WBL Newsletter

District News
- Twenty years back, twenty years forward
- General Information
- Opportunities
- Awards and Honors

Student News
- Attention-getting teams
- A spirited week
- Living history lessons
- View from the top
- Activities updates

School Board News
- School Board meetings

End of First Quarter
November 8

No School
November 9

Regular School Board Meeting
6:30 p.m. Recognition Ceremony
7 p.m. Meeting
November 12

Parent Leaders Forum
9:30 a.m. on November 15
District Center

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

November 2, 2012

District News


Twenty years back, twenty years forward

My last appointment of the afternoon was with a White Bear Lake Area High School graduate, now a college student in her junior year, preparing to become a teacher. In her email the week before she explained she needed to interview a school leader and asked me if I could please "spare half an hour."
In the interview she asked, "How is technology changing the way students learn today?"
We reflected on the dramatic changes since she entered kindergarten. She remembered her family's first computer - or rather the computer box, because she was at an age when the box promised more creative possibilities than did the computer. Then she recalled her first time emailing, attempting an internet search, using a cell phone, connecting with social networking, and texting.

As this college student enters her third decade of life, we can personalize learning in ways never before possible.

We now realize students thrive if we give them the tools to learn in ways that work best for them, rather than limiting our pedagogy to strategies familiar to adults.

Examples of personalizing learning include a wide range of online products that personalize the pace, content, and assessment of learning.
Secondly, technology allows innovations that engage students and accelerate learning. For example, our elementary students participate in live video presentations and conversations including one with a national renowned space agency scientist.

Another example is "flipping" - giving students the lesson to watch online prior to class period. Class time is used to problem-solve and coach students on what didn't make sense when they viewed the lesson. This process "flips" the traditional roles of classwork and homework. The "homework" of viewing the lesson is done in advance and "class work" becomes the questioning and refinement of the learning.
Third, we give students access to learning to fit their schedules rather than the school schedule.

Just as online learning has garnered a major share of professional training and become a major component of higher education, so online learning dramatically expands when and how students have access to materials. Increasingly, class content, schedules, resources, and assessments are available online.

The White Bear Lake Area School District is a national pioneer in using Schoology, a powerful online learning system that allows students, staff, and parents to stay current on each day's class content, progress, and discussions.
This technology tool and others allow students to connect outside of class as well as in class, so the end of the class period does not mean the end of learning.
Fourth, technology has the power to bridge generations, countries and cultures.
Technology tools and evolving websites give students access to classrooms, workplaces, and people around the world. This month German students from Leipzig will spend three weeks visiting our school and communities; between now and June, when White Bear students travel to Germany, technology will allow friendships to continue to grow. 

Other current examples include a friendship quilt project between students in our middle schools and students in Krasnoyarsk, Russia and class-to-class projects between our high school and the Hangzhou Foreign Languages School in China.
And finally, technology gives us marvelous tools of communication and building local community.
As technology creates a revolution in teaching and learning, we have compelling new tools to stay in contact with our students, staff, parents, and you - our community members. Please visit us at www.isd624.org!
As we finished our conversation, the college student and I wondered, "How will technology affect the way students learn 20 years from now?"

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.


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

Attention-getting teams

Two of the White Bear Lake Area High School teams have been in the news quite a bit lately. The WBLAHS girls' soccer team played yesterday in the state championship game vs. Wayzata High School at the Metrodome. A bus full of fans, wearing orange and black of course, made the trek to Minneapolis to cheer on for Bears. The team earned the state runner-up title. Three Bears players - Tarah Hobbs, Rachel DeGardner, and Anna Morrison - were named members of the Wells Fargo All-Tournament Team.

The cheering continued after the game, with a Welcome Home Celebration hosted at the WBLAHS - South Campus Theatre. Find photo albums of the girls participation in the tournament at the WBLAHS' Facebook Page.

Last week, the football team received similar attention when they were chosen to be highlighted in the WCCO Game of the Week. The recognition wasn't reserved just for the players, however. The cheerleaders and band members were on-hand bright and early on Friday and were highlighted on the news show's live morning coverage. Enjoy videos of the cheerleaders and band members.

A spirited week

White Bear Lake Area District students enjoyed "spirited" times this week.  Students participated in activities ranging from costume parades, festive cultural lessons, an innovative new process of artistic sculpting and finding ways to give back to the community. Find photos from a variety of schools at the Halloween album on the District's Facebook page.

