Vol. 7, Iss. 38
December 21, 2017

Dear Parents,
Winter has arrived! Along with the wind, cold and snow comes icy roads. This morning's commute might have been better navigated by wearing ice skates instead of driving. We realize that there was some frustration with the students who arrived late having to wait outside for a couple minutes to get checked into the office. On days when the weather is excessively bad, we generally give students a grace period before officially recording tardies; however we write down the names of students entering the building because they may have already been marked absent by their teachers and we need to correctly adjust their attendance record in our system.
In the future, on days like today, we will be asking teachers to take attendance later in the morning, and will let kids in without recording names. This process will lead to some parents getting robo calls from the attendance line, but it would prevent a line up of kids entering the office and checking in. That being said, excusing tardies on a wintry morning is not a guarantee, so be sure to allow extra time during your morning commute when the weather is poor.
I also thought this would be a good time to remind you of our cold weather recess procedures. Our temperature cut-off for outside recess is a "feels like" temperature of 20 degrees. If it feels like the temperature is 20 degrees or lower, the students will not be going outside. If the temperature is higher than 20 degrees, the students will be going outside. Since the temperature fluctuates quite frequently during the day here in Colorado, students should always come to school prepared to be outside for short portions of their day. Coats, gloves, hats and boots are essentials whether you think they will have outside recess or not. Please make sure your students come to school prepared for the weather.
I hope that all of you have a safe and fun winter break!  We will see all of you in 2018!
Diana Simpson

Winter snowflake
Winter Break begins Monday, Dec. 25, and goes through Friday, Jan. 5. We hope you are enjoying this holiday season, and look forward to seeing you in the new year.  

Tomorrow, Dec. 22, is a Dress of Choice Day for students who have not received two uniform violations since the last Dress of Choice Day.  

We're looking forward to celebrating the holidays with students on Friday, Dec. 22. Please pay special attention to the information and times for your student's holiday party as outlined in your room parent or coordinator's email.  Most parties will be held from  1:45 - 2:45 p.m. Please do not arrive prior to 1:30 p.m. because kiddos will still be learning and you will not be allowed access to your student's classroom early.  Parents may release their students after the party if they sign them out with their student's teacher. 

Carpool Information:
  • Please do not park ANYWHERE in A Zone or in undesignated spots in the parking lot (e.g. along the curb in the parking lot) at any time. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office may decide to ticket cars parked in these areas.
  • Once the upper parking lot is full, you may park along the curb in B Zone (ONLY). Keep in mind, it will likely be closed for carpool as many parents choose to sign out their students after the holiday party.
  • All partygoers should plan to leave by 3 p.m., otherwise it will be difficult to exit the campus as you'll be in the middle of the carpool process.
Reminders for Parents/Guests Attending the Party:
For the safety of our students, we need to be sure that EVERY PERSON who enters the building has had their license scanned THIS SCHOOL YEAR. All parents and visitors (relatives, neighbors, etc.) will need to pick up their badges upon entry to the building or have their license scanned to obtain a badge. No exceptions will be made. All visitors inside the school will need to wear their badge during the festivities. 
  • Parents who have come into the office and had their license scanned THIS YEAR and received their official volunteer badge will be routed through the main doors. A staff member will distribute their volunteer badges.
  • Parents who did not have their pictures taken during Registration, as well as ALL guests (grandparents, relatives, neighbors, etc.) will need to come through the main office to have their license scanned. No exceptions will be made. Please make sure that every guest who would like to attend the party has a license.
  • Anyone who had their picture taken during Registration but has not provided their license to be scanned this school year, will need to come through the main office with their license.  
Thank you for helping us keep all BFA kids safe and ensuring that everyone has a fun holiday celebration! We look forward to seeing you tomorrow!

PTO Logo
The Father/Daughter Dance will be held on Saturday, Feb. 3. We have a fun evening planned, but still need a lot of help to make it a success. If you'd like to help with this event, please join us from 7 - 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 3, at the Starbucks inside the Super Target.
If you have any questions, please email the PTO Social Chairs. Hope to see you there! 

Thanks for participating in the Uniform Sale! Any unsold uniforms will be available for pick up tomorrow in the main hallway. The PTO will not hold any uniforms for the next sale as they do not have the space to store them, so please be sure to pick up all unsold items or they will be donated. 

Please stop by the table in the main hallway to pick up your unsold items tomorrow, Dec. 22, from 1:30 - 3 p.m. (before and during holiday parties).

