Homeland Security Agent Talks About Digital Dangers

In the Digital Dangers short video series, Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Dennis Fetting explains why parents need to be aware of various online sites and apps and the dangers they present. Go to Parent Information – Safety – Internet Safety to see the list of topics that Special Agent Fetting discusses. Digital Dangers is produced in cooperation with Williamson County Schools.    ...

Planning for Your Special Needs Child’s Future: It’s Never Too Early to Start

The FSSD Special Education department is hosting a series of parent meetings for parents of students with disabilities. The purpose of these meetings is to increase parent understanding of special education, improve dialog between school and home, and increase parental involvement in the schools. Working together, we hope to improve services for students with disabilities and increase student achievement. The topic of the first meeting for the 2017-18 school year is:  Planning for Your Special Needs Child’s Future: It’s Never Too Early to Start Thursday, November 30, 20176:30-7:30 PMFranklin Elementary School Media Center1501 Figuers Drive  FSSD parent Brooke Mabry will present information based on her personal experiences – what to do and what not to do. Take advantage of Brooke’s personal experience on this topic. She wants to share this valuable information in order to save other parents some of the headaches she and her husband have encountered along their journey. The three main points of the presentation are: 1) It’s never too early to start planning. 2) You can manage the process in stages. 3) You have support along the way. You will learn how to build your team and develop your plan to provide financial security for your child with special needs. 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 by emailing FSSD Special Populations Supervisor Beth Farrar at farrareli@fssd.org. If you have any questions, please call Beth Farrar...

SAE International Grant and Nissan Provide STEM Resources

Students in three FSSD schools have had the unique opportunity to make meaningful connections in their middle school STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) classes using materials and resources provided by SAE International and Nissan. These hands-on activities correlate with the Next Generation Science standards and the Tennessee Academic standards. In August, teachers from Freedom Intermediate, Poplar Grove Middle and Freedom Middle gathered together to learn how to teach students using STEM resources such as gravity cruisers, motorized toy cars, gliders and fuel cells. This professional learning centered around the A World In Motion® (AWIM) curriculum, and was offered by the SAE Foundation and supported by Nissan, which is headquartered in Franklin.  In mid-September, a host of Nissan volunteers came to the three schools to assist students who were in various stages of putting the materials together to create one of the three projects the grant provided. Poplar Grove and Freedom Intermediate sixth-grade student teams designed and constructed a vehicle powered by gravity. The gravity cruiser consisted of a weighted lever connected to an axle by string, which rotated on its fulcrum; as the weight descended it caused the axle attached to the string to rotate, propelling the cruiser forward. At both Poplar Grove and Freedom Middle, eighth-grade students used a PEM Fuel Cell as the primary power source, then teams designed, built, and tested prototype vehicles, all the while analyzing data. Poplar Grove seventh-graders used the AWIM materials to construct electric gear-driven motorized cars, which involved writing proposals, drawing sketches, and working with models to develop a plan to meet a specific set of design requirements. The movement to STEM-based classes (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is growing as the...

Technology Update for Grades 5 – 8

Technology Update for Grades 5 – 8: My Child Has a Laptop – Now What? Now that all 5th through 8th grade students have devices to use throughout the day at school, it is time to give you an update on how the 1:1 implementation is going. It is amazing to see how quickly the students have adapted to the responsibility that comes with more access. After an overview of expectations and acknowledgement of appropriate use, the students are off and running with their teachers, using the many online and computer-based resources that the Chromebooks and MacBooks provide.  Great Job! New Internet Filtering Program Provides Added ProtectionAs an additional layer to our current web filtering program, the FSSD is partnering with Securly, a company that specializes in cloud-based web filtering. With so many new devices in use, the district added this extra level of protection to help provide teachers with monitoring assistance, allowing them to concentrate on teaching and assisting students. Securly uses algorithms to alert school administrators when a student has searched for inappropriate content or used pre-determined “red flagged” words in internet searches.  It specifically audits for words associated with cyberbullying, self-harm, or other inappropriate content. If a flagged word is detected, it generates a notification in real time to school-level administrators, who can quickly intervene if necessary. Inappropriate search results are blocked and alerts are sent to the administrator for follow up if warranted. This double-layered approach is designed to keep students protected while they collaborate with teachers and peers using their devices in a safe and secure online environment. Coming Soon:  Google Student Emails and Online...

FSSD Receives Exemplary Status in Achievement on State Accountability Report

Maintaining its position in the top tier of school districts across the state on academic achievement and accountability, the Franklin Special School District received notice of Exemplary Status in Achievement, Achieving Status in Subgroups and Achieving Status as a Final Determination.  Based on this week’s release of TNReady achievement data for grades 3-8, out of all 146 Tennessee school districts, Franklin Special retains its impressive ranking in all tested areas:  5th in Math 7th in English Language Arts 9th in Science  Achievement results provided for End of Course (EOC) testing also shows an excellent upward trend in student achievement and growth. These EOC tests reflect the growth of students who are taking the high-school credit courses of Algebra I or Geometry. “We are happy to see that these higher-level classes are continuing to provide our students who seek upper level courses with excellent instruction,” Snowden said. Remaining on trend with last year’s results, 100 percent of FSSD Geometry students scored proficient or above, which is now categorized as “On Track or Mastered” (compared with the state-wide average of 25.8 percent) and 80.2 percent of Algebra I students “On Track or Mastered” (compared with 15.1 percent statewide).  “In the era of new and rigorous testing, it is rewarding to see firsthand how well our students performed on this new assessment,” said Director of Schools Dr. David Snowden. “Our teachers have remained consistent to the charge of meeting students’ needs and ensuring success. I am extremely proud of the careful planning, consistent effort and dedication, the mindful balance that is struck between testing and all other aspects of student learning in our school...

Attendance Matters: Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow

We need our families’ help with an important goal this year. Because we know that attendance has a direct impact on academic success, we want to see every student attend school every day and for the full day.  Why is This Important?We want your child to succeed in every aspect of life and it starts right here with being present at school. Attending school regularly is so important for your child’s success because it not only helps your child academically but it also helps them socially as well. While some absences are unavoidable, research shows that when students miss too much school, regardless of the reason, it can cause them to fall behind academically. For example, missing 2 or more days per month, or 18 days over the course of the year, means they have missed 10% of the yearly instruction! Some Great Tips to Get Out the Door Help your children establish a regular bedtime and morning routine. Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before. Help your children get to school every day unless they are truly sick. Avoid scheduling vacations or doctor’s appointments when school is in session. Develop back up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, neighbor, or another parent to help out. Talk to teachers and counselors for advice if your children feel anxious about going to school or show other signs of not wanting to go to school. Other ResourcesFor more information on school attendance, please review the FSSD policy (6.200 Attendance) online at www.fssd.org (under the School Board tab, choose Online Policy Manual) or...