Vol. 9, Iss. 25
September 19, 2019
Dear Parents,
This has been a great week at BFA! First of all, I'd like to thank the PTO for putting together another wonderful Fall Festival. I'd like to extend specific thanks to Gwen Feifarek, who has headed up this event since its inception. Gwen has always run this event with enthusiasm and style! I will miss her next school year, as her son Alex graduates from eighth grade this year and she'll be moving on from BFA.
Today we welcomed Molly Kennedy and our fifth, sixth and seventh graders enjoyed her 'Creating the Champion Within' assembly. Our students learned about growth mindset, resilience and the power of their perspective so they are ready to learn and succeed this year. With this improved mental fitness, our students will develop even more confidence and momentum to make responsible choices in school and life. If you'd like to watch a brief version of her message, please visit mollykennedyspeaks.com. Her book, "Creating the Champion Within" is now in the library and is also available for purchase on Amazon.  
Our Second Step lesson this week focused on being respectful. I am happy to report that I witnessed our middle school boys being respectful of others while on a field trip to the "Business of Baseball" Rockies game yesterday and our students were very well behaved during the assembly today. I also have been impressed with the number of times I hear 'please,' 'thank you,' and 'good morning' in our halls every day. Way to go BFA!
Next week, we have some exciting events coming up as well! I'd like to invite all of you to Goodies with Grandparents, one of our favorite CEC events. It's happening from 7 - 8 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26, in the Lightning Gym. Ben's Brigade will be helping with parking. We invite grandparents to park in the lower lot, as staff will be parking in the upper lot.
Next Friday, is our STEAM Expo! The STEM committee has been working really hard to make this year's fair spectacular. This Expo is often one of the students favorite days of the year. Thank you to everyone who is involved with making this day possible.
Have a great weekend!


Diana Simpson

There will be no school for students TOMORROW, Sept. 20, as it is a professional development day for our teachers. Enjoy the long weekend!    

The BFA Cross Country team competed in the McAuliffe Sundevil last week.  Congrats to Addi Torres for taking 3rd in the Girls Varsity Race! We're very proud of all our racers--BFA was well represented. 

The BFA Cross Country team will participate in three more meets this season:
  • Sept. 20 - Middle School State Championship Preview
  • Sept. 24 - Littleton Lions 
  • Oct. 2 - Slavens Meet

Harvest Festival 19

Another successful Harvest Festival is in the books with more than 1000 people enjoying the PTO's 9th Annual Harvest Festival last Saturday!  Thank you to everyone who worked before, during and after the Harvest Festival to
ensure its success. This event is an excellent example of the BFA community working together to create an amazing evening for our families. Around 120 volunteers helped with the event, which is the best volunteer turnout in the past nine years. And, there were around 100 people who baked 120 cakes and 120 dozen baked goods. Once again, the cakes and baked goods were very impressive and, by all accounts, extremely delicious!
Special thanks for the superb contributions of Lynsey Humphries, Melissa Powell, Jennifer Dela'o, Jacob and Kimberly Kent, Tavia McMahon, as well as the Sundaresh, Midavaine and Saboo families. We appreciate you and the time you contributed to the Harvest Festival!

Harvest Festival 19
A SUPER SPECIAL and EXTRA BIG THANK YOU goes out to Gwen Feifarek. Gwen has been the PTO's Harvest Festival Chair since 2011. We all truly appreciate all the hard work Gwen has put in to her event during the last nine years. She took the concept of a fall festival and made it what it is today! Her youngest is graduating this year so she is handing over the reins. While she's left some big shoes to fill, she's also left the framework for the next Harvest Festival Chair to take over as her successor. The entire school community thanks you Gwen!
And, a final piece of business...there were 642 pieces of candy corn in the guessing jar. Congratulations to our winners who came closest and received a gift card.
Student - Lillie Grissom, 8th grade
Parent - Nicole Hayes, mother of Joshua in 2nd grade



