Vol. 9, Iss. 4
Jan. 31, 2019

Dear Parents, 

Every year, the Board and Admin team task the School Accountability Committee (SAC) with crafting a parent survey to help us gauge how we're doing from a parent perspective. While we're always talking to parents and we hope that you've already addressed any major issues/concerns with your student's teacher or the administration, this survey provides a more scientific approach to ensuring that BFA is achieving its mission and vision. Along with the student survey data we receive, this is a key indicator of our success as an organization. Therefore, I want to personally invite all K-8 parents to spend 10 minutes taking this new, shortened survey.
 
We'd like every BFA family to complete the Parent Satisfaction Survey and express your thoughts and opinions regarding the current academic year. This is a comprehensive survey for all K-8 grade levels (which differs from past years) and offers the ability to provide specific feedback.
 
The SAC carefully analyzes the survey data, and presents its findings to the Board and Administration, who then use the data to determine whether BFA meets or exceeds the annual goals set for the school. Oftentimes, we'll identify opportunities for growth or enrichment through this process. We take your feedback very seriously and we appreciate your willingness to participate.
 
This year, as a token of appreciation for participating in the survey, SAC is offering any participants who share their family number entry into a drawing for one of ten (10) Amazon or Target $25 gift cards.
 
Please follow this  link to take the survey today. Thank you!

Sincerely,

Diana Simpson

SPIRIT DAY TOMORROW    
 
Tomorrow, Feb. 1, is a Spirit Day so students can wear a Spirit Wear T-shirt, a field day shirt from a prior year, or their fun run T-shirt. 

BATTLE OF THE BOOKS BEGINS  
 
BFA is participating in the Douglas County Libraries Battle of the Books again this year! Battle of the Books is a tournament that requires students to read specific books and be able to answer questions about those books in a trivia-style competition against other local schools. BFA has two teams: the third/fourth grade team, coached by Mrs. Lewicki, and the fifth/sixth grade team, coached by Mrs. Mashburn. The battles began this week when students faced off against Roxborough. BFA's third/fourth grade team lost to Roxborough by one question. The fifth/six grade team won in the tie breaking round.  Congratulations to both teams for working hard and finishing strong.
 
The third/fourth grade team members competing will change from week-to-week. The members who competed last night include:
Jennifer Fischer
Evan Nagel
Madelyn Anderson
Anna Sevinsky
Jared Holway
 
Following are several of the fifth/sixth grade team members (excluding those who prefer no media coverage):
Mason Scott
Catherine Slaughter
Matthew LaSelle
Addi Coleman
   
Below are the details for our upcoming battles, which will take place in the Cliff Buttes room at the Recreation Center at Southridge (4800 McArthur Ranch Road) in Highlands Ranch. We hope you can come cheer us on!
 
Week 2 - Tuesday, Feb. 5: 3/4 Team at 6:30 p.m.; 5/6 Team at 7 p.m.
 
Week 3 - Tuesday, Feb. 12: 3/4 Team at 6:30 p.m.; 5/6 Team at 7 p.m.
 
Week 4 - Tuesday, Feb. 19: 3/4 Team at 5:30 p.m.; 5/6 Team at 6 p.m.

VISION EYE CHART
WEAR GLASSES/CONTACTS ON MONDAY AND TUESDAY FOR HEARING AND VISION SCREENINGS 
 
BFA will conduct our annual hearing and vision screenings at school for select grade levels on Monday Feb. 4, and Tuesday, Feb. 5.  It is important to note that this is a screening, not a complete exam. If your student wears prescription glasses or contacts, it is necessary that he/she wear them during the screening
 
You will receive a letter if your student does not pass the screening. Students with concerns should be evaluated by a health care professional. Please take the letter to your appointment and have the provider complete the bottom of the form, then return it to the health office.
 
Colorado Department of Education Standards for hearing and vision are available online.
 
Please contact the Health Room if you have questions or concerns about your student.

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SIXTH GRADE FAMILIES - PLEASE VOLUNTEER IN FEBRUARY
 
SIXTH GRADE FAMILIES--please volunteer in carpool this February! To help fill crucial carpool volunteer roles, we're asking  parents in each grade level to make a special effort to volunteer one month of the school year. 

In February, we'd like our sixth grade families to sign up for open volunteer spots in carpool. If you don't have a sixth grade student, but enjoy volunteering in carpool--WE STILL NEED YOU so please consider signing up today. Just log into  HelpCounter and click on ' Check for Upcoming Opportunities.' 

DONUTS WITH DADS - A SWEET SUCCESS  
 
A message from the Community Events Committee...

