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  • Writer's pictureFranklin PTO Newton

From the Principal - March 15, 2022

Dear Franklin Families,

We are excited to launch our first March Madness reading tournament at the All School Meeting tomorrow morning! Reading officially begins on Friday, and reading logs will come home either tomorrow or Thursday. Each week, please sign your child’s reading log and help them enter their minutes into the database on our school’s website (directions below). During the four weeks of our March Madness tournament (March 18th-April 14th), students will earn points for their class teams as they read outside of school, and points are awarded for time spent reading rather than the number of pages read. (For Kindergarten and First Grade, 15 minutes= ten points. For all other grades, 30 minutes=ten points). In an effort to make the competition fair for classes of varied size, we will use the average number of minutes read per student for each class rather than the total minutes per class. The winning class will be announced at our All School Meeting on April 27th and will get an extra PE class with Mr. Wong! Please see more information below.

Next Thursday, March 24th, at 7:00 p.m., I hope to see many of you at our PTO Meeting in the Library. I will be talking about instructional strategies we are using to promote engagement and accessibility for all students in Math. I realize that many of you have not had an opportunity to spend time inside the school due to pandemic restrictions during the past couple of years, and I will conclude the meeting with a building tour for all who are interested. I hope to see you there!

Next Thursday also marks the beginning of our spring Parent-Teacher Conference season. This is an opportunity to learn more about how your child is making progress academically and socially relative to our grade-level benchmarks and hear about the strategies that are most important for continual growth. We value our partnership with all of you and look forward to these conversations.

With Best Wishes,

Mark Chitty

CAS AUTHORFEST 2022 : Creative Arts & Sciences AuthorFest is coming! Look for information about author visits to our school in the PTO newsletter.

On April 12, authors and illustrators that presented to K-8 students all over Newton will be gathering at the Cabot Elementary School library for a book sale and signing, meet and greet, between 3:15 - 5:30 PM. The event is open to the public. Newtonville Books will be on hand with a selection of books for sale that students can get signed.

Newtonville Books is taking pre-orders of books between now and March 21. If you want to purchase a book in advance, go to:

CAS AuthorFest is made possible by a generous grant from the Newton Schools Foundation with additional support from The Village Bank, Harmony Foundation, and parent contributions to the PTO.

S.P.A.C.E. Camp: Please see this flyer about an exciting summer enrichment opportunity here in Newton Public Schools!

Weekly COVID Case Numbers: During the week of 3/7, Franklin School recorded 0 COVID cases. Information on districtwide COVID cases and vaccination rates can be found on the Newton Health and Human Services website here: NPS COVID Case Count and Vaccination Rates.

Parent Coffee/PTO Evening Meeting Dates: This year, we have a mixture of morning Parent Coffees and evening PTO Meetings through which we hope to engage all of you in conversation about life and learning in our school community. Please join us on the following dates.

March 24th 7:00 p.m.

April 29th 8:30 a.m.

June 2nd 7:30 p.m.

Absences: If your child will be absent from school for any reason, please call the Student Absence Line at 617-559-9509 before 7:50. Also, please be sure that teachers have accurate information about dismissal routines for your child.

Early Release Dates: We will have dismissal at 12:10 p.m. on the following dates: March 24th and May 12th.

MCAS Dates: Please note the following dates as you are planning family vacations and appointments:


Grade 3: 3/28 and 3/29

Grade 4: 3/31 and 4/1

Grade 5: 4/4 and 4/5


Grade 3: 4/25 and 4/26

Grade 4: 4/28 and 4/29

Grade 5: 5/2 and 5/3


Grade 5: 5/5 and 5/6



The 2022 Franklin School March Madness Reading Celebration will begin on Friday, March 18th and run through Thursday, April 14th.The kickoff will take place at our All School Meeting on March 16th, where each classroom will be randomly assigned the name of an actual NCAA basketball team. Students will earn points for their team based on the number of minutes read daily at home during March Madness. To participate:

  • Read a book (or have it read to you) and record your daily minutes onto the March Madness reading log.

  • Once a week on Thursday evening at home, students will enter their TOTAL WEEKLY MINUTES read into a Google Form.

  • To access the Google Form, go to and look under the “Franklin Pride, News and Special Events” section for March Madness.

    • We will accept a maximum of 1,260 minutes per week/per child, which is an average of 3 hours per day.

  • Students will hand in the paper copy of their reading log to their classroom teacher every Friday morning.

  • Students should begin to log their minutes into the Google Form on Thursday, March 24th. This should be done every Thursday evening through April 14th.

Point System

Books read in school are not eligible for points. Books read as part of nightly reading can be counted. A weekly reading log will be sent home every Friday. To make it fair for classes that have fewer students, we will base points on the class average for the week. For example, if Ms. Terk’s 5th grade class reads 6270 minutes in one week, and there are 19 students in her class, we will divide 6270 by 19 to get an average of 330 minutes. Ms. Terk’s class would earn 110 points for that week. Team points earned will be tallied and recorded every week by Student Council members on a graph in the front hallway.

There will be a separate point system for grades K-1 and for grades 2-5.

Grades K-1 - Every 15 minutes = 10 points

Grades 2-5 - Every 30 minutes = 10 points

Team Bonus Points

90% class participation = 20 points each week

Complete the Team Research form (1 per class) = 10 points

Decorate your bulletin board = 10 points

If NCAA team makes it to Sweet 16 = 10 points

If NCAA team makes it to Elite 8 = 20 points

If NCAA teams makes it to Final 4 = 30 points

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