Vol. 6, Iss. 33
Dec. 1, 2016
Dear Parents,
We are continuously looking for efficiencies in our carpool process to make drop off/pick up a quick and seamless process for parents. You are doing a terrific job to date, but we do have a few important reminders to share:
Morning Drop Off
  • Students should be in their classroom by 8:10 a.m., as school begins promptly at 8:15 a.m. Thanks for working to get your students here on time!
  • If your student is dropped off after 8:15 a.m., you will need to come into the office to sign them in.
Afternoon Carpool
  • To keep carpool moving, please be on site by 3:45 p.m. to pick up your student(s).
  • All call will begin by 4 p.m. Please note, if it is a light carpool day, all call may start earlier.
  • Students not picked up at all call, will be sent to the BASE after school program and you will be charged accordingly. If your student is sent to BASE, you will need to park and come into the building to check them out.
After School Clubs
  • If your student is in an after school activity such as sports, Battle of the Books or choir, please be on site to pick them up by the time the activity is scheduled to end. Otherwise he/she will be sent to BASE and you will be charged accordingly.
  • Siblings of students participating in an after school activity, should be picked up during normal carpool.
Thanks to all the terrific volunteers and BFA staff who help ensure the safety of our students. And, thanks to all the parents who routinely follow our carpool procedures.


Bob Barber 
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.  
Science Fair
We are in need of j udges for the upcoming seventh grade science fair.  Please sign up today to join us for fun, science, and food on Dec. 9, in the Middle School Commons from 8:30 a.m. until noon.  And, don't worry if you've never judged a science fair before. The day will begin with an orientation by the STEM committee to ensure you are comfortable with the process. We look forward to seeing you there.
Time to get rid of all that extra change laying around! Your student can put it to good use at the bake sale tomorrow, Dec. 2. Proceeds benefit eighth graders attending the Washington D.C. trip. Baked goods will be sold before school on both the first and second floor, and on the playground during second recess. We will have a variety of baked goods available, including items that are safe for children with dietary restrictions (gluten, nuts, etc.). Help support the eighth graders, while kiddos get to enjoy tasty treats! 
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. Week one, the students will be doing hands-on work in the science lab learning how to problem solve. In addition, they will receive background information about computer science. Week two, 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
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 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. 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. 
As I'm sure you've noticed, temperatures are becoming more seasonal. In other words--it's getting COLD!  Please be sure to send your students to school with appropriate cold weather clothing, including a coat, hat, gloves and snow boots for recess (when necessary). Keep in mind, students will go outside for recess unless it is raining, snowing heavily or the temperature/windchill is lower than 20 degrees. 
As of today, there is a chance of snow in the forecast next week, so please keep in mind that we follow the direction of the Douglas County School District (DCSD) regarding school closures/delays due to weather. If the DCSD decides to close school for the day, then BFA will be closed as well. Sometimes, the weather is not severe enough for a closure, but may be significant enough to have a delayed school start. If the district calls for a delayed start, school at BFA will start 90 minutes later than normal. This means school will start at 9:45 a.m. On a delayed start day, carpool begins at 9:15 a.m. and before school care will open at 8 a.m. Please do not drop off your child earlier than 8 a.m. for before care, as no one will be here to supervise your child.
All school closures can be seen on most of the local TV channels in the morning. You also may call the DCSD weather line at 303-387-SNOW (7669) to hear the latest updates on school closures or delayed starts. We also will send out an announcement via Constant Contact and the new BFA app regarding closures or delays.
5-A-Day challenge
Students found a way to make learning fun last month--use a trebuchet to launch fruit!
Students in kindergarten through eighth grade expanded their knowledge about how simple machines work by using a trebuchet to launch a variety of fruit. Students loved using Littleton's own Punkin Chinkin expert, John Heffelfinger's, scaled-down replicas of his 50-foot competition trebuchet, commenting, "It is cool to learn how a trebuchet works!"  The event showcased the work of BFA's after school Fruit Toss Club which launched a variety of fruit this past fall while calculating the weight, angle and mass for precision to hit a target. 
Thanks to BFA's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) committee and Matt Keillor for coordinating the event as well as all the terrific volunteers who made it a fun day for our students.
BFA's next Spirit Night is Tuesday, Dec. 6, from 5 - 9 p.m. at Chipotle Mexican Grill (2209 W Wildcat Reserve Pkwy). Proceeds go to all students. Hope to see you there!
Have your kids had a growth spurt? Do you need to stock up on uniforms? 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 and genders, so be sure to check it out.
food drive
Ben Franklin Academy's Student Council is proud to sponsor a
food drive now until Dec. 9, to benefit the families of Crawford Elementary School in Aurora. The school's population consists of some of the metro areas neediest residents. During the winter break, when the school is closed, these families struggle getting enough to eat. Please consider donating the following items:
  • Cup O' Noodles
  • Boxes of cereal
  • Cereal bars and granola bars
  • Fruit cups
  • Single serving ravioli
  • Dried lentils
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.
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 beginning Monday, Dec. 5 and pick up a set. (You can pay with a check made out to BFA.)
  • Check out the order form coming home in next week's 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.
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 Thursday, Dec. 8, 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.  
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. 

