Vol. 8, Iss. 33
Nov. 29, 2018
Dear BFA Families,

Snow is in the forecast! While it's impossible to predict if there will be enough snow to cancel or delay school, it's important to know how to find out if classes at BFA are cancelled or what happens on a delayed start day.
BFA follows the direction of the Douglas County School District (DCSD) regarding school closures/delays due to weather. If DCSD decides to close school for the day, then BFA will be closed as well. Sometimes, the weather is not severe enough for a closure, but may be significant enough to have a delayed school start. If the district calls for a delayed start, school at BFA will start 90 minutes later than normal. This means school for  all pre-K-8 students (including morning preschool and kindergarten) will start at 9:45 a.m. Carpool on a delayed start day begins at 9:15 a.m. and before school care will open at 8 a.m. Please do not drop off your child earlier than 8 a.m. for before care, as no one will be here to supervise your child.
All school closures can be seen on most of the local television channels in the morning. You also may check the DCSD website or call the DCSD weather line at 303-387-SNOW (7669) to hear the latest updates on school closures or delayed starts. We also will send out an announcement  regarding closures or delays.
The Douglas County School District has been divided into three areas: Highlands Ranch, Parker and Castle Rock. It is possible for the district to close or delay school in only one of the areas. This is rare, but it is possible. If you see/hear that Douglas County is listed as closed or delayed start that means all of the schools are closed or delayed. If you see or hear that the Parker area is closed or delayed that means that Highlands Ranch and Castle Rock are open.
I realize that we must rely on parents driving their children to school and that you may feel the road conditions are unsafe. You always have the option of keeping your child home if you feel that the roads are unsafe even if the school is open. This will be listed as an excused absence.


Diana Simpson

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 an 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.' 

BASE logo
Tomorrow, Nov. 30, is a Spirit Wear Day. Students may wear a spirit day T-shirt, Fun Run shirt, or a field day T-shirt from a prior year, with their regular uniform bottoms.   

Raid your piggy bank and make plans to get to school early on Friday, Nov. 30, so your student(s) can buy a treat to support the eighth grade Washington, D.C. kids at their Bake Sale! The Bake Sale will be held from 7:45 - 8:05 a.m. and during second recess on Friday, Nov. 30. Any funds raised will help BFA students offset some of the costs associated with going to Washington, D.C., so please support their efforts!

Have you ever wanted your own reserved parking space at BFA? How about six front and center seats to a grade level musical? Now's your chance, but don't delay! The PTO's online auction is going on now, and will close tomorrow, Nov. 30 (specific closing times listed on the website). You can bid on reserved seats to a grade level musical as well as eighth grade graduation. The five reserved parking spots (4 annual and 1 monthly) will be up for auction for the calendar year 2019. Visit the online auction website to place your bids! If you have questions, please contact   Julia Porterfield , PTO fundraising coordinator.

Ms. Johnson is offering a number of after school programs this spring, including Stage Combat, Ukulele, Improv and musical theatre. The shows for musical theatre this year are "Puzzle Puppy" (grades 1 and 2) and "Jungle Book" (grades 3+). Please see the catalogue for more details. Registration for the entire line up of spring programs opens on Monday, Dec. 3. Space is limited and programs tend to fill up quickly, especially for the musicals so don't wait! 

Spelling Bee
The schoolwide spelling bee will be held in January. In order to compete, students must first qualify. Study materials should have been delivered by classroom teachers. Any student in grades 4-8 who is interested in competing in the school spelling bee must attend the qualifying round beginning at 3:30 p.m. next Thursday, Dec. 6, in the Middle School Commons. If you cannot make that time then please email Ms. Poleschook to make other arrangements prior to Dec. 5. 

SCRIP is the staff gifting program that the PTO introduced last year to facilitate convenient group gift-giving. Through this program, each family makes one payment for all of their teacher and staff gifts. Then, each teacher/staff member receives an email with the total amount collected, and selects which gift cards they would like to receive. By consolidating donations, the PTO is able to provide teachers and staff with meaningful gifts.

This year, you can place your SCRIP order online with a credit card, or use a paper form and a check. With either option, you may designate how much you would like to give to each teacher/staff member in one dollar increments. Collections will take place Dec. 1 - 7.
To place your SCRIP order online and pay with credit card, visit the BFA Store beginning Saturday, Dec. 1, and click on 'SCRIP Gifting.' Then select the appropriate grade or category, and click on "more info" next to the staff member's name to open the amount dropdown. If the amount you want to give isn't listed, you can use the options available to come up with your desired gift amount. For example, if you want to give a staff member $7, you can create one order for $4, then go back and create another order for the same teacher/staff member for $3 to make a total of $7.
To place your order with a paper form and check, visit the PTO webpage to find the printable form. Paper forms and checks can be submitted to the red lockbox in the main office, or can be given to the SCRIP volunteers during afternoon carpool on Thursday, Dec. 6.
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. Teachers and staff will receive their gifts the week before Winter Break; gifts for K-5 teachers will be presented during classroom parties and will be in lieu of any other class gift/collection.

