Vol. 8, Iss. 23
Sept. 6, 2018
 
Dear Parents,

Literacy is a fundamental part of all K-8 education, but at BFA we place a special emphasis on encouraging our students to excel at reading.
 
As part of our mission to encourage students to be 'well read' we offer elementary students time each week in the library to listen to a story, discuss the reading (for our older kids) and check out books. BFA's outstanding library has 11,278 books for students to check out! And, our kids take full advantage of this opportunity, with 2,670 books checked out by K-8 students since school started. It's worth mentioning the homerooms with top 'checkouts' to date:
 
Mrs. Wilson = 232
Ms. Marchisio = 150
Mrs. North = 137
Mrs. Ferguson = 135
Mrs. McGinty = 129
Mrs. Harms = 117
Mrs. Whelan = 117
Mrs. Dunn = 109
Mrs. Walter = 106
Mr. Knudsen = 104
 
Reading is part of each student's weekly homework assignments, and we track their progress through regular testing and, for elementary students, accomplishment of individual, realistic Accelerated Reader (AR) Goals. Students are rewarded with a Dress of Choice day each trimester for meeting that goal. And, we've found the positive reinforcement works--last year BFA students in grades 1-5 earned 85,000 AR points
 
BFA strives to create well-rounded readers. Throughout all grades, our robust literacy curriculum includes a variety of age appropriate material including classical mythology, short stories, essays, poetry, novels and autobiographies.
 
And, we understand that not everyone learns at the same pace--so we ability group students and offer resources for kids who want an extra challenge or need additional support. This extra attention makes a huge difference, and we have seen our students make remarkable progress.
 
While we continuously work to motivate and encourage kids to read, we know that without your support we would not be nearly as successful. You help ensure that our elementary kids read every night and monitor their progress toward their AR goals; and, you talk to your middle school kids about the novels they are reading and all those annotations. In addition, you encourage them to find books they enjoy reading throughout the summer.
 
In fact, you did such a stellar job this summer, that we're proud to announce BFA won Douglas County Libraries (DCL) Elementary Reading Challenge! DCL had a friendly competition among local schools this summer as part of their Escape to Neverland Summer Reading Program and BFA signed up the most elementary participants. Great job parents! Thanks to you, DCL special events coordinator Kristen Kallio, presented a check for $250 to me and our wonderful librarians, Mrs. Chambers and Ms. Williams, in front of Mrs. Harms second grade class last week.
 
Click here to read the press release from DCL--and KEEP READING! 

Sincerely,

Diana Simpson

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KINDIE PARENTS: SHOW US HOW IT'S DONE! 
 
Kindie families--it's your turn! 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 September, we'd like our kindergarten families to sign up for open volunteer spots in carpool. If you don't have a kindergarten 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.' 

If you are a new family and have not logged into HelpCounter yet, or want to volunteer but simply can't help with carpool, see our Volunteer Management webpage. Get ready eighth grade parents, as we'll be asking you to help with carpool In October.

Buddy Bench
KINDNESS BEGINS WITH ME 
 
The PTO is excited to announce that this summer, BFA installed its very own buddy bench. A buddy bench is  special place on the playground where a child can go when they want someone to talk to or play with. This year's Fun Run organizer, Boosterthon, purchased the bench on our behalf. Working together with Mrs. Simpson, the PTO added an inscription that reads, "Ben Franklin Academy Buddy Bench - Kindness begins with me." We hope you'll tell your student(s) about the bench so they can find a buddy to hang out with during recess or make a classmate's day by asking them to join in their activity/game.

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BASE FALL CAMP REGISTRATION 
 
During  BFA's fall break, Oct. 8-12, the BFA BASE program will offer a 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. The camp will be open from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m.; and, the cost will be $50 for the field trip day and $35 for each of the other days. 
 
Registration will open the week of Sept. 10 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.
 
To register online, please go to payments on the BFA website the week of Sept. 10,  and choose BASE Camp.  Families that have not enrolled in BASE for the current year will be contacted to do so and also pay the 2018-19 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

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THANKS FOR MAKING US FEEL SPECIAL!
 
Special thanks to the PTO and Amber Clendening, PTO teacher appreciation chair, for organizing dinners for teachers during Back to School Nights.

We appreciate you!

