Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Live reporting - SIP Franklin High

2. Guests/Presentations

a. School Improvement Plans
  • Franklin High School – Peter Light
Peter highlights some of the goals rather than going through all of them.

Increase summer reading
Increase graduation percent for lower socio-economic students
Continuation of increasing Advanced placement participation
open response questions within Math is a problem area and a team is being formed to look at more closely
Safety - run the lock down drill this year and develop an updated evacuation plan. In particular, the attendance procedures work but they are too slow.

EdLine is live now, students and parents will be receiving access codes in the next week or so. Access to grading will be deployed later to avoid potential misinterpretation of the results they would see.

They are looking to expand the concept of summer reading, expand to provide more choices, need to analyze what the level of participation was this year and then look to increase the offerings.

Looking at how to challenge the students in English with more AP or honors classes. Using the College Board predictive results to see what the students are that are not yet in the AP classes.

Goal for complete wifi access, it is complete (with a couple of classroom exceptions). It is a free public wifi but students using to access via a secure channel to their folders. Printing is not yet available this way but they are working on this. Trying to go paperless as much as possible. 200 laptops are in, 50-60 are being used daily. Some are going out overnight. Minor issues with some but tech support is handling those.

Own online course management system is now functioning, it was used for summer school. About 40-50% fof the faculty are using it (either in an experimental stage or deployed).

55 teachers have courses built into Moodle today, per Sabolinski

Sabolinski, thanks to the collaboration and coordination amongst the middle and high school.

Live reporting - SIP Annie Sullivan

2. Guests/Presentations

a. School Improvement Plans
  • Annie Sullivan Middle School – Beth Wittcoff

  1. Response to intervention
  2. Literacy
  3. Annual Yearly Progress (AYP)
  4. Mathematics
The literacy initiative is working

Q - on "Brain based instructional strategies"
A - getting students involved and engaged more completely with all their senses.

Q - What impact does differentiated learning have on the results?
A - differentiated instruction with an average of 30 students in a class is hard. It is a real issue. As long as we have class sizes and ratios that high it will be a challenge to continue to produce the results that Franklin has become used to seeing.

Live reporting - SIP Remington

2. Guests/Presentations

a. School Improvement Plans (SIP)
  • Remington Middle School – Paul Peri
Mostly a continuation and enhancement to last years goals.

  1. Incorporate reading/literacy strategies in the classrooms of all core content areas
  2. Targets the skills of the student who are at risk for not meeting district and state learning expectations in math
  3. Targets the skills of two sub-group populations of students
  4. Connecting RMS to the Franklin Community
Additional text will be added later

Live reporting - Presentations (School Improvement Plans)

2. Guests/Presentations

a. School Improvement Plans (SIP)
  • Horace Mann Middle School – Dr. Anne Bergen
Open response writing showing good results.

Video taped an interview with high performing students, cooperative learning doesn't always work for them, pay attention to them, they have a right to learn something new every day

28% of the student lacking in the basic fundamentals, added some focus to this and got great results (with pre- and post-test results)

Action plans
  1. Wide reading to develop background knowledge
  2. Writing goal
  3. Math goal
  4. School enrichment model
Additional text from the detailed SIP will be added later

The kids feedback was to do more pre-testing, if they already know it, let's move on to something else.

Live reporting - School Committee 9/8/09

Attending: Armenio, Cafasso, Kelley, Mullen, Roy, Rohrbach, Trahan

1. Routine Business

Citizen’s Comments - none
Review of Agenda - none
Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the August 25, 2009 School Committee Meeting.  motion to approve, passed 7-0
Payment of Bills - Mr. Kelly  motion to approve, passed 7-0
Payroll - Ms. Armenio

FHS Student Representatives – Welcome to the new student representatives: Zach Price (President of Senior Class) and Christie Gianetti (Student Government President)

  1. Budget to Actual
  2. Letter from Kristen Redpath (donation)

Interview with Obama on education

President Obama is interviewed by Damon Weaver, from the KEC TV News Team out of Kathryn E. Cunningham/Canal Point Elementary in Florida, in preparation for the Presidential address to students today.

