I-Zone, Week5

We continue to work with our Learning Pod!

And while I am always joyful to share what/how we are learning together, Week 5 led to a brand new experience in the life of Franklinton Center at Bricks relationship with Phillips Middle School.

As a reminder, in 2018, when Edgecombe County Public Schools’ Innovation Zone was the Micro-School of Innovation, FCAB was invited to meet with teachers as they prepared to hold their first student retreat prior to commencing the school year. We talked (and taught) the history of FCAB (which includes the commencement of what was then Phillips High School), along with modern social justice concerns that affect/impact the local community. During their first student retreat, FCAB hosted all incoming 8th grade students and their teachers. In 2019, FCAB was able to create a program for all of Phillips in-coming 8th graders, ensuring that future I-Zone students have an understanding of the roots of their school, community, and for many, an understanding of where their family members began their own formal education.

Franklinton Center at Bricks was sad to know that due to COVID-19 our babies – those incoming 8th graders – would not have the transformative opportunity to plant their feet on this hallowed land as their classmates had in previous years. We really felt the disappointment. When the opportunity arose to host a Learning Pod all we could say was, of course we want to do it! We just had to figure out all the ways in which we would need to protect ourselves, our babies, their teachers… COVID-19 is real here in RURAL Eastern North Carolina.

At the end of September 2020, we were honored to have an 8th grader join the pod and excitedly claim his space as having been rooted in this soil!

And we are now excited to share the news, that just as each student, teacher, and staff of Phillips Middle School is “sorted” into a house, Franklinton Center at Bricks has been sorted… and we have become the newest members of the sorted community of Phillips Middle!

Let me explain sorting… IMAGINE Harry Potter being sorted into Gryffindor. The sorting hat found qualities of other houses that were in keeping with his potential, but he was found to fit best in Gryffindor. At Phillips, scholars are sorted into one of three houses:




While it is understood that we all have characteristics and aspects that are reflected in each of these houses, we have something that seems to call us into one house in particular. As a result of experiences in banners/houses, all Phillips learners will say…

  1. I am a part of and a creator of gracious space. We all own it together.
  2. I belong at my school and inspire others.
  3. I am responsible for my own success and the success of my community.
  4. I’m resilient in the face of challenges: physically, spiritually, and mentally. If I think I’m missing something, I know where to start to get there.
  5. I know what self-regulation is. I am learning to recognize and name my emotions. I know a few strategies that help me feel my feelings then move forward.
  6. I’m growing in my ability to clarify my intentions and goals, identify necessary actions to achieve those goals, and use available resources to accomplish them.
  7. I have at least one adult in this building who cares about me and to whom I can go if I need help.
  8. I am learning to empathize with others and know the value of treating when with respect.
  9. I have learned life skills that will help me in the future, like sending a professional email, writing my name in cursive, budgeting, and building a resume.
  10. I know that disagreements are okay and I have the tools to navigate them with others, even when I feel angry, frustrated, embarrassed or sad.

Franklinton Center at Bricks, Inc. was officially sorted into HOUSE OF FRIENDSHIP by Phillips Middle School staff and teachers on Tuesday, October 27th, 2020 with the permission of Principal Jennifer O’Meara and Dean of Students Jessica Parker during their on site Fall Retreat.

Their retreat purpose was that everyone feel a part of a larger purpose and that their piece matters. To learn more deeply about one another – what each of us values, stories about ourselves, be together, and build trust. Their joy was identifying, celebrating, and showing gratitude for the work. And we are glad to welcome them home to Franklinton Center at Bricks!

And to be welcome into The House of Friendship. The Red House. The Best House. AMISTAD!

We are honored to continue to be a part of the I-Zone of ECPS’s story.