Ben Franklin Focus

Back to School Edition

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Upcoming Events

August 10 & 11-Welcome back teachers! Building accessible for dropping off supplies from 3:00-4:30 p.m.

August 11- 6th Grade & New Student Orientation

August 14 - First Day of School

August 17 - Back to School Night from 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Welcome Back!

Welcome to Benjamin Franklin Middle School! 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 school year. We know that with the start of school comes many questions, so we wanted to provide as much information to you as possible in this newsletter. Please know that if you ever have any questions, concerns, or ideas, we welcome you to contact us. We are here for you!

School Information

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

  • Our school website- Ben Franklin's Website. Here you will find information including school supplies, informational links, and upcoming events.

  • Facebook - Like and follow us at Benjamin Franklin Middle School (@BFMS.Valpo) where you will be given information and insights into the wonderful happenings at our school.

  • Twitter- Follow us at BFMS Middle School (@Valpo_BFMS) where you will also be given information and insights into the happenings at our school.

6th Grade & New Student Orientation

Friday, August 11th, 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 7:50-10:15 a.m. on this day. Students will meet their teachers, follow their class schedule, and learn how to open their lockers. All students will start their morning in the auditorium where they will be welcomed by Mrs. Sienkowski and Mr. Slater. From there, students will be dismissed by groups to go with their 1st hour teacher.

If your child rides a bus, pickup information can be found on Skyward Family Access by clicking on the “Student Information” tab. From there click on "View Bus Schedule" and then "View Pickup Bus Stops" and "View Drop Off Bus Stops". This will give the time and location of both. Bus riders will be picked up Friday morning and dropped off after our 10:15 a.m. dismissal.

Students are asked to bring their schedule, locker information (found on the "Student Information" tab), and ear buds. 7th and 8th grade students who have already attended BFMS should remain at home on this day. Please be sure to visit our BFMS website for more information.

We can't wait to see your kids!

Schedules & Lockers

Schedules (Schedule tab) and Lockers (Student Information tab) have been posted in Skyward Family Access. Please be sure to print schedules and locker information prior to the first day. Thanks!

Dress Code

The BF and TJ administration teams reviewed the school dress code policies and proposed that the dress codes be the same at both schools. Please note the following changes in our BF Dress Code have been made:

  • Students may wear athletic pants and shorts
  • Students may wear tank tops (item 5)
  • Students may wear shorts with an inseam of 4" or greater (item 6)

While fashion changes, the reason for being in school does not. As students mature and become adults, they will be required to meet certain dress standards for many occupational obligations and social functions. Student/staff health and safety, common decency, student schoolwork, and school and classroom order are all affected. This basic dress code does not infringe on students’ rights of freedom of expression, but rather encourages students to “dress for success” and come to school properly prepared to participate in the professional, educational process. Students are expected to observe ordinary standards of good grooming, with attire appropriate to a comfortable, yet professional and working school atmosphere.

In keeping with the above philosophy, and in order to reduce misunderstanding, the guidelines listed below have been approved by the VCS School Board.

1. The maintenance of common decency and classroom order requires adequate coverage of the person. Any clothing which reveals undergarments or the lack of undergarments will be considered inappropriate.

2. Cleanliness of person and apparel is required.

3. Pungent sprays, patchouli oils, and strong perfumes and like substances are not to be used or worn to school. These odors are disruptive to the educational process and harmful to the health of others.

4. Students will not be permitted to wear clothing which contains profanity or other suggestive inscriptions, advertises or promotes the use of death, suicide, destruction, gangs, cults, alcohol, drugs, or other substances which, if used by a minor, would be illegal. Additionally, clothing will not be permitted which advertises, promotes, or vie innuendo or double meaning, suggests inappropriate ideas or behavior not conducive to a positive school climate or is disruptive to the educational functioning of the school.

5. Students will not be permitted to wear garments such as halter tops, those which reveal bare midriffs or backs, strapless tops, see-through tops, those which contain spaghetti straps, and garments with plunging or revealing necklines. Shirts and tops must be long enough to tuck in.

