The Franklin Academy

Weekly Update Newsletter November 8-12


  • Remember to turn your clocks back one hour!

Monday, November 8th

  • Port of Subs lunch for those who pre-ordered
  • Girl's Basketball Practice 3:15-4:45pm

Tuesday, November 9th

  • Veritas Media Filming for Auction Video - Please look your best in your clean uniforms!
  • Mi Mexico lunch for those who pre-ordered
  • PALS Meet up Coffee 8:10am Markell Hall
  • Chapel Service Guild meeting 9:30 in Markell Hall Chapel.
  • Girl's Basketball Game at Meridian 4:00

Wednesday, November 10th

  • Port of Subs lunch for those who pre-ordered

  • Middle School - Electives schedule
  • Auction Meeting - Markell Hall 8:15am Chapel
  • Girl's Basketball Practice 3:15-4:45pm
  • State of the School - Markell Hall Chapel (Masks Required) 6:00-7:30pm

Thursday, November 11th

  • No School Veterans Day

Friday, November 12th

  • Pajama Day for the students who earned it.

  • Fine Wine Friday - Auction

  • Port of Subs Lunch for those who pre-ordered
  • Girl's Basketball Practice 3:15-4:45pm

Upcoming Events

  • Trimester Ends November 19th - Progress Reports Come Home
  • Free Dress November 19th
  • Early Release - Conferences November 22 – 24

  • No School - Thanksgiving November 25 - 26

Early Release - Conferences November 22 – 24

Please find your student's early release time below:

  • 11:30 AM Release Early PS/PS/2nd Grade
  • 11:35 AM Release all Pre-K/Early K/3rd Grade
  • 11:40 AM Release all K/4th Grade
  • 11:45 AM Release all 1st and 5th-8th Grade
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What House Do you Belong to?

When enrolled at The Franklin Academy, each student in kindergarten through 8th grade is assigned to one of our four Houses: Ershig, Ferlin, Hess, or Kaiser. This creates comradery between grade levels and gives students a place where they feel at home. In middle school, students even start every morning and end each day with fellow members of their House. Each House has an animal mascot and a corresponding color:

Ershig: Cougars, Red

Ferlin: Sharks, Purple

Hess: Lions, Yellow

Kaiser: Eagles, Green

On the first Wednesday of every month, each K-8 student will have the opportunity to show House pride with... House Color Day! In middle school. dressing in House Colors helps give your team points toward the House Competition, but in the lower school, it is just a fun opportunity to be a part of the community with all other grade levels. Students who choose not to participate are required to come to school in uniform.

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Come out and Support our Team!

Fans are allowed. Here are some of the initial precautions we are planning to take:

  • Masks required indoors
  • Encourage families to sit in groups and separate from other family groups (ideally 6ft apart)
  • Signage at the door in regards to staying home if you have symptoms
  • Home and Visitors seating section

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Welcome Violet Lord to our community!

The Franklin Academy would like to introduce to you, our new Lunch/Recess/After School Supervisor, Violet Lord. She will be here daily Monday thru Friday from 10:00 AM to 6:30 PM, helping to manage staff and care for your children. You may have noticed we have a few other new faces at Robin Hall. She is joined by new staff members, Abbie Middleton, Owen Sherrin, Charan Toor and Heather Babbitt and familiar faces Julie Fife, Tawny Johnson, Aaron Walters, Virginia Patterson and Zoe Orvald.

If you have any questions regarding after school care, please feel free to contact Violet at

Ms. Dizon's Halloween Dress Up Day!

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Ms. Camaya and Ms. Johnson's Halloween Dress Up Day!

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Mrs. Owen's Class Had a Wonderful Week as well!

I think the question becomes, what didn't we do this week? Here is what we have been up to during our fun filled and a little spooky Halloween week:

  • Letter Hh, how it looks, writes, sounds, and signs.
  • We counted, patterned, and enjoyed candy corn
  • For Science, we placed candy corn into different LIQUIDS to see which one would DISSOLVE candy corn quicker. Warm H20 won and left behind a spooky ghost shell.
  • We worked on our Fine Motor Skills when we made our rip and tear candy corn crafts. This required much patience and concentration. The kids did great!
  • Painted Halloween Cookies, thank you to Ezra and family! We really enjoyed this!
  • We wore our costumes to school and had a class party! Thanks for helping us celebrate. The kids looked so cute!
  • This morning a really special witch (Mrs. Ho) paid us a visit and shared her spell on how to make a bubbly and foggy witch's brew
  • We enjoyed the work of Julia Donaldson's Room on the Broom. We read the story, sequenced events, matched beginning word sounds, and even got to watch the short film.
  • We played Feed the Spider by tossing bugs into a spider web, Candy Corn Toss by tossing candy corn bean bags into the jack-o-lantern, bowling, and Halloween Bingo!

