Much to celebrate!
It's no secret our district and White Bear community have a tremendous amount of Bear pride, but this month is when we truly "bleed orange and black" - it's Homecoming! This year's Homecoming week takes place October 5-10 and the theme is "Wreck the Raiders," as our Varsity Football team will be playing against our neighboring rival, the Roseville Raiders, during the Homecoming game on Friday, October 9. However, before that match-up, there are a number of other activities going on including the daily "dress up" events during the week, coronation and the annual Homecoming parade, to name a few. A more detailed schedule can be found here
. The fun doesn't stop after Friday's game either - gather your family, friends and neighbors for the BearPower Homecoming Celebration 6.24K run/walk Saturday, October 10. It's a free event and the first 624 registered participants will get one of the new BearPower winter hats. Click here
to learn more!
The 62.4K is also the launch of the BearPower Family Challenge, which is a chance for friends, neighbors and families across the community to spend four weeks getting BearPowered. Each week there are different challenges, which are all centered around eating well and being active. In addition to developing great habits, participants can win big prizes. Some of those include a new bike, fresh fruit delivered to your home, a $200 Festival Foods gift card and more! To be eligible for those prizes, participants must take photos of their different challenge activities and share them via Facebook or email with the hashtag #BearPower. More information on the challenge can be found here
. Signing up is easy, just click here
Getting involved in the Family Challenge or the 6.24K are just a couple of opportunities to put on those running shoes this fall. There are also a bunch of individual school fun runs happening as part of PTA fundraising events. This past Saturday, Birch Lake Elementary hosted their first-ever Color Explosion 5K along with a fundraising carnival, and Matoska International hosted a 3K Saturday as part of their MatoskaFest celebration. The Bear Scare fun run is coming up on October 24 and it's a fundraising event for both Otter Lake and Lincoln Elementary schools. Their PTO / PTA's have combined forces and are planning this event to benefit both schools. It's a roughly four-mile run where participants can dress up in Halloween costumes. Check out this flyer
for the details.
We look forward to all school events, whether it's a fundraiser or Homecoming celebration, because they often highlight who matters most to WBLAS - our students, staff and community. October is a great month to share how much we value those individuals. The entire month of October is National Principals Month, Bullying Prevention Month and Dyslexia Awareness Month (celebrations that are also featured below in the Parent Section of this issue). There are also week-long celebrations going on in October - National School Lunch Week, which takes place October 12-16, and National Safe Schools Week / National School Bus Safety Week, which take place October 19-23. Also, National Custodial Worker Day was October 2 and World Teachers Day is on October 5. Check with your individual schools to see how they're celebrating!
Room for learning
Tamarack Nature Center recently hosted a grand opening celebration for the new Early Childhood Learning Center. The event included a ribbon cutting, tours of the new facility, and remarks from Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman and Superintendent Dr. Michael Lovett. The partnership, which began in 2005, includes both preschool and Early Childhood Family Education classes that use a unique curriculum focused on immersing children in nature, allowing them to learn with, from and about it. Each class is led by both a preschool teacher from the district and an early childhood naturalist/educator from Tamarack Nature Center. For the first nine years of the partnership, classes were held in an existing classroom within the nature center. The opening of the new addition allows the program to move into an updated, spacious and permanent facility to help ensure its continued growth and success. For the entire press release, click here
Similar to our Tamarack preschool students, Oneka students experienced the fun of outdoor learning during a recent field trip. With help from staff and volunteers, Hugo studentsvisited nearby apple orchard, Applecrest Orchards. The learning began right as the students left the building, as they practiced traffic safety by walking roughly a mile to and from the orchard with chaperons and staff. While at the orchard, students learned everything from bee production, the life cycle of apples and how to detect a perfect apple. Also during their time at Applecrest, students played outdoor games and fed farm animals including chickens, bunnies and goats. This is the fourth year Oneka students have enjoyed this field trip. Teachers who accompanied the students say this adventure is generally a favorite activity of the year!
Over at WBLAHS - South Campus, the fun was brought indoors for the celebration of the district's first-ever manufacturing pathway. The September 25 White Bear Lake Area Schools Manufacturing Pathway Kick-Off event provided students, community leaders and area business leaders an opportunity to mingle and learn about the many manufacturing-related opportunities available in the area. The event was hosted by Century College, HIRED, Vandnais Heights Economic Development Corporation and White Bear Lake Area Schools to celebrate the launch of the Manufacturing Pathway at White Bear Lake Area High School, made possible due to a $250,000 grant recently received from the United Way.
