Falcon Wings Weekly

It's a Great Day to Be a Falcon!

Principal's Corner

Faribault has been one of the most innovative high schools throughout the state over the past 5 years. I am very proud of the work that has been done to change our building's culture, upgrade our facilities, embrace research based instructional practices, ensure equity for all, and offer high quality student support. There are great things happening throughout Faribault Public Schools and at FHS.

While change is never easy, sometimes it is necessary. Our innovative approach has led to a number of changes that have us very excited for the future. Some of these changes you can see and feel the moment you walk through the front doors of the school. Others are more structural and systemic:

  • New career pathways, a 7 period day, designing a mid-day FLEX hour, the rebirth of our Agriculture program, creation of a Career & Equity Coordinator position, the adoption of Falcons Online, and a broadening of college level offerings ensures that students have access to what they need to be college/career ready.

  • The creation of a school-wide instructional framework, Falcon P.R.I.D.E. expectations, equitable grading policy, restorative discipline practices, "Inside-Out" coaching strategies, and a focus on digital wellbeing while utilizing technology ensures that we are using research and relying on experts to create school-wide systems that work for everyone.

  • The 9th Grade Academy, The Nest, RISE, the expansion of AVID, the addition of a Chemical Health Specialist and academic interventionist, the "Start With Hello" initiative, and creation of a Change-to-Chill zone ensures that students are supported academically, socially, and emotionally.

  • The fostering of partnerships with Allina Health, Carleton College, Health Finders, Northfield HCI, Live More Today, Growing Up Healthy, the Faribault Chamber of Commerce, South Central College, Faribault Youth Investment, Fernbrook Family Center, and others ensures that students have access to dozens of supports that exist within our community.

  • The creation of a Student Voices club, Latinx club, Black Student Union, Alumni Day, Family Literacy Specialists, and parent groups that meet periodically ensures that we are hearing from stakeholders and empowering them to push our school forward.

The list could actually go on from here. And these are simply things that have been done in the last 5 years IN ADDITION TO all the great things that existed before that! Every one of these changes has been made with the best interests of students in mind. We don't often take time to toot our own horn, but I am so proud of the good work being done by the people who are actually implementing these changes: teachers, counselors, paras, secretaries, and other support staff. They are making a difference for our students and our community.

Best wishes for a great week. Always forward. We Are Faribault!

Mr. Jamie Bente

Principal - Faribault High School

Faribault Emeralds Dance Team Earns 9th Consecutive Conference Championship

The Falcons competed in the Big 9 Conference Championship Meet hosted by Austin High School on Saturday, February 20. Faribault danced in the second of three triangular competitions placing first in High Kick and third in Jazz!

"I'm just really proud of them. This has been a challenging season and they really came together to form a bond and you could tell on the floor today", said Head Coach Lisa Dahl.

"We worked really hard this last week and we're really excited that we won for the 9th year in a row!", said Senior Marie Pierce.

"This past week we really came together as a jazz team and formed a new energy and that really carried us today! We are super excited that we won!", said Senior Makayla Keilen.

"We did a lot of cleaning this week in Kick and that gave us a huge advantage and we can't wait for sections!" added Senior Anna Behning.

Section 1AA Dance Competition Information

The FEDT will travel to Winona High School on Saturday, March 6 to compete for the Section 1AA Championship. Times for the competition are TBD and will be released in the coming week. The Section 1AA Dance Meet will feel similar to the Big 9 competition as Winona High School can host a maximum of four teams at one time. Should the Falcons find themselves in the top three in the section meet results, they will advance to the 2021 State Competition hosted at Edina High School on March 12 and 13.

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Senior Wrestler Gael Ramirez Joins his Brother Felipe in the 100 Win Club! Only the 2nd Set of Brothers to Accomplish this Feat in School History.

