Archived Story

Franklin schools to offer free breakfasts

Published 9:22am Friday, August 31, 2012

FRANKLIN—Every student in Franklin Public Schools can have a free breakfast daily when school reconvenes Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Students paid $1.25 for full-priced breakfasts and 30 cents for reduced-price last year.

Lunches will cost $2.15 at S.P. Morton Elementary School and $2.40 at J.P. King Middle and Franklin High schools. Reduced price lunch will be 40 cents.

Superintendent Dr. Michelle Belle said the school expects to have 1,050 students, including 708 at S.P. Morton, 268 at J.P. King and 303 at Franklin High.

“It’ll probably end up being less,” said Belle said.

Computer-based math classes were eliminated at the high school, which will go back to the traditional classroom setting for Algebra I, geometry and some Algebra II classes.

All schools will have new principals. Debbie Harris-Rollins will take over for Don Spengeman, who retired from S.P. Morton Elementary. Jametha Ruffin will take over as assistant principal.

Former S.P. Morton Assistant Principal Lisa Francis has taken the top job at J.P. King Middle School, while Ricky Wright takes over as assistant principal. Francis takes over for Angela Byrd-Wright, who left for a job with Hampton Schools.

Travis Felts was promoted to principal at Franklin High School to replace Dr. Rodney Barry, who took a job in Hopewell. Jason Chandler was hired as assistant principal.

Dr. Maurice Minor was hired as coordinator of testing to replace Ken Raybuck, who retired. Dr. Jennifer Tindle is the new web manager.

New teachers at the high school are Monica Bowles, special education; Robert Burdette, math; Michael Cramer, history; Charles Crawford, band; and Leslie McDonald, biology. At J.P. King, they are Whitney Copeland, Audra Edwards, Pauline Haswell and Shirleen Garcia, all special education; Pristina Cromwell, math; James Holemon, keyboarding; and Tammie Wilson, librarian. At S.P. Morton, new teachers include Katelyn Gwaltney, fourth-grade reading; Faith Hewett, third grade and Kelsey Lowe, first grade.

 

  • Rudy

    The “nanny state” is alive and well in Franklin, Va.

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  • 2fishy

    Here is the bigger picture, this is just Franklin,take in to consideration this happens all across this country. free lunches, heating and cooling programs paying light bills and oil bills for these people, not counting they also can get their rent and lights paid under a crisis situation. i am not saying we should totally stop helping people but these programs were for a hand up, not to make a living off of them.

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  • Liberty With Responsibility

    I’ll tell you another thing. I recently asked the Va. governor about why we have not yet fixed this poverty hustle on food purchases yet, on a live, on-air radio call-in show. He said he did not believe that this goes on, with state food stamp dollars buying candy, soda, sugar cereals, shrimp, steaks, crab legs, and other wasteful foods every month! I could not believe he thought I was making this stuff up! We here all shop every week, and we see it going on—we know it happens, from our own eyes! Two states have tried to legislate controls on what can not be bought any longer with welfare money, but judges have over-ruled the legislation, and shut it down. We need a governor who has the guts to do something about this, once and for all.

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    • Sinoptik

      That’s what you get when you ask Bob a question. Check politifact, he is either lying or delusional most of the time.

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  • Liberty With Responsibility

    These people are pathetic, however, we can’t blame them for taking whatever we are stupid enough to allow them to have for the taking. What is wrong with US that we keep on putting up with it? I say we need to RESIST! When you see someone in the checkout line buying up a bunch of expensive foods and junk foods, and paying with the plastic “poverty card,” SAY something about it, out LOUD. I know it is rude, but so is spending other people’s money wastefully. I have done it before, right there in the line. I called someone out on it, and they got nasty with me but I AM SICK OF THIS! Join me in fighting back, the only way we have left. Do not be a tax-paying wimp! Stand up for YOUR rights not to be robbed every payday.

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    • Sinoptik

      You do realize more tax dollars go into corporate welfare than into public welfare don’t you, I mean a lot more… 150% more. Have you tried yelling at CEO yet, or do you just prefer to vote for them?

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  • Sinoptik

    While I agree that it’s not necessary to give free breakfast to all the kids, I wonder what the numbers were previously of kids who qualified for free meals and if this is based on efficiency.
    I also wonder how many commenting agree with the Republican abortion stance?

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  • Dakota01

    If you can’t afford to have kids close your legs

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    • kkslider

      I know many people who struggle to put food on the table daily. However, they always manage to do it. How about people make feeding their kids a priority rather than having the latest iPhone and getting your nails done every Friday. Most people can afford to feed their kids, but they choose not to. Isn’t that what food stamps, wic, etc are for? Why must the schools now provide breakfast, lunch and after school snacks?

