November 16, 2012

District News

Turning Seasons

This autumn while much of America engaged in or avoided the election season, the world of young children continued unperturbed by the world of adults. 

On a recent morning, kindergartners were cutting and pasting orange and black construction paper into forms of pumpkins and cats. Suddenly they abandoned their workstations and ran to the window, squealing with delight. Why, you ask? Do you remember the first snowfall of the season?

The next morning was the first session of "Hope for Tomorrow," a local program matching community mentors with eighth graders. Boys and girls were absorbed for two hours with bankers, lawyers, salespeople, retired teachers and other community volunteers there to listen and support. Do you remember what it is like to be thirteen?

Downtown at the Metrodome, our community turned out in orange and black to cheer our girls' soccer team at the state tournament. Every game finished with hugs or tears... or both. Were you there?

Golden canopies of maples became carpets of gold.  Then rain, snow and cold.  What is a small child's delight is more foreboding to those who are older. This is a new season full of uncertainty, but with a child's hope and promise. 

Elections have come and gone. Now is the season to gather together with grateful hearts.

Dr. Michael Lovett

General Information



Annual Report on Curriculum, Instruction and Student Achievement

The District 624 School Board approved the 2011-12 Annual Report on Curriculum, Instruction and Student Achievement. This report, in accordance with Minnesota Department of Education guidelines, has been published electronically on the district website. Community members can download the report here or contact the Superintendent's Office at (651) 407-7563 for a copy.

The District will publish its Annual Report to the Community, which will contain a more comprehensive look at the District, later this fall. This report, which will include a variety of student achievement data, financial reporting, and other important information, will be mailed to all District residents and posted online. 

Find additional information about White Bear Lake Area Schools here

Parent Notices:

  • Early Childhood Mini-Sessions - Families with children ages 2 - 4 are invited to check out the District's Early Childhood Program through daytime "mini sessions" offered throughout the academic year. Find information about the 3-week sessions  here.
  • Free Flu Shots - Find information about free flu shots available in the Twin Cities area here.
  • Tech Talk - Find the latest Assistive Technology Newsletter  here.
  • Early Childhood Screening - Early childhood developmental screening helps a school district identify children who may benefit from district and community resources available to aid in their development. The service is offered by White Bear Lake Area Schools throughout the year at no cost to children over the age of three. Upcoming Early Childhood Screening dates include: November 19, 26; December 7, 14. Call 651-653-3154 to register or sign-up online.
  • Free and Reduced Meals - Families meeting federal household income guidelines may qualify for free or reduced priced meals. That means your child or children will be able to receive either free breakfast and lunch or reduced lunch and free breakfast by simply filling out the application. To request an application, please call 651-407-7523 or stop by your student's school to pick one up. You may also apply online. Please contact the District's Nutrition Services Support Manager Debra Kelley at 651-407-7523 if you have any questions.
  • Navigating Autism with MSP - The Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport is piloting a new program to help ease the stress of flying for students with autism. View the flyer to learn more about the program.
  • Native American Heritage Month - This month, we celebrate the history, culture, and character of American Indian and Alaska Native people. This year's theme, "Native Families Moving Ahead: Together We Strengthen Our Nations," speaks to the importance of continuing on the path to a healthier future for all American families. Learn more here.
  • Special Education Parent Advisory Council - Parent Participation is essential in establishing and evaluating programs, services and policies affecting students with disabilities. If you are interested in learning more about joining the Special Education Parent Advisory Council, please contact Kathleen Daniels , Director of Special Services at 651-407-7553.

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 - 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.
  • New/Used Audio Book DVD Library - The White Bear Area Senior Center (located at Normandy Park Education Center in White Bear Lake) is starting an Audio Book DVD Library. If you would like to pass your favorite audio book DVDs forward, please consider our Lending Library. Everyone also is welcome to utilize our library for your listening pleasure. Library & Audio Book DVD Drop Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 

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 or call 651-407-7696. 
    • Reunions - The WBLAEF sponsors the White Bear Lake Area Alumni Association. Find information about the Alumni Association, including scheduled reunions, here
    • Holiday Angels - Kicking off this month, the Holiday Angels program gives our community an opportunity to share with those in need right in our own school district while honoring a school district staff person during the holiday season. View the flyer for more information.
  • 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 November update here to learn about the benefits of natural lighting in the classroom .  The Quarter 8 and Year 2 reports are also available online.


