The Franklin Academy

Weekly Update Newsletter - April 24 th - 29 th

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Sunday, April 24th

  • Family Ice-skating event CANCELED

    Please note that PALS will be issuing refunds to those who've purchased tickets in the next few days.

Monday, April 25th

  • Port of Subs Lunch for those who pre-ordered
  • Middle School Track Meet at Lummi Nation - 2334 Lummi View Drive, Bellingham, 4:00 – 6:00 pm, Please arrive at 3:30 pm

Tuesday, April 26th

  • PALS Meeting - 8:10 AM Markell Hall
  • Uniform Closet - OPEN - 8:00 - 8:30 AM, or online anytime:
  • Chapel Service Guild Meeting - 2:00 PM Markell Hall Chapel
  • Lunch for those who pre-ordered
  • Middle School Track - Practice 3:15 PM

Wednesday, April 27th

  • Middle School Electives Schedule
  • Port of Subs Lunch for those who pre-ordered
  • Middle School Track Meet at Meridian High School, 194 W. Laurel Road, Bellingham, 4:00 – 6:00 pm, Please arrive at 3:30 PM

Thursday, April 28st

  • Pizza Lunch for those who pre-ordered
  • Middle School Track - Practice 3:15 PM

Friday, April 29th

  • Port of Subs Lunch for those who pre-ordered
  • NO TRACK PRACTICE due to the dance
  • NIGHT IN TOKYO - MIDDLE SCHOOL DANCE - Friday, April 29th - at Markell Hall from 6:00 - 9:00 PM

Upcoming events

  • TRACK MEETS - May 3rd & 10th
  • ROBIN HALL MOTHER'S DAY TEA - In Person!- Wednesday, May 4th times vary based on teacher


  • NO SCHOOL - Friday, May 6th - Staff Inservice
  • ART WALK DOWNTOWN - May 6th - 20th
  • JOG-A-THON FOR K-8 - Friday, May 13th in the afternoon - details to come
  • FREE DRESS DAY - Friday, May 27th

  • NO SCHOOL - Monday, May 30th - Memorial Day
  • HOUSE COLORS DAY - Wednesday, June 1st
  • FAMILY FUN NIGHT - Friday, June 3rd! More info to come; mark your calendars!
  • USED BOOK SALE - Saturday, June 4th at Holly Hall from 9-3
  • LAST DAY OF SCHOOL! - Thursday, June 16

The Franklin Academy's - 2022 Track and Field Schedule

Support The Franklin Academy's Track and Field Team. The "Force" has had a great year and would enjoy your support on the track. There are only a few meets left, so come out and enjoy the spring weather and support our Track and Field Team.
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Children's Art walk

The Franklin Academy is going to be a part of the annual Children's Art Walk that Allied Arts of Whatcom county coordinates, which is happening again on Friday, May 6th, 2022, 5:00-8:00 PM.

The Children's Art will be shown inside the business windows of downtown Bellingham, with other local schools that are participating with their students' artwork within Whatcom County. We will be a part of it again this year, and our students' artwork will be hung up and located at both the Saturna Capital, and the YMCA in downtown Bellingham.

All families are welcome to walk around the Bellingham Downtown Art Walk for the Children's Art Walk on May 6th (and the artwork will be up on display until May 20th), so please spread the word! It's a ton of fun and a big part of our community to be a part of this event. You can read more about it in the Allied Arts of Whatcom county press release in the link provided and see this poster/flyer for the event:

A Big Thank you to everyone who is participating, and to ALL the teachers who are helping with their own classes' art projects. This is going to be a great event for all of us!


Ms. Simpson

Tips: Making the High School Transition Meeting

On Monday, May 16th from 2:30 to 3:10 PM, The Franklin Academy is hosting an opportunity for previous students (alumni) to support our soon-to-be graduating 8th Graders by answering any of their burning transitional questions. Basically, it's an informal opportunity for previous students to provide some insight/tips/wisdom to our soon-to-be 9th Grade students.

This event is called Tips: Making the High School Transition (informal informative panel). This will be hosted outside the school in our grass field with panel members.

Lands End Sale!

