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September 5, 2013

Classes kick off for Franklin students

By Mark Boshnack Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — Lunchtime during the first day of classes Wednesday at Franklin Central School found several students glad to be back. Classes for many schools in the area also began Wednesday. The balance of those surveyed begin today. 

The bell rang at 8:10 a.m. Wednesday in Franklin, Superintendent Gordon Daniels said, and things got off to a good start. There was an orientation that morning to make sure classes got off to a smooth transition. Students in grades seven through 12 reviewed their student handbook so they will know what’s expected, recently appointed Principal Jamie Harter said.

This is his 26th year in education, and while the state has been making things more difficult with more regulations, opening day is still “an exciting time,” he said.

“It’s the first time I haven’t dropped my kids off,” with the youngest starting college this year. “I got a little choked up,” he said.

But at Franklin, students know where they have to go, he said.

“The teachers have prepared in advance so its been going very smoothly,” he said. “It helps set the tone.”

Students eating in the cafetorium agreed. Sophomore Mariah McNeilly said she was excited to be seeing her friends. She has been attending Franklin since kindergarten, so after so many years, “you know what to expect.” Being from a small school, “you know everybody,” she said.

Freshman Paige Fairchilds said she was excited because “you have some new teachers.” She went clothes shopping with her mother, and had three outfits to choose from for opening day. She was also looking forward to returning to her involvement in varsity sports, where she participates in soccer, basketball and track.

Fourth-grader Meredith Shivers said while eating her salami-and-roast-beef sandwich that she was looking forward to “seeing my friends and meeting new teachers.” She was also wearing new school clothes. She was a little nervous in anticipation of the first day, but “that went right away,” she said.

Superintendent Daniels said that the biggest challenge this year will be the implementation of the state’s Common Core curriculum. It means more staff development throughout the year, but the school is up to the challenge, he said.

“We will make it happen,” he said. Having students in the more than 45 states who are participating learning the same material is “a good thing.”

With enrollment up slightly this year at 292, “there are a lot of good things going here,” he said. “The community has been very supportive.”