Thursday, December 15, 2016

In the News: 46 superintendent candidates; student held without bail

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"The school district has received 46 applications for its superintendent position, officials revealed this week. 
School Committee Chairman Kevin O'Malley, speaking at Tuesday night's committee meeting, gave an update on the process, saying he hopes the search will end early in 2017. The district is looking to replace current Superintendent Maureen Sabolinski, who will be retiring at the end of the school year. 
O'Malley said the district's search consultant - Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates - reported the applicant figure as of earlier that day. He indicated that he was pleased that there was high interest in the position."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The report from HYA defining what they believe to be the profile of the new Superintendent can be found here

Franklin High School
Franklin High School

"A Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School student was ordered held without bail in Wrentham District Court Wednesday for charges that he allegedly threatened to "shoot up the school." 
Julius Willis, 18, of 503 Ellis Road in North Attleborough, pleaded not guilty to charges of threatening to commit a crime, making a threat that caused serious public alarm, disturbing a school, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Judge Emogene Johnson Smith ordered Willis held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing on Dec. 22. 
Franklin Police Lt. Mark Manocchio wrote in an affidavit that police were called to the school at about 11 a.m. on Tuesday for reported threats."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Franklin School Committee Newsletter

The Franklin School Committee has published their first in a series of newsletters.

You can subscribe to the newsletter by clicking on the "Follow" button

subscribe to the Franklin School Committee Newsletter
subscribe to the Franklin School Committee Newsletter

Families Share the Stage In FPAC’S Humbug!

When the curtain rises on Franklin Performing Arts Company’s Humbug!, a contemporary musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, several local families will share the stage. The FPAC original features 11 sets of parents and their children as part of a large ensemble cast of some 125 professional artists, community performers and students of the arts. 

“Live theater creates a space where we can come together and have a collective experience,” says Mireille Eastman, who performs in the production along with her husband, Charley Eastman, and all three of their children. “We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be involved in Humbug! as a family. Sharing our passion for live theater with our children has brought us all closer together.” 
The Eastman Family appears in Humbug!
The Eastman Family appears in Humbug!

Charley and Mireille starred opposite one another in FPAC’s 2014 production of Mark Twain’s The Diaries of Adam and Eve. They are cast as husband and wife in Humbug!, playing Fanny May and Freddy Mack. Among the couple’s theater training, Charley earned a BFA in Acting from the University of Connecticut at Storrs while Mireille received a BA in Theater from Hunter College, with additional training at William Esper Studio and the Actors Movement Studio. Charley’s FPAC credits also include Annie (Rooster), The Tempest (Prospero), The Dumb Waiter (Gus) and The Zoo Story (Jerry). Mireille has performed on stage in New York and in various film and video productions.

Daughter Ameline, age 8, is in Humbug’s Children’s Ensemble, while son Emmett, age 9, and daughter Phoebe, age 11, are in the Youth Ensemble. The kids have taken dance, voice and musical theater classes at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts (FSPA), and Ameline and Emmett participate in FSPA’s new AfterSchool program.

“Emmett, who tends to be our toughest critic, turned to us after rehearsal one day and said, ‘Daddy, I really like being in the show. It’s a lot of fun.’ That is high praise from a nine-year-old boy! And Ameline already wants to know when she can audition for the next show.”

Youth development in the arts is a special focus of FPAC, founded in 1991 by Executive Director Raye Lynn Mercer. Productions provide ongoing opportunities for families to connect through the arts, with multiple generations sharing rehearsals and time on stage together.

“FPAC provides a safe intergenerational space, where we can all work hard and play hard, reaching a finite goal,” Mireille notes. “The experience allows us to interact as peers under the careful direction of Raye Lynn Mercer and volunteer our time and energy for something creative and beneficial for the community.”

The Eastmans are involved in a number of community initiatives in addition to FPAC, including Meals on Wheels, the Franklin Arts Association, and the Franklin Federated Church, where Charley is Pastor.

“All of these touchstones will be part of our life in Franklin and our children’s childhood,” says Mireille.

Other families performing in Humbug! this season include Kristen, Tony and Griffin Wilkins of Walpole, as well as the following Franklin residents: Janene and Madison Asgeirsson; Charlotte and Michelle Berry; Ed, Jocelyn and Wendy Jones; Greg, Madison and Sydney Leach and Michele Webster; Holly and Tatiana McAlpine; Debra, Matthew and Shane Packard; Chuck and Mackenzie Peters; Guy, Hannah and Madison Rezendes, with grandfather Steve Crowley; and Jaiden, Lindsey, Melissa and Peter Wyner. 

