review the current policy (JU) in light of this draft from the MASC:

MASC Sample FacebkSocNetworkPolicy

This draft only references Facebook, our current policy is better than this draft.
A policy without definitions is a dangerous thing.

There are places and uses where it can be useful but it can get out of hand.
It is allowed if school sanctioned

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - MCAS - part 3 - Q&A

Closing comments on the presentation itself:

27.5% percent of the graduating class earned the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship

Literacy work in the district makes a difference
Data analysis has doubled, so folks are getting the data to use and improve instruction and curriculum

Concern with increasing class size puts greater pressure on the special ed and low income students
MCAS is a moving target which in and f itself makes it hard to continue to perform

Core standards are in their final changes, the 2011 MCAS tests will reflect the current core standards
during 2012, the tests will be a hybrid of new standard and old standards
in 2013 the tests will be fully against material in the updated core standards

Cafasso - What happened in 2009 to cause the trough? (see slide 9 - Math subgroups Franklin to State Comparison)

Michele Kingsland-Smith - the 8th grade test is the hardest test they will take, as well as changes in the District which affected the instruction

Cafasso - I don't understand the growth slide, can you take a number

Kingsland-Smith - Better to see at an individual level, it measures the amount of growth for that performance in comparison to the other students. You may have had the same grade but you achieved your grade by growing more from the prior year than someone else.

Cafasso - you are highly efficient and we need to convince folks to continue to invest in this efficiency

Roy - Slide 13
Steve Sherlock - provided the analogy of the crew team, both finish in a tie, one had started out and got a big lead. the other team increased the rate of the strokes to finish in the tie. Hence the second team had a greater rate of strokes like the greater growth they are talking about.

A great presentation

Me: I concur, this is one of the better presentations I have seen, it makes sense.

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - MCAS - part 2

2. Guests/Presentations  (continued)
b. MCAS Presentation – District Leadership Team

Sharon Jackson, computer teacher @ HMMS
Eileen Belastock, Math Dept. Chair @ FHS
Lucas Giguere, Assistant Principal @ ASMS
Margaret Miller, Head Teacher/Math CET @ DT
RuthAnn McHugh, Head Teacher/Math CET @ Keller

The presentation itself can be found here

Slide 11
New growth measure introduced to districts in 2009 that will enhance districts’ ability to analyze MCAS data to inform instruction, and make programmatic and curricular decisions.
Scale of 1-100, student growth percentiles (SGP’s) are calculated using two or more years of consecutive MCAS data.
Growth is measured by comparing changes in MCAS performance from one year to the next with that of “academic peers” (individual student, school, district).
Academic peers - students in state with same MCAS performance history
Takes into account the test t (Math or ELA) & increasingly more difficult/complex grade level learning standards.
Not calculated on Grade 3 tests as this grade represents the first year in the test administration cycle.
Not calculated for Science/Technology or Biology tests as two consecutive years are needed
Commissioner of Education in his September 10, 2010 memo to Massachusetts Educators,
“In simple terms, students earning high growth percentiles answered more questions correctly on the spring 2010 MCAS test than did their academic peers;
conversely, students earning low growth percentiles answered fewer questions correctly than their academic peers.”

Slide 12
Graphic represents a Growth Bar Graph – identifies % of students who performed within each of the growth percentiles from yellow (Very Low) to dark green (Very High)

The goal is for all students fall within the Moderate to Very High Growth percentiles (40-100%) on ELA and Math MCAS tests

This graphic represents all Franklin students in ALL grades who took the ELA MCAS tests.

62% of all students demonstrated Moderate to Very High Growth on their ELA MCAS Tests
42% demonstrated High/Very High Growth on ELA tests
37% demonstrated Low Growth on these tests
CPI Performance on ELA 94.0 Very High

Slide 13
This graphic represents ALL Franklin students in EACH grade who took the ELA MCAS tests.