Questions? Visit the PTO webpage or contact Rachael Hamburger, PTO SCRIP coordinator.

Winter snowflake
This weekend, sign up to attend the Parents Day Out from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15, at BFA. It's going to be an amazing day for the kids AND you get FOUR HOURS to hang out with friends, shop or run errands. They'll be light snacks, crafts, games and movies for the kids to enjoy while you get a few kid-free hours. We also will have an opportunity for your kids to make a present for a loved one for a small fee of $5 to be paid at the door. 
Not only is it a wonderful opportunity to shop, but you can also bring holiday gifts to the Gift Wrapping Station to have them wrapped when you pick up your little ones. The Gift Wrapping Station will be open to all BFA families from 4 - 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15, and for a donation our BFA 8th graders will wrap all your holiday gifts.
The PNO and gift wrapping station are fundraisers for the eighth graders headed to Washington D.C. in the spring. The kids involved in fundraising are required to volunteer to help raise money for this trip, so please support their efforts. The sign up will be on the BFA store this weekend, and the cost is $20 per child and $10 for each additional sibling. Only children currently attending BFA can attend. Our eighth graders really hope to see all your beautiful kids smiling faces...and are happy to offer you time to go to lunch, a movie, shop or even take a nap! Thank you for your support. 

Have your kids had a growth spurt or are you ready to get new uniforms for next year? If so, mark your calendars for the upcoming Used Uniform Sale from 9 - 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, in the Lightning Gym.

If you would like to sell your uniforms, please be sure your items are tagged and brought to the front office with the inventory form between Monday, Nov. 26, and Thursday, Dec. 7. Please follow the tagging instructions and complete the inventory form. Please note that no items will be held after the sale. Any unsold items will need to be picked up between 12-1 p.m. on December 8.

If you would like to shop at the uniform sale, please note that we only accept cash or check. We have uniforms in all sizes and genders, so be sure to check it out! If you would like to volunteer to help with the sale, please visit the Uniform Buyback Signup Genius.

The Ben Franklin Academy (BFA) community is seeking leaders, who are passionate about and committed to BFA's mission and vision, to serve on the volunteer, seven-director BFA Board of Directors (Board). In the spring of 2019, the BFA community will elect one (1) director and the BFA Board will appoint one (1) director in accordance with the Board of Directors Election Policy. Each seat is for a three-year term.
A critical element to the success of any charter school is its ability to successfully fulfill legal requirements, advocate for its educational philosophy, and carry out its mission and vision. BFA continues to strive for excellence on a continual basis. In 2018, BFA focused on improving its educational experience, increasing parent satisfaction, promoting staff professional development, increasing teacher salaries, and preparing for and successfully submitting the application to renew its charter contract. The BFA Board will continue to focus on oversight, governance, and reinforcement of BFA's strategic plan. In addition, the Board will continue its support of the expansion of educational opportunities for BFA students through the following additions/renovations: 1) a Makerspace; 2) an outdoor classroom; and 3) greenhouse.
The Board encourages all individuals with a passion to serve the BFA community to get involved in the nomination and election process this spring. More details on the process, director qualifications, and Board needs will be posted on the BFA website and distributed by email to the BFA community by early February 2019.

Calendar Clip Art
The 2019-20 Academic Calendar has been approved and is on the BFA website. Happy planning!

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.'


Yearbook sales have officially launched! 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.) We 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!

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).
  • 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. 


Open Enrollment for NEW BFA students is OPEN and we recommend that you complete enrollment well before the first round closes at 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3. You can choose up to four schools during the Open Enrollment process, but we encourage you to only pick the schools you plan to accept as that helps streamline the process for everyone.

For your quick reference, below is the information we shared earlier this fall about Open Enrollment for new BFA students. 

