WBL Newsletter

Student News
  • A Note from the Superintendent
  • In photos: Oneka Elementary students tie blankets & give back!
  • Important experiences
  • Spreading cheer
  • Embracing wellness & fun
  • Exploring great opportunities
  • The Week in 62.4 Seconds
  • Activities updates

School Board News
  • School Board Recognitions
  • School Board Meetings

District News

  • General Information
  • Awards and Honors

School Board Regular Meeting

7 p.m.
January 14
District Center

School Work-Study Meeting
5:30 p.m.
January 28
District Center

School Board Regular Meeting
7 p.m.
February 11
District Center

Find the 2018-19 Activities Calendar here. Find the 2018-19 Parent Academic Calendar here.

December 23, 2018

A Note from the Superintendent
It is hard to believe that Winter Break is already here! It has been a great first few months of the 2018-19 school year and we are excited to see what January has to bring with Welcome to White Bear Month on the horizon. Check out this list of all the opportunities available for families to learn more about the various offerings throughout the district.

We hope you all have a great Winter Break. Thank you for all you do to make each school year a success. Students, please remember a few key things this Winter Break:
For those who wonder what Bear is up to this Winter Break when the students are out of school, please enjoy this video and see how much you are missed already. We are looking forward to seeing you next year, on Wednesday, January 2. Go Bears!

Wayne A. Kazmierczak, Ph.D.

In photos: Oneka Elementary students tie blankets & give back!

Student News
Important experiences
It was an invaluable experience for staff members and students from WBLAHS - North and South Campus and the White Bear Lake Area Learning Center who participated in the U.S. History Through a Latino/Chicano Lense opportunity. They were able to have discussions and dive deeper into understanding the country's history while embracing a Latino/Chicano perspective and exploring the connections with current events. There was also information shared about the four levels of integration including Critical Race Theory, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, Ethnic Studies Pedagogy and Social Justice Pedagogy. Furthermore, the importance of the how, where, when and why to integrate learnings from history explored through a Latino/Chicano lens into the curriculum were explained in greater detail. The experience can be seen in this video.

Oneka Elementary students also embraced experiences! The hallways were filled with soft and decorative blankets, as students were busy tying the strands of fabric together on the outer-edges to create gifts to give to the Yellow Ribbon Network! This organization helps individuals give back to service heroes. The Yellow Ribbon Network is a centralized file management system that has information regarding the eligibility of military and veteran families seeking assistance and collaborates with non-profits to ensure families are getting their needs met. From tying blankets to skating, students at Oneka Elementary have been enjoying roller skating lessons in their Physical Education class and celebrated the entire experience recently at an All-School Skate Day! During the celebration, they even had a visitor show up and join them in the fun - the Mitsubishi Bear! The students posed for pictures with their new-found friend and skated around to showcase their skills!

Spreading cheer
Favorite winter tunes could be heard all around White Bear, as students in the Mariners Choir at WBLAHS - South Campus gave back to others with a gift of music by traveling through the community and performing! They made several stops at places such as Central and Sunrise Park Middle Schools, District Center and Cerenity Senior Care! Check out the experience in this video. In other exciting choral news, WBLAHS - South Campus students also recently were able to participate in a Google Hangout where they could connect with one of the composers of their songs! The composer is from Mississippi and listened to the students perform, as well as made time for feedback and discussion! More performances were happening in the district as high school students gathered to sing for staff, community partners, fellow classmates and legislators at the Legislative Breakfast at WBLAHS - North Campus! During this time, students were able to talk to legislators about important topics such as school safety, closing the achievement/opportunity gap and student agency.

The beautiful sounds in the community continued as students who are a part of the Sunrise Park Middle School String Quartet played tunes for those at Cerenity Senior Care! From upbeat music to uplifting contributions, the Lincoln Elementary community participated in their winter Hug-A-Heart event where they gave back to others by making tie blankets to donate to Infant Layettes. They also spent time creating candy canes, cards, and snowflakes to give to Meals on Wheels recipients. The experience was captured in this video. Elementary students weren't the only ones busy making gifts to give to others! WBLAHS - North Campus students rolled up their sleeves and put on food service gloves, as they made sandwiches to donate to The Sandwich Project Minnesota. This organization's goal is to help feed homeless people in Minneapolis! Their hard work can be seen in this video.

