Vol. 10, Iss. 6
February 13, 2020

Dear Parents,

There are so many exciting things going on at BFA!
 
We're very proud to share that  Architha Kannojoo (fifth grade) was a finalist at the district spelling  bee and she will be moving on to state. This is the first time we've had a student move on from district, so it's really exciting! The state spelling bee takes place on Saturday, March 14, at Strum Hall at the University of Denver and the winner of that competition will move on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee televised on ESPN. We'll be rooting for you, Architha!
 
Quinlan Smythe (seventh grade) recently participated in the University of Northern Colorado Math Contest and we're proud to say that he received Second Honorable Mention. This was a difficult competition-he had three hours to solve ten complicated problems without any electronic devices. And, he was one of only three seventh graders to achieve this result. Great job!
 
We were happy to have our Superintendent,
Dr. Tucker, come by for a visit this week. He was
able to sit in the Star Lab with students in Mrs. Bauer's first grade class, and commented how much he enjoys seeing the learning that takes place in our building. 

We've received a lot of positive responses about the new dismissal app. If you haven't already, be sure to download the new app and get it set up. We will be walking through the new app during our annual  Town Hall which is from 5 - 5:30 on Tuesday, Feb. 18, in the Dana Library . In addition, we'll address any questions about the change in Kindergarten schedule. If you plan to come, you're welcome to have dinner on the Board. They'll be ordering Olive Garden, so please let them know if you'll be coming! You can RSVP to Ms. Nisbet
 
I hope you've taken time to fill out the Parent Satisfaction Survey. The SAC, administration and Board spend a lot of time analyzing the data from the survey, and we'd like to have everyone's input.
 
Enjoy the long weekend!

Diana Simpson

Courtney
HOW CAN YOU MAKE A LASTING IMPACT AT BFA?
 
A note from Courtney Jurbala, secretary, BFA board of directors...
 
I have two children who attend Ben Franklin Academy, Gwendolyn (fifth grade) and Leo (third grade). I was elected to the BFA Board in May 2018. Prior to that, I spent most of my volunteer hours in the classroom as a room parent or volunteering as needed. As my children got older, there were fewer opportunities in the classroom, so I wanted to find another way to be a part of Ben Franklin and support the BFA community. As a working parent, with experience in Finance and Strategic Planning, the fit made sense.
 
Serving on the BFA Board turned out to be one of the most valuable decisions I have made. I get to see firsthand how passionate the BFA community is. We have the most incredible Administrators (Diana/Aric), teachers, front office staff, and parent volunteers. Seeing how much of themselves and their time they give to ensure our children have the best, and safest, education has solidified my decision to be a part of this school.
 
Since joining the Board, I have learned that BFA is an extraordinarily run school and I am lucky to have a voice to help ensure it stays that way. I did not have previous experience in academics, so being able to take my experience in the business world and turn it into support for BFA policies, strategic planning, financials, and the governance of the school, has been very rewarding. 
 
The main reason that I would recommend a parent run for the BFA Board is that you will end up caring more than you ever thought you could. It's a wonderful feeling to know that you have an impact on the future of our children.
 
As announced earlier this month, there will be three (3) open director seats on the BFA Board that will be filled this spring. Filling these positions with qualified leaders who are dedicated to our mission and vision is critical to the future of our school and our students' education. I hope you'll consider the broad range of skills needed for the position as outlined in previous emails, and consider nominating yourself or someone else with the requisite  experience.
 
To nominate someone (including yourself) for the BFA Board, click here to complete the nomination form. Nominations from the BFA Parent Voting Group must be submitted online before Friday, February 21 , at  11:59 p.m. (MST).
   
If you have questions, please visit the Board webpage, reach out to me, or email any of my fellow Board members. Thank you for your consideration!
 
