Franklin e-Newsletter

Friday, May 22

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Happy Memorial Day Weekend! No School on Monday, May 25

Principal's Message

With state track occurring in Des Moines it seems like a perfect time for a track reference. The saying "run through the tape" was recently used at one of our recent staff meetings. What it means to us as teachers is to continue teaching lessons through the end of year. Routine for our students is important especially when maintaining a level of consistent expectations-academically and behaviorally. With the end of the school year in sight It's hard to believe the remaining days have approached single digits. In typical fashion the end of the year has flown right by and we find ourselves in crunch time. We encourage students to consult Powerschool for an update on their grades. Deadlines for when teachers will accept any late work are quickly approaching. If students need to make arrangements with staff please contact them directly or call our main office and we will help direct you.

Yearbooks for Sale

Our supply of yearbooks have arrived. Students can purchase these in the main office beginning Tuesday, May 26. The cost for the yearbooks is $10. A limited supply is available so be sure to get yours soon.

We will also have these for sale at the spring fine arts concert on June 1.

Iowa Assessment Reports

Student reports from the Iowa Assessments are in. To save on postage we will be sending reports home with 3rd trimester grades. Families should receive these reports by the middle of June.

School Fees

Statements for students who still owe district Consumable Material Fees will be sent out next week. Statements have previously been mailed with student’s trimester report cards. Payments may be paid with a credit card online at or by cash or check at the Franklin Middle School Main Office. Any outstanding payments not made by Wednesday, June 17th will be sent to collections.

Franklin Variety Show

At the request of some 8th grade students we revived the Franklin Variety Show. The variety show was held on Friday, May 22 in front of the entire school in the Auditorium. The students put in a lot of work rehearsing and preparing their acts for the show. Thank you to Ms. Chris Edgerton for her hard work spearheading the show. The following acts were performed:

  • Paul Linville, Van Novak, Cael Joens - MC
  • Arianna and Evelynn Calderon – “Show You”
  • Nala Gauvin– clarinet solo – “Minuetto”
  • Jaydin McMickle-“Valerie”
  • Jason Techau- dance
  • Diamond Roundtree and Zachone Robertson - "Halo"
  • Maddy Abu-Nameh- piano solo
  • Shay Larson/Jessie Koozer – “Stay”
  • Ben Joens- piano solo
  • Dominique Martin - “Let it Go”
  • Amelia Spreitzer – “Mercy”
  • Julia DePanfillis/Drew Paoli – trumpet duet
  • Paige Downs/group - “Count on Me”

Jade Barnes and Mandy Myers ran the lights and Miguel Jacobo did sound.

Student Council

Spring Leadership Conference

On April 8th 6th, 7th, and 8th grade members took part in the State Student Council Spring Leadership conference in Marshalltown. Students listened to a keynote speaker talk about internet safety. This is currently a hot topic and students often do not recognize the risks they are taking by posting personal information or sharing information with friends on the internet. Student also were given information about the Red Cross and Job Corps. This was helpful for them to learn about ways they can volunteer and help out in their communities.

Families Helping Families

The Franklin Middle School Student Council was able to donate a $250 dollar check to the Families Helping Families organization. The money was raised through sales of Santa Grams during December. Leanne Loehr, outgoing President of the organization selects the check from current Student Council members in April.

Spring Planting in Czech Village

On Tuesday, May 19th a group of Student Council members took time out of school to take part in the spring planting of the village planters. This is the fourth year our group has helped out. Student’s plant annuals and then mulch them in order for them to require very little care during the summer. We encourage families to visit the village. As the student council members discovered, there are many unique shops and foods to try out.

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8th Grade Assembly

Parents of 8th graders should have received a letter with details about the 8th Grade Recognition Assembly. This will take place the last day of school on Friday, June 5 at 9:45 in the school auditorium. The program should conclude around 11:15 when school is dismissed. These are some important reminders you'll see in the letter:

  • This last day of school is a “dress up” day for all students. Dress up does not mean formal attire; however, we will be asking students to dress a notch or two above their normal daily school attire. All school rules apply regarding attire.
  • Parking is limited because of the neighborhood that surrounds Franklin, and this assembly is typically well attended, so please plan accordingly.

