Showing posts with label bus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bus. Show all posts

Friday, July 7, 2023

Franklin Public Schools, MA: Bus Registration Due July 10, 2023

Franklin Public Schools, MA (@FranklinPSNews) tweeted on Thu, Jul 06, 2023:
Bus Registration for the 23-24 school year has closed. 
Payment in full is due by July 10th. Please note that bus pass pickup is scheduled for August 21st - 25th at your student's school. 
For more information, visit our transportation page: 

Shared from Twitter ->

Franklin Public Schools, MA: Bus Registration Due July 10, 2023
Franklin Public Schools, MA: Bus Registration Due July 10, 2023

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Franklin Public Schools, MA: bus registration info

Pay-to-Ride registration is ongoing through the Aspen Parent Portal. While the deadline for a guaranteed spot has passed, we encourage you to sign up as soon as possible if transportation is needed. 
Full payment is due July 10, 2023 via Unibank's website.  or -> 

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Franklin Public Schools, MA: bus registration info
Franklin Public Schools, MA: bus registration info

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Franklin Public Schools, MA: bus registration deadline - June 12

"Guarantee a spot on the bus for the 23-24 school year! June 12th is the deadline for registration & initial payment. 
Seating is not guaranteed after the registration deadline. 
Help us, help you and register your child today! 
Register and learn more: "
Shared from ->

Franklin Public Schools, MA: bus registration deadline - June 12
Franklin Public Schools, MA: bus registration deadline - June 12

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Senator Rausch Celebrates Earth Month With Legislation To Drive Climate Action And Environmental Justice

This Earth Month, Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) joins community leaders, activists, and experts to raise awareness about environmental protection work targeted at achieving our Commonwealth’s climate action goals. Earlier this term, Senator Rausch, who serves as the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources, filed several bills to decrease carbon emissions, improve air quality, reduce plastic pollution, and build a more sustainable future for all.
“Climate change is among the greatest challenges of our time, and we must address it immediately and comprehensively,” said Senator Rausch. “The robust climate action we need must enhance our recently enacted legislation by further reducing dangerous carbon emissions, curbing single-use plastics that pollute our environment, restoring air quality, and enhancing environmental justice.”

Single-use plastics such as bags, bottles, and utensils are produced using fossil fuels and have detrimental effects on the environment, marine life, and public health. Moreover, less than 10 percent of existing plastics are recycled. While nearly half the municipalities in the Commonwealth have adopted single-use plastic bag rules, it is estimated that Massachusetts residents use more than 2 billion plastic bags per year and statewide plastic reduction legislation has yet to pass.

An Act to reduce plastics (S.570), filed by Senator Rausch, seeks to reduce single-use plastics in the Commonwealth by enacting a uniform plastic bag ban, disposable food service ware limits, and a permanent statewide car seat recycling program. The Plastic Reduction Act would also create an Environmental Protection Trust Fund to support environmental justice populations and small businesses in their transition to environmentally friendly products.

As the Plastic Reduction Act expands on the successes of municipalities, this session’s updated Better Buildings Act (S.2178) builds upon prior successes at the state level secured by Senator Rausch and a broad coalition of environmental experts and activists. With large building energy reporting requirements already enacted into law, this bill would create statewide energy efficiency standards for existing large buildings, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and boosting our ongoing climate action efforts.

Greenhouse gas emissions damage the planet’s ozone layer, leading to negative impacts for human and environmental health. Just last week, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection issued an air quality alert across eastern and northeastern counties in the Commonwealth, asking people with heart or lung disease to reduce prolonged exposure outdoors as they are at greater risk of health complications from increases in ozone levels. Air pollution remains a silent killer in Massachusetts, responsible for an estimated 2,780 deaths in 2019. “Large buildings account for a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions in Massachusetts. We must use every tool in our toolbox to address the serious
harms of air pollution on residents of the Commonwealth. The Better Buildings Act is necessary climate action legislation to improve energy efficiency, replacing fossil fuel heating with cleaner alternatives,” said Senator Rausch.

Senator Rausch also filed legislation to improve air quality through converting school buses from diesel fuel to electric (S.2288), and address equity in water quality and access through comprehensive data collection and analysis about water shut offs, tax liens, and unaffordability (S.2177). Each of these bills address existing issues that disproportionately impact environmental justice communities.

