November 17, 2013

Student News - Thank You to the community

The White Bear Lake Area Schools community voted on a 10-year Capital Projects levy investment on November 5 with a 61% to 39% margin. The levy funds library books and materials; textbooks and instructional materials; science equipment; technology to support students and teachers; and repair and replacement of large musical instruments.

Four School Board members were also elected that day: Kim Chapman, George Kimball, Donald Mullin and Janet Newberg.

Find official voting results here.

Calling all parents

White Bear Lake Area Schools and the White Bear Lake Police Department will host a District-Wide Safety Information Night from 6-8:15 p.m. on November 19, 2013 at WBLAHS - South Campus. A free dinner will be served from 5:30-6 p.m. that evening to attendees, and free childcare will be available for those attendees who need it. 

During this event, parents will be able to attend two breakout sessions on the following topics: Internet Safety, Teen Driving Laws and Safety, Youth Drug Trends and Awareness, Healthy Relationships and Safe Dating. The evening was scheduled in such a way that a family who sends two adult participants can cover all four topics, which were selected based upon topics that are most requested by parents, and especially parents of preteens and teens.

Find a "Cop's Corner" article about the event in the Nov. 5 issue of the White Bear Press or available online here.

A true community auditorium

The Community Auditorium has been a destination location these days, with a variety of fun activities taking place on that very stage.

Last week, students throughout the district recognized veterans on Veterans Day and during the week. Central Middle School seventh graders enjoyed a visit from Major Barry Henriksen, who spoke with students about his experiences before presenting awards for the Patriot's Pen essay contest. The essay contest is one hosted by the White Bear Lake VFW. More than 100 students wrote 300-400 words about "What Patriotism Means to Me." Along with the students, veteran community members filled the seats in the Community Auditorium. Find additional photos of the assembly celebration here.

The week before, a team of White Bear Lake Area Schools students performed a play, "It's Our School, Too," in front of Central Middle School sixth graders. The show was a preview of the play that the actors later performed at the National Middle School Association's conference in Minneapolis before the main audience, which was estimated to be somewhere around 3,000 teachers from around the United States. The play was performed in conjunction/cooperation with Minnesota Special Olympics. Find photos of the Central play here.

Before that, more than 100 students (some in costume) showed up to watch the movie "Avengers" at the auditorium. The movie offering was provided through the collaboration of the City of Hugo and White Bear Lake Area Schools Community Services & Recreation department. The kids enjoyed watching a major motion picture right here for free. "The last student to leave the building eagerly asked "When is the next movie showing? Next time, I want to bring my little brother - this was awesome!" Parents also found the activity a beneficial one. Offered one parent, "this was a great experience for my child, and it allowed me to get some shopping and house cleaning done." 

Something to look forward to

The White Bear Lake Area High School mountain bike team finished another fun season at the state finals in Mankato. The athletes navigated the steep slopes and wild single track trails against 30 other schools. 

When all was said and done, Reanne Kolasa finished second over all in girls junior varsity. Dane Larson finished 15th over all in the boys junior varsity category.

The team will host an innovative "try it out" session next spring at Lake Wood Hills Park, located behind the White Bear Area YMCA. The team and league will have a trailer full of mountain bikes that potential riders can try out. The team will also set up an easy loop around the park to ride and offer a free skills clinic. Details will be posted next Spring.

Team photo by WBLAHS teacher Shawn Gritzmaker.


Needles, knitting and newborns

District students come in all shapes and forms - and cover multiple generations. "Needles, knitting and newborns" is the mantra of a group of seniors that meets every Thursday at the Senior Center in White Bear Lake. Cynthia Stuck and her group of 18 tireless workers knit hundreds of baby hats as a way to welcome the area's newest citizens born at St. John's Hospital in Maplewood. To date, they have made more than 1400 caps in all colors and sizes, and they use various techniques, from looming to crocheting.

"I like seeing how happy women are when they get together to do this project," says Stuck. "The whole thing is enjoyable and rewarding; it promotes a sense of well-being and an element of knowing that other people care. There's a lot of laughter in the group. We learn from each other and tutor each other, too."

Folks are welcome to stop by and volunteer at 10 a.m. Thursdays, or they can donate money and materials at the Senior Center. Patterns and a sample hat will be made available to help folks who might not have a lot of experience sewing. If you can't make the Thursday meetings, you can work on the hats during the week and drop them off at your convenience. 

Fall musical is a hit

The White Bear Lake Area High School fall musical, the family-friendly "Once Upon a Mattress," brought audience members through many fun twists and turns. The cross between Shrek and Cirque Du Soleil told a parody on the story of Princess and the Pea, as a potential marriage between the prince and the princess (from the swamp).

All ages were represented by audience members, with a free matinee for senior citizens and coupons sent home to elementary-aged students in the district. Fan favorites for the youngest theatre-goers was the "dress-up photo opp" with a knight in shining armor during intermission and the energetic musical numbers. Get a glimpse of the show here. Photo above courtesy of White Bear Press.

While you will have to wait until next spring for another full-fledged musical production, there are additional opportunities to see the award-winning theatre department shine on stage yet this academic year. Mark your calendar for a free public performance of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," the one act play, on Wednesday, January 22. And keep an eye out for additional details this spring, as students will perform "The Odyssey" April 24-26.

Activities Updates

The mountain bike team finished their season at the state finals in Mankato versus 30 other schools. Reanne Kolasa finished 2nd over all in girls junior varsity. Dane Larson finished 15th over all in the boys junior varsity category.

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 Recognitions

The White Bear Lake Area School Board recognized students for state-level accomplishments before the November 11 School Board meeting. Student groups recognized were: Central Middle School Students who were chosen as members of the Minnesota American Choral Director's Association, a girls' cross country team member who represented WBLAHS at the state meet, and the boys' cross country team that advanced to state after placing second out of 16 teams in region 4AA.

"Like" the photos of the students on the District's Facebook page here.

School Board Meetings

School Board meeting agendas and minutes can be found here.

Upcoming meetings 

Date Type Time Location
November 25 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center
December 9 Regular 7 p.m. District Center
January 13 Regular 7 p.m. District Center