Vol. 9, Iss. 3
Jan. 24, 2019
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.
The BFA Board consists of seven (7) members: four (4) are regularly elected by the Parent Voting Group, and three (3) are appointed by the Board. Service on the BFA Board is an opportunity to grow personally and professionally while helping guide the direction of our school and our students' development. We are seeking leaders who are passionate and committed to the mission, vision, and long-term strategic plan of BFA to serve on the Board.
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. Please read below for details regarding the upcoming Board Election/ Appointment including the nomination, voting and appointment processes, and qualifications.
2019 Call for Nominations
The current call for nominations is for the following BFA Board seats:
Seat 3, Class B, is currently occupied by Bryan Molen. Bryan has served on the 
Board for three (3) years and will be seeking re-election. This seat serves a three-year term, ending in May 2022, and is elected by the BFA Parent Voting Group.
Seat 4, Class B, is currently occupied by Ann Citrin. Ann has served on the Board for three (3) years and is not seeking to be re-appointed to the Board. This seat serves a three-year term, ending in May 2022, and is appointed by the BFA Board.
2019 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. Members of the BFA Parent Voting Group will receive access to an electronic ballot on
Friday, April 5, and will have until Friday, April 12, at midnight to cast their vote. 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.
General expectations as well as Board activities, duties, and time commitments are highlighted below:
  • Only one (1) person per family may serve on the Board at any one time.
  • The Board shall not contract with directors or family members of directors.  
  • Neither directors nor family members of directors may be employees or independent contractors of BFA or serve as officers or voting members of the BFA Parent Teacher Organization.
  • The average director logs 20+ volunteer hours for BFA a month.
  • Directors are required to attend all Board meetings, strategy sessions and conferences as determined by the Board.
  • Directors new to the Board are required to complete the online charter school governance modules created by the Colorado Department of Education or Colorado League of Charter Schools.
  • Directors new to the Board are expected to review the following required materials within 30 days of being elected or appointed: "Cultural Literacy" by E.D. Hirsch, Jr.; "Boards That Make A Difference" by John Carver; and, "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin."
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

This week, we'd like to highlight the accomplishments of Matthew McCoy. Matthew graduated from BFA in 2015 and attends Arapahoe High School. He's had a very successful high school career--with a weighted GPA of 4.223! Matthew is a member of the National Honor Society, the National Business Honor Society, and is an Academic Letterman. He's also a member of the executive board of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), and has been a state qualifier for FBLA the past four years. Matthew plans to attend CU Bolder, as he was recently accepted in their Honors Chemistry Program. We can't wait to see what he accomplishes next!

It's  National School Choice Week --and we're happy that you chose BFA! National School Choice Week celebrates our ability to choose effective education options for our kids, from traditional public schools, to public charter schools, private schools and homeschooling.
We're fortunate to live in Colorado where there are so many wonderful education choices for our students. And, our state has some of the best charter school laws; in a report released this month, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools ranks Colorado second in how our statues compare against the very best, or 'gold standard' model. This is important, as there are 250 public charter schools in Colorado, with almost 121,000 students enrolled.
We're proud to join with more than 20,000 other schools across the nation to recognize National School Choice Week, and are thankful for the more than 500 families that have chosen BFA to educate, challenge and nurture their children.

BFA's Community Events Committee (CEC) is honored to host students and their MVD (Most Valuable Dad) from  7 - 8 a.m. tomorrow, Jan. 25, in the Lightning Gym for coffee, juice and donuts . As always, a favorite uncle, grandpa or other special guest is welcome to attend if dad is not available.  This event is popular, so please arrive early and park in the upper lot as to not disrupt carpool. Dads must remain with their students until they are able to head to class at 7:45 a.m. 

We still need volunteers to host this event, so please sign up to help. It's a fun way to get some volunteer hours!

