Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Live reporting: resuming with Discussion only items to closing

3. Discussion Only Items
Accept Collaborative Agreement

Needham and Wellseley have petitioned to join the agreement
one of the action items is to add representatives to the Board for the Accept Collaborative
joined in 1999 and have been proud to be part of this expansion
annual fee is only $4,000
does require real collaboration

Bi-County Collaborative Activities & Information
the quarterly report for your review

4. Action Items:
a. I recommend approval of the revised Accept Collaborative Agreement as discussed.

motion to approve, seconded, passed 6-0

b. I recommend acceptance of a check for $4,700 from Davis Thayer PCC for Field Trips.

motion to approve, seconded, passed 6-0

c. Recommend recurring field trip for music students to Canobie Lake Park
motion to approve, seconded, passed 6-0

5. Information Matters
Superintendent’s Report
3 coaches were named Coach of the Year
Splillane, Geysen, (to be added)

school safety as the newest training area, environmental security and safety
with security firms to develop some courses for teachers to take part in

Horace Mann Day - at the Museum, May 3rd at 1:30PM

Best Buddies Dodgeball also on Sunday
Keller team will participate
nice fund raiser and a gentle game

K registration, initial 275, now up to 282

Sclipke (fix spelling) one of 55 educators to attend a 'boot camp' for STEM middle school program

School Committee Sub-Committee Reports - none

School Committee Liaison Reports - none

6. New Business
To discuss future business that may be brought before the School Committee.
thanks for the support for the Trivia Bee
Harlem Wizards coming Nov 13th
looking for volunteers for the night

8. Adjourn
motion to adjourn, second, passed 6-0

Live reporting: School Committee - Apr 28, 2015

Present: Douglas, O'Malley, Clement, Mullen, Trahan, Jewell
Absent: Rohrbach

1. Routine Business
Citizen’s Comments - none

Review of Agenda

an addition of an action item

Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the April 7, 2015 School 
Committee Meeting.
motion to approve, seconded, passed 6-0

Payment of Bills Mr. Clement
motion to approve, seconded, passed 6-0

Payroll Mrs. Douglas

FHS Student Representatives no representatives for this evening


2. Guests/Presentations
a. FY 16 Budget Hearing

Superintendent Maureen Sabolinski, Business Administrator Miriam Goodman
thanks to all the school administrators for their input and to Miriam and her staff for putting this together

Foundation budget
number changes based upon enrollment and other factors
DESE determines the required municipal contribution
then add the Chapter 70 funds
required Net School Spending 
total FY 14 = $113M
slide to be added later with breakout on the totals

photo capture of slide during School Committee meeting presentation on school budget
photo capture of slide during School Committee meeting presentation on school budget

28.5% of the town population is under 18
well above the state average of 21.7% and Norfolk Cnty avg of 23.3%

Chapter 70  $27M plus = 48.4% of the budget
down about 6 percentage points from prior years

slide showing Chapter 70 funds as a percent of school budget  and in relation to net school spending
slide showing Chapter 70 funds as a percent of school budget
and in relation to net school spending

Federal revenue of about $1.4M for Title I, Title II, IDEA/IDEA preschool and SPED program Improvements

Word from the State House is the kindergarten funds have been kept in the budget despite what the Governor has asked for. It has fluctuated from week to week.

Other sources of revenue from the revolving accounts
Circuit breaker, Lifelong Learning, Food Service, Transportation, etc.

no fee increases across the board: transportation or athletics

2.43% over the current year budget
contractual obligations of $1.0M and $213,000 for health care

5 new teachers being proposed for adding at the following schools

  • 1 - FHS
  • 2 - ASMS
  • 2 - RMS

new teachers being brought in to reduce class size

reduction of 5 teachers across elementary due to declining enrollment
adding 3 math FTE specialists to help with the math program

overall the personnel changes would be a 4.0 FTE

looking at kindergarten enrollment, had 275 at end of registration, had 5 enroll today

$14,547 vs. $11,890 is the per pupil spending on state average DESE calculations

this is again below the state average in 10 of the 11 areas, only professional development (due to the new programs which is driving it) exceeds the state average

seeing increases in ELL requirements which is also driving the hiring process

O'Malley - how can we be so far below the state average? substantially, not just by a little. This is the town that started it all (Horace Mann). I want to be vigilant and increase it however we can.

