Sunday, February 22, 2015

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - Feb 24

Vision Statement
The Franklin Public Schools will foster within its students the knowledge and skills to find and achieve satisfaction in life as productive global citizens.

"The listing of matters are those reasonably anticipated by the Chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law."

Franklin Public Schools - "the key to learning"
Franklin Public Schools - "the key to learning"

1. Routine Business

Citizen’s Comments
Review of Agenda
Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the February 10, 2015 School Committee Meeting.
Payment of Bills Mr. Clement
Payroll Mrs. Douglas
FHS Student Representatives
Correspondence: Budget to Actual – Miriam Goodman

2. Guests/Presentations

a. PARCC Update – Joyce Edwards
b. District Improvement Plan (DIP)/Goal Update – Joyce Edwards

3. Discussion Only Items

  • Professional Development Revolving Account
  • Snowday Make Up
  • Policy – Second Readings

o KCDA – Memorial Commemorations
o KCD-E1 – Non-Budgeted Funds Donation Form
o KCD-E2 – Guidelines for Donations of Gifts/Memorials Non-Budgeted Funds to the Franklin Public Schools

4. Action Items

a. I recommend approval for the creation of a Professional Development Revolving Account as discussed.
b. I recommend approval of the budget transfers as detailed.
c. I recommend approval of the request of Frank Fitzgerald to take RMS students to the Rock Spot Climbing Gym in Lincoln, RI on March 5, 2015 as detailed. This is a recurring trip.
d. I recommend adoption of the 2015-16 School Calendar as detailed.

e. I recommend adoption of the following Policies as discussed:
1. KCDA – Memorial Commemorations
2. KCD-E1 – Non-Budgeted Funds Donation Form
3. KCD-E2 – Guidelines for Donations of Gifts/Memorials Non-Budgeted Funds to the Franklin Public Schools
f. I recommend acceptance of two checks totaling $3,300.00 for in house enrichment at FHS.
1. Vicario Studios $3,200.00
2. Christopher Blassick 100.00

5. Information Matters

Superintendent’s Report
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

Personnel Update

8. Adjourn

FPS: School Calendar 2015 - 2016 draft revision

The School Calendar for next year has been revised and is available below. It is scheduled for discussion at the School Committee meeting on Tuesday, Feb 24.

There may be additional changes to this before it is finalized. One item missing is the gradual start for kindergarten that has been in effect for most of the prior years. The K teachers were provided special training for the impementation of the MKEA assessments at the beginning of this year and there was no time in the schedule for the gradual start.

The full School Committee agenda for Tuesday, Feb 24 can be found here

PARCC Update to School Committee - Feb 24, 2015

The PARCC brochure handed out at recent parent night meetings can be found here

The 10 Questions about PARCC can be found here

Related posts on PARCC

PARCC - Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers
PARCC - Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers

What is PARCC?
Youc an find out more about PARCC on their webpage

The full School Committee agenda for Tuesday, Feb 24 can be found here

FPS: District Improvement Plan - Midyear Update

A midyear update on the District Improvement Plan is scheduled for the School Committee meeting on Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015. The update summary can be found here.

The links for the individual school improvement plan updates can be below.

Annie Sullivan Middle School

Davis Thayer Elementary School


Franklin High School

Horace Mann MIddle School

Jefferson Elementary School

Keller Elementary School

Kennedy Elementary School

Oak Street Elementary School

Parmenter Elementary School

Remington Middle School

The full School Committee agenda for Tuesday, Feb 24 can be found here

Parmenter School in the snow
Parmenter School in the snow

Choggy’s Chuggers - Chad Larivee Fund Raiser - Friday, April 10

Please join us for a fun evening at the Franklin Elks to honor and support Chad Larivee!

Many of you know Chad and his story. If you don't, I encourage you to read it here:

The adult-only evening will include a silent auction, 50/50 raffle, raffle drawing, DJ entertainment, light appetizers, and cash bar.

