Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Reminder: Senior Center coffee hour - July 16

The next Senior Coffee Hour is scheduled for July 16 at 8:30 AM. 

State Rep Jeff Roy and Franklin town officials will participate

The Zoom link to attend is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88465356605?pwd=Nkw3TFNNc29xVlE1T09FYXVXZWJ5dz09

Senior Center coffee hour - July 16
Senior Center coffee hour - July 16

"French Neutrals" - local interest in the French and Indian War - July 20

The Bellingham Historical Commission in partnership with the Bellingham Library will delve into the story of the "French Neutrals" who were relocated to Bellingham and other nearby towns during the French and Indian War (1754 – 1763).

The free presentation, which will be hosted on Zoom, will feature the Bellingham Historical Commission's Vice Chair Steve Joanis and his wife Bronya. The two will, in costume, relate the tale of the Robeshaw and Amerault families - Nova Scotians who were relocated to Wrentham and Bellingham in the late 1750s because the British regarded French speaking Acadians as potential adversaries.

The presentation will use a mix of the historical facts, original documents, and "likely suppositions" to recreate the story of Joseph Robeshaw's life. Joseph was born here as a captive, but stayed to serve in the militia as a citizen soldier during the American revolution.

This is a Zoom event on July 20 from 7:00 to 8:00 PMFollow the Facebook event for updates:  https://www.facebook.com/events/268935604314925/

"French Neutrals" - local interest in the French and Indian War
"French Neutrals" - local interest in the French and Indian War

In the News: expect a start date for plastic bag prohibition now that reusable bags are Ok

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Reusable bags have been cleared to return to checkout lines in Massachusetts, with a previous ban now removed in the latest round of Baker administration guidance affecting grocery stores.

On Friday, Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel rescinded a pair of earlier orders that laid out required precautions for grocery stores to safely operate amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the rescission notice, Bharel said the two orders’ “COVID-19 reduction strategies” were now incorporated into the economic reopening safety standards for retail businesses that Gov. Charlie Baker issued in June."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

If you recall that the Town of Franklin just had an announcement last week about the delay in the plastic bag prohibition, your memory is good. We shared the following on Wednesday. So we can expect a formal start date announcement sometime (soon?).

"In late March, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker banned reusable bags and lifted local bans on plastic bags at grocery stores and pharmacies as part of his administration's steps to limit the spread of the Coronavirus.

To comply with this order the Town of Franklin is delaying the start of the plastic bag prohibition which was originally slated to go into effect July 1st, 2020.

The Plastic Bag Prohibition will go into effect when the Governor lifts the ban on reusable bags, once the ban is lifted the Town will send out a notification with a formal start date for the plastic bag prohibition to begin. "

Shared from the Town of Franklin page:
In the News: expect a start date for plastic bag prohibition now that reusable bags are Ok
In the News: expect a start date for plastic bag prohibition now that reusable bags are Ok

In the News: two items from Gov Baker's press conf on Monday, July 13

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday announced the state has launched a new website to provide directions to residents who want to report businesses that may not be following safety guidelines for COVID-19.

“If folks believe that a business or employer is not observing the safety guidelines, we’ve set up a process for people in the public or employees to reach out and communicate that,” said Baker.

Baker said a new page on the state website, Mass.Gov/Compliance (https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-covid-19-compliance), would be activated to accept reports about businesses that were not in compliance with state-issued guidelines. He said reports can also be made through the 211 hotline.

“Investigations can result in enforcement measures if violations are discovered,” Baker said."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Traditional public schools sent students home and shifted to remote learning in March to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but that was not an option for residential schools that serve students with special needs.

Recognizing the costs for special education residential school providers to outfit their workforces with personal protective gear, to put in place enhanced facility cleaning plans, and in some cases to increase staffing levels, the Baker administration on Monday unveiled a relief package of more than $16 million to benefit 32 special education residential schools.

Gov. Charlie Baker made the announcement after touring the New England Center for Children in Southborough, which teaches, houses and supports more than 120 students with special needs. Baker said the center will receive about $2 million.

