Uniting for kindness
Orange, orange and more orange could be seen throughout the district on Unity Day. Unity Day is an important time for students, staff and communities to stand together against bullying while uniting for kindness, acceptance and inclusion. The counseling office sent out positive messages at Sunrise Park Middle School. Additionally, the North Campus Student Council and South Campus Student Council created posters and the North Campus students also wrote positive messages on Post-it notes that they placed on bathroom mirrors. Students at Transition Education Center had activities during the past month to prepare for Unity Day by creating bracelets, doing the Unity Dance and writing messages on leaves about how they can prevent bullying. The fun didn't stop with students, as staff members also enjoyed dressing up and sporting the color orange.
The kindness continued throughout the district, as fifth grade students at Vadnais Heights Elementary School participated in a Kindness Retreat through the Youth Frontiers Program. The experience was recently captured in this Friday's The Week in 62.4 Seconds video
. This was a high-energy day where students were able to continue their journey of learning how to promote kindness and prevent bullying in their school and community with junior and senior leaders from WBLAHS - South Campus. The students participated in activities through music and play that encouraged them to step out of the box, talk with their classmates and connect with one another about what is taking place in their school. Fifth graders and high school leaders were able to walk away with the knowledge that kindness is like the boomerang effect - what you throw out in kindness can and will come back to you! Read the full story
. While students shared their thoughts during activities at the Kindness Retreat, high school students also had the opportunity to share their thoughts with Superintendent Wayne Kazmierczak at the first High School Superintendent's Advisory Council gathering of the year.
Speaking of having a big heart, students and families at Otter Lake Elementary donated to Hurricane Harvey Heroes to help support Caldwood Elementary School in Beaumont, Texas that was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey. To assist the school in their efforts and help families get back on their feet, Otter Lake Elementary families and staff teamed up to purchase school supplies that were needed for the students to have a successful school year. The donations were then used to buy school supplies through Amazon Prime that could be delivered right to the school. Parents also embraced the opportunity to come together with other parents and teachers at ParentCamp. This was an opportunity for parents to engage in face-to-face discussions about what is best for kids and how to most effectively benefit student learning, teaching and parenting.
Running after goals
Lap after lap, students at Vadnais Heights Elementary enjoyed the weather, time with their classmates and cardiovascular fitness. Nearly 150 first through fifth grade students participated in the Vadnais Heights Elementary School Run Club. This opportunity aligned with BearPower's initiative to encourage active lifestyles. This free afterschool activity was lead by Mark Theissen and supported by other teachers and staff on Mondays and Wednesdays. Students could choose to walk or run their laps around the school's backyard. While the temperature was a bit higher outdoors during Run Club, students did not let the snowy weather put any brakes on their fun for their big event. The students hard work paid off when they ran through vibrant colors with their classmates at the school's Color Run.
The running did not stop at Vadnais Heights Elementary. Students at Lincoln Elementary and Otter Lake Elementary also laced up their shoes for BearScare Boot Camp to prepare for a fun running event. Bear even visited to join the students as they warmed up. Students hustled and embraced speed training activities with their classmates, as they sprinted between cones in the gymnasium. The experience was recently captured in this Friday's The Week in 62.4 Seconds video
. After the BearScare Boot Camp, students were ready to show off their hard work at the BearScare Fun Run/Walk. Otter Lake Elementary and Lincoln Elementary teamed up and the proceeds will benefit the schools. Families could enjoy a costume contest and music during their running and walking activities.
Students at the Birch Lake Extended Day program hit the ground running with one of their latest activities. Students had fun with the Sports Sampler Club where they were learning about soccer. The Sports Sampler Club is a youth enrichment camp that is open to registered Extended Day students, as well as the greater community of students. 2016 White Bear graduate Madeline Bahnemann is teaching this fun activity to inquisitive students. Madeline is working towards a degree in elementary education while gaining real-life experience working with students during fun opportunities such as Sports Sampler Club. Another student is running after and accomplishing their goals. Ashlyn Bohrer was recently recognized at the BestPrep's Educational Forum. Ashlyn wrote an essay on "Why Character Matters in Education" and was one of 25 winners from across the state. Ashlyn also got to meet Alan Page, former Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court and NFL Hall of Fame member, along with other award recipients.
