The Franklin Academy

Weekly Update Newsletter - February 21-25

Monday, February 21st

  • NO SCHOOL - President's Day

Tuesday, February 22nd

  • PALS AM Meeting - Markell Hall 8:15am
  • Pizza Lunch for those who pre-ordered
  • Middle School - 8th Grade Volleyball Game @ Home 4:00

  • Middle School - C Squad Volleyball Game @ Home 5:00

Wednesday, February 23rd

  • Middle School Electives Schedule
  • Auction Volunteer Meeting 8:15 Markell Hall Chapel
  • Port of Subs Lunch for those who pre-ordered
  • Girls Volleyball Practice 3:15-4:45 Markell Hall

Thursday, February 24th

  • Pizza Lunch for those who pre-ordered
  • Chess Club - 3:15 Markell Hall Cafeteria
  • Girls Volleyball Practice 3:15-4:45 Markell Hall
  • Middle School - 8th Grade Volleyball Game @ Blaine 4:00
  • Middle School - C Squad Volleyball Game @ Blaine 5:00

Friday, February 25th

  • Free Dress
  • Port of Subs Lunch for those who pre-ordered
  • Girls Volleyball Practice 3:15-4:45 Markell Hall

Upcoming Events

  • Family Night Out with Mod Pizza, February 28th
  • House Color Dress Day - Wednesday, March 2nd
  • Ice Skating PALS Event - Sunday, March 6th 4:30
  • Thursday, March 10th - End of Trimester 2
  • No School - Friday, March 11th - Faculty Inservice
  • Early Release - March 17-18 - Conferences
  • Track and Field Begins - Middle School - March 21st
  • Annual Auction - In Person - Rescheduled - March 26, 2022 Bellwether Hotel

  • STEM Fair - Wednesday, March 30th
  • Spring Break - April 4-8 - No School
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Enrollment is Now Open To Everyone! We are filling up fast!

We are so excited to invite you to 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 next school year.

If you have a child not currently enrolled at our school (like a sibling), please don't delay in getting an application submitted as-soon-as-possible (ASAP). Please email if you need a copy of the application.

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!


Tom and Sara Jentz

Children in 4th, 6th, and 8th Grade

All three of our daughters began their schooling at St. Paul’s (now Franklin) Academy preschool 12 years ago. We chose this school for the small class sizes, warm and experienced teachers, and professionalism of all the staff. Our girls grew socially and academically and were excited for every new challenge given to them. They benefited from the character development instilled by their teachers early on, through community projects and outreach. They have developed strong friendships and really admire their teachers’ ability, experience, wisdom, and kindness. As parents, we appreciate the teachers’ willingness to meet each child where they are and to challenge them appropriately. We also appreciate how willing teachers are to help with school work when assignments are not readily understood, often staying well after school has ended.

Once the pandemic came, we were incredibly thankful for the quick turnaround and accountability in the online curriculum. The teachers were so responsive, and our girls persevered and learned so much during this time at home. We further appreciated that the school was flexible for us to do remote learning for most of the 2020-21 academic year, returning when appropriate for our family. We realize the enormous effort put forth by the administration, staff, and teachers to pull this feat off, as most students were in-class learning by this time.

As a family, we have appreciated the sense of community even throughout the pandemic. While things are not yet ‘normal,’ we know we are part of a greater community and love all the friends we’ve made at Franklin. We know they will last a lifetime.

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Middle School Gardening Elective with Ms. Bre Harris

Gardening update!

Students in the gardening elective have been doing lots of prep work for the greenhouse coming in March. Students have been preparing plant starts in hydroponic systems and in soil. They are learning about when to start various plants indoors, and are conducting their research on plant care and use. These students are also helping to bolster our composting program. They are helping their classmates compost in the lunchroom, and are maintaining our indoor vermicompost bin. This compost will eventually be used in our garden beds. Today, students worked together to make garden signs out of scrap wood. You can look forward to the following sections in the greenhouse:

Garden Salad: Bell Peppers, Lettuce, Kale, Carrots, Bok Choy, and Peas

Herbal Tea Garden: Chamomile, Peppermint, Lemon Balm, and Rosemary

Culinary Herb Garden: Basil, Parsley, and Oregano

Zesty Salsa Garden: Green onions, Jalapenos, Cilantro, and San Marzano tomatoes

Here is the original description of the class offering:

Gardening: Ms. Harris

In this elective, you will help establish our very first school garden! The first half of the elective will involve learning more about gardening techniques. Students will plant seed starts indoors, plan when and where to plant the vegetables in the greenhouse, and research ways to deter pests. The second half of this elective will involve planting vegetables in raised beds, maintaining the raised beds, and managing the compost at our school.

