Thursday, May 21, 2020

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Did you subscribe to the Town of Franklin Newsletter?
Did you subscribe to the Town of Franklin Newsletter?

Shared from Twitter:

Fletcher Field basketball/street hockey courts under construction

"New basketball/street hockey courts at Fletcher Field are coming along nicely. Concrete is curing and within 2 weeks, we'll have it painted and hoops hung. Hockey boards should be installed in July."

New basketball/street hockey courts at Fletcher Field
New basketball/street hockey courts at Fletcher Field
Shared from Twitter:

telephoto view from the Wachusett St side of Fletcher Field
telephoto view from the Wachusett St side of Fletcher Field

MBTA: Commuter Rail notice for Monday - Memorial Day

The Commuter Rail will operate on a normal Sunday schedule on Monday, May 25, for Memorial Day. There will be no disruption on the Lowell, Fitchburg, Worcester, and Greenbush lines. The diversion between W Gloucester and Rockport will still be in effect.

Affected routes:
  • Newburyport/Rockport Line
  • Haverhill Line
  • Lowell Line
  • Fitchburg Line
  • Framingham/Worcester Line
  • Needham Line
  • Franklin Line
  • Fairmount Line
  • Providence/Stoughton Line
  • Middleborough/Lakeville Line
  • Kingston/Plymouth Line
  • Greenbush Line

Last Updated: May 20 2020 03:47 PM 

Franklin Line schedule

Franklin/Forge Park Station
Franklin/Forge Park Station

School Committee: Budget SubCommittee Meeting - May 22 - 1 PM

Franklin Public Schools 
Franklin School Committee
Budget Sub Committee Meeting

Virtual Meeting (Links in agenda)

Friday, May 22, 2020
1:00 PM

Per Governor Baker’s order suspending certain provisions of the Open Meeting Law, G.L. c. 30A sec. 20, the public will not be allowed to physically access this School Committee Subcommittee meeting. Members of the Public can access the meeting via remote conference. The School Committee reserves the right to implement additional remote participation procedures and will notify the public of these procedures as soon as practicable.

Location: Remote Participation Link   Meeting ID

Phone Numbers (US)+1 336-790-2784; PIN: 674 594 168#


"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."

• FY21 Budget Development

Franklin Public Schools agenda doc

FY 2021 Budget page

School Committee: Budget SubCommittee Meeting - May 22 - 1 PM
School Committee: Budget SubCommittee Meeting - May 22 - 1 PM

“It is not enough to simply ask passengers to comply -- it must be enforced,”

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

"Capping ridership on buses and trains is not on the table as the MBTA prepares for a monthslong, gradual resumption of public activity, nor is denying service to system users who do not cover their faces despite an executive order urging mask usage, MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said Wednesday.

During a wide-ranging interview with WBUR’s “Radio Boston,” Poftak said leaders at the agency are exploring ways to manage demand but hinted that designating maskless-only vehicles, strictly enforcing face-covering or distancing, and significantly increasing capacity -- at least in the next few weeks -- are not within reach.

Under Gov. Charlie Baker’s executive order requiring face coverings when social distancing is impossible, commuters are required to wear a mask or similar garment on public transit. However, the order exempts individuals who have a medical condition preventing them from covering their faces, and Poftak said that language precludes a mandate to riders even though he agrees the practice is “really important.”

“No one is allowed to ask them to verify that they have this medical condition, so we’re in a position where we really can’t enforce it in a police action kind of way,” he told WBUR."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

“It is not enough to simply ask passengers to comply -- it must be enforced,”
“It is not enough to simply ask passengers to comply -- it must be enforced,”

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

FSPA Senior accepted to prestigious Carnegie Mellon Music Theater Program

The Franklin School for the Performing Arts (FSPA) is excited to announce that FSPA Senior Susana Wickstrom of Wrentham has been accepted to the prestigious School of Drama at Carnegie Mellon University to obtain her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Theater. The Music Theater program at Carnegie Mellon only accepts six female and six male students every year.