6. Pants must be worn on the waist without undergarments exposed. Skirts and shorts must have an inseam of four inches or greater. Any holes in pants must be below the knee.

7. The maintenance of health and safety includes the wearing of shoes, sandals, or boots, and such additional items that may be required in special classes such as industrial technology, laboratories and physical education.

8. Unauthorized costumes will not be permitted.

9. Slippers and pajamas or other nightwear will not be permitted.

10. Attire that may cause property damage or personal injury is not to be worn (i.e., chains, shoes that may leave black marks or scuffs on the floor, etc).

11. Upon entering the building during the school day all students are to remove sunglasses, caps, hats and other head coverings.

12. A jacket or coat, which is normally worn outdoors, is to be placed in a locker during the school day. In addition, backpacks are to be stored in a locker during the school day.

The administration reserves the right to use its discretion in determining the type of clothing appropriate for the school setting. Wearing inappropriate apparel will result in the student’s removal from class until the problem is corrected and/or may result in possible further disciplinary action.

Thanks in advance for dressing for success!

School Day & Calendar

Middle school classes begin at 7:55 a.m. and end at 2:50 p.m. on Monday - Friday.
  • Please note that Late Start Wednesdays will no longer occur during the 2017-18 school year. Please see the district calendar below for other changes.
  • 2017-2018 School Calendar

Open House

Our annual Open House will be held on Thursday evening, August 17, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. School doors will open at approximately 5:45 p.m. Our program for the evening will provide an opportunity for you to move through your child’s daily schedule. In the classes you attend, the teacher will explain the course objectives, teaching methods, classroom rules, and course content. Teachers will not have time to discuss a student’s information during Open House, however, parents may arrange for a conference with their child’s teacher at a future date. Have your child complete the parent schedule for you to assist you with our Open House schedule. We look forward to seeing you!



Pickup and drop off information can be found on Skyward Family Access by:

Clicking on the “Student Information” tab

Clicking on "View Bus Schedule"

Then "View Pickup Bus Stops" and "View Drop Off Bus Stops"

For questions regarding bus information, please contact our transportation department at 219-531-3021.

Pickup and Drop Off

Students should only be picked up and dropped off at the parking lot at the corner of Park and Weston Streets. Weston is a one-way, southbound street. Campbell Street and Park Street are usually busy at dismissal when buses pick up students. We request that any parent who picks up a child after school not park across from the buses on either of these streets since it is dangerous for your child to cross the street between buses. Your cooperation in keeping our students safe is appreciated.


Regular school attendance is essential for a student’s success in school. 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 ext 4203. 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 Valparaiso Community Schools School Nutrition website.

Handbook/Student Expectations

The student handbook is included in an assignment notebook and student calendar 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.

Physical Examinations

All 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students are encouraged to have a physical examination form filed out by a physician. We encourage you to do this as soon as possible. Physical examinations are mandatory for students participating on a school athletic team. Students must have a physical on file before they will be allowed to participate in practice. Ten practices are required before an athlete may participate in their first contest. Physicals that were completed after April 1 of the 2016-17 school year will be accepted for the 2017-18 school year.

Medical Appointments

Parents should make every effort to schedule medical appointments outside the school day. In the event this is not possible, he/she should bring a note from the parent to the office before school on the day of the appointment. A pass will be issued to excuse the student at the appropriate time. A copy of the return to school note from the doctor’s/dentist’s office should be given to the attendance office upon the student’s return to school.

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 card will be permitted to pick up a student from school. Please enter Door #2 off of Campbell Street.

After School Activities

Students who miss any part of the school day, other than because of a prearranged appointment, cannot participate in or attend after school contests, practices, performances, meetings, or similar activities that same day.

Messages & Deliveries

Students will not be called to the phone nor will messages be delivered to students except in the case of emergencies. Parents may bring forgotten homework, project, gym clothes, etc. to the office. Your child will come to retrieve these items during passing period.

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. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if there is anything you need!

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