A family favorite since debuting as part of FPAC’s 2008-09 season, Humbug! is conceived, written and directed by Franklin’s Nick Paone, who also stars as Scrooge. The musical features Dickens’ familiar characters and story, but re-imagines the classic tale in contemporary America for a modern audience with updated references to current events and pop culture. The storyline is supported by musical hits of many genres with live accompaniment by a 10-piece band of professional musicians.

Humbug! will be performed on Saturday, December 17 at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, December 18, at 2 p.m. at the Franklin High School Auditorium, 218 Oak Street. Raye Lynn Mercer co-directs the production, with musical direction by Hallie Wetzell and choreography by Kellie Stamp, Mercer and Paone. Tickets are $30-$34 and may be purchased at, or at 508-528-3370. Remaining tickets will be sold at the door. Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation and Waters Corporation are FPAC 2016 Holiday Sponsors. Northern Trust is a Performance Sponsor. 

Madalene Village - Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting - Dec 15 - 7:35 PM

"This Thursday, December 15th at 7:35 pm will be the last public Zoning Board of Appeals meeting regarding Madalene Village, a proposed 32-unit development next to Fletcher Field with entrances on both Cottage Street and Peck Street.

While attendance at these ZBA meetings has been strong when this development is on the agenda, we're looking to make the most impact possible at the last one. It's clear that the ZBA members have noticed our attendance and listened to our concerns, so I'm hopeful we can make a lasting impact.

Could you help us spread the word?

I've posted as much info as we have on the Facebook group, but if you have any questions, please let me know."

The revised Storm Water Report (270 pages)

Letter from Conservation Agent

Letter from Fire Chief

draft of plan for Madalene Village proposal near Fletcher Field with entrance from Cottage and Peck Streets
draft of plan for Madalene Village proposal near Fletcher Field with entrance from Cottage and Peck Streets

FHS Boys Basketball tops North Attleboro 72-51

From Hockomock Sports we share the results of the FHS basketball games on Tuesday. The boys team won at FHS beating North Attleboro 72- 51. The girls team lost on the road at North Attleboro 43-36.

Boys Basketball = North Attleboro, 51 @ Franklin, 72 – Final

"High pressure defense has been a staple for Franklin over the past two years and if Tuesday night is any indication, you can expect more of the same this year. 
The Panthers used a full court press and a handful of traps to force 21 turnovers and come away with a 72-51 win over North Attleboro in both teams’ season opener. 
“I thought defensively we did a pretty good job,” Franklin head coach CJ Neely said. “I thought we were taking too many chances a little bit. Even though we were pressing and we wanted to create a crazy environment, I think one of the reasons [North Attleboro] had a high scoring percentage is because we were taking a lot of chances. Once we got it down, we were able to turn them over and get some stops.”
Continue reading the full game recap

FHS PAnthers
FHS PAnthers

Girls Basketball = Franklin, 36 @ North Attleboro, 43 – Final

– The Rocketeers outscored Franklin 19-12 in the fourth quarter to pull out the win in their season opener. Ashley Ahern led the way for North with 15 points, including eight in the fourth, and sophomore Julia Feid had 10 for the Rocketeers. Franklin was led by freshman Ali Brigham who scored 18 points in her second varsity game.
For all the results around the Hockomock League on Tuesday

Inclement Weather and School Closing Information

As winter has arrived, here is a reminder on the inclement weather and school closing information for the Franklin Public Schools.

Franklin HIgh School in winter time
Franklin HIgh School in winter time

60 Tri-County Adams Scholars Recognized

Sixty seniors at Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School qualified to receive the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship for their performance on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System test.

The students were recognized on Tuesday, December 13, during a celebratory luncheon in the school’s cafeteria.

The recipients from the Class of 2017 are: Ethan Hardy, Rocio Henriquez, and John Shultz, of Attleboro, Zachary Keeler, Matthew Moses, and Morgan Shields, of Bellingham, Joseph Brown, Delaney Forbes, Gillian Geddry, Ryan Koester, Maxwell Lewis, Amy O'Brien, Angelina Rivera, Christopher Roy, Connor Schultz, Rachel Signori, and Adam Tozian, of Franklin, Oliver Anderson, Samantha Frey, William Galligan, Sarah Gordon, Daelyn Hiduchick, and George Wood, of Medway, Rebecca Tomlin, of Millis, Sean Dever, Hollyann Edwards, Kate Healy, and Cory Krasner, of Norfolk, Torin Amoling, Shannon Ballard, Allyson Bettencourt, Madeline Bettencourt, Katelyn Billington, Thomas Bourget, Amanda Didion, Abigail Fisher, Autumn Ghisalbert, Alye Gobin, Dane Hooker, Cameron Killian, Colleen Kinney, Madison Lema, Kathleen Loonie, Robert Malcolmson, Caroline Moriarty, Alexa Paulhus, Alexis Plantz, Mackenzie Rider, Jennie Twyman, and Cara Wolfe, of North Attleborough, Cameron Couto, and April MacRoberts of Plainville, Christian Brown, and Adriana Oliveira, of Seekonk, Tyler Curtin, and Katherine Pensak, of Walpole, and Brian Foote, Wesley Garza, Richard Hepburn, and Emily Small, of Wrentham.

