September 7, 2012

Student News


District makes AYP for third consecutive year

Based on data released last week by the Minnesota Department of Education, White Bear Lake Area Schools made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the third consecutive year. Under the Federal 2002 No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, school district students are tested by the state in both reading and math. The scores are used to determine whether the district makes AYP after the state analyzes district data as a whole and by subgroups by race, ethnicity, free and reduced lunch, and special education. White Bear Lake Area Schools is one of only two districts of 13 in the East Metro area to make AYP for the past three consecutive years.


Earlier this month, school-by-school results of the 2012 state testing data were published. For the fourth straight year, the District saw increases in student proficiency. In state MCA results, math scores improved better than 5% and reading scores were up 2%. District students also continued to show significant growth during the year. Using a national test measuring student growth (MAP), White Bear Lake Area Schools students in grades one through ten grew 1 year, 4 months in reading, and 1 year, 7 months in mathematics.


“We are proud of our students and staff for these gains, and are committed to assure all of our students will exceed the proficiency threshold,” said Michael Lovett, Superintendent. “The fact that we have made AYP three years in a row shows we’re progressing toward this goal.”


Another analysis of data received this week uses a new method of measurement developed by the State of Minnesota, called Multiple Measurement Rating (MMR). Eleven out of 12 White Bear Lake Area School District schools measured received maximum points in “proficiency,” one category in the ratings.


“The purpose of the new system is to help us understand which students and groups of students are being most successful in annual growth in reading and mathematics,” said Mary McGrane, the district’s assessment coordinator. “Compared to past systems, this new analytical process is much more statistically complex, so we will continue to work with principals and leaders to understand how the scores are calculated.”


Three of the District’s Title I elementary schools are recognized under the MMR system as Celebration Eligible Schools: Birch Lake, Lakeaires and Willow Lane Elementary. All three schools received all possible points on proficiency, and high scores on “growth” and “achievement gap reduction” sections, to be ranked in the top 25 percent of schools statewide.


Legacy, Commitment and Promise

This week, District staff members welcomed students and families into the school for the first day of classes, with buses running their routes, parents waving their goodbyes at the schoolhouse doors, and students breaking out their text books for homework after the very first day of school. But 2012-13 academic year began in August for most families, with school supply list purchases being made at local retailers and friendly visits with staff members and other families at Meet the Teacher events.


Students also were busy last week at the 2012 Opening Convocation event, the "official kick-off" to the school year, as they welcomed staff members back for the school year. The event's entertainment roster included a WBLAHS student quartet, members of the high school drumline, the Mariners Choir and the WBLAHS cheer team. A surprise performance of the "National Anthem" by Emy Marier, a Willow Lane Elementary graduate and new Sunrise Park Middle School sixth grader, evoked a special round of appreciation before District leaders addressed the crowd and focused on the District's Legacy, Commitment and Promise. See videos produced for the event below.





The 2012 Convocation event video will be broadcast in its entirety on the Local Community Channel 19 at 7 p.m. on September 11, 3 p.m. on September 14, 9 p.m. September 15 and 16, and 7 p.m. September 17. A program for the event can be found here.


New initiatives underway for 2012-13 

A variety of new initiatives are underway starting this fall. Read below for a quick synopsis of the exciting innovations happening in our schools:

  • Elementary World Language - Our elementary schools offer a world language - either Spanish or Chinese. Fourth and fifth grade students will have 45 minutes of world language every three days. Matoska International continues to offer Spanish K-5.
  • Middle schools named IB Candidate Schools - Central and Sunrise Park Middle Schools are International Baccalaureate Candidate Schools for the Middle Years Program (MYP). Building on an already rigorous curriculum, this internationally recognized program will offer our students stronger connections between subject areas.
  • Guidance Office changes - The district has aligned our 6-12 guidance program with national standards. At the high school level, two counselors at each grade level work with their class from grade 9 through 12, supporting student success and comprehensive academic and college planning. 
  • Secondary level World Language - Middle School students study Chinese, French, German or Spanish. High school students have the choice of these languages and American Sign Language.
  • Technology - At every level, innovative technologies improve communications with families, and strengthen student engagement, personalizing and accelerating learning.
  • Strategic Plan - Beginning in 2010-11, engaged citizens and staff helped the district formulate a strategic plan. Implementation began in 2011-12 and continues in 2012-13.

If you have any questions about the initiatives above, please contact your school or the Superintendent's Office at 651-407-7563.


Activities Updates

WBLAHS senior and Theatre participant Emily Nies, who won a MN Spotlight Award and the chance to travel to New York City this summer to participate in the prestigious Jimmy Awards process, is one of 60 high school musical performers included in a PBS miniseries on the Broadway boot camp. The show will debut this Sunday. September 9 and will be continued on September 16 and September 23. Find additional details - and see Emily in both photos! - in this USA Today write-up. Girls Cross Country runner Bethany Kozak was named a StarTribune prep athlete of the week. Boys Hockey player Lance Carney was highlighted in the inaugural issue of White Bear Lake Magazine. Theatre and Choir student Jonathon Woodruff and Girls Basketball player Danielle Renner were highlighted as two of five of the region's prep elite in the inaugural issue of White Bear Lake Magazine.


White Bear Lake Area High School Athletics schedules can be found here.


A comprehensive 2012-13 District Activities schedule can be found here. The 2012-13 Activities Calendar will be mailed to District families later this month.

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, September 10 Regular 7 p.m. District Center Community Room 112
Monday, September 24 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center Room 201
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

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

  • Is it time for lunch yet?
  • General Information
  • Opportunities
  • Awards and Honors 

Student News

  • District makes AYP for third consecutive year
  • Legacy, Commitment and Promise
  • New initiatives underway for 2012-13
  • Activities updates 

School Board News

  • Meeting agendas
  • Upcoming meetings


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