Trahan - thanks for an excellent presentation. One of the reasons we can be under the state average is because we have phenomenal people teaching and supporting the schools.

reading the budget lines for holds on specific items (per budget hearing process)
no holds on budget

motion to close the budget hearing

MassBudget: New Report: The Right Size for Learning


The Right Size for Learning:
Class Sizes in Massachusetts  
Children have a better chance to succeed in school when they receive individualized support and attention. Smaller class sizes are one way to help our teachers meet the needs of each child. In The Right Size for Learning, MassBudget examines the evidence on how class size reductions can improve outcomes and expand opportunity for all of our children, particularly those who face the greatest obstacles.

The evidence shows that reducing class sizes, particularly in early grades, can improve student engagement, academic achievement and college readiness--but only if it is done right. Examining successful programs in Tennessee and Wisconsin we see clear lessons. Class size reduction efforts work well when they are:
  • Targeted for students in the early grades.
  • Combined with other effective school practices, such as strong teacher professional development.
While well-designed programs have shown positive results, a major initiative in California was far less effective. That case provides important lessons. Funding was structured in a way that provided more help to affluent districts and actually made it harder for lower income districts to attract high quality teachers.

To read the full paper, please click HERE.

This report is part of a shared project--the Roadmap for Expanding Opportunity: Evidence on What Works in Education--led by MassBudget and the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy. The project is composed of a series of reports that identify evidence-based strategies for supporting all children in achieving college, career, and life success.

Click HERE to visit the project website and read the reports.

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

BOSTON, MA 02108

Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center | 15 Court Square | Suite 700 | Boston | MA | 02108

Goodbye Cook's Farm

The process to get the zoning approvals seems like quite awhile ago. Tensions were raised in a June 2013 meeting. Math came to play as recently as a Nov 2014 meeting when the Council would have needed 6 votes and only had a maximum of 5 available. 

All that is in the archives now and today when we go by what was the Cooks Farmstand on Route 140, it is no longer there.

what was Cooks Farm (Franklin Country Club to left in photo)
what was Cooks Farm (Franklin Country Club to left in photo)

what was Cooks Farm (Franklin Country Club to left in photo)
what was Cooks Farm (Franklin Country Club to left in photo)

what was Cooks Farm (Franklin Country Club to left in photo)
what was Cooks Farm (Franklin Country Club to left in photo)

Additional links from the archive on Cooks Farm:

The Planning Board meeting in June 2013 that had a procedural problem with one of their votes

The Council finally approved the bylaw changes to allow for Cooks Farm to proceed in Oct 2013

FSPA Debuts New Summer Theater Program

Franklin School for the Performing Arts debuts an all-new FSPA Summer Theater program with opportunity for hands-on immersion in a cabaret show, concert musical, behind-the-scenes theater design, straight play or musical theater production. With a focus on performing opportunities, enrollment is open for one to five weeks, with each week running Monday through Friday from 9:30-3:00 daily.

Registration is underway for all programs and placement auditions will be held on Saturday, May 2 at 38 Main Street in downtown Franklin. Auditions are for placement purposes only, as all students are guaranteed a part in whichever week(s) they are registered. A makeup audition will be held on Monday, May 4 at 6:30 p.m. or by appointment throughout the month.

The Summer Theater’s Cabaret week, from July 20-24, focuses on performance skills and presentation, including repertoire choices, song interpretation and audition technique. The experience concludes with a cabaret style revue at THE BLACK BOX that showcases the solo and small ensemble pieces that have been workshopped during the week. For grades 5-12, Cabaret participants also will have the opportunity to perform during the Franklin Cultural Festival.

