The Franklin Academy

Weekly Update Newsletter December 6 - 10

Monday, December 6th

  • Port of Subs for those who pre-ordered
  • Boys Basketball Practice 3:15-4:45 Markell Hall
  • Girls Basketball Game @ Lynden Middle School

Tuesday, December 7th

  • ATTENTION FAMILIES: Please be mindful that there will be a videographer at Markell Hall during morning drop-off. The intended footage is of specific students and the plan is to not have parents featured in the footage. :)
  • PALS Meeting 8:10 Markell Hall
  • Uniform Sales 8:15 Markell Hall
  • Mi Mexico for those who pre-ordered
  • Girls Basketball Game @ Vista Middle School 4:00
  • Boys Basketball Practice 3:15-4:45 Markell Hall

Wednesday, December 8th

  • Auction Meeting - Markell Hall 8:15am Chapel
  • Middle School - Electives schedule
  • Port of Subs for those who pre-ordered
  • Girls Basketball Practice 3:15-4:45 Markell Hall
  • Boys Basketball Practice 3:30-5:00 Holly Hall

Thursday, December 9th

  • Mi Mexico for those who pre-ordered
  • Chess Club 3:15-4:45
  • Girls Basketball Game - Home vs. Assumption
  • Boys Basketball Practice 3:30-5:00 Holly Hall

Friday, December 10th

  • Port of Subs for those who pre-ordered
  • Fine Wine Friday - Bring Wine, Beer and Other Donations to Drop off
  • Boys Basketball Practice 3:15-4:45 Markell Hall
  • Girls Basketball Possible Game vs. Lummi TBA

Upcoming Events

  • Spirit Week December 13-17 - See Below
  • Christmas Break - December 18 - January 2nd (School Resumes January 3rd)
  • Board Meeting - December 21st
  • PALS Family Ice Skating at the Sportsplex December 22nd 1:00-3:30
  • Annual Auction - In Person January 29th 5:00
Big picture
Big picture

Toy Drive at Franklin Academy!!

Accepting any NEW and UNWRAPPED donated toys.

Please place any donated toys in the labelled bins outside of Robin Hall and Markell Hall or hand to the folks at drop off.

Monday December 6th to Friday December 10th.

All donations will be given to Whatcom County Toys for Tots nonprofit organization, helping provide support for local families in need.

This toy drive is sponsored by the Chapel Service Guild at Franklin Academy.

Please contact Cate Webb with questions:

The Foundation is in special need of toys for the preteen and teen age groups. In the past, items purchased for these groups have included, but are not limited to: sporting equipment/bags/balls; books, backpacks, cosmetics, purses, watch/wallet gift sets, bath gift sets, board games, radio control cars/trucks, hand-held electronics, skateboards/helmets, curling irons, hair straighteners, and hair dryers. Toys for Tots cannot accept gift cards.

Big picture

PALS Update! Pre-Order Lunches by Dec 18th!

Hello Franklin Academy Families!

Lunch service will be back for next term beginning Jan 4 through Apr 1.

This time we are offering sandwiches (M/W/F) and pizza (T/Th) from Pizza Time.

We will be taking orders from December 4-December 18. Please fill out and submit the order form by Dec 18 at midnight.

We are unable to accommodate any orders after Dec 18


The next sign-up period for April through June will happen in March.

You will be able to choose ALL Mondays or Wednesdays or Fridays OR any combination of these days


ALL Tuesdays or Thursdays or any combination of the days for Pizza.

Lunches will be individually packaged and labeled with your child's name and grade.

The meals will be the same for each day as ordered. However, you can choose DIFFERENT meal options for each day.

The prices listed reflect ALL Mondays or Tuesdays or whichever day you choose for meals, rather than individual prices. Prices are as follows, with a small (2.9%) bump to accommodate for our Square transaction fees:

4-inch sandwich meal: $6.00

6-inch sandwich meal: $7.00

Regular crust pizza, cheese, or pepperoni: $7.50

Gluten-free pizza, cheese, or pepperoni: $7.50

A list of what comes with each 'meal' can be found by clicking on the above link.

