Good morning Franklin families,
With the end of Quarter 1, we’re checking to see how students are doing and how many of our students are on track toward high school graduation. Research shows that three main things predict whether a student will graduate from high school – attendance, behavior, and grades (especially in math and ELA). Looking at our students, the highest level of risk in our school is attendance. Nearly 40% of our students are currently considered high risk because they are chronically absent, having missed 10% or more of the school days so far this year.
The rate of chronic absenteeism across the country has increased dramatically since the COVID pandemic and that is true in our school as well. Absenteeism has more than doubled post-pandemic. There are times when students truly need to miss school due to illness or appointments that cannot be scheduled during school. But attendance has also dropped for other reasons, including a change in attitudes toward the importance of being in school every day. This makes sense – many adults are working remotely now at least part time. But research is clear. Absences, even excused absences, have a strong negative impact on student success.
We’re closely tracking attendance this year and testing different approaches to improve it. You can help! We all have the same goal – helping students succeed in school. When we reach out about absences, we’re reaching out to help, not to blame. Keep track of your student’s attendance. When possible, schedule appointments outside of school time. Plan family trips during school breaks. If your student is missing lots of school due to minor illnesses like sore throats or headaches, dig a little deeper to see if there’s something else going on. And reach out if you are having a hard time getting your student to school. We can work together on a plan for their success. I’ve attached two handouts from Attendance Works, a national nonprofit dedicated to improving school attendance and helping every student succeed. Just knowing how much attendance matters can make a difference!
Monday is school picture day for students in all grade levels (including seniors). Please be sure your student shows up ready for their photo, whatever that looks like for your family. Order forms were distributed to teachers. If you didn’t receive an order form – we will be sending information with students on how to order online. Ask your student Monday to be sure you receive the online order information!
We have had a few issues with skateboards on campus. We are not anti-skateboard – we’re excited to have a new student-organized skate club! However, if students bring skateboards to school, the skateboards must be turned in at the main office. Students participating in skate club can leave their skateboards with Mr. Stahlke. We will store them securely during the day.
Head to Doc Brown’s tomorrow night for the first Open Mic night of this school year! Thank you to Doc Brown for hosting this fun event. Everyone welcome! Come in costume for an extra bit of fun. On Tuesday, students are invited to wear school-appropriate Halloween costumes (no weapons, no cultural appropriation, no masks in the classrooms). Middle school students and staff are invited to join the Halloween Costume Contest first thing in the morning, up to 8:10 am. Just come to the main entrance! Masks are fine for the contest but not allowed in the classrooms.
Let’s make it a great week! Thanks for choosing FSI and helping us make it a great school.
Mon, Oct 30: Picture Day – all grade levels
- 5:30 – 7:30 pm: Open Mic @ Doc Browns! Come in costume & take the stage or be a fan! 10% of proceeds will be donated to support our music program.
Tues, Oct 31
- 7:45 – 8:10 am: Middle School Halloween Costume Contest. Come to main entrance (under the awning).
Thurs, Nov 2
- 4:15 pm: MS Flag Football @ Evergreen
Fri, Nov 3: Pizza Friday (pizza sales during all lunch periods
Keep up with all our events!
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This week is our last MS Flag Football game at Evergreen. Winter sports are getting underway! MS Basketball Try-Outs for boys and girls grades 5-8 will be held on Monday, November 6 and Tuesday, November 7 from 3:45-5:15pm. Must attend both days to be considered for the teams. All required paperwork must be submitted.
FSI High Boltage Theatre Presents “Hearts Like Planets” Nov 17 & 18
Don’t miss this new play that orbits all around and through what it is to be human. Through an entertainingly cosmic mix of genres (Noir, drama, comedy, crime-fighting), the show illustrates how love, good and bad choices, big risks, and new beginnings define our species.
When: November 17 and 18 at 7:00 pm
Where: The Kittredge Theatre at Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, NC
General Admission Tickets – $10 each online* or at the door. Online sales will begin by Nov. 3rd. The link will be on the FSI website and emailed to students. This show is suitable for ages 8 and up.
*Please note that online sales will close on Friday, Nov. 17th at noon.
Middle School Theatre Auditions
Middle school students! Ms. Lexa will be holding auditions for Help Desk, a one-act comedy on Tuesday November 7th and Thursday November 9th from 3:30-4:30. Students only need to attend one day of auditions.
Rehearsals for the production will take place primarily on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school and the play will be performed in early March. All middle school students are welcome to attend! Put your name on the sign-up sheet in Ms. Lexa’s room if you would like to attend.
College application season has begun. We had 8 seniors apply early action (by October 15th) to UNC-Chapel Hill! Well done Seniors! The next big deadline day is November 1. Special thanks to Ms. Humphrey, Mr. Head, and many other teachers for assisting students with college essays.
The FAFSA ( Federal Application for Student Aid) does not open until sometime in mid to late December this year. This is because the federal government mandated the simplification of the process starting in 2023, but the implementation of this process will not be ready until the end of the year. Because of this situation, many colleges are coming up with their own form that students can access through the institutions’ websites. Colleges will notify applicants if they develop an alternative application. FSI is hosting a FAFSA information session on November 9th from 6:00 until 7:00.
