Vol. 9, Iss. 13
April 12, 2019
Dear Parents,

We were very proud to have three BFA Destination Imagination (DI) teams compete last week in the State DI competition! Each team spent hundreds of hours creating solutions to their challenges, and their Team Managers volunteered the same amount (or more!) hours facilitating and coaching their teams.
And, we're very happy to announce that for the FOURTH year in a row, BFA will be represented at the DI Global Finals, and for the second year in a row, with a record three teams representing our school (all in the Engineering challenge). More than 8,000 participants (approximately 1,400 teams) from more than 15 different countries will compete at DI Global Finals, which will be held in Kansas City, Mo.
Congratulations to the three teams that qualified for DI Global Finals 2019:
  • First Place, Kolorful Koalas (fifth graders), Monster Effects (challenge), Elementary Level
    • Team Members: Sam Egolf, Caleb Olson, Téa Sunahara and Makenna Washeck; Team Managers: Amy and Jason Sunahara
  • First Place, Served with a Side of Fries (third and fifth graders), Monster Effects (challenge), Elementary Level
    • Team Members: Cooper Akin, Madeline Blum, Deagan Clendening, Megan Heckwolf, Benjamin LaSelle, Matthew LaSelle and Caleb Wilcox; Team Managers: Darick and Lynda LaSelle
    • Served with a Side of Fries also received a Renaissance team award for their special effect. They were honored because they "not only showed resilience when faced with complications, but they turned the side effects into their team solution. When things got shaken, they hit the books and all the math added up!" DI Renaissance awards are given for outstanding design, engineering, execution and/or performance.
  • Third Place, BFA STARs (sixth, seventh and eighth graders), Monster Effects (challenge), Elementary Level
    • Team Members: Aidan Murphy, Reed Richardson, Sreehitha Sajja and Tyler Sunahara Team Managers: Amy and Jason Sunahara
DI is an international, educational program that gives kids an amazing outlet for their creativity, while teaching them leadership, teamwork, positive thinking, project management and more. Teams of two to seven kids from kindergarten through high school level solve one of six open ended challenges (scientific, engineering, fine arts, service learning, improvisation or technical) in their own unique ways, and present their solutions at regional tournaments. Teams also solve an on-the-spot Instant Challenge at the tournaments, where they must think quickly on their feet and work together to solve a problem in around five minutes. DI focuses on three main skills:
  • Teamwork: Learn to recognize one's own personal talents, skills and interests, as well as one's teammates while developing a plan for maximizing team assets.
  • Creativity: Learn and use the "creative process" every day, how and when to take risks and how to overcome failure in a safe environment while developing humor.
  • Problem Solving: Develop a toolbox of skills and processes that work in a variety of situations, use current knowledge and skills to investigate new solutions, develop creative use of resources and skills that are available and accessible, recognize and explore unique opportunities and/or alternatives, and understand/learn about time management.
The BFA teams progressing to Global Finals presented solutions to challenges that they have been working on since last fall. For Monster Effects, DI teams in the Engineering Challenge were tasked with designing and building a structure that can support weight without breaking while testing the structure by placing weights and then removing them. They also created and presented a story in which the sudden appearance of a monster has surprising results while designing a special effect to enhance the sudden appearance of the monster and/or the events surrounding the monster in the story. They also created and presented two team choice elements that show off the team's interests, skills, areas of strength and talents - all in under eight minutes and within a budget of $150.

Please look at the news articles below for ways to support the teams. Congratulations again to all the students who participated in DI this school year.  

Diana Simpson

Cast your vote NOW before the election period ends TOMORROW! Help BFA select a new member of the BFA Board of Directors by voting for one of our nominees:  Bryan Molen Sarah Nisbet  or  Jason Page . There will be two open seats on the BFA Board; one seat will be elected by you, the Parent Voting Group, and the other will be appointed by the BFA Board.
Voting is open NOW until Friday, April 12, at 11:59 p.m. MST, via electronic ballot. For more information about each nominee, click here.  To cast your vote now click here.
We accept one vote per family; if you do not know your family number, please contact us.
Results of the election will be announced at the regularly scheduled Board meeting on Tuesday, April 16. That's also when the Board will make their appointment to fill the second open sea

We hope all BFA families will actively participate in the Board election process this year!

Continental Math League (CML) is a national mathematics competition that tests students' grade level comprehension. Kids in grades 3 - 8 participated for the third consecutive year. The test is structured such that students are asked to correctly solve six (6) problems for each of five (5) tests (third graders complete 3 tests). The highest six scores for each grade are reported for a maximum class score of 36 for each test. While several individual students have received a top score of six (6) for a given test, Ms. Svensen's sixth grade class was the first class to receive a perfect score of 36 on the 5th test. Ms. Dychus' eighth grade class scored the highest total points for the five (5) tests with a score of 153.
Thanks to all BFA students, teachers, administration and STEM committee for supporting the CML testing!

