Vol. 9, Iss. 36
December 19, 2019

Dear Parents,

Yesterday I sent a communication to the fifth - eighth grade families regarding a change in personnel. Mr. Rau, assistant principal for grades 5-8, announced yesterday that he will not be returning to BFA after our winter break. We wish him the very best as he explores new opportunities. We will start a search committee in February to have a replacement in place by the end of the school year. 
I want to congratulate our middle school boys basketball A team on their championship win against Platte River Academy Tuesday night! It was a great game and the stands were full of students, families, staff, and alumni cheering for the Bolts. It was such a fun atmosphere celebrating this accomplishment!
I also want to congratulate one of our eighth grade students, Armen Kazazean, who reached the level of Eagle Scout this week. If you aren't associated with Scouting, you may not realize what an outstanding accomplishment this is and all the work that goes into achieving this status, so I want to share some of Armen's thoughts from his Eagle application:
"My biggest achievement has been reaching the final stages of becoming an Eagle Scout. I have earned all the required merit badges and rank advancements, and I have worked my way up and understand the value of the completion of tasks and serving others. On the way, I met new friends, had new experiences and learned lessons that may not have happened outside of Scouts. 
After completing six ranks and a minimum of 21 merit badges to become an Eagle Scout it is required to complete an independent service project to serve your community or a local organization. I recently completed my Eagle Service Project where I built a junior mountain bike course in Highlands Ranch Backcountry, Colorado. I was passionate about this project, although there were easier projects I could have taken on such as building a bench or planting trees. I was able to overcome the obstacles of having the land donated from Highlands Ranch Community Association, engineering the course, raising the funds, arranging over 30 volunteers and completing the track on November 9, 2019 with the help of 36 volunteers. This track allows younger riders a place to practice skills and gain confidence in a safe environment.  

Another big part of scouts is to learn outdoor and survival skills. Last summer I spent a total of 37 days and nights in the wilderness canoeing, hiking, and backpacking. I saw the true meaning of teamwork, friendship, and physical effort."
Congratulations Armen!

I'm excited to announce our Apple Award winners for this school year-- Mrs. Hinkle, K-8 art teacher, and Mrs. DeRis, instructional aide! They both do a terrific job and are beloved by kiddos, parents and their peers. They will be invited to attend the Foundation for Douglas County School's reveal party at the Vehicle Vault on Feb. 29.  Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations.
Finally, I want to share how proud I am of our National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) members who held a middle school donation drive for Children's Hospital during the past few weeks. The final tally is in and we're proud to report that the middle school donated 539 items to teens at Children's Hospital. (WOW!) These students not only put in a lot of hard work collecting and organizing donations, but they demonstrated a true commitment to their community and empathy toward their peers who are struggling with health issues this holiday season. Thanks to all the families that donated items, and all the students who helped with the endeavor.

Happy Winter Break to all of you! I hope you have a fun, safe, and happy break. I look forward to seeing all of you in 2020! 


Diana Simpson

The Ben Franklin Academy (BFA) community is seeking leaders who are passionate about and committed to BFA's mission and vision to serve on the BFA Board of Directors (Board). In the spring of 2020, the BFA community will elect two (2) directors and the BFA Board will appoint one (1) director in accordance with the Board of Directors Election Policy to serve on the volunteer, seven-director BFA Board. Each seat is for a three-year term. We hope to receive a record number of nominations with a desire of having a diverse, talented and dedicated pool of candidates to draw from for BFA's Board.
A critical element to the success of any charter school is its ability to advocate for its educational philosophy, successfully fulfill legal requirements and carry out its mission and vision. Serving on the BFA Board is an opportunity for you to ensure that BFA is and remains "The Core Knowledge STEAM School of Choice." Board directors use their backgrounds, experience and skills to focus on oversight and matters of strategic importance which can help improve BFA's educational programs. In addition to helping teachers, staff and administrators lay a solid foundation in education for future generations and instill a love of learning in BFA students, the Board provides individuals a chance to grow personally and professionally, further develop skills, gain unique experience and make lasting connections with a team of other passionate and motivated individuals.
The Board encourages all individuals with a passion to serve the BFA community to get involved in the nomination and election process this spring. More details on the election/appointment process, director qualifications and Board needs will be communicated in early 2020.

