Back to School - Fall 2021

Welcome to the 2021-22 school year! 

White Bear Lake Area Schools will offer traditional in-person school and a Distance Learning Academy for the 2021-22 school year.

Regardless of which learning model a family chooses for its student(s), we are committed to providing an engaging, quality learning experience for each student.

If you've not yet enrolled, do so at the button below!

Bear mascot with backpack, Welcome to 2021-22 written on image

Fall 2021 mitigation strategies to keep our students in school

We are excited for the coming school year and for the opportunity to return to in-person school, for five days a week. I recognize that the last two school years have included challenges none of us could have anticipated, but I am so proud of the way our students, families, staff and community members have weathered the unknowns. 

Still, we are in the midst of a pandemic and we are once again seeing COVID-19 rates rise. Additionally, the vaccine is not currently available to our youngest learners and the Delta variant is more contagious than previous strains.

As we plan for the upcoming school year, our efforts will focus on keeping our students safe and in our buildings for in-person learning. In order to do so, White Bear Lake Area Schools will follow a Mitigation Plan that uses two indicators of county-level transmission levels (7-day case rate per 100,000 and 7-day positivity rate in Ramsey/Washington Counties as found in the CDC Data Tracker) to determine mitigation strategies that will be implemented in our buildings and on district transportation. The plan aligns with Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance.

Currently, the transmission rate for both Ramsey County and Washington County are High. If the county-level transmission rates remains in either Substantial or High Transmission categories through the start of school in early-September, it is anticipated that following strategies will be implemented as we begin school:

Face coverings

Face coverings are our best mitigation strategy to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our buildings and keep our students in school for in-person learning because they significantly reduce the need for quarantine in the case of exposure.

  • Face coverings required for all age 2+, regardless of vaccination status, while in district buildings
  • Face coverings required for all age 2+, regardless of vaccination status, on student transportation, per federal requirement
  • Face coverings will not be required outdoors

District mitigation efforts

The district will continue various mitigation efforts: Sharing information about the vaccine, staying home when ill, hand hygiene, ventilation, cleaning, contact tracing and notification will be implemented in all transmission levels. In yellow/orange/red transmission levels, physical distancing will be implemented to the extent possible.

Testing for Covid-19 (Post Exposure)

For those who are vaccinated:

  • Recommended 3-5 days after an exposure
  • Required for symptoms
  • Antigen or PCR

For those who are unvaccinated

  • Required for symptoms (PCR)
  • Strongly recommended 5-7 days after exposure
  • Routine testing recommended

Quarantine (Post Exposure)

  • For those who are vaccinated, no quarantine is required if asymptomatic
  • For those who are unvaccinated and unmasked, quarantine required
  • For those who are unvaccinated and all parties masked, no quarantine required if asymptomatic

Note: MDH may provide specific quarantine recommendations

Tested Positive: Isolate and notify School Health Office

  • Everyone: stay home 10 days from symptom onset

Vaccination Clinics

  • Find COVID-19 vaccine appointments using the Vaccine Finder at https://www.vaccines.gov/. Appointments can be searched by vaccine type (e.g., Pfizer).
  • The district will continue to work with Ramsey County to facilitate vaccination events for community members

The information listed above applies to those families who have chosen traditional school for 2021-22. Families also have the option of enrolling their child(ren) in the district’s Distance Learning Academy, which will serve students in grades K-12 starting in September. Information about this online opportunity can be found here.

Thank you for your partnership and support as we work together to keep our students in our buildings for in-person learning this school year.

Sincerely,
Dr. Kazmierczak, Superintendent

Busing Information

For the 2021-22 school year, aside from the exceptions listed below, all general education students will automatically be assigned to a bus route. A transportation form is only required for those students who are attending WBLAHS - South Campus or ALC (form for both schools is here, Spanish version is here) or for those who are attending a daycare within the district (form is here). 

If you have moved over the past year, please make sure that you email transportation at transportation@isd624.org with your new address to ensure we are routing your students to and from the correct address.

Busing information will be posted on the students' Parent Portal by August 30, 2021. Families of Early Childhood or SpEd students will receive an email or phone call with their student's busing information. 

As of right now, per CDC and TSA requirements and recommendations, everyone using public transportation is required to wear a mask, which includes students on buses.  We will continue to monitor this and continue to communicate with families on any upcoming changes.

If you have any questions in regards to these topics, please email transportation@isd624.org.

Application for Educational Benefits

Even though free meals are available to all for the 2021-2022 school year, it is still very important that families who may qualify for free or reduced-price meals complete the meal application as soon as possible. 

The meal applications not only qualify your family for free meal benefits, but also provide additional benefits that may include discounts for: internet access, college application fees, sports/activities fees, and AP test registration fees. Check out this flyer for more information.

Complete information is available on the Nutrition Services web page.

Contact NutritionServices@isd624.org or call 651-407-7515 with any questions.

Click here for the on-line application.