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Celebrating the great work of Faribault students and staff

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A note from a new Roosevelt Elementary student to Mr. Peck

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9-week Summer STEAM program welcomes over 600 students

At Monday's board meeting, leadership from Summer STEAM shared the impact the program has had as it’s provided engaging summer learning opportunities for over 600 students, as well as professional experience in the education field for FHS students and alumni.

The presentation also showed the opportunities Summer STEAM provides for FPS staff. Of the 110 employed by Summer STEAM, 33 were current FPS staff members, 21 were high school students and eight were students who are attending college to be become educators.

Summer STEAM video

STEAM program assistants provide student support

Student program assistants made up the Summer STEAM staff the past couple of months. Working with students at Faribault Middle School, these high school students and recently graduated students provided extra support to program leads and also led camps on their own.

VIDEO: RISE supported over 200 students last year

RISE (Realizing Individual Student Excellence) coordinators and promise fellows presented to the school board Monday. RISE strives to support students through middle school and into high school, as well as give them the tools needed to pursue post-secondary schooling. The program served over 200 students last year.

"The RISE room has been a huge staple to my daughters success and I couldn’t be more thankful to have this resource available. She constantly tells everyone how much she enjoyed her time there." -Parent Amy Boyd, on Facebook

2 Rise

Meet a Coach: Zack Roble

Coaching positions: Varsity football offensive coordinator and varsity sprint/hurdle coach

Coaching experience: 5 years coaching football and 2 years coaching track and field, all at Faribault High School.

Football and track background: I was lucky to be able to play on some great teams at Rosemount High School. I was a state semi-finalist for football my senior year of high school and my track team was the state champion for True Team my sophomore year. During college I was an equipment manager for the University of Minnesota Golden Gopher football team.

Coaching accomplishments: I’m proud of helping Faribault win the Cannon Trophy for the first time since 1988 by beating Northfield in football last year. I’m also proud of being part of a coaching staff that dramatically increased participation on the boys and girls track teams last year.

Coaching philosophy: I use my background in psychology to guide my coaching philosophy. Specifically, I utilize self-determination theory in order to nurture student-athlete autonomy and intrinsic motivation. Self-determination states that student-athletes are motivated by autonomy, competence, and relatedness. In other words, student-athletes want control over their performance, they want to feel like they can improve their performance, and the experience is social. As a coach, I attempt to create a culture of “shared competence” between the coach and student-athlete so that they are able to have agency during their performance. It makes it a lot of fun for me to watch the student-athletes succeed because it is a result of the time and effort they put in!

What are some of your favorite memories or experiences you’ve had as a coach? Last year our football team won a game in double overtime against Northfield. I was really proud of our team because of how resilient they were. There were many things that didn’t go our way, but we didn’t allow the negative plays of the past to affect the next play. We faced 3rd and goal from the 23 yard line in overtime in a must-score situation and the student-athletes came through to score. It’s a night that I hope our student-athletes and fans never forget!

Why do you coach? My transformational coaching statement is: I serve with determination and resilience to mentor autonomy and humility. This means that I coach to help student-athletes develop the skills and traits necessary to live a successful life after high school. I want to help student-athletes develop maturity and responsible decision making skills so that they are capable of achieving whatever they dream of for the rest of their lives. Humility is also important to me because I do not want student-athletes to fear failure or judgement. Failing is part of the learning process. As PJ Fleck says “Failing equals growth.” By failing, student-athletes have the choice to respond in order to learn from the experience and improve their performance. I want student-athletes to have the confidence to attempt to create the lives they want without being weighed down by the fear of failure or judgement.

What do you hope students who participate take away from it? I hope that students who participate in my activity know that they have a support system for them in the community on and off the field. I hope that students know that learning is a lifelong process and the same skills that helped them excel on the field will help them for the rest of their lives. I hope that students take pride in telling people that they are from Faribault. I’m proud to come from Rosemount because the coaches and advisors are committed to helping their student-athletes achieve excellence and I hope my student-athletes believe the same about Faribault.

Book Tasting Picnic at Lincoln!

Earlier this year, elementary and middle school teachers from around the district got to pick out over 150 books for their classroom collections through the Striving Readers Literacy Grant. On Sept. 10, Mrs. Isaacson and Mrs. Lindeman presented the books to their students, invited special guests to read the books, and brought in snacks to celebrate a Book Tasting Picnic! The students enjoyed looking at all the new reading options and sampling their snacks while listening to the guests read the new books!

Link Crew welcomes Class of 2025

The 2021-2022 school year kicked off with a fun and impactful first day of school at Freshmen Orientation by welcoming the Class of 2025! Junior and Senior Link Crew leaders connected with students by doing activities together and showing them around Faribault High School. Thank you leaders for your time, and helping and connecting with our newest members to FHS! Welcome Class of 2025!

VIDEO: Elementary students share what they're looking forward to this school year

Faribault elementary schools (2021-22) This year...

McKinley kicks off the school year with Family Carnival

Staff volunteer at Supply Our Children backpack and school supply event

VIDEO: FHS students share what they're looking forward to this school year

Faribault High School back to school video (2021-22) This year...