Embracing wellness & fun
WBLAHS - North Campus students collaborated during advisory and were able to get know one another while simultaneously creating posters to promote positive wellness concepts such as sleep, equality, kindness, physical activity and eating well! Creativity was flowing all throughout White Bear as community members had an opportunity to attend a class through the Community Services and Recreation Department where they could paint in the style of the late Bob Ross at the Senior Center. Students used a wet-on-wet oil painting technique to create a pink, majestic sunset! Check out the colorful masterpieces in this video. In other exciting news, fourth graders at Birch Lake Elementary recently had a different kind of "snow day" where they participated in team challenges with a snow theme. The "Build a Snowman" race had students decorating their teachers as snowpeople, and the "Santa's Beard" challenge gave them a chance to throw mini marshmallows at their teachers to see how many would stick to the shaving cream beard.

Speaking of fun, Hmong Cultural Liaison Mee Yang gave early childhood students an unforgettable and exciting lesson about Hmong New Year celebrations and traditions! Students were able to try on Hmong clothes and experience the colorfulness of the Hmong celebration that families are enjoying this time of the year! Check out the fun in this video. Celebrations continued throughout the district, as students at Birch Lake Elementary participated in the Holidazzle Parade where they traveled through the hallways, waved to their friends and wished them a happy Winter Break! This was a great opportunity for students to demonstrate friendship, inclusion and kindness. Some WBLAHS - North Campus students also enjoyed having fun, as they were able to participate in a Periodic Table Bingo Candy Reward game for doing so well on a recent science test about the Periodic Table!

Exploring great opportunities
WBLPD D.A.R.E. officer Sergeant Vette, a Lincoln alumnus, gave Lincoln fifth graders a lesson in bravery and healthy hobbies by treating them to an accordion concert on their final day of D.A.R.E. lessons. Check out the experience in this video. D.A.R.E. focuses on teaching students decision-making for healthy and safe living! Lakeaires and Lincoln Elementary fifth grade students later graduated from the program and enjoyed celebrating! Speaking of great opportunities, Welcome to White Bear Month is just around the corner, and while families are always welcome to visit our schools at any time, there are several opportunities in January for parents to learn more about our schools. Check out the various activities happening in January! To see more of the fun opportunities happening all throughout the district in the Elementary Program, check out this video!

Congratulations to students Paul and Rita Kozhimannil who received honorable mention, as they participated in the PowerUp Recipe Contest! They created the 'Overachievers Rainbow Salad' after Rita said they became inspired when they heard about the contest, went into their fridge and took basically every veggie they had and added it to their salad to make a delicious blend. Paul and Rita explained, "We call it the ‘Overachievers Rainbow Salad' because we tried to double the ‘try for 5' goal and make it a rainbow." A few of their photos and their recipe will be featured with other finalists in the newest PowerUp Family Magazine that elementary school students will receive during the School Challenge that is coming up! Check out this video to see the fun during this contest!

The Week in 62.4 Seconds
Enjoy The Week in 62.4 Seconds videos highlighting weekly district activities throughout the school year.

Activities Updates
Two White Bear nordic skiiers, Olivia Schwintek and Tryg Solberg, recently made the news for being ranked in the top 10 skiers to watch. The White Bear Lake Area High School Theatre program recently heard word that they received group and individual accolades, including Outstanding Overall Production, Overall Performance, Ensemble Performance and Movement/Dance Performance by an Ensemble, from the Hennepin Theatre Trust Spotlight program for their production of "Mamma Mia! The Musical." The students will perform on the Hennepin Theatre Trust State Theatre stage in June for the Spotlight Showcase. 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 Recognitions
Before the December 10 School Board Meeting, the School Board congratulated the following students and staff members for their accomplishments:
  • Bowling Team members
  • Adapted Soccer Team members
  • Unified Bowling Team members
  • WBLAHS Diver

To see clips from the recognitions during the ceremony, watch the December 14 edition of The Week in 62.4 Seconds video.

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

Type Time
January 14
7 p.m. District Center
January 28
5:30 p.m.
District Center
February 11
7 p.m.
District Center