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RISE Program Offers Extraordinary Results in 1st Semester of Implementation

The newly established RISE program (Realizing Individual Student Excellence) has already had a significant impact on FHS and FMS students. RISE, which is an on-site mentoring, advocacy, and academic/social/emotional support for students, has served over 180 students between the two buildings. 105 of these students go to FHS and over 80% of students who took advantage of this program saw their GPA increase and an even higher percentage earned at least 3 semester credits, putting them on track to graduate. This is no small feat considering all the barriers to success that exist during a global pandemic and distance learning. While many schools around the country struggled to provide support for students facing barriers, FHS was poised for success due to this innovative and community backed program.

FHS is thankful for the good work being done in RISE by Coordinators Hanan Mohamud and Juanita Picazo, Promise Fellows Nora Schulz and Timur Yarmikov, and Career and Equity Coordinator Brian Coleman. We are also thankful for our community partners who have made RISE possible: Northfield HCI, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, Carleton College, Healthfinders, and Faribault Community Education. TOGETHER WE RISE!!

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ALUMNI UPDATE: Gehrke Named MIAC Athlete of The Week For Track & Field Excellence at St. Thomas

University of St. Thomas junior thrower Megan Gehrke on Monday was selected MIAC Track and Field's Field Athlete of the Week. The Faribault, Minn., native made her 2021 season debut Friday at home with Division III's No. 5 ranked toss in the weight throw (53-7 1-2) -- a career-best by four feet. She also had a top-12 mark in the shot put at 42-2 3-4.

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SPORT: Dance Team


COACH: Lisa Dahl


WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR SPORT? I love the bond/connection my team has. We spend hours a day together and have formed such a close relationship with each other. This bond is key in Dance Team because to perform well, your team needs to dance as one.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT FARIBAULT HIGH SCHOOL? I love the teachers at Faribault High School. All of my teachers, especially this year, have been super understanding, caring, and always pushing me to do my best!

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO DO YOUR BEST? Something that fuels my drive is the image in my head of receiving a state medal. I always have the mentality of wanting to come out on top, and that mentality pushes me to do my best. Winning state is a huge honor and a major goal of mine.

WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL? WHY? My role model would have to be my mom, Becki Keilen. My mom has shown me the importance of persistence, determination, love, and kindness. She is the type of person I want to be when I am older!

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO STUDENTS, ESPECIALLY THOSE IN ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOL? There are always going to be hard days and days where you just want to give up, but pushing through those days and reflecting on them, will only make you stronger! It’s important to never give up on something you love, even if it’s hard for you at that moment in time.

WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES? When I’m not dancing, I like to hang out and play games with friends & family. When it’s warm out, I love golfing or being on the water!

WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO DO AFTER HIGH SCHOOL? I plan on attending Minnesota State University, Mankato, and pursue a degree in Early Childhood Education.

Family Literacy Specialists Offer Video Series to Support Parents

Faribault Public Schools cares about having strong partnerships with every family we serve. To help achieve that goal, the FPS Family Literacy Specialists have created a series of training videos for parents and families. The videos were made through collaboration with FPS social workers, counselors, and community partners such as a Live More Today and include topics such as: Successful strategies during distance learning, digital wellbeing, and social emotional learning. These videos are available in English, Somali and Spanish.

Please click the link below to access the videos and also to find more helpful resources for parents and contact information for our Family Literacy Specialists Abdi Abdullahi, Val Svenby, and Melody Suite.


Love The Falcons? We Have An App For That!

The Falcon App has so much to offer: Upcoming calendars and live streaming links for sporting events, feature articles on news from FPS, fun photo galleries, information for alumni, and so much more. Go to the App Store on your phone and computer and search Faribault Falcons to get started.
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Enjoy a Hot Cup of Coffee, Tea, or Hot Chocolate and Support Faribault Honor Society Students

It has been cold out lately! You know what could help? A nice hot cup of coffee, hot chocolate, or tea!