“The commonwealth’s special education residential schools do tremendous work educating and supporting students with special needs. Throughout the pandemic special education residential schools, like this one, have remained open,” Baker said. “The ability this community has shown to adapt to maintain a safe environment for students in their care and for their 24/7 staff has been a godsend. The schools incurred unanticipated costs related to the purchase of personal protective equipment, infection control measures, increased staffing costs and enhanced cleaning protocols over that period. We know this is difficult work, and we know that so many people, time and time again, found a way to simply get it done.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The press release with details on the schools and amounts involved

Press conf video link = https://youtu.be/3Mg92Dc6Ciw

"symptoms could appear 2-14 days after exposure, most commonly around 4-5 days"

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

"Congestion, runny nose, nausea and diarrhea are the four most recent COVID-19 symptoms that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added to its growing list of potential signs of the novel coronavirus.

The CDC previously said symptoms include chills, fever, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and a new loss of taste or smell. The agency now lists 11 symptoms on its website.

The additions come as health experts continue to learn more about the disease, and care for very ill COVID-19 patients is improving. Even so, the CDC states the current list doesn’t include all possible symptoms for the virus.

Doctors have also identified a symptom informally dubbed “COVID toes” – the presence of purple or blue lesions on a patient’s feet and toes."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The current symptom listing on the CDC page

The current symptom listing on the CDC page
The current symptom listing on the CDC page

Monday, July 13, 2020

Frank's Music with Frank Falvey "Let Freedom Sing" (audio)

Frank Falvey has a radio show called "Frank's Music". Self described as 'eclectic' you hear some good music and info about the songs and the performers. Frank records with Jim Derick as they "search for the meaning in music." 

These shows are part of the Franklin Public Radio playlist and also available on SoundCloud.  Franklin Public Radio is 102.9 on the local FM radio dial or anywhere in your browser at wfpr.fm
Thursday = 10:00a/1:00p/7:00p Frank’s Music – Frank Falvey
Frank explores a range of music genres and artists
 The show repeats on Saturday at 10:00 AM

This session was prepared for the 4th of July week.  

Audio link = https://soundcloud.com/user-653308056/let-freedom-sing

"I urge them to listen to the science and act now before it’s too late"

“The fact that the responsibility to communicate this falls on me and other children should be seen for exactly what it is –a failure beyond all imagination” 
I tried summarising the #climatecrisis from my own experiences in 12 chapters. Full text in @TIME

The link to Greta Thunberg's article in Time:  https://t.co/AfAocy7Red?amp=1
The article/essay chronicles her trip to the US via sail boat and then to Davos.

Franklin radar picked this up via Twitter:   https://twitter.com/GretaThunberg/status/1282243518853984259?s=09

Why? There is a small but active climate group here in Franklin, and there is a whole lot of us who pay attention far less often than perhaps we should. I read her article and I found it explains our problem succinctly, more so than anything else I have found. She suggests that we choose to follow the science and even if we do, we have little time left to act. How little? Maybe 6 or 7 years.
So as with many things I share here, I present the info, you make the choice to read, or not, and if you read, then maybe you can act upon the info. Greta writes: 
"if you read between the lines you realise that we are facing the need to make changes which are unprecedented in human history."

From Chapter 6:
"So, in short: the temperature increases, the damaging mountain pine beetle survives the winter and dramatically increases in population. The trees die and turn into wildfire fuel which intensifies the wildfires even further. The soot from those fires makes the surface of the glaciers turn darker and the melting process speeds up even faster. 
This is a textbook example of a reinforcing chain reaction, which in itself is just a small part of a much larger holistic pattern connected to our emissions of greenhouse gases. 
There are countless other tipping points and chain reactions. Some have not yet happened. And some are very much a reality already today. Such as the release of methane due to thawing permafrost or other phenomena linked to deforestation, dying coral reefs, weakening or changing ocean currents, algae growing on the Antarctic ice, increasing ocean temperatures, changes in monsoon patterns and so on."

Thunberg arrives in New York City after a 15-day journey crossing the Atlantic on Aug. 28, 2019. Courtesy of Greta Thunberg
Thunberg arrives in New York City after a 15-day journey crossing the Atlantic on Aug. 28, 2019. Courtesy of Greta Thunberg

Franklin Senior Center: Seven Steps to Managing Your Memory - Jul 16

Join us to hear from Dr. Andrew Budson talk about Managing Your Memory

Event Date: Thursday, July 16, 2020 - 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Email adoggett@franklinma.gov to receive the link to attend.

Based on his award-winning book, Seven Steps to Managing Your Memory: What’s Normal, What’s Not, and What to Do About It, Dr. Andrew Budson will explain how individuals can distinguish changes in memory due to Alzheimer's versus normal aging, what medications, diets, and exercise regimes can help, and the best habits, strategies, and memory aids to use, in seven simple steps.

