Vol. 8, Iss. 36
Dec. 20, 2018
   
Dear Ben Franklin Academy Families,
 
I am very excited and proud to announce that due to the hard work of your students and our teachers, Ben Franklin Academy has been named a John Irwin School of Excellence! This is an achievement we have been striving for since the school opened.  
 
This award is given to schools who "Exceed Expectations" in achievement on the state standardized assessments (CMAS). Both our elementary school and middle school earned this "Exceeds Expectations" designation for achievement based on last year's CMAS results.  
 
This award proves that our dedication to providing high quality academic instruction is working. It helped that we came very close to meeting the 95 percent testing participation rate that was our goal last year. When our kids are here to take the tests, we get a much more accurate view of how we are doing as a school. In addition, we use the data from these tests to help guide our professional development and focus as a staff.
 
While we are excited and honored to receive this award, we will not rest on our laurels and are committed to continuous improvement and growth. We've identified areas that still can be improved upon, and will actively pursue development in these areas.
 
We are planning a schoolwide celebration for this award when we get our official banner from the Colorado Department of Education. Hopefully, this will take place in January, but we'll be sure to let you know well in advance.
 
I hope that you all have a happy and safe holiday season. Please know that all of us here at BFA hold all of you in our hearts, even when school is not in session. If anyone needs to reach out to me over the break, for any reason, I will be checking my email frequently.  
 
Happy Holidays!

Sincerely,
 
Diana Simpson

school bucks
NEW PAYMENTS PROCESSING SYSTEM JAN. 1 
 
As of Jan. 1, 2019, BFA will be moving to a new payment processing system for our field trips, sports and after school activities (such as music classes and summer camp). This new system is called My School Bucks, which probably sounds familiar as many of you already use this system for school lunch payments. This system will replace RevTrak. Please be on the lookout for additional information after break. If you have any questions please contact Kerry Alder or Halsley Hoff in the Business Office. 

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DRESS OF CHOICE DAY
 
Students can wear Dress of Choice tomorrow, Dec. 21, 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.

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WINTER BREAK
 
Students will be on Winter Break from Monday, Dec. 24, through Friday, Jan. 4. We hope you have a relaxing break and look forward to seeing you on Monday, Jan. 7.

BOYS BASKETBALL TEAMS HAVE SUCCESSFUL SEASON
 
Congratulations to our boys basketball teams-- both C teams, the B team and
the A team had TERRIFIC seasons! Our white C team made great progress in their basketball skills, while our blue C team went undefeated this season. WOW! 
 
Both the A team and the B team made it to the final playoff games this week. 
A team
The A team showed their resiliency when they overcame a deficit at half in the semi-finals, then ended up winning the game against Southeast Christian to earn a spot in the finals. They played well in the finals, but lost to SkyView Academy.
 
B team had a tremendous season, and ended up beating
b team
Platte River Academy in the semi-finals and Sky View Academy in the finals to win the championship! Congratulations!  
 
We're proud of all our players and appreciate the dedication of Coach Mares (C-teams), Coach Knudsen (B team) and Coach Macias (A team).
PTO Logo
 
OUTDOOR CLASSROOM UPDATE 
 
The PTO has exciting news! The equipment for our outdoor classroom has all arrived and installation is scheduled for January 14. The benches arrived at BFA right before
Thanksgiving; and, they just received word that the shade unit arrived at the installation company's warehouse late last week. For a sneak peek, included in this article are a few pictures of the equipment. In keeping with the existing color schemes at BFA, the support structures on the shade unit are dark
green while the shade itself is a sand color. The PTO is beyond excited to see this project come to fruition. Your generous donations at the 2017 BENefit Bash made the outdoor classroom possible. Thank you!
Beauty
 
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, JR. VIDEO 
 
Beauty and the Beast, Jr. #1
Our terrific "Beauty and the Beast, Jr." tech crew kids created a video with cast interviews and highlights from rehearsals. Click 'play' to get a preview of the show; and don't forget to mark your calendars to attend "Beauty and the Beast, Jr." on Feb. 22 and 23. It's going to be amazing!

