Falcon Wings Weekly

It's A Great Day To Be A Falcon!

Principal's Corner

At Faribault High School we are hyper focused on learning. We work extremely hard every day to provide instruction, project based learning, and clear feedback to students so they can learn as much as possible and become college/career ready. That is - and will always be - our #1 focus.

But as you read through this newsletter you will see that we are committed to a "whole child" approach to education. As you scroll through you will notice things like:

  • Outstanding work with personal finance - an essential skill for adulthood
  • A new 3 year plan that includes a significant investment in counselors and social workers
  • An opportunity for all students to learn about Somali culture through a dance workshop
  • An upcoming free dental clinic for students who qualify
  • Information on mental health awareness month
  • How to talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol
  • A "Digital Wellbeing" tip of the week from our partners from LiveMore ScreenLess
  • Ways for youth to get involved and active over the summer

It is clear from this newsletter and our daily work that we believe a well-rounded education must include more than reading and math. Don't get me wrong - those things are extremely important! But so are mental health, cultural competence, physical fitness, mindfulness, community, and having a strong support structure. We are proud that Faribault High School students (and their families) have access to so many wonderful opportunities.

Best wishes for a great week. Always forward.

Jamie Bente


Upcoming Calendar; Important Dates

Monday, May 3 - Decision Day

Tuesday, May 4 - MCA State Science Test for all Biology students

Thursday, May 6 - MCA Make Up Day

Friday, May 7 - Mid-quarter day for 4th quarter

Thursday, May 13 - Free Dental Clinic (see below for details)

Saturday, May 15 - Senior Appreciation Night and Grand March

MCA Testing in Science To Occur This Week

The MCA Science test will be administered to all students currently taking Biology (mostly 10th graders with some exceptions) on Tuesday, May 4th. Last names L-Z will begin testing at 9:10 AM. Last names A-K will start at 12:39. Students who are absent on Tuesday will be able to make up the exam when they return.

This exam is expected to take between 1 and 2 hours. Students will be excused from class and report to the gym area to take the test. School will continue as normal for all students not taking the exam during those times. Here are some other important details:

  • Students must bring a fully charged IPAD the day of their exam. All tests are done on the school issued devices.
  • Students should bring a pair of plug-in headphones/earbuds to use. They must be able to plug into the IPAD. No Bluetooth (ex. Air Pods) devices will be allowed. If students don’t have their own, the school will provide a pair.
  • No cell phones or smart watches are allowed in the testing area. Students should either leave these at home, place them in their locker, or turn them into the main office for safe keeping while they are testing.

In this strange past year that saw your child go from distance learning – to hybrid – back to distance learning – back to hybrid – and then fully in person, it is important for us to know what students learned, how deeply they learned it, and what they didn’t learn. We ask for your help in making sure students take this exam seriously and simply do the best they can.

At this time, distance learners are not required to come to school to take these tests but are welcome to if parents/guardians would like to get an update on the progress of their learning. If you are the parent of a distance learner and want your child to take the MCAs, please call the school at 507-333-6100 to let us know.

For more information about the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, please contact District Assessment Coordinator, LeeAnn Lechtenberg at 507-333-6017.

FHS to Host Grand March and Senior Appreciation Event on May 15

In lieu of a traditional prom this year, FHS will be hosting a Grand March and other events at Bruce Smith Field. The plan for the night is to begin the Grand March at 7:30 PM. There will be a fireworks show beginning at 9:00 and games will continue until 11:00.

This is a seniors-only event (no juniors, no one from a different school, or older dates). And it is FREE! Thank you for the many local businesses and community partners who donated to this cause.

Seniors must register no later than April 30th. Please use this link to make sure your senior is registered if they are interested. This is a formal/semi-formal event (prom dresses, dress shirt/slacks, etc.). There are no high heels allowed on the football field

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FHS Personal Finance Team Takes 2nd In State

Congratulations to the Personal Finance team of Henry Schonebaum, Paige Ross, Avery Rein, and Thomas Malecha for finishing in 2nd place in the 2021 Minnesota Personal Finance Decathlon Challenge! They finished in 2nd place out of nearly 100 teams competing around the state to represent Minnesota in the National Personal Finance Challenge. The team, led by advisor Mr. Jared Kegler, qualified for the state finals by being one of the top 12 teams in the exam portion of the challenge. In the states finals, they reviewed a case study scenario for a couple struggling financially in many aspects of their lives. They then prepared and delivered a financial consulting presentation to judges.

