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The Principal’s Perspective

Anthony Page
FLC Principle Nicole Lee.

With this year being the 50th anniversary of FLC’s first senior class, we asked Principal Nicole Lee to reminisce about her time at FLC and explain what she’s excited for in the future. 

Lee has been principal for seven years and has been working at FLC since 2013. Since she has started working here, FLC has changed in various ways, one being the credit system. FLC in the past used the LAP system which was a system where students could gain credits and graduate at their own pace.

“Children would have to complete 10 laps and they would get credit for a class,” said Lee. “If you were an industrious child, you could do your 10 LAPs in say like a few months, and then you would say ‘Okay. Hey, that class is completed.’ And then they would enroll you in another class in the middle of the year.” 

The LAP system came to an end when it clashed with the system the School District was using at the time. 

“The School District came in and said that the system had to be revamped so that Franklin Learning Center’s grading system was aligned to the School District of Philadelphia so Franklin Learning Center, at that time, became a more traditional high school.”

Not only did the grading system change but so did the programs FLC had to offer. 

“In that time period, we’ve seen a couple of new programs because the Newcomer Learning Academy was added to Franklin Learning Center so that was a big addition to the schooI. I [also] think that’s when the music room was added and all those practice rooms. We used to have a Health-Related Technology course that’s now our Medical Assisting class.” 

As much as FLC has changed over the years, Lee hopes to bring change this year for the best high school experience for staff and students. Lee and staff plan to emphasize the mission statement.

The mission statement: FLC is an inclusive school community dedicated to providing a diverse student body with a rigorous and culturally-responsive education that prepares students with the professional and social skills they need to be outstanding community members of the city, nation, and world.

“Whatever I do, whatever choices I make, it’s all about supporting that mission and supporting children as we prepare them to go out,” she says. “Our mission is about supporting the development of children and making sure that every person in this building feels comfortable in the space and feel like they belong and they have a voice in what is happening here.”

Lee also mentioned the addition of “engaging activities” led by teachers meant to help students thrive this coming year, both extracurricularly and academically. 

“I’m happy that the clubs are coming back this year. The poetry club is coming back, the craft club is coming back. We have science [and math] tutoring that’s going to be offered. So, I’m excited.”

This year, Lee says she wants staff to build a strong understanding between teachers and students where students can feel heard.

“How do we enhance your high school experience?” Lee asks students. “So you remember it as ‘Yeah, that was really some good times. I had great times.’” 

A lot of new activities and events will occur more often this year. Lee and staff plan for the first months to have an AP fair, a club fair, a homecoming dance, and more.  

“We’re getting the big Connect 4 games to put in the cafeteria,” says Lee.

The overcrowding in the cafeteria being an issue in past years is why Lee has opened other spaces in the school where students can be during lunch to enhance student experience during their lunch period. 

“I want young people to feel respected and that they have a space. One of the reasons we have so many of those bistro tables is it reduces the number of kids in the cafeteria when we can but it also gives kids a space like where, you know, I just want to be with one or two other people and I can chill. I believe kids need those kinds of spaces, hence the sofas.” 

She is also excited about dual enrollment programs put in place for FLC’s students. Dual enrollment not only gives scholars college experience, it also opens up new opportunities within high school. AP classes are also an asset that Lee is looking into adding, providing students with more high-level college courses. 

Regarding FLC sports, students now have to pass all classes with a 70 or above in order to participate in sports. Lee this year wants FLC teams to feel her support. 

“I’m going to make more of an effort to actually go to games, just like I go to performances here at school,” she says.

Ultimately, there was one common theme Principal Lee circled back to: community in FLC.

“Running a school, no one person can do,” Lee concludes. “A school, it needs the community to do it. I feel like our community is starting to flourish again.” 

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Phatamarha Noel
Phatamarha Noel, Managing Editor
Phatamarha Noel is the Arts and Entertainment editor of the Flash whose hobbies include singing, reading, writing, and playing the cello. Her past roles include Ombudsperson and her planned graduation year is 2024.
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Dahslee Hernandez, Editor-in-Chief
My name is Dahslee Hernandez I do mostly News and Sports articles. I have been an editor for theTheFlash since my freshman year. Freshman year: Layout Editor Sophomore year: News & Sports Editor Junior year: Editor-In-Chief I learned how to take pictures with a professional camera in The Flash and now my favorite thing is to go to events and take pictures!  
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