Vol. 8, Iss. 27
Oct. 4, 2018
 
A message from Bill Castor, president, BFA board of directors...
 
Dear BFA Community,
 
There has been a great deal of discussion in our community recently about the Mill Levy Override (MLO)/Bond Issue initiative that will appear on this November's ballot. While it is important to educate yourself and form your own opinions before casting your ballot, the BFA Governing Board has decided that we, as a Board, have a strong preference for distancing ourselves from the political positioning, and do not want to pass a resolution or any other formal instrument that would support or oppose the current ballot measures. As I said in the statement I made to the DCSD Board of Education on October 2, we have a strong preference for maintaining our neutrality when it comes to political issues. Having said that, I want to ensure that all of our stakeholders understand what we have proactively done in an attempt to address some of the same concerns that are driving the Douglas County Board of Education to make the request for additional funding for the entire district.
 
When I became President of the Board we were in a state of transition. Diana Simpson had just been named the new Principal and we were finalizing the expansion of our school as well as a bond issuance of our own. In determining our path forward, we clearly articulated that BFA, as a stable and more mature entity, has three priorities:
  1. Security - The safety of our children is paramount to us all. During the past two years, we have invested heavily in security measures, some visible and others not so obvious.
  2. Teacher retention - One of the Board's highest priorities is to attract and retain the highest caliber staff of teachers and administrators. To that end, we implemented a plan to reward teachers in a more standardized way and increase their salaries over a period of three years to help bring our teachers' pay to a range that is extremely competitive with our surrounding schools. That program is in place and is proceeding as planned.
  3. Facilities - Our most recent expansion and investment in the sports field have put our facilities among the very best in the area.
I want to pass along this message to remind everyone about the proactive investments BFA has made on behalf of our students, faculty and facility. While we continue to operate one of the very best schools in the area by virtually any measure, I believe the conservative fiscal policy we have exercised throughout our first eight years has served us well. We have been assured by the DCSD Board of Education that any additional funding resulting from the passage of these measures will be shared by  all DCSD Schools (neighborhood and Charters alike) and any additional funding that is passed through will allow us to continue to invest in our priorities and potentially accelerate that investment plan. Please keep these points in mind as you educate yourself about the facts of ballot measures 5A and 5B.  
 
Thank you for your continued support and dedication to BFA. Have a safe and relaxing Fall Break.

Sincerely,

Bill Castor

Mission

The mission of Ben Franklin Academy is to develop young adults with character like America's founding Renaissance man, Benjamin Franklin: well-read, scientifically curious, and civically engaged.

Vision

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.

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.
Doug Ryan

CONGRATULATIONS DOUG RYAN!

For the month of October, Doug Ryan has been selected as the Ben Franklin Academy Volunteer of the Month. Doug is being honored for the countless hours he puts in volunteering in multiple capacities at BFA but in particular for his consistent volunteering in the lunch room. This school year alone, Doug has already volunteered more than 20 hours in the lunch room. He is reliable, demonstrates a positive attitude and is a pleasure to work with--for that, we're happy to recognize him.
 
Doug is the proud father of Olivia in fifth grade and Logan in second grade. They have been at BFA for six years. Doug, his girlfriend, Jessica, and his family are proud of their kiddos and the "awesome" school they attend. When asked what he likes best about BFA, Doug replied, "The care, concern, and genuine belief in the future generation they show is beyond reproach! Ben Franklin feels like home and we thank each and every student, teacher, and parent who has made it feel that way for us!"
 
Congratulations, Doug! And, thank you again for all you do for our school.
Gift card

THANKS KAREN COTTRELL

This month,  Karen Cottrell is the winner of our drawing for her volunteer time in September. Karen graciously volunteered in Mrs. Harms' and Mrs. Triplett's classes last month and won a $10 gift card to Starbucks. Congratulations, Karen! And, thank you again for your time and effort at BFA.
Parent Teacher Conferences

PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES TONIGHT

We look forward to seeing you at the second night of Parent Teacher Conferences, which will be held this evening, Thursday, Oct. 4.    
 
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 are able to meet with each teacher.
 
Seventh grade teachers sent out a parent/student conference form for all students last week. In addition, they've sent out a separate invitation to meet with parents of new students and/or any parents and 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. 

FINAL DAY TO PICK UP ONLINE ORDER OF COOKIE DOUGH

If you purchased Eileen's cookie dough through the BFA Store, plan on picking up your dough TONIGHT at parent teacher conferences. Thanks for your support!

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NO SCHOOL TOMORROW
FALL BREAK NEXT WEEK
 
Please remember there is no school tomorrow, Oct. 5, as it is a comp day for teachers. BFA will be on Fall Break from Monday, Oct. 8, through Friday, Oct. 12. We hope you have a terrific week!