April is Autism Awareness month. In 2018, the CDC determined that 1 in 59 children are diagnosed with autism. To help us understand a bit more about autism, we'll be publishing some facts about it during the next few weeks:
  1. Boys are four times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with autism.
  2. The majority of children are diagnosed after the age of 4, but most experts say reliable testing can be completed by the age of 2.
  3. There is not a "medical test" to diagnose autism. A psychologist completes testing and many times occupational therapists and speech language pathologists assist with the testing. Testing is done through observations and parent report.
  4. Early indications of autism may include: not pointing to objects, not looking at objects when another person points at them, have trouble with social communication, show interest in others but have a hard time talking with them, repeating words or phrases, and have difficulties with changes in routine.
  5. Common areas of development impacted by autism include language skills, social skills, and sensory processing abilities. Approximately 1 in 5 children diagnosed with autism have a regression in language skills prior to the age of 4.

Thank you to all BFA families and our students for supporting the American Heart Association again this year. Below is a letter to Mrs. Bauer and all of you to thank you for your generosity:

On behalf of the American Heart Association and the millions of Americans we serve, thank you very much for your school's donation of $6,093. Families and schools are critical links in providing the foundation for cardiovascular wellness in our country. By holding this event at your school each year, you raise awareness about heart-healthy living. And you help us fund more lifesaving scientific research and critically needed education efforts.Thank you.

Almost every family in America is touched by heart disease or stroke, and your school's contribution will significantly impact our fight against these devastating illnesses.
We hope that you, your faculty and your students found this lifesaving effort rewarding and enjoyable. You are touching so many lives - and life is why we exist as an organization. Your help and support are greatly appreciated, and we look forward to partnering again with you next year!

This spring, the BFA community will have the opportunity to participate in teacher and staff gifting with SCRIP. The program makes it easy for parents to choose which teachers and staff they'd like to gift, then make one payment for all of their gifts. After the PTO tallies the gifts, 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, we are able to provide teachers and staff with meaningful gifts.
The SCRIP program allows the PTO to purchase the requested gift cards at discounts ranging from 2 - 21 percent, depending on the retailer. That discounted amount comes back to BFA from SCRIP, and will be used for PTO-funded programs at school.
To place your SCRIP order, visit the BFA Store between Saturday, April 13, and Friday, April 19, 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.
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.  The gifts will be given to the staff during Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week, the week of May 6, and will be in lieu of any other class gift/collection. 

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

The THREE Destination Imagination (DI) teams headed to Global Finals are starting their fun Ben Franklin Bolting Fundraiser this weekend!
It is the DI take on the traditional flocking flamingo fundraiser. For a suggested minimum tax-deductible donation of $25 to the BFA PTO, you can cover the lawn of your fellow BFA families with a dozen (12) Ben Franklin Lightning Bolts!
The family "bolted" can choose to have the Bolts moved to another lawn for a suggested minimum tax-deductible donation of $25. You can do this by placing an order on the BFA Store. The Bolts will be removed the following day regardless of giving a donation.
Imagine the smiles a lawn full of Ben Franklin Lightning Bolts will bring. It is a "gift" that will not soon be forgotten. And, we can be sure that the Bolting of Bens is going to be the main topic of discussion at the lunchroom and recess!
The "bolting" begins THIS Saturday, April 13, and ends on Saturday, May 11 - but don't delay! If you are ready to get involved, head to the BFA Store today to be one of the first to "bolt" another family. You will need the address of the family you'd like to "bolt." Helpful hint: Use the Directory On Tap app to look up an address to "bolt." In addition, you can remain anonymous or let the family know you "bolted" them!
Note: DI teams can only deliver to families currently attending BFA. They cannot deliver to a public space or a townhouse, condo, apartment complex or gated community.
Please email Missy Washeck with any questions. You can access the Ben Franklin Bolting flyer here.
In addition to the Bolting Bens, the DI teams will be raising funds through an EXTRA Dress of Choice Day and Frozen Treat Sale. Mark your calendars for the extra Dress of Choice Day and Frozen Treat Sale on Friday, April 26. Students can participate in the Dress of Choice Day by bringing a $1 to their homeroom teacher on April 26 and buying Otter Pops for $1 each during second recess. Additional details will be posted in upcoming Principal Newsletters.

Field day
There are a several great ways to get in your volunteer hours in before the school year ends! Mrs. Bauer has two fun options: Field Day Bounce Houses and Helping with the Mile Run!

Join us at Chipotle (2209 West Wildcat Reserve Parkway) from 4-8 p.m. on Monday, April 29, for a fundraiser to support BFA! Chipotle will give 33 percent of the proceeds back to the school, so come hungry!

