April 15, 2021
Weekly Update
A Message from Principal Simpson
Simpson
Dear Parents,

As we've seen during the past couple of weeks, COVID cases continue to rise. I’m thankful that most of our quarantined classrooms can return to school next week. We are continuing our conversations around allowing for a shorter quarantine time. We understand how problematic quarantines are for families and students, but we also have to balance out risks for others in the building getting exposed if we let students come
back too soon. I will announce our new quarantine plan in next week's newsletter.
Next week, Student Council is partnering with the CEC committee to host a Kindness Week. Student Council has been working hard on themes for each day and activities for the students to enjoy. I'd like to thank the Student Council, Ms. Poleschook (Student Council advisor), and the CEC for sponsoring these events!

The last week of April is STEAM Expo week! This is going to be such a fun week-long event for the school. The STEM committee has put many hours into planning this event. I want to thank them in advance for all of their hard work!

I'd also like to thank Girl Scout Troop 65438: Peyton Agnew, Riley Baker, Molly Egolf, Alexis Grissom, and Kaia Watson for building and donating the "9 Square in the Air" court to add to activities for recess. That was very thoughtful--thank you, girls!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Sincerely,

Mrs. Simpson
BFA News
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No School Tomorrow
Tomorrow, April 16, is a planning day for teachers so there is no school for students. We hope you have a wonderful three-day weekend!
Please Remember to Vote for BFA Board
If you have not done so already, please remember to vote for the 2021-22 Ben Franklin Academy (BFA) Board of Directors. Visit the Board Election webpage to learn more about the candidates as well as the qualifications outlined by the Succession Committee.

Use this form to cast your vote today!

If you have any questions, please contact Adam Lucero.
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Register for the ENTIRE SUMMER of BFA's Summer Camp Program
It’s time to register and sign up for the ENTIRE SUMMER of BFA's fantastic Summer Camp! Registration must be completed for every student who enrolls in Summer Camp, AND you’ll need to sign up your kiddo(s) for the weeks he/she will be attending. Families can go to MySchoolBucks to get started.
 
Summer camp runs Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. beginning Tuesday, June 2, and ending on Friday, Aug. 13; with a holiday closure from July 5-9. We already have three in-house field trips set up:

June: Kona Ice,
July: Rent-A-Theme Giant Legos
August: Big Air Jumpers--Big Jumping House

The cost to register is $25 per child, and all campers will receive a drawstring bag. The cost of care for the first week is $120, since it’s just three days and subsequent weeks will be $200 per week, unless there is an in-house field trip. (The cost will increase slightly on any weeks we are able to schedule an in-house field trip). We do need a certain number of campers to sign up, so please enroll soon!

If you have any questions please email Mrs. Savoy.

*If your BFA registered child turns five during the summer they may also attend, but not until the day that they turn five.
Only a Few More Days to Shop Book Fair
Please shop our Scholastic Online Book Fair now until Sunday, April 18. All purchases benefit our school--and you'll get access to new releases, best sellers and value packs! All orders ship direct to home with FREE shipping* on book-only orders over $25. All purchases support our school and earn 25 percent in rewards for our library
                                             
We hope you'll visit our Book Fair Homepage and click “Shop Now” to get started TODAY!
 
*Free standard shipping is available on book-only orders of $25 or more, after all discounts are applied. Free standard shipping (books) must be selected during checkout. Orders containing products other than books are not eligible for this shipping promotion.
Say Thanks with SCRIP
NOW through Sunday, April 18
Collections for the SCRIP program to gift BFA staff are taking place NOW through MySchoolBucks and will run though Sunday, April 18, with gift cards being distributed during Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week (May 3-7).

Participation in the SCRIP program is completely voluntary. You are welcome to participate with any amount, or alternatively gift the teachers and staff on your own. Families can place SCRIP orders via MySchoolBucks and pay by credit card. You may designate how much you would like to give to each teacher/staff member in one-dollar increments. 
 