*If your child has ordered a meal and is not at school, we will do our best to put the meal in the fridge for that day (meals will have name labels). A sibling can pick up the meal and bring it home or it will be discarded by the next day. We will not be offering refunds for any meals that are not claimed.

A very big thank you to our parents who have offered to pick up and drop off the lunches at both schools this winter session!!


Nneka and Sara

PALS co-presidents

Big picture

Donate Gift Cards to the Auction This Week at Drop Off!

Proceeds from the Auction go to support the General Budget. Tuition only covers about 60% of the cost to educate each student. We make up that cost each year by hosing an Auction and promoting the Annual Fund.

This week we will be accepting gift cards at drop off. We will use these donations to put in packages to auction off in January.

Please support local businesses by purchasing their gift cards as our community needs us in this difficult time.

You may also order gift cards online and have them sent to the school. Send to: The Franklin Academy c/o Auction 1509 East Victor Street, Bellingham, WA 98225

Amazon (use AmazonSmile)

Whole Foods (use AmazonSmile)

Airbnb (use AmazonSmile)


Lowe’s (use AmazonSmile)

What else can I do to help?

  • Provide donations directly from you or your business - merchandise, services, gift certificates, cash etc.
  • Sponsor the event - there are many levels to choose from - this is great visibility for your business
  • Be an underwriter - cover the cost of an auction item
  • Purchase advertising space in the Gala Auction Catalog

Thank you,

The Auction Team!

Exciting Auction Items!

Big picture

Big Fish on the Bay!

This is a great package for any sports fisherman, or a fun day out on the water with the family. Tom Jentz, Franklin Academy Dad, will take the winning bidder and three lucky guests out on his new 32 foot Targa, custom built for him in Finland. It has a nice cruising speed of 40 knots!

Timing is flexible, winner can arrange directly with the donor for either winter or summer salmon run.

Your package includes:

  • One 10-Hour fishing excursion on the donor's boat for up to (4) four people
  • All gear, rods, fishing equipment provided by donor
  • Includes food, beverages, and fine cigars
  • Donor will fillet and package all fish for guests
  • Mutually agreeable dates

Donated By: Tom Jentz

Big picture

Scottsdale, AZ!

Enjoy 4 nights at the newly remodeled home of Dr. Eddie and Rhonda Hansen in Scottsdale, AZ!

Come for the sun and stay for the fun at this spacious, four-bedroom getaway just minutes from the heart of downtown Scottsdale. Inside this single-level home, you'll be treated to a bright and open great room shared by a high-end, full kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a brand new range, and a breakfast bar, a dining table with seating for eight, and a luxurious, beautifully-furnished living area with a wall-mounted, flat screen TV and a cozy sectional sofa. Additionally, this home features a fun side room with an additional TV and a foosball table.

Outside, this property really comes to life with a large, enclosed yard, a fully-furnished patio, a sparkling pool complete with a diving board, a new gas grill, and a soothing, private hot tub. Plus, you won't have to worry about the kiddos, as there are pool toys and a safety fence around the water for your peace of mind. And in the evenings, this home boasts four comfortable bedrooms including two with king-size beds, one with a queen, and a kid-friendly bedroom with a twin-over-full bunk bed.

What's nearby: Located near the desirable Kierland and Paradise Valley areas, you'll be just a few short miles away from top-notch restaurants, bars, and the beautiful outdoor shopping found at Kierland Commons and Scottsdale Quarter. Spring training games are a great way to spend an afternoon, while the Talking Stick Golf Club provides an outlet for golfers, just 12 miles from your door. Additionally, TPC Scottsdale is just five miles down the road, where PGA’s Phoenix Open is held.

  • 4 Nights
  • Mutually agreed dates, book early as the home books up quickly.
  • 2 King Bed, 1 Queen Bed, 1 Double Bed, 1 Twin Bed

Donated By: Dr. Eddie and Rhonda Hansen

Big picture

Ideas for Donations to the Auction...

