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Family Focus 5/8/2020

date 05/16/2020 author Ed Friesen category May 2020 comment Leave a comment

May 8, 2020

Note from Dr. Briscoe…

I continue to applaud the efforts of BA students and staff to help make distance learning work successfully. None of us chose this but in life we learn that many times you have to make the best of the cards that you are dealt. As noted, the school year will end for all students on Friday, May 22. We will send out a finals schedule next week. We will also send out a plan to collect all school materials and laptops May 26-28.

We continue to prepare for a graduation program on Friday, May 29. We have had to adjust our plans to meet the guidelines released today by the MN Department of Education. Our discussions involve incorporating a celebratory parade that ends in a parking lot with the viewing of a virtual video program similar to what we did for BABS. The virtual program will conclude with a drive-up diploma presentation that follows state guidelines. More details to follow, but know that we will do the very best we can to honor the BA Class of 2020.

Dr. Chuck Briscoe


New BA President/Principal

The BA Board of Directors this week announced the hiring of Melinda “Mindy” Reeder as BA’s new President/Principal. Dr. Briscoe is retiring after 43 years in education, the last four at Bethlehem Academy. Ms. Reeder begins her tenure at BA July 1, 2020. Click here for a copy of the Board’s press release and Ms. Reeder’s introduction letter.

Hoban Scholarship

Students entering grades 9-12 for the 2020-2021 school year are invited to apply for the John E. Hoban and Lucille M. Hoban Merit Based Scholarship. Students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and be in good standing with the BA Leadership Team. Interested students must prepare and submit a 2-part essay to Sr. Mary Margaret by Thursday, May 14. Click here for more information, including the essay prompt.

Front Office Staffing

We are pleased to announce that Barb Johnson will be staffing the BA front office from 9am to 3pm, Monday-Friday.

PSAT Exam Signup for Class of 2022

Current sophomores: the PSAT exam is scheduled for October 28, 2020. Students interested in taking the exam need to email Mr. Schuman at by Friday, May 29 to meet the registration deadline.

Calendar Updates

  • May 13: AP English Lit & AP European History (online) Exam
  • May 15: Last day of regular classes
  • May 18-22: Finals/make up week
  • May 20: AP English Language (online) Exam, 1pm
  • May 20: Mary Ceremony, 7pm video premiere presentation
  • May 22: AP Statistics (online) Exam, 1pm
  • May 22: Last Day of School
  • May 26-28: Laptop and Textbook turn-in (times to be scheduled)
  • May 28: Awards Ceremony, virtual presentation
  • May 29: Commencement

Needed: Used Summer Reading/IRP Novels

A note from our English Departments: If you have any old summer reading novels, or IRP (Independent Reading Novels), sitting around at home that you would not mind donating we would love them!!! We will have a table available in the gym on the day students return laptops and textbooks for these book donations. Thank you for your consideration.

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!


Box Tops

Keep turning in your Box Tops or to scan them digitally for credit! You can also turn in your receipts to school right after you shop and Mrs. Smisek will do scan them digitally if you don’t have the app. And, through May 10, earn double Box Tops when you buy any Box Tops participating products. This program helps support our middle school science program. Thank you!

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. Packets can be picked at DMCS Monday-Friday between 10-11:30am and 5-6 pm. Juniors not in the prep class interested in taking the mock test in preparation for the June 13 exam should contact Mrs. Guth at She will score the exams and be available to help students with corrections.

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 at 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 Facebook, Instagram, 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 Jackie 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.


Attached Files

April 27 to May 29 v2.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