Vol. 8, Iss. 7
February 22, 2018

Dear Parents,
The past weeks events in Florida have had a deep impact on me, as I am sure they have on each of you. I thought this week I'd focus on what we have done here at Ben Franklin Academy to make our school a safe place for students to learn and grow. 
We are partnering closely with the Douglas County School District and Sheriff's Office to make sure that we are meeting all safety and security guidelines that they've set out. Earlier this year, we invited both organizations to walk through the school and give us suggestions on how to improve our processes. Some of these you may have noticed, such as increased security surrounding student parties and events. 
We've also scheduled a full staff training with District and County security teams next week. Following that training, we will have a lock-down drill; then the security teams will walk us through any suggestions they have to improve our response time as well as identify any gaps and/or potential concerns.
Other enhancements that were made last fall include:  upgrading internal security systems, installing additional video cameras both inside and outside of the building, and continuing our partnership with Douglas County and the School Marshall program. The program costs about $12,000 per year, but we feel it's well worth the expense to have the School Marshalls in our building at least twice a day, if not more often. The students and the staff enjoy seeing them walking the halls each day and we continue to be impressed by their interaction with our BFA community.
All of these processes and improvements focus on one thing: the safety of our students. I know that sometimes it is a hassle when you have to sign-in, wait in an extra long line to enter the building for a party, or walk around the school to pick up from BASE, but please know that the safety of our students and staff is in the forefronts of our hearts and minds at all times. 
Diana Simpson


The BFA community is  seeking leaders, who are  passionate about and committed to BFA's mission and vision, to serve on the seven-director Board of Directors. This spring, the Board will fill two positions; one position will be elected by the parent community and the other will be appointed by the BFA Board. For the entire Board of Directors Election Policy, visit Board Elections page on the BFA website. To best serve BFA's students, teachers, staff, and parents, it is critical for the Board to maintain a diverse skill set. To that end, we are  specifically seeking leaders with a background and experience in finance/treasury responsibilities.  
If you are interested in being considered or know someone who would be a good candidate, please complete the Nomination Form TODAY.  If you are interested in learning more about the Board, please email Bryan Molen, Board secretary The deadline for nominations is 11:59 p.m. this  Friday, Feb. 23.

We hope you will consider running for a Board seat today!

The  student council and  Mr. Macias are hosting " Dodgeball for Dollars" beginning at 12:55 p.m. today, Feb. 22 , in the Thunder Gym. This event is for Middle School kids and is held in conjunction with our elementary students' Jump Rope for Heart activities. Funds raised will benefit both the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society.

Observers (including any parents who want to watch) can bring in their optional $2 donation and cheer on their favorite teams.

We're looking forward to this friendly competition to raise money for the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society! 

The School Accountability Committee (SAC) parent satisfaction survey is now open and will continue until the end of February. The survey is an important part of SAC's commitment to providing opportunities for parents to be involved in the planning and evaluation of the school's instructional program and quality improvement processes. Please click here to complete the survey.
Only one parent per family needs to complete the survey. Parents who take the survey and give their family number will be entered into a drawing for $25 gift cards to Amazon and Target. SAC is going to randomly choose 10 lucky winners--so take the survey today!

Date: February 23 and 24
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: BFA's Performance Stage

Step right up ladies and gentlemen, children and creatures,
The smallest of small and the tallest of tall,
Come old and young, come one, come all,
It's Seussical the middle school musical, the greatest show
On the face of the Earth, or wherever you go!
There, our middle schoolers 
Will take the BFA stage
How cool to see 'em up in lights
at such a tender age.
They'll play Horton, The Cat 
and the Whos on their Speck
Middle schoolers are runnin' THIS show,
Yes, even the tech!
In town on February 23 and 24 at 7 o'clock,
You don't want to miss it because these kids rock!
You just need to be there! Oh the sights you will see;
Plus, what a deal! The show's even FREE!

