Vol. 7, Iss. 27
September 21, 2017

Dear Parents,
Now that the school year is well underway, I'd like to invite you to consider participating in one of BFA's committees. BFA has a rich tradition of volunteerism, with more than 20,000 volunteer hours recorded almost every year. Volunteering at BFA not only supports your child(ren)'s education, but it also is a great way to meet other families who truly care about the success of the school, and is a personally rewarding experience.
Now is the time to consider becoming involved! There are plenty of volunteer opportunities in your child's classroom, carpool, lunch, the library and science lab. I also encourage you to attend one or more of our BFA Committee Meetings. Check the school calendar and drop into a meeting soon to see if there is a committee or project that interests you. And, you don't have to formally join a group to attend their meetings and/or participate in their events--many of our committees have activities you can help with on a formal or informal basis. Following are short descriptions of several BFA committees: 
ARTS - The Arts Committee works closely with the STEM committee to offer exceptional learning opportunities in STEAM. The committee is dedicated to helping our students gain awareness and expertise in a wide variety of visual and performing arts. Specifically, they strive to: integrate the arts into our curriculum and extra-curricular activities; help our arts teachers by recruiting and coordinating volunteers; and increase awareness, involvement and recognition of our arts activities.
CEC  - The mission of the  Community Events Committee (CEC) is to promote interaction between students, staff, administration, parents and the surrounding community with emphasis on community service and outreach. The Committee also connects parents and students with the BFA internal and external community through annual service projects.
PTO - The mission of the BFA  Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is to seek resources to strengthen, enhance and encourage the educational and social experience at BFA. The resources primarily will be directed toward educationally focused goals. The committee also works to cultivate a strong sense of community and school spirit and support the school by encouraging a strong volunteer network. The PTO also supports Ben's Brigade, which is a group of BFA Dads who complete various projects for the school. 
SAC - The state of Colorado requires each school to have a  School Accountability Committee (SAC) consisting of parents, teachers, and community members charged with advising the administration on the improvement of the school. The 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. 
STEM - The  Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Committee organizes several events and activities throughout the year to enrich science, technology, engineering, and math education for students. Their goal is to better prepare BFA students for success in today's increasingly demanding high tech world. Committee members serve as a resource for the school, and mentor students as needed.   

Diana Simpson 
No School
NO SCHOOL           
There is no school tomorrow, Sept. 22, as it is a professional development day. Teachers will be working on scoring writing prompts to promote continuity, training on reading assessments and vertical teaming across grade levels.

Now that school is underway, it is time to update and add new families to the BFA directory! 
We will be using Directory On Tap again this school year for our online school directory. It's an incredibly handy resource, with names, addresses and phone numbers for BFA families. This year's directory will be available the week of October 5.
If you would like to update your family's information for the directory or opt out, you need to take action today! You have until next Friday, Sept. 29, to do the following:
1.   If your child goes by a nickname or shortened name, please email us that information.
2.   If you have recently moved or changed an email/cell number, update your information in the Douglas County School District database AND email the school registrar. 
3.  Go to the following site and complete the online form if you DO NOT want any or all of your personal information listed in the directory.  You may OPT OUT completely or partially by filling out this form. If you take no action, your information will be included in the BFA Directory.
Please contact the PTO with questions. 

There were more than 900 people in attendance at the PTO's 7th annual BFA Harvest Festival on Saturday. Thank you to the many volunteers who made the Harvest Festival such a fun, family event. The cakes and baked goods were overwhelmingly amazing! Volunteers donated more delicious cakes and baked goods than ever before. 
Thank you to all the people who helped with baking, set-up, decorating, festival activities, refreshments and cleaning. Special thanks to those who put in extra time and effort: Kim Byers, Katie Devlin, Shari Richard, Melissa Powell, Mollie Anderson, Jennifer Dela'o, Taraka Sajja, Kirsten Parus, and Padma Mathukumilli. We appreciate all of you and could not do this without all of your help!
Congratulations to this year's candy corn guess winners: Hansika Lakkireddy in Mrs. Walter's fifth grade class and Greg Braden, father of Asher in Mrs. Murray's morning Kindergarten. There were 563 pieces of candy in the jar.

benefit bash
Help make the 2017 BENefit Bash a success by donating a Spectacular Social.
What's a Spectacular Social? 
You sponsor a fun party/social event, invite as many people as you want, set a per-person fee to attend the event, and donate all the proceeds to BFA.
Why host a Spectacular Social?
  • Help raise money to benefit your kids at BFA, and
  • Have fun hanging out with friends and make new ones within the BFA community.
Need ideas? 
Host a BBQ in your back yard, cooking class in your kitchen, brewery tour, play date, movie night, dinner party or fitness class. The possibilities are endless!
Sign up by Thursday, Oct. 5, to host or sponsor an event.  If you have questions, please email Sabina Boeckman .
Not a party person, but have an item to give? 
We are still looking for all sorts of donations, including trips, condos and event tickets. If you'd like to make a donation, email Shele Steel, BENEfit Bash Procurement Committee Manager. 

