Vol. 10, Iss. 10
March 12, 2020

Dear Parents,
Since we are going on break next week, I thought we'd provide some COVID-19 resources so you can keep up on all the news during the break.

- Colorado Department of Education Resources (great resources for talking to kids about COVID-19) https://www.cde.state.co.us/communications/saferschools


- Douglas County School District COVID-19 Update 



- Center for Disease Control Website

 - CDC Coronavirus Fact Sheet
- Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Website
- Tri-County Health Department


If there are any major developments while we are on break, I will communicate those as quickly as possible.  
Thank you for all of your support around our contingency plans in case school is closed after spring break. If you missed the email detailing our plans, the article is included in the BFA News section (below) for your reference.
I hope everyone has a safe, healthy and fun spring break!

Diana Simpson

Students can wear  Dress of Choice tomorrow, March 13,   if they have not had two dress code violations since the last Dress of Choice Day. Clothing should follow the guidelines outlined in the uniform policy. 

Students will be on Spring Break from March 16-20. We hope you have a safe and fun break!

Earlier this week, the Board Succession Committee announced the candidates for our 2020 Board Election. The Parent Voting Group will be electing two candidates and the Board of Directors will appoint one candidate. If you missed the email, go to the Board webpage and take a few minutes to read up on all six of our outstanding candidates who bring different skill sets and share a passion to support BFA's mission and vision.
We also want to invite you to attend our upcoming Candidate Q&A session held at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, in the Dana Library before our regularly scheduled Board Meeting. Have dinner on us and hear directly from all six of our 2020 Board Candidates.
Please RSVP to Sarah Nisbet if you plan to have dinner at the Q&A session.

Destination ImagiNation
Congratulations to the BFA teams that competed in the 
Destination Imagination (DI) South Metro Regional Tournament last Saturday. The teams and their team managers literally put in
HUNDREDS of hours to prepare for the Regional Tournament. They did their best and performed excellently at the competition.  

The team advancing to the  State Competition on April 4 is as follows:
  • Third Place: To the Rescue (Improv Challenge),Secondary (Level),SSSSTT: SuperSillyous Serendipitous Sophisticated Savvy Think Tank (Team Name). Team Members:Sreehitha Sajja, Tyler Sunahara and Tuhin Sur.Team Managers: Amy and Jason Sunahara.
We also would like to recognize the following team who placed in
t he top six at the Regional Tournament: 
  • Sixth Place: To the Rescue (Improv Challenge),Middle (Level), Fantastic Fajitas...We're Spicy! (Team Name). Team Members: Sam Egolf, Evan Heitman, Téa Sunahara and Makenna Washeck. Team Managers: Amy and Jason Sunahara.
Save the Date: T he  SSSSTT  SuperSillyous  Serendipitous Sophisticated Savvy Think Tank team competes on Saturday, April 4, at the Auraria Higher Education campus in downtown Denver . Competition times are not yet available, but we'll share them when they are announced.  

Mrs. Crespo wants to give special recognition to our TOP American Heart Association fundraisers from each grade. These students worked really hard to help us reach our goal of raising more than $16,000 for the American Heart Association! Special thanks to the following students:
  • Kindergarten (Brook) - Mason F.
  • 1st (Tripplett) - Gabrielle C.
  • 2nd (Whelan) - Hanna K.
  • 3rd (Gautier) - Samantha H.
  • 4th (VanWyk) - Ryan F.
  • 5th (Dunn) - Architha K.

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. Tours are offered every Tuesday beginning at 9 a.m. through March 31, as well as on April 7 and May 5. (There is no tour during Spring Break, March 17, or when we're delayed/closed) 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.

We're excited to announce that Cara Brzezicki, author of ' Jazzie Beans Saves the Planet' will be at BFA at 9 a.m. on Monday, April 6, in the Lightning Gym. She'll speak with students in Kindergarten through second grade. Cara is an inventor, author AND has two children who attend BFA! Read more about her here. You can order the books through Amazon and she'll sign them the day of the event.

The BFA Health Room would like your assistance with limiting the amount of students who borrow uniforms. We're happy to have extra uniforms, undergarments and socks on hand in the event a student soils or rips theirs during the school day. However, the extra uniforms are not for students who forgot to wear the correct uniform, or for those who wore Dress of Choice on the wrong day.

We're also noticing that borrowed uniforms are not returned. Beginning the week after spring break, we will send a slip home with each student who borrows any uniform or other clothing item from the Health Office. We kindly ask that you launder and return items within seven days or a small fee will be charged for each item. Thank you for your cooperation.

Hot Lunch
A message from Holly Long, our DCSD Kitchen Manager....
I am excited to tell you that we'll now have limited snack choices available for purchase in the elementary lunchroom! The options will be Scooby-Doo Fruit Snacks and Chortles (tiny chocolate chip graham cookies). These are both $0.50 and allergy/ingredient info can be found on our monthly menu page under The Elementary Snack list (scroll down). These will be available every day and can be purchased with their student account or cash. We will begin selling the snacks Monday, March 30.