For the week of October 14-18, the BFA BASE program will have a Fall Break Camp, similar to the summer camp program we offer.  We need to have at least 15 families sign up for the program by Monday, Oct. 7 , otherwise we'll need to cancel the camp. The cost will be $35 per day for Monday-Thursday, but $50 on Friday as we will go on a field trip to Anderson Farms that day. Fall Camp will be open from 7 a.m.- 6 p.m. daily and our schedule of daily activities will be released soon.
Registration is OPEN NOW, and will close on Monday, Oct. 7. All registrations are non-refundable unless we do not have the required number of families. Enrolled families will be notified on Tuesday, Oct. 8, if we must cancel and refunds will be given at that time. Please register for the M-Th in house and Friday field trip separately. You will see the option for the in-house days and the field trip day on MySchoolBucks. Register for all the days you'd like your student to attend.
To register, please go to: MySchoolBucks.com. Families that have not enrolled in BASE for the current 2019-20 school year will be contacted to complete registration forms. If you are new to BASE this school year, you will also need to pay the 2019-20 BASE registration fee of $25. To obtain the registration paperwork and read the parent handbook please contact  base@bfacademy.org.
If you have any questions please contact Leigh Savoy, BASE director at base@bfacademy.org.

In one week, on Friday, Sept. 27, every student at BFA will spend an hour exploring a combination of parent-led and vendor-sponsored booths focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math education. These booths will have exciting demonstrations and interactive activities that make STEAM come alive for students.  We need your help to make it a great event for the students of BFA. This is a fun way to share your love of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math and jump-start your volunteering hours for the year. 

Please take a look at the  SignUpGenius  and sign up for a spot that works with your schedule and interest. Feel free to let them know if you have any questions by emailing  STEM@bfacademy.org.

Be sure to mark your calendar and invite the Grandparents so your students don't miss out on a very special BFA tradition, Goodies with Grandparents!  The  Community Events Committee (CEC) will be hosting this event for students and their grandparent(s) from 7-8 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26, at BFA. Students and grandparents can spend the morning together while enjoying coffee, juice and light morning treats!

The event will be well attended; grandparents should arrive early and can park in the lower lot until it's full, then they should head to the upper lot. Grandparents must remain with their grandchildren in the gym until 7:45 a.m. At that time, grandparents may walk their grandchildren to their classroom for a quick visit. Students should be in their classroom at the usual time (8:10 a.m.). 
Are you looking for an easy way to earn your volunteer hours? Come join us in preparing for Goodies with Grandparents. Help is needed the night before the event (a great opportunity for working parents!) or the morning of September 26. Check out  Sign Up Genius for more than 20 awesome opportunities. If you have any questions or want to learn more about the Community Events Committee (CEC), please  email us.


The new school year means another opportunity to promote your business while supporting BFA. Each year, sponsorships allow BFA to continue to grow and to meet the needs of our school, as well as our teachers, staff and students. Sponsorships are on sale NOW, and selling out quickly. They are offered on a first come, first served basis, so be sure to reserve yours today. Sales end next Friday, September 27. Visit the PTO Sponsorship webpage for details on the various sponsorship options and pricing   (look for the 'sponsors' tab).  If you are interested in a sponsorship opportunity, please contact Denise Battista, sponsor committee manager.


Picture retake day is next Thursday, Sept. 26. If your student needs to retake their picture,  please send them to school with their proof or package, and email your student's  teacher to let him/her know your child should retake their picture. Retakes will occur throughout the day for students. If you did not already place an order, you can go online to order.

Parents who want to get their picture taken for a volunteer badge, should come into school between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 26. As a reminder, you will need your Driver's License to enter the building.


Do you want an Extra Dress of Choice day for your student(s)? Here's how:

Simply register for the FREE, no purchase necessary BENefit Bash online auction that starts on Sunday, Oct. 20. To register, visit the auction website
, and click 'Register To Bid Online.' Complete your registration by Thursday, Oct. 24 to help qualify your student(s) for an extra dress of choice day. Each K-5 class or Middle School grade with more than 75 percent parent registration will earn an extra dress of choice day during the second trimester! Don't wait - sign up today!

CO Chairs

Curious about what live auction items will be available at this year's BENefit bash? Here's just a sample of what will be up for auction!

Live Auction items for the 2019 BENefit Bash Lights, Camera, Auction event include:
  • (2) Colorado Adirondack Ski Chairs
  • (4) Orchestra Center Row C Tickets to Opening Night of SpongeBob: The
    Sponge Bob tickets
    Musical INCLUDING access to the Cast Party immediately following the show
  • Trip for two on Southwest Airlines to a Secret Destination (announced at the event)
  • Annual Reserved Parking Spot #1 for 2020
Live Auction items for the 2019 BENefit Bash Casino Night event include:  
  • Colorado Flag Cornhole Set
  • Annual Reserved Parking Spot #3 for 2020
REMEMBER - Only ticketed participants at the event(s) on Saturday, Oct. 26 can bid on these items. Purchase your ticket now at  https://bfacademy.ptapal.com.

Destination ImagiNation
If you missed the Destination Imagination (DI) meeting this week, but are still interested in finding out more information and/or participating, please click one or more of the following: BFA DI FAQ and/or DI Info Presentation.
If you are interested in participating in DI, please fill out the following form: BFA DI Interest Form and email to Jason Sunahara, BFA DI coordinator, by Tuesday, Oct. 1. You also are welcome to contact Jason with any additional questions.
While DI is a BFA-sponsored program, it relies solely on parent volunteers to serve as team managers (and appraisers for competitions and South Metro's Instant Challenge Day). The BFA DI coordinators are happy to create a team for interested students, but teams can't come to fruition without the support of a parent volunteer(s) to serve as a team manager(s). DI volunteer hours count toward your BFA volunteer hours.
In addition, there is no guarantee that your child will be placed on a team simply by filling out the interest form. Once your child is officially part of a BFA DI team, there is a registration fee of $65 per participant ($30 for Rising Stars! which are DI's non-competitive participants). More information on the registration fee will come from your team manager/BFA DI coordinators at a later date.
DI's vision is "to teach students the creative process and empower them with the skills needed to succeed in an ever changing world." Annually, DI offers six new academic challenges in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), fine arts and service learning (and one in early learning). In solving a challenge, students learn the creative process from imagination to innovation and the skills needed to thrive in school, their careers and beyond. 


We hope you'll join us at the 2019 BENefit Bash beginning at  5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26, at Palazzo Verdi, and at 9 p.m. for the Casino Night After Party at Max Taps ! There are many ticket options to choose from between two the different events, and even an absentee option if you can't attend. 

Please remember there also is an online auction from Oct. 20-24 where you'll be able to bid on the bulk of the auction items; to access the online auction you simply need to purchase a ticket (see below) or register for FREE.  Ticket prices go up on Sunday, Sept. 29, and several tickets have limited quality, so get them before they are gone. Look through all the details listed below and purchase  your tickets TODAY!  All prices listed are per person unless otherwise noted.
Main Event (10/26 5-9 p.m. at Palazzo Verdi) $45
After Party (10/26 9 p.m. -12 a.m. at Max Taps Co) $20
Main Event + After Party $60
VIP Ticket (Main Event + After Party, Reserved premium seating, early check in at main event, access to VIP lounge/bar) $100
Absentee Ticket $45 (offers access to main event mobile auction)
Shuttle (Max Taps to Palazzo Verdi or Palazzo Verdi to Max Taps) $6 per way
Reserved Table $60 per table (Seats 10)
PACKAGES (Priced per couple)
Hotel stay at Doubletree DTC plus breakfast, shuttle service between hotel and event venues, VIP ticket $275
Hotel stay at Doubletree DTC plus light rail passes between hotel and Palazzo Verdi $230
For more information on the BENefit Bash as well as more detailed explanations of the ticket options and packages,  go to the PTO webpage and look under 'Fundraising/BENefit Bash.'


