August 2, 2013

Extended service and learning

Students in the district's summertime Extended Day programs have had a summer jam-packed with fun, service and learning.

Last week, Oneka Elementary's Extended Day students challenged staff members to a food drive competition. The contest was close through Thursday evening, but the staff members pulled ahead to end on Friday with 633 pounds of food (vs. the students' 410 pounds). The winning prize was to be the pie-wielders today in a "pie in the face" activity.  A couple of good-spirited staff members also participated in wearing the pies, just for the fun of it. More important than the fun that was had, Oneka Extended Day donated more than one thousand pounds of food to the Hugo Food Shelf. See photos of the experience here.

Willow Lane Elementary Extended Day students have taken part in the Willow Walking Club throughout the summer. Staff members mapped out assorted routes from the school, created a chart so walkers can record distances, and provided incentives (cool items donated by assorted community members). Participants choose from the shorter walk (generally our younger kids) or the longer walk (generally the older kids). They've set themselves the goal of walking a cumulative 26 miles - so they will have walked the length of a full marathon by the end of the summer. One third grader has already met and surpassed this goal. The activity is related to the district’s "Bear Power" initiative, a partnership with Health Partners and the White Bear Area YMCA.

And last but not least, in an effort to "beat the heat" that was upon us a couple of weeks ago, students at both schools participated in an experiment that was first described on the radio that morning. The young bakers mixed cookies and placed them on a cookie sheet in a very creative oven - a back window of a sealed automobile. As temperatures soared to more than 90 degrees, students watched their cookies go from dough to doughy-cookies. Find photos of the fun experiment here

Cultural connections

Students from White Bear Lake Area High School students who are studying German spent two weeks in Germany this summer as part of the Intercultural Student Experiences program. The program is part of an ongoing partnership the District has with a school in Leipzig, Germany.

The students had many opportunities to practice their German during a family stay and throughout their visit through the two countries.

Teachers Fay Kotilinek and Karla Booth accompanied the group. Superintendent Dr. Michael Lovett also joined in the fun, meeting the students in Leipzig and participating in activities that included touring Dresden, experiencing German schools in Leipzig, and visiting Buchenwald Concentration Camp.

Last fall, White Bear Lake Area Schools 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). 

Photos of the trip can be found here.


In the market

District representatives joined in the Marketfest fun again this summer, sharing information, pencils, bear decals and fun with community members who stopped by. Student booth participants this year included American Sign Language class members, one of the winners of the "Good News Bears" writing contest that took place earlier this summer in conjunction with Manitou Days, and Homecoming committee members made sure information about the upcoming festivities was available. 

Photos of the District's Marketfest booth can be found at our Facebook page.

Summer fun and stories

Vadnais Heights Elementary hosted "Summer Fun and Stories" for three weeks in June. Under the direction of six teachers, 65 students had the opportunity to participate in literacy projects that were aligned with three field trips. The East Metro Integration District made this opportunity possible through a grant that was available to support extended instruction.

The first week was focused on caves and our students read about rocks, animals, history and all kinds of things that have to do with caves. The field trip brought our students to the Crystal Cave in Wisconsin and they experienced a wonderful, underground adventure.

Week two provided our students the opportunity to talk about living in the state of 10,000 lakes. Water is everywhere in MN and our students especially enjoyed visiting Bunker Beach in Anoka on a hot summer day.

The third and final week focused on grains, flour, and bread and the field trip brought them to Mill City Museum in Minneapolis.

These rich experiences will be memories that will be with our students for a lifetime. Who would have thought that the students would have been so excited to attend summer school yet their learning was brought to life through the field trip experiences and many hands-on activities in the classrooms.

Activities Updates

Congratulations to the WBLHS Archery Team! 17 members of the high school team competed in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) World Championship in St. Louis, Mo. The team placed 12th out of 48 high school teams, with 53% of the team placing in the top 10% of the world. Congratulations to WBLAHS student Kate Cox, who was named Top Female Skipper and earned top spots in boat races earlier this month! See the story here. Fall Musical Auditions update - Auditions for the WBLAHS 2013 Fall Musical, Once Upon A Mattress, will take place at the WBLAHS - North Campus Theatre. Please attend one of the following times: Tuesday, Sept. 3 from 3:30-6 p.m. or 7-9 p.m., or Wednesday, Sept. 4 from 3:30-6 p.m. Please wear shoes/attire that allow you to move comfortably on stage and have approx. 1 minute of a musical selection prepared (please bring your music/accompaniment with you to auditions). Call backs will take place from 3:30-6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5. Read through will take place from 3:30-6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6. Any questions can be directed to Wendy Suoja (at WBLAHS - North Campus) or office phone 651-402-7622. Leadership Academy - This July, in a continuing effort to develop leadership qualities within our student-participants, the first annual Leadership Academy was created. The Academy is designed to be a cooperative venture with White Bear Lake Area High School and North Branch Area High School and will consist of a purposefully developed approach involving seven classes constructed to deliver the curriculum in an interactive fashion and facilitate discussion for each of the leadership concepts that will be presented throughout the year.

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

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

School Board Student Recognitions


Before its July 8 regular meeting, the School Board recognized the WBLAHS Lacrosse Team members for competing in the state tournament.

Also honored that evening were members of the varsity trapshooting team, which finished with a score of 427 out of 500 targets at the state competition.

School Board Meetings

School Board meeting agendas and minutes can be found here.
Upcoming meetings

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