Saturday, March 29, 2008

FY09 - Middle school principals (audio)

Franklin School Committee meeting continues the discussion on the proposed FY09 budget cuts and in detail the impact in the middle schools.

Time: 26 minutes, 14 seconds

MP3 File

FY09 - High School Impact (audio)

Franklin School Committee continues the discussion on FY09 with questions on the impact at the high school. Paula Mullen and Pam Gould primary speakers in this segment.

Pam also returns at the end of the Middle School segment for an additional question.

Time: 2 minutes, 32 seconds

MP3 File

FY09 - Wayne Ogden's overview (audio)

The Franklin School Committee got to get into some details with the school prinicpals during the meeting 3/25/08. Supt. Wayne Ogden leads the introductory overview in this segment.

Time: 17 minutes, 2 seconds

MP3 File

Friday, March 28, 2008

Where in Franklin? #40

Where in Franklin? #40, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Where do you find this sign proclaiming that they are open for business?

The guidelines for playing "Where in Franklin?" can be found here.

Where in Franklin? Answer #39

Where in Franklin? Answer #39, originally uploaded by shersteve.

The answer to picture #39 is the Horace Mann Museum currently located at the Old South Meeting Church building on Washington St but being planned to move into the old Senior Center building downtown sometime this year.

Thanks for playing!

Stay tuned for the next picture.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

In the News - diesel costs for school buses

The skyrocketing price of diesel fuel is putting a squeeze on school budgets and the contractors that districts hire to bus students.

"It's impacting us tremendously," said Joseph Vendetti, owner of Vendetti Bus Co. in Franklin. "Everybody's complaining about paying $3 a gallon for gasoline, and we're paying $4 for diesel."

Most school buses run on diesel, and the cost for that fuel shot past $4 last week - up 59 cents from just five weeks ago, according to AAA of Southern New England. As of Monday, the average price for diesel in Massachusetts was $4.14 a gallon.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily news

Gee, imagine if?

Gee, imagine if something like that could happen here?
“It was a very difficult choice to have to use one-time revenue, but it’s Franklin, and we have to make sure our schools work,” Nutting said. “Classroom instruction remains our top priority, and we cannot retreat on progress.”
This is purely wishful thinking, at least for now, as this quote is a doctoring of what Mayor Tom Menino said when Boston came up with additional funding to help balance the city's school budget, as reported in the Boston Globe.

Tom Menino really did say:
“It was a very difficult choice to have to use one-time revenue, but it’s Boston, and we have to make sure our schools work,” Menino said. “Classroom instruction remains our top priority, and we cannot retreat on progress.”
alas Jeff Nutting did not.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Contract Signings (audio)

Miriam Goodman, the new School Business Administrator, signs her contract to start working in Franklin April 29th.

There is also a contract signing for the School Nurses.

The committee breaks for two minutes to process the paperwork.

Time: 5 minutes, 6 seconds

MP3 File

Horace Mann School Improvement Plan (audio)

Dr Anne Bergan, Principal of the Horace Mann School presented the current school improvement plan to the School Committee and answered questions.

Time: 17 minutes, 7 seconds

MP3 File

Discussion on handbook revisions (audio)

From the School Committee meeting 3/25/08, the discussion on revisions to the various school handbooks lead by Maureen Sabolinksi and Wayne Ogden.

Time: 7 minutes, 47 seconds

MP3 File

Routine Business items (audio)

Multiple routine business items from the meeting of 3/25/08.

Time: 4 minutes, 18 seconds

MP3 File

Items include:
Minutes - I recommend approval of the minutes from the February 26, 2008 and March 11, 2008 School Committee Meetings.

· Payment of Bills Mr. Kelly
· Payroll Ms. Armenio
· FHS Student Representatives
· Correspondence - Letter from Jeffrey Nutting regarding consolidation of facilities.

School Committee Meeting 3/25/08

Franklin School Committee Meeting
March 25, 2008 7:00 P.M.
Municipal Building – Council Chambers


Call to order Mr. Roy, Pledge of Allegiance, Moment of Silence (audio)

1. Routine Business · Citizen’s Comments (audio)

· Review of Agenda
· Minutes - I recommend approval of the minutes from the February 26, 2008 and March 11, 2008 School Committee Meetings.
· Payment of Bills Mr. Kelly
· Payroll Ms. Armenio
· FHS Student Representatives
· Correspondence - Letter from Jeffrey Nutting regarding consolidation of facilities.
The above items can be found in this audio segment (audio)

2. Guests/Presentations:
a. 2008-09 Handbooks (all but FHS) (audio)
b. Horace Mann School Improvement Plan (audio)
c. Miriam Goodman, Business Administrator contract signing and School Nurses contract signing (audio)

3. Discussion Only Items

· FY 2009 Budget

· Budget to Actual (audio)
· First Reading – Entrance Age Policy JEA (audio)
· First Reading – School Admission/Residency Policy JFAA-R (audio)

· Finalize Superintendent’s Goals (audio)
· Consolidation of Facilities (audio)