In grades 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 at least 60% of all students demonstrated Moderate to Very High Growth on their ELA MCAS Tests
Gr 4 - 73% M to VH
Gr 5 – 68% M to VH
Gr 6 – 60% M to VH
Gr 7 – 63% M to VH
Gr 8 – 61% M to VH

51% of Gr 10 students demonstrated Moderate to Very High Growth on their ELA MCAS tests
92% of Gr 10 students performed at the Advanced/Proficient levels on this test

Slide 14
This graphic represents all Franklin students in ALL grades who took the Math MCAS tests.

60% of all students demonstrated Moderate to Very High Growth on their Math MCAS Tests
38% demonstrated High/Very High Growth on Math tests
39% demonstrated Low Growth on these tests
CPI Performance in Mathematics – 89.9 almost Very High

Slide 15
This graphic represents ALL Franklin students in EACH grade who took the Math MCAS tests.

In grades 4, 5, 7,8 and 10 at least 50% of all students demonstrated Moderate to Very High Growth on their Math MCAS Tests
Gr 4 - 74% M to VH
Gr 5 – 69% M to VH
Gr 7 – 63% M to VH
Gr 8 – 56% M to VH
Gr 10 – 53% M to VH

45% of Gr 6 students demonstrated Moderate to Very High Growth on their Math MCAS tests
78% of Gr 6 students performed at the Advanced/Proficient levels on this test

Slide 17
This graphic represents our Student Growth distribution for our Low Income and SPED students in ALL grades in English Language Arts

Low Income Student Growth
54% of all Low Income students demonstrated Moderate to Very High Growth on their ELA MCAS tests
65% of non-Low Income students demonstrated Moderate to Very High growth on the same tests
36% LI students demonstrated High to Very High growth in ELA as compared to 44% non-LI students
10% more Low Income students demonstrated Low Growth on the ELA tests than non-Low Income students
Students in this subgroups demonstrated High performance with a CPI of 82.9
57% of Low Income students performed at the Advanced/Proficient levels vs 87% of non-Low Income students

Special Education Student Growth
54% of all Sped students demonstrated Moderate to Very High Growth on their ELA MCAS tests
34% of Sped students demonstrated High to Very High growth on ELA tests
45% of Sped students demonstrated Low Growth on the ELA MCAS tests
43% of Franklin Sped students performed at Advanced/Proficient levels on this test
Data was unavailable for the team to compare Sped with Non-Sped Student Growth Percentiles. This data will be included in the MCAS Report to School Committee.

Slide 18
This graphic represents our Student Growth distribution for our Low Income and SPED students in ALL grades in Mathematics

Low Income Student Growth
In Mathematics, students in the Low Income Subgroup demonstrated similar growth patterns as non-Low Income students
61% of all Low Income students demonstrated Moderate to Very High Growth on their Math MCAS tests
61% of non-Low Income students demonstrated Moderate to Very High growth on the same tests
36% LI students demonstrated High to Very High growth in Math as compared to 39% non-LI students
39% of Low Income and non-Low income students demonstrated Low Growth on Math tests
45% of Low Income students performed at the Advanced/Proficient levels vs. 78% of non-Low Income students

While performance is not where we would like it, students are demonstrating growth at a level comparable to their non-subgroup peers.

Special Education Student Growth
62% of all Sped students demonstrated Moderate to Very High Growth on their Math MCAS tests
39% of Sped students demonstrated High to Very High growth on Math tests
39% of Sped students demonstrated Low Growth on the Math MCAS tests
30% of Franklin Sped students performed at Advanced/Proficient levels on this test

While we continue to work toward closing the achievement gap, students are demonstrating growth at a level comparable to their non-subgroup peers.

Slide 20
The DESE uses several factors to identify comparable districts in the Commonwealth including student population, town demographics, performance, etc.
Graph identifies the ten towns the state compares with Franklin.