Students in grades 3-12 enrolled in the Concert Musical week, from July 27-31, will rehearse and present the iconic Schoolhouse Rock! With timeless hits such as “Conjunction Junction,” “I’m Just a Bill” and “Three Is a Magic Number,” the Emmy Award-winning Saturday morning cartoon series taught an entire generation lessons about grammar, science, math, money and American history in a most animated and catchy way. An August 1 matinee performance of Schoolhouse Rock! will be presented at THE BLACK BOX as part of the Franklin Cultural Festival.

A two-week musical theater program, running August 3-7 and August 10-14 for grades 3-12, will present the Disney mega-hit, High School Musical. FSPA will stage the record-breaking, chart-topping pop culture phenomenon at THE BLACK BOX at the conclusion of the second week.

FSPA Summer Theater Week 5, running from August 17-21, will focus on the rehearsal and preparation of a play. The play, which will be chosen based on enrollment, will feature students in grades 5-12 and will be performed at THE BLACK BOX on August 20 and 21.

A behind-the-scenes exploration of theater design and production will include staging, lighting, costuming, sets, stage managing and sound. Offered to students in grades 7-12, Behind the Scenes runs August 10-14 and 17-21, with enrollment options for one or both weeks. Participants in the first week will be part of the tech crew for High School Musical, while those registered for the second week will tech the play.

Placement auditions on May 2 will begin at 2 p.m. for students entering grades 3-5 in September and continue at 2:30 for students entering grades 6-8, and at 3:00 for those entering grades 9-12. Please prepare 16 bars of a musical theater song. Students auditioning for the straight play may choose to prepare a monologue, but that is optional. Cold readings may also be part of the audition.

FSPA Summer Theater is only part of a full roster of programming at the school, which also features two 3- and 4-week ballet intensives, three-day workshops, weeklong camps, and an eight-week session of dance, voice, and instrumental private lessons and classes. The summer session runs from June 29 to August 21. For summer registration or information about programs or the May auditions, call FSPA at (508) 528-8668. For summer session brochure with full program descriptions and dates, call or visit online at www.FSPAonline.com.

Spring sports found Franklin vs. KP mostly

A full day of spring sports action found Franklin vs. King Philip for all but the girls lacrosse match. The results from Hockomock Sports are as follows:


Franklin, 8 @ King Philip, 2 - Final 
- Zane Byrne tossed a complete game to pick up the win, striking out three and walking just one. Four different players had multi-hit games for the Panthers as Nick Burgos went 2-4 with a double, a pair of runs scored a pair of stolen bases, Byrne went 2-4 at the plate with an RBI, a double and a run scored, Tyler Gomes was 2-4 with an RBI and a triple, and Ben Chaffee was 2-4 with a pair of RBIs.
FHS Panthers
FHS Panthers


Franklin, 0 @ King Philip, 1 - Final 
- Kali Magane struck out eight and allowed just one hit to lead King Philip. Magane also tripled in the first inning with two outs and scored on a base hit by Breanna Sebio.

Boys Tennis

Franklin, 3 @ King Philip, 2 - Final

Girls Tennis

Franklin, 5 @ King Philip, 0 - Final

Girls Lacrosse

Foxboro, 10 @ Franklin, 18 - Final 
- Franklin qualified for the postseason with the win. Emily Jeffries scored six goals, had one assist and 10 draw controls to pace the Panthers while Kendall Reardon had four goals and one assist. Siobhain Nolan had four goals for Foxboro, Jackie Brion scored three goals and Mary Beth Sweeney, Kiersten Warner and Morgan Ames each scored once.