Educated at Haverford College and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Budson is Chief of Cognitive & Behavioral Neurology and Associate Chief of Staff for Education at the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, Director of Education at the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Professor of Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine, and Lecturer in Neurology at Harvard Medical School.

Seven Steps to Managing Your Memory - Jul 16
Seven Steps to Managing Your Memory - Jul 16

Shared from the Town of Franklin page

"solar projects accounted for a quarter of all development of natural lands"

From the Boston Globe, articles of interest to Franklin:

"Massachusetts has been a national leader in solar power and now boasts more of the renewable energy than most other states. But it has come at a cost to forests and woodlands, and environmental advocates — not a group ordinarily prone to voicing doubts about renewable sources — say misguided state incentives have encouraged building solar farms on undeveloped land. 
Now, with the coronavirus already causing major job losses and great uncertainty in the solar industry, state officials are planning to issue new rules that will sharply limit where solar farms can be built. 
“We need to minimize the loss of these valuable natural assets to all forms of development,” said Heidi Ricci, an author of a Mass Audubon report this year that called for the protection of natural land. “We need this natural land to absorb the rain and clean our water, as storms become more intense from climate change.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Franklin is ahead of this change as there was a bylaw change earlier this year to restrict large solar farms while keeping smaller residential units.

1st reading - Feb 12, 2020

2nd reading - Mar 4, 2020

EDC meeting - Feb 5, 2020

from the archives, the solar farm installation at St Mary's Abbey in Franklin
from the archives, the solar farm installation at St Mary's Abbey in Franklin

What great listeners actually do

"A good listener is not a sponge that absorbs but a trampoline to bounce ideas off!"

Sketchnote via @tnvora; Ideas via Jack Zenger & Joseph Folkman

What great listeners actually do
What great listeners actually do
Franklin radar picked up via Twitter

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - July 14, 2020

connection info contained in agenda doc

“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.”

I. Routine Business
A. Review of Agenda
B. Citizen’s Comments

In the spirit of open communication, “the Committee will hold a public participation segment (also called Citizen’s Comments) about matters not related to an agenda item at the beginning of each regular School Committee meeting. The Committee will listen to, but not respond to any comment made…. A Committee member may add an agenda item to a future meeting as a result of a citizen comment…. The Committee will hear public comments related to an agenda item when the Chair deems appropriate during the Committee meeting. Topics for discussion during the meeting must be limited to those items listed on the Committee meeting agenda for that evening…. ” - from Policy BEDH
C. FHS Student Representative Comments
D. Superintendent’s Report

II. Guests/Presentations
A. None

III. Discussion/Action Items
A. Policy First Readings
I recommend moving the following policies to a second reading:

  • 1. EEA - Student Transportation Policy
  • 2. EEA-R - Transportation Policy and Responsibilities
  • 3. EEAG - Student Transportation in Private Vehicles

B. Policy Second Reading/Adoption
I recommend adoption of the following policy:

  • 1. ECAF - Security Cameras in Schools (New)

C. School Committee Resolution: “Anti-Racism Resolution”
I recommend the School Committee adopt the School Committee Resolution “Anti-Racism Resolution” as discussed.

IV. Discussion Only Items
A. Opening School Update

B. BICO Quarterly Report

V. Information Matters
A. School Committee Sub-Committee Reports (e.g. Ad Hoc Supt. Evaluation, Ad Hoc Facilities Analysis, Budget, Community Relations/Public Schools Advocacy, Policy, Transportation)
B. School Committee Liaison Reports (e.g. Joint PCC, Substance Abuse Task Force, School Wellness Advisory Council)

VI. New Business
A. To discuss any future agenda items

VII. Consent Agenda
A. Approval of Minutes
I recommend approval of the minutes from the June 23, 2020 School Committee meeting as detailed.
B. FHS Scholarship
I recommend acceptance of a check for $1,000.00 from the Franklin Country Club for a FHS scholarship as detailed.
C. JFK Gift
I recommend acceptance of a check for $805.00 from the JFK PCC for supplemental supplies as detailed.

VIII. Payment of Bills Dr. Bergen

IX. Payroll Ms. D’Angelo

X. Executive Session
A. Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 30A, §21(a)(3) to discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining with the FEA/RN, FEA/Cafeteria, FEA/ESP, FEA/Secretaries, FEA/Van Drivers as an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining position of the School
Committee and the chair so declares.
B. Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 30A, §21(a)(3) to discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining with the Non-Union Personnel as an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining position of the School Committee and the chair so declares.

