December 8, 2013

Student News - A busy Tuesday

Fourth graders at Lakeaires Elementary are undertaking a service project next week that will keep kids warm on these very cold days. The students all donated money to purchase fleece, which they will use to make blankets for Project Linus, a non-profit that donates blankets to children in need. 

The class reports being very excited to help other kids. And they're helping to spread the good feelings that come along with serving others as well. Their first grade buddies will also be helping when the blankets are made this Tuesday.

White Bear Lake Area High School students are also in the giving spirit. The students are currently in the middle of their annual Casa de Esperanza Proyecto Navidad project. A total of 24 first-hour classes have adopted a total of 28 women, 24 of whom have multiple children, for the holidays and will fulfill the families' Christmas wish lists. 

On Tuesday afternoon, a giant UHaul from Casa de Esperanza will stop by WBLAHS - South Campus to pick up the large load of items currently taking over the space at the World Language Center. In addition to loads of coats, toys and household items, in the piles of gifts are a mattress, a bike, a microwave and coffeemaker, and an iPod.

Little lessons

Kindergartners at Hugo Elementary enjoyed watching the snow fall this week from the comfort of a classroom igloo they're building as a recycling project. The students will use this igloo for math activities, during Daily 5, and as a learning center. It is made out of gallon size milk jugs that the children are saving and bringing in. The class will enjoy the igloo during the winter and then share the milk jugs with the school to make other projects out of them to keep the recycling going. Say congratulations to the group here.

The youngest students in the White Bear Lake Area Schools seem to be internalizing the service lessons they're seeing from their upper class members. Lincoln first graders participated in their fifth Operation Christmas Child donation drive recently. The students put together 15 boxes to go to children in more than 130 countries. The students also had tons of money donated also that they will give to the Lincoln Holiday drive. Send the students a "congratulations" message here.

Vadnais Heights Elementary enjoyed a visit from author Erin Soderberg in November. The writer of kids books spoke with the fourth and fifth graders, then took extra time to read with the second graders. The visit was extra special for the young students because Erin's aunt Nancy Przybylski teaches 2nd grade at Vadnais. Red Balloon Bookshop made the visit possible.

Soaring with science

Oneka Elementary is always a busy place, but it was especially "happening" the week of Thanksgiving. Tuesday evening of the week students and families enjoyed a science fair and music cafe event. On Wednesday, students benefited from relationships the school has built with area organizations. Representatives from the University of Minnesota Chemistry Department, Wargo Nature Center, 3M, YMCA, Xcel Energy and Rice Creek Watershed presented on a variety of science-related topics for the students.

White Bear Lake Area High School senior Charlie Anderson is also a science enthusiast, with an aviation lens attributing to his recent accomplishment. Charlie recently received his private pilot certificate. He participated in a course at WBLAHS that taught him the principles of flight, provided him an introduction to general aviation, and prepared him to pass the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Exam. The school also offers a full Cessna Flight Simulator, designed to give students the actual feel of piloting an airplane, that was donated by the Patrick Marzitelli Science and Aviation Foundation.

A new library

Birch Lake Elementary has "added on" to it's building - it now boasts of a little outdoor library book house.The free library is posted outside in front of Birch Lake Elementary. and is available for kids to donate and/or pick a free book, similar to a book exchange. Find additional information about the concept of the little free library here.

Kyle, the White Bear Lake Center for the Arts professional artist who teaches the district's elementary art experiences, worked with a Birch Lake family on the project. The wooden house was made with donated materials and donated time. The student council group painted the library with Kyle's guidance.

When passers-by see the external free little book house they will see similarities to the school's interior. The design of the book house came from the school's inside office. The team wanted to re-create the school's theme of birch trees that welcome visitors to the school just inside the front doors. 

Making tech connections

WBLAHS musical director Wendy Suoja recently shared this "behind the scenes" look at how technology played a part in "Once Upon a Mattress"... The theatre kids were all about keeping the alum connection. This is a fun photo of the kids Skyping during rehearsal. For the first time, the department used a streaming site and gave the pass code to alumni so they could watch the show. Sam Adamsson and Courtney Westveer enjoyed the show from their college dorm rooms. The choir room and band room also had a stream of the show on the SMART Board so students knew when their cues were to go on stage!

Last week, students at four of our elementary schools - Birch Lake, Lincoln, Oneka and Otter Lake - participated in an e-field trip with Amplatz Children's Hospital and the Minnesota Vikings. The students witnessed an online session with doctors, then students were given an opportunity to share how they felt about the activity and the way it improved their understanding of fitness. Students were congratulated on their efforts to stay active and fit, and the student who logged the most fitness minutes was recognized remotely. Way to go elementary students!

The Rotary Club of White Bear Lake recently heard from district teachers and elementary students about the district's use of technology. The crowd was "wowed" when Otter Lake Elementary third grade teacher LuAnne Oklobzija and a team of students took the mic and told of things happening within the district.

Celebrating culture

High school and middle school students who are in German class enjoyed a meal with classmates in "Germany" this week - or, more specifically, at Gasthaus German Restaurant in Stillwater. The students enjoyed practicing their language skills and picking up cultural lessons in an authentic Bavarian environment. The trek to the German restaurant is an annual one that the students and staff members alike look forward to enjoying. This year's experience included a few VIP guests, including a student from Germany!

White Bear Lake Area High School students in Koom Siab Culture Club visited Birch Lake Elementary and Lincoln Elementary classrooms recently. The students shared information with the young students about the Hmong New Year. One of the visits was covered by the White Bear Press photographer Paul Dols, who shot some great photos of the students. Find the photo gallery here. Photo at right courtesy of Press Publications. 

Activities Updates

The winter sports season is currently underway.

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

Please contact the Communications Department (651-407-7695) to submit Student News for inclusion in future publications.

School Board Meetings

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

Date Type Time Location
December 9 Regular 7 p.m. District Center
January 13 Regular 7 p.m. District Center
January 27 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center