Good morning Franklin families,
January’s weather is feeling a bit like March! 70 degrees and sunny one day and chances of flurries and ice the next. It definitely keeps us on our toes. A few quick reminders as we look ahead at an unsettled weather forecast – note that right now we expect to be in person for school this week. It just looks like we’ll need to keep an eye on the weather day to day:
- Schools have the flexibility to use up to 5 remote learning days for weather or other emergency situations. If we call a remote learning day, students will have online assignments and teachers will provide virtual office hours.
- We announce weather-related decisions in 3 ways: post to WLOS (https://wlos.com/weather/closings); automated phone call, and automated email or text alert.
- We announce as soon as we have sufficient information to make a call. Sometimes that is the night before, which is lovely for all of us. But sometimes we need to make a decision in the morning. We do our best to make this call before our drivers are heading out to get the buses rolling.
- If we have school and you are unable to get your student to school safely, just send an attendance note (email@example.com) We can excuse absences or tardies based on weather.
This week’s call to action for our school community is all about school funding. The General Assembly begins their session this Wednesday. The General Assembly is responsible for determining how much funding public schools receive each year. While we may all have issues near and dear to our hearts – we need to be strongly united around one message: Our elected representatives must invest in our children.
With the theory that a picture is worth a thousand words – let’s start with a graph:
That’s right – North Carolina ranks 48th in funding, behind all neighboring states and significantly behind South Carolina (read the full report here: https://edlawcenter.org/research/making-the-grade-2022.html). Because charter schools receive less funding than district schools, our actual State funding would put us dead last, about $1,000 per student below the figure reported as the State average. Here’s some quick Sunday morning math – no calculator or spreadsheet required:
- If North Carolina funded schools at the same level as Tennessee, Franklin would receive about $1 million in additional funding
- If North Carolina funded schools at the same level as South Carolina, Franklin would receive nearly $3.5 million in additional funding
How could Franklin use xtra funding? For starters, we could fund pay increases for all school teachers and staff, allowing us to be competitive with surrounding states. We could fund additional positions to better meet the needs of students and reduce the workload for existing staff. We could expand transportation, nutrition, and afterschool services – making our school even more accessible for all families. We could ensure that educational opportunities, like international trips, are available to ALL students. These are just a few priorities we have already identified that are not possible under current State funding.
I believethat our educational program far outperforms our funding. But it comes at a cost and it isn’t sustainable. Our elected representatives must take action THIS YEAR to move North Carolina up the ranks of school funding. And we can afford to do this. The State ended last year with a $6+ billion surplus – far more than expected.
What can parents and our community do? We need to take action and be persistent! Our elected representatives work for us. Phone calls, emails, letters and rallies do make a difference! Here are a few talking points to get started:
- North Carolina ended 2022 with over $6 billion surplus
- North Carolina ranks 48th out of 51 (including District of Columbia) in terms of per pupil spending on education – lower than all neighboring states. The State received an “F” in education funding
- Charter Schools receive even less than the amount for other public schools – putting our per pupil funding BELOW all other states
- North Carolina teachers and school employees have endured a 2-decade drop in earnings(National Center for Education Statistics, https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d21/tables/dt21_211.60.asp
You can find contact information for elected representatives, including members of key committees like Appropriations, Education, and Education Appropriation, on this website: https://www.ncleg.gov/. I’ve included contact information for members of the State House and Senate serving Buncombe County below:
16 West Jones Street, Rm. 1019
Raleigh, NC 27601-1096
16 West Jones Street, Rm. 1301
Raleigh, NC 27601-1096
300 N. Salisbury Street, Rm. 504
Raleigh, NC 27603-5925
300 N. Salisbury Street, Rm. 627
Raleigh, NC 27603
16 West Jones Street, Rm. 1025
Raleigh, NC 27601
Want to dig deeper? School funding is complicated! Here are just a couple resources:
- Leandro Case: This is a long-running court case about school funding. In 1994, 5 counties (and families) sued the State for not providing adequate education funding. The case has gone to the State Supreme Court 4 times, including in August 2022, when the Supreme Court again found that the State is underfunding schools. Read more here: https://www.ednc.org/2022-11-04-north-carolina-supreme-court-orders-state-to-transfer-funds-for-leandro-plan/
- State Cap on Special Education Funding: In 1993, North Carolina set a cap on the percent of students who could receive funding for special education services. The cap was originally set at 12.75% and is currently 13%. Schools receive a flat amount of funding per student with an IEP, no matter what services the student needs. That funding is capped at 13% of the student population. Many school districts (including Franklin) are over the 13% cap, meaning that schools must find other funds to meet student needs. Read more here: https://ncpolicywatch.com/2022/10/28/many-nc-school-districts-face-funding-shortages-in-serving-students-with-special-needs/
This Week’s Reason for Optimism
On Friday students from our Poetry class held a Poetry Slam. They are raising money to publish their book of poems. It’s not easy to step up on stage in front of an audience to share original poems! The audience was supportive and students shared courageously. This was the 2nd Annual Poetry Slam at FSI and we hope it will be a long tradition! Want to help them reach their goal and publish their book? Contact Dr. Lora Hawkins (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more!