The first round of Open Enrollment CLOSES DEC. 3

Parents of ALL NEW K-8 BFA students for the 2019-20 school year need to take action by completing DCSD's Open Enrollment process. 
Even if you have a student who currently attends kindergarten through eighth grade at BFA, you will need to complete  DCSD Open Enrollment for any NEW, or incoming K-8 students. For example, if you have a third grader attending BFA, and want to send your child to Kindergarten at BFA, you MUST complete Open Enrollment for the upcoming Kindergarten student.
FIRST ROUND: Runs today through 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3. All families are highly encouraged to complete Open Enrollment at some point during the First Round; please keep in mind that the first round is NOT first come, first served. 
  • Parents will use their DCSD EngagED Parent Portal to access Open Enrollment. (Hint: You used your EngagED Parent Portal to complete Express Check-In in August.) Parents without a DCSD EngagED Parent Portal account will be able to create one today. If you do not know your username and password, please email BFA's registrar, Colleen Bobbin. Keep in mind, if you have any concerns about accessing your Parent Portal, try to log in early in the process and, if you encounter problems, email the registrar well in advance of the deadline on Monday, Dec. 3. 
  • If you are applying for Kindergarten, your child MUST turn five by Oct. 1 of the enrollment year. For example, if your student will be five by Oct. 1, 2019, they can apply for the 2019-20 school year. 
  • Open Enrollment submissions during the FIRST ROUND ONLY will have priority based on the following:
    • Children in the household of Founding Families;
    • Siblings of current students. Siblings that share the same birth date (ie. twins or triplets) shall receive automatic enrollment; 
    • Children of full-time teachers; and
    • BFA preschool students. (See Mrs. Goldberg's Oct. 17 email for specific details.) 
IMPORTANT: Parents with students who have the above priorities who miss First Round of Open Enrollment will NOT receive priority in the Second Round of enrollment. If you want to leverage your priority status, please plan to complete Open Enrollment during First Round.
  • Parents will see offers in the EngagED Parent Portal at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 10, and MUST log back in by 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 17, to accept an open enrollment offer. If you receive an offer, and do not accept it by the deadline, you will automatically be placed on the second round open enrollment wait-list, which runs from Jan. 22 to Aug. 1.
  • Parents who accept an offer will receive enrollment requirements and deadlines via email. You can get a head start on some of these requirements by ensuring you have the following information handy: copy of your student's birth certificate, updated immunization records, and proof of residency. One of the following will be required for proof of residency:
    • Lease Agreement
    • Purchase Agreement
    • Tax Notice
    • Warranty Deed
    • Deed of Trust
SECOND ROUND: Runs Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019 - August 1, 2019 
  • Open Enrollment during Second Round is "first come, first served." Parents requesting open enrollment for their child in the Second Round are placed on the wait-list behind those that are currently on the wait-list from first round. Priorities will NOT be considered. 
The DCSD  Open Enrollment webpage provides the most up-to-date information and specific details about the process, as well as answers to commonly-asked questions. If you have questions about enrollment, please  email our registrar or call 720-383-4519 x3104 to reach the registrar.
Current BFA Students
Current K-8 students intending to return to BFA next school year DO NOT need to take any action. If your K-7 student will not return to BFA next year, please let the registrar know via email.
Preschool Students
Preschool Enrollment for the three-year-old and four-year-old classes will take place via the preschool webpage on the BFA website. Preschool enrollment for current BFA families will begin at 9 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 3. Preschool enrollment for the general public will begin at 9 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 14.
If you are interested in the Ben Franklin Academy Preschool program, please click here for more information.

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. 

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. 

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.   
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, Nov. 29

The School Accountability Committee (SAC) is meeting from 4:10 - 5:10 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29, in the BFA Conference Room.
Friday, Nov. 30

The 8th Grade Washington, D.C. kids are hosting a Bake Sale from 7:45 - 8:05 a.m. and during second recess on Friday, Nov. 30, at BFA. Any funds raised will help BFA students offset some of the costs associated with going to Washington, D.C., so please support their efforts!

BASE logo
Friday, Nov. 30, is a Spirit Wear Day. Students may wear a spirit day T-shirt, Fun Run shirt, or a field day T-shirt from a prior year, with their regular uniform bottoms.   
Tuesday, Dec. 4

The Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Committee is meeting from 5:30 - 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 4, in the Sanders Science Lab. If you want to learn about all the exciting STEM happenings around BFA, be sure to attend!
Wednesday, Dec. 5

Wednesday, Dec. 5, is a Formal Uniform Day. Students should wear their navy polo with the BFA logo and tan pants, shorts, skirt or a skort.    
Thursday, Dec. 6

Music Notes
The after school choirs will perform a concert beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6, on the Performance Stage in the Thunder Gym.    
Friday, Dec. 7

Science Fair
The seventh grade science fair will be held on Friday, Dec. 7, in the Middle School Commons. 
Saturday, Dec. 8

There is a  Used Uniform Sale from 9 - 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, in the Lightning Gym. If you would like to shop at the uniform sale , please note that we only accept cash or check . We have uniforms in all sizes and genders, so be sure to check it out! 
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.