Wednesday, August 27, 2008


FRANKLIN, MA (August 27, 2008) – Superintendent of Schools Wayne R. Ogden today announced his decision to resign his position effective June 30, 2009. Ogden formally tendered his resignation to the Franklin School Committee Chairman, Jeffrey N. Roy following last night’s committee meeting.

Ogden issued the following statement:
“I came to Franklin in May 2006 to help move the public schools from good to great.
Instead, we are beginning another academic year moving in the opposite direction. We will start the 2008-09 school year with 180 more students than when I arrived and a budget that is several million dollars short of keeping pace with this growth. In the last two budget cycles, I have been forced to reduce school staff by more than 70 employees, the vast majority of them teachers, and to abandon plans to bring our schools to the next level academically. Our investment in the education of our students is now below average in every single category.

“This retreat has occurred despite the best efforts of the school community. The School Committee has an ambitious vision for the students of Franklin that deserves passionate and thoughtful support, but the Committee cannot sustain the academic performance that the community expects when it is not given the funding required to keep pace with basic educational needs. I have no desire to continue to dismantle our school system and, as such, I no longer feel I offer the right fit to lead the Franklin schools.”

School Committee Chairman Roy said:
“The Committee regrets the superintendent’s decision to leave his post after three years of a five-year contract. Our schools are at a crossroads and the challenges we face are serious, but the School Committee intends to do everything we can to prevent a slide toward mediocrity. With the support of our dedicated staff and our hardworking parents and students, our collective goal is to return Franklin schools to the path of greatness.

“School districts throughout the Commonwealth are struggling to recruit superintendents. We know it will be difficult to find a leader willing to come to a community that has begun to step back from supporting its educational mission. The School Committee will begin discussions regarding a successor as quickly as possible in the hopes of finding a highly qualified individual who can help us overcome the challenges ahead. ”

Supt. Ogden resigns

Superintendent Wayne Ogden submitted his resignation to the School Committee yesterday and notified the teachers today.
I'll provide a link to the School Committee press release on this matter later. The resignation is effective June 2009.

Mobile post sent by shersteve using Utterz. reply-count Replies.

In the News - late bus eliminated

Posted Aug 27, 2008 @ 12:36 AM


At the superintendent's recommendation, the School Committee decided not to have a late bus, despite earlier assurances that it would be saved.

In nearly a 180-degree turnaround from his previous announcement, Superintendent Wayne Ogden last night recommended the School Committee not offer the popular late bus this year, and members did not search for a way to fund it, saying they could not afford it.

Ogden said the board did not need to take any action, because it wasn't in the budget to begin with. He had thought he found the funds for it, but now says they won't have the money.

"I'm sorry to say this, because I really felt a month ago we were going to be able to do that (keep the late bus)," Ogden said, explaining that earlier revenue projections from pay-to-ride bus fees did not materialize as expected.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Live reporting - Action Items

4. Action Items:
  • I recommend acceptance of the donation of various scientific supplies, glassware, equipment, safety and storage resources by Spherics, Incorporated for the Franklin High School. Accepted - 6-0
  • I recommend approval of the FPS Handbooks Accepted - 6-0
  • I recommend adoption of Policy KF – Building Use Accepted - 6-0
  • I recommend adoption of Policy Manual Review:
o Policy BCG – Policy Revision & Review
o Policy BCG-E – Policy Manual Review Procedure
o Policy BGB – Policy Adoption
o Policy BGF – Suspension of Policies
o Policy BIBA – School Committee Conferences, Conventions & Workshops
as detailed above (paperwork in discussion section).

All policies Accepted - 6-0

  • I recommend acceptance of a check for $400.00 from the JFK PCC for bus fee for a Kindergarten field trip to Southwick Zoo on May 16, 2008. Accepted - 6-0

Live reporting - high school scheduling problem

Last run of students revealed about 200 students with an opening on the schedule. Can't have study hall by law. Uncapped science to increase enrollment and that took some of the pressure off.

Still had 160-170 left to cover. One English teacher left for an other opportunity. We could replace that person but it wouldn't solve the problem. A social study teacher would not solve the problem.

Increasing a music person (using the English person slot) would solve the problem. By adding back this music, choral position we can solve the scheduling problem.

Why can't we stick them in study halls.

Since 1996, study halls have been banned by the Department of Education.

What did this do to the English class sizes?

It did bump it up a little. The issue is with this electives and English is not generally taken as an elective, it is required and taken then. It is a public perception. This is a transfer of a position, not an add back in.

Bottom line:
Some choral programs are back with the hiring of a music teacher to backfill for an English teacher who recently resigned.

