WBL Newsletter

Student News
  • In photos: Embracing summer adventures!
  • Pedaling away
  • Summer explorations
  • Community compassion
  • Hands-on learning
  • Activities updates

School Board News
  • School Board Meetings

District News

  • General Information
  • Awards and Honors











School Board Regular Meeting

7 p.m.
August 13
District Center

School Board Work-Study Meeting
5:30 p.m.
August 27
District Center

School Board Regular Meeting
7 p.m.
September 10
District Center


Find the 2017-18 Activities Calendar here. Find the 2017-18 Parent Academic Calendar here.


August 12, 2018


In photos: Embracing summer adventures!


Student News
Pedaling away
One pedal after the next, students hopped on their bikes and enjoyed exploring the beauty and nature of the White Bear area. A partnership with BikeMN (Bike Alliance of Minnesota) allowed staff to offer a Wheely Cool Bike Camp to community and Extended Day students at Birch Lake Elementary. Highlights included teaching bike safety (Walk! Bike! Fun! curriculum) and putting it into action by bilking around the Birch Lake Elementary neighborhood. Participants also enjoyed destination bike rides to Lincoln Elementary, Podvin Park, Yost Park and Cup and Cone! Students reflected on what they learned and enjoyed the most about the camp, which was the ABC (air, brake, chain) Quick Check, ice cream treats and just getting to go on many fun adventures! One student said they couldn't believe their legs could bike so much, so far!

While some students pedaled away, others learned about pedals in a different way. Students transformed into Gardening Gurus after a class where they focused on learning about soil, the types of plants that grow best in Minnesota and other secret gardening tips at Birch Lake Elementary. Each student was able to take home a plotted plant that they learned all about. In other fun news, families are invited to join the White Bear Lake Area Schools Indian Education staff and American Indian Parent Advisory Committee members as they celebrate the beginning of the new school year at an exciting Back to School event. There will be food and family-friendly activities at the event that will take place on Monday, August 20 at 5:45 p.m. at Lakewood Hills Park. View this flyer for more details about the opportunity. The American Indian Parent Advisory Committee is a parent driven initiative that meets regularly throughout the school year and focuses on working collaboratively with representatives of White Bear Lake Area Schools toward better outcomes for all self-identified American Indian students. More information about the initiative can be found on the District's website.

Summer explorations
Students at Otter Lake Elementary had the opportunity to interact with and learn about some unique animals through Tori and her Precious Pets. They had the chance to learn about, touch, and observe turtles, tortoises, hermit crabs, lizards and other small animals. Exciting visitors continued to stop by the elementary school as Deputy Mary Bergstrom, of the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office, also met with students at Otter Lake Elementary to talk with them about safety and community helpers. Students learned about Deputy Bergstrom's job, and all the ways that law enforcement officers help to keep the community safe. They also were able to discuss ways in which their actions contribute to safety. Students excitedly explored the law enforcement vehicle that Deputy Bergstrom drove to Otter Lake Elementary. While students enjoyed learning more about the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office, community members enjoyed the sounds and experiences of the Ukulele Group.

The fun experiences continued as a Norwegian exchange student who studied at WBLAHS in 2016-17 took an exciting trip back to White Bear this summer with their family. During their visit, they were able to explore White Bear Lake Area High School - South Campus and other places they made memories at during their time a couple years ago - including finding their name on a framed 2008-2017 student list that was a retirement gift to Dr. Lovett! Staff also enjoyed spending time out in the community on Thursday nights for Marketfest this summer. Every week, community members and staff had the opportunity to enjoy conversations together at the White Bear Lake Area Schools Marketfest booth. The summer fun was captured in this video. In other fun news, everyone is invited to participate in the 2018-19 #BackToSchoolBears Facebook Challenge by posting why they are excited for the upcoming school year for a chance to win a Cup and Cone treat, hand-delivered from Bear. Learn more about how to participate and have a chance at being the winner!

Community compassion
Speaking of hands-on experiences, Extended Day students were busy cleaning for a cause. Students had fun washing and drying cars, as well as hosting a snack stand, for the Suds, Snacks & Service event. This is an annual service opportunity that is held to benefit the White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf. The event was a success, as they raised $269 and collected 252 pounds of food! Other Extended Day students and staff at Oneka Elementary also have been working to collect food for others. They enjoyed their annual staff versus student food drive where they celebrated their success with the initiative at a pie toss. Also, students who participated in the summer reading Bookawocky program were able to get their names drawn for prizes. The kindness continued as other students and community members put their feet forward for a cause. The community gathered for the White Bear Lake Area Relay for Life event to show support for those impacted by cancer, such as White Bear Football Coach Ryan Bartlett. The coach walked the Survivors' Lap along with family, friends, and a sea of orange supporters who wore Team Bartlett t-shirts to show their support. Students have been stepping up in many ways to support their coach, such as showing up at the White Bear Lake Area Relay for Life Marketfest booth where they sold orange "Team Bartlett" bracelets and had a football toss game. In other Bearified news, there is Bear spirit wear available to purchase during the first session of the Homecoming online store through Friday, September 7, which will be ready for distribution during the week of September 24. There is a second session that will open on Monday, September 10 and close on Monday, October 1, which will not be delivered in time for Homecoming.

