The Franklin Academy

Weekly Update Newsletter December 13-24

Monday, December 13th

  • Christmas Sock Day w/Uniform
  • Port of Subs for those who pre-ordered
  • MS Boys C Team Basketball Game - Home 4:00
  • MS Boys 8th Grade Team Basketball Game - Home 5:15

Tuesday, December 14th

  • Christmas Accessories Day w/Uniform
  • PALS Meeting 8:10 Markell Hall
  • Uniform Sales 8:15 Markell Hall
  • Mi Mexico for those who pre-ordered
  • Boys Basketball Practice 3:00-5:00 Markell Hall

Wednesday, December 15th

  • Christmas Dress Day (Wear Green, Red, White)
  • Auction Meeting - Markell Hall 8:15am Chapel
  • Middle School - Electives schedule
  • Port of Subs for those who pre-ordered
  • Boys Basketball Practice 3:30-5:00 Markell Hall

Thursday, December 16th

  • Ugly Sweater Day
  • Mi Mexico for those who pre-ordered
  • Chess Club 3:15-4:45
  • MS Boys C Team Basketball Game @ Blaine 4:00
  • MS Boys 8th Grade Team Basketball Game @ Blaine 5:15

Friday, December 17th

  • Christmas PJ Day/Free Dress Day
  • Port of Subs for those who pre-ordered
  • Fine Wine Friday - Bring Wine, Beer and Other Donations to Drop off

Saturday, December 18th

  • Final Day to Order Student Lunches - See Flyer and Link Below

Upcoming Events

  • 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

Art Volunteer Needed Friday

We are still looking for an art assistant on Friday from 11:40 - 12:45. This would count for your volunteer hours. All you need is a vaccination card and you are set! We would love your involvement!

We are also still interested in anyone who might offer an elective. This would be once a week and you could pick the time. The available times would include:

8:00 - 9:05

9:10 - 10:15

11:40 - 12:45

1:25 - 2:30

This next elective cycle starts on Jan. 24th and runs through the end of the year. Two people might want to join together and offer an elective or even break the course into two sections where one person teaches Jan., Feb. March and the other does April, May, June.

If you are interested, please contact Melanie Hurley. We would love to have you involved!


Melanie Hurley, M.Ed.

Associate Head of School

The Franklin Academy

(360) 733 - 1750

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Dishwasher Needed

Robin Hall is in need of a working dishwasher. If anyone is remodeling a home and has a working dishwasher they would like to donate we sure could use it. The size is 24" Wide x 34" Tall

Contact Rachel if you have one to donate and for more information...

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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

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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.

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

Thank you,



Grace Schmidt, MAT

5th Grade/Middle School Math Teacher

Winter Coat Drive Collected and Donated 112 Coats!

Middle school students from the "Service" elective collected 112+ winter coats from Franklin Academy families. These coats were then organized, bagged and delivered to the Salvation Army, who will distribute the coats to the low-income and homeless families they serve. Way to go Franklin families!
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St. Nicholas Day Chapel

The St Nicholas Day chapel is a longstanding Franklin tradition for our preschool through fourth grade. Before chapel begins, the students leave their shoes outside the chapel or back in their classrooms. Afterwards, they return to discover their shoes have been filled with treats by St. Nicholas himself (or maybe some sneaky volunteers)! It’s one of several special chapel services held throughout the school year.

Journal Writing in Kindergarten!

Kindergarten Teacher Miss Yorks happily shared, "Our students' confidence is growing in our journal writing. Some of us are writing sentences for the first time. Some of us are writing several sentences for the first time. Some of those sentences are beginning to look like stories! Some of us are writing more than one word on our pictures! No matter where we are in the process, we are all showing wonderful growth. Journal writing is so very special to us!
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Don't have time to shop? CASH DONATIONS ARE WELCOME!

We use cash donations to purchase and complete packages. Many times we get discounts or are able to purchase items at cost. All donations make a difference:












Total $600.00

Cash Donations add up quickly and Help Us Purchase a Two Night Stay, tickets to a show, or a special Wine Package! Please consider donating today - You may drop a check or cash off at either front desk, or simply hand an envelope for the Auction Team to the folks at drop off. To make a donation by credit card click the button below.

