The Franklin Academy

Weekly Update Newsletter - March 21-25

Monday, March 21st

  • Spring Day - Wear Bright Colors or Floral Prints - All School
  • Port of Subs Lunch for those who pre-ordered
  • Middle School Track Begins - Practice 3:15

Tuesday, March 22nd

  • PALS AM Meeting - Markell Hall 8:10am
  • Pizza Lunch for those who pre-ordered
  • Chapel Guild Meeting 2:00 in the Markell Hall Chapel
  • Middle School Track - Practice 3:15

Wednesday, March 23rd

  • Middle School Electives Schedule
  • Auction Volunteer Meeting 8:15 Markell Hall Chapel
  • Port of Subs Lunch for those who pre-ordered
  • Middle School Track - Practice 3:15

Thursday, March 24th

  • Pizza Lunch for those who pre-ordered
  • Extended After School Chess Club - Grades 2-8 - Markell Hall Cafeteria 3:15 – 4:45pm

  • Middle School Track - Practice 3:15

Friday, March 25th

  • Free Dress - All School
  • Port of Subs Lunch for those who pre-ordered
  • Middle School Track - Practice 3:15

Saturday, March 26th

  • For Your Eyes Only Auction and Gala - 5:30pm

Upcoming Events

  • STEM Fair - Wednesday, March 30th
  • Spring Break - April 4-8 - No School
  • House Color Day - April 13th
  • Chess Tournament at TFA - Saturday, April 16th approximately 8:30-3:00pm
  • Middle School Dance - April 29 from 6-9pm
  • Jog-a-Thon for K-8 - Friday, May 13th in the afternoon - details to come
  • Family Fun Night is back June 3rd! More info to come Mark your calendars.
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One Week Away!

Our school's biggest fundraising event of the year is happening on Saturday, March 26th at 5:30pm.

The Franklin Academy Gala and Auction is an evening of fine wines, an elegant dinner, and silent and live auctions at the Hotel Bellwether.

Whether attending or volunteering, we really appreciate your support of our school!

Gretchen Bucsko, M.Ed.

Head of School

We are excited to see you at the Auction!

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Check out These Silent Auction Items - Classroom Artwork!

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Night in Tokyo - Middle School Dance Announced!

House Council is excited to announce that there will be a middle school dance on April 29 from 6-9pm! All middle schoolers are invited to attend this semi-formal event.

At this event, there will be an opportunity to hang out and dance with your friends as well as plenty of themed activities for everyone! Japanese snacks will be available to all hungry students, though we do recommend eating dinner first.

Tickets will go on sale March 23rd at the student store for $5 per student. Arigato gozaimasu!

Thank you!

Grace Schmidt, MAT

5th Grade/Middle School Math Teacher

Order Lunches Today for After Spring Break

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Way to go 6th Grade Volleyball Team!

Both our 8th Grade and C Squad teams ended the regular season with a 7-1 record. The girls worked hard and improved tremendously over the season.

A special thanks to our Coaches Celine Bressler and Virginia Patterson for their leadership, instruction and encouragement this year!

Great job girls!

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Annual K-8 Franklin Academy State-qualifier Chess Tournament

We are thrilled to announce the "Annual K-8 Franklin Academy State-qualifier Chess Tournament' which will be held at Franklin Academy on Saturday, April 16th from approximately 8:30-3:00pm.

Please put this date on your calendar if your student is interested in participating and stay tuned for more details in the weeks to come!

If you are interested in helping support this event, please reach out to our

Athletic Director, Stephanie Fox:

or Parent Liaison: Barbara Overson:

Thank you for supporting Chess at Franklin Academy and in Whatcom County!

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Don't Delay, Enroll Today.

We are so excited to invite you to join the 2022-2023 school year. Please bring your enrollment contract and a check for 10 percent of the total tuition or payment in full.

If you have not turned in your enrollment, please do so as soon as possible. Classes are reaching maximum capacity.