The scholarship provides up to eight semesters of free tuition to full-time undergraduate students who attend a Massachusetts state college or university. To be eligible, students in the Class of 2017 had to achieve an Advanced score on one of the three high school state assessment tests in ELA, Mathematics or STE, and score at the Proficient level or higher on the two remaining tests. Their combined scores must also place them among the top 25-percent of students in the graduating class in their district.

60 Tri-County Adams Scholars Recognized
60 Tri-County Adams Scholars Recognized

Tri-County RVTHS, located at 147 Pond Street in Franklin, is a recipient of the High Schools That Work Gold Achievement Award and serves the communities of Franklin, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, North Attleborough, Plainville, Seekonk, Sherborn, Walpole, and Wrentham

Franklin Police arrest Tri-County Student for making threats via social media

From the Franklin Police Dept:

On December 13, 2016 at approximately 11am this Agency was notified of a student making threats via social media at the Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School. School Resource Officers from the Franklin Police Department and School Officials began an investigation into the incident. 

While the investigation is ongoing, at this time we can confirm that Julius Willis, age 18 of North Attleboro was placed under arrest on school property and has been charged with the following offenses:

  • Disturbing a School Assembly
  • Threat of Serious Disruption of School
  • Threats to Commit a Crime
  • Resisting Arrest
  • Disorderly Conduct

Willis will be arraigned in the Wrentham District Court on Wednesday morning at 9:30am. No information at this point in the investigation has revealed that any weapons were ever brought onto school property.

Due to the ongoing status of the investigation, no further information is available at this time.

The information contained in this press release does not imply listed individuals have been convicted in a court of valid jurisdiction of the crimes for which they were arrested. All individuals are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty by a court with proper jurisdiction over the matter(s) for which they were arrested.

Franklin Police Dept
Franklin Police Dept

In the News: Snow removal for schools; Horace Mann book choice; Tri-County's Gerry's Place

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"During a review of snow removal procedures between the schools and the Department of Public Works, a district busing policy was singled out for praise. 
DPW Superintendent Robert "Brutus" Cantoreggi, speaking at the School Committee meeting Tuesday night, praised a school policy in which buses - if sidewalks have not yet been plowed following a storm - pick up every student they pass by, even those who do not typically take the bus. 
"It's a great, great thing - I've told other communities about it," he said. "It's worked out really well."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

one slide from the snow removal presentation highlights the parents responsibility
one slide from the snow removal presentation highlights the parents responsibility

"Students at the Horace Mann Middle School were on tenterhooks Tuesday, awaiting the climactic reveal of this year's "All In!" book. 
A full assembly watched as Horace Mann alum Katie O'Neill opened a package to reveal the 2017-2018 selection: "Between Shades of Gray," a novel that documents the plight of Lithuanians during the Stalinist regime. 
The program - administered by the "Crazy Reading Ladies" team of Assistant Principal Mary Cotillo and teacher Erin O'Leary - is an effort to encourage literacy by having the entire school read through one book. 
"It's entirely voluntary - we don't want to force students to do it, but we do want to make it as irresistible as possible," said O'Leary, adding that "All In!" is now in its sixth year. "Last year, we had 302 students participate."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Gerry's Place, the student-run restaurant at Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School, will host an annual International Holiday Buffet from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dec. 20 at the high school, 147 Pond St. 
Menu offerings will include spanakopita, French onion soup, seafood espagnole, stuffed turkey, sweet and sour pork, Israeli chicken, latke, saffron rice, sweet potato casserole, and green beans with cumin and garlic. The dessert table will feature assorted sweet treats from around the globe, including koeksisters from South Africa. 
The buffet costs $12.95 per person. No reservations will be taken."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Real time reporting: Capital Budget Process

Asst Superintendent Peter Light provides an update on the capital needs for the School Dept.

