Vol. 9, Iss. 35
December 12, 2019

Dear Parents,
 
During the month of December, BFA students have once again been participating in the Hour of Code initiative. This annual event traditionally takes place during  Computer Science Education Week and was designed to introduce students to computer science and computer programming. As part of BFA's emphasis on technology, students in elementary and middle school will participate in Hour of Code and have lots of opportunities to code throughout the next few weeks! 

In Mrs. Ward's lab, students will examine how to write code using basic commands, then act out those commands with partners as studies show that kids learn better when pair programming. Students in grades 1-5 will use laptops to complete various coding activities on  code.org. In addition, Mrs. Ward's students will code using the BeeBot robots and play an Osmo coding game on the iPads. 

These exciting activities piggyback on what Mrs. Tickle does throughout the year--our K-5 students use Kodable and our fourth and fifth grade kiddos also experiment with Tynker.

Ms. Konesky's  m iddle  school STEAM classes have been busy with many different projects! Seventh and eighth grade spent the first trimester in an introduction to DSLR photography unit. They learned how shutter speed, aperture and ISO work together while practicing
with Canon Rebel t7 cameras. Our sixth graders used GameMaker, a drag and drop coding platform, to learn both game design and fundamental programming concepts like variables, loops and conditional statements. Currently, one section of sixth grade is building, programming and testing their LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robots. For second trimester, seventh grade is learning 3D Modeling with SketchUp and eighth grade classes are learning programming with Javascript and Swift as well as building/wiring our new Tetrix robots.

And, while we're focusing on all things tech--we'd like to share that both our technology lab and our STEAM lab were recently updated with brand new, top-of-the-line Apple iMacs!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Sincerely,

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 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.

THANK YOU SCOTT AND REBECCA ACKERMAN!

For the month of December, Rebecca and Scott Ackerman have been selected as the Ben Franklin Academy Volunteers of the Month. Rebecca and
Scott are being honored for consistently  volunteering in their kids' classrooms, science lab, art room, and on field trips , among many other activities! Th eir demonstration of Ben Franklin's virtue of industry in helping the staff and being present in their children's classrooms is remarkable and greatly appreciated. For all their efforts , we'd like to say thank you and recognize them both.
 
Rebecca and Scott are the parents of two boys - Wyatt (third grade) and Quinn (first grade). Both boys have been at BFA since kindergarten.
 
When asked what about Ben Franklin Academy they like best, Rebecca said the following, " We like BFA's Core Knowledge approach to education that provides a well-rounded emphasis on the critically important, classic elements of instruction such as history, literacy, math, science and the arts. Maintaining an allegiance to these fundamentals of education is part of what makes BFA special. In addition to the regular classroom teachers, the arts teachers do an exceptional job with exposing all students to art and music in an impressively thorough, creative and fun fashion. There are a ton of capable, talented and passionate parents here at BFA who have infinite contributions to make to the school. We appreciate that volunteers are able to lend their precious time and eclectic talents to make the school the best it can be for all students."
 
We couldn't agree with you more! Congratulations and thank you again, Rebecca and Scott!

HAVE YOU HAD YOUR LICENSE SCANNED?
 
In advance of next week's holiday party, please remember that for the safety of our students  EVERY PERSON who enters the building must have their license scanned THIS SCHOOL YEAR . If you had your picture taken during BFA Family Check-in, but have not had your license scanned this school year, you are welcome to  stop by the office between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.  any week day to have your license scanned. 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. We look forward to seeing you at the K-5 holiday parties next week.

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FIRST GRADE FAMILIES--VOLUNTEER IN DECEMBER
 
We need parent involvement in BFA's carpool; while most of the BFA staff help with carpool in some manner, we need a few parent volunteers each day to ensure both morning and afternoon carpool run smoothly.  Please consider volunteering! This month, we're sending out a special request to all FIRST GRADE FAMILIES - we'd appreciate your help in carpool in DECEMBER. Carpool volunteers are critical so sign up or show up today.

