We’re so glad that you are a part of our wonderful community. As with any new adventure, there is a lot to learn as you embark on this journey. This page contains helpful links as well as specific information that is communicated to new parents throughout the spring and summer. It’s designed to let you refer back to it for helpful information, or if you enrolled at BFA later in the process, catch up on any information you may have missed.

Student Arrival and Dismissal

Click here for our school hours as well as detailed information regarding drop-off and pick-up.

Student Health and Wellness

New families should pay special attention to the health and wellness information and requirements. Please see our Health and Wellness webpage for information about taking medicine at school, health plans and immunization requirements.

Communication at BFA

BFA uses multiple communication tools to ensure that parents keep track of all the exciting things happening at BFA. Check out the list below for more details about all the ways to stay connected:

  • Principal Simpson’s weekly newsletter is sent out via email every Thursday during the school year. You can find back issues here.
  • The BFA website is the central hub for news, calendars, policies, teacher webpages, committee webpages and essential quicklinks for absence/attendance reporting, lunch, payments and volunteer management. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the website!
  • BFA has a public Facebook page and posts various announcements and pictures throughout the day.
  • Teacher websites, newsletters and blogs ensure you stay abreast of all the happenings inside your student’s classroom.
  • The Ben Franklin Academy app offers quick access to all the information you need from your mobile device, and if you enable notifications, you’ll also receive helpful reminders throughout the year. The app is available on IOS and Android devices–download it today!
  • Additional communications will be sent routinely to Middle School and Preschool families.
  • And, there are two Facebook pages run by BFA parents that can be helpful. They are not official BFA pages, so if you have a policy or calendar question, you should reach out to someone at BFA; however, they can help you connect with other BFA families in an informal way or even find used uniforms to purchase. There is a Buy and Sell Facebook page and Friends of Ben Facebook page. Additionally, some grade levels have their own Facebook page–contact your Room Parent or ask other parents in the classroom for more information.

NOTE: 

BFA sends communications to current parents using School Messenger. Brand new DCSD families will need to set up their contact preferences on/after July 4 when their portal accounts are finalized by the District for the upcoming school year. 

  • Current BFA Parents and Douglas County School District (DCSD) Families should have their contact preferences set up within their IC Parent Portal account to receive General, Attendance and Emergency notifications via (1) a phone call, (2) a text message and/or (3) through email.
  • New DCSD families will be able to set up their preferences beginning July 4, after their parent portal accounts are finalized by the District.

NOTE: School Messenger is used by the entire District, so if you unsubscribe to DCSD messages, you will no longer get messages from BFA since we use the same system.

School Uniforms

School uniforms are an important aspect of BFA culture. Uniforms enhance school pride, unity and community spirit and decrease discipline issues. For more information about school uniforms, parents can refer to the Uniform Policies. BFA parents have the opportunity to purchase uniform items from three approved vendors—Educational Outfitters, French Toast and Tommy Hilfiger. Links to the vendor sites can be found on the uniforms webpage. To get to the uniform page, please click here (and select uniforms at the top of the page) or visit the BFA website, then select parents, policies/uniforms/forms, and finally uniforms at the top of this page. Important: We recommend that parents purchase uniforms early, as sometimes there is a delay in receiving items. Be sure to purchase a Formal Uniform, which is a navy polo with the red BFA logo and tan pants, shorts, skirt or a skort. Formal Uniform must be worn on the first day of school, the first Wednesday of every month, and on field trips.

Absence Reporting

Click here to view the webpage with instructions on how to report an absence.

Student Fees, School Supplies & Payments

Families new to the Douglas County School District (DCSD) should set up a MySchoolBucks (MSB) account after July 4. Annually, all families should verify their students information is correct in (MSB). Families with existing accounts may need to add their students (new enrollment or incoming Kindergarten). Parents will use their MSB account to pay for field trips, participation in middle school athletics (if applicable) and spirit wear throughout the year. Visit the Payments page for instructions on how to set up your account and/or add a new student.

Annual student fee amounts are generally specified in Back-to-School communications and include the cost of student supplies. (BFA parents DO NOT need to purchase individual school supplies each August.) We’re happy to report that for the 2024-25 school year, there will be no student fees charged! (This excludes fees for electives.)

**If there are Parents/Guardians who need financial assistance with the supply fee, they can contact our Business Manager, Halsley Hoff.**

Lunch

The Douglas County School District (DCSD) opted into the Healthy School Meals for All program for the school year 2024-25. This means that all students will have access to reimbursable meals at their school at no cost. A la carte purchases and doubles will continue to be offered, but students will need to pay for them. These purchases will be charged to the student’s meal account if they have money in their MySchoolBucks account, or the student may pay for the food items with cash.

