Franklin e-Newsletter

Friday, April 29, 2016

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8th Grade Recognition & Awards Assembly

Parents of 8th graders will receive a letter next week with details about the 8th Grade Recognition Assembly. This will take place the last day of school on Thursday, June 2 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. If the weather cooperates parking will be available in the grass to the north of our main parking lot.

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

8th Grade Celebration Party

Thursday, June 2nd, 1-4pm

1 Zach Johnson Drive North East

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. This year the 8th Grade Celebration Party will be held at the Elmcrest Country Club on the last day of school which is Thursday, June 2nd from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The rain date will be Friday, June 3rd. The students will be asked to pay a small entrance fee with scholarships being available. (In previous years the fee has been $5) The entrance fee will include pool time, a drink and ice cream, 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!! Checks should be made out to Franklin PTA and turned into the office by Wednesday, May 11th. Chaperones are also needed for the party. If you are interested, please indicate that below.

Questions? Please email

Please follow the link for electronic invitation:

3rd Quarter PARRT Awards

During the week of April 18 we held grade level assemblies to hand out 2nd Quarter PARRT Awards. PARRT is the way we teach expectations throughout the building. This acronym stands for Personal Best, Active Listening, Respect, Responsibility, and Trustworthiness. At the end of every quarter we will distribute awards for students who have met the following criteria:

  • No grade lower than a C
  • No office referrals
  • Absent from school 2 or less days
  • No missing work
  • 3 or fewer late assignments

Besides being recognized in front of their peers they also received a certificate with the following items to be redeemed: 4 front of the line lunch passes, eat lunch with a friend in the student lounge, 20 Bolt Bucks, and 1 homework pass. To see the list of students who qualified for 3rd Quarter follow the link:

You can check out previous PARRT Award winners by visiting our website:

State National History Day

Twenty-five Franklin students participated in the State National History Day competition on Monday, April 25th. This is a record number of participants advancing from the regional level. We started with over fifty Franklin NHD students and advanced about half of them to Des Moines for the state competition. They all came prepared with process papers, complete bibliographies and lots of enthusiasm for the day! They were all full of energy and excitement and represented our school in a very positive way! From early morning at check-in around 7:30 AM to the final awards at 6:00 PM. These students put in a long day of hard work and had a lot of fun along the way!

After what seemed like hours of waiting and pacing, two projects, and individual performance and a group performance advanced to the final six in their categories. They then performed one more time for a larger audience. Later, at the awards ceremony they were named one of two National Finalists to go to the University of Maryland on June 12-16th to compete in Nationals! It was VERY exciting to hear this amazing news and you could definitely hear the Franklin students’ responses of loud clapping in cheering when the results were FINALLY announced! These are the National Qualifiers from Franklin Middle School for 2016:

Individual Performance: “Isadora Duncan: Exploring the Boundaries of Dance” by Jessica Cline

Group Performance: “Tricky Dick: Encounters with Controversy” by Josh Horne, Zelda Siegel, Priya Kearney and Sam Arkenberg

These students are looking forward to representing Franklin Middle School and the State of Iowa out in Maryland where they will not only compete, but have an opportunity to explore all the sights and sounds of our nation’s capital in Washington D.C. with their friends and families. They are currently in the process of revising their already awesome performance sand bibliographies. They are all looking forward to performing their projects more times at school and around Cedar Rapids, but especially at the University of Maryland on June 13th. Good luck to all five of these outstanding Franklin students in June!

Have you volunteered this year?? Please Join Us!!

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Outstanding Building Volunteer

On Monday, April 25 the Cedar Rapids Community School District honored our outstanding volunteers at the ELSC. We are fortunate to have a number of great volunteers that give their time and effort to our staff and students. We're able to do what we do in large part to the help by our volunteers. It's not too late to become a volunteer. Please call our main office for information. This year's Outstanding Volunteer at Franklin was Diane Ratzer. Below is the excerpt from the program.

During her five year tenure, Mrs. Ratzer has truly served the students and staff in several ways. She has been supportive of the dance marathon, athletics, and literacy. Each week book displays are created, learning materials are delivered to classes, and reluctant readers have someone listen to them. These positive actions have a tremendous impact on the library. With the elimination of the Media Secretary it’s tough to expect the same results. Diane fills out a much needed void in our building. Her demeanor, humor, and smile make her a favorite among students. Mrs. Ratzer’s tireless efforts have made Franklin a better place to learn and teach.

