What Parents Are Saying About Franklin Academy
Katherine, mother of Seth, Franklin Academy Class of 2020
“His future is ever so much brighter.”
Hi, Vince. A little less than 2 years ago, a scared, worried kid, with no self-esteem first visited Franklin Academy. A little over a year and a half into our Franklin experience, Seth is proud, happy, and full of self-confidence. How lucky we were to find FA, despite the fact that you honestly did not understand how we found you without an education consultant. Franklin has proven the perfect fit for Seth, and now Seth has proven he is the perfect fit for Franklin. With tears of joy, we were so honored to learn that Seth was chosen in yet another leadership role for FA, the student ambassador. Along with being an RA, a trusted school store worker, and now a prestigious peer ambassador, Seth has become a leader and is thriving. Words cannot describe our emotions. Thanks, Vince, for taking a shot on Seth. His future is ever so much brighter as a result of the FA experience.
Shaun and Eileen, parents of Seamus, Franklin Academy class of 2020
“Seamus is realizing for the first time in his life just how much this world has to offer.”
Truly, the Iceland trip was an eye-opening experience for Seamus. From our perspective, it’s remarkable what these children can accomplish when given the opportunity. Years ago we would have never expected our son could navigate a trip away from home to a foreign country without us by his side. To say we were worried sick about this trip would be an understatement. Would he remember to pack his clothes from hotel to hotel, would he be able to maneuver the airport and customs process, how would he handle the multiple transitions? Seeing him after the trip with the excitement in his voice and the smile on his face and then noticing his strong sense of confidence made us realize that our son needs a longer leash. He came home for the break and couldn’t stop talking about how much fun it was to travel to Iceland with his classmates and teachers. And, he actually came home with everything he brought! These trips are great for building self-confidence and independence while exposing our children to new cultures. We think Seamus is realizing for the first time in his life just how much this world has to offer and he may have a bit of wanderlust now. It has also created a great opportunity to explain to him why it’s important to study hard so he can actually pay for these trips himself some day!!! Thanks for organizing these life changing adventures and thank you also to the staff and chaperones who are truly amazing people deserving a lot of the credit for these tremendous travel experiences.
Regards, Shaun & Eileen
Virginia, mother of Brinkley, Franklin Academy class of 2021
“Most importantly Brinkley is loving her new school.”
Fred & Cindy
I would be happy to join the FA Ambassador Program and assist with admissions any way you need. Jonathan and I have been thrilled with Franklin so far and most importantly Brinkley is loving her new school. When I drove Brinkley back after the Christmas holiday she actually hugged me and thanked me for sending her to FA (honestly you can’t ask for more). Brinkley is continuing to make progress socially, academically (most notably in her decreased anxiety over her least favorite subject – Math), and is beginning to advocate for herself (she is scheduling and attending meetings, working with the nurse to manage her medication dosage changes). I also love the forward thinking and support FA offers – from college transition plans, success stories, and the wonderful parent workshop this fall. It is so helpful to find a community that understands and has answers for Brinkley’s student profile. Happy to do what I can to help out.
Karen and Andy, parents of Ross, Franklin Academy class of 2018
“Ross gained a sense of belonging and security, confidence and high self-esteem that he never had before.”
December 12th, 2017 will always be remembered as our BEST Hanukkah ever – it was that very evening Ross called to let us know he was accepted to Binghamton University’s School of Management for the Fall of 2018! We all started crying tears of joy, excitement, pride and happiness beyond words. Four days later, we are still on Cloud 9, “over the moon” and expect to be for some time. Acceptance to Binghamton is a dream come true.
This dream NEVER could have been achieved without Franklin Academy and its wonderful staff!! Yes, Ross’ academic successes at Franklin are very impressive; we knew they would be as Ross is an extremely intelligent young man. What’s most significant to us is the life that Ross has built at Franklin Academy since he began in the middle of his eighth grade year. Ross found his second home at Franklin with classmates and staff that soon became friends and forever family. Ross gained a sense of belonging and security, confidence and high self-esteem that he never had before. The kid who had no friends, was always misunderstood, teased and bullied throughout his late elementary and middle school years now has many wonderful, long-lasting close friendships and the respect of his peers. Ross is happy, content, full of pride and persisting on a path of success that we expect will continue to skyrocket well into his adult life.
We are forever grateful for the incredible education, support, guidance, love and friendship Ross and our family have been lucky enough to receive over the past four years. We will always be some of Franklin’s greatest fans and cheerleaders – and will continue to be there for you for many years to come just as you have always been there for us. Franklin was instrumental in giving Ross the most amazing life and incredible prospects for happiness and success now and in the future. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything! Ross and our family are truly blessed because of Franklin.