Thanks to everyone that attended Donuts with Dads last week. More than 540 dads and kiddos attended this popular event and enjoyed a fun morning with a little sweet treat to kick off their Friday! We appreciate everyone who volunteered and made this event a success. Be watching for details for Morning with Mom, coming up in early April. 

 CONGRATS TO MRS. HINZ'S SECOND GRADE CLASS!    
 
Congratulations to Mrs. Hinz's second grade class who won the elementary
school Holiday Door Decorating contest that Student Council had sponsored prior to Winter Break. Yesterday they enjoyed their prize of w earing pajamas to school and enjoying hot chocolate and cookies served by the middle school Student Council members. 

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REGISTRATION ENDS MONDAY FOR VALENTINE'S PARENTS NIGHT OUT 
 
Looking forward to a Valentine's Day date night? Or, do you need a quiet, kid-free evening? The eighth grade Washington, D.C. students have you covered!
Drop your kids (BFA students, kindergarten and older) off for dinner (pizza, drink and dessert included), games, crafts, movies, gym activities and snacks from 6-10 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8. You'll get a night off, the kids can hang out with their friends, and you'll be supporting the eighth graders raising money for their Washington, D.C. trip!

The cost for babysitting, dinner and crafts/activities is only $25 for the first kiddo in your family, and $10 for each additional child. Registration is OPEN NOW and ends on Monday, Feb. 4. We must have 20 participants signed up to hold this event....so make a plan with your friends and/or your sweetheart and join in the fun! Please register NOW through the BFA Store (look under the 'events' tab).

BASE REMINDERS  
 
A message from the BASE director...
 
Students who attend the BASE program must be checked in/out by a parent, AND all paperwork must be completed and turned in before the student attends BASE. During the past several weeks, there have been many children not previously registered for BASE who were dropped off at the front of the school with the expectation that they would be checked into BASE.
  
A ll students must be checked into morning BASE and out of afternoon BASE by a parent.
 
If your student has morning tutoring and you need to utilize BASE for their siblings, then please ensure they are registered and follow the drop-off procedures.To register, visit our webpage to review the handbook and print the enrollment form.

If you have any questions, please contact Leigh Savoy, BASE director.

BOOK FAIR
SPRING BOOK FAIR    
 
BFA's Spring Scholastic Book fair will be held Monday, Feb. 11, through Thursday, Feb. 14, in conjunction with Parent Teacher conferences:
  • 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., Monday, Feb. 11 and Thursday, Feb. 14
  • 8:30 a.m. - 8 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 12 and Wednesday, Feb. 13
  • Please remember the front office is closed during carpool from 3 - 4 p.m.
Visit the Scholastic webpage for a preview of all the exciting selections that will be offered this year. Visit the fair and enter your child's name in the drawing to be held after the fair. The Library will be giving away books and miscellaneous items. We are looking forward to seeing you there!

outdoor shelter
 INSTALLATION UPDATE FROM THE PTO   
 
Unpredictable as she is, Mother Nature has thrown a wrench in the installation plans of the outdoor classroom with all the recent snow. Hopefully you've seen that the structure for the shade unit was installed two weeks ago, and we think it looks great! Currently, we are waiting for the snow to melt so we can begin the groundwork, including regrading, backfilling as well as extending the retaining wall. As soon as we have updated information, the PTO will be sure to share it with you. 

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LET'S GET HEART HEALTHY!    
 
A message from Mrs. Bauer, K-5 PE teacher...

Ben Franklin Academy's Heart Challenge will take place during the next few weeks. Last year, BFA gained recognition for being among the top six schools in Colorado to raise money for the American Heart Association. This year, we lowered our monetary donation goal to $10,000, as our primary objective this year is to encourage our students to make healthy choices. We want students to understand the importance of giving to others, but the main message will be about how to stay heart healthy.
 
This year, students will be given three challenges:  
 
1.  Sign on to the American Heart Association and take the Heart Challenge with your family. This is a great way for the whole family to remember the things they need to do to stay healthy!
2.  Donate, if possible. (If each student donates $15, we will meet our goal.) Alternatively, your student can choose to send out emails asking others to donate. I realize you are asked to donate a lot, and as I tell the students every year, each family has different preferences regarding donations and if this is not one of them, that's okay! Maybe this will start a conversation about your family's philosophy regarding giving and/or how you choose to support your community.
3.  Participate in Heart Rate Challenge Days, and stay in the Target Heart Rate Zone for 80 percent of the class period.
 
