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Family Focus 12/4/2020

date 12/04/2020 author Ed Friesen category 2020-21, December 2020 comment Leave a comment

Dear BA Families:

Welcome Advent! What a blessing to celebrate Advent and prepare our hearts for the joyous celebration of Christmas and the birth of our Savior. Bethlehem Academy is decked in Advent reminders, from our creche to our Advent wreath. During our full hybrid model, a member of our Peer Ministry group is reading an Advent prayer each Monday and Thursday morning while we light the first week’s candle. 

This week Mrs. Jandro returned to her math classroom. We are so excited to have her back at school and invite everyone to continue to pray for her extended healing. In addition, we will have a substitute teacher for Band. Welcome to David Swenson, Class of 2015 alum and a music and theology graduate studies student at the University of Notre Dame. He will sub over the next two weeks for band rehearsals when he is available. Please remind your scholar to bring their band instrument! 

This next week we will continue with our full hybrid learning model. Here is a review of the week ahead:

  • Monday, Dec. 7: All A-Ka scholars report; Ke-Z scholars report online to PowerSchool and check in with all classes for lessons and assignments. (Unless you have made other arrangements.)
  • Tuesday, Dec. 8: MASS DAY SCHEDULE 8:05 a.m. - All in person and online students report, middle school to homeroom, high school to first hour classes. All students in the building will attend Mass in our gymnasium as it is a Holy Day and DMCS will be at IC Church. Students at home (Ke-Z) are asked to join us online on our YouTube channel. (

9:30 a.m. – Ke-Z students report online to PowerSchool and check in with all first hour classes for lessons and assignments.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 9-Student Support Day (WIN): Students needing support or time for projects may schedule time to come into the building or may be requested to report by a teacher. Student Service Club will be packing COVID bags for St. Vincent de Paul from 2-3pm.
  • Thursday, Dec. 10-Friday, Dec 11: All Ke-Z scholars report; A-Ka report online to PowerSchool and check in with all classes for lessons and assignments. (Unless you have made other arrangements.)

COVID Update: As of December 3, 2020, we have had 9 positive Covid-19 cases in our BA family (members who have tested positive but not transferred through school.) Presently we have 22 students quarantining due to outside exposure, not exposure through BA. Please continue to follow the protocols at home and any time your family is in public so that we can offer hybrid or full in-person learning in the months ahead depending on our numbers and State and Archdiocese recommendations. When these numbers drop, or we have no additional cases in our BA family, we can consider changing learning models.

  • Updated Student Symptom Screening form and Decision Tree - click on the links for updated information.
  • Traveling for Christmas or gathering with groups outside of your immediate family?Please plan to quarantine at home and notify the school office that your child will be online that first week in January. Thank you for partnering with us to keep our students and staff safe!


  • BA Annual Fund: Our goal is to raise $250,000 by June 30, 2021. To date we are at $75,944-Thank you! We invite you, or your extended family, to help us achieve $100,000 in our Annual Fund by Christmas! This is a great time to give! With the 2020 COVID giving tax rule changes, all donations of any amount can be taken as a tax credit in 2020. Please spread the news and help us achieve $100,000 by Christmas!
  • BA Bash Raffle Tickets-Looking for a unique stocking stuffer? Order 2020 BA Bash Raffle tickets! Only 1000 $25 tickets printed - send your payment to the front office today and we’ll place you in the drawing. Top Prize-$2020, 2nd Prize-$1020, 3rd Prize: $520. Click HERE to download your order form. All ticket orders must be received by December 30, 2020. Thank you!

KUDOS: Thank you to all of our parents who helped to contribute to the coffee treat at school this week for our staff. What a blessing! Also, congratulations to all of our Students of the Month honored this week. They exemplified one of the four Dominican pillars of prayer, study, community and service and we are so proud of our scholars: Shae Battles, Riley Bauer, Madelyn Bauer, Luke Caron, Aiden Carroll, Megan Cina, Matthew Croke, Karlie DeGrood, Madelyn Gersemehl, Aubrianna Howard, Allison McCabe, Luke McCrea, Sophy Smith, Zachary Velishek, Jonathan Vold, and Verity Wray-Raabolle.

Blessings during our first week of Advent! Please continue to pray for the Gardner family.

Mindy Reeder, President/Principal

SCHEDULE CHANGE: Christmas Break will be a full two week break to clean our building and allow additional professional development time for our staff. We will be out of school Dec. 21-Jan. 1, 2021.