The video interview (about 10 minutes) can be viewed here:

Schools - Brochure/Flyer Dissemination Process

Based on feedback received from parents and guardians about the overwhelming number of flyers and brochures that have been traditionally sent home in student backpacks, we will be piloting an innovative way to disseminate information this year. In lieu of sending home paper copies of information we will establish a website where all approved brochures, notices and flyers will be posted. A link to the site will be featured prominently on the district web site, school based web sites and in the monthly schools newsletters to parents. The link will be titled NEWS YOU CAN USE and the link is: http://www.franklin.ma.us/auto/schools/FPS/flyer/default.htm

With approval from the Office of the Superintentendent of Schools, we will continue to disseminate information from all Town of Franklin Departments and non profit community groups such as the Parent Communication Councils (PCC), Franklin Education Foundation (FEF) , the YMCA and non-profit community based service and athletic programs such as Boy/Girl Scouts, Metrowest basketball etc.

In the last two years we have been inundated with requests from a number of local and out of town businesses to sponsor programs, fundraisers and special events. We will forward some of these requests to the PCC officers for consideration as we are not in a position to sponsor these types of activities as per our district policies.

Non-profit groups that would like their information to be posted for web site publishing should contact the Office of the Superintendence at 508-553-4819.

National Suicide Prevention Week - Sep 6-12

Did you know that? 
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15 to 24 year olds;
  • One youth completes suicide every 2 hours and 5 minutes, which approximates 11.5 persons each day;
  • For every completed suicide by youth, it is estimated that 100 to 200 attempts are made; and
  • In 2006, more than 33,000 people died by suicide in the U.S.
National Suicide Prevention Week is September 6 – 12, 2009. This year’s theme is “A Global Agenda on the Science of Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery.  According to the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), suicide prevention is everyone’s business and anyone can participate in Suicide Prevention Week, including schools. BoardBuzz agrees: the statistics above communicate the need for schools to be more proactive about increasing awareness of suicide warnings and signs and helping prevent its incidence among youth. 

Only 5 Minutes to Influence - What Do You Say?

In reference to the recent School Committee discussion on the policy surrounding the use of electronic tools (i.e. texting) I found this article interesting.

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Free Technology for Teachers by noreply@blogger.com (Mr. Byrne) on 9/4/09

Earlier today I posted on Twitter, the question "If you had only 5 minutes to convince a school administrator to ease Internet filtering, what would you say?" I got a bunch of good replies and as someone on Twitter requested, I've included those replies a little later in this post. But first, I'll explain my motivation for the question. Most teachers are back in school now or will be in school next week. Once school starts everyone involved in schools becomes busy and we have less time to discuss ideas and even less time to discuss ideas that involve systemic change. Therefore, if you're working in a school environment that doesn't offer a least restrictive Internet environment and you want to get that changed, chances are you'll have to make your case succinct and influential at the same time.

Last year when my school district was considering enacting a filtering policy that would ban all websites containing a social networking component, I did not have much time to make the case against the policy. To get my district's administrators to reconsider, I simply pointed out that this blog and many like it would be inaccessible to teachers because they include the Google Friend Connect widget. In my case I had some leverage because of the 2008 Edublog Award and, at that time, 6000+ subscribers. Additionally, I was given the opportunity to talk with my district's superintendent and my district's technology administrator who were both quite willing to listen although those conversations were only a few minutes in length.

If you're in a position where you're trying to change your district's filtering policy, but you only have a few minutes to influence people, consider some of the advice offered by these great folks on Twitter. You should also read Jeff Utecht's latest post which offers great evidence against using the "walled garden" approach to filtering.

Things you can do from here:

In the News - standoff, Milford rail trail, guest conductor

One arrested after armed standoff in Franklin

from The Milford Daily News News RSS by Phil Sweeney/Daily News staff


Obstacles delay Milford rail trail extension construction

from The Milford Daily News Homepage RSS by Danielle Ameden/Daily News staff


Franklin music teacher gets a chance to shine

from The Milford Daily News News RSS by Angel Roy/Daily News staff

Monday, September 7, 2009

Presidential address to students

President Obama speaks to students Tuesday on the first day of school for many across America. Of course, Franklin opened their doors last week and Boston opens their doors on the 10th so there is some variation in opening days.