Don’t Miss Out! Free Resources for Resilience Workshop this Tuesday, 6 pm
Resilience is something that we all have – and it is something that we can tap into by using simple, science-based tools designed to help us breathe easier and de-stress. Resources for Resilience is a North Carolina nonprofit organization whose mission is to share practical, science-based tools designed to build up and support everyone’s resilience. Resources for Resilience works with community members and helping professionals, including first responders, educators, healthcare professionals, and caregivers teaching practical strategies that can be used to manage stress and build resilience in ourselves, in our loved ones, and in the communities we live in.
Join us on Tuesday, January 24th 6-7pm for a Resources for Resilience workshop to better understand how our brains and bodies respond to stress. We will then learn tools designed to help people calm down quickly during times of stress. These tools can be used alone or with someone else to help us reset and build resilience in challenging situations. This workshop is free and open to all members of our FSI community. Please complete this form to register for the workshop. Free childcare will be provided during the workshop, however families must register in advance to ensure we have adequate supervision.
|Subway sandwiches & snacks for sale during lunch
Tues, Jan 24
- 1:30 pm: FSI Tour for Prospective Families – share the sign up form here!
- 6 pm: FREE Resources for Resilience Workshop – in person! Childcare is available, please complete this form to let us know you will be attending
Save the Date!
Franklin Flurries Middle School Dance Feb 4
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
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.
Dental Clinic: March 14
We are pleased to host a free dental clinic again this year on March 14. Permission slips will be coming home soon, or you can sign up online www.MySchoolDentist.com. Enter the zipcode and select our school!
Blood Drives @ FSI
We will host two Blood Drives this spring – mark the dates!
- Friday, 2/17, 9:30-2:30
- Friday, 4/14, 9:30-2:30
FSI will be administering the ACT to all 11th graders on March 7th as part of North Carolina’s required testing program. In February we will be offering an ACT Prep workshop which will be offered on two consecutive Wednesday afternoons. The cost to attend the ACT workshop (both sessions) is $60. If the cost to attend will prevent your student from attending, please reach out to Ms. Tager (email@example.com). You can sign up your student to attend here. The dates and times for the workshop are:
1:30 – 3:30 English
3:45 – 5:15 Math
1:30 -3:30 Science
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, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to offer your assistance. .
Franklin Flurries Dance Feb 4, 5:30 – 7 pm
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. Please note this event is now Middle School Only! Community Council is exploring other high school events.
Parents – Check out the sign up genius link for Franklin Flurries donations. We need concessions, table cloths, and adult chaperones. Thanks! Link- https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040E49ADA62AA13-bolts
Summer Programming at FSI
It may be freezing out there, but we know you all are busy planning out your summers. Last summer we offered an extensive and free summer program. It was a lot of fun AND a LOT of work! This summer with all our construction projects (we need to remove ALL the remaining modular buildings and move into all our new classrooms and gym) – we do not have the capacity to apply for the grant and manage this large program. We will offer credit recovery for high school students and we are exploring whether we can offer other targeted opportunities. We want to let you know now so that you can plan ahead!
