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Family Focus 5/15/2020

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

May 15, 2020

Note from Dr. Briscoe…

We all received clear directions from the Governor last Friday regarding graduation. None of us like losing most spring activities because of Covid-19, but we know that in life we have to endure things for the common good and we just can’t risk coming together and getting anyone sick or worse. I would like to take this moment to recognize our co-valedictorians, Nathan Smisek and Mikayla Bohner. Both will graduate from BA with a perfect 4.0 grade point average taking our most challenging courses. Nathan also earned the rank of Eagle Scout, an honor that only 6% of all Boy Scouts earn. Mikayla will continue her education at Gustavous majoring in music education and Nathan will attend St. John’s University majoring in biochemistry. We also have co-salutatorians, Greta Hillesheim and Emily Wilder.

We will finish the 2019-20 school year on May 22 for all students. Our virtual Awards Ceremony, Baccalaureate, and Commencement celebrations will be held May 27-29. We will provide an update on turning in laptops and school materials during the last part of May. We continue to hope and pray for additional students for the 2020-21 school year. I encourage you to recommend BA to your friends and neighbors and reach out to Kris Sauer at BA for more information. We will do our best to make BA affordable for every student.

Dr. Chuck Briscoe


Staff Update: John Wollersheim

We are excited to announce that John Wollersheim has been hired as a part-time Assistant Principal for the 2020-21 school year. Welcome back, John!

Finals Week, May 18-22

Finals week, by necessity, will follow a slightly different format as we conclude the year in distance learning.

High school students will follow the attached finals schedule for taking tests. Classes with papers/projects may follow a different due date schedule. Middle school students have final projects and/or tests scheduled throughout the week (see attached) Middle school teachers will communicate additional informatioin directly with their classes. To support your student, attached please find a finals week tip sheet prepared by SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions.) As always, please reach out to any faculty or staff member if you need assistance helping your student navigate learning as we complete this quarter.


Mary Ceremony May 20

BA's annual Mary Ceremony will be a virtual presentation this year. The video will air on Wednesday, May 20 at 7pm on our Facebook page ( and on our YouTube channel at and will remain available on both platforms after it runs live.

Seniors: Mary Ceremony Cards & Graduation Stole Pick Up

Seniors who have not yet done so are invited to please stop by school Monday between 9am and 3pm to pick up:

  • Cards & postage stamps for Mary Ceremony
  • Stoles

If you cannot pick up during these days/times, let us know and we can try to to continue proper social distancing and stay 6 ft apart; facemasks encouraged.

Seniors: Diploma Walk Schedule

Seniors and their parents are invited to come to BA so that graduates may walk the stage in their cap and gown to receive their diploma as part of the virtual commencement program (see below for more information on commencement). A sign up email will be sent separately to seniors and senior parents with 30 minute time slots available the afternoon of Wednesday, May 20; late afternoon Thursday, May 21; Friday, May 22, and possibly Tuesday, May 26. In addition to filming for the commencement program, BA photographers will be on hand to take photographs. Please be prepared with face masks as appropriate and respect social distancing guidelines at all times. Signup for diploma walk here:

Virtual Baccalaureate Ceremony May 27, Xpm

We hope to have a virtual, livestream Baccalaureate during the evening of May 27.

Virtual Awards Ceremony May 28, 7pm

Our 2020 Awards Ceremony will premier live on our Facebook page and YouTube channel at 7pm Thursday, May 28 and will remain available on both platforms after it runs live.

Commencement May 29

Bethlehem Academy’s 2020 Commencement will be a virtual program combined with a brief diploma presentation ceremony held in the Bethlehem Academy parking lot. Please be prepared with face masks as appropriate and respect social distancing guidelines at all times.

  1. Virtual Commencement Program airs live on Facebook and YouTube at 7pm, and will remain available on both platforms after it runs live.
  2. 8:00/8:15 pm – Brief BA parking lot program for the Class of 2020 and immediate family members. Each graduate will have one assigned parking spot in the BA parking lot. The program will include:
  • An brief final message of congratulations by Dr. Briscoe
  • Diploma drive by: Each senior will be called individually up to the diploma pick up table. Their car will move to the drop off area by the front lobby doors, the diploma envelope will be presented, the then car moves north on 3rdAve and turns on 1st to return to BA parking lot
  • Final congratulations & horn honking
  • Cars recess out of parking lot onto 3rdAve for a SHORT recessional, final route to be determined.


Summer Work Program

Given the current COVID-19 restrictions, we regret that we will have to cancel the student summer work program.

Calendar Updates

  • May 18-22: Finals/make up week
  • May 20: AP English Language (online) Exam, 1pm
  • May 20: Mary Ceremony, 7pm live video presentation on BA’s Facebook page, YouTube Channel
  • May 22: AP Statistics (online) Exam, 1pm
  • May 22: Last Day of School
  • May 26-28: Laptop and Textbook turn in; times tba
  • May 27: Baccalauereate program, TBA
  • May 28: Awards Ceremony, 7pm virtual presentation on BA’s Facebook page, YouTube Channel
  • May 29: Commencement: 7pm virtual ceremony broadcast live on Facebook/YouTube followed by a brief diploma presentation and recessional in the BA parking lot

2020-2021 Financial Aid & Tuition Agreements

We are working on setting up tuition agreements for 2020-2021. Please watch for an email in the next week or so with more information.


2020-2021 Student Council Officers

High school students voted this week to elect Student Council officers for next year. Congratulations to the following students: President - JJ Malecha; Vice-President - Verity Wray-Raabolle; Treasurer - Elliot Smith; Secretary - Malia Hunt.

BAAA Merit Scholarship for Class of 2021

The BA Activities Association, the school’s booster club, awards two $250 merit scholarships to juniors to be applied towards your senior year tuition and fees. You can find the scholarship application here: Application deadline is 5pm, Friday, May 22.

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.

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.

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!

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

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.

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

HS Finals Schedule.pdf

MS Finals and Projects.pdf

Finals Study Guide.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