Nothing says Minnesota quite like the Mississippi River. High school students hopped on a riverboat with French students, as just one of the many fun activities with their new friends who were visiting the United States. The experience was captured in last week's The Week in 62.4 Seconds video
. Since the 1994-1995 school year, White Bear Lake students and their families have been participating in the Meaux Exchange Program. This program is coordinated by the White Bear Lake French Department and its partner school, Lycée Bossuet in Meaux, France. The Meaux/White Bear Exchange program is an experience which includes hosting students from France and traveling to Meaux, France. When the French students were here, White Bear students benefited by having the French group attend school for one day. During Spring Break, White Bear students will travel to France and stay in the French student's home for approximately 10 days.
While high school students met new friends, staff members were introduced to new families and babies at the fall Community Baby Shower. Babies smiled, as they received relaxing massages from their parents who were learning baby massaging techniques to help stimulate their child's central nervous system. Parents with new babies from birth up to six months old attended the free event at Normandy Park Education Center. The experience was captured in last week's The Week in 62.4 Seconds video
. This is an opportunity for families to learn what resources the district and White Bear Lake community has to offer. Parents were able to ask questions about beneficial ways to support and nurture their infant's health and development. Early childhood families also had a blast dressing up together for the annual Costume Party.
High school students will also be dressing up for the White Bear Lake Area High School's Production of "Footloose The Musical." Dancing, singing and wearing awesome shoes will be just a few of the exciting elements seen throughout the show. "Footloose" is the story of Ren McCormack, a teenager from Chicago. Ren and Ren's mother move to the small town of Bomont after Ren's father abandons them. Upon arriving, Ren finds himself at odds with most of the town, including the Reverend of Bomont. The Reverend has convinced the town to outlaw dancing, which Ren finds unbelievable. With the help of Ariel (the Reverend's daughter) and Willard (a country hick who becomes Ren's best friend), Ren convinces the Reverend to let the teenagers dance, and in the process helps the town to heal from a tragedy that affected them all. There will be performances at 7 p.m. on Nov. 10-11, 16-18 and a matinee on Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. at the WBLAHS - North Campus Theater. Purchase tickets today
While most people take a knife from their kitchen to cut their vegetables and meat, Ben Craig's Anthropology class took a different approach. Students at the Area Learning Center used sugar glass, rock candy, to create stone tools. They tested the effectiveness of their tools by butchering produce such as a chicken, celery, peppers and carrots. The students were able to determine if their tools were sharp enough to cut through the materials and evaluate how the experiment went compared to their initial thoughts. Students at Lincoln Elementary were able to have fun thoughts, as they participated in a Fall Social involving the Bookfair, Bring Our Learning Together Night and Lincoln Idol. Bring Our Learning Together Night is an opportunity for high school and middle school students to play math and literacy games with students so they know how to play them when they bring them home.
Students were able to participate in another cutting-edge activity at the White Bear Center for the Arts. High school students taking Ceramics 1 were able to experience raku firing. This is a fun and dramatic way to fire ceramics wares since there is a rapid reduction in combustible material. The experience was recently captured in this Friday's The Week in 62.4 Seconds video
. Raku firing is a process where materials are removed from a kiln at red heat and are placed in containers of the combustible materials. After being set in these materials, the smoke blackens raw ceramic surfaces and reacts with special raku glazes creating a predictable yet beautiful surface. At the end of this project, students were able to take their masterpieces back to their homes. One student even had the idea to put flowers in it to make for a beautiful decoration piece.
While there may not have been school during MEA Break, that didn't stop some middle school students from having fun at the first-ever FLEX Lock-in. The evening was jam-packed with fun activities including board games, cards and karaoke. The students were even able to play with Knockerballs, which are giant inflatable balls they can crawl inside and participate in games with. The experience was captured in last week's The Week in 62.4 Seconds video
. There was even an opportunity for students to showcase their dance moves with upbeat tunes. While energy was being expended, students didn't go hungry. There were many delicious treats available to munch on including Cup and Cone and root beer floats. FLEX is the district's middle school program, providing afterschool programming during the school year and full-day programming on most non-school days and during the summer. Learn more
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