Franklin Center News

Discover news articles and media stories from Franklin Center, including features that highlight the expertise of Franklin Center’s staff.

During Busy Book Launch, Local Author Emma Nadler Pauses to Speak at Daughter’s School, Franklin Center

Emma Nadler, author of “The Unlikely Village of Eden”, delivered the keynote speech at the Franklin Center’s Minds of All Kinds event last Thursday. She shares her journey of navigating life with her daughter, Eden, who was born with a genetic deletion, and the way Franklin has become a part of their village. Learn more about Emma’s book and Eden’s journey at Franklin here!

Anita Haas Wins MINNDEPENDENT’s 2023 Honor Teacher Award, 3/9/23

Anita Haas, inspirational Franklin Center teacher and advocate for neurodiverse students, wins MINNDEPENDENT’s 2023 Honor Teacher Award. This prestigious award recognizes exceptional teachers who have a passion for students and education. This prestigious award recognizes exceptional teachers who have a passion for students and education. Click here to learn more!

Franklin Center Announces Kim Snow as Executive Director, 12/21/22

After a rigorous search including more than 100 applicants, Franklin Center’s Board of Directors and search committee are pleased to announce Kim Snow as the new Executive Director of Franklin Center. Click here for more details!

Franklin Center Opens in Golden Valley, Aired 9/28/22

KTSP reports on Franklin Center’s brand new, permanent home in Golden Valley! The Center serves those on the autism spectrum and other neurodiversities through a variety of services, now all housed under one roof. 

Franklin Center Celebrates Its New Campus and New Name

Franklin Center’s Ribbon Cutting Ceremony held on September 28th marks a major milestone for the organization. Read the full announcement here.

Calmapalooza Sensory Friendly Festival, Aired 8/21/22

KSTP reports on Franklin Center’s second ever Calmapalooza, a sensory-friendly event thoughtfully designed to deliver fun, while not overloading the senses! Held at Franklin Center’s new Golden Valley campus, guests enjoyed pet therapy, live music, a silent disco, and much more!

Calmapalooza, Golden Valley, Aired 8/21/22

WCCO’s Amelia Santaniello reports on Franklin Center’s Calmapalooza, an event designed to be fun, while not overloading the senses. The mission of the event is in line with the mission of Frankin Center, to provide support for the neurodiverse population!

Academy of Whole Learning Announces New Principal for K-12 School

Veteran Teacher & Leader Joins One-of-a-Kind Neurodiverse School
The Academy of Whole Learning is pleased to welcome Ms. Kimberly Strandemo as the new principal. Read the full announcement here.

Academy of Whole Learning Executive Director Announces Retirement

After a decade of extraordinary service, Wyayn Rasmussen, Ed.D., Executive Director of Academy of Whole Learning, announced her retirement. Read the full announcement here.

School for Students with Autism Coming to Golden Valley, Aired 3/17/21

CCX Media’s Pafoua Yang reports on our new facility in Golden Valley, which will open for the 2022-2023 school year.

Regarding the story out of Washington state

WCCO radio personality Sheletta Brundidge interviewed Dr. Wyayn Rasmussen of Franklin Center regarding her thoughts on the recent story out of Washington state, where a child with Autism was moved into the school bathroom for a quiet space. Listen to the interview below.

Passive Bullying

Dr. Wyayn Rasmussen, Franklin Center’s Executive Director, was interviewed by Kare11 regarding the purposeful ignoring of someone perceived as vulnerable, or passive bullying. See the video clip below and the related article here that appeared in the August MN Parent Magazine.

Women Crushing It

Kare 11 recently featured Dr. Wyayn Rasmussen, our Executive Director, on their Wednesday “Women Crushing It” segment. She spoke about how Franklin Center gives students with Autism and individual learning needs a space to truly come alive!

Monday Refresh

Wyayn Rasmussen, our Executive Director, was featured on Kare 11 during their Monday Refresh Segment. She emphasized that having a passion for what you do allows each of us to fill ourselves back up and re-energize for the day and week ahead. All of our Franklin Center staff have a passion for this school and the incredible students we serve. We are energized by the difference we make!

Franklin Center Gifted $1 Million to Establish Endowment Scholarship Fund

Please read the following article here for more information.

Franklin Academy Graduate Success Story

Steve Benjamin, the father of Peter, talks about how Franklin Center made a dramatic impact on his son’s success. We are so very proud of Peter and appreciative of all our supportive parents like Steve.

Autism awareness and the use of technology, WCCO, Aired 4/26/19

WCCO TV interviewed our Head of School, Wyayn Rasmussen, to discuss autism and how Franklin Center uses technology, such as Virtual Reality, to bring valuable experiences into our classrooms.