SEVENTH GRADE ESSAY CONTEST   
 
The students in seventh grade participated in an essay contest this month. They were charged with the task of researching and writing a persuasive essay that encouraged their audience to donate to a charity of their choosing. Included in the newsletter this week is the top essay from seventh grade, written by Tyler Sunahara. If while reading this essay, you feel persuaded to donate to the charity, would you please let Ms. Poleschook know via email so that she can pass that information along to the author. I'm sure that the student would love to know that he helped make a difference. Thank you!

SNOWBALL OR NAPOLEON?  
 
These days our eighth graders can be found knocking on teachers' doors, politely asking to speak to office and facility staff, and making appointments with Principal Simpson, Vice Principal Gomez and Vice
Principal Rau

Although it may look like they're having fun, they are actually involved in a full-scale propaganda campaign to convince staff to vote for either Snowball or Napoleon. This is part of Mrs. Sieradski's annual Animal Farm project. The kids read "Animal Farm" then they're assigned a candidate for whom to advocate. 

They learn all about marketing and propaganda, and work in
teams to create an entire campaign for their assigned candidate. Students will decide on a slogan, create a mission statement, design a website, write a speech, film a commercial, make propaganda tools (posters, fliers, brochures) and, finally, talk to voters about their candidate. 

Voting takes place tomorrow--so we'll find out which eighth graders are the masters of propaganda and whether Napoleon or Snowball is victorious. Stay tuned!

Yearbook
 
TIME TO PURCHASE YOUR 2018-19 YEARBOOK
 
Time is running out to get the BEST price on the 2018-19 BFA yearbook, so be sure to get yours TODAY! This year, the only way to purchase a yearbook is through our vendor, Walsworth. (You may recall--purchasing a yearbook was not an option this year during Express Check-In.) The PTO will not be offering yearbook sales at any other events throughout the year. Don't wait, as prices will increase beginning in January.  
  • Now - December 31, 2018: $26.00 per book
  • January 1, 2019 - February 28, 2019: $31.00 per book
  • March 1, 2019 - March 31, 2019: $36.00 per book 
Order and pay for your 2018-19 Yearbook today.

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SAVE THE DATE FOR THE PTO'S  SWEETHEART BALL  
 
Calling all BFA girls and their "special" adult to a beautiful "Night in Hollywood" to dance the night away, enjoy dessert and light snacks, along with other fun activities!
 
Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019
6 p.m. - 8 p.m. 
The Falls Event Center
8199 Southpark Ct.
Highlands Ranch, CO 80120
 
Ticket Pair $35 and Extra Single Ticket $15
Tickets go on sale January 7 - 18 on the  BFA Store
NO Tickets sold at the door.
Contact Emerald Holden or Rachel Molieri with questions.

Musical Theatre
REGISTER FOR AFTER SCHOOL MUSICALS TODAY!
 
It's not too late to register for the after school musicals! Practices begin the first week back after break so make sure you sign up before the holidays. The shows this year are "Jungle Book" for grades 3-8, and "Puzzle Puppy" for grades 1-2. For more information contact Ms. Johnson, check out this guide, or go to the music website.

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: HOLIDAY PARTY REMINDERS 
 
We're looking forward to celebrating the holidays with students on Friday, Dec. 21. Please pay special attention to the information and times for your student's holiday party as outlined in your room parent or party coordinator's email. 
Most elementary 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. 
 
Our middle school kids have their own celebrations, and parents do not need to plan on attending those.
 
Carpool Information:
  • Please park in the upper lot. Once the upper parking lot is full, you may park along the curb in B Zone (ONLY). Keep in mind, B Zone will likely be closed for carpool as many parents choose to sign out their students after the holiday party.
  • Please do not park ANYWHERE in A Zone or in undesignated spots in the lower parking lot (e.g. along the curb in the lower parking lot) at any time. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office may decide to ticket cars parked in these areas.
  • All partygoers should plan to leave before 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 SCHOOL 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 many of you tomorrow.

apple awards
APPLE AWARD NOMINATION PERIOD OPEN  
 
Each year the Foundation for Douglas County Schools 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.
 
