The Franklin Academy



Dear Franklin Academy Parents,

Thank you so much for entrusting your children to all of us at Franklin Academy this school year. We have enjoyed helping them learn and grow both academically and socially. We really appreciate your support and partnership; we truly have the best parents!

The 2021-2022 school year was a year of renewal. We slowly restored some of what we had previously paused the last couple of years. Middle School sports, chess, Family Fun Night and the STEM/Science Fair are just a few of the exciting events that returned in a big way!

We could not be celebrating such a wonderful achievement without thanking the fantastic teaching and devotion of the Franklin Academy staff (and our new Associate Head of School, Ms. Hurley) and our Board of Directors and President (Tung Mai Ha). I would like to thank our parent association (PALS) presidents Sara Jentz and Nneka London-Browne. Our nurse Teresa Hubbell also deserves recognition for keeping our students and staff happy and healthy this school year. Thank you to all our hard-working staff and volunteers!

I hope everyone has a safe, exciting, and engaging summer break. As Ms. Frizzle says, “Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!”

See you next year,

Gretchen Bucsko

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TUG-of-war: Students vs. Teachers & Parents - Students Won!


Robin HALL FIELD DAY Activities

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We Shout-out to Mrs. Fox for an awesome field day!

Thanks, Mrs. Fox!!!
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8th-grade promotion ceremony - a night to remember!

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Preschool with Mrs. Killian

We have just completed our final full week of preschool, and it is amazing how quickly this year has flown by.

Thank you for all of the wonderful cards and gifts. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to show your appreciation.

This year started our 2nd year of teaching during Covid, and it is no secret that teaching during a pandemic can be challenging. I can honestly say that this has been an amazing year, and we are saddened to see it end. It has been a year of many positives, and it has really refueled me as a teacher. I could not have asked for a better group of students and parents to work with. May your summer be filled with many fun memories.

Our focus was on space once again this week, and we learned about how astronauts travel to the moon. On Monday we created our own space shuttles. On Friday we tried to lift a rocket off the ground using jet propulsion.


Here are pictures with our wonderful sixth grade buddies, Anabelle and Brynn. They were the sweetest buddies and we enjoyed having them in our classroom every Wednesday.

Thanks for a wonderful school year. I hope everyone has a great summer break and I will miss you all!

Officially Kindergarteners! I am so proud of them.

(They asked for serious and silly poses. :)

Sinak Pickerill

Preschool Teacher


The students played drums and castanets and tambourines to accompany a silly song about elephants and monkeys and birds: "Romper, Stomper, and Boo". After that, we all got rhythm sticks and kept time together, before we set the sticks aside for our last best game of Pass the Ball. We love this game! It is so funny! Slow, fast, go the other way, and laugh and laugh and laugh! What a wonderful year we have had in Music! Thanks, Mrs. Snyder!

As summer approaches Kindergarten classes remember the celebration of spring - Holi

There was an incredibly special time this afternoon! Kais's mom helped us learn about and celebrate Holi, a solstice holiday from India.

All three kindergarten classes gathered together to hear. She showed us several short videos about this extremely colorful holiday, and then read us a book about Holi! We found out that dried flowers are used to make the pretty powders that are thrown all over each person on the holiday.

There was a break outside, and we stretched with some yoga poses. Then we came back in and got colorful! We couldn't throw colors at each other, but we could make colorful paper dolls. Mrs. Esmail brought one for each of us! We each had a box in front of us, that was filled with shaving cream and decorated with wild streaks of food color.

We could move and mix the colors as we wished, with a popsicle stick. When we liked the color pattern, we carefully laid our paper dolls onto the colors and lifted the paper dolls up. They weren't white paper any more! They have delicate swirls and spots and blurs of color!

Thank you so much for sharing this holiday of new beginnings, Mrs. Esmail!


5th Grade FUN with Ms. Harris

Enjoy these fun photos of Ms. Harris's students. One student, Royse, is wearing the hat she knitted in Ms. Harris's elective. The others are the 5th graders, who constructed their own bow and arrow in teams and were competing to see who could shoot their arrow the furthest.
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Creative Art with Miss. Rachel Simpson

Bug Homes in 3/D: K-2nd grades.