Preschool families: Please click here for the preschool form. The completed preschool form and a check need to be dropped off in the PTO lock box located in the BFA front office by April 16.

Questions? Visit the PTO webpage or contact Natalie Lucero, SCRIP coordinator.
Get Your Tickets for the Sweetheart Ball
All BFA girls and their father or other special adult are invited to attend this year’s Sweetheart Ball, Light Up the Night, a girls’ glow social event from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, April 24, at BFA. Tickets are $35 per couple and $15 for each additional child. Tickets are still available through MySchoolBucks. Capacity is limited to 175 guests--so get your tickets TODAY! The event will be held outside on the BFA turf; please be sure to dress appropriately for April weather in Colorado.
 
Looking for volunteer hours? We need your help! If you’re interested in volunteering, please see the SignUpGenius or contact Alissa Motazedi, PTO social coordinator.
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Register for Middle School Soccer Tryouts
Middle school girls soccer has been rescheduled for April 26-May 28. Tryouts will be outside on the turf from 4-5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 20, and from 2-3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21. Callbacks will be from 4-5 p.m. on Thursday, April 22.
 
There will only be one team this year for BFA. Registration for tryouts is OPEN NOW! Any middle school girl interested in trying out for the team this year must register online through MySchoolBucks by Monday, April 19, or they will not be able to try out. Games this season will be Tuesdays and Thursdays, and practices will be after school on Mondays and Wednesdays.
 
Make sure you have a water bottle and athletic gear for tryouts. Cleats, shin guards, and a soccer ball are recommended but not mandatory for tryouts. Contact Ms. Poleschook if you have any questions.
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Kindness Week and One Act of Kindness Food Drive Begin Next Week
Ben Franklin's Student Council is partnering up with the Community Events Committee (CEC) for a Kindness Week. On April 19-23, the school will participate in a week dedicated to spreading kindness. The CEC is doing a food and supply drive competition for Integrated Family Community Services (IFCS)--the primary low-income safety net service provider of basic human services to the South Metro Denver communities since 1964, ensuring that indigent, low, and fixed-income seniors and families receive needed services. 
 
The CEC set a goal of donating 1,000 items. As an incentive to reach this goal, the CEC will provide a special treat for the GRADE LEVEL with the most donations. They hope you can help us reach our goal! The CEC provided these grade level guidelines for donations so we can send a variety of much-needed items to IFCS:
 
Kindergarten: Cereal/Breakfast Items
1st Grade:  Boxed Food
2nd Grade: Toiletries
3rd Grade: Multicultural Food
4th Grade: Rice & Soup
5th Grade: Canned Foods
6th Grade: Condiments and PB&J
7th Grade: Coffee & Tea
8th Grade: Cleaning Supplies
 
Marked donation boxes will be located at each entrance of the school (K-2nd = Zone B Doors, 3rd-5th = Main Entrance, 6th-8th = Zone A Doors). Please have your child locate the box corresponding to their grade level. 
 
Remote Families: A donation box will be placed in the upper parking lot from 8:30-11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 21, near the IFCS van. Please place all donated items in a bag labeled with your child's name, homeroom teacher, and grade so your child's donation receives credit towards the grade-level incentive.
 
In addition, Student Council will sponsor activities meant to spark acts of kindness and gratitude, including a Kindness Bingo challenge. Let's all come together and show how kind our community is!
 
If you have any questions about the Food Drive, please feel free to reach out to the CEC Food Drive Coordinator, Alyssa Gale Freund. If you have questions about the Student Council's Kindness Bingo Challenge, please contact Ms. Poleschook.
Ben's Brigade Spring Work Day
Come volunteer with Ben's Brigade from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, April 17, and help give BFA a much-needed spruce up for the spring. Don't worry if you can't come right at 7 a.m. or have to leave before 2 p.m. Come and help when you're able. They'd appreciate an RSVP using the Ben's Brigade Spring 2021 Workday SignUpGeniusIf you have questions or would like more information, please email Josh Pierce, Ben's Brigade chair.
Science Fair
Judges Needed for Science Fair
Students in grades 3 and 5 are currently working on Science Fair projects, and we could use YOUR help judging. You don’t have to be a science expert to participate, and the best news is that the judging will take place via Zoom! 

