February 11, 2021
Weekly Update
A Message from Principal Simpson
Simpson
Dear Parents,

Thank you for spending time this week reviewing your child(ren)'s progress at Parent Teacher Conferences. I can't believe that the third trimester is almost here!

As we’ve done each trimester this crazy year, we spent time reviewing current programming and scheduling during the last few weeks. We did have a shift in families choosing in-person learning for the third trimester, but we continue to have a significant percentage of families who prefer remote programming; therefore, we will continue to have remote Wednesdays for the remainder of the school year. We cannot offer a remote option without giving teachers extra time to implement that programming.

Remote Wednesdays have been helpful in other ways throughout the school year. As we’ve mentioned previously, it gives our cleaning crew time to go more thoroughly through each classroom to make sure everything is getting cleaned appropriately. It also has helped with the 48-hour protocol when determining close contacts and when it’s necessary to quarantine classes. In fact, I believe that not being in the building on Wednesdays has prevented 4 or 5 cohorts from being quarantined throughout the year. The materials and plans created on Wednesdays also are used to support other students and quarantined classes throughout the trimester.

I know many will be disappointed that we cannot return to five days a week in person for the third trimester. We would all like to be here with the kids every day. This year has forced us to do things differently, and unfortunately, we’ll need to continue on this path for the rest of the school year. I am incredibly proud of the amount of in-person learning we’ve been able to achieve this year and I appreciate our entire BFA community who contributed to that accomplishment.

I am excited and optimistic about next school year. I assume that we’ll continue to have many COVID mitigations in place; but at this time, we do not anticipate offering a remote option next school year. We have never been set up to be an online program; but I’m so proud of how our teachers and staff rose to the occasion as it was necessary this year.

I want to end by sharing some terrific news—The Douglas County District Spelling Bee was held last weekend and eighth grader Evan Roper qualified to move on to the Colorado State Spelling Bee! He’ll represent the Douglas County School District and BFA at the state bee in March. Great job Evan!

As always, please email me with concerns or questions.

Have a great long weekend!

Sincerely,

Mrs. Simpson
Volunteer Recognition
BFA loves its volunteers, and we want to show our appreciation for all of your work. The PTO recognizes two 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. 

In addition, each month a volunteer will be randomly chosen through a drawing to win a fun, surprise gift. All you have to do to be eligible to win, is log at least ONE hour of volunteer service in the month prior to the drawing.

Thanks to all our volunteers for your continued support of BFA!
Congratulations Karen Cottrell
For the month of February, Karen Cottrell has been selected as the Ben Franklin Academy Volunteer of the Month. Karen is being recognized for the time she spends each week volunteering during recess. Her consistent service at recess, whether it's freezing cold or warm and sunny, is greatly appreciated and helps students and staff find a sense of normalcy in a very unusual school year. Thank you for being a dependable presence on the playground, Karen!

Karen and her husband, Ben, have three children, all currently enrolled at BFA. Kayla is in fourth grade, Gregory is in third, and Addison is in Kindergarten. Their family has been at BFA since Kayla started Kindergarten in 2016. According to Karen, "We love Ben Franklin for many reasons but our top 3 are the school community, the volunteer opportunities, and the amazing teachers. I am especially grateful for the opportunity to volunteer in person this year."

Congratulations Karen! We appreciate all you do to support BFA staff and students.
 
If you know someone who should be considered for volunteer of the month for outstanding volunteerism, please email Mollie Anderson, PTO president.
Thank You Amanda Trenck
This month, Amanda Trenck is the winner of our drawing for her volunteer time in January. Amanda earned volunteer hours for her work with the PTO, and has won a $10 gift card to Festive Cup Coffee. Congratulations Amanda--we're grateful for your service and appreciate all the volunteer time you dedicate to the school!
BFA News
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Calendar Reminders
We hope you enjoy the long Presidents' Day weekend! Tomorrow, Feb. 12, is a comp day for teachers so there is NO SCHOOL; and, Monday, Feb. 15, there is NO SCHOOL as we remember our great presidents Washington and Lincoln, as well as other past presidents.
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Middle School Virtue Awards
Each month, we feature some of the students who were recognized for displaying one or more of the 13 Virtues. The virtue for January was Resolution. We describe the virtue of Resolution as: Keep your word. When you have a task, get it done. Turn in your homework on time and be prepared.

