Franklin Academy Pembroke Pines K-8

Parent Newsletter | January 2019

A Message from Ms. Diaz, Principal

January is a time for renewal and new beginnings. It's a time that many of us make resolutions to do things better or differently in the future. Is it time for your child to make a resolution about school? Maybe you want to increase his or her goal for i-Ready minutes or AR points. Maybe this is a time to begin reading with your child every night. It might be time to purchase some new school supplies. Or, maybe this is a time that studying on a daily basis needs to be a focus in your child's school life.


Whatever you choose to do, resolution or not, we want to encourage you to continue to engage your child with all of their classwork and the lessons they experience each day. Asking about school at the end of the day is a great way to increase communication with your child and learn about important events and happenings in and out of class. Don't let your child get away with telling you "I don't know" when you ask what they did that day. Probe a little deeper and you might just find out that your child is enjoying a current topic of study or is challenged by new content in class.


Communication is a key component in our relationship with you. We strive to have open lines of communication at all times, so let us know if there is something we can do better. We are here to provide the best educational experience for your child, and that requires honest and frequent communication.


The week of January 20th was National School Choice Week, and we are aware that you have a choice of where you enroll your child for school. Thank you for choosing Franklin Academy Pembroke Pines K-8 Campus. We are glad to serve your family and your child.

What's Been Going On...

National Junior Arts Honor Society Induction Ceremony

On January 15, 2019, Franklin Academy Pembroke Pines K-8 inducted nine new talented art students into the National Junior Art Honor Society, a national society of over 49,000 middle and high school students. They joined the current 12 members. We were honored to have the Honorable Frank Ortis, Mayor of Pembroke Pines, and Mr. William Chiodo, former Art Supervisor from Miami-Dade Public Schools, as our keynote speakers.


Visual arts education is essential to 21st-century learning and we are passionate about the integral role of the visual arts in ensuring all students receive a high-quality, effective, and well-rounded education. The National Junior Art Honor Society began in 1989 to inspire and recognize students with outstanding ability and interest in art. Being a part of this distinguished society gives students leadership opportunities, college and career preparation, and a sense of camaraderie. Students that continue their art education and join the National Art Honor Society in high school are eligible to apply for scholarships to attend art college. Sponsoring a chapter of the National Junior Art Honor Society (NJAHS) magnifies the innovation, skills, and scholarship that our art program brings to our school and community.

2019 Field Day

The 2019 Field Days were a great success! There was excitement in the air and a competitive nature in the hearts of all of our students. Parents and teachers came together to provide a fun-filled time for all of our Bulldogs!


This year’s winners are...

Kindergarten: Quintela

1st Grade: Perez

2nd Grade: Echevarria

3rd Grade: Bolanos

4th Grade: Mahoney

5th Grade: Parks

MYP Year 1: Lowy and Miller

MYP Year 2: Frechette

MYP Year 3: Casillas

National School Choice Week


Started in 2011, every January, National School Choice Week recognizes that there are effective options for education of our children. During National School Choice Week, organizations celebrate the range of options that parents have for K-12 education with a variety of activities. The purpose of National School Choice Week events is to raise public awareness of the different choices families can make, along with emphasizing the benefits of school choice. This year, Franklin Academy Pembroke Pines K-8 videoed our students stating why they like attending our school, highlighting the difference between our charter school and other school options. National School Choice Week is an important part of charter school activism.

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Celebrate Literacy Week

Franklin Academy Pembroke Pines K-8 celebrated Literacy Week with a fun-filled calendar of events! Students participated in daily literacy trivia based on well-known children’s books and a YouTube literacy video was created depicting how “Spreading Literacy One View at a Time” can be done so easily. From guest readers, to book buddies, to reading on the lawn, students enjoyed the simple pleasures of reading. Fortunately, we were able to welcome local children’s author, Anita Sax, who read and signed books for students at our very own Franklin Academy! Although reading should never end, sadly, our Literacy Week did.

Character Counts!

