Franklin e-Newsletter

Friday, November 20, 2015

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** NO SCHOOL 11/25 - 11/27 **

Principal's Message

It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is next week. Where did the first few months of the school year go? With this being the time of year to give thanks I would like to publicly thank the large number of volunteers that support the work of our students and staff. The jobs and tasks that go into the daily operation of a school are made easier by our building volunteers. Everything from our PTA to PACT, classroom helpers to extra curricular supervisors has made a great impact on our building. We have a lot of familiar faces that walk through our doors and for that we are grateful. With that said we are always willing for more volunteers. If you're interested in finding ways to volunteer at Franklin please call our main office or contact our PTA. Thank you.

Dressing Appropriately

If the early and large amount of expected snow is any indication this could be a long winter. With the colder temperatures we want to remind our families to make sure students are dressing appropriately. Students will remain outside before school unless the temperature is below 25 degrees. We've noticed a number of students not properly dressed for the cold temperatures. We want to keep our students healthy.

Student Spotlight

This year we will be recognizing students who exemplify what it means to do your PARRT at Franklin. We call this feature our Spotlight Students. At least every month teachers will select six students from their respective grade level. PARRT is the curriculum we use with our students to teach appropriate and expected behaviors in the school and positive relationships with their classmates. PARRT stands for:

P: Personal Best

A: Active Listening

R: Respect

R: Responsibility

T: Trustworthiness

6th Grade

Jessica Cline, Saleena Fondren, Salaah Jung, Keno Kaiser, Emily Oldorf, Kadi Sisneros

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7th Grade

Sam Basler, Kira DeBrower, Maleena Fondren, DayMarcus Hare, Elizabeth Kolln, Nic Ryan

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8th Grade

Austin Brannan, Andrew Curtis, Ben Hoeger, Madalyn Hobel, Nicole Techau, McKayla WIllmot

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Receipts, Receipts, Receipts

We're approaching the Holiday season. This means many of you will be hosting family and friends for breakfast, brunches, lunches, and dinners. We would appreciate, if you shop at Hy-Vee, to save your receipts and bring them into the main office. Annually we are receive a monetary award based on the dollar amount of receipts we collect.

We will be doing a classroom challenge with Hy-Vee receipts from January 11-15. If you wish to save the receipts until then please do so. Your help is great appreciated.

Career Day

Franklin hosted 18 guest speakers on Thursday. Our 6th and 7th graders learned about different career pathways and were a captive audience for our guests who presented their current careers with our students. We had speakers from all sorts of pathways that included: Arts, Communications, Engineering, Health, Agriscience, Business Management, and Family & Human Services.

Dance Marathon Recap & Thank You

On Friday, November 6th, 2015, Franklin Middle School held its 10th annual Dance Marathon from 3:00 - 5:00 PM in the school gym. Nancy Cole, a former Franklin teacher, along with Brian Jeffords and all the 8th grade students and staff, worked tirelessly to raise money for the University of Iowa Dance Marathon. U of I Dance Marathon work to raise money for children facing cancer and other serious illnesses at the University of Iowa Hospitals. Our total this year came in at $4,757.20.

Please click here to read more:

Concession Help Needed

We try open our concession stand during our sporting events. This is a great way for our PTA to make money. Each event we tend to make over $100. This adds up and provides great support to our students and school. In order for us to run the concession stand we need at least one adult willing to volunteer their time. Without an adult we are unable to have the stand open. Please see the sign up on the link below for the remaining home events. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Girls' Basketball


Concert Wrap-up

We'd like to thank all Franklin friends and family members who made it out to this fall's concerts. We are very proud of the effort our students put in to making these nights a success. We had wonderful crowds for each of the three concerts and we appreciated everyone's cooperation. For the Band and Orchestra concerts it was great to have them in the audience to listen to the other groups. It's amazing to hear the growth and progress made from one grade level to the next. We'd like to thank our directors:

Vocal-Ms. Brittany Collia

Orchestra-Ms. Nicolle Stern

Band-Ms. Beth Davies & Ms. Val Shanley

We will see everyone at our next concerts: Vocal (Feb. 22), Orchestra (Feb. 25), Band (Mar. 1) for what will be some great evenings of music.

Learner-Centered Assessment

You may or may not have seen stories in the news recently about Standards Based Grading or what Cedar Rapids refers to as Learner-Centered Assessment. While Franklin is not among the two pilot schools we do have a number of teachers that are using the LCA grading approach, or portions of it, in their classroom. Right now there is no decision regarding when or if we'll be in full adoption, but we want to ensure that you have access to information to help keep you informed.

