April 8, 2021
Weekly Update
A Message from Principal Simpson
Simpson
Dear Parents,

Our virtues for April are Temperance and Industry. These two virtues become increasingly important around this time of year, and are especially important given all our children have experienced during the past 13 months. 

  • Temperance: Control is the key to improvement. Keep your words, actions, and temper in control.
  • Industry: Keep on task. There is a time for work and a time to play - do both with a good attitude.
I’ve heard about some issues with tempers flaring during carpool negatively impacting parents and staff members. Many in our community are under a great deal of stress these days; so once again, I’d like to ask that you have patience, give each other extra grace, and let's all try to demonstrate the virtue of temperance. The staff working carpool, the teachers managing carpool from their classrooms, and our volunteers are doing their best to make carpool safe and efficient. 

Spring is a challenging time for our students. They want to be outside enjoying the beautiful weather (as we all do!). This is a good time to encourage your child(ren) to practice the virtue of industry and get their work done with a positive attitude so they can then go out and play.
Earlier this week, I provided a COVID update. Following spring break, the community has seen an uptick in positive cases. As we’re also dealing with the spring allergy season, I’ve received many questions regarding symptoms. Our school nurse, Ms. Nugen, shared this graphic with me, showing how many allergy symptoms overlap with COVID symptoms. I hope you will find it helpful. 

Please remember we go by the 48-hour rule. If students have symptoms for more than 48 hours, they should be seen by a doctor or get tested. If their symptoms last for less than 48 hours, they can return to school without a test. 

I hope everyone has a good weekend. Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns. 

Sincerely,

Mrs. Simpson
Volunteer Recognition
BFA loves its volunteers, and we want to show our appreciation for all of your work. The PTO recognizes two volunteers each month. A volunteer will be chosen as the Volunteer of the Month, and will get exclusive use of the dedicated, reserved Volunteer of the Month spot in the parking lot for their respective month. 

In addition, each month a volunteer will be randomly chosen through a drawing to win a fun, surprise gift. All you have to do to be eligible to win, is log at least ONE hour of volunteer service in the month prior to the drawing.

Thanks to all our volunteers for your continued support of BFA!
Congratulations Rachael Hamburger!
For the month of April, Rachael Hamburger has been selected as the Ben Franklin Academy Volunteer of the Month. Rachael has volunteered in so many capacities over the years. This school year, she has been volunteering as the PTO's Spirit Wear coordinator and has been solely responsible for all BFA Spirit Wear orders. Her commitment to managing the large spirit wear inventory, processing accurate and timely sales orders, and providing excellent service to our fellow BFA community members has not gone unnoticed. For all of her efforts, we'd like to say thank you and recognize Rachael!

The Hamburgers have been part of the BFA community since 2013. Rachael and her husband, Toby, have two children: Danica in eighth grade and Milo in fourth grade. Rachael works as a budget analyst, but enjoys spending her free time volunteering at BFA. In addition to Spirit Wear Coordinator, she has volunteered on the PTO as Fundraising Coordinator and SCRIP Coordinator. Additionally, she has enjoyed supporting school musicals and chaperoning field trips.

Rachael feels so fortunate that her kids have been part of such a wonderful school. She loves the amazing teachers and staff at BFA, as well as the variety of opportunities available to the students, including music programs, Landsharks and Outdoor Ed.

Congratulations, Rachael. Thank you for your commitment to the BFA community, and the countless hours you've spent volunteering. We appreciate you!

If you know someone who should be considered for volunteer of the month for outstanding volunteerism, please email Mollie Anderson, PTO president.
Thank You Ann Covington
Ann Covington, a grandparent volunteer, is the winner of our drawing for her volunteer time in March. Ann earned volunteer hours for helping with recess, in the art room and in Mrs. Olsen's class. Ann has won a $10 gift card to Festive Cup Coffee. Congratulations and thank you again for spending your free time volunteering at BFA!
BFA News
Middle School Virtue Awards
Each month, we feature some of the students who were recognized for displaying one or more of the 13 Virtues. The virtue for March was Tranquility. In order to demonstrate Tranquility, we ask students to remember to keep from reacting poorly to others. People are not perfect and the world is not fair. Learn to deal with both despite imperfections. Be patient.

