The Franklin Academy

Weekly Update Newsletter November 1 - 5

Monday, November 1st

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

Tuesday, November 2nd

  • Mi Mexico lunch for those who pre-ordered
  • PALS Meet up Coffee 8:10am Robin Hall
  • Girl's Basketball Practice 3:15-4:45pm

Wednesday, November 3rd

  • K-8 House Colors Day

  • PIZZA Day for Kaiser House - Mrs. Misday's Class & Mrs. York's Class - Read-A-Thon Prize!

  • Port of Subs lunch for those who pre-ordered
  • Middle School - Electives schedule
  • Auction Meeting - Markell Hall 8:15am
  • Girl's Basketball Practice 3:15-4:45pm

Thursday, November 4th

  • Mi Mexico lunch for those who pre-ordered
  • Chess Club 3:15 – 4:45pm
  • Girl's Basketball Practice 3:15-4:45pm

Friday, November 5th

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


  • Remember to turn your clocks back one hour!

Upcoming Events

  • State of the School - Markell Hall Chapel (Masks Required) Wednesday, November 10

  • 6:00-7:30pm

  • No School - Veterans Day November 11th
  • Friday, November 12th PJ Day for the students who earned it.
  • Trimester 1 Ends Friday, November 19

  • 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
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House Color Day? Get a shirt to represent!

A limited amount of House Shirts are available online in our store.

Shirts are $15. (No taxes or fees added)

Please note that the shirts will be ready in 3 weeks and will be delivered to your child's teacher/advisor.

Cramer's Western Town Family Event!

Tonight our Parents Actively Lending Support (PALS) coordinated a family-fun FALL FESTIVAL event at Cramer's Western Town. Families enjoyed train rides, animals, carousel, and fun!
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Volunteer Help Needed ASAP - Facilities

The job:

The batteries in our safety/fire flood lights, and the emergency exits, are no longer holding charges.

These batteries have a life of about 7-10 years so I highly suspect they're originals from the building's construction 10-11 years ago.

I purchased enough replacement batteries for the entire building at Markell Hall. In total there are 65 flood lights, and 45 emergency lights to swap batteries on.

It's important this gets completed for fire and safety concerns. It would also impact our ability to pass an inspection by not having the backup lights functioning.

Volunteers will need a ladder and a screwdriver/drill (phillips head appears to be the only one needed for either device type; most don't require any tools).

A flathead screwdriver will also help with popping the cover tabs off and prying out the batteries. Pliers will also help with crimping the contact tabs down when installing.

We have some tools here but if we recruit a few more people then the stock I have may get soaked up sharing with others.

Volunteers can come in during the day, or after school. All of the devices are in hallways/common areas, so nobody will need to enter classrooms or locked areas.

Our custodian is here until about 11pm weekdays, and I usually leave between 5pm-8pm, varying by workload.

Thank you!

Casey Brocato

Volunteer Opportunity - Art Class

We are looking for additional help in a couple of sections of our art class. Do you love art and have an artistic interest? This opportunity is available to parents who do not have a child in these classes and have a positive, flexible and creative attitude. In this role you will assist Ms. Simpson with art projects and connect with students. Must be fully vaccinated and wear a mask. We would love to have you join us during the following times:

Thursday - 8:00am-9:05am, 7th & 8B

Friday - 11:40am-12:45pm, 8A

Please contact the school with your interest.

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Come out and Support our Team!

Fans are allowed. Here are some of the initial precautions we are planning to take:

  • Masks required indoors
  • Encourage families to sit in groups and separate from other family groups (ideally 6ft apart)
  • Signage at the door in regards to staying home if you have symptoms
  • Home and Visitors seating section

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Annual Auction Kick-off Meeting! Great Volunteer Opportunities - 1st Meeting November 3rd

Our largest fundraiser of the year is coming this January!

