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Family Focus 3/28/2020

date 03/28/2020 author Ed Friesen category March 2020 comment Leave a comment

March 28, 2020

Note from Dr. Briscoe…

The Governor has now extended the closing of all schools in Minnesota through May 4, 2020.  Bethlehem Academy will continue with online learning through that date. If necessary, we are prepared to go through the end of the 2019-2020 school year online.

April and May are typically busy months at BA. We are exploring options to maintain as many of these events as we can. BABS will move to an online auction format and take place April 25; raffle tickets are still being sold (see attached order form). Drawing will be held at approximately 7:30 pm APRIL 25. Spring sports are suspended to May 4. Production of the spring play, The Wizard of Oz, has been cancelled. We anticipate spring concerts will not take place. We are dedicated to honoring the Class of 2020 and are brainstorming ways to hold prom and conduct graduation events while maintaining social distancing rules that may be in effect.

These are unprecedented times for everyone. We are used to quick responses and events falling into familiar patterns. There is a lot of gray right now and no one has enough answers and can tell when this will end. It appears that we are in this new normal for many months to come. I wish I knew the answers but like everyone else I pray that a vaccine will be developed and that people across the world can return to life as we knew it prior to March 2020.

Access to the building is limited. With the exception of deliveries and the U.S. mail, we don’t anticipate anyone coming into the building during this time period. To minimize contact with others, BA staff will address the needs of students and families online or via phone during normal hours.

When we have new information to share, we will provide that as soon as we can.  Trust that you are in our prayers and our hearts.


Dr. Chuck Briscoe


Distance/Online Learning

We thank you for your patience as we continue distance/online learning to May 4. This is a new paradigm for all of us. Please be patient with faculty and with your students as we continue to adapt and adjust to this new way of learning. Know that EVERY member of our faculty and staff is here to help. Click here to find staff emails and do reach out if you need anything.  Teachers will have designated office hours to focus on responding to correspondence.  Outside of their office hours, teachers will be providing virtual instruction using Zoom or Google Hangouts Meet, preparing curriculum and assessing student learning.  We encourage students to create a consistent schedule for completing their studies.  It is also important for students and teachers to work breaks into their day - get away from their screens and engage in some physical activity.  

Tuition Payments

We are aware these are uncertain times for many of our families and finances may be tight. We have asked TADS to turn off all late payment fees. Please reach out to Sr Mary Margaret if you have concerns or need to alter your current payment plans or due dates as we are very willing to work with you. We appreciate the continual payments you are able to make as they help BA maintain a cash flow for salaries. 

COVID-19 Resources

We have created a COVID-19 resources page on the News section of our website. It includes links to reputable medical information, distance learning resources, online Mass information, local food & business information, etc. Click here to access.

Bethlehem Academy Resources

In addition to our weekly parent email and website resource page, we invite you to join the Bethlehem Academy Facebook page (for morning announcements, etc.) or follow us on Instagram or Twitter to stay up-to-date on BA happenings.  

Freezers Needed

Do you have a spare freezer? Our Lunch Ladies desperately need to find freezer space for 1000 lbs of frozen food from a commodities shipment (which they are unable to cancel or divert) that should arrive in the next few weeks. A large chest or upright freezer or two that could be moved to BA into the early part of next school year would be ideal. All ideas welcome! Please contact Julie Trnka at if you can help.

Item Pick-up/Drop-off at School

We hope that your student now has everything they need for distance learning. BA will not be open during the two week stay-at-home order from March 27-April 10. If necessary, we can get items to you via DMCS as they are continuing their drop off/pick up system from 10am-11:30am Monday-Friday. All distancing mitigation procedures will be in place for the pickup.

Red Cross Blood Drive April 8, 2020

We are answering the call of the Red Cross and will be hosting a Blood Drive in Van Orsow Auditorium on Wednesday, April 8. All health guidelines will be strictly adhered to; adults only will staff this drive. Stay tuned for further information on how to volunteer and/or donate.

2020-2021 Class Registration and Enrollment

We continue to work on class registrations for next year. Please check in with your student and encourage them to submit their 2020-2021 class registration in PowerSchool when you can. Also, if you have not yet done so, please re-enroll your student for next year as we cannot finalize schedules for students not enrolled. Click here for more information on re-enrolling in TADS.

2020-2021 Tuition Assistance

Although the initial financial aid deadline has passed, please know that it is not too late to apply for financial aid! Any family who is concerned about affording full tuition and fees may still apply for tuition assistance through TADS, with whom we partner to fairly assess need. Contact Kris at with questions on this process.



Attention Senior Parents

Mr. Zabel is still working to collect senior pictures and baby pictures. These pictures will be used in the senior slide show as well as the BA yearbook and BA Star Bulletin. Pictures can be sent to Mr. Zabel via email ( Please remind your seniors to upload photos of memories from their K-12 years to the designated Google folder. Thanks for your help and cooperation in honoring the Class of 2020!

Senior Scholarships/Transcripts

Mr. Schuman will continue to email all seniors any new scholarship offers that come up. See below for a list of current scholarships and deadlines. Students should email Mr. Schuman at with any questions or if a transcript is needed for a particular scholarship. Students still applying to colleges should use Naviance to submit their transcript requests. Parents and students are encouraged to email at any time with questions/concerns.


Faribault Elks Lodge

Faribault Elks Lodge is offering scholarships for post-secondary education to high school seniors graduating in the spring of 2020.  Click here for application or visit and click on scholarships, then start the application.  Deadline is March 31, 2020.

P.E.O. Scholarship

The P.E.O. Chapter AR of Faribault will be awarding one $1,000 scholarship to a 2020 graduating female pursuing post-secondary education from either FHS or BA. The application requires three short questions and a completed application form. Deadline is April 3, 2020. Please email Mr. Schuman for an application.

Faribault Sertoma Club

The Faribault Sertoma Club will offer (2) $1500 scholarships for post-secondary education to high school seniors graduating in the spring of 2020.  The recipients of these scholarships will be students who best personify Sertoma’s motto, “Service to Mankind.” Please email Mr. Schuman for an application.  Deadline is April 30, 2020.



Student Summer Work Program 

We are looking for student workers who will be in grades 9-12 next fall to help clean and prepare the schools for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. Tuition credit provided. Please click here for additional information.

Seeking New Members for BA Board of Directors

It is time to think about joining the Bethlehem Academy Board of Directors.  If you are committed to the mission of BA and want to help shape the future, consider applying for an open position on the Board.  It meets monthly, works in-between on committees and is a vital part of BA.  Applications are available here. Term begins August 2020 for three years.  Questions?  Contact Kathy Nass at 507-323-5365.



Summer event dates below – please add these to your calendar!  More information coming soon.

  • Cardinal Café @ the Rice County Fair: July 22-26
  • Cardinal Golf Classic: Friday, August 7
  • M.A.R.T. Challenge Ride: Thursday, August 6-Saturday, August 8 (1-day ride options available!)

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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