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ONE MORE WEEK TO PURCHASE TICKETS FOR THE HARVEST FESTIVAL
 
Join us for a night of family fun at the  Harvest Festival from 4 - 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, at BFA.
 
Tickets are $10 per child or maximum $25 for a family (siblings only), with advance purchase. Adults and children under three are FREE! Tickets at the door will be $10 per child; the family discount will not be available. Purchase your advance tickets now through Tuesday, Sept. 11, on the BFA Store, under the 'Events' tab. Wristbands for those who prepay will be sent home with the oldest child before the event.

Your admission fee includes: carnival games, inflatables, outdoor field games, and of course, the
cake
CAKE WALK! Also included are: 
face painting, balloon twisting, popcorn, lemonade, apple juice and assorted baked goods.

 
You can purchase dinner and/or a refreshing treat at the Harvest Festival this year, too. The eighth grade Washington, D.C. students will be selling Chick-fil-A (credit cards accepted) and Kona Ice will be available outside.

Are you interested in helping to make this event a success? Then sign up to volunteer for an activity, or sign up to supervise one.
 
And, click here, if you'd like to donate baked goods for the goodie table and/or cakes for the cake walk.

DIRECTORY ON TAP - OPT OUT DEADLINE TOMORROW
 
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, the directory will be available in late September.
 
If you would like to update your family's information for the directory or opt out, you need to act today! You have until Friday, Sept. 7, to do the following:
  • If your child goes by a nickname or shortened name, please email us that information.
  • If you have recently moved or changed an email/cell number, email the school registrar with that information. If you have moved, you will need to include Proof of Residence by providing one of the following documents:
    1. Deed of Trust
    2. Warranty Deed
    3. Tax Notification
    4. Rental/Lease Agreement
    5. Notarized letter if living with friends or relatives
  • 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 Natalie Lucero, PTO vice president, with questions.

Broncos
BRONCO SPIRIT DAY TOMORROW
 
Tomorrow, Sept. 7, students get to celebrate the beginning of the Bronco football season by wearing their favorite Bronco T-shirt or jersey. Students also can elect to wear a different football team's T-shirt/jersey.
 
If your student prefers, he/she may also wear a Spirit Day shirt. Regardless of whether your student wears a Bronco shirt or a Spirit Day shirt, your student should wear regular uniform bottoms. 

GOODIES
GOODIES WTIH GRANDPARENTS
 
BFA is honored to host students and their grandparents from 7-8 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 12, in the Lightning (small) gym for coffee, juice and light morning treats. This event is popular so please arrive early and park in the overflow lot as to not disrupt carpool. Grandparents must remain with their grandchildren in the gym until 7:45. At that time, grandparents may walk their grandchildren to their classroom for a quick visit. Students should be in their classroom at the usual time (8:10 a.m.).  Gluten free items will be available upon request. 

Please sign up to help CEC with our Goodies with Grandparents event and get some volunteer hours. We need help both during the event and setting up the night before. Thank you!

Destination ImagiNation
FIND OUT WHAT DI IS ALL ABOUT!
 
Got DI? Want to know more about it? Destination Imagination (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 so much more.
 
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. Teams of kids solve one of six challenges in their own unique way and present their solutions at the South Metro Regional Tournament in March. Teams also solve an on-the-spot Instant Challenge at the tournament where they must think quickly on their feet and work together to solve a problem (generally in five minutes).
 
If this sounds like something that would interest your student and you as a parent volunteer (a variety of roles are available, but Team Managers are always needed), please attend an informational/kick-off meeting at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 11, in the Middle School Commons (second floor) to learn more about this great program. We encourage you to bring your student if s/he is new to DI.
 
Last year, BFA's DI teams had six teams compete at the regional level, five teams progress to the state competition, and three teams advance to Global Finals - the most from a single school in Colorado! We are looking forward to another great year! If you are interested in joining a team or being a team manager, please email Jason Sunahara, BFA DI coordinator.

TREAT YOUR FAMILY AND HELP AND EIGHTH GRADER!
 
Want props for being the BEST PARENT EVER? Just keep some of everyone's favorite cookie dough in your freezer ready to thaw and use any time! 