You’ll be able to conduct a judging session one-on-one with the students so they can present their projects to you online. But don't worry—you’ll have a little prep time before the judging starts so Mrs. Ward can walk you through some important information. There is a simple Google Form that we will use for judging each student.

If you would like to help out, and feel comfortable with the technology as described above, please consider signing up for a time slot. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Mrs. Ward.
DI Teams Finish Solid; DI Summer Camp
Besides trying to solve Destination Imagination’s (DI) prescribed Challenges this year, BFA’s DI Teams had the additional challenge of solving those Challenges and performing their solutions virtually. Congratulations to both BFA DI teams that recently participated in and competed at the 2021 Showcase Event and State Tournament. We are proud of the BFA team members and their team managers who took on this unusual and extra task of participating virtually!
 
Both BFA DI teams submitted their solutions in March for the State Tournament, and results were released in early April. Although the teams’ DI journey has come to an end, we would like to recognize the BFA teams again for their creativity, resilience and hard work in demonstrating their solutions during a pandemic and up-and-down school year, while also representing BFA for the ninth year in a row at the State Tournament!
 
To watch The Adventurers DI video submission, please click here.

Team Name: The Adventurers, Critter’s Big Adventure, Early Learning, Rising Stars Level
Team Members: Wyatt Henbest, Owen Johnson, Ada Littrell, Jacob Littrell, Brody Maas-Baldwin and Benjamin Sparks
Team Managers: Christiana and Scott Sparks
 
Team Name/Challenge: Creative Stallions, The Next Level, Technical, Elementary Level
Team Members: Delaney Deidel, Elias Lidstone, Charlee McChesney and Taylor Neale
Team Manager: Michelle McChesney
 
Lastly, if your child is interested in getting a “refresher” or “taste” of DI (and what it is all about) – whether or not he/she participates in the program in the fall – DI Colorado (DICO) is hosting a live and in-person summer camp, July 12-16. Campers will learn storytelling, staging, prop building and more. Cost is $250; is open to fourth through eighth graders; run by DICO officials (including two licensed teachers); and will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel (7525 E. Hampden Ave., Denver, 80231). (All instructors are vaccinated against COVID-19.) To sign up, click here. For more information, contact Kate Donelan, executive director, at (720) 542-3637 or via email.
PTO Logo
Introducing the 2021 PTO Candidates
The PTO is excited to share the list of 2021 PTO elections candidates. Thank you to everyone who accepted a nomination. The PTO is very excited about the excellent slate of candidates!

Thinking about volunteering for the PTO? There’s still time! The following positions are currently open for next year:
  • Treasurer
  • Social media committee manager
  • Spirit Rock committee manager
  • Spirit Wear committee manager
  • Sweetheart Ball committee manager

Additionally, we anticipate next year's fundraiser being a BENefit Bash, so an army of volunteers will be needed to put the auction and event together. So, if you or anyone you know would be a good fit for the PTO, please contact Mollie Anderson, PTO president.
Volleyball
Summer Volleyball Camp, Grades 5-8
Attention incoming 2021 fifth through eighth grade boys and girls...please mark your calendar for the BFA Summer Co-Ed Volleyball Camp which will take place July 19 - July 23 in the Thunder Gym! Registration is not yet open but see the flier for additional details. We will be monitoring and following all district guidelines, so please stay tuned. 
 
The camp is for enrolled BFA students only.
 
Please contact Kristen Haufschild with questions.
STEAM Expo
BFA Loves STEAM!
The week of April 26, we will welcome Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) educators to BFA for STEAM Week 2021! This event will provide each class of students the chance to participate in two, 30-minute activities. Stay tuned for more information about the excellent educators coming to BFA to support the event as well as volunteer opportunities.