ELA Performance
In ELA, Franklin ranked 6th among the districts for % of Advanced/Proficient students (83%)
1- Wellesley 88%
2-Needham 87%
3-Westwood 86%
4-Andover 85%
5-Chelmsford 84%

Franklin ranked in the top 4 districts for lowest % of students scoring a Warning on Math MCAS tests
Behind Andover, Needham, and Westwood

Math Performance
In Math, Franklin ranked in the top half among the districts for % of Advanced/Proficient students (75%)
1-Andover 81%
2-Westwood 80%
3-Needham 79%
4-Natick-Wellesley 77%

Franklin’s % of students in the Warning performance level was similar to most districts in the comparison

Slide 21
The DLT also compared its performance in ELA and Mathematics with districts within the Hockomock League

ELA Performance
In ELA, Franklin ranked 3rd in the Hockomock League (tied with Mansfield) % of Advanced/Proficient students (83%)
1- King Philip 86%
2-Sharon 84%
3 – tie: Franklin/Mansfield 83%

Only 3% of students scored Warning in ELA

Math Performance
In Math, Franklin shared the top rank with Sharon for % of Advanced/Proficient students (75%)

Franklin also shared with Sharon the fewest number of students in the Warning performance level

Slide 22
The District Leadership Team also compared its performance in ELA and Mathematics with districts that have similar Per Pupil Expenditures

ELA Performance
In ELA, Franklin ranked 1st in the % of Advanced/Proficient students (83%) with the next highest district performing at 80% (Easton)

The district was tied with Easton for 1st in the lowest % of students scoring a Warning in ELA (3%)

Math Performance
In Math, Franklin also ranked #1 for % of Advanced/Proficient students (75%)
The next closest district, Easton, had 70% of students perform at this level )
Franklin also ranked the lowest for % of students at both the NI (19%) and Warning (6%) performance levels

Bottom Line - Franklin outperforms other districts with similar per pupil expenditures

Slide 23
The DLT finally compared its performance in ELA and Mathematics with the top 10 highest performing districts in the state

In ELA and Mathematics, Franklin ranked 10th of 11 districts in the % of students in Advanced/Proficient students
ELA 83%
Math 75%
Lowest Aggregate Student Growth Percentile (SGP) in Math
Top ½ for Sped SGP in Math
Bottom 3 districts for Aggregate and Sped SGP in ELA

Other Comparisons:
Franklin ranks 10th of the 11 districts
Franklin has the lowest Per Pupil Expenditure
Franklin has the lowest Student Growth Percentile in the Aggregate
Franklin has higher class sizes than high performance districts

Franklin ranks 5th in Professional Development expenditures
Franklin ranks 5th in its per teacher professional development expenditure

Bottom Line – Franklin puts $ were it counts - instruction

Slide 25
ELA Performance
The number of students performing in the Advanced/Proficient categories in ELA increase over time for the class of 2011
Grade 3 – 80%
Grade 10 – 90%

The number of students performing in the Needs Improvement/Warning Categories decreased for this class
Grade 3 – 20%
Grade 10 - 9%

Math Performance
The number of students performing in the Advanced/Proficient categories in Math increase over time for the class of 2011
Grade 4 – 66%
Grade 10 – 87%

The number of students performing in the Needs Improvement/Warning Categories decreased for this class
Grade 4 – 33%
Grade 10 - 13%

Slide 26
John/Abigail Adams Scholarship
114 of 414 high school seniors (September enrollment figures) were awarded the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship based on their Grade 10 MCAS performance. This award represents 27.5% of the senior class. Students qualified for this scholarship by scoring: (a) in the Advanced category in English Language Arts or Mathematics and Advanced or Proficient in the other subject area on the grade 10 MCAS assessments; and, (b) in the top 25% of the students in the district on these tests.

