Good morning Franklin families,
Over winter break as I reflected on the year and the many ways the COVID pandemic disrupted and changed schools, I resolved to do a better job of reaching out and engaging our community. While I am bullishly optimistic about our students and their futures, we need to openly acknowledge that working in schools has become harder and more complex. Schools have become the primary safety net for many students and families. As we take on new challenges and opportunities, the support and involvement of our entire community is more important than ever. Periodically, I will use the newsletter to share some of the issues we face and offer ways for parents and community members to help. I’ll do my best to also showcase the reasons why I am so optimistic about our students – working in a school is a privilege and a pleasure that I wouldn’t trade for many other opportunities!
Right before winter break the State released the results of the North Carolina Youth Risk Survey. Every other year middle and high school students across the state respond to the survey, providing student input on a range of issues they face. This survey was conducted in 2021, the 1st post-pandemic data. While there was some good news (a significant drop in reported use of vapes), the increase in depression and suicide ideation was striking. One statistic leapt out:
30% of NC students (and 35% of male students) reported they could get a loaded gun in less than an hour without parent or adult permission.
A few days later the New York Times profiled a study on children and guns, with a startling statistic:
Guns have become the leading cause of death for youth aged 1 – 18 –
higher than illness or car accidents.
This past Friday, a 6 year old student shot a teacher in an incident that is being described as “not accidental”. With many questions remaining, it is shocking that a child as young as 6 had access to a loaded gun and knew how to use it. Within these statistics, it is important to note that school shootings, while horrific and shocking, account for less than 1% of gun-related deaths.
As a country, we are deeply divided about roles and rights related to gun ownership. Yet I believe we have a tremendous amount of common ground around gun safety. We don’t want our children dying from gun violence or accidents. We don’t want our teachers working in fear of their students. We want schools to be sanctuaries where students and adults thrive and find joy in learning.
At the school level we take many measures to promote safety. We work hard to build positive relationships with every student. We have systems for anonymous reporting of concerns (Say Something Anonymous Tip Line). We lock doors, routinely patrol our campus, practice lockdown drills, and consult with local law enforcement about steps we can take to get better. But we can’t control student access to guns. This is where we need our community’s help.
Parents and community members can ensure that students do not have access to loaded guns. If you have guns in your home, make time today to check and double-check that they are secured.
- Guns should be stored unloaded, locked in a gun safe or with a trigger lock.
- Ammunition should be locked in a separate location.
- Do not leave loaded, unlocked guns anywhere (in a vehicle, a shed or barn, under your bed).
The American Academy of Pediatrics has helpful information on their website, including steps for keeping guns safe in your home and tips for preventing suicide.
This week’s reason for my optimism about our youth: On Wednesday I had the opportunity to work with a group of 11th graders as they plan their final project for their Learning Expedition. Our 11th grade Learning Expedition is a fantastic example of what education should look like. Students and teachers dug into a long-term, in-depth study of the housing crisis in Asheville. For their final projects, students are taking action to address the crisis. The students I met with are working on a proposal to help one individual find permanent housing while also collecting and distributing supplies to support many individuals who remain unhoused. They are learning to break down their wildly ambitious goal into achievable steps. This afternoon another 11th grader will be presenting her final project and you are invited to be part of her audience!
11th Grade student, Alyssa Perkins, is presenting her Expedition product this Sunday – a Teach-In about the Asheville Dream Center. Please consider supporting her by attending.
Sunday, January 8, 2023 · 1:00 – 2:00pm
Google Meet joining info: https://meet.google.com/zdd-jeee-hku
Our mission statement includes the following: Our graduates are ready for the future they will create. Working together, we will achieve this mission.
|Subway sandwiches & snacks for sale during lunch
The Subway sandwich sales have been going well! We plan to continue this program into the new year.