BFA Summer Camp
If you need full-time day care for the summer, want to schedule your own summer break, or are looking for a safe, fun way for your student to connect with other Ben Franklin Academy kids, then please sign up for Summer Camp!

Please make note of the change in the cost of summer camp this year. We had previously planned to keep costs the same, but as we started preparations and making purchases for the camps, we were forced to account for the rising costs of supplies, transportation and venues. Therefore, due to an increase in our expenses associated with running the camp, we will need to increase our tuition by $10 per day.
Summer Camp will operate on either a weekly or a daily registration schedule; and the costs will be as follows:

Weekly registration : Tuition will be a flat $195 fee, per child/day, which is a $60.00 discount rate from the daily tuition rate.
Daily registration : If registering for specific days only, tuition will be $45/child/day for general/in-house activities and $60/child/day for off-site field trip or special in-house activity days.  

Program Details
Dates: May 29 - August 9; Closed July 1-5
Hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Days: Monday through Friday
Summer Camp is open to any currently enrolled BFA student 5-years old and above. Your child must be 5 on or before May 29 to participate. 
All child(ren) must be registered using the online system in advance. Registration will close at 11:59 p.m. (MST) on Sunday, two (2) weeks prior to the date you would like your child(ren) to begin camp. For example, on Sunday, June 2, you can register your kiddo for Summer Camp beginning on Monday, June 17. The summer camp calendars are now available. If you would like a copy please email us! (For your reference, the email is  summercamp@bfacademy.org.)

If you have any questions please email Leigh Savoy or Janet Harlow. Go to MySchoolBucks or click here to register.

All BFA boys and their special adult are invited to the Spring Social event (formerly Mother-Son event) that will take place from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, at Bowlero in Lone Tree. This promises to be a fun afternoon of bowling, food and arcade games!
Tickets are $30 for a paired ticket, $15 for a single ticket, and are on sale now through the BFA Store. You won't want to miss out. Get yours today - no tickets will be sold at the door!
This event has traditionally been known as the mother-son event. And, it's still the mother-son event but has had a name change to reflect changing and evolving family dynamics. The PTO wants each BFA boy to know that he's invited to bring the special adult in his life - mom, stepmom, grandma, aunt, or dad - whoever that adult may be.

BENefit Bash
Want to help with BFA's biggest fundraiser next year, but don't know how? T he BENefit Bash Committee is looking for volunteers to complete a variety of activities at school, at home, and at the event on Oct. 26, 2019. If you would like to help, please email Julia Porterfield, PTO fundraising coordinator. 
And, don't miss the next BENefit Bash procurement meetings scheduled at 8:30 a.m. next Tuesday, April 16, and at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 29. The meetings will take place at Rachelle Calahan's house and are KID FRIENDLY! They'd love your help connecting with local businesses and donors to gather great items for the BENefit Bash auctions. Procurement is EASY, FUN, and a great way to meet new people and earn volunteer hours on your own schedule. If you're interested in attending, or if you have an auction item you'd like to donate, please email Rachelle Calahan and Courtney Chesy, BENefit Bash procurement committee co-managers. 

Science Fair
Are you looking for something interesting and fun for your rising third, fourth and fifth graders to do this summer? Look no further, because Mrs. Lewicki is offering two STEM Camps at BFA this Summer!

Students will work in teams to perform experiments, discover the principles behind the experiment, innovate a new design with their team, and perform the experiment again. The fun increases throughout the week as teams compete against each other to earn points. The winning team at the end of the week will receive a mad scientist award. Limit 10 students, and the registration deadline is May 20Email Mrs. Lewicki for registration details.
Session 1: NATURAL DISASTERS, June 25-28, Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. $150
Change on earth can be violent and amazing. Explore natural disasters like earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires, mudslides, and floods. Build simulations and create the your own natural disasters. Learn how these natural events work and how they change the earth. As a team, engineer structures that will withstand these disasters.
Session 2: PHYSICS, July 23-26, Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. $150
Physics is tricky. What do you know about friction, buoyancy, speed, thrust and lift? Explore the physics behind things that fly, float and zoom. Engineer ways to make different objects move. Then, test, improve, and test them again until you can make them move!  

BASE logo
A message from the BASE director:

As you know, the last day of school (May 24) is a half-day. If you are in need of BASE after school care, you will need to preregister for that day through this MySchoolBucks link. Registration is open now and will close on Sunday, May 12. This day will be treated like a summer camp day, so we'll have a planned activity, a movie, as well as outside and gym time offered. We will be open from noon until 6 p.m. The cost for the day will be $45 per student; there will only be 60 spots available. All kids that are not picked up after all call will go to BASE and be charged accordingly, space pending. If you have any questions please email Mrs. Savoy.

The results of the Parent Satisfaction Survey have been compiled and will be presented by the School Accountability Committee (SAC) at the next Board meeting which will be held from 5:30 - 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, in the Dana Library.
As you know, all parents are invited to attend the monthly Board meeting in person or can use the dial in number on the top of the agenda to listen into the meeting. The agenda will be available on the website 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

Science Fair
We need parents to come talk to the elementary students about their Science Fair projects. Specifically, parents get to talk to kids about what they did, what they learned, and/or what they would do differently. And, while we call these volunteers 'judges,' you won't really be judging since the Elementary School Science Fair is non-competitive. There are morning and afternoon shifts available, so consider signing up today!

Volunteers are still needed in the Library! There are plenty of openings in April and May, so you can meet your volunteer requirement before school ends.  Sign up today!

Does your student have a summer birthday? Surprise them with a birthday bag delivered in the last week of school! Birthday bags contain fun goodies and a personalized note from you. They are delivered to your child's classroom and presented with a birthday song sung by the eighth graders.

Birthday bag sales will end on May 15, but deliveries will still be made through the week of May 20.
Bags are $10, and are available for  purchase on the BFA online store. Please order early to ensure delivery on your child's special day.   

Incoming Kindergartners-- join Mrs. Brook for a Kindergarten Boot Camp this summer! This fun camp provides an introduction to kindergarten literacy and math.  The Kindie Boot Camp is designed to provide an opportunity for new kindergarten students to become familiar with BFA and the kindergarten classroom.  Campers will learn a new letter and number every day, gain new skills, make friends, and work on crafts. 
There are three boot camp sessions, and space is limited to 16 kids per session. Camps will be held June 24 - 28, July 15 -19 and July 22 - 26; sessions are from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, at BFA. Parents should not sign up for more than two sessions so others can have a chance to register. The cost is $65 per session (cash or check). Please bring payment on the first day of your session and make checks payable to Debbie Brook. See the flier and sign up for a session today!

FIFTH GRADE FAMILIES--please volunteer in carpool this APRIL! 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 April, we'd like our FIFTH GRADE families to sign up for open volunteer spots in carpool. If you don't have a fifth 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.' 

Need new spirit wear? There's just a few days left to get your spirit wear before the store closes for this school year. Visit the online store to see what's new and make your purchase! Don't wait - the store will close on Monday, April 15!! All items purchased will be delivered to the classroom and sent home with your student.

There are SEVEN OPEN DAYS left this school year for you to rent the rock:
  • Tues, April 23
  • Wed, April 24
  • Thurs, April 25
  • Fri, April 26
  • Mon, April 29
  • Tues, April 30
  • Fri, May 17
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. 

A new, FUN after school activity is being offered by our very own Ms. Whelan! Our fourth and fifth grade, as well as our middle school students are invited to sign up for Zumba!

Zumba takes the "work" out of "workout" by mixing low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval style dance fitness party. It is a total workout combining elements of cardio, muscle conditioning, as well as balance and flexibility, boosting your overall energy.
Sessions run from now until May 16 and are $25.
  • Grades 4 and 5: Tuesdays 3:30-4:15 p.m. in the Middle School Commons
  • Middle School: Thursdays 3:30-4:15 p.m. in the Middle School Commons
Register today via MySchoolBucks!

GO BOLTS! Show your school pride by placing a BFA Bolts sign in your yard. There is a limited quantity of yard signs left, and they are being sold for only $10 each. 
After you place your order on the BFA Store, the sign will be delivered to your student at school. Now that the snow is starting to melt and spring is in the air, it's a great time to display your school spirit in your yard!

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 through My School Bucks! Please  contact  Señora Connell with any questions. 
The Foundation for Douglas County Schools  Community Events Program  is out with their latest fundraisers; check out their spring flier! 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. 
April 11 - 17

Students in will be participating in state testing April 11 -17. As always, please ensure they get lots of rest, a healthy breakfast and are at school on time. Thanks in advance for your support!
Thursday, April 11

The Finance Committee is meeting from 6- 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, in the BFA Conference Room. 
Tuesday, April 16

The BFA Board of Directors is meeting from 5:30 - 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, in the Dana Library.  As you know, all parents are invited to attend the monthly Board meeting in person or can use the dial in number on the top of the agenda to listen into the meeting. The agenda will be available on the  website  24 hours in advance of the meeting.
Wednesday, April 17

PTO Logo
The BFA Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is meeting from 6:30 - 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17, in the Sanders Science Lab. All are welcome to attend! 
Thursday, April 18

Students who have not had two uniform violations since the last Dress of Choice Day are welcome to wear Dress of Choice on Thursday, April 18.  
Friday, April 19

There will be no school for students on Friday, April 19. Enjoy the long weekend!
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.