8th Grade Rising 9th Graders - Upcoming High School Enrollment

Greetings 8th Grade Parents,

Bellingham School District has shared the flyers below with us. As they share information about Rising 9th Grade events, we will share these with you.

We will hold a question and answer event for all 8th grader students at the end of this school year with previous students, as that time comes closer we will inform you of the date.


Melanie Hurley, M.Ed.

Associate Head of School

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The Franklin Times - Middle School Elective with Mr. McMinn

Mr. McMinn is leading an elective where the students create a e-newsletter: The Franklin Times!

The wonderful students in this elective have been working so hard to bring fun and enjoyable content to you! Click on the PDF below to read their newsletter!

The students get to choose electives for fall and spring. Here is the description of this class offering:

Extra, extra, read all about it! Beginning this semester is a brand new elective for The Franklin Academy. In this course, you and your fellow classmates will join forces to create a student-led digital newspaper for the Middle School using Canva. You will be given a specific job based on your interests and abilities. Available jobs include: writers, editors, designers, and cartoonists. If you take this class, you will be a part of a new beginning and help create something that could be a part of The Franklin Academy for years to come.

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Feb greeters:

March greeters:

We are in need of a few people to help clean up the teacher lounges and restrooms at both buildings on April 9th. Please sign up below to help.

Auction help:

Family Night Out with Mod Pizza, February 28th .

Mod Pizza will donate 20% of all purchases either in-store, via the app, or online done on February 28th. to Pals.

Mrs. Brewin's First Grade Classroom Update!

Here's what we were up to in first grade this week...

-in reading groups we are working on many things that good readers do!:

-one group is working on a Kevin Henkes author study. Each student is reading a Kevin Henkes book, zooming in on character traits, and finding evidence/examples for those traits.

-another group is reading A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle and focusing on strategies for decoding multisyllabic words.

-another group just finished reading Mouse Soup by Arnold Lobel and they are responding by writing about their favorite story from the book.

-in reading comprehension we talked about the author's message by examining the story The Empty Pot. It has an excellent lesson about telling the truth.

-we also learned more about nonfiction textures and practiced using an index.

-in writing we did a writing project about when we're 100 years old. They are priceless and I can't wait for you to see them! We've also been refocusing on sentences to make sure our sentences are complete.

-in science we finished our habitat study and learned more about animal adaptations. We examined the difference between structural vs behavioral adaptations and learned that adaptations can help an animal to defend or protect itself, get food, or cope with difficult environments. We read about chameleons and noted that they don't usually change color to blend in with their surroundings, they change color when they have a change in mood or body temperature. Then we made our own chameleons to camouflage in a spot around the room. Later on we did a hunt around the room to find everyone's chameleons. They were in some tricky spots!

-in math we did stations to review and wrap up our study of place value. We had a place value quiz and then we did a fun project to show our place value knowledge: place value monsters that represent a number in several different ways.

Mrs. Owen's Early Kindergarten Classroom Update! It's Eggciting!

Show your teeth some love! February is dental health month. We "brushed up" on all of our healthy habits and had a very fun week learning all about our teeth. Exploring teeth, dentists, and related topics help kiddos to begin to understand the importance of caring for themselves. They can also begin to learn about the people in the community who help with dental care.

Here's what else we have been up to this week:

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

-Super Sight Word the, see if your kiddo can sing you the 'the' song

-Used dry erase pens to write and later erase Letters as I pulled them out of a bin

-All About Number 9, handwriting, tallies, base ten, number line, and number word

-Played Race to Lose Your Teeth. A fun game involving marshmallows and dice. Kids raced to be the first one to lose all of their teeth.