President Reagan spoke to students in 1988. You can view the video of his 36 minute talk and then Q&A period with some students at the White House here

President George H Bush spoke to students at Alice Deal Junior High School in 1991. You can read the text of his address here

The text of President Obama's remarks is available on the White House website here. It will be broadcast via the web or C-Span at noon on Tuesday (Eastern time).

The video promo by NASCAR drivers is included:

School Committee - Agenda - 9/08/09

1. Routine Business

Citizen’s Comments
Review of Agenda
Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the August 25, 2009 School Committee Meeting.
Payment of Bills Mr. Kelly
Payroll Ms. Armenio

FHS Student Representatives – Welcome to the new student representatives: Zach Price (President of Senior Class) and Christie Gianetti (Student Government President)


  1. Budget to Actual
  2. Letter from Kristen Redpath (donation)

2. Guests/Presentations

a. School Improvement Plans

  • Horace Mann Middle School – Dr. Anne Bergen
  • Remington Middle School – Paul Peri
  • Annie Sullivan Middle School – Beth Wittcoff
  • Franklin High School – Peter Light

3. Discussion Only Items

  • Facilities Update
  • Transportation Update
  • H1N1 Update
  • Superintendent’s Goals

4. Action Items

  1. I recommend adoption of Horace Mann Middle School’s School Improvement Plan
  2. I recommend adoption of Remington Middle School’s School Improvement Plan
  3. I recommend adoption of Annie Sullivan Middle School’s School Improvement Plan
  4. I recommend adoption of Franklin High School’s School Improvement Plan
  5. I recommend acceptance of a check for $554.22 from the Tri County Partnership as credit for Life Fair for the FHS gift account
  6. I recommend acceptance of a check for $100.00 from Kristen Redpath in memory of her late husband, Donald Redpath, for the FHS Science Department.

5. Information Matters

Superintendent’s Report

  1.  News You Can Use
  2. Back to School Update
  3. Enrollment Comparison
  4. Preliminary AYP Update

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, September 6, 2009

Chamber Job Fair 9/13-14

The United Regional Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce:

Job Search Sunday, September 13th 12:30pm – 5:00pm 
Career Fair Monday, September 14th 10am - 4pm

At Living Waters Church, 15 John L. Dietsche Blvd, North Attleboro MA.

Do you or someone you know need help finding a job?  Then you are welcome to these FREE EVENTS.

Job Search Sunday will offer career development courses like:

  • Resume Writing
  • Interviewing Skills 
  • Using Social Media to Network (by Tricia White of the Mass Small Business Development Center at 1:30pm)

Career Fair Monday will include companies who are actively hiring and seminars on "Staying Motivated While Unemployed."

Keynote speakers Include:

  • Ann Crawford , Life Coach 11:30am
  • Bill Napolitano, Institute for Business Excellence 1:00pm

To register for this click here

For additional information contact

Jen Osojnicki at the United Chamber, 508.695.6011, jen@unitedregionalchamber.com

Where do you put open space on the budget priority listing?

Currently, the Department of Public Works is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of all town parks, recreation areas and School grounds. The Recreation Department is responsible for scheduling the use of the Town of Franklin athletic fields and facilities. Recreation Department Director, Ryan Jette indicated that it is a difficult challenge to maintain all the open space and recreation areas in Town and there is not adequate staffing for the upkeep.

The Conservation Department maintains a list of open space and conservation sites in Franklin. The current level of staffing for the management and maintenance of open space is not satisfactory, there is insufficient staff and resources to complete routine property inspections and maintenance. Issues such as hiring a forester to oversee the cutting of the Town Forest have proven challenging for the Conservation Commission due to a lack of funding.

If the Town continues to obtain additional open space and recreation areas, there will likely be issues providing sufficient upkeep due to a lack of funds and staffing available to provide upkeep of the sites.
As the Town Council candidates declare themselves for election this November, this would be a good topic on which to find out where they stand.
While the Town has a number of budget needs (the school department is the single biggest item of our Town budget), where open space management sits amongst the priority list would be important to understand.
For additional information on the Open Space and Recreation Plan, read the full report on the Town web site here (PDF)

In the News - FHS GPA,

Franklin High School tosses old GPA system