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

Ben Franklin Academy's Heart Challenge will take place during the next few weeks. Look for more information in your elementary student's Thursday Folder today. Last year, BFA gained recognition for being among the top six schools in Colorado to raise money for the American Heart Association. In fact, we have a reputation of being one of the top fundraisers every year we have participated. Last year, our goal was to raise $18,000 for the American Heart Association, which, thanks to your generosity, we exceeded by quite a bit. 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.
Thanks to our PTO, we have heart rate monitors which elementary students use in PE on Fitness Fridays. All the kids have experience with the heart monitors and I've talked to them about what their heart rates need to be (Target Heart Rate Zone/yellow or red) while working out to maintain a healthy heart. To accomplish our goals of understanding how to be heart healthy and helping others who have heart problems, I have three challenges for elementary students this year:
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 Heart Rate Challenge Days (during their specials time):
  • Friday, Feb. 1 - Dunn, Hildebrand, Boyd, Marchisio, Brook, McGinty
  • 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.

As a special THANK YOU to all of our outstanding volunteers, the PTO is happy to announce we will be offering early sign-ups for February Parent Teacher Conferences to all volunteers who have met their annual volunteer quota and logged all hours in HelpCounter. The teachers will be reaching out to all eligible families prior to releasing the SignUpGenius to all families. Thanks to our volunteers for all your efforts!

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! Ticket sales are coming soon to MySchoolBucks; they'll be $5 online (order pizza online too), and $7 at the door. Hope you see you there!

Send a pencil gram to your child(ren) for Valentine's Day! 
Smencils are No. 2 graphite pencils made from recycled newspaper. They're fun to write with because they're colorful and have a unique scent. New this year--MYSTERY SMENCILS--the same fun pencils, but with 10 mystery scents. What scent will your child receive? Scents will be revealed at school after delivery! You also can include a personal message with your gift. Smencils are $2 for a single pencil, and $10 for a set of six.
Also new this year are BACKPACK BUDDIES! Oh So Yummy Backpack Buddies are cute, scented plush characters that come attached with a keychain to hook on your backpack. There are six different characters all with their own unique scent. The eighth graders will attach a personalized message from you to the backpack buddy and deliver your gift on Valentine's Day. Backpack buddies are $6 each, or 3 for $15. 
You can order Smencils and/or Backpack Buddies online through the BFA Store. Please place orders by Monday, Feb. 4.and the eighth graders will deliver them on Valentine's Day! Proceeds benefit the eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C. 

Looking forward to a Valentine's Day date night? Or, do you need a quiet, kid-free evening? The eighth grade Washington, D.C. students have you covered!
Drop your kids (BFA students, kindergarten and older) off for dinner (pizza, drink and dessert included), games, crafts, movies, gym activities and snacks from 6-10 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8. You'll get a night off, the kids can hang out with their friends, and you'll be supporting the eighth graders raising money for their Washington, D.C. trip!

The cost for babysitting, dinner and crafts/activities is only $25 for the first kiddo in your family, and $10 for each additional child. Registration is OPEN NOW and ends on Monday, Feb. 4. We must have 20 participants signed up to hold this event....so make a plan with your friends and/or your sweetheart and join in the fun! Please register NOW through the BFA Store (look under the 'events' tab).

The Sweetheart Ball is this Saturday, Jan. 26, and we need  volunteers to help make this event a success ! Please consider signing up to  volunteer for the day of the event or to  provide baked goods or refreshments. Thanks in advance for your help.

If you purchased a ticket, look for an envelope containing your wristbands (your ticket to the ball) in your youngest student's backpack. 

Contact Emerald Holden or Rachel Molieri with questions.

Are you interested in learning more about the policies that shape our school? Would you like to be a part of the development and implementation of the Parent and Student Surveys and boost your volunteer hours? If so, the SAC is the place for you!
The School Accountability Committee (SAC) will have multiple open positions for the 2019-20 academic year and invite all interested parents to attend one of their upcoming meetings and learn more about what they do. Meetings are the fourth Thursday of each month from 4:10-5:10 p.m. in the conference room. Their next meeting is TONIGHT, Jan. 24, so come check it out!