Tues, Jan 10
- 4:15 pm: Middle School Basketball vs New Classical Academy
- 6:00 pm: Board of Directors meeting, Big Ben music room
Thurs, Jan 12
- 4:30 pm: HS Basketball @ ICI, 110 Champion Way
- 6:30 pm: Info Session for Prospective Families. Sign up here
Monday, Jan 16: MLK Day – No School
Keep up with all our events on our Community Calendar!
Need to see the 2022-2023 School Calendar in one place? It’s on our website – click here
Black Wall Street AVL Cultural Immersion Trip Jan 14 – 16
FSI Students are invited to join the Black Wall Street AVL Cultural Immersion Trip to Atlanta next weekend! Bruce Waller, mentor to our BSU, has helped set up a fantastic opportunity for students to visit Atlanta, attend the HCBU “Battle of the Bands”, tour the Morris Brown campus, and visit the Black Wall Street Mall. More information and registration is here: https://api.leadconnectorhq.com/widget/form/AYkeYquWIH5ZupHTkh7X. Total cost is $50 per student – all other costs are covered. If cost is a barrier – email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s Open Enrollment! Help us recruit amazing families & students!
Open Enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year runs January 1 – March 31. Did you know that most families choose FSI through word of mouth? You can help us fill every open seat! Follow us on Facebook or Instagram, share our posts, and invite your friends and colleagues to learn more about our school! We offer virtual Info Sessions and in-person tours weekly from now through the end of March.
Open Enrollment is ONLY for students new to FSI. Returning students will fill out re-enrollment in February. Follow these guidelines to be sure you secure a spot for your student:
- Current FSI students (grades 5 – 11): No action needed right now. You will fill out re-enrollment paperwork in February.
- FSI Siblings (new to FSI): If you are applying for a sibling who is not currently enrolled at FSI – you must apply during Open Enrollment. Make sure you let us know that your child is eligible for the sibling priority enrollment.
- Friends, cousins, acquaintances: Remind your friends and acquaintances to apply during Open Enrollment! It’s very easy – just go to our website and click the “Apply Now” button on the orange banner. Applications must be submitted prior to March 31 to be entered in our enrollment lottery.
Volunteer Opportunity: Build a Low Ropes Course
We would love to build a low ropes course! Our Adventure Education class is eager to help with the labor but we need some skills and adult support! Students have selected two elements and we are looking for adults with experience. Contact Jessica Potter-Bowers, email@example.com for more information or to offer your assistance. .
Franklin Flurries Dance Feb 4- Save the Date!
The Community Council is sponsoring the Franklin Flurries school dance, Sat, Feb 4, in the Community Room. Tickets are $8 in advance, sold at lunch Jan 31 – Feb 3 or $10 at the door. DJ, music, photo booth, and concessions. This dance is open to FSI students only.
MS- 5:30- 7:00 pm
HS- 7:30pm- 9:00 pm
Mountain XPress Kids Issue – Deadline Fri, Jan 27
Calling all creative students! It’s time for the Mountain XPress Kids Issue! The theme is “Time Travel: Where would you go and why?” FSI students have been featured in prior years – this is a fun opportunity to show off your creative genius! There is no fee to enter for possible publication and the deadline for submissions is Friday Jan. 27. You can find all the relevant information, including a link to submit entries, on their website: https://mountainx.com/opinion/xpress-seeks-student-writing-art-for-2023-kids-issue/
We are hoping to offer a driver’s ed class this spring and are in conversation with Mountain Pro the company that provides driver’s ed certification in Western North Carolina. Unfortunately, there is a limited number of teachers available. We’ve been working on this for months – we know how important Driver’s Education is!
Students can sign up for classes at the county school where they are zoned to attend unless the information on the Mtn Pro website specifies otherwise. Additional information can be found here. If we are able to schedule a class here at FSI the dates and information on how to sign your student up for the class will be announced in the newsletter.
Jan 26: “Waze to Adult” – Free Virtual Training for EC Students
Exceptional Children students age 12 – 22 are invited to this free virtual training sponsored by ECAC. Learn more here and register online today
FSI School Store is Open!
Get your FSI & Bolts gear and represent your school in style!
