Falcon Happenings

Faribault Middle School Parent Newsletter

June 1, 2021

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FMS Course Registration for 2021-2022

ATTENTION 6th & 7th Grade Students:

Please take some time over the next few days to consider your course registration options for next school year. A link to the FMS Course Registration Guide has been attached to this email.

There are two possible registration forms:

  1. Regular registration for in-person learning at Faribault Middle School

  2. Registration for Falcons Online - a full-time online school option for next year.

Registration Process & Deadline:

  • FMS Registration Guide is electronically distributed to all students through Schoology. Registration Guides can also be accessed on the FMS website

  • You will receive a copy of the regular registration form in Falcon Time tomorrow morning. Falcons Online registration forms can be picked up in the main office if you are interested in that school option.

  • If you are a full-time distance learner, Print out and complete a registration form for Faribault Middle School (pg. 14 of this guide) or Falcons Online (pg. 15). You can either mail the completed form to the school or drop it off in the office when you return your iPad for the summer.

  • Completed registration forms are DUE beginning Thursday, June 3 and Friday, June 4 and will be collected during Falcon TIme. Registration forms will also be collected the last two days of school Monday, June 7 and Tuesday, June 8.

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Falcon's Online Academy - Enrollment is Open Now

Beginning this fall, all students in grades K-12 are invited to enroll in Faribault Public Schools through our new Falcons Online Academy.

Education is not one-size-fits-all and there are many paths to student success. The COVID-19 pandemic accentuated this as we saw some students who benefitted from face-to-face instruction and collaboration while others thrived when given more opportunities to learn through virtual options.

By establishing the Falcons Online Academy, we are responding to the needs of our students and families by providing an educational option that offers more flexibility and allows for a more customized learning experience.

Falcons Online Academy is not the same as the distance learning model. Additional staff and resources will ensure that each student has the support they need to be successful online learners.

Advantages of Falcons Online Academy:

  • Students in grades K-5 receive regular live, online interaction with a Faribault Public Schools teacher who has training and experience in teaching in schools and online.
  • Students in grades 6-12 have greater flexibility in a learning model that blends live teaching and independent work.
  • Students in grades 6-12 have more class choices through Edgenuity.
  • Students are supported by a team of teachers who are dedicated to online learners and act as mentors, coaches and facilitators.
  • Students are provided with an iPad and backed by a technology support system that gives them the tools they need to be successful.
  • Students have access to support services (RISE, social workers, counselors, EL services) to meet their individual needs.
  • Parents stay involved through regular, scheduled online check-ins with a teacher.
  • A quality education through Faribault Public Schools is available to anyone, anywhere.

Click here for more information and enrollment forms:


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Moon Mysteries Revealed in Earth Science

Students in 801 Science class participated in an investigation where they tried to figure out why the moon looks different to us from Earth as days progress. They also needed to determine in which direction the moon revolves around Earth. Students enjoyed using golf balls and black lights to make models of the Sun-Earth-Moon system.

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Totem Pole Project

Students in Mrs. Kittlesen’s classroom worked on a Totem Pole Project after reading the book, Touching Spirit Bear. Students had to pick three animals that represented important milestones in their life and write a short description explaining why they picked those animals.
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FMS Spring Musical Showcase!

Saturday May 22nd the Faribault Music Department hosted a Spring Music Showcase. Band, choir, and orchestra students performed music that they have been working on during the school year to a socially distanced audience of parents and families. Bravo to all of our FMS student musicians!
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Orchestra Instruments Available for Summer Use

Orchestra students that want an instrument at home for summer practice may check an instrument out IF they return the instrument rental form completed. Instruments will be sent home on Thursday or Friday of next week.

Orchestra students check out the local summer music opportunities waiting for you! Look at the orchestra schoology page in a folder titled "Summer Opportunities!" There are private lesson teachers, summer camps and festivals!

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12 Things Middle Schoolers Can Do This Summer

source: https://askversed.com/blog-post/12-things-middle-schoolers-can-do-summer

1. Read:

Summer is a time to get away from it all. Books are the perfect way for tweens/teens to immerse themselves into any world they can imagine. There is no better way to spend a lazy summer day than being engrossed in a good book. It also has the benefit of helping middle schoolers get ready for the amount of reading ahead of them in high school. The earlier they get used to and love reading, the less of a chore it will be when they have a ton of it in high school. Although it is best to let your kids choose what they want to read, it is also not a bad idea to get them to start reading newspapers, science magazines, history journals, etc.

2. Improve writing skills:

Whether your child loves to write, and wants to pen the next great novel or wants to dabble in poetry, summer is a great time to get creative and start writing. Of course, the best way to get better at writing is to keep writing. Encourage your child to keep a journal, write simple reflection notes on books, or simply set aside time everyday to write. If your child needs a bit more motivation or inspiration to get started, there are plenty of online classes that offer writing courses in all different formats from certified teachers to published authors. Check out the incredible array of writing courses offered on www.outschool.com and high caliber classes offered at https://www.writopialab.org/. One of the most challenging aspects of high school is the amount of writing required across all subjects. Even science courses require a significant amount of writing in class. For those that need to work on essay writing or improve writing skills in general, Versed Definitive Guide to Writing Help should provide plenty of resources.