We are planning to have the event in person at the Bellwether Hotel Saturday, January 29, 2022. If the need to go virtual arises we will pivot and host another successful event.

Last year The Great Gala raised $360,000 virtually! We hope to be back in the ballroom for an elegant, community building evening where we come together to support our school.

How can I help?

  • Procure Exciting Items for the Auction
  • Donate Cash or Items
  • Be a Sponsor or Host a Table
  • Be a part of the Decorating Committee
  • Assist with Mailings
  • Help Load the Room the Day Before the Auction
  • Set Up Auction Items and Tables
  • Help Clean Up at the End of the Auction
  • Data Entry
  • Host a Game such as the Wine Wheel or Punch out Board during the auction
  • Be a Bid Recorder
  • Proofread the Auction Catalog
  • Wash and Fold Tablecloths
  • And So Much More

Our first Volunteer Meeting is Wednesday, November 3rd 8:15am at Markell Hall! We hope to see you there. If that time does not work with your schedule, please contact Heather Black for more information about volunteer opportunities.

Thank you TFA parent Andrea Leksen, of Leksen Design, for the Graphic Design work for the auction.

Thank you!

Sarah A. Kaiser

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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

The Franklin Academy is looking for a part-time lunch and recess staff member for the 2021-2022 school year.

This position will help monitor children during lunch and recess, building rapport while helping create a loving and safe environment. We will pay $15 per hour. The students are outside rain or shine for fresh air and to get the wiggles out.

Candidates contact administrative assistant Rachel Lee

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Read-A-Thon Update - Final Results

Amazing! Our students 243,027 Minutes! They also raised $34,257 during the Read-A-Thon!

Congratulations to our Top Readers:

Middle School:

First Place: Kiona I.

Second Place: Harjas G.

Tied for Third: Arjan R.

2nd - 4th Grade:

Tied for First: Caden M.

Second Place: Lucy G.

Third Place: Claire J.

Kindergarten - 1st Grade:

First Place: Mariko U.

Second Place: Norah S.

Third Place: Kais E. Tied with Bekham H.

Class Pizza Party Winners:

Kaiser House

Mrs. Misday's Class

Ms. York's Class

It was exciting to see all these students voraciously reading! Thank you for your generosity and for reaching out to your family and friends. We had a total of 692 Individual Donations with a dollar amount range from $10 to $1,000! When all the donations are combined they make a powerful difference!

If you did not have a chance to donate, you may make a donation by Tuesday Nov. 2nd.

Thank you for supporting The Franklin Academy!

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The Reading Corner With Mrs. Samuel and Mrs. Snyder

Happy Halloween! We have been enjoying some “spooky” books in library, and in music (since Mrs. Snyder wears two hats, both as a librarian and the music teacher).

Last week I (Mrs. Samuel) was in Salt Lake City attending the biannual American Association of School Librarians conference. It was my first time at this particular conference and I had a great time. I learned so much about new book titles (particularly with neurodiverse characters), teaching digital literacy and digital citizenship, and incorporating STEM in the library. I was also able to attend a special event just for librarians of independent schools, which was a really great chance for me to get a sense of how we are doing compared to other similar school libraries. And of course, I came home with as many free vendor items as I could! It was hard not to buy every book and bookmark I saw, but I packed a small suitcase!

Happy Reading,

Mrs. Samuel

Mrs. Samuel's Joke of the Week

Two Halloween library jokes, courtesy of Mrs. Snyder:

Why did the ghost come back to the library every day?
She went through her books too quickly!

Why did Dracula go to the library?
He wanted to sink his teeth into a good book.

Middle School Elective Mindful Arts

Brekke Bull shared this:

"Students did an amazing job learning about character traits and how uniquely wonderful they all are in Mindful Arts. We have spent the past two weeks practicing origami skills using digital tutorials and peer-focused collaboration. This beautiful art form is so diverse and accessible. I love seeing their creations!"