Performance/Growth Improvement
The number of 7th grade students who scored Advanced/Proficient in Math increased from 64% in 2009 to 73% in 2010
The number of 5th grade students who scored Advanced/Proficient in Science increased from 68% in 2009 to 74% in 2010
60% of students in our subgroups demonstrated Moderate to Very High Growth on Math MCAS Tests – Our Math initiatives are working
54% of students in our subgroups demonstrated Moderate to Very High Growth on ELA MCAS tests – Literacy work is making a difference.
CPI performances in both subgroups on both tests show slight improvements

Data Analysis
Data Warehouse use doubled in two years ( from 32 to 64 authorized users)
All department chairs, Reading Coaches, Math CET’s, coordinators, Head teachers, etc. are authorized users of Data Warehouse
MCAS and AYP data is analyzed at all levels – classroom, grade level, by discipline, building and district levels
Used to inform instruction, program, curriculum changes and revisions

District Initiatives to improve teaching and learning
Middle school math/sped PD – math co-teaching workshops & math consultant
Literacy & Leadership Teams – set PD goals - common instructional strategies, vocabulary, lab teachers/support & modeling, intensive PD
RtI team – vision and protocols for supporting struggling learners
DLT – analyze data, collect evidence of practice and district progress toward meeting DIP goals, recommendations for new DIP goals
Central Office support to schools in AYP Improvement status
Allocation of ARRA funds to all school to support building AYP/MCAS initiatives

Building Initiatives to improve teaching and learning
Comprehensive data analysis
Use of faculty meetings to address building issues & generate action plans
Instructional improvement plans to address AYP concerns
Revisions to School Improvement Plans
Fall testing to identify at risk students and provide instructional support/interventions
Analysis of end of unit math assessments to inform instruction and identify struggling students
Teacher before/after school study groups to look at student work and problem solve ways to improve student performance
Before and after school clubs, academic support sessions and tutoring
Aligning instructional strategies with student profiles (needs & strengths)
Teaching of test taking skills
Math/Reading support groups (additional academic support during the school day)
Software purchases to provide additional practice of foundational skills
MCAS skills reviews built into daily instruction
Progress monitoring of struggling students & more frequent communications (progress reports) to parents
Individual Student Success Plans K-8 (ISSP’s)
Educational Proficiency Plans (EPP’s) at the high school
Participation on DESE Assessment Development Committees

Slide 28
Class size – 24 districts in our comparison studies were contacted
Only 2 districts (Attleboro & Stougton) had larger class sizes at the elementary level
Only 2 districts (Mansfield & Attleboro) had larger class sizes at the middle level
Franklin had the highest class size at the high school
Considering the subgroup AYP concerns & increases in our LEP populations, class size is a considerable factor teachers’ ability to meet the needs of these students.l

Subgroups & AYP
District is working had to narrow the achievement gap & provide additional support before/during/after school for students with disabilities
several factors make this difficult: class size, length of school day, change in AYP target CPI scores every other year
targets will increase for the AYP determinations based on Spring 2011 MCAS test administrations
Increase performance expectations do not take into consideration severity of student disabilities, personnel required to provide adequate support structures

Budget & Instructional materials
No textbook line item in district budget – CI for requests
Ask/Purchase only minimum needed, knowing that other departments have needs as well
Loss of core curriculum teams now requires ELA, math, STE and HSS to cycle through a 5 year cycle with the UA disciplines
Common Core standards in Math & ELA will be vetted through professional groups & finalized this year.
Districts are expected to be prepared to fully implement these frameworks by the fall of 2012. We won’t have teams in place to do this work and meet these expectations
Spring MCAS 2012 – transitional test - will include some Common Core test items
Spring MCAS 2013 – tests will reflect Common Core standards ONLY (1 year transition to revised test)

Middle School Math
While we are making gains – growth percentiles are promising we still need to continue our efforts
Maintain academic support efforts (during and after school)
Math co-teaching model – Special Ed/General Ed initiative – share expertises
Aligning required math content with instructional strategies that complement each student’s learning style and needs.