Ben Franklin Academy (BFA), located near C-470 and Lucent Boulevard, is “The STEAM School of Choice” in Douglas County, Colorado. We are a kindergarten through eighth grade public, charter school that combines a challenging, sequenced curriculum with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) as well as character education. BFA also provides a tuition-based, Core Knowledge preschool.
The mission of BFA “is to develop young adults with character like America’s founding Renaissance man, Benjamin Franklin: well-read, scientifically curious, and civically engaged.”
This is supported by BFA’s vision that:
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 uses the proven Core Knowledge Sequence (not to be confused with Common Core) to provide preschool through eighth grade students with a well-rounded education, which places emphasis on science, mathematics and literacy. We focus on the success of each individual student through the use of flexible ability grouping and differentiated instruction. BFA uses grade-level field trips to enhance classroom instruction and create exciting additional hands-on learning opportunities for our students. Further, our character education program is modeled on Benjamin Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues and enhanced by other programs, such as Rachel’s Challenge.
In middle school, our students benefit from receiving a dedicated Chromebook for use during their tenure at BFA. We also offer these students honors core classes (science, math, language arts and social studies) as well as a wide range of electives in addition to their PE/Health, STEAM Lab, Life Skills and Spanish rotation. Consistent with our mission and vision, students can participate in middle school sports and are presented with a variety of leadership opportunities, including Student Council and National Junior Honor Society.
At BFA, parents and teachers work collaboratively toward the success of our school. BFA families commit to volunteering for the school and annually have logged more than 20,000 volunteer hours (the equivalent of more than 10 full-time employees). BFA volunteers can be found helping students out of their cars in carpool and with their lunches, listening while young students learn to read, assisting teachers in preparing a grant application, organizing a school fundraiser and doing so much more. Having parent volunteers at BFA shows our students that we take an interest in and value their education. Moreover, we are teaching by example that it is important to participate in the larger community.
BFA’s continued success is due to the partnership and dedication of our students, teachers, parents, staff and leaders.
History and Facility
Driven by their desire to provide a choice in educational programs for their children, parents in Douglas County, Colorado, came together and created a vision for BFA in the winter and spring of 2010. BFA opened its doors for instruction at its new facility on September 6, 2011 for preschool through sixth grade. Since then, both its student body and facility have grown. BFA now serves students in preschool through eighth grade and maintains a waitlist for enrollment.
BFA’s facility is a two-story building of about 66,000 square feet with a total of 41 classrooms, including two preschool classrooms. The building also has two science labs, a music room, art room, library, gymnasium, middle school commons and two technology labs. BFA’s classrooms are equipped with audio enhancement capabilities for improved instruction, and teachers use the whiteboards installed in each classroom with iPads to further engage the students.
BFA continues to invest in its students and programs through an enhancement of our existing building in completion of the original vision for the property. BFA is building a more than 18,000 square foot addition on the north side of the existing building. The new space will feature additional instructional space to enhance our students’ STEAM experience, including a new art room, a full-sized gymnasium, space for music/theater performances, and additional science and technology labs. Our common goal is to create even more positive learning opportunities for BFA students consistent with our mission and vision without increasing enrollment beyond our current capacity.
Getting It Started