Congratulations to all the students who were recognized for the virtue of Tranquility in March, and to our two middle school students who won a gift card but are on our no media list and cannot be pictured.
Parking Spot Drawing Winners
Congratulations to the Bradac family! From the nearly 400 parents who completed the Parent Survey, Allison and Michael Bradac won the parking spot drawing and will have use of a front row parking spot in August. Thanks to all of you who took the time to complete the Parent Satisfaction Survey and provide valuable feedback to our school.
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Register for First Three Weeks of BFA's Summer Camp Program
It’s time to register and sign up for Summer Camp! Registration must be completed for every student who enrolls in Summer Camp, AND you’ll need to sign up your kiddo for the weeks he/she will be attending. The first three weeks of camp are available for sign-ups now. Families can go to MySchoolBucks to get started.
 
Summer camp runs Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. beginning Tuesday, June 2, and ending on Friday, Aug. 13; with a holiday closure from July 5-9. The cost to register is $25 per child, and all campers will receive a drawstring bag. The cost of care for the first week is $120, since it’s just three days and subsequent weeks will be $200 per week, unless there is an in-house field trip. (The cost will increase slightly on any weeks we are able to schedule an in-house field trip).  

If you have any questions please email Mrs. Savoy.

*If your BFA registered child turns five during the summer they may also attend, but not until the day that they turn five.
Online Book Fair OPEN Now!
Please shop our Scholastic Online Book Fair now until Sunday, April 18. All purchases benefit our school and connect kids with new books, favorite characters, complete series and more.
You’ll love the NEW option to shop for Book Fair exclusives directly from the interactive booklist as well as these special online shopping features:
  • More than 6,000 items, including new releases, best sellers and value packs
  • All orders ship direct to home
  • FREE shipping on book-only orders over $25*
  • All purchases support our school and earn 25 percent in rewards for our library
                                             
We hope you'll visit our Book Fair Homepage and click “Shop Now” to get started TODAY!
 
*Free standard shipping is available on book-only orders of $25 or more, after all discounts are applied. Free standard shipping (books) must be selected during checkout. Orders containing products other than books are not eligible for this shipping promotion.
Get Your Tickets for the Sweetheart Ball
All BFA girls and their father or other special adult are invited to attend this year’s Sweetheart Ball, Light Up the Night, a girls’ glow social event from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, April 24, at BFA. Tickets are $35 per couple and $15 for each additional child. Tickets are on sale and still available through MySchoolBucks. Capacity is limited to 175 guests--so get your tickets TODAY! The event will be held outside on the BFA turf; please be sure to dress appropriately for April weather in Colorado.
 
Looking for volunteer hours? We need your help! If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact Alissa Motazedi, PTO social coordinator.
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Register for Middle School Soccer Tryouts
Middle school girls soccer has been rescheduled for April 26-May 28. Tryouts will be outside on the turf from 4-5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 20, and from 2-3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21. Callbacks will be from 4-5 p.m. on Thursday, April 22.
 
There will only be one team this year for BFA. Registration for tryouts is OPEN NOW! Any middle school girl interested in trying out for the team this year must register online through MySchoolBucks by Monday, April 19, or they will not be able to try out. Games this season will be Tuesdays and Thursdays, and practices will be after school on Mondays and Wednesdays.
 
Make sure you have a water bottle and athletic gear for tryouts. Cleats, shin guards, and a soccer ball are recommended but not mandatory for tryouts. Contact Ms. Poleschook if you have any questions.
Volleyball
Register for Middle School Volleyball Tryouts
Registration for boys volleyball tryouts is now open through MySchoolBucks. There is no cost to register, but you MUST register in order to try out. No exceptions. Registration closes Saturday, April 10, so there are only a few days left to register.
 
BFA will have two boys’ teams this season with 12 players each; the game schedule is listed on the BFA Boys volleyball website (click on 'boys volleyball'). It is a short season this year!
 
Practices will be on remote Wednesdays, plus either a before school or after school practice on Mondays. More information will be provided at tryouts.
 
Tryouts will be held in the Thunder Gym. You must have a mask, water bottle and good court shoes.

TRYOUTS:
Sunday April 11
  • 2-3:30 p.m. - 6th graders only
  • 3:39-5 p.m. - 7th and 8th graders only
Wednesday April 14
  • 1-3 p.m. - 6th, 7th and 8th grader
Sunday April 18
  • 1 – 3 p.m. - Callbacks by invitation only. We would also like any player unable to attend the first two sessions due to a quarantine or schedule conflict to come at this time. 