VIRTUES
MIDDLE SCHOOL VIRTUE AWARD WINNERS
 
Congratulations to fifth graders, Kayden James and Anna Winkler, and eighth graders, Alexandra Jones and Luke Trotter for being selected in our monthly virtue recognition drawing. More than 80 students were recognized by teachers and peers for demonstrating November's virtues of  humility and  sincerity--which is very impressive!  
 
December's virtue is Frugality -  Be frugal. Do not waste the school's resources. Respect what you have been given. Reduce, reuse, recycle.

DECEMBER SPIRIT NIGHT
 
Get your burger and shake on while helping raise funds for BFA. Our December spirit day/night at Shake Shack (1509 Park Central Drive) will be from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Monday, Dec 16 . Shake Shack will donate 25 percent of the proceeds back to BFA. All orders must be placed in person (no online or phone in orders) and accompanied by a flier. Look for your flier in your student's Thursday folder, the middle school newsletter or click  here.

BOX TOPS
IT'S TIME TO SEND IN THOSE BOX TOPS!
 
The next Box Tops collection day is Wednesday, Dec. 18, so gather up your Box Tops! Please put them in a sealed plastic baggie and send them into school with your kiddo. Happy clipping!
 
Don't forget to scan your receipts with the Box Tops app to collect any new Box Tops earnings. Thanks to many of you who are already using the app, we've earned more than $1,000 so far this year!
 
Questions?  E-mail Alaina Tinney , Box Tops Committee Chair.

IntoTheWoods
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...PLEASE SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER IN THE BFA LIBRARY IN 2020!
 
We love nurturing our students' love of reading through our wonderful BFA Library and are proud to have so many avid readers, but that also means that we really need your help. Please consider volunteering in the BFA Library! We can't do it without you, so please check out our SignUpGenius, select a time slot and sign up! (Remember that many BFA parents still need their hours so be considerate when signing up so that everyone gets a chance to volunteer.) Many times volunteers have to cancel so please check the SignUpGenius regularly to see if spots have opened up that might work with your schedule.

If you are a new volunteer to the library, it is very important that you are here on time so that you can be trained prior to the class coming in.

If you can't make your scheduled time, please contact Ms. Williams, our librarian, and delete your sign up from SignUpGenius as soon as you know that you can't make it. (We get it! Kids get sick, and appointments come up at the last minute but we really need to know so that we can try to find coverage.) Please note, if you miss several shifts without notifying us in advance, we will cancel your remaining volunteer shifts and open the slot(s) up to others.

Thank you for your help so far this year!

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GIRLS BASKETBALL - PLEASE REGISTER TO TRYOUT
 
I t's time for middle school girls basketball tryouts! Since we've had a good amount of interest in our sports programs, we'd like students to register for tryouts so we have an idea how many kids plan to participate. Of course, there is no cost to register for tryouts, but you must register your student through MySchoolBucks by Sunday, Dec. 15. Tryouts will be held from 4:15 - 6:15 p.m. on Dec. 18 and 19 at BFA.
 
Once tryouts have been completed, the coaches will contact the players that have been chosen for one of the teams. At that time, each player will then need to register and pay for basketball. 
 
If you have any questions, please contact Coach Macias or Coach Knudsen.

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HOLIDAY GATHERING SPONSORED BY YOUR PTO
 
Please join members of the BFA PTO for their holiday gathering! This FUN event is for ALL BFA PARENTS, and will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 18, at the Rock Bottom Brewery (1505 Park Central Dr.) near BFA!
 
This gathering is for all the adults who make BFA a special community - PTO members AND nonmembers. The food will be provided by the PTO, and there's even a gift exchange! Check the SignUpGenius link for more details and to RSVP. Please sign up to let us know you can make it. Happy holidays!

PERFORMING ARTS CLASSES BEGIN AFTER BREAK
 
If you signed up for an after school performing arts class, please remember that several of them begin right after Winter Break. All the information can be found in the Performing Arts  brochure. If you have not signed up yet, there are still slots available for some of our classes so  register NOW!  Please contact  Ms. Johnson with questions.

