WBL Newsletter

District News
- Dinner in the Stateroom
- General Information
- Opportunities
- Awards and Honors

Student News
- Moving "full steam ahead"
- A healthy serving
- Something to cheer about
- Elementary World Language Overview
- Reaching out
- Athletic Hall of Fame inductees
- Activities updates

School Board News
- Upcoming meetings

School Board Regular Meeting
5:30 p.m.
October 22
District Center

Parent Leaders Forum
9:30 a.m.
October 25
District Center

End of First Quarter
November 8

No School
November 9

Find the complete 2012-13 Activity Calendar and other calendar listings here.

October 19, 2012

District News

Dinner in the Stateroom

Lighting is subdued and calming as we are ushered into the dining room.
“Your seat, Sir.”
“Thank you most kindly.”
“We wish to make your acquaintance with Mr. John Jacob Astor, wealthiest man in the United States."
With that I am seated next to a formally dressed young man, sipping chocolate milk from a plastic goblet. Indeed, he introduces himself as Mr. Astor, and we converse over our meal about his enthusiasm about this maiden voyage of the Titanic.
Those around us are dressed for a formal dinner, gentlemen in suits and ties, bowler hats to the side, and ladies in floor length gowns, luxuriously bejeweled, most with ornate hats.
The scene is reminiscent of the formal dining room of the Titanic. Actually, this is the dining room of the Titanic, at least as fine a rendition as one could expect from creative teachers, engaged fourth graders, and an enhanced Birch Lake Elementary School cafeteria.
We are guests for one scene of a busy two weeks during which teachers use the story and setting of the Titanic to teach math, writing, history and geography, story telling, art, science and acting. Each student is assigned and learns about a real life character from the Titanic, and on this day they play their roles well.
You wonder how fourth graders from White Bear Lake Area Schools know how to behave at a formal dinner? Ah, no detail is overlooked. Before lunch a community member teachers them proper manners!
When we pass through the doors into school we cross a line into a world of learning. Some rooms are quiet, children focused on a book or a task; from other classrooms come the soft voices of children reading to one another; other rooms are lively with exuberance about a scientific discovery; or melodic from music sung or played. During any one day, all this happens. To find out more, just board the Titanic!

Dr. Michael Lovett

General Information


Annual Report on Curriculum, Instruction and Student Achievement

The District 624 School Board approved the 2011-12 Annual Report on Curriculum, Instruction and Student Achievement. This report, in accordance with Minnesota Department of Education guidelines, has been published electronically on the district website. Community members can download the report here or contact the Superintendent’s Office at (651) 407-7563 for a copy.

The District will publish its Annual Report to the Community, which will contain a more comprehensive look at the District, later this fall. This report, which will include a variety of student achievement data, financial reporting, and other important information, will be mailed to all District residents and posted online.

Find additional information about White Bear Lake Area Schools here.


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.

Find a listing of the many, varied Community Services offerings in the Community Services Catalog, recently mailed to District residents. Find an electronic version of the catalog here.

Sample courses include:

For full descriptions and to register, visit www.whitebearregistration.org or www.whitebearcommunityservices.org.

Parent Notices:

Senior Program Updates:

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

In Every Issue:



Support WBLAS Students

Partner Opportunities


Awards and Honors


Please contact Marisa Vette (651-407-7695) to submit District News, General Information, Opportunities or Awards & Honors for inclusion in future publications.

Student News

Moving "full steam ahead"

The cast and crew of this year's WBLAHS fall musical Anything Goes are busy preparing for a November 9th opening night. Part of the students' preparations will be a special conversation next Tuesday with area senior citizens, who will deliver “living history lessons” of their experiences to help the students understand what life was like in the 1930s and 1940s - including explanations of some of the script’s references to the people, products and happenings of the time.
This is a tradition that was started with last year’s award-winning How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying cast and crew members. Both the senior citizens and the students found the experience so much fun that they decided to do it again this year!
The students efforts are sure to pay off, with a long tradition of award-winning performances in the White Bear Lake Area High School Theatre Department. Tickets for the White Bear Lake Area High School fall musical, Anything Goes with music by Cole Porter, are currently on sale at The Nest in downtown White Bear Lake. Show times are 7 p.m. on Nov. 9 & 10, 15-17 and 2 p.m. on November 10. Tickets are $12 for adults, $9 for students/seniors. The Nov. 10 matinee is free to White Bear Lake Area senior citizens (tickets are free but required to accommodate reserved seating). For additional information, contact the Theater Hotline at 651-653-2987.