Please contact Kristen Haufschild (A team) and/or Katie Murphy (B team) with questions.
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One Act of Kindness Food Drive
The Community Events Committee (CEC) will be holding a Food Drive to support Integrated Family Community Services (IFCS) the week of April 19-23.  

Integrated Family Community Services (IFCS) continues to be the primary low income safety net service provider of basic human services to the South Metro Denver communities of western Arapahoe and northern Douglas Counties since 1964, ensuring that indigent, low, and fixed-income seniors and families receive needed services in a dignified and respectful manner. Due to the COVID pandemic, IFCS has seen an 1800 percent increase in services from two years ago. IFCS was designated an Emergency Food Provider First Responder and is able to provide weekly hunger alleviation resources for 4,000 individuals each month from the entire Greater Metro Denver area and the State of Colorado. We hope you will consider supporting this integral local community organization--our goal is to donate 1000 items!

The following categories have been created as a guideline to ensure IFCS receives a range of donations:
 
Kindergarten: Cereal/Breakfast Items
1st Grade:  Boxed Food
2nd Grade: Toiletries
3rd Grade: Multicultural Food
4th Grade: Rice & Soup
5th Grade: Canned Foods
6th Grade: Condiments and PB&J
7th Grade: Coffee & Tea
8th Grade: Cleaning Supplies
 
Marked donation boxes will be located at each entrance of the school (K-2nd = Zone B Doors, 3rd-5th = Main Entrance, 6th-8th = Zone A Doors). Please have your child locate the box corresponding to their grade level. The CEC will provide a special treat for the GRADE LEVEL with the most donations! 
 
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the CEC Food Drive Coordinator, Alyssa Gale.
Voting Starts Tomorrow
Get to Know the Candidates!
Voting for the BFA Board of Directors begins tomorrow so, if you have not done so already, it's time to learn more about our candidates. Please click here to watch the question and answer session, and read about each candidate via the Board Election webpage.

Voting for the Seat 1, Class A director will take place electronically April 9-18. Results of the election will be announced, and the appointment will be made on Tuesday, April 20, at the regularly scheduled Board meeting. 
Ben's Brigade Spring Work Day
Ben's Brigade has organized a BFA spring work day from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 17. There are plenty of projects to accomplish and they could use additional volunteers. Please sign up today! And, if you can only stay a couple hours, just note the times you are able to help on the sign up and they’ll coordinate groups to tackle each project as we get closer to the work date.
Community Events
Get Involved with the CEC!
The Community Events Committee (CEC) has been an integral part of the Ben Franklin Academy community since the school's inception. The CEC is responsible for coordinating the following school events: Back-to-School Social, Boo-Hoo Yahoo, Goodies with Grandparents, Veteran's Day, Parenting Seminars, Blooms-n-Brunch (formerly Muffins with Mom), DIY Dads (formerly Donuts with Dad), and One Act of Kindness (OAK) activities.
 
The mission of the CEC is to help build a BFA community that promotes interaction between students, staff, administration, parents, and the surrounding community with an emphasis on community service and outreach.
 
Are you creative, organized, enjoy planning events, or desire to become more involved in the BFA school community? If so, please consider a CEC Officer position for the 2021-22 school year. The committee has the following open positions: Vice-Chair, Treasurer/Secretary, and Chair (1-2 positions). If you are interested in joining the CEC committee, please send an email with the following information:

1. Your Name
2. Number of children enrolled at BFA
3. Grade of each child
4. Number of years your family attended BFA
5. Number of CEC Meetings you attended in 2020-21
6. Why are you interested in serving on the CEC?
7. Why do you think you would be a good fit for the selected position?
8. Any additional information you would like to share with the CEC
 
All submissions are due by noon on Wednesday, April 21.
 
If you have any questions or want more information about the Community Events Committee, please feel free to email Mindy PoolerBecky Mayka, or Nikki Busto, CEC co-chairs. We hope you will consider joining the CEC!
Help Wanted
PTO Elections - Treasurer Needed
The PTO is still looking for our next treasurer. Are numbers your jam? Do you file your taxes with TurboTax? If you can understand or learn a program like Mint, Quicken, or TurboTax, then you can do this role. Could it be you? CPA is NOT required.

