The Franklin Academy

Weekly Update Newsletter November 15-19

Monday, November 15th

  • Port of Subs lunch for those who pre-ordered
  • Girl's Basketball Practice 3:15-4:45pm

Tuesday, November 16th

  • Mi Mexico lunch for those who pre-ordered
  • PALS Meet up Coffee 8:10am Markell Hall
  • Girl's Basketball Game at Home 4:00

Wednesday, November 17th

  • Port of Subs lunch for those who pre-ordered

  • Middle School - Electives schedule
  • Auction Meeting - Markell Hall 8:15am Chapel
  • Girl's Basketball Practice 3:15-4:45pm

Thursday, November 18th

  • Mi Mexico lunch for those who pre-ordered
  • Girl's Basketball Game at Home 4:00

Friday, November 19th

  • Fine Wine Friday Collection for Auction Items - Non Wine Items Welcome as well

  • Port of Subs Lunch for those who pre-ordered
  • Girl's Basketball Practice 3:15-4:45pm

Saturday, November 20th

  • PALS Closet Clean Up! email for Details

Upcoming Events

  • Trimester Ends November 19th - Progress Reports Come Home
  • Free Dress November 19th
  • Early Release - Conferences November 22 – 24

  • No School - Thanksgiving November 25 - 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

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

Middle School Digital Design Elective Created These images to Honor our Veterans!

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Learning about Veterans - 2nd Grade Style!

During the past two weeks, 2nd graders have learned about the holiday of Veteran’s Day. Students studied the symbolism of the American flag and the 6 sections of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and Space Force). 2nd grade students were excited to attend a presentation by a veteran! On Monday, Master Sergeant James Honnoll came to the Markell Hall chapel to discuss his experiences serving our country with the U.S. Air Force. Students brainstormed a list of questions to ask Master Sergeant Honnoll and presented him with hand-painted flags at the end of his presentation and thanked him for serving our country. We love our veterans!
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A note from the Bellingham Police Department's community officer:


Hope you got to see the social media posts we made. I can tell you all our folks were so happy to get the cards. I overheard one of our officers stand at his mailbox and say, “this is locker worthy.” That meant he was planning to hang it in his locker to see each day as he changes into and out of his uniform.

Please pass that along to all the kids, they really made a difference and brought some joy to our employees’ lives.


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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!

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.

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Mrs. Rail's Kindergarten Class Update!

This week was all about salmon! The kids learned the 5 kinds of pacific salmon using the hand trick - ask your kiddo to tell you all 5! We learned, drew, and wrote all about the salmon life cycle. We pretended to be salmon swimming home to learn that salmon swim back to the same stream they were born in to spawn. We watched videos and read books to learn about salmon habitat and how salmon are important for our ecosystem. We pretended to be orcas and fisherpeople to teach the kids that we need to share salmon with our animal friends. We ended the week with some salmon watercolor painting.

This week we also practiced writing capital letters Q, G, S, and A correctly in handwriting. In math we compared numbers to 10 - including recognizing one more and one less than a number. We did a lot of writing during Writer's Workshop, and we read a lot of books! Next week we will transition from salmon to Native Americans and Veterans.

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Hi Franklin Families,

We've partnered with Launching Success (a local business) to support them while also giving back to PALS during the week of December 5-11.

Our school gets 10% back for any purchases made during that period (Dec 5- 11th).

Purchases can be made either in-store or online for credit to be received.

We have attached the flyer, so you can print it and take it to the store--our school doesn't receive credit without it. We will leave a few flyers at each school entrance in case you need to grab one.

If shopping online, just be sure to add Franklin Academy in the note before checking out.

Thank you for supporting Launching Success and PALS!

Sara and Nneka


Stay tuned for more information on our upcoming Franklin Family Ice Skating Day on December 22nd!

8th Grade Science with Ms. Harris!

As a part of their Energy unit, 8th graders just completed a two-part lab on electromagnetic generators. Students first learned about the relationship between magnetism and electricity, and then applied this knowledge to make a simple generator. The generators consist of a box wrapped with magnetic wire coils, and ceramic magnets clamped to a rod inside. The ends of the wire coils are connected to a mini light bulb, and when the rod spins, the light bulb lights up. In short, the spinning magnetic field pushes electrons through the wire and into the light bulb. In part 2 of the lab, students engineered water wheels that could power their generators.
8th Grade Science Lab Results 1
8th Grade Science Lab Results 2
8th Grade Science Lab Results 3
8th Grade Science Lab Results 4

Mrs. Brewin's First Grade Class Update!