Below are the Heart Rate Challenge Days (during their specials time):
  • Friday, Feb. 1 - Dunn, Hildebrand, Boyd, Marchisio, Brook, McGinty
  • Friday, Feb. 8 - Walter, Hinz, Lewicki, Erbaugh, DePasse, Ferguson
  • Wednesday, Feb. 13 - Pitrone, North
  • Thursday, Feb. 14 - Knudsen, Whelan, Wall, Wilson
  • Friday, Feb. 22 - Mashburn, Harms, VanWyk, Lindgren, Triplett, half-day Kindergarten
 
 All envelopes and donations will be due by Monday, Feb. 25.
 
If you would like to volunteer for a Heart Challenge Event, click here to sign up.

Beauty
SAVE THE DATE: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, JR. 
 
Be our guest at 7 p.m. on Feb. 22 or 23, for a tale as old as time! You're sure to be enchanted by the performances of BFA's middle school students as they bring to life a classic fairy tale, in "Beauty and The Beast, Jr." There is no fee to watch this magical story unfold on BFA's performance stage, so bring the entire family to enjoy this tale about the transforming power of kindness and love.

DISTRICT ACCOUNTABILITY COMMITTEE WINTER FORUM 
 
The DCSD District Accountability Committee is hosting a Winter Forum and you're invited. The forum is from 5:15-9 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at Cimarron Middle School in Parker. They'll be a meet and greet with Superintendent Thomas Tucker, and the guest speaker is Andrew Romanoff, president and CEO of Mental Health Colorado. Please see this flier for more information.

SWEETHEART BALL WRAP-UP  
 
Thank you to everyone who helped make last Saturday's Sweetheart Ball such a successful event. It was great to see so many BFA girls and their
special adult (around 350 attendees) enjoying themselves dancing, making lip balm and 'walk of fame' hand prints, taking pictures at the photo wall, and snacking on sweet treats. Special thanks to Emerald Holden, Mandy Flaherty, Erin Crowe, Jessica Henning, Larissa Meister, Heather Salberg, Amber Simonis, Jennifer Dela'o, Johanna Moody, Rachel Molieri, Natalie Lucero, and the Baking Committee, along with all the amazing BFA volunteers who helped by making food, setting up and tearing down the event, and volunteering during the event so all the girls could be shining stars for the evening.

DON'T MISS OUT! MAKE YOUR STUDENT FEEL SPECIAL ON VALENTINE'S DAY!   
 
Send a pencil gram to your child(ren) for Valentine's Day!  Smencils are No. 2 graphite pencils made from recycled newspaper. They're fun to write with because they're colorful and have a unique scent. New this year--MYSTERY SMENCILS--the same fun pencils, but with 10 mystery scents. What scent will your child receive? Scents will be revealed at school after delivery! You also can include a personal message with your gift. Smencils are $2 for a single pencil, and $10 for a set of six.
 
Also new this year are BACKPACK BUDDIES! These cute, scented plush characters come attached with a keychain to hook on your backpack. There are six different characters all with their own unique scent. The eighth graders will attach a personalized message from you to the backpack buddy and deliver your gift on Valentine's Day. Backpack buddies are $6 each, or 3 for $15. 
 
You can order Smencils and/or Backpack Buddies online through the BFA Store. Please place orders by Monday, Feb. 4.and the eighth graders will deliver them on Valentine's Day! Proceeds benefit the eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C. 

MIDDLE SCHOOL VALENTINE'S DANCE
 
Get ready for a night of fun, food and excitement! Student Council invites all BFA middle school students to the Valentine's Dance from 6 - 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9. The theme is Black and White so feel free to wear black and white attire. We will have a DJ playing your kid's favorite music and engaging everyone in a number of dance contests, games, etc. Little Caesar's pizza will be available ($1/slice), along with other free snacks and refreshments. It's going to be a great time! Tickets are on sale through MySchoolBucks; they're $5 online (order pizza online too), and $7 at the door. Hope you see you there!

Please consider signing up to help decorate, check kids in, chaperone, or donate snacks.

ROCK
DEADLINE TOMORROW FOR A CHANCE TO PAINT THE ROCK 
 
Does your middle school student like to paint or draw? Do they want the chance to paint the Spirit Rock with their design? Tell them to submit their entry TOMORROW for the PTO's Virtues Awareness poster contest. Each poster entry gets participants into a drawing, and the winner of the drawing has the privilege of painting the Spirit Rock this May. To enter the poster contest for February, complete the form and turn it in tomorrow, Feb. 1, with a design that highlights the February virtue of Purity.
  