Thank you for your generosity!

The Auction Team

Exciting Auction Items!

Mary Gold Tales - Custom Home Illustration

Celebrate your home or memorialize your family home with a beautiful and whimsical watercolor Illustration. These are 100% freehand drawn, painted with high-quality watercolor paint on Arches acid-free 140 lb. cold-pressed paper. I then scan your illustration and make a digital copy to create a special hand-painted note for the recipient on your behalf. I then carefully mat and frame each illustration, wrap and place it in a beautiful bag for gifting.

These make wonderful realtor gifts for your client whether they are first-time buyers or selling a home they made a lifetime of memories in. Each home illustration is carefully created just for you.


The illustration is 8x10” on high-quality watercolor paper framed in either a white or black frame with a crisp white mat. If you prefer a frame color please specify in your email or Mary will choose which will best suit the illustration. The finished piece will be about 11x14” in size.

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Poindexter's Mobile Auto Detailing

One Full Interior Cleaning!

Treat your vehicle to a full interior clean detail for a standard sedan, suv or truck. They will come to you and make your ride look like new once again!

Thank you!

Viva la Vida en Vidanta

This package gives you the opportunity to explore and experience one of the amazing Vidanta resorts. This is a rare chance to stay at world class properties in some of Mexico's most spectacular locales.

Spend seven nights in one of Vidanta's seven stunning destinations along the most beautiful beaches in Mexico. Luxurious accommodations, golf courses, world-class restaurants, activities for all ages, and a staff that caters to your every need.

Your package includes:

  • Certificate for a 7 night stay at one of the Vidanta Vacation Resort Destinations

6th Grade - Ancient Egypt!

Sixth graders are finishing up studying Ancient Egypt. This has been an exciting unit students enjoyed! We are concluding it with a project creating Egyptian Amulets out of air-dry clay. These amulets were items that someone might wear or carry around with them in the belief that it will bring them good luck or perhaps protect them. In the times of ancient Egypt, part of their religious beliefs included that amulets were very important in bringing protection to them even after death. In addition to their creation, students were asked to complete a writing assignment with the following prompt.
What is represented by your amulet? Describe the specific meaning it might have. How does it relate to ancient Egyptian culture? Could you imagine this bringing you luck, power, good fortune, or some other trait? Use your creative writing skills!

Mrs. Belmont's 2nd Grade Update!

Students have been working so hard in 2nd grade! It's hard to believe that December is already here. I hope you enjoy learning about some of the wonderful activities we have been doing in class.


We are focused on Adding Within 100 Using Strategies. We have added tens and ones on a hundreds chart, added tens and ones on an open number line and now we are breaking apart numbers to add. This is a process where we break a number into its tens and ones. (Example: 24 = 20 + 4) We would then use this method to add an equation's tens together and their ones.


In Literacy, we have been working on a series of Cafe strategies. So far this year, we have learned how to: read good fit books, show the meaning or feeling of the text in how it is read, ask someone to define a word for you, pay attention to punctuation, determine the author's purpose, make a picture or mental image, use pictures, diagrams and illustrations, voraciously read and read our favorite books again and again. Students are practicing these skills in their small reading groups. In these groups, each week, students: read to self, read to others, listen to reading and work with the teacher in their group.

We have also been falling in love with not only picture book read alouds, but chapter book read alouds! This year, we have completed: The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Stuart Little, The Chocolate Touch, Kiki's Delivery Service, Coraline, and Esperanza Rising. Currently, we are reading Sideways Stories from Wayside School.

Writer's Workshop

We have shifted gears from our How-To writing, to Personal Narratives. Students are asked to describe a small moment, and stretch it out! This can be done through the use of descriptive language and detail.

Social Studies

For social studies, we have been focused on holiday cheer! Students have created ways to make the Grinch Grin and we are also working hard on a TOP SECRET project.