For highlights from the most recent Board meeting, click here. Find information about the Board's Approval of Land Purchase Agreement 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.
Parent Notices
  • 2019-20 Calendar - A complete 2019-20 calendar, linked here, was reviewed and approved at the December 10, 2018 School Board meeting.
  • WBLTA Teacher of the Year nomination - The educators of White Bear Lake Area Schools teach by extraordinary example - they allow students to not only follow their dreams, but give them the skills necessary to become the role models of the future. Please consider nominating an educator who will represent all of the dedicated teachers in our district and compete in the Minnesota Teacher of the Year Program. You may use this form to nominate a teacher. Nominations are due by 4:00 p.m., January 9, 2019.
  • Free food available during Winter Break - There will be free bags of food available during Winter Break, while supplies last, between December 27 and January 6 at the Twin Cities YMCA branches. One must simply go to the front desk and ask for a bag of food. Learn more and find a convenient location near you.
  • Welcome to White Bear events - Throughout the month of January, White Bear Lake Area Schools will be hosting a variety of information nights and open houses to help you learn more about our District and registration for the 2019-20 school year. Find the complete schedule of activities here.
  • Senior Center Hours - The Senior Center will be closed December 24 through January 1. There will be no Meals on Wheels deliveries December 24-26, 31 and January 1.
  • Monthly Staff & Community Mental Well-Being Series - District staff and families are invited to attend monthly presentations focused on mental well-being. The fourth session of the series is on Tuesday, January 15 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the WBLAHS - North Campus Theater, which will be a presentation called Using Mindfulness to Increase Well-Being and Effectiveness in the Classroom and at Home by Heather Hessel. Check out the details for this upcoming event.
  • January 15 Coffee with Dr. K - Community members are invited to stop by and chat with White Bear Lake Area Schools Superintendent Dr. Wayne Kazmierczak over a cup of coffee between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 15 at the Downtown White Bear Lake Caribou Coffee & Einstein Bros. Bagels (4733 Highway 61, White Bear Lake, MN). There is no set agenda, so please feel free to order a coffee from the barista and find Dr. K in the meeting room to join the conversation!
    • Upcoming Coffee with Dr. K events:
      • 7:30-8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15 at Caribou Coffee, Downtown WBL
      • 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21 at Caribou Coffee, Downtown WBL
      • 7:30-8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 16 at Caribou Coffee, Downtown WBL
  • Special Education Parent/Staff Advisory Council (PAC) Meetings - The purpose of the Special Education Parent/Staff Advisory Council is to act as an advisory body to the district through the Student Support Services Administrative Team on behalf of students receiving special education services. The PAC is scheduled to meet four times during the 2018-19 school year and the third meeting is on Thursday, January 24 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Room 206 at District Center (4855 Bloom Avenue, White Bear Lake). View future meetings on the district's website.
  • The Top Secret Project - Adults are invited to attend The Top Secret Project event, which is a unique program designed to help parents recognize unfamiliar hazards in a teen's domain that are often in plain sight. The free event will take place on Monday, January 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. at WBLAHS - North Campus. Learn more.
  • Parent and Child Gym Time - Families can enjoy activities set up in the gym at Normandy Park Education Center for free on Wednesday, January 16 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • We Are Hiring! - The district is hiring for a variety of positions. Find the online application page here.
  • Stay connected! - 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!
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:

  • BearPower is a community-wide movement helping White Bear Lake area families eat well and be active. For more on this community partner and its upcoming events, click here.
    • Winter Farmers Market - Community members are invited to get BearPowered and enjoy the White Bear Lake Winter Farmers Market happening on Saturday, January 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. indoors at Tamarack Nature Center. View this flyer for details and check out the Facebook page.
    • Family fun time gets BearPowered - BearPower is teaming up with the WBLAS Community Services & Recreation Department to offer a few free Open Gym nights including:
      • Friday, January 25 at Birch Lake Elementary from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
      • Friday, February 8 at Lakeaires Elementary from 6-8 p.m.
      • Thursday, March 21 at Matoska International from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
  • 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.
    • Holiday Angels - The White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation is pleased to announce their annual Holiday Angels program is in full swing, which is a special fundraising initiative for the Angel Fund of the WBLAEF. Honor someone special to you while sharing with those in need, right in White Bear Lake Area Schools through the Holiday Angels program. Fill out this form to give back.

Support WBLAS Students:

  • H2O for Hope - Otter Lake Elementary fifth grade students are raising money to provide clean water in Haiti by hosting the H2O for Hope event, which is a coffee and donut drive-thru on Friday, January 11 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Otter Lake Elementary. Check out this flyer for more details.
  • 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

  • Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Sara Paul recently received the designation of Certified Administrator of School Finance and Operations from the Association of School Business Officials International.
  • Congratulations to the district's latest National Board Certified teachers including Lincoln Elementary teacher Katie Anderson, Hugo Elementary teacher Jane Briggs and Oneka Elementary teacher Evan Weissman. Each of these accomplished educators earned the profession's highest mark of achievement through a rigorous, performance-based, peer-review process, demonstrating their proven impact on student learning and achievement.
  • December Recognitions:
    • December 24 through January 1 - Winter Break
    • January - Welcome to White Bear
Please contact the Communications Department (651-407-7578) to submit District News, General Information, Opportunities or Awards & Honors for inclusion in future publications.