Saturday, September 15, 2012

Update: Parmenter modular units - 1 gone, 3 to go

The Parmenter modular units are indeed moving out. They were mounted upon wheels on Thursday/Friday and one of the units is off the property. The other three are positioned to be hauled away.

The DPW is busy this morning cleaning up the space where the units had been sitting for the past 10+ years. I should have some photos of the finished landscaping work for Sunday or Monday.

Related posts and pictures on the Parmenter modular units

Circle of Friends Coffeehouse: Tom Rush

Tom Rush is playing at the Circle of Friends Coffeehouse Saturday night, 8:00 PM.

To listen to "a guy with a guitar", there is no better place. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased via the Circle of Friends webpage (tickets will be held at the door for you).

To get a flavor of Tom this almost 10 minute video gives a good sample:

Find more inspiring video, audio, and images at Growing Bolder.

Oh, I don't think I mentioned that the coffeehouse does serve home cooked desserts that are absolutely delicious! When we go, this is our dessert theater!

For more about Tom visit his webpage:

For ticket to the concert at Circle of Friends, visit their webpage:

"service like that is expected"

The Milford Daily News has an article about Robert Pirelli, father of Robert Ryan Pirelli, who passed away this week.
Pirelli died on Tuesday, after a long battle with stomach cancer. He was 60, and leaves his former wife, Nancy Sullivan of Franklin, his son, Shawn, 28, a graduate student at the University of New Hampshire, and his daughter, Stacey, 25, of Franklin. 
Pirelli started the Robert Ryan Pirelli Scholarship Fund in 2008 and over the years had raised money for college-bound Franklin High School students. His son graduated from the school before going on to study at Northeastern University.
Shawn Pirelli said his father delt with the pain of his brother's death by way of collections and fundraisers held at the Elks Lodge. “For my Dad, it was his way of grieving,” he said. “The Elks have done a lot to support my brother and the troops he served with.”

Read more:

In the News: Library, SEPAC, art

Franklin library book discussion group to meet, Oct. 2

Friday, September 14, 2012

Farmers Market - noon to 6:00 PM today!

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

Franklin, MA: Farmers Market

Where in Franklin is the Town Common?

View Larger Map

Harvest Festival - Sep 30, 2012

The Franklin Downtown Partnership will be holding the annual Harvest Festival rain or shine on Sunday, Sep 30, 2012.

Note: as a member of the Downtown Partnership, I won't have a booth for Franklin Matters. Rather, I'll be spending time at the Franklin Food Pantry and helping to spread the word about the work that the Food Pantry does. We are located in the Rockland Trust parking lot and if you visit the kids area during the Festival, be sure to stop by!

Going "Car-Free" September 17-23

This is a real challenge for those in Franklin who work outside of Franklin and other than Boston. At least if you work in Boston, the commuter rail could be a commuter option. If you work in NH or RI, there is not a realistic commuter option other than car pooling with co-workers.
Have you tried getting around Franklin without a car? The GATRA bus is one option. Bicycle and walking may be options for some trips.

What do you think? Could you go car-free?

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Transportation by Klark Jessen on 9/13/12

Car-Free Week Logo 2012_urlThe Patrick-Murray Administration is encouraging residents who are able to leave their cars in the driveway and try going "car-free" – by bicycling, walking, public transit, carpooling or vanpooling for Massachusetts Car-Free Week, September 17-23.
Massachusetts joins over 1,000 cities in 40 countries across the globe in an effort to showcase the community, environmental, and quality of life benefits of reducing the number of vehicles on the road.  

For the third year in a row, Massachusetts will be celebrating an entire week of going car-free or "car-light," which includes carpooling or vanpooling instead of driving alone. No other state in the nation has proclaimed a statewide Car-Free Week celebration.

This year, those who take car-free and "car-light" modes of transportation during Car-Free Week and year-round can start earning discounts and incentives from area businesses through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's rewards program, NuRide, the nation's largest travel rewards program for individuals who take greener trips, and is free for anyone who lives or works in the Commonwealth.

"Car-Free Week is a great time to remind individuals to sign-up for NuRide and be rewarded for their efforts to commute green," said MassDOT Secretary Richard A. Davey. "NuRide is a free program, it is easy to use, and it enables MassDOT to reward travelers for incorporating sustainability into their daily commutes."