BASE logo
We're excited to share that the BFA girls basketball teams are participating in the  championship games this Saturday, Feb. 24 ! The schedule is below--we hope you'll come cheer on the Bolts.
All games on Saturday are at SkyView Academy (6161 Business Center Drive, Highlands Ranch). There is NO FEE to get in, just bring money for concessions.
A Team:
The A Team plays North Star Academy in the semi-final game at 9 a.m.  If they win, the A Team will play in the championship game after the 10 a.m. semi-final concludes (around 11 a.m.).
B Team:
The B Team will play Littleton Prep in the semi-final game at 10 a.m.  If they win their semi-final game, the B Team will play in the championship game after their semi-final game (about 11 a.m.).
Congratulations on making it to the semi-finals and GOOD LUCK!

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

Let your star know how special they are with a candy gram for only two dollars ($2) each; then add your personal greeting to make it even more meaningful! Candy Grams now will be available at the concession table before performances. Save yourself some time by preordering your Candy Gram at least two days prior to the performance, then pick them up and pay for them at the concession table. Let's recognize our performers for all their practicing and hard work. Proceeds benefit the Disneyland Choir Fundraising team.
Upcoming Performance Dates:
February 23 and 24 : Seussical Jr. Performance, 7 p.m.
March 7: Full-day Kindie Musical, "Cover Your Sneeze, Please!"

Women from United Launch Alliance (ULA) came to BFA on Tuesday, Feb. 20, to do a STEM program for 30 of our middle school girls. ULA is the nation's most experienced space launch company with more than 120 consecutive launches and a 100 percent mission success rate. The women who presented are part of a group called "Women in Launch" who are looking to inspire the next generation of rocket scientists. They spoke with the girls about their backgrounds and their job functions at ULA. The women then lead a "Rocket Launching 101" workshop, starting with teaching the students all about rockets and then giving them an opportunity to build and launch paper rockets. It was an amazing day for our students and we appreciate the ULA representatives who took time out of their busy day to meet with our kids. 

Calling all witches, wizards and muggles alike! The Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Committee is hosting a fundraiser at 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (located at 7301 S. Santa Fe Dr., Littleton, 80120, at Aspen Grove), and will be showing 
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (PG-13). Since it was released in 2005, this may be the first time many BFA students will be able to see a Harry Potter movie on the big screen!
Tickets are $14.50 per person and MUST be purchased in advance via the BFA website (tickets are not available for sale through the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema web site or box office).  The movie will start promptly at 11:30 a.m., so be sure to arrive a few minutes ahead of time, as seating is first-come, first-served (no assigned seats).
Costume contest: There's no need for dress robes or the Sorting Hat, but there will be prizes for the best dressed Harry Potter-themed characters.
Please note: This special movie screening is a BFA-only event, meaning it is not available to the general public. You are welcome to invite non-BFA friends and family, but BFA families are responsible for purchasing tickets via the BFA site for attendees in your party (see below). In addition, the movie screening is NOT a supervised event, and parents MUST remain with their children at the theater during the movie.
To purchase tickets, click here. (Alternatively, go to the BFA website, click on "Payments" which is under Quicklinks.) Click on "After School Groups," "BFA Day at the Movies" and "CLICK HERE to Register for this Class." (Be sure to sign in if you haven't already.) 

Make sure each name in your party appears on the "Who are you registering?" list (click on "A New Name" to add names, including adults and children). When all names are listed, select a name to register, and follow the instructions. Click "Add and Continue to Shop" to repeat the preceding steps until all names in your party are "registered." On the final name registration, click "Add and Go To Shopping Cart," and provide your payment information. (You are not officially registered until you receive a receipt for payment.) You won't receive an actual movie ticket - a list with registered names will be at the door.  Tickets may be purchased online until 9:30 a.m., TOMORROW, Feb. 23 Tickets will NOT be available for sale at the door.

We're looking forward to seeing all of the students from the houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, as well as from Durmstrang Institute and Beauxbatons Academy. Remember, no wand use outside school grounds, and keep an eye out for dragons, merpeople and portkeys. It's gonna be magical!