Our eighth graders are working to raise money so they can go to Washington, D.C. by selling Eileen's Cookie dough. Ask an eighth grade friend or neighbor how to purchase your three-pound (approx. 33 cookies) tub of frozen cookie dough, and be ready to choose from among their most popular cookies-- Chocolate Chip, Monster Oatmeal, Snickerdoodle, Peanut Butter, M&M, Sugar Cookie and Oatmeal Raisin

Eileen's cookies are perfect for that after-school snack on a crisp fall day; save them to bring to your student's Halloween party; or keep them on hand for Thanksgiving guests. The cookie dough is only $15 per three-pound tub! (And, you can re-freeze it after it thaws.)

Eighth graders will sell the dough from NOW through Sept. 30. This is their BIGGEST individual fundraiser of the year so please consider supporting them individually; however, if you'd prefer, you can also purchase the dough via the BFA Store until Sept. 16, and the proceeds will benefit the entire group of students headed to Washington, D.C. Please keep in mind, dough purchased through an individual student will be delivered to your front door the week of Oct. 15, and dough purchased through the BFA Store will be available for pick-up at fall parent teacher conferences on Oct. 2 and 4.

See this flier for additional details. Thanks for your support!

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EARN VOLUNTEER HOURS WHILE CHEERING ON OUR STUDENTS DURING MILE RUN 
 
Are you looking for a FUN and EASY volunteer opportunity? If so, Mrs. Bauer needs a few volunteers to help cheer on our fourth and fifth graders and keep them safe during the mile run. Sign up today!

SEVENTH AND EIGHTH GRADE NJHS MEETING TOMORROW
 
Seventh and eighth grade students interested in joining National Junior Honor Society are welcome to come to an informational meeting from 12 - 12:40 p.m. tomorrow, Sept. 7, in Mrs. Murphy's classroom. They can bring their lunch and eat while they learn all about the honor and commitment involved with being a part of NJHS.

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CALLING ALL THIRD THROUGH SIXTH GRADERS WHO LOVE TO RUN!
 
It's time for the  7th Annual Mountain Vista elementary one-mile cross country race! Come race against the other elementary runners in the Mountain Vista High School feeder area. The race is at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at the Mountain Vista High School cross country course. Warm up with the State Champion Vista Nation cross country athletes! All racers will receive a Vista Nation XC T-shirt and a finisher's medal. We have ribbons for the top 10 boys and girls in each race and a gift card raffle at the end. Pizza, chocolate milk and cookies will be available for purchase after the race. 
 
Registrations and fees ($10) are due on Thursday, Sept. 20, to the BFA front office. Late (after Sept. 20) and walk-up registrations are $15.  
 
Click here for more information or email Sara Hope. Go BFA runners!

Choir
PERFORMING ARTS STUDENTS GO TO DISNEYLAND
 
Did you know every three years the middle school performing arts students take a trip to perform at Disneyland?
 
The next trip is in the spring of 2020 and it is open to current fifth, sixth and seventh graders. 
 
Students will spend four days in California and visit Disneyland, Universal Studios as well as the beach. At Disney, students will perform 30 minutes of music in either Disneyland or California Adventure theme park. They also will participate in a Recording Studio Workshop. At the workshop, students will work with a Disney music director and sight read two Disney songs. Then they will record the pieces and sync them with the original Disney movie.

There is room for around 40 students on this trip.  Sign ups to join will be in the spring but you can start fundraising now! Email  Ms. Johnson if you would like to help get a head start on fundraising.

Cheer
FIFTH THROUGH EIGHTH GRADE CHEER CLUB
 
BFA is happy to announce that we are starting a Cheer Club for kids in fifth through eighth grade! Cheer club will be year-round with the option to participate in two different seasons. During each season the Cheer Club will have weekly practices and cheer at home games for volleyball, soccer and basketball, as well as at school pep rallies!
 
Practice:
Mondays 4 - 5:30 p.m. (except Mondays the school is closed)
 
Cost:
$50/season and a one time uniform fee of around $60 (your child will keep the uniform and be able to use it for both seasons and following years).
 
If your child is interested in learning basic cheers, jumps, stunts and showing their school spirit, please complete this form so we have an idea of how many students are interested. Both boys and girls are encouraged to join!

Box Tops Logo
SEND IN BOX TOPS NEXT WEEK
 
The first  Box Tops collection day is next Wednesday, Sept. 12, so let's get clipping. All you have to do is clip the Box Tops, put them in a sealed plastic baggie, and send it in with your kiddo. If you'd rather be a little more eco-friendly, print off this collection sheet and glue or tape your box tops onto it. Thank you to everyone who sent in box tops last year. Let's get back at it!