Live reporting - bus update, no late bus

Maureen Sabolinski - Central Office had only received one call about cross walks not being painted. They referred the call to the Town Administrator. Most of the calls to the schools were minor and overall this was one of the best openings.

If you hear of problems, please let us know. One crowded bus so far, at Annie Sullivan that will be addressed tomorrow.

Amount of transaction in the last couple of days has been busy with new enrollments.

Will need to provide an FY 09 bus update later. The most recent registrations have not yet been processed into the system to provide some output and look at what the impact would be.

Making bus adjustments, adding some spots for where folks moved into the area over the summer.

One of the most striking numbers is that what we budget for transportation is not what it costs. There is a gap for actual cost of transportation and what we budget.

Miriam Goodman:
Not all late enrollments are going to be pay-to-ride

Explains that some of the pay-to-ride money received in June was booked into FY 08. It is properly accounted for but will help to explain why the top line won't balance to the bottom line.

What extraordinary expenses can we face? How do we forecast that? Loss of power, i.e. Kennedy has experienced that. Those are generally separate charges for additional expenses. Holmes has been good and not charged in all instances.

Fuel escalation?

First year of new contract. Only eight payments against the total seen.

Contract started in 06-07 school year with options to extend. What was the price?

The fuel escalation does both ways, up and down. It is possible that we will see some decrease with the recent decreases. I would be happy if we don't have to pay that and I am sure you would be also. Would need to renew sometime before 2010.

Clarification on which students go into which category? By virtue of who we have to pay for, where would we see them?

This is only pay-to-ride students. Students who are already riding are not included in this.

We can try to include the full ridership numbers in the next update.

Shortfall of revenue to cost increasing each year.

Choice to cut other areas of the budget to subsidize this less or to increase the pay-to-ride to be more self-sufficient. No way to adjust re-routing to reduce buses. Could look at the start time to adjust as most high schools are not bus eligible but are pay-to-ride. Changing the start time has not been a palatable solution.

Thanks for taking care of the Lincoln/Maple bend in the route.

Can we ask the advertising subcommittee to look at the advertising option on the Holmes buses.

We can add that to our agenda.

We had looked at funding the late bus, do we have an update?

The projections made in prior meetings were optimistic. The fuel escalation costs have increased. Due to some other factors, four in total. It would be unwise financially to do so (i.e. continue the late bus).

All the parents I have talked with were glad to have saved to the late bus, to do otherwise now would not be good. I would strongly suggest to the committee to direct the administration to reconsider.

Clubs start in Sep not Oct. I can't see keeping it considering the other reductions we have made.

We looked at that and the fee could be upwards of $300/student.

GATRA can provide some service to the high school and to those middle school students who walk over, at $.50 per student.

Given the amount of adjustments we have made with the budget, moving funds around to balance, I can't see that we can't find something to continue this.

We had a long discussion on the budget subcommittee. We have some additional expenses coming at us, special education ($100,000 just for the transportation, doesn't include the actual special ed expense).

I would love to have it stay. The message was clear that the override failure would lead to this.

It wasn't only parents that voted in the override. They would thank you for saving the late bus. It is not that we can't fund the clubs. It is just for the few tens of thousands that we should be able to fund this.

I hear you. If we don't identify this cut, then we would have to identify another cut to fund the late bus. I appreciate the need for the late bus. It is not something we can afford. Over 40 teachers, class sizes increased, how many over 30 per class.

There has been sensitivity to the increase of the $100 fee. This is a difficult descision.

Live reporting - Land easement

Mike D'Angelo providing an update on the easement that the Town Council started action on in their meeting 8/20. This is too clear up title search and clean up the records to allow for the development to the senior assisted living facility being planned for Eaton Place.

The electric easement is on the left side about 40 foot before the end of Panther Way. Across the way, there is a drainage easement required.

On the agenda tonight for discussion only. Action will come in a future meeting.

Clarification on location of easement, does it interfere with the new drop off?


Would this intefere with any of our future plans for renovations to the high school.

Not really. Should be far enough away. If there was any impact, this would be a minor cost if required.

The water easement, and issue for flooding on the fields.

No, the section they are talking about is a low volume area. Further down, there are a couple of drains coming together and from that point forward there is good volume of water.

Who needs this?

The developers of the site. It is to our advantage that they do this and do it properly. We don't want any runoff from the hill or the springs up there coming our way. They have one permit for 50 units. There could be more later but only this one is permitted thus far. They have been trying since 1999 to get this thing going. I have net with the developer a number of times to review and plan this.

This is a small easement? I have trouble with it going to a for-profit corporation with nothing in return. This is already set into motion.

