The Franklin Academy

All School Franklin Academy Update for June 1 - June 5

Intentional Learning Continues!

Mini Museum Portraits in Middle School Art!

Rachel Simpson, our Middle School Art Specialist shared this:

"We've been working on these beautiful and fun Mini Museum Portraits in MS Art for the past 3 weeks, and the students have done a fantastic job to recreate famous paintings with their own inspiration with a subject of their choice: either their family pet or a toy animal. That pet or toy would become the mini portrait of famous works such as (but not limited to), the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci 1503, or classical art, The Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannesburg Vermeer 1665, or pop-art like, Girl with a Ribbon by Roy Lichtenstein 1965, or even Self-Portrait with Necklace of Thorns with Hummingbird by Frida Kahlo 1940. Students not only drew and painted their portraits in 4" x 4" square, but they also learned how to make frames out of cardboard, and how to design and set up a display on a wall. We pretended that it was a real Mini Museum or a gallery, and shared with photos taken of their pet or toy as the "Guest" at the art show!"

Welcome to the World Baby Bennett! Natalie's Baby Update!


Admissions Director Natalie Bennett and her husband Patrick welcomed their daughter, Bailey, into the world on May 13th. She was 21 inches and 7 pounds 15 ounces at birth. Natalie and Patrick say, "Babies are little miracles and we had no idea how much our hearts could explode with love."

Natalie also said, "It's been such a delight being with our little girl. We had no idea how much we could adore baby snuggles, smells & developing smiles! Our hearts were sure transformed forever - instantly."

Mrs. Mellos, our wonderful Preschool Teacher for the 2 1/2 year old class, was treated to a Teacher Appreciation Parade!

" I have no words to express my gratitude to my beautiful students and their amazing families for giving me such a special moment...a moment that will be in my heart forever. I am more than grateful to have you all in my life. THANK YOU"

Alejandra Mellos

Mrs. Mellos' Parade!

The 5th graders recently participated in a “100 Word Challenge” as a Literacy Class writing project.

The inspiration for this project came from the magazine called Reader’s Digest, which offers a monthly challenge to its readers entitled “Your True Stories in 100 Words.”

5th grade students received the following parameters for their project:

  • The challenge is to write a true story using ONLY 95-100 words

  • This story may be about your own life OR a story about someone you know AS LONG AS you find out true details from that person.

  • The goal is for the story to be short enough to fit in the magazine, yet interesting enough to engage the readers.

  • How do the authors of these Reader’s Digest essays reach this 100 word goal? - They use very descriptive words and take their time to write and rewrite in order to create something exciting for the readers!

Read for yourself some of the thoughtful, reflective, and creative stories written by our 5th grade authors! Students were presented with the option to have (or not have) their writing included in the newsletter. In addition, they had the choice to include their writing, yet remain anonymous. (Also included is the sample provided to students by Ms. McDonnell, who recently submitted her story to Reader’s Digest. We’ll see what happens!)

The Eventful Movie

My Dad and I went to go see a movie in Bellingham. I remember that it was an Avengers movie. We were 2 hours into it, and we were having an enjoyable time. Then, we heard an alarm sound. Authority figures were telling us to evacuate the building. We followed other people outside, somewhat near the parking lot. Then I noticed the police were there, along with the fire department. My Dad and I were anxious. After it all ended, we went to Burlington to finish the movie. I found out what happened on Monday. There was a bomb threat.

The Missing Boy, by Neesha

My cousins and I were getting ready to jump on the trampoline. Soon Sameer and I started to walk towards my house. (Sameer is one of my cousins) Then my aunt came outside and asked us “Where is Ranbir?” (Ranbir is the youngest cousin of mine. He is 2.) “We do not know” Kaveer replied. My aunt was worried. My aunt searched inside, and he was not there. Sameer and I went toward my house, and then we saw him running up the hill. The reason why he left was that he wanted to jump on the trampoline.