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BRING YOUR DRIVER'S LICENSE  
 
Please remember your driver's license the first time you come to the school to pick up your student early, volunteer or attend a meeting. For safety reasons, every person who enters the school needs to have their Driver's License scanned each school year. Please keep in mind, this is also a requirement for any friends or relatives who would like to enter the school. 

Gift
ATTENTION VOLUNTEERS - LOG YOUR HOURS FOR A CHANCE TO BE REWARDED!
 
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.
 
Another volunteer will be 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.
 
So, keep logging your hours! And don't stop logging them once you have reached 30 hours.
 
Remember, reaching your 30-hour volunteer quota can also earn you priority in signing up for parent-teacher conferences.

Check out our Volunteer Management web page for information and links to current volunteer opportunities. 

SPREAD THE WORD - SCHOOL TOUR TUESDAYS 
 
Do you know any families interested in sending their student(s) to BFA? If so, we'd love to show them our amazing facility! Tours for prospective K-8 families will be held at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays through Nov. 27 (with no tours on Oct. 9 and Nov. 20 due to school breaks). At that time, Principal Simpson will 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 Drivers License and arrive a few minutes early so we can scan their license before the tour begins.

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GIRLS OCEANOGRAPHY AND EXPERIMENT CLUB
 
Register for this after-school STEM club and read the book "Shark Lady" by Ann McGovern, then learn about the true-life adventures of Eugenie Clark, an expert on sharks, whose research has been recognized around the world. Discover buoyancy, explore ocean currents as well as the fascinating features of sharks. The club is for girls in grades 3-5, and meets Mondays from 4-5 p.m. on September 10, 17, 24, and Oct. 1. To register, go to the payments page on our website. See the flier or email Mrs. Lewicki If you have questions.

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BOYS ONLY ELECTRICITY STEM CLUB
 
Discover the amazing qualities of electricity! Boys in grades 3-5 will experiment with batteries, wires and light bulbs, as well as build an electromagnet and a homopolar motor. The club meets Mondays from 4-5 p.m. on October 15, 22, 29 and Nov. 5 To register, go to the payments page on our website and click on 'after school clubs.' See the flier or email Mrs. Lewicki if you have questions.  

ROCK
GOT SOMEONE OR SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE?
RENT THE ROCK! 
 
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. 

MAKE YOUR STUDENT'S BIG DAY SPECIAL--SEND A BIRTHDAY BAG! 
 
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.   

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SPIRIT WEAR AVAILABLE UNTIL OCT. 31
 
Now's the time to get your BFA spirit wear. Inventory is stocked and the online store is open!  You may purchase your spirit wear online at the BFA Store from now through Oct. 31. All purchases will be delivered to the classroom and sent home with your student. If you want to purchase in person, we'll be selling spirit wear in October at parent teacher conferences. The online store will close Oct. 31 and remain closed until the spring. So make sure to get your spirit wear now.

CHECK OUT OUR AFTER SCHOOL PERFORMING ARTS PROGRAMS 
 
If you're interested in performing arts, Ms. Johnson has set up some terrific after school programs for our students. Check out this guide for more information. Registration for many of the programs is now open, so review the catalog and sign up today!
 
GET YOUR DISCOUNT TICKETS TODAY!   
 
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.
 
Please see this flier for details about all the events happening this fall/winter including how to get discounted tickets to Oklahoma!, Corduroy, A Christmas Carol and White Christmas.
 
If you'd like to purchase discounted tickets to the CU Buffs game on Oct. 27, at Folsom Field, go to www.cubuffs.com/promo and use code 2018DCSD.
 
If you are a Rockies baseball fan, and are interested in attending a Rockies game for only $14 on Sept. 7, 8, or 9, please see this flier.
 
FOURTH GRADE NATIONAL PARK PASS
 
The National Parks has launched its Every Kid in a Park program, which provides an opportunity for each and every  fourth grade student  (and their families) across the United States to experience their public lands and waters in person throughout the 2018-19 school year for  FREE . To obtain your pass, click  here Be sure to bring your printed out pass to the National Park you visit (electronic copies are not accepted) and exchange it for your free pass (or use it for access until you can).
 