Senator Rausch’s climate legislation takes a multifaceted approach to addressing climate change through an equitable, data-driven lens. These bills now await hearings before their respective legislative committees. For more information on Senator Rausch’s legislative portfolio, visit

First elected in 2018, Senator Becca Rausch represents the Norfolk, Worcester, and Middlesex District, comprised of Bellingham, Dover, Franklin, Medfield, Milford, Millis, Needham, Norfolk, Plainville, Sherborn, and Wrentham.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Franklin Public Schools: The 2022-2023 school bus routes are now available.

The 2022-2023 school bus routes for Franklin Public Schools are now available.

  • Please note that Franklin High School and Horace Mann Middle School students will ride separate buses for the 2022-2023 school year.  
  • Franklin middle school students attending BFCCPS will ride their district middle school bus in the morning, which will stop at ASMS, HMMS or RMS and then continue on to the Charter School.
  • Note that all stop times are approximate;  Students should be waiting outside at the stop at least 5 minutes prior to the bus arrival time.
  • BUS PASSES:  Will be available for pick up at your child's school August 22-26.  Please check with your school for the exact schedule for bus pass pickup.

The 2022-2023 school bus routes are now available.
The 2022-2023 school bus routes are now available.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Announcing MassCEC’s ACT School Bus Program

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) recently released a Notice of Intent for a new Program, Accelerating Clean Transportation School Bus (“ACT School Bus”).  MassCEC intends for this program to support electric school bus deployment and complement the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program. MassCEC is here to help discuss your options for school bus electrification whether you own, lease, or contract with a third-party fleet. Schedule a time to meet here!
The first round of applications for EPA’s Clean School Bus rebate program are open now through August 19th! School districts and other eligible applicants can receive up to $375,000 in funding per bus based on prioritization. School districts that work with a third-party school bus company are encouraged to partner with their providers and take advantage of this funding opportunity. For more information on the EPA rebates and timeline, please visit EPA’s website to access webinars and FAQ.
Additionally, MassCEC’s ACT School Bus will offer flexible funding for deployment projects and technical assistance for electrification planning. Eligibility and prioritization will be aligned with EPA’s program. MassCEC will be opening the funding opportunity for school bus fleets in late summer 2022, after EPA applications are due. For additional information, please visit our website, sign up for our office hours, or email our team at! 

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Franklin Public Schools: Bus Registration for the 22-23 School Year is open

Bus Registration for the 22-23 School Year is open! Families must register each student individually before June 13th to guarantee their seat.  
Our online registration on FamilyID makes it easy.  
Visit our transportation page for registration details: or
Franklin Public Schools: Bus Registration for the 22-23 School Year is open
Franklin Public Schools: Bus Registration for the 22-23 School Year is open

Shared from Twitter ->

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

GATRA Launches Innovative On-Demand Share Service - Dec 15

Passengers Can Book Same Day Trips Through Smartphone App 

The Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Agency (GATRA) is excited to announce the launch of GATRA GO United a flexible and dynamic on-demand microtransit service to operate within the towns of Foxborough, Franklin, Norfolk and Wrentham. 

Similar to ride-hailing services, GATRA GO United uses a smartphone app for riders to schedule customized curb-to-curb microtransit trips. A vehicle will pick up riders and drop them off wherever they wish to travel within the service boundaries. Along the way the shuttle may pick up other passengers who also request a ride (With COVID-19 social distancing protocols in place). This service is wheelchair accessible and all drivers are trained and certified using state and federal guidelines. 

This pilot program will operate within the towns of Foxborough, Franklin, Norfolk and Wrentham as well as portions of the towns of Bellingham and Plainville connecting employment locations, medical facilities and recreational locales. 

The service will start on December 15, 2020 and will be operated on a pilot basis. It will be free through the month of January. The service area map can be found on the GATRA GO United app or on our website, 

GATRA is partnering with National Express, one of the largest private transportation contractors in the United States and the current operator of GATRA's services in the Franklin and Norfolk Areas. The new service is powered by Next Connect, a new mobility platform developed by National Express in cooperation with Spare, a leading on-demand Transit software provider. 

The new on-demand microtransit service will replace the fixed route bus service in these four towns with a solution that will enhance transportation options for all. To use the new ride share program passengers first need to download the free GATRA GO United app on their smart phone and then request a ride. 

Following a GATRA GO request, the microtransit app will provide passengers with an estimated pick up time, track the bus in real time and alert the person when their ride is about to arrive. GATRA GO United customers do not have to download the app, same day rides can also be requested by calling 800-698-7676. 

