WBL Newsletter

District News
- Connections and Community
- General Information
- Opportunities
- Awards and Honors

Student News
- Starting out strong, supported
- Serving at home and abroad
- New initiatives underway for 2012-13
- Capital Projects Levy update
- Activities Updates

School Board News
- School Board Meetings

School Board Regular Meeting
7 p.m.
September 9
District Center

School Board Work-Study Meeting
5:30 p.m.
September 23
District Center

Homecoming Week
September 23-28

School Board Regular Meeting
7 p.m.
October 14
District Center

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

Find the complete 2013-14 Activity Calendar and other calendar listings here.

September 6, 2013

District News

Connections and Community
On the afternoon of the first day of school, a high school senior waits patiently in the lobby of her brother's elementary school, a big smile on her face as she watches the youngest children finish their first day of school.

"How did your first day of school go?" I ask.

"I love school," she beams.

"What is it that makes you so happy about being back in school?"

"I love my teachers."

"Anyone in particular who you've really connected with?"

She pauses for a moment, perplexed at such a question. She looks up, now with a smile broader than ever, "No, I love ALL of my teachers."

During this week of school, at our nine elementary schools, two middle schools, high school campuses, and three preschool sites, families and students are welcomed home. For those of us present and watching students welcomed by bus drivers, secretaries, cooks, paraprofessionals, teachers, coaches, advisors, and principals, it was easy to understand the pride we all feel in this school community.

We would encourage you to listen to our student voices on this linked video. They tell the story well.

Welcome to the 2013-14 school year!

Dr. Michael Lovett

General Information
Did You Know?

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.
  • The Community Services and Recreation Fall 2013 Catalog is now available online. Click here to register for upcoming courses.
  • The White Bear Area Senior Program will host a Bake Sale from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3 at the White Bear Area Senior Center, 2484 County Road F, White Bear Lake.

Parent Notices:
  • Parent Notification telephone calls and emails - We have heard word from a few parents that they are their Gmail account is sending emails sent from our Parent Notification system into a Promotions Tab. If this is happening to you as well, please drag the specific email into your Inbox Tab. After you do that one time, all future correspondence from that address should route to your Inbox, rather than the Promotions Tab.
  • Community Connections Resource Fair - Find information about a Community Connections Resource Fair taking place from 3-5 p.m. on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at White Bear Lake Area Learning Center. Items to be covered are Housing and Tenant Law and Budgeting on a Shoestring.
  • Stay connected!
    • Community e-Newsletter - “Join Our Email List” on the front page of the District website to receive the Community e-Newsletter, sent out twice a month. The piece covers School Board proceedings, student and staff successes, and school and Community Education offerings.
    • Stay Social - Join White Bear Lake Area Schools’ new social media circles - Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
    • Community Channel - The District has a presence on Cable Channel 20 in the local viewing area with District information and updates. School Board meetings are broadcast after regular business meetings on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. and Thursday at 10 a.m.
    • Activities Calendar - White Bear Lake Area School District Activities Calendars are mailed to District families and community members who request copies at the beginning of each academic year.
    • Annual Report to the Community - The Annual Report is published every fall for District residents. It provides a snapshot of the District, including information regarding student achievement, school climate, District finances, District profile, and School Board information.
  • 2013-14 Beginning of the Year Letter - A fold-out postcard containing Capital Projects levy information, important district notices, online tools to track your child's progress, and a recap of the initiatives new for 2013-14 should have arrived in the mailboxes of all District families earlier this week. Find an online version of the piece here. If you did not receive the mailing, please email the Communications email address with your name, your student's name, and your complete address and we will work to get the letter sent out to you with your personalized Schoology information.
  • School Supply Lists - 2013-14 School Supply Lists are available on the White Bear Lake Area School District website here.
  • 2013-14 Activities Calendar - The 2013-14 Activities Calendar should have arrived in the mailboxes of District families earlier this week. Find an electronic version of the piece here. Parents who would like additional printed copies of the calendar can stop by their neighborhood school, pick one up at the District Center, or email Jody Reber to request a copy be mailed to them (please include your full name and address in the email).
  • Calling all baby models - We're looking for "Born to be a Bear" photos! Email photos to us at communications@isd624.org and you may find your little one featured in District publications! See an example of a "Born to be a Bear" photo here.
  • Otter Lake All-Star Birthday Bash - Mark your calendars! Otter Lake Elementary will host an All-Star Birthday Bash from 5-8 p.m. on September 26 to celebrate the 25th birthday of the school. All current and former students, parents, teachers and staff are invited to attend.

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 2013-14 District Activities Calendar. The Activities Pass is available to residents of the White Bear Lake Area School District who are age 65 and older.
  • Bake Sale - The White Bear Area Senior Program will host a Bake Sale from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3 at the White Bear Area Senior Center, 2484 County Road F, White Bear Lake.
  • Community Resources - The White Bear Lake Area offers many resources for older adults in the community. Click here to view a comprehensive list of programs and services.

