The Roadrunner

Ben Franklin Elementary School

December 2021

Dear Families,

We hope this holiday season brings you much joy with family and friends! We have observed many students being safe, respectful, and responsible throughout the year! To date, 78 students have received three or more Recognized Roadrunner cards! That is a reason to celebrate as that is a record for this time of the year! A special THANK YOU to staff members for taking the time to celebrate success! When students demonstrate actions that are not safe, respectful, or responsible, staff members complete a Problem-Solving form with the student to develop a plan to decrease the behavior.

The teachers have worked hard since the beginning of the school year assessing students and monitoring their progress. Time has been spent the last two weeks compiling all of the information to complete report cards. As some of you already know, our reports cards are standards referenced and are designed to share a student's academic progress pertaining to the mastery of specific state standards over the course of the school year. Please see the information below explaining the standards-referenced reporting system. Report cards will be emailed home on Friday, December 3rd. If you have changed your email address since registering your child, please let the office know.

Ben Franklin Office - 701-746-2250

Ben Franklin Attendance Line - 701-746-2251

Standards Referenced Reporting Information

Pajama Drive

Beginning Monday, December 6th, Ben Franklin will accept new pajama donations for the Community Pajama Drive! The goal for Ben Franklin is to collect 50 pairs of pajamas this holiday season! The deadline for donations is December 16th! Attached below is a flyer with more information on what is accepted for donations this year.

Turkey Bingo

A special THANK YOU to our PTO members and those who were able to Volunteer for our Turkey Bingo "schoolwide" event! The students had a great time "Gobbling" down the hallway to claim their prize!

December 1st - 1:30 pm Early Release Day

December 3rd - Report Cards emailed to parents

December 6th - 5:15 pm PTO in the Library

December 15th - 1:30 pm Early Release Day

December 22nd - January 2nd - No School

January 3rd - School Resumes

January 12th - 1:30 pm Early Release Day

January 17th - No School (Professional Development)

January 26th - 1:30 pm Early Release Day

Early Out Dates~ 1:30 Dismissal

School dismisses at 1:30 on the following dates (please mark these dates on your calendar):

Dec. 1st

Dec. 15th

Jan. 12th

Jan. 26th

Feb. 9th

Mar. 23rd

Apr. 6th

Apr. 20th

May 4th

May 18th

Pizza Night

Are you hungry for pizza and want to support our PTO at the same time? Order Deek's Pizza between Dec. 6th- Dec. 10th! Mention Ben Franklin when calling or ordering online @
Being involved with our PTO board is a great way to meet other families, support our students, and learn more about Ben Franklin. Please plan to join us in the library on the following dates at 5:15 pm:

December 6th

January 10th

February 7th

March 7th

April 11th

May 16th

Turn Lane Guidelines for All Families

District Information

Substance Use Prevention Tips
Help children separate reality from fantasy. Watch shows or movies with them and ask lots of questions to reinforce the distinction between the two. Remember to include advertising in your discussions, as those messages are especially powerful. Source:

School Cancellation and Postponement Procedures

School postponement and cancellation alternatives will be as follows:

    • a. Hold school as normal
    • b. Open school but delay sending buses
    • c. Delay the start time in all schools by two (2) hours based on each school’s start time
      • Elementary School: Start time is 8:25, so school would start at 10:25. Doors will open at 10:15 a.m.
      • Middle School: Start time is 8:40, so school would start at 10:40. Doors will open at 10:30 a.m.
      • High School: Start time is 8:00, so school would start at 10:00. Doors will open at 9:50 a.m.
      • Head Start: Start time is 8:00, so school would start at 10:00. Doors will open at 9:50 a.m.
      • When school starts late, there will be no morning Early Childhood Special Education classes. Afternoon Early Childhood Special Education classes will be held.
      • Breakfast will not be served at any sites.
    • d. No school in Grand Forks Public Schools all day
    • e. No school for the Grand Forks Air Force Base School District students all-day
      • Decisions related to the weather-related delayed opening or closing of airbase schools may not always be consistent with those made for in-town schools. On those days when severe weather makes travel conditions so hazardous as to threaten the safety of staff members, opening delays or the closing of base schools will be given special consideration.
    • f. Once school is in session, it will not be terminated until the regular closing time except in very severe situations. However, school buses may leave early. Radio and TV stations will be used to notify parents.

    The decision to close or delay school will be made as early as possible. Announcements will be made on the District webpage (, and District social media (; Announcements will also be made on local radio and TV stations.

    Grand Forks Public Schools will be using our Automated Calling system to call staff and parents if school will be delayed or canceled due to severe weather conditions. Typically, this automated call will occur to staff between 5:30 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., and to parents between 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.

