Vol. 8, Iss. 2
January 18, 2018

Dear Parents,  
There has been a lot of talk recently about charter schools, particularly in Douglas County. In fact, we just went through a school board election where charter schools were one of the main topics of conversation. With next week being National School Choice week, I thought this would be a good week to discuss myths about charter schools. It's important that all of our families understand exactly what makes us different, because you are our strongest advocates in the community.
The Colorado League of Charter Schools helps educate the public about the advantages of public charter schools. The league's President, Ben Lindquist, was recently featured on the PBS show "Devil's Advocate" where he, along with Jon Caldara and Pam Benigno, debunked misconceptions about charter schools. I invite you to spend fifteen minutes to learn more about how charters are different than neighborhood public schools. Click on this link to the watch the video.
While I encourage you to watch the short video, below are a few facts every charter school parent should know:
  • Last year in Colorado, 238 charter schools served 115,000 students, which is 13 percent of the total public school population in Colorado.
  • Charter schools are public schools that have a contract, or charter, with their authorizer (usually the local school district), to serve students. The contract details the school's mission and goals, as well as benchmarks to measure success. Charters are only granted for a period of time specified by the authorizer, and are subject to renewal.
  • Charters receive funding from tax dollars. In the Douglas County School District, Charters receive the same per-pupil operating revenue as the other public schools in our neighborhood; however, charters must pay for all expenses (building, salaries, training, etc.) and contribute toward District expenses for things like special education with those fees. Other district schools receive funding from other sources besides per-pupil funding to help pay for their buildings and other capital needs.
  • Charter schools are open to all students, and students are not required to 'test-in' to be accepted. Most charters are able to serve kids who may have mild to moderate special needs, or are on an Accelerated Learning Plan. At BFA, our Student Support Services team consists of 12 professionals happily serving the needs of our students.
  • Charter school teachers are highly qualified. At BFA, ALL OUR TEACHERS are licensed and highly educated. All together, our teachers have 512 years of experience and approximately 30 of our teachers have their masters degree, with several more currently working toward it.
  • Charter schools offer diverse demographics. Statewide, 49.5 percent of Colorado charter public school students are students of color as compared to 44.2 percent in traditional public schools. If you include families who identify as two or more races, 20.5 percent of BFA's student body is diverse according to Federal racial and ethnic categories. 
We know that every family attending Ben Franklin Academy made a choice to come here. We strive every day to make sure that families remain excited about their choice of schools.  Thank you for your continued support of our STEAM School of Choice!
Diana Si mpson

Send your student to school with a dollar bill tomorrow , Jan. 19, and they can wear Dress of Choice (unless they have a field trip scheduled). This fundraiser supports the eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C. If your family chooses not to participate, please send your kiddo(s) to school in their regular uniform. The eighth graders appreciate your support!

The Father Daughter Dance will be held from 6 - 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3, at BFA. We hope our BFA girls (kindergarten through eighth grade) and the special men in their lives (dads, stepdads, grandpas) will make plans to join us down the rabbit hole for dancing, refreshments and fun activities! Tickets are $20 per couple, and $5 for each additional child or guest. You can purchase tickets online through the BFA store until Friday, Jan. 26.  Tickets will not be sold at the event.

We need volunteers to help make this event a success, so please consider signing up to volunteer for the day of the event. Thanks in advance for your help.

Bring your kids to our beach-themed Parents Night Out from 6 - 9 p.m. tomorrow, Jan. 19, and let our volunteers watch them while your grab a bite to eat or hang out with friends. We'll be showing the movie 'Rio' (rated G), playing games, and will have some crafts. Popcorn and water will be provided; pizza and snacks will be available for purchase. The event is open to all BFA registered students, even preschoolers, and is $10 per child. Proceeds benefit the eighth-grade trip to Washington, D.C.
Sign up today!  We need at least 30 kids to make this event a success.

Nurse Health
We now have Stock Epinephrine (EpiPen) at school. As per the Colorado Guidelines for Stock Epinephrine in Schools and Douglas County School District (DCSD) policy, only designated staff who have participated in additional training will be responsible for administering the Stock Epinephrine.
Stock Epinephrine will be stored at BFA to address and treat first-time severe allergic reactions. The Stock Epinephrine is not intended for students with known severe allergies. Parents are still expected to provide epinephrine for their own students with known severe allergies, otherwise there will not be epinephrine available for the student(s) when on field trips.