3. Get ahead in math:

Like writing, math is a fundamental subject that you want your middle schooler to be very comfortable with (and have confidence in) going into high school. For those that already love math and want to go beyond what is offered at school, classes in counting & probability, number theory, and logic are some of the most important areas for budding mathematicians to explore. There are plenty of online courses to choose from that vary in duration, cost, scheduling, and hands on help. Take a look at Versed Definitive Guide to Math Enrichment to find the best options available.

4. Gain skills in public speaking:

Most middle schoolers will do anything to get out of speaking in front of people. However, as we all know, communication skills are critical to all aspects of life including school, career, community involvement and beyond. Covid-19 has given students the perfect opportunity to hone in on some of these skills in the comfort of their home through online medium - perhaps an easier sell to reluctant speakers. There are many programs for middle schoolers in Debate, Model UN, and extemporaneous speech that students can sign up for. The MUN Institute and Capitol Debate are two well regarded programs. Google online for local debate programs near you. Most programs will be offered online this summer.

5. Take all kinds of fun, unconventional classes at Outschool.com:

Outschool.com is a marketplace for teachers to create and teach all kinds of classes for students in K-12 years. As mentioned above, students can take a myriad of writing courses here, but they offer classes in pretty much every subject - math, history, science - all in creative forms. There are plenty of classes that teach debate and model UN as well. Do you have a budding entrepreneur? There are classes in entrepreneurship, business, and economics to choose from. Art, music, theater kids will find plenty of unique classes to choose from. Classes run in duration from one 45 minute class to multiple classes over a few weeks to an entire semester.

6. Start a creative project:

This is the summer for tweens/teens to tackle a myriad of personal and creative projects that you wished you could do, only if you had the time. How about encouraging your middle schooler to take the thousands of photos you have in your hard drive and turn it into family albums? How about researching family genealogy? Organizing books or closets can believe it or not be considered creative projects as well. If your child likes to cook, encourage them to cook dinner twice a week, or make lunch every day! This has the benefit of motivating your child to pack their own lunch when school starts again.

7. Take art & music classes online:

As surprising as it may be, there are excellent online classes in both visual and performing arts. Sparketh teaches art, dance, music, singing, and acting to kids and teens through high quality video courses. Instrument and vocal lessons have all moved online to video conferencing formats during COVD-19 so there are more choices now than ever. Platforms such as Udemy, EdEx and Coursera skew towards older students, but there are plenty that middle schoolers can handle. Whether your child wants to pick up a new instrument, or is ready to go beyond elementary arts & crafts to learn the fundamentals of figure drawing, refer to Best of Online Learning: Music and Art to see the range of options available at every price point.

8. Learn technology, coding, and design:

For those of us, that cannot get our children off screens during all of this time at home, perhaps a better strategy may be to look at this as a learning experience, and get them to learn to code and be part of creating digital content rather than just consuming it. Even children that are dead set against coding, may show interest in graphic design, creating websites, or producing video content. There are plenty of great free resources available including Kahn Academy, code.org, code academy, and MIT Scratch. For those that need hands on guidance, ID Tech and Juni Learning are two good options. Check out Best of Online Learning: Coding for more options.

9. Learn a language:

With a global village of native speakers that you can reach with a touch of a mouse, there is no better time to learn a language than now. There are more language learning options now than ever before including gamified apps like Duolingo, to online platforms such as italki where you can find native speaking teachers in their own country that will tutor you via skype, to finding language exchange buddies across the ocean. See all of the options available at every price point at Best of Online Learning: Languages.

10. Work or volunteer:

This is a challenging time to find work, but with many states opening up and social distancing rules relaxing slowly, there may be opportunities for young students to get some work experience. Perhaps your child could think about becoming a mother’s helper while parents are working and the kids don’t have many camp options. Tutoring elementary aged children is another great option, and this can even be done remotely. If your child plays an instrument, becoming a practice buddy to younger students is another great idea. Parents can help spread the word to their friends and neighbors about their child’s availability to find families that they already know and trust to gain some experience. Finding a volunteer opportunity is a challenge for middle schoolers, but if there are any opportunities to offer help in the community, whether to make phone calls to friends and family, donating to food pantries, looking into organizations where families can together go in to stock shelves or package meals for families in needs, it could turn out to be a great family activity.

11. Hike, bike, move, and play sports:

Getting out in nature is in essence, the best part of summer. Tweens/teens should spend plenty of time outdoors walking, biking, hiking and playing sports. Even if there are no organized sports activities, plenty can be played in the backyard including badminton, creative obstacle course, running, dribbling soccer balls, etc. For those that crave more structure and guidance, hiring a local high school athlete to come and work on skills is a great (and cost effective) way to get real coaching!

12. Spend quality time with family and friends (while social distancing!):

Being social and spending time with friends and family is critical for middle schoolers. If you notice that your middle schooler is spending too much time alone in his/her room and don’t volunteer to contact their friends, encourage them to do so and find venues for them to meet. In How to Help Teens Be Social Again we outline some of the ways that parents can help teens find ways to connect with one another. Get out for a bike ride with friends. Start an a capella group with friends. Get together 6 feet apart and have ice cream together.