With love and gratitude,
Karen and Andrew
Trow, father of John, Franklin Academy Class of 2006
“For the first time in John’s life he might be in the right place at the right time.”
The first time that John stepped on the campus he said: “Dad, this just feels right.” He loved the people, he loved the atmosphere, he loved the campus. So that was a great start to what turned out to be a very successful transition. For the first time in John’s life he might be in the right place at the right time.
Richard and Judi, parents of Caitlin, Franklin Academy Class of 2010
“She has shown us all just how brightly she can shine!”
Our daughter, Caitlin, who has NLD has been here 2 1/2 years and is graduating in June. She has just thrived both socially emotionally and academically. She took advantage of every opportunity that Franklin had to offer. She was president of the student body, manager of the school store, an RA, a intern in admissions, made lifelong friends, learned how to live on her own, and finally learned to accept herself for who she is and what she has to offer. The teachers and staff and headmaster at Franklin Academy look at every child individually, offer much emotional support, and take their jobs very seriously. What works for one child doesn’t necessarily work for another. For Caitlin, Franklin changed her life. She was accepted into the college of her dreams, Emerson College, and is looking forward to using all the skills she learned at Franklin. She has shown us all just how brightly she can shine!!
Shari, mother of Zach, Franklin Academy Class of 2010
“I realized that for the first time in his life, my son had friends and was a respected member of a community.”
I remember being very moved during the first year at Franklin as I realized that for the first time in his life, my son had friends and was a respected member of a community. That experience alone has made Franklin invaluable in my son’s life. He has learned not only how to make a friend, but how to keep one. He has learned to be a contributing member of a community; he has learned to be a leader.
John and Leanne, parents of Adam, Franklin Academy class of 2018
“We see a young man full of hope and confidence in his future.”
As we look at this picture and read your post, we have trouble remembering the lost boy we dropped off in East Haddam on that September day in 2014. Before we found you, things looked so bleak. We knew that Adam was exceptionally bright and talented and that he wanted to succeed. However, it was clear that he couldn’t succeed in the typical school environment, and no other educators or professionals could explain why. But you could. Three years ago we wrote to you to express my gratitude, and joy at finding Franklin, and our hope that Franklin would continue to be the place where Adam fit and could achieve his full potential. Today, as we watch Adam’s senior year “FLI” by, and we see a young man full of hope and confidence in his future, we want to tell you that this is exactly where we hoped he would be, and we couldn’t be happier. You truly do save kids, families and lives.
Leanne and John
Frank, father of Breanna, Franklin Academy Class of 2011
“She felt like she had made friends for the first time ever, and that was huge.”
Our daughter had a very difficult time with finding friends and focusing on academics, but the main reason why we decided to start looking at other schools was that our daughter pretty much just shut down. She wasn’t going to go to school anymore. When she started here three years ago, we saw an immediate change. She got up in the morning wanting to go to school, which was something we hadn’t seen in a long time. She felt like she had made friends for the first time ever, and that was huge.
Caryn and Barry, parents of Jason, Franklin Academy Class of 2010
“The profile of their typical student had our son’s name written all over it!”
Franklin Academy was the best school we found to educate our son who has a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome. When his academics at his previous school went from a 3.75 GPA to failing, we knew we needed to take action. The reason for the decline was due to constant harassing and bullying by the students, untrained teachers, and his social impairment impeding on his academics. After visiting numerous schools, both day and residential, Franklin hit the “nail on the head.” The profile of their typical student had our son’s name written all over it! We knew this was the place.
Bernie and Ria, parents of Aidan, Franklin Academy Class of 2017
“We have experienced a lot of plusses and reassurances that Franklin Academy is a blessing for our son.”
As an international family, the prospect of having our son away from us is a rather daunting realization. It is therefore vital for us to be reassured that having our son so far away will be worth it in all aspects. What do we want for our son? We want emotional behavior growth, self-confidence, self-advocacy, meaningful and lasting friendships, and educational growth with an opportunity for advancement in specialized fields. The school year is almost over, and we have experienced a lot of plusses and reassurances that Franklin Academy is a blessing for our son. Aidan has grown more confident, and a very distinct sense of maturity in his ways has become very evident about him. Aidan is a work in progress, and the progress he has achieved in this year alone is so much more than he would have reached if he were still in his old school in Hong Kong or the international school here in Singapore that we thought would be good for him.
Cynthia, mother of Aaron, Franklin Academy Class of 2018
“He told me how impressed he was by my son’s gifts.”