Wait time for service pick up will be subject to vehicle availability. GATRA realizes the importance of greater accessibility and mobility in this region and strives to work with their communities to fill public transportation gaps. starts Dec 15, 2020 starts Dec 15, 2020

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Recap - Oct 13, 2020

Quick Recap:

  • The meeting was broadcast via Verizon and Comcast as well as the live steam via the page. All three channels had an audio problem with no sound. The Zoom meeting audio was fine (the Zoom where it happened). Zoom originated the broadcast from the Council Chambers and apparently the audio got lost getting elsewhere
  • Hiring staff is still a concern, bandwidth not an issue (version of Chromebook is), awaiting delivery of new Chromebooks so swaps can be made; teacher and student SEL a concern; communication issues acknowledged (Where was the Community Relations committee?)
  • Three MASC resolutions passed 7-0, one by 4-3 vote as some were fearing that reducing voting age for municipal elections would add student votes to a potential override situation; two other resolutions were already adopted by this committee earlier in 2020
  • District Improvement plan outlined and voted to adopt
  • Superintendent Ahern presented the ‘evidence’ to support her accomplishments versus the goals set out; some discussion on what was the period of evaluation, as 5 of the committee are new and had not participated in the goal setting, although they did partially participate in the period of evaluation
  • Approval to reduce the pay to ride bus fee to account for the hybrid schedule (versus full time in person) which had been anticipated when set
  • The full Davis Thayer and facility report analysis is coming up next meeting, read the report to prepare

As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting in real-time via the virtual session.
The Twitter hashtag can be found online  #schcom1013

  • Getting ready for the next School Committee meeting - have you checked out the agenda? #schcomm1013 it has the connection info for this session
  • The meeting available via Verizon and Comcast local channels as well as via lice stream from the Town of Franklin page #schcomm1013 all brought to you by Franklin TV
  • FHS representatives here for first time in school year. Akash Shetty, class president, Katie Garrigan & Nipun Goel also present and intro themselves; also spoke of mixed bag on remote learning, not easy, teachers doing well, reqs independence #schcom1013
  • #schcom1013 now for Superintendent's report. Review of health data metrics and moving to hybrid as announced last week. Trending under 1% positivity rate and steady. Moving forward as scheduled. FHS model changed to 33% (instead of 1/4) A,B,C cohorts
  • #schcom1013 UV upgrade has begun, currently filters and maintenance complete, and dampers open to increase air flow. 2 types of units large and small, Keller-Sullivan being done, FHS contracted, full schedule in report posted Weds
  • Chromebook arrival anticipated, video bandwidth is fine, issue is with browser and unit software. Swaps being prepared once new units arrive. #schcom1013 contracted for remote service for families with unit problems
  • Staffing continues to be a concern Report of no sound via the live stream, Zoom is fine. Verizon/Comcast also with no volume #schcom1013
  • Folks working the sound issue #schcom1013
  • #schcom1013 large size class VLA for K and 2nd grade a priority for additional help, as noted earlier with the staffing issues
  • Could look at schedule as an interim step for lower level grades #schcom1013 wouldn't want to walk back the overall time as it took so long to get to full day K
  • Superintendent is responsible for the health and safety of the students and staff daily, thanks to all for stepping up, the employers are also stepping up. #schcom1013 Moving along to Superintendent eval
  • presentation doc for eval. #schcom1013 Rubrics for eval with focus indicators
  • #schcom1013 student goal will need to be revised as it was based upon 3 years of MCAS results and that was skipped last year. "When requested" holds exit interview with departing staff.
  • Portrait of a graduate coming in next couple of meetings #schcom1013 (Zoom participation up to 60+)
  • Seal of biliteracy coming for FHS, #schcom1013 one if the key policy matters is the closing study for Davis Thayer and that is underway. Report coming to meeting 10/27
  • Portrait of a graduate (PoG) unites us all together. For Superintendents one of the most important work is to hire principals #schcom1013 to share background material on PoG, should also incorporate pandemic related items as they weren't planned for
  • #schcom1013 how to address pandemic as it straddles 2 school years, last year is part of this eval. Next eval will cover this year and the summer prep etc. Including meetings via Zoom as business changed. Didn't want to go back
  • Judy objects to use of 'evidence' results would be better, otherwise sounds like their picking apart the work. #schcom1013 Q on timing of eval period vs. SchCom term what they could see/observe. Q on staff wellbeing
  • Superintendent eval publicly on Nov 10 #schcom1013 doc contains the updated goals for approval, school goals cascade down from these
  • Essential skills for portrait of a graduate (PoG) shown in these 5 areas #schcom1013 part of the overall district plan, more to come on the PoG as it comes forward as mentioned
  • Key quote #schcom1013 work being done by Community group to be synched with the schools work in this area
  • Still no sound on livestream (only Zoom) #schcom1013 I'll make sure to turn my audio recording around quickly so you can listen to this while Franklin TV queues the replay for cable
  • What is the meaning of 'homework' when all school work is done at home? #schcom1013 use of digital tools for safety and privacy for users.
  • PoG creates a structure for building on the skills across the grades to prepare for walking out the door as an adult #schcom1013 difference between school values and skill competency
  • Q on goals vs this year what is it going to bring? Are we taking on too much? What is the rationale? #schcom1013 anything new is tailored narrowly to this environment, assessment is strategic, could allow us to assess less could do both remote and hybrid, adaptive as well
  • Someone unmutted went full screen to yawn. Thanks, needed that. You know it's contagious #schcom1013 no new curriculum lifts this year, explanation helped to settle what was new vs New
  • Recommend adoption of district goals #schcom1013 motion seconded, passed 7-0 via roll call
  • Motion on policy approval #schcom1013 motion seconded, passed 7-0 via roll call
  • Motion on bus ride pay fee reduction seconded #schcom1013 seconded passed 7-0 via roll call for this school year only due to pandemic.
  • MASC resolutions up for approval 4 resolutions chosen, 2 already acted upon previously. #schcom1013 motion and second amended to hear a summary of the resolution passed 7-0 via roll call
  • Res 1 calls for moratorium for testing for 2020-2021 sch year, motion seconded passes 7-0 via roll call Res 4 lowers voting age for municipal election via empower act, motion and seconded, passes 4-3 via roll call
  • Res 5 advocates for progressive tax regulations, motion seconded passes 7-0 #schcom1013 Res 6 allocation of medicade funding motion seconded passes 6-1 (what % actually goes to schools) Judy no
  • #schcom1013 recap of res 2 and 3 Info matters Budget met last week, scheduled future session; comm relations Tues at 3, newsletter items needed chap 70 presentation last week, FEF fund raiser well attended (approx 40) Policy meeting coming
  • Facilities report reviewed 9/30, coming up 10/27 for full discussion #schcom1013 Joint PCC met, updates confirming what Supt said, concerned about fund raising this year due to pandemic
  • "Caste" by isabel Wilkerson, currently #1 recommended by Rev Eric Cherry #schcom1013 Facilities report next meeting Consent agenda motion to approve, second, passes 7-0 via roll call Judy obtains on minutes for meeting she missed
  • Motion to adjourn regular session, go to executive session to discuss strategy, will reconvene to return Motion to go, second, passes 7-0 #schcom1013
  • While they will return, that is all for me tonight, catch you next time #schcom1013