Dinner/Food Items

· Bottles of wine

· Crab, lobster, shrimp or salmon feed

· Dessert a month for a year, delivered

· Dinner prepared by a local chef

· Dinner with a local or national athlete or celebrity

· Hosted BBQ

· Lattes for a year

· Mystery dinner party

· Private wine-tasting party

· Progressive dinner

· Wheelbarrow of beer

Entertainment Items

· Attend a Hollywood premier or awards show

· Child’s theme party

· Concert tickets

· Day of sailing

· Ladies’ or Men’s night out

· Hot air balloon ride

· Police ride-along

· Pool party

· Theater tickets with dinner and a hotel

· Tour a local winery

Hand Made Items

· Play house

· Mosaic art

· Garden bench

· Handcrafted quilts

Service Items

· Complete landscape package

· Dirt, gravel or mulch delivered

· Handyman for a day

· Room makeover

· Maid service

Sports Items

· Autographed sports items

· Baseball spring training getaway

· Golf package

· Race car school

· Super Bowl party

Travel Items

· Ski package

· Alaskan, Australian, Disney, Hawaiian, Jamaican, New York, or Parisian vacation

· Private day cruise


First Grade Daily 5!

Every day you will find our First Grade doing "Daily 5", which is a student-centered instructional method. Students have stations that allow them to work toward personal literacy goals independently: read to self, write, read to someone, listen to reading, and word work. It's no secret that building strong literacy skills from an early age pays huge dividends for students. Our hallmark small class sizes mean that this process is rewarding for both students and teachers alike.

4th Grade Turkeys in Disguise!

We are excited to have students back after the Thanksgiving holiday. Check out these creative "Turkeys in Disguise" creations by Ms. Dudley and Mrs. Misday's 4th Graders. This has become a fun 4th Grade tradition.

Ms. Johnson and Ms. Camaya's Preschool Class Update!

The started kids worked on their Q-tip Christmas trees today, and will continue them on Wednesday by adding ornament stickers!

For math, we did a snowman counting worksheet and used our white boards to write out the number one! During our whiteboard activity, we also practiced writing the letter A in both capital and lowercase, and some of our friends even spelled out their names! The kids did a wonderful job with the whiteboards and we are excited to try them again soon.

Wednesday we will continue our week by finishing up our Q-tip Christmas trees, doing a melting snowball STEM activity and completing some more letter & number practice with our white boards!

Big picture
Big picture

Spirit Week December 13-17!

Spirit Week will soon be upon us! Please see below for the schedule and notify your students that they are welcome to participate in this fun tradition. Reminders for these events will be on the calendar and in the newsletter.

MONDAY - December 13

  • Christmas/Holiday Sock Day w/ uniform (Middle School - House Points for Participation)

TUESDAY - December 14

  • Christmas/Holiday Accessories Day- (Hats, Glasses, Earrings, Jewelry etc.) w/uniform (Middle School - House Points for Participation)

WEDNESDAY- December 15

  • Christmas Dress Day (students will wear Christmas colors - red, green, and white) (Middle School - House Points for Participation)

THURSDAY - December 16

  • Ugly Sweater Day - uniform pants not required (Middle School - House Points for Participation, contest)

FRIDAY- December 17

  • Christmas/Holiday Pajama Day (Middle School - House Points for Participation)

Please note that if a student chooses to not participate in Christmas Dress Day, Ugly Sweater Day, or Christmas Pajama Day they must be wearing their full uniform.

Additionally, we are inviting all classrooms to participate in our Christmas Door Decorating contest! If participating, doors will need to have a holiday/winter theme.

For the Preschool/Lower School, you are welcome to get started whenever you would like. Judging will take place on Wednesday, December 15th, however this is really a "just for fun" judging.

For Middle School, students will only be allowed to plan and decorate on Monday and Tuesday (December 13th-14th) of that week as the Wednesday judging will determine House Points. More info to follow.

Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions!

Thank you,



Grace Schmidt, MAT

5th Grade/Middle School Math Teacher

Big picture
Big picture

The Service Elective with Chaplain Aaron is hosting a COAT DRIVE until noon-ish on December 8th, because coats are being delivered that afternoon. This is a school-wide initiative.

A 2nd Grade recommendation of HOW TO COOK A TURKEY is adorable!

Also, the students in both sections of 2nd Grade wrote and illustrated reflections of gratitude on Turkey feathers. Their collaborated creation turned out so bright and joyful.

A few examples of what they shared:

- I am thankful for food.

- I am thankful for my beautiful family.