Follow the link to read all of this year's nominees:

6th Grade Science Trip

On Friday, May 6 our 6th Graders will be attending the annual trip to the Cedar Rapids Linn County Solid Waste Agency. The trip is tied to the "Materials" unit. Students will be learning about the recent renovations to the facility and focusing on how each student can become more "Green" by reducing, re-using, and recycling materials. Students will go regardless of the weather and all students MUST be dressed appropriately. This includes no sandals or open-toed shoes.

The students will be attending in two shifts-morning and afternoon.

Tissues Needed

The year's sniffles and sneezes have taken its toll on our tissue inventory. With just over a month left of school we are out. If you have boxes of tissues you'd be willing to donate to Franklin we would be extremely appreciative. If you're willing to donate please bring them to the main office.

Band News

All-City Music Contest

On Saturday, April 9, nearly 75 of Franklin’s band and orchestra students performed at the All-City Music Contest at Jefferson High School. These students performed as soloists or as members of small ensembles for an adjudicator as well as their family and friends. The adjudicators offered constructive criticism to the performers, and the students earned ratings, certificates, and ribbons for their performances. Congratulations to all of these Franklin musicians for challenging themselves with extra practice and performance!

Coe College Honor Band

On Sunday, April 10, the following Franklin band students participated in the Coe College Honor Band: Betsy Marlow, Hannah Krejci, Ella Mortenson, Madelyn O’Brien, Nic Ryan, Lauren Krzywicki, and Indica Mutchler. Guest conductor/composer, David Shaffer, was commissioned by Coe to write a new composition for this year’s honor band. It was very exciting for our Franklin students to be part of a world premiere performance with this famous composer!

Art News

Congratulations to Julia Depanfilis for earning first place in the juried Lion’s Club Peace Poster Contest. She was recently awarded a certificate and monetary award during the 8th grade PARRT assembly.

April 14-15 Franklin welcomed the Cedar Rapids Ceramics Center. The Ceramic center worked with 8th graders as part of a collaborative mural that will be the class gift to Franklin. Concepts of legacy and community were discussed as each students sculpted and glazed a piece of the mural. Stay tuned to see the final assembled results.

Clinic News

7th Grade Tdap Requirement

To Families of Current 6th Graders,

Tdap Requirement, May 2016

The Iowa Department of Public Health requires a one-time booster dose of tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis-containing vaccine, called Tdap, prior to starting 7th grade.

All students going into 7th grade must have proof of having the Tdap booster shot unless the student has an exemption signed by their health care provider. Your child may have already received the vaccine and simply needs to provide proof to the school. Documentation of the Tdap vaccine will need to be provided to the middle school nurse prior to the first day of school.

As you schedule required physicals for athletics or if you are in your physician’s office this spring or summer, please ask about this booster vaccine. If you do not have insurance or have questions, please contact Franklin Health office at 558-2076 or Franklin School nurse, Sharon Neilly at 558-1242.

Free Dental Sealants

FREE Dental Sealants are coming to Franklin Middle School starting May 23. Provided by Haacap and St. Luke’s Dental Clinic. Information and a consent form will be coming home with your student on Monday, May 2. Return completed form to the health office. All Franklin students qualify for this free opportunity.

Summer Opportunities

Are you looking to keep your student active and busy during the summer? Outside of our Activities Office we have information about a number of different camps/programs occurring this summer at local high schools and around the area. Encourage your child to take a look at the activities that would be of interest to them.

Check out our Virtual Backpack for more information:

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!

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, May 3

Girls' Tennis @ Regis

Thursday, May 5

Track @ IC West High School

Friday, May 6

8th Grade Canoe Trip (Make-up day)

6th Grade Landfill Trip

Monday, May 9

Track @ Linn-Mar

Thursday, May 12

FMS Talent Show

Track Meet @ Washington (Make-up from 4-28)

Friday, May 13


Thursday, May 19

Girls' City Track Meet @ Linn-Mar

Friday, May 20

Boys' City Track Meet @ Linn-Mar

Friday, May 27

8th Grade Dance/Party, 1:00-3:00PM