Support WBLAS Students:

  • WBLAHS Fall Musical - Tickets for the White Bear Lake Area High School fall musical, Anything Goes, with music by Cole Porter, are currently on sale at The Nest in downtown White Bear Lake. Final show times are 7 p.m. on November 16 & 17. Tickets are $12 for adults, $9 for students/seniors. Explore the making of the musical on the District's Facebook Page. For additional information, contact the Theater Hotline at 651-653-2987.
  • Early Childhood Screening Volunteer Opportunity - We are seeking volunteers to help greet families, register children and collect information during our Early Childhood Screening clinics. This is a fun way to meet families in our district and spend time with preschool age children. The time commitment is dependent on your schedule as we have many clinics scheduled throughout the school year on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. For more information or to volunteer, please contact Becki Kvitrud, Volunteer Coordinator at 651-429-1504.
  • Excellence Event 2013 - Please consider a year-end financial contribution to support Excellence Event 2013! The Excellence Event is a yearly celebration held each May recognizing the academic achievements of the top graduating seniors at White Bear Lake Area High School and the Area Learning Center, and the educators selected by each of the honored students. Both students and educators selected for recognition at this event say that it is one of the most meaningful events of the year! Funding for the Excellence Event is provided solely by charitable donations and not District funds. To make a donation and support this year's Excellence Event, please send a check made payable to "White Bear Lake Area Schools" with "Excellence Event" in the memo line to Jody Reber at the District Center. Thanks in advance for your support!

Awards and Honors

  • Athletic Administrator of the Year - Congratulations to Tim Hermann, White Bear Lake Area High School Activities Director, who was recently named the Minnesota Region 4AA Athletic Administrator of the Year. Tim will be one of eight candidates considered for for the AA State Athletic Administrator of the Year at the upcoming state convention.
  • Chemistry Club Grant - Congratulations to the WBLAHS - South Campus Chemistry Teacher, Cassie Knutson, who recently received a $500 grant from the American Chemical Society to support her work with the Chemistry Club. The society recognizes and supports collaboration between university graduate students and high school teachers toward chemistry education. Cassie partners with her husband, Ryan, a Ph.D. candidate in Chemistry at the University of Minnesota, to advise the club's greater than 60 members.
  • Tim McGraw on Twin Cities Live - Local White Bear Lake ALC Business and Technology Education Teacher, Tim McGraw, will be performing on an upcoming segment of Twin Cities Live. A teacher by day and entertainer by night, Tim performs songs from the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Michael Bublé with Tim Patrick and His Blue Eyes Band. Tune into Channel 5 at 3 p.m. on November 21 to watch the show. 

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

Stocking up


This year's White Bear Lake Area High School Student Council set a new record, collecting 15,496 pounds of food during their annual food drive. Weighing in at more than 2,000 pounds heavier than last year's total, the nearly 7.75 tons of food will be donated to the White Bear Lake Area Emergency Food Shelf and Second Harvest Heartland. An additional $2,401.66 (the equivalent of another 13,000 pounds) also was collected during the fundraising endeavor.


Student Council members engaged in a variety of fun activities to collect supplies including special themed days during the week of October 29th - Meaty Monday, Two-Can Tuesday, Wash-Up Wednesday, Thrifty Thursday, and Fruits and Veggies Friday. Lunchtime activities also were on the agenda, including a can stacking contest, lunchtime karaoke and a saltine eating contest - all in the name of raising awareness of hunger in our community. Students also participated in the White Bear tradition of the Halloween Trick-or-Can activity, going house-to-house to collect donated canned goods rather than candy traditionally collected on the evening.


When all was said and done, Student Council members went to the White Bear Lake Area Emergency Food Shelf on November 9th, waking up early on their day off, to unpack the boxes and stock the shelves. Liz Bridgman, South Campus' Vice President said, "The Food Drive is a great way to challenge students to think about the problems in our community, actively do something to change them, and help people."


Honoring our veterans

Hugo and Oneka Elementary School students celebrated Veterans Day this year by preparing care packages for active soldiers. Students and volunteer members of the Hugo Yellow Ribbon Network worked to create care packages for the 250 soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 257th Military Policy Company deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.


The boxes were filled with treats listed on soldiers' wish lists. Food items included popcorn, beef jerky, cookies, nuts, chips, coffee, power bars, drink mixes. Items that fell into the category of "necessity" included toiletries and socks, while novelty items included books, magazines, games. Very special, handmade fillers were the cozy handmade scarfs knitted by the Soaring Eagles Chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America. 


Of the more than 1,500 pounds of supplies shipped, perhaps the most meaningful pieces come directly from the students. Included in each package is a metal box adorned with art and handwritten messages of appreciation from the students of Hugo and Oneka Elementary Schools. Their messages of thanks are sure to put smiles on the faces of many troops.



