Franklin School Committee News
Edited by Denise Schultz, Vice-Chair
Message from the Chair - Dr. Anne Bergen
As you know our wonderful, thriving community is facing a fiscal challenge. The Town Council, Finance Committee and School Committee have been educating the public about the financial needs our community is currently facing and will be facing in the coming years.
Based on tax reform implemented nearly 30 years ago (Proposition 2.5), we have not been able to keep up with the increasing costs of ALL services – police, fire, DPW and schools.
The beauty of public schools is that we educate ALL children with passion and care. From the most intellectually gifted to those who present emotional, behavioral and physical challenges. Unfortunately the costs of the tuitions we pay for those students whose needs cannot be met in our schools are soaring, far beyond the budgetary limits that have been placed on us. In addition, the costs of transportation, technology, health insurance and all of the new curriculum initiatives imposed by the state (which are not funded) are breaking the bank!!
Public schools are the foundation of democracy, where children from all walks of life come together to work, play and learn from each other. They learn to see the world through others’ eyes and grow in wisdom and compassion. Community support for our public schools is critical….
Please work with all of us to keep Franklin a safe, vibrant community, a magnet for families across the state. In conjunction with the Town Council and Finance Committee, we will be hosting more public forums and getting out information relative to how we can come together to solve our fiscal issues!
WHY IN THE WORLD ARE YOU INVESTIGATING A CHANGE IN START TIMES?
As parents and educators there are some things over which we have control. We can adjust homework demands; we can set limits on technology use, but we can’t control the natural biological rhythms of the adolescent. Fifty years ago when the current start times were put in place, little was known about the effects of sleep hormones on the adolescent. The sleep hormone, melatonin is produced TWO HOURS later than when they were younger beginning at the age of 12 or 13, then reverts in adulthood.
That is why every major medical and psychological association in America has recommended a change to later start times for adolescents. That is why 77% of school committees of the top high schools in Massachusetts (as ranked by US News and World Report) have already adjusted start times or are actively exploring a start time change. That is why high school sports leagues are aligning their game and practice schedules. The data gathered over the last twenty-five years from districts across the country that have adjusted start times provides solid evidence regarding improvements in overall emotional health and well-being. Tardiness and absenteeism numbers plummet and more kids have time to eat breakfast!
There are many factors to consider, which is why we have sought community input and are being deliberative regarding any possible changes. We have greatly appreciated the thoughtful feedback and will continue to work through obstacles and challenges, arriving at a decision that is in the best interest of our students and their families.
For more information, please visit our "start times" section of our website.
FY20 Budget Adoption
The final Franklin Public Schools FY20 District Budget was adopted by the Town Council on May 23, 2019.
Public Schools Advocacy - Denise Schultz
Policy Update - Mary Jane Scofield
Community Relations - Gigi Zub
How to engage with the school committee over the summer? The first opportunity is at the Strawberry Stroll on June 14th. The stroll starts at 4 pm. Come visit our table on Main Street by Acapulcos restaurant!
We will also be at the Farmers Market from 12 to 3pm on July 26th and from 3 to 6 pm on August 23rd.
Also, be on the look out for some virtual ways to engage with us.
Thank you to the community relations sub-committee members Dr. Anne Bergen and Denise Schultz as we continue to look for ways to engage our Franklin community!!
Monthly Business Meeting Dates - 7 pm, Franklin Town Hall (click title for link)
- June 11, 2019
- June 25, 2019
- July 23, 2019
- August 13, 2019
- August 27, 2019
- September 10, 2019
- September 24, 2019