CALL FOR NOMINATIONS TO BFA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
 
The Succession Committee of the BFA Board of Directors is pleased to announce the Call for Nominations for the BFA Board of Directors ('Board') is now open.
 
There will be two (2) open director seats on the BFA Board, which will be filled according to the Board of Directors Election Policy. Each seat is for a three-year term. One director will be elected by the Parent Voting Group, and the other director will be appointed by the BFA Board.

Election/Appointment Process
To nominate someone (including yourself) for the BFA Board, click  here to complete the nomination form. Nominations from the BFA Parent Voting Group must be submitted online before Friday, Feb. 22, at 11:59 p.m. (All times listed are MST.)
 
For the Board-appointed seat, nominees may be selected by the Board from the Parent Voting Group's nominations or nominated by a Board director at any time. The Board reserves all rights to fill Seat 4 , Class B.
 
There will be a Board forum on Tuesday, March 12, at 5 p.m. before the regularly scheduled Board meeting. All Board nominees are required to attend and participate in a Question and Answer session. BFA Parents are invited to the forum so they can learn more about the nominees.
 
Voting for the Seat 3 , Class B, director will take place electronically  April 5-12. Results of the election will be announced and the appointment will be made on 
Tuesday, April 16, at the regularly scheduled Board meeting. All Board nominees are encouraged to be in attendance for the results of both (1) the election and (2) the appointment.
 
To review the entire Board of Directors Election Policy, click here.
 
Qualifications to Serve on the BFA Board
The Succession Committee is seeking candidates who are committed and passionate individuals with a broad range of skills and knowledge in topics including but not limited to: law, including charter school laws and regulations; human resources; organizational and financial management; business/corporate administration; strategic/long-range planning; and technology. We also encourage people with other competencies to seek nomination. Additional requirements are listed on the Board's election webpage.
 
For more detailed information, please read the Board Election/Appointment Frequently Asked Questions.

If you are interested in learning more, please email Burgandy Hodge, director, or any of our other Board members. Thank you for your time!
 
Bill Castor, President
Ann Citrin, Vice President
Bryan Molen, Secretary
Steve Haas, Treasurer
Courtney Jurbala, Director
Matt Keillor , Director

school bucks
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: THERE'S A NEW PAYMENTS PROCESSING SYSTEM  
 
In case you missed our previous announcements, we want to be sure you know that we've moved to a new payment processing system, My School Bucks, for our field trips, sports and after school activities (such as music classes and summer camp). This system will replace RevTrak. The change to this system was driven by Douglas County School District and is being used by all schools across DCSD. 
 
As we mentioned in previous newsletters, with this new system, we are finding a few differences from what we are all used to. Please note the following important items:
 
1) The parameters of this new system DO NOT allow us to extend enrollment deadlines for any event. You will need to pay special attention to registration deadlines sent to you by your student's teacher/coach and complete your registrations before the close date. 
 
2)   Due to this system being used by all of DCSD, you may see activities from some/all schools in our district. All BFA events will begin with "BFA" in the title. Therefore you can filter your search using "BFA" to only show activities or events for our school.  
 
3)  We are finding that the MySchoolBucks website is more user friendly and strongly recommend that you use the website for all registrations rather than the MySchoolBucks mobile app. They are still fine tuning the app and until it is complete, please use the website for registrations to ensure important permission items are not missed. 
 
If you have any questions, please contact Kerry Alder or Halsley Hoff in the Business Office.
Yearbook
 
TIME TO PURCHASE YOUR 2018-19 YEARBOOK
 
Yearbook sales have officially launched! This year, the only way to purchase a yearbook is through our vendor, Walsworth. We will not be offering yearbook sales at any other events throughout the year. Don't wait, as prices will increase beginning in March!  
  • Jan. 1 - Feb. 28: $31 per book
  • March 1 - 31: $36 per book 
You may also order a dedication (or ad) for your student through Walsworth's website. What a fun way to help commemorate a great school year!
 
Order and pay for your 2018-19 yearbook and/or dedication today.

Camera
NEED PARENT PHOTOGRAPHERS
 
We need your help with pictures for the yearbook! We  need more candid pictures --including past events such as Harvest Festival, after school activities, middle school sports, field trips etc.  Earn some volunteer time and click here to upload photos.  The code is 'YEARBOOK2019.'

School
ATTENTION EIGHTH GRADE FAMILIES
 
As you prepare for your eighth grader's high school enrollment, you may need to request transcripts and/or other records. If that's the case, please email our registrar, Colleen Bobbin, and let her know exactly what the high school requires. (They should specify which records are needed, and understanding their exact requirements will eliminate delays in processing.)
 
