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From the Principal- May 23, 2022

Dear Franklin Families,


This weekend’s heat reminded us that summer vacation is coming soon! With only 23 school days remaining, our calendar is packed with events, and I encourage you to watch for both school and PTO notices so you don’t miss anything. Thanks to the hard work of many parent volunteers and coordinator Lisa Madding, we had an amazing Book Fair last week, and it was great to see many of you in the school as you came in to shop! I hope you will be able to return for both our final PTO meeting on Thursday, June 2nd, at 7:30 p.m. and our Family Picnic on Monday, June 6th. Please see more information about the picnic below.


Teachers began working on class lists last week, and we continue to have new families join our community in a variety of grades. Based on our current enrollment projections for next year, we are planning to have three sections of Kindergarten, three sections of First Grade, four sections of Second Grade, three sections of Third Grade, three sections of Fourth Grade, and three sections of Fifth Grade. We always anticipate some fluctuation in enrollment during the summer months. Final class placements will be sent home during the final week of August.


Classroom teaching assignments for the 2022-23 school year are:

Kindergarten: MaryJane Boudreau, Melissa Joseph, and Lindsay Scott

First Grade: Leah Castrovillari, Angie Downing, and Cheryl Stamp

Second Grade: Chelsea Burke, Melissa Chiozzi, Molly DeGuglielmo, and Stephanie Lefever

Third Grade: Lauren McCarthy, Margaret Merrell, and Molly Norris and Alyssa Accorsini (cotaught class)

Fourth Grade: Emi (Clark) Smith, Erica Terk, and Kara Temple and Michelle Beatrice (cotaught class)

Fifth Grade: Jen Champagne, Casey Dolan, and Miki Leong


I look forward to providing more staffing updates in the weeks ahead, and I wish you all a restful and reflective Memorial Day Weekend. It is an honor to be your principal.

With Best Wishes,

Mark Chitty

The Franklin End of Year School Picnic is on Monday, June 6th at 6:00pm on the Franklin Field! (The rain date is set for Tuesday, June 7th at 6pm.) If you would like to order a large cheese pizza from Pizza Market, they are $13 each. The pre-ordered pizzas will be available to pick up at the PTO table on the field at 6pm.

To pre-order pizza, click on this link! https://franklinpto.wufoo.com/forms/2022-spring-picnic-pizza-order/

The PTO will be providing cake as dessert to celebrate a great school year! Please feel free to bring your own dessert if your family prefers something else.

ELPAC (English Learners Parent Advisory Council): Please see this invitation for the next ELPAC meeting on June 2nd.

Color Day Volunteers Needed! During this year’s Color Day on June 1st (Rain Date of June 8th), we will include a “Fun Run” that will benefit the Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center (RIAC), a local non-profit organization which provides free services to refugees, asylees, and immigrants, including resettlement, counseling, outreach,education, and other social services. RIAC has been assisting many families from Afghanistan to resettle in Massachusetts this year, and they are now focusing on assistance for families from Ukraine.

We still have some parent volunteer slots open for Color Day and would love to have your help! You can sign up here: https://signup.com/go/Rwnkdbs. For more information about this event, head to our PTO website here: https://www.franklinpto.org/post/color-day-and-fun-run-info-and-volunteer-sign-up-for-june-1st

Spring Concert Date: The Fourth and Fifth Grade Band and Orchestra Concert will be on Tuesday, June 14th, 8:45 a.m. for students and staff and 6:30 p.m. for families. We are proud of our musicians!

Spring Friendship Walk: Following the success of our fall event, we have decided to hold a spring Franklin Friendship Walk, in which buddy classes will walk together, side by side, through our school's neighborhood. Our spring walk will take place on Wednesday, June 15th at 11:40 a.m. and proceed along the following route: Start in the driveway between the school and field; West on Derby; Right on Parmenter; Right on Falmouth; Right on Arlington/Arbor; Right on Cherry; Right on Russell; Through the back gate into the field and back to the school. This is a one-mile route that has a continuous sidewalk and does not involve any street crossings. We invite families to be spectators along the route!

Newton Schools Foundation News: As the end of the school year approaches, you may be wondering how best to thank the special teachers and staff who have taught and nurtured your children since September. Please consider participating in Newton Schools Foundation’s (NSF) Honor Thy Teacher program, which provides a way to simultaneously recognize our faculty and support our schools while complying with the Newton Public Schools Gift Policy.

When you donate to Honor Thy Teacher, NSF will

  • Notify honored teachers and staff of your gift

  • Share honoree names with the Superintendent’s office and individual school principals

  • List all honored teachers and staff on the NPS website

  • Deliver to all honored staff a Certificate of Honor and Honoree commemorative magnet

By donating to NSF, you are not only acknowledging teachers on a personal level but also providing rich professional development opportunities for them, and supplementing the existing enrichment opportunities that the district provides. The funds raised through Honor Thy Teacher fund new approaches in the classroom, teachers’ professional development, and programs addressing inequities, which collectively impact schoolchildren across all grade levels. Read about the programs NSF funds.

You can find out more information about Newton Schools Foundation, the Honor Thy Teacher program, and how you can make a donation today.

Thank you for considering this opportunity to support Newton’s teachers.

Weekly COVID Case Numbers: During the week of 5/16, Franklin School recorded 14 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.

From NPS District Newsletter:

COVID Health and Safety

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, Middlesex County, along with most of Massachusetts, is now in the “high” community level for COVID-19. You can access current Newton-specific COVID data on the Newton HHS website:

City of Newton COVID Case Data

Newton Public Schools COVID Case Data

Given the increase in cases in our community, the Newton Public Schools STRONGLY recommends students and staff wear a mask. A well-fitting mask is very effective in reducing the transmission of COVID.

For reference, when a community level is “high,” the CDC recommends the following:

  • Wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status (including in K-12 schools and other indoor community settings).

  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.

  • Follow CDC recommendations for isolation and quarantine, including getting tested if you are exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Maintain improved ventilation throughout indoor spaces when possible.

  • If you are at high risk for severe illness, consider taking additional precautions.

Newton Public Schools will continue to notify families of COVID cases using our regular frequency of notification (based upon grade levels.) Families should use this data to assess their own level of risk based upon their family’s circumstances.

REMINDERS:

  • If you test positive for COVID, you must isolate for a minimum of 5 days after symptom onset (or a positive test if asymptomatic). Return to school is based on time and symptom resolution. Individuals must wear a well-fitting mask on days 6-10 at all times following a COVID infection, unless eating, drinking, or outside.

  • The CDC and MA DPH state that individuals exposed to a positive COVID case should mask for 10 days following exposure, REGARDLESS OF VACCINATION STATUS. A rapid antigen or PCR test on Day 5 is recommended.

COVID Testing and Protocols

Parent Coffee/PTO Evening Meeting Dates: This year, we planned a mixture of morning Parent Coffees and evening PTO Meetings through which we hoped to engage all of you in conversation about life and learning in our school community. Please join us for our final event of the year:

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.

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