-Earlier this week we did an "eggciting" observational experiment to learn a little more about dental health. Eggshells are similar to tooth enamel so we experimented with eggshells and different types of drinks to see what effects they may have on our teeth. We made predictions and revisited our eggs today. Soda by far stains tooth enamel the most, we even tried to brush it off!

-Used toothbrushes to brush/paint sparkly teeth with shaving cream, glue, mint oil, and sparkles. Used toothbrushes to paint toothbrush crafts. Used floss to paint dental floss crafts. And, made a mouth puppet with mini marshmallows for teeth.

-Discussed Tattling vs Reporting with Tattling Turtle and Reporting Rabbit, see if your kiddo can tell you the difference

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The Reading Corner with Mrs. Samuel and Mrs. Snyder

Reading Week is almost here! For preschool-4th grade, we celebrate reading the first week in March-- this year it will be from February 28-March 4.

We will have more details next week, but wanted to give you a heads up now that Friday, March 4th with be Dress Like A Favorite Book Character day for Robin Hall and grades 2-4. We thought you would appreciate a heads up to put together a costume for your students! (Same expectations as Halloween—no weapons or full-face masks, we need students to see where they are going!)

We are so excited to what costumes the students pick!

Happy Reading,

Mrs. Samuel

Mrs. Samuel's Joke of the Week!

What kind of books do rabbits like to read?

Answer: Stories with hoppy endings.

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

Today we continued our 100th day math. Nearly everyone finished their measuring tape and moved on to making sure they had exactly 100 items in their collection. With Library and Spanish on our schedule, we set our math aside until tomorrow. Tomorrow our collections will get a chance to stretch out! Stay tuned! Which will stretch farthest, pennies, macaroni, or Legos? Inquiring minds want to know!

Audrey adjusted our calendar and led our line today. We noticed that there are only four days of school this week! And there is a four-day weekend ahead! Today is the 101st day of school. Thanks, Audrey! Good work!

Audrey led us to return our library books, then out to recess, and back in for Library. Some days, we are a well-traveled class, and fortunately, a well-led one, too! Mrs. Snyder read us a book about our Vice President, Kamala Harris. This is Presidents Day weekend, it's true, but Vice Presidents are important also. And then, we got to check out fresh library books! Yahoo!

For Spanish today, we switched themes from clothing to names for our family members. Mrs. Segebart showed us an interesting pattern. Words for girls' terms often end in "a" and words for boys' terms often end in "o". This works for grandma and grandpa, aunt and uncle, brother and sister, boy and girl. It's good to know the Spanish names for members of a family, even if we don't need them to describe our own family. Lots of us are only children, and some only have sisters, or like Miss Yorks, only have brothers.

Families come in many different ways! We drew pictures of our family as defined by, "who lives at your house", and added other family members if we had time. We love our families!

We got another compliment at lunch from a passing teacher who approved of our good manners!

Yesterday was St. Valentine's Day, and today we made and read little books about St. Valentine. There is evidence that there really was a St. Valentine. In fact, there is evidence for two men named Valentine, at about the same time in history, who may have met the same fate. Without written records, we have only the stories that have passed down into legend. Was it the priest who married soldiers and their brides, against the orders of the Emperor who wished to send undistracted soldiers far off to war? Or was it the bishop? Was the blind girl the child of Valentine's jailor, or daughter of a member of the Emperor's court? We don't know! We like that Valentine was brave, and kind, and caring. We like that he might have written notes to encourage people. We like getting Valentines!

As some of us finished our collection count, we took up a team challenge to stack the highest tower possible with large size plastic cups. It took a major amount of communication and cooperation to merge our philosophies! Larger base, or just go for it? Taller base, or just go for it? Check each connection, or just go for it? You may be getting a sense of our stylistic division, LOLOL! Nevertheless, we worked hard at working together, and we succeeded! The first tall towers were 9 cups high. With that goal in mind, we worked to go even higher, and every team succeeded in creating 10 cup high towers! Our teams rock!!

Mrs. Rail's Kindergarten Classroom Update!

We had a great week!

Our STEM project today was called Air Mail. We learned all about the Wright Brothers and the first flying machines. We learned about the forces of flight (thrust, drag, lift, and gravity) and how they help a plane to fly. Then we folded our own paper airplanes and practiced flying them to see how far they went. We used this video to help us fold our planes:, but I'd like to invite you to find different ways of folding paper airplanes at home. If you find a good one, send it in!

