• Student Assistance

     

    Student Assistance at Franklin Township Public Schools offers peer education and prevention programs, such as Teens Against Tobacco Use (TATU), Teen PEP, conflict resolution and peer mediation. The Student Assistance Program works in conjunction with the District's guidance department and community agencies to offer a wide range of services to address the common issues and needs presented to the staff by the students. These issues may include depression, suicide-related problems, teen pregnancy, substance use, eating disorders, violence, and the stresses that accompany these serious matters. The Program offers confidential consultation, assessment, short-term counseling and referral. The Student Assistance Program services are available to all students in Grades Kindergarten through Twelve. For confidential information and/or referral, please contact the Student Assistance Office at (732) 302-4205. The Student Assistance Program follows the regulations set forth under NJSA 18A:40A-12A, according to the policies of the Franklin Township Board of Education. Below is the formal intervention procedure for students who may be under the influence according to the NJSA 18A:40A-12A: If it appears to any teaching staff member, school nurse or other educational personnel that a pupil "may be under the influence of substances" as defined, the staff member shall report the matter as soon as possible to the school nurse, the Substance Awareness Coordinator, and to the Principal. The Principal shall immediately notify the student's parent/guardian and shall arrange for an immediate examination of the student, including a drug/alcohol screen. The pupil will receive a preliminary screen conducted by the school nurse. The examination may be performed by a physician appointed by the Board of Education at no cost to the family or by a physician selected by the family who will incur the cost. If the parent/guardian is not available or unwilling to cooperate, the school administration, the Principal and/or his designee will act in loco parentis and transport the student to the Board of Education physician for the medical examination, including the drug/alcohol screen. A written report on the Board of Education medical form must accompany the student within 24 hours of the examination certifying that the student is physically and mentally able to return to school. If there is a positive finding for alcohol or other drugs, the student and parents/guardians will be interviewed by the Substance Awareness Coordinator to determine the extent of involvement and make an appropriate recommendation.

     

    Student Attendance

    Regular and punctual attendance is required of all students. Absence, tardiness, or departure from school before the end of the school day shall be excused for the following reasons:

    Student illness

    Serious illness or death in the student's family

    Doctor or dental appointment which cannot be arranged for any other time

    Religious observance

    Mandated court appearance

    Unexcused absences from school or from classes within the school day constitute truancies and shall be subject to the disciplinary rules of the District.

     

    Student Records

    Student records include:

    Personal data

    Attendance

    Pupil progress

    Health Information

    Confidential information in the case of a classified student

    Parents and guardians are entitled to review all official school records pertaining to their children. Students who have reached their eighteenth birthday have the right to review their own records. In order to review records, parents and students must contact the building principal, fill out a request form, and schedule an appointment to meet with the principal. The principal, or the person assigned to meet with the student, must be present when a parent or guardian reviews the student's records. If the parent or guardian does not speak or understand English proficiently, an interpreter may be provided with advance notice. If there is objection to any material in the records, a written objection may be filed with the office of the Superintendent of Schools. Board of Education policy, as well as state and federal regulations, concerning pupil records is available for review in the Principals office of each school in the district.

     

    Testing Program

    A major goal of Franklin Township Public Schools' testing program is to provide objective and comprehensive assessment information to parents, teachers, students, and the administration so that quality educational programs can be continuously provided, monitored, and improved. Results of these standardized and locally developed tests help teachers to maximize each student's growth and potential.

     

    Major Tests Include:

    Franklin Township Public Schools Kindergarten and First Grade Assessment: This is administered to entering Kindergarten students and First Grade students. Individual data is derived and utilized to measure basic knowledge of skills for successful early childhood education.

    New Jersey Proficiency Assessment of State Standards (NJPASS): This is administered in early spring to all students in Grades Two, Five through Seven, Nine, and Ten to evaluate reading comprehension, mathematics, language and reasoning skills.

    New Jersey Assessment of Skills & Knowledge (NJASK): This is administered to Grades Three and Four students in the spring. The NJASK assists educators in evaluating student achievement of state standards for language arts, mathematics, and science.

    Grade Eight Proficiency Assessment (GEPA): This is administered to all Grade Eight students to assess strengths in language arts, mathematics, and science. The results identify areas that need emphasis in preparation for the Grade Eleven High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA), a graduation requirement.

    High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA): This is administered to all students in Grades Eleven. All students in the State of New Jersey must pass all sections in Language Arts and Mathematics, in order to receive a high school diploma. Students who do not demonstrate proficiency in any one section of the test, or are newly registered students in Grades Eleven and Twelve, have the opportunity to take the test again during the fall or spring of their senior year.