In the next few weeks, you will receive a check in the mail for any items that sold at the Uniform Buy Back Sale. There is a lot of reconciling involved in this process, so please be patient with the receipt of your reimbursement check.
If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Ortiz, PTO Uniform Buy Back Committee Chair. Thanks so much for a successful sale!

As you think about ways to demonstrate your appreciation to your student's teachers and support staff this holiday season, consider nominating him/her for an Apple Award.
Each year the Douglas County Educational Foundation (DCEF) asks parents and students throughout the district to nominate teachers and support staff for the coveted Apple Awards. Nominees receive a certificate and recognition at the school level. Then, the school chooses two of the nominees to represent the school at the District awards ceremony, where they have the opportunity to win Teacher of the Year, Classified Staff of the Year, or Administrator of the Year.
Please take a few minutes out of your day and nominate your favorite BFA teachers and staff for these prestigious awards. Click here for the link to submit nominations--all nominations are due TOMORROW, Dec. 22.

Lost and found
The jackets, sweatshirts, school shirts, water bottles and books are starting to pile up in the Lost and Found. Please check to see if you are missing something--there's a good chance it's in the Lost and Found! We'll donate all remaining items during break. 
Also, remember to put your last name inside jackets, sweaters, sweatshirts and on your student's water bottle. We will check for a name before we donate an item. 

Musical Theatre
We're excited to share the following after school music, performance and dance opportunities available at BFA this winter/spring: 
Basic Musical Theatre Dance, First and Second Grade - This class focuses on the fundamentals of dance technique. Your student will build their Broadway-style repertoire with instruction in tap, jazz, ballet, and hip-hop for the musical stage. The class will be held from 4 - 4:45 p.m. on Wednesdays beginning Jan. 17, and running through March 14. The cost of this class is $80.
Jr. Choir, First and Second Grade - BFA's Jr. Choir will learn the basics of choral singing and perform a concert at 6:30 p.m. on May 10 at BFA. This class will be held from 3:30 - 4 p.m. on Mondays beginning Jan. 22 through May 7. The cost is $45.
Musical Theatre Dance, Third through Eighth Grade - This class focuses on the fundamentals of dance technique and is designed to start or further your student's training in isolation, syncopation, strength, rhythm, contraction, and flexibility. Your child will build their Broadway-style repertoire with instruction in tap, jazz, ballet, and hip-hop for the musical stage. This class will be held from 4 - 4:45 p.m. on Mondays from Jan. 8 through March 12. The cost of this class is $80.
Improv, Third through Eighth Grade - Improvisation, or improv, is a form of live theatre in which the plot, characters and dialogue of a game, scene or story are made up in the moment. The class will introduce the fundamentals of improvisation and will focus on the basic tools, rules, and philosophy using games, drills and simple scenes. This class will be held from 3:30 - 4 p.m. on Tuesdays beginning Jan. 16 through March 6. The cost is $45.
Choir, Third through Eighth Grade - Students will learn part-singing and more advanced choral techniques. There will be a performance at 6:30 p.m. on May 10 at BFA. This class will be held from 3:30 - 4:15 p.m. on Wednesdays from Jan. 17 through May 9. The cost of this class is $45.
Audition Prep, Third through Eighth Grade - This class is designed for students looking to sharpen their musical theatre audition skills. Students will select material, get audition technique coaching, and participate in mock auditions. The goal is for students to leave the class with prepared material and the confidence to do well in their auditions! This class will be held from 3:30 - 4 p.m. on Tuesdays from March 13 through May 8. The cost is $45.
If you have questions please contact Ms. JohnsonRegister today before the classes fill up! 

As Mrs. Simpson announced last week, our Arts Program needs the help of our BFA community to continue providing amazing opportunities for our students, so we are creating the 'A-Team.'
The A-Team will be the parent support group for the performing and visual arts department at Ben Franklin Academy.  Mrs. Hinkle and Ms. Johnson hope to continuously raise the bar in terms of quality and level of participation within our Arts program. To do so, we need the help of our talented BFA community. Specifically, we are looking for the following:
Room Parents- This role involves coordinating other parents to help with performance set up or art hanging, etc.
Costumers- We need parents with either sewing skills OR 'thrifty shopping skills' to help Ms. Johnson make and/or find costumes for the middle school musical.
Set Building- If you have woodworking, construction or set building skills, we'd appreciate your help with building sets for various performances.
Performing and Visual Arts Liaison- This role is for anyone who wants to support music and art at BFA. These opportunities do not require artistic or musical skills. They might include: art room help, art display, green room parent, organizing meals for performers, fundraising (Disneyland trip), special events (poppies for Veterans Day or Talent Show), etc.
If you can help or would like more information, please click on this link. This will help our staff develop a "wish list" of parent volunteers who have a passion for the arts.

