Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Annual Report - 2015: Public Schools

On behalf of the students, parent, faculty and the community we are pleased to submit this report about the activities and accomplishments of the Franklin Public Schools for the 2014-2015 school year.

The school year celebrated the official opening of the New FHS on September 1, 2014. Our faculty and administration began a journey together to learn about the new high school. The technology and innovative instructional spaces would have positive impact on the educational outcomes for students. The opening of the new HS signaled the implementation of a 1-1 technology initiative and all students and staff were assigned security lanyards. New labs and instructional spaces allowed our faculty to offer innovative courses that are not available to many college students. We opened with an additional 130 students on the first day of school. September 20, 2014 marked the official opening of the building with a celebration that included the entire community. In October a sprinkler head burst at the Annie Sullivan Middle school causing that school to be closed for four days. The 2014-2015 school year was marked by one of the most challenging winters in recent memory.

Back -to- back blizzards in February, 2015 made opening schools a challenge and as the snow piled up it had to be hauled off by trucks. In spring of 2015, the Helen Keller Elementary School was awarded a pilot program for a Best Buddies program. As the first K-5 Best Buddies Program in the world we are excited to make this club a success. During the 2014-2015 academic year our students excelled scholastically, athletically, in the arts and in all extracurricular activities while making a profound impact on their community with a wide range of community service projects. We implemented EnVisions Math at the elementary level and as a district we participated in the PARCC Assessment pilot. While we had a few glitches our implementation was successful. We collected feedback from student and staff and shared the data with state education officials. Our faculty and staff are passionate in their work with our students and they are tireless in seeking new opportunities for all students. As advocates for public education, we extend our collective appreciation to the many employees and residents of the Franklin community who provide support for the Franklin Public Schools.

Vision Statement
The Franklin Public Schools will foster within its students the knowledge and skills to find and achieve satisfaction in life as productive global citizens.

Mission Statement
The Franklin Public Schools, in collaboration with the community, will cultivate each student's intellectual, social, emotional and physical potential through rigorous academic inquiry and informed problem solving skills within a safe, nurturing and respectful environment.

Core Values

  • Student Achievement

All students are entitled to academic excellence, appropriate facilities and quality materials and instruction.

  • Social / Civic Expectations

Students will become engaged, responsible citizens who respect the dignity and diversity of all individuals and cultures.

  • School Climate

Through our words and our actions, we create a culture of civility, thoughtfulness, appreciation and approachability.

  • School / Community Relationships

An active commitment among family, community and schools is vital to student learning.

  • Community Resources for Learning

We partner with all members of the community to exchange ideas, solve problems and build a comprehensive educational experience.


The FY 2016 proposed school district budget is driven by two key factors:

Personnel Salaries and Contractual Obligations:

The FY2016 proposed budget includes funding for all known collective bargaining increases. The overall salary recommendation does not include costs for employees who are expected to be absent for the year due to an unpaid leave of absence. The net increase in personnel costs amounts to $1,072,091.

Human resources continue to be our most valuable asset as indicated by the fact that eighty-five percent of the FY2016 budget is comprised of salaries and health benefits. The remaining fifteen percent accounts for payment for students attending out-of-district placements, transportation, and other expenses, mainly supplies and contracted services.

New Positions:
Secondary Level:
The FY2016 proposed budget includes funding for four new middle school teaching positions in an effort to maintain class sizes with increasing enrollment at the middle level. A .6FTE English Language Learning specialist is included to maintain compliance with regulations to address the needs of students whose primary language is not English. One high school teacher is included to address the increase in enrollment.

Elementary Level:
Three elementary math specialists are included in the proposed FY2016 budget. Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks were revised in 2011 and we are still in the process of aligning and adjusting. The math specialists have been an integral part of this work and the work will continue for the next few years, especially as we move into next generation testing.

The adoption of enVisions math is assisting us in the implementation of the new standards. However, there is much work to be done to support teachers and students. The current math specialists have been charged with creating 4 benchmark assessments in all grades to ensure consistency across the district. These are to be used as common assessments and to supplement enVisions with real world problem solving. The benchmarks incorporate questions similar to those found on statewide testing. The assessments within enVisions are more simplistic and do not have enough rigor for our students. Creation, implementation, monitoring, and analyzing these assessments is time-consuming, but yields valuable information about the program and student progress.

This is the third year that we have been working with the workshop model in our math classes. The model is similar to what has been used successfully in literacy. This allows us to formatively assess each student and differentiate the work according to what is needed for success. Teachers have needed ongoing support from the math specialists, who have been creating and delivering high quality professional development experiences for teachers in their role as instructional coaches. The goal is that with increased capacity internally, we will reduce our need for external consultants in the future. This is the model used in literacy, but requires the math specialists to have the time to plan and develop these programs. Additional math specialists in the proposed FY2016 budget would allow for one full time equivalent position at each elementary school to build capacity.

Health Care Benefits:

For FY 2016, health care premiums were expected to increase 10.9%, $482,361. The Town and School administration and the Insurance Advisory Committee continued to explore ways to reduce health care costs while at the same time improve overall health and wellness of employees. We anticipate the need to change insurance carriers to see a smaller increase of 4.7% or $211,849. In addition, the establishment of a wellness committee has been instrumental in providing additional opportunities for all employees to improve their physical health and well-being. At this time, as Franklin’s Insurance Advisory Committee continues to work towards keeping premium increases to a minimum, the Town and its employees have obtained significant cost savings over the past several years. We are encouraged by this level of collaboration and we continue to explore additional cost containment measures.

Shared from the full and complete PDF version of the Town of Franklin Annual Report for 2015 ->
Continue with the Public Schools section of the Annual Report. Page 142 picks up where this leaves off and provides a section on each of the 10 schools in the district.


"Prior to November 1 of each year, the Town Clerk shall cause to be prepared and made available to the inhabitants of the Town an annual report for the preceding fiscal year which shall include: the annual Town budget, the reports of all Town officers, the records of all Town Council bylaw amendments and resolutions, an abstract of births, marriages and deaths, and the wages, salaries, or other compensation of all Town employees." [Added 5-2-2012 by Bylaw Amendment 12-681]

Franklin High School in the rain
Franklin High School in the rain

For additional information on the Public Schools visit their page on the Town of Franklin website:

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