Freedom Middle Wins National STEM Competition

Freedom Middle School students traveled to Purdue University on December 9 to compete against six other teams across the nation, including sister school Poplar Grove Middle, in a STEM-based competition called TECHFIT (Teaching Engineering Concepts to Harness Future Innovators and Technologists). On December 10, after presenting a powerpoint presentation and its original technology based fitness game, judges announced that the Freedom Middle team won the competition, now in its fifth year of funding through the Purdue University College of Engineering and the National Science Foundation.   Only seven invitations were issued and, based on a video submission and an on-site judges’ review, Poplar Grove Middle and Freedom Middle were selected to move on to the national competition in West Lafayette, Indiana. Students have spent many months designing, coding and constructing the “exergame.” Competing teams presented their TECHFIT experience and demonstrated their exergame innovation at the Purdue Recreational Sports Facility. “After seeing all of the schools present their exergame, we knew we had a challenge,” said sponsoring teacher Patty Littlejohn. “We were on pins and needles! There were so many good aspects in every school’s game and presentation.” Littlejohn said that the judges were very complimentary of the work the students had put in. One judge said, “It is very obvious your team spent time and effort actually going through what you were doing in presentation and administration – it wasn’t off the cuff.” Another judge said, “You engaged the judges, you actually approached us and gave us handouts and group documentation of your process. That shows process and product documentation.” Other notables included compliments on the music and the actual physical construction...

TCAP Testing Dates Announced for Spring

The Franklin Special School District has announced the following TCAP testing dates this spring. The testing window is April 15 – May 3, 2019.   TCAP Testing Schedule for FSSD Grades 3 and 4 April 15   English Language Arts, Part 1 (writing) – (80 minutes) April 16-17   Make-ups for ELA, Part 1 (if needed) April 18   Science Field Test (50 minutes) April 23   English Language Arts, Part 2 (35 minutes) and Part 3 (35 minutes) April 24   English Language Arts, Part 4 (30 minutes) and Math, Part 1 (45 minutes) April 25   Math, Part 2 (30 minutes) and Part 3 (40 minutes) April 26-29  Make-ups   TCAP Testing Schedule for FSSD Grades 5 – 8 April 15   English Language Arts, Part 1 (writing) – (80 minutes for grade 5; 85 minutes for grades 6 – 8) April 16-17   Make-ups for ELA, Part 1 (if needed) April 18   Science Field Test (75 minutes) April 23   English Language Arts, Part 2 (40 minutes for grade 5; 50 minutes for grades 6 – 8) and Part 3(40 minutes for grade 5; 50 minutes for grades 6 – 8) April 24    •  English Language Arts, Part 4 (40 minutes for grade 5; 45 minutes for grades 6 – 8) •  Math, Part 1 (45 minutes for grade 5; 40 minutes for grades 6 – 8) OR •  Algebra or Geometry Part 1 (35 minutes) April 25    •  Math, Part 2 (30 minutes for grade 5; 35 minutes for grades 6 -8) OR •  Algebra or Geometry Part 2 (50 minutes) •  Math, Part 3 (40 minutes for grade 5; 50 minutes for grades 6 -8)...

Strategic Planning Input Session Nov. 27 and 29

Throughout the past six months, the Franklin Special School District School Board and Leadership Team have begun the process of designing a new long-range strategic plan. We have guided our discussion around goals using the extensive feedback we gathered during the AdvancED accreditation process this spring, academic data from state and local assessments, and planning documents that the district uses each year to design instruction, improve culture, develop technology goals and improve academic performance. We are excited to have enough information and feedback at this point to have put together a draft Five-Year Strategic Plan. Called Reach 2024, this one-page talking points flier is attached to this email and the more complete plan is now ready for public review and input. This is where you come in! We invite you to one of two public review and input sessions. The public review  sessions are Tuesday, November 27 and Thursday, November 29. Both sessions will be 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room at Moore Elementary School, 1061 Lewisburg Pike. During public review, we will explain how we arrived at our broad goals and what strategic objectives we have developed to achieve the goals. Best practice in strategic planning is to keep goals broad and limited to 3-5 achievable targets. While we have discussed and refined the current goals in the Reach 2024 document many times, we are ready to hear your thoughts regarding possible revisions to these goals. Please consider attending one of the two sessions mentioned above. Thank you for helping us to “Reach 2024” with clear, thoughtful and well-defined goals that will strategically guide our school district over the next five...

Career Quest for 8th Graders to be Held Nov. 8

The 17th Annual World of Possibilities Career Exploration Day will be held Thursday, November 8, 2018 at the Williamson County Agricultural Exposition Park. This comprehensive career day is being held to better inform eighth grade students about some of the career opportunities available in Middle Tennessee. Williamson County and Franklin Special School Districts recognize there are specific workforce needs for Williamson County and Middle Tennessee. We are taking an active role to introduce students to career opportunities and other emerging careers by offering more career education within the curriculum. As our 8th grade students prepare for the transition to high school and begin to think about post-high school career options, the World of Possibilities Career Quest is an excellent strategy for getting students authentically engaged in learning about careers. The 8th grade students will travel by school bus to the Williamson County Ag Expo Park and will be chaperoned by their teachers. Students will visit career exhibits based on their interests and ask questions to learn more about that particular career. We are proud to offer this opportunity to our eighth graders and appreciate the excellent participation of our exhibitors and...

Parent Seminar: Inclusive Friendships for Students With or Without Special Needs

In order to foster understanding and improve inclusive peer relationships among students, the FSSD Special Education department is hosting a parent meeting on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, from 6:30-7:30 PM in the Franklin Elementary School Media Center at 1501 Figuers Drive. Haley Hatchell, Community Engagement Manager for Best Buddies Tennessee, will be joining us to talk about the importance of inclusive friendships for students with and without special needs. Best Buddies is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).  Child care is available. Many of our special education teachers and paraprofessionals donate their time for you to attend this very important meeting. You do not need to make reservations for child care, but it would be beneficial if you would let us know how many children you plan to bring. If you have any questions, please call FSSD Special Populations Supervisor Beth Farrar at 615/794-6624 or...

Schools to Begin Using New Visitor Entry Procedure Oct. 23

If you have visited our schools in the past few weeks, you may have noticed a new video phone in the entry area close to the office door. This equipment is part of our school’s safety plan and will require a new school entry procedure for visitors. As a pilot for this procedure, Liberty Elementary is in its second year using the video phones. The video phone system enables all exterior school doors to remain locked during the school day, which provides an extra layer of protection and is a national standard in school safety. Signage will be clear and visible when the video phone system becomes operational on Tuesday, October 23. Office staff will be sure to remind you to sign in and show your valid government-issued photo ID if you plan to leave the office area for another area of the school as we currently do. The new procedure will only take a few more seconds to enter your child’s school, but it is a critical part of our campus safety plan. To see how simple the new procedure will be, please watch this short video: https://youtu.be/60qnjwh5b0s We are excited that our district is able to provide this system in all FSSD schools and office buildings using a state safety grant and at no cost to our schools and we appreciate your cooperation and patience as we begin to implement this plan. Thank you for your support and for being a positive part of your child’s school safety...