The Franklin Academy

Weekly Update Newsletter December 20-31

Monday, December 20th

  • Markell Hall Office Open 9:00-3:00

Tuesday, December 21st

  • Markell Hall Office Open 9:00-3:00
  • Board Meeting 4:00pm

Board Meeting Zoom Link

Topic: TFABoardMeeting
Time: Dec 21, 2021 04:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 929 3684 7486
Passcode: 164171

Wednesday, December 22nd

  • Markell Hall Office Open 9:00-3:00
  • PALS Family Ice Skating - Sportsplex 1:30-3:30

Thursday, December 23rd

  • Office Closed

Happy New Year!!!

Monday, January 3rd

  • Classes Resume - Welcome to 2022!

Upcoming Events

  • Christmas Break - December 18 - January 2nd (School Resumes January 3rd)
  • NO PALS Meeting - Tuesday, January 4th
  • House Color Day - Wednesday, January 5th
  • Auction Meeting - Wednesday, January 5th 8:15 Markell Hall Chapel
  • PALS Movie - SING - Saturday, January 8th 2:00 - Regal Cinema
  • Annual Auction - In Person January 29th 5:00 Bellwether Hotel
  • Girl's Volleyball Season Begins - January 31st
  • Science Fair - Wednesday, March 30th


Toys for Tots Drive - A BIG THANK YOU!

The Franklin Academy Chapel Guild would like to give a huge shout out to the Franklin school community for their Toys for Tots donations!! Both the Markell Hall and Robin Hall schools filled their boxes. Many Whatcom county families will benefit from your generosity this season.

Girl's Basketball - A great season!

Thank you all so much for your support and encouragement of our team this season. The girls have worked so hard and have improved tremendously! It has been so amazing to be a part of their development.

Coach Fox

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Holiday Door Decorations!

Volunteer for the Science Fair!

Dear Franklin Families and Scientists,

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we will not be hosting the Whatcom County Science and Engineering Fair, but we will be hosting a STEM Fair day on Wednesday, March 30th, with an in-school, competitive exhibition science fair. All students in grades 5-8 are required to participate in the fair. 5th grade students will present their team engineering design project they have been working on in class, and 6-8 grade students will present their individual projects they have been working on at home. All Middle School projects will be evaluated by volunteer judges on this day. Students in 3rd grade will complete a project in class. If K-2, and 4th grade students wish to complete their own projects, they will need to be done outside of school. All K-4 students will also have the opportunity to present their projects on this day.

More details about this event will be sent out soon. Right now, we are in search of vaccinated volunteer judges and guest speakers to help make this day a success! Volunteering to judge is a rewarding and uplifting experience that is best seen when a participant is presenting his/her science project and realizing someone understands and cares about their efforts. Anyone who has a desire to promote the advancement of the sciences and science education can be a judge. Judges will be expected to evaluate projects in an impartial manner while applying the judging guidelines and providing positive feedback to the student.

We are also looking for guest speakers! If you are working in science, technology, engineering, or math, and are interested in sharing what you do with Middle School students, you would make a great guest speaker! Click here for more details.

The time commitment for volunteering as a judge or guest speaker is approximately 5 hours. If you would like to volunteer, please fill out the sign-up form by March 1st. If you have questions about volunteering, contact Bre Harris at We look forward to involving you in this day!


Ms. Harris

Middle School Science Teacher

The Franklin Academy

(360) 733-1750

STEM Fair Guest Speaker at The Franklin Academy

Do you work in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math? Are you interested in sharing what you do with Middle School students? Join us as a guest speaker on January 19th, for our STEM fair day!

As a guest speaker, you will be asked to give 30 minute presentations that includes the following:

  • A brief history/background of yourself that led to your current career or job

  • Description and responsibilities of your career/occupation

  • Education/training required – Please emphasize the importance of life-long learning, ie. communication skills, hand-eye coordination, etc.

  • Positive and negative aspects of your career/occupation

  • Extracurricular activities you took in school and how they have helped you

  • Anything else that is fun or interesting to share

The presentation should be around 20 minutes and allow for 10 minutes of Q & A. Remember that middle school students respond well to hands-on, interactive, show-and-tell type information and presentations. Show them equipment you use, safety gear you wear, and examples of problems you try to solve.

Q & A Questions you might get from students:

  • What are the major duties/responsibilities of your job?

  • What character traits/work habits do you or your employer expect an employee to have?

  • What training/education is required for this job?

  • What types of demand (physical, mental, emotional) or hazards, if any, are involved in your job?

  • What specific types of tools, equipment, and/or technology do you use on a regular basis?

  • What led you to this job/career?