Bill Castor , President,    bill@bfacademy.org
Bryan Molen, Vice President,  bryan@bfacademy.org
Courtney Jurbala, Secretary,  courtney@bfacademy.org
Steve Hass , Treasurer, steve@bfacademy.org
Burgandy Hodge , Director,  burgandyh@bfacademy.org
Matt Keillor, Director,  mattk@bfacademy.org
Sarah Nisbet, Director,  sarahn@bfacademy.org

TAKE THE SURVEY, EARN DRESS OF CHOICE 
 
While we're pleased that more than 250 families have taken the Parent Satisfaction Survey, our goal is still 100 percent participation

You have one week left to earn an extra DRESS OF CHOICE for your student by taking the survey and reporting your family number. Remember, that taking the survey and reporting your family number also enters you into a drawing for  a BFA parking spot for the month of August.

This is your opportunity to give valuable, confidential feedback and suggestions to the Administration and Board. In fact, i f you've posted comments on the Friends of Ben Facebook page, we encourage you to add those to the parent survey instead, as this is the data analyzed by SAC, the administration and the Board.

Take the survey NOW before it closes on Thursday, February 20.

TAKE ACTION TO DOWNLOAD THE APP 
 
As announced this week, we are updating our current carpool process and will begin using an app, called  Bolts Out , for dismissal beginning Monday, March 2. Please read the following information about the new app; if you still have questions, attend the  BFA Town Hall at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 18 , where  Principal Simpson will do a walk through of the app and answer questions . (The Board will be discussing other important topics at the Town Hall, as well as providing Olive Garden to attendees that evening!)
 
ALL parents and family members who pick up kids from afternoon carpool will need to take the following actions so you are ready for the first day on March 2:
 
1)   Download the new dismissal app, called Bolts Out, by Friday, Feb. 21. The app is available NOW using the following links:
2)   Set up your family information in the Bolts Out app.
  • Open the app. Click 'allow notifications' then enter your mobile number and click 'send OTP' which, in this case, stands for One Time Password. Enter the security code you received via text message and click 'validate.' Acknowledge the safety question, then follow the prompts to indicate how often you want to receive safety reminders (daily or weekly). Important: You MUST allow the app to use your location when the app is open, otherwise it will not function properly.
  • You'll now be able to view the home screen with your family number and last name. Click on the settings 'gear.'
  • Click on 'Update Mobile Numbers' to invite (non-BFA) family members (up to six) or caregivers to join the app and have the ability to pick up your child(ren). They must also download and set up the app. (Use this for grandparents, siblings who pick up, or another caregiver.) After you key in the numbers, select 'Update,' then go 'Back' to the home screen.
  • Use the 'Authorize' button to set up your BFA carpool information by adding smart phone numbers to your Bolts Out app. If you add a cell/smart phone number to 'Authorize,' that person will have the ability to pick up your child(ren) for the dates you specify.
3)   Read the instructions regarding the new pickup process carefully as there are significant changes.
4)   Keep your blue tag, as we will continue to use them with the new system.
5)   Be ready and patient on Monday, March 2, as we begin using our new system!
 
Again, ALL parents and family members who participate in afternoon pick up MUST DOWNLOAD and SET UP the app by Friday, Feb. 21; be ready to use the app on March 2.

Parent Teacher Conferences
PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES TONIGHT
 
We hope to see many of you tonight at Parent Teacher Conferences.
    
Parents of kids in grades K-4 have been sent a sign up by their teacher, and should have chosen a time to meet with their student's teacher. Please show up on time, and do your best to stay within the time frame allotted for your meeting. You are welcome to schedule a follow up discussion, if needed.
 
Fifth grade will offer 'drop in' conferences in the Sanders Science Lab, so feel free to come by any time between 4:15 - 8 p.m. Teachers will take a half hour break for dinner from 5:30 - 6 p.m. Please note, if your fifth grade teacher is not back in the science lab by 6 p.m., it may be because they were delayed in going to dinner.  
 
Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade teachers will be available to meet with parents in the Thunder (large) Gym from 4:15 until 8 p.m. Parents are welcome to come by during that time and talk to their student's teachers. The teachers will take a half hour break for dinner from 5:30 - 6 p.m. Please note, if your middle school teacher is not back in the Gym by 6 p.m., it may be because they were delayed in going to dinner. Kindly keep your discussions with the teacher to 10 minutes so all parents are able to meet with each teacher.

NJHS
FREE BABYSITTING AT CONFERENCES
 
National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) will offer FREE babysitting during conferences on February 13. Babysitting will be in the Maker Space room (go to the library; head west, then north down the first hallway to find the entrance to the Maker Space). Parents will need to sign their children in and leave a contact number in case of emergency. If a child needs a diaper change or is struggling in the babysitting room, NJHS members will call the parent and ask them come pick up their child. 

Please note that children may not be dropped off in the Dana Library and left alone while parents are at conferences. All children that need childcare need to be dropped off in the Maker Space room. 

No School
NO SCHOOL FEB. 14 AND 17
 
There is no school next Friday, Feb. 14, as it is a comp day for teachers, since they will have worked two evenings at Parent Teacher Conferences. In addition, the school will be closed on Monday, Feb. 17, to commemorate Presidents Day. Enjoy the long weekend!

jungle book fair
FINAL HOURS FOR THE LAST BOOK FAIR OF THE SCHOOL YEAR!
 
The 'jungle' is coming to BFA in the form of our spring Book Fair! This is the final book fair of the school year so make your purchases now! 

We're happy to announce that students from National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) will provide FREE baby-sitting during conferences again this year so please don't send your young children to the Book Fair alone.  
 
We hope you'll visit the Book Fair today,  Feb. 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 to 8 p.m.
Once again we will be offering e-wallet so that parents don't have to worry about sending cash, check or credit card; watch this video to find out more.
 
The scholastic homepage is a good resource and, if you're like us and you can't get enough Book Fair information, you can watch a Book Fair video (click on your child's grade level). 

Special thanks to Danielle Farmer and the 8th grade girls in our Mindful in the Middle class--their Book Fair decorations were fantastic! 

JANUARY VIRTUES
MIDDLE SCHOOL VIRTUES AWARD WINNERS
 
Congratulations to Ariana Graves (5th grade) and Dannush Alakappan (8th grade) for January's virtues awareness drawing! 

They were recognized for the virtue of 'Resolution - 
Keep your word. When you have a task, get it done. Turn in your homework on time and be prepared'.

Great job Ariana and Dannush!

black-soccer-ball.jpg
MIDDLE SCHOOL GIRLS SOCCER TRYOUTS
  
The middle school girls soccer season begins this spring with their first game on April 7. This year we'll have two teams coached by Ms. Poleschook and Ms. Svensen. We expect to have 16 players on A team, and the remaining players will be on B team. A team will participate in our league, so they will play in a minimum of 10 games; but there aren't enough schools with a B team, so instead of playing games, they'll have two practices a week to build their soccer skills. Practices will be held before school for both teams. If your middle school student wants to try out for the team, then mark your calendar for the following dates:
  • Sign Up via MySchoolBucks NOW through Friday, Feb. 28, so we have an idea of how many to expect and so we can communicate via email.
  • Tryouts will be held from 4-5:30 p.m. on Monday, March 2, and Tuesday, March 3, on the turf. 
  • Callbacks will be held from 4-5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4 for those we need to see more from.
  • Teams will be communicated to you on Thursday, March 5, and will be posted to the BFA athletics website by Friday, March 6. Registration details will be provided at that time.
  • If there is inclement weather, we will push tryouts to the following week. 
  • Practices begin after spring break, and games for A team will go from April 7- May 19
  • We may have an optional kick around over spring break so the team(s) can get to know each other a little better.
If you have any questions, please contact Coach Poleschook or Coach Svensen.

mulan
MULAN PERFORMANCE NEXT WEEK!
 
This year, our award-winning performing arts program is taking you back to the legendary days of ancient China with an action-packed stage adventure. The Huns have invaded, and it is up to the misfit Mulan and her mischievous sidekick, Mushu, to save the Emperor! 

