Franklin e-Newsletter

Friday, January 26, 2018

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Building Closed at 1:30 on Friday, Feb. 2 for All-Staff PD

All-School Assembly: Trevor Ragan

On Wednesday, January 17 we were fortunate to have Trevor Ragan from TrainUgly speak with our students about the importance of a growth mindset and how it relates to their learning. Nearly all of the Cedar Rapids middle and high schools attended a half day training on January 16. The video above introduces the message he delivered to the students. I encourage you to visit with your child about the differences between a "zoo tiger and jungle tiger". While the message was directed to students, the message itself can be transferred to all of us regardless of age, occupation, or experiences.

1st Semester Grades

You should soon, or already have, received a copy of your child's 1st Semester grades through the mail. If you did not receive the grades please contact our Counseling Office to ensure we have the correct address on file.

Activity Day-January 31

We're excited for the Activity Day ahead. A reminder this Wednesday is the re-scheduled day for our Activity Day. Students have been reminded of the details for that day. A reminder of the locations for the trip:

  • 6th Grade: SkyZone
  • 7th Grade: Westdale Bowling
  • 8th Grade: Sundown Mountain Resort

Hy-Vee Receipts

We've had a great turn-in response to the Hy-Vee receipts this year. The last day receipts will be counted towards this year's total is March 30. You can continue to submit receipts, but they will be used towards next year's total.

We will have one final homeroom challenge. This will be the week of March 5-9. We'll introduce the homeroom challenge to students beforehand and offer some rewards for the winners.

Meals on Wheels

The Franklin Student Council will once again be helping out with the Horizons Lunch Box Fundraiser to be held on Tuesday, February 13th through Thursday, February 15th. This has been one of our favorite events to help out in the community. Students will help with prepping, making, and packing these special order lunch boxes. The money raised from there sale helps to fund the Horizons Meals on Wheels community program. We will provide four students for each of the two shifts on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday during this special week. Our shifts are from 9:00-12:00 and 11:00-2:00. If you would like to volunteer and help out with the students please let Ms. Dvorak know. We will gladly take your help and you will have a great time doing something fun for the Horizons organization.

Better yet, order yourself a lunch and come to school and join your son or daughter for lunch. We will deliver your lunch to Franklin so you can enjoy it here. Your donation goes to a great cause

Parent-Teacher Conferences


Included with the grade reports will be a letter informing you of Winter Conferences. Parent-Teacher Conferences are set for this winter and online sign up procedures are in place. Conference times and dates are:

  • Monday, February 12th from 3:00-8:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, February 20th from 3:00-8:30 p.m.

Parent conferences are an important part of the parent-school partnership necessary for a successful education. Franklin has an excellent tradition of parent involvement, and we would really like you to join us. It is expected that your student join you for this conference as they will have important insight into their educational progress.

Parents may sign up for conference times online via the link available through the website: or from our Franklin website:

The link will be activated Monday, January 29th and will close at midnight on Friday, February 9th. Once you are on the site, simply use your student’s first and last name as the login and then your student’s ID number as the password to sign up for conference sessions.

LCA-Parent Learning Sessions

During our upcoming Parent-Teacher Conferences we will have several opportunities for you to learn about LCA. Kathy Slaman and Franklin Staff will be there to walk through what is and is not LCA. We encourage you to come learn more. No sign-up is needed and we're blocking 45 minutes for each session.

  • Monday, February 12 @ 4:00PM & 6:00PM
  • Tuesday, February 20 @ 4:00PM & 6:00PM

More information will be coming out.

Future Cities-An Age Friendly City Competition

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The Future City Regional competition was held at Prairie Point Middle School last Saturday, January 20. The theme this year was “An Age Friendly City.” All teams had done a lot of research about elder folks and what their needs will be in the future.

Franklin had four teams compete in what has come to be a very competitive competition between over forty different projects from around the state. Franklin teams that competed were 7th grade teams- Colina- consisting of Zoey Akers, Amelia Basler, Kyle Pratt and Ward Rust, Sundara Parvata consisting of Ryder Fleming, Julia Greenlee, Ethan Longwisch and John Lorenz. 8th grade teams- Avenir consisting of Erin Olson, Abigail Owens, Hannah Snitkey, Alex Sullivan, and Olivia Yee, Maru made up of Holly Altfillisch, Piper Jackman, Lydia Jackson, Julia Sheyko, Colton Staudacher, and Aspen Suthers.

The morning started bright and early at 8:00 with registration and the Penalty Police checking all models to make sure they met the criteria for proper dimensions. Then, teams were interviewed for special awards sponsored by various organizations. Team Colina won the award for the Best Land Surveying Practice and Team Sundara Parvata won the award for the Best Environmental vision. These teams were awarded special prizes at the award ceremony held in the gymnasium.

Finally, team Maru was announced a finalist and was one of only five teams to compete for the chance for a trip to Washington, D.C. and participate in the National competition, an honor that was awarded to the Franklin team last year. Team Maru did an amazing job performing their presentation and sharing their model of the future. In the end, Team Maru finished fourth place. The team from Decorah was the champion, with Imagination Iowa in 2nd, Marion in third place and Harding finishing fifth.

