Good morning Franklin families,
I hope everyone has had the opportunity to unwind after the anxiety and disruptions of this past week. In an effort to restore confidence and to reduce anxiety, I’ll walk everyone through the series of events that led to the virtual day on Thursday and the return to school on Friday. It’s a winding path. I hope my summary provides clarity.
Last week, Student 1 received a message as part of an online chat. The message said “On October 5 at 8:33 am you will meet your demise.” Taken by itself, this is a concerning statement. In the full context of the online chat, it became clear that it was a poorly worded insult – with the word “demise” suggesting a social rejection or embarrassment.
Student 1 was talking about this message in the hallway. Students 2 and 3 overheard the comment about 8:3 3 am. They headed to their next class where Student 4 overheard them talking about this comment and whether it was a threat.
Student 4 sent a message to several of their friends (Students 5 and 6) asking if they had heard about a threat against the school. Student 5 said “I believe I know who’s saying the threats. But I could be wrong so don’t take my word for it”. Student 5 then named Student X and repeated a rumor that Student X had previously made threatening coments.
The messages were copied and posted in several group chats and within a few hours circulated so widely that even my college daughter, who graduated from FSI three years ago, saw the messages and called me.
During the investigation, Asheville Police visited Student X’s home. They found no evidence that Student X was involved. There is no evidence that this student has made threats. A police detective devoted Thursday to investigating all the rumors. The detective spoke with many students, including Student 4 who first posted the possibility of a threat against the school and Student 5 who identified Student X as the possible source of the threat. Student 4 didn’t know Student X. Student 5 had not heard Student X make threats. None of the students interviewed heard or saw actual threats about someone shooting up the school. In the investigation, we were able to get all the way back to Student 1, who was surprised that their conversation had led to such a disruption.
While we believe that the students involved were acting with good intentions, there was still harm. A student and their family were subjected to the trauma of a police visit. Many students were interviewed by police. Everyone had a day of disrupted learning and work. And everyone added new experiences of fear and anxiety related to school
Solving the issue of school safety is complex but there are steps we have taken to reduce risk. These include physical safety mechanisms like auto-locking doors, controlled entrances and exits, and security cameras. We recently held our first lockdown drill of the year so that students and staff could practice what to do if there was a real threat. We have installed panic buttons and secure communication channels. We contract with a 24/7 anonymous tip line so that potential dangers can be reported and investigated. We also work to get to know students well and build relationships, so that students will turn to adults for help when there is a potential threat.
As parents you can help as well. One really important step is related to gun safety. In this incident, there was no risk of a shooting. But studies show that many children have access to firearms and that the majority of school shootings involve a gun taken from the home, friend, or relative of the shooter. If you have a gun in your home, ensure that it is secure at all times.
- Always assume that your children know that you have a gun and where it is located.
- Store guns in a locked location, unloaded, out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store ammunition in a separate locked location, out of the reach and sight of children.
- Keep the keys and combinations hidden.
- When a gun is not in the lock box, keep it in your line of sight.
- Make sure all guns are equipped with effective, child-resistant gun locks.
How do we move from this incident into Innovation Fest? Innovation Fest is a celebration of our 10th anniversary and an opportunity to imagine together what the next 10 years can bring. We’re asking people to imagine “What If….” So here’s one big What If question.What If we end the fear of school shootings? It’s not an impossible question. Learn more here: https://www.sandyhookpromise.org/blog/gun-violence/facts-about-gun-violence-and-school-shootings/
We need volunteers to help with Innovation Fest! This festival will be an event like no other school in Asheville has put on! There will be a community market and student performances all day, bands, food trucks, student displays and more. We need help with setup, directing parking, helping at the Franklin Informational table and breakdown of the event. Have some time to volunteer? Take a shift! https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0944AAAF2BA0FFCF8-44910249-innovationfest
It was a hard week. Here’s to a more joyful week ahead.
