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Students in science class


Bright, out-of-the-box thinkers who aren’t thriving don’t need more of the same. So Franklin does academics differently. Everything about this 360-degree program is focused on giving you the skills — academic, social, emotional, and executive functioning to soar. Add in a solid serving of self-advocacy, awareness, and acceptance and you find success.

We start with core classes designed just for these minds. We add to that high-interest subject matter to keep students engaged and interested. And we constantly weave in education about who you are, how you learn, and how you can make decisions that help you learn and grow both now and in the years to come.

As students near the end of their Franklin journey, you are ready to road test your skills. The Franklin Senior Experience is a capstone senior year that simulates the first year of college. Our students then graduate more ready for a variety of postsecondary environments as they recognize their strengths and have immersed themselves in a learning environment designed for lifelong success.

Academic Approach

teacher and student at whiteboard

Franklin believes that in the right setting and with wrap-around support, our students will succeed in traditional academic environments. The Franklin Academy Model includes robust graduation requirements:

  • 4 Years of English
  • 4 Years of College & Career Readiness
  • 4 Years of Physical Education
  • 3 Years of History (World & U.S. History)
  • 3 Years of Math (Coursework ranging from Pre-Algebra through Calculus)
  • 3 Years of Science (Biology, Chemistry, Environmental, & Physics)
  • 1 Semester of Civics
  • 1 Semester of Financial Literacy

What Makes Us Different

  • Small class sizes (6-10 students)

  • Built-in accommodations through 504 Plans

  • Access to assistive technology

  • Day and evening structured study halls

  • Integrated executive functioning support

  • Differentiated and experiential-based learning environments

  • Social/Emotional Learning

These are important skills that not just most of our students, but most people in the world don’t have.

Honors Program, Dual Enrollment, and Signature Academic Programs

Once at Franklin many students soar and benefit from additional challenges that allow them to fully use their gifts and talents.

Honors Program:

Students with demonstrated strengths in academic areas can be invited into Franklin Academy’s Honors Program. The Honors Program challenges students to complete rigorous and advanced work in addition to their general core classes. With rigorous courses in History, English, Science, and Mathematics, these Franklin students can graduate with an Honors diploma.

Some examples of recently offered honors classes include:

  • Human Psychological Research (Science)
  • Puzzles and Paradoxes (Math)
  • History of Arab-Israeli Conflict (History)
  • Eurasian Folk Tales (Literature)

Dual Enrollment:

Franklin Academy also offers dual enrollment through the University of Connecticut. Students can take college courses in the following departments delivered by Franklin teachers who are certified as adjunct faculty members at UConn:

  • Computer Science
  • Engineering
  • English
  • History
  • Human Rights
  • Mathematics
  • Political Science
  • Statistics

Signature Academic Programs:

We celebrate the many talents and passions of our students, and we build programs to support student interests. Through our signature programs, students delve deeper into topics of interest and passion.

In the Presence of Animals:

Nearly 40 percent of students are involved in Franklin Academy’s “In The Presence of Animals” program. With a farm on campus, coursework in Anthrozoology (the study of the interaction of humans and other non-human animals), and community partnerships including equine studies, Franklin students can immerse themselves into various academic fields including animal husbandry, conservation, zoology, biology, and ecological sciences.

Fine and Performing Arts:

Each year, nearly a third of Franklin’s community actively participates in fine and performing arts. Through portfolio-based workshops, theatrical studies, and a spring musical (our 2024 musical is Anything Goes!), our students become artists. Franklin Academy encourages students to form bands, practice instruments, and work with our resident art instructor on creating murals. Students share their work with the community and are recognized for their talents. In 2024, our actors won seven awards, including Outstanding Ensemble, at the Connecticut Drama Association One-Act Competition.

Elective Courses

As you master skills in core classes, you also enjoy electives that grab your attention. Offered four days a week, courses are intended to be of high interest, on a variety of topics, and across a range of rigor. Each term there are multiple options in STEM, literature, social studies, art, and general electives.

Student in library
A recent term included the following:

Introduction to Neuroanatomy
Introduction to Drawing
Two Centuries of American Presidents
Theater Production
Python for Noobs
Metal Sculpture
Nutrition & Food
Advanced Videography
Collage Portraiture
Home Cooking & Food Science
Art of Playing Cards
Google Suites
Wes Anderson Movies
War, Identity, and Morality: Antigone and Home Fire
World Regional Geography
STEM Fundamentals
Civics: What are your Rights?
Documentary Film Studies
One-Page Game Design
Painting: Light and Color
Geography 101
Building Community through Theater
Animal Husbandry
History of Zero
Cooking in the Caribbean

Animal Husbandry. Girl with chicken on stairs

We want students to have this breadth of exposure. It’s about preparing for a world that's changing in ways that are hard to predict right now. We want them to be as prepared as possible.