FREE ORCHESTRA TICKETS 
 
The Denver Young Artists Orchestra is offering two free tickets to a concert this Season! Please see their  website, for more details. This voucher can be used on the following concerts:
  •  Oct. 7, 2018 2:30 p.m. Femme Fatale Newman Center for the Performing Arts
  •  Nov .11, 2018 4:00 p.m. Soundtracks on the Stage Central Presbyterian Church
  •  Nov. 17, 2018 2:30 p.m. Sounds of the Season Plymouth Congregational Church
  • Nov. 18, 2018 2:30 p.m. Sounds of the Season Lakewood Cultural Center
  • Feb. 24, 2019 2:30 p.m. DYAO Spectacular! Boettcher Concert Hall
  • April 28, 2019 6:00 p.m. Final Bow Boettcher Concert Hall
  •  May 5, 2019 4:00 p.m. Spring Splendor Gateway High School
  •  June 2, 2019 4:00 p.m. Tour Farewell Central Presbyterian Church
This voucher is valid for up to two (2) general admission tickets. Please complete this voucher form, and bring it to the concert 30 minutes in advance of the start time to exchange it for your complimentary tickets. If you have any questions, please call the Denver Young Artists Orchestra's office at (303) 433-2420.
Friday, Sept. 7
 

Broncos
BRONCO SPIRIT DAY 
 
Tomorrow, Sept. 7, students get to celebrate the beginning of the Bronco football season by wearing their favorite Bronco T-shirt or jersey. Students also can elect to wear a different football team's T-shirt/jersey.
 
If your student prefers, he/she may also wear a Spirit Day shirt. Regardless of whether your student wears a Bronco shirt or a Spirit Day shirt, your student should wear regular uniform bottoms. 
Tuesday, Sept. 11
 

PROSPECTIVE PARENTS CAN TOUR SCHOOL
 
Tours for prospective K-8 families will be held at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays through Nov. 27 (with no tours on Oct. 9 and Nov. 20 due to school breaks).  At that time, Principal Simpson will show prospective parents around the school so they can see firsthand why we are the STEAM School of Choice in Douglas County. 

OUTDOOR ED  
 
Our BFA sixth graders will be headed to Outdoor Ed from Sept. 11 - 14.  Outdoor Education is a four day team-building experience that allows sixth graders to experience zip-lining, ropes courses, outdoor survival skills, night hiking, and numerous other scientific classes and team building challenges. 

BOARD MEETING  
 
The BFA Board of Directors meets monthly during the school year at 5:30 p.m. in our school's library. Parents are welcome to attend the Board meetings, or use the call-in number listed on the agenda to listen to the meeting.  The next Board meeting is from 5:30 - 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11, in the Dana Library.  The agenda will be available via the BFA website 24 hours prior to the meeting.   
Wednesday, Sept. 12
 

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BOX TOPS COLLECTION
 
The first  Box Tops collection day is Wednesday, Sept. 12, so let's get clipping. All you have to do is clip the Box Tops, put them in a sealed plastic baggie, and send it in with your kiddo. 

GOODIES
GOODIES WTIH GRANDPARENTS
 
BFA is honored to host students and their grandparents from 7-8 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 12, in the Lightning (small) gym for coffee, juice and light morning treats. Grandparents must remain with their grandchildren in the gym until 7:45. At that time, grandparents may walk their grandchildren to their classroom for a quick visit.  Students should be in their classroom at the usual time (8:10 a.m.). 

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PTO MEETING
 
Join us for our monthly PTO meetings to find out more about what's going on at BFA and get connected with other parents. Meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanders Science Lab, unless otherwise noted. The dates for this year's meetings are: Sept. 12, Oct. 17, Nov. 14, Dec. 19, Jan. 16, Feb. 20, March 13, April 17, and May 15.  All are welcome. We look forward to seeing you there
Saturday, Sept. 15
 

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HARVEST FESTIVAL
 
Join us for a night of family fun at the  Harvest Festival from 4 - 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, at BFA.
 
Tickets at the door will be $10 per child.  Your admission fee includes: carnival games , inflatables , outdoor field games , and of course, the 
CAKE WALK! Also included are: face painting, balloon twisting, popcorn, lemonade, apple juice and assorted baked goods.
Additional Upcoming Events: BFA Calendar
Middle School:  Athletics 
CONTACT US:
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.