|Vol. 8, Iss. 21
Aug. 23, 2018
The Necessity of Volunteerism
Volunteerism is a powerful and necessary endeavor. When one is called to give of themselves and of their time for the benefit of an individual, a group, an organization, and/or a community, it is imperative that we meet that call.
Ben Franklin Academy has been very fortunate, since its inception, in having a very strong group of faithful and committed parents who have worked tirelessly to support the needs of our school over the years, and in the face of their own busy schedules, have met or exceeded the required 30 hours for dual families and 15 hours for single families. We, at BFA, honor this commitment and the willingness of our parent community to meet the obligations that are set forth within the requirements to attend our fine school.
It is through this strong sense of volunteerism that, historically, we have been successful in meeting the school's significant needs, whether in the classroom, library, carpool or at lunch to name a few. We have also been successful in producing a number of school events during the course of the year, that are primarily 100 percent parent run, such as: Veteran's Day, Morning with Moms, Daybreak with Dads, Harvest Festival, Benefit Bash, the STEAM Expo, and so many more. However, we are coming to a point where we may be in jeopardy of losing our ability to hold such events or provide the needed services that have been provided by our parent volunteers. Due to the attrition of families whose kids are graduating, and a deficit in the volunteer hours provided by our parents, we are getting to a point that may become unmanageable. We can no longer rely on those families who consistently volunteer their time and exceed their required hours to facilitate these events and support the needs of our students and teachers.
A new school year provides us with a fresh opportunity to step up and meet the call. We need help from our new families, as well as those who have been here, to do what is required of them, for BFA to have the ability to continue with our traditions, our events and the support that has made us the school we are today. If you see a post or a request for help, please reach out. If you are new to BFA, ask faculty, your board members or other parents who have been with us for ideas regarding where you can volunteer your time. If you are an existing family, you should be aware of the areas that need your support. In addition, parents can check the Volunteer Management page on our website for a list of school-wide volunteer sign-ups. We will continue to make the opportunities for volunteering known and accessible.
Thank you for your continued support, thank you for the commitment you have made to your children and thank you for all that you do.
Secretary, Board of Directors
Special thanks to the 12 BFA families who have already met their volunteer quota this school year, and to the almost 300 families who earned 30 hours (15 for single family households) last school year. Below are the names of the families who met their volunteer obligation in the 2017-18 school year, with our top 10 volunteers highlighted in red:
BFA's Back to School Nights will be held Wednesday, Aug. 29, for Kindergarten through fourth grade; and on Thursday, Aug. 30, for fifth through eighth grade. The purpose of Back to School Night is to help parents become better acquainted with the school, staff and information specific to their child's grade level.
During Back to School Nights teachers will share information about:
- Teaching methods,
- Classroom discipline policies,
- Curriculum overview,
- Grading policies,
- Classroom expectations,
- How to volunteer in the classroom,
- Thursday Folder procedures,
- What you, as parents, can do to help your child succeed in school,
- What you, as parents, can do to help the teacher and the class,
- How to report student absences,
- How to leave a message for a teacher, and
- The proper procedures for picking up a student early.
Please note, there may be time for a few general questions, but there is not time for an individual conference. If a conference is needed, please schedule an appointment with the teacher.
Let's continue to build a strong team to help our children succeed!
This year, there is a short meeting with Principal Simpson for ALL parents (new and returning) from 6 - 6:15 p.m. in the Thunder Gym.
Back to School Night Schedules, Grades K-5
Back to School Night is an important night to learn all about how your child's classroom works. If your student is in kindergarten through third grade, their teacher will present information to parents in their classroom. The presentation for students in fourth grade will be held in the Middle School Commons;
and fifth grade parents will meet in the Lightning Gym on Thursday, Aug. 30. The teachers have scheduled two presentations so parents can choose to go to the first or second session. This allows families with more than one child to go to multiple classes. A detailed schedule is below:
Wednesday, August 29
6:00 - 6:15 p.m. Meet with Principal Simpson in Thunder Gym (ALL Families)
6:20 - 6:50 p.m. First classroom presentations
7:00 - 7:30 p.m. Second classroom presentations
6:00 - 6:15 p.m. Meet with Principal Simpson in Thunder Gym (ALL Families)
6:20 - 6:50 p.m. First class presentations in the MS Commons
7:00 - 7:30 p.m. Second class presentations in the MS Commons
On Wednesday, Aug. 29, Mrs. Hinkle (art), Ms. Johnson (music), Mrs. Bauer (PE) and Mrs. Tickle (technology) will be available in their respective classrooms from 6:15 - 8 p.m. to meet with parents.
