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Family Focus 2/29/2020

date 02/29/2020 author Ed Friesen category February 2020 comment Leave a comment

Note from Dr. Briscoe…

On being thermometers and thermostats:

Each morning I look out at a thermometer on my deck to see how cold it is, then turn on the radio for the forecast. As a native Minnesotan, I receive a certain satisfaction in being tough and able to endure what would seriously challenge the survival skills of people in warmer climates. Indoor temperature is another matter. I try to keep the thermostat in the house set a bit low for some people’s taste’s but will turn it up whenever we have visitors.

Thermometers and thermostats, although the words sound quite similar, there is a world of difference in what they do. A thermometer gives a reading of how hot or cold it is. That’s it. A thermostat on the other hand, senses when a room is getting uncomfortably cold or hot and kicks in the furnace or air conditioner to change the room temperature.

When we express feelings, fact and opinions on issues in our community, school, or neighborhood we are being thermometers. We might evaluate a person or situation in terms of good or bad, hot or cold according to some criteria, but if that is all we do, we are no more than thermometers, giving reading of the ambient temperature.

On the other hand, if we move from opinion and evaluations to actions, if we respond by finding ways to support and encourage the good as well as finding ways to bring about positive improvement in situations that need change, we are like thermostats, making a difference in our community and for those around us. Being only a thermometer, constantly complaining about the cold, is not going to make the situation any better. On the contrary, complaining will only make me be more focused on my discomfort and feel colder, well on second thought, it may have the additional effect of encouraging others to complain or avoid my company.

If you have been too much like a thermometer, why not go into action and be a thermostat. Remember the four principles from my favorite book, The Fred Factor:

  1. Everyone makes a difference.
  2. Success is built on relationships.
  3. You must continually create value for others.
  4. You can reinvent yourself regularly.

Dr. Chuck Briscoe



BA Pancake Breakfast/Open House

Thank you to everyone who joined us last Sunday for our very successful pancake breakfast and open house! Your support is so appreciated!

SYNOD 2021

We need your help! All Catholics, former Catholics, those interested in the Catholic religion (regardless of your home parish) are asked to complete the Disciple Maker Index at, by Saturday, February 29th. The information which you share in this document is confidential, but at the same time will help form the future for your parish and for the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis. It is important that we have participation from a variety of age groups. If your child is a junior or senior at BA, he/she will have completed the survey in class. If your child is in the confirmation program, she/he has been invited to participate in the survey. For further information or clarification, contact Sister Kathleen at 507-334-2266, ext. 1018 or by email @

Easter Flower Orders Due March 2

It is time for the annual BA Activities Association Easter flower fundraiser! These beautiful flowers are delivered fresh from Gerten’s Greenhouse and will arrive April 7 and 8 just in time for Easter. All orders are due to the BA office by Monday, March 2. Forms available in the office or click here to find one online. The proceeds from the flower sale supports co-curricular and extra-curricular activites at Bethlehem Academy. Thank you for supporting student activities!

Parent Teacher Conferences, March 5

Parent-Teacher Conferences are next Thursday, March 5 from 4:00 pm – 7:30 pm. Middle school teachers will be in the BA Cafeteria; high school teachers will be in the gym. The conferences are an opportunity for parents to meet to discuss student progress and are meant to be short 5-minute meetings with each teacher. If longer time is required, it is recommended that an individual appointment be arranged directly with that teacher. Faculty emails can be found on our website here.

Trap Team Registration Deadline March 6

BA Trap Team registration is now open and information packets are available in the main office.

Tuition Assistance Update

Thank you to all our families that completed their financial aid applications by the February 17 deadline! Please know that we remain committed to providing a Bethlehem Academy education to all families who desire it and it is not too late to apply for financial aid! Although no longer eligible for Archdiocesan scholarships, any family who is concerned about affording full tuition and fees may still apply for tuition assistance through TADS, with whom we partner to fairly assess need. Contact Kris at with questions on this process.

2020-2021 Enrollment Due March 17

Thank you to those families who have already re-enrolled their student(s)! If you have not yet done so, please re-enroll soon to facilitate class registration and our planning for next year. We ask that you complete re-enrollment for your student(s) by Tuesday, March 17 to best facilitate this. Click here for instructions and more information on re-enrolling.

Junior Class - 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.

Supplies Needed

Cold and flu season is upon us! We go through many boxes of tissues to stay well. If you can donate any boxes of tissue it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for helping us stay healthy!


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 or in the main office. Term begins August 2020 for 3 years. Questions? Contact Kathy Nass at 507-323-5365.

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 information; Link 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!


Faribault Elks Lodge

Faribault Elks Lodge is offering scholarships for post-secondary education to high school seniors graduating in the spring of 2020. Click here for application or visit and click on scholarships, then start the application. Deadline is March 31, 2020.

P.E.O. Scholarship

The P.E.O. Chapter AR of Faribault will be awarding one $1,000 scholarship to a 2020 graduating female pursuing post-secondary education from either FHS or BA. The application requires three short questions and a completed application form. Deadline is April 3rd. Applications are available in the counseling office.

Faribault Sertoma Club

The Faribault Sertoma Club will offer (2) $1500 scholarships for post-secondary education to High School Seniors graduating in the Spring of 2020. The recipients of these scholarships will be students who best personify Sertoma’s motto, “Service to Mankind”. Please see Mr. Schumann for an application. Deadline is April 30, 2020.


Student Summer Work Program: We are looking for student workers who will be in grades 9-12 next fall to help clean and prepare the schools for the upcoming 2020-21 school year. Tuition credit provided. Please click here for additional information.

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 6:15-8:00 am route. Tuition credit available. Contact Kris Sauer at if interested.

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


(click on hyperlink for more information)


Winter Concert, 6:30 pm


Spring Flower Orders Due


CIS Calculus U of M Field Trip


MSHSL Large Group Contest: Band & Choir


Student of the Month, 7:15 am


Parent-Teacher Conferences, 4-7:30 pm


Mass Day


End of 3rd Quarter


Spring Break – No School


Field Trip, Grade 6 & 7


Spring Sports Parent Meetings, 6:30pm


Shadow Day


Spring Sports Meeting, 6:30-8:00 pm


Retreat, Grades 10 & 11


Mass Day


Middle School Lock-In


Accreditation Team Site Visit


Field Trip, Grade 6


Mass Day

Online Activities Calendar:

Attached Files

BABS 2020 Flier.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