Vol. 10, Iss. 7
February 20, 2020

Dear Parents,

Thanks so much to those of you who came to the Town Hall on Tuesday. It was a great turnout and I enjoyed speaking with you about what's happening at BFA, as well as the new dismissal app. For those of you who were not able to make it, attached here are the slides we presented at the meeting. Please remember to download and set up the app by end of day tomorrow, Feb. 21.
I appreciate so many of you filling out the Parent Satisfaction Survey! I'm happy to report that we have more than 425 responses so far, but everyone's thoughts count so please complete the survey if you have not done so already. 
I hope to see you all at 'Mulan Jr.' this weekend! Ms. Johnson, our students and several dedicated parents have spent a ton of time this trimester preparing for this production, and I think it's going to be amazing!

It's hard to believe, but tomorrow is the end of the second trimester! Be sure to check Gradelink next Thursday, Feb. 27, for report cards. 
Have a great weekend!
Diana Simpson



A message from Sarah Nisbet, director, BFA board of directors...
Thank you to everyone who came out to attend our Town Hall meeting Tuesday evening. We had a great turnout and presentation by Principal Simpson about our new carpool software. It was so great to see many familiar faces and meet new parents. All are welcome to attend our monthly Board meetings to hear what is going on at BFA. 
Have you been thinking about running for a Board of Director position but just aren't sure about the time commitment? I will attest to the fact that it is very manageable. As a first year Board member, I serve as an At-Large Director, am a PTO liaison, and am chairing the Board Succession Committee. My first few months, I logged 8-12 hours a month preparing for meetings and attending our monthly Board and PTO meetings. January was the first month I logged 20 hours in one month and that is due to the work and meeting time as the Chair of the Board Succession Committee. Know there are times you may volunteer 20 hours, but other times you won't and you're prepping at home.

Serving on the Board is so rewarding and I am growing personally and professionally. I am part of a diverse team of dedicated parents and we make decisions together that benefit our children, staff, and school community. This is my seventh year with BFA, my three girls Lana (5th), Kaylee (2nd), and Felicity (K) have all grown through the preschool program and up. I am thankful for a place to share my talents as a former kindergarten teacher and for a way to be involved, even as a busy single working parent. I encourage every BFA parent to get involved in the school; and if you think your skills are a fit, I hope you'll consider a Board position.


A message from Steve Haas, treasurer, BFA board of directors...

I have been serving on the Ben Franklin Board of Directors for nearly three years. My family started with BFA during its opening back in 2011, with our daughter starting first grade. Today, she is now a freshman in high school and we have a fifth grader at BFA. Time really does fly by!
I initially wanted to get involved with the Board to further the Mission and Vision of BFA. Upon joining the Board, I wanted to advocate for our Middle School, and help to ensure our enrollment was either close to being maximized or at full capacity. We are happy to report that through the capital investment, teachers, sports programs, the performing arts program, and overall curriculum, BFA's middle school is flourishing.
During the start of my second year on the Board I had the opportunity to become Treasurer. BFA has been a fiscally conservative school, and this has helped put the school in a solid financial position. To that end, we have worked over the past year to make BFA's financial position work even better for the school. I believe going forward, and as Per Pupil Revenue remains as our main source of income, BFA is well positioned to remain financially strong.
This May will see my term come to an end and I look forward to playing an active role in helping to select the next generation BFA Board Members. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time serving on the Board, and have found this experience very rewarding. If serving on the Board appeals to you I would encourage you to get involved during the board election process.

Feel free to reach out to either one of us with questions, or contact any one of the Board members listed below. We hope you'll consider nominating yourself or someone else  for the BFA Board. Click  here  to complete the nomination form. Nominations from the BFA Parent Voting Group must be submitted online before Friday, February 21 , at  11:59 p.m. (MST).

Thank you for your consideration!
Bill Castor , President,    bill@bfacademy.org
Bryan Molen, Vice President,  bryan@bfacademy.org
Courtney Jurbala, Secretary,  courtney@bfacademy.org
Steve Hass , Treasurer, steve@bfacademy.org
Burgandy Hodge , Director,  burgandyh@bfacademy.org
Matt Keillor, Director,  mattk@bfacademy.org
Sarah Nisbet, Director,  sarahn@bfacademy.org


This is the FINAL DAY to take  the Parent Satisfaction Survey!