Thursday, August 30
6:00 - 6:15 Meet with Principal Simpson in Thunder Gym (ALL Families)
6:20 - 6:50 First class presentations in the Lightning Gym
7:00 - 7:30 Second class presentations in the Lightning Gym
Back to School Night Schedules, Grades 6-8
Parents of students in grades 6-8 can either bring a copy of their student's schedule, or pick up a copy in the Middle School Commons from 5:45 - 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 30, during Back to School Night. Parents should follow that schedule for the evening.
When your student has specials, please come to the Middle School Commons to hear from the specials teachers. If you have both a fifth grader and a middle school student, please email the teachers you are not able to meet and ask them to send you the information covered at Back to School night.
After visiting with all the teachers, there will be a presentation on social media for middle school parents in the Middle School Commons.
Grades 6, 7 and 8:
5:45 - 6:00 Retrieve schedules in the Middle School Commons
6:00 - 6:15 Meet with Principal Simpson in Thunder Gym (ALL Families)
6:20 - 6:30 Period 1 (Sixth Grade Specials)
6:35 - 6:45 Period 2 (Eighth Grade Specials
6:50 - 7:00 Advisory
7:05 - 7:15 Period 3 (Seventh Grade Specials)
7:20 - 7:30 Period 4
7:35 - 7:45 Period 5
8:00 - 8:30 Social Media Presentation in Middle School Commons
Mr. Macias (PE), Senora Connell (Spanish), Ms. Konesky (Technology), Mrs. Harlow (Life Skills) and Mrs. Woudenberg (MS Counselor) will be available in the Middle School Commons from 6:15 - 8 p.m. Please report to the Commons when your student has specials on their schedule to hear from these teachers.
We look forward to seeing you at Back to School Night!
BRING YOUR DRIVER'S LICENSE
Please remember your driver's license the first time you come to the school to pick up your student early, volunteer or attend a meeting. For safety reasons, every person who enters the school needs to have their driver's license scanned each school year. Please keep in mind, this is also a requirement for any friends or relatives who would like to enter the school.
COOL OFF AT OUR FIRST SPIRIT NIGHT
Looking for a great way to CELEBRATE the start of a new school year? If so, please join us for BFA's first SPIRIT NIGHT from 3:30 - 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 28, at BAHAMA BUCKS!
Bahama Bucks is a new sweet treat spot that features snow cones, frozen lattes and lemonades, smoothies and frozen slushes. Bahama Bucks will kindly donate a portion of all sales proceeds back to BFA to support the eighth graders raising money to go to Washington, D.C. In addition, Bahama Bucks will donate a SNOW CONE PARTY to the BFA class with the most spirit night attendees. So, join us for some frosty fun...and don't forget to tell the Bahama Bucks cashier who your homeroom teacher is! Bahama Bucks is located at 8204 S University Blvd (in the same shopping complex as Educational Outfitters).
MARK YOUR CALENDARS AND LOG YOUR HOURS!
The BFA PTO Harvest Festival is right around the corner! Join us for a night of family fun at the eighth annual Harvest Festival from 4 - 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, at BFA. Festival activities include: carnival games, face painting, balloon twisting, inflatables, outdoor field games, and of course, the CAKE WALK!
Tickets are $10 per child or max $25 for a family (siblings only), with advance purchase. Adults and children under three are FREE! Tickets at the door will be $10 per child; the family discount will not be available. Purchase your advance tickets now through Tuesday, Sept. 11, on the BFA Store, under the 'Events' tab. Wristbands for those who prepay will be sent home with the oldest child before the event.
