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Family Focus 5/1/2020

date 05/01/2020 author Ed Friesen category May 2020 comment Leave a comment

May 1, 2020

Note from Dr. Briscoe…

Happy May Day!  I want to thank all if you for your outstanding support of BABS 2020 last weekend.  This was our first virtual BABS and we had a record Fund-a-Need raising nearly $73,000.  By topping $70,000, we were able to get a $25,000 match from a very prominent Minnesotan with no previous connection to BA. All of the match will go to scholarships to help us get additional students that we really need for the 2020-21 school year.

We will end the 2019-20 school year on May 22 for all students. We will be sending a schedule to have student drop off laptops and books from May 26-29. We will follow all guidelines from the Governor, the Archbishop and the Department of Health.

We have decided to have Graduation on Friday, May 29. Our goal is to have a commencement where the seniors are present and appropriately spaced in Van Orsow Auditorium.  Our second goal is to have the parents appropriately spaced in the bleachers. Our hope is that we may be able to have other family members present as well. We intend to live-stream commencement. We will also record it. If none of that is possible, we will hold a virtual event on May 29. All decisions will be based on guidance given by Governor Walz, the MN Department of Education, MN Department of Health, the CDC and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis as well as consult with Dusty Dienst, Faribault’s Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Management, and with other schools. 

We are committed to creating the best possible graduation experience we can for the Class of 2020.  Unfortunately, what we want to do and what we can do may not align.  No matter what, we will celebrate the Class of 2020 and the completion of this milestone. 

Dr. Chuck Briscoe


Seniors: Graduation Stoles

Seniors: please return your red graduation stole to BA on Monday, May 4.  We will be sending those back to our Josten’s representative so that the 2020 year can get printed on the stoles. Drop off can be done in the school office between 9am and 3pm on Monday, May 4. We are expecting a quick turnaround in time for the May 29 ceremony. Extra official announcements will also be available for $1 each.

Rising Seniors, Juniors & Sophomores: Student Council Elections

It is time to elect Student Council Officers for next school year. Students in the Class of 2021, 2022, and 2023 were sent emails with information on how to run for office. Candidate’s video speeches need to be sent to Mr. Friesen by Wednesday, May 6.

Juniors: Mock ACT Exam

The ACT Prep Class final packets for Juniors in Mrs. Guth’s ACT prep class are available for pickup by the gym door at DMCS starting Friday, May 1. Packets can be picked at DMCS Monday-Friday between 10-11:30am and 5-6 pm (evening pickup starting Monday, May 4). Juniors not in the prep class interested in taking the mock test in preparation for the June 13 exam should contact Mrs. Guth at Students can email Mrs. Guth their answers. She will sent students an answer key after correcting the exams and will be available to help them with corrections.

Calendar Updates

  • May 1: BA in distance learning
  • May 2: Prom - Postponed, new date/format TBD
  • May 4: BA in distance learning school
  • May 6: Spring Concert - Canceled
  • May 6: Student Council Candidate Video Deadline
  • May 7: Student of the Month, 9:30am ceremomy premieres live on Facebook (
  • May 15: Last day of regular classes
  • May 18-22: finals/make up week
  • May 22: Last Day of School
  • May 26-28: Laptop and Textbook turn in
  • May 29: Commencement

2020-2021 Financial Aid & Tuition Agreements

We encourage families with financial aid applications to be responsive to any emails from TADS requesting additional information. Financial aid allocations and Archdiocesen scholarships are in progress and any applications listed as POOR or FAIR in TADS are not eligible until this information is provided. Your help is appreciated, as our goal is to have tuition agreements out in May. Please contact Kris at with questions on this process.

Class Registration and Pending Enrollment

We are reaching out by phone and email to students whose TADS enrollment is pending and/or who have not submitted their 2020-2021 class registration in PowerSchool. Your assistance with this process is appreciated, as it helps us plan for classes and for next year’s budget. Please note that we cannot place students in classes until their enrollment is finalized. Contact Kris at with any questions. Thank you!


Grade 9-10 Students: Be a Big! 

Big Brothers Big Sister of Southern Minnesota is recruiting interested 9th and 10th grade students for next school year. Check out this message from BA junior Kennedy Tutak: Interested students need to have a valid driver’s license by December 2020; commit to at least 2 years; want to be a kid’s new friend!Click here to take the first step in becoming a Big. Contact Megan Horton, Community Outreach Director for more information.

Yearbook Orders

Still want to buy a 2019-2020 yearbook? It’s not too late! The BA Multimedia class has worked hard to create a memorable yearbook highlighting this historic year. Purchase yours for just $60 + tax online at

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.  

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! We continue to honor 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 Twitter today! We also encourage you to share your own photos/videos on social media using the hashtag: #WEAREBA #TogetherWeFly. Thank you!

Senior Scholarships/Transcripts

Seniors please email Mr. Schuman at with any questions on scholarships 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.


Summer Lawn Mowing Jobs

The Olmsted County-based Neighbors Helping Neighbors program, a chore-based service to help seniors and those with disabilities with lawn mowing, is expanding in the Faribault area. They currently have two elderly women in our area looking for lawn mowing assistance. This summer the volunteers will not have contact with the homeowner, but will work in the yard on their own, or with their family. Contact at or 507-287-2010 if interested.

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!)
  • Heritage Days Parade: Saturday, August 8, 2pm.

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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