Oct. 8, 2020
Weekly Update
A message from Principal Simpson...
Dear Parents,
 
Another week has flown by and October is in full swing. The weather has been beautiful, and the leaves are turning. I hope you all are taking the time to enjoy this season.
 
One of the cornerstones of Ben Franklin Academy is our Thirteen Virtues. Each month we focus on one or two virtues. For October, our virtues are "Order" and "Cleanliness." These are two virtues that we always take seriously, but have been moved to the forefront of our minds this year. Teachers and staff are spending extra time making sure that classrooms and materials are clean and organized. Students are encouraged to wash their hands frequently and use hand sanitizer. We have installed numerous sanitizing stations throughout the building, in addition to each classroom being well-stocked with supplies. Fall break is a great time to help your kids get reorganized, too. It's an excellent time to clean out backpacks and organize their learning space at home so that they can come back refreshed and ready to learn. Later this month, I will highlight how some classrooms are teaching the students about these virtues.  
 
Another cornerstone of BFA is family involvement and volunteerism. We realize this can be a challenge this year because of limited opportunities within the school; however, there are several other ways to volunteer. This past Monday, I held a Zoom call for families new to BFA. We highlighted the various committees and groups that parents can join to volunteer and get connected to our awesome community. We recorded the meeting, and I thought I'd share the link with everyone so that all families could learn about or be reminded of these groups that are so vital to our school. Here is the passcode: 3PF#TV&t.
 
Fall often leads to colds, allergies, and other illnesses. This year's fall season is even more challenging because of COVID-19. Earlier this year, I explained that our illness protocol was changing based on the health department's new requirements. We continue to ask that any students experiencing symptoms to stay home. If your student is out for more than two days, I'll reach out to you to check in on them. There are certain protocols that need to be followed for students whose symptoms last longer than 48 hours. Please see this flowchart for more information, as this is the chart we use to decide if students can return to school after an illness. At this time, Douglas County is in "Safer at Home" status, so we use the chart's right-hand side for our decision-making. Please let me know if you have any questions about these guidelines.
 
I hope everyone has a wonderful break next week. I have reminded the teachers and staff to set their email responses to "out of office." They have been working so hard, and many also spent hours of the summer taking classes and preparing for this unique year. This is their first opportunity for a break in quite a while. Please honor this as a time for them also to relax and recharge. Everyone will be returning emails when we return from break. If you have urgent questions or needs next week, please reach out directly to me. 
 
Stay safe and stay healthy, and we will see all of you on Monday, October 19.
 
Mrs. Simpson

Volunteer Recognition
BFA loves its volunteers, and we want to show our appreciation for all of your work. This year, the PTO will be recognizing 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 Cindy Brawley!
Cindy Brawley has been selected as the Ben Franklin Academy Volunteer of the Month for October. Cindy is being honored for her service last year as chair of the School Accountability Committee (SAC) and all of her efforts on the parent survey last spring. As a result of her work, the number of parent responses dramatically increased which, in turn, helps the Board of Directors and administration make informed decisions about our school. Her demonstration of Ben Franklin's virtues of resolution was apparent throughout her time as SAC chair. Thank you, Cindy!

Cindy and her husband, Bob, both grew up in Colorado and graduated from CU. Cindy is a nurse at UCHealth in Highlands Ranch. Bob is a pilot in the Air Force and with American Airlines. They are parents of Anna (6th grade), Jack (freshman at MVHS), and Nick (senior at MVHS). Their favorite things to do as a family are skiing and traveling. The Brawleys have been a part of the BFA family since 2014 and attribute their kids' academic success to BFA's rigorous curriculum, amazing teachers and staff. "The kids have met lifelong friends and we’ve felt very supported by the community here."

