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Family Focus 12/18/2020

date 12/18/2020 author Ed Friesen category Uncategorized comment Leave a comment

*** REMINDER: NO SCHOOL Monday, December 21 and Tuesday, December 22. Classes resume Monday, January 4, 2021***

Dear BA Families:

MERRY CHRISTMAS! At this time of year I want to extend my appreciation for the partnership we have with all of you, our scholars and families. We are honored that you have chosen Bethlehem Academy. We know that God placed each scholar in the BA family for a very special purpose. All of our teachers and staff extend our wishes and prayers to you for rest and renewal this Christmas and many blessings for 2021! 

We will return to school on January 4 in this same Hybrid Phase One learning model as this week. Please remember, if you were in large groups or traveled, stay home this first week and notify us by email at for online learning. Our schedule the week of Jan 4 :

  • Monday, Jan. 4, Red Day: All students in person learning. 
  • Tuesday, Jan. 5, White Day: All students in person learning. 
  • Wednesday, Jan. 6: No classes scheduled. Scholars may be asked to come in for support or may request time with teachers.
  • Thursday, Jan. 7, Red Day: All students in the building. 
  • Friday, Jan. 8, White Day: All students in person learning. HS Mass Day - 8:30 a.m. Dress for Mass.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: We missed our traditional, beautiful Christmas concerts. Watch online next week for links to a limited, online concert on both our Facebook and YouTube pages. Please plan to enjoy the wonderful music and share this with family at home. This second semester we welcome new 6th grade student, Trey M. Please help welcome him to our school family. 

COVID Update: As of December 17, 2020, we have not had any additional cases and remain at nine positive Covid-19 cases total in our BA family since this fall (members who have tested positive but not transferred through school.) Presently we have no students needing to quarantine.

  • 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. Call/email the school attendance line (507-334-3948, to let us know. Thank you for partnering with us to keep our students and staff safe!
  • All Illnesses: Please note, if your child is sick at any time, we do not plan to have them join online learning. We want to give them time to recover. Just notify the attendance line as you normally would. They will have time to make up assignments.
  • Online learning transition for quarantine: If your scholars needs to quarantine for exposure or while waiting for test results, please notify the attendance line as you normally would for an illness. Generally we ask that a student be out three days before transitioning to formal distance learning. 
  • Counseling support is available at school with our counselor for students, Ms. Tori Rogers. Please email her if your child would like time to visit each week at: If you or your family is looking for additional support, one of our BA families reached out to share their information, Leah Ernste, 952-373-0055.

STAFF CHANGES: Several teachers will be making adjustments to their schedule in the second semester. Mr. Scot Gardner is happy to have his son, Christopher, back home. He plans to return to teaching in January. Mr. Dave Wollin made the hard decision to only teach his AP class during the 2nd semester for personal reasons. Mr. Tom Madden looks forward to teaching the geography classes.

SPECIAL PRAYER OPPORTUNITY FOR TEENS: Join the parish as we begin 2021 in prayer during a special Adoration hour on January 1, 2021, from 7-8 p.m. See the attached flier for details!


  • BA Annual Fund: Our goal is to raise $250,000 by June 30, 2021As of December 17 we are over $100,000 -Thank you! We invite you, or your extended family, to help us reach halfway to our goal 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. We reached our original goal of $100,000 by Christmas and invite you to help us achieve our stretch goal by January 1, 2021 of $125,000, halfway toward our total goal of $250,000. Spread the news!
  • BA Bash Raffle Tickets-Did you get your order in? Raffle tickets make a great stocking stuffer! Only 1000 of the $25 tickets printed. Top Prize-$2020, 2nd Prize-$1020, 3rd Prize: $520. Proceeds help us cover extra costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic and educational needs for our students and staff. Click HERE to download your order form. All ticket orders must be received by December 30, 2020. To date we’ve sold nearly 600 tickets. 

