Vol. 9, Iss. 14
April 18, 2019
Dear Parents,
I know this week has been a challenging one for all of us. It was so good to see all the kids and their smiling faces this morning. The Ellis Island program was amazing as usual, and is such a wonderful BFA tradition. Those second graders are just adorable in their immigrant outfits and the food was delicious! Overall, the students were happy to be back in their routine after being out of school yesterday. Support has been available all day in case any of our students are having a difficult time transitioning back to school.
Tomorrow is our teacher in-service, and we use this time to make plans for next school year. Part of planning for next year involves creating class lists. As many of you know, we do not take teacher requests for the next school year. Our teachers spend a significant amount of time looking at all of their students and placing them in the classroom where they feel they'll be the most successful. Teacher assignments will be shared with families at the beginning of August.
We do have some exciting announcements about staffing for next year! There are only two teachers who are not returning. We have worked hard to fill these open positions with the most qualified individuals. I am excited that many of our openings were filled by qualified internal candidates who were looking for a new challenge. I love that these individuals will still be a part of the BFA family while embarking on a new opportunity. Here are the staff changes we have for next year:
Teachers who are leaving:
Ms. Boyd (4th Grade) is moving to California to be closer to family.  
Ms. Saleh (8th Grade Social Studies) has decided to pursue some other career options. 
We wish them both the very best!
Teachers staying in the building, but moving to a new role:
Mrs. McGinty will be moving from 1st grade to half-day kindergarten to job-share with Mrs. Parsons.
Mrs. Bauer will move from PE to teach 1st grade.  
Mrs. Crespo will move from Middle School Math to PE.
Mr. Knudsen will move from 5th grade to Middle School Math.
Ms. Lewicki will move from 4th grade to 5th grade.
Ms. Gibson will move from 7th grade Social Studies to 8th grade Social Studies.
Ms. Lindgren will move from 3rd grade to 4th grade.
New Teachers that have been hired:
Mrs. Jennifer Gautier has been hired for 3rd grade.
Mrs. Kristin Arnold has been hired for 4th grade.
Both of these ladies have subbed extensively in our building and we are excited to have them join us full time.
We are in the process of hiring for 7th grade Social Studies and should have an announcement made for that position soon.
It is our highest priority that we have licensed, qualified teachers in all of our classrooms. I am confident that our students will benefit from all of these changes. 
I hope you all have a great long weekend.

Diana Simpson

Following is a message from Burgandy Hodge, director, BFA Board of Directors...
Thank you to the approximately 160 families and/or staff members who voted and helped select our newest BFA Board members. Sarah Nisbet was selected by the Parent Voting Group to fill Seat 3, Class B. The BFA Board appointed Bryan Molen to fill Seat 4, Class B. Both of these positions are for a three-year term, ending in May 2022.
On behalf of the entire Board, I'd like to say congratulations to the new Board members and thank all of those who accepted the nomination, as well as those who took the time to vote. There were three excellent candidates for this election, and we appreciate their dedication to ensuring BFA remains an amazing school for our children.

There will be no school for students on Friday, April 19. Enjoy the long weekend!

April is Autism Awareness month. In 2018, the CDC determined that 1 in 59 children are diagnosed with autism. To help us understand a bit more about autism, we'll be publishing some facts about it during the next few weeks:
  1. Research shows that job activities that encourage independence improve daily living skills for those with autism.
  2. Many new programs are emerging to help people with autism access higher education and jobs after graduation.
  3. Small changes in routine or unexpected events can result in behavioral difficulties.
  4. Classroom accommodations can be extremely beneficial to helping a child with autism succeed in school. Examples include: oral or written test-taking, extended time for assignments, more frequent check-ins with teachers, and access to frequent movement breaks throughout the day.
  5. Clear classroom rules for students with autism are extremely important.
  6. Students with autism are often very literal in their understanding of language. Understanding jokes and sarcasm can be difficult for some students.

The THREE  Destination  Imagination (DI) teams headed to Global Finals have started their fun Ben Franklin Bolting Fundraiser, and Bolts are "striking" all over yards in the BFA community!
If you get "bolted," the DI teams would appreciate it if you would take a photo and post on the Friends of Ben Facebook page. It's fun to keep up with where lightning strikes!
Bolting Bens is the DI take on the traditional flocking flamingo fundraiser. For a suggested minimum tax-deductible donation of $25 to the BFA PTO, you can cover the lawn of your fellow BFA families with a dozen (12) Ben Franklin Lightning Bolts!
The family "bolted" can choose to have the Bolts moved to another lawn for a suggested minimum tax-deductible donation of $25. You can do this by placing an order on the BFA Store . The Bolts will be removed the following day regardless of giving a donation.
Imagine the smiles a lawn full of Ben Franklin Lightning Bolts will bring. It is a "gift" that will not soon be forgotten. And, we can be sure that the Bolting of Bens is going to be the main topic of discussion at the lunchroom and recess!
"Bolting" takes place from now through Saturday, May 11 - but don't delay! If you are ready to get involved,  head to the BFA Store today and "bolt" another family. You will need the address of the family you'd like to "bolt."  Helpful hint: Use the Directory On Tap app to look up an address to "bolt." In addition, you can remain anonymous or let the family know you "bolted" them!
Note: DI teams can only deliver to families currently attending BFA. They cannot deliver to a public space or a townhouse, condo, apartment complex or gated community.
Please email Missy Washeck with any questions. You can access the Ben Franklin Bolting flIer here.