Families who have completed their 30 hours (15 hours for single family households) of volunteer service for the current school year, and have logged them by August 31, will be given FREE admittance to the event!
Volunteers are needed to make this event a success! If you're interested in volunteering, sign up today.
And, click here, if you'd like to donate baked goods and cakes for the cake walk.
GIRLS OCEANOGRAPHY AND EXPERIMENT CLUB
Register for this after-school STEM club and read the book
"Shark Lady" by Ann McGovern
, then learn about the true-life adventures of
, an expert on sharks, whose research has been recognized around the world. Discover buoyancy, explore ocean currents as well as the fascinating features of sharks.
The club is for girls in grades 3-5, and meets Mondays from 4-5 p.m. on September 10, 17, 24, and Oct. 1.
, go to the payments page on our website. See the
If you have questions.
BOYS ONLY ELECTRICITY STEM CLUB
Discover the amazing qualities of electricity! Boys in grades 3-5 will experiment with batteries, wires and light bulbs, as well as build an electromagnet and a homopolar motor.
The club meets Mondays from 4-5 p.m. on October 15, 22, 29 and Nov. 5
, go to the payments page on our website and click on 'after school clubs.'
or email Mrs. Lewicki if you have questions.
DIRECTORY ON TAP - BFA'S ONLINE DIRECTORY
Now that school is underway, it is time to update and add new families to the BFA directory!
We will be using Directory On Tap again this school year for our online school directory. It's an incredibly handy resource, with names, addresses and phone numbers for BFA families. This year, the directory will be available in late September.
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. 7, to do the following:
- If your child goes by a nickname or shortened name, please email us that information.
- If you have recently moved or changed an email/cell number, email the school registrar with that information. If you have moved, you will need to include Proof of Residence by providing one of the following documents:
- Deed of Trust
- Warranty Deed
- Tax Notification
- Rental/Lease Agreement
- Notarized letter if living with friends or relatives
- 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.
Please contact the PTO with questions.
GOT SOMEONE OR SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE?
RENT THE ROCK!
The PTO is proud to unveil our newest
fundraiser, the Spirit Rock that you may have already noticed on the hill of the curve in the carpool lanes.
The Spirit Rock is an opportunity to share exciting events with our school community by painting your own message. Parents, students, and staff may "Rent the Rock" to recognize a student's birthday, show school spirit, wish a team good luck, thank a teacher, announce an event, etc. It is a great way to spread positive messages and increase excitement! The introductory daily rate to Rent the Rock is $15 per day. All proceeds benefit Ben Franklin Academy.
Want to rent the Rock? Here's how:
First, reserve the date you want by visiting the 'Rent the Rock'
Sign Up Genius
. Rock reservations are on a first come, first serve basis, so make your reservations NOW!!
Next, pay for your reservation through the online BFA Store under the 'Categories' tab. Please note the date(s) you are reserving in the 'Notes' section.
Have questions? You can find answers to frequently asked questions on the PTO webpage, or contact 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
on the BFA online store. Please order early to ensure delivery on your child's special day.
The Universal CogAT testing window for third and fifth grade will be Sept. 4-24. More information will be sent home to these parents in Thursday folders next week.
Now's the time to get your BFA spirit wear. Inventory is stocked and the online store is open!
You may purchase your spirit wear online at the BFA Store from now through Oct. 31.
All purchases will be delivered to the classroom and sent home with your student. If you want to purchase in person, we'll be selling spirit wear in October at parent teacher conferences. The online store will close Oct. 31 and remain closed until the Spring. So make sure to get your spirit wear at now.