Massachusetts Car-Free Week supports GreenDOT, MassDOT's comprehensive environmental responsibility and sustainability initiative launched to support the Global Warming Solutions Act, signed by Governor Deval Patrick in 2008. The Act requires a 25% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels by 2020, the first step toward a required 80 percent reduction by 2050. The transportation sector generates more than one-third of the total greenhouse gas emissions produced in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Car-Free Week is a collaboration between the MassDOT, MassRIDES, the statewide travel options program, and MassCommute, the Massachusetts Transportation Management Association. For more information, visit or email Johanna Blue,

Things you can do from here:

Trader Joe’s now open at Patriot Place

The Franklin Food Pantry is already benefiting from Traders Joe's opening. The Pantry will be picking up some food items every other week that they'll be able to share with Franklin residents.

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Wicked Local Franklin News RSS by Paula Vogler/CORRESPONDENT on 9/13/12

149208 MA_NM_tjopening2.jpg
FOXBOROUGH - Hoping to fill a void in an area without local access to one of its stores, Trader Joe's opened Friday, Sept. 7, at Patriot Place in Foxborough with an eye toward drawing loyal and new customers alike.
Calling the chain a neighborhood grocery store, Trader Joe's Northeast Regional vice president Chris Maguire said the store sells everything from the basics like fruit, vegetables and milk to unique items like ethnic entrees.

Things you can do from here:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Anti-Bullying Training


Good Afternoon

The Franklin Public Schools, in collaboration with MARC (Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center at Bridgewater State University) is holding an Anti-Bullying Training on September 19th at 6:30 P.M. at the Mercer Auditorium at Horace Mann Middle School.  The presenter is Dr. Elizabeth Englander.  The training is open to adults, faculty and community members.

To see the flyer, click here:

or go to the district web site under District News.
This e-mail has been sent to you by FRANKLIN PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT. To maximize their communication with you, you may be receiving this e-mail in addition to a phone call with the same message. If you wish to discontinue this service, please inform FRANKLIN PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT IN PERSON, by US MAIL, or by TELEPHONE at (508) 613-1777.

In the News: door bells, EPA fine

In state rep race, a lot of door bells to ring

Franklin glass recycling facility faces EPA fine

MassBudget: New Census Data - Rising Insurance Coverage

MassBudget    Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center    Democracy.
Rising Insurance Coverage Nationwide
New Census Bureau data once again show that Massachusetts leads the nation in health insurance coverage, with roughly 19 of every 20 residents insured. Nationwide, the rate of uninsured people dropped to slightly below 16 percent, the first decline in several years. The decrease appears to be due to a number of factors, including: 1) growth in Medicaid enrollment and, 2) implementation of a federal health reform provision that allows young adults to be covered by a parent's health plan up to age 26. Massachusetts included a similar but slightly narrower version of this provision in its 2006 health reform law.

Also included in the Census data was information about income and poverty nationwide.
  • In 2011, median income declined by 1.5 percent, to $50,054. This is the second year in a row in which real income has decreased.
  • Across the country, 1 in every 5 children lives below the poverty line.
  • 46.2 million people live in poverty. That's a poverty rate of 15%, which is essentially unchanged from last year.

The data released today provide a useful overview of poverty, income, and health coverage on the national level, but next Thursday (9/20) the Census Bureau will release more reliable state-level data as part of the American Community Survey. At that time, MassBudget will provide fuller analysis of poverty, income, and health coverage in Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

BOSTON, MA 02108
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Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center | 15 Court Square | Suite 700 | Boston | MA | 02108

T.O.P.S (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) - Sep 15

Would you please put this event in Franklin Matters in time -- Sept. 15th.  The organization is T.O.P.S. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly)?  Thank you.  Faith Flaherty, TOPS Leader

T.O.P.S.  Inspiration Workshop 

Inspire each person to manage their nutrition and life in ways that will help each person.  T.O.P.S. is a support group that aims to promote health and well-being nutritionally.  T.O.P.S. mission is to support our members as they take off and keep off pounds sensibly. 

When:    Saturday, September 15, 2012Where:  Franklin Senior CenterTime:    8:30 AM registration  9:00 - 12:00 programCost:     Free

More information on TOPS can be found on the national TOPS webpage here

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"It drives what we do"

The School Committee meeting Tuesday evening is partially covered in this article in the Milford Daily News. The District Improvement Plan was presented (as detailed) but there were other items on the agenda.

I did have the opportunity to work on the Strategic Planning Committee when the current vision and mission statements were developed. To see this latest iteration of the district plan build upon what was started then is heartening. The evolution of the planning process itself is good to see. No longer are we viewing multi-year plans, the plan will focus on a year at a time. Certain themes will carry from one year to another but they'll be able to re-focus to address the latest issues within that theme.

That the MCAS scores reflect only 20% of what goes on in the schools was one of the key reasons for this change in the planning approach.
"We wanted to take a step back," said Superintendent Maureen Sabolinski. "In the past, it has been really about our MCAS data; we decided to take a global perspective. We decided to look at a wide range of data … to articulate where we are going as a district." 
Part of this ideological shift stems from school officials wanting to spur success in all subjects, in math classes as much as art classes, as opposed to only those covered by the exam itself. 
Broadly, the core values in the plan include fostering the right academic climate, nurturing civic leadership and accepting more feedback from the community.

On the Parmenter modular units:
Essentially as these are the last of the leased units, the Town is dependent upon the contractor to remove them. Work was underway on Tuesday. They removed the cooling units from the roof of the modulars. They are scheduled to be removed from Parmenter by Friday. These delays will not be see in the removal of the other modular units as those are owned by Franklin and the DPW will control that schedule.

While there are population shifts from school to school, the district does not have a committee looking at redistricting until after the modular units are removed and the work on renovating Davis Thayer is complete. Both of these items will clarify the picture on what space is available and where the population exists within Franklin.

Read more:

For reporting on the complete agenda of Tuesday's School Committee meeting, you can find the link here:

School Committee - 09/11/12

The collection of reporting from the School Committee meeting held Tuesday, Sep 11 can be found here

An Afternoon Tea with Downton Abbey - Nov 4th

As mentioned during the Life Long Learning update to the School Committee on Tuesday, there will be a "An Afternoon Tea with Downton Abbey" scheduled for Sunday, Nov 4th.

Additional details can be found in the following flyer:

Help the Baby Beats - Boston Heart Walk - Sep 15

From the Amante Family:
Welcome to the fundraising page for team Baby Beats. We have been raising money for the Heart Association since 2002! Just two weeks after Damian's third open heart surgery we attended our first Heart Walk in New York. 
Funds donated to the Heart Association go toward life saving research, techniques and equipment.

Damian has directly benefited from projects that were funded by the Heart Association.

We celebrate Damian and the victory over his struggles by raising money to support this important organization.

Please support our team by donating to the Heart Association! Thank you!

You can find the fund raising page here

In the News: cub scouts, Nutcracker

Franklin Cub Scouts slate sign up

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

live reporting - closing

5.Information Matters
Superintendent’s Report
quiet opening all things considering, some minor transportation issues were resolved

there are modular units still at Parmenter
there was work being done on them today
they are supposed to out by this Friday!

The other modulars will be easier. These are the last of the leased units. We needed to rely on the company to remove them

transportation update - 
2810 riding, 1797 pay to ride
bus passes should be out, they need to be shown, replacements are $5
some requests in for stop changes in process, the Franklin Police have been involved to evaluate the safety of the proposed stops
there are a number of calls coming in, they are being answered in the order received so if not yet answered, they are getting to it

some requests for the waiting list, 34 on list, 
principals will be taking bus ridership counts next week so we will see what if anything can be done
the transportation office is closed on Friday

Primary reasons for changes in bus stops, attempts to reduce the walking from the students home to the stop

We are out checking out the bus stops, check the stops at different times during the day
will be working on a form for future bus stop change requests

Capital planning process started
come in late fall to formulate our request
getting some computers from Harvard, the quality is significant

FHS Project
official notification that the project scope and program plan as been accepted
not just a validation of the project but of the program overall

set up public tours, opening the buildings one night a year
the schools have signed up for a calendar
looking for school committee members to participate

Harvest Festival, Sep 30th
Sally Winslow will be covering the School Dept table
would School Committee members like to take turns?