(no handout provided before the meeting)

Asst Superintendent Peter Light talks about the budget items

1 - Curriculum materials for new Science standards (top priority)

  • K-8 proposal for a text book online, 5 year license
  • teaching development and training to come from operational budget
  • $200,000 is the final negotiated amount from vendor 
  • 2 years ago, the K-5 math program was $185,000
  • Q - What does this replace? A - nothing and everything, this brings a consistent approach to what we have which is outdated. Provides scope and sequence for the MA frameworks

Bilello - This product is aligned to the MA standards, developed by Rice Univ specialists, and involved the teachers in the evaluation and selection process. Kudos to the Central Office for the process to select this. Well done!

2 - Additional student chromebooks
additional units to continue the expansion of the 1:1 initiative at FHS. 1st round of replacement units, estimate at about 1,000 to be replaced across the district. The numbers will be updated during the school year as the inventory is updated and is also a function of the capital available. One other factor is also the replacement cost, seeking the best option.

Getting to develop a replacement and lifecycle for the chromebooks.
Need to get into the discussion with new superintendent to have an overall technology plan.
Could be an annual investment of $800,000 to $1M to incorporate the replacement plan. Needs to be part of the overall financial plan, where will the money come from? Current budget is 85% personnel costs.

Discussion on accidental policy and insurance coverage paid for by parents/students

(left off reporting for work meeting)

3 - Laptops for elementary staff 

4 - Older smart board to be replaced

5 - Improvements at Davis Thayer

6 - Cafeteria 

Real time Reporting: Snow Removal Program Update

The presentation by DPW Director Robert (Brutus) Cantoreggi, and DPW Highway and Grounds Superintendent Carlos Rebelo

DPW does not have enough staff to clear fire hydrants so look to the residents to clear those near their houses.

Real time reporting: School Committee meeting - Dec 13, 2016

Present: Bilello, Scofield (slightly late), Douglas, Bergen, O'Malley, Schultz, Jewell
Absent: none

1. Routine Business
Citizen’s Comments
Review of Agenda
Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the November 15, 2016 and November 21, 2016 School Committee Meetings.

  • motion to approve, seconded, passed 7-0

Payment of Bills Dr. O’Malley
Payroll Mrs. Douglas

FHS Student Representatives
1. Nicolas Gnaman
2. Alexander Chitarra

  • students at the first FHS basketball home game "RattleCity Night"

Correspondence: Budget to Actual

2. Guests/Presentations
a. Gina Jones and Beth Carter Recognition

Two teachers at FHS who had stepped in when a student had a medical emergency in the cafeteria

Gina Jones, Beth Carter, SchComm Chair O'Malley, Superintendent Sabolinski
Gina Jones, Beth Carter, SchComm Chair O'Malley, Superintendent Sabolinski

Gina Jones, Beth Carter, SchComm Chair O'Malley, Superintendent Sabolinski
SchComm Chair O'Malley, Gina Jones, Beth Carter, Superintendent Sabolinski

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - Dec 13, 2016

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."

1. Routine Business
Citizen’s Comments
Review of Agenda
Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the November 15, 2016 and November 21, 2016 School Committee Meetings.
Payment of Bills Dr. O’Malley
Payroll Mrs. Douglas
FHS Student Representatives

1. Nicolas Gnaman
2. Alexander Chitarra
Correspondence: Budget to Actual

2. Guests/Presentations
a. Gina Jones and Beth Carter Recognition
b. Snow Presentation – Brutus Cantorreggi
c. FY18 Capital – Peter Light

3. Discussion Only Items
Policy – Second Reading
o JICA – Dress Code Policy

4. Action Items
a. I recommend adoption of Policy JICA – Dress Code Policy as discussed.
b. I recommend approval of the request for JF Kennedy 2nd grade students to travel to Biomes Marine Biology Center in North Kingstown, RI on May 26, 2017 for a field trip as detailed.
c. I recommend acceptance of two checks totaling $1,565.60 as follows:
  1. $1,165.60 Parmenter PCC for field trips 
  2. $400.00 Franklin Shaws for supplemental supplies
d. I recommend adoption of the Capital Plan as presented.
e. I recommend approval of the recurring field trip for FHS Boys Ice Hockey Team to travel to Barnstable, MA on February 22-23, 2017 for a Tournament as detailed.
f. I recommend acceptance of three donations totaling $3,535.00 for FHS as follows:

  1. $400.00 Shaws – in-house enrichment
  2. $1500.00 Walmart – in-house enrichment
  3. $1635.00 Various donors – Kitanosono Scholarship

5. Information Matters
Superintendent’s Report

School Committee Sub-Committee Reports

  •  Policy Sub Committee – MaryJane Scofield
  •  Community Relations Sub Committee – Denise Schultz
  •  Budget Sub Committee Report – Dr. O’Malley

School Committee Liaison Reports

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

7. Motion to Adjourn 
– Dr. O’Malley

Davis Thayer Elementary School - Winter Concert Dec 13, Grade 3 and 4
Davis Thayer Elementary School - Winter Concert Dec 13, Grade 3 and 4

A Deadly Problem

"Massachusetts is currently experiencing an epidemic of opioid-related overdose and death.