Elementary students took advantage of the Halloween tradition of dressing up on Wednesday, resulting in their hallways being filled with robots, angels, popular cartoon characters and cowgirls - to name just a few of the costumes that were on display that day. Parents and family members enjoyed the chance to come into the school, lining the parade route and cheering on the students as they filed past.

Wednesday and throughout the rest of the week, Sunrise Park Middle School, Latino and English Learner program students offered information about and set up altars to celebrate Dia de Muertos (The Day of the Dead), a holiday widely celebrated in Latin America. The student's displays have consisted of artifacts, framed informational tidbits, and family photos. Traditionally, the holiday is focused on the reunion of family and friends to remember and honor those that have passed on. Sunrise students created commemorative altars with colorful decorations, which they shared with their classrooms during special presentations.

At White Bear Lake Area High School - North Campus, students in the sculpture class were in the Halloween spirit for they sculpted pumpkins rather than clay. The White Bear Lake Area High School Student Council also got in the Halloween spirit by coordinating its annual "Trick or Can" food drive. The student leaders encouraged students to dress in costume and go door to door to ask for non-perishable food items (to be donated to the White Bear Lake Area Emergency Food Shelf) instead of candy. The group's goal was 16,000 pounds of food.

Living history lessons

Three of our senior community members spent time last week with the White Bear Lake Area High School "Anything Goes" theatre production cast members. The senior guests provided information about the script's references to people, places and things of yesteryear to help the students prepare for their roles in the WBLAHS fall musical. This is the second year the White Bear Area Senior Program and the WBLAHS Theatre Department have come together for an innovative "living history" lesson of this sort.

Discussion items ranged from the students costume-related inquiries such as "What color of lipstick did women generally wear during that time?" (the answer was unquestionably "red") to the seniors sharing their memories of the day Pearl Harbor was bombed. Additionally, a special treat for the seniors and the cast members alike was a preview of one of the productions songs by the two musical leads - Emily Nies as Reno Sweeney and Jon Woodruff as Billy Crocker.

Tickets for the White Bear Lake Area High School fall musical, 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. Find a poster for the production here.

View from the top

Hugo and Oneka Elementary Schools' Principal Terry Dahlem had a unique perspective this week when she fulfilled an obligation to work from the top of the Oneka roof after losing a contest to Assistant Principal Jason Healy at the Oneka Carnival last weekend. She did her time in the "room with a view" while wearing Minnesota Vikings garb - an outfit of Mr. Healy's choice that was also part of the deal the two had agreed upon before the big match.

The contest was a sumo wrestling match, an activity in which multiple staff members participated.  The money raised during the energetic and entertaining activity will be used to fund technology for the district's northern-most schools. More than $2000 was raised to get the two school leaders out onto the mat for the event. Other activities available to the more than 500 families who participated in the weekend carnival event included Ping Pong Pumpkin, fortune telling, pony carriage rides and haunted houses.

Students who live in the northern Hugo/Oneka part of the school district attend Hugo Elementary for kindergarten and first grade. Oneka Elementary serves students in grades 2-5.

Activities Updates

The Girls' Soccer team placed second in the state tournament this week. The White Bear Lake Mountain Bike Team completed their first season at the State Championships in Buck Hill last month. With more than 160 participating athletes from 16 Minnesota schools, Kaleb Dekeyrel, Dane Larson and Reanne Kolasa finished fifth, tenth and third in their races, respectively. White Bear's Boys' Cross Country team placed second at the University of Minnesota's Les Bolstad's golf course meanwhile the Girls' Cross Country team placed third. Leading the boys pack was Jared Bartz who placed 6th out of 105 runners and Bethany Kozak with a time of 14:26. Both cross country teams qualifies and will compete at the November 3rd state meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield. The White Bear Girls Swimming team are preparing for the November 3rd JV conference event at Stillwater Junior High and Cottage Grove as well as the Section 4AA meet on November 8-10. The WBLAHS Mariners Choir is one of four choirs from around that state that has been chosen to perform a solo set in the annual Choir Day Festival public concert, to be hosted at St. Olaf College in Northfield on Sunday, November 4. The public concert, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 4 p.m. in the Skoglund Center Auditorium on the Campus of St. Olaf College.

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, 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 Regular 7 p.m. District Center Community Room 112
Monday, January 14 Regular
7 p.m.
District Center Community Room 112