April 5, 2013

District News

Teamwork and service

A bell rings, and the first wave of middle school students head for the cafeteria. They know the rules. Sit down quietly at your table and politely wait until your table is called. Yes, it is lunch time in the middle school.

Responding to a kind invitation from our cook manager at Sunrise, this week I worked alongside our amazing kitchen staff, serving fresh fruits and vegetables, baking cookies, and as a bonus making slushies and frozen yogurt treats at the snack bar (yes, I insisted the students finish their fruit and vegetables before dessert). Eight hundred students came hungry and went off ready to learn. My admiration for those who serve our students has always been strong, but I have a new appreciation for how busy our kitchen staff are over a three hour period, all the while being courteous to one another, showing remarkable teamwork, and being unfailingly cheerful and polite to our students. 

Next Tuesday, a group of staff and community members will join the Association of Metropolitan School Districts for a Day at the Capitol. We'll meet with our legislators, who also face challenges for teamwork. We acknowledge and appreciate the important work of the seven members of the House and Senate who represent portions of our district at the Minnesota State Legislature. They are attentive to the challenges our community and school district face while considering what is best for the whole of Minnesota. 

Our elected representatives face important decisions about education policy, tax policy, and the future of our state. Following the example of our kitchen staff, we encourage all lawmakers to work together to get the job done before the bell rings.

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 Spring/Summer 2013 Catalog is now available online. Take a look at all of the classes to explore as the weather warms up. We offer many fitness classes including Yoga, Running for Beginners and Zumba. Click here to register for any of these courses. 

Brush up on your golf skills before the season hits! Click here to register for Basics of Golf, Golf Basics for Couples, or Golf Tune-Up starting the week of April 9.

Parent Notices:

  • Early Childhood Garage Sale - tickets are still available for those who would like to participate as "sellers" at the April 27 Early Childhood Garage Sale. Find information here
  • Day at the Capitol - District parents are invited to attend the Association of Metropolitan School Districts Day at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 9. Find information here
  • Vadnais Heights Annual Spring Carnival - Vadnais Heights Elementary School will host its annual Spring Carnival and PTO fundraiser from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 13. All community members are welcome to attend the event which includes games, free archery lessons, face painters, crazy hair and inflatable bounce chambers.
  • Writing Center Grand Opening - All community members are invited to attend the WBLAHS Writing Center Grand Opening - "Sips and Swallows" - at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17, at the WBLAHS - South Campus Mariner Theater.
  • Preschool Nature Class - Vadnais Heights Elementary School is offering a "What's Happening in Spring" outdoor nature class for preschoolers featuring a naturalist from the Tamarack Nature Center. Classes will be held from 9:30 - 10:45 a.m. on April 19 and April 23. Space is limited for these sessions so please contact Lyn Deuel at 651-653-3858 to register for a free session.
  • Community Baby Shower - You and your baby - birth to six months old - are invited to a Community Baby Shower from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Monday, April 22. Join us for refreshments, infant massages, door prizes and helpful community resources. Call the Early Childhood Program at 651-653-3100 to RSVP.
  • Early Childhood Screening - All 3 to 5 year old children in Minnesota are required to complete early childhood screening before entrance into kindergarten. Early screening is recommended and available throughout the year at no cost through the White Bear Lake Area Schools. Spots full quickly so click here  to schedule an appointment at an upcoming session on May 3 or 17.
  • Congressional Art Competition - The 2013 Congressional Art Competition - "An Artistic Discovery" - is open to all high school students attending school or residing in the Fourth Congressional District. The winning entry will be displayed as part of a national exhibit in the U.S. Capitol. The winner will also receive two free airline tickets to Washington, D.C. to attend the exhibit's opening on June 26, 2013! Entries must be received by 5:30 p.m. on Monday, April 22, 2013.

Senior Program Updates:

The White Bear Area Senior Center is a program of the White Bear Lake Area Schools Community Services & Recreation Department.

  • 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.
  • Senior Activity Passes - It's not too late for spring activities Free Activity Passes are currently available for senior community members ages 65 and up. Those who would like a free pass and a 2012-13 Activities Calendar can contact Jody Reber at 651-407-7563 to request an application.
  • Fraud and Scam Prevention event - Learn how to protect yourself against Fraud and Scams at this informational session 2-3:30 p.m. May 23 at the White Bear Lake Area Senior Center. Click here for more information. 