The Burn, by Simran

The day started with me going to my cousin’s house. We ate pizza, swam, and had fun. The time was 6:57 p.m when the burn happened. I went onto a 4 wheeler. I kicked back and hit the muffler. After I was off the 4 wheeler, I felt pain. I looked at my leg. I saw…a second-degree burn. I called my mom, and she called my aunt who is a nurse. After that, I went to my other aunt’s house and got ice cream. My mom dropped me off at my aunt’s, and my mom got some bandages.

Lights Out

It was about 4:00 when I was just watching a movie, and then all of a sudden the TV turned off. I just thought that I sat on the remote, but then I realized that I didn’t have the remote. I went to turn on the light, and it would not turn on. I went to check the hallway and bathroom, but none of them would turn on. At that moment, I realized that the power had gone out at our house for the first time in forever! At first, I was excited, then I realized it wasn’t a good thing!

BMX and Mountain Biking, by Logan

Hello, my name is Logan. I like bmx and mountain biking, and I got a new mountain bike on the 18th of May. It is a green mountain bike with big shocks. I bought it for 146 dollars. It was a second hand mountain bike. Bmx is a sport of doing tricks on a bike for fun or for competitions. The basic tricks are bunny hop, fake, and no footer. If you want to get harder there is tail whip, 360, 180, table, and back flip or a front flip. I hope you liked my story about bmxing and mountain biking.

The Sleepover

“Finally” I mumbled just as the bell began to ring rapidly. Ding ding ding it went. I raced to the bus to get a seat with Cloey. To my surprise she was waiting there for me. I was going to her house to spend the night there. When we got there, we took our school stuff off in the entryway and ran off into Cloeys room. Then we decided to play some Minecraft on the computer. We had mac-n-cheese for dinner. We scarfed it down in a jiffy. It was the best day I had ever imagined.

Lost in an Airport, by Gabe

We were on our way to Australia, waiting for our flight from Los Angeles to Brisbane. It was 10:00pm, and we were all tired and hungry. We wandered through the food court, and suddenly I realized I was alone! I knew what to do. There was a security officer right there! He gave me a sticker badge and something to play with, and the next thing I knew, my parents had arrived. I was having a great time! My parents did not look so good. Soon after that, we got on the Qantas flight, and they had some wine.

The Trip, by Jacob

A few weeks before my eleventh birthday, I had my ten year old trip with my dad. We went to Florida so that we could go to Universal Studios, Star Wars Galaxy's edge in Disneyland, and the NASA Astronaut Training camp. At Universal Studios we had a guide who took us through the best rides and attractions. At Disney, we had a guide who took us through the lines and waited at the droid depot line while we had lunch so that I could do the droid customizer. At NASA we did a few simulations and learned about the ISS.

APRIL FOOLS!, by Ms. McDonnell

I raced home from high school my freshman year, intending to throw on a change of clothes and head out to gather with friends. Sprinting upstairs to my closet, I opened it only to find NO CLOTHES! Aaaaaahhh! Grumbling as I searched the house, my wardrobe finally appeared - in the basement of all places! With no time to inquire about this odd situation, I skipped multiple steps up the stairs to brush my teeth. YUCK! Someone had sprinkled salt on my toothbrush! Finally, all was revealed as my sister, four years my junior, popped out yelling “APRIL FOOLS!” Deserved?...probably!

Sra. Smith teaches 2nd grade animal names in Spanish!

4th Grade Writing

Mrs. Misday’s 4th Grade Class: My 4th Grade students write three "quick writes" a week. I give them a starter and they run with it. We will feature two a week for the next few weeks.


Finn's Quick Write!

