Ben Franklin Focus

Back to School Edition 2021-2022

Dear Ben Franklin Families,

Summer isn't over yet, but we wanted to send this newsletter out to welcome you to Benjamin Franklin Middle School and keep you informed about our upcoming school year. We are so thankful to have you here and we look forward to the opportunity to get to know and work with you and your child throughout the upcoming school year. At Ben Franklin we work hard and have fun! We know that with the start of school comes many questions, so we wanted to provide as much information to you as possible. Please know that if you ever have any questions, concerns, or ideas, we welcome you to contact us. We are here for you. Enjoy the rest of your summer!


Jeanie Sienkowski (Principal) and Nick Slater (Assistant Principal)

Upcoming Events


2 - Schedules and Locker Information Available in Skyward Family Access

3 - 6th Grade Locker Jamboree from 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. (6th Graders Only)

4 - Building Open from 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. for Students & Parents to Walk Schedules

10 - 6th Grade & New Student Orientation from 8:00-10:15 a.m.

11 - First Day of School

12 - Open House for Parents from 6:00-7:30 p.m.

20 - School Picture Day


6 - No School - Labor Day

24 - 1/2 Day for Students - 11:30 a.m. dismissal

School Information

We want you to stay connected! For up-to-date information throughout the school year, please visit:

Contact Information

Phone: 219-531-3020

Principal: Jeanie Sienkowski

Assistant Principal: Nick Slater

Secretary: Kristy Nondorf

Secretary/Treasurer: Becky Stralnic

Nurse: Anita Ostojic

Counselor Last Name A-K: Rebekah Cowan

Counselor Last Name L-Z: Tammy Hofer

Social Worker: Carolyn Ostafinski

Meet Our New Ben Franklin Family Members!

We are thrilled to welcome new staff members to our Ben Franklin Middle School Family including:

Mrs. Blumenthal-6th Grade Math & Science

Mrs. Coggins-7th & 8th Grade ELA

Ms. Erlandson- EL

Mrs. Germann-PLTW Gateway

Mrs. Kruhm-7th & 8th Grade Math

Mrs. Rodea- Exploring World Language

Mrs. Stralnic-Secretary/Treasurer

Meet Zoe!

We want to introduce you to Zoe. She is a part of the VCS Therapy Dog Project. She is sponsored by Sarkisian Law and we are super excited she is a part of our BFMS Family. She will be in the office every day and will help provide support for our students. Zoe is a one year old English Cream Golden Retriever and full of love! Her love for students and staff continues to grow everyday!

Lockers & Schedules

Lockers (Student Information tab) and Schedules (Schedule tab) will be posted in Skyward Family Access on Monday, August 2nd.

Physical Education Uniforms

P.E. uniforms will be required for the upcoming school year. All students may purchase physical education uniforms from Blythe's Sport Shop. You can purchase online or pick it up at the store (located at 2810 Calumet Avenue) for a cost of $29.00 ($12.50-shorts, $16.50-shirt). Students are welcome to wear uniforms purchased for older siblings. Purchase Online

6th Grade & New Student Orientation

Tuesday, August 10th, is our 6th grade and new student orientation day!

All 6th grade and NEW 7th and 8th grade students are expected to attend school from 8:00-10:15 a.m. on this day. Students will meet their teachers, follow their class schedule, and learn how to open their lockers. All 6th grade students will start their morning in their 1st hour class. All new 7th and 8th graders will meet in the auditorium. From there, students will be dismissed to go through their daily class schedules. Don't worry! There will be numerous staff on hand to help students find their classroom locations.

If your child rides a bus, pickup information can be found soon on Skyward Family Access by clicking on the “Busing" tab. This will give the time and location of both pick up and drop off approximate times. Bus riders will be picked up Tuesday morning and dropped off after our 10:15 a.m. dismissal.

Students are asked to bring their schedule and locker information. 7th and 8th grade students who have already attended BFMS should remain at home on this day.

We can't wait to see your kids!

School Day & Calendar

Middle school classes begin at 7:50 a.m. and end at 2:50 p.m. on Monday - Friday.



Pick up and drop off information can be found on Skyward Family Access by clicking on the “Busing” tab. Be sure your child is at the bus stop at least 5 minutes ahead of the scheduled pick up time and please understand that the afternoon drop off times are an estimate only and will most assuredly run a little later the first few weeks of school.

Parent Pick-Up and Drop Off

See image below.

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Handbook/Student Expectations

The student handbook is included in assignment notebooks which each student will receive on the first day of school. It is important that both students and parents read the handbook since it contains a wealth of information designed to improve communication between home and school. This assignment notebook should help students stay organized and inform parents about assignments and other information. We hope you find it helpful!


If a student must be absent, the parent must call the attendance office before 8:00 a.m. the day of the absence at 219-531-3020. Additional information can be found in the student handbook.

School Lunches

To access information regarding school lunch prices, payment options and menus, please visit the VCS School Nutrition website.

Leaving During the School Day

Parents must come to the school office and provide a picture ID before picking up their child. Students will not be permitted to meet parents in the parking lot. Only adults whose names appear on the child’s emergency information in Skyward will be permitted to pick up a student from school. Please enter Door 2 off of Campbell Street.

Messages & Deliveries

We are unable to pass along messages or deliver items to students during the school day except in the case of emergencies. Parents may bring forgotten items to Door 2 off of Campbell St. Your child will then be able to retrieve these items from the office during one of their passing periods.

Skyward & Canvas

If you are new to BFMS or you would like more information about the tools available to you through Skyward Family Access (attendance, grades, and school news) or Canvas (classroom resources, teacher information, etc.), then please contact the office at 531-3020.

We Can't Wait to See You!

We look forward to working with you and your child this coming school year! We know that we are going to have a wonderful time together. Thanks for all you do and please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if there is anything you need!

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