The high school students love to eat pizza, hamburgers, and tacos.
In the crowds at football games, dressed in blaze orange, they cheer "Go Bears!" During the school day they attend classes at North and South campus, shadowing their host brothers and sisters. On weekends, they roast marshmallows over a bonfire, explore the Mall of America, and go "up North" to the family cabin. Here for three weeks in October, they are part of our families.
Our visitors are eighteen high school students from our partnership school in Leipzig, Germany. Their parents grew up in communist East Germany; these students were born in the early years after the reunification of Germany. They have experienced and learned about our world from a different perspective.
What they have in common is a desire to visit the United States, to learn about us, and to gain the deep lasting bonds that are part of a home stay. During their three weeks in our schools, the students made presentations at high school, middle school, and elementary classrooms, impressed the mayor with their thoughtful questions, and impressed us all with their maturity and warmth.
In June, high school students from White Bear Lake Area High School will visit Germany, hosted by the families whose students have lived for three weeks as part of an American family.
Each day, the students take turns sharing their journals, which you can find on the web page of our partnership school (unsere Partnerschule), Brockhaus Gymnasuim in Leipzig, Germany. Look under the heading "de Berichte aus den USA".
You too can read their "letters home".
Michael J. Lovett, Ph.D
Superintendent, White Bear Lake Area Schools
In Photos: Birch Lake Elementary "Fill-the-Pumpkin" Food Drive
The last few weeks at White Bear Lake Area Schools have been filled with compassion and service activities. Besides being the first and last of our Community Core Values, acts of compassion and service are routinely practiced in the form of fundraisers and educational pledges.
First, on Oct. 23, the White Bear Lake Extended Day Program held a staff and family service event at Otter Lake Elementary where they made sandwiches for the homeless. The event was also a celebration of National Lights On Afterschool Day. For 15 years, National Lights On Afterschool Day has increased awareness on the benefits of afterschool programs. Research has shown that participation in quality afterschool programming inspires and motivates youth to learn, supports social and emotional growth, and can increase academic achievement.
Incredibly, the event yielded 750 sandwiches in 33 minutes - more than doubling their goal! Nearly 100 participants, including students, staff, and families helped make sandwiches as well as donate all of the food items needed. After the event, the sandwiches were delivered directly to the founder/organizer of the 363 Days Food Program and were distributed that night to the homeless. Below is a 33-second video of the 33 minutes of this successful service event!
Next, on Oct. 24, the National Junior Honor Society, with the help of advisers Vicki Olson and Paula Rittenhouse, at Central Middle School sponsored The Walk for Kids, which supports Gillette Children's Hospital. Kids donated a dollar to walk for the Gillette patients, a few of whom are students at Central.
The WBL Drum Line and Bear Mascot helped make the event exciting. Proceeds raised will go to help make the kids feel a bit more comfortable by helping purchase video and board games, books, DVDs, and other toys. The walk raised $1,039.00.
Earlier that week, North Campus students and the community had the opportunity to participate in the Rachel's Challenge presentation. Rachel Joy Scott was the first victim of the 1999 Columbine shootings. Through Rachel's life and writings, students explored different ways to reach out with kindness and compassion. The presentation was a reminder of the little things students and family members can do every day in order to make our world a better place.
Both the student and community events were supported with funds from the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation, which provided a $4,800 Bear Grant to cover 100 percent of the costs for Rachel's Challenge. According to WBLAHS - North Campus Associate Principal Angela Nelson, the project could not have happened this year without the funds from the Foundation.
Another event that highlights White Bear Lake Area Schools dedication to compassion and service is the annual food drive, which wrapped up on Saturday. While we are still waiting on the final numbers of food raised, the creative food drive activities our school participated in will undoubtedly yield some impressive totals.
For example, on Halloween, members of the South Campus Student Council hosted the "Trick-or-Can" event, where high school students had the opportunity to go door-to-door asking for canned food donations (instead of the traditional treats). In addition, Birch Lake Elementary School hosted a "Fill-the-Pumpkin" event. Students and families had the opportunity to donate food by placing the items into giant pumpkins - all while they were dressed in their Halloween costumes!