Take the survey today, Feb. 20, and report your family number to earn an extra Dress of Choice for your student as well as entry into a drawing for  a BFA parking spot for the month of August. 

This is your opportunity to give valuable, confidential feedback and suggestions to the Administration and Board. 

Take the survey NOW before it closes this evening!

As announced previously, we are updating our current carpool process and will begin using an app, called  Bolts Out , for dismissal beginning Monday, March 2. Please download and set up the app before end of day, tomorrow, Feb. 21.
ALL parents and family members who pick up kids from afternoon carpool will need to take the following actions so you are ready for the first day on March 2:
1)   Download the new dismissal app, called Bolts Out, by tomorrow, Feb. 21. The app is available NOW using the following links:
2)   Set up your family information in the Bolts Out app.
  • Open the app. Click 'allow notifications' then enter your mobile number and click 'send OTP' which, in this case, stands for One Time Password. Enter the security code you received via text message and click 'validate.' Acknowledge the safety question, then follow the prompts to indicate how often you want to receive safety reminders (daily or weekly). Important: You MUST allow the app to use your location when the app is open, otherwise it will not function properly.
  • You'll now be able to view the home screen with your family number and last name. Click on the settings 'gear.'
  • Click on 'Update Mobile Numbers' to invite (non-BFA) family members (up to six) or caregivers to join the app and have the ability to pick up your child(ren). They must also download and set up the app. (Use this for grandparents, siblings who pick up, or another caregiver.) After you key in the numbers, select 'Update,' then go 'Back' to the home screen.
  • Use the 'Authorize' button to set up your BFA carpool information by adding smart phone numbers to your Bolts Out app. If you add a cell/smart phone number to 'Authorize,' that person will have the ability to pick up your child(ren) for the dates you specify.
3)   Read the instructions regarding the new pickup process carefully as there are significant changes.
4)   Keep your blue tag, as we will continue to use them with the new system.
5)   Be ready and patient on Monday, March 2, as we begin using our new system!
Again, ALL parents and family members who participate in afternoon pick up MUST DOWNLOAD and SET UP the app by TOMORROW, Feb. 21; be ready to use the app on March 2.

We hope to see you at  Morning with Moms from 7-8 a.m. tomorrow, Feb. 21, at BFA . The Community Events Committee (CEC) is hosting this fun event for students and their mom (or aunt, grandma, special family friend) and plan to treat attendees to some delicious goodies. 

Moms, please plan on staying with your student(s) in the gym until at least 7:45 a.m., and you're welcome to walk your student(s) to their classroom before you leave at 8 a.m. 

And, we still need several volunteers tonight to set up, and tomorrow after the event to clean up. 

We're looking forward to spending a great morning together!

This year, our award-winning performing arts program is taking you back to the legendary days of ancient China with an action-packed stage adventure. The Huns have invaded, and it is up to the misfit Mulan and her mischievous sidekick, Mushu, to save the Emperor! 

The score of 'Mulan JR.' includes songs from the film including the hit "Reflection" and "Be a Man." The performance is the culmination of a trimester of hard work from middle school students who elected to participate in the musical theatre elective. We hope all our BFA families (and their friends) will be able to attend this FREE production at 7 p.m. on either Friday, Feb. 21, or Saturday, Feb. 22, on BFA's performance stage.

Because of your generous support of our Scholastic Book Fairs, we have already added more than 400 books this school year to the library; and, thanks to your continued support of the Book Fair last week, we can purchase another $2,600 worth of books. Together, we're fostering a love of reading which will benefit our kids throughout their lives.
Our sincerest thanks to Ms. Williams, our librarian, and all the Book Fair volunteers who helped to make the Book Fair a success. We depend on our volunteers and they did not disappoint!
We want to give special recognition to Amy Baugh for providing support, flowers, and training to the volunteers and working every day from set-up to the very end--all with a huge smile. 
In addition, Mary Arboleda not only helped with setup and AR labeling, she also spent time helping the kids count out their money, assisting them with their selections and checking in every day to see if we needed anything. Thank you Mary!
Upcoming Author Visit for Second, Third and Fourth Graders
We're happy to announce that we've partnered with Bookies Bookstore, and at  1 p.m. on Monday, March 2, Author David Kelly will visit with our second, third and fourth graders  to talk about his book series, " Ballpark Mysteries ." Books can be purchased for $6 each at the event; and after the discussion, David Kelly will sign books for students. (Students can bring cash or check made out to 'Bookies Bookstore' to purchase a book.) Parents are welcome to attend and will also be able to order books after the event.  See this flier for more information.