As they turned to enter the building, both girls looked straight ahead, toward the door. They did it purposely so that they would not catch the eyes or the attention of the two soldiers, who stood with their guns at their sides. The two girls ran through the door skipping and singing a happy song of cupcakes and rainbows. The girls ran straight through a portal in the middle of the room. They came out in CandyLand, a sugary board game! The two ran around, skipping and singing as they ate everything. The two stopped when the Kandy King slapped them for eating his domain. The two girls were tossed back to their homeland and became bakers, and never spoke of their trip again.


Ajax's Quick Write!

Wisps of fog clung like tattered rags to the dying trees, and then the forest cleared. But the trees were so thick that the morning sun barely touched the ground. The ship hovered searching for Ewoks to recruit. Stormtroopers had nearly wiped out half the population of Ewoks on Endor. The ship got the attention of a couple of Ewoks. “Yub… Dub?” it said. “Here little buddy!” Luke whispered. “You can still have hope. We can win this.” “Weeeee! Yuuubb Duub!” They were cheering. They all went on to destroy the empire!


Science Lessons Continue! Join Mrs. Pickerill our Early Kindergarten Teacher!

Straw and Circle Airplanes with Mrs. Pickerill!
The Science behind the Straw & Circle Airplane Experiment

Above and beyond - a few extra pictures of at home projects!

Reagan, a 2nd Grade Student, shares her at home Butterfly Release!

All five caterpillars survived and became beautiful butterflies. We released them all! A few hours later, we were out and about and pretty sure we saw one of them flying around our front yard. Pretty cool!

Thank you for sharing Reagan! That butterfly really loved eating the orange. It needed that energy for it's first flight. Great Job!

2nd Grade Butterfly Eating an Orange Preparing for Flight!
2nd Grade Family Releases Butterfly

Adrianna shared her at home art work. This week she made earrings! Great Job!

Springtime Celebrations!

Spring is a time for celebrating! Many of us celebrated Easter last month, but how many of you know what other holidays are being celebrated by our own Franklin Academy families this time of year? Over the next few weeks we will get a glimpse into Passover, Ramadan, Nowruz, and Greek Orthodox Easter celebrations.

One of the great things about our diverse and inclusive school is how much we can learn from each other. We are excited to celebrate the varying religious and cultural identities of all of the families at The Franklin Academy. As we learn about others, our lives are enriched.

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Ramadan 2020

A path to recognizing what is truly important in your life.

Ramadan 2020 by Erum a Franklin Academy parent.

"Ramadan is a month in the Islamic faith where our family and Muslims around the world fast for 30 days (don’t eat or drink) from sun up to down; no food, not even water. It’s a challenging month as we abstain from not just food and water but also bad habits and bad character traits. The root of the Arabic word “Ramadan”, comes from the meaning of "scorching heat", and it is the uncomfortable heat that burns away the impurities of the self, leaving something polished and of tremendous value on the other end. It’s a time to press the reset button and dive deep into your core to face and fix what’s lacking. Ramadan is a month of intense physical and spiritual rejuvenation. Physically, learning your limits, abstaining from food and water. Spiritually, increasing devotional acts, spending time connecting to the Quran (holy book), increasing prayer, exercising patience, learning humility, experiencing empathy and most importantly, disconnecting from everyday life distractions and journeying down a path to recognizing what is truly important in your life.

I am always asked; why do Muslims fast and put themselves through “that torture” or “what do you gain from fasting for 30 days”. The truth, it’s hard! Your will power is pushed to it’s limit and your gauge for your personal development is tested. I tell people, “the purpose of fasting is to help develop self-restraint, empathy, God-consciousness, self-purification and the love and duty to humanity and God.” HOW IS THIS ANY DIFFERENT THAN RUNNING A MARATHON?

Basically, every able man, woman and child is expected to fast. With children, we start with skipping snacks and half day fasts eventually moving children to fast a full day. We reward our children with gifts and parties for their accomplishments. Fasting can become very difficult and each family figures out what is best of their child and how much to push them. Islam is a religion of ease and we want our children to love their religion, therefore we gradually encourage them to become accustomed to fasting. There are some exceptions for people who should not fast: the weak, sick, pregnant, nursing, women on their monthly cycle, children not of age and those traveling are exempted from fasting.

