Franklin City Public Schools unveils Strategic Plan

Published 9:00 am Thursday, June 27, 2024

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Franklin City Public Schools Chief Academic Officer Krystal L. Thompkins presented the school division’s Strategic Plan — titled Accelerate Franklin 2028 — to the Franklin City School Board at its meeting on Thursday, June 20.

“This process started in November, and we had our final meeting to approve the hard work and dedication of those members on not only our Strategic Plan Committee but on our Action Team Committee,” Thompkins said. “So this is the culmination of the work that has been done for many months.”

Her slideshow presentation highlighted the following goals for the Strategic Plan:

  • All schools will be fully accredited;
  • Retain, recruit and invest in high-quality staff;
  • Develop business and community partnerships; and
  • Increase family and community involvement.

The presentation noted that as part of the planning process, action teams were developed based on objectives, and action team leaders were selected.

“As you will see in this presentation, over 30 hours of work was done by each action team, with research, with meetings, with some school visits to really take a look at how do we refine and how do we make Franklin City Public Schools a premier school division within the commonwealth of Virginia,” Thompkins said.

She noted in the presentation that a cost-benefit analysis was conducted by each team based on the objectives. 

“And our final meeting was May 31 to review each report and vote to determine if what was done is what will actually go into our action plan, and here is the work,” she said.

There were six objectives identified in the Strategic Plan.


Objective No. 1 was listed as “Social and Emotional Support/Safe Learning Environment,” and its action team leader was Dr. Vernita Elliott.

“What we believe is that we want all of our students and staff to feel safe in working in an emotionally and physically safe environment,” Thompkins said. 

She also said, “There are multiple strategies, but for time, I only put one for each (Strategic Plan objective) and several action steps.”

Her presentation stated the following strategy and action steps for Objective No. 1:

Strategy: Students and staff in FCPS will work and learn in an emotionally safe environment.

Action Steps:

  • Develop a leadership team with diverse stakeholder groups.
  • Provide comprehensive training to staff on the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS).
  • Establish a consistent and fair process for recognizing and reinforcing positive behaviors.
  • Solicit feedback from stakeholder groups to identify strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the PBIS system to determine the impact on students’ behavior.


Objective No. 2 in the Strategic Plan was listed as “Stakeholder Partnerships,” and its action team leader was Citizen/Community Partner Cyndi Harrison.

“Of course we know that stakeholder partnerships are important, and we want to have all of our partners — in school, as well as outside in the community — to help us with that,” Thompkins said.

Outlining the objective, her presentation noted that each student will benefit from community partnerships that support their educational, physical, emotional, career and extracurricular pursuits.

Strategy: Schools will encourage and promote cooperation, accountability and investment of all stakeholders in education and success of students by inviting and supporting the voice of all.

Action Steps:

  • Each school will implement, train and support a School Community Council.
  • Each school will collaborate with local behavioral and mental health partners to meet the needs of students.
  • FCPS will provide opportunities for stakeholders to provide feedback on ways to improve the school division.
  • Communication from the school division will be provided in a variety of forms and written in the home language of students and families.


Objective No. 3 in the Strategic Plan was listed as “Instruction/Academics,” and its action team leader was English Curriculum Specialist Maureen Mahoney.

Outlining the objective, Thompkins’ presentation noted that each student will benefit from instructional practices that are data-driven and scaffolded to meet their needs by promoting relevance, rigor, critical thinking and collaboration.

Strategy: Establish strategies that will enable students to engage and interact in instructional activities that provide diverse learning styles, incorporate real-world applications and encourage critical thinking.

“The first thing that we have to do if we want to… provide real-world experiences is that we have to adopt and modify our pacing and curriculum guides for each content area and provide resources for teachers to use and model those expectations within the classroom through our coaches,” Thompkins said, addressing some of the action steps listed in her presentation.

Action Steps:

  • Adopt and modify pacing guides for each content; adapt guides to include a weekly pacing guide and resources for teachers to use.
  • Ensure diverse learning styles are included as well as real-world applications for each content.
  • Ensure high-quality instructional materials exist for all content areas.
  • Provide ongoing, high-quality professional development to all staff.
  • Conduct weekly walkthroughs to monitor Tier I instruction to ensure alignment with state standards.


Objective No. 4 in the Strategic Plan was listed as “Recruiting, Retaining and Developing High-Quality Staff,” and its action team leader was Franklin High School Principal and parent Travis Felts.

Outlining the objective, Thompkins’ presentation stated that each student will benefit from the recruitment, investment and retention of high-quality, diverse staff who engage in regular professional learning.

Strategy: Establish strategies to recruit, retain and develop high-quality staff at each school and the central office.

Action Steps:

  • Schedule visits to job fairs at colleges and universities in Virginia and North Carolina with education programs.
  • Establish a process for recruiting career switchers.
  • Expand the “Grow Your Own” program by tapping into local talent with a college degree.
  • Expand the new teacher and mentor programs to support staff new to the school environment.
  • Market the division’s unique programs like Wellness Fridays and Enrichment Fridays.

Referencing the last action step, Thompkins said, “That’s a great marketing tool to draw folks to our school community.”


Objective No. 5 in the Strategic Plan was listed as “Technology,” and its action team leader was FCPS Assistant Superintendent Dr. Clint Walters.

Outlining the objective, Thompkins’ presentation stated that each student will demonstrate strong digital citizenship by utilizing technology to access and investigate instruction.

Strategy: Personalize learning for all students.

Action Steps:

  • Identify how technology is being incorporated in lessons as a dedicated component of lesson planning and the observation process.
  • Facilitate workshops that explore emerging technologies and their application in enhancing student engagement, critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Establish a policy to address the use of artificial intelligence in the instructional setting.
  • Create a supportive community of practice where educators share best practices and resources dedicated to technology integration.


Objective No. 6 in the Strategic Plan was listed as “Fiscal Responsibility.”

“Fiscal responsibility sums up itself, and so we did not need to have an action team leader for that particular objective,” Thompkins said.

Outlining the objective, her presentation noted that each student will benefit from a system that maximizes fiscal resources and supports efforts to meet their unique needs.

Thompkins said the full scope of the Strategic Plan will be found online at

At the conclusion of Thompkins’ presentation on June 20, Franklin City School Board Chairman Robert Holt said, “I’d like to recognize the Camp Foundation, because they gave us the majority of the funds to do this (Strategic Plan), and Ms. Thompkins, you led this effort big-time.

“Everybody in this room had a part in this,” Holt continued, addressing attendees at the meeting. “When Dr. Carter came to us in the fall and said he’d like to do it, we had great expectations, but I think (what we got) far exceeded what we thought we would get, so thank you very much.”

“Thank you,” Thompkins said.