This is a great way to honor our wonderful teachers and staff, while highlighting the innovative work they do to challenge and inspire our students. This year, the process has changed and your nominations will be video or written testimonials that will be posted publicly on a customized webpage for our school. Anyone over the age of 18 can nominate, as well as students age 13 or older (if they have your permission).
 
Click on this link before the nomination window closes on Friday, Jan. 11, and nominate your favorite BFA teachers and staff for these prestigious awards.

Basketball
GIRLS BASKETBALL TRYOUTS
 
Girls basketball tryouts will be held from 4 - 6 p.m. TONIGHT, Dec. 20, in the Thunder Gym. All interested middle school girls (grades 6-8) should plan to attend. The A team will be coached by Mr. Knudsen; and the B team will be coached by Ms. Mares.

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SEVENTH GRADE FAMILIES - A FEW OPPORTUNITIES LEFT TO VOLUNTEER IN DECEMBER
 
SEVENTH GRADE FAMILIES--please volunteer in carpool this December! 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 December, we'd like our seventh grade families to sign up for open volunteer spots in carpool. If you don't have a seventh 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.' 

Camera
NEED PARENT PHOTOGRAPHERS
 
We need your help with pictures for the yearbook! We  need more candid pictures --including past events such as Harvest Festival, after school activities, middle school sports, field trips etc.  Earn some volunteer time and click here to upload photos.  The code is 'YEARBOOK2019.'

Preschool
PRESCHOOL ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN FOR BFA FAMILIES 
 
Are you interested in a preschool that uses the Core Knowledge Sequence and offers 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 Friday, Dec 21. 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. 14.  
 
For more information,  email our Preschool Director,  Kristen Goldberg.

School
ATTENTION EIGHTH GRADE FAMILIES
 
As you prepare for your eighth grader's high school enrollment, you may need to request transcripts and/or other records. If that's the case, please email our registrar, Colleen Bobbin, and let her know exactly what the high school requires. (They should specify which records are needed, and understanding their exact requirements will eliminate delays in processing.)
 
It takes some time to gather all the necessary documents, so please allow three business days (72 hours) to complete the request. Once the student's packet has been completed, the registrar will email the requesting parent and leave the packet at the front desk for pick up. 

Spanish
BEFORE SCHOOL ELEMENTARY SPANISH
 
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).
Spanish
  • 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! Please  contact  Señora Connell with any questions. 

ROCK
GOT SOMEONE OR SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE?
RENT THE ROCK! 
 
Have a birthday to celebrate or a team to cheer on? Then rent the Spirit Rock! 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. 

MAKE YOUR STUDENT'S BIG DAY SPECIAL--SEND A BIRTHDAY BAG 
 
Order your birthday bags today and help our eighth graders who are going to Washington, D.C. next spring. For just $10, our eighth 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. We're happy to celebrate half birthdays too! Bags are available for purchase on the BFA online store. Please order early to ensure delivery on your child's special day.   
 
GET YOUR DISCOUNT TICKETS TODAY  
 
The Foundation for Douglas County Schools  Community Events Program  is out with their latest fundraisers! 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, Dec. 20
 

Basketball
GIRLS BASKETBALL TRYOUTS
 
Girls basketball tryouts will be held from 4 - 6 p.m. tonight, Dec. 20, in the Thunder Gym. All interested middle school girls (grades 6-8) should plan to attend. The A team will be coached by Mr. Knudsen; and the B team will be coached by Ms. Mares.

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SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITY COMMITTEE MEETING
 
The School Accountability Committee (SAC) will meet at 4:10 p.m. tonight, Dec. 20, in the BFA Conference Room .    
Friday, Dec. 21
 

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DRESS OF CHOICE DAY
 
Students can wear Dress of Choice tomorrow, Dec. 21, 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.

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HOLIDAY PARTIES
 
Holiday parties for K-5 kids will be held beginning at 1:45 p.m. tomorrow, Dec. 21. Preschool, half day kindies and middle school families received separate communications about their holiday celebrations.
Dec. 24 - Jan. 4
 

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WINTER BREAK
 
Students will be on Winter Break from Monday, Dec. 24, through Friday, Jan. 4. We hope you have a relaxing break and look forward to seeing you on Monday, Jan. 7.
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.