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The Franklin Academy is hiring a Development Director to start as soon as possible.

Job compensation DOE and FTE


The Development Director is responsible for planning, organizing, and directing all of The Franklin Academy’s fundraising including: the major gifts program, annual fund, planned giving, special events (such as our school's auction) and capital campaigns. The Development Director works closely with The Head of School (HOS) and the Board of Directors (BOD) in all development and fund-raising endeavors.


  • Must embrace the mission of The Franklin Academy.

  • Strong interpersonal and writing skills.

  • Have knowledge and experience in fundraising techniques, particularly major gift fundraising.

  • Possess the skills to work with and motivate staff, board members and other volunteers.

  • Have the desire to get out of the office and build external relationships.

  • Be a “self-starter” and goal driven to initiate donor visits and fundraising calls.

  • Be organized and exhibit “follow through” on tasks and goals.

  • Display a positive attitude, show concern for people and community, demonstrate presence, self-confidence, common sense and good listening ability.

  • 5 years minimum experience in professional fundraising.


Gretchen Bucsko, M.Ed.

Head of School

The Franklin Academy

(360) 733-1750

Middle School Potion Lab

Ms. Frizzle (Ms. Harris) took her students on a field trip to Hogwarts for their first potion lab. Students practiced following careful instructions to create various 'potions,' and then tried to determine what the disguised materials were, and the science behind the chemical reactions.
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Winter Coat Drive!

Let's help low-income families stay warm this winter! From November 8 - December 8, drop off new or slightly used coats of any size. (Think, "Would I give this coat to a friend?").

Bins for donated coats will be at both Robin and Markell Hall. Donated coats will be distributed by the Salvation Army of Bellingham during their various Christmas events.

The Salvation Army serves about 400 families in need. Deadline is the morning of Wednesday, December 8th.

Contact Chaplain Aaron for with any questions -

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Loaves and Fishes Program - Chapel Guild

Are you someone who enjoys cooking? Put your skills to use by volunteering with TFA's Loaves and Fishes program. This is a service which provides home-made meals to Franklin families and faculty who are going through stressful times due to sickness, recovery from surgery or even a new baby. You will earn two service hours for each meal you prepare.

If you are interested in serving with Loaves and Fishes, please contact Christy Fankhauser at

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The Reading Corner With Mrs. Samuel and Mrs. Snyder

Every week Mrs. Snyder is both a librarian and the music teacher, and this week, so was Mrs. Samuel! I subbed for Mrs. Snyder on Monday in music and had so much fun seeing students in a different environment and meeting future students from Robin Hall! I also needed a nap after work and encourage you all to buy Mrs. Snyder a coffee. ;)

Completed library work for grades 2-4 should be coming home soon—watch for a fun sheet depicting “the scariest thing that could happen to a book”, a paper plate rangoli to celebrate Diwali, and worksheets on choosing just right books and identifying the parts of a book. Grade 4 did not get to depict the “scariest thing to happen to a book” because they had a special class together introducing the Sasquatch Award-- this Washington State book award is voted on by students in grades 4-6 who have read at least two of the nominated titles—many schools across the state participate, and this year so is TFA’s fourth grade class!

Students have until May to read at least two books on the list, and then will get a chance to vote for their favorite via Mrs. Samuel.

You can learn more here:

Happy Reading!

Mrs. Samuel

Mrs. Samuel's Joke of the Week

Bigfoot is sometimes confused with Sasquatch... Yeti never complains!

Mrs. Rail's Kindergarten Class

Mrs. Rail shared this:

"We did a lot of Halloween activities this week including carving our pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern, roasting the pumpkin seeds, doing two Halloween art projects (see pictures), and even Halloween math and coloring pages. Besides all the Halloween festivities, we also finished and took the test on our math unit 3 - Making a Ten. The kids did so well! Look for their math test in their backpack today.

This week we also finished our first science unit: Wild Weather. For the last three weeks, students have explored storms and severe weather! They obtained information from weather forecasts to prepare for storms and stay safe. They also practiced describing the various characteristics of weather (wind, clouds, temperature, and precipitation) in order to make their own predictions about storms. We ended our unit by making a Breeze Buddy so we can watch the wind so we can know when a storm is coming.

