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Friday Focus 9/11/2020

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

September 11, 2020

Dear BA Families:

During the first few weeks of school routines and new traditions emerge. I want to thank you for reminding your scholar to continue to practice safe and healthy choices at home and at school. I’ve been impressed that with only minimal reminders, students have adapted to wearing their masks at school and social distancing. The changes are allowing us to remain open and this habit is beginning to become routine. As we look forward, we are meeting with our senior class and student council to discuss special celebrations and events and think about how we could do them differently this year while keeping our traditions. Our multimedia class may also take on new opportunities to help us create active online events and videos this year.

Welcome 6th Grade and New Middle School Students! This week we held an online orientation for our 6th grade class and new middle school students. We are blessed to partner with each family to ensure that your scholar thrives. Thank you for choosing Bethlehem Academy!

Congratulations to Verity Wray-Raabolle! Verity is a Semifinalist in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship competition. She is among only 16,000 students nationally being recognized for her prowess on her national assessments. We are so proud of her accomplishments. 


  • Masks: Please remember that all masks need to be appropriate. Like our dress code policy, masks cannot have symbols, large words or logos. 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.
  • 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.
  • UPDATED SYMPTOM Home Checks: The MN Dept of Health has released an updated home screening tool for schools. Find the updated screening tool here. Please be sure to complete home health checks in the morning and to have your scholar stay home if they have a fever or symptoms described on this list. Find a symptom decision tree and other symptom/screening information on our COVID Response Plans web page.
  • Wanted: Face Masks, Sanitizer and Disinfectant Wipes!

Upcoming Events:

  • Homecoming may be changed to a Fall Celebration - details coming after our student meetings
  • Sept. 19: Divine Mercy Church Spirit Fest - held in the church parking lot, don’t miss it, details below.
  • Sept. 21: Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa Mass of the Holy Spirit, 4:45pm (see attachment)
  • Sept. 24: County-wide Parent Informational Drive-through Event, free materials and giveaways at the Rice County Fairgrounds - drive through from 6- 8 p.m.
  • October 8: Middle School Parent/Teacher conferences - format to be determined
  • Oct. 14-16: MEA - No School

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)

Counseling Services @ BA

We are pleased to welcome our new Guidance Counselor, Tori Rogers. She is excited to begin working with your students and has plans to meet individually with each one, starting with the Class of 2021. Please see the attached Introduction to the Counselor letter from Ms. Rogers for more information.

Calling in Sick

Parents, when you call or email for a student's absence, we ask that you be very specific about providing symptoms. That will help us to decide whether to recommend they should be tested for COVID or not. See below and click here for more information, including a symptoms guide.

MSHSL Football/Volleyball Fall Practice Season Begins 9/14

The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) fall practice season for football and volleyball begins on Monday.

As these and other athletic activities take place, we want to inform you of the risks involved with interscholastic athletics activities. We will take every precaution we can to minimize the risk of injury or the transmission of disease. Yet, it is not possible for us to eliminate all risks of participation. We cannot guarantee that participants will not be exposed to COVID-19 or other diseases. Please note the attached notice from the MSHSL with more information.

BA Trap Team: Modified Fall Season Signup

The BA Trap Team is going to participate in the Minnesota High School Clay Target Leagues modified fall season. Current team members need to log into the Team Management system and update their information. Students in grades 6-12 who have a DNR Firearms Safety Certificate are eligible to participate; listen to school announcements for sign up information. Athletes need to provide their own ammunition for the fall league. Please contact Coach Rost (507-339-3695) or Coach Marquardt (507-384-7386) with questions. 


  • 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

Good news! There are extra yearbooks for sale. If you are interested in purchasing a yearbook please bring $60 to Mr. Zabel or to the school office. You can make the check out to Bethlehem Academy and memo Josten Yearbook. 

Homework Club

Homework Club is offered every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 3:00-4:00pm. Mrs. Kohl will be available in Room 204 to help any student who needs extra help with their homework. 


HIGH SCHOOL PHY ED STUDENTS: We will be allowing you to change starting Monday, September 14. You will not have lockers, but will be able to change prior to class. Mr. Knutson will have all of the details. Please plan to bring a change of clothes for PE.

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 - See attached information sheet on the middle school football program and contact Mr. Brent Zabel at if you have any questions. First practice: Tuesday, September 15.

6th Grade & New Middle School Families

An email with the middle school orientation powerpoint and other information was sent Thursday; packets were sent home with our in-person students on Friday (online students, your packets are in the mail). Please contact if you have any questions or did not receive this information.


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. In the past we have gathered the kids in a large group to watch the presentation for the evening and then they would go to small group for the remainder of the class. This year they will go right to small group and class has been reduced to one hour. Videos will be available for them to watch one week prior to the class. We are flexible and have the program ready to be taken fully into distance learning if necessary later in the year. 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!



Attached Files

Intro to the counselor letter.pdf


Middle School Football 2020 Fall Practice Season.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