Parent training
consistent with bullying program
Sep 19th 6:30 - Dr Englander
geared for parents, nationally recognized expert on cyberbullying
connect Ed message coming
at Horace Mann Auditorium

School Committee Sub-Committee Reports

School Committee Liaison Reports

New business
Trahan - 
Nov 3rd Casino night for FEF

live reporting - action items

4. Action Items
a. I recommend elimination of the following policies as discussed:

  1. JICA – Student Dress Code
  2. JICDA – Academic Honesty Policy
  3. JICF – Gang Activity/Secret Societies
  4. JIH – Interrogations and Searches
  5. JKAA – Non-Violent Physical Crisis Intervention
  6. JKAA-R – Non-Violent Physical Crisis Intervention Administration Procedures/Crisis Team Procedures
  7. JKF-E – Memorandum of Understanding
  8. JKF-R – Matters Involving Violence, Weapons, Hate Crimes and Drug Distribution
  9. JLF-E – Child Abuse/Neglect
  10. JLF-R – Statement of Child Abuse and Neglect
motion to approve, passed 7-0
these policies are replaced by what is in the school handbooks

b. I recommend adoption of Policy JFL Child Abuse/Neglect as discussed.
motion to accept, passed 7-0

c. I recommend adoption of Policy JKAA – Non-Violent Physical Crisis Intervention.
motion to accept, passed 7-0

d. I recommend acceptance of the donation of an OKI Color Printer valued at $150.00 to the FPS.   motion to accept, passed 7-0

e. I recommend acceptance of a check for $750.00 from the Hockomock YMCA from the Amanda Hartford Grant for Davis Thayer.   motion to accept, passed 7-0 

f. I recommend acceptance of a check for $1,125.00 from O’Charley’s Inc. for in-house enrichment at FHS.  motion to accept, passed 7-0

live reporting - policy review

3. Discussion Only Items

Policy – First Readings:
1. BL – Remote Participation Policy
clarification on what to do when one who is remote has some technical difficulty
continue the meeting and acknowledge the attempt at participation

motion to move to second reading, passed 7-0

Policy – Second Readings: Elimination of Policies:
1. JICA – Student Dress Code
2. JICDA – Academic Honesty Policy
3. JICF – Gang Activity/Secret Societies
4. JIH – Interrogations and Searches
5. JKAA – Non-Violent Physical Crisis Intervention
6. JKAA-R – Non-Violent Physical Crisis Intervention Administration Procedures/Crisis Team Procedures
7. JKF-E – Memorandum of Understanding
8. JKF-R – Matters Involving Violence, Weapons, Hate Crimes and Drug Distribution
9. JLF-E – Child Abuse/Neglect
10. JLF-R – Statement of Child Abuse and Neglect

no additional comments on the removal, these policies come up in action items

New/Revised Policies (Second Read)
1. JLF – Child Abuse/Neglect
2. JKAA – Non-Violent Physical Crisis Intervention

Live reporting - district improvement plan, life long learning

2. Guests/Presentations
a. District Improvement Plan
Sabolinski, Edwards, Winslow,

over arching goals for the district, each of the school improvement plans derive from this
only 20% of the teachers are involved with MCAS educational programs and yet that is what the reporting is focused on; don't want to ignore the other 80% of what is done in the schools

next week is the current release for the most recent MCAS data

Literacy a broad-based goal
Math program added, guiding the new frameworks to what is happening in the classroom
new frameworks speak to the 'common core'
new goals reflect focus on math instruction

community engagement part of the focus, relationships to be developed with parents and to the greater Franklin community
looking for programs to foster student learning and extend the partnership outside the school walls

community collaboration required to support the educational requirements
this was achieved with the passage of the debt exclusion for the new high school
this goes beyond the building itself, to the ongoing needs for education

the plan (copied published earlier) includes check lists to mark and report on progress

includes an observation checklist for teachers and parents for use in reporting on what is observed in the classroom and school environment

previous plans were focused on MCAS, this is more broad-based as it goes to address the other 80% as mentioned earlier

Trahan - that was extremely succinct
Rohrbach - when I started this process was not so well formatted and clearly trickle down. Is it available beyond online?

Edwards - it is trickle down but it is also bottom up from the schools individual needs, there is a connectivity that was worked hard to achieve

Rohrbach - I guess it is better to say there is a common thread
Sabolinski - this drives what we do, it just doesn't go into a drawer and sit. It is an ongoing process

Jewell - some organizations will do things better than others,how do you share the goodness? If you have a checklist, how does that feedback come into the process?

Edwards - any parent question goes first to the teacher and then to the principal. Remember that the checklist is a guideline, not everything on the listing will be seen in every classroom. At all the schools there are grade level meetings, curriculum people, math specialists meet regularly to help spread the word. Sometimes there is more information than can be used

Sabolinksi - if something works, that will spread very quickly. Each school will be holding an open house for curriculum night. The teachers will be setting parent expectations at that setting, a nice opportunity for parents to engage with teachers. I am setting my goals with each of the principals.

Mullen - prior plans were multi year, this is a single year
Edwards - there is too much change coming, with changes in standards and curriculum, to keep up with them and be flexible we needed to be focused on the one year plan. It still allows for continuation of ideas but re-focuses them slightly to allow for flexibility and delivery

Sabolinski - we have spent four years training teachers on ELL, we have to go and re-train the teachers
The emergency response plan was dropped in our lap and we are one of the first to have submitted our response so we are in good shape

b. Lifelong Learning Summer Update
Pandora Carlucci

(a copy of the presentation will be added later)
The following document is more Pandora's notes that she used to make her update than a full presentation document.

approx 2500-3000 students for the summer program

"ready, set, kindergarten" - one of the fun programs to observe
held at Oak St, classrooms are set up similarly

Star program - about 1000 students, art teachers doing different programs

Star Plus - the middle school option, a more significant involvement
8 week summer, full day program, theme for each week, activities and field trips, water activities
Legos club is hughly popular

Math Academy - 2nd year
K-6, next summer expanding to 7, and the year after to 8
all the learning is math based, no 'real' names tags, the names were math concepts
each learning approached through math

Summer music program
111 students, participating
music mentors have grown with the program, 
music literature compatible with the normal school year programs
a leadership goal set each day, encourage to perform as ensembles during the lunch time
demonstrating different music techniques, etc.

Summer Art Institute
2 weeks, intense focus on the arts
fine arts academy also participated in this 

Academic support at the high school
remediation occurs throughout the year rather than wait until the summer time

college essay
3 day workshop first time, this year was 3 x three day workshops
so popular we ended up turning folks away even with three session
looking to address additional needs during the school year

high school experience
approx 2/3 of the incoming class participated
photos and video were captured this year to better show other students what happens during the sessions
Could the advisors be available during the sessions?
The advisors were posted so the students were able to meet them at the beginning

class motto - 1980 last yearbook that had one, seemed to have disappeared since then
what are our guiding principles?
difference between motto and slogan
on the final day, cohorts came up with four finalists
itslearning will be used to vote on the finalists, closed voting to class of 2016 only
inclusive of students who did not have a chance to participate
over 300 students fed via Whitson's help

Mandarin - online learning, 90 distinct lessons
Cisco networking academy, 2 target populations; student not going on to higher ed but interested in technology; also good for folks who are retraining; 
mass open online courses (MOOC) - a meet up for anyone in the Franklin area to share what the experience is like; share what they have learned and what the issues are 

Adult ed - grown child care provider courses, folks coming from 10 different towns
indoor walking expanded
hula hoop dance cardio workout
Downtown Abbey tea to be hosted, (flyer available here)

McIntyre - I was trying to find the word for you, you are creative and visionary, we are very appreciative of that
Sabolinski - beside visionary, she makes it happen! Pandora is the queen of schlepping things around, she is phenomenal  at that!
Carlucci - it is a team, I try to say all the names of those involved, they are the ones who come up with the ideas. We all schlep!

Rohrbach - life long learning is the entrepreneurial arm of the district, it is self sustaining so we need to disclose that.
Carlucci - we'll be posting in Oct for next summer, so we'll be starting soon; I think this is my 15th year

Mullen - "respect, value, and include" really speaks to what you do

Live reporting - School Committee - 9/11/12

Present: Douglas, Donahue, McIntyre, Rohrbach, Mullen, Trahan, Jewell
Absent: none

1. Routine Business
Citizen’s Comments - none

Review of Agenda
Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the August 21, 2012 School Committee Meeting.
motion to accept, passed 7-0

Payment of Bills Mrs. McIntyre
Payroll Mrs. Douglas

FHS Student Representatives
Connor Morrissette, Nicole Higgins
more blanks with schedules this year than prior, resolved quickly this year - online learning platform for the district (replaces Blackboard)
400 students on the site at 9:00 PM last night being used for student government as well as classes

A summer government class required 2 books to read, and then provided online discussion with the thoughts on the books

English classes use this for submitting papers, has checks to plagiarism checks as well as allowing the teachers to grade the papers online.

1. Budget to Actual – Miriam Goodman