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. Find the WBLAEF website here.
    • WBLAEF Newsletter - Find the most recent White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation's newsletter here. To sign-up for the electronic newsletter, please send a request to lisa.lindvall@isd624.org or call 651-407-7696.
    • Glasrud Family Fellowship Grants - Congratulations to the recipients of the 2013 Glasrud Family Fellowship Grants!
  • 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 latest update here to learn how to get revitalized by Earth Day.


Support WBLAS Students:

  • Donatelli's Takeover - Fifth grade students from Willow Lane Elementary School will be taking over Donatelli's Restaurant in White Bear Lake by working as cooks, servers and hosts this spring. Stop in on April 9 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. for service with a smile and excellent food! All tips above and beyond 15% will go to Hope Kids, a charity that supports children with cancer. 
  • Willow Lane Talent Show - The talents of Willow Lane Elementary School students will be on display at 6:30 p.m. on April 9 in the Willow Lane Elementary School Gymnasium.
  • Oneka Elementary 5th Grade Concert - Join us for the Oneka Elementary School 5th Grade Concert at 6 p.m. on April 11 in the Oneka Elementary School Cafeteria
  • Macbeth - The White Bear Lake Area High School Theatre Department presents Macbeth at 7 p.m. on April 11-13 with a 2 p.m. matinee on April 13 at the WBLAHS - North Campus Theatre. Reserve your tickets by visiting www.wbltheater.com or call the ticket line at 651-653-2987.
  • Matoska Art Show - Matoska International IB World Students will be displaying their works of art from 4-9 p.m. on April 12 in the Matoska International Media Center.
  • Beauty and the Beast Jr. Musical - Central and Sunrise Park Middle School students will come together to perform Beauty and the Beast Jr. at 7 p.m. on April 18 and April 19 and at 2 p.m. on April 20 at the White Bear Lake Area Schools Community Auditorium. Reserved seating tickets are on sale at The Nest for $5 each.
  • WBLAHS Band Concert - The White Bear Lake Area High School Band will host a concert at 7 p.m. on April 18 at Saint Andrews Church.
  • Taste of Spring - You're invited to a Taste of Spring Fundraiser at WBLAHS - North Campus from 5 - 8 p.m. on April 25 at the WBLAHS - North Campus Cafeteria. 
  • Annie Jr. Musical - Over 105 students from Lincoln Elementary School will take part in a production of Annie Jr. this April. Purchase your tickets for 6:30 p.m. on April 26, 2 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. on April 27 or 2 p.m. on April 28.
  • Aviation Program Fundraiser - The Patrick Marzitelli Science and Aviation Scholarship Fund Memorial Golf Tournament will take place May 18 at Manitou Ridge. Find a flyer here.

Awards and Honors

  • Teacher of the Year Finalists - Congratulations to our 2013 Teacher of the Year Finalists: Connie Hamilton, Cassandra Knutson, Huy Nguyen, Wendy Suoja, Cha Vang and Shane Whalen. The recipient will be announced at the Teacher of the Year Extravaganza on May 2.
  • Cal Stoll Award - Congratulations to WBLAHS track and football coach Brad Engen for receiving the 2013 Minnesota State High School Football Coaches Association Cal Stoll Award. The award is given to a coach who has overcome adversity and challenges in their life. 

Please contact the Communications Department (651-407-7578) to submit District News, General Information, Opportunities or Awards & Honors for inclusion in future publications.

Child's play

District students as young as kindergarten and as old as 12th grade are taking the stage in April. 

Next week, the White Bear Lake Area High School's Theater Program will present Macbeth, a modern adaptation of Shakespeare;s most brutal play. Performances are scheduled for at 7 p.m. April 11, 12 and 13 and at 2 p.m. April 13 at White Bear Lake Area High School - North Campus Theater. Tickets, $7 for students/seniors and $10 for adults, are available online at www.wbltheater.com. The matinee performance is free for senior citizens.

The following week, Central and Sunrise Park Middle School students will come together to perform the Middle School Players' production of Beauty and the Beast Jr. at 7 p.m. on April 18 and April 19 and at 2 p.m. on April 20 at the White Bear Lake Area Schools Community Auditorium. Reserved seating tickets are on sale at The Nest in downtown White Bear Lake for $5 each.

