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Family Focus 2/14/2020

date 02/15/2020 author Ed Friesen category February 2020 comment Leave a comment

February 14, 2020

Note from Dr. Briscoe…

The column below will be in the Faribault and Northfield Newspapers next week.  It is very hard to believe that this occurred one year ago.  I know there are brighter days ahead as we have gained over 75 minutes of daylight since the winter solstice on December 21, 2019.

February 2020 Daily News Column

“Heart, The Beat Goes On:

I have had the privilege to work in a school for the past 43 years.  As a dance chaperone for three decades I have noticed that most schools have some kind of dance theme around the idea of heart at a semi-formal dance in February, such as Snoball, Heart Throb, and a variety of other names around the same theme.  February is also the month that Valentine’s Day occurs on the 14th of the month.  I was not surprised that Christmas cards rank number one for total number of cards purchased.  I was surprised that Valentine’s Day cards rank number two followed by Mother’s Day and Father’s Day cards.  So, between cards, flowers, chocolate and candy hearts a great deal of attention has been focused on both the heart and love in February.

Any time I have interviewed for a job the committee always asks me what my biggest weakness is.  For the past 34 years I have consistently given this answer “I care about people; I have a big heart and I can get ‘crushed’ once in a while because of it but I will never give this trait up.”  I learned a lot about my actual heart one year ago.  In early February 2019 I was at a presidents’ meeting in the cities.  I did not feel good, so I stopped at an urgent care in the cites.  After a few tests they said “you are going by ambulance to Abbott Northwestern.  Your heart rate has accelerated, and it would not be safe to drive there by yourself.”  So, at that moment, my car was in Woodbury and I was in the back of an ambulance headed to the hospital.  A lot goes through your mind at that point in time as you pray and wonder what that night and the next day will bring.  The next day I got my heart shocked back into rhythm and with that had the good fortune to cross paths with a great doctor.  The next day I met with one of the doctors on staff.  He said if you want this atrial fibulation fixed you need a heart ablation.  I always ask the doctor if their dad was sitting there who would they want to do this procedure?  Without hesitation he said “Dr Daniel Melby.”  My luck here was that his children had gone to Hill-Murray and he was happy to take me in.  On Valentine’s Day 2018 I drove through a blizzard to get to Abbot-Northwestern by 5:00 a.m.  Of all the days in a year, I was having my heart procedure done on Valentine’s Day.  There was no candy, flowers, or cards.  Just a smiling Dr. Melby who said I have looked at your chart for hours and I know exactly what to do!  It was a perfect Nice Bike moment and we were both ready to undertake about a three-hour procedure.

A lot of good things have happened since that date.  I had the good fortune to follow my heart and connect with a wonderful nurse named Donna.  Thanks to the heart ablation I have been able to use my new quote many times; “to fall in love once is a blessing, twice is a miracle.”  My free advice to you is to never take people you love or your heart for granted.

Dr. Chuck Briscoe

Note from Mr. Wollin…

The high school registration process has begun for next school year.  We will have an updated curriculum guide for students during the last week of February.  Our counselor, Mr. Jacob Schuman, will be going around to the different classes to help them enroll for their courses for the 2020-2021 school year.  Our hope is to have everything done by the end of March.  As part of this process, we ask that you enroll your children in school for next year.  The registration process cannot be fully completed unless your children are enrolled for the 2020-2021 school year.

Mr. Dave Wollin


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.

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.

Bethlehem Academy Shadow Days, February 18 & 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.  Our final Amazon gift card drawing ($100!) is next Friday, February 21. Turn in your ticket money to be eligible! Volunteers are needed for this great event - click here to sign up – hours count towards your family service hours.  

Easter Flower Fundraiser

Parents, families and friends of Bethlehem Academy – it is time to order spring flowers!  As in the past, these beautiful flowers delivered fresh from Gerten’s Greenhouse will arrive April 7 and 8, just in time for Easter!  We have found that so many times that, because these flowers are so beautiful that offices and businesses love purchasing them!  We need your help!  We ask that you please share with your office peers.  No pressure to buy, just beautiful flowers to add a little color as spring approaches.  All orders are due to the Bethlehem Academy office by Monday, March 2.  Flyer attached.

Mock ACT Exam at BA, March 25

Juniors in the ACT Prep Class with Cathy Guth must sign up for the April 4th ACT exam.  To prepare, all students in the class will take a mock ACT exam at BA the morning of Wednesday, March 25.  There is no fee for the mock exam and juniors not currently enrolled in the class may choose to participate. Please contact Cathy Guth at with questions or to sign up.

Spelling Bee Regional Competition

DMCS and BA sent 4th grader Leighton Richter and 6th grader Langston Richter to the Regional Spelling Bee in Rochester.  CONGRATULATIONS on a job well done! 

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.


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.

Rise Up Twin Cities for MS Students, Mar 21

Divine Mercy Youth Ministry is bringing middle school students to a conference called “Rise Up Twin Cities” on March 2.  The conference price is $60.  See attached flyer for more informationLink to the middle school page can be found here. A direct link to the registration form can be found here.  For more information, contact Ang Hoisington at

Accreditation Visit, Mar 23-25

We continue to prepare to welcome several guests on March 23-25 as part of our MNSAA Accreditation.  The faculty and staff have been working hard on the various aspects of our report in order to be fully prepared.  We are reminding you that parents may be contacted by a team member and we count on your participation.  Everyone will be asked to “Dress for Success” all three days which means student dress down passes WILL NOT be honored March 23-25.  All BA students are expected to be in the best dress code they can muster!  Thank you for your continued support of BA.  Together We Fly!

BA Employment Opportunities

Spring Coaches: Assistant & Jr. High 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)

2/17 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, 6:30 pm
3/2 Spring Flower Orders Due
3/3 CIS Calculus U of M Field Trip
3/5 Parent-Teacher Conferences, 4-7:30 pm
3/6 Mass Day
3/6 End of 3rd Quarter
3/9-3/13 Spring Break – No School

Online School Activities Calendar:


Attached Files

2020 Easter flower sales flyer.pdf

BA Easter Flower 2020 Sellers log.pdf

BA Middle School February Newsletter.pdf

Rise Up 2020.pdf

Drivers Ed.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