Falcon Wings Weekly

It's A Great Day To Be A Falcon

Principal's Corner

As we come to the end of our school year, there are many "thank you's" that need to be shared. It truly takes a village to educate our children:

  • Thank you, parents, for being our students' 1st teacher and for all the support, encouragement, and guidance you give your child.
  • If kids can’t get to school, they can’t learn. Thank you, bus drivers!
  • If kids don’t eat, they can’t learn. Thank you, cooks & food service workers!
  • If kids don’t feel supported, they can’t achieve their dreams. Thank you paras, EAs, RISE staff, and other support staff!
  • If kids are sick or in pain, they can’t learn. Thank you, nurses!
  • If kids don’t have access to experts, they can’t grow. Thank you, specialists!
  • If kids feel unsafe, they can’t learn. Thank you, School Resource Officer Sjodin!
  • If kids struggle with their mental health, they can’t learn. Thank you, counselors and social workers!
  • Without attention to the little things, the big things can't happen. Thank you, secretaries!
  • If the building looks dirty and unkempt, culture and learning suffers. Thank you, custodians!
  • If we can’t communicate with all families, some kids fall through the cracks. Thank you, cultural liaisons!
  • If kids don’t have the Arts and Athletics, they can’t pursue their passions. Thank you, Mr. Badger, coaches, and advisors!
  • If kids don’t have great teachers, the greatness that lies within each of them will never be brought out. Thank you, teachers!

We care deeply about teaching our students well and we are thankful for every person who played a role in that endeavor this school year. It has been a hard year, but I feel extremely proud of the efforts made by the Faribault High School team, our students, and their families.

Best wishes for a great summer. Always Forward.

Jamie Bente


Congratulations to the FHS Class of 2021!!

Please Return All Textbooks/Materials That Belong To The School

As of right now, we are missing 100's of textbooks and other materials students borrowed throughout the school year. The cost to replace all of these items would be significant. Please look on your bookshelves, in closets, in backpacks, under your child's bed, or anywhere else you think these books/materials may be hiding and return them to the FHS main office to avoid any fines/fees and to ensure future students can benefit from their use. Thank you!

Seniors Are Done IF They Have Met All Requirements

Seniors who have completed their requirements for graduation do not need to come to school this week. Any members of the senior class who have not met their graduation requirements should continue to come to school each day until they have met those standards. Any 12th graders who are in jeopardy of not graduating are welcome to come to school until June 8th to ensure they meet all requirements.

Seniors Should Return iPads ASAP To Avoid Being Billed

Seniors should have turned in their iPads already, but we are still missing about 80 of them. Obviously, iPads are expensive to replace and families who have not returned them will receive a bill in the main soon. Students can bring the iPad, charger, and case to the FHS main office before Tuesday, June 8th. Click here to view the mailer that was recently sent home to all senior families explaining what needs to be turned back in and what the process looks like, including specifically what they have checked out in their name.

Returning Students Can Choose to Keep Their iPads Over The Summer Or Return Them

Students in grades 9-11 are allowed to keep their iPad over the summer if that is what your family decides is best. If you would like for us to keep it over the summer, that is fine too. Students will be able to drop them off on the last day of school or parents can bring the device to the main office at any point to have us keep the iPad until your child returns to school in the fall.

There is Still Time For Your Child To Get Their Grades Up Before The End Of The Year (But Not Much!)

  • Go to the parent portal to see what your child's grades are. If you don't have portal access, send an email to portalhelp@faribault.k12.mn.us and request access to your child's information.
  • Contact your child's teachers for more information about what your child can do to improve their grades. Here is a link to the FHS staff directory.
  • Students can come in before school (7:30) or stay after school (until 4:00) to get extra help from teachers or support staff.
  • Encourage your child to complete/submit missing work and/or retake tests they did not perform well on. This can be done right up to 3:05 on the last day of school. Everything is on Schoology.
  • Contact the FHS main office if you are concerned about their child's grades or attendance at 507-333-6100. You can speak with a counselor or administrator who can connect you and your child to helpful resources.

Honor Society Officers Named for 2021-2022

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Masks Continue to Be Required For Students When Indoors

Governor Walz recently announced an end to the statewide mask requirement. This announcement follows new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stating that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a mask.