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The Reading Corner With Mrs. Samuel and Mrs. Snyder

While it really is almost Christmas, it feels like Christmas for us librarians because the books we ordered from the Scholastic Book Fair profits are starting to roll in! Thank you for all the item

you purchased, they really do benefit the school libraries.

It is so fun (and nerdy) to process the new books and set them out for excited students. We both focused on purchasing highly requested titles and series completion, as well as STEM based books.

It takes a surprising amount of time for us to process the books (entering book information into the catalog, adding barcodes, adding genre labels, covering paperbacks with protective covers, etc.), so please be mindful of taking good care of library books at home! Thank you.

Happy Reading,

Mrs. Samuel

Mrs. Samuel's Joke of the Week

Why was the snowman looking in the bag of carrots?

He was picking his nose!

Ms. Yorks' Kindergarten Update!

Aria was our line leader and calendar fixer. She did a fine job of getting it in order, just in time to lead us to Chapel. Thanks, Aria! That was great!

But before we left for Chapel, we did an unusual thing... we took off our shoes and left them under our chairs! It certainly looked funny! We got to sit on the round rug on the other side of the gym wall. We really like the round rug, with its world map in the middle and children of all nations around its edge! All three kindergarten classes were there, and we listened as Pastor Aaron read us a story about Saint Nicholas. Then Aria led us back to class.

What?? There were 3 golden foil-wrapped chocolate coins, a small orange, and a card about St. Nicholas in our shoes! That was so kind and generous of somebody! They were acting just like St. Nicholas did!

We added a cotton ball and turned a number on our Santa calendars. We know what to do now, and it's getting exciting to watch the numbers get less and the date get more! There was time to work on our Santa puppets, too, but we had to hurry and clean up before Aria led us across to Markell hall for a very special Music class. We left our things out so we could finish our puppets later! We really wanted to take them home!

Music was special because we got to sing with all three Kindergarten classes, and some of us played the bells, and Mrs. Snyder recorded us! We did our best, and it is tricky to sing with so many friends and still stay together, you know! Afterwards, we sat in a circle. We kept having to scoot back to make the circle bigger and bigger to fit us all in! It was an enormous circle!

Mrs. Snyder played the tambourine so we could play the Pass the Ball on the Beat game. We all love this game, and it was even more fun with our huge circle! Sometimes Mrs. Snyder plays slow, and then faster and faster, and we get so excited that our circle bounces in place! AND then she shakes the tambourine, which is the signal to pass the ball the other way! This always causes shrieks and laughter! We don't know why! It is just so funny and exciting! We never know when she will switch the direction!

When we lined up, we gave Mrs. Snyder a bright red poinsettia plant, and sang, "We Wish You A Merry Christmas!" She is a wonderful music teacher!

Aria walked us back to Robin Hall, and we finished up our puppets, and they are very fine puppets indeed. Each puppet is a Santa, and each is a very individual character, from floppy cap to curly beard! We put them carefully on top of our cubbies and went to lunch. Journals and math games had to wait until the afternoon.

We waited for the afternoon, too! At second snack, we had our popcorn party! Hurray for us! We are good kids, and we are a great class!


Aria liked passing the ball to the beat, and the popcorn party.

Audrey had one of the best days, especially when we took our shoes off and at Chapel somebody snuck in and put an orange in our shoes.

Eli liked making his puppet.

Kais had fun in Music because we did the pass the ball activity.

Mariko liked Chapel and the gold coins.

Tal liked Music when we passed the ball.

Jackson liked the popcorn party and picking up pine cones.

So Rutger and Oliver liked picking up pine cones, too.

Weston liked most of his day.

Hans might like his puppet.


Miss Suzanne Yorks

Mrs. Pickerill's Preschool Update!

This week we will learn about the many holidays and traditions celebrated around the world during this special time. We will also work with the letter J. I also wanted to remind everyone that we do go outside every recess time even if it is lightly raining or snowing. If you could please bring any warm winter accessories, such as mittens/gloves, hats, a thicker jacket/coat, and an extra change of clothes, if you have not yet left a set at school. Thank you!