Funds raised will benefit STEM Committee programs, including Math Olympiad teams, Pumpkin Chunkin' and Destination Imagination (DI) teams, as well as a potential BFA Lego robotics program. Click here for the flyer or email  Jason Sunahara with any questions.

While we've all enjoyed watching this year's Olympic Games in South Korea, we have our very own Olympiads to cheer on right here at home! That's because BFA is hosting an exciting math competition between Platte River Academy (PRA) and BFA students from 4 - 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 27, in the Middle School Commons.
The competition is open to fifth through eighth grade students, regardless of participation in Math Olympiad tutoring sessions. Each student will be given ten problems and the team scores will be determined by summing the top five scores for each school. Individual cash prizes and certificates will be awarded for the best scores for each grade level. Pizza and goodies will be provided to all participants after the competition.
If your student would like to participate, email Ms. Svensen. We hope that parents and non-participating students will attend to cheer on the BFA Math Olympiads! 

Congratulations to our Battle of the Books teams! The third/forth grade team ended their season last night with a victory, scoring 50 points against Stone Mountain Elementary. 

The fifth/sixth grade team won this week with at 56-25 victory. They placed second in their regular season and will compete against Bear Canyon in the quarter-finals at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at the James H. LaRue Library in Highlands Ranch (9292 S. Ridgeline Blvd.). All are welcome to attend and cheer on our team! 

Congratulations to both teams and their coaches, Mrs. Lewicki (3/4) and Mrs. Murphy (5/6)!
Third Grade Team Members:
Madelyn Anderson
Evan Nagel
Camden Neumann
Adam Velasco
Fourth Grade Team Members:
Lauren Byers
Addie Coleman
Matthew LaSelle
Bryn McDermott
Kyla Motazedi
Natalia Poleschook
Matthew LaSelle
Catherine Slaughter
Westley Watson
3rd/4th Assistant Coach: Jeremy Lewicki 

Fifth Grade:
Aiden Ackerson
Molly Citrin
Isabella Garcetti
Daniel Menker
Maria Mundackal
Aidan Murphy
Will Ricks
Sasank Vepa
Sixth Grade:
Evan McDermott
Vinisha Tripathi

If you're interested in trying a new and fun way to contribute to BFA, and work with our staff and elementary students, we have a great opportunity for you!

The STEM Committee is seeking a volunteer (or two) to work with our veteran Elementary Science Fair Coordinators to coordinate this year's event, April 10-12. This is an opportunity to learn the ropes by shadowing our current coordinators and helping with tasks such as:
  • Coordinating with school staff on scheduling, logistics, and parent outreach,
  • Recruiting judges,
  • Day of logistics/setup/coordination, and
  • Clean up and follow up.
The total job requires a few hours of coordinating from home and about 8 hours of being at school. If you have questions or want to express your interest, please  email STEM. We are looking for help ASAP.

The winners have been selected (you'll find out more soon!) and the bookmarks have gone to print. Be on the lookout for bookmarks to start coming home. Thank you to everyone who submitted an entry. Your creativity and interpretation of the virtues was an incredible reflection of Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues!

PTO Logo
Are you interested in helping BFA while connecting with other parents who are passionate about our school? If so, they hope you'll consider becoming a member of the PTO team! When you join the PTO, you make a real, meaningful difference at BFA and build lasting friendships with other BFA parents.
The PTO is an integral part of Ben Franklin Academy. Since it began serving BFA, the PTO has raised funds to provide all sorts of items needed by the school, including playground equipment, library books, a climbing wall as well as tools and resources needed by the teachers, staff and administration. They also organize social events to bring together the entire BFA community.
This year, there are several Officer and Committee Chair positions up for election by the school community, and many Committee Manager positions that are selected by the PTO Board. If you are interested in becoming a PTO Executive Officer, Committee Chair, or Committee Manager, please submit the following information to the PTO co-secretaries by April 2, 2018. (For all elected positions, the information provided will be posted on the election ballot.) 
  1. Your Name
  2. Number of children enrolled at BFA
  3. Grade of each child
  4. How long your family has been at BFA
  5. How many PTO Meetings you have attended in 2018-19
  6. Why are you interested serving on the BFA PTO?
  7. Why do you think you would be a good fit for this position?
  8. Is there any other information you would like to share?
With approximately 30 open positions, there's a role for most all skill-sets! Please see the recent news article for a list of open positions, visit the PTO page on the BFA website and look under 'important forms' to view a description of each, or contact  Mollie Anderson, PTO president.  

