November / December 2017
Posted on 10/25/2017

The staff and students of Franklin Pierce Schools have been hard at work since our opening day on August 29th.  Without interruption or distraction, our schools have remained focused on what we are paid by our public to do – educate our kids. We are not without our challenges, but Franklin Pierce Schools are on a continuous cycle of becoming the best they can be - one day and one child at a time.  In a period of much economic distress and turmoil throughout the world, our nation, state, and local community, I am hoping that it is comforting to you that our schools continue to do the best possible job of providing a quality education for all of our children.  There is no better long-term economic investment for our state and country than ensuring strong public schools.

The caring and hard-working FPS staff do whatever it takes to maintain safe, secure, and well-kept facilities, stay abreast of and use the most effective instructional strategies, efficiently feed and transport our students, work collaboratively to determine and provide the necessary support for students who need it, and stay within the annual budgets allocated.  I can assure you that you can be as proud as I am of the work being accomplished by our incredible students and staff.

A well-rounded education for the 21st century is not the result of a simple accumulation of courses and credit hours but rather the cumulative effect of clear, rigorous, and collective teacher, principal and parent commitment.  It is the result of a pervasive school culture that refuses to define education as the passive reception of knowledge and instead celebrates demanding, profoundly engaging, and authentic experiences.  By engagement, I do not mean simply keeping students busy and interested, but in designing work for students that they see as personally meaningful, interesting enough that they will persist in the face of difficulty, and sufficiently challenging that makes them believe they are accomplishing something of worth by doing it. This aligns completely with the FPS Core Business to “Engage all students in rigorous and relevant work.”

Successful learners all share a common trait – they have the ability to grow and evolve. They understand that all information is an opportunity to collect the experience of others and to benefit from it. These learners are far more interested in what they can do with information and how it can make them better than with simply having information or “knowing” things.

Although the demands of the 21st century require new approaches to learning, you can be assured that the talented staff of Franklin Pierce Schools will never abandon the rigorous teaching of reading, writing, science, math, history, and literature.  We live in a global economy that requires our students to be prepared to think both critically and creatively, evaluate massive amounts of information, solve complex problems, and communicate well.  You can also rest assured that the physical, emotional, and cultural growth of our children will be attended to in every way possible within our fiscal capacity.  We want each student entering school healthy, learning in an intellectually challenging environment that is physically and emotionally safe, actively engaged in learning and connected to the school and broader community, having access to personalized learning and supported by qualified, caring adults.

As we move through the 2017-18 school year, we will be laying out the course of sequencing, staging, planning, designing, and constructing the new facilities our public has generously allowed us to do over the next 5-7 years. We will also be readying our campaign for the upcoming renewal of our 4-year Educational Programs & Operations Levy and Technology Levy. These will maintain the current rates (or less) for our election to take place on February 13, 2018. In the meantime, we are staying the course and moving forward with the same passion and fervor we have in the past.                   

It has been a fantastic fall and we are off to a great school year!  Please join us in the many activities taking place at all of our dynamic schools.  Bundle up, take your umbrella, get a flu shot, visit our schools, attend a student event, and I’ll see you around the district!