Showing posts with label high school. Show all posts
Showing posts with label high school. Show all posts

Friday, December 11, 2020

FM #410 School Committee Meeting - 12/08/20 - P2 of 3 (audio)

FM #410 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 410 in the series. 

This session shares one of three segments for the Franklin, MA School Committee meeting held on Tuesday, Dec 8, 2020. 

The meeting was conducted in a hybrid format: some of the School Committee and Central Office personnel were in the Council Chambers, the remainder of the Committee was remote via conference bridge, all to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

I’ve split the two hour and forty minute meeting into three logical segments:
  • First - covers the opening through the Discussion Action Items (approx. 53 minutes)
  • ** Second ** - picks up Discussion Only Items; the budget update, K-1 return alternatives, and re-opening through the School Committee members comments only (approx. 55 minutes)
  • Third - picks up the community comments on re-opening and run through the remainder of the meeting (approx. 52 minutes)

The show notes contain links to the meeting agenda and to my notes. The meeting packet folder will hold the other documents released for the meeting (as we go to press, the Superintendent’s Report is not yet updated)

Let’s listen to this segment of the School Committee meeting of Dec 8, 2020



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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!


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Superintendent Sara Ahern provides an update at a recent SchComm meeting
Superintendent Sara Ahern provides an update at a recent SchComm meeting

"MIAA High School winter season can officially begin on Monday"

Matt Feld (@mattyfeld612) tweeted at 6:29 PM on Thu, Dec 10, 2020:

"The MIAA High School winter season can officially begin on Monday for basketball, ice hockey, gymnastics, skiing and swimming. Here we go."


"The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) has posted its updated guidelines for high school, youth, and adult amateur athletics. High-risk sports including basketball and ice hockey can play games. Total participants and spectators can't exceed 40% capacity"
The document itself can be found on the MA.GOV re-opening page

Thursday, December 10, 2020

School Committee meeting Dec 8, 2020 - recap - K-1 planning, winter sports, updates, re-opening remains a challenge

Quick Recap:
  • Sensitivity is high across the community. Parent complained about FHS student representative updates being interpreted by SchComm as reflecting other middle and elementary school students. While trying to be positive, there are issues all around
  • Superintendent's report (not yet posted to FPS page as of 9 AM 12/10/20)
  • Winter sports update as developed by MIAA and task force/subcommittee work summarized and presented by AD Angelo  
  • The two policies up for second reading were initially moved to vote together as no one acknowledged any questions for either policy. As the vote commences, D’Angelo raises questions, the motion is modified to vote the two policies separately, D'Angelo votes for one and against the other
  • Budget update still quite fluid but some savings being seen in this pandemic world. What happens after the COVID/CARES funding expires Dec 31, 2020 remains unclear as there are so many moving parts. Schools will stay within budget as authorized. Preparation for Finance Committee meeting scheduled for Dec 15 in process
  • Bringing the K-1 back to in school full time still requires much work to be done to confirm it is possible and what it would cost. Committee and parents disappointed with lack of specificity in the report given the timing of it
  • Re-opening in hybrid is still a challenge, tech issues, staffing, time on learning all issues being struggled with, patience is required (yet running short)
Photos captured during the remote meeting and shared with Twitter can be found in one album