Time to Explore: Intersession

Franklin students are passionate about their special interests. Intersession gives them a chance to go all in, six hours a day for two weeks on a topic (similar to a January term in college). Intersession courses have included Art of the Mural, Fitness and Wellness, Native American Culture, Film Studies, Radio Journalism, Birdhouse Design, Moments from Broadway, Conservation Biology, Forensic Science, World War II, Landscaping, Social Issues, Performance Poetry, Digital Microscopy, Silkscreen and Design, and Folk Culture.

Intersession mixes things up. A different schedule. New teachers. Students who aren’t on their normal team. It’s a chance to stretch, have fun, and find people who share their passion.

Student playing the guitar

The Senior Year Experience

You are almost there. You are a Franklin senior. This is the time for a smidge more fine-tuning, a bit more practice. You are ready for the Franklin Senior Experience.

Senior Experience is like a year-long boot camp for life. Your classes and schedule will more closely mimic those of a college student. Course offerings include practical choices, such as statistics and financial literacy. You get to practice things you will experience in college in a safe, supportive environment. You will know better what to expect – academically, residentially, and socially – before stepping foot on a college campus. Our goal is for you to grow to be independent and confident for what comes next.

Beyond classes, Senior Experience also features seminars, a capstone experience, and work opportunities unique to your needs. You will learn about the nuances of dating, how to make social connections, and what about your diagnosis (and when!) to share with others. You can also do an off-campus internship in a government agency, a business, or a non-profit, learning valuable employment skills.

Capstone Project

At Franklin we value giving back. Seniors and postgraduates spend a week serving at local non-profits. These efforts have included constructing a 1,600-foot wetlands walkway, designing and delivering after-school programs for elementary school children, initiating animal husbandry projects, and constructing foot bridges. It also provides a chance to apply social/emotional intelligence and communication skills, and to practice “soft skills” valued by future employers.

woman carrying white and green textbook

College and Career Readiness

Franklin leads to college and careers. From the beginning, that has been part of the vision of the school. If you desire to continue your education, Franklin provides robust support to help you search for and enroll in a great fit school.

College Advising

College Advisor and studentAt Franklin our Associate Dean of College and Career Counseling is focused on helping you find colleges with the right programs, location, atmosphere, and resources (including accommodations and support). This might mean an academically “elite” school, a specialized college with more support, or any of the fine colleges and universities in between those. Parents are invited to participate in seminars to learn more about the process. Students can meet with admissions representatives who visit campus, and each fall, we host a college counselor panel for the community.

The Fall College Trip

To give students a sense of options, we visit colleges! During Franklin’s mid-fall break, faculty and students take a trip through the Northeast. You can see large universities, small liberal arts colleges, schools that specifically serve students who need accommodations, and highly selective colleges. If one of our alumni is attending we enjoy the “insiders” tour.

Franklin Academy in the Workforce

This is a place where you will find confidence, embrace passions, and think about what to do with your independent adult life. Our alumni work in a range of professions including:

Social worker
Commercial airline pilot
Rodeo rider
School counselor
U.S. Senator’s aide
Software developer
Science lab technician
Veterinary assistant
Peace Corps volunteer
Hotel manager
Legal assistant
Marine biologist
Computer game designer
Campaign manager
And many more!

Academic Support

While many schools offer fee-based academic services, Franklin Academy provides integrated support through the Academic Development Center. Students who need additional guidance in reading and writing can enroll in individual remediated courses or receive individualized instruction to enhance their reading comprehension, decoding, and writing skills. In the evenings, the Academic Development Center provides content-based tutoring in Math, Science, English, and History from Department Chairs and peer tutors.

Besides tutoring, the Academic Development Center can support students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia and other related specific learning disabilities. Specifically, the Center can support strategy and skill development in the following areas:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Fluency
  • Decoding
  • Organization of Writing (Paragraph structure, sentence fluency)
  • Research-Based Writing
  • Writing Conventions
  • Study Skills
  • Number Concepts
  • Basic Operations
  • Interpreting Word Problems
  • Time Management
  • Planning and Prioritizing Work & Deadlines
  • Breaking Down Large Assignments into Manageable Chunks
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