The score of 'Mulan JR.' includes songs from the film including the hit "Reflection" and "Be a Man." The performance is the culmination of a trimester of hard work from middle school students who elected to participate in the musical theatre elective. We hope all our BFA families (and their friends) will be able to attend this FREE production at 7 p.m. on either Friday, Feb. 21, or Saturday, Feb. 22, on BFA's performance stage.

MomsNightOut
MOMS NIGHT OUT (NEED WE SAY MORE?!)
  
Moms and ladies of BFA,  your turn for an evening out is coming up   again! Please join members of the PTO at Lansdowne Arms in Highlands Ranch at    7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 19,  for Moms' Night Out. Light appetizers will be provided, so please RSVP so we know how many to expect. We hope to see you there!

MorselsMoms1
MORNING WITH MOMS
 
Please mark your calendars for our annual  Morning with Moms from 7-8 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 21, at BFA . The Community Events Committee (CEC) is hosting this fun event for students and their mom (or aunt, grandma, special family friend) and plan to treat attendees to some delicious goodies. Moms, please plan on staying with your student(s) in the gym until at least 7:45 a.m., and you're welcome to walk your student(s) to their classroom before you leave at 8 a.m. We're looking forward to spending a great morning together.

cec
PARENT SEMINAR ON EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING
  
The CEC is hosting a  Parent Seminar from 7-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3, in the Middle School Commons . Our very own BFA licensed school psychologist,  Hugh Redford , will be speaking on  Executive Functioning from 7-8 p.m. and then the CEC will host a short reception afterwards. Please mark your calendars!

BOX TOPS
BOX TOPS
  
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 for a video explaining the process. Happy Scanning!

Still have some of the old Box Tops? The next Box Tops collection day is Wednesday, Feb. 19. Please 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 $1,189.70 so far this year!
 
Questions? E-mail Alaina Tinney, Box Tops Committee Chair at: bfaboxtops@gmail.com.

Volleyball
MIDDLE SCHOOL BOYS VOLLEYBALL TRYOUTS
  
The middle school boys volleyball season begins this spring with their first game on April 7. This year, we'll have two teams coached by Mrs. Haufschild and Mrs. Murphy. We expect to have between 10-12 players on each team. Practices will likely be held BEFORE school throughout the season. If your middle school student wants to be a part of BFA's winning athletic tradition by trying out for our boys volleyball team, please mark your calendar for the following dates:
  • Register for tryouts on MySchoolBucks NOW through March 8. No payment is necessary at this time; the coaches would like to know how many kids plan to try out.
  • Tryouts will be held from 4-6 p.m. on Monday, March 9, and Tuesday, March 10, in the Thunder Gym. There will be a 15-minute parent meeting at 4 p.m. on March 9.
  • Callbacks will be held from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11, in the Thunder Gym.
  • Teams will be announced on Thursday, March 12. Registration details will be provided at that time.
  • Practices begin after spring break, with the first game on April 7.
If you have questions, please contact  Coach Murphy  or  Coach Haufschild.

skis-poles-snow.jpg
MEET UP AT KEYSTONE
 
Bring the family and meet up with other Ben's Brigade members for a day of skiing or boarding at Keystone on Saturday, Feb. 22. Please RSVP so they know who to expect. This is not a BFA or PTO affiliated event, rather it's a way to connect with other BFA families while doing one of our favorite Colorado activities!

snow-heavy-trees.jpg
CHANGING DATE FOR ACCELERATED READER DRESS OF CHOICE
 
To give elementary students one more day to earn their Accelerated Reader (AR) Dress of Choice day, we are MOVING the AR Dress of Choice Day from Friday, Feb. 21, to Friday, Feb. 28. 

ROCK
BFA ROCKS!
  
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 per day.  ALL proceeds directly benefit the PTO's grant account which 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.

kids heart challenge
CLOSE TO MAKING OUR GOAL
 
A message from the American Heart Association...

