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March 23, 2023

Weekly Update

A Message from Principal Simpson


Dear Parents,

Welcome back from spring break! I hope everyone had a wonderful week off. There are only nine weeks left of school—and from my experience, they’ll fly by as spring is a very busy, exciting time at BFA.

A big thank you to our School Accountability Committee (SAC), especially Betsy Brown, Erika Kranz, and Lara Chatterton, for presenting the results from the parent survey this week at the Board of Directors meeting. We’re thrilled with the number of responses, but that also means there is a lot of data to go through and our SAC did a nice job summarizing the results. We will post their presentation on the website soon. In addition, all of the Board members and I will spend a significant amount of time reading through all the responses and comments made on the survey. We use those results to guide our conversations during the June Board Retreat. The SAC’s next project is to survey our students. All K-8 students will take the student survey next week.

The Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) has been very busy planning the BENefit Bash for Saturday, April 1! I am excited to attend and hope to see many of you there; click here to purchase your tickets. They are still looking for some auction items so please see the article below for details. It should be a fun evening out!

Finally, I want to thank the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) committee for hosting the first Family Fun Night before break--this event proved to be a terrific way for families to get creative and work together on a STEM challenge.

All of our committees add a tremendous amount of value to the BFA community. During these last nine weeks, I encourage you to think about whether volunteering on one of our committees next school year might be a good fit for your skills.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thank you,

Mrs. Simpson

BFA News

Class Picture Day is April 5

Wednesday, April 5, is class picture day (and a formal uniform day)! If you are interested in purchasing a class picture, see the options below:

  • Click anywhere on this flier for a hyperlink that connects to the online ordering page.
  • Go to and enter BFA's event password, C657CG. (It's also located at the bottom of the flier).
  • Print the flier/order form, attach a check or cash, and bring it in on picture day.

Get Your Tickets to the BENefit Bash Before Sales End!

Auction Items Needed

Bash Revised

The BENefit Bash is a BFA tradition the entire BFA community of parents, grandparents and staff look forward to, so we hope you'll PURCHASE your tickets TODAY before ticket sales end! The Bash will be held from 5 - 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 1, at Freedom Golf Carts

We are in need of silent and live auction items. We are looking for a variety of things: sports items, timeshares, lodging, gift basket items etc. Please consider how you can help and contact Andreya Flanigan, PTO fundraising coordinator.

They’ll also be a wine/liquor wall at the auction. If you have a bottle or two you can donate, please let Andreya know. She can pick up your donations in Highlands Ranch—remember these types of donations count as .25 volunteer hours per event (not per item). 

If you have something you would like to donate or to volunteer, please reach out to the PTO Fundraising Coordinator, Andreya Flanigan, at Thank you for your continued support!

First Ever Family Fun Night a HUGE Success!

We are pleased to announce that the BFA STEM Committee’s first-ever Family Fun Night - Spaghetti Challenge was a huge success, with almost 100 participants attending the event on Thursday, March 9. Students from nearly every grade attended with their families to learn about engineering principles and compete to see who could build the tallest tower and the strongest bridge. Competitors constructed their structures using spaghetti and other household materials, including marshmallows and hot glue. With the help from Science Matter In America, a local STEM resources organization, family teams were given a quick but informative presentation on the different structural properties of bridges and towers. They had the remainder of the time to design and build their structure. 


By the end of the event, roughly 20 structures were completed by the family teams, with all family members working together. Each completed structure went through a rigorous judging process, with tower heights being measured and bridges going through multiple rounds of weight-bearing competition. In fact, the bridge competition became so intense that competitors were holding their collective breath, waiting for the spaghetti bridges to snap! In the end, the tallest tower measured 37.5 inches with two runner-ups at 37 inches each.


Towers were also awarded for their engineering and creative designs. The strongest bridge was able to hold six 12-ounce water bottles, equivalent to roughly 5 pounds; and one bridge was awarded Best Engineering Principles for using components of triangulation in their design. STEM-themed prizes were awarded to all of our winners and for all the different categories. 


