The Franklin Academy

Weekly Update Newsletter November 22-26

Early Release - Conferences November 22 – 24

Please find your student's early release time below:

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

Monday, November 22nd

  • Early Release - Conferences - No Port of Subs
  • Girl's Basketball Game at Nooksack 4:00 - CANCELLED DUE TO FLOODING

Tuesday, November 23rd

  • Early Release - Conferences - Grab and Go Mi Mexico for those who ordered
  • No PALS meeting Tuesday November
  • Girl's Basketball Game at Cascadia Elementary in Ferndale. Game Time is 4:00pm

Wednesday, November 24th

  • Early Release - Conferences - No Port of Subs
  • Middle School - Electives schedule
  • Auction Meeting - Markell Hall 8:15am Chapel

Thursday, November 25th

  • No School - Thanksgiving

Friday, November 26th

  • No School

Upcoming Events

  • Middle School Boy's Basketball Season Begins - November 29th
  • House Color Day - December 1st
  • 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

Lost and Found Clean-Out!

Who: All students and parents

What: Lost and Found items of all sorts (Uniforms, Jackets, Water Bottles and more treasures)

Where: Robin Hall Lobby and Markell Hall Lobby

When: November 22-24 (during Parent Teacher Conferences)

Why: It will be the last chance to check the Lost and Found for missing items. Everything remaining at noon on Wednesday, November 24 will be given to the PALS Uniform Closet or donated.

Thursday Morning Drop off Help Needed!

We are still in need of a parent who can greet students on Thursday mornings from 7:45 (Markell Hall), then cross the street and greet at Robin Hall until 8:30 OR this can be split into two shorter shifts with one parent at each school.

Morning care will be provided for you student(s) at no cost to you.

Reach out if you are able to help!

Middle School Electives Instructors Wanted

Do you want to share your expertise or skill and want to be involved with the school? The middle school is looking to offer additional electives this next block and we would love you to be involved!

The next elective block will start on Jan. 24th. Each elective is one hour long. You can choose the time that works best for you.

Elective 1: 8:00-9:05

Elective 2: 9:10-10:15

Elective 3: 11:40-12:45

Elective 4: 1:25-2:30

Some ideas you might want to share and teach could include: bike maintenance, ocean animals, ocean navigation, yoga, art, etc.

Please contact Melanie Hurley at if you have any questions or are interested! Those interested would need a covid vaccine, write up a short description and enjoy spending time sharing your skill with incredible middle schoolers! We would love to have you involved!

Many thanks

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Hello Frankin Families!

-Reminder there is no port of subs service Monday or Wednesday. We are providing a grab n go Mi Mexico meal Tuesday since school was closed this week, only for those who pre-ordered.

- Franklin Family Ice Skating Event--see attached flyer

- Pizza lunch returning in January but we need drivers!

First, pick up at 10:30 am and second pick up at 11:30. This can be one person earning 2 hours or two people earning 1 hour each. Please reach out if you can help deliver pizza from Pizza Time to school.

- Mark your calendars for a Franklin Family movie matinee on January 8th!

More details coming soon!

Thanks much

Sara/ Nneka

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Out-of-State Thanksgiving Travel

Fully Vaccinated

Fully vaccinated, asymptomatic students and staff do not need to participate in screening testing after out-of-state travel.

Not Fully or Not Vaccinated

Testing will be twice weekly during a 7 day period after travel for unvaccinated asymptomatic students with parent permission. If you’re traveling out-of-state for the holiday and need testing, please fill out our Student Consent Form if you haven’t done so already. We will be testing twice weekly with 3 days between tests (a minimum of 48 hours), for 7 days (not including the weekend).

Testing Timeline for After Thanksgiving

  • First Test: Monday, November 29th

  • Second Test: Thursday, December 2nd

  • As long as student remains symptom free, no additional testing will be required

We would also like to know how many of our families are planning on traveling out of state. Please fill out our Thanksgiving Travel Form. This will help us determine if we need to set up alternative testing procedures Monday (11/29) and Thursday (12/2) morning.