The cast and crew of Anything Goes support Operation Glass Slipper, a nonprofit dedicated to providing prom gowns and accessories free of charge to high school girls in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN area whose financial circumstances make it impossible for them to attend prom due to cost. Donate to the cause - drop off your formal attire at either of the WBLAHS campuses or at the show. We will have baggage porters ready to assist you with your donation!

Find a poster will all of the production details here.

A healthy serving

During this time of new federal food guidelines going into effect, White Bear Lake Area Schools students are at the helm of positive change. Incremental modifications implemented in the district over the past four years, many of which are now just being done in many districts, have already benefited our students and provided a smooth transition to the new guidelines. For instance, while many districts were serving deep fried french fries last year, White Bear used a phased elimination on the item almost five years ago.

Another beneficial change students are experiencing is in their involvement in the process. Student Lunch Committees are meeting at the schools, providing input and taste-testing new food items. Lincoln students recently taste-tested grass-fed hotdogs. Next week, Chef Marshall O'Brien's, founder of Healthy Kids Living, will attend the Oneka Elementary Student Lunch Committee  to test vegetables with the students. The sought-after chef's team also has plans to visit with Matoska International IB World School and WBLAHS - South Campus Student Lunch Committees later this fall.

The District's Nutritional Services office has worked closely with students, parents and community members on the new initiatives being implemented. Those who are interested in learning more about the department can find information at the Nutrition Services website.

Something to cheer about

A tall, "purple" guest walked the hallways of Central Middle School earlier this week to surprise sixth grader Sage Johnson, who won a Planet Purple Energy Efficiency Tip Contest. John Carlson, tight end and top free agent signee from the Minnesota Vikings,  visited Sage's classroom - Carol Hultman's science classroom - to surprise the contest-winner, play a few energy-related games with the students, and answer questions Sage's classmates had for him.

The Planet Purple Energy Efficiency Tip Contest, facilitated through the District's partnership with Schools for Energy Efficiency (SEE) encouraged children to "think of a cool way to share a helpful  household energy savings tip." Winning entries were selected based on creativity, presentation and overall practicality/usefulness. Sage was told that her entry - a video of her performing a "Go Green!" cheer she had written - fit the bill perfectly.

Along with the surprise visit, Sage also received a pair of  tickets to an upcoming Minnesota Vikings game, where we're sure she'll continue her cheering spirit!

Elementary World Language Overview

Beginning in the 2012-13 academic year, all WBLAS elementary students have world language experiences in Spanish or Chinese. Students at Lincoln and Vadnais Heights Elementary schools study Chinese, while all other district elementary schools offer Spanish. Students in grades four and five receive 45 minutes of world language instruction every three days. Students in grades K-3 are exposed to world language through experiences, including our partnership with Concordia Language Villages and through the world language teachers and the district’s exchange teacher from Hangzhou Foreign Languages School.

The District's Elementary World Language curriculum is in line with the following components:

Find information about the new initiative in an Elementary World Language Fact Sheet.

Reaching out

Last weekend members of the local community came together to attend the Hmong Resource Fair, held for the first time at North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park. Although the event has previously been held at the Aldrich Arena in Maplewood, the new location attracted many first time attendees. The mission of the Hmong Resource Fair is bring together health, education, employment, housing and a variety of other resources in one location for members of the Hmong community.

White Bear Lake Area Schools was represented by three staff members, Ka Zoua Xiong, Malia Yang-Xiong, and Xue Xiong, along with two students, Mai Xi Lee and Priscilla Yang. They spoke to over fifty individuals who came to acquire more information about the district. At the White Bear Lake Area Schools district booth, attendees could learn about all programs offered throughout the district and find one of the event's biggest hits - bear paw tattoos. Rumor has it, vendors from the fair approached the White Bear booth to get their decals and help spread Bears Pride throughout the event.