Ag students spruce up FHS grounds

This summer the FHS agriculture department ran a Summer STEAM class for Ag credit with the help of Renata Klugherz.

The group overhauled 7 flower beds, filling up 7 truck beds of debris. After dividing, pruning and replanting the group laid 70 bags of mulch throughout the landscaping.

New scoreboard lights up season-opening victory

The Falcons football team lit up the new scoreboard at Bruce Smith Field on Sept. 3 when it defeated Albert Lea, 50-14. The new digital scoreboard was made possible by a donation from the family of Dave Jackson, the Faribault Booster Club, and five major business sponsors - Daikin Applied, Faribault Transportation, Harry Brown's Family Automotive, Met Con Companies, and Reliance Bank.

The win was made even more special by the festive atmosphere that included performances by band and cheerleaders, as well as a lively student section!

Making connections

The first week of school, teachers and support staff worked together to make sure families had all the information they needed to start to the school year. The connections formed between our staff and families are vital to the success of our students and our schools. It was awesome to see the smiling faces of students when they recognized their teachers and how comfortable they felt being back in their schools.

Students lead Summer Theatre Camp

MJH Summer Theatre Camp with STEAM: "The World Around Me!' was the theme for 2021. Students created stories and performed them with the guidance of some former and current high school students leading them. It was an enjoyable two weeks of CREATIVE FUN!

Students honored for proficiency in multiple languages

Story courtesy of the Faribault Daily News

A group of current and former English Language Learners at Faribault High School are being recognized and receiving college credits for their proficiency in multiple languages.

Faribault High School students Bich Duong, Jesus Arriaza-Lopez, Kelly Cerillo Reyes last week received a Minnesota World Language Proficiency Certificate while Denise Rodriguez and Egla Marquez-Gutierrez earned a Gold Seal certificate from the state.

Earning these certificates is no easy feat: students must demonstrate a high level of fluency in speaking, reading, listening and writing in English and one other language to receive this recognition. Students knowledgeable enough to receive a certificate qualify for two semesters of college credits from Minnesota state colleges and universities, while gold seal honorees earn three semester credits. For some professional organizations, the gold seal also serves as proof that a student is proficient enough to teach foreign language at the high school and college level.

The highest recognition a student can receive is the platinum seal, a step above gold, offering four semester credits. In some professions, the platinum seal proves a student is capable of interpreting foreign languages at the United Nations.

Few students at Faribault High School have received world language certificates due the level of proficiency required, but this past school year the school district created new opportunities for students to test their skills. In previous years, the high school administered the ACTFL exam (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) solely for students enrolled in foreign language classes. Starting in the 2020-21 school year, any sophomore, junior or senior could take the test.

Faribault High School English Learner Coordinator Sam Ouk said the expanding exam eligibility has allowed the school district to not just recognize high-achieving students in foreign language classes, but also acknowledge the bilingual and multilingual talent English Language Learners offer to the community.

“For these students to come in with bilingual skills, it’s really an asset to our school and our community,” said Ouk. “These students are not coming in with a deficit, but actually trying to add on to the language skills that we have. So it really changed the mindset of how we work with English Language Learners.”

The expanded eligibility allowed students like Arriaza-Lopez, who wasn’t enrolled in any language classes at Faribault, the opportunity to be certified. He’ bilingual and much of his fluency in English and Spanish was developed at home.

“My mom at a very young age, since we moved her from Guatemala, she knew that we would be reading and listening and speaking English here in the United States, so she wanted us to also read Spanish and speak Spanish at home and also practice writing it,” said Arriaza-Lopez. “That helped, even in that early age up until now, that really helped me in the test.”

All five of the certificate-earning students are either currently or previously enrolled in the school’s English Learners program. Four received bilingual certifications for English and Spanish and one received a certification for English and Vietnamese.

Beyond the benefit of college credits, the World Language Proficiency Certificate, and gold and platinum seals provide students with documented proof of their bilingual or multilingual abilities.

“Since right now my focus is going to university to focus on majoring in business and in business you meet people all over the country, sometimes even all over the world, that [certificate] is going to help me a lot to be able to connect and communicate with others,” said Arriaza-Lopez.

Ouk said the certification can also create opportunities for students to pursue work as interpreters or enter fields like STEM where there is a strong need for people fluent in languages other than English.

“This creates an opportunity to recognize some of the assets and skills which many, many of our students come in already having,” said Ouk. “Some of our native students don’t even have that opportunity, that experience to learn another language and these students come in ready and acquire their English. It’s really an opportunity to recognize these skill sets.”

Food labs at FMS!

Middle school FACS students were excited for their first foods lab experience! 6th graders made orange julius drinks and 7th and 8th graders made fruit smoothies. Students worked together to make their drinks and enjoyed their hard work!

VIDEO: FPS students and staff volunteer in the community

Students and staff volunteer in the community

Years of Service honorees!

30 years

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35 years

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Welcome, new staff!