Vol. 10, Iss. 23
Sept. 10, 2020

Dear Parents,

Ben Franklin's thirteen virtues are a cornerstone of what we do here at BFA. Each month, we focus on one or two of these virtues as a school. For September, our virtues are silence and justice.  

Silence - There is a time and place to speak up and a time to listen. You learn more by listening than speaking. We emphasize this with the students in September because, as school begins, it's a good reminder about how to be a successful student and a caring friend. You'll notice that the definition doesn't say that people should be silent, or that silence is the expectation. As an organization, we've been working to demonstrate this virtue as well by listening to our families, staff, and students as much as possible to make decisions that are based on input from our entire community. As I've said before, we're committed to providing information in a transparent and timely manner. We also encourage families to speak up if there is something that we need to hear to make improvements.

Justice - Be respectful. Give everyone a chance to work or play. Give others a chance to express themselves. Share. Remember that others are counting on you, so live up to your duty. Kids often relate "justice" to things being "fair." However, the definition that we use focuses more on being respectful of others and knowing that everyone has an equal voice. We encourage all stakeholders to express their opinions while remaining respectful to those around us that we may disagree with. Our community has done an amazing job of valuing diverse opinions during this pandemic. We have come together in remarkable ways to support each other, the staff and the students.

In order to make sure that all of our families feel included and part of our community, I will be holding two specific town halls over the next few weeks (dates to be announced). One town hall will focus on any families that are new to BFA. This town hall will answer any questions you may have or provide you with any resources you may need to feel more connected. The second Town Hall will be for our families that are fully remote or remote support families. This meeting will provide these families with resources to make sure that everyone still feels part of the Ben Franklin family while your students are remote learning.

We are on track with our "Return to Full" plan, as we have not had any positive cases or needed to have any cohorts quarantine. We expect to welcome all K-5 students, who are currently hybrid students, back to full class sizes the week of September 21. We have compiled the parent and staff survey results and will be presenting a proposal to the Board at their next meeting (Sept. 15) about suggested calendar changes through December.

Next week's newsletter will focus on financial news and how we are spending our CARES Act relief funds. The majority of this money is being spent on things that directly impact the students and staff. Stay tuned next week for all of the details!

Have a good weekend.  Please don't hesitate to reach out with any comments, suggestions, or questions.  

Thank you!

Mrs. Simpson

Now that school is underway, it is time to update and add new families to the BFA directory! BFA uses Directory on Tap (DoT) for our online school directory. It's an incredibly handy resource that contains class rosters and contact information, as well as the entire BFA directory.   
Directory on Tap is an app-based online directory. The free app is available for download through the App Store and Google Play, simply search for Directory on Tap (DoT). Once this year's directory is ready, you will receive an email from DoT with your one-time password. This year's directory will be available the week of Sept. 28.
If you would like to update your family's information for the directory or opt out, you need to act today! You have until Friday, Sept. 18, to do the following:

1. If your child goes by a nickname or shortened name, contact Denise Battista, PTO vice president, at ptovp@bfacademy.org.
2. If you have recently moved or changed an email address or cell number, update your information in the Douglas County School District database AND email the school registrar.
3. Go to the following site and complete the online form if you DO NOT want any or all of your personal information listed in the directory. You may OPT OUT completely, or partially, by filling out this form. If you take no action, your information will be included in the BFA Directory.

For more information, to view the flier or contact Denise Battista, PTO vice president.

PTO Logo
After considering a number of factors, including the big picture of demands on the BFA Community, the PTO has decided to reschedule this year's annual fundraising event - Dance Fit with Boosterthon. Dance Fit is a fun, preschool through eighth grade friendly, non-weather dependent, pledge-based event and will be held from Feb. 8-18, 2021. More information on Dance Fit and our fundraiser will be provided as we get closer to our event.
Additionally, the annual Harvest Festival is postponed until the spring. We have not yet determined an exact date yet. But, we know this event is a BFA Community favorite and we can't wait to celebrate together in the spring.

bfa sweatshirts
Colder weather means it's time to make sure you have a BFA hoodie, sweatshirt, fleece jacket or vest that fits. Check out the PTO's selection of BFA cold weather gear on MySchoolBucks. Hoodies and sweatshirts are available in navy or red with either the embroidered BFA logo or BFA in plaid letters. Fleece jackets and vests are available in red or navy with the embroidered BFA logo. All are available in youth and adult sizing. And, only middle school students (grades 6-8) may wear the hoodies in class.

The PTO's store for spirit wear and spirit items will remain open through the first trimester. There will be no in-person sales this fall. All orders must be placed online at MySchoolBucks. Then orders will be delivered and sent home through your child's classroom. Masks and gaiters are not returnable.  

If you are a remote-learning family, please contact Rachael Hamburger, PTO spirit wear chair, to coordinate delivery.

Are you interested in earning your required volunteer hours by participating in a fun, meaningful BFA school committee? Then come to the first CEC meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16, at Redstone Park (we will meet in the pavilion closest to the playground).

The CEC promotes interaction between students, staff, administration, parents and the surrounding community and is responsible for organizing many of BFA's traditional events such as Goodies with Grandparents, Muffins with Moms, Donuts with Dad and our annual Veterans Day celebration.

We are looking for creative, thoughtful, organized parents to help plan unique events for the 2020-21 school year. Please join us!