Other items to note:

  • Tuition must be paid in full, or you must have signed up for a FACTS payment plan by April 29th.
  • Tuition assistance is now open (K-8th grade only). Click here to apply. The maximum assistance given is 50% of tuition. All supporting tax documents must be completed before processing will take place.
  • Click here for the Parent Handbook for the 2022-2023 school year. A student information form will be released closer to the next school year.

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:

Admissions Director, Natalie Bennett:


If you have any questions, please know that we are happy to assist you. We look forward to a great 2022-2023 school year at The Franklin Academy!


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George and Tammy Starr

Daughter in 5th Grade

Our Franklin Academy journey started just over a year ago when we enrolled our daughter, Lauren, for the second half of fourth grade. We knew of Franklin, but never seriously considered enrolling her because of the highly regarded public schools in Bellingham and had no immediate concerns with the education she was receiving. In fact, we still hold the teachers and staff she had K-3 in the highest regard. However, with the mandated COVID-19 shutdown came the eye-opening experience of home school and a better understanding of Lauren’s educational needs.

Fortunately, we have a group of colleagues and friends that started their children at Franklin or transferred them shortly after COVID-19 restrictions started. Their testimonies made our decision to enroll Lauren easy. Lauren was excited to reunite with friends and, to our delight, excited about wearing a uniform. We were naturally nervous and drop off the first day was hard. However, at pick up Lauren’s smile and description of how the day went “I made new friends!” and “Everyone is so nice at this school!” was all we needed to know we were heading in the right direction.

With more time under our belt, we continue to be extremely impressed with the safe and welcoming environment at Franklin. It starts each day when students are greeted outside the entrance with a smile and a “good morning” by faculty or parent volunteers. That just gets the day started and the kids in the door. Once in the classroom, the nurturing environment, quality of the academics and teachers are equally impressive. Lauren is challenged to step outside her comfort zone and learn more at Franklin. With encouragement from her teachers and transparency with parents regarding the curriculum, she is doing better than ever before. However, not all days are the same. When going to school is not at the top of Lauren’s agenda, there is always a kind staff member, parent, or friend offering support and a comforting walk to class. Kindness, respect, and inclusivity is part of the culture at Franklin. If you want to see it, just show up for lunch one day. As students exit the building with food and play on their minds, pay attention to how they hold open the door for their classmates and the “thank you” that follows. I know our feelings are echoed by other Franklin Academy parents when we say our child is in safe hands and getting the best education, we can provide her.

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The Reading Corner with Mrs. Snyder

This week I feel OLD. And not just because we lost an hour of sleep over the weekend, and I still feel like a zombie. I feel old because this week in grade 2-4 library, the Question of the Day was “Where and when would you like to time travel?”. Along with the expected Age of the Dinosaurs answer, a number of students said the 1980’s and 1990’s! They wanted to see the big hair and “cool” outfits! Heaven help me.

In other news, we had a FANTASTIC Reading Week in Robin Hall and Markell Hall 2-4. Thank you for sending your students to school in their amazing outfits and for all the work you do at home to support their love of reading.

Middle School students are submitting their book reviews for the forthcoming display, and I am getting all sorts of ideas of what I should read next. Wonderful job!

Happy Reading,

Mrs. Samuel

Mrs. Samuel's Joke of the Week!

Did you meet that mushroom over there, I hear he’s the life of the party.

He’s a pretty fun-gi!

Mrs. Lyzwinski's 2nd Grade Classroom Update!


We have been studying double digit subtraction with regrouping. We have used a variety of models to subtract 2 digit numbers, including cubes, work mats and traditional regrouping strategies. We are currently studying utilizing addition to check subtraction problems.

Writer's Workshop

Students have been working hard on completing our writing assessments. Students used the writing process (plan, draft, revise, edit, publish) to complete their work. They have worked hard on these and are excited to share them with you at their upcoming conferences!

Literacy/Daily 5

We had a fantastic week last week studying the works of author, Kate DiCamillo. We read all of the "Mercy Watson" series and won the award for "Most Photogenic" for our classroom door. It was so much fun to celebrate our love of reading and participate in dress up days! Please see attached photos.