All-in-all, we had an incredible time getting to see all the young (and more mature) aspiring engineers get to work together towards a common goal while incorporating STEM concepts. It was truly inspiring to be able to witness all the ingenuity our young engineers possess. We are incredibly appreciative of all the students and families who attended and participated in the STEM family fun night! We hope that everyone enjoyed the event. The STEM Committee is already looking forward to hosting the event again next year and are planning their theme for next year's STEM challenge. Get ready!!

family fun
family fun
BFA Summer Camp

Registration for Summer Camp Opens April 3

It's almost time to get registered for BFA's Summer Camp! The initial summer camp registration will open on Monday, April 3, in MySchoolBucks. Please note, summer camp attendees need to register each summer before using the program. Registration costs $35, and includes a t-shirt and a day pack.


If you have a new incoming BFA student or Kindergartner to register, please reach out to to learn how you can register your child. The summer camp activities and field trip calendar also will be available on April 3. To see the calendar, please email us on or after April 3.


This summer, we’re able to offer parents the low weekly fee of $200 per child, per week because BASE received a grant last year from the State of Colorado. We’re very happy that we can still use the remaining funds this summer to keep costs down, but next summer, we will have to increase our fees. Summer Camp will be open from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The first day of camp is Wednesday, May 31, and camp will run through Friday, Aug. 11. We will be closed July 3-7 for the holiday week. We will go on two field trips per week and have lots of other fun activities during the week.  


Sign Up for the Summer Bootcamp!

Help prevent some of the inevitable Summer Slide by joining Sarah Harrell, and Ellen Cain, for their 5th annual Summer Bootcamp at BFA!

They will be hosting BFA Bootcamp sessions in BFA's Outdoor Classroom for incoming Kindies as well as first, second and third graders. 

Incoming Kindies will meet for 1.5 hours per day, and all other students will meet 2 hours a day. The June and July Bootcamps will meet over 3 consecutive days.


Space is limited, so please see their sign up for additional information and to get registered.

steam flier

Be a STEAM SUPERHERO this Summer!

Mrs. Tickle is offering a SUPERHERO STEAM CAMP this summer from 9-11:30 a.m., June 12-16. The STEAM Camp is for students CURRENTLY in grades 2-4.

To find out more information, see the flier. Space is limited, so be sure to register today! 

Race to Read

Race to Read!

Here we go! Race to Read through Bandimere Speedway is an exciting program that encourages students to read at home. Students have six weeks to complete five BINGO squares, document how they completed their BINGO sheets and return the sheets to the speedway. There are fun prizes and students can even receive a ticket/wristband for the NAPA Auto Parts “Night of Fire and Thunder.” Click here for additional information, as the contest starts on Monday, March 27, and will end on Friday, May 5.


There are So Many Reasons to Join the PTO -

Nomination Window Ends Soon!

Are you interested in serving on the BFA PTO next school year? They’re currently looking for individuals to fill a wide variety of volunteer roles on the 2023-24 PTO team. There are so many reasons to volunteer with the PTO; the right position is waiting for you! Nominations are being accepted through Sunday, March 26, and PTO elections will be held April 23 - 29. To nominate yourself, or someone you know who'd be a good fit in the PTO, please complete the 2023 BFA PTO nominations form by March 26.


This year, the executive offices of PresidentSecretary, Treasurer, and Room Parent Coordinator are up for election by the school community. For a full list of available positions and for more information on the PTO, please visit their webpage or contact one of the current PTO Executive Officers (listed below). Thank you for your help in continuing to make BFA an amazing place!


Janelle Nichols, President,

Alissa Motazedi, Vice President,

Erin Crowe, Secretary,

Christiana Sparks, Treasurer,

Andreya Flanigan, Fundraising Coordinator,

Ewelina Chrzanowski, Social Coordinator,

Anne Chacon, Room Parent Coordinator, 

Ben's Brigade

Calling All Dads: Ben's Brigade Needs YOU!