Last but not least, Lincoln Elementary K-5th graders will be performing the musical Annie Jr. at White Bear Lake Area Schools Community Auditorium. There are 4 performances available: 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 26, 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 28. Tickets may be purchased at The Nest in downtown White Bear Lake through April 25 for $8 each.

Service with a smile

Earlier this week, fifth graders from Willow Lane Elementary served Senator Franken, White Bear Police Chief Bankes, White Bear Lake Mayor Jo Emerson and former Willow Lane Elementary principal Barb Kearn, among other community VIPs.

The event was the "Donatelli's Take-Over" experience, which has become a Willow tradition over the past few years. The students prepared resumes and interviewed with Donatelli's owner Trish Appleby before coming in for on-the-job training the day they "take over" all aspects of the operation - from welcoming customers, preparing food, serving food and figuring out checks.

Find photos of this week's experience at the District's Facebook page. Check out the experience for yourself next Tuesday, when special guest Commissioner of Education Brenda Cassellius will join the students for lunch!

Simple gifts

Sunrise Park Middle School students are learning the collective value of simple gifts through the school's popular Community Dinner event. This year's event saw more than 550 plates of Donatelli's spaghetti served and more than $5000 raised for the Wall of Wishes campaign, which covers the gamut from simple classroom supplies to DVD classroom sets, "clicker" systems and interactive white boards.

Student performances that evening included jazz band, choir, and middle school musical highlights. Sunrise adults joined the fun as well, offering a staff band performance. Another highlight of the event was the "Sunrise Has Talent" contest finals that took place at the end of the evening. Acts included singing, guitar playing, and dancing, with sixth grader Emily Marier singing her way to the championship spot.

The evening, organized by the Sunrise Parent Group, was made possible by the hours of volunteer time donated by students, staff members and parents. Sunrise parents who started the event four years ago have followed their students to White Bear Lake Area High School and are using the lessons they learned initiating the middle school community-gathering fundraiser to plan a community-wide event at the high school.

The White Bear Lake Area High School - North Campus Taste of Spring Fundraiser will take place from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, April 25 at WBLAHS - North Campus. $10 per person ($12 the day of the event) buys tastes from Acapulco Restaurant, Culvers, Domino's, Tria Restaurant, Flicker Meats, The Olive Branch Oil & Spice, Bakers Square, Subway, White Bear Nutrition, Donatelli's and Costco - all of which have generously donated 400 samples so 100% of the ticket price will go to purchase Chromebooks for WBLAHS - North Campus. The event will offer activities, entertainment, and competitions.

Best buds

Walking down the halls at Matoska International IB World School, you can peek your head into the classrooms to see groups of first graders practicing their spelling and huddles of fifth graders working on a science project, but occasionally you'll also catch first and fifth graders working together. Each time the two grades meet, the scene turns into a frenzy of smiles, hugs, high fives and a secret handshake or two.

Matoska understands that learning happens in different ways, at different ages and can come from a wide variety of teachers. A long-standing tradition dating back to Centerpoint Elementary, the Cross-Age Buddy Program pairs students from first grade with a fifth grade buddy to provide a unique way for both participants to learn. Most importantly, the students love it!

Buddy pairs spend time reading together each Friday, but also team up for cooking activities, holiday decorating, outdoor games, craft projects and more! Most recently students from Pam Winkler's first grade class and Lori Felton's fifth grade class attended a concert at the Ordway Theater and made time for some fun in the last snows of winter. Although the official program only lasts a year, many students find that their buddies evolve into long-lasting friends.

Activities Updates

Congratulations to the Archery Team on a successful season. Both High School teams qualified to continue onto the National NASP Tournament in Louisville this May. Individual national qualifiers include: A.J. Rautenberg - 4th Grade Division, Jacob Spring - 6th Grade Division, Maddie Chaplin - HS Girls Division, Calvin Denker - HS Boys Division, and Brady Ballis - HS Boys Division. WBLAHS Band Students recently took part in the Region 4AA Large Group Band Contest. Congratulations to the South Campus Symphonic Band and South Campus Wind Ensemble for earning Superior ratings at the Class 1 level.

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

Upcoming meetings

Date Type Time Location
Monday, April 8 Regular 7 p.m. District Center Community Room 112
Monday, April 22 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center Room 201
Monday, May 13 Regular 7 p.m. District Center Community Room 112
Monday, May 20 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center Room 201