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  #schcomm1208

Citizens Comment
  • FHS Spanish teacher speaks to the long hours of work required, will be taking sick days periodically to keep up with the work (not to be sick) Oak St teacher complaint about lack of school data around COVID-19 spread when so many in school are affected #schcomm1208
  • Oak St parent acknowledges that the FHS students don't speak for all the students especially for her 3 where there are so many problems. #schcomm1208
FHS Student representatives
  • FHS student representatives, senior class president is only representing his view and that of the upper class, lack of testing for subjects available, more students are not coming in (staying home). Junior class president confirms prior comments, music doing well #schcomm1208
  • Harder for underclassmen at FHS to get involved due to nature of this school year. #schcomm1208 
 Superintendent's Report
  • DESE recognizes logistical challenges with testing, testing postponed to later in school year. Masks being distributed by State and soon available for Franklin. Portable air purifier
  • Units to be distributed to rooms not covered by current plan for UV units. Mention of cyber event (spear phishing) expanding to a cyber position in Technology dept focusing on security. #schcomm1208 tech concerns being reported and addressed, user support on software
  • User support on hardware, remote and hybrid; (in other words they are getting swamped and time spent triaging who should do so delays the response) #schcomm1208 since it was human error for spear phishing event, does school side have dual approval to avoid issue
  • Superintendent acknowledges that her name is being used in some emails asking for things and training is needed to help avoid issues. Where would funding for new person come from? To be part of the discussion for budget. #schcomm1208 staff wellbeing raised
Winter athletic update
  • Moving to winter athletic update. AD Tom Angelo to speak and provide info #schcomm1208 cheer and wrestling moved to later, indoor as well to later. Over 200 students signed up. Hockomock league, all Kelly-Rex competition within the league with exception of girls ice hockey
  • Student athletes who test positive must be quarantined at least 14 days and cleared by medical professional before return including a negative test #schcomm1208 no hand shakes, no hi-fives, masks during games... 12 swimmers in pool at time at Y. Max 25 on larger buses
  • Directly on bus for travel to pool or gym, from bus to pool or gym, no deviation; assigned seating for athletes for the season. Cleaning between Frosh, JV and Varsity games, Franklin TV to live stream varsity games #schcomm1208 rule modifications for each sport
  • Modifications shared previously (will reshare as notes are compiled) most kids designed to eliminate contact between/among participants. #schcomm1208 in rough number more folks and teams in fall season than being set up for now. Thanks for a successful fall season
  • "All the credit goes to the coaches, we have the best, the kids are anxious to begin". #schcomm1208 nothing has changed yet based upon Gov Baker's changes announced today. "If they don't know about the rules to abide by, they will know on Monday. We'll do our best"
 Discussion action items

