Franklin e-Newsletter

Friday, March 1, 2019

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New Fax Number: (319) 558-2640

Spring Break: March 18-22

Winter Weather Adjustments

This winter has been one of the worst in recent memory in terms of how school has been impacted with late starts, early dismissals, and school cancellations. We appreciate your flexibility as we work through this. You should have received communication on how adjustments have been made to our building calendar. Please see the notes below for the adjustments as of March 1.

  • Fridays will now be a 2:50 dismissal through Friday, May 17
  • We WILL have school on Friday, April 19 (This was originally marked as a no-school day)
  • The last day of school is currently scheduled for Wednesday, June 5

8th Graders: K-Navigator

We will be working on placing Education Plans in Kuder Navigator with our 8th grade students. You should be expecting to see your child's plan coming home in paper form next week, or can view the plan on their personal Kuder navigator account. If you can please review and sign your child's plan and have them return it to the counseling office by March 15. Thank you so much for all your help as we assist your child for their high school journey.

Contacting Attendance Office

If you need to call the Attendance Office to report an absence, and nobody answers, please leave a voicemail. We receive a lot of phone calls in the morning and begin processing the voicemail once the day begins. If needed, we will get back to you.

Future Cities: National Competition in Washington, D.C.

The 8th grade Future City Team of Sandy Point made up of Merideth Langton, Jaedyn Toman and Kathryn Zylstra had the amazing opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. and attend the National Future City competition during the week of February 16- February 20th The group also included their teacher, Deb Siebenga and their engineer mentor, Paul Salamon. They were joined by parents and grandparents of the girls. This article highlights each day’s events and the Franklin team’s participation in each of them.
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Saturday, February 16th- On Our Way! The team left the Cedar Rapids Airport at 8:30 AM and traveled through Detroit, Michigan and then onto to Washington, D.C. The team arrived at their hotel in the afternoon and then attended the Welcome Party in the ballroom at the hotel. The team played many team oriented games while enjoying an amazing pizza supper! Our favorite game was the one where we had to put as many balloons as we could in a pair of panty hose! I have included a few photos of that one!

Sunday, February 17th- Interview Day. The team was interviewed by twenty sets of judges for numerous “Special Awards.” It was an intense interview process with no breaks between the judges. Awards were things such as: Best Model for the Aging, Best Moving Parts, Agricultural Awards, Pollution Control Awards, etc. Each judge had different questions that all needed to be answered in an articulate manner. We met the challenge and time after time offered well organized answers that were all put together on-the-spot. The girls gained great confidence in “impromptu” speaking and by the end were welcoming the challenging questions the judges had to offer.

Monday, February 18th-Showing Our Stuff! Today was the day for our team to show our “stuff!” We presented our model and presentation to two sets of judges. The judges really liked our model and asked lots of great questions. We finished feeling very proud of all of our hard work! The afternoon was a lengthy bus tour of many of the main points of interest in Washington, D.C. We toured the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, and the Vietnam Memorial. The tour guide on our bus was very good and provide a lot of information and detail about he sites. We were able to get off the bus and walk up to and around the sites! We had had the opportunity to see some protesters outside the White House exercising their freedom of speech!

Tuesday, February 19th- Our final day in D.C. We started the day with the Parade of States and proudly carried the Iowa flag and our own sigh across the front of the stage! The emcees then announced all the special awards. We were so happy and honored to be awarded the “Best Community Transportation Award.” We got to go to the front of the stage and be recognized with certificates and a gift card! We were so proud of our award! Later that day, we did some more touring. Some of us went to the Museum of Natural History, some went to the Air and Space Museum and some of went to the Ford Theater where President Lincoln was shot. Finally, that night the Future City folks hosted an amazing good-bye party! There was face painting, tattooing, lots of great food to eat—including ice cream sundaes, caricature drawing, and lots of great music and dancing! Mr. Salamon even had his face painted like a rock star! The teachers, parents, mentors and students all took part in joining in the dancing! It was an outstanding memory for all of us!

Wednesday, February 20th- Heading home. We had some difficulty getting home. It was a snowy day in Washington, D.C. and was the government shut down. They are not as “tough” in D.C as we are in Iowa. There was only a few inches of snow! Our 11:00 flight did not leave the airport until close to 2:00 pm because the plane needed to be deiced a couple of times. I believe I finished a book and the team watched an entire movie. We then missed our 4:00 PM connection in Atlanta, GA and did not end up leaving Atlanta until close to midnight. We exercised our patience when the 9:40 PM flight became the 10:40 PM flight and the 10:40 PM flight became the 11:40 PM flight, and finally the 11:40 PM flight became the 11:40 PM flight. The team, being the outstanding team that they are, did not complain once! They were positive and kind in some stressful circumstances! I was so proud of the team! Finally, about 1:30 AM we were back in Cedar Rapids safe and sound. Our adventures were over, but the memories will live on forever!