During the 2019-20 school year, BFA is proud to offer a middle school choir elective that culminates in a performance at Disneyland.
These students will commit to a year-long elective to learn choral and sight-reading techniques. Next
April, they will travel to Disneyland to perform and take a workshop with Disney performers.  We plan to offer this opportunity once every three years so this will be current middle school  students' only opportunity to participate. We are able to offer 45 spots, first come first serve.
Students will not need to audition for this choir. We would like to invite all current fifth, sixth and seventh graders and their families who are interested to join us at an initial information meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, in the Middle School Commons. See this flier with more information.

All BFA boys and their special adult are invited to the Spring Social event (formerly Mother-Son event) that will take place from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, at Bowlero in Lone Tree. This promises to be a fun afternoon of bowling, food and arcade games!
Tickets are $30 for a paired ticket, $15 for a single ticket, and are on sale now through the BFA Store. You won't want to miss out. Get yours today--ticket sales end tomorrow, Friday, April 19.
No tickets will be sold at the door!
This event has traditionally been known as the mother-son event. And, it's still the mother-son event but has had a name change to reflect changing and evolving family dynamics. The PTO wants each BFA boy to know that he's invited to bring the special adult in his life - mom, stepmom, grandma, aunt, or dad - whoever that adult may be.

This spring, the PTO is offering the BFA community an opportunity to participate in teacher and staff gifting with SCRIP. The program makes it easy for parents to choose which teachers and staff they'd like to gift, then make one payment for all of their gifts. After the PTO tallies the gifts, each teacher/staff member receives an email with the total amount collected, and selects which gift cards they would like to receive. By consolidating donations, we are able to provide teachers and staff with meaningful gifts.
The SCRIP program allows the PTO to purchase the requested gift cards at discounts ranging from 2 - 21 percent, depending on the retailer. That discounted amount comes back to BFA from SCRIP, and will be used for PTO-funded programs at school.
To place your SCRIP order, visit the BFA Store by 11:59 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, April 19, and click on 'SCRIP Gifting .' Then select the appropriate grade or category, and click on 'more info' next to the staff member's name to open the amount dropdown. If the amount you want to give isn't listed, you can use the options available to come up with your desired gift amount. For example, if you want to give a staff member $7, you can create one order for $4, then go back and create another order for the same teacher/staff member for $3 to make a total of $7.
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.  The gifts will be given to the staff during Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week, the week of May 6, and will be in lieu of any other class gift/collection. 
Questions? Visit the PTO  webpage  or  contact   Rachael Hamburger , SCRIP coordinator.

PTO Logo
The PTO is an integral part of the BFA community. The mission of the PTO is to seek resources to strengthen, enhance, and encourage the educational and social experience at Ben Franklin Academy. Each year, the parent community is asked to vote for open executive officer and committee chair positions. To view the candidate bios, please visit the  PTO Elections page  of the BFA website. Your vote is important. Voting will be open from Monday, April 22, through Friday, April 26. Each family unit is permitted to cast one vote per position. Election results will be announced at the PTO meeting on Wednesday, May 8.

DI Globals
In addition to the Bolting Bens, the DI teams will raise funds through an EXTRA Dress of Choice Day and Frozen Treat Sale on Friday, April 26. To participate, send your child with $1 (please have exact change and no coins) to turn into his/her class/homeroom teacher, and s/he can join in the fun! In addition, DI team members and parents also will be at school on April 26 selling Otter Pops for $1 each during second recess to all grades (and during middle school recess). If your child would like to participate, please make sure s/he holds onto frozen treat money until second recess for purchase. Single bills are greatly appreciated!

Join us at Chipotle (2209 West Wildcat Reserve Parkway) from 4-8 p.m. on Monday, April 29, for a fundraiser to support BFA! Chipotle will give 33 percent of the proceeds back to the school but we have to reach at least $300 in total sales to get the benefit, so bring your friends and come hungry!
Check your child's Thursday folder today for a flier with the details. And, be sure to show or mention the flier to the cashier before ordering. Online orders will not be included in the fundraiser total.