There are several college open houses coming up and the dates (with web links)
are listed below:
Registration for dual enrollment for the spring semester opened on October 23rd. Dual enrollment allows juniors and seniors to earn college credit while in high school. Most of these classes are online and asynchronous. To learn more about the CCP program (College and Career Promise) and eligibility requirements, click on this link to take you to the AB Tech website. If you have additional questions, please email JaneAnne Tager.
Our pizza sales have changed this year. Pizza Fridays are a fundraiser for our athletic program. Due to scheduling issues, pizza sales are only on “B” days (based on the high school schedule). For the rest of this calendar year – we will have Pizza Fridays on the following dates:
- Nov 3
- Dec 1
- Dec 15
New Skate Club!
We are excited to announce a new student-organized club – the Skate Club! The club will meet Thursdays, 3:30 – 4:30 pm, in room 161. Faculty sponsors are Mr. Abbot and Mr. Stahlke. Students must bring their own skateboards. Helmets and shoes are required, other safety gear is encouraged. Skateboards must be stored in the school office during school! Students should bring their skateboards to the office when they arrive in the morning. Permission slips required
New Banned Book Club!
We have another new student-organized club, the Banned Book Club! Open to all high schoolers and staff – the club will meet Wednesdays at 1:05 in Dr. Hawkins room. Come discuss your favorite banned book!
Math club started last week! Led by high school math teacher Teshale Byan, math club is open to students in all grades. Math Club meets Tuesdays from 3:30 – 5:00 pm in Mr. Byan’s room.
Science Olympiad is looking for more members! We have middle and high school teams and the club meets every Friday after school until 4:15 in Ms. Bragdon’s room. You can still join! The list of all clubs is shared at the bottom of the newsletter.
MANNA Packs for Kids
MANNA Packs for Kids is a take-home food program that provides a weekly bag of food to students. Bags will contain items such as proteins, fruits, vegetables, snacks and/or breakfast items.The “MANNA Packs for Kids” program’s mission is to serve those families with children who are experiencing economic difficulty and could use assistance in providing food when school meals are not an option. To join the program, please fill out the Manna Packs google form here.
Buy Your Yearbook Today!
Our Yearbook Class is hard at work designing our school yearbook! Order yours now for the best prices:
Current sale: $50 until Nov. 10
Next Sale: $55 from Nov. 11- Jan. 26th
Final Sale: $60 from Jan. 27-May 26th
And here is the link:
College Corner: FAFSA Workshop, Nov 9
FSI will be hosting an FAFSA info session on November 9th from 6-7.
A representative from the A-B Tech Financial Aid Office will discuss the many major changes to the FAFSA for the 2024-2025 academic year. There will be an opportunity for questions, and families will also be able to receive assistance with the FAFSA at A-B Tech after the application opens in December 2023
Drivers’ Ed Class – Register Today!
A driver’s ed class has been scheduled. The classes will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning at the end of November and finishing the third week of January. The class will begin at 3:45 and end at 6:45. Students must be present for all 10 classes in order to pass the class. Registration is through Mountain Professionals Driving School. Use this link to register: https://www.mtnpro.com/school-classes
Student Clubs – Get Involved!
Clubs open to all grades
New! Skate Club: Come meet other skaters, learn new tricks, and share your love of this growing sport! Thursdays, 3:30 – 4:30 pm, in room 161. Students must bring their own skateboards. Helmets and shoes are required, other safety gear is encouraged.
Faculty advisors: Mr. Abbot and Mr. Stahlke.
Skate Club meets: Thursdays, 3:30 – 4:30 pm, room 161
Math Club – 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–not to mention, our snack pantries are always full. Students also get the opportunity to participate in local, regional, and national math competitions.
Faculty Advisor: Teshale Byan – email@example.com
Math Club meets: Tuesdays from 3:30 – 5:00 PM room #224.
Outdoor Club – The outdoor club learns and practices outdoor skills for camping, hiking, fishing and exploring. We meet after school to plan trips and practice skills, and head out about one weekend a month for adventures.
Outdoor Club meets: Tuesdays from 3:45 – 4:45 PM, Adventure Ed – room 272 Started 8/29
Science Olympiad – Do you geek out on all things science? Are you a competitive person who wants a medal hanging around your neck to prove science prowess? This is a science competition against other area schools, with a potential to move on to state and national levels! We are still looking for more team members! It’s not too late to join.
Faculty Advisor: Jessica Bragdon, firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Meeting Information: Room 272 afterschool every Friday until 4:15.
Girls Who Code – Girls Who Code is on a mission to close the gender gap in technology and to change the image of what a programmer looks like and does. We work on personal coding projects and learn skills together.
Meeting Information: Every other Monday in room 163 3:15 – 4:15 pm Starts 9/11
Mountain Biking – Grades 6 -12 – Members learn mountain biking skills and gain community among others who also enjoy this sport! Contact the advisor for more information.
Advisor: Bevin McGahey, email@example.com
Meeting Information: Practices start in November and compete mostly in the spring.