It takes some time to gather all the necessary documents, so please allow three business days (72 hours) to complete the request. Once the student's packet has been completed, the registrar will email the requesting parent and leave the packet at the front desk for pick up. 

Spanish
BEFORE SCHOOL ELEMENTARY SPANISH
 
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 student (less on shorter months).
Spanish
  • Kindergarten, first and second grade will meet Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:30 to 8 a.m.
  • Third, fourth and fifth grade will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30 to 8 a.m.
Y ou can sign up for one month at a time; classes continue through the end of May and follow the regular BFA school calendar for breaks/days off. Sign up today through My School Bucks! Please  contact  Señora Connell with any questions. 

ROCK
GOT SOMEONE OR SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE?
RENT THE ROCK! 
 
Have a birthday to celebrate or a team to cheer on? Then rent the Spirit Rock! You've probably already seen the fun messages painted on the rock, and it's just $15 per day for you to display your message.
 
For more information on how to rent and paint the rock, visit the PTO webpage. If you have questions, email  Sara Hope , spirit rock committee manager. 

MAKE YOUR STUDENT'S BIG DAY SPECIAL--SEND A BIRTHDAY BAG 
 
Order your birthday bags today and help our eighth graders who are going to Washington, D.C. next spring. For just $10, our eighth graders will deliver a bag of goodies (no food included) to your child's classroom and surprise him or her with a special Happy Birthday song. We're happy to celebrate half birthdays too! Bags are available for purchase on the BFA online store. Please order early to ensure delivery on your child's special day.   
 
GET YOUR DISCOUNT TICKETS TODAY  
 
The Foundation for Douglas County Schools  Community Events Program  is out with their latest fundraisers! The Foundation works with our community event partners to provide substantially discounted tickets to cultural venues and sporting events; and, best of all, your ticket purchases benefit DCSD. Go to their website for the latest information on discount tickets. 
Friday, Feb. 1
 

SPIRIT DAY   
 
Friday, Feb. 1, is a Spirit Day so students can wear a Spirit Wear T-shirt, a field day shirt from a prior year, or their fun run T-shirt. 
Monday, Feb. 4
 

VISION EYE CHART
WEAR GLASSES/CONTACTS ON MONDAY AND TUESDAY FOR HEARING AND VISION SCREENINGS 
 
BFA will conduct our annual hearing and vision screenings at school for select grade levels on Monday Feb. 4.  It is important to note that this is a screening, not a complete exam. If your student wears prescription glasses or contacts, it is necessary that he/she wear them during the screening
Tuesday, Feb. 5
 

VISION EYE CHART
WEAR GLASSES/CONTACTS ON MONDAY AND TUESDAY FOR HEARING AND VISION SCREENINGS 
 
BFA will conduct our annual hearing and vision screenings at school for select grade levels on Tuesday, Feb. 5.  It is important to note that this is a screening, not a complete exam. If your student wears prescription glasses or contacts, it is necessary that he/she wear them during the screening

SCHOOL TOUR FOR PROSPECTIVE PARENTS  
 
Tours for prospective K-8 families will be held at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays through March 26 (except March 19 as it's Spring Break).

During the tour, we'll show prospective parents around the school so they can see firsthand why we are the STEAM School of Choice in Douglas County. 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. 


STEM
STEM MEETING   
 
The Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Committee will meet from 5:30 - 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, in the Sanders Science Lab . All parents are welcome to attend. 
Wednesday, Feb. 6
 

FORMAL UNIFORM DAY   
 
Wednesday, Feb. 6, is a Formal Uniform Day. Students should wear a navy polo shirt with the BFA logo and tan pants, shorts, skort or a skirt.
Friday, Feb. 8
 

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VALENTINE'S PARENTS NIGHT OUT 
 
There is a Parents Night Out from 6 - 10 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8, at BFA. Kids will enjoy dinner (pizza, drink and dessert included), games, crafts, movies, gym activities and snacks. Registration is OPEN NOW through the BFA Store and ends on Monday, Feb. 4.   
Saturday, Feb. 9
 

MIDDLE SCHOOL VALENTINE'S DANCE
 
All BFA middle school students are invited to the Valentine's Dance from 6 - 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9. The theme is Black and White so feel free to wear black and white attire. Tickets are on sale through MySchoolBucks; they're $5 online (order pizza online too), and $7 at the door. 
Additional Upcoming Events: BFA Calendar
Middle School:  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.