It was a long day, but the Franklin teams all represented our school very well, and had a lot of fun doing it!

HRS-Level 1 Survey

Please stay tuned to our e-Newsletters for further information about our District and building's work with High Reliability Schools (HRS). This framework helps with our School Improvement Plan that encompasses academic and social-emotional work with our students. All Franklin stakeholders (students, parents, and staff) will take a survey to determine different levels of Level 1: Safe & Collaborative Culture. In February we will e-mail out the link to parents and also allow families to complete the survey when attending conferences.

Thursday Tutoring Returns

Our tutoring partnership with Washington High School students will return after the start of the second semester on Thursday, January 25. After that we will plan on every Thursday until the end of the year unless otherwise announced. Tutoring goes from 3:00-4:00 and is supervised by Franklin Staff. Students that attend are also provided a snack. If you're interested in your child attending please contact our Counseling Office.

Vocal Concert Update

In the PTA Calendar & Handbook there's a Vocal Concert scheduled on Tuesday, February 27. There WILL NOT be a concert on this date. The next Vocal Concert will be on Tuesday, May 22. Please stay tuned for more information.

Student Spotlight

This year we're again recognizing students who exemplify what it means to do your PARRT at Franklin. We call this feature our Spotlight Students. Twice a month teachers will select four 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

Ryan Gunderson, Penny Mrstik, Jennifer Phillips, Isaac White

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7th Grade

Nick Burkamper, Shyann Martin, Acelynn Swiftbird, Anna Tarvastad

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8th Grade

Allie Hayes, Enoch LeHew, Dynasty Roundtree, Rachel Stevens

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Franklin Future Grading-Learner Centered Assessment


Beginning in the 2018-19 school year Franklin will be the fourth of six Cedar Rapids' middle schools to use Learner-Centered Assessment (LCA) as a way to assess student performance and guide teacher instruction. The other middle schools are Harding, McKinley, and Roosevelt.

LCA is mindset shift, getting away from pure letter grades and instead focusing on student's progress through content area standards. We understand there are some thoughts to what LCA is/is not. We currently have a handful of teachers that are already using LCA with their classes. During the spring we will work to provide families with articles and learning sessions to keep you informed of the process. We understand the importance of speaking with our students, but also informing parents since it's a shift to "what we know and what we've always done". Our staff has spent a portion of our Professional Learning devoted to LCA and will take more time this spring so we can hit the ground running next fall.

Below is an informational video that was used in the past to provide background to families. Be on the lookout for more information.

From Our Counseling Department

High School Registration & Visits

This is a quick reminder that your student will be participating in the following upcoming 8th grade transition activities:

Washington High School

  • High School Orientation at Franklin with Washington counselors (January 18)
  • Parent and Student Orientation at Washington High School (January 29: 6:30-9:00 pm)
  • Fine Arts Assembly- students will be bussed to their assigned high school for this (February 6: 9:00-11:00 am)
  • High School Registration at Franklin Middle School with Washington counselors (February 13)

Kennedy High School

  • High School Orientation at Franklin with Kennedy counselors (January 18)
  • Parent and Student Orientation at Kennedy High School (February 1 at 6:00 pm)
  • Fine Arts Assembly- students will be bussed to their assigned high school for this (February 6: 9:00-11:00 am)
  • Cougar Talk Night for parents and students at Kennedy High School (February 12)
  • High School Registration at Franklin Middle School with Kennedy counselors (February 13)

Students will be expected to attend the events associated with their currently assigned high school. If you need to pick up an in district permit you can do so in the counseling office. Counselors will work individually with any students attending high schools other than Washington and Kennedy. Thank you for your understanding and assistance as we get ready to prepare your child for their transition into high school

Other Information

Waiting in the Morning

The colder weather has finally arrived. With the change in temperature we wanted to provide information about waiting in the morning. We encourage students to dress appropriately. Students will wait outside until the temperature goes below 25 degrees.

Friday Theme Days

One of our ways to create a sense of community and school spirit is Theme Fridays. Please see the picture below for the list of this year's themes. We love to see as many students participate as possible.
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Upcoming Events

Monday, January 29

  • Girls' Basketball: 7th @ Home/8th @ Taft

Tuesday, January 30

  • Girls' Basketball: 7th @ McKinley/8th @ Home (Make-up from 1/11/18)

Wednesday, January 31

  • Schoolwide Activity Day

Thursday, February 1

  • Girls' Basketball: 7th @ Oak Ridge/8th @ Home

Saturday, February 3

  • Metropolitan Orchestra Concert @ Paramount, 6:15PM

Tuesday, February 6

  • Wrestling: @ Harding

Thursday, February 8

  • Wrestling: @ Franklin vs. Northwest Jr. High & Prairie

Saturday, February 10

  • Illumination Show Choir: @MoShow