Please note, if you are elected for multiple officer/committee manager positions, you may only serve in one position.   

BASE logo
Ben Franklin Academy is happy to announce that we will offer an exciting Summer Camp program again this year. 
Do you need full-time daycare for the summer? Or perhaps you want to schedule something fun for your kids once a week while you run errands. Maybe your kids would like to connect with other Ben Franklin Academy kids and enjoy fun, summer social time? Whatever your situation, our Summer Camp is sure to keep your kids safe and entertained. And, the best part is--the program is staffed by people you know and trust!
Program Details
Dates:  May 30 - Aug. 10 (closed the week of  July 4th)
Hours:  7 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Days:  Monday through  Friday
Summer Camp is open to any BFA student age 5-years-old and above.
Program Costs
Registration: There is a $35.00/per child one-time registration fee. All registered campers will receive a camp T-shirt and day pack.
Daily Tuition: The cost of the camp is $35/day/child for non-field trip days and $50/day/child for field trip days.
Registration is now open. If you have any questions to please email the Summer Camp team. 

We're proud to announce that Ben Franklin Academy is the FIRST PLACE WINNER of the Macaroni Kid 2018 Most Fantabulous DCSD School! Thanks to our BFA community who voted (sometimes every day!) for our school. We sincerely appreciate you spreading the word about our amazing school. As a FIRST PLACE winner, Macaroni Kid Highlands Ranch-Parker-Castle Rock-Lone Tree is awarding us with a $500 Visa Gift Card from Osgood Team Real Estate and Dream Dinners Parker  is providing a catered lunch for staff.  

Mark your calendar! The BFA boys and girls summer volleyball camp will be the week of July 9 in BFA's Thunder Gym. The camp is for incoming fifth through eighth graders who are new or experienced players. We are also looking for high school players who are interested in earning required volunteer hours to help. If you have questions, email Coach Haufschild.

The PTO's online store will be re-opening from March 1 through April 15. What does that mean to you? This is your chance to get that coveted T-shirt, hoodie, or other spirit wear items before the school year ends. Please visit the store to check out all the terrific items for sale. If you have any questions, please email  Rachel Molieri, PTO spirit wear coordinator.

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


Buy yourself something the entire family will enjoy--a coupon book containing discounts for some of our favorite places, including:   Pierre Michele French Bakery, Indulge, Mici's, Cuba Cuba, Cold Stone, Honey Baked Ham, Gigi's, Timbuk Toys, Arts on Fire, Pirates Cove, Dart Warz and Junglequest.
Coupon books are only $35 each and is a gift that you or a loved one can use all year! The paper coupons can be used once, and with the app, you get the discount AGAIN with duplicate coupons. Also, this year your purchase includes a small card good for multiple uses at five businesses.
To purchase,  email Erin Fierro, D.C. Fundraising Committee Manager. 
Hurry and get these valuable coupon books today before they're all gone!

Nurse Health
A message from Dianne Nugen, our school nurse consultant...

Influenza or influenza-like illness is widespread in Colorado, including in Douglas County. This year's influenza is particularly bad, causing more hospitalizations and deaths than other years. It is not too late to vaccinate.
Influenza-like illness is a fever greater than 100.4 and a new cough and/or sore throat. Tri-County Health Department recommends:
  • Keeping children and staff with influenza-like illness home until they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication;
  • Increasing hand washing;
  • Coughing into their arm, not their hands;
  • Increasing cleaning and sanitizing of high touch surfaces; and
  • Encouraging flu vaccine for children and staff.
The above control measures should be done at home and school. Should a child become ill with influenza like illness, they should be kept home from school to prevent any further spread. They should seek medical care for treatment and testing. 
Watch for symptoms of fever, cough, congestion, body aches, and sore throat; and if there is illness, please keep them home to help stop further spread of illness.
For more information visit the Tri-County Health Department website at or the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.