PLEASE READ FOR IMPORTANT VOLUNTEER INFORMATION
Ben Franklin Academy requires all families to perform 30 approved hours (15 hours for single parents) of volunteer service. More information can be found in the
Volunteer and Visitor Policy
. Volunteer hours are approved by the principal and tracked by the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) using HelpCounter, a software system
that allows you to register for volunteer opportunities and track your volunteer service. All volunteer service must be l
ogged into Help Counter within 48 hours of performing the service or the hours will be deemed unearned. If you are volunteering inside the building, you should record your hours by signing in and out using the computer in the office. If you are volunteering from home, you also may come into the building and log your hours, or you can send an email to our volunteer coordinator who will log your hours. If you choose to email the volunteer coordinator, please include your name, hours/minutes to log, and a detailed description of your work. It is recommended that each parent/guardian make a separate account to track their volunteer hours. Your hours will be linked to your Family Number (the number on your carpool tag) so we can tally volunteer hours per family.
RETURNING FAMILIES - Please log into
and do the following
- Click on 'Update Profile Information' to make changes to your profile and record your student's grade/classroom.
- Click on 'Check for Upcoming Opportunities' to sign up for lunch or carpool.
- Click on 'Update your Volunteer Interest Form' to indicate what types of volunteer opportunities interest you.
- Bookmark it! Don't miss out on volunteer hours because you failed to log your time--be sure to bookmark the HelpCounter link.
- If you are new to BFA, you can go to http://Helpcounter.net/volunteer to request access to the system. The system will help you find BFA and ask for your email address. You will then add your personal information and submit. Once you are an approved volunteer, you can start adding hours.
- Once you are in the system, please specify the areas you are interested in volunteering for--this does not commit you, rather it allows the coordinator see who is interested in specific opportunities.
- Click on 'Check for Upcoming Opportunities' to sign up for lunch or carpool.
If you are a single parent family, please
so she can update your volunteer quota. If you have questions about HelpCounter or logging hours,
our volunteer coordinator.
Volunteering Ideas at BFA
- Help with Lunch - Ben Franklin's lunchroom couldn't run efficiently without our wonderful parent volunteers. Our volunteers assist our lunch aides with setting up the lunchroom tables, help students open food and drink containers, monitor student safety and activity, clean tabletops between lunch sessions, and assist with final cleanup after all students have eaten. Our volunteer sessions last from 10:50 a.m. - 12:45 p.m., and our signups are via Helpcounter (log into HelpCounter first to be directly linked). You are welcome to sign up in advance or walk-in. Please note, younger siblings are not allowed in the lunch room during volunteer shifts. We love our lunch volunteers!
- Volunteer for Carpool - Parent participation in carpool is essential as it helps ensure the safety of our kids, other volunteers and BFA staff. Please use HelpCounter (log in first)
to sign up for carpool shifts, or you may drop in, unscheduled, at the school office and offer to help. Please arrive by 7:30 a.m. for the morning shift, or 3:15 p.m. for afternoon carpool.
- Sign up to Volunteer in the Library - The library needs volunteers, so please sign up today! If you sign up, but are unable to show up, please delete your shift. If you would like to volunteer during your student's classroom time, please check with their teacher for their library schedule.
- Look for Teacher Sign-ups - Many of our teachers send out sign-ups to help with reading, science lab, Thursday folders, etc. Please watch for these and sign up to help your student's class.
- Committees - BFA has many committees that work to support the mission and vision of the school. Many of these committees have opportunities to volunteer that fall outside of traditional school hours. To learn more about the committees and how to contact them, check out each committee's web page.
BFA uses multiple communication tools to ensure that parents keep track of all the exciting things happening at BFA. Check out the list below for more details about all the ways to stay connected:
- Principal Simpson's weekly newsletter is sent out via email every Thursday.
- The BFA website is the central hub for news, calendars, policies, teacher webpages, committee webpages and essential quicklinks for lunch, BASE, carpool and volunteer management.
- BFA has a public Facebook page and posts various announcements and pictures throughout the day.
- Teacher websites, newsletters and blogs ensure you stay abreast of all the happenings inside your student's classroom.
- The BFA app offers quick access to all the information you need from your mobile device, and if you enable notifications, you'll also receive helpful reminders throughout the year. The app is available on IOS and Android devices - get it now on the App Store or Google Play!
- Additional communications will be sent routinely to Middle School and Preschool families.
If you are not receiving communications from BFA, please email us and we'll make sure your correct email address is on our distribution lists.