The rewarding opportunities continued as several freshmen have been embracing their roles as interns in the FLEX program this summer. FLEX is afterschool programming for middle school students during the school year, and full-day programming is offered on most non-school days and during the summer. The interns are able to enjoy fun activities with students, field trips and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) opportunities. During FLEX, the interns are able to serve as role models in a program that is focused on encouraging leadership in a choice-based, student-driven and relaxed environment. The interns said they have learned new skills such as how to fix lockers, be even more understanding and compassionate. Other students have the opportunity to learn more about growing their leadership and relationships skills through the 2018 Spotlight on a Cause program, which is a program that strives to teach students about being a leader in their local community and greater world through the original production "Jelly Beans the Cheetah and Hope." Learn more about the opportunity. In other theatre news, community members were able to recently enjoy successful performances of "Big Fish, A New Musical," which was a production of the alumni-founded White Bear Lake Community Players Theatre, which also had ties to the District's Community Services and Recreation Department.

Hands-on learning
Students were invited to St. Paul College to experience advanced manufacturing and welding first-hand at the Imagine it, Design it, Make it Camp. During the opportunity, students were able to learn some welding and basic machining. In other Career Pathways news, several students enjoyed their time in the MN Trades Academy, which is a paid summer construction internship program for those who are selected to participate in the Twin Cities Area. Hard hats, hammers, ladders, and all, students are able to get hands-on experience in this program that prepares youth for life-long learning in hopes of getting them access to good jobs in the construction industry. Other White Bear students embraced their time at FireFly Computers where they could learn more about technology through the business that offers school computing solutions to customers including Chromebooks and laptops. Students, staff and families recently celebrated students' hard work and commitment during the Gen Z Connections program at a closing ceremony. Gen Z Connections focuses on ensuring students receive hands-on experience and gain manufacturing skills through paid internships. White Bear Lake Area Schools and the Career Pathways Program also embraced an exciting experience, as the community came together for an Employer Breakfast where industry partners could learn more about the opportunities offered to students and community partnerships through the expanding program. Check out the latest edition of the WBLAS Career Pathways Newsletter and the Special Edition.

The innovative experiences continued as District Digital Learning Specialist Ryan Clark embraced the topic of "How might we make learning feel more personal?," at the Google Innovator Academy in July. Ryan was one of just 36 educators from around the U.S. who was chosen to attend. The Google Innovator Academy is just one part of a whole year of programming, including a year-long formal mentorship with an established innovator, designed to support iterations of the minimum viable product that they designed at the academy. During the experience in Venice, California, innovators were able to learn about each other's projects, connect, find inspiration, and immerse themselves in a Google-focused culture. Other district leaders were also able to embrace an educational trip in July, as three district staff members visited iconic locations from the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee and Mississippi. The learning experience was made possible through a WBLAEF Glasrud Fellowship. Read more about their reflections and time on their journeys.

Activities Updates
Central Middle School seventh grader Lily Pederson qualified for the national elite gymnastics competition and won the bronze medal on beam and placed fourth in the all-around, earning a spot on the HOPES National Team. Lily has also been named to the National Development Team and will begin training with the National Team Training Staff in Tennessee for a week at a time beginning in October. Go Bears!

Find a complete list of all WBLAHS Activities, Athletics and Fine Arts here.

Please contact the Communications Department (651-407-7695) to submit Student News for inclusion in future publications.


School Board News

School Board Meetings
School Board meeting agendas, packets, minutes highlights and videos/audio files can be found here.

Date
Type Time
Location
August 13
Regular
7 p.m. District Center
August 27
Work-Study
5:30 p.m.
District Center
September 10
Regular
7 p.m.
District Center


For highlights from the most recent Board meeting, click here.