The PTO Treasurer is a voting member of the PTO Executive Board and serves a two-year term beginning July 2021. The Treasurer is responsible for recording and tracking PTO revenue and expenses, as well as preparing and monitoring the PTO budget. In addition, the Treasurer works with an accountant to ensure timely tax return filing. This volunteer position averages seven hours per month and has an incredibly flexible schedule that can be made to fit your needs. Our outgoing treasurer will be available to train, mentor, and support you as you move into this role. 

Interested? Please email Emerald Holden, PTO treasurer, or contact Mollie Anderson, PTO president, with questions or to nominate yourself.

The PTO has been an integral part of BFA since the school's inception in 2011. But we can't do it without you! We need volunteers to fill our critical volunteer roles, so that we can continue offering wonderful programs and services to BFA. We truly hope you'll consider volunteering with the PTO.
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Change in Vaccination Exemption Process
Per the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the process for claiming a nonmedical exemption has changed for the 2021-22 school year. We wanted to alert families about this early, so they have plenty of preparation time to adhere to the new guidelines, if applicable.
 
If you choose not to have your child(ren) vaccinated according to the current recommended schedule because of personal belief or religious reasons, you must submit a Certificate of Nonmedical Exemption to the school.

Nonmedical exemptions must be submitted annually, which means parents have to submit the certificate every new school year. (The school year begins on July 1, and runs through June 30 of the following year.) There are two ways to file a nonmedical exemption:

  • File the Certificate of Nonmedical Exemption WITH a signature from an immunizing provider, OR
  • File the Certificate of Nonmedical Exemption received upon the completion of the online education module.

Downloadable certificates and the online education module are available at https://cdphe.colorado.gov/vaccine-exemptions.
Say Thanks with SCRIP
Preschool Form Available Now
BFA will use SCRIP for end of year staff gifting again this year. This convenient, online program replaces room parent collections and facilitates convenient group gifting. Each family makes one payment through MySchoolBucks for all of their teacher and staff gifts. At the end of collections, each staff member will receive an email with the total collected on their behalf and is able to select gift cards they would like to receive.
 
Participation in the SCRIP program is completely voluntary. You are welcome to participate with any amount, or alternatively gift the teachers and staff on your own. Families will be able to place SCRIP orders via MySchoolBucks and pay by credit card. You may designate how much you would like to give to each teacher/staff member in one-dollar increments. Collections will take place April 12-18 with gift cards being distributed during Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week (May 3-7).
 
Preschool families: Please click here for the preschool form. The completed preschool form and a check need to be dropped off in the PTO lock box located in the BFA front office by April 16.

Look for more information in future newsletters regarding details on how to contribute to your teacher's gift! Questions? Visit the PTO webpage or contact Natalie Lucero, SCRIP coordinator.
April Spirit Night at Five Guys
The PTO's next spirit night is coming up quickly. Mark your calendars for spirit night at Five Guys in Highlands Ranch from 3-9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21. Five Guys will donate 15 percent of all purchases made back to BFA. Please mention you're with BFA at the register so your order gets included in our spirit night. Print this flier as a reminder, if needed.
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Music Lessons at School with Harper Arts
Have your kids asked about the music lessons that happen during school? If so, it’s time to get them signed up for next school year! Harper Arts is thrilled to be returning to offer music lessons and coaching at BFA. Students will continue to have the option to receive piano, guitar, ukulele, voice, acting and audition coaching during the school day and after school. Students are approved to participate in lessons during DEAR, recess, specials, electives (middle school) and advisory (middle school). There also will be a limited number of spaces available after school.

The cost of this program is $150 per month for the school year (small supply and book fees apply as well). These prices are based on one student for 30 minute lessons. Sibling discounts are available. Unlock your passion and potential with Harper Arts at BFA! Spots are EXTREMELY LIMITED at this time! Click here to sign up today!
Upcoming Events
BFA's Guiding Principles
Mission:
Our mission is to create young adults with character like America's founding Renaissance man, Benjamin Franklin: well-read, scientifically curious, and civically engaged.

Vision:
Our students will excel academically through a challenging, sequenced curriculum that emphasizes math, science, the arts, 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 social emotional development, character, sports, and nature.

13 Virtues:
Temperance, Silence, Order, Resolution, Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, Justice, Moderation, Cleanliness, Tranquility, Purity and Humility.