Students can wear  Dress of Choice tomorrow, Dec. 20,  if they have not had two dress code violations since the last Dress of Choice Day. Clothing should follow the guidelines outlined in the uniform policy.  uniform policy

Students will be on Winter Break from Monday, Dec. 23, through Friday, Jan. 3. We hope you have a relaxing break and look forward to seeing you on Monday, Jan. 6.   uniform policy

A note from National Junior Honor Society (NJHS)...
Children's Hospital and NJHS want to thank middle school families for their amazing contributions to the charity drive and recognize some special people. Thanks to you, we've collected 539 items to be given to middle school and high school aged patients at Children's Hospital!
We'd like to thank the Jovanovich family and their daughter, Piper, who was the creative force behind the drive and acted as our point of contact with the hospital. The Jovanovich family generously donated the pizza to Ms. Poleschook's homeroom class who brought in more than 200 items for Children's Hospital patients! Finally, we wanted to thank Mrs. Murphy and NJHS members who helped to make the drive possible. The Jovanovich family will deliver the items to Children's Hospital during Winter Break, and we hope the gifts bring smiles to patients staying at the hospital over the holidays.

Spelling Bee
The BFA spelling bee will take place on Friday, Jan. 10, in the afternoon. Students in grades 4-8 took the qualifier test last week and two students from each grade were offered a spot to compete in the school wide bee. The following students are studying hard to compete in January: Megan Heckwolf, Liliana Molieri, Architha Kannojoo, Kennedy Fletemeyer, Laurel Henbest, Asah Rangel, Colby Mayka, Dallin Sarver, Tyler Sunahara, and Jeremy Lewicki. Congratulations, contestants! 

Student Council sponsored a door decorating contest to help encourage the festivity of the season. The winner of the contest in the K-4 category was Mrs. Hildebrand's class for her nutcracker ballet themed door that even plays music! In the grades 5-8 category, Ms. Dychus's 12 Days of Math-mas reigned supreme

There are so many fun and festive doors, so be sure to check them out!

Thank you to everyone who contributed during the  SCRIP collection week earlier this month. A total of $16,656 was collected for BFA staff! Recipients were notified of their respective gift amounts last weekend, gift card selections have been made, and the (very large) order placed. Led by Rachael Hamburger, BFA SCRIP coordinator, the PTO is organizing all the orders and will distribute gift cards today and tomorrow. Special thanks to Rachael and to all of our generous BFA families!

Yearbook sales have officially launched! Similar to last year, the only way to purchase a yearbook is through the PTO vendor, Walsworth. The PTO will not be offering yearbook sales at any other events throughout the year. Don't wait, as prices will increase beginning in January!  
Now - Dec. 31, 2019 = $26 per book
Jan. 1 - Feb. 29, 2020 = $31 per book
March 1 - March 31, 2020 = $36 per book 
Order  and pay for your 2019-20 yearbook today!

BENefit Bash
The PTO would like to thank everyone - sponsors, volunteers, bidders, and attendees - who helped contribute to the success of the 2019 BENefit Bash. BFA families purchased 328 tickets between the two BENefit Bash events, and 424 registered users on PTA Pal participated in the online auctions. In addition, 20 Pathway to Learning bricks were sold. The bricks will be placed in the spring after all buyers have had a chance to submit their brick's information. Finally, thanks to the generosity of the BFA community and our annual sponsors, this year's  BENefit Bash netted approximately $46,000, which will be used to make enhancements to the outdoor classroom and to fulfill teacher requests in the current school year.

Please join members of the CEC for their meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at Old Blinking Light (please note the date AND location change!). If you have volunteered with the CEC in any capacity this school year we invite you to join us for appetizers as a THANK YOU for supporting the CEC. We will be gathering in the front part of the restaurant.

Please mark your calendars for our annual Donuts with Dad event which will be held from 7 - 8 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, at BFA. More details to come soon!

The PTO is changing things up this year, and giving our  sons an opportunity to show off their sweet dance moves.  Calling all BFA boys and their "special" adult to a super "Night in Gotham City" to enjoy some dancing, games, light snacks and dessert. Get silly in the superhero photo booth and capture the moments you want to remember. Everyone is encouraged to dress as their favorite superheroes, and we will have a prize for the best costume! It's guaranteed to be a SUPER night.