In Every Issue:

  • White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation - The White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation, Inc. (WBLAEF) is an independent, non-profit corporation promoting excellence in education in White Bear Lake Area School District 624 schools.
    • NEW Ryan Family Elementary Art Grant Due Date - The Ryan Family Fund provides annual grants to benefit elementary art in the White Bear Lake Area Schools. In addition to funding instructional materials and artists-in residence, the Ryan Family Elementary Art Grants may also be used for the purchase of art supplies. The maximum distribution per grant will be $500.Teachers have 12 months to use this art grant. Applications are available at www.wblaef.org and the APPLICATION DUE DATE is October 4, 2013. Please send completed Application Forms to the WBLAEF Office at District Center. If you have any questions, please e-mail Lisa Lindvall.
    • Brosious Teaching Grant Applications - The purpose of the Brosious Grant is to assist teachers in enhancing the rigor of the curriculum or instruction within their classrooms. The grant should be aligned with the District goals and objectives. The grant amount is $3,000 per individual or team. Teachers have 12 months to complete this grant. There will be a Grant Writing Workshop from 3:30-4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 1st in District Center Room 201. Applications are available at www.wblaef.org and the APPLICATION DUE DATE is October 24, 2013. Please send completed Application Forms to the WBLAEF Office at District Center. If you have any questions, please e-mail Lisa Lindvall.
    • Visit our website - Visit our website to see all of the grants the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation has available for teachers. The Ryan Family Elementary Art Grant Applications is due October 4, 2013. The Brosious Teaching Grant Applications are due October 24, 2013. The Glasrud Family Fellowship Applications are due February 13, 2014. We hope that having these grant applications available year around on our web site will allow teachers more time to plan & they can fill out their application forms at their own convenience. If you have any questions, please e-mail Lisa Lindvall.
  • Energy Efficiency Program - The Schools for Energy Efficiency® (SEE) is a comprehensive program for K-12 schools to save energy and money by changing behavior throughout the district. Find the September tip sheet here.



Support WBLAS Students

  • Mark your calendar for WBLAHS Homecoming! - Homecoming 2013 will take place September 23-28, with a variety of activities to be enjoyed. A few of the listings include Coronation on the 23rd, the Homecoming Parade and football game on the 27th and a FREE BearPower Homecoming Celebration Family Walk/Run taking place on the 28th. Find a full schedule of Homecoming activities here. Find additional information for the 6.24K run here.
  • Mark your calendar for WBLAHS Fall Musical! - The WBLAHS 2013 Fall musical is Once Upon A Mattress. A parody on the story of Princess and the Pea, this fun-for-all-ages musical is sure to entertain! This rated PG spoof of a potential marriage between the prince and the princess (from the swamp) has many fun twists and turns. A cross between Shrek and Cirque Du Soleil, this high energy show will be sure to wow the audience and tickle the funny bone! The show will be performed at 7 p.m. on Nov. 8,9,14,15 and 16. A 2 p.m. matinee will be performed on Nov. 9 (matinee free for senior citizens). All performances will take place at the WBLAHS - North Campus Theater.
  • ALC Craft Sale - The ALC craft sale will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at ALC on September 28th. There is still space for vendors if they wish to rent a space for the day. Contact Tim at 651-773-6406 or tim.mcgraw@isd624.org for more information about becoming a vendor for the event. Proceeds from the sale will go toward funding ALC educational activities. The economics class will use the money to fund entrepreneurs on KIVA and the language arts class will use the money to attend Othello at the Guthrie theater in the spring. Find an article about the project here.

Awards and Honors

  • Summer Tech Class numbers at a high - Congratulations to the White Bear Lake Area Schools employees, many of whom came in on their "days off," who took advantage of summer tech classes! We had more than 140 staff members registered for the 52 classes that were offered over four days with eight staff members teaching the classes. In total, more than 610 individual CEU class hours were earned.
Please contact the Communications Department (651-407-7578) to submit District News, General Information, Opportunities or Awards & Honors for inclusion in future publications.

Student News

Starting out strong, supported
White Bear Lake Area Schools students started the 2013-14 academic year out on a strong note. The largest kindergarten class in recent history was welcomed into the fold with their first official day of school yesterday, bringing a lot of new energy to the already-energized elementary buildings. Many of those youngest students will attend all day kindergarten, which is offered for free at each of the district’s eight elementary sites starting this fall.

An offering that benefits older students are mentoring programs that have been established at the secondary level. Sixth graders are mentored by eighth grade WEB (Where Everybody Belongs) volunteers, a program that is proudly displayed at Sunrise Park middle school with eight variations of the t-shirt that have been worn by WEB leaders over the years. At the high school level, new traditions are being formed. New this year is LINK Crew, a program through which ninth grade students are led by senior leaders. Both mentoring activities offer upperclassmen leadership opportunities while offering sixth grade and ninth grade students a smooth transition and a warm welcome.

Our students are also feeling the strong support on the competitive fields - or pools, as it may be. The start to the fall athletics season has been an exciting one, with a midnight football practice to kick off the first day of the season and a sea of orange being present to support other fall activities. See a video describing this sea of orange - otherwise known as "White Bear Nation" above (in Dr. Lovett's message). You have the opportunity to experience White Bear Nation for yourself at tonight's football game - we hope to see you there!

