Vol. 9, Iss. 12
April 4, 2019
Dear Parents, 
When Ben Franklin Academy was first founded and opened in 2011, the fundraising needs and philosophy were much different than they are presently. At the time, the fundraising philosophy was that you would be asked one time per year, and it might be a big ask; but, that would be it. Funds for the big ask would be for large items that the school really needed - library shelves/books, iPads for the classrooms, outdoor playground equipment, projectors for the classroom, etc. Our students would not be asked to go door-to-door and sell chocolates, wrapping paper, butter braids, or the like as students at so many of the neighborhood schools were asked to do on an annual basis.
As our school has grown and evolved since 2011, our fundraising needs have changed dramatically. The school is no longer in need of big-ticket items every year. Additionally, the school and the PTO are in stable financial positions. Our students have three incredible playgrounds, middle school sports uniforms, current technology equipment, an outdoor classroom, an ample supply of books in the library, and in just a few weeks, a greenhouse. At the same time, we have moved away from the 'one ask per year' philosophy and found ourselves with, at times, an overwhelming number of fundraising requests of our parent community.
During the last year, the BFA Board of Directors, the BFA PTO, and BFA Administration have received feedback related to the number of 'asks' made of BFA families. So we're on the same page, we consider an 'ask' any time you're asked to donate money or tangible items for a class party, a small group fundraising effort, a philanthropy, or a large fundraising effort led by the PTO. We've heard your feedback and will be enacting a change in fundraising policy next school year.
Beginning in the 2019-20 school year, BFA will return to the 'one large fundraising ask per year' and eliminate the small group fundraising efforts that have previously been run through BFA and the BFA PTO. This was a unanimous decision made by the BFA Board of Directors, the BFA PTO, and BFA Administration. What exactly does this change mean?
  • The PTO will still have one large annual fundraising event (ie. BENefit Bash, Fun Run, or possibly a cash drive).
  • Spirit wear sales, restaurant/spirit nights, spirit rock, and SCRIP for teachers will continue.
  • Spirit rock proceeds will be placed in a grant account that will be held for use by small groups who can apply for funds via a grant application.
  • Community service events benefiting a non-BFA group or organization may still occur at the discretion of the BFA Board or Fundraising Committee.
  • The PTO's community events (Harvest Festival, Sweetheart Ball, Spring Social) will be unaffected as those events have never been fundraising events and are funded through ticket sales as opposed to fundraising monies.
We realize this change may be unnerving to some while being a welcome relief to others. As we make this change in the coming school year the Fundraising Committee (comprised of representatives from the BFA Board of Directors, the BFA PTO, and BFA Administration) will regularly evaluate the needs of the school and the community. If we realize that an area needs to be addressed, we will be swift in action to review the situation.
As always, we appreciate your feedback and do our best to be responsive to the needs and concerns of the community. 


Diana Simpson

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. One volunteer will be chosen as the 'Volunteer of the Month,' and will get exclusive use of the dedicated 'Volunteer' spot in the parking lot for their month.
Each month, a second volunteer will be randomly chosen through a monthly 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.

Star Awards
For the month of April, we've selected a group of volunteers, instead of an individual, to honor as the Ben Franklin Academy volunteers of the month. Please join us in congratulating Tom Francen, Shaun and Tania Heitman, Lisa Kazazean, Aimee Laing, and Anders OklandThey are being recognized for being carpool rock stars because of their dedication to volunteering in carpool throughout the school year.
While we sincerely appreciate all who volunteer for carpool duty, these individuals have gone above and beyond! We see them weekly, if not daily, in good weather and bad, helping make sure each BFA student gets in or out of their car safely. They've become familiar faces, and their constant presence and dedication to helping with carpool helps keep it running smoothly, which is something we can all appreciate! So, next time you see them in carpool, share a wave or smile, and help us thank them for the time they selflessly dedicate to volunteer.
To our outstanding carpool volunteers - Tom, Shaun and Tania, Lisa, Aimee, and Anders - congratulations and thank you, again!

This month,  Jessie Bailey the winner of our drawing. She volunteered in Mrs. Brooks' class and science lab for her kindergartner, and also did Thursday folders for Mrs. Whelan's 2nd grade class. She has won a Starbucks gift card.
Congratulations, Jessie! And, thank you again for your time and effort at BFA.