Franklin, MA: School Committee - Recap - Oct 13, 2020
Franklin, MA: School Committee - Recap - Oct 13, 2020


Friday, September 4, 2020

Franklin Public Schools: Re-opening Update Sep 3, 2020

September 3, 2020

Dear Franklin Elementary Families,

It does not go unnoticed by us in the Franklin Public Schools that the first day of school for most of our students (grades 1 through high school) would have been yesterday and today we would have welcomed Kindergarten. There is a measure of sadness, as we so wish to welcome our students back to school in our traditional ways. We are thinking of our families, as well, and recognize that there is likely some grief and worry for parents/guardians and children alike.

We also recognize that you are eager for information. We are working around the clock to bring this to you and your children so that you know what to expect as we start the school year. Please note, the school year will begin in a predominantly remote environment on September 16, 2020.

While we had hoped to get you more specific class cohorting and placement information this week, the planning and preparation for the year is complicated and complex. While elementary cohort information was originally intended to be shared today, it will be sent on Tuesday, September 8. As bus information is dependent on cohort scheduling, transportation will follow after that. Assignments of teachers can be expected at the end of next week.

Cohort information, when shared, will include to which hybrid cohort your child has been assigned OR it will include a virtual-only designation for students whose families indicated in the family inventory that their child would learn in the entirely remote setting. As noted in the August 25, 2020 Reopening Update letter, children from across the district will be grouped together in classroom sections for virtual instruction in a “Virtual Learning Academy”. We are aware that there were conversations in the community that this plan had been changed. The District has carefully reviewed parent/guardian requests, instructional design, hybrid cohorts, and available personnel and is confirming that we are moving forward with the Virtual Learning Academy, which is described here (

The plans we are putting in place depend heavily on commitments from families and we ask that you honor the selections you have made. Additionally, because of the planning required, we are asking that students learning in the virtual environment, who wish to switch to hybrid, remain in the virtual setting through the first trimester.