Commissioners Blake Huffman and Victoria Reinhardt presented Superintendent Lovett and White Bear Lake Area School Board members with a Ramsey County Proclamation, which honored September 25, 2015 as "Manufacturing Pathway Day" in Ramsey County. During the event, area industry leaders took the stage and shared industry information and insights, then a panel discussion concluded the program. For the full press release on this event, click here
. Additional details on the new Manufacturing Pathway program will be shared at the October 12 board meeting. There will also be a WBLAS Manufacturing Pathway Program Showcase event on at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 5 at WBLAHS - South Campus.
Excitement at the ALC
The district's Insight Recovery School, housed in the district's Area Learning Center, recently became fully accredited by Association of Recovery High Schools ARS. The program is now one of four recovery high schools in the country to be fully accredited by ARS. There are an estimated 35 recovery high schools currently operating throughout the United States. The Insight program provides a supportive learning environment for recovering teens that nurtures their mind, body, and spirit, and encourages healthy decision-making. The district has offered a recovery program as a school-within-a-school since January of 2001 and has graduated 81 students since that time. A number of additional students have attended Insight for a time and transferred back to their home school once strong enough to maintain their recovery. An entire press release on Insight's recent accreditation can be found here
Our Area Learning Center was also recognized recently for going green. The ALC designs its yearbooks with a company called Treering
. For every book sold, Treering plants one tree with their partner company Trees for the Future, in the school's name. The ALC sold 30 yearbooks last year, so the organization and its partner, Trees for the Future, will be planting that many trees in ALC's name.
Students in the spotlight
Transition Plus student Michael Engebretson successfully completed the Project SEARCH application and interview process and was selected to become a Project SEARCH intern at Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minn. for the 2015-16 school year. Project SEARCH is an initiative that began in Minnesota in 2009. Student interns, such as Michael, are provided work opportunities and practical learning experiences to enhance their academic preparation and expose them to the world of work. Project SEARCH interns are students with disabilities that are provided systematic instruction during three ten-week unpaid internship rotations. Interns learn to apply marketable skills such as: communication, financial literacy, critical thinking, self-management, problem solving, leadership, decision-making, flexibility and teamwork. Interns also gain the ability to navigate complex work environments. The goal for each intern is integrated competitive employment upon graduation.
Meanwhile, our White Bear Lake Area High School theater students are preparing for the spotlight, for the upcoming Fall Musical. This year's show, "Nice Work if You Can Get It," is a newer show that hit Broadway in 2013 and involves an old classic storyline about gangsters, prohibition and wealth, along with music by Gershwin. Rehearsals are currently in full swing, but you still have time to catch the show. The musical is set to debut the week of November 13, with tickets being available to the public on October 10. Updates will be available on the district's Facebook and Twitter pages for 624 Fact updates and upcoming video highlights!
62.4-second video updates
Take a look at our 62.4-second video updates that highlight weekly activity throughout our schools during the school year.
The 2015 Homecoming Week
takes place October 5-10. Coronation
will take place Monday, October 5 at 7 p.m at WBLAHS - South Campus. The Homecoming Football Game
against the Roseville Raiders will take place Friday, October 9 at WBLAHS - South Campus. For a list of all of the homecoming events, click here
for a schedule of all fall sports contests. Find a complete list of all WBLAHS Activities, Athletics and Fine Arts here
School Board News
School Board meeting agendas and minutes can be found here
Highlights from the most recent School Board meetings can be found here.
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.
- Upcoming recognition months/days:
- Bullying Prevention Month - October is Bullying Prevention Month. Our schools will be participating in various activities throughout the month to ensure our students are educated on the harm of bullying.
- Dyslexia Awareness Month - Governor Mark Dayton signed a proclamation stating that the month of October will now be recognized as Dyslexia Awareness Month in the state of Minnesota. The MDE has provided resources for families with children struggling with reading or Dyslexia, which can be found here.
- National Principals Month - month of October
- Homecoming Week - Oct. 5-10
- World Teachers Day - Monday, Oct. 5
- National School Lunch Week - Oct. 12-16
- National Safe Schools Week / National School Bus Safety Week - Oct. 19 - 2
- The Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) has a few opportunities coming up for families in the White Bear Area. Details on those events can be found here.
- ADD/ADHD Support Groups will be meeting in North St. Paul to have a conversation with parents, caregivers, providers and professionals about ADD and ADHD. These events are intended to give families the opportunity to have an open conversation, show support and to share resources. Event details can be found here.
- Mental health services - Anoka County has contracted with Canvas Health to provide mental health crisis services. They've provided a tool kit for parents as well as some school guidelines.