Incoming fifth through eighth grade BFA boys and girls are invited to a Summer Volleyball Camp! T here are two sessions from July 8 - 12, a morning session for incoming fifth through eighth grade beginners and an afternoon session for incoming sixth through eighth grade experienced players. Each session is $150. There are also t hree evening clinics available July 8-10; these are separate from the two daytime sessions and cost $50 for all three clinics. Register for the day camp and/or evening clinics! Registration is NOW OPEN through MySchoolBucks and closes June 30. Please see the flier for more information.
If you know a current high school player who would like to volunteer that week, please ask him/her to contact Coach Haufschild. We are also looking for parent volunteers who want to earn 2019-20 volunteer hours. Sign up today!

Field day
There are a several great ways to get in your volunteer hours in before the school year ends! Mrs. Bauer has two fun options: Field Day Bounce Houses and Helping with the Mile Run!

BENefit Bash
Want to help with BFA's biggest fundraiser next year, but don't know how? T he BENefit Bash Committee is looking for volunteers to complete a variety of activities at school, at home, and at the event on Oct. 26, 2019. If you would like to help, please email Julia Porterfield, PTO fundraising coordinator. 
And, don't miss the next BENefit Bash procurement meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, April 29. The meeting will take place at Rachelle Calahan's house and is KID FRIENDLY! They'd love your help connecting with local businesses and donors to gather great items for the BENefit Bash auctions. Procurement is EASY, FUN, and a great way to meet new people and earn volunteer hours on your own schedule. If you're interested in attending, or if you have an auction item you'd like to donate, please email Rachelle Calahan and Courtney Chesy, BENefit Bash procurement committee co-managers. 

BFA Summer Camp
If you need full-time day care for the summer, want to schedule your own summer break, or are looking for a safe, fun way for your student to connect with other Ben Franklin Academy kids, then please sign up for Summer Camp!

Please make note of the change in the cost of summer camp this year. We had previously planned to keep costs the same, but as we started preparations and making purchases for the camps, we were forced to account for the rising costs of supplies, transportation and venues. Therefore, due to an increase in our expenses associated with running the camp, we will need to increase our tuition by $10 per day.
Summer Camp will operate on either a weekly or a daily registration schedule; and the costs will be as follows:

Weekly registration : Tuition will be a flat $195 fee, per child/day, which is a $60.00 discount rate from the daily tuition rate.
Daily registration : If registering for specific days only, tuition will be $45/child/day for general/in-house activities and $60/child/day for off-site field trip or special in-house activity days.  

Program Details
Dates: May 29 - August 9; Closed July 1-5
Hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Days: Monday through Friday
Summer Camp is open to any currently enrolled BFA student 5-years old and above. Your child must be 5 on or before May 29 to participate. 
All child(ren) must be registered using the online system in advance. Registration will close at 11:59 p.m. (MST) on Sunday, two (2) weeks prior to the date you would like your child(ren) to begin camp. For example, on Sunday, June 2, you can register your kiddo for Summer Camp beginning on Monday, June 17.  The summer camp calendars are now available. If you would like a copy please email us! (For your reference, the email is  summercamp@bfacademy.org.)

If you have any questions please email Leigh Savoy or Janet Harlow. Go to MySchoolBucks or click here to register.

Science Fair
Are you looking for something interesting and fun for your rising third, fourth and fifth graders to do this summer? Look no further, because Mrs. Lewicki is offering two STEM Camps at BFA this Summer!

Students will work in teams to perform experiments, discover the principles behind the experiment, innovate a new design with their team, and perform the experiment again. The fun increases throughout the week as teams compete against each other to earn points. The winning team at the end of the week will receive a mad scientist award. Limit 10 students, and the registration deadline is May 20Email Mrs. Lewicki for registration details.
Session 1: NATURAL DISASTERS, June 25-28, Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. $150
Change on earth can be violent and amazing. Explore natural disasters like earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires, mudslides, and floods. Build simulations and create the your own natural disasters. Learn how these natural events work and how they change the earth. As a team, engineer structures that will withstand these disasters.
Session 2: PHYSICS, July 23-26, Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. $150
Physics is tricky. What do you know about friction, buoyancy, speed, thrust and lift? Explore the physics behind things that fly, float and zoom. Engineer ways to make different objects move. Then, test, improve, and test them again until you can make them move!  

PTO Logo
The BFA Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) meeting originally scheduled for this week, has been moved to next Wednesday, April 24. All are welcome attend the meeting which will be held from 6:30 - 8 p.m. in the Sanders Science Lab.  