BA Mass Update

Several families have reached out regarding viewing live BA Masses via Divine Mercy Catholic Church’s Facebook page. FYI that the parish Facebook page can be viewed without logging into Facebook, as it is a public site. Viewers can ignore the log-in/create account information that loads on the bottom of the page and watch Mass without having to log in. With the no wifi in Immaculate Conception, streaming to YouTube or other platforms can be a challenge while streaming to Facebook using a cellular connection has worked consistently. Know also that the Masses remain on the DMCC Facebook page in video format, so if you have concerns and are not able to be with your student while Mass is streaming live, you can choose to watch it together at a time that is more convenient for your family. Finally, as we will be hosting a separate on Tuesday, December 8 a Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mass (a Holy Day of Obligation) in Van Orsow Auditorium. That Mass will be streamed on our BA YouTube channel. Find that link here.

BA Christmas Angel Fund

Help us support BA families in need!Please consider a donation to the Christmas Angel Student Lunch Account Fund. Many families in our BA community are struggling in a multitude of ways this Christmas season. Please keep them all in your prayers and, if you are able, please consider donating to help families cover their students’ lunch accounts, many of whom fall just outside the federal and state guidelines for assistance. Donations can be dropped off at the BA front entrance or mailed to our address. Thank you!

Prospective Student Visit Options

Help us grow our student enrollment and spread the good news about BA! Take the Future Cardinal Challenge and invite one family/student to join us for a personal tour or one of our limited shadow opportunities. Mid-year transfers are welcome, and applications are now open for 2021-2022. Find more information on our admission page.

Alumni Update Form

We would appreciate any updates for your post-college graduates. Please fill out the attached form and email it to Sister Mary Margaret. Alumni can also update their contact information, sign up for our Veritas newsletter, or share news on our Alumni website page found here. Thank you! 

Mobile Food Distribution: Volunteers & Distribution Info

Area community groups have joined forces to provide mobile food distribution. Drop off sites are Thursday, 12/17 at South Central College and Friday 12/4 and 12/18 at Evergreen Estates and Cannon River Mobile Home Park. Flyers in English and Spanish attached with more information. Volunteers also need to pack and distribute the food boxes! Contact Becky Ford at to help. 

Holiday Shopping: Amazon Smiles

If you are holiday shopping at Amazon, please go to and choose Faribault B A Inc. as your organization (include a space between the B and the A). Amazon will send BA a donation for every purchase you make. It works with Amazon Prime and you can use Scrip to pay for your purchases. Thank you!

Holiday Scrip: Holiday SCRIP is a great option for gift giving! You purchase these small denomination gift cards after all Sunday Masses at Divine Mercy Catholic Church and from the Divine Mercy Catholic School Business Office at 15 SW Third Avenue. 


Potential KoAm Host Family Opportunity

The KoAm Educational Foundation has reached out about a possible international transfer student. Jisoo (9th-grade female) has been studying in Minnesota this fall, but her school is extremely small (7 girls in the entire high school), and she is looking for a school with more opportunities to make friends and get involved. Jisoo is outgoing, practical, and laid-back. She loves to dance, compose, and sing and is hoping to pursue a career in the arts. She is an only child but would love a host family with siblings she can interact with and spend time with. She came to the US spring 2020 right before COVID, and despite the difficulty of distance learning, she came back this fall in the hopes of attending school in person and learning more about US culture and language. Please contact Kris at or KoAm at or call KoAm at 1-800-521-6640 for more information. 


Middle School Edge/High School Youth Group
Middle School EDGE & High School Youth Group is open to all BA families. This is another great opportunity for your students to gather with others that want to grow in their faith and to enhance what they are learning in the classroom. Registration is required for both. Visit for more information.


Attached Files

Alumni UpdateFall 2020.pdf

Bash 2020 Raffle Ticket Form.pdf

Food Delivery in Faribault-English-December2020 FINAL Locations.pdf

Food Delivery in Faribault-Spanish-December20202 - FINAL Locations.pdf


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Our Mission
Bethlehem Academy, a Catholic school in the Sinsinawa Dominican tradition, strives to empower its students and staff to achieve personal, spiritual and academic excellence. We challenge ourselves to love as Jesus Christ loved, to lead, to serve, to inspire and to seek the truth: Veritas.
105 3rd Ave. SW
Faribault, MN  55021
Phone:  507-334-3948
Fax:  507-334-3949