Franklin Special School District
E-News for Parents and Community Members

Barnes and NobleEssay Contest Honors Favorite Teachers

Students in grades 1 through 12 are invited to participate in Barnes and Noble's My Favorite Teacher Contest.

How It Works: Students write an essay, poem, or thank-you letter (500 words or less, in English on 8.5" x 11" white paper) sharing how a teacher has influenced their life and why they appreciate and admire them. A signed entry form should be submitted in person or by mail to the local store. Forms must be postmarked by March 1, 2012.

What Students Get: The students who author the winning essays, poems, or thank-you letters will receive a certificate of recognition and be honored at their local store during a ceremony for the winning teachers from their schools.

What Teachers Get: The winning teachers will be recognized at a special event at their local Barnes & Noble store and will receive a special award acknowledging their achievement, together with a set of five (5) Classic Starts® series.


Linda Cope
Moore Elementary Loses Beloved Teacher Linda Cope

Moore Elementary is mourning the loss of beloved kindergarten teacher and stalwart pioneer of the school, Linda Kay Cope, who passed away on December 30. Mrs. Cope was known for her endless patience, warmth and compassion, extensive educational knowledge, and boundless love of her family, friends and fellow educators.

Mrs. Cope was the person co-workers sought out to hear advice, to gather creative ideas for the classroom or to receive suggestions on how to help children succeed in the classroom.

"Linda was the ultimate kindergarten teacher," said Moore Elementary Principal Lisa Burgin. "Her classroom was always bright and inviting, a perfect place for children to begin their school career. She was extremely patient and always won the love and respect of her students and their families. Linda was a wonderful mentor and friend to the entire Moore Elementary staff. She will be greatly missed. "

Mrs. Cope began her 48-year teaching career in Florida before joining the Franklin Special School District in 1970 at Franklin Elementary School. She spent the past 21 years at Moore Elementary as a kindergarten teacher and was among the esteemed educators who helped to lay the strong foundation for that new school, which was built in 1990. She also spent many years before and after school serving as a Site Director for the FSSD Morning and Afternoon Care (MAC) program.

A Career Ladder Level III teacher, Mrs. Cope was dedicated to the concept of lifelong learning. After having spent her early education in New York, she moved to a warmer climate to earn her undergraduate degree in education at Florida State University. While working full time, she earned her Master's Degree in Education from MTSU. She was named Moore Elementary's 2000 Teacher of the Year, a title she fully deserved.

Mrs. Cope is survived by her son, Christopher Ashley Cope and his wife Emily; her beloved granddaughter, Anna Kate Cope; and her sisters, Vicki Lafian (Tom) McDonald & Caroline Thomasina Lafian.

Student Artists of the Month
Artwork by Jamie Spiegel
Jamie Spiegel art

Poplar Grove Middle student Jamie Spiegel was the Student Artist of the Month for January. She completed this beautiful landscape painting in Mary Ann Kolpak's art class. Jamie's artwork was featured on the front of the employee birthday cards in January and she was recognized by the Board of Education at its monthly meeting.

Artwork by Sophia Cox
Cox artwork
Moore Elementary first-grade student Sophia Cox is the Student Artist of the Month for February. Students in Kelly Selfe's art class studied native American blankets and created their own work of art using lines, shapes, and patterns. Sophia's artwork is featured on the front of the employee birthday cards in February and she will be recognized by the Board of Education at its February meeting.
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Franklin Special School District
507 Highway 96 West
Franklin, TN  37064

Student-Named K-9 Begins Duties

The Franklin Police Department K-9 Unit has inducted three new dogs into its program to officially begin their service on Franklin streets: Thor, Jager, and Bolo have graduated from their 20-week training class. Bolo, assigned to Officer Chris Hollingsworth, has a special tie to the Franklin Special School District.

BOLO is a police term that means "Be On the Look Out." The name was chosen by FSSD students who participated in a district-wide vote last May. Police began using the new name immediately. The Police Department will make arrangements for Bolo to meet the students who gave him his name in the coming months.

Click on the map for the full zoning map
FSSD map thumb

School Board Chooses Dual Zone Approach in Rezoning
The FSSD School Board approved a dual zone proposal on January 9, 2012, intended to provide socio-economic balance among the district's seven schools. After 14 months of research, data discovery and many attempts to draw equitable attendance zones, the Board approved a scenario that moves the least number of students and allows most of the district's current students to remain in their existing zones through the eighth grade.
The approved proposal is a five-zone plan that includes two dual zones (Johnson Elementary/Poplar Grove and Franklin Elementary/Poplar Grove).  In this plan, approximately 7 percent of the district's students will be rezoned in the 2012-2013 school year. All other students will finish in their current school feeder pattern (elementary/intermediate/middle). Of those rezoned, more than three-fourths will attend a school within two miles of their home.
Beginning in the fall of 2012, Poplar Grove will be a zoned school. It will share the northern part of its zone with Johnson Elementary and the southern part of its zone with Franklin Elementary. Families living in these dual zone areas are within two miles of either of the two schools in the zone.
* Click here to read a detailed summary of the Dual Zone Plan

What Does the Rezoning Accomplish?

For the past several years, the School Board noticed a free and reduced lunch application pattern emerge that pushed several of the district's schools out of balance, essentially causing socio-economic segregation. Beginning this school year, there were over 50 percentage points between the school with highest number of students on free and reduced lunch and the school with the lowest number.

The FSSD Board of Education has a long history in advocating for and supporting social, economic, racial, ethnic, and academic diversity throughout the district. The FSSD's ultimate responsibility is to grow academically and socially successful and responsible citizens of the world.  Within this context, the district believes that all students receive a richer social and educational experience when its classrooms reflect the larger community's diversity.  These experiences often lead to a broader understanding of the world in which they live and must succeed.

