Franklin e-Newsletter

Friday, September 3, 2021

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Welcome Back!!!

We have wrapped up our first two weeks of the school year. We currently have nearly 580 students in our building. After the past year and a half, it's a breath of fresh air to follow our traditional middle school rotational schedule. With time away from the building, and our normal structure, we are adjusting to our high expectations for our middle school students. Please don't hesitate to reach out if there are ways to support you or your student.

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Updated Health & Safety Guidelines

See the following updates regarding COVID-19 procedures that were shared with families through email on Tuesday. You can also view them through the following link.


When LCPH or parent/guardian/staff member communicates a positive case to CRCSD, the school nurses will assist LCPH with targeted contact tracing at the grade levels in the following manner:

  • ELEMENTARY: Shift from whole school communication to targeted classroom communication when there is a staff or student positive case.
  • MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOOL: Shift to a whole school communication that segments positive cases by grade level. If students are in a self-contained classroom setting, targeted classroom communication will take place when there is a staff or student positive case.


In alignment with Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) guidance, families can choose to quarantine their students for 14 days to monitor for symptoms when they receive the positive case information. CRCSD requires students or staff members with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test isolate for 10 days.

Upcoming Vaccine Clinics

Linn County Public Health will hold vaccine clinics in six schools in September. The clinics are open to anyone age 12 and older, with parental consent required for those under age 18. All who receive a vaccine will receive a $50 Walmart gift card provided by LCPH.

  • Wednesday, Sept. 8, 3 to 5 p.m. Wilson Middle School, 2301 J St SW, Cedar Rapids
  • Thursday, Sept. 9, 3 to 5 p.m. Metro High School, 1212 7th St SE, Cedar Rapids
  • Monday, Sept. 13, 3 to 5 p.m. Franklin Middle School, 300 20th St NE, Cedar Rapids
  • Wednesday, Sept. 15, 3 to 5 p.m. Harding Middle School, 4801 Golf St NE, Cedar Rapids
  • Friday, Sept. 17, 3 to 5 p.m. McKinley Middle School, 620 10th St SE, Cedar Rapids
  • Monday, Sept. 20, 3 to 5 p.m. Taft Middle School, 5200 E Ave NW, Cedar Rapids

Vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick from COVID-19. Studies show them to be greater than 90% effective in preventing sickness, hospitalization, and death. They have also been shown to work against new variants. Additionally, vaccinated people are less likely to spread the virus—it protects you and those who aren’t able to get vaccinated because of age or health issues.

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic

Monday, Sep. 13th, 3-5pm

300 20th Street Northeast

Cedar Rapids, IA

Visitors will be encouraged to park along B Ave. and use Door 2 as the entrance into the building. Vaccinations will be in Rooms 332/334. We'll have signs posted around the building directing you to the location.

Pictures, Proofs, and Retakes

On Friday, students who had their picture taken at Back To School Night, received their picture package or proofs. There is ordering information included with each student's proof. If you have questions about picture packages, please contact Lifetouch directly.

If your student did not get their picture taken on Back To School Night, our retake day will be Wednesday, September 29th during the school day. We will contact your student to have their picture taken. Ordering information for photos taken on September 29th, will be available in the main office prior to retake day.


This week students began their first of three i-Ready diagnostic assessments for the school year. Before Labor Day our goal was for students to complete their math diagnostic test. We'll complete the reading when we return next week. Please see the video below that was shared with students this past week.

A note of importance, our goal is for students to work on their i-Ready personalized lessons for 45 minutes/week in both Math AND Reading. Students will have time built in during the school day, but they can also work on them while at home.

2021 2022 i Ready Fall Student Preview

Student Device Expectations

All middle school students in Cedar Rapids have been equipped with a Chromebook and charger. Students should bring their CHARGED device to school EVERYDAY. This will be used throughout the day in their different classes.

In addition to their device and charger, students should also have their set of EARBUDS. If students need a set of earbuds they are available for purchase in the main office for $1.

Franklin Quarterly Cuts

Franklin Quarterly Cuts program is designed to:

  • build student confidence in their appearance.

  • remove barriers for students to receive this service.

  • create a sense of community within our school.

  • increase student attendance.

Quarterly Cuts takes place on our campus and within our community. A group of barbers who are former CRCSD students provide their time and skills to give students a haircut/style. We also partner with Capri College to give students the opportunity to have their hair styled there. Students choose what service they would like.

Quarterly Cuts became a solution to an issue we experience at the middle school level, students transitioning into the adolescent stage. They are more aware of the perceptions of their peers and this often negatively impacts their self-confidence. Our goal remains to make middle school a place where students find a safe place to be. We know that slight changes for the outward appearance can impact the way we see ourselves internally too.