To prepare for Valentine's Day next week, we learned all about our heart! We learned that the heart is a muscle, contracting and expanding to move blood through our blood vessels. We also learned that our heart is about the same size as our fist, and we learned two different ways to take our pulse. Then we did an activity: Valentine to My Heart. The students made observations about their pulse and heart rate, and made an art project to show appreciation for their hard-working hearts.

In math, we are almost done with our unit 8 on addition and subtraction. We did a lot of work with making 10s - we're calling them buddy numbers. We even played several rounds of Around the World with our buddy numbers and the kids did really well!!! We'll take a break from regular math on Monday to do some fun 100s day and Valentine's math and finish up Unit 8 on Tuesday with our math test.

In handwriting we learned how to properly write lowercase letters q, x and z and we learned the sight words mom, dad and or. We also did some writing about what love is and the kids had some awesome ideas.

Mrs. Pickerill's Pre-Kindergarten Class Update!

Last week we learned about the importance of dental hygiene. We read stories and talked about brushing our teeth daily and some foods that are good for our teeth. We also did an experiment about tooth enamel. We used eggs and put them in different liquids (water, rootbeer, vinegar, and gatorade) to see what would happen to the outer shell of the eggs. We found that water kept the egg shell white, while the other liquids stained the eggs like it would our own teeth.

In math we worked on counting and made a tooth graph using mini marshmallows.

In art we used toothbrushes to paint a tooth with white paint pretending that is was toothpaste and practicing brushing in circles and all around the tooth.

We also pretended to be dentists and used some dental tools. On Wednesday, when our sixth grade buddies, Anabelle and Brynn, came to visit they helped the children create “love bugs.”

Mrs. Killian and Ms. TeVelde's Pre-Kindergarten Classroom Update!

The past week has been a mix of online learning, and in person. We are thankful that we will be able to return on Monday to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and our 100th day of school.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and we enjoyed learning about teeth in class this week. We were able to incorporate this into our stem and literacy.


There are many fun books that focus on teeth. We enjoyed cleaning letter shaped plaque off of our teeth.


We learned that our teeth are special, and we need to take good care of them. We need to clean and brush our teeth, and make sure to visit the dentist. In class we placed eggs in soda, water, and gatorade. The preschoolers made predictions about what would happen to each egg.

On Wednesday we learned that preschoolers normally have 20 baby teeth, which they will lose to make room for new teeth. We created a mouth using 20 marshmallows.

Valentines Day Photos and Fun!

Ms. Camaya and Ms. Johnson's Preschool Class Painted Valentines Day Crowns

Ms. Dizon's Kindergarten Class!

Mrs. Rail's Kindergarten Class!

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Kindergarten and First Grade Art with Miss. Rachel

K-1st artists made a wonderful Heart Arts, inspired by artist Jim Dine. We started by drawing one small, one medium, and one large sized hearts onto cardboard to be cut-out, and taped onto the table. Next, we learned how to do a crayon rubbing with paper to show the image of our 3 hearts. In the last and beautiful step, we painted on top with watercolor paints, and the crayons still showed through like magic! #bekindletsshine - Miss Rachel

7th and 8th Grade Creative Color Wheel Project with Miss Rachel!

These 7th/8th grade artists did a fantastic job making their Creative Color Wheels. Students brainstormed ideas of various circular objects, that can become a color wheel. We discussed color theory, & how to mix primary colors into secondary & tierciary colors, with tempera paints onto 14"×17" mixed-media paper. What a variety of so many different kinds of color wheels that everyone made! <3 #bekindletsshine - Miss Rachel
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Questions? Email Us By Clicking the Link Below:

Auction Update

Please know that we consider the health and well being of all members of our community to be our top priority.

Out of an abundance of caution, The Franklin Academy has decided to postpone our School Gala (scheduled for Saturday, January 29th).

We will instead hold our Gala, as planned, at the Hotel Bellwether on Saturday, March 26th.

Please mark your calendars for the last Saturday in March and stay tuned for updates and information in the days ahead.

Gretchen Bucsko, M.Ed.

Head of School

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