Middle School Elective Digital Design

Brekke Bull shared this:

"In celebration of our Halloween season students decorated digital haunted houses using They were able to apply skills in manipulating images, adding objects/animations, while utilizing their own creativity in making these spooky places come alive. At the end, they had an anonymous vote and celebrated the best of the bunch!"

A Week in the Life of a Preschool Student!

Mrs. Killian shared this:

Preschool News

Our focus this week has been pumpkins, pumpkins, and more pumpkins. We were able to incorporate pumpkins into science, math, and literacy. Preschoolers are naturally curious about things that grow, and pumpkins are easy for them to hold.


We learned about the life cycle of a pumpkin. In class we acted out the life of a pumpkin, from a seed to a full grown pumpkin. On Tuesday we learned that pumpkins are part of the squash family. We looked at the different attributes of various pumpkins. The preschoolers described the differences.

We enjoyed looking for pumpkins on Wednesday. Thank you to all of our parent volunteers. We loved having you, and are looking forward to more ways we can invite you into our classroom.

On Wednesday we created pumpkin volcanoes in class.


In class we used unifix cubes to measure pumpkins. Unifix cubes are great tools for nonstandard measurements, and the preschoolers are able to stack the number they need, and take off extra cubes.

The preschoolers are learning about shapes this week, and are using pumpkins to reinforce this skill. On Thursday we created pumpkin faces, using shape dice. We enjoyed a fun game of shape bingo on Friday.


We love reading stories about pumpkins in class. Our letter this week was the letter F. The preschoolers made playdough letters, and block letters. This week we started having small group time at preschool. This allows us to work with a small group in an attempt to work on targeted skills.

Ms. Dizon's Class Visited the Pumpkin Patch

Ms. Dizon shared this:

"Whew! What a great time at the pumpkin patch! Thank you all for taking the time to accompany your child on our field trip.

We spent our afternoon talking about what we learned at the pumpkin patch and added that new knowledge to what we already knew as we investigated our pumpkins: will they sink or float, how many lines do they have, how big or small they are, and much more…

We also carved our big classroom pumpkin to see the inside. The students estimated how many seeds there would be, and they had fun touching the gooey part of the pulp."

Mrs. Mellos' Class Carved Pumpkins!

Each student had the opportunity to explore pumpkins. As part of our STEM curriculum, they learned about how they grow, the difference in size and weight.

One of the questions I asked them was: "What do you think is inside a pumpkin? Here are their fantastic answers.

Asher: "Roar" (a dinosaur? I asked) "Oh yeah"

Case: "I think a lot of cookies"

Charlie: "A big monster"

Danny: "Water"

Erin: "Baby pumpkins"

Maribelle: "A witch"

Olivia: "A surprise"

A Week in the life of a First Grade Student!

Mrs. Brewin shared this:

Here are some of the things we were up to this week...

  • In math we continued to work on addition and subtraction strategies with sums to 20. Today we did a Doubles/Doubles + 1 Treasure Hunt where students had to hunt for addition equations posted around the first grade area then solve the equations on a recording page. Pictures are attached.
  • In writing we started writing our personal narratives. We brainstormed, drew, and wrote about the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Then we started writing the story. Ask your student about their personal narrative topic! Pictures of the students sharing their beginning, middle, and end planning pages with a partner are attached.
  • We finished our Noun Town! It turned out so great and the kids keep wanting to add more to it. I attached a picture.
  • In literacy centers our reading groups are in full swing! We have introduced all of our literacy centers and have been meeting in our reading groups. Each group will focus on just-right literacy tasks and skills. A favorite activity in their reading groups today was students made word ladders using their phonics patterns by writing with dry erase markers on the table! You can ask your student to show you how to do a word ladder.
  • In phonics we are learning about and reviewing beginning blends such as sl and pr. We tap out the words to hear each sound and then write the words in sound boxes to isolate and then blend the sounds.
  • During our comprehension read aloud this week we focused on text-to-text connections. I was amazed by the meaningful connections between stories that students were able to make! We read the book When Sophie Thinks she Can't and connected the book to the story Giraffes Can't Dance. We also read the book The Ugly Pumpkin and students were able to connect the book to Spookley the Square Pumpkin and even The Ugly Duckling.
  • In science we learned about what makes pumpkins orange and we learned other interesting facts about pumpkins. We will be starting a new unit on states of matter and we briefly introduced it today.
  • In social studies we learned about the importance of making a meaningful apology using the apology frame "I'm sorry time I will...what can I do to make it better?" We are also spending time on growth mindset books such as When Sophie Thinks She Can't.