We look forward to seeing families and friends as we celebrate our 8th grade class. Click on the following link to view the letter:

2015-16 District Calendar

Next year's school calendar has been approved. Click on the picture or follow the link to access the .pdf version of the calendar. This is a reminder to parents that the district is transitioning from trimesters to semesters. Building dates will be sent out in this summer's mailing in the Franklin Handbook & Calendar.

Link to calendar .pdf:

2015-16 Middle School Hours *IMPORTANT NOTICE*

An adjustment went before the Board of Education to modify how the school week will look for middle schools. An additional 10 minutes will be added in the morning with school starting time moving to 7:50AM. On all school days except for Wednesday dismissal time will remain 2:50PM. On Wednesdays dismissal for students will be 2:15PM. This will allow a scheduled and structured time for staff to meet with their colleagues as part of our Professional Learning Communities. As many of you noticed the change in middle school structure made the time to meet a challenge. We are excited about the opportunity for teachers to collaborate with grade level colleagues regarding instruction and students.

The fine details are still being worked out and we will communicate them as they become available. In regards to middle school athletics we will continue with the normal start time. During the time from dismissal to practice on Wednesdays we will provide coverage and supervision for student-athletes as they wait for their practice to begin.

PACT Night at Franklin Middle School

Who: Future 6th, 7th and 8th grade PACT students

What: An opportunity to hear from current PACT students about the activities

When: Thursday, May 28th

Time: 6:30PM-8:30 PM on the 4th floor at Franklin

Why: To sign up for next year’s PACT activities

Questions: Contact Ms. Siebenga 558-1975 or

8th Grade Financial Literacy Fair

This past Wednesday, Franklin 8th graders participated in a Financial Literacy Fair Field Trip at the Kirkwood Workplace Learning Connection Center off of Boyson Road in Hiawatha. All 8th graders in Linn County take part in this valuable experience. For the past six weeks, Social Studies students have been able to participate in activities coordinated through Junior Achievement guest speakers. Topics have included: careers, budgeting, saving, debit vs. credit cards, credit score, and insurance.

Goals for the field trip:
1. Apply knowledge of careers
2. Understand career choices and basic financial education
3. Discover what it means to get a job
4. Practice greeting and meeting people
5. Practice presenting themselves in a professional manner

6. Develop a budget plan

Students arrived with their budget sheets. Franklin students spent time researching careers, average salaries, and figuring out their net monthly budget (after taking out federal and state taxes, FICA, and Medicare). They traveled to various booths at the fair, making decisions about savings, student loans, housing, transportation, utilities, food, clothing, insurance, etc. At the end of the field trip, they totaled their expenses and met with a financial counselor to discuss their spending choices.

Discussions about your personal family budget will only enhance your student's learning!

Comments after the field trip included:

  • “You shouldn’t buy cable if you can’t afford a TV!”
  • “I learned how to be better at budgeting. Also, taxes are a pain!”
  • “I learned how to budget. Don’t spend money on what you don’t need.”
  • “Plan your budget before you spend.”
  • “Insurance is expensive! Especially if you have a speeding ticket and are self-employed.”
  • “Money doesn’t grow on trees.”
  • “Everything costs money so make sure you can pay for what you have.”
  • “Be careful with your money.”
  • “You shouldn’t buy stuff you don’t need unless you know you have the extra money to afford it.”
  • “I had a reality check about life and money.”
  • “It’s hard to get everything you want.”
  • “Bills are expensive. Don’t go into debt.”
  • “I shouldn’t have gotten a pet.”
  • “I should have planned ahead to save more.”

