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  • Writer's pictureFranklin PTO Newton

From the Principal - October 12, 2021

Dear Franklin Families,

I hope that all of you enjoyed the long weekend. Congratulations to all members of the Franklin community who ran in the Marathon yesterday! As both temperatures and leaves begin to drop, we look forward to the many events that the second half of fall will bring. In addition to all of the important reminders below, please also be sure to sign up for a fall conference with your child’s teacher. Information about how to set up these appointments will be coming from teachers in the near future. Conferences will be held during the weeks of October 25th and November 1st. 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.

Important Safety Information: In the interest of maintaining a safe environment for all of our students, I am writing once again about rules for our “Blue Zone” on Derby Street. During arrival and dismissal times, the curb along the street in front of the school is exclusively for live parking, which means that drivers must stay with the vehicle and drive away as soon as their child is in the car. There can be absolutely no double parking in this area as this creates a hazard for children. If you need to park and walk up to the school, please park on a neighboring street. We also ask that pedestrians please cross Derby Street only at the crosswalk. We appreciate everyone’s help in keeping our students safe.

We have a Family Event this Weekend! I hope that many of you can join us for our Franklin Family Day at Franklin Park this Saturday, October 16th, 12:00-4:00 p.m.! Please follow this link for more information and to RSVP for this event.

Change to COVID Communication Protocols: As was the case last year, it is my commitment to be consistent and transparent with notifications of COVID cases in our school building. As we continue to respond to COVID scenarios, we have adjusted our communication protocols to be meaningful and informative. Moving forward, please note the changes outlined below:

  • Close contacts will continue to be notified by a public health professional and provided appropriate instructions.

  • Students in a class with a positive case will be notified immediately following the identification of close contacts.

  • Principals will notify families of the number of cases in the school per week through either the weekly eblast/newsletter or a weekly email. This notification will take the place of the “all school” notification that was previously sent on the same day as the class notification.

Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Weekly COVID Case Numbers: This week, Franklin School recorded one COVID case. Close contacts and classrooms were informed and provided instructions per our notification protocols. 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. We will meet in-person when feasible and rely on virtual meetings when necessary. At this point, in-person meetings will need to be outdoors, so we expect to be limited by weather or lack of daylight as we move farther into the fall. We will let you know the format for each meeting as the date approaches.

October 18th 7:30 p.m.

This will be a virtual meeting and can be accessed at the following Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 837 2998 3639

Passcode: 106367

November 19th 8:30 a.m.

January 20th 7:30 p.m.

February 18th 8:30 a.m.

March 24th 7:30 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: November 2nd, December 9th, February 3rd, March 24th, and May 12th. November 2nd will be an afternoon for Parent-Teacher Conferences.

Creative Arts & Sciences Programs: The Franklin Creative Arts & Sciences Committee, led by Chris Daly and Helen Makadia, organizes and manages enrichment programs at Franklin that support Newton Public Schools' curriculum, system-wide goals, and core values. The Franklin PTO provides 100% of the funding for these programs, and we are planning to have three programs per grade level this year. Programs brought into Franklin enhance instruction in Art, English, Language Arts, History and Social Sciences, Music, and the Sciences. Thank you to all of the parents whose support of the PTO makes these programs possible! Upcoming programs are:

Friday, October 15th: Author and Scientist Dr. Oneeka Williams visits Second Grade

Monday, October 18th: Storyteller Valerie Tutson visits Fifth Grade

Tuesday, October 19th: Storyteller Kemp Harris visits Kindergarten and First Grade

Tuesday, October 26th: Author Vita Morrow visits Fourth Grade

With best wishes,

Mark Chitty

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