For her high school education, Wickstrom attended FSPA Academy, a collaboration with TEC Connections Academy (TECCA), and the Franklin School for the Performing Arts. The FSPA Academy model combines the flexibility of a virtual education while providing warm, welcoming classrooms, supportive learning coaches, and a creative, community-minded school environment. For career-bound students of the arts like Wickstrom, FSPA Academy accommodates professional opportunities, rehearsal, and performance schedules. Partnering with TECCA, a virtual Massachusetts Public School, the curriculum is taught by licensed, certified teachers through a combination of live lessons and individual assignments.

Additionally, Wickstrom trained rigorously in the performing arts at FSPA, taking classes six days a week in singing, acting, and all disciplines of dance. On top of her academic and arts course loads, Wickstrom was cast frequently in productions with the Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC), appearing in productions at THE BLACK BOX alongside Broadway stars and working with Broadway choreographers. This past October, she got the chance to star as Miss Honey in FPAC’s production of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical choreographed by original Broadway cast member Clay Thomson.

Wickstrom spent her last 4 summers touring Europe with the international touring ensemble Electric Youth. With this select group of young performers, she sang and danced her way across the U.K., France, Italy, Switzerland, and Austria performing all genres of music backed by the Boston Show Band, eight of Boston’s most in-demand musicians.

Of her training at FSPA Wickstrom notes, “FSPA has taught me absolutely everything that I know. I owe the world to it. My teachers there taught me why I love the arts, and why I want to pursue it for the rest of my life.”

Susana in the FPAC production of Tartuffe at THE BLACK BOX
Susana in the FPAC production of Tartuffe at THE BLACK BOX

Franklin Public Schools: Important Dates and Information

Important Dates and Information

May-June 2020

All Franklin Public School buildings are closed for the rest of the school year. Remote learning is in session.

Wed May 20th- SENIOR Drop off day for books, and non-technology materials only  
Chromebooks will NOT be collected on this day
  • Seniors should pull up in the bus drop-off loop; leave all materials you are returning in your trunk. Stay in your vehicle.  Someone will assist you
  • Each item you are dropping off must be clearly labeled with your name and ID number. Any non-labeled items will not be taken from your trunk. 
  • The two drop off times are between 8:15AM-9:45 AM and then again between 12:30PM and 2:00PM Do not attempt any drop off between 10 AM and 12:30 PM. Nobody will be there to assist you.
Senior Chromebook Return and the time to pick up your senior box of graduation materials will be the week of May 26-28

More information will be emailed home and posted on Grad info page

The Last Day of online learning for SENIORS ONLY is May 22nd.
The Last Day of online learning is Thursday, June 18th for 9th, 10th, 11th grade. If this changes, this page will be updated with new information.
Having troubles with your Chromebook? Complete this tech work order form and someone will contact you to help

Click HERE to view the Remote Learning Schedule for FHS Students 

Click HERE to order an Oskey 2020 Yearbook.

FHS 2020-2021 Mock Trial team online information session meeting June 11th 7-8 pm. If interested, please email Mr. Mike Walsh at: with your email information and he will send you an invite.

Class of 2021 Prom to be held in the Fall; more information to come
New FPS Learning Resources website ( - created by the Superintendent's office to support and guidance for our students, families, and teachers as we navigate these unprecedented circumstances together as a community. We will continue to curate resources throughout our closure period. We recommend frequently revisiting for the latest updates and information.
Contact Information Changes-If you need to change an email address or phone number in your student's Aspen contact information, click here ( to send us those changes
5/25/2020No School - Memorial Day
6/18/2020Last day of School for 9th, 10th, and 11th grade -COVID calendar
Shared from the Town of Franklin Public Schools page
Franklin Public Schools: Important Dates and Information
Franklin Public Schools: Important Dates and Information Teams of the Decade #8: 2015 Franklin Boys Hockey

Team: Franklin Boys Hockey
Year: 2014-2015
Record: 17-4-3
2015 Kelley-Rex Division Champions
First Ever Hockomock Super 8 Selection

"Following three straight appearances in the Div. 2 state title game at the TD Garden, Franklin hockey found itself bumped up to Div. 1. It was a new challenge for the program, but one that it met head on. After in the South quarterfinal in year one, the Panthers brought back a team loaded with experience and that group not only made Franklin history but broke new ground for the league as well.