Congratulations to all the students who were recognized for the virtue of Resolution in January, and to our two featured students (below).
Charlee McChesney (5th)
Logan Smith (7th)
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Your Opinion Matters - Only 200 Surveys Completed so Far!
The School Accountability Committee (SAC) would like feedback from EVERY FAMILY this school year, but so far we've only heard from 200 families. Please complete the Parent Satisfaction Survey (one response per family) TODAY to share your thoughts and opinions regarding the current BFA academic year. Your feedback is compiled and (anonymously) shared with the administration and Board. The survey should take less than 15 minutes to complete, so please make time to complete it today.
DanceFit Fundraiser - Register and Donate NOW
We officially kicked off our DanceFit fundraiser this week, and donating is open now on FUNRUN.com. To get everyone moving,
we have some fun incentives:

  • 10 percent of every dollar pledged and collected from each class will go back to that classroom for teacher use.
  • The top two middle school classes (grades 6-8) and top two elementary and pre-school classes (preschool-fifth grade) will receive a pizza party sponsored by the PTO.
  • When we reach our goal of $45,000 for STEAM enhancements including stage lighting and sound improvements, the entire school will receive a Dress of Choice Day!
  • Families can earn up to two hours volunteer time for their efforts in registering, sharing, and/or raising funds for our DanceFit fundraiser. A category of DanceFit has been set up in HelpCounter for families to record their time.

Here’s what you can do to support our school today:
  1. REGISTER your student(s) on FUNRUN.com today. It only takes 30 seconds!
  2. SHARE with five family/friends using the SHARE tools on funrun.com (Facebook, Text Message or Email) Students will earn rewards just for sharing from FUNRUN.com.
  3. GIVE a donation if you are able to give.

Remember that all families can support our school by either donating, sharing on FUNRUN.com, or both. And, all students get to participate in the Event Day, regardless of financial participation.

All communication and resources given out at school also will be sent to families via email so that everyone has the opportunity to fully participate. We are working hard to make this fundraiser safe, fun and successful for everyone! 

Key Dates:
  • Today: Donating is OPEN so register on FUNRUN.com, SHARE and GIVE!
  • Friday, Feb. 19: SAVE THE DATE for Event Day!

See the flier for additional information. Thank you for supporting our school through the PTO Ben Franklin Academy DanceFit.
Youth Education and Safety in Schools Seminar
Parents are welcome to attend the upcoming Youth Education and Safety in Schools (Y.E.S.S.) Parent Academy, which will be presented virtually from 5:30-7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4, via Zoom. A 30-minute question and answer session will follow. This session will cover Human Trafficking with a guest speaker who is a subject matter expert and trafficking survivor. Please RSVP to attend—this is a very important topic that ties in closely with risky online behaviors. 
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Blooms and Brunch Gift Bag Going Home Today
The Community Events Committee (CEC) has a unique twist on our annual 'Muffins with Moms' Event. The newly named Blooms & Brunch will celebrate the moms and/or the special women in our families virtually this year! A gift bag will be sent home with all families today, Feb. 11. Included in the gift bag is a coupon for the Highlands Ranch Town Center First Watch restaurant (please note the coupon is for dine in or phone orders only) as well as some other goodies for mom. Special thanks to Nicole at First Watch for the generous donation to BFA families!

Remote families: If you did not have an opportunity to pick up your gift bag yesterday, any remaining bags will be sent to the front office for pick up.
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PTO STORE MASK
Spirit Wear Store NOW OPEN
The PTO's store for spirit wear and spirit items is open now; but just for the month of February. Shop for all your BFA gear including logo t-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts, water bottles, cinch sacks, masks and gaiters (youth and adult sizes available), and much more! Make sure your kids have sweatshirts for chilly classrooms and fleece jackets or vests for recess. Find all your items at MySchoolBucks.com. The store will close again in March--so get your items TODAY. 
 
