The Resiliency for Life (RFL) program was founded in 1999 as an academic intervention within the Framingham Public Schools. The program’s goal is to provide students a supportive environment at school where they can feel a sense of community and build their academic and social-emotional skills. RFL aims to prepare students to achieve at or beyond grade level, graduate from high school, and be prepared for college and careers. The program places a strong emphasis on family engagement.
RFL is built on five components:
Homeroom: The goal of the RFL homeroom is for students to connect with an adult and group of peers each day. RFL educators check in with each student individually during homeroom to touch base about their daily schedule, academic progress, general mood, and any stressors. Homeroom is an opportunity for students to start the school day in a positive direction and troubleshoot any potential challenges that might arise.
Seminar: Led by RFL educators, the RFL seminar is intended to provide students with a focused time to build and practice their executive functioning skills, such as time management, organization, and goal setting. Seminar is required for all 9th and 10th graders (except for those who receive similar supports through the IEP process.) In the upper grades, students may participate in specialized workshops based on need.
Afterschool: The RFL afterschool offers students a place where they can receive generalized support with homework as well as more individualized skill development. All 9th graders are required to participate in the afterschool component at least two times each week. Participation is required for students in grades 10 and up if they are receiving a grade of C or below in any core academic classes.
Counseling: The RFL social worker is available to meet with students to address the social-emotional issues and other stressors in their lives. Some students participate in regular, individual counseling while others receive emotional support as needed.
Family Engagement: Families are viewed as key partners in promoting student success in and out of school. RFL educators work with families from the point of referral to ensure families understand the expectations of student participation and are committed to supporting their students’ success at home. Ongoing communication and frequent events aim to maintain a strong connection.
Meet the Team
Mark Goldschmidt - Resiliency for Life Program Coordinator and Teacher
Mark began his career as an English Teacher at Marlborough High School from 1992-2004 and then taught English at Framingham High School from 2004-2007. Since 2007 he has been a teacher in the Resiliency for Life Program and then also became the program coordinator in in 2017. He thoroughly enjoys not only the relationships that he gets to build but also the progress that he gets to witness in the Resiliency for Life students from the time students join the program to the time they graduate and beyond. Mark has also enjoyed working with the board of Friends of Resiliency for Life who advocate and raise funds to support the students in the program and their families. He is also grateful for the support of the FHS staff and administration as well as the staff at the district level who have been so supportive.
Anna Greenberg - Resiliency for Life Program Social Worker
Anna Greenberg earned her Master of Social Work in May 1998 and has been working as a school social worker ever since. From 1998-2002 she worked at a special education high school. She then worked for a year at a high school in Brooklyn, NY. Anna then returned to Massachusetts and worked for 14 years as a special education social worker for the Lowell Public Schools. In 2017 she found her home at FHS in the RFL program.
Nala Goldschmidt, Resiliency for Life Assistance Dog for the Classroom
Nala joined the Resiliency staff and the Goldschmidt family in the spring of 2018 after training at the NEADS program in Princeton, MA and MCI Norfolk for over two years. She comes to school every day to support students emotionally when they need it by laying and allowing students to pet her and by taking walks with students and staff too.
James Bedingfield - AmeriCorps Massachusetts Promise Fellow
Growing up, James lived in Virginia, Germany, Alabama, and Massachusetts. He studied economics in college and enjoys reading about politics and the economy. In his free time, he likes to run, lift weights, read, and speak Spanish & Portuguese. Prior to COVID-19, James trained martial arts such as wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Some of his favorite shows are Rick & Morty, Breaking Bad, The Office, and Family Guy. Fun fact: in high school, James and his friends started the Pirate Club. They would dress up as pirates and raid the other clubs at the high school. He tries to bring this same level of creativity and enthusiasm to every day on Earth. Most importantly, James is so excited to meet all the RFL students and families!