Discussion only items

budget update

  • Next K-1 some scenarios for bringing students back to in person. Do agree to do so for educational benefits but need to do so when health and safety is feasible. (Link was not available on Sunday albeit dated 12/3/20) #schcomm1208
  • Class sizes and cohorts would vary by school, could consider alternative locations with schools but that would have a ripple effect. Transportation consideration, lunch consideration (shifts possible). #schcomm1208 3 alternatives offered for review/discussion
  • Staff hiring is already an issue, may not be likely to get enough to cover the required cohorts. #schcomm1208 scenario 3 explores half day option for the cohorts, would be coverage for students with existing staff, would have to look at special requirements. Cost for buses
  • As well as cleaning during the day between session. More work to do, still working on details incorporating bast practices to provide help with instruction and schedule. #schcomm1208 if there are additional switches, could add another VLA section in grade K,1
  • #schcomm1208 Parent survey important data point, how many would move (or not), would like to see survey sooner than later, disappointed on details at building level. Compared to Mr Angelo and how well he presented data on the athletes and sports and still waiting here
  • Concern about getting good info from survey. When are we talking about when this could happen? Superintendent doesn't have a date to share #schcomm1208 can it be done? Depends upon the survey # I believe in the instructional quality, don't want to give up, staffing real challenge
  • When would the help be available? Too many young kids in tears, developing a dislike for school. We have been problem solving within each building, shifting to more collaboration across the schools. Break time? #schcomm1208 expectations set, may vary by teacher
  • k time on learning is different (not required grade per state) 1st grade and other grades are required. Would love to see more info on break time and schedule. It is hard, it is unprecedented, we're hearing from parents kids aren't learning, it is not ok #schcomm1208 out shortly
  • Likely within next week to get info before the winter break #schcomm1208 Gov Baker is reducing folks in buildings, and yet we're trying to go the other way. have not yet surveyed staff on this anecdotal but not quantified. What about other implications
  • There is concern about different size space standards within the schools. More staffing would be required if there is a 6 foot requirement. Inequity is a big issue. Moving students to another building, how does this work with specials #schcomm1208 would mean reassignment
  • There may be a family implication with a K-1 student at one building and other family members elsewhere, would require 2 pickups? Would strive to maintain student with teacher, there could be changes. #schcomm1208 understand complexity, staffing a huge issue
  • Can we get an updated personnel status, what's open, etc changes from the last time and bring to date. #schcomm1208 (BTW there were about 80 at meeting start, up to over 170 now) 
  • DESE counting excludes student positives if they were not "in the building"
  • Contact tracing is taking time, other districts have hired in this area, changing guidance from CDC we have not switched to the new guidance DESE also looking at stay tuned. Looking at staff testing for baseline in Jan 2021. #schcomm1208 add building base to district, and %
  • Yes they are concerned about pivoting to remote to provide coverage where staff are out in quarantine #schcomm1208 books and library access for VLA vs. hybrid maybe an equity issue? not a lot of books are used in elementary, will see variability there
  • Library books not going home over issue of how to sanitize when they come back, #schcomm1208 clarification on 1st graders who can't read (not k students). Parent expressing bristle when "all the kids" is used when the kids vary in response, claiming risk isn't the same
  • Parent with 4 kids, came here from Quincy because of the schools, two youngest are struggling a lot. #schcomm1208 teacher reading specialist confirms youngest struggles as they can't do it themselves, reading at 1st grade is not always age appropriate.
  • Teacher also chides the SchComm for lack of a comprehensive plan, sports plan was done for them. My kid is getting library books, don't want to get someone in trouble #schcomm1208 the "asynchronous learning time is 100% parent support required" touch screen better than mousepad
  • Parent also a teacher with k student the teacher for that student is great, can't image how much time it takes to prepare, multiple invoice recordings on each slide, kid is responding well to it. #schcomm1208 middle school students talking about behavior that isn't good
  • Hence another source of stress for teachers, with hybrid model has lost touch with some students, can't always get to those students fully remote. #schcomm1208 survey staff first before going to family members, stress growing daily, over 10 staff quarantined at Oak
  • "Remember safety first, we do want to be with kids, that's what we signed up for". #schcomm1208 how are we monitoring staff wellness and wellbeing? Not seeing it. Folks should be mute when not talking (esp SchComm members sneezing)
  • Switch from hybrid to VLA may not be easy in case of student with special services, would loose access to regular teachers and support, would need to be part of decision and not sure how that would be covered in survey #schcomm1208 the community is ready to help!
  • We have to come together. We are still photo copying packets and packets of info as we don't use a book. #schcomm1208 disappointed with lack of details on the K-1 options; teachers are doing well with what they have, they are available. Pitting parents and teachers against
  • Each other. YouTube videos queue up and auto play, concerned about where they could end up without monitoring. #schcomm1208 even the best teacher in the world would be challenged with K in a hybrid environment, echo asynchronous requires parents assistance
  • Daughter eager to go to school in Sept and in the last two months has turned and now doesn't want to go. Parent volunteers to do survey, busing shouldn't take prominence in survey, we would drop them off to get them more time in school #schcomm1208
  • Parent left her job to stay home with 1 and 2 graders, and the time is required. How would half day work? Put yourself in the kids shoes. #schcomm1208 willing to volunteer; 
presentation planInformation matters
  • Budget workshop last week (recording shared) information being gathered to share, budget timeline. Meeting with FinComm next Tuesday Dec 15 Comm relations picking a date to meet; policy meeting Thursday the 17th. DTFA meeting 12/9. #schcomm1208
  • New ad-hoc Committee for Superintendent's eval, Tim, Elise, Ann. #schcomm1208 Joint PCC meeting Dec 22, SWAC meeting Dec 15
  • #schcomm1208 ECDC update next week, music and art performance updates next week. Student opportunity Act plan due (even though money not forthcoming). 
Consent agenda
  • Consent agenda - motion to approve, second, passes via roll call 7-0
  • Motion to enter executive session, not to return to open meeting, second, passes 7-0 via roll call #schcomm1208 that's all for tonight, catch you next time!
MIAA statement and sports modifications for Winter
FPS COVID-19 Dashboard (updated weekly)
Winter sports update summarized by Athletic Director Tom Angelo
Winter sports update summarized by Athletic Director Tom Angelo

“The mission has been to gain full recognition for this group”

 The Boston Globe has the following:
"The MIAA Board of Directors took a crucial first step Wednesday in providing urban schools across Massachusetts a larger voice in high school athletics and other business.

By a 20-0 vote, the board agreed to create an urban schools ad hoc committee to serve as an advisory resource to various MIAA committees. Avery Esdaile, athletic director for Boston Public Schools, addressed the board on behalf of a group of ADs from urban areas across the state, which has been meeting regularly to address challenges and other issues their programs face.