- NAMI Minnesota Parent Resource Program - NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) provides support groups to help parents discover resources to meet the challenges of raising a child with mental illness, learn coping skills and develop problem solving skills. Click here to learn more about the NAMI Minnesota Parent Resource Program. Parent Resources Referral forms can be found here.
- Special Education Parent/Staff Advisory Council - Updated information and meeting dates for the 2015-16 school year can be can be found here.
- The General Election will be held Tuesday, November 3. There will be three at-large seats for School Board on the ballot. Voter and election information can be found here.
- One-stop online payments - During the summer months, the district transitioned to a "one-stop" online payment system that enables families to make payments for food services, school activities and Community Education activities. The system also serves as the registration hub for middle school and high school activities. The new system replaces multiple systems that are currently used for these purposes, including RevTrak, PayPams and ActiveNet.
- PACER Center recently launched its National Parent Center on Transition and Employment website, which offers innovative tools, reliable research, and interactive training to support families who are going through the transition process.
- 2015-16 Academic Calendar - See the approved calendar here.
- 2015-15 Activities Calendar - The 2015-16 Activities Calendar was mailed to all district families and is available online here.
- Stay connected! - Sign up for the Community e-Newsletter, sent out twice a month. Join White Bear Lake Area Schools' social media circles - Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
- 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!
- Additional resources:
- Resources to help with our limited English speaking families can be found here.
- Washington County Child and Teen Checkups newsletter can be found here.
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.
- Craft Corner Gift Shop at the Senior Center - Open from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, the gift shop is the perfect place to shop for a variety of beautiful, handcrafted items. With more than 100 consignees selling their personal crafts, there is much to choose from for purchase. If anyone, over the age of 55, has any love of creating crafts, we are in need of consignees to further our inventory. The Craft Corner Gift Shop is located at Normandy Park Education Center, 2484 County Road F East.
- BearPower - will soon be starting its month long Family Challenge. The challenge kicks off on Saturday, October 10th - the same day as the BearPower 62.4K Homecoming Walk/Run. Join the challenge and encourage your family to eat well and be active! Plus, you can win BIG prizes! Here are some ideas to help you get started!
- 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.
- Brosious Teaching Grant is due October 26. Brosious Application Forms are available at on the WBLAEF website. If you have any questions call the Foundation Office at 651-407-7696.
- Teachers: Grant applications are now being accepted for the 2015-16 school year. Click here for the list and when to apply.
- Enhancing Environmental Excellence fundraising event - Beyond Our Shores: Enhancing Environmental Education, will take place on Friday, October 23, 2015, from 6:30 p.m.- 9 p.m. at the White Bear Yacht Club, located at 56 Dellwood Avenue in White Bear Lake. The "E3" event is intended to raise funds for the new environmental learning grant. The cost is $50 a person and there will be a live and silent auction.
- Bleed Orange and Black T-shirts are back! To find out how to get one please contact the Foundation Office (651-407-7696). Cost is $10.
Support WBLAS Students
- The WBLAHS - South Campus Sunshine Fund is selling Metro Dining Club cards again this year. There are more than 155 restaurants included and the cards are valid once per month through October 2016. A few local establishments included are; Blue Heron, Don Julio's, CG Hooks, Cafe Cravings, Dairy Queen, Taco John's, Running Aces, Wise Guys, new this year Jersey Mike's Subs, The Stadium and Fiesta Cancun. Group pricing $24; contact Karen at ext: 6206 in the South Campus Activities Office.
- Sunrise Park Middle School will be selling Metro Dining Club (DMC) cards this fall as well. The North/Northeast Metro card set has 166 restaurants. Each card may be used once a month October 2015 - October 2016. A few of the local restaurants include Roadside Pizza, Blue Heron, C. G. Hooks, Carbone's Pizza, Mad Jacks, and Running Aces. Cost is $24 (savings of $6) per set. Contact Linda Adams at 651-653-2701 if interested.
- Attend an event or two during this upcoming year! The 2015-16 Activities Calendar were mailed to all District families in August. If you do not have a child in school, but you would like a copy of the district-wide activity listing, contact Jody Reber at 651-407-7563 and request to be added to the Activities Calendar mailing list.\
- Tickets for the WBLAHS Fall Musical, "Nice Work If You Can Get It," will be available to the public on Oct. 10 here. The show will be performed at 7 p.m. Nov. 13-14, 19-21 and a 2 p.m. matinee on Nov. 14 at the WBLAHS - North Campus Theater.
Please contact the Communications Department (651-407-7578) to submit District News, General Information, Opportunities or Awards & Honors for inclusion in future publications.