Tickets can be pre-purchased for $26/person and will guarantee you entry into the event. If you would like to reserve tickets, please mail a check made payable to Choggy’s Chuggers by April 6 to:

Ted Rossi430 Franklin Village DriveSuite 160Franklin, MA 02038

If you plan to pay at the door ($26/person - cash or check please), admission will be on a first come basis and limited to the first 200 people.

Looking forward to a fantastic evening!

screen grab of email invitation to Choggy's Chuggers
screen grab of email invitation to Choggy's Chuggers


Choggy’s Chuggers for Chad Larivee
7:00 PM on Friday, April 10, 2015
Elks Lodge
1077 Pond Street
Franklin, MA 02038 (map)
(508) 533-2136

Voices of Franklin: Bill Callahan - Proposed Memorial Policy

Proposed Memorial at the Franklin High School

It is always a tragedy when someone loses someone close them, especially if that someone is a child. Our hearts are with the family. This letter is not directly about that loss, of which I'm sure everyone has the deepest sympathy. This letter is about why we have a policy against personal memorials on school grounds and how we decide and change school policies. 
The current policy in Franklin does not allow a memorial to an individual on school grounds. This policy was not created in a vacuum. It was decided upon after consulting a person with expertise in grief counseling, and then was voted on by the school committee and put into place based on the professional opinion that this is what would be best for the students of the school. That's fitting, since that is the primary responsibility of both the school and the school committee. 
Now the committee is considering changing this rule. Why is that? Is it because new knowledge is available that says that individual memorials are good for the students, or at least not detrimental? Is it because the expert may have been wrong, and that memorials have no effect either way. If so, it might be good to check the latest research, or to look at the policies of other schools similar to Franklin High School, and see which policies worked out the best. 
In fact, neither of these reasons is why the policy change is under consideration. The proposed policy change precipitated directly from the offer to donate a high profile memorial to a single student on public property because the family of that student has the means and desire to do so. 
One commenter implied that kids are different, that some deserve nice privately funded memorials and some don't, and those that disagree with his view are naive. I respectfully disagree. Franklin is the birthplace of Horace Mann, the father of public education. His argument for it was that in a democracy, everyone has the right to vote, so it behooves us to make sure that everyone who is voting has the education needed to make wise decisions about candidates and policies, and that the way to ensure that is to have public schools, free to all children, regardless of means. Schools, in Mann's view, are central to a working democracy, where everyone needs to be educated. Public education, should be the great equalizer, where a child can reach his or her potential no matter how rich or powerful that child's parents are. 
I know that not all schools provide the same education, that people pick school districts based on the quality of the schools, and that the quality of the schools depends on the tax base, and thus the general wealth of the families in the district. But that doesn't mean that we should throw away rules based on science, psychology and fairness because someone of money or power feels that they are entitled to change the rules that they don't like. 
I reiterate that I don't wish any ill on the family who has lost a child. In fact, I think the idea of a personal memorial is a good one. It just should not be placed at the school. Alternatively, perhaps the memorial could be placed at the school, but dedicated to all students have lost their lives, rather than just a single individual. The memorial proposed is of a panther, the school's mascot, which represents all the students. My hope is that we can reach an agreement on this that will satisfy the family and keep to our ideal of the inherent worth and dignity of every student who has passed away, whether their parents can afford a memorial or not.

Bill Callahan

​Franklin Resident​

the proposed Kristin Graci Class of 2007 Memorial
the proposed Kristin Graci Class of 2007 Memorial

Note: If you would like to add your viewpoint to "Voices of Franklin" the guidelines can be found here

FHS Basketball Playoff Schedule tips off this week

From Hockomock Sports we find and share that both the FHS boys and girls basketball teams are scheduled for their first round game playoff games this week. 

D1 Central - Boys
FHS Panthers
FHS Panthers

#2 Franklin (17-3) will host #7 Wachusett on Thursday, 2/26 at 7:00.

D1 Central - Girls
#2 Franklin (17-5) will host the winner of Westford/Algonquin on Friday, 2/27 at 7:00.

