October 5, 2012

District News

Breaking Away

Before a late-week change that reminds us winter is approaching, autumn weather has been spectacular. Warm days, light winds, and balmy evenings have been ideal for playing and watching fall sports.

Broad seas of orange surround the football field, islands of orange and black cluster around soccer, volleyball, and tennis, and the banks of the cross-country route are lined with brightly colored trees and fans who blend in with the maples and oaks.

Our athletes give us reason to be proud to be a Bear. Last weekend we watched as one of our runners pulled away from hundreds of athletes in a big meet and went on the win the race by a wide margin.

We feel a thrill of energy and pride when an athlete appears to do the extraordinary, whether in the Olympics or in our neighborhood.

"Breaking away" happens in a moment, but reflects months or years of training, moments of opportunity, and personal confidence.

These moments come for individual athletes and for teams. We also witness "break away" moments in the classroom, when students take a huge step of progress. Such moments come for adults as well. Consider the first year teacher who works tirelessly, always feeling a day behind, but one day emerges in spectacular fashion, impressing students and colleagues with poise and confidence.

Whether for students or staff, long periods of training, times of opportunity, and personal confidence are prerequisites for breaking away. Watch closely. It will happen again this fall right before our eyes.

Dr. Michael Lovett

General Information


Find additional information about White Bear Lake Area Schools here.

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.

Find a listing of the many, varied Community Services offerings in the Community Services Catalog, recently mailed to District residents. Find an electronic version of the catalog here

Sample courses include: 

  • How to Get Into College and Pay for it-Without Unmanageable Debt
    Tuesday, October 23, 6:30-8:30 pm, District Center Community Room
    $19/2 family members
  • Social Ballroom Dancing for Beginners
    Thursdays, Oct. 25-Nov. 15, 7-8:30 pm, Oneka
  • Thriller Line Dance Workshop
    Thursday, Oct. 18, 7-8:30 p.m., Oneka
  • Composting is for Everyone
    Wednesday, Oct. 24, 7-8:30 p.m., South Campus 210
  • How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Ebook
    Monday, November 5, 6:30-8:30 pm, South Campus 210
  • White House Women
    Tuesday, Oct. 23, 6:30-8 pm, South Campus 302

For full descriptions and to register, visit www.whitebearregistration.org or www.whitebearcommunityservices.org.

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 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.
  • FREE Smoke Detectors for the hearing impaired - The White Bear Lake Fire Department has approximately two dozen strobe smoke detectors for the hearing impaired that they received through a FEMA grant. The detectors are available (for free) to residents who live in the school district. Please contact Mike Turnbull at 651-429-8568 if you would like to request a smoke detector. 
  • Special Education Parent Advisory Council (PAC) - White Bear Lake Area Schools is seeking parent volunteers to serve on the District's Special Education Parent Advisory Council (PAC). The role of council members is to provide input and feedback on District procedures relating to the education of students with disabilities. The PAC meets three times each school year. The first meeting for the 2012-13 school year is scheduled for 6:30-8 p.m. October 23rd, 2012 at District Center Room 206. Future meetings will take place January 15 and April 2. 
    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.
  • Special Education Family Recreation Night - All ages are welcome to attend monthly Special Education Family Recreation Night, the first of which will take place on Friday, October 19 at Otter Lake Elementary. The event is sponsored by Northeast Metro 916 and White Bear Lake Area School's Community Education Department. Find a flyer here.
  • ADD/ADHD information - ADD/ADHD Support Group will meet Monday, October 8 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the District 622 Education Center at 2520 E. 12th Ave., N. St. Paul. Find information about the meeting here. Find information about the support group here.
  • Free Flue Shots - Find information about free flu shots available in the Twin Cities area here.
  • Ice Bears Youth Wrestling Club - Find youth wrestling camp and regular season registration information here.

Senior Program Updates:

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

  • 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.
  • Flu Shot Clinic - The Senior Program is hosting a flu shot clinic from 9 - 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, September 25 at the White Bear Area Senior Center (2484 East County Road F, White Bear Lake). There is no cost if you have health insurance and there is a $29 cost without insurance.
  • Bake Sale & Palate Pleaser Cookbook Fundraiser - The Senior Program is looking for bakers to contribute to a fundraising event from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. October 4 at the Normandy Park Education Center Senior Program (2484 County Road F East). Proceeds will benefit the Senior Connection/Outreach Department offering Care Consultation and Caregiver Support. Find a flyer here.
  • 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.
    • Reunions - the WBLAEF sponsors the White Bear Lake Area Alumni Association. Find information about the Alumni Association, including scheduled reunions, 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 the October update, covering ways to celebrate October as Energy Awareness Month, here


Support WBLAS students

  • WBLAHS Girls Volleyball Dig Pink event - Attend the girls' volleyball junior varsity and varsity team matches vs. Mounds View on Thursday, October 11 for the team's "dig Pink" event to promote breast health education and raise funds to eradicate breast cancer. Find a flyer here
  • Sunrise Park Middle School Metro Dining Club sale- Sunrise is selling Metro Dining Club (DMC) cards this fall. The North/Northeast Metro card set has 166 restaurants, each card may be used once a month October 2012 - October 2013. A few of the local restaurants include Roadside Pizza (50% or up to $7 off), Blue Heron ($12), C.G. Hooks ($7), Casa Lupita ($6), DQ ( 2 for 1), Gulden's ($9), Mad Jack's ($12), Taco John's ( 2 for 1), and Running Aces ($20). Cost is $22 (savings of $6) per set. Contact Linda Adams at 651-653-2701 if interested.
  • 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.
  • Choir Day Festival public concert opportunity - The Mariners Choir is one of four choirs from around that state that has been chosen to perform a solo set in the annual Choir Day Festival public concert, to be hosted at St. Olaf College in Northfield on Sunday, November 4. The public concert, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 4 p.m. in the Skoglund Center Auditorium on the Campus of St. Olaf College.
  • Economic class fundraising update - Thank you for your support! Economic students at the ALC held a craft sale in September to raise money for a service learning project that will help poor people in third world countries. Students met their fundraising goal of $1000 and will use this money to make micro-loans of $25-$50 to entrepreneurs in countries such as Honduras, India, Africa and others. Their sale had 40 vendors who sold crafts and garage sale items. It is estimated that a couple hundred people attended the sale. If you are interested in donating to this worthy cause, contact Tim McGraw at the ALC at 651-773-6406 or go online to www.kiva.org and start your own account to help people in need.

Partner Opportunities

  • MacPhail Center for Music discount - Save $100 off music lessons at MacPhail Center for Music’s locations at White Bear Lake Area High School North Campus or Birch Lake Elementary when you register by November 1. Mention WBL100-FALL13. Valid for new students only. Call 612-321-0100 or go to macphail.org. Flyer available by clicking here.

Awards and Honors

  • Mary Dahle Leadership Scholarship - To preserve the legacy of Mary Dahle and help cultivate future community leaders, White Bear Lake Area Schools alumni have founded The Mary Dahle Leadership Scholarship. Please click here and consider making a financial contribution to this new scholarship!

Please contact Marisa Vette (651-407-7695) to submit District News, General Information, Opportunities or Awards & Honors for inclusion in future publications.

Student News

Bullying Prevention Month activities

On October 10th, schools across the United States will celebrate Unity Day. Thousands of students will participate in this event by wearing orange and sending one large "orange message of support" to students who have experienced bullying. White Bear Lake Area Schools will be among those recognizing this important day.


The middle schools in particular have some exciting initiatives planned throughout October. Sunrise Park students kicked off the celebration month by viewing "Stand Up, Be a Hero" video in advisory. Staff are in on the fun too, wearing the "HERO" shirts every Thursday of the month, handing out "Be a Hero" pencils and stickers throughout the month, and doing daily announcements related to bullying prevention. Leading up to Unity Day, students have been given the opportunity in gym classes to sign the pledge banner. The completed banners, one for each grade, will hang at the end of each hallway.


Activities at Central are similar, with a kick-off video being shared and a pledge banner being signed - by students clad in orange - on Unity Day. Central will end the month with a special Mix-It-Up Day at lunch that provides students the opportunity to sit with different groups of students at lunch and answer a variety of conversation-starting questions. Another initiative that will begin during October is a year-long kindness chain activity - during which students will have the opportunity to recognize their fellow peers for contributing to a positive school climate by writing down an act of kindness they see another student engage in. The acts of kindness will be linked together to create a long chain to symbolize everyone working together to create a positive school climate. 


Cleaning up what has fallen down

Vadnais Heights Elementary is playing host to its annual Fall Clean-up, and event that has been sponsored by the school's Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) for many years. This year, a new group will join in the fun - a group of Girl Scouts who are fourth graders at Vadnais will complete a service project badge through the fun effort.  Additionally, several students from the WBLAHS National Honor Society will be on-hand to help.

The clean-up efforts will take place at the elementary school's outdoor classroom, which includes Lambert Creek and wetlands. The area, now known as now known as the “Bears Backyard" after school voting took place, will look spic and span after the students finish raking leaves and picking up trash that has recently blown into the back yard nature area.  

Those who wish to join the group for the student-generated activity are invited to do so from 9-11:30 a m. on Saturday, October 13th - it is suggested that families who participate bring rakes, gloves and lots of energy! Snacks and refreshments will be available. 

But why?

More than 70 White Bear Lake Area High School Chemistry Club students recently had a bit of fun with non-Newtonian fluid and a kiddie pool. In an activity you may have to see to believe - click on the descriptions to see the videos - the students performed "sinkability" testsexplained the phenomenon, and watched the material "dance."

This is just one of the many fun exercises on the docket for this year. Other activities in which the students will participate include lighting their hands on fire with methane bubbles, creating dust explosions, and creating colored flames and exploding hydrogen balloons. The explanations of the science behind the experiences, along with a tie to real-world experiences helps make the experiences memorable. In February, the students will showcase their favorite activities to a group of 5th or 6th grade students that come to WBLAHS - South Campus after school, with the intention of generating interest in science across different grade levels... and of giving high school members of Chemistry Club a chance to mentor and pass along their love of science to the younger group of students.

Says teacher Cassandra Knutson: "The students have absolutely love the activities in Chemistry Club. Their expressions are priceless as I light their hands on fire or as they run across the non-Newtonian fluid. They quickly become very interested in the question that I love to hear the most: 'Why?'... 'Why can I light my hand on fire without it burning' and 'Why can I run across this liquid, but when I stop I sink?' to 'Why does flour burst into flames when it is in a dust form but hardly burn when it is in a pile on a tabletop?' The answer I am able to give is simple - 'It's science!'"



AWARE program commits to volunteer service

The White Bear Lake Area School District's Accountability With Academics and Restorative Education (AWARE) program recently announced it has teamed with the White House to become a Certifying Organization for the President’s Volunteer Service Award, a national program recognizing Americans who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to volunteer service. Established in 2003, the award was created by President George W. Bush to give Presidential recognition to individuals who meet requirements for volunteer service, measured by the number of service hours performed over 12 months. The AWARE program will be responsible for verifying service hours, nominating potential recipients and delivering the award.
AWARE is an alternative to suspension for White Bear Lake Area School District middle school and high school students. It provides students who may serve an out-of-school suspension with a structured setting to stay current with schoolwork, process their decisions, and learn alternative strategies for solving issues and problems. The program seeks to integrate meaningful community service with instruction and reflection, teach civic responsibility, encourage lifelong civic engagement, and strengthen communities for the common good. Students at AWARE have opportunities to help maintain Matoska Park, read to elementary students, make and donate blankets to children in the hospital, and bake bread for White Bear Lake United Methodist Church Community Bread Oven.

Many AWARE students are overcome with pride and satisfaction when they meaningfully contribute to our community in a positive way. As a Certifying Organization for the President’s Volunteer Service Award, the AWARE program goal is to encourage students to continue volunteering, and making a positive impact upon our community.

Leading in the right direction

Two White Bear Lake Area High School students recently were accepted into the Special Olympics Youth Advisory Council (YAC). Madisyn Kephart and Morgan Richards, who are both members of our P.A.L.S. (Peer And Leadership Society team), were informed this week of their acceptance. 


The YAC is composed of students with and without intellectual disabilities coming together for change and inclusion in our community. More info on the program is located here. Says parent volunteer Leslie Sieleni, who will participate along with Madisyn and Morgan as their chaperone for the 2012-2013 school year, "This is a huge accomplishment for both girls and for our community!"


The mission of P.A.L.S., a program run by students for students, is to offer opportunities to open doors for ALL children to learn, live and play together. The group hosts game days during which regular education students will come and play video games, watch movies, play board games, Foosball and much much more with individuals with special needs in the White Bear Lake Area School District.



Activities Updates

Three Girls' Cross Country team members had exceptional performances at the prestigious Roy Griak Cross Country Invitational on Saturday, September 29th. Out of a field of nearly 500 runners representing 50 schools from numerous states, Bethany Kozak was the individual winner, Allison Ternes finished 11th and Ari Adams finished 15th. The Mariners Choir is one of four choirs from around that state that has been chosen to perform a solo set in the annual Choir Day Festival public concert, to be hosted at St. Olaf College in Northfield on Sunday, November 4. The public concert, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 4 p.m. in the Skoglund Center Auditorium on the Campus of St. Olaf College. Attend the Girls' Volleyball junior varsity and varsity team matches vs. Mounds View on Thursday, October 11 for the team's "dig Pink" event to promote breast health education and raise funds to eradicate breast cancer. Find a flyer here.


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 Marisa Vette (651-407-7695) to submit Student News for inclusion in future publications.

School Board News

School Board meetings

Upcoming meetings

Date Type Time Location
Monday, October 8 Regular 7 p.m. District Center Community Room 112
Monday, October 22 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center Room 201
Monday, November 12 Regular 7 p.m. District Center Community Room 112
Monday, November 26 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center Room 201

Regular School Board meetings are re-broadcast on Cable Channel 20 in the local viewing area after regular business meeting as follows:

  • Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.
  • Thursdays at 10 a.m.

District News

  • Breaking Away
  • General Information
  • Opportunities
  • Awards and Honors 

Student News

  • Bullying Prevention Month activities
  • Cleaning up what has fallen down
  • But why?
  • AWARE program commits to volunteer service
  • Leading in the right direction
  • Activities updates 

School Board News

  • Upcoming meetings


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