Tees, hoodies, scarves and more – check it out! FSI School Apparel Store
FSI Food Pantry
The FSI food pantry will provide supplemental nutrition to families experiencing short or long term financial difficulty and food insecurity. Food bags containing non-perishable items will be distributed Friday afternoons. To request supplemental food assistance, please contact your child’s school counselor. Want to help out? Bring donations of food items to the main office – there’s a bin in the entryway!
High school: Mary Kinsey Hyche at firstname.lastname@example.org
Middle school: Jennifer Negron at email@example.com
You can also complete this google form: Food Pantry Form
Responses to the form are sent to the counselors and all information will be kept confidential.
If you would like to contribute to the food pantry, please contact Matt Speed, Nutrition Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID & Flu Updates
We have seen several cases of COVID in our 1st week back to school, including among school staff. We encourage use of masks for anyone who is especially at risk or worried. PCR testing is offered free of charge weekly on Mondays. Testing for high school students is available from 11:30 – 1 pm in the collaboration space on the first floor of Big Ben. High school students can come on their own during lunch. Testing will then be available in Einstein, Parks, and Johnson for students in grades 5 – 8; nurses will let students know when they are available in each building.If you are new to Franklin or did not provide consent last year, you can sign in to give consent below:
- Parental consent for students under age 18: Click here: https://testcenter.concentricbyginkgo.com/minor-consent
- Student consent – age 18 and up: Click here: https://testcenter.concentricbyginkgo.com/invite-by-code
- Our school access code is FRANKLINSI. You will need this to complete the consent form
- You only need to provide consent once
Middle School News Videos
7th Grade Theatre students are writing, filming, producing, and directing the news Monday and Friday each week. Click on the folder below to see the news each week!
Morning News Videos- 2022-2023–
Basketball games resume this week!
Tues, Jan 10: 4:15 pm: Middle School Basketball vs New Classical Academy\
Thurs, Jan 12, 4:30 pm: HS Basketball @ ICI, 110 Champion Way
Habitat for Humanity Student Group
The Habitat for Humanity Student group will no longer meet during SMART period. The group will meet on Tuesdays during lunch in room #226.
Middle School Creative Writing
The club meets 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month from 3:30 – 4:30 pm, and 2nd and 4th Fridays each month from 3:30 – 4:30 in Ms. O’Dell’s room. Contact Ms. O’Dell for more information (email@example.com)
Math club is open for all our students – ALL GRADES – and it is a great opportunity for students to explore the beauty and application of Math outside their classrooms. Math is a subject full of creativity and opportunity that many students enjoy. Besides the academic benefits, math club is also a great way to meet new people and develop teamwork skills. In the past, our students have had a unique opportunity to compete at regional and national levels. This year, we are planning to participate in some of these competitions. Math club meets on Tuesdays right after school from 3:30-5:00 PM in the New Building room #224. If your child is interested in participating, please fill out this form. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Byan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Middle School Drama Club
MS Drama Club Newsletter – Click Here! Questions about MS Drama club, contact Chris Martin, email@example.com
High School Drama Club
Use this QR code to stay clued in on FSI HS Theatre news with our monthly
FSI High School Theatre Newsletter!
Chess: Do you like to play Chess or do you want to learn?! Join FSI’s Chess Club and learn from our expert instructor, Mr. Bruce Roth. Chess Club meets every Tuesday from 4-5 p.m. The winter semester will begin January 10, 2023, and end April 25, 2023. Students will meet in the Community Room with Beyond the Bell from dismissal until the class begins! All grades and levels are welcome!! The fee is $50/per semester or $100/per year. All checks must be payable to Bruce Roth. For more information, contact Bruce Roth at 828 230 5139 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
BIPOC Student Union (BSU):The BSU offers a safe space for students to share their experiences and to identify ways our school can address specific and systemic racism. Community mentor Bruce Waller is returning to support our BSUs, joining faculty sponsor Keith Knox. BSU is open to all students who identify as People of Color. HS BSU currently meets Fridays at lunch in Dr. Hawkins classroom. MS BSU starting soon.