BASE logo
A message from the BASE director:

As you know, the last day of school (May 24) is a half-day. If you are in need of BASE after school care, you will need to preregister for that day through this MySchoolBucks link. Registration is open now and will close on Sunday, May 12. This day will be treated like a summer camp day, so we'll have a planned activity, a movie, as well as outside and gym time offered. We will be open from noon until 6 p.m. The cost for the day will be $45 per student; there will only be 60 spots available. All kids that are not picked up after all call will go to BASE and be charged accordingly, space pending. If you have any questions please email Mrs. Savoy.

Volunteers are still needed in the Library! There are plenty of openings in April and May, so you can meet your volunteer requirement before school ends.  Sign up today!

Does your student have a summer birthday? Surprise them with a birthday bag delivered in the last week of school! Birthday bags contain fun goodies and a personalized note from you. They are delivered to your child's classroom and presented with a birthday song sung by the eighth graders.

Birthday bag sales will end on May 15, but deliveries will still be made through the week of May 20.
Bags are $10, and are available for  purchase on the BFA online store. Please order early to ensure delivery on your child's special day.   

Incoming Kindergartners-- join Mrs. Brook for a Kindergarten Boot Camp this summer! This fun camp provides an introduction to kindergarten literacy and math.  The Kindie Boot Camp is designed to provide an opportunity for new kindergarten students to become familiar with BFA and the kindergarten classroom.  Campers will learn a new letter and number every day, gain new skills, make friends, and work on crafts. 
There are three boot camp sessions, and space is limited to 16 kids per session. Camps will be held June 24 - 28, July 15 -19 and July 22 - 26; sessions are from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, at BFA. Parents should not sign up for more than two sessions so others can have a chance to register. The cost is $65 per session (cash or check). Please bring payment on the first day of your session and make checks payable to Debbie Brook. See the flier and sign up for a session today!

FIFTH GRADE FAMILIES--please volunteer in carpool this APRIL! 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 April, we'd like our FIFTH GRADE families to sign up for open volunteer spots in carpool. If you don't have a fifth 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.' 

There are EIGHT OPEN DAYS left this school year for you to rent the rock:
  • Tues, April 23
  • Wed, April 24
  • Thurs, April 25
  • Fri, April 26
  • Mon, April 29
  • Tues, April 30
  • Fri, May 17
  • Tues, May 21
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. 

A new, FUN after school activity is being offered by our very own Ms. Whelan! Our fourth and fifth grade, as well as our middle school students are invited to sign up for Zumba!

Zumba takes the "work" out of "workout" by mixing low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval style dance fitness party. It is a total workout combining elements of cardio, muscle conditioning, as well as balance and flexibility, boosting your overall energy.
Sessions run from now until May 16 and are $25.
  • Grades 4 and 5: Tuesdays 3:30-4:15 p.m. in the Middle School Commons
  • Middle School: Thursdays 3:30-4:15 p.m. in the Middle School Commons
Register today via MySchoolBucks!

GO BOLTS! Show your school pride by placing a BFA Bolts sign in your yard. There is a limited quantity of yard signs left, and they are being sold for only $10 each. 
After you place your order on the BFA Store, the sign will be delivered to your student at school. Now that the snow is starting to melt and spring is in the air, it's a great time to display your school spirit in your yard!

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).
  • 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. 
The Foundation for Douglas County Schools  Community Events Program  is out with their latest fundraisers; check out their spring flier! 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. 
Thursday, April 18

There will be no school for students on Friday,  April 19, as it is a teacher in-service day. Enjoy the long weekend!
Monday, April 22

PTO Logo
Your vote is important. Voting will be open from Monday, April 22, through Friday, April 26. To view the candidate bios, please visit the  PTO Elections page  of the BFA website. 
Tuesday, April 23

Science Fair
The elementary Science Fair is Tuesday, April 23, so students will be showing off their science savvy to peers and parent judges. 
Wednesday, April 24

PTO Logo
The BFA Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is meeting from 6:30 - 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24, in the Sanders Science Lab. All are welcome to attend! 
Thursday, April 25

The School Accountability Committee (SAC) is meeting from 4:10 - 5:10 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, in the BFA Conference Room.

Ben's Brigade is meeting from 8 - 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, at the Starbucks inside Super Target. All BFA Dads, Grandpas and/or favorite father figures are welcome to attend.
Friday, April 26

DI Globals
The DI teams will raise funds through an  EXTRA Dress of Choice Day and Frozen Treat Sale on Friday, April 26 . To participate, in the Dollar Dress of Choice, send your child with $1 (please have exact change and no coins) to turn into his/her class/homeroom teacher. If your student would like to purchase an Otter Pop at recess, you can send in another $1 for that as well.  Single bills are greatly appreciated!
Saturday, April 27

The Spring Social event (formerly Mother-Son event) for boys and their special adult will take place from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, at Bowlero in Lone Tree. Tickets should have been purchased in advance.  No tickets will be sold at the door.
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.