Walking for a cure


Students from Central Middle School laced up their shoes, pulled on layers of pink clothing and participated in a Walk for the Cure on November 2. Currently in its sixth year, the event was sponsored by the National Junior Honor Society to increase awareness for cancer and raise money to support future research. Students and staff members worked together to raise $1,166.



Many individuals helped make the event special, including members of the community who generously provided cookies, pastries and stickers to participants. To keep the beat, the White Bear Drum Line made an entertaining appearance. This was the second year the high school band members have participated in the event.


The numbers involved with the event are impressive. Members of the NJHS created pink ribbon-and-bead bracelets for each of the students and staff members who participated in the walk, with the boys and girls tying 1,500 bracelets for the event. The event's history is a successful one, as the students have raised more than $1,000 every year of the walk.


Technology initiatives

Otter Lake Elementary School recently played host to many exciting projects to boost Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in the classroom. Earlier this month, Otter Lake students explored the newly created Environmental Trail to participate in the third annual Tech or Treat - formally known as The Tech Trek, to raise funds for innovative student technology. In past years, the event has helped support the purchase of mobile laptop carts, iPads, and SMART Boards in every classroom. This year's Tech or Treat will help fuel continued advances in student access to technology.


Technology is no stranger in the classrooms of Otter Lake. The intermediate wing, including students in grades 3-5, has been experimenting with Google Chromebook laptops as a new tool to promote STEM education. The laptops are currently used almost every hour of the day and are in such high demand that an additional set  will soon be on its way.


Another creative STEM activity took place on Halloween as 3rd and 4th grade students participated in a Vocabulary parade. Students worked to craft their costumes based on a STEM-related word. Batteries, fire, computers, and scientists were all apart of the lineup that crossed the stage as teachers read off the definition for each costume.


Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

White Bear Lake Area Schools recently played host to 16 students and two teachers from Leipzig, Germany. The District's partnership with Brockhaus Gymnasium is part of the German-American Partnership Program (GAPP). 

A favorite activity of the group was a "homegrown" one. Students enjoyed a tour of the White Bear Lake Police Department, given in German by a current WBLPD sergeant who participated in the GAPP program as a WBLAHS student in 1996. The students were able to check out a holding cell, observe the dispatch area, witness a few "take-down" methods, and see the squad cars "up close and personal." After their time at the police department, the students toured the Fire Department, where they had additional hands-on experiences that included climbing in and around the fire trucks and checking out the specialized equipment. A City Hall tour, with Mayor Jo Emerson providing a welcome and an overview of the American voting process, capped off the entertaining morning.

The group visited other Minnesota sites as well, including the Mall of America, Duluth, the Capitol, and museums and the "usual" sights. Because of the time of year they visited, the German students enjoyed the unique opportunity of experiencing Halloween - even trying a corn maze - and the American election season. 

The German visitors commented that American teachers were very friendly and approachable, and that they seemed to make learning fun. The variety and freshness of school lunch options also was noticed and appreciated by the guests. On the homefront, the students reported they were pleasantly surprised at the overall friendliness and hospitality of their American families, most of whom were families of WBLAHS students who are studying German in, which was in contrast to the impressions they had gathered previously when watching American movies and TV shows. They also were amazed that so many Americans paid attention to and participated in the elections. Political yard signs were new to them.  

Next summer, the White Bear German students accompanied by Frau Kotilinek and Frau Booth will visit Leipzig and experience Germany firsthand.


Activities Updates

Girls' Cross Country runner Bethany Kozak, junior, competed in her 3rd State Cross Country Meet, finishing 8th with a time of 14:21 and earning All-State Honors. Junior Allison Ternes competed in her 4th State Cross Country Meet and finished 95th with a time of 15:29. Fourteen Girls Swim and Dive team members -  the most in three years - participated in section finals. Bears Bowlers won the conference competition. The Mountain Biking Teamcompeted in the state championships and finished seventh in the state. After a great run at the section meet, the Boys' Cross Country team placed 11th in the state meet. 



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.

School Board News

School Board Student Recognition

Before the November 12, 2012 Regular Meeting, the White Bear Lake Area School Board Recognized the following students:






To see larger versions of the photos, "like" the District on Facebook.


School Board Meetings

Upcoming meetings

Date Type Time Location
Monday, November 26 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center Room 201
Monday, December 10 Regular 7 p.m. District Center Community Room 112
Monday, January 14 Regular 7 p.m. District Center Community Room 112
Monday, January 28 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center Room 201

District News

  • Turning Seasons
  • General Information
  • Opportunities
  • Awards and Honors

Student News

  • Stocking up
  • Honoring our veterans
  • Walking for a cure
  • Technology initiatives
  • Sprechen Sie Deutsch?
  • Activities updates

School Board News

  • School Board Student Recognition
  • School Board Meetings


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