What Does the Research Show?
*Studies indicate that students in schools with high poverty are less likely to continue to secondary education, potentially less likely to have middle class income and thus likely to continue the cycle of poverty. Low-income students educated in schools with a more balanced ratio of middle class students are positively influenced to strive for higher goals educationally, behaviorally and socially. Knowledge from higher achieving students is shared informally with classmates all day long.

Socio-economic integration benefits low-income students; at the same time, middle-class achievement is shown not to decline in the cases where a strong core of middle-class children remains present.

What Are the Board's Expected Outcomes?
While change is always difficult, intentionally zoning a diverse student body enriches the classroom and provides a broader experience for our students and better prepares them for the life experiences they will have as they grow into adults.

What Is the Transition Schedule?
Families who will move to new schools next year have been notified through the mail by Director of Schools Dr. David Snowden. The letter explains the move and the otions available for eligible third- and seventh-students to be grandfathered in their current school without transportation. Principals will soon be mailing welcome packets to the families as well, outlining transition activities planned for the rezoned students and their families.

* Research cited is from Turnaround Schools That Work:  Moving Beyond Separate but Equal, Kahlenberg)
Rezoning FAQs

The FSSD has put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding hte rezoning plan approved in January by the Board of Education.
If you have a specific question not answered in the ones submitted here, please email it to We will do our best to answer your question with a quick email response.
Libraries Benefit from Teen's Book Drive

Trevor Presson
Trevor Presson
Trevor Presson FSSD libraries are the grateful beneficiaries of a Million Page Book Drive sponsored by local student Trevor Presson, a senior at Independence High School. An avid reader himself, Trevor wanted to share his love of books with students who may not have the resources to purchase them on their own. The goal was to collect enough books to total at least a million pages. With the help of the local community, including a school-wide drive at Sunset Middle, students in all seven FSSD schools will have more resources at their disposal.

New and used books were donated and the librarians have all divvied up the resources according to greatest need. Books that had a little more "love" and were not able to be placed in circulation will be given to children who visit the district's Story Bus this summer. The Story Bus is a mobile reading program whereby children can board the air-conditioned bus/library and read on their own or have stories read to them by certified teachers and volunteers. Each child leaves the bus with a new or gently used book.

Age-appropriate book donations are always accepted and appreciated at all FSSD schools and the Central Office for use in the libraries or the Story Bus.

Fifth-Graders Battle Cancer With Math

Students in Lisa Weston's fifth-grade math classes at Freedom Intermediate School wanted to make a difference in the lives of children with leukemia so they came up with an idea to raise money and practice their math skills at the same time. Weston presented the idea of a Math-a-Thon to her students as a way of relating to another student in the fifth -and sixth-grade school who was battling leukemia. The students immediately latched on to the idea and began completing a rigorous math booklet full of problems.

Students completed the math booklet with the pacing of a marathon - slow and steady - finishing the race in just 14 days. "The math problems correlate with the fifth grade curriculum requirements, so the concepts I was teaching in class were being reinforced through the Math-a-Thon problems," Weston said. "When it was all said and done, 34 students fulfilled their commitment by completing the math and collecting pledges." St. Jude's Research Hospital, a leader in tackling childhood cancer, was the beneficiary of the students' good will, receiving $1,323.

Freedom Intermediate 5th grade Math-A-Thon participants
math marathon

"Child Find" event aims to assess and serve preschoolers with special needs

In an effort to identify children who have disabilities and may need special services as a result of their disability, the FSSD is holding its annual "Child Find" event on Friday, February 24, from 9:30-12:00 at the Williamson County Public Library, 1314 Columbia Pike. Child Find is a drop-in event for children zoned for the Franklin Special School District. As part of the program, parents will be offered an opportunity to have their children (ages 2 ˝ to 5 years) undergo a free developmental screening.
"The purpose of our Child Find event is to identify children with special needs so we may begin to offer them the services they need prior to entering school for the first time," said Brenda Hughey, FSSD Supervisor of Special Populations. "Sometimes what parents may need for their child includes a complete evaluation, an individualized education program designed specifically for the child, or a referral to other agencies providing special services."

Free developmental screenings include hearing, speech and language, motor skills and learning skills. This is not a screening for kindergarten placement, but a public service for early detection of possible delays in development. Parents must stay with their children throughout hte screening process. A Spanish translator will be available.
For more information, please contact Nathan Travis at 472-3849
FSSD Co-Sponsors Walk Across Williamson

runnersWalk Across Williamson (WxW) is a joint effort between the Franklin Special School District, Williamson County Schools, the county Health Department and the county Health Council. This is an endeavor to promote a family fun and healthy activity.

Participants log "activity minutes" on the days they are active during the months of February and March:

Participants may join the effort at any time during the walk period. Some is always better than none and WxW is designed with that purpose in mind.

On Saturday, April 21, there will be a celebration gathering at Liberty Elementary School, 600 Liberty Pike in Franklin, from 9-10 a.m. The celebration will include special guests, give-aways and drawings for prizes. Adult participants who have met the weekly program goal will earn chances for the prize drawings. Those who meet the overall goal of actually Walking Across Williamson during the 9 weeks (a distance of 90 miles) will be eligible for an additional prize drawing. (Participants must be in attendance to be eligible for the prize drawings.)

Let's get the New Year started on the right foot by walking and/or being active in some form or fashion. Walk Across Williamson and the WCS Activity Contest is a way of Adopting Healthy Habits! Support your school and your health by getting active!

For more information, contact FSSD Coordinated School Health Supervisor, Lisa Chatman, at 472-3847.