Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Live reporting - Joint Statement (full text)

(May 12, 2009) The Franklin School Committee and Franklin Education Association (FEA) are engaged in fruitful talks regarding a temporary wage concession for the FY10 school year. Representatives from both groups, who met last night, report making significant progress toward a resolution in the best interests of Franklin students.

"I was encouraged by the respectful and collaborative tone of the discussions and I'm hopeful that this will lead to a solution," said Jeffrey Roy, Chairman of the Franklin School Committee.

"Both sides agree that advancing student achievement will require reasonable class sizes, professional development opportunities and highly qualified staff."

Robert McLaughlin, the president of the Franklin Education Association said: "We thank the School Committee for their receptivity to our concerns. We reaffirm our commitment to providing a high quality education to the children of Franklin and look forward to a swift, common sense resolution toward that end.”

Members of the Franklin School Committee and the general membership of the FEA will need to discuss and vote on any proposal designed to help balance the FY10 budget. Both the School Committee and the FEA hope to have the talks concluded and action taken prior to the School Committee’s May 26 public hearing on the FY10 budget.

Live reporting - FY 2010 budget Q and A

Left to Right: Miriam Goodman, Wayne Ogden, Maureen Sabolinski, Peter Light

50% of the stimulus can be used to retain teachers, 50% for facilities
applications not available yet
will need to be approved by the State

School Choice funds were always put aside
budgeted at about 250,000 revenue has been about 350,000
recommending use of the 150,000 to save positions for FY 2010

let's bring this down to a user level
what does this do to class sizes, what happens to the libraries when they aren't staffed?

some of that is already out there see the March presentations on this link

we are cobbling this together to do level service with a bunch of one time funds

schedule would need to be done, haven't really started with the students yet
do need to get the schedule resolved before the school year ends

need consensus to begin the planning, action would come next time to formally approve

this is really a two year problem, this offers consistency and stability

can't support going to half day kindergarten, telling folks in May that they need to find a place next year is not good

there is no late bus in this budget
Is the Freshman collaborative intact with this?

When teachers meet for the collaborative, this is done
Teachers did have a prep and a work session, prep is required
with the six periods, the work period is gone

what does that do to the actual schedule

with the 7 day schedule, one class dropped
we are looking to see how this would maintain the 6 classes within the six periods

Once you leave you can never return again
none of these changes are good
we want to move the system from good to great and none of this is good

we have looked at these items
some of the items are not workable

going to a half day at this late date but this is not something I can support
I don't know where we are going to get the money but I can't support it

I can't support half-day

if we went half day with a full day pay option, we could keep the grant

the add backs could go into the kindergarten area due to the changes being being proposed by the high school

the gap is a million and a half
we've talked about 50,000 per position
that is 30 positions

we will be able to add positions back with the wage concessions

if the stars align perfectly, being frugal, salary freezes, no other changes in unemployment
we could get to loosing 10 or fewer

Live reporting - joint statement SchCom and FEA

Fruitful talks are underway
significant progress is being made
respectful tone and discussion

We thank the school committee for being receptive to our concerns
A vote will be required to approve, hopeful to have this completed before the 5/26/09 meeting

Live reporting - budget FY 2010

3. Discussion Only Items
  • User Fees
  • Staff Reduction in Force (RIF)
  • Adoption of FY10 Budget for public hearing (May 26, 2009)
83% or 37.8M of 50.2M cover salary and benefits

Per pupil allotments
Elem $210
Middle $225
High $355

Total dollars remained constant from FY 2009
District wide, potentially 42 positions to reduce (originally in Jan 09 was referenced as >60)

Classroom teachers
Asst Principal
Central Office Data processing
Extracurricular Activities

Notices went out to more than 60 teachers due to the bumping rights, etc. the actual positions lost will only be around 42

The number can be reduced with additional revenue or additional savings
The salary freeze could account for 16 positions within this number of 42 if resolution is reached

4 teachers
Asst Princpal
Office Secretary
6 periods (current schedule has 7 periods)
PE/Health becomes an elective (policy)
Class sizes remain manageable

Middle Schools
2 grade 6
4 grade 7
4 grade 8
2 music

18.5 classroom teachers
Full day kindergarten reduced to half day kindergarten
2.5 librarians
1.2 specialists

Implementing a growth in fees over three years would bring the fees to a 50/50 position; the budget would support 50 of the program, the fees would support the remaining 50 percent of the program

Athletic fees
FY 10 - 200
FY 11 - 225
FY 12 - 250

FY 10 - 50
FY 11 - 75
FY 12 - 100

FY 10 - 350
FY 11 - 375
FY 12 - 400

Circuit breaker 110,00
State fiscal stabilization 448,381
Federal stimulus 375,000
Extraordinary relief 426,339
School choice 150,000
Total revenue increase 1,504,720

