Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Recognition of Significant Accomplishment

Dec 4, 2017 

Recognition of Significant AccomplishmentTo: Franklin Cultural District Committee, Jeff Nutting, Town Administrator, Jamie Hellen, Deputy Town Administrator

CC: Bryan Taberner, Director, Planning and Community Development, Representative Jeffrey Roy

From: Franklin Cultural Steering Committee

RE: Recognition of Significant Accomplishment

We want to take a moment to recognize the significant accomplishment that has occurred over the past several years. What started as an idea for a cultural district was nurtured, tended to, and brought to reality through hours of dedicated service by numerous individuals. It began on November 21, 2013 when several of us, joined town and school officials, Ms. Anita Walker, Executive Director of the Mass Cultural Council, and Jeff Roy, State Representative, on a tour of the high school (which was under construction) and the downtown area, including THE BLACK BOX (also under construction). During this tour, the seeds of the proposed cultural district were planted.

We set out to create a Cultural District, conduct a Cultural Festival to showcase the wealth of cultural assets in Franklin, and prepare an application for Cultural District status for the town. We did this work over the past four years. The Franklin Cultural Festival began in July 2015, highlighting the visual, culinary, performing arts, music, dance, and the talents of the many individuals and organizations within Franklin. The Festivals continued in 2016 and 2017 demonstrating the importance of cultural events and encouraged the inclusion of the arts within other town events. By way of example, the Franklin Downtown Partnership has consistently elevated its inclusion of the fine and performing arts within its community events.

The seven member Franklin Cultural District Committee was formally approved by the Town Council on Wednesday, Nov 29, 2017 by unanimous vote. The formal application for Cultural District status can now be submitted.

The Cultural District Steering Committee, which brought this to fruition, has achieved this through much hard work, many hours of planning, collaborating, and executing. We want to thank the Town leadership, Franklin businesses, and institutions, and the numerous individuals and organizations that helped to advance Franklin along the pathway to Cultural District status.

Our work as a Cultural District Steering Committee and as the coordinator of the Cultural Festival is complete.


Pandora Carlucci
Alan Mercer
Jim Schultz
Susan Sheridan
Steve Sherlock
Roberta Trahan

PDF version of this letter can be found here

Town Council Recap - November 29, 2017

The meeting saw the Town Council approve

  • meeting minutes from the Oct 11 and Oct 25 meetings
  • the appointment of the Franklin Cultural District Committee
  • the single tax rate and set the rate at 14.65
  • no exemptions for open space, small business, and residential property
The DPW provided an update on the snow/ice plan for the coming Winter season

The Town Council also announced their sub-committees as follows

Budget:  Padula*, Mercer, Pellegri, Kelly
Economic Development Committee (EDC): Mercer,* Earls, Jones, Hamblin
Capital: Dellorco*, Casey, Kelly, Pellegri
Review of council proceduresMercer*, Padula, Pellegri
Liaison to the Agricultural commissionHamblinLiaisons to the Safe CoalitionDellorco, Casey

* indicates chair of the sub-committee

The tax classification hearing documents can be found here

Actions Taken can be found here: http://www.franklinma.gov/sites/franklinma/files/news/town_council_actions_taken_for_november_29_2017.pdf

My notes: reported live from the meeting

tax classification hearing underway at the Town Council meeting Nov 28
tax classification hearing underway at the Town Council meeting Nov 28

Superintendent Ahern - Community Forum Recap - Nov 30, 2017

Newly appointed Franklin Superintendent of Schools, Sara E. Ahern, held a forum at the Municipal Building on November 30, 2017 to provide a chance for community members to meet and share their concerns and for her to discuss her approach to school management. 

The meeting commenced at 6:30 PM with an overview provided by Ahern. She first described the four primary initiatives within the 2017-2018 District Improvement Plan: Social-emotional learning, curriculum and instruction, collaborative culture, and two-way communication. In pursuing these initiatives, she said she is starting with stakeholder engagement through events such as the forum and similar events held with faculty, administration, school committee, and small groups of parents. 

Based on input from these sessions, Ahern said she hopes to identify themes and patterns that will help her to understand concerns and problems needing attention. She said she will then report on those findings to the district as a first step in developing a strategy for implementing improvements.

Ahern explained that her goal is to provide “stakeholder” (parents, faculty, etc.) awareness and “investment” in the District’s Strategy. In other words, she emphasized; she plans to listen. 

One of the attendees expressed appreciation for that approach and said she had “tried for five years to get an appointment with the previous superintendent and couldn’t even get a return phone call.”