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/
Teens, Screens, and Drugs: What to Know & How to Start the Conversation
We are happy to share this terrific resource that includes current and helpful information to guide us in navigating the world of screens and drugs with our students. Below is a link that takes you directly to the one hour conversation between two experts that live in the Asheville area.
In this conversation between Beth Hockman, M.S. and Kriya Lendzion, LCMHC, LCAS, CPS, we explored child and teen screen health, the realities of today’s drug scene, and how to have impactful conversations with your child about these issues. This event occurred on December 7, 2022, at Wrong Way’s River Lodge.
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 email@example.com
Middle school: Jennifer Negron at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com.
COVID & Flu Updates: Masks Encouraged
Buncombe County is now at medium risk for COVID – we’ve been at low risk all year. We encourage students and staff to wear masks, especially if you are at higher risk, are recovering from being ill, or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID, flu, or other illnesses. Masks protect the wearer and those around them. We are also continuing to offer PCR testing 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 want your student to participate in testing – please remind them!
If you are new to Franklin or have not yet provided consent for testing, it’s not too late:
- 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 FRANKLINS1. 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!
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 email@example.com.
Middle School Drama Club
High School Drama Club
Use this QR code to stay clued in on FSI HS Theatre news with our monthly
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)
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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 will miss school: For short-term absences (illness, doctor’s appointments, etc), send an email to email@example.com, 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 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 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Ryan, Science & Social Studies: email@example.com
Chris Pauley, Math & Social Studies: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ashley O’Dell, ELA: email@example.com
Charlie Keller, Math: firstname.lastname@example.org
Samuel “Latt” Berry Foster:, Science: email@example.com
Evan Baptista, Social Studies: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jared Gallow, ELA: email@example.com
Zoe Wallce, Math: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nick Liu, Science: email@example.com
Grace Nyanga, Social Studies: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kyle Wilson, ELA: email@example.com
AJ Jones, Math lead: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rhneea Riddle, Math Specialist: email@example.com
Keith Knox, Social Studies: firstname.lastname@example.org
Makesha Gordon, Science: email@example.com
Lora Hawkins, English I: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jerry Lubos, World History: email@example.com
Liz Baron: Math 1 & 2: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica Bragdon, Earth Science/ AP Earth: email@example.com
Matt Reynolds, Civics: firstname.lastname@example.org
Justina Powell, English 2: email@example.com
Marcel Duhaime, Math 2: firstname.lastname@example.org
Julia Adams, Biology: email@example.com
Bryan Head, English III/AP Lang: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tess Barnes Dunn, American History, AP Research: email@example.com
Teshale Byan, Math 3 & AP Calculus: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Smith, Chemistry, Forensics: email@example.com
Alex Humphrey, English IV & AP Lit:: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lexi Johnson, World History: email@example.com
Teshale Byan, AP Calculus: firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth Joslin, NC Wildlife (Science) & EcoWarriors: email@example.com
Jessica Fine: Pre Calc, Math 4: firstname.lastname@example.org
MS PE: Anne Gillis: email@example.com
HS PE & Athletic Director: Kimberly Burke, firstname.lastname@example.org
MS Art: Jennifer Lipsey Edwards: email@example.com
HS Art: Kati Robbins, firstname.lastname@example.org
MS Tech & Computer Science: Adrienne Fortune, email@example.com
MS Counselor: Jennifer-Raé Negron, firstname.lastname@example.org
HS Theatre, Art of Argument: Julia Wharton, email@example.com
MS Theatre: Chris Martin, firstname.lastname@example.org
MS/HS Music and Orchestra: Sandi Wilson, email@example.com,
French 1: Mackenzie Arnold: firstname.lastname@example.org
French2 & 3 and HS, PE: Chad Gerber, email@example.com
HS Spanish: Hanna Walden, firstname.lastname@example.org
MS & HS Spanish: Heather Kabat, email@example.com
Adventure Ed: Jessica Potter-Bowers, firstname.lastname@example.org