MathCounts is a nationwide competition that students in grades 6-8 compete against others and alongside their peers solving problems that are at a high level of math. Franklin begins “training” for the competition with 7th and 8th graders. 6th graders at Franklin compete in Math Olympiads. Franklin then selects a team of four students to attend a local level at College Community competing against other local schools from the area. This year the following students were selected to represent Franklin: Ishan Chawla, Aidan McGrane, Nick Burkamper, and Leighton Charters. Aidan will represent Franklin since he qualified as an individual competitor on March 29 at State Mathcounts competition in Ankeny. These four students did a great job representing themselves and Franklin Middle School as they placed in fourth and were awarded the most improved team this year.

Tuesday Tutoring

Please check out the video below put together by Maya Chawla, Junior at Washington High School, explaining our Tutoring Program that's available to students every Tuesday from 3:00-4:00.

Day of We

On Friday, February 22 Franklin hosted the first annual "Day of We". The mission of the day was to bring the ideas of career exploration and personal triumphs with our students. We recognized, celebrated, and learned from the amazing community leaders in our creative corridor. This was an amazing day for our students. I hope you had a chance to visit with your child about their day and the sessions they attended. Check out all the pictures below of our speakers and their topics.
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Attention 8th Grade Girls: HS Golf Season


As you know, the IGHSAU and our district allow 8th graders to practice on high school girls golf teams. We would welcome any of your 8th grade girls who are headed to Wash next fall and are interested in golf to practice with us. They cannot play in any meets, but they can practice with us. We have had three girls over the past two years do that and they are way ahead of the other 9th graders the next year because of it. We are not asking individuals to choose this instead of a middle school spring sport, although they are free to make that choice if golf is their top passion. They must find their own way to practice. We will meet at Washington or an indoor facility somewhere until we can get outside and then we practice at Gardner Golf Course (Squaw Creek Park) once the course opens.

Interested girls/families can contact: Dennis Goettel/319-329-9231/


8th grade girls are now allowed to practice with the high school team so they can learn a little more about the game and how practices work - no meets, practice only. When they sign up on the link below, I will contact the family to share more information. This is a new opportunity for the girls and I'm hoping it will encourage more participation since we don't have a MS program. It is not intended to pull kids away from your activities - only expose them to what golf is and how it works.

Announcement for 8th Grade Girls:

Any girls interested in practicing with the Kennedy High School girls golf team this spring, please fill out the following survey at: More information will be emailed regarding practice after filling out the survey. Questions can also be emailed to Coach Buerman at

Continuing Information

Supplies Refresher

With us being past the midpoint of the school year, it's a great time to check with your students and their supplies. See the notes below:

  • Make sure your student has several pencils in their trapper and locker-a large amount of students coming to class without pencils.
  • Needing donation of Kleenex for classrooms, please bring to the main office anytime

Cell Phone Policy Review

We've had an increase in the number of phones that have been confiscated. Our cell phone policy is they should not be out during the school day from 7:50-2:50. If students don't want to leave them in their lockers, they can have them in their binders or pockets, but should not be out at any time. If student's phones go off or if they're found using it, we follow these procedures:

  • 1st Time: Student turns over phone. It's checked in and documented in the main office and they can pick it up after school.
  • 2nd Time: Student turns over phone. It's checked in and documented in the main office. A parent will need to pick up the phone and student will serve a 30-minute detention.
  • 3rd Time: Student turns over phone. It's checked in and documented in the main office. A parent will need to pick up the phone and student will serve a 2-hour detention on Friday.

We encourage parents to contact our main office at 558-2452 if you need to get an immediate message to your student. We can get these messages to students throughout the day.

Waiting Before & After School

We want to make you aware of when our staff is out to supervise before and after school. Our morning supervision begins at 7:30AM. If at all possible, we ask that students not be dropped off any earlier than that. In the afternoon, supervision is outside until shortly after 3:00PM. If students are walking home, we ask they get on their way immediately after dismissal.

Franklin Office Hours

During the school year, our Main Office hours will be 7:30-3:30. We need to encourage our students to take care of any communication prior to the office being closed. Most days, they will not have access to the phones in the main office after 3:30. If your child is staying after school for an activity or sport, please make plans with them prior to them leaving for the day.

Getting Messages to Your Child

We understand there are messages you may need to get to your child during the day. We ask for your help in the best way to do so. Our building cell phone policy says phones should be put away/off/silenced from 7:50-2:50. If you need to contact your child during the day, we ask you call the attendance office, 558-2162, and leave a message. Thanks for your help with this.

Upcoming Events

Friday, March 1

  • Bands at Kennedy Band Carnival

Saturday, March 2

  • Illumination at Xavier Show Choir Extravaganza

Tuesday, March 5

  • Wrestling vs. McKinley and North Central

Wednesday, March 6

  • 7th Grade Band at NEIBA Large Group Contests @ Lisbon

Thursday, March 7

  • Wrestling @ Prairie Point

Tuesday, March 12

  • Wrestling @ Taft