4. Action Items:
1. I recommend acceptance of the Horace Mann Middle School’s School Improvement Plan.
2. I recommend acceptance of a check for $2,000.00 from the Best Buy Teach Award grant awarded to Laura Chiaravallotti, 6th grade English/Social Studies teacher at the Remington Middle School.
3. I recommend acceptance of a check for $35.32 from Follett Educational Services from surplus books for the Parmenter gift account.
4. I recommend approval of Leighanne Cullen’s request for an Orlando, Florida trip for the spring of 2009 for FHS music students as detailed.
5. I recommend acceptance of a check for $5,000.00 from the Keller PCC for field trips and In-house enrichment for Keller students.
6. I recommend approval of FHS Lacrosse trip to Guilford, CT on March 29-30, 2008 for Athletic Scrimmage/Jamboree.
7. I recommend approval of FHS Art trip to New York City on May 10, 2008 to the Museum of Modern Art.
8. I recommend acceptance of a check for $250.00 from the Norfolk DA’s office for the Graduation Safety Grant for the FHS.
9. I recommend acceptance of a check for $119.92 from Target for the Horace Mann Middle School.
10. I recommend acceptance of a check for $1500.00 from the Jefferson PCC for field trips for Jefferson Elementary School.

all the action items are contained in this segment (audio)

· School Committee Sub-Committee Reports
· School Committee Liaison Reports

The sub-committee and liaison reports are together in this segment (audio)

6. New Business:
· To discuss future business that may be brought before the School Committee. (audio)

7. Adjourn (audio)

SchCom: The Charlebois' statement (audio)

During the Citizens Comment portion of the Franklin School Committee meeting on Tuesday 3/25/08, Amie Charlebois presented this statement.

Time: 7 minutes, 18 seconds

The text of the statement is available here.

MP3 File

SchCom: Pledge (audio)

The Pledge of Allegiance led by Robert Gallo opens the Franklin School Committee meeting on Tuesday 3/25/08.

Time: 1 minute, 42 seconds

MP3 File

SchCom: The Charlebois' statement

The text of the statement presented during the Citizens Comment portion of the School Committee meeting 3/25/08. The text was scanned from a printed copy provided by Amie Charlebois.

Hi, my name is Amie Charlebois and this is my husband David. I wanted to come before you tonight to ask that you make an assessment of my current situation with the FX O'Regan Early Childhood Development Center. I have approached the principal, Karen Seyfried as well as Wayne Ogden with this matter. Before I go any further, it has always been my understanding that the school department has what is in the best interest of each individual child.

I have 3 small children 5 years, 22 months and 4 months. My 5 year old son is at the end of his second year in attendance of preschool at ECDC. He attended 2 afternoons his first year and has been attending 5 afternoons this entire school year. My husband and I have been truly happy with his experience at ECDC and believe that it has laid a wonderful foundation for his education. I have faith that when my 2 other children attend ECDC, that they too will have the same wonderful experience.

Unfortunately, my family has recently undergone a severe financial hardship. My husband was badly injured in an accident at work and has recently undergone surgery due to that accident. The insurance company that deals with workers compensation has denied our claim and we are awaiting a hearing date. We have had a dramatic loss in income.

I brought my situation to Karen's attention and Karen told me there were scholarships available that I could apply for to assist with my sons tuition. I was very pleased to hear that we qualified for the highest level scholarship available with tuition that would cover 2 days and a reimbursement of my June deposit of $305. With the reimbursement, I would be able to apply that to the remaining 3 days for April and May and keep my son in the 5 day program he has been in since August. At a time in our lives when the reimbursement would be very helpful to put toward other household expenses, our priority is put that money toward our sons education. Karen informed me that I could not do that according to policy. It never once entered my mind that if I qualified for the scholarship, my son would only be able to attend school 2 days a week when he is enrolled in 5.

I signed an enrollment agreement last year accepting the 5 day program, a signed agreement, which is a binding contract between 2 parties stating my son is enrolled in the 5 day program. I am upholding my portion of the agreement and the ECDC is not. The policy states that scholarships are given out for 2 days and does not say anywhere that if you qualify for the scholarship your child can not attend the other 3 days as well. I told Karen that if I had known that was how the scholarship program operated, I never would have applied because again my son is in the 5 day program. Karen also informed me that the policy needs to be adjusted for next year and that she is in the process of "adding language" for next years handbook. Karen has stated to me the intent of the policy but I do not believe intent can be enforced.

But at this time, with 38 days left in the school year I am being told that in order to accept a scholarship that we qualified for, we can only use it by taking school days away from my son. My son who loves school and asks numerous times every morning "when are we leaving for school". At a time in my sons life when things are turbulent enough, I am being told that there is help available but that it will negatively affect my child if I accept that help. I feel that it is an absolute necessity to keep my sons school structure in tact, now on March 25, with 38 school days left in the year. My sons education is a priority especially in these early years. He would be devastated and confused if I had to take school days away from him at this point and I know that trying to explain to him that there are unclear policies that must be followed, will not help ease his hurt. Doing this to my son at this time would hurt him. My son is not taking a spot away from another child nor does it have any effect on anyone except for him. If this were October or November I would consider having to make certain adjustments with it being so early in the year but it isn't, it is almost April. I'm asking to be allowed to keep my son at the 5 day level, accepting the financial help from the scholarship that I qualified for to put toward the 2 days and I am asking ECDC to accept my money for the other 3 days of the week to keep my sons education consistent. There have been 3 different occasions, prior to our hardship that I have talked with my sons teacher about her feelings toward him attending the 5 day program, and she has said numerous times, that she believes my son is thriving in the 5 day program, he benefits from it and he needs consistency. I know his teacher of the past 2 years, has my sons best interest at heart. I am deeply saddened that amidst everything going on at home, I am required to fight in order to keep educational stability for a 5 year old boy, in a school that he truly loves. The ECDC Mission reads "The Francis X O'Regan Early Childhood Development Center's mission is to focus on the whole child and their family..." and every time I bring the attention and focus back to my son, I am told to refer to a handbook. All I am asking is for you to do what you already do when you make your decision, and that is to look at what is in the best interest of my child.