  • If you have/had a role model or mentor, please tell me about them.

  • What do you like most about your job? The least?

  • What courses in middle/high school would help a student prepare for your job/career?

  • What extracurricular activities, volunteer work, and/or part-time job might help someone prepare for your job?

  • What changes, positive and/or negative, have taken place in your job/career recently or since you started?

  • What do you think your job/career will be like in ten years?

  • What advice would you give a student who is considering your type of job/career?

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PE is fun with Mrs. Fox!

In Physical Education this week with Mrs. Fox, Kindergarten-4th Graders enjoy themed team-building activities and challenges, which include festive games like snowmobile rides (on scooters), snow castle building (with noodle balls), and snowball stacking on snowman (noodle ball piling on school friends).

Mrs. Rail's Kindergarten Update!

This week we did lots of Christmas crafts along with fun Christmas themed math and handwriting activities. We talked about different cultures that celebrate Christmas around the world. We even celebrated St. Nicholas' Day and the kids found oranges and gold coins in their shoes!

My favorite activity was engineering Santa a parachute incase he gets stuck on a rooftop. We learned a lot from this activity. Especially that it's ok if your first attempt doesn't work, but also that we are hard workers and we can do hard things. I'm really proud of how the kids problem solved and worked together. Many of their parachutes worked really well.

Mrs. Mellos' Preschool Class Made Gingerbread Houses in their Pajamas! So Fun!

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All tables are sold! BUT, you can get on the waiting list!

We are excited to announce that all tables have been filled for the Gala!

Thank you to all our generous sponsors for your support!

If you were hoping to attend and missed getting a table, we would welcome putting you on our waiting list. As we all know, plans change and often there are spaces that need to be filled, so please use the email link below and request to be placed on the waiting list.

Questions Email Us By Clicking the Link Below:

Exciting Auction Items!

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Experience The Willows Inn

At The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, award-winning head chef Blaine Wetzel has described his approach to food as a “story about the land.” We pride ourselves on a prix fixe menu that is both seasonal and local—fished, foraged, and farmed daily.

After a sunset walk on the beach, drift off to sleep in a cozy room at

The Willows Inn.

Your package includes:

• Gift certificate for 2 for a prix fixe dinner at the Willows

• Gift certificate for 1 overnight stay at the Willows Inn

DONATED BY: The Willows Inn & John and Tracey Mulhern

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Windor Farms Rancher's Choice Box!

Widnor Farms is nestled in Whatcom County with livestock grazing the green pastures of the Pacific Northwest, without hormones, antibiotics and GMO's.

Enjoy Ranchers Choice pasture raised beef ($150 value) from Widnor Farms. Frozen for freshness and ready for pickup or shipping anywhere.

Donated By: Widnor Farms

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Mrs. Pickerill's Preschool Update!

Last week we talked about the many unique holidays celebrated around the world. For instance, Las Posadas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Diwali. We also made ornaments and a handprint christmas tree for art.

During our Chapel time with Mr. Aaron, he read a story about St. Nicholas. In the story, Nicholas was taught about giving and caring for others. Nicholas gave and left gold coins in other children's shoes at night. He continued this tradition every year to celebrate Christmas.

When our Chapel time was over, we returned to our classroom and found some gold coins, an orange, and a small note from St. Nicholas. Thank you to the Chapel Guild, Mr. Aaron, and parent volunteers for the surprise for the children. They were thankful and enjoyed their treats!

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The Reading Corner With Mrs. Samuel and Mrs. Snyder

Have a wonderful, safe, and book-filled Winter Break!

Happy Reading,

Mrs. Samuel

Mrs. Samuel's Joke of the Week

How do you help someone who has lost their Christmas spirit?

You nurse them back to elf!

Mrs. Killian's Preschool Update!

This week we met Lizzy Lizard and the letter L. This will be our last letter of the year. In class we enjoyed reading The Gingerbread Man, and making Gingerbread Houses.


In class we continue to learn about light and how light bends. We looked at arrows through a glass half full of water. We noticed that the arrows look different based on where they are because the water bends the light.

Some of our favorite activities involve creating simple marble runs, and gears. We enjoy watching how movement of one object affects the unit as a whole.


We are working on writing our numbers. In class we played a math game and built a Christmas tree. Christmas provides many great opportunities to look for patterns. We are predicting more challenging patterns in class.

Mrs. Brewin's First Grade Update!

We had a great week. Here are some highlights:

-in writing we are working on a writing project where students write about what they would do if they were an elf who lived on a shelf. They came up with some hilarious (and helpful) ideas. They are writing their ideas in paragraph form and then illustrating.