If you have questions about virtual only learning, please reach out to the building principal.

Late last week, some new information was released related to childcare. Remote Learning Parent Cooperatives were among the options described by the Department of Early Education and Care and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued guidance related to care options for hybrid and remote learning models. Helpful guidance about parent cooperatives, including legal limitations, can be found at this link:

Additionally, we are aware that several childcare options are emerging within the community and we are communicating closely with them. Please check out our News You Can Use web page where we post helpful community based information like this.

We recently updated our FAQs (reopening website below) to include information related to:

  • Space constraints for children of MA educators attending school full-time
  • HVAC information
  • Influenza Vaccination documentation deadline
  • Chromebook information/optional insurance

We appreciate your patience and kindness as we work through multiple details as we implement our reopening plan. We are actively taking steps to keep you informed during this very fluid environment.

Franklin Public Schools

Please e-mail with questions.

Re-opening Update Sep 3, 2020
Re-opening Update Sep 3, 2020

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Franklin Public Schools: Superintendent's Message - Aug 25, 2020

 August 25, 2020

Dear Franklin Community,

Reopening Plan Approved
The School Committee approved the Franklin Public Schools Reopening Plan at its August 11, 2020 meeting. Franklin Public Schools will be starting predominantly remotely and phasing into a hybrid model based on preparedness and health data. The Reopening Website has been updated to reflect the plan and the Comprehensive Plan has also been posted.

We will continue to provide updates and communications on what to expect to our students and families both at the district and school levels.

We anticipate that there will continue to be changes to the plan as we work on implementation details. The plan will be adjusted in the coming days and specific details impacting families will be communicated from the district and/or school buildings.

First Day of School
The first day of school for the 2020-2021 school year will be Wednesday, September 16, 2020 and the school year will be 170 days. The School Committee adopted this new start date on August 11; the Committee will be reviewing a calendar with proposed revisions of parent/teacher conference dates and professional development for adoption at its next meeting on August 25, 2020.

Remote Only Commitment K-5
Thank you to the many families who recently completed a survey for students entering grades K-5. Understanding your intention and a commitment to proceed with Remote Only  education,  once we transition to a hybrid model, is  very important for our ongoing planning. 

At this time, there is enough interest in Remote Only that we are working towards a model where remote only students in  grades K-5 will be grouped together by grade level with students across all elementary schools and taught by designated remote-only FPS  teachers. 

Curriculum, instruction, and pacing will be aligned with grade level hybrid classrooms in the district.

Should families wish to change from Remote Only to Hybrid, we will provide opportunities at the end of each trimester, and ask for four weeks of notice to be provided. Students will then be assigned to a Hybrid classroom in their assigned school with assigned days for a cohort.

For those of you who selected Remote Only for your child/children, please be on the lookout for a confirmation welcome letter.
Remote Only Commitment Grades 6-8
Thank you to the many families who recently completed a survey for students entering grades 6-8. Like with grades 6-8, understanding your intention and a commitment to proceed with Remote Only education, once we transition to a hybrid model, is very important for our ongoing planning. At this time and based on interest, we are planning to have the Remote Only students continue to proceed in class with the students assigned to hybrid cohorts.

Borrowing a Chromebook and Optional Insurance
Families who wish to be issued a Chromebook as we begin the school year may do so by requesting one through the Technology Department. The current Chromebooks are part of an older fleet of devices that we have been using in the District for the past several years.

Form to Request a Device/Remote Support
We have ordered new Chromebooks,  however, we anticipate a shipping delay. When these Chromebooks come in, families will have the opportunity to swap an older Chromebook for a new one. Families will be responsible for the care of these Chromebooks, consistent with expectations for care of other school materials. Families will be responsible  for replacement  in the event of breakage.  In order to assist families, Franklin Public Schools will be offering families the optional opportunity to purchase $40/year insurance to cover Chromebook failures and accidents. (Intentional damage is not covered). This is something that has been offered to our high school families as long as the 1:1 Chromebook model has been in place (since 2014).

Details about this insurance option will be clarified in future communications, after the new Chromebooks have arrived and are ready for distribution.

