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Family Focus 07/17/20

date 07/25/2020 author Ed Friesen category July 2020, 2020-21 comment Leave a comment

July 17, 2020

Dear BA Families:

This Friday Focus for Families is my first official communication with all of you, our school parents, directly. I look forward to connecting with you weekly to share pertinent information and to build a strong partnership. Today, communication takes multiple forms, from weekly school newsletters, to social media school accounts, video news, blogs, updates on our website and communication through PowerSchool, as well as interviews on the radio and with our local newspaper. What sometimes seems clear from our office, may not be clear to you, so please reach out with questions as we begin our partnership. I thank you for taking time to complete our Distance Learning surveys. All of your input is valued as our staff moves forward to planning for all scenarios this fall. Prayers are also critical for all staff, students and families so please join me in praying as we plan.

2020 FALL PLANS: A COVID Team was created with representatives of staff and faculty upon my arrival in July. This team met to review Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) protocols and are presently meeting in subgroups to plan for the fall. Please know that at this time, all of these ideas are tentative plans based on recommendations from MDH and CDC following the guidance from the Diocese protocols. What are some of the considerations that we are reviewing?

  • Groups of students staying together to mitigate exposure
  • Creative ideas for band and choir to minimize groups
  • Additional lunch periods
  • Masks worn upon entering the school and in hallways
  • Spacing desks and minimizing class sizes
  • Cancellations of field trips and rethinking service projects
  • Rethinking large group events and pepfests
  • Considerations for size of group at weekly Mass

What is our time frame to share final plans with students and families?

  • July 21: BA COVID Team meets to review recommendations from subgroups
  • July 23: District meeting to review transportation plans
  • July 27: Governor Walz announcement and recommendations for schools
  • July 28: BA Leadership Team and Teacher Leader meeting to review and revise BA COVID Team Plans considering local and state recommendation impacts
  • July 29: BA All Staff Meeting to finalize plans
  • August 1-7: Bring in student leadership to improve on ideas and create videos.
  • August 7: Parent communication regarding fall plans through Family Focus newsletter and links on our website and social media accounts

I know that there is a lot of information and planning to take place in the next few weeks. I’m proud of our dedicated teachers and staff who are preparing for multiple scenarios and am blessed to be at BA to begin my partnership with this amazing community. I look forward to connecting with students during sports practices and in early August to put into action the best plans for this fall. Here is the latest video communicating some of this information with Mr. Wollesheim, Assistant Principal: . Thank you for your prayers!

Blessings, Mindy Reeder, President/Principal


Summer Office Hours

The front office is open Monday-Thursday from 9am to 1pm through August 20. The office is closed on Fridays. Regular office hours resume Monday, August 24.

BA Scholarship Challenge Update

We are so excited to announce that we surpassed our Scholarship Challenge Grant goal of $15,000! Thanks to our many supporters, we’ll now receive an additional $15,000 match to fund student scholarships. To all those able to help use meet this goal - THANK YOU!!


Thursday, July 30-Saturday, August 1 (1-day ride options available!)

We’ve got 12 riders signed up for this year’s SMART Challenge Bike Ride. Each person rides in support of Catholic education; all proceeds go to BA student scholarships. Find rider profiles and sponsor your favorite rider(s) here.

Friday, August 7 @ The Legacy

Join us for this fun golf tournament & great social event in support of Bethlehem Academy! Just $100/golfer includes 18 holes, awards dinner, gift and on-course games. Register by July 31. Form attached or sign up online here.


Welcome to our New Staff

We are excited to welcome the following new members to the BA Team: Cassie Vogt, Guidance Counselor, Emily Shimota, HS Religion, Casi Story, Ag and Industrial Tech. Watch this space and our social media accounts for a more extensive introduction.   

From the Nurse’s Office

Students entering 7th grade this fall:  Please make sure that you have had your tetanus booster and 1st meningitis shot before the start of school in the fall.  Reminder letters will be sent out. 

Students entering 12th grade this fall:  The meningitis booster requirements for this fall has been postponed because of Covid 19.  Many have already had their booster shot.  If you are seeing your doctor for any reason, you can still have this immunization but it is not necessary before the start of school in fall.

Sports Update

The MN State High School League (MSHSL) is holding weekly online meetings with activities directors. We continue to plan for fall sports but know there will be changes in how we operate. The MSHSL has task forces working on scenarios.  Governor Walz and the Minnesota Department of Education will announce how public schools will reopen the week of July 27.  That decision will impact the direction the MSHSL will take. The MSHSL Board of Directors meets on August 4.  Summer activities are operating on protocols based on the Minnesota Department of Health’s guidance for youth and adult sports released June 19. Please note that it is important for students to practice social distancing and hygiene habits all the time, not just while participating in activities. 


Class of 2021: Faribault Rotary Strive Program

Faribault Rotary’s introductory Strive session was held June 10, but they would like more students involved! Meetings will be held on the second Wednesday of the month through January. Because of the unique circumstances, students may watch a recorded version of this session and it will count as them attending it live. A link to the video that discusses Strive and how to register for the program is at: See June 18 email for more information; contact Kurt Halvorsen at with questions.

Class of 2021 & 2022: 1st United Bank Junior Board of Directors

1st United Bank has an exciting opportunity for students in Faribault and surrounding communities. They are accepting applications for our 2020-2021 Junior Board of Directors. Eligible applicants include Juniors and Seniors in High School for the 2020-2021 school year. Individuals should possess an enthusiastic approach to community involvement, and an interest in business, banking or finance. Please see the attached flyer for more information.


Aim Higher Scholarships

The Aim Higher Foundation has announced expanded scholarship opportunities for K-8 students this summer. New applicants are encouraged to apply via the TADS financial aid application, and students whose family situation due to COVID-19 are encouraged to update their spring application. See the attached flyer for more information on how to apply, or go to to find out more. Application deadline is August 7. 

CSCOE Virtual Summer Programs

The Catholic School Center of Excellence has put together a series of online educational videos aimed at K-8 students on topics ranging including STEM, the performing arts, and the 4 His Glory sports program with former Viking Matt Birk. Find more information on the attached flyer.

(click on hyperlink for more information)

7/30-8/1 SMART Ride
8/7 Cardinal Golf Classic
8/7 BA Reopen Plans announced
8/13 BA Fall Sports Meeting
8/17 HS Fall Sports Open
8/24 MS Fall Sports Open
8/31 Orientation
9/1 First Day of School


Attached Files

Cardinal Classic Golf flyer 2020.pdf

CSCOE Virtual Summer Programs.pdf

AIM Higher 2020-Summer-Application.pdf


2020-21 Calendar Draft v5b-BA.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