Showing posts with label entry plan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label entry plan. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

“This community is action-oriented and has a can-do attitude I deeply respect"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Superintendent Sara Ahern has been going from school to school sitting in on classes, hosting forums, and meeting with parents and other stakeholders to learn as much as she can about her new district. 
Ahern highlighted her observations to the School Committee on Jan. 23, and while she had many positive things to say about the dedication of Franklin parents and teachers to their children, she also pointed out a few areas that could use improvement. Ahern took over this summer for Maureen Sabolinski, who retired at the end of last year. 
The report, part of Ahern’s entry plan to the district, is a compilation of observations she gathered by visiting all 11 schools multiple times to perform observations on about 164 classrooms and other workplaces."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The full report of Entry Plan Findings can be found below and on the Schools webpage

the Word Cloud of words students provided in her round of meetings
the Word Cloud built of words students provided in her round of meetings

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Superintendent Ahern - Community Forum Recap - Nov 30, 2017

Newly appointed Franklin Superintendent of Schools, Sara E. Ahern, held a forum at the Municipal Building on November 30, 2017 to provide a chance for community members to meet and share their concerns and for her to discuss her approach to school management. 

The meeting commenced at 6:30 PM with an overview provided by Ahern. She first described the four primary initiatives within the 2017-2018 District Improvement Plan: Social-emotional learning, curriculum and instruction, collaborative culture, and two-way communication. In pursuing these initiatives, she said she is starting with stakeholder engagement through events such as the forum and similar events held with faculty, administration, school committee, and small groups of parents. 

Based on input from these sessions, Ahern said she hopes to identify themes and patterns that will help her to understand concerns and problems needing attention. She said she will then report on those findings to the district as a first step in developing a strategy for implementing improvements.

Ahern explained that her goal is to provide “stakeholder” (parents, faculty, etc.) awareness and “investment” in the District’s Strategy. In other words, she emphasized; she plans to listen. 

One of the attendees expressed appreciation for that approach and said she had “tried for five years to get an appointment with the previous superintendent and couldn’t even get a return phone call.”

She and others commented about concerns such as extremely short recess periods that they felt were not conducive to learning in young children. Similar comments were aired regarding lunch periods that were perceived as being too short for a child to eat and snack breaks for young children as late as 11 AM.

Another parent raised a concern regarding frequent changes in math curriculum that required his child to relearn fundamental skills in a new way in order to move ahead. Ahern said some of those shifts were driven by external changes in state mandates. The future, she said, would likely be less chaotic.

A parent whose children are no longer in the system, expressed concern that Franklin schools were perhaps not measuring up to their public reputation, since most were ranked as “level 2” [In a Massachusetts 1-5 ranking system]. “Only the high school is level 1,” he said. Ahern, for her part, said that the high school is actually now also ranked as level 2. However, she noted, the rankings can be misleading since they measure improvements and the standards by which they are measured shift. Therefore, she explained, even a top-rank school can have its designation reduced simply because it hasn’t improved further.

Ahern closed the meeting with an invitation to participants to reconnect at any time.

Submitted by Franklin Matters contributor Alan Earls

The handout Superintendent Ahern talked to for her overview:

The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) published the district scorecard. The scorecard and supporting information for Franklin can be found here

Superintendent Ahern - Community Forum Recap - Nov 30, 2017
Superintendent Ahern - Community Forum Recap - Nov 30, 2017

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Franklin Public Schools: Letter from Superintendent Sara Ahern

Dear Students, Parents/Guardians, and Community Members,

I hope this letter finds you enjoying these days of summer. As the summer winds down, I eagerly anticipate the start of the 2017-2018 school year. I have been saying that I should not be wishing my summer away, yet I am finding myself more excited than ever to start a school year. Much of my excitement is due to the extremely positive impressions of our district and community that I have developed in these early months as your Superintendent of Schools.

This summer has been a busy one! Our principals and administrators completed a busy hiring season and, as I write, we are welcoming a cohort of talented, new educators at New Educator Orientation. We continued a robust and rich summer program with Extended School Year, STAR enrichment programs, High School Experience, and Solutions. This summer has also been busy readying the schools for opening. I want to thank the faculty and staff, secretaries, custodians, Department of Public Works, and the Facilities Department who have been instrumental in implementing summer programs and completing summer projects to get the school year off to a great start.

My excitement for the school year also stems from the opportunity I will have to develop and strengthen relationships with students, families, and community members over the coming months. As a newcomer to Franklin, I am engaging in a systematic entry process, where I will spend the next several months learning as much as I can about the Franklin Public Schools. I also want to use this time to allow you to get to know me. I have been reviewing key documents, I am listening to stakeholders in the schools and community through forums and focus groups, and I will directly observe teaching and learning. This winter, I will present a Report of Findings, which will inform strategic goal setting in the spring.

I will be connecting to students, holding parent forums at each of our schools, and hosting open community forums this fall. More information about dates and locations will be coming soon. I recently presented my entry plan to the Franklin School Committee and I invite you to access it in our District News feed:

Additionally, you can expect newsletters from the Superintendent’s Office on a regular basis beginning this fall.

We look forward to welcoming students (grades 1-12) back to school on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 and Kindergarten students on Wednesday, August 30, 2017. Please note that Friday, September 1, 2017 is a district-wide professional development day, and there will be no school for students. The first day for students at ECDC is Tuesday, September 5, 2017. It is going to be a great year!

Sara E. Ahern, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Parmenter School sign with the school opening dates
Parmenter School sign with the school opening dates
Superintendent's Entry Plan

This was also part of the School Committee meeting on Aug 22 and can be found here as well