Remaining differential between level service budget 53,807,773 to level funded 50,297,820
is $1,489,233

Live reproting - FHS MSBA Draft report

3. Discussion Only Items
  • Draft MSBA Report on FHS
This is in the hands of the School Building Committee

Cafasso - initial reaction, some interesting solutions proposed
notes that the building is well maintained, very functional
offers ideas for potential solutions to accessibility to the boys locker room, accessibility in general

Mullen - didn't talk about the big system issues, nor did it talk about the funding for the building

Sabolinski - ithis report moves us closer, the cafeteria suggestions were not really in line with our needs; for example, building new cooking space and use the existing space for dining areas

Armenio - listening to the architects when they walked into the garage and said this could be the boys locker room and only would need access to the field house but the accessabilty is otherwise resolved.

Mullen - this report took a smaller approach to fixing some of the problems

Cafasso - two costs to the project, one for the cost of the materials and whatever is done, the second cost is due to the disruption of the school year. Some of what they came back with could be done without an impact to the building operation

Ogden - the building has been so well maintained that we are not high in the listing, if we want to get State help, these are some things that could be done that would be less expensive and perhaps could be done with State help sooner

Live reporting - Moodle Facilitated Courses

2. Guests/Presentations
Moodle Facilitated Courses
Pandora Carlucci
Eileen Belastock
Adam Wawrow
10 courses now available online

Pandora witnessed the collaboration and learning between Adam and Eileen in working to bring the Moodle system to life for Franklin.


Moodle - "modular object oriented learning environment"
Open source software, 27 million users

Switched from Blackboard to Moodle to save money
only the in-house server and in-house expertise is required to support it

Eileen - did use Blackboard, wasn't very flexible, went to a conference and heard about it
a virtual high school accredited by the State of Florida is operational

Attended summit at Olin College, people were impressed with what Franklin has already accomplished with Moodle

Eileen did a training session with 8 teachers today
It takes a lot of work for teachers to do, all on their own time

Forensic science class being set up
provides the required text, uses blogs for communication back and forth

Internet sites are pre-cleared by the teacher before set up for the students to link out to within Moodle

Schedule posted in advance for Forensic science to provide some flexibility for the students to complete their work

Up to 30 expected to be able to handle the course with this teacher, did have 10 last year

Moodle does a lot of the work electronically
feedback to the students automated by the system

A couple of students did take a course from Las Vegas last year.
Only issue was with working the timing for when work is due to accommodate multiple time zones

Students need the opportunity to experience on-line learning before they go to college

Principal Light - course on transcript, no weighting for College or Honors scoring yet, on honors pre-calc course counts for the grade point average

"We may not have a Smartboard in every classroom but we are doing so much more" Eileen

Life Long Learning has been providing the start up costs, as the courses really get rolling, then it would come into the full and normal school program. Teachers in the future may divide their time between classroom face-time and classroom online-time.

Forensics uses "Forensics for Dummies" is used as the text, available for about $18 from various on-line booksellers. The course is built to extend the material prepared in the text.

Tim Raposa points out the collaboration on technology between the town and school.

Live reporting - School Committee 5/12/09

Attending: Armenio, Cafasso, Kelly, Mullen, Roy, Rohrbach, Trahan
Missing: none

1. Routine Business
Citizen’s Comments
Review of Agenda
Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the April 14th and April 28th 2009 School Committee Meetings. Motion to approve, passed unanimously (except for 1 - abstain for the 14th)
Payment of Bills Mr. Kelly Motion to approve, passed unanimously
Payroll Ms. Armenio
FHS Student Representatives

Governor comes to Franklin 5/17/09

Governor Deval Patrick will hold a "Town Hall Meeting" on Sunday May 17 at 4pm-5pm at the Franklin Senior Center 10 Daniel McCahill Street.

For additional information on Governor Patrick's forums visit www.mass.gov/governor/forum

"anxious about full-day kindergarten"

Milford Daily News
Posted May 11, 2009 @ 10:54 PM


Tonight, the School Committee will make final decisions about what to cut - with full-day kindergarten and at least 30 teachers' jobs on the line - to balance the budget.

As of yesterday afternoon, the union and School Committee had not yet reached an agreement on wage concessions, said Chairman Jeffrey Roy.

Without a wage deferral from the 550-member Franklin Education Association, the School Department faces a budget gap of $1.5 million, Roy said.

A "yes" from the union will save about $800,000, which will be used to save 16 teachers' jobs, Roy said.

A "no" from the union means a minimum of 30 teachers will be laid off, Roy said.