Ben's Brigade is a PTO group open to all BFA dads that provides a place for dads to get to know each other, as well as opportunities for unique ways to give back to the school and earn volunteer hours. Ben’s Brigade handles work projects around the school, provides volunteers for school functions, and hosts a number of social events throughout the year - some just for dads and some with kids as well.


They have a meeting at 8 p.m. tonight, March 23, at Max Taps in Centennial – all are welcome! They also have school projects coming up as well as their end of year picnic so they would love to have more dads get involved!


Contact Curtis Anderson, Ben’s Brigade committee manager, to learn more.


Hearing and Vision Rescreenings


BFA will conduct hearing and vision rescreenings during school hours on Wednesday, March 29. We can use four volunteers between 9 and 11:30 a.m. on March 29. Please sign up if you would like to help.  

If your student wears prescription glasses or contacts, it is necessary that he/she wear them during the screening

After the screening, you will receive a letter only if your student does not pass the screening.


Please contact Mrs. Paulson in the Health Room if you have questions or concerns about your student.


Say Thanks with RaiseRight

BFA will use RaiseRight (formerly SCRIP) for end of year staff gifting again this year. This convenient, online program replaces room parent collections and facilitates convenient group gifting. Each family makes one payment through MySchoolBucks for all of their teacher and staff gifts. At the end of collections, each staff member will receive an email with the total collected on their behalf and is able to select gift cards they would like to receive.


Participation in the RaiseRight program is completely voluntary. You are welcome to participate with any amount, or alternatively gift the teachers and staff on your own. Families will be able to place RaiseRight 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. Collections will take place April 10-16 with gift cards being distributed during Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week (May 8-12).

Questions? Visit the PTO webpage or contact Rebecca Mullenix, RaiseRight committee manager.

Learn More about the 2023 Board Candidates!

Please take time to read about our 2023 Board Candidates! Click on the links below to read about each candidate. More information about the election, qualifications and expectations can be found on the Board Elections web page.

Voting for the Seat 5, Class C and Seat 6, Class C directors will take place from Monday, April 10, until 11:59 p.m. (MST) on Sunday, April 16, 2023. Results of the election will be announced and the appointment will be made on Tuesday, April 18, at the regularly scheduled Board meeting. 

Melody Matthews

Click here to read her answers to the Candidate Questionnaire.

Jeff Bullock

Click here to read his answers to the Candidate Questionnaire.

Adam Lucero

Click here to read his answers to the Candidate Questionnaire.

Stephen Bentley

Click here to read his answers to the Candidate Questionnaire.

pirates cove

Save the Date for PTO Volunteer Appreciation

and Record Your Hours

Did you know that the PTO hosts a volunteer appreciation event at Pirate’s Cove to show our thanks to all families who complete their family’s volunteer recommendation (30 hours per family or 15 hours per single family household)? This year, the event will be held from 6 - 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 25. This is a private event for BFA families and it's always a fun evening, so be sure to log your volunteer hours as you complete them.

Thank you to all the families who have volunteered this year. We sincerely appreciate all that you do for BFA! 

Landsharks Spring Season

Registration for Landsharks spring track series is now open!

Landsharks offers a non-competitive youth program with a focus on self-improvement, being an encouraging teammate and making new friends. The spring track series is for students in grades K-6.

See their flier for all the details.

Earn Money for the BFA PTO while you Shop!


If you are a King Soopers shopper, you can help earn money for the BFA PTO by signing up for King Soopers Community Rewards. Here's how!


To sign up for King Soopers Community Rewards:

  1. Sign in to your digital account at King Soopers Community Rewards. If you haven't already set up an account, 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 Save.
  3. Next time you check out at King Sooper or City Market, scan your card (or enter your alternate ID), and BFA will get money back from your purchase.

It's fantastic how quickly this program adds up and how much our school can earn. From October through December of last year, BFA earned $2,566.48 back from this program!


Please contact Andreya Flanigan, PTO fundraising coordinator with any questions. Thank you, again, for your support of BFA and the PTO!

Get to Know our BFA PTO Sponsors!

In the upcoming Principal Newsletters, the PTO plans to recognize all of our 2022-23 BFA PTO Sponsors. We are incredibly grateful for their support and excited to give each one a spotlight.