“We want to see the group get to, and ultimately be a resource and utilize the different people and experiences that we have, and help out others in the association,” Esdaile said. "

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

For more about the MIAA, visit their page
Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA)
Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA)

Thursday, November 12, 2020

CommonWealth Magazine: "How about a civics project instead of another MCAS test?"

From CommonWealth Magazine we share an article of interest for Franklin:

"At the same time, our Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, with support from Secretary of Education Jim Peyser, sought to add a history-focused MCAS test to the current series of tests focused on science, English Language Arts, and math. The intent is admirable. In a testing and accountability-focused educational climate, many school and district leaders, particularly in communities predominantly serving lower-income students and students of color, have given limited attention to history and social studies in favor of tested subjects. Making history/social studies a tested subject might address that structural inequity.

But we think there may a better solution. Instead of more standardized testing, we propose each student complete a civics education project (which is already required of all students in accordance with the 2018 law) as a demonstration of knowledge and skill equivalent to a passing score on the MCAS.

The civics project could:

  • Be long-term, conducted over the course of perhaps a term, a semester, or an entire school year. In the workplace and in college, extended individual and collaborative projects are commonplace; this is excellent preparation for real-world expectations.
  • Align with the ideals of “deeper learning” articulated by scholars Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine in their book, In Search of Deeper Learning: The Quest to Remake the American High School. A well-developed civics project includes a focus on literacy (particularly important given our state’s large and growing multilingual population), real-world relevance (providing motivation for students to shape their communities through civic action), and student empowerment (students gain knowledge and skills that will enable them to be informed, active citizens).
  • Provide students choice, allowing them to focus on a topic of personal passion, or for a small group to pursue a shared interest collaboratively."
Continue reading the article online

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Franklin Public Schools: Please don't use school grounds during school hours

"We are sharing the following message from Franklin Public Schools:

As public facilities, the Franklin Public Schools is pleased to share our grounds and facilities with the community whenever possible outside of school hours.  However, our priority is always our students’ health and safety, so we appreciate your understanding and cooperation in not walking, jogging, running, walking dogs on school properties during school hours, including arrival and dismissal.  The only exception for dogs includes students and school visitors requiring service animals in compliance with ADA requirements and district policy.  

Our school hours are as follows:

  • ECDC: 9:15 AM - 3:15 PM
  • Elementary Schools: 8:15 AM - 3:00 PM  
  • Middle Schools - 7:10 AM - 2:30 PM 
  • High School - 7:15 AM - 2:30 PM

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.  


Franklin Public Schools "


Shared from


Franklin Public Schools: Please don't use school grounds during school hours
Franklin Public Schools: Please don't use school grounds during school hours


Saturday, October 10, 2020

Franklin Public Schools: Re-opening Update for Families - Oct 9, 2020

October 9, 2020

Dear Franklin Families,

Transition to Hybrid

The average daily cases of COVID-19 in Franklin have remained below 4 per 100,000 for the past three weeks and the percent positivity rate has been below 1%. Current numbers are 3.2 cases per 100,000 and a percent positivity rate of 0.96%. When taken into consideration with Norfolk County and Massachusetts data over the past several weeks, these current health metrics support us continuing forward with a transition to hybrid as follows:

10/19/2020 -- Grades 2, 3, 6
10/26/2020 -- Grades 4, 5, 7, 8 and High Needs at FHS  
11/2/2020 -- FHS

More details about the cohort assignments, schedule, and what to expect upon arrival will be shared from the schools.

Our teachers have been actively preparing to welcome students into our buildings. It will be important at this time to establish new routines, which is always important at the start of the school year, but it is even more important with the latest health and safety practices. As a result, remote instruction for those students whose cohort is not in the building will necessarily begin looking differently as we move into a hybrid environment.

At the elementary level: all students will participate in a synchronous live morning meeting and closing circle. Throughout the day, educators will engage with remote students multiple times throughout the day, and remote students will be provided with assignments and asynchronous learning opportunities as well. Compared to instruction experienced thus far, there will necessarily be less synchronous learning time as our teachers attend to in-person instruction as well as in-person health and safety practices.