A Week in the life of a Second Grade Student!

Mrs. Belmont shared this:

This week our buckets were so full that they were overflowing. We also started Classroom Jobs this week. Our classroom jobs are: Calender Leader, Librarian, Janitor, Classroom Scout, Chair Patrol, Line Scout, Art Teacher, Read Aloud Leader, Comedian, Hallway Monitor, Technology Expert, Meteorologist and Paper Passer.


This week we practiced our Daily 5: reading to self, reading to others, listening to reading, word work and work on our writing. For our practice with reading with others, we had the opportunity to read alongside Middle Schoolers! Students were paired up with a buddy and then were given an entire hour to read as much as they could with their partners.

Writer's Workshop

This week we focused on Booklet Writing. Students wrote spooky stories with the starter sentence: It was a dark and stormy night. Students also continued their work with list making. Once finished, students began typing their stories.


Students reviewed for our first official math assessment on Monday and Tuesday. Students then took the assessment on Wednesday. As a celebration, they were assigned an online assignment on Prodigy, and enjoyed leveling up their characters with the math skills they learned.


Science this week focused on weather. Together we learned about Wind and Rain. Students were shown how both wind and rain can be helpful and also, at times, dangerous. Students also discovered how air resistance can affect the falling of an object.


Each week our classes practice coding, typing, listening to reading on Epic!, and online math. Students are becoming more comfortable, confident and skilled when using a computer.

Traveling Art Suitcases have been on the move!

Here are some of the first great pics of students, who have had a chance to make some art at home for fun, while checking-out the Traveling Art Suitcases (1 in Red, and 1 in Blue).

Pumpkin Week in Mrs. Rail's Class!

Mrs. Rail shared this:

"This week was pumpkin week and we had the best time!

Pumpkin Baking:

We started the week by baking pumpkin muffins from scratch so we could see what's inside a pumpkin. We baked a sugar pie pumpkin, scraped out the insides and baked some super delicious muffins! Everyone helped measure, mix, and pour our ingredients. Here is the recipe we used if you'd like to make them at home: (We added some cinnamon and baked the muffins for 20 minutes.)

Pumpkin Science:

Do pumpkins sink or float? We did a pumpkin float test experiment. The kids all thought the littlest pumpkins would float, but after holding the largest pumpkin to see how heavy it was, no one believed it would float - but it did! Their minds were blown and everyone was so excited!

Pumpkin Art:

We did a beautiful starlight pumpkin art project this week that took 3 days to complete. We started with a directed drawing of a pumpkin. The next day we did a lesson in primary colors and color mixing. The kids all painted their pumpkins, stems, and leaves using only yellow, red, and blue paint. Then we highlighted our pumpkins and drew in vines and stars with oil pastels. They turned out beautifully! (Make sure you look at the picture album linked below to see what they look like.)

Pumpkin Patch Field Trip:

Our trip to Stoney Ridge Farm was so fun and the perfect ending to our pumpkin week! It was so fun to go on the wagon ride and do the corn maze with all of you! THANK YOU SO MUCH for helping to make this awesome experience possible. "

Mrs. Pickerill's Class was full of Spiders and Webs!