Please contact Cindy Brawley for more information.

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.

Does your middle school student like to paint or draw? Do they want the chance to paint the Spirit Rock with their design? Tell them to enter into the PTO's Virtues Awareness poster contest for a chance to paint the rock. Each poster entry gets participants into the drawing, and the winner of the drawing has the privilege of painting the Spirit Rock this May. To enter the poster contest for February, complete the form with a design that highlights the February virtue of Purity.

BFA will conduct our annual hearing and vision screenings at school on Monday Feb. 4, and Tuesday, Feb. 5. Hearing and vision impact learning, so it is important to conduct screening, and Colorado law (C.R.S. 22-1-116) states that students in grades K, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 9 should be tested for sight and hearing. We also screen students that are new to the district and any referrals. 
This year, the school has contracted with Tender Care Consulting, LLC, for the screenings. It is important to note that this is a screening, not a complete exam. If your student wears prescription glasses or contacts, it is necessary that he/she wear them during the screening
You will receive a letter if your student does not pass the screening. Students with concerns should be evaluated by a health care professional. Please take the letter to your appointment and have the provider complete the bottom of the form, and return it to your school's health office.
Colorado Department of Education Standards for hearing and vision are available online.
Please contact the Health Room if you have questions or concerns about your student.

Musical Theatre
Ms. Johnson has several exciting after school performing arts programs available this spring. Read more about them and get signed up today!

Stage Combat for students in grades 3-8 will be held from 3:30 - 4 p.m. on Tuesdays from Jan. 22 through March 12. This course is an introduction and exploration of stage combat. The main goals are to develop the ability to safely portray violence onstage within the context of a play with dramatic power. Other aspects include: the development of strength, flexibility and eye/hand coordination; understanding principles of safety in working with a partner during a fight sequence; and, learning how to advance your character journey.

Improv Acting for students in grades 2-8 will be held from 3:30 - 4:15 p.m. on Thursdays from Jan. 24 through March 14. Improv is acting on the spot! This is an introductory class for students to learn the fundamentals of improvisation--the basic tools, rules, and philosophy--through games, drills, and simple scenes. 

If you have not already registered for these classes, there is still time! Registration will be available via the MySchoolBucks website through Jan. 25.  For more information contact  Ms. Johnson or check out this guide .

SECOND GRADE FAMILIES--please volunteer in carpool this January! 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 January, we'd like our second grade families to sign up for open volunteer spots in carpool. If you don't have a second 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.' 
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. 
Thursday, Jan. 24

The School Accountability Committee (SAC) will meet from 4:10-5:10 p.m. today, Jan. 24, in the conference room . All parents are welcome to attend. Please contact Cindy Brawley if you need more information.

Ben's Brigade is meeting from 8 - 9 p.m. tonight, Jan. 24, at the Starbucks inside Super Target (1265 Sergeant Jon Stiles Dr, Highlands Ranch ). All BFA Dads, Stepdads, Grandpas are welcome to attend.  
Friday, Jan. 25

BFA's Community Events Committee (CEC) is honored to host students and their MVD (Most Valuable Dad) from 7 - 8 a.m. tomorrow, Jan. 25, in the Lightning Gym for coffee, juice and donuts. Dads must remain with their students until they are able to head to class at 7:45 a.m. 
Saturday, Jan. 26

We're looking forward to seeing you at the Sweetheart Ball! It's from
6 - 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26 at the The Falls Event Center (8199 Southpark Ct. Highlands Ranch, 80120). NO tickets will be sold at the door. 
Tuesday, Jan. 29

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.

Wednesday, Jan. 30

After exploring all kinds of hats, their uses, and the people who wear them, our second graders discover that it's not the hat that makes a person special, but what's underneath. Join them for this revelation at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 30, on the performance stage in the Thunder Gym. 
Friday, Feb. 1

Friday, Feb. 1, 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.