Chess Club – All levels and grades are welcome! Looking for a great way to strengthen your focus and elevate your creativity? Join the Chess Club! We meet once a week to learn the finer points of the game, and to practice strategy and concentration. Club members have the opportunity to participate in a variety of local tournaments. Cost for this club is $50 a semester.
Advisor: Bruce Roth, firstname.lastname@example.org
Meeting Information: We meet Tuesdays 4:00- 5:00 pm Starts Sept 12th
Film Club – This allows students to grow confidence in their ideas while facing an audience, feeling comfortable in their own skin and to showcase art without fear of backlash or bigotry.
Student Advisor: Michaela Mamone-Peeples email@example.com
Meeting Information: Held in Ms. Julia Adam’s room every other Thursday 345 – 445 pm starting 8/31
Middle School Clubs
New! Majorette Dance Club – Do you like to dance? Want to learn more about Majorette Dance? This is an informal student club that will meet during 6th grade recess on Fridays, beginning October 6. We’ll meet in Room 163.
Faculty Advisors: Michelle Vruwink, firstname.lastname@example.org and nurse Courtney Kozloski.
Meeting information: Fridays during 6th grade recess, Room 163
MS Creative Writing Club – Are you a fan of writing, reading and sharing books you love with others? Then the MS Creative Writing Club is the place for you! Students are challenged weekly with new ideas to help enhance and support their love of writing. Using prompts, journalling and group collaboration, students will have the opportunity to write for poetry and prose competitions, individual work or collaborative pieces for classes. Bring your journal and join the fun! KOTLC fans will find that there are often discussions about the awesomeness of Shannon Messenger’s book series during club time!
Faculty Advisor: Ashley O’Dell, email@example.com
Meeting Information: Starts September 8th – Meets alternating Mondays and Fridays
MS Drama Club – Are you interested in theatre? Do you love to act? Do you want a way to get to know other students while having a lot of fun with drama? Well, Drama Club may be the club for you!
Faculty Advisor: Elizabeth Lexa, firstname.lastname@example.org
Meeting Information: Starts Sept 19th – Oct. 24th Meets Tuesdays 3:30 – 4:30 pm
Middle School Gay-Straight Alliance (MS GSA) (gender and sexuality alliance) –
We welcome everyone and work to empower LGBTQ+ lives.
Faculty Advisors: Ms. Wallace and Riddle at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Meeting Information: Middle School GSA begins meeting Wednesday 8/30 during lunch room 142 – Meets Wednesdays 11:15-11:55 room 142
Robotics Team – The robotics team is for students in grades 5-8. Students will compete in a competition to showcase their robotics and problem solving skills.
Faculty Advisor: Brittany Davenport, email@example.com
Meeting Information: Thursdays 3:20-4:30 in room 163 (Interest meeting Thursday, 8/31 at 3:25 – 4:15 pm)
High School Clubs
New! Banned Books Club: Open to all high schoolers and staff – the club will meet Wednesdays at 1:05 in Dr. Hawkins room. Come discuss your favorite banned books!
TEDxYouth @FSI – TEDxYouth is an opportunity for students to truly be leaders in their own learning. From selecting the theme to finding speakers and running the actual event, this is a youth-led event through and through.
Faculty Advisor: Lora Hawkins, firstname.lastname@example.org
Meeting Information: Meets monthly until January, and then we meet weekly (or a bit more often) until the conference in March. Room 269. Starts end of Q1, auditions in November
High School Genders and Sexualities Alliances (HS GSA) – This student-run club, supported by faculty members, meets weekly. The club’s purpose is to provide a safe space for students to discuss LGBTQ+ issues, both personally and within the larger societal context. In addition, students will have a space to educate and advocate to their wider community.
Faculty Advisor: Mary Kinsey Hyche at email@example.com
High School Drama Club (High Boltage Theatre) – In this club we work on a theatre production! You will either be either on stage or backstage, and it is such a unique opportunity to be creative, build strong friendships, and develop new skills all while having big fun. This year, we plan to perform our fall and spring plays in the theatre at Warren Wilson. We’ll get to be on a real stage and work with some college theatre tech students! In addition to the two full length productions, we are plotting a couple of other fun projects/activities. You don’t need experience to get involved!
Faculty Advisor: Julie Wharton, Jwharton@thefsi.us
HS Drama Club meets: meets two days a week during rehearsals – dates TBD by members – generally Mon, Tues, or Thurs from 3:45 – 6:45.
Habitat for Humanity Leadership – This club fundraises to support a Habitat for Humanity Student build. 5 area high schools sponsor and build a Habitat House every other year.
Faculty Advisor: Mary Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org
Meeting Information: Likely Room 226, Tuesdays at lunch starting in September
Arts Quarterly – The Arts Quarterly is open to high school students wanting to make a zine style publication that is published quarterly, all grade level work is considered. The Zine will feature upcoming events throughout the quarter and exceptional student art and writing work.
Faculty Advisor: Micah Usher, email@example.com
Meeting Information: Once a week for a month before each quarter or as needed, room 144
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! Click here to access the guide: Who do I go to when…
Need to contact a teacher? Find them quickly with this link to our Teaching Teams for 2023-2024