XI. Adjournment

File released for the meeting can be found online

Agenda doc

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - July 14, 2020
Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - July 14, 2020

Zooming into the Future, It’s Happening to Us All.

by Pete Fasciano, Executive Director 07/12/2020

The Videophone – Never has a technology been so ignored for so long. One high-tech company after another has tried to enter this seemingly huge unmet market need. Actually, it was met. Many times. Then again, perhaps it wasn’t a need.

The notion of a one-on-one, private video conversation goes back over a century ago.
This depiction about the year 2000 is from a series of illustrations in 1900. This was the year the word ‘television’ was first coined at the Paris Exposition. What do we call the people who use it? Tele-sees? Viseoteers?

The first actual video phone call was a test of long lines technology by the phone company in 1932 between New jersey and New York.

This futuristic video-phone was exactly that – a phone. It had the usual handset to stick their voice into your ear, and a camera/TV to stick their face into your eyes (and vice versa). At $400 a pop in 1960? Umm,-no.

Mind you, this was way back in the rotary dial days. Remember the rotary dial?

One after another company tried – and failed. Why?

Vanity. Simple vanity.

The public wasn’t ready for that intrusion.

Whenever anyone said, “It’s nice to see you.” Steve Allen would reply, “It’s nice to be seen.” While it might be nice to see someone, no none actually wanted to be seen.

“God forbid! My hair! It’s such a mess.”

The videocall – or conference began to gain a bit of traction in the early seventies. (Note that we still have that rotary dial.) Again, vanity played a role. Corporate higher-ups enjoyed that power perk.

Then, two new indispensable devices found their way into our lives: The personal computer and the smartphone (aka, a very personal computer). Add connectivity, and these general-purpose devices could do just about anything. We could process our words, numbers, images – even video. Add software, et voila! Videophone!

Skype, Facetime, Webex, Google Hangouts, Zoom. Now it’s all a simple download. This year was the trigger – the event horizon. Vanities aside, we now needed to connect socially when we could no longer meet and engage in personal interactions. The need finally caught up with the technology.

This week we are installing Zoom capability in Town Chambers. It is one way that these horrific times are making our future a bit better. Having participation in government meetings for those who can’t travel – that’s a win. We are Zooming - into the future.

And – as always – Thank you for listening to wfpr●fm. And, thank you for watching.
Copyright, 2020, FCCA, Inc. & the author. All rights reserved.

Note that we at Franklin TV are holding our own Zoom remote open annual meeting on august 3rd at 7PM. All are welcome to participate and learn about Franklin●TV and Franklin Public Radio, wfpr●fm.

For the full program guide http://franklin.tv/programguide.pdf

DESE: Fall Reopening Frequently Asked Questions, as of July 10, 2020

Department of Elementary & Secondary Education
Fall Reopening Frequently Asked Questions, as of July 10, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions – All Audiences

1. What is the overall goal for K-12 education in academic school year 2020-21?
Our goal is the safe return of as many students as possible to in-person school settings, to maximize learning and address our students’ holistic needs.

2. Why are DESE and the medical community recommending in-person learning?
After weeks of discussion with many stakeholders, including members of our Return-to-School Working Group, infectious disease physicians, pediatricians, and other public health experts, and given low transmission rates of COVID-19 in the state, there is a clear consensus that in-person learning is the preferred model. While remote learning has improved over the course of the school closures, there is no substitute for in-person instruction when it comes to the quality of students’ academic learning. In-person school plays an equally important role in supporting students’ social-emotional needs, including their mental and physical health, and mitigating the impacts of trauma.

3. What safety measures will be in place for students and staff? 
It is important to note that the American Academy of Pediatrics has affirmed that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19. Furthermore, if they become infected, it appears children may not have the same transmission potential as adults. The health and safety requirements for school reopening use a combination of strategies that, taken together, will substantially reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in schools. This combination approach includes masks/face coverings, physical distancing, handwashing/sanitizing, and staying home when sick.

4. What are the guidelines for safe distancing requirements between students?
Medical experts advising DESE have stated the greater the physical distancing the better, but that the minimum acceptable distance is three feet, when in combination with face coverings and other measures. Establishing a minimum physical distance of three feet between students when face coverings are worn is informed by evidence and substantiated by guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization.