The first moment that attracted me to your school was a phone call from Vince Schmidt in response to the initial salvo of informative documents. He had read the neuropsychological testing report. He had pure joy in his voice. He told me how impressed he was by my son’s gifts before he mentioned the problems. After a long journey through crisis in which I heard from teachers and admissions officers constantly about what was wrong and impolite and depressed and psychotic and oppositional and inaccessible and hopeless, this was refreshing beyond words. Our visit to the school had a strength-based theme. For example, Aaron’s favorite subject and greatest skill is in math, so we were given a meeting with Amy Bigelow to talk about the math education. I was also struck by how friendly and positive everyone was in ways that your admissions team cannot plan or stage. A number of students walked up to us spontaneously to tell us how much they liked the school. The goal seemed to be to sell Aaron and us on the school, not to take Aaron for a test drive. We were not rejected because Aaron could not make conversation, as had happened in other schools.
Michèle, mother of Cathryn, Franklin Academy Class of 2017
“Our visit was a transformational experience for both Cathryn and me.”
The moment I began to truly feel hope was when I clicked on the “Franklin Academy Parent Testimonials” video clip. Particularly striking was parent Frank Florio’s description of how heartbreaking it was to get his daughter to leave the house and get on the school bus. I could have told you that story verbatim. We were not alone, after all. It was at that point that Franklin rose to the top of all the schools we considered. In fact none of the other schools even came close, in terms of a place that felt like a good fit. I could not wait to visit the school with Cathryn, but was filled with trepidation that reality would not meet my hopeful expectations. Our visit was a transformational experience for both Cathryn and me. Within the first few minutes of our campus tour, she was warmly greeted by two girls who urged her to come to Franklin. They had her smiling and laughing instantly. That may not sound like much to some, but this is a young girl who had never had a real friend. She fell in love with the idea of boarding school right then and there. My own experience was similar.
Lisa, mother of Jenner, Franklin Academy Class of 2021
“There was a sparkle in his eye that was missing.”
Franklin Academy has been the right fit since our first visit to campus. It has been a move to safety. From the very first day our son felt safe, felt heard and was engaged. There was a sparkle in his eye that had been missing. Franklin prioritizes meeting the student where they are, with experts that are compassionate and skilled, working as a team, creating a community the child can feel safe in to finally feel great in their own skin. Franklin understands that only from this solid footing can the individual relax and thrive. Once the heart is held safe, their academic mind has no limits!! Finally, an excellent school that “gets it.” Hard to believe this is such a rare find – and so glad we found Franklin!
Mary, mother of Mark, Franklin Academy Class of 2022
“Mom, I finally feel there is hope.”
Good evening Fred,
Just wanted to thank you for taking time out of your schedule to talk to us during our tour and and to let you know my son really felt like he connected with the school. As we left the school he said “Mom, I finally feel there is hope” as he has never quite fit in at any school. We are moving forward with our application to Franklin Academy and have met with the Director of Student Services this past week to discuss a change of schools.
Thanks for the photo, it’s a great shot of both of us.
Karen, mother of Nick, Franklin Academy class of 2013
“Nick’s time at Franklin was the foundation that made his RPI success possible.”
Dear Byron and Fred,
I thought you would enjoy the attached photo. Nick graduated last weekend with a B.S. in Computer Science degree from RPI. He had a great four year experience at RPI, and is currently living in Boston while he sorts out his job options.
Nick’s time at Franklin was the foundation that made his RPI success possible. Thanks to you and all of your amazing staff and faculty for all you did to help Nick on his path. Can you please make sure that Amy Bigelow sees this picture and knows that Nick had a great college experience? He even talks about one day going back for a PhD!
All the best,
Becky, mother of Andy, Franklin Academy class of 2011
“We were truly blessed to have found this school!”
Hi Fred –
I don’t know if you are aware of this, but in case you aren’t, Andy was accepted into the Peace Corps and will be departing for Liberia in about 2 weeks where he will be teaching high school math! If all goes according to plan, he will be there for 27 months. This has been on his radar for about 5 years and he is super excited about it.
I think back to when Andy started at Franklin about 9 years ago, and I could never in my wildest dreams imagined that this would happen. He has worked really hard for this, and I truly think he has the tools he needs to be successful even though he will be majorly challenged. None of this would ever have been possible without the education that he got at Franklin. He has an incredible can-do attitude and a sincere desire to follow his passion and dreams. Please feel free to share this news with the staff – especially those who knew Andy when he was at Franklin. He is also writing a blog and as soon as he makes his first post, I will send you the link so you can share that as well, and follow him a bit on his adventures.
Thank you for all that you and the entire Franklin staff have done for Andy and for us. We were truly blessed to have found this school!