Mon, Oct 9
- 3:30 pm: MS Volleyball vs Francine Delaney @ FSI
- 5:00 pm: HS Volleyball @ Bethel Christian Academy
Tues, Oct 10
- 4:15 pm: MS Flag Football vs The Learning Community @ FSI
- 4:30 pm: MS Volleyball vs the Trailblazers @ FSI
- 4:30 pm: HS Soccer vs IC Imagine @ Buncombe County Sports Park
- 5:30 pm: HS Volleyball vs. the Trailblazers @ FSI
- 6:00 pm: Board of Directors Monthly Meeting @ FSI (music room)
Wed, Oct 11
- 4:30 pm: MS & HS Cross Country @ IC Imagine
Thurs, Oct 12
- 4:00 – 5:30 pm: HS Basketball Open Gym
- 4:30 pm: MS Volleyball @ IC Imagine
- 5:00 pm: HS Volleyball vs Trailblazers @ Biltmore Church Arden Campus
- 6:00 pm: HS Volleyball @ IC Imagine
Fri, Oct 13:
- Dr. Life @ FSI all day – get ready to be inspired!
- 4:00 – 5:30 pm: HS Basketball Open Gym
Sat, Oct 14, noon – 4 pm: Innovation Fest @ FSI! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/innovationfest-tickets-706175950277.
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Bolts were in action in all sports last week. And it was a challenge!
- MS Flag Football: Dropped a close game to New Classical by a TD. Bounced back to tie Francine Delany in an exciting back and forth game.
- HS Soccer: lost a close contest to Mount Pisgah Academy 2-1 and also lost to Veritas. Great goals scored by Donovan Bennett in both matches.
- HS Volleyball: the team lost to Mount Pisgah in a close match 2-3 and to Veritas 0-3. Awesome play by K. Hattaway, A. Hudgins,and E, Phillips
- MS Volleyball: had a super competitive match vs Veritas but lost 0-2. Love the energy of the team!
- HS Cross Country: Had a great showing at the meet at AC Reynolds. The boys team finished 3rd. Well done Bolts!
HS Boys Basketball will hold open gyms on October 12 & 13 from 4:00-5:30 pm.
Must submit required paperwork including sports physical to participate.
Innovation Fest is this Saturday, Oct 14, noon – 4 pm
Celebrating our ten year anniversary with InnovationFest!
This will be an event like no other school in Asheville is hosting. There will be a full market made up of local community vendors and booths from students, staff and our families! Cecilia’s Kitchen, El Querubin, Habib Village, Kona Ice and Buggy Pops will also be here. There will be a photo booth, face painting, tea tasting, live poetry, activity booths, and also departmental displays of our student achievements. We will be joined by Building Bridges, UNETE, the Autism Society of NC, BeLoved House, Mountain Pet Rescue and other local community organizations with avenues of how to get involved in the Asheville area and embody the idea of “What IF?” the future could be.. Live music acts from 9 of our very talented students, a performance by our own Charlie Keller and AG Hammond Band will all be on one of the stages throughout the day. Local Americana-soul music from Whitney Mongé, and latin dance from Grupo Escolta Activado will take place in our Courtyard. There will be a special dance performance by LaKai at 2pm, then at 2:30pm inspirational speaker Dr. Life. will join us to talk What IF? and how we can grow and build as a community as we look towards the future. Invite your friends and family – this is open to the wider public and will be a really fun event! Tickets are recommended to help us track attendance, but they are free! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/innovationfest-tickets-706175950277
Need volunteer hours? We need volunteers for InnovationFest! Help set up/ breakdown direct traffic, or be a representative for FSI. Sign up for a spot today – Class Parents: InnovationFest Volunteers (signupgenius.com)
Get Involved: Parent Crew Updates
The second Parent Crew meeting of the school year will be held on Tuesday, October 17 from 6:00 pm-7:00 pm at The Franklin School of Innovation. We would like to invite you to attend. Michele Vruwink, School Director, will join us to lead a discussion on the Parent Engagement Policy. In addition, we will discuss upcoming events and holiday staff gifts. Please join us in supporting the school.