In just its second season as a Div. 1 team, the 2014-15 Franklin hockey team became the first Hock team to get an invite to the prestigious Super 8 tournament.

“At that time, it was our second year in Div. 1, so we had a lot of doubters,” said Ryan Spillane, a senior center on the 2014-15 team. “It felt great to put Franklin hockey on the map and to prove people wrong. I remember the entire school was behind us, so it was definitely a special time to be wearing a Franklin hockey jersey.”

Even for a program accustomed to success, there were high expectations for that year’s team, largely because the Panthers were returning 21 seniors who had grown up through the town’s youth hockey program and had been playing together for the better part of a decade."
Continue reading the article Teams of the Decade #8: 2015 Franklin Boys Hockey Teams of the Decade #8: 2015 Franklin Boys Hockey

FHS "Keeping MUSIC ALIVE" #9

Good Morning!  I hope that you are all doing well! 

Today, FHS Music Alive will be featuring Will Olbrys performing in a very different setting. In addition to FHS, Will is a member of the RI Philharmonic Youth Wind Ensemble. RIPYWE asked their students to "take to their front yards to simultaneously play their individual parts of four pieces." They asked the communities to watch for these performances and to report back to them if they are spotted. This is Will's participation in that event performing "El Capitan", written by the "March King", John Philip Sousa.

  • WILL OLBRYS is a sophomore at Franklin High School and plays the trombone in the FHS Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Band.
El Capitan - Trombone 3

  • JAMIE BARRETT - His latest release of himself performing "Baby Blue (Badfinger). In this performance, Jamie reconnected with his friend Chris Totten. Living in Virginia, Chris worked at the Pentagon and has recently retired from the Air Force. Mr. Barrett has pulled him back into drumming!

Thank you Jamie and Chris!

Diane M. Plouffe
Director of Music
Franklin Public Schools
Franklin High School

Town of Franklin parks and fields opening May 25; playgrounds remain closed

In accordance with the Governor's plan, we will be opening all fields & parks, & their associated parking lots, Mon. May 25th.
Playgrounds will remain closed due to the high frequency of surface touching on equipment.
Please follow all social distancing requirements to stay safe!

arial view of FHS athletic fields
arial view of FHS athletic fields

Community Garden (OPENING - Today) - Parks opening next week (with restrictions)

Good Morning,

Tomorrow (Weds, May 20) is the first day the Community garden will be open.  Water should be turned on this week.  Barricades should be moved from the entrance to the inside the park to block only the playground/ball field area.  For now, parks and playgrounds still remain closed, although we are making the Community garden available to you folks.  

Next Monday, we will be removing all barricades around Town and opening parks with restrictions in place.  I wanted to make sure you all received the attachment I provided last week, so I'm including it in the body of the email.  Have fun and please be safe.
Franklin Community Gardening during COVID-19
Franklin Community Gardens offer many benefits which include socialization, exercise, and the production and consumption of nutritious, fresh and locally grown herbs and vegetables.  Beginning Wednesday, May 20, we will open the Community Garden to one member per garden bed for their maintenance. 
Garden access will be restricted to no more than 5 gardeners at one time.  It is important to understand the state guidelines ( regarding social distancing and proper hygiene.  (These regulations also are subject to change amid fluid developments.)
This guide offers ideas and guidance on:
  • Best practices for community garden management during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Additional cleaning/sanitation precautions to utilize in the Franklin community gardens
  • Recommendations on being a safe, responsible visitor at the Franklin community garden.
Following these recommendations, along with the use of common sense and caution, can increase the likelihood that our community garden will remain accessible.
In such a public setting, the Centers for Disease Control now recommends wearing cloth face coverings. For a guide on how to create your own cloth face coverings, visit the CDC website ( 
Best Practices for Community Garden Management During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Franklin Community Garden is considered an essential space; garden members should immediately implement the following practices:
  • Garden members must wear masks or cloth covering at all times, along with gloves.
  • DO not visit the garden if you feel ill, have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last two weeks or have had known contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last two weeks
  • Leave garden gates open during hours of operation to avoid frequent contact.  No need to keep opening and closing gates, unless you are the last one to leave later in the day.
  • Avoid use of public benches or picnic tables
  • Limit the size of work groups to 5 people or fewer inside the fenced area
  • If folks cannot police this themselves, we may be forced to stagger times for arrival and availability to reduce crowds
  • Social distancing guidelines of remaining at least 6 feet apart at all times
  • If members have them, please bring your own tools or make certain you wear gloves while using.  We will have cleaning supplies in the shed and we expect anyone that uses a tool will sanitize before and after use.
  • We would appreciate folks helping with the following.
    • Regular cleaning of contact surfaces (doors, padlocks, water spigots, gates, wheelbarrows, etc.)
    • Hand-washing or hand-sanitizing regularly 
Ryan Jette
Director of Recreation
Franklin Recreation Department
275 Beaver Street
Franklin, MA 02038
Office: (508) 613-1667
Mobile:(508) 400-4099
"just for the fun of it"
Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Web