Bus Transportation
Even though the deadline has passed, parents/guardians can still register their student(s) for bus transportation via this google form, and we will do our best to accommodate families' needs.

Please wait to make payment until further implementation plans and timelines are announced. We expect that our busing contract will be amended this year with a varied schedule and reduced seating capacity. At this time, we are unsure of what and when refunds will be issued, so we encourage you to wait to make payment until we can assure that your student will have a seat. We will communicate future payment deadlines as they are determined.

The FPS transportation website has been updated with further information. Please contact with questions or to remove an already registered student.

Influenza Vaccine Requirement
Beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, influenza vaccine will be required for all students. Documentation of immunization status should be submitted to schools. This immunization is required in all models of learning, including Remote. Vaccinating against influenza is important for several reasons. Influenza vaccine is always important to receive to reduce the risk of getting sick with influenza, reduce the severity of disease if one does get sick (including the risk of hospitalization) due to influenza, as well as preventing the spread of influenzato others. During the COVID-19 pandemic, influenza vaccine will be especially critical to reduce the overall impact of respiratory illness on the population, protect vulnerable populations from severe illness, and decrease the overall burden on the healthcare system.

Exceptions may be granted for those for whom the vaccine is medically contraindicated or for families who attest in writing that the vaccine violates sincerely held religious beliefs. Families must submit a letter to the school nurse requesting an exemption and indicating the reason.

Please continue to send questions to and we will incorporate your questions into our FAQ page.

Franklin Public Schools

Please contact the Superintendent's Office at 508-553-4819 with questions. Alternatively, you can e-mail as noted above.

Franklin Public Schools: Superintendent's Message - Aug 25, 2020
Franklin Public Schools: Superintendent's Message - Aug 25, 2020

Thursday, August 13, 2020

FM #328 Franklin (MA) School Comm Mtg - Reopening Plan - 8/11/20 (audio)

FM #328 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 328 in the series. 

This session shares the Franklin (MA) School Committee meeting held on Tuesday, August 11, 2020. The meeting was conducted via conference bridge to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

In this almost four hour meeting, Sara presents the comprehensive plan supported by additional members of the Task Force. There is a lengthy discussion among the School Committee and then with the community attendees. 

The show notes contain links to the meeting agenda and reference documents. 

The recording runs just about 4 hours, so let’s listen to the School Committee meeting of August 11, 2020. Audio file =





We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.


How can you help?

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors

  • If you don't like something here, please let me know

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.


For additional information, please visit

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!


You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

FM #328 Franklin (MA) School Comm Mtg - Reopening Plan - 8/11/20 (audio)
FM #328 Franklin (MA) School Comm Mtg - Reopening Plan - 8/11/20 (audio)

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

School Committee votes on plan to begin remote, transition to hybrid on a schedule

Quick Summary:

  • The School Committee after a lengthy presentation and discussion voted for the plan to begin remote learning in September and then transition to hybrid on a schedule prioritizing the high needs and younger learners first, with middle school and high school coming in at a logical break point (i.e marking period end)

  • The vote for the record was 6 for, none against with 1 abstain (D'Angelo). D'Angelo had made a motion to split the vote into two parts, one to begin remote, one on the plan itself. It was not seconded, hence dropped. The motion voted was to accept the plan as recommended by the Superintendent.

  • Dr Ed Quigley was announced as the interim principal at Davis Thayer. For those who viewed the tour of the schools via Zoom last Friday, he was the masked individual welcoming the tour to Davis Thayer.

  • The revision to the school calendar, reducing time on learning to 170 days (per DESE guidance), keeping the previously scheduled vacation periods as is, was approved by a 7-0 vote.

  • Note all votes were via roll call for this hybrid meeting, some members of the SchCom and Central office were in the Council chambers, the remainder of the SchCom was remote via Zoom. The meeting was well attended with over 320 participants via Zoom, another 16 (max) on the live steam and an unknown number via cable broadcast via Verizon/Comcast.

As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting in real-time via the virtual session.

