Vol. 7, Iss. 11
March 16, 2017
Following is a message from Ann Citrin, at-large director, BFA Board of Directors
 
Dear Parents:

At the recent Town Hall meetings, numerous parents inquired whether we could get a reduced speed school zone designation for Plaza Drive surrounding Ben Franklin Academy. Since the school was built, the Board and Principal Barber have worked with Douglas County and their traffic engineers to identify and address steps to take concerning this issue. Our most recent discussions with them occurred less than a month ago.
 
There are two strategies that BFA has used and will continue to use to reduce speeding on Plaza. First, BFA works with the Douglas County Sheriff. The Sheriff's department takes care of traffic enforcement , and they are the ones to contact if BFA is hoping for increased patrols.  They have a traffic safety hotline where anyone can leave information. Douglas County Sheriff's number is 303-660-7539, and the patrol division is 303-660-7546. Any parent may call the hotline and leave messages with them to increase the patrol of the area.
 
Second, BFA can work with the Douglas County Traffic Division (DCTD) to try to change the area's designation and get a reduced speed school zone with flashing lights. BFA has been in contact with DCTD since it originally decided on the Plaza Drive location for the school. The DCTD relies upon the recommendations of their traffic engineers and the guides they use.  Specifically, the engineers first look at the original designation of the road in question. In this case, it is Plaza Drive. Further, they look at the volume of students that would be required to cross Plaza Drive in the Douglas County School District's "suggested walk route" to the school.
 
DCTD explained that when Plaza Drive was built, it was designated as an "Arterial Road," or Through Road, and it was intended for all road users, rather than a "Local Road" which is intended for a limited number of road users. Hence, Plaza Drive is a four-lane road with a median to accommodate all the through traffic. Most elementary schools are located on a two-lane Local Road. It is generally only charter schools that have their buildings on Arterial Roads, because they had land donated to them or were offered reduced rates for purchasing that land. Further, DCTD explained that the roadways are designated before they are built with consideration of what buildings or development would be on the road, rather than designating the road after the development.
 
Since BFA was built, Plaza Drive is and has been signed as a School Zone with additional signs that restrict U-Turn within the zone to provide information to drivers and warn them of the school area. According to DCTD, the Federal guidelines state that Reduced School S peed Z ones ("RSSZ") should be limited to areas where drivers may encounter a volume of students in the roadway. RSSZ are not intended to restrict the volume of traffic, but to provide a safer environment for students crossing the road. Per Douglas County policy, RSSZ are established and installed primarily at elementary schools along the suggested walk route and where there is a high volume of crossing activity by students. Currently, there are no students crossing Plaza Drive. Due to the nature of this roadway, Douglas County School District would not recommend that elementary -aged students cross any four lane roadway. At this time, DCTD informed BFA that a RSSZ is not appropriate on Plaza Drive.
 
We will continue to work with the Douglas County Sheriff's office to ensure that the traffic rules on Plaza Drive are enforced. Further, we will continue to have discussions with DCTD regarding the re-designation of Plaza Drive.  
Teacher
TOMORROW LAST DAY FOR TEACHER AND STAFF APPRECIATION  
 
Tomorrow is the last day of Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week. The PTO's suggested theme for tomorrow is, "These are a few of your favorite things." Surprise teachers and staff with something from their favorite things list, or treat them in whatever way works for you. Thank you for showing your support of our teachers and staff this week!
Lost and Found
CHECK THE LOST AND FOUND TODAY!
  
It is time for your students to collect their items from the Lost and Found!  Any unclaimed items that do not have a name on the tag will be donated during Spring Break.
SOCIAL STUDIES FAIR 
  
Eighth graders did a fantastic job showing off what they've learned about U.S. and World History at the first Social Studies Fair last Friday. They chose an event from the past 60 years, then performed research, wrote a paper, created an artifact, made a poster and designed a costume. About 500 students in grades 2-7 attended the fair to view 72 student submissions. All the submissions were incredible, and the following students were recognized for their work:
 
Best Artifact: Bethany Vaught (ISIS compared to Vietnam)
Best Poster: Kenzie Bay (Sally Ride)
Best Costume: Cherry Doddapaneni (Ghandi compared to Churchill)
Best Slide Show: Sophie Coffee (N.O.W.)
GREAT JOB BATTLE OF THE BOOKS TEAMS! 
   