Assistant Principal Peck Earns Star of Innovation Award For Creation of RISE Program

Shawn Peck was honored with a Star of Innovation award by the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals. Peck worked with a large team of people from FPS, Carleton College, Northfield HCI, Faribault Youth Investment, HealthFinders, and others to create Faribault RISE (Realizing Individual Student Excellence). RISE is an on-site mentoring/advocacy/support program available for any student in grades 6-12 who are facing barriers to success in their lives. Through social/emotional check ins, academic advising, and tutoring RISE seeks to provide students with the necessary tools to remove those barriers. RISE aims to ensure that every student can thrive academically and socially, and experience hope for their futures. The RISE program is led by Coordinators Hanan Mohamud and Juanita Picazo as well as AmeriCorps Promise Fellows Nora Schulz and Timur Yarmakov.

Senior Decision Day Is Monday, May 3rd

On Monday, May 3rd, we will be celebrating an in-person Senior Decision Day. This event is to recognize all seniors for their accomplishments and for deciding on a postsecondary plan. All seniors who are in attendance will be eligible for door prizes that will be given at the event.

Senior Decision Day will recognize students who plan to pursue

  • A Two or Four-year Degree
  • A Career or Technical Certificate
  • Going into the World of Work
  • Military Service
  • Volunteer/Gap year experience

FREE Dental Clinic at FHS on May 13th

Faribault High School, in partnership with HealthFinders Collaborative, will be offering a free dental clinic on Thursday, May 13th. The clinic is available free of charge to high school students with either no dental insurance or state-funded dental insurance. Service includes (but is not limited to) cleaning, sealants, fluoride treatment, X-rays.

Appointments are available from 10 am-6 pm. To schedule an appointment contact the FHS school nurse, Terra Boyd at tboyd@faribault.k12.mn.us or 507-333-6286. The deadline to sign up is Monday, May 10th.

Board Approves 3-Year Plan To Accelerate Learning, Support Students

At the April 26 school board meeting, our board approved the Falcons Forward - Vision 2024 plan. Falcons Forward is our district’s plan to accelerate learning and provide additional support for our students over the next three years, using the funds provided through the American Rescue Plan. Falcons Forward focuses on addressing the following three strategies outlined in our strategic plan:

  • Focusing on the social and emotional well-being and safety of students and staff.

  • Providing a high-quality education for every student.

  • Addressing individual student learning in innovative and challenging ways.

To address these strategies, we’re allocating resources to three areas: Student support, online school, and facilities and accessibility.

Student Support

  • We will add one additional social worker at each school and one additional counselor at the middle school so every student and family can get the support they need to navigate the issues the pandemic has brought to their personal and academic lives.
  • We will add 11 teachers across the elementary schools and middle school, which will lower class sizes by an average of four students per class, allowing for more individualized instruction, personalized learning and interventions.
  • We will add two paraprofessionals to build relationships and help maintain a positive and safe culture at the middle school.
  • We will add an EL teacher at the Area Learning Center to provide on-site support for students and staff.
  • We will add two high school teachers in the areas of math/technology and FACS to meet the high demand for classes in those subject areas.

Falcons Online Academy

  • We will add an online learning coordinator and five K-12 teachers to serve as mentors, coaches and facilitators for our online learners.

Facilities and Accessibility

  • We will make upgrades to Jefferson Elementary that will create an enhanced learning environment.
  • We’ve hired multilingual office personnel to assist non-English speaking students and families at the district office.
  • We will provide additional bus routes so all high school students who live over one mile from school have access to transportation.

We will strengthen our early-childhood program by:

  • Updating the curriculum

  • Adding a multi-sensory room and equipment

  • Hiring an outreach professional to work with community partners and engage families.

In addition to the above additions that are part of Falcons Forward, we’ve also committed $1 million toward summer learning acceleration using previous COVID-19 relief funds. This will allow for enhanced Summer STEAM programming and credit recovery opportunities for secondary students.

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Somali Dance Workshop in May; All Students Are Welcome To Come and Learn Somali Dances

A team of researchers from St. Olaf College will be offering a free Dance Workshop Experience for Faribault High School students in May 2021. Over the course of the four workshop sessions, students will learn to perform two traditional Somali dances led by the Somali Museum of Minnesota Dance Troupe. The team will also lead the students in discussion about how dance is related to our individual identities, and invite them to share about their experiences with community belonging in Minnesota, including their experiences with and thoughts about immigration.

