Vol. 10, Iss. 12
April 2, 2020

Dear Parents,

I hope week two of remote learning is going smoothly for everyone. In speaking with families and staff, it seems that we have found our groove as compared to where we were last week.
 
Thank you for taking the time to complete the surveys sent out last week. The majority of the people who responded felt the workload and communication were appropriate, so we'll continue along the same path, with a few adjustments along the way. 
 
Next week, K-5 parents will notice a bit of a shift because the packets we sent home were based on a two-week closure. Since our closure has extended past the original two weeks, teachers will be distributing resources electronically. Please know you do not have to print out everything that comes home. Students can do the work on loose leaf paper, or for older students, they can use a Google Doc. Students could even do homework on a whiteboard and take a picture of their completed work to turn into their teacher. We want to stress that we are not expecting you to print everything sent home; we encourage some creativity around how assignments are completed. 
 
Another interesting aspect of remote learning is grading. Since not all of our students have the same access to at-home help or support, remote learning creates an ethical question around equity. Students shouldn't have their grades negatively impacted because they aren't able to access curriculum the same way they would be able to if we were meeting in-person. Due to this equity issue, we have determined that no students' grades will be negatively impacted by this time of remote learning. What does that mean exactly? It means that work will be recorded based on completion.
 
We will continue to collect work at each grade level, and teachers will be providing feedback. For grades K-2, the teachers will be recording two assignments per week. Grades 3-5 will record three assignments per week. Teachers will notify parents about which assignments they are collecting for attendance and accountability purposes. Middle school will continue to record all assignments. In all grade levels, we are expecting that all assignments are completed, even if they are not being "recorded." The work is important to help build and reinforce skills. We want our students to stay actively engaged in learning. We realize that for some students (and parents), this will be a hard shift from grades being a motivator to learning/practice being a motivator. We will try to be creative in how we are motivating students to complete their assigned work and encourage parents to do the same. 
 
This overall situation has been very stressful for everyone, so let's have some fun next week. We are going to have a virtual spirit week! Here are the themes for next week:
 
Monday: American pride day - sport your red, white and blue
 
Tuesday: Crazy hair day - always a favorite! 
 
Wednesday: Jersey/sports team day - many of us are missing cheering for our favorite teams or getting to play our favorite sports!
 
Thursday: Bring your pet to "school" day - take pictures/videos to introduce your friends to your pets. If you don't have a pet, share your favorite stuffed animal. 
 
Friday: Character day - dress as your favorite character from a movie or book
 
Please share your photos/videos with ckeen@bfacademy.org and me, and we'll put together slide shows and social media posts for each day. Since we can't physically be together, at least we can share the fun and spirit virtually!
 
I know I speak for all teachers and staff when I say, WE MISS YOU! I hope everyone is doing well. If the school can help support you in any way, please don't hesitate to reach out!

Sincerely,
 
Mrs. Simpson

 READ ABOUT THE BOARD CANDIDATES
 
In case you missed our Candidate Q&A Zoom call this week, we recorded it so all parents have the opportunity to hear from our excellent Board candidates. Please take some time this week to listen to or read about our candidates. This is important as the Voting Group will elect two new Board members for Seats 5 and 6 Class C, and the Board will appoint two candidates to fill Seat 7 Class C for three years and Seat 4 Class B for the remaining two years of the term.
 
Be informed, read about our six highly qualified candidates on the Board webpage, listen to their stories and hear their answers to some great questions. The Zoom recording is long--about an hour and a half-- but four of these candidates will be serving our school for the next 2-3 years so it's definitely worth your time. We will send you the link to vote on Monday, April 6.

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BOOK FAIR STILL OPEN 
  
We all need LESS screen time--so let's read instead! Ms. Williams has organized an online book fair for the school. Check out the link to order books for your family!

2020-21 FIRST GRADE OPENINGS
 
This past year, the state issued mandates that resulted in changes to our kindergarten schedule and, subsequently, there are a few openings in our first grade program for the 2020-21 school year. BFA historically does not have many first grade spots available. With the changes, we're in a unique position for 2020-21 and beyond as we will most likely have some first grade openings.
 
If you know a family who will have an incoming first grader, and is interested in BFA, please encourage them to go on a tour and complete DCSD Open Enrollment. We plan to hold a tour on May 5. Interested parents should show up ten minutes early for the tour and bring their Driver's License. Any parent interested in enrollment at BFA complete the DCSD Open Enrollment Process soon. Prospective parents also can email our registrar with questions. 
 