Last week we had a great time reading different types of gingerbread stories. We also enjoyed making our very own gingerbread ornaments out of salt dough and seasoned with cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.The children enjoyed the unique smell of the dough and being able to mix and roll out the dough themselves.

The children’s favorite gingerbread story was

The children’s favorite gingerbread story was The Gingerbread Baby. They said they liked how the character, Matti, saved the gingerbread baby by building it a gingerbread house to hide in. We also taste tested three different kinds of gingerbread cookies, and the children’s favorite were the soft baked gingerbread cookies.

“If I caught a gingerbread cookie, I would…”

Dallas: “trap and eat it!”

Dane: “eat it!”

Dillon: “catch and eat it!”

Finley: “trap and eat it!

Gurnoor: “catch and eat it!”

Lachlan: “catch it!”

Leandra: “catch and eat it!”

Maya: “eat it!”

Norah: “eat it!”

Quorra: “catch and eat it!”

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Mrs. Misday and Ms. Dudley's 4th Grade Utilizes Latin and Greek Roots for Spelling and much more!

In fourth grade we study etymology (word origin), utilizing Latin and Greek roots, as the focal point for spelling, word meaning, and vocabulary development. Latin/Greek roots which are not words by themselves, but have specific meaning when combined with more roots, suffixes and prefixes. These roots can be applied to new words containing the root to interpret word meaning.

The fourth graders have learned about the following Latin/Greek roots: graph, geo, photo, port, aqua and hydr up to this point. During word study each fourth grade class worked cooperatively to develop a class slideshow to demonstrate understanding of each individual word meaning for the root list of the week. Once the slideshow was complete the students presented their individual slide to the class, and "taught" the meaning of the word using pictures and examples.

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Mrs. Ho's Preschool Update!

Last week we started our preparations for Christmas. We are busy painting and practicing for our Christmas Program that will be on December 17th (over Zoom).

Enjoy photos of:

Our Christmas Stockings

Name recognition Christmas trees

We made Menorahs to hang on our Fireplace outside our room.

Science can be tricky. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. We are attempting to make a flesh color for our Santa's face.

Mrs. Brewin's 1st Grade Update!

Here's the scoop from our week together...

-in writing we learned about adjectives by observing (and eating!) popcorn and then the students brainstormed and wrote adjectives to describe the popcorn. In total they came up with 41 different adjectives! We are also revisiting what makes a complete sentence (a naming part and a telling part).

-in phonics we are working on sorting long vowels and short vowels and this week we focused on words with the spelling pattern long i with "bossy e" (eg. bite, line). Some pictures of our small group word work are attached.

-in literacy we added a station called "Reading Reflection" where students focus on responding to their reading by writing about it. This week some of the groups wrote about the problem and solution in a book and some wrote about their favorite part. Another group will be writing about the beginning, middle, and end of their book.

-in our reading comprehension work this week we continued to focus on visualizing or creating mental images as we read. We read the book Night in the Country by Cynthia Rylant and paused often so students could describe what they were seeing in their minds.

-in math we began a unit on graphing and data. We reviewed tally charts and introduced bar graphs and picture graphs. We focused on creating graphs and then started to learn about analyzing the data by comparing, combining, or finding the difference between categories. Next week students will come up with their own survey question, ask their classmates the question, and graph the results.

-in science we learned about the arrangement of atoms in solids, liquids, and gases, and then modeled the atoms in each state of matter using cheerios.

-we learned about Hanukkah and played the dreidel game together. It was a lot of fun! A picture is attached.

-we painted paper ornaments with watercolors and next week we will add glitter! (just a little lol)

Mrs. Owen's Early-Kindergarten Update!