Film Club! This club is returning from last year and meets alternating Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:45 – 4:45. Email Michaela Mamone-Peeples for more information.
Girls who Code will meet every other Monday after school from 3:15 – 4:30 in Edison 19. Email email@example.com with any questions.
MS GSA (Gender & Sexuality Alliance)
Starting 9/16! MS GSA (gender and sexuality alliance): Middle School GSA meets every Friday 3:15-4:30pm. We welcome everyone and work to empower LGBTQ+ lives. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to join.
HS GSA will begin meeting this Thursday during HS lunch. This will be a kickoff/information gathering meeting. Date/time may be changed based on student schedules and input. For more information, contact MK Hyche, email@example.com, or Justina Powell, firstname.lastname@example.org
High School Studio Art Club
Mondays, Starting September 19, 2022
3:45 – 5:00, Big Ben, first floor Art Room #133
Hosted by Ms. Jen email@example.com
HS Studio Art Club is a place to gather with other creative teens who have a genuine interest in the visual arts. Folks will have a place to chill, work on art, listen to music, have tea, and to inspire and be inspired. The Studio is where friendship, collaboration, feedback, sharing, and support come together to make magic! You do not need to commit to showing up every week. However, advance registration is required to attend as you’re able to. Register here: https://forms.gle/czLbV186Ep7K31gb9
Mountain Bike Team Registration Closes Jan 22
This is a LAST CALL for anyone who would like to join FSI’s Mountain Bike TEAM for 2023. Email Ethan Burns (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information. Registration closes Jan 22.
There will be no more MTB Club events in 2023
Science Olympiad Club
Do you geek out on all things science? Are you a competitive person who needs a medal hanging around your neck to prove your science prowess? This is a science competition against other schools in our area with a potential to move on to state and national levels. Science Olympiad will meet in Room 141 from 3:30-4:15 every Friday. Open to MS and HS students! Contact email@example.com if you have any questions.
Middle School Robotics
Middle School Robotics team meets Thursdays, 3:15pm to 4:00 pm in the Middle School Tech room (Edison 19).
Who do I go to when….
Whether you are new or returning to Franklin, we know you will have questions, and we want to help you find the best person to answer them, quickly and efficiently. We hope this little guide will help you navigate!
I have a question about my child’s grade, an assignment, or something specific to one class: Start with your child – what do they know? Then, the classroom teacher
I’m worried about my child’s overall progress, or progress in multiple classes: Your child’s Crew advisor can help coordinate a team response or meeting
My child seems anxious, sad, or unhappy: Jennifer Negron is our middle school counselor, and Mary Kinsey Hyche is our high school counselor
I think my child is being bullied, or other behavior/discipline concerns: Tony Freeman, Middle School Principal or Peter Tromba High School Principal
My child will miss school: For short-term absences (illness, doctor’s appointments, etc), send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or bring a written note to the front office. Notes must be received within 48 hours of student’s return to school. Longer-term or frequent absences (5 days/quarter) require documentation from a medical care provider.