As American education continues to face significant challenges and calls for change our community has responded by initiating and supporting new models and approaches. Making these changes is very difficult and can’t be done in isolation and without the community. Change of this magnitude is very difficult. Traditions and cultures cemented in and practiced over 100 years make it hard. The natural apprehension, fear and angst that comes with change make it hard. One such transition point our country is facing is how to determine what our students know and how well they know it. We want to engage our community in this conversation as we continue to move our school district forward.

Over the next several weeks we will commence a series of community conversations. Each 90 minute session will provide some background on grading practices, where the District would like to go in terms of grading practices, and the bulk of time left for conversation, questions, and drafting ideas for how to make such a transition successful for our kids and community.

Please click on the link to access the schedule for upcoming meetings:

Upcoming Winter Sports

Our next sports' seasons are beginning soon. The current boys' basketball and girls' swimming season ends in the next couple weeks. The following seasons are approaching. Student-athletes are reminded that an updated physical and signed concussion forms are mandatory before students can practice.

Boys' Swimming

Practice begins December 2

Coach: Ms. Mercedes Hayes

Girls' Basketball

Practice begins December 4

Coaches: 7th-Mr. Stokes & 8th-Mr. Walker

Opus-Congrats Maddie!

We would like to congratulate 8th Grader, Madelyn O'Brien, for her tremendous accomplishment of making the Iowa Opus Honor Choir. On Thursday Ms. Chris Edgerton accompanied Madelyn as she joined other students from around the state. Congrats!

Franklin Counseling Department

It's hard to believe, but the time for high school registration and 5th grade orientation is right around the corner. Our Counseling Office is an integral part for each. Please be sure to check our Counseling Office page on the website that includes important dates for families to remember.

Below is the mission of the Counseling Department.

The mission of the Franklin Middle School professional school counseling program is to provide a comprehensive developmental counseling program that ensure every student achieves the highest possible education in the areas of academic, career, and personal/social development through an aggressive partnership with students, family, school and community.

Lost & Found - Please Claim

Our lost and found has morphed into quite a large pile in the past couple weeks. We've made announcements for our students to check for any missing items. We will have the pile through the weekend, but after Monday we will be donating any remaining items to local charities. If your student seems to be missing items of clothing, materials, gizmos and gadgets please encourage them to check when they return to school on Monday.

Thank you

Toys for Tots

The Franklin 6th Grade Student Council is sponsoring the Annual Toys for Tots campaign. This toy drive has begun and will go through Thursday, December 3rd. Council members will then deliver the Toys to KGAN News station. Members are asking for donations of toys for children ages 1 to 14. Please take time to go shopping with a friend and select some gifts for others. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Spring Musical

Franklin Drama Club announces auditions for the Spring Musical. Disney Jr.'s Alice in Wonderland will be the Spring 2016 musical production. Auditions for Alice in Wonderland will be the week after thanksgiving break. That's December 1st thru 4th. Alice in Wonderland will be performed on March 10 and 11th. But auditions are the first week of December. More information will be posted next week on the Franklin Drama Club website. Also look for audition posters at school next week.

The musical is fun and has lots of great parts, so come audition for Alice in Wonderland!

Important dates for the 2016 Spring Musical:

  • Auditions - Tues. Dec. 1 - Fri. Dec. 4, 2015
  • Performances - Thurs. March 10 & Fri. March 11, 201

See the drama website for more information:

Kirkwood Summer Camps

Summer might seem like a ways off, but we want to provide you some options for some students available through Kirkwood Community College. Kirkwood’s Continuing Education division has been proud to offer a growing number of summer camps available to youth ages 9-15 for several years called Kirkwood Interactive Camp for Kids (KICK).

This program has grown each year and we pride ourselves in focusing on quality instruction which is STEM focused and a great opportunity for career exploration for this age group. The summer of 2015 we offered over 125 camps with almost 1300 students on our campus.

KICK runs mid-June to mid-August on Mondays through Fridays and is held only during the day. You may find more information at our website

Friends of Franklin

Want to support Franklin? Check out our page that has information about our Friends of Franklin. We are extremely appreciative for the amount of support that our PTA has provided us. If you've seen our video announcement system in the school it was made partially possible because of the PTA purchasing 4 TVs.

PTA Sign-Ups

Follow the link below to the PTA SignUpGenius page that will take you to all available sign-ups to support upcoming events. This page will be edited throughout the year.

Upcoming Events

Monday, November 23

Boys' Basketball, 7th vs. Wilson, 8th @ Wilson

Girls' All-City Swim Meet @ Linn-Mar

November 25-27

Holiday Break-No School

December 2

Boys' swimming practice begins

December 4

Girls' basketball practice begins