This month the character trait of fairness was emphasized at Franklin Academy Pembroke Pines. Students were taught that to exemplify fairness, they must be: honest, reasonable, unbiased, just, careful, and open minded. Students came up with various definitions which describe what fairness means. These are some of their thoughts:


Being fair means knowing both sides of the story.

Being fair means treating others like you want to be treated.

Being fair means avoiding cheating and lying.

Being fair means respecting the rights of others.

Being fair means following the rules at home and at school.

Students were encouraged and reminded to treat everyone fairly because everyone likes fairness!


The importance of fairness at home is:

...playing a game and demonstrating how to be a good winner and a good loser

...listening impartially and hearing the facts before forming an opinion

...dividing a snack equally among family members

...taking turns with a toy

...discussing how to accept the consequences of misbehaviors

Kindergarten Celebrates 100 Days of School!

On Wednesday, January 30th, the kindergarten students celebrated the 100th Day of Kindergarten. This day meant that our littlest ones are 100 days smarter! The students participated in various activities that incorporated the number 100. They counted by 10’s, created 100th day hats, wrote about “If I had $100…” and they even came to school wearing 100 objects on their shirts. Happy 100th Day of Kindergarten!

First Grade Goes on a Pirate Adventure

Ahoy, Franklin Mateys! First Graders are official Bluefoot Pirates. We embarked on an epic adventure at sea with two real pirates. Our day started with pirate songs, stories, and learning the ins and outs of being on a boat. The crash course on pirates included making an oath to never give up, blasting water cannons, and defeating the devious Bill pirate. Our teachers got wet, but all in the name of honor! We will be making sure we always remember our time as pirates and our oath.

Second Grade Designs Roller Coasters

Do you remember the first time you went on a roller coaster? Our second graders had a chance to become roller coaster designers for the day when they were learning about forces and motion. Using half a pool noodle and a marble, they worked collaboratively to come up with their very own thrill ride! Their job was to see how the forces of pull and gravity worked on the marble. They had to identify the areas on their coasters where the marble slowed down and where it sped up. They had a blast working together to create their own roller coasters!

Third Grade: New Year, New Accomplishments!

Franklin Academy Pembroke Pines K-8 Third Graders are off and running into 2019 with lots of new challenges and accomplishments. We started this chilly month with safety drills and procedures, as well as a review of school-wide expectations. Students celebrated success by cashing in their KITE dollars for many treats and rewards.


Third Grade also created boards on Discovery Education for Martin Luther King, Jr. and Benjamin Franklin’s birthdays in January. They worked in groups or individually. Each board consisted of accomplishments, life timelines, interesting facts and pictures. These were two great men!


We warmed up with our plant experiments, annual Field Day, and attended the Museum of Discovery and Science for many activities on January 25th. We finished out the month with our monthly Character Counts assembly on fairness.


Franklin’s third grade is the THE place to be for fun, fitness, and fierce competition!

Fourth Grade Welcomes New Bulldogs

Franklin Academy Pembroke Pines welcomed two new classes of 4th grade starting in January, 2019. These classes are being led by Franklin veteran teachers Ms. Saumell and Ms. Perez. Our new students quickly became part of the Franklin Academy community by participating in Field Day, Kite Cart, Franklin Writes, Ben Franklin’s birthday, Literacy week and more! Welcome new Bulldogs! We hope you are a part of our special school for many years to come.

Fifth Grade Celebrates Benjamin Franklin's Birthday

On January 17th, the fifth graders celebrated Benjamin Franklin’s birthday. We studied and discussed all the many inventions Benjamin Franklin contributed to our society, as well as many of his famous quotes. We then took the time to do an analysis of his quotes and what they meant to us as students. The students were very surprised that these quotes, although written many years ago, could be applied to our lives today.

MYP Year 1 Travels to Bone Valley

Have you ever wanted to dig for fossils? Have you ever aspired to be the next great archaeologist? Our MYP Year 1 students were able to experience what it is like to dig for fossils in one of the world’s major phosphate regions, Bone Valley. In this region, we are likely to find shark teeth, moldic mollusks, and fossils of dugong, whales, three-toed horses and turtles. Our MYP Year 1 students were able to participate in excavating a portion of the land and actually found various shark teeth and Native American beads. MYP Year 1 student Jesse Perappadan expressed that being able to excavate and experience hands on learning was exciting. Students were also able to hike alongside Okeechobee Lake and view the Florida Ridge. The Florida Ridge is a unique location as it was the only part of Florida that was not once under water. Our students especially enjoyed a canoe trip down Peace River. Student Ava Nepola said that the canoe trip was her favorite part of the field trip because they were able to observe many different animals such as an alligator, a flock of turkeys, Egrets, Blue Heron and the Scrub Jay. Peace River is 106 miles long and is important because it supplies 6 million gallons of drinking water a day to people in that region. The two-day field trip was full of fun and adventure. Just ask any of the students who attended; they would definitely recommend it for future MYP Year 1 students!

MYP Year 2 Tackles Benchmark Testing

This month, Franklin Academy has been assessing students to see how they are making progress towards mastering the Florida Standards. At first sight, the world of assessments and standards tracking may seem like one of the less thrilling parts of schooling these days. A second quarter look at how students might perform on the FSA in the near future could rank up there with cleaning out one’s closet, or, according to some students, ”performing a root canal with only a Kat Kat for anesthesia” (a challenge in and of itself I am sure).


However, assessments should be embraced for the powerful bellwethers that they are. Leading schools across the nation are using data-driven instruction to make decisions big and small. As Franklin Academy keeps pace with the latest in modern schooling strategies, we also look to embrace these current techniques to motivate and structure instruction for our students, so that they can achieve their best on not only the FSA, but in their lives as well.


Society is moving more and more towards not only more technology, but to more data. The analytics revolution, as it has been called, is embracing statistics and mathematics to help make the best decisions possible. We are fortunate to see Franklin Academy involved in using this data to the betterment of its stakeholders, as we track our way to another record-breaking year for our kids!

MYP Year 3 Begins Community Projects

This month, the MYP Year 3 students began their Community Projects. Each student will choose a topic that they have a strong interest in and research how they can do something to help with that initiative. They may choose a partner or group of students to collaborate. There are many ways the students can choose to complete the project. They can teach someone how to do something or learn something new themselves. They can commit to serving an organization like an animal shelter by volunteering to help or contribute to the cause in some other way.


Teacher Advisers are on hand to help the students with their initiatives and to guide them in effectively completing their project. In a few months, the students will present their projects to their peers and a committee of Assessors for their final evaluation. Stay tuned for updates regarding the conclusion of these exciting Year 3 projects.

Upcoming Events

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day (Grades 2 through MYP Year 3 only)

Friday, Feb. 1st, 8am

Your Work Location

Be sure to have your child complete the packet to ensure that his or her absence is excused.

Other Upcoming Events

100 Days of School Celebration (K-5)- February 1

FTE Spirit Week (All)- February 4 through February 8

Pennies for Patients Campaign (All)- February 4 through February 15

Love Me Again Toy Drive (All)- February 4 through February 15

Everglades Field Trip (4th Grade)- February 4 & 6

Epcot Center Field Trip (MYP Year 2)- February 8

Box Tops Due (All)- February 8

The Mattress Fundraiser (All)- February 9

Quarter 3 Interim Report Cards Issued (All)- February 12

Square 1 Family Art Night (All)- February 12

Box Tops Dress Down Day (All)- February 13

Marjorie Stoneman Douglas Memorial Day (All)- February 14

Franklin Academy Pembroke Pines K-8 Spelling Bee (MYP)- February 15

Presidents Day/No School (All)- February 18

Early Release Day (All)- February 21

Spring Book Fair (All)- February 25 through February 27

Character Counts! Student Assembly (All)- February 26

Menchie's Family Night (All)- February 26

Celebrate Black History Event (All)- February 28