For the complete set of results from Monday's Hockomock League action

In the News: school budget, i495 crash

School officials Tuesday will present the School Committee with a $56.9 million budget proposal for next fiscal year, a 2.43 percent increase over this year. 
Larger class sizes at Franklin High School and the three middle schools, contract negotiations and health insurance increases played a key role in the crafting of the budget, which does not increase fees or cut programs in art, music or athletics. 
To control class sizes, the district has asked to hire four new middle school teachers and one high school teacher. At the elementary level, three math specialists are sought to help continue efforts in those schools to align the curriculum with the Common Core standards.
Continue reading the article here:

The full agenda for the School Committee meeting can be found here

State police say a 31-year-old Whitinsville woman died Sunday afternoon in a one-car crash on Interstate 495. 
Ashley Hartung, the only passenger in a 2014 Ford Focus, was killed instantly when the vehicle turned right off the highway and struck a guardrail while traveling south near exit 17, police said. 
According to police, the force of the crash split the guardrail.
Continue reading the article here

Monday, April 27, 2015

Mother’s Day Shopping Event Benefits Franklin Food Pantry

esbe Designs will hold a Mother’s Day Jewelry Sale on Thursday, May 7, at the Franklin Food Pantry to raise money for hunger relief efforts at the Pantry. The community is invited to do their Mother’s Day shopping from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m., and will have the opportunity to tour the Pantry and learn about volunteer opportunities. 
Representatives from esbe Designs will have a variety of merchandise available for purchase. A portion of the proceeds from every sale will go directly to the Food Pantry. Items include designer jewelry, handcrafted in Bali, using quality metals and real gemstones. Traditional and on-trend designs will be featured. Complimentary gift wrapping and gift certificate purchases will be offered on site.  
screen grab of esbe Designs webpage
screen grab of esbe Designs webpage
“With nearly 600 households counting on us for supplemental food assistance each year, this benefit will help other moms in Franklin provide enough food for their families,” says Erin Lynch, executive director of the Franklin Food Pantry. “Many parents in our community struggle with providing three meals a day for their children. Mother’s Day was the inspiration for esbe Designs to help others do something nice for their moms while also doing something meaningful for the families we serve. It is a way for people to pay it forward with their Mother’s Day shopping.” 
For more information on the jewelry sale, please contact Sue Kilcoyne at skilcoyned1@hotmail.com
The Franklin Food Pantry is located at 43 West Central Street, Franklin, near the Rockland Trust parking lot on Route 140 across from the Franklin fire station.

Franklin Library: Creating a Gmail account and creative writing workshop

On Tuesday afternoon, there is a session on How to Create and Manage a Gmail Account. Gmail is the name for Google's email service. Gmail is a free email service. The session will walk through setting up and how to manage the account.

The session starts at 1:00 PM. Space is limited, please call the Library (508-520-4940) to register.
Create and Manage a Gmail Account
Create and Manage a Gmail Account
This was shared from the Library page

Creative Writing Workshop

For youth in grades 6-12 there is a creative writing workshop from 6:30 to 8:00 PM.

creative writing workshop
creative writing workshop
This was shared from the Library page

Franklin Beautification Day to be May 16

Join the Franklin Downtown Partnership and the Franklin Garden Club and help add a colorful touch of spring to downtown and the Town Common on Saturday, May 16.
Volunteers and sponsors are needed to help with the 12th annual Beautification Day from 9 a.m. to Noon, rain or shine. This year’s color scheme honors American service men and women.
Volunteers plant flowers on the Main Street bridge last spring
Volunteers plant flowers on the Main Street bridge last spring

“We chose a patriotic theme this year to remember those who have served and continue to serve our country both at home and overseas,” says Eileen Mason, Beautification Day chairperson.
Red, white and blue flowers and greenery will adorn the Common’s memorial gardens as well as the planter boxes along the bridge and in front of several businesses downtown. The plants will be hardy enough to withstand full sunlight and this summer’s harsh construction environment.  
Residents interested in volunteering, especially students in need of community service hours, should contact Eileen Mason at emason11@verizon.net. Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. on the center island in front of the Rome Restaurant.
According to Mason, the Franklin High School hockey teams and volunteers from the YMCA will once again pull on garden gloves and help spruce up the downtown to create a welcoming environment.