Our weekly reader reviewed the different types of books and our class had a discussion about which types of books we all enjoy (i.e. fiction, non-fiction, comics, biographies, etc.)

Word Work

We have been reviewing short "u" words (i.e. "thumb") and long "u" words with "ew" (i.e. "new") and long "u" words with "ue" (i.e. blue)


As we do not have school this Friday, we will have our spelling quiz next Friday, March 18.


Our balance and motion investigation focused on "force" and motion. We built our own twirly birds, tested them and focused on the question "What causes twirlers to rotate?" This science unit has been an amazing opportunity for us to learn about how air, wind, and force affects motion, including the motion of spinning.

Mrs. Owen's Pre-Kindergarten Classroom Update!

We have really been enjoying rainbow week, and what a great transition into our Spring learning. We have also been enjoying getting to know Ezra a little more during his star week and celebrated his birthday today! Happy Birthday Ezra and thanks for the cool cookies!

Here's what else we have been up to:

-Letter Rr, how it looks, writes, sounds, and signs

-Super Sight Words red, orange, yellow, and green look for these words anywhere while on the go

-All About Number 13, handwriting, tallies, number lines, base ten+, number word

-Rainbow Shape Review and Writing Number 1-20

-Performed a Walking Rainbow Science Experiment, primary colors mix to make new colors as water crawls up from glass to glass as it absorbs through paper towels. We discussed how plants use the same capillary action to fight the force of gravity to get the nutrients they need. SO COOL!

-We also learned that rainbows are created when light bends through refraction and dispersal. We used flashlights, mirrors, glasses of water, sparkly gems, and color panels to create rainbows in the dark. Neato!

-Created a giant rainbow using loofahs, fine motor rainbows using q-tips, rainbows with dots and pots of gold, and sparkly shamrocks

Mrs. Killian and Ms. TeVelde's Preschool Classroom Update!

March is here and spring is quickly approaching. We are studying the weather this week. We learned about the water cycle, and evaporation on Monday, and created our own “bag” ecosystem to watch water evaporate.

We had another opportunity to learn about how water moves on Tuesday when we created a cloud in a jar.

We went on a Friday cloud hunt. The preschoolers looked for 3 different types of clouds, cirrus, stratus, and cumulus. In class we painted various clouds using puffy paint.


The preschoolers are continuing to learn to write numbers. Our current focus is on 2 and 5, which can be challenging to write. This week we played Rainbow Roll and Cover. This game teaches the preschoolers to recognize teen numbers.


In class we met Sammy the Snake, and are learning about the letter S. In class we are reading many fun books about spring. We are looking forward to this change in season.

Mrs. Ho's Preschool Classroom Update!

This week we have been talking about our names and how special they are. We have done different activities in honor of name week. We fingerpainted and made a puzzle with our names that the children wrote themselves and put together. For our STEM activity we put glue on the letters of our name and sprinkled salt over the glue. After the glue and salt dried the children took different colored liquid paint and put on the letters. It was cool to watch the color spread over the salt spelling their name. All of these activities are displayed outside our classroom and below are some pictures.

Our shamrock name puzzle

For math and color recognition we used handprints to make "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" and Thing 1, Thing 2 and The Cat In The Hat' By Dr. Seuss all done with our hands and feet.

For literacy this week we were working on the Letter "M". The children were given colorful stones to create their own letter "M" and for the Sharing bag the children chose a letter in their name and brought things from home that began with that letter. What fun we have had with our names.

Kellen brought a "Light Book" So cool.

Lua brought "Unicorns and a Ukulele. Very clever.

Mornings are one of my favorite times of the day, because if you give children the tools they can create all kinds of things.

I hope you have enjoyed this week's activities as much as we did.

Mrs. Rail's Kindergarten Classroom Update!

Here are some of the awesome things we did this week:

*Popcorn/movie party!!!

The kids finally earned their popcorn and movie party! On Tuesday we watched The Grufflo (27 min), a super cute movie based on a book we've read with the same name.

*Lots of writing!

