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Family Focus 4/9/2020

date 04/17/2020 author Ed Friesen category April 2020 comment Leave a comment

April 9, 2020

Note from Dr. Briscoe…

I continue to be very proud of the BA staff and students as we finish week four of online learning.  We continue to work to meet the needs of your student and to address any technology issues that get in the way of teaching and learning.  I know that we are all learning things that we can use for the rest of this year and for many years to come.  

We have decided to postpone the May 2nd Prom. Instead, we are working on options for a rescheduled and less formal event, hopefully sometime this summer. We are also looking at the end of the year school activities including the Mary Ceremony, the Awards Ceremony, and Graduation 2020.  We will have an answer for you soon on those three very important school events. We are looking at the possibility of having the seniors come back in the fall for a formal graduation ceremony on a weekend. This would allow us to have student speakers and present your students diploma in a formal setting.  We will also look at doing something simple at the end of May for graduation. We will have a clear answer in the next few days.

I know these are very challenging times as we pray that we can beat this virus through the shelter in place model that has been extended through May 4th. You can reach all of us via e-mail and we can call you back with any questions that you may have.  This will be the first Easter that I have not been in church, had an Easter egg hunt or had an Easter basket. I have still not held my new grandson born on March 26, 2020.  Stay safe, stay home and remember the value of prayer.


Dr. Chuck Briscoe



Upcoming Events


2020-2021 BA-DMCS School Calendar: Copy attached for your reference.

Tips for Successful Distance Learning

Still struggling a bit to manage distance/online learning? Faculty offer the following tips for navigating this new environment:

  • Establish a routine by setting a wake-up time and bedtime.
  • If prioritizing work is a challenge, encourage students to follow their class schedule.
  • Encourage lots of breaks and get outside.
  • Include physical activity as part of the day.
  • Try not to do schoolwork on a bed. It is important to distinguish a workspace from a sleeping space.

Student Cell Phone Numbers

During this period of distance/online learning, it may be helpful for teachers to have student cell phone numbers as an additional way to communicate with students.  This may include texting announcements and assignments as well as calling students for follow up and feedback on assignments.  If you are willing to provide your child's cell phone number, please complete this secure form.

Message from the Sinsinawa Mound

Please see attached letter of encouragement, gratitude and appreciations from Sr Colleen Settles, OP, D. Min., Corporate Chair for Sponsored Schools Dominicans of Sinsinawa.

SCRIP Update

Good news! Barring any unforeseen circumstances, DMCS will resume placing Scrip orders on Tuesday, April 21. All orders must be received by 8:30 am that morning. You will be able to pick-up your orders every Thursday from 4-6pm starting April 23rd. Pick up will be at DMCS Door # 3 (the side gym door). Just pull up and honk your horn! Peggy will meet you with your order.  PLEASE NOTE: orders must be paid by check. (The online payment option will not be available until further notice.) All standing SCRIP orders will be resumed as well. ACH orders will be processed as usual. If you do not wish to receive your standing order at this time, please notify Peggy Johnson at You may still purchase gift cards for Hy-Vee, Fareway, Kwik Trip, Walmart and Communinty Scrip at 1st United Bank in Faribault. Please contact Peggy if you have any questions about the program.

April Students of the Month

Congratulations to the 6 middle school and 12 high school students of the month for April! We were not able to celebrate their achievements in person, so faculty prepared an awards ceremony video. Check out our Facebook page for more!

American Red Cross Blood Drive

Thank you to the faculty, staff, alumni and community members from Faribault, Medford, New Prague, Northfield, and Owatonna who participated in the April 8 Red Cross blood drive. Over 50 people successfully donated much-needed blood!


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. 

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 Financial Aid & Tuition Agreements

Under the circumstances, we have delayed our normal tuition assistance evaluation process. We will not begin award allocation discussions until next week and hope to have tuition agreements out by early May. 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.

Building our Cardinal Community: Seniors & Community Stories

As we continue distance/online learning, building our community through (virtual) social connections is more important than ever! In the coming weeks, we will be honoring the Class of 2020 on our social media accounts. We also encourage you to send us YOUR funny, interesting, and creative photos/videos e-learning stories to And if you haven't already, follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twittertoday! We also encourage you to share your own photos/videos on social media using the hashtag: #WEAREBA #TogetherWeFly. Thank you!


Senior Pictures / Yearbook Survey Deadline April 10

Please get your senior and baby pictures to Mr. Zabel and respond to the Senior Yearbook Survey by Friday, April 10. These pictures & information from the yearbook survey will be used in the senior slide show as well as in the BA yearbook and BA Star. Pictures can be sent to Mr. Zabel via email ( Seniors can upload their K-12 photos 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 Sertoma Club Scholarship

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.

Rotary STRIVE Program Postponed

Juniors: the Rotary STRIVE program is postponed until further notice. Please e-mail if you have any questions.


Nursing Home Outreach

We encourage you to join Ms. Heselton’s classes in sending letters, poems, or artwork to isolated nursing home residents. Please send your message to:  Milestone Senior Living (2500 14th St NW, Faribault, MN 55021) or contact Anne Pleskonko to be a resident penpal; and/or Pleasant Manor Senior Community (41 Brand Ave, Faribault, MN 55021). Residents are lonely without the option for visitors and would love your notes of encouragement! 

MSAB Captions Project

Caption podcasts for the MN State Academy for the Blind. Write subtitles for podcasts created by MSAB students. Please contact Jennifer Pelletier at if you would like to help.

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
  • S.M.A.R.T. Challenge Ride: Thursday, August 6-Saturday, August 8 (1-day ride options available!)


Attached Files

Family Focus 4/17/2020Family Focus 4/25/2020Family Focus 5/1/2020
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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
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