The Hockomock League boys schedule for this week

The Hockomock League girls schedule for this week

Frozen-themed fundraiser - Hockomock YMCA - 1:00 to 4:00 PM

From Jaime Helmuth Eidwick
Don't forget to join me Sunday from 1-4 pm at the Hockomock Area YMCA Franklin branch for a Frozen-themed fundraiser ($5 per person). 
There will be a snowman relay, crafts (e.g., snowflakes, coffee cup Olaf, fingerprint snowmen), games (e.g., Olaf ring toss, snowman bowling, pin the nose on Olaf), and pictures with Olaf!! 
For an additional cost there will be a bake sale, craft sale, and silent auction. 
All proceeds go to Dana Farber Cancer Institute in support of my 2015 Boston Marathon Run.

Frozen themed fund raiser at YMCA
Frozen themed fund raiser at YMCA

FHS Winter Sports: Wrestling and Indoor Track State meet results

From Hockomock Sports we find and share the results of FHS sports action in competition on Saturday.

    FHS Panthers
    FHS Panthers
  • The MIAA All State Indoor Track Championship where Brittany Robinson clocked a 3:03 in the 1000M for 14th place. The 4x400 relay took 17th and the 4x800 finished 21st.

Complete Hockomock League results can be found here

  • The MIAA Wrestling State Championship where Dan Pisani lead Franklin with a second place in the 126 weight class. Mick Narducci (7th), Mike Coppola (4th), and Bilal Khan (8th) also placed in their respective weight classes.

Complete Hockomock League results can be found here

MBTA: Update - Commuter Rail service for Sunday, Feb 22, and week of Feb 23 - 27

All Commuter Rail lines will operate on a Saturday schedule on Saturday, February 21 and on a Sunday schedule on Sunday, February 22

Franklin Line:  The following trains will NOT operate 2/23/2015 through 2/27/2015. 702,703,790,706,710,733,732,793,734,709,716,715,737,736,719

Provided is a service reduction and recovery plan/schedule for significant weather events 2015.  
Visit for more information.

Last updated: Feb 22 2015 07:42 AM

Sent by the MBTA. 

A commuter train leaving Franklin Dean Station
A commuter train leaving Franklin Dean Station

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Voices of Franklin: Michael Brady on the proposed Monument Policy