She and others commented about concerns such as extremely short recess periods that they felt were not conducive to learning in young children. Similar comments were aired regarding lunch periods that were perceived as being too short for a child to eat and snack breaks for young children as late as 11 AM.

Another parent raised a concern regarding frequent changes in math curriculum that required his child to relearn fundamental skills in a new way in order to move ahead. Ahern said some of those shifts were driven by external changes in state mandates. The future, she said, would likely be less chaotic.

A parent whose children are no longer in the system, expressed concern that Franklin schools were perhaps not measuring up to their public reputation, since most were ranked as “level 2” [In a Massachusetts 1-5 ranking system]. “Only the high school is level 1,” he said. Ahern, for her part, said that the high school is actually now also ranked as level 2. However, she noted, the rankings can be misleading since they measure improvements and the standards by which they are measured shift. Therefore, she explained, even a top-rank school can have its designation reduced simply because it hasn’t improved further.

Ahern closed the meeting with an invitation to participants to reconnect at any time.

Submitted by Franklin Matters contributor Alan Earls

The handout Superintendent Ahern talked to for her overview:

The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) published the district scorecard. The scorecard and supporting information for Franklin can be found here

Superintendent Ahern - Community Forum Recap - Nov 30, 2017
Superintendent Ahern - Community Forum Recap - Nov 30, 2017

Reminder: New England Irish Harp Orchestra - Dec 10

New England Irish Harp Orchestra will share a wonderful medley of Holiday music that will put you in the perfect mood for the season!

Sunday, December 10 - 7:00 pm

St. John’s Episcopal Church 
237 Pleasant Street Franklin, MA 

Tickets $10 (payable at the door) 

FREE  With Dean College ID 

Transportation provided call (781) 708-1327 

New England Irish Harp Orchestra - Dec 10
New England Irish Harp Orchestra - Dec 10

LET'S LAUGH TODAY in Franklin is on Wednesday, December, 13

Trade all your holiday stress for laughter on Wednesday, December 13 from 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM at he Meetinghouse of the First Universalist Society in Franklin, 262 Chestnut Street, Franklin. 

Come and enjoy this unique exercise of guided laughter exercises combined with gentle breathing that brings more oxygen to the body's cells. This oxygen boost gives enhanced vitality, energy and a feeling of real well-being. 

Any age and any level of physical ability can participate in this uplifting experience! New laughers are always welcomed! 

$5 donation to the church, $10 maximum per family. Please bring your water bottle because laughing is dehydrating. 

Led by Certified Laughter Yoga Teachers, Linda and Bill Hamaker. www.letslaughtoday.com. If you have any questions, just call them at 508-660-2223 or e-mail billandlinda@letslaughtoday.com.

LET'S LAUGH TODAY in Franklin is on Wednesday, December, 13
LET'S LAUGH TODAY in Franklin is on Wednesday, December, 13

In the News: breathalyzers included in policy; Library events planned; Bohmiller hired; new acting Senate president

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"The School Committee voted to support changes in the high school student handbook that would allow staff and administrators to conduct breathalyzer tests at social events such as prom. 
Franklin High School Principal Paul Peri said the idea came from a student. Peri said that a group of students came to the administration to propose the idea, citing that many other school districts in the area have already implemented this in their high school student handbooks. 
“This was exciting because it was student voiced, and student generated by student leaders,” he said. “They did most of the legwork.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Franklin High School
Franklin High School

"The Franklin Public Library, 118 Main St., has announced the following December events. For information: 508-520-4941. 
The library will be closed Dec. 24 for Christmas Eve; Dec. 25 for Christmas Day; Dec. 31 for New Year’s Eve; and Jan. 1 for New Year’s Day."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Franklin (MA) Public Library at night
Franklin (MA) Public Library at night

"The Bulfinch Group announced that Samuel Bohmiller, of Franklin, has become affiliated with the firm. 
Headquartered in Needham with offices throughout New England, The Bulfinch Group is a financial services firm helping individuals, families and businesses build and preserve wealth. 
Bohmiller graduated from Babson College with a degree in business administration, concentrating in finance. During his time at Babson, Bohmiller was a point guard and captain of the basketball team, leading them to victory in the 2017 NCAA Championship. A lifelong goal of Bohmiller’s is to visit and watch a game in every MLB ballpark across the country, which he has achieved one third of."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"The Senate initiated an Ethics Committee investigation on Monday night into its now former president Sen. Stanley Rosenberg in a dramatic day of upheaval that saw Worcester Democrat Harriette Chandler installed as the new acting Senate president pending the outcome of an investigation into sexual harassment and Senate interference by Rosenberg’s husband. 
The election of Chandler, Rosenberg’s top lieutenant, and the adoption of an order green-lighting the Senate Ethics Committee investigation marked the culmination of a marathon day of closed-door talks between Democrats and Republicans. 
Chandler emerged as the unanimous choice of Democrats to take over the Senate temporarily after Rosenberg announced in the morning that he wanted to take a “leave of absence” from his leadership duties to ensure a “fully independent and credible” investigation."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Monday, December 4, 2017

School Committee Recap - Nov 28, 2017

The recap of the School Committee meeting held in two parts on Tuesday evening, Nov 28, 2017 can be found here.