Tonight, the School Committee must vote on a final budget in time for its public hearing on May 26, though the budget does not have to be finalized until June 30, Roy said.

Read the full article about the school budget in the Milford Daily News here

HMEA's 8th Annual Independence 5K Walk/Run

HMEA's 8th Annual Independence 5K Walk/Run in the Park will be held on Sunday, May 17, 2009. Our friends at EMC2 Corporation, 50 Constitution Boulevard, Franklin, MA have again allowed us to hold this premier fundraising event on their grounds. Gail Huff from WCVB-TV Channel 5 News will once again be our host.

To register to walk please visit firstgiving.com/hmea. Here you can also set-up your own personal fundraising page that can be e-mailed to all your family, friends and co-workers asking them to support your efforts to raise funds for HMEA.

If you want to participate in the road race please register at active.com/hmea. OR, if you prefer you can complete your registration form online, print it and mail directly to HMEA along with your registration fee(s). You could also e-mail it back to hmea@hmea.org. Click here for the registration form.

Interested in becoming a sponsor of this fun-filled family day event? To learn what sponsorships are available click here for the Sponsorship Opportunities flyer.

More information will be available shortly. In the meantime if have any questions please call Linda Conley at 508.298.1107 or Doug MacPherson at 508.298.1105.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Parmenter sign updated with upcoming events

Strategic Planning Survey Closes 5/12/09

The Strategic Planning survey announced previously is available for your input. The survey closes out on Tuesday, May 12, 2009.

Please take a few minutes to provide your input online here

What is the survey about? This slide cast will explain:

School Committee Meeting May 12, 2009 - Agenda

Franklin School Committee Meeting
May 12, 2009
Municipal Building – Council Chambers
7:00 P.M.


1. Routine Business
Citizen’s Comments
Review of Agenda
Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the April 14th and April 28th 2009 School Committee Meetings.
Payment of Bills Mr. Kelly
Payroll Ms. Armenio
FHS Student Representatives

  1. Budget to Actual
  2. Letter from Susan Tribe

2. Guests/Presentations
Moodle Facilitated Courses
Pandora Carlucci
Eileen Belastock
Adam Wawrow

3. Discussion Only Items
  • Draft MSBA Report on FHS
  • User Fees
  • Staff Reduction in Force (RIF)
  • Adoption of FY10 Budget for public hearing (May 26, 2009)

4. Action Items
  1. I recommend approval of the FHS field trip to McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket, RI on (tentatively, based on ticket availability) June 15, 2009 for a Pawsox game from 5 P.M. to approximately 10:30 P.M.
  2. I recommend approval of the FPS Music Dept. field trip to Canobie Lake Park in Salem, NH on June 12, 2009 from 2:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M.
  3. I recommend acceptance of a check for $500.00 from Exxon Mobil for Franklin High School to be used for academic recognition for seniors.
  4. I recommend moving FY10 Budget amount of $50,297,820. to public hearing on May 26, 2009.

5. Information Matters

Superintendent’s Report
  • Reduction in Force
  • User Fees
  • Town / School Expenditure Agreement (Final Draft)
  • End of Year Events
  • Enrollment Comparisons for April 08-09

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

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Brook St house fire

Posted May 09, 2009 @ 11:34 PM


One Franklin firefighter was injured yesterday afternoon in a two-alarm house fire at 179 Brook St.

Fire Chief Gary McCarraher did not identify the firefighter, but said the injuries were not life-threatening. The firefighter was taken to Milford Regional Medical Center, he said.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and heat conditions throughout the building, McCarraher said.

Flames blazed from the roof of the two-story home around noon, and smoke continued to rise above the house for about 20 minutes after the fire was under control at 12:30 p.m.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, McCarraher said. The fire started in a utility room on the lower level, he said.

The lower level sustained extensive fire and water damage, and the whole house suffered smoke and fire damage, McCarraher said.

Franklin Building Commissioner David Roche said the house needs to be condemned and boarded up.

Read the full story on the Brook St fire in the Milford Daily News here

"the ensemble's just so energetic and so happy to be there"

Posted May 09, 2009 @ 11:42 PM

Noble and Greenough School senior Andrea Ross has had a fairly incredible career at age 18. The Franklin resident has already starred in the national tour of an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, recorded her own CD and won a prestigious Boston theater award.
But only now will Ross debut on her own high school stage, as the lead in "Thoroughly Modern Millie," opening next Tuesday.
Ross says she initially planned on doing lots of shows at Nobles, but "this is the first year that I've been here for the full year. And I finally have a spring free, so I'm finally doing the musical."
Her turn in the school's Vinik Theatre comes just in time, as Ross graduates May 28.
Read the full article on Andrea's stage debut in the Milford Daily News here