Kade Drechsler, Manager of Curriculum & Instruction
This week we hosted an accreditation team from Minnesota Nonpublic School Accreditation Association (MNSAA). The last time we went through the accreditation process we had around 30 students. Last spring, when we were completing the majority of the Accreditation Self Study - a “self-audit” of sorts - we had around 75 students. Currently, we have 91 students enrolled at Franklin Academy. I reference these numbers to highlight why the Accreditation process through MNSAA is so valuable for us here at Franklin; over the past 7 years, nothing has been static - based on who we are and what we do, we are always pivoting to provide the best support and educational experience we can for each of our students. Essentially the mindset, as you may have heard from Kim Strandemo, is “continuous improvement”. Through the accreditation process, we’ve been able to strategically and intentionally identify the pieces that we want and need to solidify to provide the best learning experience for our students and to live our mission every day.
One aspect of my role in this I’d like to highlight is academic planning and curriculum mapping. There’s a balance we need to achieve between having academic guardrails for each of our students to fit within while also allowing for enough flexibility to ensure we are meeting the needs of each student. This balance allows us to solidify “what” we do while being able to change “how” we do it based on students’ needs. As our enrollment has been growing rapidly, this has been a significant challenge for our faculty. Over the next few months, I will be taking a deep dive into what grade level of content we are teaching at each level, who we are teaching it to, how many students collectively at each grade level of instruction, and what that means for the big picture of our academic landscape presently. From this, it will help myself and the rest of the Academy Leadership Team (ALT) determine where we need to go in the future - through a sustainable, thoughtful, and most importantly, student-focused lens.