Tentative Alternative Testing Procedure

Depending on the number of students needing testing, we may not be able to test everyone before school starts during our usual time (07:30-08:30). Here is our alternative plan:

  • Preschool Students - sign up for morning testing using our Appointment Form

  • K-8th Grade Students - Students unable to get an appointment will go to class as normal. We will pull the remaining students needing testing from class.

  • Any student with symptoms of COVID-19 will need to obtain negative COVID test results before entering the building. Results from testing that did not occur at school can be forwarded to myself or Rachel/Dawn.




Teresa Hubbell, BSN, RN

A Day in the Life of Ms. Dizon's Kindergarten Class!

Helper of the Day - Caden

Specialist today was Mrs. Fox for P.E.

Today in Writing, the students:

-learned the fourth “Starting Corner Capitals,” the letter U.

-sounded it out, hand signed it and practiced the letter


In Reading, the students:

-read out loud the new group of Sight Words.

-worked on CVC worksheet.

-did a good job working on their Daily 5 binders.

In Math, the students:

-worked on their Assessment pages.

Here is our Daily News:

“I did a good job today because…”

Caden: “I listened to math.”

Jaxon: “I did my math and I colored nicely and fast.”

Kellan: “I stayed on the line.”

Knox: “I won sharks and minnows in P.E.”
Owen: “I was nice to my friends.”
Lola: “I wrote my letter U.”

Toby: “I was really quiet in the morning.”

Jena: “I enjoyed my lunch.”

Samara: “I followed Mrs. Fox’s rules.”

Xia-Mari: “I brought cupcakes.”

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Mrs. Owen's Class Update!

We have really been enjoying Owl week with Letter Oo and the many fun facts that come with these Awesome Birds of Prey.

Here's what we have been up to:

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

-All About Number 2, tallies, base ten, number lines, and ten frames

-Owl patterns, counting by tens, and shape review

-We labeled owl anatomy for understanding. We talked in great detail about owl eyes and even made our very own owl binoculars. We then used them to play 'I spy with my owl eyes' letter match and sounds to the correct nest suspended in the air. The kids enjoyed using silent flight to quietly fly around to try and find the match. We also discussed owl ears and learned that the feather tufts on top of their heads are actually not ears, but are used to express their emotions. They are called plumicorns. Owls hear very well, see if your kiddos can explain the game we played, involving a stick and hearing it crack from different distances. An owl can hear a mouse step on a stick from 75 feet away! This was very fun, and we were not able to use our eyes.

-We also played a large gross motor skill activity involving me as the owl on the hunt for yummy mice, this was a blast!

-We had fun splattering paint to create a multi-step feathered owl craft with 3 dimensional eyes

-Discussed Veterans Day, how there are many different jobs in the armed forces, and colored an American Flag. Thank you Veterans!

Mrs. Pickerill's Class Update:

Mrs. Pickerill Shared this:

"Last week we learned all about the life cycle of owls, what owls like to eat, and their habitat. We also talked about other nocturnal animals, such as hedgehogs, raccoons, and possums. We also talked about Veterans day and thanking our military veterans for helping to protect our country."

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House Council - Student Store

House Council is excited to announce the opening of the student store! Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, House Council members will be available from 12:45-1:05 to sell concessions during middle school lunch. All items are under $3 and proceeds go to funding House Council activities and events. Thank you for your support!

Mrs. Ho's Class Update!

Mrs. Ho Shared this:

"Last week was Native American week. We made Totem Poles and told the best Totem Pole stories. You will have to wait to read them when you get your child's memory book at the end of the school year. We also made dream catchers that will come home tomorrow. Last week we worked on recognizing the letter "U" and did many activities involving that letter. We practiced for our Christmas Program. Due to COVID, we will be performing the program virtually. Below are some pictures of our week's activities.