If you are unable to attend in person, please feel free to join virtually:
Parent Crew Meeting at Franklin
Tuesday, October 17 · 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Video call link: https://meet.google.com/nax-hmnk-mwf
Or dial: (US) +1 262-885-7037 PIN: 398 948 155#
The FSI Parent Crew Gala committee is out in the community now looking for businesses large and small to donate goods, services, or items of all kinds to our annual auction. If you represent a business or are friendly with one that might be interested, please see the forms included attached to the newsletter & let us know at email@example.com if we can count on you or if you have any questions! All proceeds from the event directly benefit the school. All items or monetary donations from businesses are welcome (some ideas: art, jewelry, restaurant gift cards, professional services from salons to tattoo studios to law offices, crafts, vacation stays, etc). Save the date for March 2nd at The Mule–gala tickets on sale in December!
Here’s how to participate in the auction:
Join our School Improvement Team!
We are looking for volunteers to join the School Improvement Team (SIT). The SIT meets 4 – 5 times each year to provide input on ways to improve student growth and achievement at FSI. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining! Prior experience is not required.
Dine Out at Mod! October 26
The Franklin School of Innovation Parent Crew will receive 20% of
fundraiser sales if you eat at Mod on Merrimon Avenue on October 26, 2023. To participate, all you have to do is order online using the code MODGIVES20 or by visiting the Merrimon Avenue Mod Location and mention the Fundraiser at Checkout. Funds collected will be used towards Parent Crew events, staff appreciation and staff needs.
Pulsera Project- an FSI service project
In celebration of Hispanic/LatinX History Month, and as part of Innovation Fest, FSI’s Spanish department is partnering with the Pulsera Project. to sell bracelets and bags to raise money for artists and education in Latin America. These free trade bracelets and bags will be sold during lunch all week and at Innovation Fest.
Mobile Dental Clinic will Return
We had such a great response to the Mobile Dental Clinic that the dentist ran out of time! If your student was registered and was not seen by the dentist on Friday, the dentist clinic will return to FSI. We will work with the clinic to ensure that all students are treated.
Teen Cuisine Class through Asheville Parks & Rec
Do you have (or are you) a teen who wants to learn to cook? Asheville Parks & Rec has a fun class for teens ages 13 – 18. You must pre-register and classes are $10 each session. Learn more & register here: https://web1.myvscloud.com/wbwsc/ncashevillewt.wsc/iteminfo.html?Module=AR&FMID=54172563
Seeking Mentors for our Seniors!
As part of our Senior Passages program, students are required to engage in a mentorship, internship, or workplace experience. We are currently seeking professional community members willing to host a student for a minimum of 24 hours, offering valuable insights and skill development opportunities specific to their respective fields. We kindly ask mentors to complete both an agreement form and an evaluation form at the conclusion of their 24-hour commitment. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please reach out to JaneAnne Tager: email@example.com
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
Open Mic @ Doc Browns! Oct 30, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Calling all musicians, for a Halloween open mic!
That’s right! Open mics are back. Join us for our first open mic at Doc Brown’s BBQ Monday, October 30 5:30 to 7:30pm. Come in costume and celebrate the holiday with us musically and with a lot of GREAT food. Anyone is welcome to perform all you have to do is show up! We would love to have as many people perform as possible! Also, Doc Brown’s is generously donating 10% of all proceeds during the time we are there to our music department. Please reach out to Sandi Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. We look forward to seeing you there!
New! Lacrosse in Beyond the Bell
We are excited to bring this opportunity to FSI! Please click here to learn more and sign up for the chance to learn/play lacrosse on Wednesday afternoons as part of our Beyond the Bell program. Questions? Contact Ron Scott, email@example.com. Learn more/sign up here: Lacrosse Sign Up
Fall School Picture Day
SMILE! – Underclassman and Senior Pictures will be on October 17th and Make-up pictures will be on November 13th.
Student Clubs – Get Involved!
Clubs open to all grades
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Math Club meets: Tuesdays from 3:30 – 5:00 PM room #224. (Starts mid-October)
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!
Faculty Advisor: Jessica Bragdon, email@example.com if you have any questions.
Meeting Information: Room 272 from 3:30-4:15 every other Friday. Next meeting Fri, Sept 22 will meet MS at base of stairs to take them upstairs
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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, email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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, email@example.com 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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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, email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
Meeting Information: Thursdays 3:20-4:30 in room 163 (Interest meeting Thursday, 8/31 at 3:25 – 4:15 pm)
High School Clubs
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, email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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, email@example.com
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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