Our youngest artists had fun making these 3/D Insect Habitats or Bug Homes with paper & air-dry clay! We talked about various insects that are round, like Lady Bugs, Beetles, and Bumble Bees. We had great conversations about what is a bug's view from their perspective on the ground or in the plants? This was created by using paper, pencil, black sharpie markers, crayons, scissors, tape, and air-dry clay with pipe-cleaners for antennas. I'm sure that the kids enjoyed taking home these adorable art projects.

To see ALL the Bug Homes CLICK the IMAGES

Reduction Printing, 5th-6th grades:

These beautiful Reduction Prints that the 5th-6th graders made are one of my favorites that we've done all year. I'm very impressed with all the creative ideas & work that they did to make these great prints. Students were able to choose & design this with either an object or something in nature for their printing project. We learned what Reduction Printing and other Printing art techniques are about. We also learned to use many new art supplies such as Ink, Brayer, Baron, Tray, Styrofoam & Pencils. I hope they know how awesome they are because these are so great!

To see ALL the Reduction Printing CLICK the IMAGES

Design a Game Board: 7th-8th grades.

The 7th & 8th-grade art students did a fantastic job in designing and making these Game Boards in teams. Some of them have painted air-dry clay game pieces, some have cards, and even some have made dice for movement. We all needed to work together in a collaborative project, with written instructions on how to play the game. Students spent a day doing game tests to make sure that the games ran smoothly, and helped to edit anything that needed clarification. Our classes were able to choose the materials, the design, and the theme. You can definitely see how unique each one is and what fun it could be to play them!

#BeKindLetsShine ~Miss Rachel Simpson

To see ALL the Game Boards CLICK the IMAGES


The READING CORNER with Mrs. Samuel and Mrs. Snyder

We made it! Congratulations to everyone! What a year. So many books were read and returned, thank you!

We hope you have a wonderful summer of adventures and relaxation. June is Audiobook Appreciation Month, so try out an audiobook as a family if you are road tripping somewhere.

We’ll spend our summer hunting for bargains on books and be ready to see everyone again in

the Fall.

Happy Reading!

Mrs. Samuel


Why did the robot go on summer vacation?

To recharge his batteries!

SUMMER Opporunities

School Garden

Hello Franklin Families,

A small group of students and I have been working hard to start our first school garden! We have a greenhouse and two raised beds that are growing an assortment of veggies, fruits, and herbs. We would love your help with maintaining the garden over the summer. This would involve watering, picking weeds, noting pests, and of course harvesting the food! The hose is kept in the locked greenhouse, and needs to be hooked up to the spigot on the side of the building each time you water. If you plan on helping out and would like a run down on the process and what's growing in the garden, I will be at the greenhouse after school on June 14th and 15th from 3:15 - 4:00pm. I'm also happy to set up another time to meet.

If you are interested in helping out, please sign up for some days on the Gardening Calendar Google Document. You can type your name(s) directly in the calendar. Mornings and evenings are best for watering! I also believe your time will count as volunteer hours :)

Thank you in advance for your support! Let me know if you have any questions.

Bre Harris

Cub Scouts: Wild, Wild West Day Camp

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The Franklin Academy Summer Math Program

The Franklin Academy's Summer Math Program is back!

Dates - Saturdays:

  • July 16 & 23
  • August 6 & 13

Time - 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM

For: 4th to 8th graders

Cost: FREE! To all Franklin Academy students registered for the following year.

Please get in touch with me if you have any questions.


Ole Hedahl, M.Ed.

Math & Coding Instructor

Know a Family Interested in Our School?

Our school grows with parents/guardians enthusiastically sharing our school program and community. 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:

Natalie Bennett, Admission Director


The Franklin Academy 2022

Veritas Media produced the video above with the support of admissions from the "FOR YOUR EYES ONLY" Gala & Auction. It's a delightful reflection of our community.

Helpful information

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).


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.

Past newsletters

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,

Katie C. Dement, Development Director,

PALS (Parents Actively Lending Support)

After School Care Supervisor Violet Lord