     

    Transportation

    Students who travel to school by bus are to be at their designated stop ten (10) minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. They must also wait ten (10) minutes after the bus is due to arrive in case it is late. PARENTS ARE ADVISED TO STRESS SAFETY AND PROPER BEHAVIOR BOTH ON THE SCHOOL BUS AND AT THE BUS STOP. Good conduct is necessary for the safety and welfare of all passengers. The bus driver is responsible for maintaining order on the school bus. However, cooperation from all students of every age and grade is expected. At the beginning of the school year, a list of rules for proper conduct is distributed by each school. Students who are found to be in violation of the prescribed rules and regulations are subject to disciplinary action by the building principal or designee. The Transportation Department is located at Franklin Middle School, 415 Francis Street, Somerset. The telephone number is (732) 828-6620. The Franklin Township Board of Education provides bus transportation to and from babysitter locations within the students designated community zone only. Requests from parents or guardians for such transportation are accepted between the end of May and the beginning of July. All requests are reviewed according to the criteria established by Board Policy No. 3541. Any requests received after July of each year will be considered by the Board of Education in October. This consideration does not guarantee that the request will be honored.

     

    School Health Services

    The school nurse in each district school is a health services specialist who assists students in attaining and/or maintaining optimum health and in promoting positive health habits and attitudes. The services provided by the school nurse are listed below.

     

    Emergency Care

    Emergency care for students who become ill or injured in school includes rest for the student, external applications of heat and cold, temporary dressing, and ordinary nursing measures to provide comfort and safety of the student. The nurse will notify the parents of the student situation and make recommendations for care. Parents need to provide transportation to the home or doctor's office. In addition, if seriously ill or injured, students are not allowed to go home without a responsible adult. In a critical emergency, the services of the local rescue squad will be utilized, and the parents will be contacted promptly.

     

    Administering Medication to Students

    School nurses are not permitted to dispense medication without a doctor's written permission. Only those medications that meet the student's health needs for a specific period of time may be given during the school day. Before any medication is administered to or by any student during school hours, a written request is required from the parent or guardian. This request will give permission for such administration and relieve the Board of Education and its employees of any liability due to the administration of medication. In addition, a written form from the prescribing physician is required and shall include:

    The purpose of the medication

    The dosage of the medication

    The time or special circumstances for administration of medication

    The length of time for which medication is prescribed

    The possible side effects of the medication

    All non-prescription drugs are to be handled in the same manner as prescribed drugs. Therefore, the nurse will administer drugs such as aspirin, Tylenol antihistamines, or non-prescription cough syrup only upon receipt of written notes from the doctor and parent or guardian.

     

    Self-Administration of Medication

    Self-administration of medication is permitted for asthma or other potentially life-threatening illness by students in Grades Three through Twelve. This applies to students when they are on school premises during regular school hours, as well as off-site, during a field trip or extracurricular activity. Life-threatening illness refers to an illness or condition that requires an immediate response to specific symptoms or sequela that may indicate the potential loss of life,

    e.g., adrenaline injection in response to anaphylaxis. Parents or guardians of the student must meet the following conditions for self-administration to be allowed:

    Submit written authorization to the school nurse that allows the student's self-administration of medication

    Submit written verification from the student's physician that the student has a potentially life-threatening illness and is capable of, and has been instructed in, the proper method of self-administration of medication.

    Submit a signed statement from parents or guardians acknowledging that the Board of Education or any of the staff shall not be liable as a result of an injury arising from the self-administration of medication by the student.

    Furthermore, the parents or guardians shall indemnify and hold harmless the district and its employees or agents against any claims arising out of self-administration of medication by the student.

     

    Monitoring Immunizations

    The New Jersey Department of Health has established immunization requirements for students attending public schools. They include: Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Measles, Rubella, Mumps, Polio, and Haemophilus Influenza Type B. The school nurse maintains a record of every student's immunization history and notifies the parents or guardians if something needs to be updated in order to meet state requirements.

     

    Monitoring Communicable Diseases

    Parents are requested to report all communicable or infectious diseases to the school nurse. This permits the school personnel to institute procedures to prevent the spread of such diseases to others and to report them to the Department of Health. Diseases that need to be reported are: Chicken pox, German measles (rubella), measles, mumps, streptococcal infections, staphylococcal infections, influenza, hepatitis, mononucleosis, meningitis, encephalitis, venereal diseases, tuberculosis, cases of pediculosis (head lice), pinworm, and impetigo.

