A new school year is just around the corner. Therefore, it is time for the administration to welcome back to campus our colleagues who provide important leadership across Franklin Academy’s holistic program. In this group are the Academic Dean, Dean of Students, and Dean of Transitional Services, as well as our College Counselor and College Transition Advisor. Joining them are the fifteen Residential Deans, Learning Specialists, and Counselors who work on each teaching team. They serve as primary parent contacts to facilitate regular communication between school and home. After today, they will start calling parents. The goal is to become acquainted. Then, they will review the schedule for registration, learn more about each student’s summer experiences, and answer questions. The countdown has begun!
Enthusiastic and experienced teachers work at Franklin Academy, and we are passionate about making a positive difference in the lives of our students. Indeed, this is the rationale for our careers in education. One educator for every two students is our staffing ratio, and classes average six students. Seven adults serve on each teaching team, working with eighteen to twenty-four students to deliver Franklin Academy’s distinctive program. As a result of so much individual attention, student success soars. Today, our forty-two educators gather to prepare for the start of the school’s seventeenth year. You might be interested to know that the administrative team has been together since Franklin Academy was conceived in 2002. In addition, we average forty years in the profession. Our teachers average fourteen years of experience. Finally, 79% of the staff have advanced degrees.
Franklin Academy is a non-profit independent college preparatory school accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Above all, NEASC requires that we have “an appropriate system of governance that assures that our school remains true to its mission.” Therefore, a Board of Trustees, consisting of five men and five women, protects and promotes our mission to serve students on the autism spectrum. The Board hires and evaluates the work of the Headmaster who manages all aspects Franklin Academy’s operations. Next, it ensures that the school has the necessary resources to support its program. Finally, the Board focuses on the school’s strategic plan. Today, the Board gathers on campus to identify and prioritize our next set of institutional goals.
Registration for seniors and postgraduate students accepted into the FLI program, and orientation for these students and their parents will be held on Friday, September 6. Check-in and registration begin at 8:30, but please note that no student is permitted to move into his or her dormitory until cleared by the Health Center. This includes the receipt of all medical information, as well as the necessary authorizations for the administering of medicine by school personnel. Here is the schedule for the day of registration and orientation.
Check-in & Registration in the Student Center per Appointment with Advisor
8:30 to 10:45 AM
Move into Assigned Dormitories
8:45 to 12:00
Buffet Luncheon in the Dining Hall
12:00 to 1:00
Official Welcome for Everyone in the Great Room of the School House
1:00 to 1:15
FLI Parent Seminar #1 & Student Orientation #1
1:30 to 2:15
FLI Parent Seminar #2 & Student Orientation #2
2:30 to 3:15
The parent orientation program offers an opportunity to learn more about the exciting new experiences that await your student as he or she enters FLI at Franklin Academy. The seminars are not mandatory. However, we strongly recommend that parents invest the time in order to receive valuable information about FLI, its services, and resources. Above all, you will learn more about the pre-college transition process for students. You will also gain an understanding of the academic, residential, social, and emotional expectations for seniors and postgraduates. As a result, you will be better prepared to support and empower your child. In addition, you will begin forging a partnership with FLI staff. Seminars will focus on The Transition to FLI: Point of Service Program Model and Advising, and The Next Steps – Post-Secondary/College Advising and Beyond. Both seminars will be held in the Humanities Building that is located beyond the Dining Hall.
Registration and orientation for all eighth graders, freshmen, sophomores, juniors and those seniors not enrolled in FLI will be held on Sunday, September 8. Check-in and registration will begin at 10:00, and no student is permitted to move into the dormitory until registration is complete. This includes the receipt of all medical information, as well as the necessary authorizations for the administering of medicine by school personnel. Here is the schedule for the day of registration and orientation.
Check-in at the Great Room of the School House
All New Boarding Students – 10:00 AM
All Returning Boarding Students and All Day Students – 11:00 AM
Team B (Student Center), Team C (Library), Team D (School House Commons)
10:00 to 12:00
Move into Main Dormitory
10:15 to 1:30
Buffet Luncheon in the Dining Hall
12:00 to 1:30
Official Welcome for Everyone
in the Great Room of the School House
1:30 to 2:00
Student Orientation Activities
2:00 to 4:30
Parent Group Meetings with Administration and Team Leadership
in the Humanities Building
2:15 to 3:30
Parent Reception on the right side of the Dining Hall
3:30 to 4:30
Parents and Day Students Depart from Campus
Quint One is a time of transition. Everyone adjusts to being away from home. Rapport building and belonging are the focus of many activities. As a result, friendships blossom. We also work diligently to create a safe and supportive school community where all can live and learn together. This five-week term is really our “assessment quint. Students acclimate to classes and learn “how to be a student.” Teachers assess skills and make certain that class placements are appropriate. Additionally, we establish classroom and community climate. We review our Code of Conduct. Students and teachers work together to create charters, reviewing how they want to feel while in class or as a member of their team. There is also a clear emphasis on evaluating each student’s level of executive functioning. Consequently, appropriate plans and systems are created to strengthen the ability to manage one’s life at school and home.
As a way of saying thank you to Franklin Academy for its loyal business over the past decade, the Gelston House hosts an autumn barbecue for faculty and students. The event goes on rain or shine. Usually, we are on the back patio looking out over the Connecticut River. The view is spectacular. There is always plenty of food, which is a good thing. Our students devour countless hamburgers and hotdogs, mountains of fries, and bowls of salad. Because this is a great venue, there are more Franklin Academy events at the Gelston House during the school year. These include a special dinner for parents and grandparents in October. The all-school prom and our alumni reunion dinner are held there in May. Finally, at the end of the year we return to celebrate the accomplishments of our seniors and postgraduates in the company of their families.