Congratulations again, Cindy. We sincerely appreciate all you do for BFA!
Thank you Greg and Lisa Todd!
This month, Greg and Lisa Todd are the winners of our drawing for their volunteer time in September. They have won a $10 gift card to Jamba Juice. Congratulations, Greg and Lisa! And, thank you again for spending time volunteering at BFA.
BFA News
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No School for Teacher In-Service and Fall Break
There will be no school and no office hours tomorrow, Oct. 9, as it is a teacher in-service day. And, the following week, Oct. 12-16, is Fall Break.
Students Recognized for Silence and Justice
Congratulations to all the students who were recognized for the virtues of Justice and Silence! The PTO’s virtues awareness program helps teachers recognize students displaying the virtue(s) of the month. In grades 5-8, teachers place the names of students displaying these virtues in a Virtues Box. Each month, a drawing is held and several students receive recognition and a gift card. Following are the middle school students recognized this month:
Defauw
Gregory DeFauw, 5th Grade for Justice
Foss
Elise Foss, 8th grade for Justice
Jack
Jack Erickson, 6th Grade for Silence
Kayden
Kayden James, 6th Grade for Silence
STEM
STEM Offers Math Masters Session for Students
The STEM committee would like to help remote and in-person students by providing additional STEM education opportunities through fully remote events. Please reach out to the STEM committee at STEM@bfacademy.org if you would like more information or to get involved as a parent volunteer!

For their first event, the STEM committee is organizing a Math Masters Session at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 21. Students can improve mathematical thinking and problem solving skills by trying their hand at a series of age-appropriate math problems (grades 5-8). Then join on Zoom with Matthew Deutsch, a professional engineer and mathematician, to work through the solutions and get some tips on improving your mathematical know-how. Timing is flexible! If you would like to attend but the date/time don’t work with your schedule, please reach out and they can arrange an alternative time. Sign up to participate today!
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Registration Still Open for Fall Break BASE Camp
Register NOW for Fall Break BASE Camp the week of Oct. 12-16 at BFA. The cost is only $35 per child per day, and camp is available from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday-Friday. It will be lots of fun for everyone! 
 
Families that have not enrolled in BASE for the current 2020-21 school year will be required to do so and pay the BASE registration fee of $25.
 
If you are interested, please read the parent handbook found on our webpage and register today. 
 
If you have any questions please contact Leigh Savoy
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Goodies for Grandparents - Look for Gift
In lieu of the Community Events Committee's (CEC) annual Goodies with Grandparents event, each family will be receiving a heart cookie cutter with a poem and recipe card. They hope students will have an opportunity to make some yummy goodies for their grandparents or other loved ones to brighten their day this fall. 

Please keep an eye out for the gifts as they may have been sent home with your student yesterday (Oct. 7) or you may receive them today, Oct. 8. If your student is remote, feel free to pick up your goodie bag (only 1 per family please) tomorrow, Oct. 9, during the scheduled school picture time. If you have any questions or would like to be involved in a fun school committee to earn your volunteer hours, please contact Mindy Pooler, CEC co-chair, to get more details!
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Shop the Book Fair from the Comfort of Home!
Scholastic has books the entire family will enjoy! Stock up for fall and keep everyone in the family reading while supporting BFA through the online Book Fair. The Scholastic online Book Fair is OPEN NOW and runs through Sunday, Oct. 18. 
 
BFA earns 25 percent rewards on every purchase, which helps to provide new books to our library.
 
Please feel free to share the age appropriate Book Fair Videos with your kiddos:

Then visit us at Scholastic Book Fair homepage.
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Requesting Donations for Veterans
The CEC will be collecting donations for the Veterans Hospital from Monday, Nov. 2 through Friday, Nov. 13. The VA is in dire need of single fleece blankets, hand/foot warmers, gloves/mittens and socks. (Please, do not send in hats this year.) Donation boxes will be located at each entrance so students can easily drop items on their way into school each morning. Thank you in advance for assisting veterans in our community who are in need of extra support.
Picture Day for Full Remote Learners
Remote Students - It's time for school pictures! (Students currently in quarantine need to wait for retake day to get their pictures taken.) Please arrive between 9 a.m. and noon on Friday, Oct. 9. Students should wear their BFA uniform shirt for pictures, and go around the building to the northwest side of the school to enter the gym through the doors by the turf field. (Pictures will be taken in the large/Thunder gym.) Since there is no school, parents may park in the preschool and/or lower parking lot.
 
Attached is a PDF of the picture day flier. Please click anywhere on the flier to be directed to the website where you can order pictures online. You also can access the online ordering portal by going to www.mymjthomas.com and enter our school's event password (located on the second page of the PDF). Please print and keep your receipt.
 
If you prefer, print and bring in the picture day flier. Don't forget to attach your check. Retake day has not been scheduled yet. Please contact BFA if you have any questions.
VeteransDay
Veterans Day Celebration - Mark your Calendar and Complete Wall of Honor Form NOW!
Please join your fellow BFA families on Thursday, Nov. 12, for a Veterans Day Celebration! We're doing things a little differently this year since all students will be remote learning on Nov. 11 and in-person assemblies are not possible. But, since we can't fathom a year without recognizing our veterans and service members, the CEC is reimagining our traditional Veterans Day Celebration!
 
BFA will hold a Veterans Day Car Parade from 7:45 - 8:15 a.m. during our regularly scheduled carpool on Thursday, Nov. 12. We invite families to decorate their cars with balloons, streamers, and flags to honor the veterans of our BFA families and larger community.  

Car Decoration Event
Come decorate your car for the Veterans Day Parade! The CEC will hold a car decorating event from 12-4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 11, at BFA in the upper parking lot. The CEC will provide decorations but please feel free to bring your own decorations to use or share with other BFA families. This event will require masks and adhere to social distancing. 
 
Veterans Wall of Honor
As many of you know, each November in preparation for our annual Veterans Day celebration, BFA's halls reflect the respect and admiration our community has for its veterans through our decorations, flags and Wall of Honor Forms. If you would like to contribute to the Wall of Honor, please make a COPY of your favorite pictures from the veterans and/or current service members in your family and complete the Wall of Honor form. Let's FILL the school's halls with the faces of our loved ones who have bravely served our country.
 
Please return the form(s) to school no later than 3 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2.
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BFA Policy Review
Would you like to be involved in reviewing policies that drive the direction of BFA? Please, join the School Accountability Committee (SAC) at their monthly meeting as they review the following: Parent Communication Policy, Scheduling Policy, and Financial Accounting and Reporting Policy. 

The SAC is meeting via Zoom at 4:30 p.m., on Oct 22. The details of the Zoom meeting are available on the BFA calendar. If you would like information about serving on the SAC or participating in the Zoom meeting, please contact Woody Haynes at SAC@bfacademy.org.
Sponsor
One Week Left to Secure PTO Sponsorship
The new school year means another opportunity to promote your business while supporting BFA. Each year, PTO sponsorships allow BFA to continue to grow and to meet the needs of our school, as well as our teachers, staff and students. Sponsorships begin at $250 and are on sale NOW! They are limited in quantity, and will be offered on a first come, first served basis. The deadline to claim/pay for a sponsorship is next Thursday, Oct. 15. For details on the various sponsorship options and pricing, see the flier or visit the PTO Sponsorship webpage and then click ‘Sponsors.’ If you are interested in a sponsorship opportunity, please contact Anne Giusti-Chacon, sponsor committee manager. 
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Plan to Attend CEC Meeting
Please join the Community Events Committee (CEC) for their next meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 21, at Redstone Park (in the pavilion near the children’s playground). They will be discussing their annual Veterans Day event in November. All are welcome and encouraged to come! 
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Uniform Buy Back Sale
Have your kids had a growth spurt or are you ready to get new uniforms for the next season? If so, mark your calendars for the upcoming PTO Used Uniform Sale from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, outside in the BFA courtyard between the two gyms.
Due to COVID-19 constraints and logistics, the sale will be made up only of PTO uniform inventory. The PTO is NOT taking consignment sales at this time. You are encouraged to hold onto your consignment items for our spring sale when hopefully they'll be able to take consignment. However, if you just want to get them out of the house and you would like to donate them to PTO before this sale, please contact Nicole Hayes to make arrangements.
 
If you would like to shop at the uniform sale, please note that they only accept cash or check. They have gently used uniforms (and some spirit wear) in most sizes and genders, so be sure to check it out!

If you would like to volunteer to help with the sale, please visit the SignUpGenius.
Be sure to Calendar the Spirit Night at Freddy's
Please join us from 4-8 p.m. on Oct. 20 at Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburger in Highlands Ranch (900 Sgt Jon Stiles Dr) for the next PTO Spirit Night. Freddy's will donate 15 percent of your purchase back to BFA. Due to COVID-19, the dining room is only partially open. However, drive-thru is fully open and they offer carry out. Make sure to show the flier (hint: save it to your phone now!) or tell the cashier that you're with BFA so your purchase counts toward the PTO Spirit Night.
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Only a Few Weeks Left to Get Spirit Wear!
Colder weather means it’s time to make sure you’ve got a hoodie, sweatshirt, fleece jacket or vest that fits. Check out our selection of BFA cold weather gear on MySchoolBucks. Hoodies and sweatshirts are available in navy or red with either the embroidered BFA logo or BFA in plaid letters. Fleece jackets and vests are available in red or navy with the embroidered BFA logo. All are available in youth and adult sizing. Please note, only middle school students (grades 6-8) may wear the hoodies in class.

The PTO's store for spirit wear and spirit items is open and will remain open through the first trimester. There will be no in-person sales this fall. All orders must be placed online at MySchoolBucks. Orders will be delivered and sent home through your child's classroom. Masks and gaiters are not returnable. If you are a remote family, please contact PTO Spirit Wear Chair, Rachael Hamburger, to coordinate delivery.
ROCK
Spirit Rock Dates Available Through Nov. 13
You can sign up to paint the rock on any available date now through Nov. 13! Just go to the BFA Spirit Rock SignUpGenius. If you've got something or someone to celebrate, reserve your date now before someone else claims it!

We will continue to release additional dates as the year progresses. Please do not pay in MySchoolBucks until you have secured your date in SignUpGenius as we cannot offer refunds.
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In Case You Missed It...2021-22 Enrollment
Will you have a K-8 student you’d like to attend BFA for the 2021-22 school year? Do you have a relative, neighbor or friend who will?
 
DCSD's online Open Enrollment starts November 2 so it’s about time to take action!
 
Parents of ALL prospective K-8 students, including siblings of current BFA K-8 students and BFA preschool students, must complete Open Enrollment during First Round to earn a priority status.
 
Open Enrollment submissions during the FIRST ROUND ONLY will have priority based on the following:
  • Children in the household of Founding Families;
  • Siblings of current BFA students. Siblings that share the same birth date (ie. twins or triplets) shall receive automatic enrollment; and
  • Children of full-time teachers;
  • BFA preschool students, as detailed in the Enrollment Policy.

IMPORTANT: Parents with students who have the above priorities who miss First Round of Open Enrollment and complete it during Second Round will NOT receive priority enrollment. To leverage priority status, please complete Open Enrollment during First Round.

Visit the DCSD Open Enrollment webpage before November for the most up-to-date information, step by step instructions, as well as answers to commonly-asked questions. After reviewing this information, if you have questions about enrollment, please email our registrar, Colleen Bobbin.
 
Current K-7 BFA Students
No action is needed for current 2020-21 BFA K-7 students intending to return to BFA for the 2021-22 school year. If your student will not return to BFA next year, please let the registrar know via email.
 
2021-22 Preschool Students
Preschool Enrollment for the three-year-old and four-year-old classes will take place via the preschool webpage on the BFA website. Preschool enrollment for current BFA families will begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 2. Preschool enrollment for the general public will begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 13.
 
If you are interested in the Ben Franklin Academy Preschool program, please click here for more information.
Upcoming Events
BFA's Guiding Principals
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, 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.

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