The Twitter hashtag can be found online #schcom0811

  • Real time reporting underway for the #schcom0811 meeting, over 200 joined via Zoom. Also on cable and live streamed

  • Superintendent report: FY 21 being level funded per state, still awaiting final #s from State, able to restore many of the individuals previously notified. Some choose to move on. District will have long term issues with funding #schcom0811

  • Dr Ed Quigley joined as interim principal for Davis Thayer, has been principal and superintendent in previous roles. #schcom0811

  • Presentation on the re-opening plan to be shared and reviewed (page by page) some additional info added since shared this weekend

  • District has until Aug 14 to submit plans #schcom0811

  • Lots of folks listening to this. Zoom has approx 250, another dozen viewing the live stream from Town page and countless others via Verizon and Comcast #schcom0811

  • For those zooming, make sure you have "speaker view" showing so you can see the slides and not the individual boxes of the participants. #schcom0811 kindergarten room shown, previously showed an FHS room.on this slide

  • Time on learning, more expected in Sept than was done in March. Teachers teaching from classrooms to enable collaboration among as well as do the health protocol daily in advance of in person learning. #schcom0811

  • Attendance taken either daily or period by period, instructional work to be graded, some visits planned to the classroom (a reverse field trip) #schcom0811 high needs students priority for in person learning.

  • Shannon Barca, principal at Parmenter, provides insights into elementary details. #schcom0811 consistent lunch time planned to enable all at remote to eat together (in person normally would go at different times grade by grade)

  • Middle school insights, Becky Motte from Horace Mann #schcom0811

  • Brief interruption from someone who didn't realize they were not muted, in speaker view you broadcast to interrupt the meeting and advertise who you are at the same time. Just in case you didn't know #schcom0811 mute is good!

  • Principal Hanna from FHS mentions the over 900 sessions in a normal FHS schedule. (By the way, did you catch his interview last week? No, check on ) #schcom0811 ECDC will be in person with about 5-6 students with special needs/class along with peers

  • Paula Marano provides update on the special education provided either  way in person, remote, or out of district #schcom0811 days of learning will line up, minutes may not (per IEP)

  • Quick update, over 310 now, 14 on live stream. #schcom0811

  • Transition to hybrid model for grades 2 and up at natural break points for both students and teachers benefits #schcom0811 hybrid for elem/middle aaxbb hence two cohorts. In FHS, due to size restriction of rooms there, they would be 25% each group

  • Moving to hybrid takes into account the teachers coming from areas in metro Boston as well as metro Providence, as well as franklin and surrounding Communities. #schcom0811 all models provide challenges.

  • Awaiting guidance from State on sports #schcom0811 MIAA has not updated in awhile and they also are waiting for state guidance

  • Some folks in the Council chambers for this meeting, some Committee members remote, #schcom0811

  • HVAC already set for occupancy, would need to increase air flow, being worked, contractor working in prep for Sep #schcom0811 possible installation of ultra Violet light to be added, priority for hybrid first areas Asst Superintendent Dr Joyce Edwards provides updates on the first 10 days what the teachers would do to prepare for remote learning, whether fully remote or hybrid #schcom0811

  • Asst Superintendent Lucas Giguere provides updates on SEL prep in the first 10 days, will be incorporating the learning from spring time, consistency needed, plan evolving to include #schcom0811

  • Part of task force working on approach to support students and staff, another survey coming to look for needs to address. #schcom0811 Marano provides updates on these points

  • Additional Chromebooks ordered, not yet delivered, looking into. #schcom0811 FHS Chromebooks were received along with the Senior class hand me downs. Adding bandwidth to allow for live Instruction

  • Business manager Miriam Goodman adds reminder on funding for school lunches being provided during summer, families can take advantage of this #schcom0811 some polices will need to be adjusted for the pandemic and remote learning situations

  • Proposed calendar for 2020-2021 on agenda for #schcom0811 to review and vote on. Pending vote, plan will go to DESE on Friday. Planning will continue. Communications to be executed to spread word on what is happening

  • Acknowledged work of the task force, can't thank them enough, meetings T W T for min 2 hours, #schcom0811 Dr Bergen seconds Dr Ahern's comments, thanks for the thoughtful feedback, this is complex

  • Starting around with #schcom811 questions, Elise Stokes starts.

  • Close to 100 k-5 students of teachers either in Franklin or outside, lifelong learning looking at this, may not be able to service all. #schcom0811 solutions not likely an option initially, more details to come, trying to work things out

  • Q on FHS last in priority? Not really it made sense to bring them at the marking period and that is how it fell. Q on when student assignments will be sent out? I.e. cohort assignment, info being gathered. It will be hard to accommodate request siblings 1st #schcom0811

  • Q still Aug 31? The date is likely to be changed for when the payment is expected pending decision tonight. Q  no support for only 50% of teachers rumored to be returning either in person or remote; not officially seeing #s like that, will need some but not 50% #schcom0811

