This is an amazing school. I loved the math program, and I'm so sad I had to go to high school, leaving this amazing place. The people here were so nice. I'm proud to say I haven't been bullied at all in the 4 years I've been here- and, to top it off, never had an argument with my friends. Everyone knew everyone else's names. The teachers were all really supportive- I loved math, science and writing. What could I say? Just... incredible. There were a lot of arts- I was in piano, but you got to select the other ones every year. Well, for the upper grades you did, but the lower grades got everything. It was really challenging, and I loved everything. One of the problems the school has faced in the past was the underfunding- I don't think such a good school deserves this. But my friends tell me this year they've upgraded a whole lot of things- including this new giant stage in the auditorium. Yeah. What else could I say? They have a couple of sports teams, a science bowl competition, math team... a lot of various writing competitions... the park is beautiful, and everybody loved going to school and having fun. I'd do anything to see it again- I've taken a lot of things for granted.
The administration at Franklin (Principal, Assistant Principal) are more interested in protecting their own image and that of the school than they are concerned about protecting the safety and well being of students! BULLYING IS DOWNPLAYED, DISMISSED AND COVERED UP.. regardless of the mental and physical abuse the student is enduring.. year after year! The only way to make it stop is to transfer out of the school. Which is just fine with them and they are quick to let you know that. One less problem they to have to deal with and cover up. They have no problem twisting your words to benefit their own agenda. They lie to you and about you. They don't follow the rules or the protocol set forth in the CPS Code of Conduct. And if you dare to question them or go against them.. Watch out because they are coming after you AND your child!!!! If there were a zero star rating I would have chosen that!
You should check out community first, like any public school, this is who they cater to in terms of educating children. Then get to know better yet observe administrators, my experience not as bad as most,but definately in need of change of those in charge. They are not advocates of parental involvement and will treat your child based on sterio types and their (administrators) previous school experiences,which are for the most part, not very positive; sure most have been the the public school system for decades, the question is job security vs positive experiences vs dedication to ALL children. I think the 5 star rating is a result of most of them writing their own reviews!
Good: Arts programs. Test scores. Parent involvement - money raised to improve school. Smaller school (won't get lost in the crowd). Arts teachers and science teachers were very passionate and clearly cared about the students. Diverse student body. Some of the administrators were positive and professional. Needs Improvement: Bullying was not always addressed if not involving physical assault. Some faculty seemed burned out. Principal was available but not easy to communicate with. Some teachers would mock/ridicule students.
FFAC was everything my wife and I could have asked for in an early childhood education. Both of my sons (rising Freshman and Junior) received a quality education that allowed them to attend one of the best selective enrollment high schools in the State (Go Dolphins!) I liked that the arts were an integral part of the curriculum and not just a passing thought. My sons acted, danced and were participants in many school productions, The productions were 1st rate and some students not only worked on stage but they worked lights and cameras. The confidence garnered through participation in the arts is unmeasurable. My eldest son has taken all honors classes in h.s. and received straight A's. The recent FFAC grad will also be taking all honors classes and has placed out of algebra and can take geometry in his 1st year. The math program is very strong at Franklin especially if your child is able to place in and take the advanced math. The parent participation is unrivaled and a key to the school's success. FFAC prepared my boys well and gave them the tools needed to succeed at the next level and I am definitely a fan of the school.
We are relatively new to Franklin and my child absolutely LOVES everything about it (after transferring in from another magnet school with a long waiting list). The references to the "high percentage of special education students" carries an air of aristocracy that is a little disturbing (... and no, my child is not a special education student). Although I'm not well-informed regarding the food menu (we brown bag it), I've been nothing but impressed with the principal and her staff. There's one thing I know for sure; I would cross hell and high water to get my child out of a school that I would rate one-star. Besides the fact that it would drive me nuts to have my child go there day after day, I'd consider the fact that there's a long line of kids waiting for that spot and parents that would love the chance to place their child at Franklin.
This school is undergoing major transition. There are some long term teachers, but the others are lower quality and it's a revolving door in term of who will be teaching which grade from year to year. Many student discipline problems and and misbehavior go unaddressed. The school culture is not the best. Large population of Special Ed students. Do not let your kids eat the food here. Principal closed Right at Home after school program without parents input, then hastily replaced it with a lesser known program. In my option on she is not up for the task. A plus for the performing arts teachers.
My daughter just started this year and is a 6th grader. She loves the school, all of the arts options and the staff. Everyone is so supportive and serious about the education of these children. My heart fills with joy that we have a found a school with a rigorous curriculum and ample opportunities for creative expression and critical thought. The principals are both AMAZING and really make this place special. They see parents as partners, not pests.