Dear Franklin families,
I hope your summer is off to a great start! Things have been in constant motion here on campus since the students left. Several modular classroom buildings have already been removed and work crews are taking down the other buildings. We expect all modular buildings will be gone by the end of June or early July. We are thrilled that all of the buildings along with nearly all the furnishings, deckings, and almost everything that can be salvaged has been donated to community organizations or schools for continued use.
Our year-round staff members have also been in constant motion and we’ll be on the move all summer getting ready to welcome everyone back to a dramatically different campus in August. We want to keep everyone in the loop with summer hours, access to campus, and a few other important items.
First, report cards will be sent out this week, by email and hard copies. If your student took an End of Grade or End of Course exam, their individual score reports will be included with the mailed report card. As you review these reports, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:
- Students were tested against standards put in place before the COVID pandemic disruption. Every state has seen a decline in student scores on standardized tests. This does not mean that our students are less intelligent or less resilient. It simply means that they have had to endure massive disruptions in their school experience. Returning to “normal” scores is perhaps a false goal, but even if that is our goal, it will take time.
- The State assigns three different categories for student scores. Students can receive a ranking of “College and Career Ready”, “Grade Level Proficient”, or “Not Proficient”. Often the difference between these categories is very small – the result of a few missed questions. We have many graduates who have gone on to college who were labeled “not proficient” on one or more of their standardized tests. While the standardized tests provide us with important information about what students know and can do on a specific date in time, by themselves they are not an accurate predictor of future college readiness or success. We hope you will talk with your students about the importance of grades, especially for our rising 9th graders. Grades are much stronger predictions of college success and play a much larger role in access to college than standardized tests do.
- Although we do not have final results for our school overall, we know that our scores in middle school reading and math have not yet returned to pre-COVID levels. However, scores for the final level of standardized testing (Math 3, English 2, and ACT scores) have actually exceeded pre-COVID scores. We believe this is evidence that our EL Education model and the exceptional faculty and staff at Franklin are a winning combination for our students. And of course – these scores are evidence that our students are persisting and achieving at high levels. Well done!
Second, let’s talk about summer hours at school. If you need to stop by this summer, it’s going to be a bit different week to week! Here’s the best information we can provide:
- Summer Office Hours: Monday – Thursday, 9 am to 3 pm.
- The School Office will be closed the week of July 3.
- You may need to call the office in order to gain access to the building. Currently, you can get to the main front door. In a few weeks the road will be under construction and there will be no access through the main office. Just call the office when you arrive – 828-3180-8140 and we’ll help you find your way in!
Finally, we understand that people are eager for information about logistics like the lunch program, bus routes, and even drop off and pick up procedures. You are probably also eager to see inside our new building! We respectfully request patience as we make the final push to complete the construction progress. We are working on all these things, but orchestrating the removal of the modular buildings needed to be our top priority for early summer.
- We are significantly expanding our nutrition program for the coming year. We will continue to provide free and reduced price breakfast and lunch for all eligible students. We are expanding to provide a paid breakfast and lunch option for any student. More information will be provided late summer.
- We will have a new online payment system for all school fees, including the annual consumable fee, athletics, tickets for events, and lunch. The system is called MySchoolBucks and we are working with the vendor to have it ready for use by August.
- We collected requests for bus ridership as part of the enrollment/re-enrollment process. We know that we have more demand than spots available on the buses right now. Per school policy, priority is given for low-wealth families and based on necessity for transportation. We will have more information about the bus routes, spaces, and the waiting list next month. Our hope is that we will be able to accommodate all riders but we expect that we will have a waiting list for buses at the beginning of the year. Many students use the bus on a part-time basis and it takes a little time to work through all the schedules. We are actively hiring for bus drivers! Reach out to Steve Chandler (email@example.com) if you are interested in becoming a driver.
- We cannot offer tours of our campus yet. We are still an active construction site.
- Meet the Teachers! Thursday, August 17, 3 – 5 pm: This will be an opportunity to see classrooms and say hello to our faculty members. Our parent Crew is planning some summer get-togethers, so stay tuned for more information!
- Meet & Greet, July 23, 1 pm, Buncombe County Sports Park: Come meet other incoming 5th and rising 6th grade families! Our Parent Crew is organizing this event as an easy way to come meet other FSI families.
While summer is always a surprisingly busy time, this summer is exceptional. But we are also taking time to get away, recharge, and renew before the coming school year. This is also an important part of our summer “work”!
We’ll send updates periodically throughout the summer and we’ll post info to our website as well. You can always check the website if you miss an email!