Photos from last night's boys' soccer, swim and dive, and girls' soccer team competitions can be seen on the District's Facebook page.

Serving at home and abroad

This summer, WBLAHS Student Council members traveled to Sauk Rapids High School to attend the Minnesota Association of Student Councils' Summer Leadership Academy. The six students who participated received active and practical leadership training from student council advisors, athletic directors, and leadership professors, including renowned educators Dr. Tex Ostvig from the University of Minnesota and Dr. Kathi Tuneheim from Gustavus Adolphus College.

Beyond leadership training, Student Council has been busy at work in other ways as well. During several times summertime meetings, members brainstormed fundraising activities as part of WBLAHS We Act Initiative. We Act is an organization that helps students conceptualize their influence in a local and global scope. Teaming up with National Honor Society and Ambassadors, the three student groups hope to raise a record-setting amount of food for this year's District Wide Food Drive. They also have lofty global aspirations working with H2O for Life to raise funds for a well and sanitation needs for a school in Africa. In serving those closer to home, Student Council members helped WBLAHS - South Campus teachers move furniture, organize rooms, and perform other tasks and warmly greeted their fellow students in a welcome initiative on the first day of schools with back-to-school pencils and mints.

Up next, the group is excited to host the second annual Homecoming talent show: "South's Got Talent" at 7 p.m. September 24 in the WBLAHS - South Campus Mariner Theater. Tickets are $3 and all are welcome to attend. For those interested in showcasing their talents (limited to current students at South), auditions will be September 12th, 13th, 16th, and 17th after school in room 506 at South Campus. The Student Council welcomes all talents -- from musical acts, jugglers, contortionists, athletic displays, intellectual displays, to even stupid human tricks.

New initiatives underway for 2012-13
A variety of new initiatives are underway starting this fall. Read below for a quick synopsis of the exciting innovations happening in our schools:
  • Free all-day, every-day kindergarten - Free all-day, every-day kindergarten is available at each of the district’s eight elementary sites this fall. Students benefit from low class sizes, innovative programming and award-winning partnerships for which our schools are known. The all-day program allows greater access to specialists formerly available only for grades 1-5.
  • Elementary World Language - Our elementary schools offer a world language kindergarten through fifth grade. Lincoln and Vadnais students learn Chinese. Students at Birch, Hugo, Lakeiares, Matoska, Oneka, Otter Lake and Willow learn Spanish.
  • Gifted & Talented - As part of our commitment to challenge all students, beginning this year we offer Gifted and Talented cluster groupings to help inspire, challenge and motivate intellectually gifted elementary students to reach new levels of academic success.
  • IB Candidate Schools - Central and Sunrise Park Middle Schools are in their second year as International Baccalaureate Candidate Schools for the Middle Years Program (MYP). Building on an already rigorous curriculum, this internationally recognized program offers our students stronger connections between subject areas.
  • Guidance Office changes - The district has aligned our 6-12 guidance program with national standards. Students receive comprehensive academic and college planning starting in middle school. High school counselors stay with students for four years, moving with them from North Campus to South Campus.
  • College credits - WBLAHS students have the opportunity to earn college credit in more than 30 courses. The total value of credits earned by WBLAHS students in College in the Schools (CIS) and Advanced Placement (AP) courses during 2012-13 was almost $1.6 million at University of Minnesota tuition rates.
  • Student safety - Each of our buildings has a secure or supervised entrance. Front-line employees completed safety training this summer. During the 2013-14 school year, the district will update its Emergency Response Plan in partnership with the White Bear Lake and regional Public Safety Departments.
  • Technology - At every level, innovative technologies improve communications with families and strengthen student engagement, personalizing and accelerating learning.
  • Strategic Plan - Beginning in 2010-11, engaged citizens and staff helped the district formulate a strategic plan. Implementation began in 2011-12 and continues in 2013-14.

Capital Projects Levy Update
In August, the White Bear Lake Area School Board unanimously approved a Capital Projects Levy to be placed on the ballot on November 5 to replace that which was approved in 2003 and just expired, giving our community the opportunity to consider another ten year investment in library books and materials, textbooks and instructional materials, science equipment, technology to support teachers and students, and for repairing and replacing large musical instruments.

Find an informational video about the Capital Projects Levy below.

Find an informational web page about the Capital Projects Levy here. This site will be updated as additional information becomes available about the Capital Projects Levy.

Activities Updates

The fall activities season is underway. Join us for a competition or two!

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

Please contact the Communications Department (651-407-7578) to submit Student News for inclusion in future publications.

School Board News

School Board meeting agendas and minutes can be found here.

Upcoming meetings
Date Type Time Location
Monday, Sept. 9
Regular 7 p.m. District Center
Monday, Sept. 23
Work-Study 5:30 p.m District Center
Monday, Oct. 14
Regular 7 p.m. District Center
Monday, Oct. 28 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center