5. Who needs to wear a mask or face covering, and when do they have to be worn?
Students in second grade and above, and adults, including educators and staff, are required to wear a mask/face covering that covers their nose and mouth at all times, except for designated breaks, which should occur throughout the day. Breaks should occur when students can be six feet apart and ideally outside or at least with the windows open. Students in kindergarten and grade 1 are strongly encouraged to wear masks or face shields. Masks/face coverings must be worn by everyone on the bus during school bus transportation. Teachers and parents should reinforce mask-wearing.

6. Are there exceptions to wearing masks or face coverings?
Exceptions to mask/face covering requirements must be made for those for whom it is not possible due to medical conditions, disability impact, or other health or safety factors. Face shields may be an option for students with medical or behavioral challenges who are unable to wear masks/face coverings.

7. Can parents send children to school without a mask/face covering if they do not have access to one?
Masks/face coverings should be provided by the student/family, but schools should make available face masks for students who need them.
Superintendent/Principal Frequently Asked Questions

Health and Safety

1. When, if ever, should students and staff be tested for COVID-19? Is there routine testing?
Current Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidance states that anyone who shows any COVID-19 symptoms, even if mild, should be tested. Medical experts recommend close contacts of those who test positive also get tested.

2. What are the health and safety guidelines for teachers?
All adults, including educators and staff, are required to wear a mask/face covering that covers their nose and mouth at all times, except for designated breaks, which should occur throughout the day. Allow adequate space for teachers to ensure safe physical distance from students.

Facilities and Operations

3. Is ten students the maximum number in one class in the fall (as provided in the Initial Summer School Guidance issued on June 4, 2020)?
No, our guidance has evolved since the Initial Summer School Guidance. For the fall, there are no required maximums on cohort or group sizes, so long as schools adhere to physical distancing requirements.

4. How do we measure how many desks can fit into a classroom?
When masks are worn, three feet is the minimum distance allowed from “seat edge” to “seat edge.” Desks should face in the same direction. There is no maximum number for group size, so long as schools adhere to the physical distancing requirements. Six feet of physical distance is required between students who are not wearing face coverings, e.g., when eating or taking a mask break. Please see guidance about unmasked kindergarten and first grade students below.

5. Can students in kindergarten and first grade who are unmasked sit together on the rug?
Students in kindergarten and first grade should be encouraged to wear a mask/face covering, or a face shield if masks are not tolerated. Schools should aim to keep kindergarten and first grade students six feet apart but lesser distances are acceptable (but no less than three feet). This is permissible given the lower susceptibility of the age group. Schools should consider reconfiguring space to discourage prolonged close contact and encourage activities that allow children to spread out. Programs may design their own strategies to implement this recommendation – such as spacing chairs at tables, designing games and group activities where children may engage in play that can be spaced apart (for example, by using visual cues, like hula hoops or tape on the floor), and increasing outdoor time.

6. When students are in the cafeteria or in classrooms or other spaces to eat, what is the space requirement?
During meals, because masks are not worn, six feet of physical distancing is required. To provide adequate distancing, there may need to be multiple meal breaks for smaller cohorts of students or enable some students to eat in the classroom and some in other spaces as feasible (e.g., cafeteria, hallways if permitted, etc.).

7. Do we have to keep classroom windows open?
To increase facility ventilation, we encourage schools to keep classroom windows open, if feasible, as much as possible throughout the school year.

8. Can we use our cafeteria for meals if we provide adequate spacing in lines and at tables?
Students must be six feet apart in the cafeteria or any eating space, as it is assumed that masks/face coverings will not be worn during meals. If the cafeteria cannot provide adequate spacing, consider alternative ways (e.g., stagger meal times, have students eat in classrooms instead of the cafeteria, or use common areas) to promote physical distancing during meals. If serving food in the cafeteria, develop staggered schedules that minimize mixing of cohorts, enforce six feet physical distancing protocols, adjust food preparation and service procedures to minimize shared items, and support compliance with health and safety. It is preferred for those without masks not to sit facing each other.

Models of Learning

9. Do districts need to create three plans or just the plan they intend to start with this fall?
DESE is requiring districts to develop one plan that addresses all three models for learning (in-person, hybrid, and remote) this school year. The plan should prioritize getting as many students back to school in-person safely as possible, following a comprehensive set of health and safety requirements. The plan should also describe how the district would implement a remote learning and hybrid school model (a combination of in-person and remote learning). Across each of these models, the district or school also needs to address how special populations, including students with disabilities and English language learners, will receive necessary services and accommodations.