On April 14th - 27th, Lands End is offering 40% off to school families.

Make sure to enter:


PIN: 2731

2022 Summer Camps!

Register for Summer Camp Now!

Download here: Summer Camp Registration Form

Have Questions? Please contact Violet Lord,

The reading corner

with Mrs. samuel and mrs. snyder

We are flying through April, and with the arrival of May comes the annual The Franklin Academy Day at Village Books! Like last year, it will run for 24 hours, and purchases made at the Fairhaven location or online will count towards books for the school! I love that we can browse in person or contribute online if we are busy or long distance.

It will be on May 4th - "MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU!" I plan to be at the Fairhaven location after school for a few hours to say hi to people!

Forms will go home with students at the end of next week, and I’ll be at student drop off with extra copies on Wednesday, May 4th.

Please mark your calendars! This is a great way to get books and bookish stuff, all while supporting The Franklin Academy and a local, beloved business! Yay!

Happy Reading,

Mrs. Samuel

(If you have questions about the book fair or anything else library related, feel free to email me at )


Joke: What do you call six Siths piled on top of a lightsaber? A Sith-kebab.

Words from Chaplain Aaron

Chapel is a great place for our students (and staff) to explore how we as individuals are connected to one another and our world. Earth Day being this week, I thought a short 2-week unit on "Stewardship" is appropriate.

Stewardship is defined as the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care. In this unit, we will consider stewardship with a focus on caring for our planet, but also the relationships we have. With its focus on action, our school's core commitment of Engagement fits this theme. As such, I will use this core commitment to frame our discussion.

As always, please let me know how I can serve you and your family. And, let me know if you have any questions or thoughts. Thank you for the opportunity to serve our great community!


April/May Chapels - Character Development Focus: Stewardship*


Week of April 25: What does it mean to be a good steward?

Week of May 2: How can I be a good steward of what is around me?

*Core Commitment: I Will Engage

Embrace life with its joys and frustrations. Connect with family, friends, classmates, colleagues, and people around the world. Tackle problems and challenges – intellectual, practical, spiritual, and social. Discipline yourself, knowing that accomplishment and academic rigor require resilience and persistence. Act upon your convictions with courage and with kindness. Embrace leadership opportunities of all kinds.


Chapel Service Guild and 8th Grade Students Support Salvation Army

The Franklin Academy's Chapel Service Guild (CSG) is a group of parent volunteers that leads each grade in community service or the "Love Thy Neighbor" project.

CSG Coordinator Christy F., states "The goal with these projects is to not only create an awareness in the students of the needs of others around them, but also to show them ways in which they can serve others, even as kids."

The 8th grade Chapel Guild made 100 sack lunches and decorated each bag with a picture or message. The students then walked over to the Salvation Army building where they learned about the many services they offer.

The Franklin Academy Students enter WSSEF and WiN!

Congratulations -Anbelle B. and Kiona I.

6th-grade students, Kiona, and Anabelle participated in the Washington State Science and Engineering Fair (WSSEF) over Spring Break on April 9th. Both students worked extremely hard to get registered for the State Fair, submitting extra paperwork, videos, abstracts, etc.

During the virtual fair, they were judged by professionals in the STEM field, receiving critical feedback, and thoughtful questions about their projects. They both did an incredible job! Kiona got 2nd place in the Translational Medical Science Category and Anabelle got 1st place in the Behavior and Social Sciences Category!

Upon reflecting on the State Fair, Kiona said, "The best part about WSSEF was that I participated and placed in a state-level fair! I learned that it can be really fun to participate in something new and you can learn a lot from those experiences! I would encourage all of you reading this newsletter to try WSSEF next year, it will be in person and loads of fun!"

We hope to have even more students participate in the Washington State Science and Engineering Fair next year!

Ms. Harris

Chess Tournament

Congratulations to Iggy F. who placed 1st in the Middle School Division!

Last Saturday, The Franklin Academy (TFA) hosted a Chess Tournament.

We had a great turnout of TFA students as well as a few entrants from Whatcom County Clubs and beyond.