BFA is honored to host students and their grandparents from 7-8 a.m. next Wednesday, Sept. 27, in the Lightning Gym for juice and light morning treats. This event is popular so please arrive early and park in the upper/overflow lot as to not disrupt carpool. Classes for students will begin at the usual time, so students should be in their classrooms by 8:10 a.m. Grandparents must remain with their grandchildren in the gym until at least 7:45 a.m. At that time, grandparents may walk their grandchildren to their classroom for a quick visit.
If you are able to help with greeting grandparents, photography, or serving coffee/treats, please sign up today!

Help make this year's BENefit Bash a success by contributing funds toward your child's themed classroom basket!  
The classroom baskets are a huge hit at the BENefit Bash and have a lower price point that makes helping the school even easier. We have a lot of fun themes this year that are sure to sell fast--Legos, Night on the Town, Fitness, Broncos, Star Wars and many, many more!  
Please send all your donations in the envelope provided by your Room Parent no later than Monday, Oct. 2! A suggested donation of $10+ per child is recommend to make the classroom baskets a success. If you have any questions please email Amanda Trenck and Emily Tenhundfeld, Room Parent Co-Chairs.

BFA's annual  STEAM Expo is coming up next  Friday, Sept. 29 , in the Lightning Gym . Students look forward to this event each year, as they get to experience exciting activities and demonstrations related to science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. 
Volunteers are needed to ensure the success of this event, and you don't need to be a rocket scientist to help out! There are all sorts of opportunities available from slime to UV Bead Bracelets. We have morning and afternoon shifts available, and will also serve pizza for those who work both shifts. Sign up NOW.   
We are still collecting materials to be upcycled for the Expo. Please look for collection bins in the lobby for:
  • Two-liter plastic bottles, rinsed (for our water bottle rockets).
  • Any (clean) paper items, magazines, scraps of construction paper, wrapping paper, fabric, ribbon, or thread (for creating upcycled inspiration collages).
Email the STEM Committee with any questions.

Have you stopped to check out the Pathway to Learning lately? If so, you may have noticed that 16 new bricks, ordered by current and past BFA families, have been added in front of the school. MTN INC., owned by BFA parents Mike and Shele Steel, donated the installation over the summer. Thank you MTN INC.--it looks terrific!

The new playground equipment is scheduled for installation tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 22, and should be ready for our students on Monday. The PTO would like to say THANK YOU once again for your generosity at the 2016 Fun Run, which made these enhancements possible.

Battle of the Books
Every year Ben Franklin Academy participates in the Douglas County Library "Battle of the Books" program. There are two teams, third/fourth grades are coached by Mrs. Lewicki and fifth/sixth grades are coached by Mrs. Murphy. Each team consists of five members with two alternates. In preparation for the battles (which begin the week of Jan. 29), each age group must read 10 books selected by the district and be able to answer questions pertaining to those books. Please visit the Douglas County Library's website for book titles and authors for each age group.
The books are available in the BFA library for students to preview. Teams will be selected in November. If your child loves reading and likes a challenge, we hope you will encourage and support him/her in this endeavor. If you have any questions regarding the program, please email our librarians, Mrs. Lewicki or Mrs. Murphy.

The PTO is excited to announce the first Mom's Night Out of the school year will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct.18, at C.B. & Potts (43 West Centennial Blvd., Highlands Ranch, CO 80126). ALL BFA MOMS are invited and welcome to attend this 'night off' to chill and enjoy amazing company. Appetizers will be provided by the PTO.  Please RSVP to let us know you're coming.

As a special thank you to all of our outstanding volunteers, the PTO is happy to announce we will be offering early sign-ups for October Parent Teacher Conferences to all volunteers who have met their annual volunteer quota. The teachers will be reaching out to all eligible families prior to releasing the SignUp Geniuses to all families. Thank you, volunteers, for all your efforts!

PTO Logo
Please join the PTO at 6:30 p.m. tonight in the Sanders Science Lab for the monthly PTO meeting. Come learn about upcoming PTO events (including the BENefit Bash), see friends, meet new people, and get involved! There's a role for everyone, no matter if you're looking to get involved a little or a lot.

Parents interested in joining the BFA family are welcome to tour the school Wednesdays in September, October and November. Tours begin at 9 a.m. each Wednesday (except Oct. 11 and Nov. 22) and will be lead by Principal Simpson. New families--all adults should bring your driver's license and check in a few minutes before the tour is scheduled to begin.  