-in reading comprehension we continued to work on visualizing as we read.

-we also continued to learn about adjectives and we read a great adjective book called A is for Angry: an animal adjective alphabet by Sandra Boynton. Next we will apply our knowledge of adjectives to advance our sentence writing and to help us learn about character traits.

-in math we are continuing to work on graphing. We have been analyzing graphs and using subtraction to find the difference between two groups of data. Earlier this week we started a graphing project. Students came up with their own graphing question, asked each other their question, recorded the data, and created a bar graph of their data. The next step will be to ask and answer questions about their graph. Pictures of the students surveying each other are attached.

-in science we wrapped up our study of solid, liquid, and gas by going on a states of matter hunt and classifying objects according to their state of matter. Then today we explored with oobleck (cornstarch and water), made observations, and then learned that oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid (due to a change in pressure the viscosity changes to either more liquid or more solid).

Mrs. Owen's Pre-Kindergarten Update!

'Jing, jing, jingle, jingle, jingle' We have been having a very joyous week learning all about Letter Jj and what it means to be Joyful. Our hearts are happy and bright as we grow closer and closer to Christmas! There is no greater joy than being around children during the holiday season!

Here's what we have been up to:

  • Letter Jj, how it looks, writes, sounds, and signs
  • All About Number 5, number lines, tallies, base ten, and number word
  • For Science we made Reindeer Toothpaste! A chemical reaction with yeast (catalyst), hydrogen peroxide, water, and dish soap that created a foamy and warm (exothermic) reaction. We added jingle bells, candy canes, glitter, and toothbrushes for fun. I explained that catalysts increase the rate of chemical reactions and that "coffee is my catalyst and sugar is yours" :)
  • Created and painted Christmas stockings, sparkly trees, bright wish bulbs, and patterned candy canes. We also made secret gifts for our parents, shhh!
  • Enjoyed reading and listening to many Christmassy stories and practiced our Christmas Carols
  • Wrote Letters to Santa and mailed them to the North Pole
  • After Chapel, we were really surprised to get a secret visit from St. Nicholas! Gold treasure and oranges were left in our shoes!
  • Danced, did the Reindeer Pokey, and played a few Reindeer Games that sharpened our gross motor skills. We pretended to be reindeer getting ready for Christmas day by: Christmas Tree Weave- agility, Up on the Rooftop- balance, Leaping- coordination and balance, Chimney Toss- hand/eye coordination & distance.
  • Celebrated my early birthday!!! I shared with the kids that I am part wizard and about 302 years old. Thank you so much for the cute cards and scrumptious cookies!

My Bright Wish for the Holidays (thought you might need these bright ideas)

Cana "legos"

Dafni "a get together with my family"

Ella "a baby sister"

Espen "a cupcake"

Ezra "a duck"

Hailey "a rubber duck"

Lilly "a toy peacock that flies"

Nadia "for everybody to be good"

Parker "snow on Christmas day"

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

The class is loving the Elf on the Shelf that is visiting our classroom.

We are working on their Christmas stockings that they’re going to bring home on Friday.

The class will working on finishing their stockings and Christmas trees. Each student is sewing their Christmas stocking and is doing well. It’s such a great motor skill for them.

Monday is pajama day so make sure your student is dressed in their best pajamas.

Monday we will also be working number activities and letter recognition with flash cards at circle time.

Mrs. Ho's Preschool Update!

Last week was another busy week in room 116. If anyone came to our room they would have seen us busily making decorations for our classroom, preparing for our Christmas Program( to be held December 17th, at 12:15 over Zoom.

We made these Santa's during Science. We were mixing colors to make a flesh tone. Sometimes Science works and Sometimes it doesn't. The color might be a bit off, but these Santa's are so cute. Awww! We do love glitter! We made our Reindeer Antlers for our Christmas Program. Some of the Children painted their gingerbread men. Busy Week!

Balloon Parade Animals!

K-3rd grade Artists created their very own Balloon Parade Animals for a Thanksgiving Day Parade! This art project was based on the book about the true story of the puppeteer of Macy's Parade called Balloons Over Broadway written and illustrated by Melissa Sweet. We used a collage style of art with paper, drawings, markers, and gel crayons for our parade animals. I just love how each of their art shares their imagination for a parade! ~ Be Kind Lets Shine ~ Miss Rachel

Beautiful Owls!

The K-1st graders beautiful Owls are made with oil pastels, black card stock paper, and drawing step-by-step together in art class. Every little artist had fun making their very own Owl with colors of their choice, depending on if they were using their imagination or a realistic owl on a tree branch. ~Be Kind Let's Shine ~ Miss Rachel
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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