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Family Focus 2/7/2020

date 02/07/2020 author Ed Friesen category February 2020 comment Leave a comment

In this Edition:


Note from Dr. Briscoe…

There is still value in a handwritten note:

I am old enough to remember what it was like before the computer, the internet and e-mail. When we wanted to communicate, we had three options; talk face-to-face, call on your home phone, now referred to as your landline, or write a handwritten note and mail it or personally deliver it. According to the U.S. Postal Service’s annual survey, the average home received a personal letter once every eight weeks in 2015, down from one every two weeks in 1987 and one or more each week prior to 1970. Who has time for stamps, stationery and checking your own spelling?

I am willing to bet that many of you reading this still have a box of letters and cards that you received back in the day. You save them because you treasure the thought that went into the note and you value the person that sent them to you. Perhaps your grandparents, parents or other relatives took the time to actually write you a note. They took their time and shared their passion and feelings in that letter. I don’t think you get the same kind of feeling or passion in an e-mail, text, tweet or Facebook message. They are sent off instantly and many times you probably wish that there was a control/alt/delete to allow you to reel the message that may have been sent in haste or anger back in.

The wonder of a handwritten note is that they grow rarer by the day. I remind high school seniors of the value of a handwritten note. I tell them if they develop this habit after graduation, they may be the one person in several hundred who is sharing their gratitude and appreciation with a handwritten note. I know that it’s free to send something out electronically and you can do it very quickly 24-7. You read them but I doubt that you save the electronic message. I know if someone takes the time to write you a handwritten note you always save that. We have been downsizing and I came across old boxes of letters in dad’s Army trunk in the garage. He saved all the letters that he received from his mother and sisters during his six years in WWII. I can recapture that time when I read those letters.

I know it is critical to always say thank you. It is also essential to send a handwritten note every time you have a job interview or receive a gift and to thank all of the people around you in your life. It takes time, each is one of a kind, and they will be displayed on refrigerators, desks, and bulletin boards and kept in shoeboxes for a lifetime. It is a lost art that can easily be recaptured by anyone in 2020. All you need is some stationery, note cards, a pen, and a book of stamps. My wish is that you choose to be the one person in a hundred who is writing and sending handwritten notes in this new year.

Dr. Chuck Briscoe

Note from Mr. Wollin…

Parents I ask that you continue to remind your sons and daughters to have their laptops charged and ready for class every day. Also, remind them that being on time, not tardy, is very important. It is one of those lifelong skills that are important. Employers want workers who are on time and have good attendance.

I enjoy working with your children every day. We have some wonderful young adults here at BA. Thank you for supporting your children and our efforts at BA to educate them and prepare them for their future. The search for new leadership for next year is underway. There is a committee working on this and they will be ready to interview prospective candidates this spring.

Mr. Dave Wollin


SnoBall Grand March pictures/video

SnoBall Grand March pictures, compliments of Mr. Brent Zabel, can be accessed here. Snoball Video, filmed by Troy Temple can be found at this YouTube link

The Wizard of Oz Tryouts

Tryouts for singing and non-singing parts start Monday, February 10; all students in grades 7-12 are eligible. Sign up for tryouts in the Choir Room. Performance dates: April 24-26

Tryout dates:

2/10 – Auditions from 3:15-6:00pm

2/11 – Auditions from 6:00-8:00pm

2/12 – Auditions from 3:15-6:00pm

2/12 – Callbacks (time TBD; students check email)

2020-2021 Enrollment Now Open

We have opened enrollment for 2020-2021 and ask that you re-enroll your student for next year. You should have received an email from TADS with a link to get started. Please click here for instructions and more information on re-enrolling. We ask that you complete re-enrollment for your student(s) by Tuesday, March 17, in order for us to best plan for next year. Email Kris Sauer or call her at 507-334-3948 x206 if you have any questions.

Financial Aid Deadline February 17

We are committed to providing a Bethlehem Academy education to all families who desire it. Any family who is concerned about affording full tuition and fees is encouraged to apply for financial aid through TADS, with whom we partner to fairly assess need. The deadline to apply for financial aid for the 2020-2021 school year is Monday, February 17, 2020, and must be met to be considered for Archdiocesan scholarships. Please note that you MAY use your 2018 tax return to apply.

Bethlehem Academy February Shadow Days

We are offering several shadow days this month, including February 11, 12, 18 and 19. Invite an interested student to join us to experience all that a Catholic school has to offer! Prospective students will be paired with a student host sharing similar interests (favorite classes, activities or sports) and incoming grade. Attend classes, meet teachers and students, and enjoy a complimentary homemade lunch. Register online here or email for more information.

Open House, Feb 23

Help us grow our Cardinal family! Invite interested families and friends to join us from 10 am - 12 noon Sunday, February 23 for our next open house. Info tables, tours and complimentary pancake tickets for all who attend. The open house sign up can be found here.

BA Pancake Breakfast Tickets/Volunteers

It’s Pancake Breakfast time at BA! This annual event raises money for BA’s Industrial Arts and Hot Lunch Programs. Tickets for the February 23rd event are $6 each for all you can eat pancakes, sausages, applesauce, milk and coffee. Every BA family was sent 10 tickets to buy/sell. Extra tickets are available in the front office. Weekly Amazon gift card drawings start Friday, February 7 for anyone who has turned in ticket money, and a case of our Famous Lunch Lady Chocolate Chunk cookies will be awarded to the person who sells the most tickets! Volunteers are needed for this great event - click here to sign up – hours count towards your family service hours. Please join us for this fun family event - and thank you for supporting these great BA programs!

Note from the Nurse’s Office

As we begin registration for fall 2020, it is time to start planning for immunizations. All students entering 7th grade this fall are required by law to have a Tdap (tetanus booster) as well as a meningitis shot. The meningitis shot is the first in a two-shot series which should be completed at 16 years of age. Students entering 12th grade are required by law to have a second meningitis shot. This is a new requirement for admittance to school in the fall of 2020. Students should have had their first shot in the series before the start of 7th grade. Some students have already received these shots and letters will be going out within the next month for those who have not been vaccinated yet.

Hosting an International Student @ Bethlehem Academy: 2 Immediate Opportunities

Host families are needed IMMEDIATELY for two students. Please consider hosting:

  • Fen: a 10th grade Chinese boy here at BA until the end of this year. Current family love hosting him, but home was meant to be a transitional placement and logistics getting tricky for this multi-child family. No stipend as student is on a pure exchange program.
  • Jisoo: an 8th grade Korean girl here via the KoAm educational program. Student hopes to stay for high school at BA & will go home for summers. Stipend provided.

Benefits of hosting: Host families get an opportunity to learn firsthand about another country and culture; Hosting helps BA & gives our students a chance to expand their world view; Host families provide a bedroom, meals, a supportive home environment, and transportation to/from school; Exchange organization conducts a home visit and background check of the host, provide a monthly stipend (generally $600/month for a high school student, $400/month for a middle school student), reimburse for student expenses (lunch, activities fees, etc.), and provide support to the host family throughout the year; As a small token of our appreciation, BA provides host families with an athletics pass, providing the entire family with free admission to all home athletic events for the year. Contact: Kris at or 507-334-3948, x206 if interested.


BA Mailing Help Needed, Feb 10-13

Volunteers are needed to help with a mailing the week of 2/10 - 2/13 any time after 10:00 am. This opportunity will count towards required volunteer hours. Contact Sister Mary Margaret at

Basketball Game Help

Volunteers are needed for our remainibng home basketball games on February 11, February 14 and February 17.  Please sign up at:

Cannon River Driving School, Mar 16-23

Cannon River Driving School is offering Drivers Education at Bethlehem Academy, March 16-27 from 3-6 pm Mon-Fri. Please see the attached registration form for details and to sign up.

Accreditation Visit, Mar 23-25

A reminder that Bethlehem Academy will be hosting their Accreditation visit March 23-25, 2020. This accreditation will affirm the excellence of the school and provide insights and suggestions as we continue to offer your children a value-centered education. Some of you may be contacted by the team at that time.

BA Employment Opportunities

Spring Coaches: Assistant & JV Baseball and Track & Field coaches needed for the 2020 spring season. Contact Ed Friesen for more information.

Morning BA Van Driver: needed immediately for 6:15-8:00am route. Contact Kris Sauer if interested.

Substitute Teachers: sought ASAP. Contact Sister Mary Margaret if interested.


(click on hyperlink for more information)

2/8 Gopher Conference Honors Concert @ BA
2/8 MS Science Olympiad
2/10-13 8th Grade @ Wolf Ridge
2/11-12 Student Shadow Days
2/13 Grades 6 & 7, Field Trip
2/14 No School
2/17 No School/President’s Day/Teacher Workday
2/17 TADS Financial Aid Deadline
2/18-19 Student Shadow Days
2/21 Mass Day
2/23 BA Pancake Breakfast, 8:30am-12:00pm
2/23 BA Open House, 10:00am-12:00pm
2/26 Ash Wednesday / Mass Day
2/28 Winter Concert

Online Activities Calendar:

Attached Files

Driver's Ed.pdf

Scrip Notes.pdf

BA Activities 2020-02-10.pdf

FHS Coop Activities 2020-02-10.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