10. When are school and district plans for reopening due? Will there be a template to submit the plan?
Districts and schools will be required to submit a reopening plan to DESE by July 31 that addresses the three models outlined in the previous question. A template will be distributed the week of July 13.


11. What is a “level service plus” budget?
A “level service plus” budget includes additional funds on top of a district’s projected budget to manage additional costs associated with health and safety preparations. While the FY21 budget is still being developed by the Legislature, the Commonwealth is making additional funding sources available directly to schools and districts to support reopening.

12. What federal funding is available to assist districts and schools?
To date, the following federal grants have been made available to cities and towns for educational expenses related to COVID-19:
a. $193.8M from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund to districts, largely based on the Title I formula
b. A portion of the $502M from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CvRF) already allocated
c. Additional $202M from CvRF ($225 per pupil) to support school reopening, specifically
d. $25M for remote learning technology grants from CvRF and ESSER
Moreover, the Executive Office of Education (EOE) and DESE applied for additional competitive federal grants and are waiting determination.


13. Is DESE mandating changes to school days/calendar changes?
DESE reserves the right to do so, but not at this time. Please move forward with planning accordingly.

14. Will there be changes to assessment requirements (MCAS)?
Not at this time beyond decisions already made. Please move forward with planning accordingly.

15. What should educators and other staff who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 do when the school re-opens?
Educators and other staff who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 will want to consult with their health care providers about whether and under what circumstances a return to in-person school settings would be medically inadvisable.

16. How is the guidance different for private schools?
This guidance applies to all public elementary and secondary schools in Massachusetts, including charter schools. Private, independent, and parochial schools may use DESE documents as a guide.

17. What can a district do to avoid disruptions that occur if parents change their mind about whether their child will attend school remotely or in-person?
Many superintendents have surveyed parents/caregivers about their intention to return to school. It is recommended that districts and parents/caregivers continue to be in close communication. When parents/caregivers communicate early that a child is returning to school, it allows for more thoughtful planning by their child’s school. More information may follow.

18. Should Pre-K classes follow DESE guidance or EEC guidance?
In general, public preschools should follow DESE guidance. However, if public preschools enroll children whose families receive subsidies administered by EEC, they should seek guidance from their EEC regional office.

19. Are school districts responsible for students who are choosing remote learning?
Yes, school districts are responsible for students who are engaging in remote learning. Remote learning models shall include the following requirements: (1) procedures for all students to participate in remote learning, including a system for tracking attendance and participation; (2) remote academic work shall be aligned to state standards; (3) a policy for issuing grades for students’ remote academic work; and (4) teachers and administrators shall regularly communicate with students’ parents and guardians, including providing interpretation and translation services to limited English proficient parents and guardians, consistent with 603 CMR 27.08.

20. What do I do if I have other questions not answered here?
District/school-based personnel may email reopeningk12@mass.gov.

Frequently Asked Questions by Parents

Models of Learning

1. Can parents choose whether to send their children to school or keep them learning remotely?
Parents/caregivers can choose to send their children to in-person school or keep them at home learning remotely. In-school attendance is highly encouraged to promote student academic progress because there is no substitute for the attention and engagement possible with in-person learning.

2. If my child starts the school year remotely can I send them back to in-person learning?
Yes, parents can choose to send their children back to school to in-person learning if they started the year remotely. Parents and school districts are highly encouraged to be in close communication about any changes. When parents/caregivers communicate early that a child is returning to school, it allows for more thoughtful planning by their child’s school. More information may follow.

3. What is the difference between homeschooling and remote learning?
Remote learning means learning provided by the school district that happens outside of the traditional classroom because the student and teacher are separated by distance. Remote learning may be synchronous or asynchronous. Remote learning may include but is not limited to online learning (603 CMR 27.08). Parents may also choose to homeschool their children, a type of private education. For a child of compulsory school age, the homeschooling program must be approved in advance by the superintendent or school committee of the district of residence.

Health and Safety
4. After in-person instruction resumes, does a student need to submit a doctor’s note if they need to be out for personal health reasons?
State law dictates that school committees set local attendance policy. Given the current health crisis, DESE does not recommend requiring a physician’s note for attendance-related purposes for personal health reasons. If the student’s parents/caregivers are seeking home or hospital educational services, the regular home/hospital process (http://www.doe.mass.edu/prs/ta/hhep-qa.html) must be followed, including the completion of the Physician’s Affirmation of Need for Temporary Home or Hospital Education for Medically Necessary Reasons, which requires a physician’s signature. Additional requirements for return will be in place for a student or staff who has tested positive for COVID-19.

5. What is the proper handwashing technique?
When handwashing, individuals should use soap and water to wash all surfaces of their hands for at least 20 seconds, wait for visible lather, rinse thoroughly, and dry with an individual disposable towel.

6. What is the proper hand sanitizing technique?
Hand sanitizer should be applied to all surfaces of the hands and in sufficient quantity that it takes 20 seconds of rubbing hands together for the sanitizer to dry. Hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent ethanol or at least 70 percent isopropanol content can be used.

7. Is hand sanitizing an acceptable replacement for handwashing? Is handwashing (not hand sanitizing) necessary?
While handwashing with soap and water is the best option, alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60 percent ethanol or at least 70 percent isopropanol) may be utilized when handwashing is not available. As has always been the case, hands should be washed whenever hands are visibly soiled and after using the bathroom.

8. What do I do if I have other questions not answered here?
Parents/caregivers may email questions to COVID19K12ParentInfo@mass.gov.

Link to DESE doc

Parmenter school sign for summer 2020
Parmenter school sign for summer 2020

Missed seeing the FHS 2020 graduation? Still time to watch or download

The FHS Class of 2020 graduation, awards, and parade videos are still running on Franklin.TV. You can also download the complete video file for each until July 23.

Franklin All-Access 
Comcast Channel 8; Verizon Channel 26

12:00 PM FHS Graduation 2020
04:00 PM FHS Car Parade 2020

08:00 AM FHS Graduation 2020
03:30 PM FHS Car Parade 2020

07:30 PM FHS Senior Awards 2020

08:30 AM FHS Senior Awards 2020
05:30 PM FHS Graduation 2020

11:00 AM FHS Senior Awards 2020

04:00 PM FHS Graduation 2020


These three programs freely available for Video On Demand

We have recently completed the final release versions of programs for the FHS 2020 Graduation. They will be shown on our cable channels for several weeks according to our weekly schedule. These TV Program files are also available for downloading in high-definition at these links.
Just enter these links into your browser and download/save the files to your computer. These are lengthy TV programs, and downloading may take some time, depending on your internet speed. These programs will remain available for free downloading until July 23rd.

Missed seeing the FHS 2020 graduation? Still time to watch or download
Missed seeing the FHS 2020 graduation? Still time to watch or download

In the News: police reform bill stalls for 3rd day; parents want flag at half-staff Aug 31

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"For the third time in as many days, Senate Republicans prevented debate on a wide-ranging police reform bill, but it appears the Senate could launch into its debate on Monday. 
State Sen. Ryan Fattman, R-Sutton, used a procedural motion to postpone debate - asking that all of the nearly 130 amendments to the bill be printed in the Senate calendar. 
Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, said there is bipartisan agreement on 80% to 90% of the bill, but a section dealing with qualified immunity of law enforcement officers is dividing the Senate. He said a bill that’s less expansive and focuses on areas of agreement is more likely to yield “timely action.” 
Qualified immunity is a doctrine that prohibits civil rights suits against government officials where unconstitutional conduct had not been clearly established as illegal at the time it occurred."
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"Parents who have lost children to opioid overdoses gathered Friday outside the State House to urge the governor to lower flags to half-staff in honor of International Overdose Awareness Day, part of a national push to get all 50 states to bring flags down halfway on the day. 
The Massachusetts-based nonprofit Team Sharing organized the event and works with parents who have lost a child to substance use disorder by providing social networking, grief services, and advocacy. 
“If you ever have gone to a funeral and and watched a mom put her child in the ground, oh, my gosh, you’d do anything for them,” said Marlborough resident Cheryl Juaire, whose son Corey Merrill died in 2011 from an overdose. “He’s sending a clear message that he doesn’t care, and that’s what we’re really upset about. There was not a good enough reason why he couldn’t do it.” 
Baker has focused on reducing opioid overdoses during his time in office and the governor’s office plans to issue a proclamation on Aug. 31 declaring the day as International Overdose Awareness Day but said in a letter Thursday that U.S. Flag Code authorizes only certain, specific reasons for the lowering of the U.S. flag to half-staff."
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