Orders will be delivered and sent home through your child's classroom. Masks and gaiters are not returnable. If you are a remote family, please contact Rachael Hamburger, PTO spirit wear chair, to coordinate delivery.
Community Events
All Welcome to Join Next CEC Meeting
The next CEC Meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17, via Zoom (details will be on the BFA calendar). If you are looking for a way to become more involved in BFA or need to earn your volunteer hours, feel free to join them! All are welcome. If you have any questions please feel free to email the CEC at cec@bfacademy.org.
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Hope to See You at Chipotle Spirit Night
We hope you’ll mark your calendars and join us for our next spirit night. We're getting a do-over at Chipotle since they weren't able to host us in November due to a broken water heater. Please join us from 4-8 p.m. next Tuesday, Feb. 16, at the Chipotle on Wildcat Reserve Parkway in Highlands Ranch. Mention you're with BFA (or use our online order code NG3HM3W) and Chipotle will donate 33 percent back to BFA. See the flier for additional details.
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Join PTO for Next Meeting - Boosterthon Representative will Attend
The PTO hopes you'll join them for their next PTO meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17. (Please note the date change.) A team member from Boosterthon will attend to talk about our DanceFit fundraiser and answer questions. The meeting will be held over Zoom. For details on how to join the Zoom call, please see the BFA calendar or visit the PTO webpage.
Ben's Brigade Ice Skating at Evergreen Lake
Ben’s Brigade is hosting an ice skating event at Evergreen Lake on Sunday, Feb. 21. Dads can bring the kiddos and let mom have a free morning, or the entire family is welcome to come. Please read the SignUpGenius for additional details, including costs, and RSVP by end of day on Saturday, Feb. 13.
Please (Virtually) Attend Town Hall next Tuesday
As part of the BFA Board nomination process, the Board will open their February meeting with a Town Hall. All families are invited to attend this virtual Town Hall meeting beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16. (Please note time change.) The Town Hall is an opportunity for potential nominees and families to meet current Board members and to hear about the current state of BFA. 
 
This year’s Town Hall will focus on several key topics:
  • Second Step
  • Volunteering
 
We encourage all families to attend and, if you would to like, to provide an open comment. The following guidelines apply:
 
  • All Ben Franklin Academy (BFA) Board of Directors (Board) meetings are open to the public and are conducted in compliance with Colorado Open Meeting Requirements.
  • The BFA Board works for the students, parents and patrons of BFA in promoting the vision and mission of the school. Community input that can help the Board meet the challenge of educating children to BFA’s high standards is always welcome. Thus, the Board welcomes comments from members of the public during the public comment time set aside on the agenda on any topic.
  • The Board may choose to respond to public comments during this open forum but is not required to do so. The Board will only take action on items listed on the agenda. For other matters, the Board will receive comments only, and may, at its discretion, refer the matter or calendar the issue for future discussion.
  • This is our opportunity to hear from students, parents and patrons for deliberation and discussion.
  • Remarks will be limited to three minutes per person.
 
As always, open comments submitted through the online form (scroll down to 'Open Comments') before noon MT on the day of the meeting, will be read at the meeting. We hope to see you on Zoom at 5:30 p.m. next Tuesday, Feb. 16.
Upcoming Events
BFA's Guiding Principles
Mission:
Our mission is to create young adults with character like America's founding Renaissance man, Benjamin Franklin: well-read, scientifically curious, and civically engaged.

Vision:
Our students will excel academically through a challenging, sequenced curriculum that emphasizes math, science, the arts, 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 social emotional development, character, sports, and nature.

13 Virtues:
Temperance, Silence, Order, Resolution, Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, Justice, Moderation, Cleanliness, Tranquility, Purity and Humility.