Whether you don't want to attend the main event but still want to participate OR you aren't ready to call it a night after the main event, we've got the after party for you! Join us after the main BENefit Bash event for an adults-only party from 9 p.m.-12 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26, at Max Taps in Highlands Ranch. Your ticket to the after party includes: live music, light snacks, $500 in play money for casino games, and access to the after party mini auction. Additionally, we will have casino games such as Blackjack, Craps, Hold'em Poker and Roulette in the Doghouse, regular picnic tables in the front room, live music and sofas on the patio (weather permitting) and a taco food truck, with food for purchase! Tickets start at $20 per person and there are LIMITED quantities. We expect to sell out FAST so get your tickets now at  https://bfacademy.ptapal.com


Help BFA defend our second place title in the annual Colorado Punkin Chunkin Competition! We need help several days in September (21 and 22). This is a fun way to get volunteer hours, while inspiring engineers of the future. Middle school age students and/or responsible fourth and fifth graders are welcome to join in along with a parent volunteer.

Check out our  photos from last year and the  competition website to get inspired. Please visit the SignUpGenius to sign up.

For more information, please contact BFA team lead Toby Foss. Thanks in advance for your help!


The BENefit Bash is right around the corner, and we could use your help!
Do you have items that you would be willing to donate? We are looking for things like: autographed memorabilia, gas cards or rental car points, getaway/staycation donations, gift cards, items for kids and families, and sporting or concert event tickets. You can also purchase items from our Amazon Wish List to help fulfill gift baskets for the auctions, or donate an item of your choice.
Do you have a bottle of wine or liquor that you would like to donate? Drop off all unopened wine and spirits at the front desk.
Want to throw a party or host a social? Do you have a fun idea for a get-together, where you host, charge per-person to attend, and donate the proceeds to BFA? You could: host a BBQ in your back yard, a cooking class in your kitchen, bar hop, playdates, movie night, dinner party, or fitness class. The possibilities are endless! To sign up, click here.
Questions? Contact Julia Porterfield, fundraising coordinator.

BFA's Fall Scholastic Book Fair will be held  Monday, Oct. 7 through Thursday, Oct. 10.
  • 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., Monday, Oct. 7 and Wednesday, Oct. 9
  • 8:30 a.m. - 8 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 8 and Thursday, Oct. 10
Please remember that the front office is closed during carpool from 3 to 4.
This year, Scholastic is offering e-Wallet so that you don't have to worry about sending cash, check or your credit card with your child. See our Scholastic homepage for easy sign up instructions
Scholastic is also offering a preview of all the exciting selections that will be offered this year. 
If you visit the fair, please take time to enter your child's name in a drawing to be held after the fair, as we will be giving away great books and fun miscellaneous items!

To ensure the success of the Book Fair, we'd appreciate your support. Sign up TODAY to volunteer.

We look forward to seeing you there! 

BFA's 2019-2020 online school directory will be available soon. If you would like to update your family's information for the directory or opt out, you need to act today! You have until next Tuesday, September 24, to do the following:

1.   If your child goes by a nickname or shortened name, contact Natalie Lucero 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.

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 in late September. To access the directory, you will need to download the free app through the App Store or Google Play.

Please contact PTO vice president Natalie Lucero with questions.

Applications are now being accepted for National Junior Honor Society (NJHS). All seventh and eighth grade students interested in joining NJHS need to fill out paperwork and return it to Mrs. Murphy no later than Sept. 23. New members need to complete the application packet, and returning members need to complete the BFA NJHS policy form. Both the application packet and policy forms can be found on the NJHS website located under the middle school tab and in Mrs. Murphy's classroom. Please have your student contact Mrs. Murphy with any NJHS questions. 

