Franklin e-Newsletter

Friday, April 1, 2016

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Conference Thank Yous

Monday we wrapped our two nights of spring conferences. We appreciated seeing all the families that came in to visit with staff and discuss the progress and ways to help your child. We would appreciate hearing your feedback. Below is a brief survey asking for your input on how we can work to increase the turnout of parents at conferences.

We also want to thank the PTA for providing the staff a delicious dinner on Monday. It was absolutely delicious and the entire staff enjoyed it.

Activities Concert * DATE CHANGE *

A number of our Franklin jazz band students are also members of Franklin’s National History Day team. These students have done outstanding work this year and were recently honored with selection to the state competition. Unfortunately, the date of this state competition conflicts with our scheduled Activities concert on Monday, April 25. The Activities concert includes the Chamber Orchestra, Jazz Band One, and Jazz Band Too.

Because of this new conflict, we have rescheduled the spring Activities Concert for Tuesday, April 26, at 7:00pm. We understand that moving a concert date this late is inconvenient for families, but we feel that this is the fairest solution for our jazz band students and families. Please make this change on your family calendars, and thank you in advance for your understanding.

National History Day 2016

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Students from Mrs. Siebenga’s National History Day competed over spring break on Friday, March 18th at the University of Iowa in several categories including: websites, exhibits, performances, and documentaries. The theme this year was Exploration, Encounter and Exchange in History. Students worked very hard on their projects beginning in January. The students marked with an * advanced to the State National History Day competition on Monday, April 25th in Des Moines, Iowa.

Sixteen students advanced to the elite level, more than any other year in the past five years! It was great to hear all the Franklin names being announced in the rotunda of the Old Capitol where the awards ceremony was held. All of the Franklin students attended and cheered each other on. It was an outstanding day for all involved! There is also another group of Franklin students competing in Waterloo, Iowa on March 31st. We anxiously await those results as well.

These were the students competing in the various categories:

Group Websites: Lydia Jackson and Mackenzie; *Johanna Hayes and *Maria Enos; Raafa Elsheikh and Julian Martin, Allison Hayes and Annika Twedt-Ball

Individual performances: *Jessica Cline, Lauren Krzywicki, Layla Eckhardt, *Rahma Elsheikh, Sophia Jasper

Group Performances: *Joshua Horne, *Sam Arkenberg, *Priya Kearney, and *Zelda Siegel;

*Grace Fleming, *Noah Loehr, *Savannah Barnes, and *Betsy Marlow.

Individual Websites: Mya Swyers, Lydia Mackey, Elizabeth Kolln, Kira Sullivan, Mallory Engelmann, Max Luton

Group Documentaries: *Julia DePanfillis and *Tawny Hess

Individual Documentary: * Elise Fashimpaur

Individual Exhibit: *Ella Greenlee, Abigail Owens, Tom Robertson

The Waterloo NHD competition was held Thursday at the Grout Museum and the following students will join the Iowa City qualifiers at state on Monday, April 25th.

Group Performance: Hannah Novak, Hannah Krejci, Madelyn O’Brien, Rebecca Stevens

Individual Website: Meena Ramadagu, Kailey Novak

Group Website: Lilly Brandt, Kira DeBrower, Olivia Metzger

Scholastic Art & Writing Winners

The following students participated in the Scholastic Art and Writing competition and were awarded in the following categories:

Hannah Krejci- Gold Key in dramatic script/honorable mention in journalism

Madelyn O’Brien- Gold Key in poetry/honorable mention in dramatic script

Betsy Marlow- Gold Key in journalism

Tawny Hess- Honorable Mention in short story

Hannah Novak- Honorable Mention in journalism

Congratulations to all of the students involved for their hard and outstanding work!

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8th Grade Canoe Trip

The annual 8th grade canoe trip down the Maquoketa River will be held on Friday, April 29th (rain date is Friday, May 6th). The cost for the trip is $15. All 8th grade students should have received a letter detailing the information and a waiver form to attend the trip from their 6th period teacher. Permission forms, waivers and payments need to be turned in to the Franklin Main Office by Friday, April 15th. Please direct any questions you may have to Mr. Jeffords at 558-1519.