Next week is Salmon week! We will learn about the salmon life cycle, the five different kinds of salmon, and how salmon are very important to our ecosystem. We have an awesome opportunity for a SATURDAY (Nov. 6th) adventure to see the salmon run at Oyster Creek next to Taylor Shellfish hosted by NSEA. I hope you will be able to join us! Here is some more info:"

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Halloween Fun in Mrs. Pickerill's Class

Mrs. Pickerill shared this:

"This week we will work with the letter N and talk about all of the celebrations in the month of November. Monday is our pajama day, and if your child decides to wear slippers, please remember to also bring boots or shoes to school.

Last week, we had a wonderful time celebrating Halloween together at school. Thanks again for helping with snacks and treats for our class. We had a fun filled day and enjoyed playing at different Halloween themed stations outside of our classroom."

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2nd Grade Update from Mrs. Lyzwinski and Mrs. Belmont

This week was so much fun! Mrs. Belmont and I are so thankful that we got to celebrate Halloween as well as go on a wonderful Field Trip this week thanks to the hard work of so many volunteers.


We enjoyed our latest chapters in our read-aloud book “Sideways Stories From Wayside School” by Louis Sacher. During our Literacy/Daily 5 workshop, students participated in: group reading with the teacher, partner reading, listening to reading or reading to self. Students have the opportunity to shift groups each day and focus on different aspects and reading strategies that we learned throughout the week. We also participated in whole group reading using our “witchy fingers” and read the book “My Very Favorite Book In the Whole Wide World” by Malcolm Mitchell.


Second grade has begun diving into our 2nd math unit. We learned, practiced and interacted with Even and Odd numbers throughout the week. We discussed patterns based on these numbers, created models and used these numbers to create various equations.

Writer's Workshop

We continued our work with Booklets. Students are writing a complete piece starting with the sentence: “On a dark, dark night…” students are working on making their words and pictures match. These booklets will be shared this coming Friday during our Author’s Chair.


Students learned all about apples this week! To prepare for our field trip and learn about Washington State's symbol, we engaged in several activities to help further our understanding of the apple. We studied the apple's lifecycle as well as learned about all of its parts. Our Field Trip to Bellewood Acres further provided enrichment to our students. Students learned more about how apples can become cider, feed, sold in stores and more! Thank you to all the volunteers and every family for helping the event run smoothly.

Language Arts - 6th Grade

Mrs. Jeffery shared this:

"In our 6th grade Language Arts class, we recently read excerpts from Jacqueline Woodson’s memoir in verse, Brown Girl Dreaming. We noticed how poems can be about normal everyday moments and how the poet uses line breaks, repetition, metaphor, and onomatopoeia to bring those moments to life. Students then crafted their own poems inspired by Brown Girl Dreaming. Here’s a sample of what they created!"

Sleepless Wake

By Parker

I wake to darkness

My arms asleep

In my sleepless morning

I wait


I wait for the sun to awaken me

From my sleep

Bang bang bang

The woodpecker pecks

I sleep, half awake


Waiting for light to bring me awake

I wait

Hours go by

Hours pass by

I wait for the sun

I wait for the dream

Sleeping in darkness

The sun rises

My body awakens

My half sleep ends

And my sleepless wake fades into light.

Way to School

By Gabe H.


The trees in the wind


the stream rolling down the rocks


The car window, clouding under my nose

The clear lake


And waiting for the day to start


Looking through


Swaying under the pressure

Wind gusting

Still Waiting.


The city, lighting up


Waiting like the

Rippling lake.

No longer


I'm here.


By Emmett

Summer is here

It’s ice cream time!

Head down to

the ice cream shop

Wait wait wait

in the zigzag line

Smell the swirling caramel

and the warm waffle cones

Walk walk walk

down to the beach

Sit on the smooth log

Lick the ice cream




Stroll down the rocky beach

Hope hope hope

for another day of ice cream



By Maeve

Me and my sister

On the beach

Hearing the crash of the waves




We stood there staring into the gleaming sky

I caught clouds in my mind

Throwing them around the sky.

I picked up the stick

I signaled the fight

She picked up her stick

The sticks hit




We laughed every time

She's all I could ever ask for

But she's even more

Riding a horse

By Lucy

Riding a horse

Through the forest

Passing ferns

With dusted leaves


Different trees


Big trees


Small trees


Red trees


Casting a dappled green light


The muddy trail


My horse



My horse clopping slowly


Through the beaten trail

Leaving hoof prints behind

Making his mark

Like many others

Before him

After him

In front of him

Behind him

Tracing the same path

Of many before him

And many after him

He traces this path

The First Day of Franklin

By Kiona

It was the moment.

The moment that decided

My impression

My impression

My impression

I was in the drop off zone, it was big, but to me it was as small as a closet.