Destination ImagiNation
Come cheer on your BFA Destination Imagination (DI) teams at the South Metro tournament on Saturday, March 7, at Fort Logan Northgate 3-8 (4000 S. Lowell Blvd., Denver, 80236).
BFA has two teams, middle school and secondary level, competing in the afternoon. Our teams will be demonstrating their problem solving skills in the following category:
Improv Challenge: To the Rescue
  • Fantastic Fajitas...We're Spicy!, Middle
  • SSSSTT: SuperSillyous Serendipitous Sophisticated Savvy Think Tank, Secondary
In the Improv Challenge, teams must research superpowers and how they are portrayed in comic books, literature, film and other media. They must then create and present an improvisational skit about a villain who uses a superpower to cause an unexpected situation ("conundrum") while a hero uses an underwhelming power to try to overcome the conundrum. They must enhance the skit with sound effects. At the competition, teams will have two minutes to prepare and five minutes to perform their skit. They will find out their villain's superpower and conundrum right before they perform; they will find out their hero's underwhelming power while they are performing their skit.
The teams would enjoy your support and to see BFA faces in the audience rooting them to victory! Everyone is welcome. 

The middle school girls soccer season begins this spring with their first game on April 7. This year we'll have two teams coached by Ms. Poleschook and Ms. Svensen. We expect to have 16 players on A team, and the remaining players will be on B team. A team will participate in our league, so they will play in a minimum of 10 games; but there aren't enough schools with a B team, so instead of playing games, they'll have two practices a week to build their soccer skills. Practices will be held either before school or after school, depending on the team. If your middle school student wants to try out for the team, then mark your calendar for the following dates:
  • Sign Up via MySchoolBucks NOW through Friday, Feb. 28, so we have an idea of how many to expect and so we can communicate via email.
  • Tryouts will be held from 4-5:30 p.m. on Monday, March 2, and Tuesday, March 3, on the turf. 
  • Callbacks will be held from 4-5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4 for those we need to see more from.
  • Teams will be communicated to you on Thursday, March 5, and will be posted to the BFA athletics website by Friday, March 6. Registration details will be provided at that time.
  • If there is inclement weather, we will push tryouts to the following week. 
  • Practices begin after spring break, and games for A team will go from April 7- May 19
  • We may have an optional kick around over spring break so the team(s) can get to know each other a little better.
If you have any questions, please contact Coach Poleschook or Coach Svensen.

The CEC is hosting a  Parent Seminar from 7-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3, in the Middle School Commons . Our very own BFA licensed school psychologist,  Hugh Redford , will be speaking on  Executive Functioning from 7-8 p.m. and then the CEC will host a short reception afterwards. Please mark your calendars!

PTO Trucker Hat
The  PTO's spirit wear store is open now, for the month of February. If you or your student need a new BFA t-shirt, hoodie, or other BFA spirit wear, or spirit items, now's your chance! Please visit the store on MySchoolBucks to place an order.  The store will close again in March--so get your items TODAY. 
All items will be delivered to the classroom and sent home with your student.

To give elementary students in grades 1-5 one more day to earn their Accelerated Reader (AR) Dress of Choice day, we have MOVED the AR Dress of Choice Day from Friday, Feb. 21, to Friday, Feb. 28. 

Please join us for our monthly CEC meeting on Tuesday, March 10, at 6:30 at Old Blinking Light (please note date and location change!). We will be planning our Spring events and invite all new and current CEC members to join us. 

kids heart challenge
A message from the American Heart Association...

We are wrapping up Kids Heart Challenge with the American Heart Association. In fact, all donations are due tomorrow, Feb. 21. 

Thank you so much for helping our school stay heart-healthy and while raising money to save lives! If you haven't had a chance to join the TEAM there's still time to earn  ALL the Heart Heroes... Perrie, Knox, Nico, Sofie, Crush, and Sunny! Get started now by downloading our app called Kids Heart Challenge for iPhone and Android OR go online  CLICK HERE to View Our School Webpage and Sign Up  (you can earn a wristband just for registering).
Ben Franklin is going above and BEYOND for the Kids Heart Challenge this year--in fact, we have a goal to raise $16,000 to save lives!
  • If you are the top fundraiser in your grade when the event closes tomorrow, Feb. 21, then you will get to SLIME either a PE teacher, your assistant principal, or your PRINCIPAL!
  • When you raise $50, you are invited ON COURT after a Denver Nuggets game TO SHOOT HOOPS! You will receive discounted tickets and the whole family can join. 
Watch the heart-healthy experience that students are having at school here:  https://youtu.be/2I1fRcpW7Mg!