Remote families - please register your students to participate, as outlined in the email from Mrs. Simpson earlier this week.  
Community Events
Get Involved with the CEC -
Deadline for Submissions Next Wednesday
The Community Events Committee (CEC) has been an integral part of the Ben Franklin Academy community since the school's inception. The CEC is responsible for coordinating the following school events: Back-to-School Social, Boo-Hoo Yahoo, Goodies with Grandparents, Veteran's Day, Parenting Seminars, Blooms-n-Brunch (formerly Muffins with Mom), DIY Dads (formerly Donuts with Dad), and One Act of Kindness (OAK) activities.
 
The mission of the CEC is to help build a BFA community that promotes interaction between students, staff, administration, parents, and the surrounding community with an emphasis on community service and outreach.
 
Are you creative, organized, enjoy planning events, or desire to become more involved in the BFA school community? If so, please consider a CEC Officer position for the 2021-22 school year. The committee has the following open positions: Vice-Chair, Treasurer/Secretary, and Chair (1-2 positions). If you are interested in joining the CEC committee, please send an email with the following information:

1. Your Name
2. Number of children enrolled at BFA
3. Grade of each child
4. Number of years your family attended BFA
5. Number of CEC Meetings you attended in 2020-21
6. Why are you interested in serving on the CEC?
7. Why do you think you would be a good fit for the selected position?
8. Any additional information you would like to share with the CEC
 
All submissions are due by noon on Wednesday, April 21.
 
If you have any questions or want more information about the Community Events Committee, please feel free to email Mindy PoolerBecky Mayka, or Nikki Busto, CEC co-chairs. We hope you will consider joining the CEC!
Spirit Night Next Week at Five Guys
The PTO's next spirit night is coming up quickly. Mark your calendars for spirit night at Five Guys in Highlands Ranch from 3-9 p.m. next Wednesday, April 21. Five Guys will donate 15 percent of all purchases made back to BFA. Please mention you're with BFA at the register so your order gets included in our spirit night. Print this flier as a reminder, if needed.
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Change in Vaccination Exemption Process
Per the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the process for claiming a nonmedical exemption has changed for the 2021-22 school year. We wanted to alert families about this early, so they have plenty of preparation time to adhere to the new guidelines, if applicable.
 
If you choose not to have your child(ren) vaccinated according to the current recommended schedule because of personal belief or religious reasons, you must submit a Certificate of Nonmedical Exemption to the school.

Nonmedical exemptions must be submitted annually, which means parents have to submit the certificate every new school year. (The school year begins on July 1, and runs through June 30 of the following year.) There are two ways to file a nonmedical exemption:
  • File the Certificate of Nonmedical Exemption WITH a signature from an immunizing provider, OR
  • File the Certificate of Nonmedical Exemption received upon the completion of the online education module.
Downloadable certificates and the online education module are available at https://cdphe.colorado.gov/vaccine-exemptions.
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Sign Up for King Soopers Rewards Program
We all need to buy groceries and most of us need gas for our vehicles; but did you realize that with just a few minutes of administrative work, you can support BFA while making all these regular purchases? Here's how:
  1. Sign in to your digital account at King Soopers Community Rewards. If you haven't already, set up your account and link your King Soopers card or phone number to your account.
  2. Click on Community Rewards, Enroll Now and search for Ben Franklin Parent Teacher Organization OR enter our code, XN773. Click Enroll.
  3. Next time you check out at King Soopers or City Market, scan your card (or enter your alternate ID) and BFA will get money back from your purchase.
Our earnings from January to March 2021 equaled $2,328. Please keep linking your card to BFA, shopping, and scanning!
Upcoming Events
BFA's Guiding Principles
Mission:
Our mission is to create 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, the arts, 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 social emotional development, character, sports, and nature.

13 Virtues:
Temperance, Silence, Order, Resolution, Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, Justice, Moderation, Cleanliness, Tranquility, Purity and Humility.