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Friday Focus 9/4/2020

date 09/11/2020 author Ed Friesen category 2020-21, September 2020 comment Leave a comment

Dear BA Families:


Thank you for your partnership in this first week! I’ve had the opportunity to meet our students, connect with some parents, and observe an amazing school family here at Bethlehem Academy during these first few days. A special welcome to all of our new students and families this year. I also enjoyed meeting with our 9th grade families and will be praying for all of you and your dreams for high school as you begin these incredible four years.

As you know, in order to mitigate exposure, we are gathering for weekly Mass separately. This Friday was our first High School Mass. Next Friday our Middle School will gather for their weekly Mass. Although this is not ideal, we seek to maintain health and safety during the COVID pandemic while continuing to follow our mission to foster academic excellence and spiritual growth. This Friday, a representative of the Sinsinawa Council commissioned me as your school President and Principal along with our Board Chair, Kathy Nass. I was honored to receive this special blessing. When you can, please join us online for Mass at:


  • Masks: Please remember that all masks need to be appropriate. No symbols or large words or logos can be on masks, like our dress code policy. If students come to school with an inappropriate mask, or mask with a large symbol, logos or word(s), they will be given a different mask to wear.
  • Daily Screenings/Symptoms Qs: A reminder to please take your student(s) temperature and screen for symptoms daily. Click here for more information, including what to do if your student has symptoms.
  • Drop off Table: In an effort to mitigate exposure, if you are dropping off items during the school day, we will have a table for you to place these items outside of the school office. Please be sure to label all items, checks or forms dropped off at the table.
  • Wanted: Face Masks, Sanitizer and Disinfectant Wipes!
  • Uniform Policy: At the end of this newsletter is our uniform policy for daily wear and Mass days. Please review with your scholar as this year we cannot hand out alternative clothing due to COVID restrictions.
  • Home Checks: Please be sure to complete home health checks in the morning and to have your scholar stay home if they have a fever or any symptoms.

Additional communication and upcoming events:

    • September 7:No School, Labor Day
  • September 9, 3:30pm: Greenhouse Dedication/Christening

Thank you for your continued prayers and partnership. To help us remain in person, please continue to practice safe, social distancing when your student gathers with friends outside of school!


Mindy Reeder, President/Principal



(See separate sections below for updates specific to high school or middle school)


  • SUBS: Join the BA Team as a substitute teacher. We love our subs and will be looking to add to our team. Please email Lisa Moon to get your substitute packet completed. Requirements: Must have a college degree, pass our background check, and must complete Virtus requirements.
  • VAN DRIVER: We are looking for a BA Van driver for a new Owatonna route. If interested, please contact Kris Sauer at

2019-2020 Yearbooks

Students received their yearbooks in homeroom this morning. If your student was absent, homeroom teachers will hold their yearbook until they return. Distance learners, students with questions, or students wishing to purchase a yearbook should email Mr. Zabel or see him after school. 

Homework Club

Homework Club will be offered every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 3:10-4:00pm starting Tuesday, September 8. Mrs. Kohl will be on hand at that time in Room 204 to help any students who need extra help with their homework. 

Dismissal Time Reminder

A reminder that teachers will dismiss in staggered releases to mitigate congregating:

  • 2:45 - Grade 6
  • 2:47 - Grade 7
  • 2:49 - Grade 8
  • 2:51 - Grade 9
  • 2:52 - Grade 10
  • 2:54 - Grade 11
  • 2:55 - Grade 12

Younger siblings, if riding with an older sibling, may stay in their classroom until their sibling’s class is dismissed. Students may go directly to their locker and then to their car or mode of transportation. They are not to congregate.

Amazon Smiles/Scrip/Box Tops

See attached flyer for easy ways to save money on tuition and raise money for Bethlehem Academy on the things you are already shopping for!

Laptop Updates

*Please have your child(ren) confirm the "Cardinal App Store" is installed in their laptop's Applications folder.  This app needs to be installed in order for BA to push out software updates to laptops.  Please have your child see Mr. Friesen if the Cardinal App Store is not present.   (Students that received laptops prior to Orientation Day are the ones who may be missing the Cardinal App Store.)

*Please have your child re-start their laptop every weekend.  We recommend on Saturday night, prior to going to bed,to quit all applications, plug in the power adapter and re-start the laptop and leave the display lid open so any software updates can be installed.  Then, re-start again on Sunday morning.  (Note:  On a Mac, closing a window does not quit a program.  If there is a dot by the applicaiton icon in the dock, the application is still running.  Quit applicaitons from the menubar or holding down the trackpad while the mouse is over the application icon in the dock.  The Finder (2 smiley face icon) is the only application that should be running when re-starting the laptop.)


SADD Student Recruitment

High school students are invited to join our local chapter of the nationally recognized student group, SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions). This student organization focuses on helping students make positive and healthy choices in their everyday lives. Students were sent this link to sign up: Online registration due Friday, September 11.


6-8th Grade Football Meeting - 15-minute meeting Wed, September 9, at 3:15 p.m. in the cafeteria with Mr. Zabel.

6th Grade & New Middle School Families: Orientation September 9

All 6th graders and families new to BA’s Middle School are asked to join us for an orientation meeting on Wednesday, September 9. The meeting will be held via Zoom starting at 6pm and will focus on welcoming you to BA and providing tips and information to set your student up for success in middle school. Watch your email for a Zoom link next week.


Fall Faith Formation Registration is OPEN!

BA students that would like to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation need to sign up for Divine Mercy’s Confirmation program in order to meet the requirements. Divine Mercy’s confirmation program consists of a combination of large group presentations, small group discussion, service in our parish, and hands-on experiences with our Catholic faith. Confirmation is about taking the knowledge the students have learned, moving that information to the heart, and learning how to nurture a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Community is an essential part of our faith and we grow in relationship through each other. This is why we bring all the students together, regardless of where they are enrolled in school, to meet the requirements of confirmation. Confirmation is for students in 8th grade and older. Students who have already been confirmed are always welcome to join us as student leaders. Registration is required but there is no cost.

Middle School Edge/High School Youth Group

Middle School EDGE & High School Youth Group is open to all BA families. This is another great opportunity for your students to gather with others that want to grow in their faith and to enhance what they are learning in the classroom. Registration is required for both. 

Visit for more information, class schedules and registration link. 

SpiritFest September 19!


Dress and Appearance Code

Bethlehem Academy is committed to advocating for the dignity of every person within our school community. The purpose of the dress code is threefold: Modesty, Consistency, and Safety which impact student learning. Students are held responsible for the clothing they choose to wear.


All students will wear a collared or crew neck shirt with sleeves. Shirts must be opaque and buttoned with the exception of the top button at the neck. Polo type, button up and dressier styled crew neck shirts without large graphics are acceptable. Other acceptable shirts include any Bethlehem Academy, Faribault Coop Sports (in which students actively participate), Minnesota High School League section/state tournament shirts (in which students actively participate), college/university/military shirt, or any positive youth activity shirt (examples include: athletic camps, club sports teams, community theater productions, Church youth group). Shirts with large graphics that advertise a business, workplace or marketing brand are not acceptable (examples include but are not limited to: Designer Labels, Sporting Goods Stores, Restaurant Chains). Additional items that may be worn over the shirt include zip-ups, fleece wear, sweaters and crew/hooded sweatshirts that meet the requirements above. Midriffs, cleavage, and undergarments must be covered.


All students will wear pant/trouser style bottoms (of any color) including jeans that meet the top of the ankles. Khaki and jean jogger pants may be worn. Prior to MEA and following spring break, students may wear dress shorts or bermuda shorts that are knee length with a sewn hem. Short lengths may not be more than 2 inches above the knee cap. Students are allowed to wear capri pants of any color. Jogger dress pants and jogger jeans are acceptable.


All dresses must have a crew or collared neckline. All skirt and dress lengths must be not be more than 2 inches above the kneecap.

Mass Days

Young men will wear dress pants and a collared shirt. Young women will wear dress pants, collared or crew neck dress shirt, dress (crew or polo style neckline) or skirt. Skirt and dress lengths must be not be more than 2 inches above the kneecap. Shoulders should be covered. Jeans, shorts and hooded sweatshirts are not permitted on Mass Days.


All students will wear shoes. State law requires that for health reasons, no bare feet will be allowed in the school building. Backless shoes are acceptable. Flip flops may be worn before MEA and following Spring Break.


Hairstyles that draw undue attention to the student will not be permitted. Highlights, braids and extensions must be of a color that occurs naturally in humans and not be in such contrast as to draw undue attention to the student. Facial hair should be kept neat and clean

Unacceptable Clothing Items 

Unacceptable clothing items include: leggings, jeggings, yoga pants, skorts, athletic jogger pants, sweatpants, nylon sport pants, athletic shorts, transparent shirts, sleeveless shirts, hats (once inside the building should be removed), cut-off shorts, torn clothing, and clothing with inappropriate designs and/or messages including, but not limited to, alcohol, drugs, and tobacco references.

All student groups are allowed to wear uniform tops (jerseys, t-shirts, hoodies, jackets) with dress code bottoms on event days to celebrate group unity, preparation and bring awareness to the community about student events.

Students not in acceptable attire will be expected to do the following:

→go to the office to change in order to meet dress code expectations. 

→call parents to provide alternative clothing.

→remain in the office until proper clothing is attained. (Unexcused absence)

Dress Down Days

Throughout the school year, there may be declared “Dress Down Days” for various reasons.

On these days, the items listed in the “Unacceptable Clothing Items” section (above) from this handbook, continue to be UNACCEPTABLE.

The list of unacceptable items for dress includes: 

leggings, jeggings, yoga pants, skorts, athletic jogger pants, sweatpants, nylon sport pants, athletic shorts, transparent shirts, sleeveless shirts, hats (once inside the building should be removed), cut-off shorts, torn clothing, and clothing with inappropriate designs and/or messages including, but not limited to alcohol, tobacco and other drug references. 

For some Dress Down Days, the organization sponsoring the day may specify specific clothing items that are or are not acceptable. Special criteria specified for a specific Dress Down Day, as advertised by the organization sponsoring the day, takes precedence.

Attached Files

Scrip-Amazon-Box Tops Handout.pdf

FHS Coop Activities wk 9-8-20.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