Soon I would be inside the school as big, as, Seattle

I was dizzy

I was nervous

I was happy

I was joyful


The car was moving

I was going forward

I remembered something my parents had told me

Show them the real Kiona

So, with a smile I opened the door

Rain in the Car

By Marin

Cars drive by on the wet soggy road,

Slushing and smushing through the floppy wet leaves



Clump on the speed bumps

With the rain pitter pattering across our car window

And me, blowing my warm breath on the window,

Watching my drawings soon disappear,



The rain starts to get more and more intense,

I see it all happen,

It’s like the clouds are weeping tears,

I look back behind my seat to see my dog,

Lying in the trunk of our family car,

He too, is breathing his warm breath on the window,

I look beside me to see my brother reading his book as normal,

I take a look in front of me to see my parents talking to one another,

I feel happy,



The storm is almost over,

I hear the windshield wipers slowly start to stop,

The sun is starting to break through the clouds,

Everything feels normal again,

I start to see people walking out of their workplaces or homes,

The streets and roads get more and more busy,

That happy feeling I once had has gone away,

I miss it

I wonder if anyone else loves storms and rain as much as I do

I wonder.

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Art Opportunities from Rachel Simpson

1.) Artist Rachel Simpson will be a guest showing her art exhibit at the locally owned business MW Soaps, at 1310 Commercial St. Bellingham, WA 98225, during the art walk on Friday, November 5th, 5pm-8pm. You can meet the artist, and see first-hand what her Butterfly Wings art in pointillism looks like under UV-light, and her beautifully large paintings of Whales in mixed-media on canvas. (The image of a collage of Rachel Simpson's Art is attached in email.)

2.) The FAB Studios - 314 E. Holly St, Bellingham, WA 98225
On November 5th & December 3rd in the Bham Downtown Art Walk, there's a Pre-Holiday Art Show in an open house event for the public to join our FAB Studios to see what all of our artists & crafts persons are creating on both 1st & 2nd floors. In November we'll have many of our artists collectively as featured artists in the shared gallery for this pre-Holiday Art Show! Artists @The FAB Studios: Rachel Simpson, Sacha Bliese, Margaret Cowhig, Neal Cronic, Leah Meleski, Pat McDonnell, Tabytha Murf, Rameet Rathore, Claire Simpson, Jackie Stanton, M. Wong, and Tom Yost. (The image for The FAB Studios building is attached in email).

Be Kind, Let's Shine!

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Halloween Fun and Games in Mrs. Ho's Class

"Halloween week was so much fun. The children made spiders, bats,

monsters, and ghosts. The letter "T and I" were introduced, Had lots of Halloween flannel stories, like "5 Little Monsters," "There Are Trick-or-Treaters At My Door," we fed the "Big Green Monster," pumpkin numbers and saw how the Witch made her brew. Funny thing happened while we were eating lunch one day. The children were talking about their siblings, when Emmett spoke up and said, "I don't have a brother, I have a baby!" so cute. Below are pictures of our week festivities." Mrs. Ho

Mrs. Brewin's First Grade Class

Mrs. Brewin shared this:

"We had a great Halloween celebration today. It was so much fun to see the kids in their costumes. We played a game called "Roll a Pumpkin," did a cute skeleton craft, watched some of the show Spookley the Square Pumpkin, and ate yummy treats and snacks!

Some highlights from the week are...

-we learned about verbs and have been identifying and acting out verbs.

-in writing we are working on our personal narratives and going through the steps in the writing process. We finished writing a first draft and now we are in the process of revising. We have done two revising lessons. The first revising lesson was on adding time words such as first, next, and finally, and the second revising lesson was on replacing worn out verbs with vivid verbs.

-in science we observed, classified, and described different types of solids. Next week we'll learn about liquids and have a liquid race!

-in math we practiced adding onto a ten, such as 10 + 8. Then we worked on adding with 3 addends and first looking for a pair of friendly numbers that adds to 10. (eg. 6 + 7 + 4 = 17).

-in reading we are working hard in our reading groups and learning the routines for our reading group work. For reading comprehension this week, we focused on identifying and retelling the beginning, middle, and end of stories."

Autumn Leaves by 2nd-4th graders.

Students made leaf drawings with pencil and oil pastels for vivid color. Then we painted black India ink around the leaves to give them a big contrast in the colors. These turned out beautifully in each and every one. So much so, that we've been enjoying them in the halls, and will soon go home with students. ~ Be Kind, Let's Shine! ~ Miss Rachel Simpson

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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,

Rachel Lee, Administrative Assistant,

Natalie Bennett, Admissions Director,

PALS (Parents Actively Lending Support)