Student Voice Needed (SIAC)

The Cedar Rapids Community School District is seeking student voice to be represented on the SIAC (School Improvement Advisory Committee). The first meeting is Tuesday, September 7. It's ok if students are unable to attend all meetings. Meetings are on the first Tuesday of the month from 5:30 - 7pm at the ELSC in Cedar D.

  • Sept 7, Oct 5, Nov 2, Dec 7, Jan 4, Feb 1, March 1, April 5, May 3

Purpose of SIAC: Plays a significant role in establishing a close relationship between the school and community members. Having a strong SIAC promotes the community’s sense of ownership in the school system and gives valuable direction to the school district on educational priorities. Its primary purposes are to determine major educational needs and to make recommendations to the school board on prioritized student learning goals based on these needs.

Send interested student names to Lucas Ptacek by Monday at noon.

Common Area Expectations

During the first week of the school year we taught our Common Area Expectations to all our students. Using our Guidelines for Success language we explicitly teach what expect in all areas of the building. We find it important to teach to our new students and review with our returning. For us to function as a community, for students to learn and teachers to be able to teach, we must all be aware of what's expected of one another. See the graphic below from our Parent-Student Handbook that reviews all the expectations.
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Important Need to Knows

What are school hours?

Our school hours are Monday-Thursday: 7:50-2:50 & Friday: 7:50-1:20. Fridays remain an early dismissal to allow staff members time for professional development. We consider this time extremely valuable and would appreciate having students gone as close to dismissal as possible so meetings can begin on time. Our offices are 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM Monday-Thursday and 7:00-2:00 PM on Friday.

Building Schedule

See the picture below for a copy of our 2021-2022 building schedule. This year we are using a rotating schedule. This means students will have three separate schedules to follow; 1) Monday & Tuesday, 2) Wednesday & Thursday, 3) Friday. A similar schedule was used at Franklin nearly 10 years ago and it allows students and teachers to have their classes at different times depending on the day. We'll spend time during the first week of the school year to ensure students understand the different schedules.
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Breakfast Procedures

There's a lot to be of the power behind sharing a meal. This year (Monday-Thursday) students will eat lunch in their Advisory classroom. This is something we found beneficial for our students last year. Students will place an order for the breakfast the day before and it will be brought to the classroom. The exception is Friday. Students that wish to eat breakfast on Fridays will eat in the North Cafeteria. Students will enter through Door #7 in the main parking lot area. Students eating breakfast can begin entering the building at 7:25 AM and will need to be in their room beginning at 7:50.

Where to Drop Off & Pick Up?


For the safety of our students and staff we encourage you to carefully read through the map below. The cooperation and patience of all our families is essential as we orchestrate the hustle and bustle of the morning and afternoon.

We encourage families to plan ahead for a designated drop off and pick up location. The front of the building (20th Street) is a very busy street before and after school. There are better alternatives for families that are less congested. We encourage you to consult your summer mailings with a flyer for locations. You can also see the picture below.
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Where do students wait before school?

We have designated areas for our students to wait in the morning to ensure an organized flow into the building and appropriate supervision of all our students. Morning supervision of Franklin Staff begins at 7:30AM. Due to this, if at all possible, we ask for students to be dropped off no earlier than 7:30.

In the morning students will wait in the following areas:

  • 6th Grade: Front of the building. Students will enter through front doors.
  • 7th Grade: Northern portion of building. Students will enter through main parking lot doors.
  • 8th Grade: Upper B Avenue Entrance. Students will enter through B Ave. door.

At 7:43 students will be allowed indoors. The 7 minutes is adequate time for the students to get to their locker, grab their appropriate materials, and arrive into their classroom for morning announcements.

Guidelines for Success

In every area of our building we have well-defined and effective expectations. Whether students are in a classroom, student lounge, cafeteria, or simply waiting for the school day to begin, students are taught the behavioral expectation for all common areas. The expectations were designed to be clear, age appropriate, detailed, reasonable, and used by both students and staff. Positive social behaviors are introduced, modeled, and reinforced and are an important part of a student's educational experience. To help students with meeting these behavior expectations we follow our Guidelines for Success.

Guidelines for Success represent a set of skills, traits, and attitudes that everyone in school always strive to demonstrate. Simply stated, these are our goals, lifelong learning strategies, or codes of conduct. This school-wide system was designed to help to create a safe, civil, and productive school.

What is the Cell Phone Policy?

As technology continues to make life easier, and has done wonders for communication, it has also created more challenges. In a school setting it has created obstacles such as cheating and cyber bullying. Students struggle with appropriate cellphone use and tend to disrupt the learning environment with these items. Due to the many distractions a cellphone can create, students are required to turn cellphones off when entering the school building and keep them off during the school day. At the end of the school day when the student is leaving school they may resume use. Cell phones are not allowed to be used in the restroom and locker room for any reason.

For further details, please see the Parent Handbook that will be available for pick-up at Back to School Night.