Are you interested in a preschool that uses the Core Knowledge Sequence along with a nurturing environment and individualized instruction to ensure your little one is ready for Kindergarten? If so, we hope you'll consider the BFA preschool! 
Preschool enrollment is now open to current BFA families. To enroll, please complete the Intent to Enroll form by TOMORROW, Dec 22. Please note that preschool slots are available on a first come, first served basis and spots do fill quickly. Enrollment will open to the public on Jan 17. For more information, email our Preschool Director, Kristen Goldberg.    

BASE logo
Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, we will be moving to MANDATORY automated payments for ALL BASE accounts. If you are not already set up for automated payments, please complete the Tuition Express Authorization form and return it to BASE staff as soon as possible. 
Accounts that do not have an authorization form in place by Monday, Jan. 8, (the day after break) will be charged an administrative fee of $25 per weekly billing cycle.
If you have any questions, please email Leigh Savoy , BASE director or Halsley Hoff,
Business Manager.

It's the season of giving, and the BFA middle school Student Council is excited to support Ronald McDonald House Charities as their philanthropy project for the fall/winter. Ronald McDonald House provides a loving and low cost 'home away from home' for families needing to be near their seriously ill or injured children while they are being treated at one of our area hospitals. 
Student Council's project has two parts:  
  • Collection of cleaning and kitchen supplies (now through Jan. 12), and 
  • A soda can pop-tab collection competition between homerooms/advisory classes (now through Feb. 23). 
Please see this  flier for specific product needs and collection details.  Please show your support for the Student Council's efforts in helping this worthy charity! Collection boxes are located in the lobby. 

Ice Cream Cone
Giving a loved one a coupon for local favorites like Pierre Michele French Bakery, Indulge, Mici's, Cuba Cuba, Cold Stone, Honey Baked Ham, Gigi's, Timbuk Toys, Arts on Fire, Pirates Cove, Dart Warz and Junglequest is a REAL TREAT!  
Coupon books are only $35 each and is a gift that you or a loved one can use all year! The paper coupons can be used once, and with the app, you get the discount AGAIN with duplicate coupons. Also, this year your purchase includes a small card good for multiple uses at five businesses.
To purchase,  email Erin Fierro, D.C. Fundraising Committee Manager. 
Hurry and get these valuable coupon books today before they're all gone!

Interested in the National Western Stock Show? The Foundation for Douglas County Schools has your discount tickets! BFA families can click on the Stock Show link and use the promo code DOUGCO.
Community Events with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts has several discounted opportunities available from now through December for our community.

Send them a Birthday Bag!
Celebrating birthdays at BFA just got more fun! Order your child a Birthday Bag for just $10, and s/he will receive:  
  • A bag full of goodies such as erasers, pencils, bouncy balls, etc. (no food or candy will be in the bags);
  • A birthday certificate good for a free bake sale item at the next bake sale;
  • A personalized note from you, if requested; and
  • A 'Happy Birthday' serenade by the eighth graders who deliver the bag to your student's classroom.
Did your child already celebrate their birthday or do they have a summer birthday?   
We also will deliver "Un-birthday Bags" for students who have already celebrated their birthday, and "Half-birthday Bags" for summer birthdays.
You can purchase Birthday Bags online through the BFA Store.
Now - Feb. 23

The BFA middle school Student Council is excited to support Ronald McDonald House Charities as their philanthropy project for the fall/winter. Student Council's project has two parts:  collection of cleaning and kitchen supplies ( now through Jan. 12), and a soda can pop-tab collection competition between homerooms/advisory classes ( now through Feb. 23). 
Thursday, Dec. 21

The School Accountability Committee (SAC) is meeting from 4:10 - 5:10 p.m. tonight, Dec. 21, in the BFA Conference Room.   
Friday, Dec. 22

Friday, Dec. 22, is a Dress of Choice day for students who have not had two  uniform violations since the last Dress of Choice day. 

Students will celebrate the holidays on Friday, Dec. 22, during their holiday parties. 
Dec. 25 - Jan. 5

Winter snowflake
We hope you enjoy your Winter Break from Dec. 25 - Jan. 5. Students return to class on Monday, Jan. 8. 
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.