Students can bring a lunch, or purchase their lunch at school. Douglas County Nutrition Services (DCNS) provides lunch and strives to offer healthy options. You can view the lunch choices for the week on the Nutrislice website, and set up a payment account through MySchoolBucks. Please make sure your child knows when they should order hot lunch and what their choice is for that day (including doubles). Teachers are asked to give a count of how many students will be ordering lunch and what choice they would like each morning. To find out more, see the BFA webpage.
SIGN UP TODAY FOR AFTER SCHOOL PERFORMING ARTS PROGRAMS
If you're interested in performing arts, Ms. Johnson has set up some terrific after school programs for our students. Check out this
for more information.
for many of the programs is now open, so review the catalog and sign up today!
Ben Franklin Academy is committed to bringing unique learning opportunities to our students and we are pleased to continue a free reading service providing digital books through
The OverDrive collection is an extension of Ben Franklin Academy's physical library; kids have online access to eBooks and audiobooks. It's a convenient way for students to check out titles at home, on the weekends or during school breaks with no worry about misplacing a book or running up fees - these digital titles automatically return at the end of the lending period!
OverDrive can help students of all ages read more and improve comprehension. Struggling or reluctant readers, learning-challenged, second language learners, and gifted readers can all benefit from this service. There are so many benefits of reading, and using OverDrive can help with:
- Enriching vocabulary and improving comprehension and pronunciation;
- Introducing students to books above their reading level;
- Teaching critical listening skills; and
- Helping busy kids find time to read.
How does it work?
To use OverDrive, students browse our secure custom website, borrow with their Google single sign-on and enjoy books anytime, anywhere on a computer, tablet, smartphone, or eReader.
One you click on the Website, use the following information to login:
Username: Student's last name beginning with a capital letter, then first initial and middle initial
Password: Dcsd (capital D) followed by student ID number
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!
Please see this flier for details about all the events happening this fall/winter including how to get discounted tickets to Oklahoma!, Corduroy, A Christmas Carol and White Christmas.
If you'd like to purchase discounted tickets to the CU Buffs game on Aug. 31 at Mile High, or on Oct. 27, at Folsom Field, go to www.cubuffs.com/promo and use code 2018DCSD.
If you are a Rockies baseball fan, and are interested in attending a Rockies game for only $14 on Sept. 7, 8, or 9, please see this flier.
SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITY COMMITTEE MEETING
The 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. SAC meets monthly, and their meetings are open to the BFA community. The next SAC meeting is from
4:10 - 5:10 p.m. tonight, Aug. 23, in the BFA Conference Room.
The Ben's Brigade is meeting from 8 until 9 p.m. tonight, Aug. 23, at the Starbucks inside Target (
1265 Sergeant Jon Stiles Dr.
). This group of BFA Dads meets monthly to discuss how to best support our school. All BFA Dads are welcome to attend.
Please join us for BFA's first SPIRIT NIGHT from 3:30 - 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 28, at BAHAMA BUCKS!
Bahama Bucks is a new sweet treat spot that features snow cones, frozen lattes and lemonades, smoothies and frozen slushes. D
on't forget to tell the Bahama Bucks cashier who your homeroom teacher is! Bahama Bucks is located at
8204 S University Blvd
(in the same shopping complex as Educational Outfitters).
Families with kids in grades
K-4, plan to attend the Back to School Night from 6 - 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 29. The purpose of Back to School Night is to help the parents become better acquainted with the school, staff and information specific to their child's grade level.
Families with kids in grades 5-8, plan to attend the Back to School Night from 6 - 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 30. The purpose of Back to School Night is to help the parents become better acquainted with the school, staff and information specific to their child's grade level.
Friday, Aug. 31, is a Dress of Choice (DOC) Day for students who have not had two uniform violations since school started. Per the uniform policy, "
Clothes worn by all the students during the DOC days shall be modest, in good condition, and neat in appearance. Students are not allowed to wear pajama items or clothing that contains wording or images that could be interpreted as racial, vulgar, or offensive in any way. Revealing clothes are not acceptable (i.e. tank tops, midriffs, sleeveless, etc.)."
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.