WE HAVE ONE MORE WEEK to help The American Heart Association and our school through Kids Heart Challenge. Please have all donations turned in by Friday, Feb. 21, to make sure you receive your Heart Hero friends and other awesome thank you gifts!
 
Here is a snapshot of how AWESOME we are doing towards our $16,000 goal:
  • 232 Students have registered online and pledged a healthy habit;
  • $13,587 has been raised online to help fund life-saving research; and,
  • 88 students have already earned their opportunity to SHOOT HOOPS ON COURT at a Denver Nuggets Game - WOW!
 
Your donations help children with special hearts like Denver's heart hero - Kaden.

Thank you again for your support of the American Heart Association!

BFA Summer Camp
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT, MORE SUMMER CAMP CHANGES BASED ON YOUR FEEDBACK 
 
We're very excited about all the fun things we have planned for summer camp this year! Recently, we announced that we were offering weekly instead of daily sign-ups for camp; but based on your feedback, we've decided to 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.
Thursday, Feb. 13
 

Parent Teacher Conferences
PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES 
  
Formal Parent Teacher Conferences are   Thursday, Feb13.    
Parents of kids in grades   K-4 have been sent a sign up by their teacher  , and should have chosen a time to meet with their student's teacher.   Fifth grade will offer 'drop in' conferences in the Sanders Science Lab  , so feel free to come by any time between 4:15 - 8 p.m.   Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade teachers will be available to meet with parents in the Thunder (large) Gym from 4:15 until 8 p.m.   The teachers will take a half hour break for dinner from 5:30 - 6 p.m. 
Feb. 14 and Feb. 17
 

No School
NO SCHOOL FEB. 14 AND 17
 
There is no school Friday, Feb. 14, as it is a comp day for teachers. In addition, the school will be closed on Monday, Feb. 17, to commemorate Presidents Day. 
Tuesday, Feb. 18
 

TOURS FOR PROSPECTIVE PARENTS
 
Tours for prospective K-8 families will be held at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays now through  March 31. We'll also have a tour on April 7 and May 5.  Please note, there will be no tours on  March 17  while students are on break. And, if there is a school closure or delay, there will be NO TOUR.
 
Anyone going on a tour should bring a Driver's License and arrive a few minutes early so we can scan their license before the tour begins.

BFA TOWN HALL
 
Please join us for the BFA Town Hall at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 18, in the Dana Library. We'll discuss important topics such as Kindergarten and the new parking app, and attendees will be invited to share in the Board dinner. 

BFA BOARD MEETING
 
The next Board meeting is from 5:30 - 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 18, in the Dana Library.  Parents are welcome to attend the Board meetings, or use the call-in number listed on the agenda to listen to the meeting.  The agenda will be available via the BFA website 24 hours prior to the meeting.
Wednesday, Feb. 19
 

PTO Logo
PTO MEETING
 
Plan to attend the PTO meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 19, in the Sanders Science Lab. The PTO members would love to see you there--then, after the meeting, head to Moms Night Out!

MomsNightOut
MOMS NIGHT OUT
  
Moms and ladies of BFA, p lease join members of the PTO at Lansdowne Arms in Highlands Ranch at  7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 19,  for Moms' Night Out. Please RSVP so we know how many to expect.
Friday, Feb. 21
 

MorselsMoms2
MORNING WITH MOMS
 
Morning with Moms is from 7-8 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 21, at BFA . Moms, please plan on staying with your student(s) in the gym until at least 7:45 a.m., and you're welcome to walk your student(s) to their classroom before you leave at 8 a.m. We're looking forward to spending a great morning together.

mulan
MULAN JR. PERFORMANCE
 
We hope all our BFA families (and their friends) will be able to attend this FREE production at 7 p.m. on either Friday, Feb. 21, or Saturday, Feb. 22, on BFA's performance stage.
Saturday, Feb. 22
 

mulan
MULAN JR. PERFORMANCE
 
We hope all our BFA families (and their friends) will be able to attend this FREE production at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, on BFA's performance stage.
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.