- I am thankful for trees because they give us air.

- I am thankful for my hamster Polka Dot. She is nice!

- I am thankful for my language: Spanish.

Pyramid Origami Zengangle - Pixel class project

All middle school students in art class created their own Origami Pyramid, then drew different patterns in Zentangle style, with an individual image in the center of each triangle, using black sharpie markers. These all became a collaborative class project, when everyone helped put them together in a display to hang outside the Art Classroom on large black paper.

#BeKindLetsShine ~ Miss Rachel Simpson

Be Kind, Let's Shine!

Mrs. Ho's Pumpkin Pie and Thanksgiving Feast!

The Chapel Service Guild organized two "Love Thy Neighbor" projects this week.

The 6th and 7th grades combined forces to create "Care Kits" for the residents at the Lighthouse Mission. They included items like socks, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, snacks and hand warmers. We were able to put together 50 kits. The students were also asked to include a note with their kit that they thought would be encouraging to a homeless person. They came up with some amazing heartfelt messages!

The 4th grade also completed their project which has been part of the CSG project list for many years. Each student gets to layer a jar with six different types of beans and a seasoning packet to create soup kits for the Salvation Army food bank. We were able to put together 32 jars. The 4th graders also created some very nice notes to be included with their soup donations.

Ms. Dizon's Kindergarten Update!

Today in Writing, the students:

-finished the section on Center Starting Capital letters.

-continued working on their writing journal.

in Reading, the students:

-read out loud the group of Super Sight Words.

-made their own sight word flashcards to practice reading.

-worked on their Binder.

in Math, the students:

-counted, sorted and compared objects in different ways

“that make sense,” to show understanding of how numbers

help to create order.

*Attached are photos of our class Jack-o-lantern from October. We kept it outside and observed how long it took to rot. Please ask your child about their observations.

Here is our Daily News:

“The best day ever was…”

Jaxon: “playing soccer outside.”

Yarinka: “thinking about funny thoughts about school.”

Savitri: “when math was easy.”

Kellan: “eating apples at snack time because they were delicious.”

Knox: “having Music.”

Owen: “Chapel because I looked for a lot of things that can’t be true.”

Lola: “morning meeting because we counted.”

Toby: “having a cool recess.”

Jena: “when I worked on my Binder.”

Samara: “Music because I sing “Go Tell it to the Mountain.”

Xia-Mari: “seeing my friends at school.”

Big picture
Big picture


The Reading Corner With Mrs. Samuel and Mrs. Snyder

As Winter Break approaches, Mrs. Snyder and I are working to get overdue library books returned and lost or damaged library books replaced, and we need your help!

As overdue notices go out, be sure to check for the books both at home and in the car, books hide in the most amazing spots (under couches, between the wall and bed, etc.)! Your student can put their books into their backpacks the night before school to avoid frantic mornings. Both book drops are always open, and don’t worry if your student puts it in the wrong book drop, we swap books all the time!

If your book gets damaged, we can repair a mild problem, but most likely you will need to replace it. If your book is lost, you will need to replace it. You can email your librarian (Markell Hall is, Robin Hall is ) to figure out how to do that. Typically, the best way is to find a copy on Amazon—we have found that to be consistently cheaper than paying the replacement cost. Lost and damaged books happen! We teach and encourage careful book use, but we know that life happens. We just want as many library books available to as many students as possible!

Happy Reading,

Mrs. Samuel

Mrs. Samuel's Joke of the Week

  • What kind of weather does a turkey like?
  • Fowl weather.

Big picture

Mrs. Pickerill's Class Update!

We celebrated Thanksgiving at school together and made some silly turkey hats and handprint placemats.

"I am thankful for..."

Dallas: “chocolate, my family and friends!”

Dane: “my family!”

Dillon: “having Thanksgiving!”

Finley: “turkey!”

Gurnoor: “my family!”

Lachlan: “my friends and family!”

Leandra: “my sister and playing with my friends at school!”

Maya: “mommy, daddy, and Alex!”

Norah: “mom, dad, and Nathan!”

Quorra: “mommy, sister, and Mabel!”

I am very thankful and grateful to be your child’s teacher. They are a great group of students!

