Vol. 7, Iss. 33
November 9, 2017

Dear Parents,
Thankfuladjective -feeling or expressing gratitude; appreciative. 
As we approach the end of our first trimester, I find myself focusing on this word. Each year, I try to do a gratitude journal in November, and I thought I would share some of this year's entries with you.
November 3-  (Our Staff In-service Day) I am thankful for having the opportunity to lead a wonderful, talented staff. Today we had team building led by Mr. Elliott and a presentation about how best to help students who are experiencing divorce or parental separation; then, Mr. Gomez gave us many examples of how to incorporate movement into classrooms. I also watched staff come together to support each other in the loss of a friend. Today was a day that I will remember as a good day spent with great people who truly care about our school, students and each other.
November 7-  I am thankful to be involved in a school where parents take an active role in their child's education. I met with members of the PTO to learn more about the BENefit Bash happening this weekend. So many people have volunteered a multitude of hours to put on a fun event, with the sole purpose of helping to support our school. What an honor it is to be part of a community that cares so much!
November 8- Today I am thankful for the opportunity to share our amazing school with interested families. The last few weeks, we have had between 20-30 people tour our school with me each Wednesday. I relish the opportunity to show off what is happening in our classrooms. I have heard from numerous families that they can tell as soon as they enter the building that this is a special place. I have to agree.
November 9- Today I am thankful for a group of middle school boys: Connor Brock, Colin Thomas, Matthew Stevenson, Zach Kolbo and Ty Barwind. These boys took time out of their day to come and help set up the audio and visual portions of the Veteran's Day programs and are prepared to help during both assemblies tomorrow. Not only was I impressed by their knowledge and expertise, but they were so polite and made helpful suggestions to make things easier for everyone. They have learned skills here at BFA that they will use throughout their lives--and not just academic lessons.  
Tomorrow we will all spend time being thankful for the Veterans who have served, or are serving to protect our freedoms. My father is veteran of the Vietnam War and our Veteran's Day celebrations have always had a special place in my heart. I am honored to be a part of a celebration that recognizes their commitment and sacrifice. I hope you all are able to join us tomorrow at one of the assemblies. 

Diana Simpson 

Please join us in wishing Joan Gilmore the very best during her retirement! Joan has worked at BFA since 2013. She is best known for her role as a dedicated librarian who shared her love of books with students, made authors accessible to our kids and ensured our library was equipped with the latest book releases, tools and resources.
During her tenure at BFA, Joan spent countless hours reading and researching books that would benefit students at BFA. She kept up to date with new releases and sequels so that BFA would be among the first to have them available for students. In addition, she developed weekly lesson plans that correlated with what was being taught inside the classroom, so the kids were able to expand upon their classroom knowledge when they visited the library.
Joan recommended and supported BFA's participation in the Douglas County Library's Battle of the Books program to engage students with passion for reading a love of competition. Her energy and marketing skills helped BFA become one of the top Scholastic book fairs in the county, resulting in funds for library purchases throughout the year.
Joan established contacts with bookstores, libraries, and companies who team with BFA to provide literature and books to students. Through these contacts, she's arranged for multiple authors to visit BFA so kids can learn what its like to be a writer/illustrator
Joan has spent the last trimester training Abbie Chambers, our new librarian. Thank you Joan for all your hard work, and for making our students, staff and parent volunteers feel important and appreciated.
We hope you enjoy retirement!  
Our annual Veterans Day celebration is this week!
Please remember our collection drive for Operation Gratitude. We have a good amount of candy, but we could still use  hand-written cards for soldiers serving overseas as well as dental care items for their care packages. The donation boxes will be in the front entry hall through Friday!
Please come to our Veterans Day assemblies tomorrow, Nov. 10!
There are two assemblies-- grades K-4 will be from 8:30-9:30 a.m., and grades 5-8 will be from 10:20-11:20 a.m.

The assembles will feature a flag ceremony by our Cub Scout troop as well as songs performed by the student body. Our keynote speaker will be  Jesse Miller, a U.S. Army captain who has served combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also as part of the assemblies, we will be showing a video featuring BFA students and honoring our very own military heroes--the relatives and loved ones of students who have served in the military. All families are invited and welcome to attend, and please feel free to invite any friends or relatives who serve or have served in the armed forces!
It is recommended that you be in your seat for the assembly 5-10 minutes early so that we can cheer on the veterans as they make their grand entrance at the beginning of the assembly. If you plan to attend, please make sure to bring a valid Driver's License and check in at the front office to receive your badge.
We can't wait to celebrate our United States military heroes with you!

Whether you're attending the event or not, the PTO needs many helpers on the day of the event. There are all types of volunteer opportunities throughout the day. Even if you only have an hour or two to spare, we would love your assistance. Volunteers are still needed for:
  • Item transportation and auction set up/display (click here), and
  • Decorating the venue, as well as tear down and clean up (click here).
We hope you'll consider volunteering for one of these important jobs! 
If you have questions, please feel free to  email Serena Grissom and Rachael Hamburger, Fundraising Coordinators. We truly appreciate the time and energy our volunteers have dedicated to this event so far--we could not do it without all of you! 

As part of the Parent Teacher Organization's Virtue Awareness Program, they are asking kids to create colorful bookmarks highlighting one of Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues. One elementary and one middle school winner will be chosen and the winners will have their design professionally printed as either a bookmark or poster. Using the attached entry form, enter the contest TODAY! One elementary and one middle school winner will be selected for each category. All entries are to be submitted to the collection box in the Dana Library by Nov. 17. Please email Jodi Watson with any questions.

Climbing Wall
We need two volunteers to help out with Physical Education for third, fourth, and fifth grade classes during the next few weeks. The students will be using the climbing wall and we need one volunteer to help put harnesses on students and one volunteer to help monitor the other students in a group game. No experience necessary for our harness volunteers--we'll train you on how to properly secure and adjust the harness to ensure the safety of our students. Please sign up TODAY for this fun volunteer opportunity. If you have any questions please email Mrs. Bauer.

The Fruit Toss Club will be showing off their "Red Lightning" trebuchet for the school from 12:30 - 2:45 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17, at BFA. Students in afternoon Kindergarten through eighth grade will have the opportunity to come see the fruit toss machine in action and some lucky students will get hands on experience in the mechanics of making fruit fly!  
The Fruit Toss Club could use your help on two fronts:
  • Fruit Donations - Thanks to Jerry Flickinger and Home Depot we received a donation of 42 pumpkins, and we've purchased 22 more; however, we'd like some additional pumpkins because the more we have, the more we can toss! We have a blue bin in the lobby for donations of SMALL pumpkins or other fruit (4 pounds or less) to toss.
  • Volunteers -  Please sign up to help with the event. We have slots for setup, event help, and cleanup.

Thank you for your support!

Come have dinner with your BFA family from 5 - 8 p.m. next Wednesday, Nov. 15 at Chick-fil-A (950 Cpl. Max Donahue Lane). This Spirit Night is a family favorite so don't miss it. Please be sure to mention you are with BFA at the register or when you place your drive through order, to ensure we get credit for the purchase. 

benefit bash
Fellas and Flappers, Guys and Dolls, grab your pearls, and get ready to raise some scratch for BFA at this swell event this Saturday, Nov. 11. Head to the Vehicle Vault ( 18301 Lincoln Meadows Pkwy, Parker, CO 80134 ) at 5 p.m. as that is when doors open and the silent auction begins. Not only can you get a head start on scoping out all the amazing items and start placing bids, but the first 100 guests will get a free signature speakeasy cocktail!
Details, Details, Details 
There is plenty of parking in the free lot at the Vehicle Vault. Appetizers will be offered, and dinner and dessert will be served with iced tea and coffee. Soft drinks and additional beverages will be available at the bar, which accepts cash or major credit card.  
Want to Come, But Don't Have a Sitter?
The PTO is excited to share that Kidstown will be providing childcare at a special rate for BFA families on Nov. 11! BFA families pay $5 per hour for the first child and $4 per hour for each additional child, plus they will waive new family registration fees. For more information about rates and the special party theme, please call Kidstown at 720-344-2500.  
Never been to a Bash? If you have questions about what your ticket price covers and what we are raising money for, please see our questions and answers document or email the PTO. 

Original Works
Look for your student's Original Works personalized flier that was sent home in their Thursday folder last month. Original Works is an elementary school program that allows parents to order gifts featuring their student's artwork. Use the codes located on the flier and order by Wednesday, Nov. 15, to receive your orders before the winter holiday season. A portion of every order goes back to the art department.

Thanksgiving Dinner
Wednesday,  Nov. 15, is the Nutrition Services Thanksgiving Feast ! Students can elect to purchase lunch that day and will be treated to roasted turkey breast, mashed potatoes and gravy, steamed green beans, dinner roll, a gingerbread cookie and the harvest bar. I f you plan on joining your student for lunch, please let their teacher know and/or email Kelcy Porizky, Kitchen Manager, by 8:30 a.m. the morning of the feast.  The cost to all guests is $4 (students are charged the normal rate for the feast).

We've noticed many parents on their phones recently during carpool. Please help us ensure the safety of students by staying off your cell phone during the carpool process (this includes Bluetooth devices). Also, please note that carpool ends by 3:55 p.m. and students not picked up on time will be checked into BASE. We'd also like to remind you to be kind to the volunteers and staff who work carpool and BASE as they are working hard to keep your child(ren) safe.   

We need your help with pictures for the yearbook! We need more candid pictures, especially of elementary students--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 'yearbook2018.'

Parents interested in joining the BFA family are welcome to tour the school Wednesdays in November. Tours begin at 9 a.m. each Wednesday (except 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.  

Chess pieces
If your K-8 student enjoys chess, sign them up to Rock the Castle on Saturday, Dec. 2, at Castle Rock Middle School. Click here to find out more about this chess event.

The Substance Abuse Resource fair is open to parents throughout DCSD so they can learn the signs of substance use and abuse. The event will be held from 6-9 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 14, at ThunderRidge High School. Click here to find out more information.

Get them while you still can--the eighth grade students still have coupon books available! They are $35 each and contain coupons to many local restaurants and businesses. 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 good for multiple uses at five businesses.
To purchase,  email Erin Fierro, D.C. Fundraising Committee Manager. 
Hurry and get these valuable coupon books today before they're all gone!

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. Keep in mind, this is the same night as the BENefit Bash, but there will also be two alternate nights, Nov. 17 and 30, available at a discounted ticket price.

Send them 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.

The Parent Teacher Organization highlights a volunteer each month who has gone above and beyond in his/her contributions to the school. This volunteer receives recognition in the school newsletter and on the school website. S/he also has the privilege of parking in the reserved volunteer of the month parking space.

For the month of November, Briauna Smythe has been selected as our volunteer of the month. In addition to being active in her sons' classrooms, Briauna creates all of the PTO's marketing including flyers in both print and digital format as well as posters. She also distributes the appropriate number of flyers to each teacher in time for the weekly folders. It's an enormous job but she keeps all of the deadlines, articles, and happenings straight. Most recently, she has been instrumental in creating the catalog for the BENefit Bash (another monumental task!).
Briauna and her husband, Dennis, both grew up in Colorado and have lived in Highlands Ranch for the past 12 years. This year is their fourth at BFA. All three of their boys -- Quinlan (5th), Kellen (1st), and Brennan (Pre-K) -- attend. 
Briauna has been a stay-at-home mom since Quinlan was born and enjoys doing activities with her kids, baking, reading, and barre classes.
In Briauna's own words, "BFA has been a great fit for our family. We like the challenging academics and ability grouping, but the best part has been the people we have met, from the amazing teachers to the welcoming staff and other BFA families."
Congratulations, Briauna and THANK YOU for all you do for our school.
Thursday, Nov. 9
The Finance Committee will meeting from 5 - 7 p.m. tonight, Nov. 9, in the Dana Library.
Friday, Nov. 10

Veterans and BFA parents are invited to join us at our Veterans Day assembly programs on Friday, Nov. 10:
  • 8:30 a.m., Grades K-4
  • 10:20 a.m., Grades 5-8

A reception for veterans will be held from 9:30 - 10:20 a.m. in the hallway outside the Lightning Gym.

Saturday, Nov. 11

benefit bash
The BENefit Bash will begin at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Vehicle Vault ( 18301 Lincoln Meadows Pkwy, Parker, CO 80134).
Tuesday, Nov. 14

The BFA Board of Directors will meet from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 14, in the Dana Library . All are welcome to attend. If you cannot attend in person, you may call into the Board meeting using the number found at the top of the agenda.
Wednesday, Nov. 15

BFA Spirit Night is from 5 - 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15 at Chick-fil-A (950 Cpl. Max Donahue Lane). Please be sure to mention you are with BFA at the register or when you place your drive through order, to ensure we get credit for the purchase.
Thursday, Nov. 16

If your first through fifth grade student has met their AR goal and been notified by their teacher, they may wear Dress of Choice on Thursday, Nov. 16. 

PTO Logo
Join the PTO at their monthly meeting from 6:30 - 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16, in the Sanders Science Lab. All are welcome!
Friday, Nov. 17

Dress of Choice day is Friday, Nov. 17, for students who have not had two uniform violations since the last Dress of Choice Day.

The Fruit Toss Club will be showing off their "Red Lightning" trebuchet for the school from 12:30 - 2:45 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17, at BFA. Students in afternoon Kindergarten through eighth grade will have the opportunity to come see the fruit toss machine in action and some lucky students will get hands on experience in the mechanics of making fruit fly!  
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.