Vol. 6, Iss. 34
Dec. 8, 2016
Dear Parents,
Thank you for your generous response to our Student Council's food drive this holiday season! 
Your donations have helped ensure that students at Crawford Elementary School in Aurora will have something to eat this winter break. The school's population consists of some of the metro areas neediest residents; in fact, about 97 percent of their kids qualify for free/reduced lunch. When the school is closed for winter break, these families struggle getting enough to eat. 
Although the Student Council has collected many of the items on their list, there are still some items they need to ensure that every child at Crawford has enough food for breakfast and lunch during their holiday break. To meet their goal, the Student Council requests that you consider sending in the following items TOMORROW:
  • Boxes of Nutri-Grain bars and granola bars
  • Packets or single serving containers of oatmeal
  • Dried lentils
If you have a large vehicle and want to help take the food to Crawford Elementary, please email Mary Hansen. Cars will be loaded with food from 6:30 - 8 p.m. on Dec. 14, at a location near Shea Stadium; and the food will be transported to Crawford Elementary in Aurora on Thursday, Dec. 15, at 7 a.m. 
Thank you again for your generosity!  


Bob Barber 
Science Fair
Students have been working hard on their experiments and boards in preparation for the BFA seventh grade science fair, this Friday, Dec. 9. Judges will identify the top 20 projects and those students will be invited to participate in the Denver Metro Regional Science and Engineering Fair on Feb. 17, 2017.  Parents are welcome to check out all the projects from 1-3 p.m. on Friday.
Please make plans to attend BFA's first Spanish Festival at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 9, in the BFA Gym! Middle school Spanish students will be showing off their Spanish skills by performing various songs. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., local restaurants, Casa Caliente and Pisco Sour, will be selling delicious food typical of Mexico and Peru, respectively. Students who take Spanish on 'A' days will perform at 6 p.m. and our B-day students perform at 6:45 p.m. Everyone in the BFA community is welcome to this free event! However, don't forget cash if you plan to have dinner at the event. Please email Senora Connell with questions.
Shopping Bag
Need to get your presents wrapped while you enjoy a night out or do some shopping? We have the solution for you! There is a Parents Night Out tomorrow, Dec. 9, to benefit students participating in the Disneyland Choir.

Childcare will be available for BFA students and preschoolers from 6:30 - 9 p.m. Kiddos can wear their jammies and will enjoy a movie and popcorn in the cozy BFA Library. The cost is $5 per child, and we ask that you sign up each child individually. Concessions will be for sale at check-in, but be sure to feed your students dinner. Parents can drop off presents for wrapping in the Sanders Science Lab where volunteers will wrap them for a donation. 
Have your kids had a growth spurt or do you have some clothes that no longer fit? If so, mark your calendars for the upcoming Used Uniform Sale from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, in the BFA Gym.

If you would like to sell your clothes, please be sure your items are tagged and brought to the school with the inventory form no later than Thursday, Dec. 8. Please note that no clothes will be held after the sale. Any unsold items will need to be picked up after the sale. More information on pickup times and locations will be provided soon.

If you plan to shop the uniform sale, please note that we only accept cash or check. We have uniforms in all sizes, so be sure to check it out.
Preschool enrollment for current Ben Franklin Academy families is open now! If you are a current family who is interested in one of our preschool programs, please email Kristen Goldberg, preschool director, with the following information: 
  • Child's name
  • Date of birth 
  • Class preference (in priority order) 
Parents looking for a class for their three-/four-year-old can indicate their preference between a Tuesday/Thursday class or a Monday/Wednesday/Friday class. If your student is a four-/five-year-old, there are additional options, including morning, afternoon and full-day programs.
Spots will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Spots for current families are not guaranteed and classes will fill up, so please be sure to email Mrs. Goldberg soon. After the enrollment period, you will be notified which class is available for your student. Enrollment will open to the public on Jan. 9, 2017. For more information about BFA's preschool program and available classes, please visit our website.  
This is a friendly reminder that you may only park in a reserved spot if that spot is assigned to you, and we ask all parents to park in marked, or designated parking spots when coming into the school for an event or to volunteer. 
No matter what day of the week or time of day, please do not park in parking spaces that are reserved for someone else. There are more than 250 spots in our lot, so there is no need for you to park in spots assigned to the employee of the month, volunteer of the month, Volunteer Quota Award Winner, or the spots of families who paid to use a specific parking space.  
Additionally, there are many parents who have been parking along the curb in the lower parking lot. When that occurs, it is difficult for staff and other parents to back out of their parking spot, and you run the risk of incurring damage to your vehicle. Parking is only allowed in marked spots.
Please be respectful of our staff, other BFA parents and our award recipients, and refrain from parking in spots not assigned to you or along the curb in the lower lot.  