Run, run as fast as you can, you can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man! We have been enjoying a super sweet week packed with math and learning all about gingerbread. We read many different versions of the classic story The Gingerbread Man and we were very surprised that The Gingerbread Girl caught the sly fox who ate her brother and trained it to become her friend. Oh SNAP! Turning something negative into a good thing is possible :)

Here's what else we have been up to:

-Letter Gg, how it looks, writes, sounds, and signs. Soft Gg sound as in gingerbread and Hard Gg sound as in grinch

-All About Number 4, tallies, number lines, and ten frames

-Spin and Cover Gingerbread Numbers, kids use fine motor skills to flick paperclips on a spinner as they try to cover the correct number with unifix cubes

-Used ordinal numbers to sequence the events in The Gingerbread Man

-Used our five senses to take one bite of a gingerbread cookie. Then we made a 'How did we eat our gingerbread men?' graph. Many friends had head bites, three friends had leg bites, and one friend had an arm bite. The kids really enjoyed this activity. Once the data was in we gobbled up the rest of our cookie!

-Measured gingerbread men using a variety of manipulatives including unifix cubes, jumbo paper clips, mini candy canes, and christmassy cereal

-Performed a really fun hands-on gingerbread chemistry experiment. We discovered that when substances undergo transformations that we are doing chemistry and that different substances react at different rates.

-Created cute gingerbread crafts and colored patterned peppermints

-Danced and giggled to gonoodle Cookie Boogie and Jack Hartman's Gingerbread Man Dance and Freeze

Mrs. Rail's Kindergarten Update!

We're really getting into the Holiday Spirit here at Franklin Academy! The school is all decorated and the temperatures are dropping! As we get further into winter, please make sure your kiddo has warm clothes and please talk to them about leaving coats on (especially in the rain). Please also make sure your kiddo has a change of clothes - uniform pants specifically.

This week we talked about winter holidays including: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and New Years. We did a special focus on Hanukkah since Hanukkah is happening this week. We were super fortunate that the Hecht family shared some special Hanukkah treats including: dreidels, gelt (gold coins), and latkes. So fun!

We also started decorating our room for Christmas including glitter snowflakes, a Christmas Tree with ornaments and gifts, and stockings hung by the fireplace. We also started making some really neat wreaths. The kids learned how to fold and cut paper snowflakes as well! (See pictures!)

Along with all of the holiday fun, we still had plenty of time for academics. We started our math unit on addition; we learned how to correctly write the lowercase letters: v, w, and t; we learned the sight words: is, it, look, said; we did lots of drawing and writing in writer's workshop; and we read lots of books.

One of our biggest lessons of the week was that it's ok to make mistakes! As always, we had a great week in kindergarten!

Mrs. Killian's Preschool Update!

Preschool News

Christmas is quickly approaching, and we are practicing for our Christmas program. We will record this, and send a link to you. The preschoolers are working hard and learning a few complicated songs. We are continuing to learn about Christmas, and have many fun activities planned this month.

We are reading about Christmas this week, and the letter K. We made this letter K out of unifix cubes.

As a class we enjoy reading and listening to Christmas stories. Many of our favorite characters have a Christmas story, like Pete the Cat, and Llama Llama.

Our art center has Christmas cards and stamps, and the preschoolers love to create “mail” for each other.


On Wednesday we played Gingerbread Bump, and worked on learning numbers 11 to 20.

In class we have been counting our days that we have been in school, and reached 60 this week.


On Monday we watched colors travel in milk using soap on Q-tips. This will be a foundation activity to help the preschoolers learn that light is made up of many colors.

During our study of light, we learned that all white light has all the colors of the rainbow in it, and that light can be reflected. On Thursday we learned how to use a flashlight, a CD, and water to make a rainbow.

One of our favorite activities is creating marble runs. Each creation is unique, and have a different outcome.

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

Today, we worked on Letter Mm. The class is doing great at recognizing upper case and lower case M’s! We then went to trace letter D and tracing is going very well.

We worked on scissor motor skills with a igloo cutting worksheet.

We are still finishing up our Christmas tree craft.

For STEM/MATH today, we counted one snowball for our snowball counting book. And then submerged our snowballs (packing peanuts) in water to watch them dissolve.

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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 Markell Hall,

Rachel Lee, Administrative Assistant Robin Hall,

Natalie Bennett, Admissions Director,

PALS (Parents Actively Lending Support)

After School Care Supervisor Violet Lord