There was a lot of building going on last week. It always makes teachers happy when children are learning. While Lukas and Lua were building, Lukas stopped and started to count on his fingers. He counted to 8 then looked at Lua and said: If I hold up 5 fingers and on this hand I hold up 3 fingers it is 8. There was a lot of math going on in my room last week."

A Note from Chaplain Aaron

Hello families of Franklin!

I’ve been thinking and praying for you and your students during this heavy weather week. I hope you remained safe during it all. If there are needs you have or know of, please let me know. I would love to help where I can.

Speaking of needs, we are in the middle of a winter coat drive at Franklin Academy. We are partnering with the Salvation Army, who serve over 400 needy families in our county. They plan to distribute any coats we collect during their various events this season. If you are able, please bring a new or lightly used winter coat (any size) to school by the morning of December 8th. There are collection bins in both buildings.

In chapel we have had some great discussions and connections. In the preschool chapel I have been using the “Godly Play” curriculum, which helps build a wondering/curiosity in students. I believe a posture of wondering is helpful in creating age appropriate dialog and critical thinking, while achieving Franklin’s core commitment of engagement. This “I will engage” core commitment was also seen in the middle school Veterans Day chapel, where I focused on the idea of legacy, and what we want to be known for. I was able to share about my friend Ray (photo attached), who I met when I was running the Firehouse Café in Fairhaven. Ray is one of my heroes. Despite seeing so many awful things during his service in WW2 (things that tear so many veterans down) I remember Ray as one who always filled a room with joy and love for life. I am grateful to him and those who have served our country.

As we enter the holiday season, our chapels will center around many of the traditions we share, and will allow for students to share traditions unique to their family/culture/faith traditions. For Thanksgiving, students will be reflecting on the importance of gratitude, which will be displayed by the paper leaves which are provided every year by the Chapel Guild. The school also has a tradition of remembering the Saint Nicolas, where student shoes are filled with treats. I will use that chapel to focus our attention on the virtue of generosity. And as we get close to winter break, I will lean on Franklin’s core commitment of reflection and provide space for students to share, listen, and dialog about the traditions they/you celebrate this season. I love to hear and learn from your students.

As always, let me know how I can serve you and your family. Feel free to contact me with thoughts, questions, or concerns. My heart is to facilitate open dialog in chapel, and with you. Thanks for allowing me to be a part of this great community.


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Annual Nativity Production - Note from Mrs. Snyder about Photo Restrictions

Students in grades K-4 have begun to prepare for our annual Nativity production. Unfortunately due to COVID-19, we are not able to all gather together and will be doing a video recording of the Nativity instead of a live performance.

Filming will happen during the week of December 6th-10th (and December 13th if needed). I will do my best to represent all of our K-4 students. Please note the video will be posted only on our school's YouTube channel with the visibility setting of "Unlisted." Sharing the private link within social media or forwarding it is strictly prohibited because this is an internal event.

If you know your student will be absent during any part of that week or if you would like your student to be removed from filming, please contact me by Friday, November 19th. In the future we look forward to being able to meet together in person to celebrate this Franklin Academy holiday tradition.


Mrs. Snyder

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Loaves and Fishes Program - Chapel Guild

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

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

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The Reading Corner With Mrs. Samuel and Mrs. Snyder

We hope this article finds you and your home dry and safe. What a week!

As we head towards the holiday season and gift giving blitz time of year, I wanted to remind you all that this is a great time to clean out rooms and bookshelves before the new gifts arrive! (As a parent, I plan on doing this too!) If you come across decent condition books or book character stuffies, the school library will happily take your donations. You can reach out to myself ( or Mrs. Snyder (, or simply have your student drop the items off with one of us. Thanks for thinking of us!