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SAVE THE DATE FOR THE PTO'S SWEETHEART BALL
 
The PTO is changing things up this year, and  giving our sons an opportunity to show off their sweet dance moves. Calling all BFA boys and their "special" adult to a super " Night in Gotham City" to enjoy some dancing, games, light snacks and dessert. Get silly in the superhero photo booth and capture the moments you want to remember. Everyone is encouraged to dress as their favorite superheroes. It's guaranteed to be a SUPER night.
 
Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020
6-8 p.m.
 
Please contact Lynsey Humphries, PTO social coordinator, with questions.

ROCK
DON'T MISS OUT--RENT THE ROCK!
 
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.

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PRESCHOOL ENROLLMENT OPEN FOR BFA FAMILIES
 
Preschool enrollment is now open for families that have another student currently enrolled in BFA's kindergarten through eighth grade classes.  Please complete this form to express your interest in our program. Completing this form does not guarantee enrollment into the preschool as it is determined on a first come, first serve basis. You will receive an email confirming the spot requested or that you have been wait listed. 

If you know of a family who does not have students at BFA but is interested in BFA's preschool, please let them know that preschool enrollment will open to the public on Jan. 13 at 9 a.m. 

Questions? Please email our preschool director, Kristen Goldberg.
Thursday, Dec. 12
 

Basketball
BOYS BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS
 
The boys basketball A and B team playoffs will be held at 4:15 p.m. tonight, Dec. 12, at BFA. Good luck gentlemen!

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Y.E.S.S. SEMINAR FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL PARENTS
 
Middle school parents, please mark your calendars to attend a seminar on the pitfalls of cell phone usage, social media, and technology. The event will be held from 6 - 7:30 p.m. this evening, Dec. 12, at BFA. The seminar is hosted by the Youth Education and Safety in Schools (Y.E.S.S.) Program. Sign up to attend!
Monday, Dec. 16
 

DECEMBER SPIRIT NIGHT
 
Our December spirit day/night at Shake Shack (1509 Park Central Drive) will be from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Monday, Dec 16. All orders must be placed in person (no online or phone in orders) and accompanied by a flier.
Tuesday, Dec. 17
 

Basketball
BOYS BASKETBALL FINALS
 
The boys basketball A and B team finals will be held beginning at 4:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 17, at BFA. Good luck gentlemen!

BFA BOARD MEETING
 
The BFA Board of Directors meets monthly during the school year at 5:30 p.m. in our school's 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 next Board meeting is from 5:30 - 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 17, in the Dana Library.   The agenda will be available via the BFA website 24 hours prior to the meeting.
Wednesday, Dec. 18
 

PTO Logo
PTO MEETING
 
All are welcome to attend the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 18, in the Sanders Science Lab. 

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HOLIDAY GATHERING SPONSORED BY YOUR PTO
 
Please join members of the BFA PTO at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 18, at the Rock Bottom Brewery (1505 Park Central Dr.) near BFA.  Check the SignUpGenius link for more details and to RSVP. Please sign up to let us know you can make it. 
Thursday, Dec. 19
 

BENefit Bash
EXTRA DRESS OF CHOICE DAY
 
Thanks to your support of the 2019 BENefit Bash, all BFA students earned an EXTRA  Dress of Choice on Thursday, Dec. 19!  Clothing should follow the guidelines outlined in the uniform policy.  uniform policy

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SAC MEETING
 
School Accountability Committee (SAC) is tasked with informing, encouraging, and providing opportunities for parent and community members to be involved in the planning and evaluation of the school's instructional program and quality improvement processes. All BFA parents are welcome to attend their meetings! The next meeting is from  4:30 - 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 19,  in the Conference Room
Friday, Dec. 20
 

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D RESS OF CHOICE DAY
 
Students can wear  Dress of Choice on Friday, Dec. 20,  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.  uniform policy
Dec. 23 - Jan. 3
 

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WINTER BREAK
 
Students will be on Winter Break from Monday, Dec. 23, through Friday, Jan. 3. We hope you have a relaxing break and look forward to seeing you on Monday, Jan. 6.   uniform policy
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.