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  • Writer's pictureFranklin PTO Newton

From the Principal - March 29, 2022

Updated: Apr 7, 2022

Dear Franklin Families,

The beginning of this week has brought a brief return of winter weather and the first day of MCAS. If your child is in Grades 3-5, please see the MCAS schedule below and make sure they come to school well-rested. Yesterday also marked the beginning of public meetings regarding the FY23 Newton Public Schools Budget. Last week, Superintendent David Fleishman sent a detailed message about budget cuts that will have a significant impact on our capacity to provide intervention supports and essential differentiation for our students. I encourage you to pay attention to this important issue during the next couple of weeks.

After one week of March Madness reading, the Auburn Tigers (Ms. Clark’s Fourth Grade class) are in the lead! However, competition is fierce with 2 ½ weeks to go. When you come to the school for conferences or other meetings, I invite you to check out the March Madness chart (designed by Fifth Grade Student Council members) in the lobby and the hallway decorations outside each classroom.

At last Thursday’s PTO meeting, there was a request for resources that explain mathematics the way children are being taught in 2022. Short videos from our curriculum, called "Math Words and Ideas," may be helpful in this regard and can be found on the district website.

1) Navigate to the Newton Public Schools website.

2) Click on the Students tab.

3) Navigate to the bottom for Elementary Math Resources.

4) Click on the purple button. From there, you can choose your student's grade level and the strand. A good starting point might be the

red tab labeled "Operations."

Please feel free to explore this resource, and, if you have any questions, please reach out to your child's teacher or to Michael Smalley, Franklin's Math Coach.

Ramadan Mubarak to all school community members who will begin observing this holy month on Saturday.

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.

Weekly COVID Case Numbers: During the week of 3/21, Franklin School recorded 2 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.

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 Date: We will have dismissal at 12:10 p.m. on 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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