PTO Trucker Hat
Now's the time to get your BFA spirit wear! Inventory is stocked; the PTO has great items like the navy trucker hat (pictured); and the online store is open! NEW THIS SCHOOL YEAR - You may purchase your spirit wear online at the School Store on MySchoolBucks. Purchases can be made from now through September 30. 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 in October at parent teacher conferences. The online store will close Monday, Sept. 30, and remain closed until the spring. So, be sure to get your spirit wear now!

Have a birthday coming up? Is your child celebrating something special? Or, do you just want to cheer on the Bolts? Rent the rock and shout out your news! The spirit rock is an opportunity to share exciting events with our school community by painting your own message. The daily rate to rent the rock is $15. ALL proceeds directly benefit the PTO's grant account, that will be used to support BFA's small group fundraising.
Want to rent the Rock? Here's how:
Step 1: Reserve the date you want by visiting the 'Rent the Rock' SignUpGenius. Rock reservations are on a first come, first serve basis, so make your reservations NOW!

Step 2: Pay for your reservation through MySchoolBucks. Payment is due when the reservation is made.
Have questions? You can find answers to frequently asked questions on the PTO webpage, or contact Sara Hope, spirit rock committee manager.
Friday, Sept. 20

There will be no school for students TOMORROW, Sept. 20, as it is a professional development day for our teachers. Enjoy the long weekend!    
Monday, Sept. 23 - Wednesday, Sept. 25

Our seventh graders are headed to Keystone Science Camp where they teach scientific principles and leadership skills to young people through engaging hands-on field experiences. They offer hands-on science education, true Colorado adventure, and traditional camp-style fun. We hope our seventh graders have a great time!
Tuesday, Sept. 24

Group tours are offered at 9 a.m. every Tuesday from September 3 - November 19, and again from January 21 - March 31. We'll also have a tour on April 7 and May 5.  Please note, there will be no tours while students are on break--Oct. 15 and March 17.
Anyone going on a tour should bring a Driver's License and arrive ten minutes early so we can scan their license before the tour begins. There is no need to RSVP, and tours last around 45 minutes.
Thursday, Sept. 26

The  Community Events Committee (CEC) will be hosting this event for students and their grandparent(s) from 7-8 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26, at BFA. Students and grandparents can spend the morning together while enjoying coffee, juice and light morning treats! 

The event will be well attended; g randparents should arrive early and can park in the lower lot until it's full, then they should head to the upper lot. Grandparents must remain with their grandchildren in the gym until 7:45 a.m. At that time, grandparents may walk their grandchildren to their classroom for a quick visit.  Students should be in their classroom at the usual time (8:10 a.m.).  


Picture retake day is next Thursday, Sept. 26. If your student needs to retake their picture,  please send them to school with their proof or package, and email your student's  teacher to let him/her know your child should retake their picture. Retakes will occur throughout the day for students. If you did not already place an order, you can go online to order.

Parents who want to get their picture taken for a volunteer badge, should come into school between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 26. As a reminder, you will need your Driver's License to enter the building.

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. All BFA parents are welcome to attend their meetings! The next meeting is from 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26, in the Conference Room.

Ben's Brigade is meeting from 8-9 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26, at Lansdowne Arms ( 9352 Dorchester St., Highlands Ranch). Please note the location change. All BFA dads are welcome to attend!
Friday, Sept. 27

The annual STEAM Expo is coming up on  Friday, Sept. 27;  f ollowing is the schedule for students:
  • 9:15-10:15 a.m. - Morning Kindie, Preschool, 1st Grade
  • 10:15 -11:15 a.m. - Middle school (6th, 7th, and 8th)
  • 12:15-1:15 p.m. - 2nd, Preschool
  • 1:15-2:15 p.m. - 3rd and 5th
  • 2:15-3:15 p.m. - Afternoon Kindie, 4th and All Day Kindie
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.