Prior notification on the Community Garden opening

Community Garden (OPENING - Today) - Parks opening next week (with restrictions)
Community Garden (OPENING - Today) - Parks opening next week (with restrictions)

Davis Thayer Facility Analysis Subcommittee - May 21, 2020

DT Facility Analysis Subcommittee

Virtual Meeting (Links in agenda)

DATE: 5/21/2020 

TIME: 4:30 PM

  1. Approval of past minutes
  2. Discussion: 
Update on recent conversations with Kaestle Boos 
     ○ possible recommendations and logistical implications

little free library at Davis Thayer
little free library at Davis Thayer

Reminder: Seniors join us for a Coffee Hour - Thu May 21 - 8:30 AM

Attention Seniors! Please join us for a Coffee Hour Thursday, May 21 at 8:30 AM! The Zoom links are found below. 
A great opportunity to connect with local and state officials!
Join the Zoom Meeting here Meeting ID: 818 3989 8549 or call the # below!

State Rep Jeff Roy, Town Administrator Jamie Hellen and members of the Town Council

Shared from

Seniors: Virtual Coffee Hour next Thursday, May 21
Seniors: Virtual Coffee Hour next Thursday, May 21

CDC Guidelines for reopening are now available

From the Washington Post, we find the CDC guidelines are available
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week laid out its detailed, delayed road map for reopening schools, child-care facilities, restaurants and mass transit, weeks after covid-weary states began opening on their own terms.

The CDC cautioned that some institutions should stay closed for now and said reopening should be guided by coronavirus transmission rates.

For schools, the CDC recommended a raft of social distancing policies: desks at least six feet apart and facing the same direction, lunch in classrooms, staggered arrival times, cloth masks for staff and daily temperature screenings for everyone.

It advised that buses leave every other row empty, bars add sneeze guards and child-care centers limit sharing of art supplies.

The 60-page guidance document was posted on the CDC website over the weekend without fanfare after weeks of delay and an internal debate over whether the guidelines were too restrictive."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Download a copy from here

or directly from the CDC page

CDC Guidelines are now available
CDC Guidelines are now available

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

FM #271 Franklin Health Director - Cathleen Liberty 5/11/20 (audio)

FM #271 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 271 in the series.

Town of Franklin Health Director Cathleen Liberty took some time from her schedule to sit and talk about something other than the coronavirus. We had our conversation via conference bridge to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

While we are out on trail and in the outdoors, in general during this pandemic period, Cathleen informs us on some of the precautions to take with regards to avoiding ticks and mosquitoes. The new term from this conversation is “questing”. Questing is the term for the tick looking to jump to a food source.

We review the precautions that should be part of the daily hygiene when we head outdoors and make it as frequent a part of the routine as adding sunscreen lotion.

The recording runs about 22 minutes, so let’s listen to my conversation with Cathleen   Audio file =

Town of Franklin Health Dept page
Tick questing from the CDC page
EPA mosquito repellent page


We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (

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The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana" c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!

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adult deer tick (photo by Scott Bauer)
adult deer tick (photo by Scott Bauer)