Congratulations to the fifth/sixth grade Battle of the Books team who won the Branch Finals last Thursday! They beat Northridge 51 to 43. When you come to school, check out the trophy they were awarded for being the Highlands Ranch Champions. The third/fourth grade competed in the quarterfinals last week as well, but lost to Cougar Run who went on to win the District Championship.
 
The fifth/sixth grade team challenged Parker Core Knowledge this week in the District Finals. Both teams fought hard and answered all 20 questions correctly, so they moved on to a tiebreaker round. Our team lost with a final score of 55-50 when they missed the tenth question in overtime.
 
Both the fifth/sixth and third/fourth grade teams did a fantastic job this year. They studied hard all season and their efforts paid off in how well they did in each battle. We are very proud of our teams and thankful for the teachers who supported them!
   
Fifth/Sixth Grade Team:  
Emily Alder 
Aaditya Bahl 
Sahithi Mathukumilli  
Evan McDermott  
Sreehitha Sajja 
Oliva Velasco 
Vanessa Watson 
Assistant coaches - Hannah Alder and Abby Hansen
Teacher sponsor - Mrs. Murphy
 
Third/Fourth Grade Team:
Colby Borchert
Molly Citrin
Duncan Crespo
Isabella Garcetti 
Tyson Haufschild
Natalie Heckwolf 
Natalia Poleschook
Will Ricks
Emily Sevinsky
Catherine Slaughter
Teacher sponsors - Mrs. Poleschook and Mrs. Lewicki
Destination ImagiNation
DESTINATION IMAGINATION UPDATE 
 
Thank you to all the team managers, members and parents who participated in Destination ImagiNation (DI) this school year. We appreciate your hard work and dedication to the DI program. Our teams started working in September to develop a solution to a complex problem, design and implement the solution, and work together as a team to present the solution. All our teams did very well in the competition--we are very proud of all of you and can't wait to have you back next year! We are excited that two of our teams, BFA Believers and Kitty Litter, will move forward to the state competition on April 22, in Denver, Colorado.   
Pi DAY
 
Middle school teachers are always looking for hands-on learning opportunities, and March 14 provides an excellent occasion because, as they'll tell you, it's Pi Day!  Pi does not refer to everyone's favorite dessert, rather Pi is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, 3.14. 
 
This year sixth graders celebrated Pi Day in all four primary subjects. Students used a Pie Face board game to work on statistics and probability in science; in social studies, kids had a scavenger hunt on the history of Pi; students wrote Pi Poems in Language Arts with each line corresponding to the next digit of pi (3.14159); and in math, they worked backward to measure the circumference and diameter of circular objects, then calculated how close they could get to Pi. Sixth graders ended the day with a pie eating contest and feasted on pie. 
 
Seventh graders constructed circles by creating single sectors and combining them. Students came up with a radius and central angle to construct their sector. Next they calculated the circumference and area using 3.14 for Pi. These circles turned out beautifully and will be on display in the middle school hallway after spring break.
 
Eighth Graders also participated in multiple activities including: graphing the frequency of the numbers zero through nine in the first 100 digits of Pi; solving word problems related to circumference and diameter; designing a "pi picture;" and measuring circular objects, then calculating the ratio of circumference to diameter. And, because no Pi Day would be complete without snacks--they also enjoyed a Pi-themed treat.
 
Thanks to all the teachers for coming up with these fun activities!
 
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MORNINGS WITH MOMS WAS A GREAT WAY TO START THE DAY!   
 
Moms and kids alike enjoyed spending time together last Friday during Morning with Moms! More than 580 moms and kids attended the event and enjoyed coffee, juice and treats. We appreciate all the kids and moms who woke up a few minutes early to attend this event! Thanks to the Community Events Committee (CEC) and Ben's Brigade for all your hard work. 
THANK YOU, SANTA FE SUDS!
 
The PTO would like to thank one of our 2016-17 Silver Sponsors, Santa Fe Suds. We're able to do so much through your continued support!
 
