Ben Franklin Focus

February Edition

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Coming Events


8: World Language Informational Meeting for Current 6th Grade Parents at TJMS Cafeteria at 6:30 p.m.

9: School Play in the Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. (See Details Below)

10: Science Olympiad Regional Competition at Purdue University Northwest

10: School Play in the Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. (See Details Below)

16: No School Mid-Winter Break

19: No School President's Day

21: BF Reads a Book Author Skype at 3:00 p.m. (See Details Below)

22: School Board Meeting at Cooks Corners at 6:00 p.m.

24: World Language Mardi Gras Celebration in the Annex Gym from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

27: Red Cross Blood Drive (See Details Below)


1: ISTEP Part I Testing-ELA

6: ISTEP Part I Testing-Math & Science or SS

Congratulations to Our Science Olympiad Team!

Our Benjamin Franklin Science Olympiad Team competed in the Valparaiso University Invitational on January 20 and won first place with a score of 89 points! We received 7 first place awards, 3 second place awards, and 3 third place awards in 23 categories. Congratulations to Coach Alicia Madeka, the Ben Franklin Science Olympiad Team members, and their families. We are so proud of you!

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Team Members pictured are:

Front Row (l-r): Jackson Ulman, Alex Borowiak, Natalie Orban, Calwin Li, Lucas Palmer, Shelby Prybell, Ava Ackenhusen, Will Maldia, Carissa Yu

Back Row (l-r): Coach Madeka, Ian Wisecarver, Michael Wickstrom, Suzie Terhorst, Wyatt Probst, Ashley Karns, Ella Klevickas, Lilly Maldia, Ava Childs, Abby Krouse

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Team Peace is Spreading the Love!

Feb. 5th - March 22nd - Reading Without Walls Challenge

    • Students read books about:

      • Characters that do not look or live like them

      • Unfamiliar locations in the world

    • When finished, students need to see Mrs. McCormack for the brief book report forms. Once the form is completed, students should return them to Mrs. McCormack to be entered in the competition.

    • There will be a competition between grade level advisories for an ice cream party. The advisory class (one/grade level) having read the highest number of books earns an ice cream party on Friday, March 23rd. The student who has read most books during this challenge (one/grade level) wins two - ½ hour Sky Zone Passes.

Feb. 21st/22nd - “Kindness” Quilt Creation
    • Students complete their “Kindness” Quilt Square during advisory by indicating the one random act of kindness that impacted them or someone else the most. Quilt Squares will be placed in advisory teachers’ mailboxes on Monday prior to these dates. Students need to fill them out during advisory on the above dates. Once finished, please place the finished squares in Melissa Valtierra’s mailbox for posting in the Media Center.

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Don't Miss the BF Reads a Book Author Skype!

As part of our BF READS A BOOK program, BF students who have read the book Need by Joelle Charbonneau are invited to stay after school on Wednesday, Feb. 21st to Skype with the author from 3:00- 4:00 p.m. See the BF Media Center webpage for more information.

Mardi Gras is Coming Soon!

Save the date! BF World Languages will be hosting their annual Mardi Gras event on Saturday, February 24th from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the Annex Gym! Admission tickets will be on sale before school in the commons on Tuesday, February 20th to Friday, February 23rd. Admission tickets will NOT be sold at the event. This is an event exclusive to BF students. BF families and younger siblings are welcome to attend free of charge.

National Geographic Geography Bee

Our students had the opportunity to compete in the National Geographic Geography Bee. 6th graders Andrew Uhle, Matt Hofer, and Sydney Brown particpated in the qualifying round along with 7th graders, Abigail Krause, Tobey Delaney, Will Stage, and John Queroz-Teles and 8th grader Owen Thomas.

Congratulations to Zeke Bloom, BF's National Geographic Geography Bee Champion! In a challenging championship round, Nathaniel Malchow earned first runner-up honors. Good luck to Zeke as he works to qualify for the State Geo Bee in Indianapolis this spring.

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ISTEP Update

On March 1st and 6th we will begin our ISTEP Part 1 testing in grades 6-8. Please be sure not to schedule any appointments on those mornings, if at all possible.

Our teachers have been working hard to ensure our kids are prepared, comfortable, and confident by reviewing the testing format and providing helpful test taking strategies. As a school, we have been talking about the importance of doing our personal best. We have talked about how our performance on the test counts toward our school letter grade as does showing improvement (growth) from one year to the next. We have been setting goals throughout the school year, and there is no doubt our kids are ready to show all they know!

We certainly appreciate the efforts you make at home to help ensure your child gets plenty of rest, has a nourishing breakfast, comes to school on time, and brings a fully charged Chromebook to school. We will make sure that any classwork during these testing dates is completed at school so there isn't the stress of homework or studying. If you'd like to see what the format of the test is like or even assist your child at home to help him/her feel more confident with this test, try out the ISTEP Experience Online. Other resources are also available on the IDOE website. Stay tuned for fun ways we are pumping up for ISTEP!

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