Ramadan is the month of the Quran (holy book). Muslims use this month to reconnect with the Quran, through recitation, studying, gatherings with people and reciting together in our mosques and with our families. Ramadan is also a time for Muslims to be especially charitable and fasting helps Muslims feel compassion and empathy for the hungry and less fortunate.

What does a day in Ramadan look like?

We wake up early in the morning for a pre-dawn meal to help sustain us during the day. In Bellingham, that is 3:00 am. As a family, we eat our breakfast and perform our pre-dawn prayer. Muslims complete 5 obligatory prayers throughout the day beginning with the pre-dawn prayer. Once we are done with that, we usually go back to sleep and get a few hours of sleep. Next, we get up and prepare for our day, going to work or school, being mindful that we are fasting and to keep our character, actions and tongue in check. We return home in the late afternoon after work and school, usually rest, but life does go on and our children must complete their obligations to their afterschool sports and activities. At sunset which in Bellingham was about 8:45pm, we gathered for iftar (opening our fast). We begin with eating dates and drinking water, something small to prepare us for our dinner.

Islam is religion that spans many countries and cultures each one establishing their own cultural dishes for Ramadan. We are of Pakistani descent and love our samosas, pakoras and chaat. Many nights I would prepare appetizers for our iftar consisting of samosas, chaat, soup or pakoras; arguably the best part of fasting. Once we are done with opening, we complete our 4th prayer for the day and then have dinner. You would think we spend the whole evening eating, however the irony is that you lose your zeal for food. Over the month, your stomach shrinks and appetite decreases. The later part of the evening we complete our 5th prayer and spend the evening in devotional acts and more prayers. We go to the mosque, our religious center and join other community members in prayer throughout the month, and repeat this pattern for the next 30 days."

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Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and is celebrated by Muslims all across the globe.

Once we have fasted 30 days we have a huge celebration called Eid. On this day families receive new clothes and gifts, we honor our parents, family and guests. We go to the mosque for a morning prayer and gather with our community members in celebration; parties, gatherings, open houses and picnics. We lavish our families with gifts and enjoy all kinds of yummy foods.

In a nutshell, Ramadan is a time of self restraint and moral development. Abstaining from food and water truly helps you realize what is important, disciplines your soul and develops sympathy for the less fortunate. This year due to the Covid-19 lockdown, Ramadan was especially difficult as our community was barred from the mosque, hosting and attending iftar gatherings and gathering for devotional acts. Our community had to adjust and spend Ramadan at home where we found blessings. Muslim families around the world led our individual families in prayer, conversations, acts of devotion and contributions to society. Even though it was hard not to gather for Ramadan or celebrate Eid with our family, friends and community, we believe it is our responsibility to society to follow the law and socially distance to keep our communities safe.


Thank you for sharing your traditions with us Erum!

Welcome to "Deep Thoughts with Chaplain Aaron!"

Hello parents, staff and students of Franklin Academy!

We're in the home stretch of the school year! Keep going and growing! This week in "Deep Thoughts with Chaplain Aaron" we will consider the love of ideas/learning. I love discovering new things, whether it's about someone or about something. My prayer for you is that you would have a growth mindset and develop a love of learning. Our week's Discussion Question to ask those around you is, "What is the most interesting thing you have learned recently?" And, our Weekly Service Challenge is to research something you care about, and find out how you can help. Let me know what you come up with. Have a great week!

Here's the link to this week's "episode:"


Franklin May 31
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Tips for teaching your children at home by Karen Rabe. This week she shares Virtual Field Trip Ideas!

