Friday, August 20, 2021

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Franklin Public Schools

The Franklin School Committee has had a busy year. The challenges posed by a global pandemic have certainly presented unique challenges to all of us. We remain committed to supporting the Strategic Plan of the Franklin Public Schools in promoting each student’s intellectual, social, emotional and physical potential with a safe, nurturing and respectful environment.

While the committee meets in public twice a month throughout the school year, subcommittees and task forces meet regularly to do the work in service to the community. Below are listed some of the areas for focus over this past year:

The subcommittees and their functions are outlined below:
Budget: Reviews, proposes and considers matters pertaining to the school budget. Participates with the town-wide Joint Budget Subcommittee. Committed to educating the public about the budget process in an open and transparent way.
Community Relations/Public Schools Advocacy: Reviews, proposes and considers matters pertaining to communication with the community about school policies, issues and programs. Meets on a monthly basis throughout the community at various locations including the Harvest Festival, The Farmer’s Market, The Senior Center, The Public Library, Franklin Cable TV Station, etc. in order to share information and address citizens’ concerns. Shares information on legislative matters at the federal, state and local levels. This year the committee held its third annual legislative forum. Our state senators and state representative shared updates and answered questions from citizens.

Policy: Reviews, proposes and considers matters pertaining to policies and procedures in the Franklin Public Schools. This subcommittee also maintains the Policy Manual.

Transportation: Recommends and reviews policies regarding transportation. The subcommittee also develops bids for transportation services.
In addition to the work of these subcommittees, members participate on advisory councils and as liaisons to the Joint Parent Communication Councils and Mass Association of School Committees (MASC)

The responsibilities of these members are outlined below:

School Wellness Advisory Council: Establishes annual wellness goals for the district. Reviews data, conducts data collection and sponsors professional development programs for students, faculty, parents and the community. Meets monthly throughout the school year.

Parent Communication Council Liaisons: Joining the Superintendent and other central office administrators, school committee liaisons share important information relative to policies and issues before the school committee. This is another opportunity to gain feedback, insights as to the issues/ concerns of the community. Meets every month during the school year.

MASC Liaison: Advocates at the state level for issues relative to public schools.

Substance Abuse Task Force: The School Committee has supported the work of the Substance Abuse Task Force, led by Assistant Superintendent, Lucas Giguere. The purpose of this task force is to address the serious issue of substance use disorder which is so dramatically impacting our community and communities across the country, with a focus on education, treatment and prevention. School Committee representatives contribute to the work of the task force, along with members of the Franklin Police Department; State Rep. Jeff Roy; the SAFE Coalition; the Recreation Department, teachers, principals, counselors, local doctors, nurses, students and other citizens of our community.

Comprehensive Closing Study: This year the committee began a comprehensive closing study of the Davis Thayer School. The Superintendent, per our policy, recommended that this facility justified further analysis. The work will continue this fall.

Other: In line with the focus on diversity and inclusion, the committee has representation on the community-wide task force (Franklin Social and Racial Justice Task Force). In support of our focus on the social, emotional health of our students, the school committee has representation on the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Task Force on Mental Health and Substance Use.

Summer Workshop: The School Committee also meets at a one-day summer workshop with the Superintendent to provide input relative to the District Improvement Plan and to plan pertinent School Committee presentations and workshops for the following school year. Throughout the year, the School Committee works with a facilitator from MASC to strengthen our skills and effectiveness as an elected body so that we may better serve the public.

Respectfully submitted,

Anne Bergen, 
Chair, Franklin School Committee 

Continue reading the Franklin Public Schools section of the Annual Report for 2020

Prior Annual Reports can be found online

Franklin Annual Report - 2020:  Franklin Public Schools
Franklin Annual Report - 2020:  Franklin Public Schools

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