Hour of Code
It's that time of the year again-- Hour of Code is back at BFA! The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in more than 180 countries. Mrs. Ward and Ms. Goldin are teaming up again this year to ensure all students in grades K-5 will have multiple chances to code. In fact, they've set up three weeks of activities for our students. Last week, the students did hands-on work in the science lab learning how to problem solve. In addition, they received background information about computer science. This week, all students will complete one of the One Hour of Code tutorials and Kindergarten will work with Bee Bots. The third and final week, K-5 students will get to try out more tutorials and go 'beyond one hour' because Mrs. Ward and Ms. Goldin felt one hour was just not enough! 

Meanwhile in the tech lab, students will be using the program, Kodable, to hone their coding skills with some fun, fuzzy characters.  Kodable  provides a structured transition from symbols into written code focused on student outcomes. All students K-5 will be using various levels of the program. 
Sound interesting? You can organize your own Hour of Code event. One-hour tutorials are available in more than 40 languages for individuals ages 4-14; and no experience is needed. To learn more, visit  code.org and  kodable.com
The Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) recently sent in our school's Box Tops and will be receiving a check for $879.80! Keep clipping and be sure to check the Box Top app for bonus opportunities. 

The next Box Top collection date is Wednesday, Dec. 14. Keep an eye out for Box Tops with a Dec. 31, 2016, expiration date; these will be pulled out and submitted before the end of the year.

With all the holiday cooking and baking, please check your products for Box Tops. Some products you may not expect, like parchment paper and butter, may contain Box Tops. Click here for a list of participating products

Does your family eat Tyson chicken? Tyson has an A+ Education program. Save the A+ tag on the back of boxes and bags, and we can submit them to Tyson and earn money for the school. Visit their  website  for more information.

Thanks to all our Box Top clippers! Saving these definitely makes a difference for our teachers and students. 
This month's Volunteer Quota Award recipient is Rachel Molieri, which entitles Rachel to use the Volunteer Quota Parking spot this month! You can be entered to win if you have met your volunteer quota, or volunteered for carpool or the lunchroom. In fact, Rachel received two entries because she had met her quota and worked carpool during the month of November. Congratulations Rachel!  
Educational Outfitters, our uniform vendor, is having their annual 10 percent off sale this month. Shop in their store (8170 S. University Blvd.), online or call them at 720-200-6666. Educational Outfitters is open Monday - Friday 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Registration opens Monday, Dec. 12, for next year's after school music programs. Ms. Johnson will offer a Junior Musical Theater program for first and second graders on Mondays from 3:35 - 4:10 p.m. beginning Jan. 23. Students in grades 3 - 8, can sign up to participate in Musical Theater on Wednesdays beginning Jan. 18, from 3:30 - 4:15 p.m.
Spring Band starts the week of Jan. 16. Beginning Band for grades 4 - 8 is on Tuesdays from 3:30 - 4 p.m. Students in this class focus on reading music and learn how to play an instrument, such as the flute, clarinet, sax, trumpet or percussion. Intermediate Band for students in grades 4 - 8 who already play an instrument is on Thursdays from 3:30 - 4 p.m. Check out this flier for more details about the program as well as key performance dates. Space is limited for all of these programs,  so plan to sign up when registration opens on Dec. 12.

Mini Movie Makers club is back by popular demand! This after-school club teaches your student how to create an animated movie using Frames. Kids in grades 3-6 can sign up to learn how to design characters, record voices, create backgrounds and so much more! T he new session is on Thursdays from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. and begins Jan. 5. Spots are limited, so sign up today at the BFA Store. If you have questions, checkout this flier or email Ms. Goldin.
Looking for a great gift idea for you kiddo? Last month a representative from SpeedStacks, a Englewood company, visited some of our PE classes to teach the kids how to use the speed stacking cups and share a little bit about the history of Speed Stacking. While speed stacking was a favorite activity among some BASE participants in years past, Mrs. Bauer had not added Speed Stacking to the PE curriculum as she was not sure the students would be moving enough. After watching the kids during the Speed Stacking demonstration, Mrs. Bauer noted that the games are full of movement and the kids loved them! Many of the students left class that day asking how they could get a set of their own. If they also mentioned how much they enjoyed speed stacking to you, there are several ways you can purchase a set of speed stacking cups for your family:  
  • Click on this link for more information.
  • Stop by the office and pick up a set. (You can pay with a check made out to BFA.)
  • Check out the order form coming home in the Thursday folder. (On the envelope, please put 'attention Mrs. Bauer.')
Not every K-5 class has had the chance to do Speed Stacking, but they all will sometime in the next few weeks. If you have any questions, please email Mrs. Bauer, PE teacher.
PTO Logo
Do you want to learn more about the exciting things happening at BFA, or would you like to get more involved in your child(ren)'s school?  Then, make plans to attend the next Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) meeting, held Thursday, Dec. 15, at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanders Science Lab. Free childcare provided. All are welcome and encouraged to come!
Mark your calendars for the next Parent's Night Out childcare on Friday, Dec. 16, to benefit the eighth graders going to Washington, D.C. This month's theme is pajama party! Let your children wear pajamas and bring a pillow, blanket or stuffed animal. In addition to showing the movie "Finding Dory" and providing popcorn and water, there will be a couple of 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.
Childcare will run from 6:30-9 p.m. 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 30 children by TONIGHT, 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.  
D enver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms (8500 W Deer Creek Canyon Rd) will be hosting a BFA Spirit Night at their Trail of Lights event on Wednesday, Dec. 21. Stay tuned for details!

