The strength of any school is to be found in the wisdom, experience, and enthusiasm of its professional educators. This is especially true of Franklin Academy. The entire founding administrative team that created the school sixteen years ago remains in place – Headmaster, Assistant Headmaster, Operations Director, Development Director, Admissions Director, and Clinical Director. The College Counselor is finishing his fifteenth year at the school. Our Program Director is completing his fourteenth year with us, and the Educational Director is celebrating a decade of service along with our Director of Transitional Services. The next tier of school leadership – our Learning Specialists, Residential Deans, and Counselors – average more than thirteen years in the profession, and our classroom teachers combine a good mix of accomplished veterans and talented newcomers.

As you might imagine, this roster of educators means that we are able to serve very well our population of students who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders or identified with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities. We also have many important perspectives to share with the parents of our students, and twice a year we clear the decks in early October and mid-April to invite parents (along with grandparents) to campus for workshops, seminars, and conferences.

This coming April 12 and 13 we will be hosting the Spring Seminars at Franklin Academy, and here are descriptions of the presentations being offered to our parents and grandparents.

Post-Secondary Search Process with Byron Crozier, College Counselor. Byron will discuss various options that are available for Post-Secondary education. In this discussion, Byron will outline the search process and highlight important aspects of the post-secondary search that will help find programs that best match your child’s needs. Included in this presentation are timelines and strategies to get an admissions office to notice your child. This seminar is designed for parents of current juniors or two-year seniors.

A Skills-Focused Home with Melissa Wenz, Educational Director. In this seminar, Melissa will outline the foundational principles and intervention strategies used at Franklin Academy. The goal of this seminar is to provide parents the same conceptual overview, but focus on interventions that work within the home. This seminar is designed for parents who are new to Franklin Academy as well as those that would like some support in changing student functioning on breaks and within the family.

Time To “FLI” with Franklin Learning Institute advisors and faculty. This seminar is designed for parents of students who anticipate participating in next year’s FLI program. Advisors and faculty will outline program differences between Teams B, C, & D and FLI. They will primarily focus on changes that both students and parents will experience as they take this next step towards greater independent functioning and the programmatic structures and resources that will support students to find their best possible fit at a post-secondary program.

Talk with Me with Rebecca Hays, Clinical Director. Rebecca leads an interactive workshop that focuses on the challenges of effective communication with your teen. This seminar will cover some basics of emotional regulation and teenspeak. In addition, common roadblocks and potholes that interfere with effective communication will be discussed as well as techniques designed to break the impasse. This seminar is open to all; come ready to participate and leave with something new to try!

Watching Your Child Grow with Tom Hays, Assistant Headmaster. Come take a journey as we explore, in-depth, our students’ functioning through a sophisticated and holistic information system that captures each student’s growth. Learn how this information can provide inescapable concrete feedback for each student, offer insights to parents about their child’s functioning, and inform goals and interventions that can help students maximize their progress. This seminar is intended for any parent and grandparent interested in how Franklin tracks student growth.

Outside the Classroom with Alex Wood, Transition Coordinator. This workshop explores post-secondary planning and college readiness. In this discussion, Alex will highlight the need to use social, emotional, self-care, and executive functioning skill-based benchmarks to identify college readiness. The seminar will also provide relevant research and observational data from the FACTS program to highlight faulty assumptions made about college readiness as well as information surrounding support services in collegiate environments. This seminar is intended for all parents and grandparents.

Attached to this blog posting is the full schedule for the upcoming Spring Seminars. As you will see, we cover a lot in two days – face-to-face conferences with team contact or advisor, timely presentations and seminars by administrators, a preview of our next international trip schedule for the first half of April 2019, social events, a silent auction, a lot of good food, and a gallery presentation of student work during the intersession term.