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Friday Focus 9/18/2020

date 09/27/2020 author Ed Friesen category September 2020, 2020-21 comment Leave a comment

September 18, 2020

Dear BA Families:

Bethlehem Academy students begin each day with greetings and prayer. Each morning I have the blessing of greeting students at our front entrance and beginning my day with a senior who shares a prayer with the school body and several announcements. We emulate our mission to “empower our students and staff to achieve personal, spiritual, and academic excellence.” With each small act, a smile in the morning, a greeting and a prayer, we create an environment where students thrive and grow in their faith. I am thankful to be a part of the BA mission.

Spirit Fest for Divine Mercy Catholic Church! I hope that you can join the festivities in your car or virtually this Saturday, September 19 from 4- 9 p.m. at Divine Mercy Catholic Church. Purchase a raffle ticket, bid on auction items, volunteer, or send in your donation. We are thankful to our church as an integral part of our school and mission and for the many ways they support BA. Find virtual event information here

Staff Update: We extend our prayers to HS math teacher Sue Jandro, who will be on medical leave for the next few weeks. We thank Ed Friesen for covering her academic classes while she is out. Please reach out to him at if you or your student has any questions.

BA Board:Please welcome our three new board members: Erin Langenfeldt, Jessica Simones, and Alex Hanson. We are thankful to have their leadership on our Board. This week the BA Board met with the Sinsinawa Dominican Council, our governing body, to review the Board’s handbook, their roles and procedures. The Sinsinawa Dominican Council governs our Board and school leadership through a mission that reminds us of how to make each decision and support one another toward a greater purpose. I invite you to learn more about the Dominican sisters at their website; Review information regarding our board on our webpage here

COVID Update: Each week we evaluate, review and revise procedures based on State, County or in school feedback. We thank you as parents for partnering with us during these first few weeks as we roll out the many protocols to keep our students and staff safe. Your family received a separate email this week sharing important information about how we will handle sick students and determine when they might move to distance learning as well as our updated student item drop off procedure. We have posted this to our COVID page.

Minnesota Fall Sports: Our cooperative teams are off to an amazing start as their shortened season begins. Just this week we learned that the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) is re-evaluating their decision to move football and volleyball to the spring. Each school was asked to respond to a survey confirming that we have football and volleyball and the pros and cons of each season as well as risk. School leadership thanks the many parents and board members who shared their voice with us. The MSHSL Board of Directors has a special meeting on Monday and we will share news with you as soon as we have more information. 


  • Wanted: Face Masks, Sanitizer and Disinfectant Wipes!

Upcoming Events:

  • Watch for Homecoming updates as fall sports decisions are awaited by the state!
  • Sept. 19: Divine Mercy Church Spirit Fest - held in the church parking lot, don’t miss it, flyer below.
  • Sept. 24: Parent Resource Night - A drive-through event for free materials and giveaways at the Rice County Fairgrounds from 6- 7:30 p.m. (Poster attached.)
    • Sept 25: School pictures, grades 9-11
    • Sept 29: FFA meeting for students, 3pm
    • Sept 30: Pre-ACT test for 11th grade
    • October 2: School pictures, grades 6-8
  • October 8: Middle School Parent/Teacher conferences - format to be determined
    • October 10: Spooktacular 5k/1-mile run/walk for Catholic Education
  • October 14-16: MEA - No School
  • October 20: Jostens in-school meeting with 10th (rings) and 12th (graduation) grade students

Thank you for your continued prayers and partnership!


Mindy Reeder, President/Principal


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

BA Student Art Show @ Paradise Center of the Arts to Oct 24: 

Student artwork from current BA students and alumni are on exhibit at the Paradise Center for the Arts! The exhibition opens tonight, Friday, September 18 with a simple reception from 5:00-7:00pm. No food or live music and if you attend, we ask that you social distance (masks required). The exhibit runs through October 24, so please stop by and check out this amazing artwork when you can. 

School Pictures, Grades 6-11

Mike Oldenburg (recommended by longtime BA photographer, Paul Swenson, now retired) will be at Bethlehem Academy September 25 and October 2 to take student pictures. An order form is attached and will be distributed to students next week.

  • September 25 – High school, grades 9-11 (middle school at Mass)
  • October 2 – Middle school (high school at Mass)

FFA Meeting Sept 29

BA’s first FFA meeting for the year will be held on Tuesday, September 29th at 3pm by the greenhouse. All 7th-12th graders are welcome to join and are encouraged to bring a friend. 

Home and School Dues

A reminder to parents to please send in your Home & School forms along with the $25 payment to the Front Office.

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 COVID testing or not. Click here for more information, including a symptoms guide and our protocols for the possible transition to distance learning.

Calling All Student-Athletes: Annual Eligibility Statement and Health Questionnaire

Students that participate in Bethlehem Academy’s school athletics program are required to complete the Annual Eligibility Statement and Health Questionnaire. This item needs to be completed once each school year. Please complete if your child will be participating in football, volleyball, basketball, baseball, softball, golf or track & field. Note also that the form needs to be completed for each participating student. Find the online form here

Mass Day Dress Code Reminder

Just a reminder of our Mass dress code: 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 no be more than 2 inches above the kneecap. Shoulders should be covered. Jeans, shorts and hooded sweatshirts are not permitted on Mass Days.


  • 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 Moonto 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

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. 


Gr 11-12: National Honor SocietyApplications

National Honor Society (NHS) applications are now available. To be eligible for NHS, a junior or senior must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5. In addition, students must have been enrolled at BA for at least a year, have a reputation of excellent character, demonstrate leadership qualities, and have a heart for serving others. If your student qualifies and is interested in membership in one of the nation’s oldest service organizations, please encourage them to pick up an application from Mrs. Piehl in Rm 112. Applications are due by 3pm Tuesday, September 29. Current members do not need to reapply.

Gr 10-12 Parents: Virtual College Info Seminar (Sept. 22)

Parents of students in grades 10-12 are invited to participate in a college admissions webinar, “Navigating the college process in the new COVID-19 world.” Held virtually Tuesday, September 22, 7:30-8:30pm, the seminar is sponsored by the MN Independent Schools Forum and is free to all BA parents. Register at this link; note that signing up gives you access to the recorded seminar if you can’t attend live. 

Class of 2022: PRE-ACT Sept 30

All 11th grade students will take the Pre-ACT in the library on September 30 from 8AM-11:30AM. Please contact Counselor Tori Rogers if you have any questions.

Jostens Reps @ BA October 20

Josten’s representatives will be meeting with the sophomores (class rings) and seniors (graduation) on October 20 during period 3.


Synod 2020

The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis are continuing Synod 2020 with two virtual prayer and study series. Download the app or sign up for weekly emails to participate and learn more. See attached flyer or click here for more information. 

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

2020 Student Photo Form.pdf

Family Covid Resource Event 9_24 FINAL.pdf

Invitation for Sinsinawa Sponsored Schools - Mass of the Holy Spirit - 9-21-2020.pdf

Mass of the Holy Spirit - Worship aid - 9-21-2020.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