Franklin Center

The Bridge Newsletter

July 14, 2022

Save the Date:

Summer Sensory Fest is now Calmapalooza!

Franklin Center is hosting the second-ever Calmapalooza (formerly Summer Sensory Fest)! This sensory-friendly event is thoughtfully designed to deliver fun, while not overloading the senses. It offers something for everyone.

Event Details: 

When: Sunday, August 21, 2022, 1-4 PM

Where: 1001 Boone Ave N, Golden Valley MN, 55427

Who: All are welcome!

Learn more and register


July 29

Parent and Caregivers Social Event: Lawn Bowling

August 1

Registration for Fall Clubs, Activity Days, and Owl's Nest Opens

August 21

Franklin Center Calmapalooza

August 24

Back to School Night

August 29

First Day of School

View the 2022-2023 Year at a Glance Calendar on our Parents' Page

Franklin Academy's Family Corner

Start of Year Forms

It's that time in the summer when we start thinking back to school! An email with Start of Year forms and information will be sent out to families within the next week. 

New School Hours

New school hours for the 2022-23 school year are 8:15 am - 3:10 pm. 

Drop-off will occur from 8:00 - 8:10 am. 

We are introducing a new app for pick-up. An email will be sent before August with more details. 

Spread the Word

Do you have a family member or friend who might be interested in receiving our Bridge Newsletter? They can sign up at Constant Contact.

Join us for Lawn Bowling and Happy Hour

Our Franklin Center parent and caregiver socials are designed to connect our community in a fun, welcoming and supportive atmosphere. A time to relax, laugh and renew the spirit with other adults who often have similar life experiences.  

Lawn Bowling and Happy Hour

Friday, July 29, 2022

4:30-6:30 pm

Brookview Golf & Lawn Bowling

316 Brookview Parkway S, Golden Valley, MN 55426

Franklin Center will cover the cost of lawn bowling. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from Brookview - we can enjoy refreshments while we play. Officials will also be on hand to help explain the game and help us keep score - don’t worry if you have not played before - many of us have not. Come join the fun!

RSVP to Maureen at [email protected]

Franklin Enrichment

Moving Day

A reminder that our third and final session of Camp Franklin, formerly Bridge the Gap Summer Camp, will be at our new Campus. 

1001 Boone Ave N

Golden Valley, MN


Summer Camp 

Camp Franklin, formerly Bridge the Gap Summer Camp, 2022 is almost complete. Students have experienced camps that have expanded both their educational and social repertoire. Check out our social media to see and discover the experiences students have had this summer from Space Exploration to Around the World.

Registration for all Camp Franklin is now complete. If you have any questions, please contact Amber Trapp at [email protected]

Before and After School Care 

Owl's Nest 2022-2023 School Year registration will open on August 1, 2022. A registration link will be sent out on August 1, 2022.

Owl's Nest hours will be 7:00-8:10 am and 3:10-5:00 pm. We require a consistent, three day per week minimum, schedule for Owls' Nest.

The rates are as follows:

AM only $15.00/day

PM only $19.00/day

AM & PM $25.00/day

Watch for more information regarding drop in care later in the summer. 

Letters from Leaders

Wyayn's Words

Dr. Wyayn Rasmussen, Executive Director

When given the opportunity to write a memoir of sorts for my last ‘Wyayn’s Words’, I jumped at the chance. But where to start and what to include? What better place to start than at the beginning? As the guardian of my beautiful niece Kalle, my husband, Gef, and I searched for a school that could meet her needs. It was by chance that I was also looking for a new position and had just come across an opening for a Head of School at The Whole Learning School. It seemed almost too good to be true to find both a school for Kalle and a place for me to grow and learn and lead. 

Kalle was one of 15 students in our first year and I was one of 5 staff. The school board was composed of lovely, dedicated parents who wanted the best for their kids, and as a parent myself and a guardian of a student needing specialized education, I completely understood their angst and their dreams. That first year required many, many extra hours and belief by the overworked staff and beleaguered parents that I could see a vision for the future of our school. I reached out to organizations like Minndependent, the Minnesota private school association, and MNSAA, Minnesota Nonpublic Schools Accrediting Association for help and they gave it in droves. But it wasn’t easy. We had no curriculum, no assessments, no policies or procedures. We started over from scratch. Kalle was a trouper. She’d get up with me and come to school early and never complained as I stayed late into the evening. 

Through the accrediting process we pulled together a strategic plan which has led us for the past 7 years. As we head into our first re-accreditation next fall, it’s fun to look back and see how much has been accomplished. Some of the highlights:

2013: Adding the summer program

2014: Adding OT, PT, and Speech therapy 

2015: Changing our name to Academy of Whole Learning and becoming accredited

2016: Adding behavior therapy in the classroom

2017: Moving to Minnetonka

2018: Adding a separate Behavior Therapy and Mental Health Clinic

2019: Touring 9 specialty schools across the nation

2020: Adding our Adult Program

2021: Purchasing a new campus

2022: Renovating and moving into our new campus

2023: The sky is the limit!

This past year reminds me of my first year. It’s a changing dynamic within the workforce, post-pandemic. I cannot thank those who came to work everyday for the sake of the children and young adults in our programs enough. We had our work cut out for us just as we had in our first year and we had to step up again. The 10-12 hour days that I thought were long gone became a norm once again. By the end of the school year, though, we had great leadership in place and I’m happy to say that you all will be in great hands going forward. The future really is yours to write.

None of this would have been possible if it weren’t for the many staff, parents, board members, volunteers and students that came alongside us and turned this vision into a reality. There are too many to name, but I am beyond grateful for each and every one of you.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of the foundation of Franklin Center. When I see the joy on Kalle’s face as she talks about her job and her future (she lives with her fiancé in Redwood Falls, MN, and works full-time on a pig farm) I’m so thankful Franklin Academy was there for her. Thanks to our incredible staff and wonderful donors, Franklin Center will continue to grow and will thrive for generations to come

As for me, I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family and completing a bucket list item of writing a book about neurodiverse education. I hope to see you all at Calmapalooza on Sunday, August 21!

Humbly yours,


Audra Williams and Kerry Brown

PTO Co-Chairs

[email protected]

[email protected]

Kim Snow

Interim Executive Director

[email protected]

Kim Strandemo

Academy Principal

[email protected]