Who has the best teachers in the Douglas County School District? The answer is easy--Ben Franklin Academy does! BFA's teachers and staff are highly dedicated individuals who go above and beyond every day to make sure our kids are educated in a safe and caring environment where they feel comfortable and confident to take chances. Teachers have established high expectations for all students and provide all the tools necessary for the students to accomplish those expectations. 

If you would like to formally recognize a BFA teacher or staff member, consider nominating them for the DCEF Apple Awards.

The Apple Awards were created in 2006 to provide the opportunity to recognize and celebrate excellent, innovative teachers, administrators and support staff. Nominations for the Apple Awards can be submitted online by staff, students, parents and members of the community. You may nominate more than one person; and nominations must be made using the online form. This year, the DCEF would like to know how your nominee advances the District's Strategic Plan. The nomination window is open now, and goes through Jan. 13, 2017.

Nominations can be made by going to the DCSD website. 

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.

The Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) highlights one (or more) volunteer(s) each month who has gone above and beyond in his/her contributions to the school. This volunteer receives recognition in this newsletter and on the school website. S/he also has the privilege to park in one of our reserved parking spaces.

For December, the PTO selected Lisa Watanabe. Lisa and her husband, Tomo, have two children, Maya (BFA class of 2015) and Tyler (5th grade). In her  free time, she enjoys family game night, puzzles, watching old movies, and reading. She is currently serving in her second year as PTO Treasurer, and was previously Spirit Wear Co-Chair. Lisa enjoys volunteering because it is rewarding, but more than that, she says," when my kids see me spending my free time volunteering for their school, I believe they realize how important their education is."
When asked her favorite thing about BFA, Lisa said, "it's hard to narrow down all the reasons why we love BFA. First, we love the STEAM program and all of the opportunities it provides our children to explore their potential passions. Second, while so many schools no longer incorporate moral values into their curriculum, we love that BFA does it with Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues. It's rare to find a school with a well-rounded academic program that also focuses on teaching our children to be thoughtful and responsible individuals. Last, but not least, we love that our kids have woken up in the morning ready to go to BFA and quite often aren't ready to come home in the afternoon. What better testament to BFA than that!"
It's volunteers like Lisa who help make BFA the special school that it is. Thank you Lisa!


After school and middle school choir are performing tonight at 6:30 p.m.  
Friday, Dec. 9

Ben Franklin mini

Friday, Dec. 9, is a BFA Spirit Wear day and students can wear spirit wear items or field day shirts from a previous year. Students also may wear their Apex Fun Run T-shirt.     

Science Fair

Seventh grade science fair is Friday, Dec. 9. Parents are welcome to check out all the projects from 1-3 p.m. on Friday.


There is a Parents Night Out on Friday, Dec. 9, to benefit students participating in the Disneyland Choir. Childcare will be available for BFA students and preschoolers from 6:30 - 9 p.m. for $5 per child. Bring your presents and volunteers will wrap them for a donation. 


Please make plans to attend BFA's first Spanish Festival at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 9, in the BFA Gym. 
Monday, Dec. 12


The Finance Committee is meeting at 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12, in the BFA Conference Room. Their next meeting is Jan. 9, 2017.   
Tuesday, Dec. 13

Ben Franklin

Please make plans to attend the BFA Board Meeting beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 13, in the BFA Library. Their next meeting is on Jan. 10, 2017.
Wednesday, Dec. 14

Box Tops Logo

Please send in your clipped Box Tops in a bag labeled with your student's name and classroom. 
Thursday, Dec. 15

Ben Franklin

The School Accountability Committee (SAC) is meeting at 4:10 p.m. in the BFA Conference Room. Their next meeting is Jan. 19, 2017.  

PTO Logo

The Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is meeting from 6:30 - 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 15, in the Sanders Science Lab. Their next meeting is Jan. 19, 2017.  
Friday, Dec. 16


Dress of Choice day is Friday, Dec. 16. The next Dress of Choice Day is Jan. 13, 2017. 


Holiday parties for students in grades K-5 will begin at 1:45 p.m. Students also will participate in One Act of Kindness activities.   


 Parents Night Out childcare is scheduled from 6:30-9 p.m. and costs $5 per child.


Children participating in jr. choir will be caroling at 8:15 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 16, at BFA.
Monday, Dec. 19

Winter snowflake

Winter break begins on Monday, Dec. 19. We hope you enjoy the holiday season! Monday, Jan. 2 is a teacher work day; and school resumes on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. 
Additional Upcoming Events: BFA Calendar
Middle School: Blog | Athletics 
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.