  • If parents do want to go private school or home school, and leave district, please contact your principal or the central office so it can help with the planning for those staying in district. #schcom0811

  • Being mindful of screen time, intending to include low tech activities along with the screen time breaks, should be for all grades not just lower grades; reminder that this time the schools are open (they weren't in March) #schcom0811

  • What is date for teacher notifications? Tough question to answer as it is governed by other legalities, it is a fluid and rolling process, folks situations will change, and we have to accommodate #schcom0811

  • Q how will the additional support be provided, will they be fully used either remote or hybrid? Yes for the special need support, they will be more needed to help get back to a routine. Instructional specialist and coaches, would be full time #schcom0811

  • The math and literacy specialist would be full time to help assess where students are and then address the gaps as required, either with the student directly or support the teacher as needed #schcom0811

  • Q on busing? Savings or costs for parents? In process of working with bus contractor, with increased sanitization, reduced schedules, complex process but being negotiated. #schcom0811

  • Tim reads some of the 'spread kindness like confetti' in an interesting way to highlight the changes. (I hope the kids were not listening). Yes, everything changes when we go back, will need to find new ways #schcom0811

  • Tim observed that lots of folks tend to find things that help their point often ignoring an other point of view, should recognize different POV, #schcom0811

  • Approx less than 100 students in the high needs coming in for 1st phase, spread across buildings, state released guidance today for markers, Q on how to utilize facilities MS and FHS before they hit dates #schcom0811

  • Q on miscommunication, not from district may be due to changing guidance and adjusting to the changes, most of the time is quiet but July has been very busy, regroup being retooled (student population) #schcom0811 also doing radio shows to provide updates!

  • Dr Bergen adds that the Y is expanding their day care offering in additional sites in and around town, Recreation is also looking at outdoor activities. #schcom0811 Q on the rapid testing that Gov Baker has touted, not known now. No timeline on HVAC changes yet

  • Q on changes from remote to hybrid, vice versa, would like several weeks notice. #schcom0811 would like vote on plan, it will be a living doc, anything large SchCom would be informed before, there would be regular SchCom meetings to help keep informed

  • Clarification Q on staff cleaning responsibility, no, the custodians will do the cleaning multiple times a day. 

  • Health Director Cathleen Liberty has been on the task force and provided guidance along the way. #schcom0811

  • Students would be masked on bus, windows open except in most inclement weather, some routes would be shortened to reduce time on bus #schcom0811 Q outside is impractical for chorus and band for our New England weather, lessons would occur in remote settings

  • Lisa Trainor provides update on intersection of family first act and FMLA, complicated to be sure but we need to be responsive. Q can they move back and forth between remote and hybrid? Hasn't been part of conversation but can be considered. #schcom0811

  • Q raised by ECDC faculty to service IEP and peers, how to move about the building safely with PPE, much hasn't been said about us, concerned  that the decision doesn't reflect the situation #schcom0811 yes, the plan is biased on K-12 focus and we acknowledge that

  • Special training on PPE would be provided was acknowledged earlier but not specifically addressed the ECDC world. The students will require us to be closer to them, we are working to train our staff, it is process #schcom0811 would be over 50 in the school but not in a room

  • Various POV from parents and Community, valid, individual and no good answers would work for all. Wish the #Schcom0811 well with whatever decision they make. "We have ways to help folks come back from trauma, we do not have ways to have folks come back from death"

  • Donna Grady: not an easy decision for any of us, none are easy, educators will go above and beyond, it will look different this fall, we want what's best for your children, #schcom0811

  • Motion (D'Angelo) to separate plan from remote approach as two separate votes, not seconded: hence falls aside

  • motion to accept plan as discussed 6 for 1 abstain (D'Angelo) ) vote passes 6-0-1 #schcom0811

  • Motion to accept revised schedule #schcom0811 via roll call 7-0

  • Motion to accept policy from second reading, #schcom0811 via roll call 7-0

  • Moving to next meeting updates: likely updates on re-opening, policy changes per re-opening as discussed, Pfeffer objects to throwing away books (even outdated) when they could go elsewhere. #schcom0811

  • This was a question on the consent agenda which is usually is done in a block, adjustment to minutes of first set , motion to accept consent with adjusted mins. Passed 7-0 #schcom0811 via roll call

  • Motion to go to executive session to return to open session, passed 7-0 #schcom0811

  • #schcom0811 may be coming back after the executive session but sorry, that's all for me tonight. Catch you all next time!

Photos shared on Twitter for this thread can be found in one album