Look for an email tomorrow with a link to vote for our Board nominees, Bryan Molen, Sarah Nisbet and Jason Page

Before voting begins, be sure to read more about each nominee . Voting will take place April 5-12, via electronic ballot.  

We hope all BFA families will actively participate in the Board election process this year!

BFA's follow-up Math Olympiad competition at Platte River Academy (PRA) was last Thursday, March 28. Students in grades 5 - 8 participated; BFA was represented by 11 students, and 15 kids competed from PRA. Awards and certificates were given to the first and second highest scoring students in each grade. Congratulations to the following winners:
5th Grade - First Place:  Isabella LeBoeuf (BFA), Second Place:  Nate Watson (BFA)
6th Grade - First Place:  Quinlan Smythe (BFA), Second Place:  Maria Mundackal (BFA)
7th Grade - First Place:  Parker Lollini (PRA), Second Place: Siva Sundaresh (BFA)
8th Grade - First Place:  Ashton O'Connell (PRA), Second Place:  Kevin Lou  (PRA)
Quinlan Smythe was the highest scoring BFA student (second overall). Thanks to all our BFA student competitors and parents for committing to this competition. We also appreciate the support of the STEM Committee, BFA math teachers, and volunteers who made this event possible.

Calling all BFA moms! Need a little time to recharge? Take the night off and come join us for Moms' Night Out from 6-8 p.m. TONIGHT, April 4, at Max Taps (2680 E County Line Rd, Highlands Ranch). Light appetizers will be provided.  

Please RSVP HERE so we know to count you in. Max Taps will be having a game night and wing truck this evening as well. We hope you'll plan on joining us for this fun event! 

Colorado Rockies
Friday, April 4, is a Rockies Spirit Day! Students can wear their favorite Rockies jersey or T-shirt (or a shirt from their favorite baseball team) with regular uniform bottoms. Alternatively, students can wear a BFA Spirit Wear, Fun Run or Field Day T-shirt.   

The results of the Parent Satisfaction Survey have been compiled and will be presented by the School Accountability Committee (SAC) at the next Board meeting which will be held from 5:30 - 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, in the Dana Library.
As you know, all parents are invited to attend the monthly Board meeting in person or can use the dial in number on the top of the agenda to listen into the meeting. The agenda will be available on the website 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

Science Fair
We need parents to come talk to the elementary students about their Science Fair projects. Specifically, parents get to talk to kids about what they did, what they learned, and/or what they would do differently. And, while we call these volunteers 'judges,' you won't really be judging since the Elementary School Science Fair is non-competitive. There are morning and afternoon shifts available, so consider signing up today!

Science Fair
STEM club for students in grades 3-5 starts tomorrow, April 5! Sign up to join Mrs. Lewicki and explore environmental topics relating to water. Some projects include designing a water filtration system, experimenting with different forms of water collection and observing the effects of pollution, erosion and acid rain on the earth. This five-week session is from April 5-May 10 (excluding April 19), and costs $75. Sign up today on  MySchoolBucks .

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!

PTO Logo
Are you interested in helping BFA while connecting with others who are passionate about our school? If so, we hope you'll consider becoming a member of the PTO team! When you volunteer with the PTO, you make a real, meaningful difference at BFA and build lasting relationships with other BFA parents. We have big roles and small roles and roles where you can volunteer from home or at school. We've got something for everyone. All we're missing is YOU!
The PTO is an integral part of Ben Franklin Academy. Since it began serving BFA, the PTO has raised funds to provide all manner of items for the school, including playground equipment, library books, a climbing wall, the outdoor classroom, and the MakerSpace, as well as tools and resources needed by the teachers, staff and administration. In addition, we organize multiple social events to bring together the entire BFA community.
This year, there are several Officer and Committee Chair positions up for election by the BFA community, and many Committee Manager positions that are appointed by the current PTO Executive Officers. If you are interested in becoming a PTO Executive Officer, Committee Chair, or Committee Manager, please submit the following information to the PTO Secretaries by tomorrow, April 5. (For all elected positions, the information provided will be posted on the election ballot.) 
  1. Your Name
  2. Number of children enrolled at BFA
  3. Grade of each child
  4. How long your family has been at BFA
  5. How many PTO Meetings you have attended in 2018-19
  6. Why are you interested serving on the BFA PTO?
  7. Why do you think you would be a good fit for this position?
  8. Is there any other information you would like to share?
If you or someone you know would be a great fit, please visit the PTO website and submit your nomination using the "PTO Elections" link.
PTO elections are April 22-26. For more information on the PTO and what we do, including open positions, please visit the PTO website or email Mollie Anderson, PTO president. 