Technology benefiting students with Autism, Kare11, Aired 4/2/19

As part of World Autism Day, our Head of School, Wyayn Rasmussen, was interviewed by Kare11 regarding how we are using technology to benefit our students.

Creating a safe space for learning through Virtual Reality, KSTP5, Aired 2/6/19

Our students recently had an opportunity to visit REM5 Virtual Reality Laboratory in St. Louis Park. Check out how this amazing technology can create a safe space for our students to learn.

Franklin Center’s approach to educating students with Autism, WCCO Radio, Aired 1/7/19

In the wake of the disturbing story out of Kentucky regarding a teacher dragging a student with Autism through the school halls, our Head of School, Wyayn Rasmussen, spoke to WCCO Radio about Franklin Center’s successful approach to educating students with Autism. Please listen to the segment and contact us if you are interested in learning more about our amazing program.

How Franklin Center uses STEM curriculum in its classrooms

This video captures how Franklin Center is using STEM curriculum to increase hands-on learning and deliver knowledge and confidence to our exceptional students.

Perspective on the CDC’s new statistics regarding Autism, KSTP5, Aired 5/20/18

KSTP5 interviewed our Head of School, Wyayn Rasmussen, and one of our sophomore students, Gray, about the new statistics and how Franklin Center uses a holistic approach to educate and prepare our students.

Minnetonka school empowers kids with autism, KARE11, Aired 5/7/18

With the CDC now estimating that one in 42 Minnesota kids is on the autism spectrum, Kare11 highlight’s how Franklin Center is working to make sure our students are set up for success in college.

School for Students with Autism Moves into New Location, KSTP, Aired 4/24/18

KSTP covered the Franklin Center Community Welcome Event and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, highlighting the many things that make our school unique, and how we accommodate the needs of our students.

Minnetonka school for autistic children grows with need, Star Tribune Article, Printed 4/25/18

Please click here for the article.

Franklin Center featured on WCCO for Autism Awareness Month, WCCO, Aired 4/7/18

Our own Maggie Jensen was interviewed on WCCO regarding Autism Awareness Month and the many things our school offers students with ASD and other related learning differences.

Gold Medalist Visits with Franklin State Poly Hockey Champions, KSTP5, Aired 3/23/18

Franklin Center Special Olympics State Champion Poly Hockey Team had a chance to meet Gold Medalist Kelly Pannek from the US women’s hockey team. Our students had a wonderful time scrimmaging, doing a Q&A, and taking pictures with Kelly.

Franklin Center – New to Minnetonka this School Year, Sun Sailor Article, Printed 3/8/18

Please click here for the article.

Olympic Athletes Inspire Minnetonka Students, KARE11, Aired 2/8/18

Gina Pogue, Physical Education and Health Teacher at Franklin Center, shows how our school gym has transformed into an Olympic training facility for students to try bobsledding, alpine skiing and luge.

Summer Stress for Kids with Autism, WCCO Radio, Aired 5/17/17

Wyayn Rasmussen, Head of School at Franklin Center, gives advice on how to help all children reduce summer learning loss and thrive.

Focus on Fidgets, Kare 11, Aired 5/13/17

Wyayn Rasmussen, Head of School at Franklin Center, explains how our school uses fidgets as tools versus toys.

Fidgets, WCCO, Aired 5/1/17

Wyayn Rasmussen, Head of School at Franklin Center, discusses the benefits of fidgets.

Misconceptions of Autism, WCCO, Aired 4/8/17

Dana Liberty, a teacher at Franklin Academy, talks about some of the misconceptions of autism.

Sesame Street’s Newest Muppet with Autism, Kare 11, Aired 3/20/17

Dana Liberty, a teacher at Franklin Academy, and Erin Smith, a student at Franklin Academy talk about the newest muppet and the value of inclusion.

Excellent Educator, WCCO, Aired 3/8/17

Head of School, Wyayn Rasmussen, was named an Excellent Educator by WCCO-TV! Wyayn cares deeply about the success of our students and our school. Check out the clip below to see the surprise and find out what Wyayn thinks is the best part of her job at Franklin Center!

Coping with Stress in the Classroom, KSTP, Aired 1/18/17

Franklin Center students practice yoga and self-regulation to learn new ways to cope with stress. It’s just one of many ways our school focuses on the whole child. Watch this news story from KSTP to see how yoga is helping our students control their reactions to stress throughout the day!

Yoga in the Classroom, Kare 11, Aired 1/11/17

Yoga teaches us how to breathe, relax and remain calm. At Franklin Center, we call it self-regulation. This is the first year we’ve had a certified yoga instructor visit every classroom once a week. Want to know how it’s benefited our students? Watch this news story from KARE 11!