With Daylight Saving Time ending early this morning, there is no question we are in the middle of a beautiful autumn season. At WBLAS, students and families have a range of fun fall activities to choose from.
First, White Bear Lake Area High School's Fall Musical "The Addams Family" debuts this Friday at 7 p.m. The show will be performed at the North Campus Auditorium on Nov. 7, 8, 13,14, and 15 at 7 p.m, as well as the Nov. 8 matinee at 2 p.m., where senior citizens will have the opportunity to come and see the show for free. Tickets are available here.
WBLAHS is the first high school theatre in the state of Minnesota to perform this show. The Addams Family features an original story, and it's every father's nightmare. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday's "normal" boyfriend and his parents. This wonderful musical is rated PG.
Watch this video below to see some behind-the-scenes action of the preparation for "The Addams Family" as well as to learn more about our amazing theatre program!
Exciting activities in October prove that the fall fun has already begun in our buildings! First, on Oct. 28, about 80 Sunrise Park Middle School 8th grade Where Everybody Belongs (WEB) leaders and 6th graders participated in a Fall Fun Social Event. Students decorated pumpkins, played bingo, and enjoyed popcorn as a snack.
The Halloween activities did not stop there. At Otter Lake Elementary, kindergarteners participated in the Halloween parade, where they had the chance to parade through the school and show off their fun costumes to older students and staff. Check out the Otter Lake Elementary Facebook page for photos and videos!
Also on Halloween, the Craft Corner Boutique and the White Bear Lake Area Senior Center held its annual Holiday Boutique and Bake Sale. Local seniors contributed a large variety of beautiful hand-crafted products, along with an assortment of sumptuous goodies for purchase. The Holiday Boutique and Bake Sale continued on Nov. 1 with many fun fall-theme crafts and bakery items. A portion of the proceeds went towards the Senior Center.
Finally, other than the usual fall festivities, our Early Childhood Family Education program had even more to celebrate last month - the week of Oct. 20 was declared ECFE Week! Check out the first 62.4-second update below to watch some of the fun activities happening in our ECFE program.In addition, the Early Childhood Family Education program is celebrating 40 amazing years! Our White Bear Lake ECFE department is planning a ECFE 40th birthday celebration for Dec. 4 at Normandy Park from 6:15-7:45 p.m.
This will be a free event open to all families - current and former ECFE families, and even families who want to come and check out what ECFE is all about. They will have music, birthday crown-making, musical instrument making, streamers and refreshments.
Unique educational opportunities
Throughout White Bear Lake Area Schools, students and visitors have the opportunity to become immersed in unique educational activities. As Dr. Lovett's message outlined, WBLAS once again participated in the German-American Partnership Program (GAPP) this October. Eighteen students from our partnership school in Leipzig, Germany visited our schools for three weeks. Some of their activities included school, museum, government building, and university tours.
On Oct. 30, the GAPP students immersed themselves in many hands-on learning activities. They toured the White Bear Lake Police Department, Fire Department, and City Hall. The tour was given by a White Bear Lake Area High School graduate and WBL police officer. Interestingly, the officer had participated in the GAPP program when he attended WBLAHS and had kept up with his second-language skills enough that he gave the entire tour in German!
Later in the afternoon, the GAPP students had the chance to explore and shop in downtown White Bear Lake. The German students departed from Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport on Saturday.
In June, WBLAHS students will visit Germany, hosted by the families whose students have lived for three weeks as part of an American family.
Sunrise Park eighth graders had another unique educational experience. Students took their studies of natural resources out of the classroom on a recent visit to the University of Minnesota Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve.
They spent the day exploring and various ecosystems and learning about how humans have impacted them. In addition, students performed investigations while visiting world-renown research sites.
Next, at WBLAHS - North Campus, EL students from Liberia, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Columbia learned about Halloween as they taught other students about Day of the Dead.
The group went to different Spanish course classrooms and taught about the Latino holiday "Dia de los Muertos" - or - Day of the Dead. In addition, they had the chance to celebrate Halloween! Many of the EL students had never carved a pumpkin before last week.
This trade-off cultural and educational experience allowed all of the participating students to learn about the fun holidays and traditions of their peers.
Finally, one important upcoming event for parents is the Second Annual Safety Information Night on Nov. 13, 5:30 p.m. at WBLAHS - South Campus. Hosted by the White Bear Lake Police Department, the night will include a free pizza dinner and breakout sessions focusing on internet safety, teen driving laws and safety, youth drug trends and awareness, as well as healthy relationships and safe dating. These sessions will provide an opportunity for parents to learn and ask questions about safety concerns for modern youth.
The event is open to all district parents (elementary through high school). Childcare will be provided during the event.
62.4-second video update
Take a look at our 62.4-second update that highlights weekly activity throughout our schools!
Activities Updates The White Bear Lake football team beat Cretin-Derham Hall 27-21. The WBL girls cross country team finished second at the 4AA Section Championship and earned a trip to the State Meet. It has been six years since the girls have qualified for state as a team! It was a very exciting day. East Ridge won the meet. The cross country girls finished six points ahead of Roseville and nine points ahead of Mahtomedi. Both the girls and boys cross country teams (pictured to the right) attended the state tournament this weekend for their outstanding performances this season! Congratulations to Dan Kovacich, who was recently named Section 4 AA Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year!
White Bear Lake Area High School Athletics schedules can be found here.
School Board meeting agendas and minutes can be found here.
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 2014 Fall-Winter Catalog was recently mailed to District residents. Click here to register for upcoming courses.
Assistive Technology - Read the latest parent newsletter on assistive technology!
WBL Wrestling Spaghetti Dinner - Join the wrestling team on Nov. 10 for a spaghetti dinner provided by Donatelli's. Proceeds benefit the White Bear Lake Wrestling Team!
Weatherization - You may be eligible for free weatherization home improvements through the Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties. Read more
Community Baby Shower - You and your baby are invited to join other parents of new babies, birth to six months old, for a Community Baby Shower on November 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Normandy Park Education Center.
Transition Resource Fair - The Transition Resource Fair will be held at South Campus on November 6th. The TRF is an opportunity for families and students who are 9th grade or older and have disabilities. The fair will feature information related to governmental, community, educational, vocational training, housing and business opportunities for students as they move into adulthood. It is a wonderful event for families to connect and have questions answered as they plan for the future of their student!
International hosts needed - WBLAS is hosting two teachers/professors from India who are learning about teaching strategies from WBL teachers and administrators. We are looking for three host families to provide housing, a room and meals. We need two hosts from October 20-24 and one host from November 3-7. If this sounds like an experience you or your family would like to try, please contact: Dan Schmidt at Lincoln Elementary at 651-653-2830 or Tim Schochenmaier at Otter Lake Elementary at 651-653-2843.
Early Childhood Fall News - Click here to read about upcoming events for our Early Childhood program. Learn more about our Early Childhood screening here.
Evening ECFE Parent-Child Classes - Join other parents and their young children (birth-5) to participate in Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) parent-child classes at Normandy Park Education Center, 2482 East County Road F. Family Play Group: Tuesdays, 6:15-7:45 p.m. Parenting on Your Own: Tuesdays, 6:15-7:45 p.m. Call the Early Childhood office at 651-653-3100 for more information. Register online at www.isd624.org/EarlyChildhood
Music Lessons - Save $25 on music lessons at MacPhail Center for Music's location at Birch lake Elementary when you register by December 31. Mention WBLDIST-SCHOOL15. Valid for new students only. Call 612-321-0100 or go to macphail.org, or download our fall flyer.
Parent Safety Night - Are you familiar with K2 Spice, Molly, Krokodil, and Robo-Tripping? Are you aware of apps that allow discrete photos to be sent and immediately erased from your child's phone? Do you know how many passengers your 16 year old is allowed to have in a car? If not, or if you want to learn more - make sure to attend the Safety Information Night for Parents on Nov. 13. Learn more
Ebola fact sheet and FAQ - Click here for a fact sheet on Ebola. Click here for frequently asked questions about Ebola.
Girl Scouts - Learn more about the Girl Scouts in the area!
Saving a half million dollars? - Click here to read about how our schools are saving roughly a half million dollars in energy costs!
NCAA clearinghouse - Is your child a college-bound student athlete? If so, you should consider registering him/her for NCAA eligibility here.
Assistive Technology in Math - Learn more about how your child could benefit from assistive technology in math here.
Interested in TV Production? - Volunteers and interns are needed for White Bear Lake Cable Public Access television. Click here for more information.
Thank teachers - Thank your teachers and help them win a grant through the Farmers Insurance Thank a Million Teachers initiative. Simply go to this website and write a thank you message to a teacher. Then, that teacher can submit a proposal for a chance to win a $2500 grant for use in their classroom.
Emergency School Closings - For school closings, early dismissals and late starts, call the School Closing Hotline at (651) 407-7540 or watch/listen for information on these media outlets:
If winter weather is so severe that schools need to close, parents will also be alerted in three ways as soon as a decision is made:
A SchoolMessenger phone message and email will be sent to all parents.
A message will be posted on the District's homepage.
We know that closing schools can be disruptive, especially for working families. Student and staff safety are our primary concern. Ultimately, the decision to send children to school remains with families. The District supports those decisions that are made for the safety and health of students. There are no negative consequences, and our schools work with families to assure that work is made up when an absence is safety-related.
Do you like working with children and other volunteers? - The White Bear Lake Area Schools Early Childhood Screening program at Normandy Park Education Center is looking for volunteers to help at screenings on Fridays. Click here to learn more about this opportunity!
Calling all baby models - We're looking for "Born to be a Bear" photos! Email photos to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and you may find your little one featured in District publications! See an example of a "Born to be a Bear" photo here.
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.
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 - Check out the newest edition of BearPower 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.
Reminder to teachers - WBLAEF Grants are available online.
Teachers - There's something NEW at the WBLAEF website! It's the BEAR LEGACY GRANT! This summer come to wblaef.org to learn more about this exciting new grant.
Brosious Teaching Grants - ALL TEACHERS: Brosious Grant Applications were sent to you via e-mail, plus they are available year round on our School District website under White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation. Brosious Grant Applications for 2014-2015 are due October 22, 2014. Please send completed applications to the WBLAEF office at District Center at 4855 Bloom Ave., or via Fax at 651-407-7643, or e-mail to email@example.com Thank you!
Glasrud Family Fellowship Grants - The Glasrud Fellowship Grants are different from the Brosious Grants. They are directed at personal and/or professional growth of the individual educator or team of educators. They are intended to provide funds for educators to assist them in pursuing an opportunity or experience that would not otherwise be possible. The Application Form is available on the WBLAEF website. Completed Application Forms will be due on March 22, 2015. This grant will be awarded in April, for use during the following 12 months.
The Eugene & Kathleen Johnson Student Enrichment Scholarship is available to all students in grades 6-12 in White Bear Lake Area School District 624 who would like to participate in enrichment activities such as writing, speaking, journalism, musical performance, and composition. The purpose of the scholarship is to provide opportunities for students that extend beyond the classroom and encourage higher level thinking skills. Scholarships up to $1,000 per individual, with a total amount of $2,000 in grants, will be awarded per year.
The WBLAEF is accepting applications for the 2014-2015 school year for enhancement activities for students completed by September 1, 2015.
Applications will be reviewed on a continual basis throughout the year, until the $2,000 maximum per year has been awarded.
Grant applications should be sent to: White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation, 4855 Bloom Avenue, White Bear Lake, MN 55110.
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 6-12.
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.
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. Learn about how our schools are saving a half million dollars here!
White Bear Lake Area High School's Fall Musical "The Addams Family" debuts this Friday at 7 p.m. The show will be performed at the North Campus Auditorium on Nov. 7, 8, 13,14, and 15 at 7 p.m, as well as the Nov. 8 matinee at 2 p.m., where senior citizens will have the opportunity to come and see the show for free. Tickets are available here.
Congratulations to Dan Kovacich, Section 4 AA Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year!
Please contact the Communications Department (651-407-7578) to submit District News, General Information, Opportunities or Awards & Honors for inclusion in future publications.
e-Newsletter Published By:
Office of Communications - 4855 Bloom Avenue - White Bear Lake, MN 55110
Tel: 651-407-7695 - Fax: 651-407-7566 - www.whitebear.k12.mn.us
Please contact Marisa Vette (651-407-7695) to submit information for inclusion in publications.