BASE logo
GET YOUR SPIRIT WEAR AT CONFERENCES TONIGHT
 
The PTO will be selling spirit wear from 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. tonight at parent teacher conferences, so come ready to make your purchases; cash, check and credit accepted. You also can purchase spirit wear online at the BFA Store. Purchases made online will be delivered to the classroom and sent home with your student.
 
Now's the time to get your BFA spirit wear before the store closes for the season on Wednesday, Oct. 31.

RESPECT4 RESERVED PARKING SPOTS 
 
We kindly ask that you park in designated spots only, and refrain from parking in reserved spaces. The reserved spaces are for those who have been recognized as the volunteer of the month, staff member of the week, OR for the family who won the spot at last school year's auction. We've noticed an increase in folks parking in these spots and along the curb. Parking along the curb in the lot becomes an issue for others trying to back out of a space, and the Fire Department has advised us against letting cars park in the fire lane. We're teaching our kids all about RESPECT this year, so let's demonstrate that virtue with each other. Thank you!

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EIGHTH GRADE--IT'S YOUR TURN!
 
EIGHTH GRADE FAMILIES--you know how it's done! 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 October, we'd like our eighth grade families to sign up for open volunteer spots in carpool. If you don't have an eighth 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.' 

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
Spanish

BEFORE SCHOOL ELEMENTARY SPANISH CLASS

Is your elementary student interested in learning Spanish? If so, our middle school Spanish teacher, Señora Connell, will begin offering a Spanish class for elementary kids beginning mid-October. You can sign up for classes by the month; the cost for this activity is $50 per student (less on shorter months).
Spanish
  • 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.
Classes start on Oct. 23 and continue through the end of May, following the regular BFA school calendar for breaks/days off. Sign up today! Please contact Señora Connell with any questions.
Sunshine

UPDATE ON OUTDOOR CLASSROOM

In addition to fulfilling teacher requests, last year's BENefit Bash funds were raised to help construct an outdoor classroom for our students. The classroom will be built in the small courtyard between middle school and the STEAM wing of BFA. 

It may not look like it, but work is underway on the new outdoor classroom! The PTO is presently under contract with a landscaping company to provide the groundwork needed to construct the outdoor classroom. Additionally, the PTO is reviewing estimates from different vendors for the shade structure and seating options and hope to break ground as soon as possible.  Thank you to all the families who supported the BENefit Bash last year--you made this classroom possible! 

Sponsor
TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO SECURE SPONSORSHIP
 
If you are interested in a sponsorship opportunity, visit the PTO webpage t oday for details and information on how to secure your sponsorship.

Each year, annual PTO sponsorships allow BFA to continue to grow and to meet the needs of our school, as well as our teachers, staff and students.  If you have questions about a sponsorship opportunity, check out this flier or   email  Denise Battista, sponsor committee manager. 

MomsNightOut
MOMS NIGHT OUT
 
Calling ALL BFA ladies! You're invited to attend a Moms Night Out from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18, at Lodo's Highlands Ranch (8545 S Quebec Street, 80130). Appetizers will be provided so it helps to know how many moms will attend; please RSVP TODAY

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MIDDLE SCHOOL MONSTER BASH COSTUME PARTY
 
Ghosts and witches and creatures of fright,
Don't miss the call of Halloween night.
 
Come one, come all in the threads of the season,
If you miss this bash, 'tis an act of treason.
 
Come if you dare...hope you're not scared at the BFA Monster Bash Costume Party!

What:  Food, Fun and Friends
When:  From 7 - 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27
 
This is a FREE event for all middle school students. BFA students only, and all costumes must adhere to school costume guidelines. No dates allowed. 

REMEMBER TO SUBMIT YOUR STUDENT'S BOOKMARK CONTEST ENTRY

As part of the  PTO's Virtue Awareness Program , we'd like BFA students to create colorful bookmarks highlighting Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues. One elementary and one middle school winner will be chosen for each virtue category (see entry form), and the winners will have their design professionally printed as either a bookmark or poster.  Using the attached   form, enter the contest TODAY! All entries should be submitted to the collection box in the Dana Library by the end of school on Monday, Oct. 15. Please email Rachel Clouse, PTO virtues awareness committee chair, with any questions.

School
ATTENTION EIGHTH GRADE FAMILIES
 
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. 

BOX TOPS
It's Box Tops collection time! Ask your kiddo to glue or tape the Box Tops on this Halloween  collection sheet and take it to his or her homeroom teacher. 
Alternatively, put your Box Tops in a baggie labeled with your student's name/teacher. 

Did you know that  A LOT of Box Tops expire in November? It's time to get them all turned in, so while you're clipping your Box Tops, please remember check your unused boxes of cereal, granola bars, zip lock bags and paper products.  Let's make this our biggest collection to date. Each Box Top is free money for our school so every Box Top helps. If you have questions, or would like to help out with Box Tops, please  email Lauren Flint, Box Top committee chair.

