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About Franklin Military Academy 


Transition Mentor Teacher 
Ms. Rebecca  Parks - 804-780-4449

History Overview

Franklin Military School (FMS) opened its doors to the students of Richmond in August 1980.  The school is presently in its fourth location, housed in the Onslow Minnis Building, 701 North 37th Street, Richmond, Virginia 23223.  Franklin is the first public military school in the nation and offers an alternative to the regular high school program.  The Franklin program is designed to allow all students to experience a regular academic course of study while participating in a Junior Reserve Officer Training Program.  There are also two other alternative and five comprehensive high schools in the Richmond Public School System.         

Superintendent Richard Hunter and the Richmond School Board first began discussing the idea of a public military academy in 1976.  The first step was the formation of a committee to help determine whether a public military school might help improve discipline and general attitudes of the students.    The parent/student survey committee indicated that the community supported  the idea.  The next step was for the school board and superintendent to approach the United States Army for its views on establishing a public military school.  During a four-year planning process, the idea of a military school was well received.  It was decided by the school board in 1980 to convert an unoccupied school as the building for the newly established military school.  The building that was selected and renovated was known as the old Franklin School.           

Special attention was given to the selection of administrators, faculty and staff.  The first commandant was Colonel W. Frank Combo, who had eighteen years of experience as a teacher in both public and military schools.  The newly selected teaching staff consisted of experienced and veteran teachers.   Two members to the teaching staff along with the two senior military instructors, that were added, had experience in the army.  It was decided that the faculty of twenty three would be addressed by honorary military titles, as well as, wear military uniforms and participate in drills.           

In the process of preparing for the opening of school, students had to apply and were screened before being admitted.  The school opened in August of 1980 with only 130 ninth grade students and each year there after a new class of ninth graders would be added.  In 1983, a complete high school program was formed consisting of grades 9-12.           

Franklin Military School offers students a strict regimented military style discipline program.  The program provides for individualized instruction with a teaching ration 15:1.  All students are enrolled in Military Science for one class period.  The academic courses accounts for the remaining classes of a child’s schedule.  The students may also enroll in the following elective courses: Spanish, French, Advanced Placement Statistics, Business and Information Technology, Art, Band, Guitar, and Chorus.  The students are encouraged to participate in other educational and cultural experiences offered by Richmond Public Schools and the  community.


  • Mission

    The mission of Franklin Military Academy, the premier secondary military institution designed to mold tomorrow's leaders, is to develop leadership, promote scholarship, and encourage honorable citizenship through military structure, rigorous learning experiences, and public service with the collective efforts of faculty, students, parents, and community partners.


    Franklin Military Academy strives to be recognized as the premier secondary school that promotes the potential of each student through a rigorous academic program, community involvement, and leadership opportunities within a military structure. Upon graduation, our students will be equipped with the skills necessary to be competitive at colleges and universities, as well as in the 21st-century workforce.

Our Beliefs Are

  • Student learning is the chief priority for the school; a safe and physically comfortable environment promotes student learning.
  • Students learn in different ways and should be provided with a variety of instructional approaches to support their learning.
  • Each student is a valued individual with unique physical, social, emotional and intellectual needs.
  • A student’s self-esteem is enhanced by positive relationships and mutual respect among and between students and staff.
  • Curriculum and instructional practices will incorporate a variety of learning activities to accommodate differences in learning styles.
  • Exceptional students (i.e. special education, limited English proficiency students, gifted and talented, etc.) require special services and resources.
  • Teachers, administrators, parents and the community share the responsibility for advancing the school’s mission.
  • The school will function as a learning organization and promote opportunities for all those who have a stake in its success as we work together as a community of learners.
  • The commitment to continuous improvement is imperative if our school is going to enable students to become confident, self-directed, and lifelong learners.