District News

General Information

Community Services

The WBLAS Community Services and Recreation Department provides a wide range of services and opportunities that enhance the quality of life for all members of ISD 624.
  • Seasonal catalogs are available now! You can find them here.
  • Digital Backpack information is emailed to parents every other Thursday and available here.
  • The Senior Program has two guides available for seniors. Read the White Bear Area Guide to Senior Housing and the White Bear Area Guide to Senior Transportation.
  • The latest edition of the Senior Voice is available.
Parent Notices
  • Backpacks available for families in need - The district has received donated backpacks for families in need. Those who would like to request a backpack can do so by calling Jody Reber at 651-407-7563 or Xue Xiong at 651-407-7501.
  • 2018-19 Activities Calendar - Families should soon be receiving the 2018-19 Activities Calendar in their mailboxes!
  • Back to School Event - Join the White Bear Lake Area Schools Indian Education staff and American Indian Parent Advisory Committee members as they celebrate the beginning of a new school year with food and family-friendly activities on Monday, August 20 at 5:45 p.m. at Lakewood Hills Park! Learn more about the opportunity.
  • Help support local schools - All families in the community are invited to the Orchard Dental Group's Third Annual Patient Appreciation event on Thursday, August 16 from 6-8 p.m. where they can help support local schools by donating new backpacks, school essentials or cash. Learn more.
  • #BackToSchoolBears Facebook Challenge - Include #BackToSchoolBears and @isd624 (and then click on White Bear Lake Area Schools to tag the district) in a post, whether it be your first day of school pictures or from your office, explaining why you are excited for the 2018-19 school year for a chance to win a Cup and Cone treat hand-delivered from Bear. Learn more.
  • Homecoming Online Store - There is Bear spirit wear available to purchase on the Homecoming online store. The first session of the store is open until Friday, September 7 and purchases will be ready for distribution during the week of September 24. There is a second session that will open on Monday, September 10 and close on Monday, October 1, which will not be delivered in time for Homecoming.
  • Jelly Beans the Cheetah and Hope - Children's Performing Arts and H2O for Life are partnering for the 2018 Spotlight on a Cause, which is a program that strives to work with children to expand their leadership and relationship skills through the original production "Jelly Beans the Cheetah and Hope." Learn more about the opportunity.
  • WBLAS Career Pathways Newsletter - Enjoy the latest edition of the WBLAS Career Pathways Newsletter and a Special Edition.
  • Support resources - We are very fortunate to have our student services team (counselors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, chemical health) available during the school year to support our students' mental health and well-being. The staff will be heading out for the summer, but wanted to make sure you had resources available to you if your family has a need for support. As always, if there is an emergency situation always call 911. If it is not an emergency, but you would like to talk with a licensed mental health professional, you can call the county crisis teams. They are staffed 24/7. A licensed mental health professional can talk with you by phone and/or meet in your home, assess the situation and give guidance on steps that can be taken to stabilize the situation.
    • County Crisis Numbers
      • Ramsey County Crisis: 651-774-7000
      • Anoka County Crisis: 763-755-3801
      • Washington County Crisis: 651-777-5222
      • Crisis Text Line (TXT4Life): Text MN to 741741
    • Respite on the River - Caregivers of children with mental health concerns are invited to a free dinner cruise on the Mississippi on Tuesday, August 28 from 5:15 to 8 p.m. Visit the Ramsey County Children's Mental Health Collaborative's website for more information.
    • Back-to-School Family Fun & Wellness Event - Families are invited to the Science Museum of Minnesota for a free summer wellness event on Friday, August 24 at 9 a.m. Learn more about the opportunity.
  • Free Summer Meals - Learn more information about finding free summer feeding sites throughout the state on Summer Eats Minnesota's website.
  • Free Farmers Markets - All are welcome to Free Farmers Markets throughout the summer at both Redeemer Lutheran Church on Tuesdays and Willow Lane Elementary on Saturdays. Learn more about dates and times.
  • Summer Activities in Ramsey County - Check out all of the free summer activities available in Ramsey County including summer camps, movies and concerts.
  • We Are Hiring! - The district is now hiring substitute teachers, Extended Day staff, nutrition services staff, bus drivers, paras and more. Find the online application page here.
  • Stay connected! - Join White Bear Lake Area Schools' social media circles - Facebook and Twitter.
  • Calling all baby models - We're looking for "Born to be a Bear" photos! Email photos to us here and you may find your little one featured in District publications!
Senior Program Updates:

The White Bear Area Senior Center is a program of the White Bear Lake Area Schools Community Services & Recreation Department.

  • FREE Activity Pass for Senior Community Members (age 65+) - White Bear Lake Area Schools offer a variety of activities - home athletic contests, concerts, and theater productions to name a few. Join us! Call the Superintendent's Office at 651-407-7563 to request a FREE Activity Pass for home athletics events and a District Activities Calendar. Find the application here. The Activities Pass is available to residents of the White Bear Lake Area School District who are age 65 and older.
  • Be a Bear! The district currently has many staff openings available! See additional information here, and find the online application page here.

Partnership Updates:

  • The White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation (WBLAEF) is an independent, non-profit corporation promoting excellence in education in White Bear Area School District 624 schools.
    • The Foundation is celebrating its 25 year anniversary - The White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation is celebrating its 25 year anniversary, and as part of the milestone celebration, their annual BEAR Legacy Fundraiser event will be held on Friday, October 12 at the Vadnais Heights Commons. Learn more about the opportunity.
    • WBLAEF grant applications - The White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation is once again offering grants for teachers. Applications can be found on their website. Please contact the Foundation Office at 651-407-7696 for more information. The application deadlines are as follows:
      • Ryan Art Grant  - applications due October 9
      • Brosious Grant - applications due October 23
      • Glasrud Fellowships - application due January 29, 2019
      • E3 Grants - application due March 5, 2019

Support WBLAS Students:

  • Be a Bear! The district currently has many staff openings available! See additional information here, and find the online application page here.

Awards and Honors

  • District Digital Learning Specialist Ryan Clark is one of just 36 educators from around the U.S. chosen to attend Google Innovator Academy in July. The Academy is part of a whole year of programming, including a formal mentorship with an established innovator and a project framed around the question "How might we make learning feel more personal?" Go Bears!
Please contact the Communications Department (651-407-7578) to submit District News, General Information, Opportunities or Awards & Honors for inclusion in future publications.