The District representative also received many enlightening comments such as "There are Hmong people in White Bear Lake?" The event was a great opportunity to highlight to work of our district and our commitment to promoting and celebrating diversity.

Athletic Hall of Fame inductees

During half-time of the Bear’s home football game on Wednesday, October 17, White Bear Lake Area High School celebrated the induction of two new members into its Athletic Hall of Fame: Fred Konrath and Jim Brunzell.

Fred Konrath began his teaching and coaching career at White Bear Lake in 1965, working in the high school business department during the day and the athletic department most every evening after school. Though he worked with basketball in the winter, football was the driving force in Fred’s coaching career leading to undefeated seasons in 1971 and 1976. Fred’s career then took him to the University of Minnesota as an assistant football coach and later into the business world, where he had many successful “seasons” as well. He also found time to become involved as a coach and board member with White Bear Lake Youth Football and is currently still a volunteer coach with WBLAHS.

Jim Brunzell graduated from White Bear Lake High School in 1967, completing a standout athletic career which saw him letter multiple times in football, basketball, and  track. As a two way player in football his senior year, Jim led the Bears in receiving, scoring, interceptions, and fumble recoveries, though his “toe” may have been what led him to bigger and better things in this sport as a starting kicker for the U of M, and pro player for the Manitowoc Chiefs. Jim was also a successful track athlete, winning conference, section, and State high jump titles and becoming at top conference high jumper with the U of M track team. Jim’s most memorable accomplishments, however, may have come as a professional wrestler. A member of the “High Flyers” and the “Killer Bees”, Jim was part of powerful Tag Team duos that had great success, garnering world championships in the AWA and WWF during his time in the ring (1972-1993). Jim has stayed active with involvement in Special Olympics, Diabetes awareness, church functions and, of course, supporting the Bears whenever possible.

Congratulations to Fred and Jim on their sporting accomplishments and continued support of White Bear Lake Area Schools Athletics.

Activities Updates

The WBLAHS - North Campus Ambassadors were 115 people strong at the Twin Cities Marathon where they helped run a waterstop. Watch for the students to be cleaning their stretch of Highway 61 on October 24th. Give them a beep! Twenty-nine Band students recently attended a Leadership Workshop by Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser - an author, teacher, mentor, motivational speaker and leadership guru.  Students were engaged in many hands on activities which illustrate the importance, challenges and rewards of student leadership. The White Bear Lake Area High School Cheerleading Team recently earned first place - for the third consecutive year - at the MCCA State Cheer-Off Competition. Team members Taylor Bjornberg, Dani Thompson, Abby Simms, Tif Schack, Courtney Boyle, and Jordyn Ruben were also named All-State Cheerleaders. Congratulations to Debate students Kaylee Anderson and Caitlin Nelson from White Bear Lake Area High School - South Campus for taking home a trophy at the Eastview Debate Tournament held on October 10th.  Kudos to WBLAHS - North Campus students James Terry and Daniel Sisterman for their fantastic performance which placed them in the honorable mention category.  Bear debaters are focusing on gun control as a state-wide topic for this year. Student Council members from WBLAHS - South Campus hosted the Capital Division of Student Council's Fall Convention on October 17th.  Over 250 student leaders from across the metro area participated in training, listened to a nationally recognized speaker, Kyle Scheele, and networked with their peers about issues facing their schools.


White Bear Lake Area High School Athletics schedules can be found here.

A comprehensive 2012-13 District Activities schedule can be found here.

Please contact Marisa Vette (651-407-7695) to submit Student News for inclusion in future publications.

School Board News

School Board Meetings

Upcoming meetings
Date Type Time Location
Monday, October 22 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center Room 201
Monday, November 12 Regular 7 p.m. District Center Community Room 112
Monday, November 26 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center Room 201
Monday, December 10
7 p.m.
District Center Community Room 112

Regular School Board meetings are re-broadcast on Cable Channel 20 in the local viewing area after regular business meeting as follows: