Habitat for Humanity Student-Build Phone-a-thon

Habitat for Humanity Student-Build Phone-a-thon

Franklin’s First Phone-a-thon was a fun evening of community-building! Students made calls to raise funding for the 3rd Student-built home with Asheville’s Habitat for Humanity. The Franklin School of Innovation is the first local public school to participate in a student-build. Our students are taking action to raise awareness of the affordable housing crisis through research and service-learning in our Expedition: “Creating a New American Dream.” Thanks, all who took calls and pledged donations to this project.img_0282-1img_0267-1img_0278-1

See Franklin Blog Post: Franklin’s First Habitat for Humanity Student-Built Home


11th Grade Expedition Integrates Math in Affordable Housing Project

11th Grade Expedition Integrates Math in Affordable Housing Project

Having explored the complex causes, consequences, and a variety of possible solutions to Asheville’s current housing crisis, Franklin students in Jill Padfield’s Math III classes had the opportunity to apply math skills in a real world Affordable Housing Project.  

Students were tasked with the challenge of selecting two homes currently for sale in the greater Asheville area: one above $200,000 dollars and one below that price.  Subsequently, they computed down payments, mortgage costs, and interest rates, based on current statistics.  They estimated, based on these numbers, what minimum salary they’d need to earn to afford monthly payments on these homes over a 30 year mortgage.  Advanced students also calculated appreciation and depreciation over time, in order to anticipate cost benefits of selling these homes, not to mention the responsibility of on-going home-maintenance as home owners. They graphed their conclusions as part of their project presentations.  Here are links to a couple of examples from students who presented this week:

Nikki Forbes’ Housing Project

Will Feehan’s Housing Project

Students shared their projects by presenting to 10th grade math students at The Franklin School of Innovation, who will soon be launching their own Expedition “The Times, They Are A’Changing.” The 9th graders will investigate issues related to sustainability in Asheville, from housing economics and gentrification to cost of living wage gaps to environmental issues of air quality and transportation; thus, the 11th grade project helps frame the purpose of the 9th grade Expedition.

Will Feehan, whose project was identified as an exemplar for this blogpost, had this to say after his presentation:  “I really liked this project because it was meaningful and interesting.  It was real and it made me think about how Asheville is changing.  I think it made our whole class take look at how math can be used in the real world to make decisions about buying and selling homes, and it made us realize how much we’ll have to earn, down the road, in order to be a home owner.”





Note: 11th Graders continue to raise funds (and walls) as we build a Habitat for Humanity home in the Shiloh Community.  Please stay tuned for future opportunities to participate in this student build collaboration with Asheville’s Habitat for Humanity and our partner family, Heidi Chapman and her two children, Max and Niko.  We have 4 more Franklin School of Innovation student build days available for volunteer support, starting again in January, and significant fund-raising to do in support of Franklin’s contributions to this build. We are grateful to all who have contributed time, energy, and expertise on this 11th grade Expedition: Creating a New American Dream.  Keep it real and join in the efforts to make a positive difference for equitable housing in Asheville.


Building Community through Service Learning


Our last Franklin School of Innovation student build day was Thursday, February 9, 2017. We would like to thank everyone who has attended a build day, donated, and/or helped with our Habitat for Humanity fundraisers. We’ve passed the halfway mark, but we still have a long way to go to meet our goal of $13,750. To help reach this goal, our four 11th grade crews are competing in a fundraising challenge with the task of raising $1,000 each by the end of February.

We welcome all support!

There are three easy ways to donate to our campaign:

  1. To donate online, click on this link to our Go Fund Me Page! This is the easiest way to donate, but it is not tax-deductible!


  1. For a tax-deductible receipt, click on this link to the Habitat for Humanity page. In the “Area of Support” section, select “Shiloh: Let’s Build” and in the special comments sections, please write “FSI Youthbuild”.  Without this in the comment section, your donation will not be credited to our school!

    3. You can send your donation directly to Franklin School of Innovation by mail.  Make     sure on the memo line to write H4H Student Build.

Thank you for helping us Create a New American Dream through service learning.




Dear Franklin Families:

Our 11th Grade Expedition is well underway:  “Creating a New American Dream.” Students are exploring current and historical issues of social justice and poverty, including urban renewal, gentrification and practices of redlining, equity in opportunity, and the current affordable housing crisis in Asheville.  They are taking action, in collaboration with Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, to raise funds for and build a home with our partner family.  By the end of this expedition, our students will have raised $13,750 dollars and built a home in the Shiloh Community.  

Expeditions are integral to Franklin’s Mission: preparing the next generation of leaders, capable of solving problems and participating effectively and ethically as local and global citizens.  We are all excited to be on an expedition designed to both figuratively and literally build community through service learning.

Last Thursday, it was my honor to work alongside six Franklin students at the build site, collaborating in high quality work with great purpose.  Not only are we building a home together in this service learning, we are building our own community of compassionate, capable leaders.  This was the last build day for Franklin in 2016, but we invite members of our community to spend a day volunteering with us on one of the Franklin School of Innovation Build Days in 2017.  

Please consider joining us for a rewarding day of being Franklin Crew!  You can sign up for one of the build days directly on the spreadsheet.  

*Please notice that we have one Saturday build day!  When you sign up, please email me:  emcdowell@thefsi.us

We have just six more build days!!!  Sign up soon!

Thank you,


PS Here are some photos of our Franklin Students on Expedition:



Max Chapman says Thank You!


Service-Learning at Franklin School of Innovation = H4H

Service-Learning at Franklin School of Innovation = H4H

On Thursday, 10.20.2016, six eleventh grade Franklin scholars and I spent a blackberry summer day as CREW to hammer the first nails into our Shiloh Community Habitat for Humanity student-built home, alongside Heidi Chambers, our partner family Mom, who will inhabit this house in 2017!

