A message from Bill Castor, president, BFA Board of Directors…
Regardless of whether you are a founding family or a new member of our school community, I would like to take a few moments of your time to thank you for your support of BFA and, on behalf of your Governing Board, provide you with a brief update on our progress and priorities for the coming academic year.
BFA continues to be one of the most desirable choices in the area. Our conservative approach to financing, consistent focus on being a data-driven institution and the professionalism of our administration and staff has allowed us to continue our tradition as the STEAM school of choice. Although we have done a great deal to position our school for a successful future, we have much to do as we open for our 9th year. Along with the fundamental elements that we are constantly focused on, below are a few points that I would like to bring to your attention;
- Charter Renewal – BFA is a K-8 public charter school that is authorized to operate by its charter contract with the Douglas County School District (DCSD). We also operate a Core Knowledge, tuition-based preschool. Although it is semi-autonomous and has flexibility in its operations due to the waivers it received, BFA is held accountable for meeting the objectives set forth in its charter contract. During the past year, our highest priority was the renewal of this agreement with the DCSD. The renewal process was a rigorous one and I am extremely proud of the way BFA was represented and perceived in the community. Ultimately, we successfully renewed our charter contract through 2024, which is a testament to the professionalism and commitment of our entire BFA community. Thank you to all of the Board members, parents and staff that worked so hard to ensure our continued success The renewal of this agreement will allow BFA to continue as one of the premier schools in this area for years to come.
- Security – While the security of our school has always been paramount to the Board and administration, a couple of recent events reminded us all that safety and security must continue to be a focus of both our energy and our resources. At our monthly meetings, the Board has frequently heard recommendations and discussed how we can improve our physical and procedural approach to security. In all cases, the security systems at BFA meet or exceed those recommended by the DCSD. Not all of these are visible, but we have continued to improve our security posture and will make every reasonable investment in this area.
One frustrating aspect of the physical security programs and procedures is that a vast majority of the effort is put into reacting to events that have already occurred. We, as a Board, believe there should be a much greater focus on prevention. Recognizing this, we spent significant resources last year expanding our counseling programs and actively engaging more of our students. During that time, we were also evaluating longer term programs that are focused on the emotional well-being of our children in hopes of preventing the hopelessness that is frequently associated with acts of violence, both in and out of school. We have selected, and this year we will implement a program called Second Step (www.secondstep.org). We are excited about this program because it is designed to promote the social, emotional and academic success of our children and is actually focused on developing social-emotional competencies. I firmly believe that the best way to avoid school violence is to know our children. This has always been a strength of BFA and we will work to make that aspect of our community even better in the future. Stay tuned for much more information on this program in the near future.
- Volunteerism –We all count on each other to maintain the high quality of our school and we can’t do it without everyone upholding their volunteer commitment. Thanks to all of you who have volunteered your valuable time to help make our school such a success, and to those who have struggled to meet their commitment, I encourage you to seek out ways to help. There are many ways to volunteer (including many that can be done from home or during evenings or weekends) and help BFA continue to be successful for our children. Please do your best to contribute in some small way.
- Finance– Financially BFA remains sound. This past school year saw the Finance Committee and Board come together to evaluate alternative investments to make our money work better. As a result, BFA has elected to move more of its main account monies into Colorado Trust, where significant interest revenue will be generated each year. These new monies will be either reinvested back into Colorado Trust or used for operating expenses. Putting these funds to use represents a significant contribution to our continuing financial health.
This year we will be also be investing dollars with an outside consultant to assess BFA‘s infrastructure. Structural needs, HVAC, plumbing and outside grounds will all be scrutinized, and the results of the evaluation will be used to focus our future financial resources and ensure that our facilities remain in great shape.
If you are interested to learn more about BFA‘s financial picture you can click on the Financial Transparency icon at the bottom of BFA‘s main home page.
As we look forward to this year, I am once again humbled to be a part of such a great community. The administration, teachers and staff have worked hard to prepare for the start of school and to welcome our children back for another exciting year. The ability to choose the school that provides the type of education we all want for our children is not something we can take for granted. On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are honored that you have chosenBFA. We have a lot more to accomplish and I look forward to what great things this year has in store for all of us. Please be safe and enjoy the remaining weeks of summer.