Family Mission Survey - Please respond by Monday, April 25th

Dear Franklin Academy,

This year, The Franklin Academy is considering updating its school mission to better reflect the school's current identity. We're asking all families to share what's most important to them about The Franklin Academy. Thank you in advance for your help, please click below for the survey.


Thank you,

Gretchen Bucsko and the Mission/Vision Committee

Ukraine Relief Donations

Hello Franklin Community--

PALS is partnering with the Mahler family (mom Liza is from Ukraine) to raise money and collect items to ship to Ukraine beginning Wednesday, April 13th. Liza is working with great organizations on the ground in Ukraine and has up-to-date lists of their needs. For a complete list of tangible items click here: Ukraine Relief Items Needed

We will be collecting monetary donations via the PALS website for the month of April, OR you can donate tangible goods at the blue/yellow Ukraine display and box at Markell Hall. Liza will work with Direct Relief to get these goods and money where they are most-needed at the end of April.

If you have any questions, please contact Liza at

The beautiful artwork was done by Liza's niece, who graduated from Franklin Academy a few years ago :)

Thank you in advance for supporting Ukraine and all the refugees and their families.



Parents Actively Lending Support (PALS) - the parent-led organization supporting The Franklin Academy. Click below to see the current volunteer needs identified by PALS.

Our school actively encourages and welcomes volunteers. As a reminder - parents are required to complete 20 hours of school service during the school year. This is a great way to get those hours!

April Morning Greeters

Mother's Day Tea Helpers - The younger kids are having their Mother's Day Tea parties on May 4th, and we need your help in getting that set up and broken down. See the sign up below:

Track practice and meet helpers - No experience required:

Children's Art Walk Helpers:

May Morning Greeters:

Athletic Wear clothing for May 13 (jog-a-thon)

Help set up for or sell books at our used book sale in June!


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Kyle and Jen Gebhardt

Students in 6th, 4th, and 2nd Grade

Our family decided to make the move to The Franklin Academy in 2020 due in part to the pandemic, but also seeking a more structured educational experience than what was being provided in the public school system. We had heard TFA radio clips touting the STEM based education and grew excited about the thought of placing our kids in an environment that was focused on these important, core subjects which are so foundational to future success. After touring TFA it made our decision easy, their visible dedication to the kids and decision to prioritize safe, in-person education regardless of the chaos in the outside world were exactly what we were looking for.

Immediately our three kids were welcomed by the other students, teachers, and staff into an atmosphere of support. We had never before truly appreciated the importance of class size, but I can tell you now that it makes a huge difference! The small class sizes at TFA provide our kids with abundant one-on-one time with their teachers, which is a huge catalyst for learning and mastering subjects. Our oldest child had grown frustrated and disinterested with math prior to being placed in TFA, but now after a few short years, he is engaged and excelling not only in math but all subjects. In our opinion, TFA shines at assessing each student's abilities, meeting them where they are at in terms of ability, and then working with them to take their education to a new level.

What was first a short-term solution, has turned into a long-term commitment to the school and the community at The Franklin Academy. It’s been a real treat to watch all three of our kids grow in this positive learning environment where we know our kids are safe, engaged, and surrounded by others who share similar values and prioritize education.

Know a Family Interested in Our School?

Our school grows with parents/guardians enthusiastically sharing with others about our school program and community. If you know someone interested in learning more about our program or wanting to set up a virtual tour, please encourage them to reach out to:

Admission Director, Natalie Bennett

360.733.1750 ext. 1509

The Franklin Academy 2022

Veritas Media produced the video above with the support of admissions from the "FOR YOUR EYES ONLY" Gala & Auction. It's a delightful reflection of our community.

Know a Family Interested in Our School?

Our school grows with parents/guardians enthusiastically sharing our school program and community. If you know someone interested in learning more about our program or wanting to set up a virtual tour, please encourage them to reach out to:

Natalie Bennett, Admission Director


The Franklin Academy Classroom NEWs - EASTER AND EARTH DAY

Explore Pre K - 1st Grade


During "Hopping Down the Bunny Trail" week our class participated in many hands-on projects to get ready for all the festivities that took place on Friday. We started out our week decorating Easter Baskets made out of gallon water jugs.