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      • mileomore

        You are absolutely correct about this! Guess what folks? If you don’t want the responsibility of feeding and clothing and helping with your own children – especially given all of the “free” stuff that you already receive – then neither do we as tax-paying citizens! It’s high time for everyone to understand that NOTHING in life is FREE! Somebody, somewhere along the way pays for it… and, the middle-class working citizen’s load is now getting too much for us to bear! GET A LIFE… GET A JOB!

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      • SandMan

        Right on, KKslider…..and don’t forget the free, ice cold “40″ for the bus ride home!

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  • Sinoptik

    Glad to see everyone is looking at the big picture today.

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  • beachgirl

    Good grief send the kids to school with a pop tart,,,When I was in school we were never served breakfast,,,and kids that were on welfare back then still ate breakfast at home or brought it from home and ate it on the bus..And I worked and still had time to make breakfast for my kids…parents get up early!! This is what is called responsible parenting.

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  • Va Native American

    Here’s an idea: If you can’t afford to feed your child, don’t have any babies. Birth control is much cheaper than raising a child. Actually, that is free now too; just another burden on the working, taxpaying American.

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  • broman

    Government can’t give something to someone without taking it from someone else. FCPS apparently believes this 200k is better spent on food than education. Franklin will take it from the tax paying citizens.
    If you think the cost to taxpayers is the same, your head is in the sand.

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  • my4girls

    I am absolutely appalled at the comments regarding these babies. First, the computer based math class was eliminated due to the problem that the children did better with working their problems out in front of them on paper so they can see their errors and also build better knowledge of how to properly do math without relying on the computers do their work for them. Second cut crap about these children eating free breakfast at least they are eating. Not everyone qualifies for “foodstamps, Wic”, And other services and struggle to make groceries to feed their children a proper breakfast. Yes our parents feed us in the morning however all parents cnt do that due to demanding jobs or working overnights and the children have a chance to eat breakfast to fill there bellies. The ppl here in this city is out of control, I ve seen money wasted on things that didn’t even benefit families children. Id rather have my money go to them than to ppl who absolutely are inconsiderate and selfish. If you have children I hope no one thinks of your children the same way you think of others. Crazy, I’m glad of change, new principals, teachers, and way of thinking g to better help and educate the parents n children. Ppl who dnt like change will never move forward in life therefore, I dnt expect nothing more from you!!
    Thank GOD a change has finally come to this small minded town…

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    • SandMan

      @beachgirl…I agree! @ my4girls…..isn’t it ironic how your comment, fraught with nine spelling & grammatical errors, is in reference to an educational issue?

      Save your money on breakfast & invest in spell check!

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      • mileomore

        Amen, Sandman! I stopped counting the errors, it was so pathetic! And, to think folks who can’t even speak and spell properly think they know all the answers! No wonder our educational system is in trouble! With role models like this, what can one expect?

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    • bob

      You obviously have no clue how that math program ran. The computers did not do the work for you. It gave examples, definitions and instructions. Then short tests and quizzes to demonstrate whether they mastered the concept. They functioned EXACTLY like a text book, except they read the information off of a screen rather than out of a textbook, well those that decided to make an attempt to do the work anyway. The teachers still took small groups at a time to the classroom for instruction and there was always someone else in the math lab while the teacher was out to help instruct someone who had questions. BUT like many of the other subjects, english, science, history, whether they passed or not depended on the effort the child put into the work. If they refused to study and do their lessons and slept or refused to go to their teacher instructional time, than they did poorly. I can’t tell you how many students did not either show up, or did show up and slept, or refused to work, or were sent out for disruptions, or refused to go to instructional time than complained they NEVER got help, refused to homework, did not show up for review days before exams, or finished benchmark tests in under 10 minutes. I will tell you those students who made the effort to complete their work, turn in homework, showed up to class, asked questions and made a genuine effort to learn, passed. The biggest problem with the math program has been (it was brought in because of how badly these students were doing anyway) is that it relies heavily on the fact that the students, look at the computer and read and actually work the problems out. No one stands at the front of class and lectures through class time, like a traditional class, so those students that refuse to work might still accidentally pick up some info. Those students who did nothing in the labs, got nothing. That isn’t the computers fault. Its like sitting steak dinners in front of malnourished children who still die from starvation. The food isn’t bad, but if they don’t pick it up and eat it, you can’t blame the food.

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  • nativegirl

    Thank you, Makalani. You are correct in stating that no one said breakfast for school children was the panacea for low scholastic achievement. I simply stated that children can’t learn when their stomachs are empty. Might it help them to improve their tests scores? Might it help them to focus better in class? Keep them from falling asleep in class? Absolutely. And why do so many of you make everything posted a political issue? Another chance to call our President’s administration all kinds of names? Geez, if we were discussing a deer hunt, would you make that a political issue, as well? Probably.

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  • Makalani

    I haven’t seen anyone posit the argument that a free breakfast is a cure-all for low scholastic achievement. The problem is multi-faceted as any cure will have to be.

    Unlike many “instant gratification taxpayers” — I am willing to give the free food/nutrition angle for ALL the kids a chance. I am sure the food “AK-47″ is but one weapon in the administrators’ educational arsenal.

    Administrators can’t control parental involvement — a vital — often missing essential element in student academic achievement.

    Since we are already up to our eyeballs in Socialism — perhaps parents could be bribed to get involved in their kids’ academic endeavors with free $4,0000 Sprewell custom wheels for their free Cadillacs.

    Any other suggestions?

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  • Liberty With Responsibility

    If free meals for kids with negligent parents is the competitive edge to good learning, then Franklin City ought to be leading the state—wait a minute . . . . they are near the bottom? How can that be?

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    • nativegirl

      I never called anyone a negligent parent; you did that. Clearly, you would rather throw stones and post ad naseum than work on a solution.

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      • Liberty With Responsibility

        When you say: “MANY CHILDREN (don’t even see their parents in the morning and) ARE LEFT to their own devices to get a healthy breakfast or ANY BREAKFAST AT ALL.

        What do you call that? That is by definition a negligent parent. If we don’t understand and agree on that, no wonder we are a failing community. Can’t we find common ground on that?

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  • Makalani

    Along with free Cadillacs — free medical care — free Sprawl-Mart gift cards for Black Friday/Xmas — free clothes — free toys — free haircuts/perms — free dental care — free college — free housing — foodstamps — “WIC — SNAP — SNICK — SNACK — SNORT — GOSH — DARN” and a plethora of other acronyms — we can now add free food at school to the list of “entitlements!” Let’s call free food at school the “FFATSO entitlement!”

    “Dear God! ‘Pulllleeeeezzzeee’ let Gov Romney get elected in NOV so he can reverse this country’s pell-mell slide into Socialism — abolish “FFATSO” and other frivolous GOVT giveaway programs — divert these wasted taxpayer $$s to the deserving generals/warmongers in the Pentagon and replace socialism with militarism!” Amen

    RE:”Children can’t learn if their stomachs are empty.”
    “AMEN!” So true.

    Many “latchkey kids” are left to fend for themselves or help siblings get ready for school! “A bowl of sugar” in the form of frosted fruit loops flakes for breakfast in many cases is about as good as it gets. The body burns that sugar in about 30 minutes and many kids are hungry again before they get to school.

    If good nutrition is one of the frontal attacks on poor school performance by many kids — the school administrators are to be commended rather than condemned!

    The cost to the taxpayers is the same. I haven’t seen the FCPS rebate any unspent tax $$s back to the City treasury! LOL

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  • Liberty With Responsibility

    This is the “transformation of Amerika” we heard spoken of a few years ago. Did you expect no “change” when that was what the majority voted for? This will get regular tax payers used to accepting “freebies,” then they will later be more accepting of further socialist acts of legislation down the road. The “sheeple” are simply following the breadcrumb trail, right into the socialist trap of more government control, til we are all managed like so many livestock, safe in a cage!

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  • happy2

    I understand that some children need a free breakfast but not all children need it, they have parents that can afford their food on a regular basis , it is a drain on the schools money that could be used elsewhere! SOLS are passed by children working hard for them period! FPS is in warning and it is not because of free lunches for all! If it is a grant from somewhere fine if not it needs to be stopped!

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  • nativegirl

    Children can’t learn if their stomachs are empty. Many children don’t even see their parents in the morning and are left to their own devices to get a healthy breakfast or any breakfast at all. With the childhood obesity problem in our country, we should be making a concerted effort to provide children with healthy choices. I commend Franklin City Schools for making an effort to feed our children, making it easier to learn, pass SOL tests (this, saving money for remediation until they do pass), graduate with their class and move out into the world as responsible adults and later, parents who do, indeed, make healthy choices for themselves and their own children.

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  • tomfretts

    Isn’t it interesting that “Computer-based math classes were eliminated at the high school”, I’m assuming because of budget constraints, yet they can afford to give free meals, not only lunches but breakfast AND after school. Puzzling. Where are the priorities of the school administrators?

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  • happy2

    Kids need to be fed at home and not on the taxpayers dollar, where is this money coming from to feed all these kids!!! Is this a grant of some sort? I hope so, this just does not seem right. My parents fed us at home before school! And I would imagine most could be fed at home!

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  • 2fishy

    why can’t mom and dad feed their own kids, our parents fed us.

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  • employee2

    Changes the meaning of a word used when I was in school, “HOMEroom”.

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  • Curiousreader

    Did I miss something here? Where is the funding for the breakfast coming from? If we feed 1050 kids a meal that was costing them $1.25 and we do this for the required 180 days of instruction that comes to $236,250.00. How many instructors could we pay with that money. Don’t they have cereal at home?

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  • Masknup

    What ever happened to eating breakfast at home? Can we dress them too? Geesh! Cradle to grave…enough is enough!

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