Canoe Trip Re-cap

On Friday, May 15 we shuttled nearly 200 8th graders down an 8-mile stretch of the Maquoketa River. With our recent weather, we were fortunate to have an ideal day with calm currents, appropriate water levels, and warm and sunny temps. A big thank you goes to Mr. Jeffords who spent a great deal of time organizing the annual event. We also want to thank the other 8th grade staff members and large number of parent chaperones that made the day a success.

All-School Grillout

On Monday, May 18th the Franklin student body and staff were treated to an all school cookout during lunch. Lunch was extended to 40 minutes and students were served hamburgers and/or chicken sandwiches hot from the grill. With the additional time they could play games, dance, talk, or just sit and soak up some sun. While it was chilly most enjoyed getting outside and just being able to kick back and enjoy some loosely structured time to unwind. As a building we try to do a cookout of this type as part of our PBIS program. Both during and fall and spring we schedule some time to reward students for coming to school and doing their best. We plan to continue this activity during the 2015-2016 school year.

Lace Up 4 Learning

There are 3 traveling trophies, one for elementary school, one for middle school, and one for high school. The traveling trophies are awarded each year to the school that has the highest percent of combined participants. The percentage is calculated by dividing the number of participants by the total student body.

Home page:

Green Team Celebration

On Tuesday, May 19 the Franklin Green Team participated in the district-wide Green Team Celebration at the ELSC. The event honored all the hard work that building groups have done to save energy, recycle, and educate their buildings on conservation. Our group has been led by Ms. Kolkmeier. Thanks to our group for their hard work.

(See the video below from this week's celebration)

Green Team Celebration

Spring Concert Times Adjusted

We understand some of the difficulty that comes along with parking at our all-school concerts. We have attempted to provide more time as families transition in and out of the building for concerts. Please be advised to the change in performance times. We will provide several reminders to students and families prior to the concerts on Monday, June 1.

  • 6th Grade: Concert begins at 5:45 (Call Times: Vocal & Band 5:30, Orchestra 5:20)
  • 7th Grade: Concert begins at 7:00 (Call Times: Vocal & Band 6:45, Orchestra 6:40)
  • 8th Grade: Concert begins at 8:15 (Call Times: Vocal & Band 8:00, Orchestra 7:55)

We appreciate the support you've offered to these groups and hopefully the minor adjustments help that stress level of getting your students dropped off and being able to find a parking spot. Assuming the weather cooperates we will allow families to park on the lawn north of our northside parking lot.

Kennedy Show Choir Camp

June 15-19th from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Family performance on Friday (19th) at 12:00pm

Location: Kennedy High School choir room, Cost: $65

Join us for the 5th annual KCL show choir camp, taught by Kennedy show choir alumni, with proceeds to benefit the Kennedy Choral Program. Camp enrollment is open to ALL 5th-8th graders across the Cedar Rapids area interested in show choir. YES! If you will be in 5th grade in 2015-2016 you are welcome to come to the camp. Students will spend the week learning vocal parts and choreography and getting a taste of what show choir is like. Camp will conclude with a performance for our families. If you have any questions, please contact Jake at 319-651-0409 or

Click here to view the form:

8th Grade Party

Friday, June 5th 2015 at 1-4pm

Cedar Rapids Country Club 27th Street Drive SE, Cedar Rapids, IA

It has been the tradition at Franklin Middle School for the 8th grade class to have an end of year celebration party. The party is hosted by parents and held at a location close to Franklin Middle School. This year the 8th Grade Celebration Party will be held at the Cedar Rapids Country Club on the last day of school (June 5th) from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. (with a rain date of Monday, June 8th).

The students will be asked to pay a small entrance fee of $5 with scholarships being available. The drinks and a snack will be provided by the Cedar Rapids Country Club but we are asking for cash donations from parents to help cover additional expenses. If you are able to provide a cash donation, it would be greatly appreciated. Any and all amounts are welcomed!! Chaperones are also needed for the party.

To view the invitation please follow the link: