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.
- 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.
- BearPower - Do you have some spare time? On April 6, the BearPower Family Fun Day will include bowling at PINZ in Oakdale for only $2.50 - the price of shoe rental! For more details and to sign up, click here. Check out the newest edition of Bear Press here! Stay up to date on all BearPower events on the BearPower Facebook page.
- 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.
- David M. Gehrenbeck has been selected as the 2014 J. Stanley and Doris Hill Legacy Award recipient! Learn more about Gehrenbeck's work here.
- Student Activities Scholarship - The Jim Honsa, Sr. Memorial Student Activities Endowment provides access to co-curricular activities for students who may not otherwise have access due to financial need. The scholarship, administered by the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation, provides up to $200 per applicant and is available for students in grades 9-12.
- Lynn Mielke Award - Applications are now being accepted for the Lynn Mielke Award are now being accepted. To learn more about the award or to nominated an exceptional employee who uses his or her talents to enrich the lives of others, please click here.
- Attention 6th - 12th Grade Teachers - The Eugene & Kathleen Johnson Student Enrichment Scholarship is available for any WBLAS 6th - 12th student who would like to participate in enrichment activities such as writing, speaking, journalism, musical performance, and composition. The purpose of this scholarship is to provide opportunities for students that extend beyond the classroom and encourage higher level thinking skills. If you would like a flier to post in your classroom, please contact Lisa Lindvall and she will send you one! Students will be awarded up to $1,000 per individual, with a total amount of $2,000 in grants to be awarded per year. The application is on line for your students to apply at www.wblaef.org. Completed Grant Applications should be sent to WBLAEF at the District Office, 4855 Bloom Ave. Once the $2,000 amount has been reached for the 2013-2014 school year, I will send a note to teachers through the e-newsletter that we are no longer taking applications.
- Visit our website - Visit our website to see all of the grants the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation has available for teachers.
- Bleed Orange and Black - Foundation board members also handed out team spirit shirts reading, "Bleed Orange and Black". To find out how to get a team spirit shirt contact the Foundation office at www.wblaef.org. Check out the WBL U-12A girls' hockey team sporting these shirts here!
- 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 an info sheet about efficient lighting here.
Support WBLAS Students
- Golf team fundraiser - The WBLAHS golf team is selling 2014 PGA "two for one" golf card once again this year. Please consider helping the golf program. The cost is only $35.00 dollars - if you use the card once, it is paid for! If you have any questions or would like to purchase a card, contact Craig Nasvik.
- 9th Annual Spotlight Showcase - White Bear Lake Area High School's production of "Once Upon a Mattress" will be honored at the Ninth Annual Spotlight Showcase at the Orpheum Theatre on June 8 and 9. Click here for more information and purchase tickets here!
- Middle School Musical - Fiddler on the Roof - Purchase your tickets here!
- Congratulations to Carol Hultman, sixth grade science teacher at Central Middle school, for getting accepted as a Siemens STEM Institute Fellow! Hultman will participate in a program in Washington, D.C. this summer, where she will be exposed to leading scientists, thought-leaders, personalities and innovators whose work across STEM disciplines shape and define our world today. Congratulate her here!
- White Bear Lake Area High School is seeking nominations for its Athletic Hall of Fame. If you have an interest in nominating a former athlete, coach, or community member connected with Bears athletics, please contact Karen Larson, Activities Secretary at South Campus (651-773-6206) for information about the requirements, as well as the nomination form.
Please contact the Communications Department
(651-407-7578) to submit District News, General Information, Opportunities or Awards & Honors for inclusion in future publications.
Excellence in language arts
Three events on the calendar during the last few weeks showcased White Bear Lake Area Schools' commitment to innovation and excellence in the language arts. At Otter Lake Elementary, students in grades 3-6 are preparing for their Poetry Cafe Event, which will take place on April 29 at 6:30 p.m. Students will write poems and read them at the event, which will be themed like a coffee house from the 1960s.
To get in the mindset of a poet, students had an opportunity to learn from the master Minnesotan poet, Bruce Lansky. On March 24, Lansky held a lesson about poetry at Otter Lake where he spoke about the different types of poems and fun techniques students can use when writing their own poems. The school's Brosious Grant made this Poetry Event possible.
At WBLAHS - North Campus, students in Cassidy Wegworth's 9th grade language arts class had the chance to learn how to make a YouTube video in order to present a 60-90 second public service announcement about their research paper topic. South Campus teacher Cassandra Knutson made a guest teaching appearance to help students create their great videos.
For this assignment, students identified a problem in the world and chose an organization that worked towards fixing that problem.
At the end of the project, students will vote for the best video. Going the extra mile, Wegworth started a fundraiser so the winning video's organization will benefit by receiving a donation. Through this creative process, students will see how their work can positively impact the larger community. Click here
to donate to this class fundraiser!
Oneka Elementary recently got a wild
treat for their February reading achievements. Abbi Case's 5th grade class participated in the Minnesota Wild's Wild About Reading
program and won a visit from Breanna Tobias (Community Relations Coordinator for the Wild) and Nordy, the Wild's mascot last week!
Tobias read a short book to the students and talked to them about the importance of school and taking on responsibilities. The class received signatures from Nordy and asked Tobias questions about favorite Wild players. See photos of the visit here
Family and community celebrations
Throughout the year, our district celebrates the importance of community by hosting many fun events in our schools. Last week, two events proved to be perfect examples of the importance of bringing families and the community together.
On March 25, Sunrise Park Middle School had their annual Community Dinner where students, educators, family members, and community members joined to eat some delicious food and celebrate their remarkable school.
Students as well as teachers sang and danced to provide entertainment for the evening. Attendees had the opportunity to support the school by donating to specific classrooms for creative class activities.
A full house event, the Community Dinner is a favorite among students and family members and also serves as a fundraiser for the school.
Another popular event, Morning with Mom, at Vadnais Heights Elementary took place on March 28. During Morning with Mom, students at Vadnais brought in their moms, grandmothers, aunts, or guardians to join them for doughnuts and juice at school. Family members had the chance to meet and mingle with staff and other families in the school cafeteria. The event is similar to another one hosted by Vadnais earlier in the year - Donuts with Dad.
After breakfast, families were invited to stick around and tour their child's classroom. Even though it was not quite Mothers' Day, it is always a good time to celebrate moms! See a few photos of the morning here
Our schools have been moving forward in a variety of ways recently. First, students at the middle school level had the opportunity to practice their dance moves.
Moving to the beat of an African drum, middle school students received instruction from the Duniya Drum and Dance group. By the end of the class period, students learned the sinté dance from Guinea, West Africa.
Check out some of their moves here
At the elementary level, Otter Lake Elementary will kick off a school-wide move-a-thon with BearPower on Monday, March 31. The school will be spending the month tracking all of the minutes they spend being active. This exciting month will begin with a school-wide assembly where they will introduce the move-a-thon, do Zumba as a school, and get excited about the month ahead!
Finally, Lincoln Elementary students pulled together a very moving performance of Dr. Dolittle Jr. last weekend. Full of laughs as well as showcasing students' acting and memorization abilities, the show was a success. For photos, see the "In Pictures" graphic above or click here
Compassion and innovation
Our schools and students have gone above and beyond with compassion and innovation, striving to be their best every day. One example of this is on March 27, White Bear Lake Area Schools hosted educational leaders from throughout the state at a Google Symposium at South Campus.
Visitors had the chance to hear local and national perspectives in the morning, then they visited White Bear classrooms in the afternoon to see first hand how our students are using technology.
Our commitment to being innovative with technology recently extended to the table saws in our schools. White Bear Lakes Schools Health and Safety made it so our schools are on the "cutting edge" of safe and effective tools.
During spring break there was a district wide install at the secondary level (middle schools and high schools) of new technology in table saws that will automatically stop if it senses danger to the user. Click here to see an example video.
A final example of compassion in our schools comes from Oneka Elementary. Fifth-grader, Jarron McFarlane, was on his way to school and found a laptop in the snow. He brought it to his teacher, Evan Weissman, and they figured out that it was from BNSF Railway. They called the number on the laptop and were transferred to the police.
When an appreciative Officer Mark Moody came into the class to retrieve the laptop, he brought many gifts for Jarron and his class. Jarron received a sweatshirt, hat, and water bottle for his responsible act!
The White Bear Lake PeeWee B hockey team
won the State Championship last weekend in Two Harbors. The victory capped off a great season - the team had a 35-10-4 overall record, their regular season included tournament championships in White Bear Lake and Rochester, and they took home 3rd place trophies in Cloquet and Maple Grove. Congratulations to our State Champs! Fourteen students from Central Middle School, 25 students from Sunrise Middle School, and two students from WBLAHS North Campus will represent the state at the History Day competition
. A number of other students also represented the district recently at the regional competition. Jayna Carpenter
received first place out of all middle school students who submitted art at the statewide Youth Art Month. WBLAHS performance of "Once Upon a Mattress"
will be honored at this year's SpotLight Showcase on June 8th. Click here
for more information or purchase tickets online here
White Bear Lake Area High School Athletics schedules can be found here.
Please contact the Communications Department
(651-407-7695) to submit Student News for inclusion in future publications.