Student Arrival and Dismissal
Student Health and Wellness
Communication at BFA
- 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.
BFA sends communications to current parents using School Messenger. Brand new DCSD families will need to set up their contact preferences on/after July 1 when their portal accounts are finalized by the District for the 2023-24 school year. This summer, we’ll communicate details about how to do set up your preferences in your parent portal.
- 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 1, after their parent portal accounts are finalized by the District.
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 15. 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. We’re happy to report that for the 2023-24 school year, we were able to include general student supplies in our budget! There will be no school supply fees charged this year. (This excludes fees for electives.)
Parents DO NOT need to purchase individual school supplies each August.
**If there are Parents/Guardians who need financial assistance with the supply fee, they can contact our Business Manager, Halsley Hoff.**
The Douglas County School District (DCSD) opted into the Healthy School Meals for All program for the school year 2023-24. 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 2023-24 Free and Reduced Meal Benefits information is 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.
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).
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.
Educational and Athletic Summer Camps
There are a number of athletic and educational summer 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
To complete a key step in the annual check-in process, you will need to be able to log in to the EngagED Parent Portal.
- Parents of current DCSD K-12 students have a Portal username and password.
- Parents who have never had a K-12 DCSD student created a Portal username and password when they completed Open Enrollment.
During the summer, there are two required steps BFA parents/families need to complete for every K-8 student.
- Mid-July all DCSD parents will log in to the EngagED Parent Portal to complete Express Check-In; and
- In August before school starts, your family will complete BFA Annual Family Check-In, in-person at BFA.
Parents will also need their username and password to access student teacher assignments/schedules in August.
Additional details about these processes will be in future communications. For your action TODAY – please ensure you can log in so both check-ins go smoothly. If you cannot log in, please email BFA’s registrar, Colleen Bobbin.