     
    English as a Second Language (ESL) And Bilingual Education

    The ESL/Bilingual Education program in the Franklin Township Public Schools serves students in Grades Kindergarten through Twelve. There are fifty-seven languages spoken in the school district. The languages of highest concentration are, in descending order: Spanish, Gujarati, Cantonese, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu, and Mandarin. The goal of the ESL program is to provide understanding of the English language to students of limited English proficiency. The ESL classes parallel the mainstream classes taught in English, while focusing on the expansion of both the students' English vocabulary and awareness of American culture. ESL teachers work closely with the teaching staff of their schools to ensure a smooth transition to the mainstream English-only program as quickly as possible. At the high school level, specially structured classes in math, science, and social studies are provided to beginner level ESL students to ensure the possibility of graduation. Taught by certified teachers in math, science, and social studies, with support from ESL teachers, these courses parallel those of the mainstream. At every level, students' progress is measured by using multi-cultural criteria, which includes a state-approved test. Once they demonstrate proficiency in English, students are transferred out of the ESL program and begin to follow the same schedule as all other students at that grade level.

     

    Food Services

    Breakfast and lunch are available daily at all schools. A variety of hot and cold lunch items are offered to all students in addition to an assortment of snack items. The Free/Reduced Family Meal application is mailed to every household in the district; free or reduced eligibility is based on guidelines established by the government. A new family application needs to be completed every year. Please return the completed family application to the Food Services Office, 1755 Amwell Road, Somerset, NJ, 08873. A computerized system is used for all meal and snack purchases. This allows us to serve all students in a timely manner and give them enough time to eat and enjoy recess. It also accommodates parental concerns regarding giving money everyday to their children. Money may be deposited in a student account at any time, in any amount. You have the option of assigning the money to your child's general account and/or meal only account and we will notify you when the balance gets low. We strongly encourage parents to prepay using checks, rather than cash. When sending in prepayment money, please include the child's PIN number on the envelope or check. If the money is to be divided between two or more students, please put this in writing and indicate how much money is for each child. Using the PIN number, our system ensures that your child is the only person who can access the account. Students who use our prepayment plan get through the line quicker. Please call (732) 873- 2400, Ext. 335 with any questions.

     

      

    Guidance Services

    Guidance and counseling services in Franklin Township Public Schools are an integral part of the education program. Counselors seek to facilitate the district's primary purpose: to provide a learning environment that gives students the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need in order to reach their individual potential and be positive contributors as members of society.

     

    Home Instruction

    Home instruction is provided to students during extended absences and based upon the recommendation of an attending physician. The physician must notify the school nurse in writing that the confinement of the student is expected to be a period of not less than two weeks. If instruction takes place at the home of the student, a supervising adult must be present. No home instructor will be asked to enter the home of an unsupervised student for the purpose of providing home instruction. For more information, you may call Pupil Personnel Services at (732) 873-2400, Ext. 203.

     

    Homework

    Homework is given to extend and reinforce what is taught in the classroom. Parents are encouraged to:

    Participate in what the student does in school

    Provide a quiet atmosphere and a suitable time for the student to complete assignments

    Accept the student's best work

    Encourage the student to do the homework, but not do it for him or her

    The amount of homework may increase as the student progresses through school. The time involvement may be dependent upon the student's abilities

     

    Parent-Teacher Conferences

    Parent-Teacher Conferences are one of the tools used by teachers to foster communication and cooperation between the school staff and parents. Conferences are held each fall and spring for students in Pre- Kindergarten through Grade Twelve. Notices are either given to students or mailed to their homes with the dates and times available for parent-teacher conferences. Parents are encouraged to discuss their child's progress at this time to help ensure their child's success in school. Parents are invited to call for an appointment to visit the school or staff members at any time. In addition, teachers may issue individual student interim progress reports at appropriate times between marking periods at all grade levels.

     

    Promotion and Retention

    The Board of Education recognizes that the personal, social, physical, and educational growth of children will vary and that they should be placed in the educational setting most appropriate to their needs at the various stages of their growth. Promotion standards are announced to parents and students at the beginning of each school year. Parents and students will be regularly informed during the school year of the student's progress toward meeting these standards. In the case where a teacher determines that a student's progress is insufficient to meet promotion standards, the teacher shall notify the parent and the student. A conference will take place to discuss the student's additional needs before retention is recommended. The parent and, where appropriate, the student shall be notified in advance of the possibility of retention at grade level. The Principal is involved and makes the final determination. School attendance is a factor in determining a student's promotion or retention. Only extenuating circumstances discussed with the Principal shall permit the promotion of a student who has been excessively absent during the school year.

     

    Report Card Distribution

    Report cards are another method of informing parents of their child's progress in school. Report cards for students in Grade One through Grade Six are distributed to students four times a year. Pre- Kindergarten students progress reports are distributed two times a year, Kindergarten students' report cards are distributed three times a year. Students in Grades Seven through Twelve receive their report cards in the mail four times a year.