Preschool science and math can be so much fun. During this next project the children made and painted with chocolate pudding. I must say, I am not really sure which was more fun, eating the pudding off their fingers or painting with the pudding. You decide after looking at the pictures.

Literacy: The children made paper Easter Baskets to go in their memory books and they were able to write their name on the front of it. They do such a wonderful job.

Social Studies teaches the children to respect the traditions, history and different cultures in our classroom. The children were excited to learn about Ramadan and share this special occasion with Lyla.

Friday finally came and it was Easter Egg Hunt day. To finish the week we celebrated Kellen's Birthday. We hope you had the best birthday ever!

What a fun week we had. In the coming week we are learning about "Things That Grow".

Love, Mrs. Ho

Ms. Camaya and Ms. Johnson's Preschool 3 year olds - 3 day

Earth Day activities with the class began with a fun Earth Day coloring sheet, and then we moved on to chapel. For chapel, we talked about Easter and how special the ones we love are. We traced our letter Ee and the kids are doing well with their tracing!

For science, we watched a video about the earth and discussed different ways that we can help our home. We read a book about the ocean and talked about just how important it is to us, and how we are all a part of the "ocean story". We went around and shared a few different ways we can help the earth, some included "pick up our trash, don't waste paper towels, and turn the water off while we brush our teeth"

We completed an earth day cut and paste activity and are learning how to spell the word "Earth". For art, we are working on an earth day page for our memory books with our handprints. We also began work on our bumblebee craft which our 5th grade helpers helped the class with!

Today, we moved the greenhouse plants that we did recently into pots and talk about the growth cycle. The kids are so excited to see their plants begin to grow!

MRS. Pickerill's Pre-K 4 Year Old 3 Day

I hope everyone had a nice Easter weekend. Thank you again for providing the eggs for our hunt. This week we will celebrate Earth Day and learn more about recycling and the importance of taking care of our planet. Norah is also our Star of The Week. We will celebrate her summer birthday (June 20th) on Friday.

Last week we had a great time with everything egg-related. For science, we created an egg drop container for the egg drop challenge put out by Mrs. Bucsko and she would go on our school's rooftop to drop the eggs. The children used pom-poms, tissue paper, tape, and plastic cups to protect our egg. They all predicted that the egg would break and they were right, it did! They were very excited to participate and watch this school event.

We also had our egg hunt outside in the courtyard next to the lunchroom. We had so much fun collecting all of the eggs together. We also enjoyed decorating our Easter bags and making bunny ears headbands.

I look forward to another fun week. Have a great day!


Mrs. P

Creative ART with Ms. Simpson

Greetings families and students of Art!

I hope things are going well for everyone, after the spring break and a week back to school. The Art classroom has been full of fun activities, (such as drawing fruit & a Fruit Relay Race), great art projects (such as Kandinsky's Foil Relief in 7th/8th, Jean-Michel Basquiat Storytelling art in 5th/6th, Food Trucks in 3rd-4th, Donuts Painting in 2nd, & the Once Upon a Parsnip book inspired oil pastel art for K-1st), and now we're busy making beautiful things for the 22nd Annual Children's Art Walk! Just to remind you, I share photos of all the students' artwork and their descriptions of the art projects via the weekly TFA Newsletter, so everyone can see some of what our young artists (K-8th) are doing.

In Art classes, I'm working with all the K-8th grades, to help make a collaborative art project called an Enchanted Garden Door! It will be filled with garden flowers, leaves, caterpillars, cocoons, and butterflies - all made by our students. Various K-8th grade classes and teachers are also making their own art in each of their own classes to be displayed.


Ms. Simpson

Helpful information

PE Shirts

We wanted to send a reminder that all PE shirts and uniform sales are made via the link below through PALS, with all payments being made online rather than through either front desk at Robin or Markell.

Anything purchased will be delivered to your child's classroom. As a reminder, the used uniforms can vary in size due to wear and shrinkage, so it's best to come in and try them on. We are working to add more uniform store availability for working families, hopefully in the evenings (by appointment).


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.

Past newsletters

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,

Katie C. Dement, Development Director,

PALS (Parents Actively Lending Support)

After School Care Supervisor Violet Lord