Event Details: 
When: It's from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020
Where:  BFA 
How Much: A ticket pair is $25, and an extra single ticket is $5.
Next Steps: Get your tickets via MySchoolBucks from January 12-23.
NO  tickets sold at the door.
Please contact Lynsey Humphries, PTO social coordinator, if you have questions or would like to help with putting on this fun event.

If you signed up for an after school performing arts class, please remember that several of them begin right after Winter Break. All the information can be found in the Performing Arts  brochure. If you have not signed up yet, there are still slots available for some of our classes so  register NOW!  Please contact  Ms. Johnson with questions.

Is your elementary student interested in learning Spanish? If so, our middle school Spanish teacher,  Señora Connell, is offering a Spanish class for elementary students . You can sign up for classes by the month. The cost for this activity is  $50 per month, per student ; and, payments should be made via Zelle or check (made out to Patricia Connell).
Morning classes:  Kids in grades K-5 will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30 to 8 a.m. in the Spanish classroom (#276)
Afternoon classes:   Kindergarten through second grade will meet Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30 - 4 p.m. in the Spanish classroom (#276). Third grade through fifth grade will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 - 4 p.m. in the Spanish room (#276).
You can sign up for one month at a time . Classes follow the regular BFA school calendar for breaks/days off, and continue until the end of May. Sign up today by contacting Señora Connell for registration, payment information and questions.

We're looking forward to celebrating the holidays with students tomorrow, Dec. 20. Please pay special attention to the information and times for your student's holiday party as outlined in your room parent or party coordinator's email.  Most elementary parties will be held from 1:45 - 2:45 p.m. Please do not arrive prior to 1:30 p.m. because kiddos will still be learning and you will not be allowed access to your student's classroom early. Parents may release their elementary students after the party if they sign them out with their student's teacher. 
Our middle school teachers have sent out separate communications about their grade level activities/celebrations. 
Please park in a designated parking space and (as always) refrain from parking along the curb in the parking lot, or in a volunteer of the month, staff member of the week, or purchased parking spot that is not yours--even if it is just for a few minutes. After the overflow lot is full, you may park along the 'B' lane. We kindly remind you not to park in A-lane as this must be kept open to facilitate the flow of traffic.
Entry into the School
For the safety of our students, we need to be sure that EVERY PERSON who enters the building has had their Driver's License scanned THIS SCHOOL YEAR.  All parents will need to pick up their badges upon entry to the building or have their license scanned to obtain a badge. All visitors inside the school will need to wear their badge during the festivities. 
  • Parents who have come into the office and had their license scanned THIS YEAR and received their official volunteer badge will be routed through the main doors. A staff member will distribute their volunteer badges.
  • Parents who DID NOT have their pictures taken during BFA Check-In/Picture Retake Day and have not had their license scanned this school year, as well as ALL guests (grandparents, relatives, neighbors, etc.) will need to come through the main office to have their license scanned. No exceptions will be made. Please make sure that every person has a license.
  • Anyone who had their picture taken during BFA Check-In/Picture Retake Day but has not provided their license to be scanned this school year, will need to come through the main office with their license. 
Middle School Early Check Out
Our middle school students will be in class Friday afternoon so if you would like to check your middle school student out early, please come to the office to do so.
Thank you for helping us keep all BFA kids safe and ensuring that everyone has a fun holiday celebration! We look forward to seeing many of you tomorrow.
Happy Holidays!
Thursday, Dec. 19

School Accountability Committee (SAC) is tasked with informing, encouraging, and providing opportunities for parent and community members to be involved in the planning and evaluation of the school's instructional program and quality improvement processes. All BFA parents are welcome to attend their meetings! The next meeting is from  4:30 - 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 19,  in the Conference Room
Friday, Dec. 20

Students can wear  Dress of Choice on Friday, Dec. 20,  if they have not had two dress code violations since the last Dress of Choice Day. Clothing should follow the guidelines outlined in the uniform policy.  uniform policy
Dec. 23 - Jan. 3

Students will be on Winter Break from Monday, Dec. 23, through Friday, Jan. 3. We hope you have a relaxing break and look forward to seeing you on Monday, Jan. 6.   uniform policy
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.