The Faribault Honor Society is currently holding their 2nd annual coffee fundraiser. It was a huge success last year and helped us raise money to donate to Beyond the Yellow Ribbon for Veterans Day, and to fund two members' project where they made care packages for the police department.

This year NHS has partnered with Driven Coffee, a Minneapolis-based coffee company. They will give 30% of the proceeds ordered through the link below to the Honor Society. They have a ton of different coffees as well as hot chocolate, tea, coffee syrups, and some snacks. Once you order, the order will be shipped straight to your door. Our students appreciate any orders, no matter how big or how small!!


Apply For An Academic Specialist Position at FHS

If you enjoying working with young people and making a difference, consider applying. This position would allow you to support the learning of students in the classroom and who are learning from home. Come join a great team!

Digital Wellbeing Tips of the Week: Farther & Higher; Peer-to-Peer Modeling

Greetings Parents,

We are happy to share with you a Link to LiveMore ScreenLess’s Faribault Parent Webinar from January. Did you know that in 2017 Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said his company’s real competitor is sleep? And that he reports Netflix is winning! (Hint: you now have the answer to one of the questions in the webinar!) More relevant information for helping you parent in a 24/7 digital world is included in the webinar.

Farther and Higher! Here is a quick motto for you to share with your son or daughter. Phones that are farther away while learning can make grades higher! Angela Duckworth, professor and psychologist is the founder of Character Lab whose mission is to “advance scientific insights that help children thrive.” Her Character Lab research revealed: “The farther students reported keeping their phones when trying to study, the higher their report card grades.” We want to encourage you to help your child remove phones and turn off notifications while learning, studying, in class, and on Google Meets.

Peer-to-Peer Modeling: If kids don’t want to hear from adults about managing screen use, how about from older peers? Here are tips from College Undergraduates written for Middle and High School Students:

While studying or learning from your screen at home, try.

  • putting your phone in a closet or in another room

  • putting the notifications on your computer on “do not disturb”

  • shutting off your phone for 30 minutes at a time

  • turning your phone completely off

Let's all continue our efforts to use our screens with intention while working, learning, sleeping, and hanging out! Together, we can take steps to create healthier screen habits and practices!

Be Well

Your LiveMore Community Partners.

11th Grade Students Prepare to Take ACT/Accuplacer Exams in Spring 2021

All FHS juniors will be able to take college entry exams - the ACT (March 30) and/or Accuplacer (April 8) this spring. You can click this link for all the details concerning these important tests. Doing well on these exams can mean more opportunities for students after high school and potentially more chances for scholarships.

Students will indicate which assessment they would like to take during their assigned junior meeting with their School Counselor. Juniors will be notified of their meeting time and date through Schoology and this information will be posted on the windows outside of the Counseling office. Junior meetings will take place on:

February 23rd (M/Tu hybrid students)

February 26th (Th/F hybrid students)

February 22nd at 10:00am (Virtual meeting for distance learners)

February 25th at 2:00pm (Virtual meeting for distance learners)

Links for the virtual meetings will be shared with students through Schoology. Junior meetings are mandatory for all 11th grade students!

Students who choose to take the ACT Plus Writing will need to attend a pre-registration meeting on March 9th or 12th to complete the non-test information. Students must complete the non-test information prior to March 30th or they will not be able to test.

FHS does offer multiple ACT and Accuplacer test prep opportunities for students in the weeks and months leading up to these exams. If you would like to learn more about these opportunities please reach out to FHS RISE Coordinators Hanan Mohamud (hmohamud@faribault.k12.mn.us) or Juanita Picazo (jpicazo01@faribault.k12.mn.us).

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Order Your Falcon Gear Today

Show your Falcon Pride everywhere you go! Click the link below to visit the official Falcons Sideline store and order Falcon gear from your favorite brands: North Face, Nike, Under Armour, and more. Save 20% off orders of $85 or more with coupon code: JAN21. Offer ends 1/31/2021.