Here are some highlights from a busy week!

In reading, the students are doing a fantastic job of the various literacy tasks involved in the Daily 5. We practice spelling words and sight words, read independently with just-right books, do word sorts based on phonics and spelling patterns, work on writing, listen to reading on RazKids, practice and solidify correct letter formation, and also meet in our reading groups to learn decoding and comprehension skills.

For our comprehension work this week, we read aloud the book Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts, and focused on retelling the beginning, middle, and end of the story. This story also led to a discussion on needs vs wants, which we will learn more about next week in social studies. We also worked on finding the problem and solution in several stories.

In writing workshop, we are continuing to write our personal narratives and are making our way through the steps in the writing process. Students are now editing their work ("editing makes our writing look right and makes it follow the rules"). We learned about what to look for when editing our work using the acronym COPS, which stands for Capitals, Organization, Punctuation, and Spelling. Students practiced rereading their own work 4 times, looking at each of the four editing points with each reading. Some students are now beginning to publish their personal narrative! The students are excited that their stories will be featured in our class library (and a copy will be sent home, too).

In our journal writing, the focus has been writing three or more sentences on a particular topic. Students have been encouraged to try using time words such as first, next, and finally in their journal writing. This is an introduction to a very basic paragraph and the next step will be to learn how to write a topic sentence.

In math we reviewed the strategy of using the number line to subtract, examined how you can "think addition" to subtract, practiced fact families with larger numbers, and reviewed adding with 3 addends.

In science, we are working on solids, liquids, and gases. Earlier this week we explored various mystery liquids, classified them and used adjectives to describe them, and then tried to identify the liquids using our background knowledge. Today we did a liquid race experiment with glue, syrup, oil, and water to see which liquid would run down a racetrack the fastest and the slowest. We learned the word viscosity!

Mrs. Pickerill's Class!

Last week we enjoyed wearing our pajamas to school. It was nice to be in our comfy clothes after a busy Halloween the day before.

We also talked about harvest and learned about corn and its life cycle. In art, we used large blocks to create a textured look to our corn craft. We also used yellow play dough to try to create corn or make corn prints.

In science, we created lava lamps together. We observed the reaction between vegetable oil, water, food coloring, and then adding antacid tablets. How it works is that the oil floats on top of the water because it is less dense or lighter than water. The food coloring has the same density as the water, so it sinks through the oil and mixes with the water. When you add the antacid tablet it sinks to the bottom then starts to dissolve. It was a fun experiment to do together!

I am looking forward to another fun week ahead.

Have a great day,

Mrs. P

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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

Last week I read "Library Lion," with Kindergarten and First grade students. This is a great book for discussing rules and how sometimes we need to break them in cases of emergency. For most of the first graders, they read this with me last year, but their collective comments such as, "Oooh, I love this one," led to a discussion about how some books become favorites and are fun to read multiple times. When my son was a toddler his favorite book was, "Goodnight Moon," and we read it to him every night for over a year. (We got pretty creative with our storytelling in order to maintain our sanity!) It's the perfect time of year to curl up with your favorite book!

Happy reading,

Mrs. Snyder

Mrs. Samuel's Joke of the Week

What do you call a boomerang that won't come back?

A stick.

Mrs. Owen's Class Update!

Which month never says yes? NO-vember! We have had a lot of fun this week welcoming the month of November. The kiddos worked so hard to fill up our Warm & Fuzzy Jar, and really enjoyed our first pajama/popcorn day.

Here's what else we have been up to:

-Letter Nn, how it looks, writes, sounds, and signs.

-November starts our Number Unit. We started working with tallies, base ten, ten frames, number lines, and number words this week for math. Your kiddos picked up on the concepts very quickly.

-All About Number One

-We discussed fables this week for literacy and I told the story The Crow and the Pitcher. We made little puppets so that the children can retell the story to you.

-Science also tied into this story as we discussed water displacement. The kiddos took turns being the crow dropping pebbles into the pitcher. As we repeatedly dropped pebbles, the children noticed that the pebbles displaced the water and the water level increased. They had a lot of fun with this!