Oh, you wish there was a way to buy NEW books for the library? I’m so glad you mentioned that! Our school has a wish list through Village Books. I am often adding to it and it’s a great way to support a local business (though if you order them from somewhere else, I promise I won’t tell). The link is here:

Thank you for all you do to provide books for our staff and students, and filling your homes with great books that spark curiosity and inspire life long reading. You’re all amazing!

Happy Reading,

Mrs. Samuel

Mrs. Samuel's Joke of the Week

What key has legs and can't open a door?

A Turkey!

Native American Heritage and History Month

Mrs. Rail's Kindergarten Class Update!

Mrs. Rail Shared this:

"This week we wrapped up our salmon unit by connecting to the Pacific Northwest Native Americans and how salmon was important to them. We used the Time Immemorial kit from the public library and read so many beautiful books and learned about the First Salmon Ceremony, Native American Harvest, and the Native legends of Salmon Boy and Eagle Boy. Next week we will connect to the east coast Native American Wampanoag tribe and the part they played in the first Thanksgiving.

In Math, we finished up Unit 4 (comparing numbers 0-10) and took our test on Wednesday. All of the kids did really well. Please check your kiddo's backpack today to see their test. Today we started Unit 5 - Classify and Count Data. This is a short chapter that we will finish by the end of next week. Then we are on to addition! So exciting!

More learning this week: In handwriting we practiced correctly writing capital letters T & I and will finish our last capital letter - J next week and will move onto practicing all lower case letters. We also learned all about veterans this week - we talked about the 5 branches of the military and what they do to help and serve our country. We also learned the Star Spangled Banner."

Mrs. Killian's Class Update!

We are learning about harvest this week at preschool. In class we did many fun activities focusing on corn. Our letter of the week was letter I, which is considered one of the hardest workers in the alphabet because it makes multiple sounds.


Every day we work on letter formation, and writing our names correctly. The preschoolers are making tremendous progress in this area. I is our letter of the week, and many preschoolers have this letter in their names.

We use many techniques to learn letters, like building them with cubes, or using laminated strips and tracing letters.


Our focus in science this week was on making predictions and then drawing what happened after the experiment. This is an early introduction to the scientific method. In class we watched salt and popcorn seeds separate.


Everyday at preschool we count. This week we are learning numbers 11 to 20. Our goal is to be able to count, but also to match numbers with the physical amount. On Wednesday we built towers based on the number we rolled.

Ms. Mellos' Class Update!

"We are learning about the letter "Bb" this week. The kids enjoyed this phonological awareness activity where we reviewed the letter "Bb" by looking at the differences in the uppercase and lowercase, making the sound and learning different words. Each one of them had the opportunity to stand in front of the class and review the objects from the letter Bb bucket! It is incredible how the three year old children can learn so fast, they are so smart!"

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

Job compensation DOE and FTE


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


  • Must embrace the mission of The Franklin Academy.

  • Strong interpersonal and writing skills.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 5 years minimum experience in professional fundraising.

Gretchen Bucsko, M.Ed.

Head of School

The Franklin Academy

(360) 733-1750

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If you shop at, this is a great opportunity to raise money for Franklin Academy. Sign up at Amazon Smile and 0.5% of your purchase price will go towards the FA Annual Fund. Here’s how:

1. Go to Amazon Smile

2. In the “pick your own charitable organization” box type in Franklin Preschool

3. Click on the Bellingham Franklin Academy (may still be listed under St. Paul’s Episcopal School through the summer)

4. Very Important! Please make sure whenever you shop on Amazon you go to the Amazon Smile webpage. If you shop on we won’t receive the donation.

The Franklin Academy

A supportive community with STEM focused education in a safe, small class environment for all grades.

The Franklin Academy Points of Contact

Gretchen Bucsko, Head of School:

Melanie Hurley, Associate Head of School:

Dawn Regier, Administrative Assistant,

Rachel Lee, Administrative Assistant,

Natalie Bennett, Admissions Director,

PALS (Parents Actively Lending Support)