Vol. 9, Iss. 5
Feb. 7, 2019
Dear Parents, 
Next week on Tuesday and Wednesday evening we will have Parent Teacher conferences. This is an important time to touch base with your children's teachers to get more information about their progress and to discuss any concerns you may have. The conference times of 10-15 minutes may not be enough time to completely discuss your child and his/her needs. If you feel you need more time, please contact the teacher to set up an additional phone/in-person meeting. We also want to make sure you are aware that you can reach out to your teachers, and the administration, any time you have questions or concerns, not just at conference times. Here are the details around spring conferences:
Parents of kids in grades K-4 were sent a sign up by their teacher and should have scheduled a time to meet with their student's teacher. Please show up on time, and do your best to stay within the time frame allotted for your meeting. You are welcome to schedule a follow-up discussion, if needed. 
Fifth grade will offer 'drop in' conferences in the Middle School Commons, so feel free to come by any time between 4:15 - 8 p.m. Teachers will take a half hour break for dinner from 5:30 - 6 p.m. Please note, if your fifth grade teacher is not back in the Commons by 6 p.m., it may be because they were delayed in going to dinner.   
Sixth and eighth grade teachers will be available to meet with parents in the Thunder (large) Gym from 4:15 until 8 p.m. Parents are welcome to come by during that time and talk to their student's teachers. The teachers will take a half-hour break for dinner from 5:30 - 6 p.m. Please note, if your middle school teacher is not back in the Gym by 6 p.m., it may be because they were delayed in going to dinner. Kindly keep your discussions with the teacher to 10 minutes so all parents can meet with each teacher. 
Seventh grade teachers sent out a parent/student conference form for all students. Also, they've sent out a separate invitation to meet with parents of students with whom they'd like to have a more in-depth discussion. If you are a seventh-grade parent interested in meeting with a teacher but did not receive an invitation, you can request a conference by emailing the teacher directly. 


Diana Simpson
BFA loves its volunteers, and we want to show our appreciation for all of your work. This year, the PTO will be recognizing TWO volunteers each month. One volunteer will be chosen as the 'Volunteer of the Month,' and will get exclusive use of the dedicated 'Volunteer' spot in the parking lot for their month.
Each month, a second volunteer will be randomly chosen through a monthly 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.

For the month of February, Emerald Holden has been selected as the Ben Franklin Academy Volunteer of the Month. Emerald is being honored for her time and efforts volunteering as the PTO's Sweetheart Ball event chair. Her demonstration of 
Ben Franklin's virtue of sincerity by being kind to, supportive of, and encouraging her volunteer team as well as promoting inclusiveness and treating others as you'd like to be treated is only a small part in what made her event successful.  For her efforts, the PTO we like to say thank you and are happy to recognize her.
Emerald and her husband, Tyler, have been married for 11 years and have three children - McKinley in first grade, Presleigh in Pre-K, and Hueston who is 2-years old, along with the most recent addition to their family, a 9-month old Bernese Mountain Dog puppy named Tucker. This is their family's second year at BFA.  Emerald grew up in Wyoming and attended the University of Wyoming and then The Ohio State University for her Masters of Accounting, but since being married has lived in Highlands Ranch. In addition to her time at BFA, she is an active volunteer at Mission Hills Church. Emerald loves any type of adventure in the mountains and traveling, enjoys running, volunteering, and also loves a good "cuddle/PJ day" at home.
When asked what about Ben Franklin Academy she likes best, Emerald replied, "The teachers and curriculum are incredible, the school has so much to offer and a high level of parent involvement is encouraged at BFA." They are grateful that she and her family can be a part of the big BFA family.
Congratulations, Emerald! And, thank you again for all you do for our school.

This month, Heather Holmes is the winner of our drawing. She volunteered in the lunchroom in January, and has won a Torchy's gift card. Congratulations, Heather! And, thank you again for your time and effort at BFA.

BFA's School Accountability Committee (SAC) would like every BFA family to complete the Parent Satisfaction Survey and express your thoughts and opinions regarding the current academic year. To date, 128 families have completed this important survey, and while that's great--we really are hoping for a 100 percent response rate. This is one of the reasons why we've shortened the survey and made the questionnaire comprehensive for K-8 grade levels, with the ability to provide specific feedback.

Help us gauge parent satisfaction and identify opportunities for growth or enrichment. Follow this link to take the survey today!

We take your feedback very seriously and we appreciate your willingness to participate.
This year, as a token of appreciation for participating in the survey, SAC is offering any participants who share their family number entry into a drawing for one of ten (10) Amazon or Target $25 gift cards.

Members of the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) are offering free babysitting during conferences in the room just off the Dana Library from 4 - 6 p.m. and the Lightning Gym/BASE room from 6 - 8 p.m. Parents do not need to reserve a spot for their children and babysitting is open to children of all ages. Due to childcare licensing restrictions, NJHS members cannot change diapers. When parents drop off their children, students will ask that they sign in their child(ren) and leave a phone number where parents can be reached. If you have any questions, please email our NJHS lead, Katie Murphy.  