Trevor Clement,
Franklin School Committee

RE: Statement regarding Franklin Public School Policy on Monuments

Dear Mr. Clement,
I am writing in response to your recent statement regarding the Franklin Public School policy on memorials. I am a Franklin resident and the father of three children, the eldest of which will be entering the school system next year. My family is in the beginning stages of the long fulfilling journey as yours was and for similar reasons, we chose Franklin as our home. 
I have been following this debate through posts and articles on blogs like Franklin Matters and groups like Friends in Franklin. I have not participated in the debate to this point because it does seem to be quite a sensitive issue, as you stated, and I don’t have a child in the system at this time. However, it won’t be long before my children are enrolled and I am very concerned by your statement. (and even more so, the spirit in which it was written.) 
I would like to start by saying that I honestly do believe your views regarding the policy are genuine and heartfelt. I would also like to say your general point that “every life matters” is certainly something I agree with. Notwithstanding, your statement contained many comments that I found troubling coming from an influential decision maker on the School Committee. 
You state that “the scope and nature of the memorials should be the same for everyone” and “everyone should be given the same honor and recognition.” This is a very naive view and absolutely should not shape policy for an institution that is so vital to preparing our children for the challenges life will certainly bring. I agree that an individual’s recognition should not be based on their “means or influence”, but to say that everyone is the same is wrong. Should a Franklin Public School student who goes on to develop a clean and renewable energy source or product be honored and recognized the same as an FPS student who chooses a life of crime? Regardless of your personal opinion, the reality is, no. While it can be difficult for a child to deal with not getting the recognition he or she feels they deserve, it is devastating for a person to believe that, no matter their accomplishments, their greatness will never be recognized. A “same for everyone” vision should be strictly applied to an individual's rights. On the other hand, a "same for everyone" vision left unchecked has the potential to crush the human spirit. I do realize that a policy regarding a monument at a public school is not going keep men like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg from changing the world, but a systematic view that we are all the same, will. 
You wrote that “School is where we teach our children how we want the world to be.” I find this to be the most unsettling statement you made. School, particularly public school, is not meant to be an institution that promotes some individual’s view of “how the world should be.” There will never be universal agreement on world views, nor should there be. Every school policy should be rooted in preparing a child for the challenges of life and how to reach their fullest potential. Schools should prepare students to create, recognize and take the avenue of opportunity. A school that tells its students that they will all just simply get the same opportunity is not being true to its students nor is it fulfilling its obligation to the community to which it serves.
Personally, I do not agree with the current policy regarding memorials. Schools have always honored and continue to honor individuals for their scholastic achievement. Whether it's through academics, athletics, arts and music, or community involvement, schools have rightfully recognized these students as examples of what to strive for. A family who makes the most of an unbelievably tragic event by turning it into an inspiration to many people for years to come should be celebrated. To view a memorial as recognition of someone's "means and influence" is missing the point. The school system and community has failed the student who views a memorial in that manner. 
I respectfully ask you and the other Franklin School Committee members to reflect on your responsibility to the community. While this memorial policy may be insignificant in the grand scheme, the influence of your decision making is not. Please recognize and understand the purpose of your position. Review your vision and mission statement. Ask yourself if you are truly fostering students’ knowledge and cultivating each student's potential, or are you imposing your personal world view on an institution meant to promote unlimited opportunity?
Michael Brady
Franklin Resident

From the Franklin School Committee home page:

Vision Statement
The Franklin Public Schools will foster within its students the knowledge and skills to find and achieve satisfaction in life as productive global citizens.

Mission Statement
The Franklin Public Schools, in collaboration with the community, will cultivate each student's intellectual, social, emotional and physical potential through rigorous academic inquiry and informed problem solving skills within a safe, nurturing and respectful environment.

Trevor's statement can be found here (including other background links)

the proposed Kristin Graci Class of 2007 Memorial
the proposed Kristin Graci Class of 2007 Memorial

Note: If you would like to add your viewpoint to "Voices of Franklin" the guidelines can be found here

Reminder: report a pothole with your phone

This info was updated here

With the changing weather, this will be prime time for potholes. As announced previously, you can use your smart phone (and the built in GPS) to report a pothole. If you don't have a smart phone, you can also do so online.

You can get the app on your phone to make reports on the spot - just search for "Commonwealth Connect" (City of Boston) in your app store or click here to go to the iTunes Store or the Google Play Store.

report a pothole or street light problem with your phone
report a pothole or street light problem with your phone

You can follow this link from the DPW page

or go directly to and find the Franklin, MA page

When you create your account you will get notified of the status of the problem reported. You can report anonymously but would miss out on the completion notification and other status updates.

Related posts:

Franklin Library: Basic Wilderness Survival Skills - Feb 22 - 2:30 PM

What do you know about basic wilderness survival skills? Sunday afternoon, spend some time at the Franklin Library to hear Matt from Animal World Experience. This is scheduled to start at 2:30 PM and is good for teens and adults.

basic wilderness survival skills
basic wilderness survival skills

This was shared from the Franklin Library page

Franklin Performing Arts Company Awarded Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund Grant For THE BLACK BOX

Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC) is pleased to announce that it has received a $220,000 capital grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund. This prestigious grant is awarded to cultural organizations for facilities projects with demonstrated benefit to the local economy and transformative impact to the community served. 
The grant will be used to fund Phase 2 construction and improvements at THE BLACK BOX, FPAC’s new theater, music and event venue located at 15 West Central Street in downtown Franklin. “We are thrilled by the news of this award and excited for the anticipated project renovations to make accessible the facility’s second floor, complete the building’s exterior, and provide state-of-the-art lighting and sound,” noted FPAC Executive Director Raye Lynn Mercer. 
"I was pleased to work with the Franklin Performing Arts Company and the Massachusetts Cultural Council to bring these critical funds to our area, and I am excited about the possibilities that lie ahead," said Representative Jeffrey N. Roy (D-Franklin). "Having a viable performing arts facility in our town center will breathe new life into the downtown area and be an economic boost for the other businesses. We have long valued the arts and cultural resources in our town, and this grant furthers our efforts to continue to make Franklin a great place to live, work and play." 
FPAC celebrated the grand opening of THE BLACK BOX in September 2014 with a 24th season kick-off headlined by Tony Award winner Beth Leavel and Broadway star Alexander Gemignani. With the new venue, FPAC’s production season has expanded to include five musicals, three plays and a summer festival. FPAC has also introduced Jazz, Children’s, Cabaret, New England Artists, and Artists-in-Residence Series, in addition to the company’s longstanding free Family Concert Series, helping to establish the venue as a suburban hub for great music. 
The multi-use design of THE BLACK BOX fills a need for theater, meeting and event space, and improvements to the facility’s accessibility and second-floor renovations enhance the venue’s flexibility and function. In Franklin, THE BLACK BOX provides a noteworthy cultural and community-oriented facility to anchor several town-supported renovation, building and revitalization initiatives that comprise a multi-million dollar Downtown Improvement Project. 
“The Franklin Performing Arts Company’s new theater has quickly established itself as a cultural destination in our community and across MetroWest,” said Senator Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “This well-deserved grant will advance arts, culture and creativity in our community and complement ongoing downtown revitalization efforts. I am proud that the Massachusetts Cultural Council has recognized this state-of-the-art facility as a true asset for downtown Franklin and the Commonwealth.”  
THE BLACK BOX before the snows came!
THE BLACK BOX before the snows came!
The Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF) is a capital grant program of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, administered collaboratively by MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. To date, the Cultural Facilities Fund has made 601 grant commitments totaling $82.7 million to 350 cultural organizations from every region of the state. 
The 2015 CFF capital budget appropriation allocated $15 million for this round of funding for the acquisition, design, repair, renovation, expansion or construction of nonprofit cultural facilities across Massachusetts. The $220,000 capital grant to FPAC is the largest awarded to cultural organizations in the MetroWest region this year. Statewide, 2015 CFF grant recipients include such prestigious and renowned institutions as Boston Ballet, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, Museum of Fine Arts and New England Conservatory.

“We’re pleased to be among some of the finest cultural organizations in the Commonwealth being awarded grants this year,” stated Alan Mercer, Director of Advancement at FPAC. “While the funding is so appreciated, to be a recipient of this grant is an endorsement of our credibility as a valuable cultural asset to our community and the Commonwealth.”
Founded in 1991, the nonprofit FPAC supports educational arts experiences, quality entertainment and outstanding performance opportunities for professional artists, community performers and students of the arts. With a focus on youth development and a commitment to live music, FPAC productions draw performers and audiences from more than 120 communities across the Boston MetroWest region, western Massachusetts and the New England states. For more information, call (508) 528-3370 or visit online at or

“We’re now able to give students more opportunities"

In its early years, Dean College’s campus covered only one plot, consisting of four buildings, the grandest of which, Dean Hall, still stands. 
The college has a much larger footprint in downtown Franklin now, but officials say its mission has remained as humble as when founder Oliver Dean first received state approval for a charter 150 years ago. 
“We try to meet students where they are to get them where they want to go,” said John Marcus, vice president of enrollment services and marketing. 
Dean Hall on the Dean College campus
Dean Hall on the Dean College campus
All this year, Dean will look back on its history in Franklin during a celebration of its 150th anniversary. College officials have compiled a collection of artifacts, newspaper clippings, photographs and mementos chronicling Dean’s growth.

Continue reading the Milford Daily News article here: