A New Year! Let’s Do It!
Dear Franklin families,
Tomorrow is the big day! As we begin the 2022-2023 school year, I am struck by the feeling of optimism and excitement on campus over the past two weeks. It feels very different from the past two years. Who could forget the beginning of last year – when a massive flood and tornado watch forced us to cancel the very first day of school? But we returned to school the next day under a giant rainbow, creating one of the stories we tell ourselves when things get tough. Or the year prior, when we “returned” to school via Zoom? This year is looking positively rosy by comparison!
Let’s start with some of the good news for this year:
- We finished the 2nd floor on time and on budget, and Big Ben (our new building) is ready to welcome all high school students tomorrow!
- We broke ground Friday on our GYM (oh yeah!) and the new classroom wing – setting us up to bring ALL students into Big Ben for the start of next school year.
- We have a full-time teacher in every classroom who is passionate about education, excited to welcome your students, and filled with great ideas about how to lead Crew, engage students, and create meaningful learning experiences. Yes – we have a teacher for every classroom! And that is a significant accomplishment this year.
- We’ve continued to grow our enrollment throughout the challenges of the COVID pandemic, bringing in great new students and families.
- School will look and feel more “normal” this year, with athletics, extracurriculars, and the opportunity to see more smiling faces – while ensuring that those who want or need to can wear masks comfortably in our classrooms and on our campus.
We also acknowledge that there will be bumps – some pretty big bumps – as we get started this year. Tomorrow will be messy and we want you to be aware as we smooth things out. While we are excited (and a little bit proud) to have a teacher in every classroom, the “Great Resignation” and the crisis in education has hit us just like every other school in our country. Recruiting great new people for our team took extraordinary time and effort this summer, leading to long hours and cutting into time for other summer work. And we’ve faced some unexpected challenges just in the past two weeks! Here are some of the biggies:
- Our internet connection to all our modular buildings crashed! After much investigation, the problem was found and new cables installed. As of Friday evening – connection was restored to all buildings.
- The modular company was delayed a full month in removing the Carver building, slowing our progress on creating a new parking lot to make up for parking lost to construction.
- Two new teachers resigned in the past week, facing unexpected challenges in their own lives and leaving us with gaps to fill.
- PowerSchool – the system we are required to use to enroll students, create student schedules, keep student records, take attendance – all the things – has been DOWN ALL WEEKEND.
- The ovens for our beautiful new kitchen have not yet arrived, so we can look but not touch this lovely gleaming space….sigh.
We know there are big issues with our current student schedules, especially for 9th grade. With PowerSchool down we have been unable to fix the issues. We also know that the car line, especially in the afternoons, is going to be a logistical challenge. We lost a lot of our driveway for construction. I’ve been having carline nightmares for weeks!
So for tomorrow and all this week we ask for your patience and your support. It will be bumpy. There will be hiccups. We have schedules to fix, traffic flow to tweak, new teachers to support, anxious students to comfort, lunches to prepare – all the things that schools do every day.
I’m on the side of optimism. My glass is more than half full. Overcoming challenges is deep in the DNA of The Franklin School of Innovation. We can do hard things! But it’s important to acknowledge that it will be hard and far from perfect. We’ll listen. We’ll adjust. And through it all – we will love your students. We will do everything we can to keep them safe. And we’re glad you are here with us.
A few important reminders and lots of links:
- School starts tomorrow, August 22. Be sure to review our drop-off and pick-up procedures and traffic flow!
- Missed orientation? Here’s a link to the Slide Deck and a recording -Access Passcode: 92#58a7@
- Last minute shopping? Here are our School Supply Lists
- Know someone who isn’t getting our emails? Pass this along and ask them to whitelist our domain (@thefsi.us): How to Whitelist an Email
- Need a carpool? Join our Facebook carpool page
- Missed our prior summer newsletters? You will find them here – please take time to read through these!
- July newsletter
- August newsletter
- August 14 newsletter
Mon, Aug 22: First Day for Students
Wed, Aug 24: Wednesday Release – 12:30 high school, 1:00 middle school. This is our regular Wednesday schedule
Wed, Aug 31: Senior Pictures
Mon, Sept 5: Labor Day – No School
Wed, Sept 8: School Pictures (grades 5 – 11)
Keep up with all our events on our Community Calendar!
Getting Started! What to do about student schedules
We know there are issues! While this is primarily a high school/9th grade issue, there will be some schedule changes and errors across all grades. Here’s what to do tomorrow:
- If you have a schedule – go to the 1st class shown on your schedule
- High school students without schedules: Report to the Loft – 2nd floor of Big Ben overlooking the Community Room. In most cases, this will be students who enrolled recently or students with missing records from their prior schools.
- Middle school students without schedules: Report to the main office in Big Ben
Our first priority is correcting the known schedule issues. We will work with students on schedule change requests as soon as possible. The PowerSchool maintenance this weekend really put us behind!
Middle School Drama Club News!
Welcome to a new school year! See below for important links to auditions for the fall play, drama club schedule, registration link, and the weekly drama club newsletter. We have our first drama club meeting Thursday, August 25th from 3:15-5:00pm in Mr. Martin’s theatre room- O’Keeffe 22. We will have snacks, improv, and a reading of our fall play. Hope to see you there! The audition workshop will be August 30th along with auditions on September 1st at 3:15-5:00pm! Email Chris Martin at email@example.com with any questions about the theatre program at FSI! We’ve got magic to doi!
MS Drama Club Newsletter: Click Here!
Fall Play Audition Flyer: Click Here!
Drama Club Rehearsal Schedule: Click Here!
Registration for Drama Club, Auditioning, or Set Crew: Click Here!
Other clubs will start up soon – Drama Club is ahead of the game!
We are recruiting for substitute teachers! Substitutes truly keep the school running, allowing our teachers to take days off for illness and personal needs. Prior teaching experience and certification are nice but not required. Please send resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beyond the Bell Before & Afterschool Program
Beyond the Bell (BtB) provides early morning care and afterschool programming for both middle and high school students. If you think your student might be using Beyond the Bell – even just once – this school year, head on over to the BtB page on our website for all the details. To register, please complete this form and someone from the BtB team will be in touch. We look forward to welcoming your student to the BtB crew! For more info, contact Martha Rutherford at email@example.com
Parent and community involvement is essential to the ongoing success of any school community. At Franklin, we know that without the support of our families, we cannot be the school we want to be! We ask our families to share their time and talents, with each family contributing four hours (two hour for one-parent households) of volunteer support per month.
Our hope is that you will find volunteering to be rewarding! Getting involved is a great way to meet other members of our school community, and to see first hand what is happening at Franklin. We have many levels of volunteering, from helping plant or weed gardens, to serving on the Board of Directors.
Please complete this survey to let us know how you would like to get involved. Thank you!
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 attendance, 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!
We are excited to have many returning teachers, as well as some new faces for the coming school year! While we are sharing contact information now, please understand that teachers are enjoying their summers, and will not be responding to emails until the school year begins. You will have the opportunity to meet teachers at our Back to School Nights in early September!
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
Carlos Edwards, Science: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lora Hawkins, English I: email@example.com
Jerry Lubos, World History: firstname.lastname@example.org
Taylor Jenkins, 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
Gabrielle “Gabe” Isaac: 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/8th grade 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