-Learned a little about Dia de los Muertos, the cultural celebration that honors our ancestors. We colored colorful sugar skulls and spirit animals. We also enjoyed watching the short film Dante's Lunch. Many people light candles during this celebration so we performed an observational science experiment using candles, jars, and oxygen (air). We discovered that the bigger the jar, the longer the candle burns.

-For art, we painted corn on the cob and decorated them with rainbow corn kernels. This fine motor activity promotes patience and hand-eye coordination. We also labeled the parts of a crow and created personalized crow crafts using our handprints for wings and tails.

My weekly highlight was:

Cana "parts of a crow"

Dafni "Dia de los Muertos and pajamas"

Ella "crow and the pitcher story"

Espen "wearing my pajamas"

Ezra "making crows"

Hailey "dropping pebbles into the pitcher"

Lilly "fire with candles"

Nadia "celebrating Day of the Dead"

Parker "pajama day was so fun"

Mrs. Ho's Class Update

We have started activities that are related to Thanksgiving. Last week the children had a STEM project where they had to make their own turkeys out of playdough. They came home, but I thought you would like some pictures. We also made turkey headbands to wear during our feast. Assessments are done, we worked on recognizing the letter "C" and had fun with an interactive flannel story called "Turkey, turkey come out and play. What color house are you in today?" The turkey was hidden behind a colored house. The child that was called on, said what color house he/she thought the turkey was behind. They would then go to the flannel board and turn over the house to see if that is where the turkey was hiding. We had so much fun and lots of laughs.

This next week is "Native American" week. Wait until you see what they make. On the 18th we will have our Feast. Please watch for the online sign-up sheet.

Love, Mrs. Ho

Mrs. Killian's Class Update!

Preschool News

We are continuing to learn about harvest at school. Our focus this week was on scarecrows.


Our letter of the week this week was the letter H. The preschoolers enjoyed meeting Honey the Horse. We created the letter out of playdough, unifix cubes, and blocks.


Each week we enjoy music with our music teacher, Mrs. Snyder. Music is a great literacy teaching tool. We often learn stories and songs. This week we learned about playing the drum, and created a story about cooking soup, with each preschoolers adding something to the soup.


Our goal in math this month is to increase counting and number recognition. We played Shape Race in class on Monday, which required the preschoolers to count and recognize shapes.

We are concluding a month long study of shapes and are learning how we add shapes together to create other shapes. On Thursday we sorted and counted shapes, and then created a scarecrow out of the shapes. Another skill we worked on is ordinal words, and the importance of the order of steps. To develop this skill we played a game in which we built a scarecrow.


Throughout the fall we have been learning about fall leaves and their changing colors. On Monday we froze leaves and looked for the chlorophyll in the ice when we defrosted them. Science in preschool provides hands-on experiences, and also gives the kids an opportunity to work in groups, and learn to work together.

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

We kicked off the month of November with Harvest week, and got up to so many fun fall activities.

On Wednesday, we started our Lego-stamped corn art which we finished today. We are planning on decorating our door with our corn creations next week! We also crafted some pretty impressive cranberry structures out of cranberries and toothpicks for STEM. Some of the kids made “bugs”, “ropes”, and little houses out of theirs.

We talked about our colors in Spanish class. For literacy, we practiced tracing J’s and the kids did wonderful, we were so impressed to see how well their tracing is coming along.

We wrapped up the day with “Dancing Corn” STEM (baking soda, vinegar, water, corn kernels, and a little magic!!) and the kids were so excited to see their corn “dance!”

To continue with our harvest theme next week, we’ll be making pinecone bird feeders!

Rhythm & Pattern Paintings, 5th-6th grades

Students had fun making these paintings with black sharpie markers, designing their own image of an object, food, or a flower, then made a template to redraw it over, and over again, on large 14" x 17" mixed-media paper. We learned different ways to use watercolor paints such as sea salt, or rubbing alcohol, to add texture, and painted them in various bright colors. I'm impressed with all of the variety and whimsical paintings our middle schoolers created! #BeKindLetsShine ~ Miss Rachel

Spiderweb Art, K-1st, and 2nd - 3rd grades

In this project we got our inspiration from the book, Andy Web: Artist, by Maree Coote. Our young artists used oil pastels and watercolors on white paper, or just oil pastels onto black paper for the webs. We drew spiders in pencil, then colored in oil pastels on either white or black paper, then cut them out and pasted onto the webs. They turned out wonderfully we had fun making them together! ~ Miss Rachel

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)