November/December 2018

November/December 2018
Posted on 09/03/2018
Supt. Goodpaster 2018

Dear Franklin Pierce Families and Community Members,

As we conclude our first quarter and transition into the winter months, I would like to thank all students, staff, parents, and community partners for an outstanding start to the school year. Preparing to welcome 8,000 enthusiastic and eager learners into our fourteen schools is a heavy lift and requires the collective effort of many. Collaborating with parents and community partners is essential to our success. Our schools model this is a variety of ways, including back-to-school nights and student-led conferences. Student-led conferences offer an opportunity for students to share their short and long-term educational goals with their teachers and parents and invite parents and teachers to make introductions. Conferences were extremely well attended this year. I hope that all parents left feeling confident about their child’s plans for the year.

Student-led conferences have been an integral part of our core academic program for over a decade. It is one of several strategies that we have implemented to improve outcomes for all students. Our recent graduating class provides an example of these positive outcomes.  The class of 2018 represents the highest on-time graduation rate in Franklin Pierce history. 89.6% of our seniors graduated on time. We can all be proud of this accomplishment as it reflects a collaborative partnership among students, teachers, families, and our broader community.

Despite these positive results, we know that we have work to do. We are a learning organization; not only do we teach our children, but we continually seek to become better educators.  This year, we have a deliberate focus on trauma and equity. By learning about the impact of trauma, we are learning how students respond to challenging situations, the impact of these experiences on how their brain develops, and the ways that we can better teach students who are processing trauma. Our focus on equity is rooted in our desire to ensure that all children receive what they need in order to be successful-no exceptions. Through an equity lens, we are examining how different students perform academically, how we approach discipline, and who is most engaged in our schools. Teachers and administrators are examining our findings with open minds and implementing creative strategies as we seek to make positive adjustments.

Finally, I want to provide a brief update on projects around the district. As many of you recall, the community passed a bond in November of 2016 to fund several construction projects. The first of these projects have now been completed: we replaced the bleachers at Washington High School, and added covered play areas to the Midland, Elmhurst, and Christensen Elementary playgrounds. Two additional projects are nearing completion: the gymnasium at Ford Middle School and a STEM Lab at Washington High School. Both projects will be complete before the end of this school year. The next three projects are in the planning and land preparation stage. The construction of the new Harvard, James Sales, and Collins elementary schools will begin in the fall of 2019. All three schools will be open for students in the fall of 2020. It will be exciting to watch as these new structures are assembled, to see students respond to new learning environments, and to enjoy how these facilities will support the health and development of our community.

Thank you for your ongoing support. Don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions or ideas regarding how we can serve our community better.

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Franklin Pierce Schools