Training/Overview Session
The first of the two sessions was an overview and training session for the newly formed committee.

Superintendent Sara Ahern provided an overview of the District Improvement Plan (DIP) and lead into her entry plan. Each school's improvement plan takes the DIP down to their level for standardization across the district and includes school specific objectives.


Middle/High school plans

Elementary plans

The School Committee discussed preparing for the Superintendent review due in May 2018. Also considering a self-evaluation by the School Committee.

If SC members have a query about the schools, send it to the Superintendent with copy to SC chair. If something specific needs to be updated from that query, the Superintendent will reply or include in a future update (depending upon the timing).

reminder to SC members be careful commenting on social media
use the new SC email accounts for SC business
discussion to schedule an update on the open meeting law for a future session

Regular Session
The SC and Central Office staff moved to the Council Chambers to continue the regular portion of the meeting at 7:00 PM.

The Superintendent updates can be found here

The MCAS update document can be found here:

A proposal to re-do the concession stand at the high school was viewed and discussed. It will come back for a formal approval.

Additional notes from the meeting reported live on Tuesday can be found here:

FHS is HONORED to receive the 2016-2017 Hockomock Sportsmanship Award. This banner will be displayed in our gym for the remainder of the year. SO PROUD of our student-athletes and coaches! #CharacterCounts #PantherPride #Hockomock
FHS is HONORED to receive the 2016-2017 Hockomock Sportsmanship Award. This banner will be displayed in our gym for the remainder of the year. SO PROUD of our student-athletes and coaches!

MIAA Opioid Abuse Prevention Conference, December 13, 2017

MIAA Opioid Abuse Prevention Conference, December 13, 2017
MIAA Opioid Abuse Prevention Conference, December 13, 2017

Keynote Speaker
Michael Botticelli
former Director of National Drug Control Policy
Mr. Botticelli served as ONDCP Director from March 2014 until the end of President Obama's term. Prior to this time, he spent 18 years with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Bureau of Substance Abuse Services. He currently serves as Director of the Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine at the Boston Medical Center.
Keynote presentations by Botticelli and Massachusetts State Representative Jeffrey Roy (Democrat-10th District Norfolk) will highlight an overall program designed by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) to educate school personnel and student leaders about the dangers of opioid misuse. This second annual wellness initiative includes workshop sessions presented by prevention partners on topics including The Opioid Crisis in Massachusetts; The Nature of Addiction; Teen Brain Development/Science; Personal Recovery Stories; Signs and Symptoms of Use; Preventing Opioid Misuse in Student-Athletes; and Supporting Students Returning to School Post Rehab.
Schools are encouraged to register a group of staff and student representatives to attend this event. The registration fee includes conference materials, light breakfast and luncheon. For additional information, please visit www.miaa.net or contact the MIAA Educational Athletics Staff at 508-541-7997.
Cost: $55 per person Includes light breakfast, lunch and materials

An offering under the Wellness Pillar of the MIAA Educational Athletics Curriculum
Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association 
Building the Future Through Educational Athletics
33 Forge Parkway, Franklin, MA 02038

Claflin Hill Symphony: “Holiday Pops!” - December 9

“Holiday Pops!” Saturday, December 9, 2017

Let us make your spirits merry and bright as the Grand Ballroom is transformed into a magical place for all ages! Join us for everyone’s favorite holiday tradition featuring timeless classics like “Sleigh Ride,” “Stille Nacht,” a holiday sing-along and a visit from jolly ol’ St. Nick! 

Let’s ring in the Holidays together! 

The Greater Milford Community Chorus, under the direction of Daniel Zabinski, join CHSO for their third year!

Tickets available online:

Claflin Hill Symphony: “Holiday Pops!” - December 9
Claflin Hill Symphony: “Holiday Pops!” - December 9

For additional info visit the webpage http://www.claflinhill.com/

2017 FHS Hockomock League Field Hockey and Football All Stars

HockomockSports has published the 2017 Hockomock League Field Hockey and Football All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league. The FHS student athletes selected are shown here. Links to the complete listing are also provided.