I’ve contacted a teacher, but the problem isn’t resolved: Your child’s Principal
I think my child may need special education services or accommodations: Paula Dowd, Director of Exceptional Services
My child requires medication during the school day, has a special health need, or has tested positive for COVID: Contact our school nurse, Jessica Perraud
I think we need some support for my child’s challenging behaviors: Jessica Potter-Bowers (JP) or Kara Lacey, Behavior Specialists
I have a question about enrollment, student records or I need a copy of my student’s report card or transcript: Erinn Otten, Director of Student Services
My student needs a chromebook, hotspot, or help with technology: Matt Mikulski, Technology Director
My child has an IEP, and I have questions about the services provided: Your child’s Exceptional Children teacher is your first contact:
- Grade 5: Brittany Davenport
- Grade 6: Tammy Leahy
- Grade 7: Meagan Barnhard
- Grade 8: Donnie Stahlke
- MS Resource Room: Meaghann Denkenberger
- Grade 9: Lindsey Wehrli
- Grade 10: Greg Wingard
- Grade 11: Paul Szumski
- Grade 12: Gretchen Kehrberg
- HS Occupational Course of Study: Kelsey Reid
I have questions about sports: Kim Burke, Athletic Director
I want to know more about after or before-school services: Martha Rutherford, Beyond the Bell Coordinator
I want to know more about your music program: Sandi Wilson, Director of Instrumental and Vocal Ensembles
I am interested in your theatre programs! Chris Martin, MS Theatre teacher/director and Julia Wharton, HS Theatre teacher/director
I have questions about your school bus or student parking: Deeana Bennett, Director of Operations
I am interested in carpooling/ride-sharing: Check out our carpool facebook group (you need to request to join):
I want to know more about college planning, including advanced courses like AP and Dual Enrollment, financial aid, or the college application process: JaneAnne Tager, College & Career Counselor
I have high level concerns or questions about the school, such as a problem that hasn’t been resolved through my principal, an immediate school safety concern, or more general questions about the school’s philosophy, approach, or plans for the future: Michelle Vruwink, Executive Director
Our Teaching Teams for 2022-2023!
Brandie Dallara, ELA & Social Studies: email@example.com
Jennifer Ryan, Science & Social Studies: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Pauley, Math & Social Studies: email@example.com
Ashley O’Dell, ELA: firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlie Keller, Math: email@example.com
Samuel “Latt” Berry Foster:, Science: firstname.lastname@example.org
Evan Baptista, Social Studies: email@example.com
Jared Gallow, ELA: firstname.lastname@example.org
Zoe Wallce, Math: email@example.com
Nick Liu, Science: firstname.lastname@example.org
Grace Nyanga, Social Studies: email@example.com
Kyle Wilson, ELA: firstname.lastname@example.org
AJ Jones, Math lead: email@example.com
Rhneea Riddle, Math Specialist: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keith Knox, Social Studies: email@example.com
Makesha Gordon, Science: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lora Hawkins, English I: email@example.com
Jerry Lubos, World History: firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz Baron: Math 1 & 2: email@example.com
Jessica Bragdon, Earth Science/ AP Earth: firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Reynolds, Civics: email@example.com
Justina Powell, English 2: firstname.lastname@example.org
Marcel Duhaime, Math 2: email@example.com
Julia Adams, Biology: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bryan Head, English III/AP Lang: email@example.com
Tess Barnes Dunn, American History, AP Research: firstname.lastname@example.org
Teshale Byan, Math 3 & AP Calculus: email@example.com
Mary Smith, Chemistry, Forensics: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex Humphrey, English IV & AP Lit:: email@example.com
Lexi Johnson, World History: firstname.lastname@example.org
Teshale Byan, AP Calculus: email@example.com
Elizabeth Joslin, NC Wildlife (Science) & EcoWarriors: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica Fine: Pre Calc, Math 4: email@example.com
MS PE: Anne Gillis: firstname.lastname@example.org
HS PE & Athletic Director: Kimberly Burke, email@example.com
MS Art: Jennifer Lipsey Edwards: firstname.lastname@example.org
HS Art: Kati Robbins, email@example.com
MS Tech & Computer Science: Adrienne Fortune, firstname.lastname@example.org
MS Counselor: Jennifer-Raé Negron, email@example.com
HS Theatre, Art of Argument: Julia Wharton, firstname.lastname@example.org
MS Theatre: Chris Martin, email@example.com
MS/HS Music and Orchestra: Sandi Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org,
French 1: Mackenzie Arnold: email@example.com
French2 & 3 and HS, PE: Chad Gerber, firstname.lastname@example.org
HS Spanish: Hanna Walden, email@example.com
MS & HS Spanish: Heather Kabat, firstname.lastname@example.org
Adventure Ed: Jessica Potter-Bowers, email@example.com