Calling all BFA students in grades 3, 4, 5 and 6--Tuesday, Sept. 26, is the Mountain Vista Elementary School one mile Cross Country Race! It begins at  5:30 p.m. and goes until about  6:30. We have always had a very impressive turn out for this race and hope to again this year.

  If you are interested please click on the link, fill out the paper, bring it into the front office, and show up ready to run on race day. The information is getting to you all a little late this year; early registration needs to be submitted on Friday. You can still register after that, the price just goes up a little. If you have any questions, please feel free to email Mrs. Bauer.

Ben's Brigade will meet at  8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28, at the Starbucks inside Super Target  (1265 Sergeant Jon Stiles Dr, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129). Stop by to network, learn more about their activities, and get involved. Also, look for the Ben's Brigade members volunteering at carpool on Friday, Sept. 29. If you'd like to learn more, but are unable to attend the meeting, please email  Tom Devlin, Ben's Brigade Committee Manager.  

BASE logo
During BFA's Fall Break, Oct. 9-13, the BFA BASE program will offer Fall Break Camp. It will be similar to the summer camp program, with a field trip, activities, movies and fun the entire week! We need at least 15 families to sign up for the program otherwise it may be cancelled. We'll be open from 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. The costs are as follows:
  • Monday, Oct. 9, will be $50 as there will be a field trip.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 10 - Friday, Oct. 13, will be $35 each day.
Registration is OPEN NOW and will close on Monday Oct. 2. All registrations are non-refundable unless we do not have the required number of families. Enrolled families will be notified of the status on Tuesday, Oct. 3, and refunds given if we need to cancel. Sign up today as there is only two weeks left to register!
To register online, please go to the BFA website and choose BASE Camp. Families that have not enrolled in BASE for the current year will be contacted to do so. If you have not done so already, you will also need to pay the 2017-18 BASE registration fee of $25. To obtain the registration paperwork and read the parent handbook please click here.
If you have any questions please email Mrs. Savoy.

The Middle School Social committee is hosting a  bake sale from 7:30 - 8:10 a.m. and at afternoon recess on Thursday, Oct. 5. The Middle School Social committee plans parties for the entire middle school student body and this is their only fundraising opportunity for the year. Please send in those quarters and support their efforts on Oct. 5.

Destination ImagiNation
We had a great turnout at the informational Destination Imagination (DI) meeting! If you were unable to attend the meeting, but are still interested in finding out more information and/or participating, please click on the following: Destination Imagination Parent Guide and BFA DI FAQ.  
If you are interested in participating in DI, please fill out the following form: BFA DI Interest Form and email it to  Jason Sunahara, BFA DI Coordinator, by  Sunday, Oct. 1. You also are welcome to contact Jason with any additional questions.
While DI is a BFA-sponsored program, it relies solely on parent volunteers to serve as team managers (and appraisers for competitions and South Metro's Instant Challenge Day). While the BFA DI coordinators are happy to create a team for interested students, teams can't come to fruition without the support of a parent volunteer(s) to serve as a Team Manager(s). There is no guarantee that your child will be placed on a team simply by filling out the interest form. In addition, once your child is officially part of a BFA DI team, there is a registration fee of $50 per participant ($25 for Rising Stars! which are our non-competitive participants). More information on the registration fee will come from your Team Manager/BFA DI Coordinators at a later date.
DI's vision is "to teach students the creative process and empower them with the skills needed to succeed in an ever changing world." Annually, DI offers seven new academic challenges in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), fine arts, service learning and early learning. In solving a challenge, students learn the creative process from imagination to innovation and the skills needed to thrive in school, their careers and beyond. 

BFA's Scholastic Book Fair will be held Monday, Oct. 2, through Thursday, Oct. 5, in conjunction with Parent-Teacher conferences:
  • Monday, Oct. 2, and Wednesday, Oct. 4 - 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct 3, and Thursday, Oct. 5 - 8:30 a.m. - 8 p.m. 
Please remember the front office is closed from 3 - 4 p.m. each day to help with carpool. Please click here for a preview of all the exciting selections that will be offered this year. Visit the fair and enter your child's name in a drawing to be held on our return from Fall Break. We will be giving away books and miscellaneous items. We are looking forward to seeing you there!

If you did not purchase your yearbook during registration, you can still get yours today at  Yearbook Forever  for the introductory price of $26! Hurry before the price goes up!  

Community Night with the Colorado Rapids vs. FC Dallas 
Saturday, Oct. 7 , at 7 p.m.
Dick's Sporting Goods Park
Tickets $24 (reg. $32 - $65); Click here for a flier with more information. 
Students eighth grade and under who purchase tickets will be given the opportunity to participate in the Halftime High 5 Squad and receive a FREE Rapids T-Shirt! 
Community Events with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts has several discounted opportunities available from now through December for our community.
The Community Night with the Denver Nuggets is Saturday, November 11.
Top selling schools will participate in special game day experiences. There will also be two alternate nights available at a discounted ticket price.

The eighth graders are selling an AMAZING coupon book this year! The books are $35 and contain coupons to many local restaurants and businesses, including: Pierre Michel French Bakery, Indulge, Mici, Cuba Cuba, Fujiyama, Lil'Ricci's, Casa Caliente, Costa Vida, Coldstone Creamery, Rita's, Anthony's Pizza, Honey Baked Ham, Gigi's Cupcakes, Rocket Fizz, Big Tool Box, Julie's Hallmark, TIMBUK TOYS, Spavia, The Palms Tanning, Floyds 99, Vogue Nails, Pirates Cove, Dart Warz, Arts on Fire, Jungle Quest, and College Drive Prep
The paper coupons can be used once, and with the app, you get the discount AGAIN with duplicate coupons. Also, this year your purchase includes a small card for multiple uses at five businesses: Grease Monkey, Freddy's, Rocket Fizz, Saj, and Bowlero. (This can be used with the app as well.)
To purchase, contact your friendly eighth grader and ask if they are selling books, or email Erin Fierro, D.C. Fundraising Committee Manager. 

Make Their Day with a Birthday Bag!
Celebrating birthdays at BFA just got more fun! Order your child a Birthday Bag for just $10, and s/he will receive:  
  • A bag full of goodies such as erasers, pencils, bouncy balls, etc. (no food or candy will be in the bags);
  • A birthday certificate good for a free bake sale item at the next bake sale;
  • A personalized note from you, if requested; and
  • A 'Happy Birthday' serenade by the eighth graders who deliver the bag to your student's classroom.
Did your child already celebrate their birthday or do they have a summer birthday?   
We also will deliver "Un-birthday Bags" for students who have already celebrated their birthday, and "Half-birthday Bags" for summer birthdays.
You can purchase Birthday Bags online through the BFA Store.

Ben Franklin Academy is committed to bringing unique learning opportunities to our students and we are pleased to continue a free reading service that provides digital books through OverDrive.
Why OverDrive?
The OverDrive collection is an extension of Ben Franklin Academy's physical library; only it's online with 24/7 access to eBooks and audiobooks. It's convenient for students to check out titles at home, on the weekends or during school breaks with no worry about misplacing a book or running up fees - these digital titles automatically return themselves at the end of the lending period!
OverDrive can help students of all ages read more and improve comprehension. Struggling or reluctant readers, learning-challenged, second language learners as well as gifted readers can all benefit from this service. Specifically, this benefits students by:
  • Enriching vocabulary and improving comprehension and pronunciation,
  • Introducing students to books above their reading level,
  • Teaching critical listening skills, and,
  • Helping busy kids find time to check out books and read.
How does it work?
To use OverDrive, students browse our secure, custom website, borrow with their Google Single Sign On and enjoy books anytime and anywhere--their computer, tablet, smartphone, or eReader.
One you click on the website, use the following information to login:
Username: Student's last name beginning with a capital letter, then first initial and middle initial
Password: Dcsd (capital D) followed by student ID number
Username: Smithbk
Password: Dcsd123456
If you have a younger student, they may benefit from using a simple login. Use the simple login 'read' for quick and easy access to elementary titles. This feature allows students to read and listen to digital titles, which are automatically returned after two hours. See this flier for additional details.
Today, Sept. 21
PTO Logo
PTO MEETING          
Join us for the next PTO meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. tonight, Sept. 21, in the Sanders Science Lab. 
Friday, Sept. 22
No School
NO SCHOOL           
There is no school Friday, Sept. 22, as it is a professional development day. 
Monday, Sept. 25 - Wednesday, Sept. 27
BFA's seventh graders are headed to Keystone Science Camp next week, where they participate in environmental education programs.   
Wednesday, Sept. 27
BFA is honored to host students and their grandparents from 7-8 a.m. next Wednesday, Sept. 27, in the Lightning Gym for juice and light morning treats.  
Thursday, Sept. 28
SAC MEETING          
There is a School Accountability Committee (SAC) meeting from 4:10 - 5:10 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28, in the BFA Conference Room.   
There is a Ben's Brigade meeting at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28, in the Starbucks inside the Super Target (1265 Sergeant Jon Stiles Dr, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129).     
Friday, Sept. 29
The STEAM Expo is next Friday, Sept. 29, in the Lightning Gym.
Students look forward to this event each year, as they get to experience exciting activities and demonstrations related to science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. 
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.