You already know why BFA is a John Irwin School of Excellence and the Core Knowledge STEAM School of Choice in Douglas County, but feel free to share these highlights of our organization with other parents who may be interested in learning more about BFA.

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SAY THANKS WITH SCRIP
  
The BFA PTO will use SCRIP for end of year staff gifting again this year. This convenient, online program replaces PTO 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 11-17 with gifts being delivered to the staff by the end of the year.
A form for preschool-only families will be available online by April 6. The completed preschool form and a check may be mailed to the address provided on the form and must be received by April 17.

For more details on how to contribute to your teacher's gift, see the flier. Questions? Visit the PTO webpage or contact Rachael Hamburger, SCRIP coordinator.

PTO Volunteer
 SO MANY REASONS TO JOIN THE PTO!
 
Are you interested in serving on the BFA PTO next school year? To nominate yourself or someone you know who'd be a good fit in the PTO, please complete the  2020 BFA PTO Nominations form
There are so many reasons to get involved with the PTO. Here are just a few:
  • Your child benefits. Studies have shown that children of parents who are involved and active at their school do better scholastically.
  • We're about involvement, not just fundraising. Fundraising is an important part of what we do, but we're also about creating a strong school community.
  • Meet new people and have fun. Joining the PTO is a great way to get connected with others and with the school.  And, with so many positions, we've got a role that will suit your interests, talents and availability.   
PTO elections will be held April 27 through May 1 and we've got a variety of volunteer positions available. The right position is waiting for you! For more information on the PTO and what we do, please visit our  webpage. Or, come to one of our monthly meetings held on the third Wednesday of each month. See the event calendar for details. Thank you for your help in continuing to make BFA an amazing place!

BFA Summer Camp
SUMMER BASE CAMP CALENDAR READY! 
  
We're very excited about all the fun things we have planned for summer camp this year! If you would like a copy of the summer camp calendar, please email summercamp@bfacademy.org. Our weekly sign-ups are split into the following options: 
 
1) Three days of In-House Summer Camp for $105/week, per child; and 
2) Two days of Bolts Adventures Field Trip Summer Camp for $100/week, per child. 
 
In MySchoolBucks, you can choose either option, or choose both In-House AND Bolts Adventures Summer Camps to ensure child care for the entire week. We hope that gives parents the additional flexibility they enjoy, while streamlining the process for parents who need weekly coverage. With this change, the full week cost is $205 per week. 
 
The annual registration fee has not changed, and is $35 per child. Please click here to register your child(ren); sign-ups for In-House and Bolts Adventures Camps will be available later this spring. The first week of camp will be May 27-29 and will cost $115, as camp will only be three days that week (we will not split out this week into In-House and Bolts Adventures Camps).
 
Program Details:   
Dates: May 27-August 14 (Closed June 29-July 3)
Hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Days: Monday through Friday
Summer Camp is open to any 2020-21 enrolled BFA Kindergarten-eighth grade student 5-years-old and above. Your child must be 5 on or before May 27, 2020 to participate. 
 
If you have any questions please email:  summercamp@bfacademy.org.

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SUMMER BOOT CAMP FOR INCOMING 1-5 GRADE STUDENTS
  
Help prevent some of the inevitable Summer Slide by joining Sarah Harrell, Ellen Cain, and Katie Carvalho for Summer Boot Camp at BFA! They will be hosting Boot Camp sessions for incoming students in grades 1-5.
 
Incoming first graders will meet for 1.5 hours per day, and all other students will meet two hours a day. The June and July Boot Camps will meet over three consecutive days, while the August  Boot Camp (incoming 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade only) is a 1-day camp.
 
Please visit our SignUpGenius  for more information about exact dates and costs, as well as to sign up. Space is Limited!
April 6-10


 LET'S HAVE SOME FUN WITH REMOTE SPIRIT WEEK! 
 
Monday: American pride day - sport your red, white and blue
 
Tuesday: Crazy hair day - always a favorite! 
 
Wednesday: Jersey/sports team day - many of us are missing cheering for our favorite teams or getting to play our favorite sports!
 
Thursday: Bring your pet to "school" day - take pictures/videos to introduce your friends to your pets. If you don't have a pet, share your favorite stuffed animal. 
 
Friday: Character day - dress as your favorite character from a movie or book
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.