So much has changed this school year, and the folks at Box Tops don't want to be left out! So, this year you can clip, scan, and/or email your way to earning Box Tops money for BFA!
Please use the collection box in the school vestibule to turn in your clipped, paper Box Tops beginning next Monday, Sept. 14. You can drop your Box Tops clippings into the box anytime; they will be collected as they accumulate.
And, as the Box Tops program is moving away from paper Box Tops, you can now skip the clipping and use the Box Tops smartphone app. To use the app to collect your Box Tops, simply download the app, and then snap photos of your receipts. The app will automatically tell you if you have any qualifying purchases, and will add them to the BFA total.
If you prefer to shop online, you can still earn Box Tops with your electronic receipt. Simply forward your email receipt to  receipts@boxtops4education.com, using the email address that's associated with your Box Tops account. Not signed up? You can create an account through the Box Tops app or online at boxtops4education.com.
For more information, see the flier or email Alaina Tinney, Box Tops committee chair.

The Community Events Committee (CEC) distributed a small gift to REMOTE Kindergarten families this week (gifts were sent home with kiddos for hybrid families). Thank you to all the parents who braved the cold and snow to pick up your gift! If you have a REMOTE Kindergartner, and you were unable to swing by, please feel free to pick up your gift at the front office now through Thursday, Sept. 17. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Mindy Pooler, CEC Co-Chair.

King Soopers and City Market replaced the reloadable grocery card fundraising program with a new, 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:
  • Sign in to your digital account at King Soopers Community Rewards. (If you haven't already set up an account, you'll have to do that first--but it's handy to have an account as you can also download digital coupons!) Then, link your King Soopers card or phone number to your account.
  • Click on Community Rewards, Enroll Now and search for Ben Franklin Parent Teacher Organization or enter our code XN773. Click Save.
  • 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 in April 2019, BFA has earned more than $4,900 from 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!

parry's pizza
Parry's Pizzeria and Bar (9567 S University Blvd., 80126) will be hosting a BFA PTO Spirit Night from 4:30 - 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17. Parry's will donate 20 percent of the purchases (dine in, carry out, or FREE delivery) back to BFA. So make plans to enjoy some delicious pizza, wings, calzones, or a salad all while helping BFA! Please remember to let them know you're with BFA.

Every Kid in a Park
The National Parks has launched its  Every Kid in a Park program, which provides an opportunity for each and every fourth grade student (and their families) across the United States to experience their public lands and waters in person throughout the 2020-21 school year for FREE. To obtain your pass, click here. Be sure to bring your printed out pass to the National Park you visit (electronic copies are not accepted) and exchange it for your free pass at the park.

We have a new part-time employee at BFA! His name is Audi, and he is going to be joining us as a therapy dog for two days a week to start. Audi is an F1B (hypoallergenic) Bernadoodle. He has gone through four weeks of training and has proven himself to be a very lovable companion. Audi will always be accompanied by an adult and spend his first few weeks getting to know the middle school students.  Interaction with Audi will always be optional. We are asking every family to fill out this consent form before Audi joins us at school. 

Please fill the form out for each student you have that attends BFA:

Stone Canyon
Stone Canyon Outdoor EdVentures, a DCSD organization, is excited to kick off their Fall 2020 season. See their newsletter for some exciting announcements. This season they'll be bringing outdoor education to schools and e-learners alike, while also offering monthly Family Camps, themed camps, and breaking ground on a new high ropes course! 

While we'd like all students in the building by 8:10 a.m. in the morning, we understand that life sometimes gets in the way of being on time for school! When students are tardy, parents must park and accompany their student inside the building to sign them in; however, with the current restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we can only have two parents in the front office at the same time. Therefore, please park, escort your tardy student into the office, quickly (but legibly) sign them into school, and head back out to your car. This allows other parents into the office, if necessary.
If you need to pick up your student early, you must do so before 3 p.m. Similar to the tardy procedure, we'd like to ask that only two parents are in the front office waiting area at a time, and the remaining parents can form a line outside. When one parent leaves, another can come in and take his/her place in the front office to sign out his/her student.
As an alternative, parents can call the front office and speak to a staff member or send an email to attendance@bfacademy.org for late drop off or early pick up. Be sure to include the student's full name, grade and teacher, as well as a reason for late drop off/early pick up.

BASE logo
A message from Mrs. Savoy, BASE director...
The Before/After School Enrichment (BASE) program has moved to a new childcare system called Early Learning Ventures (ELV) for account maintenance and payments. It is replacing the ProCare program that we used in previous years. Now all of the registration process is online, no paperwork is involved. We've found this offers efficiencies for parents and administration alike. 
Your child must be enrolled in advance to use the BASE program. Therefore, any child not enrolled prior to the first day BASE is needed, will not be able to attend BASE. If you think that you may need BASE services at any time during the school year, please register now. For the link to register please email BASE at base@bfacademy.org.
Thursday, Sept. 10

The Finance Committee is meeting from 6-9 p.m. today, Sept. 10, via Zoom. The meeting details will be on the BFA Calendar.  
Tuesday, Sept. 15

The BFA Board of Directors will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 15. The meeting details will be available on the Board agenda which you can preview 24 hours in advance of the meeting. All are welcome to listen into the meeting. And, open comments will be accepted through the form on the Board webpage until noon the day of the meeting. 
Wednesday, Sept. 16

The Community Events Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16, at Redstone Park (they will meet in the pavilion closest to the playground). All are welcome to join them!
Thursday, Sept. 17

parry's pizza
Parry's Pizzeria and Bar (9567 S University Blvd., 80126) will be hosting a BFA PTO Spirit Night from 4:30 - 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17. Parry's will donate 20 percent of the purchases (dine in, carry out, or FREE delivery) back to BFA. Please remember to let them know you're with BFA.
Friday, Sept. 18

No School
There will be no school on Friday, Sept. 18, as it is a Professional Work Day for teachers.
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.