We're excited to announce that BFA elementary students will be participating in Jump Rope for Heart again this year, for the fifth time since our doors opened. BFA families have generously supported this effort in the past and we are hopeful that our community will continue that tradition. The first year, we received an award for the Top New School and two years ago we were able to donate $16,000. We are extremely proud of these results because the money we raise for the American Heart Association is given to children with "special hearts" for medications, surgeries or research. 
There will be a kick off assembly for first through fifth graders on  Friday, Jan. 19, and additional information and envelopes will come home in Thursday Folders on Jan. 25. While we sincerely appreciate the money raised by students, they don't have to fund raise to participate in the Jump Rope for Heart events on Feb. 15 and 20. 
We encourage those interested in raising money for kids with 'special hearts' to send emails out to family and friends--experts say this is the best way to reach our goal of $18,000. If we are able to meet this goal, the class with the most participation will get to turn Mrs. Simpson, Mr. Gomez, and Mrs. Bauer into ice cream sundaes during an assembly. Envelopes can be turned in any time, but we'd like to receive all donations by the day of the event (Feb. 15 and 20). 
Below is the schedule for the Jump Rope for Heart Event. (Students will participate during their specials time on the date shown.)  Students in grades K-4 will rotate through different jump stations, while fifth graders will perform a jump rope routine they have created with their group.  Parents are welcome, and volunteers are needed!  
Thursday, Feb. 15
  • 8:20 - 9 a.m. - Knudsen and Walter - They will be performing jump rope routines.  Parents are welcome to come watch. 
  • 9 - 9:40 a.m. - Whelan and Hinz
  • 9:40 - 10:20 a.m. -Wall and Boyd
  • 10:20 - 11 a.m. - Wilson and Marchisio
  • 1:10 - 1:50 p.m. - Pitrone and Brook
  • 1:50 - 2:30 p.m. - North and McGinty
Tuesday, Feb. 20
  • 8:20 - 9 a.m. - Rooney and Dunn - They will be performing jump rope routines. Parents are welcome to come watch.
  • 9 - 9:40 a.m. - Harms and Hildebrand
  • 9:40 - 10:20 a.m. - Van Wyk, Lewicki, and Klee a.m. kindies
  • 10:20 - 11 a.m. - Lindgren, Erbaugh, and Murray a.m. kindies
  • 1:10 - 1:50 p.m. - Parsons and p.m. kindies
  • 1:55 - 2:35 p.m. - DePasse and Triplett

Each year the Community Events Committee works with Mr. Redford to offer parents a informational seminar. They'd appreciate your help in determining the focus of this year's program. Please take a few seconds and answer this one question survey to help them decide where to focus their efforts.  The seminar will be held at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, in Room 144.

Did you know you can earn money for BFA each time you shop at King Soopers and Safeway? Buy groceries, gasoline at fuel centers, lottery tickets and postage stamps while helping BFA at the same time! (Safeway gift cards also can be used at Albertson's locations.) 
Simply order a dedicated BFA King Soopers and/or Safeway gift card from the BFA Store, and use it to buy your groceries. Then, re-load your King Soopers or Safeway gift card at Customer Service or at the register before you scan your first item.
Online shoppers can use grocery cards too! Shoppers using Safeway's online service can make purchases with their Safeway grocery card, while King Soopers online shoppers can pay using their grocery card when they pick up their order. 
Ordering your King Soopers and Safeway cards is easy!
Just go to the BFA Store, click on 'Grocery Cards' and order yours today. The cards are pre-loaded with $5. When ordering, be sure to include your FIRST/LAST NAME and FULL MAILING ADDRESS. Your King Soopers/ Safeway card(s) will be mailed directly to the address provided. Once the order is received, please allow five business days for processing.
Need a new card?
If it's been a while since you used your card, and it's been left with a zero balance, your card will expire! Please order a new card through the store, as the zero balance card will no longer give rebates back to BFA.
The King Soopers and Safeway fundraising programs donate five percent of your purchases back to the school. BFA raised more than $5,500 through this program last year! 
For more information or questions,  email  Rachel Molieri, PTO spirit wear and grocery card coordinator.  

Preschool Newsletter Image
Our preschool is NOW ACCEPTING Intent to Enroll forms for the 2018-19 school year. If you know someone who is interested in a preschool that uses the Core Knowledge Sequence along with a nurturing environment and individualized instruction to ensure little ones are ready for Kindergarten, please encourage them to complete the Intent to Enroll form.
Please note that preschool slots are available on a first come, first served basis and spots do fill quickly. For more information, please email Kristen Goldberg, preschool director.   

PTO Logo
The next monthly PTO meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. tonight, Jan. 18, in the Sanders Science Lab. Come learn about what the PTO is working on, get connected, and earn some volunteer hours just for attending. Whether you want to volunteer a little or a lot, we've got a role for you. Everyone is welcome!