Minnesotans who are not fully vaccinated are strongly recommended to wear face coverings indoors. Only a small percentage of our student body is vaccinated and eligibility for 12 to 15 year-olds was just announced this week. As a result, Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan, along with the existing face-covering guidance for schools and child care settings, remain in effect. Through the end of the 2020-21 school year (last teacher contact day), masks must continue to be worn by everyone inside school buildings or on a school bus.

Bothun Returns to Faribault Public Schools as New Online Learning Coordinator

Christine Bothun has been hired to lead the Falcon Online Academy as our new Online Learning Coordinator. She will oversee all aspects of K-12 online learning in our district.

“I believe that all students can learn, but not every student learns in the same way. Having an online learning academy will allow for additional options for student learning and success, greater flexibility and independence, innovative instruction and learning, and an option for increased course offerings,” Bothun said. “Not every student is successful within a traditional school schedule for a variety of reasons, an online learning option will allow Faribault Public Schools an additional option for educating its children and preparing them to be successful learners and citizens.”

Bothun returns to Faribault Public Schools after serving as Director of the Center for Academic Achievement at Shattuck-St. Mary’s for the last five years. She was previously a special education teacher here for 15 years.

“I am very excited to be returning to Faribault Public Schools,” Bothun said. “I am looking forward to working with a great leadership team and wonderful teachers in offering an additional innovative educational option to the students of our community.”

Bothun earned her bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Social Work from the College of St. Benedict and her Masters of Education from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. She also obtained her Autism Certification from Hamline University and Ed Specialist Degree from the University of St. Thomas.

Bothun lives in Faribault with her husband and two children. She enjoys spending time with her family, coaching volleyball, attending sporting events, playing the piano, crafting and reading.

Falcons 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 utilized in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional staff and resources will ensure that each student has the support they need to be a successful online learner. Our new online learning coordinator will reach out to you soon with more information.

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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Anderson Named Big 9 Tennis Coach of the Year

Faribault High School tennis coach Jeff Anderson has been named Big 9 Conference boys tennis Coach of the Year. Anderson has coached the boys tennis team for eight years and has served as girls head coach the last two years.

“The talent of tennis coaches in the Big 9 Conference is amazing and to be voted Coach of the Year by my fellow coaches is an honor and is greatly appreciated,” Anderson said. “While we only have nine players on the team this season, they have done well in getting Faribault recognized by other teams within our conference through their level of play and continued effort, attitude, and positive sportsmanship. Being Coach of the Year is an added bonus and is a result of the team's outstanding efforts this season.”

Despite having just nine players and entering the season having gone nearly four years without a conference win, the Falcons defeated Red Wing, Albert Lea, and Winona this spring.

Anderson said he hopes student-athletes who participate in tennis will learn to give a full effort in everything they do, maintain a positive attitude, exhibit sportsmanship, and always treat others with fairness, ethics, and respect.

Congratulations, Coach Anderson!

Congratulations to the STATE CHAMPION FHS Robotics Team!

Faribault Falcon Robotics capped off two years of hard work by capturing its first state championship. Falcon Robotics scored 480.51 points to narrowly defeat runner up Eagle Ridge Academy of Minnetonka by six-hundredths of a point and third-place Woodbury by just over two points. Teams participated in seven events in the Minnesota State High School League’s virtual competition and their top three scores were taken to determine their total. In each event, the teams programmed the robots they built to pick up foam balls, move them, and shoot them at targets.

It was the third state appearance for the seventh-year team. Coach Matt Barron said the team had high hopes for their robot, named Luigi, last spring before the season was cancelled due to the pandemic, but the extra time allowed them to make some beneficial modifications.

“The biggest change in the robot was a new drive system that allowed the robot to be extra mobile, a point that was critical to the success of the robot at this year’s events,” Barron said. “We had to make changes to the robot to optimize it for the at-home game, but the design was largely based on last year’s robot. We were excited that all our hard work last year would have a chance to shine this year.”

Falcon Robotics’ previous best state finish was third place in 2016. The team entered this year’s MSHSL competition ranked fourth out of 99 teams statewide after finishing 29th internationally out of over 1,400 teams.