We're happy to announce that Angela Bond is joining the BFA team to support select students in grades K-4. She'll be at school Tuesday through Thursday. You can read more about Mrs. Bond on our webpage, but she wanted to say hello to all the BFA parents:
I am very excited to join the team at Ben Franklin! My passion is working with small groups and individual students to help them grow. I am looking forward to meeting more of the BFA community as I settle in as the Elementary Gifted and Talented teacher. Thank you!

Did you miss the chance to order Valentine's Smencils and Backpack Buddies for your student? You can still buy them next week at Parent Teacher conferences, and the eighth graders will deliver them on Valentine's Day! Or,
you can buy them and take them with you to gift to non-BFA friends or younger siblings. Stop by the D.C. Fundraising table and get yours before supplies run out! Smencils are $2 for a single pencil and $10 for a set of six. Backpack Buddies are $6 each or three for $15. Cash and credit cards will be accepted.

A message from the BASE director...
Students who attend the BASE program must be checked in/out by a parent, AND all paperwork must be completed and turned in before the student attends BASE. During the past several weeks, there have been many children not previously registered for BASE who were dropped off at the front of the school with the expectation that they would be checked into BASE.
A ll students must be checked into morning BASE and out of afternoon BASE by a parent.
If your student has morning tutoring and you need to utilize BASE for their siblings, then please ensure they are registered and follow the drop-off procedures.To register, visit our webpage to review the handbook and print the enrollment form.

If you have any questions, please contact Leigh Savoy, BASE director.

Be our guest at 7 p.m. on Feb. 22 or 23, for a tale as old as time! You're sure to be enchanted by the performances of BFA's middle school students as they bring to life a classic fairy tale, in "Beauty and The Beast, Jr." There is no fee to watch this magical story unfold on BFA's performance stage, so bring the entire family to enjoy this tale about the transforming power of kindness and love.

Get ready for a night of fun, food and excitement! Student Council invites all BFA middle school students to the Valentine's Dance from 6 - 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9. The theme is Black and White so feel free to wear black and white attire. We will have a DJ playing your kid's favorite music and engaging everyone in a number of dance contests, games, etc. Little Caesar's pizza will be available ($1/slice), along with other free snacks and refreshments. It's going to be a great time! Tickets are on sale through MySchoolBucks; they're $5 online (order pizza online too), and $7 at the door. Hope you see you there!

Please consider signing up to help decorate, check kids in, chaperone, or donate snacks.

SIXTH GRADE FAMILIES--please volunteer in carpool this February! 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 February, we'd like our sixth grade families to sign up for open volunteer spots in carpool. If you don't have a sixth 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.' 

A message from Mrs. Bauer, K-5 PE teacher...

Ben Franklin Academy's Heart Challenge will take place during the next few weeks. Last year, BFA gained recognition for being among the top six schools in Colorado to raise money for the American Heart Association. This year, we lowered our monetary donation goal to $10,000, as our primary objective this year is to encourage our students to make healthy choices. We want students to understand the importance of giving to others, but the main message will be about how to stay heart healthy.
This year, students will be given three challenges:  
1.  Sign on to the American Heart Association and take the Heart Challenge with your family. This is a great way for the whole family to remember the things they need to do to stay healthy!
2.  Donate, if possible. (If each student donates $15, we will meet our goal.) Alternatively, your student can choose to send out emails asking others to donate. I realize you are asked to donate a lot, and as I tell the students every year, each family has different preferences regarding donations and if this is not one of them, that's okay! Maybe this will start a conversation about your family's philosophy regarding giving and/or how you choose to support your community.
3.  Participate in Heart Rate Challenge Days, and stay in the Target Heart Rate Zone for 80 percent of the class period.
Below are the remaining Heart Rate Challenge Days (during their specials time):
  • Friday, Feb. 8 - Walter, Hinz, Lewicki, Erbaugh, DePasse, Ferguson
  • Wednesday, Feb. 13 - Pitrone, North
  • Thursday, Feb. 14 - Knudsen, Whelan, Wall, Wilson
  • Friday, Feb. 22 - Mashburn, Harms, VanWyk, Lindgren, Triplett, half-day Kindergarten
 All envelopes and donations will be due by Monday, Feb. 25.
If you would like to volunteer for a Heart Challenge Event, click here to sign up.

The DCSD District Accountability Committee is hosting a Winter Forum and you're invited. The forum is from 5:15-9 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at Cimarron Middle School in Parker. They'll be a meet and greet with Superintendent Thomas Tucker, and the guest speaker is Andrew Romanoff, president and CEO of Mental Health Colorado. Please see this flier for more information.
The Succession Committee of the BFA Board of Directors is pleased to announce the Call for Nominations for the BFA Board of Directors ('Board') is now open.
There will be two (2) open director seats on the BFA Board, which will be filled according to the Board of Directors Election Policy. Each seat is for a three-year term. One director will be elected by the Parent Voting Group, and the other director will be appointed by the BFA Board.

Election/Appointment Process
To nominate someone (including yourself) for the BFA Board, click  here to complete the nomination form. Nominations from the BFA Parent Voting Group must be submitted online before Friday, Feb. 22, at 11:59 p.m. (All times listed are MST.)
For the Board-appointed seat, nominees may be selected by the Board from the Parent Voting Group's nominations or nominated by a Board director at any time. The Board reserves all rights to fill Seat 4 , Class B.
There will be a Board forum on Tuesday, March 12, at 5 p.m. before the regularly scheduled Board meeting. All Board nominees are required to attend and participate in a Question and Answer session. BFA Parents are invited to the forum so they can learn more about the nominees.
Voting for the Seat 3 , Class B, director will take place electronically  April 5-12. Results of the election will be announced and the appointment will be made on 
Tuesday, April 16, at the regularly scheduled Board meeting. All Board nominees are encouraged to be in attendance for the results of both (1) the election and (2) the appointment.
To review the entire Board of Directors Election Policy, click here.
Qualifications to Serve on the BFA Board
The Succession Committee is seeking candidates who are committed and passionate individuals with a broad range of skills and knowledge in topics including but not limited to: law, including charter school laws and regulations; human resources; organizational and financial management; business/corporate administration; strategic/long-range planning; and technology. We also encourage people with other competencies to seek nomination. Additional requirements are listed on the Board's election webpage.
For more detailed information, please read the Board Election/Appointment Frequently Asked Questions.

If you are interested in learning more, please email Burgandy Hodge, director, or any of our other Board members. Thank you for your time!
Bill Castor, President
Ann Citrin, Vice President
Bryan Molen, Secretary
Steve Haas, Treasurer
Courtney Jurbala, Director
Matt Keillor , Director

school bucks
In case you missed our previous announcements, we want to be sure you know that we've moved to a new payment processing system, My School Bucks, for our field trips, sports and after school activities (such as music classes and summer camp). This system will replace RevTrak. The change to this system was driven by Douglas County School District and is being used by all schools across DCSD. 
As we mentioned in previous newsletters, with this new system, we are finding a few differences from what we are all used to. Please note the following important items:
1) The parameters of this new system DO NOT allow us to extend enrollment deadlines for any event. You will need to pay special attention to registration deadlines sent to you by your student's teacher/coach and complete your registrations before the close date. 
2)   Due to this system being used by all of DCSD, you may see activities from some/all schools in our district. All BFA events will begin with "BFA" in the title. Therefore you can filter your search using "BFA" to only show activities or events for our school.  
3)  We are finding that the MySchoolBucks website is more user friendly and strongly recommend that you use the website for all registrations rather than the MySchoolBucks mobile app. They are still fine tuning the app and until it is complete, please use the website for registrations to ensure important permission items are not missed. 
If you have any questions, please contact Kerry Alder or Halsley Hoff in the Business Office.
Yearbook sales have officially launched! This year, the only way to purchase a yearbook is through our vendor, Walsworth. We will not be offering yearbook sales at any other events throughout the year. Don't wait, as prices will increase beginning in March!  
  • Jan. 1 - Feb. 28: $31 per book
  • March 1 - 31: $36 per book 
You may also order a dedication (or ad) for your student through Walsworth's website. What a fun way to help commemorate a great school year!
Order and pay for your 2018-19 yearbook and/or dedication today.

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.'

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. 

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. 

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. 
Saturday, Feb. 9

All BFA middle school students are invited to the Valentine's Dance from 6 - 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9. The theme is Black and White so feel free to wear black and white attire. Tickets are on sale through MySchoolBucks; they're $5 online (order pizza online too), and $7 at the door. 
Monday, Feb. 11 - Thursday Feb. 14

BFA's Spring Scholastic Book fair will be held Monday, Feb. 11, through Thursday, Feb. 14, in conjunction with Parent Teacher conferences:
  • 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., Monday, Feb. 11 and Thursday, Feb. 14
  • 8:30 a.m. - 8 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 12 and Wednesday, Feb. 13
  • Please remember the front office is closed during carpool from 3 - 4 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 11

Monday, Feb. 11, from 6 - 8 p.m. there is a Finance Committee meeting in the BFA Conference Room.
Tuesday, Feb. 12

Tours for prospective K-8 families will be held at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays through March 26 (except March 19 as it's Spring Break).

During the tour, we'll show prospective parents around the school so they can see firsthand why we are the STEAM School of Choice in Douglas County. Anyone going on a tour should bring a Driver's License and arrive a few minutes early so we can scan their license before the tour begins. 

Parent Teacher Conferences
We hope to see you at Parent Teacher Conferences on Tuesday, Feb 12, and/or on Wednesday, Feb. 13. Our teachers are looking forward to meeting with you.
Wednesday, Feb. 13

Parent Teacher Conferences
We hope to see you at Parent Teacher Conferences on Tuesday, Feb 12, and/or on Wednesday, Feb. 13. Our teachers are looking forward to meeting with you.
Thursday, Feb. 14

Thursday, Feb. 14, is a Dress of Choice Day. Students should follow BFA's Dress of Choice policy.

, Feb. 14, elementary students will be celebrating Valentine's Day. Look for more information from your student's teacher. 
Friday, Feb. 15

No School
There is no school on Friday, Feb. 15, as it is a comp day for teachers. Enjoy your 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.