This week, we’re highlighting the second group of our sponsors in the BRONZE category; we’re very thankful for their support and hope you’ll take a few minutes out of your day to learn about these businesses.

Please watch these short videos from our second group of Bronze Sponsors BRAND NEW BFA PTO YOUTUBE CHANNEL: 

PTO Sponsor Videos

Maglieri Mediation

Disputes can be complicated and litigation can be expensive. Maglieri Mediation offers modern, cost-effective conflict resolution by utilizing a virtual platform. We offer mediation services for homeowner and neighborhood association disputes, contractor non-compliance, personal injury, landlord-tenant, employment, general liability, construction, healthcare, real estate and contracts. Our mediation services are efficient, confidential and affordable.

CONNECTION TO BFA: Current Board member who has a first and third grader

Raegan Marino | Exp Realty

Raegan Marino is an honest and dependable realtor helping both buyers and sellers achieve their real estate goals and dreams. Whether it be primary residences or vacation properties, Raegan understands that the decision to buy or sell a home is among the most important, emotional, and exciting decisions we make as homeowners and prospective owners. As a former public-school teacher and Chicago Police Officer, Raegan has a heart for public service and the ability to attain results. She offers a hero's discount when a public servant, military service member, first responder or frontline worker uses her to buy or sell a home.

When not working with clients, Raegan can be found chauffeuring around her 4 daughters (all BFA students ranging in age from 5-13) from one activity to the next, helping them with homework, or playing referee and breaking up fights among them.

To learn more about your home's value, what is happening in the market, or to take advantage of the Marino Hero Giveback Program, call/text: (720)422-0569 or email: Don't forget to follow Raegan Marino Homes on social media!

CONNECTION TO BFA: preschool, second, sixth and seventh graders

Suburban Girl Boutique

Brooke is a mama to three wonderful boys: Chase, Hudson and Dane. She also runs a full-time business, Suburban Girl Boutique, from her home. She loves to help women look and feel their best by providing beautiful clothing at affordable prices. Her shop is kid friendly and has lots of availability to schedule appointments throughout the week and on the weekend. Brooke tries to make it hassle free, offering shipping, porch pickups and drop offs! Call her to make an appointment.

CONNECTION TO BFA: preschool, fourth and seventh graders

Tiktok: Suburban Girl Boutique

Urban Village Grill

“In a unique, modern, well-preserved, and comfortable home-like space, rich flavors, authentic and fusion mixed cuisines done perfectly.”

Urban Village Grill in Lone Tree opened for business in 2021 and set out to create a place where Indian food and fine dining are synonymous and, most importantly, where guests are treated like kin. They want everyone to experience a warm and aromatic welcome and have a wonderful time dining on the best Indian fusion food with a traditional touch.

The compelling menu and sophisticated experience would be enough to delight most diners, but they also want you to feel like family—and families cook together. So Urban Village Grill recently debuted an airy patio laden with seven tabletop grills, offering guests the chance to sear their chicken, beef, seafood, or paneer slathered with traditional Indian seasonings. Just like at a backyard barbecue, everyone is greeted with an inside joke, a thoughtful inquiry about their loved ones, or a suggestion to taste something they haven’t tried yet.

Their sole driving force is the smile on each guest’s face when they taste their food. That is their greatest joy.

CONNECTION TO BFA: Patrons have BFA students

Upcoming Events


See what's happening this month.


Fun Sock Friday - March 24 & 31

BENefit Bash - April 1

Formal Uniform & Class Picture Day- April 5


Teacher Planning Day - April 21

Report Cards Available

Be sure to check Gradelink!

Report Cards for the second trimester are available, so be sure to login into Gradelink and download your student(s) today!

And remember, it's never too late to set up high and low grade alerts in Gradelink.

BFA's Guiding Principles
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, 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.

Ben Franklin Academy

2270 Plaza Drive

Highlands Ranch, CO 80129

Main Office Phone: 720-383-4519


Attendance Phone: 720-432-9239


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