Virtual Field Trips

In my teaching career, both in school and at home, often the most valuable teaching moments were field trips. Hopefully we will soon be able to get out more as restrictions are lifted. I'm sure your kids have been having virtual get- togethers with their friends visiting and playing games. Why not start taking trips without leaving the comfort of your own home. These could spark interest in doing more research about the locations and maybe interest in future travel and exploration. Here are a few ideas to get started:

The first and most important trip right now is the one into space with the Crew Dragon. This historic event on May 30th carried two astronauts into space using the first private business, SpaceX, rocket. Less than a day later, the spacecraft docked at the International Space Station. Lots of research can be done into the goals of this trip and the far reaching effects for space travel to the Moon and Mars.

Subscribe to the "Science Times" and get stories that capture the wonders of nature, the cosmos, and the human body.

Buckingham Palace, London, UK - Go behind the doors of Queen Elizabeth II's premier palace. Located in Westminster, the 775-room Buckingham Palace has served as the administrative headquarters for the British monarch since 1837.

Taj Mahal, Agra, India - The Taj Mahal is the ultimate show of affection. The palace was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favorite wife. Each year, 7 to 8 million visitors visit the site.

Sydney, Australia - Head "Down Under" without having to deal with a grueling 24 hour long flight. More than 10 million people each year visit the iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Habour Bridge with the incredible skyline backdrop.

Laikipia County, Kenya - If your kids' favorite movie is The Lion King, you can show them a real-life version thanks to a virtual vacation safari. Visit the Laikipia County, Kenya safari.

Reykjavik, Iceland -- Iceland may be a little cold but you can visit from the comfort of your couch. An estimated 2 million people vacation in Reykjavik each year to visit sights like the abandoned DC plane on a beach or the stunning Northern Lights.

St. Jean Bay, St. Barths - St. Barths is one of the pricier parts of the Caribbean, but you don't have to break the bank to enjoy the breathtaking beauty. Let your worries wash away in the gorgeous turquoise water and feel the tropical warmth.

Kauai, HI -- Kauai is known as "The Garden Isle" thanks to a lush tropical rain forest that covers much of the island. People from across the world come to see the dramatic cliffs and pinnacles that have actually been used in blockbuster movies like "Jurassic World" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" just to name a few.

Los Angeles, CA -- Fifty million people flock to Los Angeles to take in the TCL Chinese Theater to see how their hands stack up to celebrities, gawk at the iconic Hollywood sign, or catch surfers hanging 10 at one of the many pristine beaches.

New York, NY - New York is one of the top vacation spots in the world. Virtually visit sites like Broadway, Times Square, and 5th Avenue. You can also take in that stunning NYC skyline from a safe distance.

Have fun as a family traveling and learning together!

Karen Rabe

Reading Tutor & Consultant

A Sample of Fun Learning Videos!

Our wonderful teachers are sending out classwork to their individual classes and many are sharing their talents over YouTube! Enjoy a story, work on a science experiment with Mrs. Ho, art with Mrs. Richcreek, math lessons from Mr. Hedahl, or hone your recorder skills with Mrs. Snyder!
Hot Cross Buns Harmony a Recorder Lesson with Mrs. Snyder our Music Specialist!
Llegó la primavera a read aloud with Sra. Smith, our Spanish Specialist!
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! A read aloud from Mrs. Owen!
Mrs. Samuel, Markell Hall Librarian reads Edward Tulane Part 9
Markell Hall Librarian, Mrs. Samuel reads Edward Tulane Part 11 12
Mrs. Samuel, Markell Hall Librarian, reads Edward Tulane Part 13 -14
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Amazon Smile

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.

Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 Newsletters - Click Below

The Franklin Academy Calendar

Daily Details and Yearly Calendars for This School Year and the 2020-21 School Year

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:

Katie den Hartog, Associate Head of School,

Dawn Regier, Administrative Assistant,

Rachel Lee, Administrative Assistant,

Sue Ann Crockett, Administrative Assistant,

Theresa Wines, Registrar,

Natalie Bennett, Admissions Director,