Mrs. Pickerill Shared this:

"Last week, we created beautiful and bright colored spider webs using liquid paint, salt, and Elmer’s glue. We also made spiders out of white chocolate, black sprinkles, candy eyeballs, and pretzel sticks for the legs. It was a fun and tasty treat."

Mrs. Ho's Class Update

Mrs. Ho Shared this:

"Last week was"Monster Week." I would like to share some pictures of the art we did and show you how festive our room looks. The pumpkin monsters turned out great and the children had so much fun painting them and of course putting glitter on them. Everything looks wonderful with glitter. We would like to thank Clara's Grandma for supplying the pumpkins. Our monster week wouldn't have been complete without the pumpkins. We ended our week by going to Bellewood Farm. I hope everyone had an enjoyable time. I know your children did."

A few photos from Ms. York's Class Field Trip

Spooky Spiders and the Letter S in Mrs. Owen's Class

Mrs. Owen shared this:

We had a Super Spooky Spidery week learning all about Letter Ss. We discovered a real live spider hanging out in our block bin, YIKES! We were careful not to hurt it as we placed a cup over it to both examine it and return it to its preferred habitat, OUTSIDE!!! I know what you're thinking, but what a great learning opportunity. We learned that spiders are not insects, but arachnids, and we really LOVE our Spider Anatomy song: Head, abdomen, eight legs, eights legs, head, abdomen, eight legs, eight legs, eyes and fangs and spinnerets, head, abdomen, eight legs, eight legs (to the tune of head, shoulders, knees and toes).

Here's what else we have been up to:

  • Letter Ss, how it looks, writes, sounds, and signs.
  • -Are you scared of spiders? For Math, we collected and tallied data for the class. Hailey, Lilly, Nadia, and I are scared, while Cana and Ezra are not.
  • Played Spider Spinners, spin by flicking a paperclip, find the corresponding number, and color
  • We discovered just how difficult it is for spiders to build a web by building our very own during our Web Engineering STEM activity. We discussed how spiders use their spinnerets to produce silvery silk thread and even caught a fly in our trap!
  • For Science, we did a Frozen Spider Fizz experiment. We started by making a baking soda dough. We had a lot of fun mixing and adding googly eyes, spooky plastic spiders, and black sparkles. Then we put it in the freezer overnight. We discussed the three states of matter, and, you guessed it, performed another Acid/Base Reaction. We carefully used medicine droppers to drop colored vinegar onto the dough to free up the spiders. The children had a blast with this experiment and enjoyed listening to the fizzy reaction.
  • We created many spidery crafts together during art and worked really hard on our fine motor skills when we laced our webs with yarn.

Ms. Camaya and Ms. Johnson's Class M for Monster

Ms. Camaya shared this:

"The class worked on M for Monster today sticking eyes on a giant M working on motor skills. We also worked on coloring shapes certain colors today and they are doing very well.

At calendar, we counted the number of days in October. Next week is Halloween week so there will be lots of fun things happening.

The class had such a fun time at the apple orchard! The weather held out for us, yay!"

Color & Line Monsters

These adorable Color & Line Monsters were made by K-1st graders. We worked on drawing lines, shapes, color with watercolors. Then we cut out the monsters to paste onto black construction paper. All of our youngest artists enjoyed this fun project. - Be Kind, Let's Shine! ~ Miss Rachel

Uniform and PE shirt information

Uniform and PE shirt information

Please note that PE shirts are sold via PALS and must be purchased one of two ways:

- In person, during uniform shop hours (Tuesdays from 8-8:30am).

- Online at:

Our online shop also includes Spirit Wear and a limited amount of new uniform items. We hope to have more new items for sale soon.

Note that due to variations in sizing and item condition, used uniform items are not sold online.

Please allow 72 hours for fulfillment and delivery of online orders. Purchased items will be delivered to your child's classroom or advisory teacher, for your child to bring home.

If you need help or have questions about items in the uniform shop, please email

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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)