Congratulations to the BFA teams who are competing at the Destination Imagination (DI) State Competition!  Join the teams and show your support THIS Saturday, April 6, at the Auraria Higher Education Center Campus (located at 777 Lawrence St., Denver, 80204). For more information, check out the DI Colorado website.
All three teams are competing in Monster Effects, the Engineering Challenge, and will be presenting their solutions in the P/E Center Gym. The BFA teams and their competition times are as follows:
Team Name:  Served with a Side of Fries, Elementary Level, Site 2
Performance Time: 9:57 a.m.
Team Members: C ooper Akin, Madeline Blum, Deagan Clendening, Megan Heckwolf, Benjamin LaSelle, Matthew LaSelle and Caleb Wilcox
Team Managers:  Darick and Lynda LaSelle
Team Name: BFA STARs, Middle Level
Performance Time: 10:33 a.m.
Team Members: Aidan Murphy, Reed Richardson, Sreehitha Sajjaand Tyler Sunahara
Team Managers:  Amy and Jason Sunahara
Team Name:  Kolorful Koalas, Elementary Level, Site 1
Performance Time: 1:51 p.m.
Team Members:  Sam Egolf, Caleb Olson, Téa Sunahara and Makenna Washeck
Team Managers:  Amy and Jason Sunahara

Calling all BFA boys and their special adult to a fun afternoon of bowling, food and arcade games at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, at Bowlero in Lone Tree. Tickets will be on sale soon and you won't want to miss out. 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.
Look for more information about ticket sales soon!

We don't want our kids with summer birthdays to miss out on all the fun of having a birthday bag delivered at school along with a 'Happy Birthday' song by the eighth graders! Birthday bags will be delivered through the week of May 20, but all orders need to be in by May 15.
As you'll remember, for just $10, our 8th 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.  

Bags are available for  purchase on the BFA online store. Please order early to ensure delivery on your child's special day.   

BFA Summer Camp
It's hard to believe, but it's time to start thinking about 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! We'll keep your kids busy, safe and entertained. And, there's the added benefit that our summer camp is staffed by people you know, trust, and who genuinely care about your kids.
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.
Registration - $35/per child, one-time Registration Fee (All registered campers will receive a camp t-shirt and day pack)
Daily Tuition - $35/day/child for non-field trip days and $50/day/child for field trip days
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.

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!

This spring, the BFA community will have the 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.
Families will be able to place SCRIP orders via the BFA store and pay by credit card. You may designate how much you would like to give to each teacher/staff member in whole dollar increments.  Collections will take place April 13-19.
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. Look for more information in future newsletters regarding details on how to contribute to your favorite staff members' gifts! 
Questions? Visit the PTO webpage or contact Rachael Hamburger, SCRIP coordinator.

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.' 

Need new spirit wear? There's just two weeks left to get your spirit wear before the store closes for this school year. Visit the online store to see what's new and make your purchase. Don't wait - the store will close on April 15! All items purchased will be delivered to the classroom and sent home with your student.

There are SEVEN 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
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 4

Calling all BFA moms! Need a little time to recharge? Take the night off and come join us for Moms' Night Out from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, at Max Taps (2680 E County Line Rd, Highlands Ranch). Light appetizers will be provided.  
Friday, April 5

Colorado Rockies
Friday, April 4, is a Rockies Spirit Day! Students can wear their favorite Rockies jersey or T-shirt (or a shirt from their favorite baseball team) with regular uniform bottoms. Alternatively, students can wear a BFA Spirit Wear, Fun Run or Field Day T-shirt.   
April 8 - 17

Students in grades 3-8 will be participating in state testing April 8 -17. As always, please ensure they get lots of rest, a healthy breakfast and are at school on time. Thanks in advance for your support!
Thursday, April 11

The Finance Committee is meeting from 6- 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, in the BFA Conference Room. 
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.