The workshop meetings will be held from 3:15-5:15 on Tues May 18, Thurs May 20, Tues May 25, and Thurs May 27. Students should plan to attend all four sessions. Transportation home will be provided after each session. All participants will be 6 feet apart and masked, as the dances do not require any physical contact.

Watch this video for a preview of the workshop and more details: https://youtu.be/hC_4wPg3xmM. Students can express interest in participating in the workshop by filling out the Google Form at this link: https://forms.gle/fD1ULDioiuVQvgAk9.

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Faribault High School Dance Workshop Promo Video

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Taking care of our mental health is important but it has become vitally important this last year. Our mental health and wellness along with the mental health and wellness of our families and

our students is crucial. Throughout the month you can learn about mental health and wellness, activities to increase your mental wellness, and how to seek help and support.

Look for the green ribbons at each school site. These green ribbons are encouraging the community to raise awareness and show support for mental health. Thank you to STOPS for helping with the ribbons displays. If you, a family member or student need support, please reach out to someone you trust, a School Social Worker or Counselor.

Mental Health Facts

1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year, but less than half get treatment.

5.2% of U.S. adults (13.1 million people) experienced serious mental illness in 2019, but only 65.5% of them received treatment.

1 in 6 U.S. youth experience a mental health condition each year, but only half get treatment.

50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24.

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10–34 and the 10th leading cause of death overall in the U.S.

The overall suicide rate in the U.S. has increased by 35% since 1999.

● Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are 4x more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth.

● Transgender adults are nearly 12x more likely to attempt suicide than the general population. ● The average delay between onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years.

● 3.8% of U.S. adults experienced both mental illness and a substance use disorder in 2019 (9.5 million people).

● Mental illness and substance use disorders are involved in 1 out of every 8 emergency department visits by a U.S. adult (estimated 12 million visits).

● 20.5% of people experiencing homelessness in the U.S. have a serious mental health condition.

● 37% of adults incarcerated in the state and federal prison system have a diagnosed mental illness.

● 70.4% of youth in the juvenile justice system have a diagnosed mental illness.

These numbers are only a few of the reasons why it’s important to take part in promoting our awareness events. Please use these facts and others, including the infographics on our website, nami.org/MHStats, to encourage discussions with your community, whether through social media or other forms of outreach.

Why You Should Talk With Your Children About Alcohol and Other Drugs

Parents have significant influence in their children's decisions to experiment with alcohol and other drugs. In fact, surveys show that parent disapproval is the biggest reason why students choose not to use. It's important to talk to kids before they are exposed to alcohol and drugs. Talk! They hear you!

Click here for more information and for tips on how to talk to your kids about this.

LiveMore Today Shares FHS Student Survey Results; Startling Findings Regarding Youth, Screens, and Sleep

Dear Parents,

Happy Spring! The month of May ushers in such promise with green grass, budding trees, and the countdown to summer!

We are learning more about how parents and teens can work together to create family media plans. A recent study on family media plan's effectiveness reveals that shared decision making between parent and teen is an important part of the process:

1. Identify Choices

2. Consider Options

3. Make informed Decisions

As you consider conversations that can enhance your families’ digital wellbeing, sharing family values and then connecting those values to screen use can build understanding about choices, decisions, and consequences. For example, if kindness is a family value, it is important to discuss how that value extends to digital communication.

Looking for a way to start the discussion with your teen? We suggest watching LiveMore’s ListenIn 5-minute video of young people talking about the effects of digital media on their wellbeing. After viewing the video, you can start a conversation about the effects of digital media on you and your child and make some decisions together to support your family values and wellbeing. For additional resources, check out LiveMore’s Parent Resources on our website.


KK Myers and Maree Hampton

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Faribault Daily News to Feature Graduating Class of 2021

The Faribault Daily News will be publishing its annual special section featuring area high school graduates. They will be celebrating the seniors two ways:

(1) They will publish a printed section in the paper AND (2) they will feature a special online version where seniors can create and personalize a page of their own with photos, videos, and additional information to share with friends and family.

There’s no cost to be included in either section. All you need to do is submit a photo and some information about you by going to the Daily News website (bit.ly/3t6yEL3). They will not accept paper submissions; all submissions must be done online.

The deadline for graduate submissions is May 6.

For more information, contact FDN Regional Managing Editor Suzanne Rook at 507-333-3134 or editor@faribault.com.

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