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The Franklin School opens in Spartanburg and provides one-of-a kind research opportunity

A one of a kind school just opened up in Spartanburg.  The Franklin School is one where young kids are not only given a top notch education, but they're observed for education research.

The school on Spartanburg's Northside, has cameras and observation booths, but unlike other schools of its kind, Franklin stores all that video so that it can be used to analyse and improve teaching strategies.  The school pioneering that research is USC Upstate.
 
From six weeks to twenty somethings, there's a whole lot of learning go on at The Franklin School.

Under one roof, you'll find a daycare, headstart, Spartanburg District 7 4-K, and USC Upstate School of Education, Human Performance and Health students.
    
And in every early learning room is a camera recording it all.

Tiffany Bismark who sends her 8-month-old son, August, to Franklin, says she welcomes the extra eyes.

"I don't mind that they're being observed by other students, or anybody else that needs to use that information for educational purposes," said Bismark. 

And for students like Shelby Cameron, having babies through 4K in one center is invaluble.

"You can have class time, get up, walk down the hall and then go observe what you're learning and really see it in action, which is the cool part,
 said Shelby Cameron, a USC Upstate student.

Normally education students would have to go inside the classroom, but studies show adult strangers give kids anxiety.  So the cameras that zoom and the observation booths create the best environment for the kids.

This brainchild stems from a partnership of organizations and benefactors who helped fund the 11 million dollar facility.  And while it prioritizes kids in the underprivledged Northside, Laura Reynolds, the Dean of the School of Education, Human Performance and Health says the research could impact education far beyond.

"It will create a bank of data for researchers all over the nation and the state to look at  and be able to inform best practices not only in teacher training but in research in brain development and early childhood education statewide and nationwide," said Reynolds.

Right now the school has 130 students, but it has room to expand to 180.  So if any parents in spartanburg county want to get on the wait list head to www.thefranklinschool.org.
 


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