There is already too much water up on the property. Really shouldn't use any of the existing piping.

When does construction start?

Next month assuming things all work out.


The water needs to come down in a direct route. It will end up recharging the wet lands. It is desirable to do so. All the roof drains in Horace Mann and the High School go back into the ground to replenish the aquifer.

With so much water over there is there something we can do to re-use it?

Something to think about. A lot of initial cost for separate piping to use the water through the flushes rather than fresh water. Some work is being done in that area but not a lot yet.

Would like to get clarification from the FHS renovation architect on the placement of the water easement and the position of the FHS renovations. Has anyone put their seal on this to really signed off on this?

No one has definitively looked at the wet lands. There is no real drainage on the fields themselves. The fields sheet drain into the wet lands.

Just looking to make sure than the runoff won't cause problems come spring.

That site is really tough I wouldn't want to develop that site. We did some test drills and there was water really close to the surface of the ledge. Their engineer could comment on the wet lands and volume. They have to commit to not putting more into the wet lands than currently is.

Live reporting - school handbooks

first tardy an automatic, added phrasing for unexcused absences to be reviewed with Principal

Pam Gould, FHS Principal
review of changes to handbook, included in the agenda book based upon Covey's 7 Habits. This year will be the second year Covey will be incorporated. Handbook rules laid out in simple format; if you do this, this will happen.

Drug and alcohol policy, adds a 45 day social probation and random drug and alcohol testing. MIAA rules and procedures will govern athletes.

Nothing mentioned in there about lockdowns.

Yes, we want to get it in. It is too cumbersome right now.

Asst Supt. Maureen Sabolinski:
A lot of the information does need to be kept confidential.

Need to review some of the details to determine what will be kept in and what can be left out.

How was this overed in the budget?

This is an expense but it was already included in the supply amount originally accounted for.

Karen Seyfried:
No room in budget to accommodate scholarships. Reviewed options with local agencies to provide assistance. She also showcased the revised "Family Public Pre-school Handbook"

Asst Supt Maureen offered to stand in for Dr Burgin and answer some questions on the Horace Mann handbook. Page one error being corrected. Updates will made to the online version of the handbook. This saves approx. $7-800 cost.

If someone doesn't have one, or doesn't have online access?

There are some available in the office.

Good to have highlighted the new sections vs. the unchanged, saves reading all the way through.

Live reporting - School Committee meeting

1. Routine Business
  • Citizen’s Comments - none present to make a comment
  • Review of Agenda
  • Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the August 5, 2008 School Committee Meeting. approved yes, 5; abstain, 1
  • Payment of Bills - Mr. Kelly
  • Payroll - Ms. Armenio
  • FHS Student Representatives
  • Correspondence: none

Note: Roberta Trahan stuck flying back from Baltimore, should have been here in time but due to the delays in the air traffic today.

School Committee Agenda - 8/26/08

Franklin School Committee Meeting
August 26, 2008
Municipal Building – Council Chambers
7:00 P.M.


Call to order Mr. Roy
Pledge of Allegiance
Moment of Silence

1. Routine Business
• Citizen’s Comments
• Review of Agenda
• Minutes:
I recommend approval of the minutes from the August 5, 2008 School Committee Meeting.
• Payment of Bills Mr. Kelly
• Payroll Ms. Armenio
• FHS Student Representatives
• Correspondence:

2. Guests/Presentations:
• Handbooks

3. Discussion Only Items
• Surplus land behind High School to Town for Senior Housing Project
• Pay to Ride Update
• Update on a scheduling problem at FHS
• Policy KF – Building Use – Second Reading
• Policy Manual Review – Second Reading
o Policy BCG – Policy Revision & Review
o Policy BCG-E – Policy Manual Review Procedure
o Policy BGB – Policy Adoption
o Policy BGF – Suspension of Policies
o Policy BIBA – School Committee Conferences, Conventions & Workshops

4. Action Items:
1. I recommend acceptance of the donation of various scientific supplies, glassware, equipment, safety and storage resources by Spherics, Incorporated for the Franklin High School.
2. I recommend approval of the FPS Handbooks
3. I recommend adoption of Policy KF – Building Use
4. I recommend adoption of Policy Manual Review:
o Policy BCG – Policy Revision & Review
o Policy BCG-E – Policy Manual Review Procedure
o Policy BGB – Policy Adoption
o Policy BGF – Suspension of Policies
o Policy BIBA – School Committee Conferences, Conventions & Workshops
as detailed above (paperwork in discussion section).
5. I recommend acceptance of a check for $400.00 from the JFK PCC for bus fee for a Kindergarten field trip to Southwick Zoo on May 16, 2008.

5. Information Matters:
• Superintendent’s Report
a. Easement
b. FHS Scheduling Problem
c. Pay to Ride
d. Opening of School
• School Committee Sub-Committee Reports
• School Committee Liaison Reports

6. New Business:
• To discuss future business that may be brought before the School Committee.

7. Executive Session
• Contractual Negotiations

8. Adjourn

Parmenter Nature Trail

The G M Parmenter Elementary School has a very nice nature trail located in the woods behind the school on Wachusett Street here in Franklin.

The trail is about one quarter mile long, mostly along a dirt path with pine needle carpeting. There is a slight decline at the beginning and some stairs to help on the incline at the end.

Dolores and I took a walk there on a recent weekend and these photos will take you along with us on the walk. Click to view the 16 picture slide show.

View slideshow


Monday, August 25, 2008

Sign restrictions

The chain link fence along the bridge over the railroad tracks has been a frequent posting spot of announcements for local activities. No longer to be used this way according to the notice there now:

Franklin: Sign restriction
There is a Creative Commons license attached to this image. AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike

Since this is a state sponsored sign, I guess this is allowed:

Franklin: Sign exception?
There is a Creative Commons license attached to this image. AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike

Sunday, August 24, 2008

FM #10 - 5 things from the week ending 8/24/08

Another in a series of podcasts on what matters in Franklin, MA. This one reviews the four key items from the Town Council Meeting of 8/20/08 and the lack of a quorum for the Financial Planning Committee on 8/21/08.

Time: 18 minutes, 20 seconds

MP3 File

Session Notes:

Music intro

My intro

From the Town Council meeting this past Wednesday, there are four things I think you should be aware of. However, the most important item from the week is the lack of a quorum at the Financial Planning Committee meeting on the 21st.

From the Town Council meeting of 8/20/08

1 - Bylaw Amendment 08-627: Chapter 4, Public Notice and Advertising of Public Hearings – 2nd Reading

As discussed in the 7/23/08 meeting, the Council moved to adjust the notifications. Jeff Nutting references 2 of the three questions from that meeting. The third question, to provide examples of such that would be covered by this, if it was answered, it does not appear during the discussion nor in the council meeting package.

The Town Council meeting package for 8/20/08 can be found here:

listen here

2 - Resolution 05-55 – Transfer of Care, Custody, Management and Control of Red Brick School From Franklin School Committee to Franklin Town Council

The Benjamin Franklin Charter School inquiry is discussed but the inquiry by the Franklin School for Modern Art is not referenced although the Milford Daily News and the Boston Globe cover both this interests.

Milford Daily News:

Boston Globe:

listen here

3 - Zoning Bylaw Amendment 08-625: Chapter 185-5, Town Code: Zoning Map – Business to Commercial II – 7:10 PM - covers the land of the Knights of Columbus, and along that row of Tedeschi’s, Dunkin Donuts. The hearing was closed and this item was moved to first reading

4 - Town Administrator, Jeff Nutting presented on an update on the Town's efforts to reduce auto fuel used. A "No idling" policy was issued, Jeff will come back to Council with a request to balance the fuel budget. With increase in gas prices, they are projecting they will be about $100,000 short. Jeff talked of coming back in a future meeting with some actions to handle this. Apparently there was a change in our revenue forecast due to the MBTA and GATRA assessments. This change will result in an increase in revenues of about 160,000. Stay tuned to see what happens on this front.

5 - The most important thing this week, I think was the lack of a quorum at the Financial Planning Committee meeting on 8/21/08.

The group is chartered with defining our future financial needs and then coming up with a plan to get the town to agree to. One, their own internal communications appear to be lacking. Of the nine official members, two were present, only one other was acknowledged having a prior notification of absence. What happened to the other 6?

If they can’t communicate within the group, will they be able to communicate out to us?


This podcast has been a public service provided to my fellow Franklin citizens and voters by Steve Sherlock

For additional information, please visit

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

The musical intro and closing is from the Podsafe Music Network
Jon Schmidt - Powerful Exhilarating Piano Music

Franklin: Schools open Tuesday

Franklin: Schools open Tuesday, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Yes, the summer is coming to an end.

Dolores has her classroom ready to welcome her new set of friends at Oak Street.

Check to see what time your kindergarten orientation is on Tuesday.

Drive with alertness to keep all the Franklin students safe!

Franklin: Andro's Pizza

Franklin: Andro's Pizza, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Yes, this used to be Aroma's Caffe.

Soon it will be Andro's Pizza.

BTW - also on the food front, noticed a sign that says Nonni Roses' is now offering a full breakfast Thu-Fri-Sat.