BensBrigade
JOIN BEN'S BRIGADE FOR THEIR UPCOMING EVENTS
  
Ben's Brigade will hold a meeting and Dad's Night Out at AMF Lanes (2530 E County Line Rd) from 8 - 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 28. You may want to arrive 15 minutes early to get bowling shoes. Please note: the date and location have changed. Current and prospective members welcome! If interested in attending, please email Tom Devlin, Ben's Brigade Committee Manager .
 
Ben's Brigade will hold its First Annual Park/Picnic Outing at Redstone Park (3280 Redstone Park Cir, Littleton) on Saturday, April 23. Stay tuned for more details.
PIRATE AND PRINCESS COSTUME PIZZA NIGHT
 
Save the date for Pirates and Princesses Costume Pizza Night from 6:30 - 9 p.m. on Friday, April 7, at BFA! This exciting event is for BFA students in preschool through fifth grade, and tickets are only $10. Each little pirate or princess will receive one piece of pizza and one drink. Extra slices of pizza and concessions will be available for a minimal cost. Costumes are optional so kiddos are welcome to wear their favorite pirate or princess costume, or they can choose to come in their jammies. Sign up for this FUN event today! All proceeds of this event benefit the middle school Disneyland Choir trip. Click here for more information.

MomsNightOut
ALL BFA MOMS WELCOME TO ENJOY A NIGHT OUT
  
Your BFA PTO will be hosting a Mom's Night Out for ALL BFA MOMS from   5:30 - 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 30. Join us at Hacienda Colorado (5066 S Wadsworth Blvd.) for a wonderful night of tacos, socializing, and FUN! This event is for all BFA Moms--if you are new to BFA or have not attended a Mom's Night Out in the past, we encourage you to come as this a great way to meet other BFA parents.  Please RSVP  so we know how many are coming.
THANKS TO ALL THE FAMILIES WHO SUPPORTED THE STAFF PERFORMANCE OF ALADDIN JR. 
 
Thanks to all the families who came out to support the staff production of Disney's Aladdin, Jr.! And, a big shout out to all the staff members who participated in the encore performance! We knew our staff was talented--but the audience was amazed by the singing and acting abilities of Aladdin (Mr. Emmons), Jasmine (Ms. Kinsella), the Genie (Mrs. Stolk), Jafar (Mrs. Webb), and Iago (Mrs. North). The Sultan (Principal Barber), Razoul (Mrs. McGinty), Magic Carpet (Mrs. Ward and Baby I.), Princes (Mrs. Wall, Mrs. Van Wyk and Mrs. Fanning), and guards (Mr. Knudsen, Mr. Fourman) made the show FUN, and the chorus did a great job singing and dancing. Kudos to our narrators too (Mrs. Crespo, Ms. Goldin, Mrs. Simpson, Mrs. Van Wyk, Mrs. Ward and Baby I.). Thanks to Ms. Johnson for directing the performance and the backstage crew who enjoyed giving orders to the teachers and staff. Thanks to your support, we raised more than $2000 for the kids going on the Disneyland Choir trip!
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PARENTS NIGHT OUT - MARCH 31 
  
Mark your calendars for the next  Parent's Night Out childcare on Friday, March 31, to benefit the eighth graders going to Washington, D.C. Let your children wear pajamas and bring a pillow, blanket or stuffed animal. Students can watch Disney's 'Moana,' we will provide popcorn and water, and there will be stations set up to entertain kiddos with coloring, drawing and games. Concessions will be available for purchase upon drop-off. We will offer Sour Patch Kids, mini M&Ms, and granola bars for $1 each, cash or check.
 
NEW FOR THIS PNO:  Childcare will run from 6 - 9 p.m. (30 extra minutes!) and is just $5 per child. Volunteers will watch your child(ren) while you grab a bite to eat or do some shopping. We can only accept BFA students (including preschool students). 
 
We must sign up at least 40 children by  Thursday, March 23, to host the event. Sign up early to help ensure the event is not cancelled. Please sign up each child individually, and please be sure to feed your child(ren) dinner before they come.
 