We learned to value: high quality work/craftspersonship,  the importance of chemistry in understanding and assessing the danger/presence of Radon, the significance of square corners, geometry, measurement, physical fitness, collaboration, safety, hydration, and the essential element of teamwork in completing a complex goal.

This link should take you to the wall raising photos from yesterday. our second day of Franklin student building.




FSI 11th Graders On Expedition: Creating a New American Dream

Franklin School of Innovation’s 11th Grade Expedition Kick-off:

The Franklin School of Innovation's photo.
The Franklin School of Innovation's photo.

Habitat for Humanity’s Bill Lineberry, and members of our Student-Build Partner Family, visited the Franklin campus today to help launch our year-long 11th Grade Service-Learning Expedition: Creating a New American Dream.

“Throughout the year, with this guiding topic, students will investigate who has access to the American Dream, as it is currently defined and structured, and strive to create a vision for America’s future that allows for equitable access to resources and opportunities.”
~ Marsha Davis, Social Justice & Chemistry teacher.


This Expedition Kick-off involved real-world simulation in budgeting for various demographic groups, enabling students to gain perspective on the local challenge to find Affordable Housing in Asheville, where the gap between the cost of housing and local wages is extreme. Students learned how our service-learning project, in collaboration with three private high schools, and Habitat for Humanity, will help bridge that gap and create opportunities for community members in need of a safe, affordable home.


Simeon Gibson, who participated in the simulation, had this to say:

“This expedition will help us put ourselves into the shoes of someone who is going through what we will be going through in the future.”


Emma McDowell said:

“I think it’s pretty awesome that we can help build a home for others, even while our school is in its temporary modulars!”

Expeditions are integral to Franklin’s mission : preparing the next generation of leaders, capable of solving problems and participating effectively and ethically as local and global citizens.  We are all excited to be on an expedition designed to both figuratively and literally build greater community through service learning with our 11th graders, Franklin’s faculty crew: Bryan Clendenin, Chris DeFiore, Marsha Davis, Katie Washburn, Jill Padfield, Laura Bubacz, and The Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity!


What does it take to build or buy a home in Asheville’s neighborhoods today?  

Jill Padfield’s Math III students will be calculating the cost of buying/making a house, including the materials, workforce, property and taxes. Then, students will participate in a second simulation which has them take out a loan for the house and watch as it accrues interest over time. According a randomly assigned demographic, groups of students will be able to make different percentages of the payment and be able to compare the overall cost of buying a home over time in relationship to other buyers by how much interest accrued due to their ability to pay.

What are the best materials to use in building homes in the Asheville area?  

Students will also be investigating the logarithmic decay of materials and calculating the depreciation of the house due to the decay of the materials.  They will synthesize their conclusions and collaboratively design a final product in order to share what they’ve learned with the larger Franklin community.

LEARN.  ACT.  LEAD.  On Expedition.

Franklin’s Exemplary Expeditions with a service learning component:





Franklin HS Cross Country Runners Demonstrate Persistence!


Franklin HS Cross Country Runners Demonstrate Persistence!

Cheers to our HS XC runners: Harbin, Riley, and Shane. All three finished strong and set personal records in Swannanoa at the ACA Ramble by the River  http://nc.milesplit.com/meets/241920/info#.V-bjtU0rLnC
I was super proud of the personal goal-setting and progress our HS runners have shown, just adding in the practice of Tuesday/Friday “pacing/endurance” runs (in spite of the 2016 unseasonably high temperatures at 3:30 pm!  Learning how to push and pace oneself in various conditions is key!  Directly transferring this experience and learning to academic and lifelong lessons is just one example of what Franklin facilitates at all grade levels, through sports, projects, and Expeditions.
Finally, a shout out to Lisa Browning, for heading up the Franklin XC program.  She recently shared this historic FSI XC data:

Below is a list of top 10 all time performances for Franklin.  It shows the 10 fastest students, their times, and when it was run.  This could be good motivation for your students to try to get on the board.  However, running is a fantastic individual sport in which a runner’s first concern should be enjoyment and personal improvement.  All of our runners are showing growth as runners and seem to be having a good time.

Middle School Cross Country Top Performers Boys’ 2 Mile

1. Aiden Browning   11:38    Waynesville Invit.  9/2015

2. Declan Mattee 11:50.30 WCU Invit 9/2016

3. Will Fehan  12:06  10/2014  Veitas Invit

4. Jaks Ashley  12:40.9  9/2014 ACA Invit

5.  Grayson Scott  12:44.9  Waynesville Invit.  9/2016

6.  Evan Camissa  12:52.7  2016

7.  Ben Reed  13:06 2016

8.  Bhaerava Sculthorp 13:34  2016

9.  Cameron Camissa  13:54  2016

10. Cole Chenevert 14:02  Waynesville Invit 9/2016

Middle School Cross Country Top Performers Girls’ 2 Mile


1.  Morgan Metzger  14:44  10/2015  Veritas Invit.

2.  Lana Lammel 15:12  9/2016 Flat Rock

3.  Brook Barrett 16:30  Waynesville Invit.

4.  Lily Moffitt  16:35 9/2016  Waynesville Invit

5.  Hannah Hailey  17:45  9/2014  ACA Invit.

6.  Jade Moonbourne  17:47 9/2015  ACA Invit.

7.  Karmyn  18:08  9/2015  ACA Invit

8.  Fiona Crowder-Marshall  18:12  10/2014 Veritas Invit.

9.  Sadie Bolding  18:19 Waynesville Invit. 9/2016

10.  Tira Ellis  18:42