BOOK FAIR
SHOP THE BOOK FAIR AND MAKE IT A MAGICAL FALL BREAK
 
BFA's Enchanted Forest Fall Scholastic Book Fair is open TODAY until 8 p.m. in conjunction with parent teacher conferences. Please stop by and grab some books for Fall Break!

BFA FUN RUN - ONLY TWO WEEKS UNTIL KICK OFF
 
The PTO's main fundraising event this year is the Ben Franklin Academy Fun Run! It's a two-week program that kicks off with a pep rally for students on Tuesday, Oct. 16. Elementary school families will gather pledges for every lap their student runs (30-35 laps), and we'll celebrate at the Fun Run on Thursday, Oct. 25. Middle school students will gather flat-rate pledges (not per-lap), and will participate in a color run on Thursday, Oct. 25.
 
With our big goal of raising $70,000 for a makerspace, we asked the Fun Run experts at Boosterthon to power our Fun Run and make it easier, more profitable, and more fun. A makerspace is a supervised learning environment in which students can gather to work on STEAM projects while sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge.
 
In the past, the PTO has profited $64,000 from the Fun Run to fund STEAM and playground enhancements, as well as to fulfill teacher requests. Help us reach our goal this year by collecting pledges!
 
Oct. 9: Pledging Opens, Log on to FUNRUN.COM to sign up and register your student(s).
 
Oct. 16: Pep Rally!
 
Oct. 25: Fun Run, SAVE THE DATE-- You're invited!
 
Thanks so much for your support!

PTO Logo
ALL WELCOME AT PTO'S MONTHLY MEETING
 
Join the PTO for their monthly PTO meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 17, to find out more about what's going on at BFA and get connected with other parents. The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanders Science Lab. All BFA community members (parents, teachers, legal guardians) are welcome. We look forward to seeing you there!

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 next week, 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 Driver's License and arrive a few minutes early so we can scan their license before the tour begins.

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.   
 
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.
Thursday, Oct. 4
 

BOOK FAIR
BOOK FAIR UNTIL 8 P.M. TONIGHT
 
BFA's  Enchanted Forest Fall Scholastic Book Fair will be open until 8 p.m. tonight, Oct. 4.  Please remember the front office is closed during carpool from 3 - 4 p.m.

Parent Teacher Conferences
PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES
 
We look forward to seeing you at Parent Teacher Conferences, which will be held from 4:15 - 8 p.m. this afternoon , Oct. 4 . Teachers will break from 5:30 - 6 p.m. for dinner. 
Friday, Oct. 5
 

No School
NO SCHOOL
 
Please remember there is no school on Friday, Oct. 5, as it is a comp day for teachers.
Monday, Oct. 8 - Friday, Oct. 12
 

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FALL BREAK
 
BFA will be on Fall Break from Monday, Oct. 8, through Friday, Oct. 12. We hope you have a terrific week!
Monday, Oct. 15
 

Basketball
MS BOYS BASKETBALL TRYOUTS
 
Tryouts for the boys basketball team will be held from  4 - 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 15, and Wednesday, Oct. 17, in the Thunder Gym.

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FINANCE COMMITTEE
 
The Finance Committee is meeting from 6-8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 15, in the BFA Conference Room.
Tuesday, Oct. 16
 

SCHOOL TOUR TUESDAYS 
 
Tours for prospective K-8 families will be held at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays through Nov. 27 (with no tours Nov. 20 due to school breaks). 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.

Preschool
PRESCHOOL PICTURES
 
Individual student preschool pictures are scheduled for Tuesday, Oct 16, and Wednesday, Oct 17. The photographer will be here from 11 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Preschool also is asking parents to come in during designated picture times to get their photos taken for their volunteer badge.

BFA 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, Oct. 16, in the Dana Library.    The agenda will be available via the BFA website 24 hours prior to the meeting.   
Wednesday, Oct. 17
 

Preschool
PRESCHOOL PICTURES
 
Individual student preschool pictures are scheduled for Tuesday, Oct 16, and Wednesday, Oct 17. The photographer will be here from 11 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Preschool also is asking parents to come in during designated picture times to get their photos taken for their volunteer badge.

Basketball
MS BOYS BASKETBALL TRYOUTS
 
Tryouts for the boys basketball team will be held from  4 - 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 15, and Wednesday, Oct. 17, in the Thunder Gym.

PTO Logo
PTO MONTHLY MEETING
 
Join the PTO for their monthly PTO meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17, in the Sanders Science Lab. All BFA community members (parents, teachers, legal guardians) are welcome. 
Thursday, Oct. 18
 

MomsNightOut
MOMS NIGHT OUT
 
All BFA moms are invited to attend a Moms Night Out from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18, at Lodo's Highlands Ranch (8545 S Quebec Street, 80130). Appetizers will be provided so it helps to know how many moms will attend; please RSVP TODAY
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.