Our future accomplishments grow from the fond memories of our shared past. Franklin’s Alumni Association invites all alumni and friends to join us, get involved in activities, and help promote the future of Franklin High School. Your presence at gatherings, your membership fees, and your contributions all help to finance the Alumni Post and this website, which keep us all connected.
Your Donations At Work
Your involvement helps us give back to Franklin’s students and teachers through grants for scholarships, art, band, drama, dance, clubs, sports, mascots, shop, metalwork, ceramics, books, journalism, campus groundskeeping, and even a helping hand for our students without a consistent place to call home.
Franklin High School History
The History of Franklin High School began well before the ground-breaking ceremony in 1914. As early as 1880, a vision for Franklin was building. While some argued that 8th Grade was sufficient public education, the Rev. George H. Atkinson advocated “common schools” with free education through a permanent government funding source financed by taxes. He lobbied for local schools that allowed religious freedom supported by certified teachers who met professional standards. He became known as the “Father of Oregon schools.”
Following a rash of school fires in other states that worried Portland parents about sending their children to wood-built schools, the Portland City Council passed legislation in 1910 requiring all new schools to be built using fire-proof materials like brick and concrete. The Portland School District also needed a massive building program to catch up burgeoning population growth.
In 1914, there was an 18-acre plot “out in the country” on 54th and SE Woodward that was zoned as “farmstead.” Teenagers were taught at Creston until Franklin opened. In keeping with the strict local fire code, the architect named Floyd Naramore designed our Franklin buildings of concrete with brick veneer in the Colonial Revival style. The classroom and office building was completed in 1915 at a cost of $156,105, the equivalent of $4 million dollars today. A separate boiler building became operational in 1915. In 1924, $233,759.00 was spent to build the new auditorium (east wing.) The west wing was built in 1916 for $104,957, which was initially used for manual arts classrooms, then later converted into a gymnasium. By 1955, the gymnasium was divided into two floors and made into classrooms. The football and track bowl were excavated from a sink hole in 1940. Classrooms and a fieldhouse were added in 1950, a new gymnasium building was opened in 1954, and an industrial arts wing was added in 1981.
Franklin High School Now
Ever wonder how Franklin has changed since you attended? In the 2019-20 school year, Franklin had the largest enrollment in the city with nearly 2,000 students. As of, 2018, there were some statistics reflecting the thriving world we live in.
58% of students qualified for free or reduced meals. 41% were minorities and 34 languages were spoken including Spanish (spoken by 131), Vietnamese (114), Cantonese (88) as well as Arabic and Ukrainian. To graduate, students must earn 24 credits and pass the State Essential Skills test. In addition to high school level classes, rigorous coursework is offered in Advanced Placement, which can result in college credit. Sports included cheerleading, cross country, football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, swimming, baseball, golf, tennis, softball, as well as track & field.
Franklin was managed by four Administrators led by Principal Chris Frazier. The staff included over 100 teachers: 8+ in Special Education, 2 Psychologists, 4 Counselors, a Business Manager, an Athletic Director, 2 Speech Therapists, 6 Secretaries, 8+ Custodians, and 6+ Cafeteria servers. Students are protected by 3+ Campus Monitors.
In addition to English, Math, Science, and History, students are obliged to develop a Personal Education Plan, participate in Career Related Learning Experiences, demonstrate Career Related Knowledge and Skills, and complete an Extended Application. Nowadays, students only need to earn 1 credit for P.E., 1 for Health and 6 Electives to graduate. There are many classes in business, technology, robotics, mock trial/debate, ceramics. wood, and metal shop. The Performing Arts include Dance, Theatre, Band and Choir. Students can learn Mandarin Chinese, German, French and Spanish. The Advanced Scholar Program that began in 2010 is changing lives and Franklin. It requires students to accept the challenge of at least one AP class each year. By 2013, 30% of Franklin’s students were taking AP courses. While Franklin’s on-time graduation rate is still a meager 67%, student 11th Grade test scores exceed PPS scores in Math 77 to 69, in Reading 89 to 83, in Writing 67 to 65 and in Science 59 to 55, a remarkable comeback from just a few years ago.
Energy and persistence conquer all things.Benjamin Franklin