Volunteers plant flowers on the Main Street bridge last spring
Volunteers plant flowers on the Main Street bridge last spring

Sponsors and donations are needed to help cover costs associated with the beautification committee’s year-round efforts. Tax-exempt donations help with planning, installation, and maintenance of the spring plantings and holiday decorations.
For as little as $150 businesses or residents can sponsor the group’s efforts. All sponsors will receive acknowledgement in the local papers and on the Partnership’s website and social media.
More information about sponsorship and volunteer opportunities can be found at www.franklindowntownpartnership.org.
The Franklin Downtown Partnership is a nonprofit, 501©3 organization made up of business owners, community leaders and residents working together to stimulate economic development downtown and create a positive impact throughout the area. The FDP currently has over 200 members and welcomes all businesses and residents. For more information, please contact Executive Director Lisa Piana at (774) 571-3109 or downtown.franklin@yahoo.com.
Eileen Mason coordinates the annual event

Click here to download the 2015 Beautification press release.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - Apr 28

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."

The key to learning
The key to learning

1. Routine Business
Citizen’s Comments
Review of Agenda
Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the April 7, 2015 School Committee Meeting.
Payment of Bills Mr. Clement
Payroll Mrs. Douglas
FHS Student Representatives

2. Guests/Presentations
a. FY 16 Budget Hearing

3. Discussion Only Items
Accept Collaborative Agreement
Bi-County Collaborative Activities & Information

4. Action Items:
a. I recommend approval of the revised Accept Collaborative Agreement as discussed.
b. I recommend acceptance of a check for $ from Davis Thayer PCC for Field Trips.

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

Connection between white van delivering Verizon phone books and break-ins?

Sharing this from our "network" of Franklin neighbors

I wanted to share some info with you about recent break ins. Our television was stolen in may last year. Our front door was busted open and there was a Verizon phonebook on the front stairs. No one ever uses our front door as our driveway is at our side door. I had a friend tell me Friday their house in Bellingham was broken into while she was at work. 
When i got home Friday night I noticed our Verizon phonebooks this year were put at the mailbox unit we share with two neighbors across the street, not at our doorsteps. I asked my friend in Bellingham and she had also received a Verizon phonebook Friday when her house was broken into. 
My mother saw the van dropping the phonebooks off today and ID'd the vehicle and driver. Its an older model ford van Ohio license plate Z781154. She drove around the neighborhood and stopped the van asking "if they had seen a black lab running around". There was one guy driving and one guy with a hooded sweatshirt sitting in the back of the van. 
Bellingham And Franklin PD have been given this information but wouldn't question them as no one saw them doing anything wrong. I hope they are just delivering phonebooks, but I know last year there was a connection between a white van/suv and the break ins. I didn't want to post my name with this on your page but thought you may be able to do something with it. People should be vigilant to cars driving around dropping off phonebooks. 
Thanks for your time.

If you do see something, please contact the Franklin Police Dept.

Franklin Police Station - 911 Panther Way
Franklin Police Station - 911 Panther Way

"we’re pretty dangerous and we can run with anyone"

Josh Perry, Managing Editor of Hockomock Sports, writes about the close game that the FHS boys lacrosse played against Billerica on Saturday.

When the Hockomock League changed the rules this spring, so that lacrosse teams only had to play league opponents once, these were the types of games and the types of opponents that Franklin was hoping to add. 
To continue to grow the program, the Panthers needed to prove that they can compete against the best. On Saturday afternoon, in the final of the Creators Crosse Tournament at Lincoln Park in Lexington, Franklin did just that by pushing a strong Billerica team to the brink before falling 10-9. 
Junior Austin Kent (4) scored three goals and had an assist against Billerica in the final of the third annual Creators Crosse Tournament. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)
Junior Austin Kent (4) scored three goals and had an assist against
Billerica in the final of the third annual
Creators Crosse Tournament. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

“They wanted this,” explained Franklin coach Lou Verrochi. “They wanted this type of schedule and they proved that they belonged up here with the best. We battled from two-goal deficits, three-goal deficits…With a few bounces either way we could have won.” 
In fact, the Panthers battled back from a three-goal deficit in the first half and twice recovered from two goals down in the fourth quarter before an Indians goal with 1:03 remaining gave Billerica the lead for good.