On another note, we have a 4-hour position available in our kitchen. Though the work can be physical at times, we really enjoy each other and have a lot of fun while we work! 

Stay tuned for details on Field Day lunch. 

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions.  Thank you for trusting us with your precious ones! 

PTO Volunteer
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 at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanders Science Lab. Thank you for your help in continuing to make BFA an amazing place!

Lost and found
Lost and Found will be donated during Spring Break. There are still a lot of nice jackets, lunch boxes, water bottles and BFA uniform items in the pile. Please ask your student to check lost and found.

Do you have the Box Tops for Education app on your phone? With the new app, it's easier than ever to get Box Tops money for our school. All you have to do is scan your receipts, and it will tell you if you have purchased any qualifying products, and will apply any earned Box Tops credit to our school account. Click  here   f or a video explaining the process . Happy Scanning!
Still have some of the old Box Tops? The next Box Tops collection day is the Wednesday after spring break, March 25. So, gather up your Box Tops and send them in to school! You can put them in a sealed plastic baggie and send them in with your child. Every Box Top counts--we have earned $1,289.50 so far this year!
Questions? Email  Alaina Tinney, Box Tops committee chair.

BFA will use SCRIP for end of year staff gifting again this year. This convenient, online program replaces 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 gift cards being distributed during Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week (May 4-8).
Look for more information in future newsletters regarding details on how to contribute to your teacher's gift! If you have questions, please visit the PTO webpage or contact Rachael Hamburger, SCRIP coordinator.

Theatre Masks
Douglas County Libraries (DCL) is proud to present 'The Little Mermaid!' This Page to Stage production is part of the DCL's long tradition of bringing children's theater to Douglas County Schools. In partnership with the Front Range Theater Company, DCL is bringing this performance to K-4 grade students at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, April 20, in the Thunder Gym.

A message from Principal Simpson...

The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority. As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop and evolve, I have been working closely with the Douglas County School District (DCSD) and monitoring Tri-County Health and CDC recommendations. This is an ever-changing situation and information seems outdated as soon as it is released. 

This week, all DCSD school principals met with district staff to review potential remote learning plans in case schools need to be closed. If we are directed to close the school for a period of time to mitigate the spread of the virus, students would be expected to participate in remote learning at home and complete all work assigned by their teachers during that time.  While we are optimistic that schools will be able to remain open, out of an abundance of caution, we have worked with our staff to create the following contingency plan for the weeks after spring break.

Our kindergarten-fourth grade teachers will be sending home a packet of work as well as any textbooks or other books the students might need this Friday. These materials will only be used IF schools are closed after spring break. Our fifth graders will check out their Chromebooks to take home over break. Fifth-eighth grade students will primarily use their Chromebooks for remote learning, but if teachers have other materials for them, those will also be sent home this Friday. We will be providing you updates during spring break regarding Tri-County Health and CDC recommendations. 

If schools are closed after break, teachers will email their classes each day of the closure to provide specific instructions on the work that should be completed that day. Specials teachers and student support personnel will also communicate activities for their classes or groups. Additionally, we will provide resources for you to talk with your students about COVID-19.
If you do not have access to email or the internet at home, please let your teachers know by Friday as we can set up alternative plans to support you. 

For clarity purposes, I want to stress that even though we are sending these materials home before break, they should not be completed unless it has been communicated from Ben Franklin Academy that school will be closed. Students should not work on this work over break (March 16-20). We will be operating with the expectation that Ben Franklin Academy will be open again after break (Monday, March 23) and that these materials will be returned to school UNUSED on that day.
If you know that your student will not be in school this Friday, please let your teachers know so they can send home materials with them on Thursday.
We are hopeful that school will open as usual after spring break. Everyone is looking forward to returning to school and having a great last couple of months of the school year.  
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

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!

BFA Summer Camp
We're very excited about all the fun things we have planned for summer camp this year! This year, we've split our weekly sign-ups 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.

Musical Theatre
Join Ms. Johnson for a FUN after school improvisation class! The Comedy Improv class is for students grades 3-8 and will be held from 3:30 - 4 on Tuesdays beginning March 24 and going through May 12. This class provides an introduction to students wanting to learn the fundamentals of improvisation. Participants will learn the basic tools, rules and philosophy through games, drills and simple scenes. Sign up today!

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.
Thursday, March 12

There is a Finance Committee meeting from 6-8 p.m. tonight, March 12, in the BFA Conference Room . All parents are welcome to attend. 

Friday, March 13

Students can wear   Dress of Choice tomorrow, March 13,   if they have not had two dress code violations since the last Dress of Choice Day. Clothing should follow the guidelines outlined in the uniform policy. 
March 16-20

Students will be on Spring Break from March 16-20. We hope you have a safe and fun break!
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.