According to Nutrition Services, lunch is made up of five components—grains, protein, vegetables, fruit and dairy. Students can choose all five components, but to qualify for a reimbursable lunch, students must take three of the five components with at least one of them being a serving of fruits or vegetables.

If you feel it’s appropriate based on your student’s lunch preferences, you’re welcome to fund his/her MySchoolBucks lunch account. Please note, bottled water will no longer be offered for free, but 20 oz water bottles will be available for purchase. In addition, students will use their student id number to order lunches, so it would be helpful if our older students know their number and can enter it at check out. (New families: please see the instructions on the payments webpage to set up your student’s account in MySchoolBucks.)

DCSD encourages parents to complete a Free and Reduced Application if they normally would do so. The outcome of the applications is directly tied to District funding. The 2024-25 Free and Reduced Meal Benefits information will be available on the DCSD Nutrition Services website under the Free and Reduced tab. 

To learn more about the school lunch program, please see the Nutrition Services website.

Calendar

You can access the event calendar and the academic calendar from the primary navigation bar on the main BFA webpage. In addition, you can print off a PDF version of the academic calendar if you go to the forms webpage (click on forms at the top of the page).

Volunteering

Volunteerism is a fantastic opportunity to connect with other parents, teachers and support your student; as such, it’s an important component of our success at BFA. See our volunteer webpage for additional information about opportunities and how to log your hours.

BASE and Summer Camp

BFA’s Lightning Bolt Before/After School Enrichment (BASE) program serves BFA children and parents by providing a safe, enriching, convenient, and affordable school-age childcare program. Our on-site program features indoor and outdoor activities that keep your child engaged and safe while giving them plenty of time to work on their homework. A perfect fit for working parents or parents who need additional time before or after school, BFA’s Lightning Bolt BASE program provides safe alternative for school-aged childcare.

The Summer Camp program is sure to keep your kids safe and entertained; and the best part is that our Summer Camp program is staffed by people you know and trust! Summer Camp is open to any currently enrolled BFA student 5-years-old and above. Summer Camp is generally available most of the summer, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., with a week-long break around Fourth of July.

Our summer camp program is popular and fills up quickly–as of now, most every week for this summer is full. 

For more information, see our webpage.

Educational and Athletic Summer Camps

There are a number of summer enrichment camps available for BFA students throughout the summer. These fun camps are available on a first-come, first-served basis for a fee. See our After School Clubs/Summer Camp webpage for details.

Annual Check-In for Students

During the summer, there are two required steps BFA parents/families need to complete for every K-8 student. See below and be ready to login when the Express Check-In opens in July.

  1. Mid-July all DCSD parents will log in to the EngagED Parent Portal to complete Express Check-In; and
  2. In August before school starts, your family will complete BFA Annual Family Check-In, in-person at BFA.
  • To complete the first step in the annual check-in process, you will need to be able to log in to the EngagED Parent Portal.

    • The procedure to access the EngagEd Parent Portal changed in the fall of 2023. From the Single Sign-On screen, you will be prompted for an email. DO NOT enter your personal email address. Instead, enter your Infinite Campus Parent Portal username followed by @p.dcsdk12.org. Your password is the same for both Infinite Campus and EngagEd. 
    • If you do not know your username or if you need to reset your password, visit the DCSD Identity Management & Password Reset page. 

    NOTE: Parents/Guardians who are BRAND NEW to the district (have never had a student attend a DCSD school until the 2024-25 school year) do not have Portal accounts yet.

      • Parents/Guardians who open enrolled their children, created a username and password when they completed Open Enrollment (OE). These Infinite Campus Parent Portal accounts will be activated and accessible after July 4. 
      • Parents/Guardians who did not complete OE (for example, those whose spouses completed OE for their child) will receive email with instructions from DCSD’s IT Support Center (ITSC) to set up their Infinite Campus Parent Portal after July 4.
      • After your Infinite Campus account is set up, follow the instructions above to add “@p.dcsdk12.org” after your username so you can login to the EngagED Parent Portal and complete Express Check-In. 

    If you have an existing Portal account and have issues logging in after using the DCSD Identity Management & Password Reset page to confirm your username and/or reset your password, please call DCSDs IT Support Center for help at 303-387-0001 (Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.).

Parents will need their Infinite Campus Parent Portal username and password to access student teacher assignments/schedules in August. The Infinite Campus Parent Portal is different from the EngagED Portal where you completed Express Check-In. For the Infinite Campus Parent Portal, your credentials are your username (WITHOUT the ‘@p.dcsdk12.org’ ) and password.

Additional details about these processes will be in future communications.