    Parents or guardians may always exercise their right to keep students home or pick them up early during stormy conditions.

    If an emergency situation should develop during the time school is in session, children will be cared for in school until the storm has subsided.

    If buses are sent home early, all buses will be sent.

    • a. Radio and TV stations will make the announcement of the departure time.
    • b. The lead-time needed for the procedure is approximately one (1) hour.
    • c. If conditions are dangerous, bus drivers must use common sense in discharging students that must walk a considerable distance. If possible, use the radio and contact the base station. Have parents meet the bus or be on the lookout for their children. If the driver is unable to contact parents and conditions are dangerous, do not let students off the bus but return to school and notify the principal. Schools that have bus students must have a written procedure for caring for students in the event they must be kept overnight at school.

Covid Mask Update

GFPS employees and families,

At its meeting on November 22, 2021, the Grand Forks School Board approved the district’s Smart Restart Committee recommendations of the following:

  • Effective November 23, 2021: masks are recommended at after-school activities (athletics and fine arts performances where audience members or fans are in the stands).

    • Mask requirements will stay in place for ENCORE (after-school program).

  • Effective January 17, 2022: masks are recommended for K-12 students and employees in all school-owned or leased facilities during the instructional day.

    • Masks are highly recommended for staff working with Head Start and Early Childhood Special Education students.

    • Masks are required for programs that include immunocompromised students or employees.

    • All individuals using transportation (i.e.: school and city buses, vans) will continue to wear face masks, as this is a U.S. Department of Transportation requirement.

    • Mask requirements may be reinstated if COVID data dictate so.

As we shared last week, these recommendations were made, in part, due to the eligibility of students aged 5-12 to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination. Waiting until after the December holiday break will provide time for interested families to have their student(s) fully immunized.

If you have any questions, please contact your building-level administrator. Thank you.

Superintendent Dr. Terry Brenner

Waterford Upstart - an in-home kindergarten readiness program

Waterford Upstart helps 4-year-olds develop the skills they need for kindergarten. This program is funded through a federal grant and is aligned to North Dakota Early Learning Standards. To date, over 600 children in North Dakota have participated in the program.

The program takes 15 minutes per day, five days a week. During that time, the child receives a personalized lesson in reading or math and science. Each family is assigned a coach to assist. Computers are provided as part of the program, and Internet service is included if the home does not have it.

Waterford Upstart is available at no cost to children in North Dakota the year before they enter kindergarten. To register:

  • Visit and complete the entire form or call 1-888-982-9898 Monday through Friday 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Saturdays 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. Central Time.

  • Visit and click “Sign up” to create a new account.

  • Complete orientation online through Waterford Mentor. It will be in the “Training” tab.

Please note: registration will close at 7 p.m. on Friday, December 17, 2021.

If you have any questions, please call 1-888-982-9898.

Thank you,

Dr. Terry Brenner, superintendent, Grand Forks Public Schools

Dr. Brenda Lewis, assistant superintendent of elementary education, Grand Forks Public Schools

Safe Kids

My SchoolBucks

The My Schoolbucks tab is a website for families to pay for their child's device insurance and case or other expenses using a debit or credit card. Click here to connect to the site.

Free/Reduced Meal Information

GFPS Families,

We are grateful to those families who have completed the free and reduced-price lunch application this school year. The importance of this application cannot be overlooked; it is more than just a meal application. It:

  • Provides additional funding for state and federal programs and services at your school.

  • Results in free or discounted fees for many students to participate in and attend school activities.

  • Provides discounted fees for applicable students on academic tests like the SAT, ACT, and AP courses. It may also qualify students for discounted rates associated with college applications.

Your application helps in many areas. Just one completed form ensures continued funding to support students in our school system.

If your household income is below the numbers in the chart below, please and complete the application as soon as possible. For additional information on free and reduced-price meals, please visit


Superintendent Dr. Terry Brenner

Covid-19 Resources

Keep up-to-date on COVID-19 guidance by checking the district’s website. Look for the tab on the top toolbar on any of the school websites.

Daily At Home Covid-19 Screening

Before arriving at school, families are asked to screen their child(ren) using the guidelines shown below. If your child has any of the symptoms, please contact their healthcare provider for additional guidance. If a child becomes symptomatic during the school day, families will be contacted immediately.
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Mental Health Hub

Click here to visit the Mental Health Hub page to find valuable resources ranging from Mental Health First Aid to Social-Emotional Learning.

Ben Franklin Elementary Vision

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Twitter: @BFroadrunner #learningatBF

Facebook: Ben Franklinsgfps