Continue reading the article on Hockomock Sports

Celebrate Earth Day!!! - Help clean up around Franklin - May 2

Saturday, May 2nd
9 – noon (rain or shine)

Meet at Beaver Pond parking lot and volunteer to clean up targeted areas around Franklin.

Free dogwood and rose of sharon saplings to first 100 volunteers
Free dogwood and rose of sharon saplings to first 100 volunteers

  • Please bring your own gloves and rakes.
  • Community service certificates will be issued.
  • Free pizza and beverages for volunteers after the clean-up.
  • Free T-shirts to the first 300 volunteers!
  • Free dogwood and rose of sharon saplings to first 100 volunteers!

The listing of targeted locations can be viewed here

The Franklin map with the targeted locations marked

“Stamp Out Hunger is truly a community-wide effort"

On Saturday, May 9, Franklin letter carriers will help the Franklin Food Pantry Stamp Out Hunger when the carriers pick up food donations from town residents at their mailboxes and deliver them to the Franklin Food Pantry.

The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is a nationwide effort organized by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) that provides food to local food banks and pantries that would otherwise be faced with depleted stocks during the summer months. The food drive is the nation’s largest single-day drive, collecting almost 73 million pounds of food last year.
Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive
Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

The Franklin letter carriers collected and delivered more than 4,585 pounds of food to the Franklin Food Pantry in last year’s drive. The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive comes at an ideal time for the Pantry.

“Stamp Out Hunger is truly a community-wide effort that gives us the inventory boost we need to help us through the summer,” says Erin Lynch, executive director for the Franklin Food Pantry. “Donations slow down after the first of the year, and by springtime, our inventory is depleted of the generous provisions we received over the holidays. We are so thankful to the letter carriers, and a supportive community, for helping us replenish our Pantry for the summer season.”

Nearly 600 households in Franklin count on the Franklin Food Pantry for supplemental food assistance.

Franklin residents can donate to the food drive by leaving a bag of non-perishable food where their letter carrier normally delivers their mail on Saturday, May 9. Some residents may receive the special yellow Stamp Out Hunger grocery bags to use, but any paper or plastic bag can be used. Letter carriers will pick up the bags during their normal mail rounds and will deliver the food to the Franklin Food Pantry.

Residents can also drop their donations off at the Franklin Food Pantry from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 9, or during the Pantry’s regular business hours, Tuesday - Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Pantry is located at 43 West Central Street, Route 140, adjacent to the Rockland Trust parking lot across from the Franklin fire station.

While all non-perishable food donations are welcome, items that are currently most needed at the Pantry include:
  • Tuna
  • Juice boxes
  • Granola bars
  • Pudding
  • Sugar-free Jell-O
  • Crackers
  • Cake/cookie/brownie mix
  • Coffee

The Pantry is also in need of the following non-food items:
  • Toilet paper
  • Deodorant
  • Dish soap
  • Hand soap

If residents prefer to give a monetary donation (please no cash), please write a check payable to the Franklin Food Pantry, seal it in an envelope (no postage required), write “Letter Carriers’ Food Drive” on the envelope, and leave it in your mailbox. 

Donations can also be made online at www.franklinfoodpantry.org, or mailed to the Franklin Food Pantry, P.O. Box 116, Franklin, MA 02038.

For more information on the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, visit www.helpstampouthunger.com or call the Franklin Food Pantry at 508-528-3115.