We have received a few inquiries about transitioning from having chosen hybrid to Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) or from VLA to hybrid. A separate document explaining the process will be included in versions of this mailing to elementary families. Please know that there is little flexibility and shifts between the two require significant planning about staff and physical space.

At the middle and high school levels:
all students will participate in a lesson launch with their teacher. Educators will employ different strategies to engage students, both in person and remote learners, which may be synchronous or asynchronous. In the early weeks, our teachers will be working hard to establish new building routines, especially the new health and safety practices and there may be additional asynchronous instruction happening for those who are remote.

At all levels and both in person and remote, we ask for your understanding and patience as we begin a very novel way of teaching and learning. Everyone is working very hard and learning new strategies. We also wish to emphasize the need for adaptability. We know that we are in a changing environment and health data could result in partial or full closures, as we have seen in other districts. Flexibility will be important and we ask families to be sure to have a back up plan.

We also know that there may be nervousness about transitioning to the hybrid model. We will emphasize our health and safety practices with students (physical distancing, hand washing, and mask-wearing).

Travel to a Non-Lower Risk State
Students who are returning to Massachusetts from a non-lower risk state will have to quarantine for 14 days or receive a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to their return to school. Students will continue to receive instruction at home.

DESE Letter to Families of Students with Disabilities
The Department of Elementary and Secondary education recently released this letter for families of students with disabilities, which we are sharing with you: 

Food Services Update 
The food pick up at the Parmenter Elementary School is being closed due to a lower level of participation. Pick up of breakfast and lunch will now all be done at the rear of Franklin High School, by the cafeteria’s entrance from 3:00 -- 4:00 PM. All meals are free until December 31, 2020

No School Reminder - No School on Monday, October 12, 2020

Have a wonderful weekend, Franklin Public Schools

Please e-mail with questions.


Sunday, September 6, 2020

Commonwealth Magazine: Ranked choice voting and the 4th District; rethinking high school in COVID

From CommonWealth Magazine we share two articles of interest for Franklin:  

"WHEN JESSE MERMELL gave her videotaped concession speech in the 4th Congressional District primary race on Friday, she did it in front of a sign that read “Jesse Mermell for RCV,” an acronym for ranked–choice voting. “If the ranked–choice voting campaign needs a new face, give me a call, guys,” Mermell said. “I’ve got some time on my hands.” 

Mermell, a progressive who worked for former Gov. Deval Patrick, lost the Democratic primary by just 2,000 votes, or 1.3 percent, to Newton City Councilor and US Marine Corps veteran Jake Auchincloss. That means primary voters in the liberal congressional district that repeatedly reelected Joe Kennedy, Barney Frank, and Robert Drinan over the past five decades have selected seemingly the most moderate of seven Democratic candidates vying to represent them in Congress.

Auchincloss, who worked for Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s gubernatorial campaign in 2014, won in a seven-candidate field comprised mostly of liberals. Auchincloss rejects the “centrist” label and calls himself a “pragmatic progressive.”  But his close election reflects a campaign that performed strongly in much of the more moderate southern part of the 4th Congressional District, which extends from Brookline and Newton to Fall River, and featured a crowded field that likely led liberal voters to split their vote.  

The race is calling renewed attention to a November ballot question that would implement ranked–choice voting, which lets voters select candidates in order of preference and could mitigate the effects of vote-splitting."

"FOR 20 YEARS, I’ve taught in an adult ed program in Dorchester. Every year we tweak things, adjust the schedule, hire new faculty, tinker with syllabi. Change happens gradually.

This past spring, with the advent of COVID, we had to scramble. Many of our students do not have laptops or good internet service and our class sputtered out. Around the end of June, my fellow teachers and I thought about what we would do for this coming year. What we did is, we tore up our schedule, our comfortable ideas, our expectations, and started fresh. Change happened suddenly.

Which is why I wanted to write up some ideas for the coming school year, specifically for the suburban high school where my children are enrolled.

I, like every other parent I spoke to, and like the teachers and School Committee members who wrote and spoke publicly — like everyone in town — was disappointed with the agenda for this school year — remote learning. The truth is, it’s disappointing because it’s not like previous years, and it’s not close enough to previous years to placate us."
Continue reading the article online

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

MIAA to meet Wednesday on sports

Matt Feld (@mattyfeld612) tweeted at 6:33 PM on Tue, Aug 18, 2020:
"The full DESE statement:
The MIAA and DESE have collaborated to provide the following modified sports schedule for year 2020-21 and guidance for sports participation for students who are learning remotely. Please note this is pending ratification by the MIAA Board..."

Shared via Twitter =

Other news reports based upon Matt Feld's info

MIAA to meet Wednesday on sports
MIAA to meet Wednesday on sports

Friday, August 7, 2020

High School Experience cancelled - Refund Processing defined

Via Twitter we share that the High School Experience scheduled for next week has been canceled due to the on-going development of plans to re-open schools. Something to replace next week's event is being planned for FHS incoming freshman. Stay tuned for further updates.
High School experience cancelled
High School Experience cancelled - Refund Processing defined

Franklin radar picked up via Twitter

Sunday, May 24, 2020

"Sports Buzz" :Jay Horrigan and Kevin Papa talk with Mike Masto (video)

Jay Horrigan and Kevin Papa talk with Mike Masto in this episode of "Sports Buzz"
"Here is an interview we were able to do today with Natick HS head basketball coach and Franklin HS Health and Wellness teacher Mike Masto. We hope you enjoy it."
Video link =

Mike v2 from Jay Horrigan on Vimeo.

Shared from Twitter

Monday, April 27, 2020

Boston Globe: Contact tracing background; high school 'lost year'?

From the Boston Globe, articles of interest to Franklin:

Contact tracing background
"Dr. Emily Wroe started working for Boston-based Partners in Health, the renowned global health nonprofit, while still a Harvard medical student. She worked with the government of Rwanda to build a modern hospital in the country’s poor northern region, perched on a terraced hilltop surrounded by subsistence farms. Later, in Malawi, she treated patients with tuberculosis and HIV, working with community health workers to track down sick patients by foot and, sometimes, motorbike.

Now she’s building a new squad of public health workers. Only this one is based in Massachusetts and it’s a virtual one, 1,000-people strong. Their mission is to track down every person in the state who comes in close contact with an infected person and help them isolate, thereby slowing the spread of the deadly virus.

And this time, the tracking will be done by telephone.

Wroe is part of the Partners in Health team charged with creating the state’s ambitious contact tracing program, which Governor Charlie Baker announced earlier this month. The administration, which has allotted $44 million to the program, sees contact tracing as a key piece of its plan to eventually open the economy up and allow people to venture out again, without fear of infection."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Hard, maybe cruel even, but better a 'lost year' than losing 'a life'

"Catari Giglio did everything she could to make the senior prom at Fenway High School picture perfect. She had the elegant gown, the handsome date; she had even designed the tickets for the big event.

Vivian Santos-Smith had a lead role in Somerville High School’s production of “As You Like It.” As winter turned to spring, and set and costumes came together, she spent hours memorizing her famous speech, the one that begins “All the world’s a stage …”

Mairead Baker, valedictorian at Boston Latin Academy, was writing the graduation speech that she would deliver to hundreds of beaming teachers and families, reflecting on the hard lessons of her past.

Like 80,000 other high school seniors across Massachusetts who learned this week that their schools will remain closed through June, they know their personal disappointments are a small price to pay to help end a global pandemic. But for young people whose lives have been defined by school since the age of 5 — who were on a path to high school graduation before they knew the word “commencement” — it was a stunning reversal of fortune, their most assured milestones disappearing in an instant."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Boston Globe: Contact tracing background; high school 'lost year'?
Boston Globe: Contact tracing background; high school 'lost year'?

Thursday, April 16, 2020

In the News: please don't share that Yearbook photo; Old Sturbridge VIllage furlough

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"High school yearbook photos of shining flawless faces and decades’ worth of fringes, bouffants and feathered hairstyles on social media might bring back memories and offer hope for the days ahead.

Posting an old photo with graduation year and high school name seems like such an innocent thing.

But, the Better Business Bureau has sent out a word of caution ( when it comes to sharing those “harmless” senior portraits.

Scamers and hackers surfing social media will look for these #ClassOf2020 posts and now have posters’ high school names and graduation years – which are often used for online security questions."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Old Sturbridge Village is usually brimming with thousands of schoolchildren during the April school vacation week. That will not be the case this year.

“April vacation week alone is a big week. It’s the beginning of when things start getting busy for us,” said James E. Donahue, president and CEO of Old Sturbridge Village. “If we have nice weather, we could see a 1,000 people or more a day. So April vacation week can be a 10,000-person loss.”

If OSV is shut down through June, it would lose out on 25,000 to 30,000 schoolchildren visiting on field trips, Donahue said."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Visit Old Sturbridge Village online
Visit the "Virtual Village" on Facebook
or on Instagram

Visit the "Virtual Village" on Facebook
Visit the "Virtual Village" on Facebook

Monday, March 23, 2020

Franklin Cultural Council: art competition for high school students

Via Facebook post by the Franklin Cultural Council (FCC):
Hiya FCC supporters. We're all needing a little encouragement and support this week! Hope this will help!

The FCC announces a town-wide art competition for all HIGH SCHOOL students in Franklin. We are looking for one high school artist to create an 8x11 poster for all of Franklin. The theme and wording of your poster should contain, "We're All in this Together", "OneFranklin", "One People, One Planet, One Love" or similar message!

Your poster needs to be BOLD and CLEAR and be able to be seen from the street to a house/apartment/storefront. The winner's poster will be duplicated and distributed for any community member in Franklin who would like one for their door or front window. The goal is to fill our our town's windows with art and positive and hopeful messaging.

Deadline = THIS Thursday, March 26th, 5pm. One entry per applicant. Post a photo of your poster in the comment section on the Franklin Cultural Council page when it's completed! Good Luck!

And elementary and middle school students -we're hoping to have something for you too. Stay tuned tomorrow~

Post your photos to the Franklin Cultural Council page

Franklin Cultural Council: art competition for high school students
Franklin Cultural Council: art competition for high school students

Saturday, January 4, 2020

"What are you Puffing?" Vaping and Our Youth - Jan 6, 2020

FPS Parent Education Series

Please join us for a workshop on electronic vapor product (EVP) use. 

This event is open to all interested parents, community members and Middle/High School students. Younger students are welcome at parents' discretion. 

We will be providing the latest information on this issue, including resource sharing. This event is facilitated by the Massachusetts Partnership for Youth

Monday, Jan 6, 2020
Franklin High School Auditorium at 6:00 PM

"What are you Puffing?" Vaping and Our Youth - Jan 6, 2020
"What are you Puffing?" Vaping and Our Youth - Jan 6, 2020
This was shared from the Town of Franklin page

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Wanted Food Elves for the Franklin Food Pantry!

The food elf program has fundraised for the Franklin Food Pantry for thirteen years and is our largest fundraising event. This program is unique because it is driven by high school and middle school students only. 

Starting December 1 for twelve days the elves participate in "12 days of giving" and collect funds from their neighborhoods. Each elf is assigned to a particular neighborhood and drops off a customized envelope and flyer to a Franklin resident and then returns to pick up a donation to the Franklin Food Pantry. Elves can also fundraise online through our donorperfect platform.

The Franklin Food Pantry provides all the elves with everything they need including their own webpage, flyers and thank you notes. Each elf also receives either between 10 and 12 community service hours for participating in the program.

Interested volunteers can visit our website to sign up at:

Wanted Food Elves for the Franklin Food Pantry!
Wanted Food Elves for the Franklin Food Pantry!

Friday, October 11, 2019

"Screenagers: Next Chapter" to be shown at Medway HS

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Superintendent of Schools Armand Pires invites parents to attend the district’s screening of “Screenagers: Next Chapter” from 7-8:30 p.m. next Wednesday at the Medway High School auditorium.

Parents can watch the film and hear from a panel of experts to learn about how screen time may be affecting teens. The event is hosted by Medway’s T.H.R.I.V.E. (Tools necessary to foster Health, Resiliency, Inclusiveness, Vitality and Empowerment) and SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council).

The film follows a physician who tries to find a way to help her own teens with their mental and emotional well-being. The film, which includes input from brain researchers, psychologists and other thought leaders, explores how teens’ well-being is impacted by screens and how parents and schools can help teens develop skills to overcome mental and emotional health challenges.

The film will be shown to all Medway middle and high school students during school that day."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

BFCCPS showed "Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age" in March 2017

"From the director of SCREENAGERS: Growing Up in the Digital Age comes Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER: Uncovering Skills for Stress Resilience and is about helping young people thrive in our screen and stress-filled world."  Video trailer

For more about Screenagers visit their web page 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

HockomockSports.Com: "Teams of the Decade" Project Announcement

HockomockSports.Com is starting a project to put together a listing of the "Teams of the Decade" covering the Hockomock League from 2010 to 2020. Teams from this year will be eligible to participate. For more details and the entry form:

"There has been a lot of talent in the Hockomock League over the past decade, and we’ve seen first hand the ups and downs that happen throughout each season. Some of my favorite memories from covering high school sports are the moments following state championship games, seeing all of the hard work from the athletes pay off. I’ve always said it takes a perfect storm for teams to win a state title, it’s an incredible achievement.

We are excited to announce a new feature that we will be working on with the goal of publishing by the end of the school year: The HockomockSports Teams of the Decade Project. This website has covered the league for nearly the entire decade, but both Josh and I were freelancing with other publications in the area prior to that. We have covered countless games, interviews hundreds of coaches and athletes, and covered some incredible teams during the last decade and we’re hoping this will be a fun project for all involved.

This is going to be one list, roughly 15-20 teams, with all sports considered. That means we’ll be comparing baseball teams with field hockey teams, football teams with softball teams, lacrosse teams with gymnastics teams, and so on. The only requirements are that the team competed in the Hockomock League and competed between Fall 2010 and Spring 2020 (yes, this school years teams are eligible). Some squads will have state championship trophies, but it isn’t a requirement. There are a lot of great teams that came up short for a variety of reasons. Of course, it’s tough to judge different sports against one another, and there are a lot of factors we’ll be considering as we construct this list."
Continue reading about the "Teams of the Decade" process

Franklin poses with its 2018 MIAA D1A State Championship trophy after beating Central Catholic. (Ryan Lanigan/
Franklin poses with its 2018 MIAA D1A State Championship trophy after beating Central Catholic. (Ryan Lanigan/

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Franklin VFW Post 3402 - high school and middle school essay contest announced

The VFW is dedicated to promoting patriotism and investing in our future generation. If you are a democracy-loving high school student interested in a $30,000 college scholarship or a patriotic middle school student interested in winning $5,000, these scholarships may be for you.
Patriot's Pen: The 2019-20 theme is: What Makes America Great
Each year more than 132,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. The national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $55,000, with each first-place state winner receiving a minimum of $500 at the national level. 
The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300- to 400-word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief. Want to apply? Read the rules and eligibility requirements, then download and complete the 2019-20 entry form. All student entries must be submitted to a sponsoring local VFW Post by midnight, Oct. 31, 2019.
Voice of Democracy: The 2019-20 theme is: What Makes America Great
Established in 1947, our Voice of Democracy audio-essay program provides high school students with the unique opportunity to express themselves in regards to a democratic and patriotic-themed recorded essay. Each year, nearly 40,000 9-12 grade students from across the country enter to win their share of $2.1 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the program. 
The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. A complete list of other national scholarships range from $1,000-$16,000, and the first-place winner from each VFW Department (state) wins a minimum scholarship of $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. Want to apply? Read the rules and eligibility requirements, then download and complete the 2019-20 entry form. All student entries must be submitted to a sponsoring local VFW Post by midnight, Oct. 31, 2019.
Official Entry Forms and Instructions can be found at: 

Entries are to be mailed to:  Franklin VFW Post 3402, PO Box 96, Franklin, MA  

VFW Post 3402, Franklin, MA; VFW Auxiliary 3402 Franklin, MA;  Contact JoAnn Wright at if you have any questions.

Download the PDF of this announcement

Franklin VFW Post 1034 Pond Street
Franklin VFW Post - 1034 Pond Street

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

FDA announce first youth e-cigarette prevention (YouTube)

announced their first youth e-cigarette prevention TV ads & new posters w/ e-cigarette prevention messaging for high schoolers. Learn more about the ways
is working to stop the youth e-cigarette epidemic. #NoEcigs4Kids"
Found via Twitter