KUDOS: To our National Honor Society, Student Service Club, Student Council, and many students who participated in various service projects throughout Advent. From sending cards to nursing homes and hospitals, to care packages and gifts to St. Vincent de Paul and area residents in need, their acts made a difference! We even had students helping to deliver home-cooked meals. Such an amazing impact our scholars make in our community! Great work also to our FFA students on their fruit and butter braid sales! This will help to grow their programming.

Congratulations also to Elliot Smith who was named to the Minnesota Football Coaches Association (MFCA) Class 1A Individual Academic All-State Team. Only 14 players from all of Class A were selected for this honor. Congratulations also to seniors Kennedy Tutak (Hamline University, volleyball) and Kade Robb (Dakota State University, basketball) on their commitment to continue athletics next year at the collegiate level.

Extending the sincerest wishes for a beautiful Christmas and Happy New Year! 

Mindy Reeder, President/Principal


BA Winter 2020 Survey: Deadline Today-Friday, Dec 18

If you haven’t already, please take a few minutes to respond to our survey as we complete our first full semester of the academic year. Please do so TODAY, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, so we may assess results over the Christmas break. Find the parent survey at this link and the student survey at this link.

Attendance Reminders

A reminder to call or email the front office (507-334-3948 or if you plan to have your scholar learn online January 4-8 or with any changes to your scholar’s attendance - doctor appointment, excused absence, college visit, etc. The front office will then inform your scholar’s teachers. Thank you for your help with this!

Home and School Update

It’s not too late to pay your Home and School dues! Please turn your $25 in at the front office. Also a reminder that Home and School is looking for new parent volunteers. See the attached Christmas letter from Michelle and Jane. New volunteers are needed or this group so vital to our school community will have to end. Thank you!

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 for the donations we’ve already received.

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! 

Holiday Shopping: Amazon Smiles

If you are holiday shopping via Amazon, go to, pick Bethlehem Academy as your organization and AmazonSmile will donate to BA, at no cost to you. 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. 

Winter Sports Update

Governor Walz's current orders will allow sports teams to begin practicing on Monday, January 4.  However, a date for when games may start has not been set.  We will be receiving additional guidance and direction from the Minnesota State High School League in the coming days.  Please watch for more information about the winter sports season to come in the near future.


Unemployment Benefits to HS Students

The State of MN has announced that due to Covid-19, high school students who have lost work due to the pandemic may be eligible to receive unemployment. If your student lost their job due to the pandemic, they may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. The application deadline is December 26. FYI that Ms. Rogers also emailed this information to all high school students December 10. Find more information here

Ag Career Scholarship

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) is providing four $5,000 scholarships to MN students who are pursuing a career in agriculture. Find the application at deadline to apply is January 8. Scholarship applicants must be a young adult member of MCGA who is working toward a degree in an agriculture-related field. 

Steele-Waseca Electric Coop College Scholarship

Are you a Steele-Waseca Cooperative Electric customer who has a Class of 2021 scholar planning to continue his/her education full-time at a two- or four-year technical school or college? If so, please have your senior email Ms. Rogers to find out more about applying for a $500 scholarship. Eligible students will be asked to fill out a form detailing academics, school and community involvement, and submit a short essay on their future goals


Mill City Senior Living Caroling Dec 19

Join DMCC in Caroling on Saturday, December 19th to spread some Advent and Christmas joy to our parishioners living at Mill City Senior Living. Please arrive at 5:50pm and head towards the flagpole. A table will be set up with candles and song sheets. If you would prefer to have the songs emailed to you so that you have them on your phone, please contact Andrea Gibbs. We will begin singing at 6:00pm. Mill City asks that you please wear a face covering and keep distanced from those not in your household. Mill City 's address is 1520 17th St NW, Faribault

JAN 1: SPECIAL PRAYER OPPORTUNITY FOR TEENS: Join the parish as we begin 2021 in prayer during a special Adoration hour on January 1, 2021, from 7-8 p.m. See the attached flier for details!

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

Adoration Teens.pdf

Home and School Christmas Letter.pdf

Alumni UpdateFall 2020.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