In addition to our daily Writer's Workshop we've been adding in more and more writing. This week we wrote about what we would do if a leprechaun came to our school! Most kids thought the leprechaun would leave gold coins or green handprints.

*Art projects!

We had two fun art projects in class in addition to our art specialty class on Wednesday. We made super cute leprechauns to go with our leprechaun writing. (see photo album) We also painted shamrocks! Thank you so much to the parents that helped prep these two projects!

*Social Studies/Science:

This week we learned about Thomas Edison. We learned that he developed a longer lasting lightbulb along with many other things. We learned that he was an amazing inventor that worked hard and never gave up. And we started talking about our new science project - playdough circuits. We discussed what a circuit is and how it works and will be creating our playdough circuits on Monday.


The kiddos are doing so well with their weekly reading folders. I love watching the kids read to their book buddies. Every week, kiddos get a chance to read one of the books from their folder with 3 friends from class! That's 3 times they get to read out loud! Such great fluency practice! These kids are on fire!

Mrs. Brewin's 1st Grade Classroom Update!

Here are the highlights from our week together:

-in their writing journals the students wrote about what they think teachers do during a teacher work day when students are not at the school. The responses were hilarious. Some highlights were that the teachers would eat candy, drink coffee, take a nap, and build a hot tub on the roof. Nailed it!

-we started a new chapter book read aloud called The Wild Robot by Peter Brown. This is my all-time favorite chapter book to read aloud! It has wonderful descriptions, endearing characters, and great messages.

-in phonics we learned and practiced writing the r-controlled vowel sound -ar.

-we finished our aurora borealis paintings by adding silhouette trees.

-in math we wrapped up our unit on adding and subtracting two digit numbers and we did a quiz on Monday. Then we started our new topic of measurement. We began with a brainstorming session about what we measure, what tools we use to measure, and why we would measure something. Then we practiced measuring using non-standard units (cubes). We made sure to measure with no gaps and no overlaps. Some pictures are attached (some of the other pictures were really blurry - sorry about that!)

-in science/writing we continued working on our polar animal project. All the students finished their research and organized their facts, and everyone has started the rough draft of their report (we call it the sloppy copy). The next step will be to edit their work and get ready to publish!

-this week we read Malala's Magic Pencil, an autobiography by Malala Yousafzai, which tells Malala's story for a younger audience.

Mrs. Pickerill's Pre-Kindergarten Classroom Update!

Last week we learned more about different types of transportation. The children worked together to create roads and ramps for cars, trucks, and boats to drive around on. We also played with Foam during science and created different objects.

Gurnoor was our "Start of The Week" and in Spanish Senora Segebart played a dice game with the children and taught them the Spanish words for community helpers. For instance, doctor, dentist, fire fighter, police officer, teacher, etc.

Our sixth grade buddies, Brynn and Anabelle, helped the children color and read their transportation book.

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

Did you all see the glorious rainbow the other day? It was amazing, so fitting for our rainbow week.

In chapel today, they learned about St. Patrick and got a shamrock charm with a prayer on it. Check their folders for their little charm on a giant shamrock.

The class enjoyed our party today and we listened to Pete The Cat and the Leprechaun Chase.

In music, the class got to take turns ringing the triangle. They enjoyed it so much!

For math, we worked on color assigned shapes where they colored the shape per the color of the word beneath it.

At recess, the students are living writing their name in chalk. They are doing a fabulous job!

Friday, we will be finishing up art projects where they’re working on writing the letters in their names.

Snowflakes with Negative Space, 5th-6th grades

These Snowflakes turned out wonderful! Our talented 5th-6th grade artists took special care to draw each snowflake, using stencils, and paper cut-out snowflakes to trace. We learned about both positive and negative space in the Elements of Art. This project includes one of them with gel pens in line patterns on black paper, and the other one is painted with either Watercolor Pencils, H2O, & paint brush, or with a sponge method using Tempera Paints. Students chose the colors, & patterns for each of their snowflake projects. When you see all of them together, it looks like a wonderful wall of snowflakes showing off the last days of winter. #BeKindLetsShine ~ Miss Rachel

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).

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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