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! The 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.
PTO Logo
As we advised in March, the PTO had temporarily lost its tax exemption certification last year due to a clerical error.  At that point, the PTO hired an attorney to help them through the process of getting reinstated. The process is now complete and they are pleased to share that the IRS has retroactively reinstated their tax exempt status. The PTO immediately implemented procedures to help ensure that this does not occur in the future.  
Select Rewards coupon books are perfect for the holiday season and good through Aug. 31, 2017, so get yours today. The book offers savings for the holidays, including a $15 coupon for the HoneyBaked Ham store, $10 toward your purchase at the Big Tool Box, $10 off at Eskimo Ski and Board Shop, and $5 toward your purchase at Rocket Fizz. (Minimum purchase requirements apply.)  If you enjoy taking advantage of significant savings on restaurants around town--look no further! The book offers coupons for Indulge, Mici's, Cuba, Cuba, Casa Caliente, Costa Vida, Anthony's and more!  And, if you are looking for stay-cation savings, check out their coupons for Monster Mini Golf, Dart Warz, Arts on Fire and Cold Stone Creamery. The books also make great gifts for that hard to buy loved one. Email  Tiffanie Vaught if you would like to purchase a book.  
Never fear, the Winter Fest is near! Join us for a wonderful afternoon of food, games and, of course, the much anticipated cake walk. Winter Fest will be held from 4 - 7 p.m. on Jan. 28, 2017.

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, Dec. 1


Preschool open enrollment for current BFA families begins Thursday, Dec. 1.  If you are interested in enrolling, email Kristen Goldberg, preschool director. 


The after school band is performing tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the BFA Gym. 
Tuesday, Dec. 6


The Community Events Committee (CEC) is meeting Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 6 p.m.  Their next meeting is Jan. 3. 


BFA's next Spirit Night is Tuesday, Dec. 6, from 5 - 9 p.m. at Chipotle Mexican Grill (2209 W Wildcat Reserve Pkwy).
Wednesday, Dec. 7


The first Wednesday of the month is Formal Uniform Day.  Students should wear tan short, pants, skirt or short and a navy shirt with the BFA logo.        

Musical Theatre
The third grade musical, The Nutcracker, begins at 6:30 p.m. in the BFA Gym.    

The Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Committee is meeting 5:30 - 7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 7, in the Sanders Science Lab. Their next meeting is Jan. 4.   
Thursday, Dec. 8


After school and middle school choir are performing Thursday, Dec. 8, 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.   We are in need of judges for the upcoming seventh grade science fair. Please sign up today to join us for fun, science, and food on Dec. 9, in the Middle School Commons from 8:30 a.m. until noon.  


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! 
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.