DCEF
GET YOUR DCSD DISCOUNTED TICKETS
  
DCSD Appreciation Day with the Colorado Rockies  (vs. LA Dodgers) OPENING WEEKEND!! 
Sunday, April 9, at 1:10 p.m.
Coors Field 
2001 Blake St, Denver, CO 80205
$16 upper level, $24 lower level
Click here to order.  
 
Denver Center for the Performing Arts
April 21 - May 7
1101 13th St, Denver, CO 80204 
$35 tickets (Promo code DCSD)
Limited tickets available!
Click here to order.
 
Community Night with the Colorado Mammoth (vs. Saskatchewan Rush)
Friday, April 28, at 7:30 p.m.
Pepsi Center 
1000 Chopper Cir, Denver, CO 80204
$15 Upper Level and $23 Lower Level
Click here to order.
BE A HERO FOR THE DAY--BUY A BIRTHDAY BAG

Celebrating birthdays at BFA is fun! For $10, your child will receive the following:
  • A bag full of goodies, such as erasers, pencils, bouncy balls, etc. (no food or candy will be in the bags) delivered to their classroom by eighth graders
  • A personalized note from you (if requested)
  • Eighth graders singing happy birthday to your child in his/her classroom while delivering the bag
Did your student already celebrate his/her birthday? Is his/her birthday in the summer? We also will deliver "unbirthday bags" for students who have already celebrated their birthday or "half-birthday bags" for summer birthdays. 
 
Thank you for supporting the eighth graders' trip to Washington, D.C.!
 
To order your birthday bags, click here. If you have any questions, please email Mrs. Simpson.
Thursday, March 16

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SAC COMMITTEE MEETING 
 
Join the School Accountability Committee (SAC) at their meeting from 4:10 - 5:10 p.m. on Thursday, March 16, in the BFA Conference Room.
Friday, March 17

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DRESS OF CHOICE DAY 
 
Friday, March 17, is Dress of Choice Day for students who have not received two uniform violations since the last regular Dress of Choice Day. 
March 20 - 24

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SPRING BREAK 
 
Students are off school for Spring Break from Monday, March 20, through Friday, March 24. 
Tuesday, March 28

BensBrigade
DAD'S NIGHT OUT 
 
Ben's Brigade will hold a meeting and Dad's Night Out at AMF Lanes (2530 E County Line Rd) from 8 - 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 28. You may want to arrive 15 minutes early to get bowling shoes. 
Thursday, March 30

MomsNightOut
MOM'S NIGHT OUT  
 
Your BFA PTO will be hosting a Mom's Night Out for ALL BFA MOMS from 5:30 - 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 30. Join us at Hacienda Colorado (5066 S Wadsworth Blvd.) for a wonderful night of tacos, socializing, and FUN!  

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MIDDLE SCHOOL ORIENTATION FOR NEW BFA FAMILIES 
 
New BFA families have been invited to attend a special middle school orientation beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Large BFA Gym.   
Friday, March 31

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PARENTS NIGHT OUT  
 
Mark your calendars for the next Parent's Night Out childcare on  Friday, March 31, to benefit the eighth graders going to Washington, D.C. Let your children wear pajamas and bring a pillow, blanket or stuffed animal. Childcare will run from 6 - 9 p.m. and is just $5 per child.
Additional Upcoming Events: BFA Calendar
Middle School: Blog | Athletics 
CONTACT US:
Ben Franklin Academy
2270 Plaza Drive
Highlands Ranch, CO 80129
Main Office: (720) 383-4519 info@bfacademy.org 
Attendance: (720) 432-9239 attendance@bfacademy.org 
Fax: (303) 974-1738
Our mission is to create young adults with character like America's founding Renaissance man, Benjamin Franklin: well-read, scientifically curious, and civically engaged.
Our students will excel academically through a challenging, sequenced curriculum that emphasizes math, science, and literacy. We will be a data driven institution, focusing on individual students. Our students, teachers, parents, staff, and leaders will be held accountable for the success of our school. Finally, we recognize that an education is incomplete without fostering the arts, sports, nature, and character.
Temperance, Silence, Order, Resolution, Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, Justice, Moderation, Cleanliness, Tranquility, Purity and Humility.