Mrs. Rail's Kindergarten Update!

It was wonderful to get to meet you over the last few days! This really is an amazing bunch of kiddos! This was a whirlwind of a week! But we were able to squeeze a lot into a very short amount of time!

On Monday we learned all about pilgrim life. Then we pretended to be pilgrims and made butter! We learned lower case o and also used snap blocks to build Thanksgiving items.

On Tuesday we had Spanish and Library and learned about turkeys and did a fun directed draw. We learned lower case s and also started addition!

And today we did a fun Native American corn project and a dice rolling addition game. We also had Art with Miss Rachel and our amazing Thanksgiving Feast! THANK YOU to everyone that contributed! It was all delicious!

Mrs. Owen's Class Update!

I am so THANKFUL to be a part of your child's learning. It warmed my heart to hear what your kiddos are thankful for while making our thankful journal pages. Here's what else we have been up to:

-Started our first blend of the year, the th blend. Have your kiddo practice how t and h sound together over the break (thankful, Thursday, thanksgiving etc.)

-Assembled our fun and very festive Turkey hats

-Colored and read our Turkey Colors reader, see if your kiddo can read it to you

-Did you know that corn can dance? We did another acid/base reaction and watched as the CO2 gas bubbles carried the corn to the top, popped, and then returned the corn to the bottom, i.e. dancing! The corn in vinegar and baking soda really boogied, the corn in soda slow danced, and the corn in water preferred to be wallflowers :)

This was a lot of fun!

-Today we made miniature "pumpkin pies" using individual pudding cups, red/yellow food coloring, whip cream, and graham crackers. The kiddos really enjoyed watching the colors mix to make orange and eating this yummy treat!

Save the Turkey Eat More...

Parker "pie"

Nadia "rainbow spaghetti"

Lilly "candy"

Hailey "rice"

Ezra "popcorn"

Espen "rainbows"

Ella "carrots"

Dafni "cake"

Cana "unicorns"

Mrs. Killian's Preschool Update!

The preschoolers have been working really hard, and we are happy to share their progress with you. We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


In class we played number bingo. We are introducing numbers 11 to 20. These can be challenging for preschoolers to learn.


The preschoolers have been learning about Thanksgiving all week, and learned about the Mayflower. They found it interesting to learn that boats used sails, and did not have motors 400 years ago. On Tuesday we created tin foil boats, and tried to see if they would sink or float.


This week, due to having short days, we did not introduce a new letter of the week. We enjoyed reading about Thanksgiving, and creating our own books about what we are thankful for.

8th & 7th Grade Students Create Art Inspired by Dean Russo

8th & 7th grade students made these amazing Animal Portraits in mixed-media art that was inspired by the contemporary artist, Dean Russo. This was a long and big art project that we worked on for about 4 weeks to create, by using a grid method to enlarge the animal (each student chose what animal they wanted to use), photo onto 18: x 20" paper in pencil, then outline with black India Ink using quills and bamboo brushes. The color was added with a unique method using soft pastels & liquid starch to create a painting look, and then we used oil pastels to draw various patterns and shapes similar to the artist inspiration. I'm impressed with how each student was dedicated to making their animal shine!


~ Miss Rachel Simpson

Big picture


If you shop at, this is a great opportunity to raise money for Franklin Academy. Sign up at Amazon Smile and 0.5% of your purchase price will go towards the FA Annual Fund. Here’s how:

1. Go to Amazon Smile

2. In the “pick your own charitable organization” box type in Franklin Preschool

3. Click on the Bellingham Franklin Academy (may still be listed under St. Paul’s Episcopal School through the summer)

4. Very Important! Please make sure whenever you shop on Amazon you go to the Amazon Smile webpage. If you shop on we won’t receive the donation.

The Franklin Academy

A supportive community with STEM focused education in a safe, small class environment for all grades.

The Franklin Academy Points of Contact

Gretchen Bucsko, Head of School,

Melanie Hurley, Associate Head of School,

Dawn Regier, Administrative Assistant Markell Hall,

Rachel Lee, Administrative Assistant Robin Hall,

Natalie Bennett, Admissions Director,

PALS (Parents Actively Lending Support)

After School Care Supervisor Violet Lord