Field Hockey

HOCKOMOCK LEAGUE MVP = Christina Hathaway, King Philip

Cassi Ronan, Franklin
Annie Walsh, Franklin


HOCKOMOCK LEAGUE MVP = KELLEY-REX = Shane Frommer, King Philip

Brian Kosicki, Franklin
Jake Noviello, Franklin

Field Hockey


FHS Panthers
FHS Panthers

Sunday, December 3, 2017

BFCCPS 8th Grade Fund Raising Events

Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School 8th graders are sponsoring 3 fundraisers to raise money for their April 2108 trip to Washington, DC.

  • Electronics Recycling Drive on Saturday Dec. 9 from 11AM - 2 PM at the St. Mary’s Church parking lot (See attached flyer for pricing, acceptable donations)
  • MA Redeemable Can and Bottle Collection Drive from Dec. 4 - Dec. 9. Leave approved cans and bottles in barrels near the entrance of the BFFCPS school
  • LuLaRoe Clothing Sale on Saturday Dec. 9 from 10 AM - 1 PM at the Red Brick School House. (See attached flyer for pricing)

BFCCPS 8th Grade Fund Raising Events
BFCCPS 8th Grade Fund Raising Events

2017 FHS Hockomock League Soccer All Stars

HockomockSports has published the 2017 Hockomock League Boys and Girls Soccer All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league. The FHS student athletes selected are shown here. Links to the complete listing are also provided.


HOCKOMOCK LEAGUE MVP = Avery Snead, King Philip


  • Molly Duncan, Franklin
  • Catherine Robbins, Franklin


HOCKOMOCK LEAGUE MVP = Nathaniel Cardoza, Oliver Ames


  • Nitin Chaudhury, Franklin

The complete Girls All Star listing

The complete Boys All Star listing

FHS Panthers
FHS Panthers

Save the Date for Senator Spilka's SEL Forum - Jan 9, 2018

SAVE THE DATE: Senator Spilka's MetroWest Kids exSEL Forum
Tuesday, January 9, 2018

6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Hayden Lodge 
Warren Conference Center
529 Chestnut Street, Ashland
Please join Senator Karen Spilka on January 9, 2018 for a conversation with the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy about exSEL: Excellence through Social-Emotional Learning, a network bringing together school districts across Massachusetts to design and implement policies and practices that promote social-emotional learning (SEL).

The project is led by the exSEL Coalition, whose members include the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, Massachusetts Organization of Educational Collaboratives and Massachusetts School Administrators Association. The exSEL Coalition's non-profit partners, the Rennie Center and Teachers 21, provide expertise, support and training for the network.

Click here to RSVP!

If you have questions about this event or Senator Spilka's MetroWest Kids Initiative, please contact Puja Mehta.
Office of State Senator Karen E. Spilka
Room 212, State House
Boston, Massachusetts  02133
Like us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter
Senator Karen E. Spilka, Massachusetts State House, Room 212, Boston, MA 02133

Sent by karen.spilka@masenate.gov in collaboration with
Constant Contact

Circle of Friends Coffeehouse: Winterbloom show CANCELLED

View this email in your browser
Dec 9th 8PM 
Several Winterbloom performers have recently experienced medical problems that have caused them to cancel their tour this year.  All previously purchased tickets will be refunded this week.

Also, the Gretchen Peters show has been moved to April 7th and Danielle Miraglia will perform on Jan 6th.

We are very sorry for any inconvenience that this may cause.
Upcoming Shows
Jan 6         Danielle Miraglia
Jan 27       Seth Glier
Feb 10       Chelsea Berry
Mar 3         Patty Larkin
Mar 17       The Lonely Heartstring Band
Apr 7         Gretchen Peters
Apr 28       Pat Donohue

Circle of Friends Coffeehouse · First Universalist Society · 262 Chestnut St · Franklin, MA 02038 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Circle of Friends Coffeehouse: Winterbloom show CANCELLED
Circle of Friends Coffeehouse: Winterbloom show CANCELLED

“We’re not your grandfather’s vocational school”

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

"Annalise Kane, 12, joked with her parents while she sutured digital tendons in hip surgery Saturday. 
“It’s fun,” she said, of the computer program, set up in a Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School medical classroom. 
Mock surgery was one of dozens of career-oriented activities in which visitors to the high school could participate Saturday, during the school’s Showcase Spectacular. 
“It gets the younger kids more interested in coming to a place like this, rather than a (traditional) high school,” dental assisting student Lauryn Blye said."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

image from Tri-County webpage