8th Grade T-shirts

Orders for the 8th grade t-shirt has been extended to Monday, April 4th. The shirts will list all of the 8th grade student names on the back of the shirt. You may click here for a copy of the order form. Shirts are $10 each and are payable to Franklin PTA.

Smarter Balanced Assessments

To keep you informed of the direction our state is moving in terms of annual assessments, I wanted to provide you with a little bit of information about next year. That Iowa Assessments (formerly ITBS/ITED) will be replaced by a new test titled Smarter Balanced Assessments. With it being April, there's no need to flood you with a bunch of information at this point, but I wanted to provide you with the information in case you would like to participate in some practice tests so you know how your child will be assessed next year.

Click on the link for the practice test:

You don't need to enter any information to log on, but you can choose the grade level and subject area. Good luck!

Franklin Blood Drive

Thank you to all who volunteered to donate blood at conferences on Thursday night. We had a great turnout. Below is text from an email we received:

THANK YOU for the wonderful work you and the Student Council and staff and teachers did to make yesterday’s blood drive a success. We were able to collect 21 units of whole blood which will in turn be transfused to 84 different patients in need. Your hard work will also earn the school $251 in grant funds. Please scan that completed form to me as soon as possible. I’ve attached the Post Drive Report so you can see who all donated. What a great turnout!

Each unit will serve 4 patients in need: platelets will be used within 5 days; red blood cells will be used within 42 days; plasma and cryo both to be used within the next year. All kinds of local patients will be thankful to your donors!

I am so impressed by the community there at Franklin. It was a joy for us to be there yesterday. I hope we can schedule drives again next year during conferences. Just let me know those dates as soon as you have them and I’ll get them secured!

Blood Typing 8th Graders at Franklin

Speaking of blood, in the coming weeks a representative from the Mississippi Valley Blood Bank will be visiting the 8th grade to discuss the benefits of donating blood. In addition, students will have the opportunity to have their blood typed as either A,B,AB, or O. This is in conjunction with the genetics unit where students learn how people inherited their blood type. A consent form will be sent home and signed in order to have students blood typed.

Upcoming Receipt Challenge

Keep saving those receipts. We will have one final Homeroom Receipt Challenge before the year ends. Our last challenge brought over $153,000 in receipts. We are scheduling our next challenge for April 25-29. We would love to surpass our total from last year which was $270,000. So far this year we are just over $190,000. We appreciate your support.

Picking Up & Dropping Off

The following message went out as an all-call and email to all Franklin Families last week:

The issues with cars double and triple-parked have increased in the recent weeks and it’s becoming a safety concern. We’ve had some close calls this year and our number one concern is the safety of our students. The Cedar Rapids Police Department has made frequent trips to the area during dismissal and have been known to issue tickets. There are numerous spots to pick up and drop off your child. We would benefit from families using these alternate locations rather than double and triple parking and stopping your cars to have students cross the street to get into vehicles. Below is a list of alternate locations available for pick-up (areas highlighted in red on the picture).

Please see the picture below for alternate spots to meet your child. We would appreciate your cooperation in ensuring the safety of our students.


  • Lower B Avenue (by the tennis courts)
  • 21st street (Street located behind the school. Please leave clearance for the buses to exit.)
  • Alley next to the field area on the north side of FMS
  • D Avenue
  • C Avenue
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Upcoming Events

Thursday, April 7

Track Meet @ Linn-Mar

Monday, April 11

Boys' Soccer @ Excelsior

Thursday, April 14

Girls' Tennis @ Franklin vs. Roosevelt

Thursday, April 14 & Friday, April 15

Elementary Tours for Show Choir, Jazz Band, and Orchestra

Thursday, April 21

5th Grade Information Night for Incoming 6th Graders

6:00-7:00PM in the Auditorium