Enjoy great food and support BFA on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at Kneaders (1105 Sgt. Jon Stiles Drive). Kneaders offers a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner, so stop by Kneaders anytime between 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. to have your purchase count towards the PTO's Knead Dough Fundraiser. 

The BFA middle school Student Council is excited to support Ronald McDonald House Charities as their philanthropy project for the fall/winter. Ronald McDonald House provides a loving and low cost 'home away from home' for families needing to be near their seriously ill or injured children while they are being treated at one of our area hospitals. We've completed our collection of cleaning supplies, but are still taking soda pop-tops!  
Please see this  flier  for specific product needs and collection details.  Please show your support for the Student Council's efforts in helping this worthy charity! Collection boxes are located in the lobby. 

BASE logo
As communicated previously, we have moved to an automated payment system for BASE.
BASE billing will continue to be processed on a weekly basis. The balance due on your account for the prior week's attendance will be automatically pulled from the account you specified. You are able to view your account details through MyProcare at any time.
Please note, any accounts that do not have an ACH authorization form on file will be charged an administrative fee of $25 each weekly BASE billing cycle.
If you have any questions, please contact Leigh Savoy, BASE Director or Halsley Hoff, Business Manager.

There's still time to order your 2017-18 yearbook at the lowest price . To guarantee your copy at the lowest price this season, order by Wednesday, Jan. 31. After that date, the price will rise incrementally until March 31, which is the final deadline for purchase.

While you're ordering, don't forget to submit a yearbook dedication for your student. The cost is nominal, and while several 1/8- and 1/16-page spots are still available, space is limited. This is a great way to recognize a graduating eighth grader or any other special student in your life. Please  email  Alissa Motazedi  with any questions .

Ice Cream Cone
Buy yourself something the entire family will enjoy--a coupon book containing discounts for some of our favorite places, including:  Pierre Michele French Bakery, Indulge, Mici's, Cuba Cuba, Cold Stone, Honey Baked Ham, Gigi's, Timbuk Toys, Arts on Fire, Pirates Cove, Dart Warz and Junglequest.
Coupon books are only $35 each and is a gift that you or a loved one can use all year! 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!

Interested in the National Western Stock Show? The Foundation for Douglas County Schools has your discount tickets! BFA families can click on the Stock Show link and use the promo code DOUGCO.
Hockey fans--get tickets to see the Colorado Avalanche vs. Nashville Predators at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 4. Tickets start at $25, and a portion of every ticket will be donated to school of your choice. There is also a back-up option at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 16. Click on the flier to find out more.   
If Lacrosse is your sport, check out the Colorado Mammoth Lacrosse for just $10 per ticket! The Foundation for Douglas County Schools is sponsoring a community night at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 2, at the Pepsi Center. Click on the flier for more information.  
For a complete list of events, please see this flier 

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.
Now - Feb. 23

The BFA middle school Student Council is excited to support Ronald McDonald House Charities as their philanthropy project for the fall/winter. Student Council is collecting soda can pop-tabs and recording which home room/advisory has the most donations ( now through Feb. 23). 
Thursday, Jan. 18

PTO Logo
The Parent Teacher Organization is meeting from 6:30 - 8 p.m. tonight, Jan. 18, in the Sanders Science Lab. If you want to learn more about what's happening at school or want to get involved, please attend!    
Friday, Jan. 19

Send your student to school with a dollar bill on Friday, Jan. 19, and they can wear Dress of Choice (unless they have a field trip scheduled that day). This fundraiser supports the eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C.  

Bring your kids to our beach-themed Parents Night Out from 6 - 9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 19. The event is open to all BFA registered students, even preschoolers, and is $10 per child. Sign up today!  
Tuesday, Jan. 23

Enjoy great food and support BFA on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at Kneaders (1105 Sgt. Jon Stiles Drive). Stop by Kneaders anytime between 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. to have your purchase count towards the PTO's Knead Dough Fundraiser. 
Thursday, Jan. 25

BFA's SAC is meeting from 4:10 - 5:10 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 25, in the BFA Conference Room. All are welcome to attend.

Ben's Brigade is meeting from 8 - 9 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 25, at the Starbucks inside Super Target. All BFA Dads, Stepdads, Grandpas are welcome to attend.   
Friday, Jan. 26

Friday, Jan. 26, is a Spirit Day so students can wear a Spirit Wear T-shirt, a field day shirt from a prior year, or their fun run T-shirt.  
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.