“This is my 7th year with the team and every year I am blown away by how talented and dedicated our kids are at Faribault High School,” coach Jason Engbrecht said. “With the pandemic, the team had every reason to make excuses for not trying their hardest, but they never did. They kept pushing 5 days a week for 5 months to design and test a robot that could be amongst the very best and I'm thrilled to see them come out on top as champions!"

Members of Falcon Robotics are Elijah Sullivan (Sr), Madi Yetzer (Sr), Miguel Romero (Sr), Aaron Bice (Jr), JoHanna Gehrke (Jr), Thomas Drenth (So), Tyler O'Neil (So), and Jonathan Gehrke (Fr).

“With it being an unconventional year for robotics it is great to be able to finish our year with 1st place. We had a very different season as well. Instead of having around 20 students we had 8 so this year we were able to work more closely with everyone and make a winning robot,” Sullivan said. “While it would have been nice to have been able to do in-person competitions with our robot, it's great that we were able to win even with the unforeseen challenges of the year.”

“It feels amazing getting first place and knowing that all of our hard work paid off,” Yetzer added.

Congrats to our state champs!

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Danyelle Fisher Named New Girls' Basketball Head Coach

Danyelle Fisher has been named the next head coach of the Faribault High School varsity girls’ basketball team. Fisher has coached middle school and varsity basketball the last three years. As a player, she competed at the high school, college and AAU levels.

“I know the immense positive impact that sports had on me as a kid and continue to as an adult. Basketball taught me so many life lessons that I still carry with me today. I would like to create those same opportunities and experiences for our kids in the Faribault basketball program,” Fisher said. “Having the opportunity to mentor young women, with basketball as the vehicle, is an honor and a privilege.”

Fisher earned her Bachelor’s in Business Management from Minnesota State University Mankato, her Masters in School Counseling from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and is currently pursuing her Education Specialist license from Hamline University.

Fisher’s first goals for the program are to increase participation and create a positive, fun environment.

“Teamwork, building trust amongst the team, and establishing positive norms will be my first priorities. From there I hope to work toward winning a championship someday,” she said. “To my players, we have work to do and fun to be had! I am excited about the future of our program and the opportunity for our athletes to succeed and compete at a high level.”

In her free time, Fisher enjoys spending time outdoors, gardening, golfing, traveling, woodworking, watching and playing sports, and spending time with her family, friends and dog, Luna.

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Do You Shop On Amazon? Do You Want to Support Our Schools? Use Amazon Smile To Do Both!

The Faribault Area Public School Trust Association (FAPSETA), the Faribault Falcon Scholarship Fund, and the Falcon Educational Enrichment Program (FEEP) provide a source of funds to assist in meeting the ongoing educational goals of Faribault Public Schools students. Since 1986, the Faribault Falcon Scholarship Fund has awarded over $1.2 million to Faribault students. You can learn more about FAPSETA and how you can contribute here.

The Falcon Educational Enrichment Program (FEEP) is a subsidiary of FAPSETA. FEEP’s mission is to secure financial support for specific classrooms and learning opportunities that are beyond regular classroom support. Since 2019, FEEP has funded over $20,000 in grants that have enriched the educational experience for our students. They have funded grants that have supported projects focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), literacy, robotics, and cultural awareness.

You can support these projects with every Amazon purchase you make. All you have to do is go to smile.amazon.com, sign in, and select Faribault Area Public Schools Educational Trust Association as your charitable organization. For all future Amazon orders, go to the URL smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate 0.5 percent of the price of eligible purchases to FAPSETA.

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Food Service Update

The final day for 7-day meal packs will be Wednesday, May 26. Lunches will be available for pick-up daily through the end of the school year at Jefferson Elementary.

Summer Meal Information: June 14-Aug 19

STEAM programming at Jefferson Elementary and FMS will have breakfast and lunch available. Meals will be handed out at Jefferson Elementary, Monday through Thursday from 11:30-12:30 p.m. Each meal handed out will include a breakfast and a lunch. Meals handed out on Thursdays will include two breakfasts and lunches, meant to be eaten on Fridays. These meals are free for anyone 18 and under.

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.