These overdoses are driven by the underlying chronic disease of opioid addiction or opioid use disorders. People with opioid addiction are at high risk of overdose and death.

Opioid-related deaths in the state were more than four times higher in 2015 than in 2000. This recent rate of increase is several times faster than anything seen here before. In 2013–2014 alone, opioid-related deaths occurred in two-thirds of the cities and towns in Massachusetts.

The opioid-related death rate in Massachusetts has surpassed the national average, with an especially sharp rise in the last two years.

In fact, 2014 marked the first year since 1999 that the fatal overdose rate in the Bay State was more than double the national average. 
While opioid-related deaths have been on the rise across the country during that period, the situation in the Commonwealth has become especially worrying. 
In one way or another — through deaths, nonfatal overdoses, or disruptions to jobs, marriages, families, and neighborhoods — every community in Massachusetts has been impacted by this growing crisis."

The map is interactive and I grabbed a screenshot highlighting the Franklin details.

Average Annual Opioid-related Death Rate per 100,000 People - focus on Franklin
Average Annual Opioid-related Death Rate per 100,000 People - focus on Franklin

The SAFE Coalition also recently annouced the introduction of a hotline. If you or someone you know needs help for substance use disorder, please call
SAFE Coalition hotline

If you want to make a year ending tax contribution, you can help S.A.F.E/ Coalition and their efforts to fight this deadly problem.

FHS Boys and Girls Basketball Outlook for 2016-2017 Winter Season

Hockomock Sports has published the outlook for the Hockomock League Kelly-Rex Division for the boys and girls basketball. The Franklin outlook has been shared here. Follow the link at the bottom of each summary to find out about the other teams in the division.

FHS Panthers
FHS Panthers

FRANKLIN Boys Basketball

2015-2016 Record: 19-5
2015-2016 Finish: Reached D1 Central Final
Coach: CJ Neely

"There is no rebuilding when it comes to Franklin, just reloading. Despite graduating a handful of talent, including the Hockomock League MVP Tim Prunier and a couple other strong players, the Panthers are still in a spot to challenge for the Kelley-Rex title. 
Two big reasons for that are juniors Paul Mahon and Connor Peterson. Both players started last year and were important pieces as the Panthers claimed a division title. With at least year of experience for both, look for both to be key players this season. Mahon has developed as a shooter to compliment his strong defensive game while Peterson continues to be one of the top big men in the league.
The Panthers will look to move the ball as much as possible on offense and hope to have a balanced scoring attack so defenses can’t focus in on just a player or two. Franklin has been on the better teams defensively in recent history and will look to continue that trend for the 2016-2017 season.
“We are very excited about this group of guys,” Franklin head coach CJ Neely said. “Having a good balance of talent has made our practice games very competitive, everyone has really been pushing each other hard. Each year our goal remains the same, we will focus on day to day improvement and let the results take care of themselves. 
“We want to be defined as a hardworking group that plays aggressively and shares the ball offensively. I think if we can stay committed to trusting each other and consistently competing on both ends of the floor we can have a good year.”

FRANKLIN Girls Basketball

2015-16 Record: 13-8 (10-6)
2015-16 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Central quarterfinal
Head Coach: John Leighton

"Franklin has been consistently one of the top programs in the league and despite losing a strong group of seniors, the Panthers are once again in the mix for a league title and a return to the Div. 1 Central tournament. 
Leading the way this season is a core of five experienced seniors that offer Franklin a good balance of interior and perimeter scoring. Carli Koffinke is in her third year on varsity and is a threat from the outside, taking advantage of the Panthers’ drive and kick style of offense. Point guard Margaux Welsh will take over the primary ball-handling role and will be expected to get the offense going. 
Izzy Faught and Grace McDermott will add depth in the backcourt and forward Erin Skidmore adds athleticism and quickness in the paint. 
In order to stay consistently competitive, the Panthers have always been able to count on new players coming in to refresh the roster. This winter will be no different with junior forward Kate Morse in her first year on the team as well as sophomore point guard Shannon Gray and three-point threat Bea Bondhus, who had a team-high 11 points in the season opener. Freshmen Ali Brigham and Megan O’Connell will add to Franklin’s front-court depth. 
“With so many younger and newer players, we are hoping to build team chemistry and improve each and every day,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “We are very encouraged with our depth and will lean on our seniors for leadership.”