Thank you again for your support of the American Heart Association!

Last Spring, King Soopers and City Market replaced the reloadable grocery card fundraising program with an even better AND EASIER rewards program. The King Soopers Community Rewards Program helps our school earn money back from each purchase when you scan a linked King Soopers or City Market loyalty card at check out. Here's how it works:
  1. Sign in to your digital account at King Soopers Community Rewards. If you haven't already set up an account, set up your account and link your King Soopers card or phone number to your account.
  2. Click on Community Rewards, Enroll Now and search for Ben Franklin Parent Teacher Organization or enter our code XN773. Click Save.
  3. Next time you check out at King Sooper or City Market, scan your card (or enter your alternate ID), and BFA will get money back from your purchase.
Since the new program began last April, BFA has earned over $2,600 from 45 linked accounts. We hope you'll take the time to link your account to BFA so we can increase those easy fundraising dollars. Thank you to everyone for your continued support!

Bring the family and meet up with other Ben's Brigade members for a day of skiing or boarding at Keystone on Saturday, Feb. 22. Please RSVP so they know who to expect. This is not a BFA or PTO affiliated event, rather it's a way to connect with other BFA families while doing one of our favorite Colorado activities!

The middle school boys volleyball season begins this spring with their first game on April 7. This year, we'll have two teams coached by Mrs. Haufschild and Mrs. Murphy. We expect to have between 10-12 players on each team. Practices will likely be held BEFORE school throughout the season. If your middle school student wants to be a part of BFA's winning athletic tradition by trying out for our boys volleyball team, please mark your calendar for the following dates:
  • Register for tryouts on MySchoolBucks NOW through March 8. No payment is necessary at this time; the coaches would like to know how many kids plan to try out.
  • Tryouts will be held from 4-6 p.m. on Monday, March 9, and Tuesday, March 10, in the Thunder Gym. There will be a 15-minute parent meeting at 4 p.m. on March 9.
  • Callbacks will be held from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11, in the Thunder Gym.
  • Teams will be announced on Thursday, March 12. Registration details will be provided at that time.
  • Practices begin after spring break, with the first game on April 7.
If you have questions, please contact  Coach Murphy  or  Coach Haufschild.
Friday, Feb. 21

Morning with Moms is from 7-8 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 21, at BFA . Moms, please plan on staying with your student(s) in the gym until at least 7:45 a.m., and you're welcome to walk your student(s) to their classroom before you leave at 8 a.m. We're looking forward to spending a great morning together.

We hope all our BFA families (and their friends) will be able to attend this FREE production at 7 p.m. on either Friday, Feb. 21, or Saturday, Feb. 22, on BFA's performance stage.
Saturday, Feb. 22

We hope all our BFA families (and their friends) will be able to attend this FREE production at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, on BFA's performance stage.
Tuesday, Feb. 25

Tours for prospective K-8 families will be held at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays now through   March 31.  We'll also have a tour on April 7 and May 5.   Please note, there will be no tours on   March 17  while students are on break. And, if there is a school closure or delay, there will be NO TOUR.
Anyone going on a tour should bring a Driver's License and arrive a few minutes early so we can scan their license before the tour begins.
Wednesday, Feb. 26

Sports pictures for cheer and basketball will be  after school on Wednesday, Feb. 26.  Please have students bring their uniforms to school!
Thursday, Feb. 27

The School Advisory Committee (SAC) will meet from  4:30 - 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27,  in the Conference Room. All welcome to attend!

Ben's Brigade will meet from  8 - 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27 , at Lansdowne Arms in Highlands Ranch. All BFA dads are welcome to attend!
Friday, Feb. 28

Accelerated Reader (AR) Dress of Choice day, is Friday, Feb. 28. If your elementary student(s) in grade 1-5 made their AR goal, they can participate in Dress of Choice. Please contact his/her teacher if you are uncertain about whether your student achieved his/her goal.
Additional Upcoming Events: BFA Calendar
Middle School:  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.