Hockey fans--get tickets to see the Colorado Avalanche vs. Nashville Predators at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 4. Tickets start at $25, and a portion of every ticket will be donated to school of your choice. There is also a back-up option at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 16. Click on the flier to find out more.   

Send them a Birthday Bag!
Celebrating birthdays at BFA just got more fun! Order your child a Birthday Bag for just $10, and s/he will receive:  
  • A bag full of goodies such as erasers, pencils, bouncy balls, etc. (no food or candy will be in the bags);
  • A birthday certificate good for a free bake sale item at the next bake sale;
  • A personalized note from you, if requested; and
  • A 'Happy Birthday' serenade by the eighth graders who deliver the bag to your student's classroom.
Did your child already celebrate their birthday or do they have a summer birthday?   
We also will deliver "Un-birthday Bags" for students who have already celebrated their birthday, and "Half-birthday Bags" for summer birthdays.
You can purchase Birthday Bags online through the BFA Store.
Thursday, Feb. 22

Middle School kids will participate in " Dodgeball for Dollars" from 12:45 - 3 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22 , in the Thunder Gym. This event is held in conjunction with our elementary students' Jump Rope for Heart activities, and funds raised by our middle school students will benefit both the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society.

The Student Accountability Committee (SAC) is meeting from 4:10 - 5:10 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22, in the BFA Conference Room. 

Seussical Jr.
Beginning at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22, there is a dress rehearsal for Seussical, Jr.

Ben's Brigade is meeting from 8 - 9 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22, at the Starbucks inside SuperTarget ( 1265 Sergeant Jon Stiles Dr).  
Friday, Feb. 23 

We hope you'll join us for Seussical Jr. at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23, on the BFA Performance Stage.
Saturday, Feb. 24

BASE logo
The BFA girls basketball teams are participating in the championship games this Saturday, Feb. 24!  All games on Saturday are at SkyView Academy (6161 Business Center Drive, Highlands Ranch).
The A Team plays North Star Academy in the semi-final game at 9 a.m. and the B Team plays Littleton Prep at 10 a.m.  If they win, both teams will play in the championship game after the 10 a.m. semi-final concludes (around 11 a.m.).

The Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Committee is hosting a fundraiser at 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (located at 7301 S. Santa Fe Dr., Littleton, 80120, at Aspen Grove), and will be showing  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire  (PG-13). 
Tickets are $14.50 per person  and MUST be purchased by 
9:30 a.m., TOMORROW, Feb. 23
Tickets will NOT be available for sale at the door.
To  purchase tickets go to the BFA website, click on "Payments" which is under Quicklinks. Then, click on "After School Groups," "BFA Day at the Movies" and "CLICK HERE to Register for this Class." (Be sure to sign in if you haven't already.) 

Click here for the flyer or email   Jason Sunahar a with any questions.

We hope you'll join us for Seussical Jr. at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24 on the BFA Performance Stage.
Tuesday, Feb. 27

BFA is hosting an exciting math competition between Platte River Academy (PRA) and BFA students from 4 - 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 27, in the Middle School Commons.  If your student would like to participate, email   Ms. Svensen . We hope that parents and non-participating students will attend to cheer on the BFA Math Olympiads! 
Friday, March 2

Students who have met their Accelerated Reader goal can wear Dress of Choice on Friday, March 2. You will be notified if your student has met their goal.

The eighth grade social studies fair will be held on Friday, March 2, in the Middle School Commons. Students will create and present social studies projects; parents are invited to attend while their student is presenting. We look forward to seeing the eighth graders projects! 
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.