August 24, 2014

In this issue

- Welcome to the 2014-15 School Year!
- In Photos: Otter Lake Extended Day Birthday Boxes
Student News
- Summer service
- White Bear memories
- 62.4-second video update
- Activities Updates

School Board News
- School Board Meetings

District News
- General Information
- Opportunities
- Awards and Honors

Upcoming Events

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Welcome to the 2014-15 School Year!


This month we welcome you, our students and families, to the 2014-15 school year. Major construction projects at Lakeaires and Willow Lane Elementary Schools are nearly finished. Outside our buildings you will see enhancements made by our landscape team. Inside the buildings our custodial and maintenance staff are finishing deep-cleaning of all buildings. Our technology staff are assuring technology is ready, including new Chromebooks and wireless access points. 

Many of our staff members are participating in training sessions, including elementary gifted cluster training, International Baccalaureate, and extensive technology options, such as specialized training for eighth grade teachers participating in this year's 1:1 initiative. Others are working with building principals, reviewing student assessment data, advising on elementary report cards, updating literacy benchmarks, and completing other work important in preparing for the year. 

At the elementary level, we begin our second year of the new elementary gifted and talented cluster program, and our second year with full-day kindergarten. 

At the secondary level, our high school students recently began in sports and activities. 

Last week, eighth grade students were trained as leaders in WEB (Where Everybody Belongs); next week these young leaders will help with an orientation for all new sixth graders at Central and Sunrise. High school students are training to be part of the LINK crew, an orientation for students beginning ninth grade at North Campus. 

Beginning of the Year Updates
During two of the past three years, we have begun the year informing you about upcoming referenda. In 2011 the community approved an operating referendum renewal by 73% to 27% margin. Last November, our community supported us again, approving a new ten year capital projects levy by a 61% to 39% margin. 


This fall you will use the investments from that capital projects levy that support the four T's: textbooks, technology, test tubes, and tubas. Our students will benefit from additional instructional materials, science equipment, musical instruments, and technology consistent with our long-range plans. 

Also, this year all eighth grade students will receive individual Chromebooks. Significant new technology will be available at each of our school sites. 

Opening School Events
We look forward to having you join us for preschool activities happening at each of our schools and programs, and we look forward to welcoming students back for the 2014-15 academic year on September 2! 



Michael J. Lovett, Ph.D
Superintendent, White Bear Lake Area Schools

In Photos: Otter Lake Extended Day Birthday Boxes


Student News

Summer service



Extended Day summer students have participated in three community service projects recently. First, at the Oneka Elementary the Extended Day group had their annual food shelf project. In the past, they have donated food to the Hugo Good Neighbors Food Shelf. 

This year, they added an interesting twist - not only collecting food items but also bringing in household items as well as personal care items. Each category was given a different point value (food was worth five points, personal care items were worth ten points and household items were worth fifteen points). 

Students brought in a total of 1,085 points and the staff collected 1,785 points. On Thursday August 7, the winners (staff) had the chance to put a whip cream pie in the face of three volunteering students! Check out a few pictures in the 62.4-second update below.

At Otter Lake Elementary, Extended Day students completed two service projects this summer. The first was through the sale of Usbourne Books to our Extended Day families. They were then given credit to select books for a charity - this year to help children rescued from or fleeing human trafficking. They raised approximately $300!

The Extended Day program donated through the organization Civil Society, which serves to provide safety and services to human trafficking victims including medical, dental, food, shelter, clothing, ESL, and vocational counseling. 


For the second service project, Otter Lake Elementary Extended Day students and families gathered items for Birthday Boxes that could be used to help celebrate a child's birthday for families in need. They brought in cake mixes, frosting, candles, paper products, party hats, and much more! 

The students decorated the boxes and then small groups of students chose birthday party supplies for each box. In total, they made 25 boxes and delivered them to the White Bear Lake Food Shelf.

In other community outreach news, students in the Summer Playground Program participated in what they called "Service Project Thursday." Every Thursday afternoon, each school site would do a service learning project. Recently, one of these projects was to create placemats for Meals On Wheels.

"This program illustrates how the different programs within our district are working together to support one another across multiple generations," said Joel Barthol, Playground Program Supervisor. 

White Bear memories

Some of our more seasoned Bears have held two memorable events this summer. First, on August 2 at Manitou Station, retired teachers and former students of the class of 1974 from both White Bear Lake Area High School and White Bear Mariner High School gathered for their 40-year reunion. 


Former teacher Gerry Karakas said of the event, "Hello class of 1974, Go Bears! Go Dolphins! Now we are one school, one community. Go Bears!" Below are a few pictures from the event.


Senior members of the White Bear Lake community had a fun opportunity earlier this month as well. On August 6, the Senior Program had their annual pontoon ride with Pat McFarlane. Leaving from Tally's dockside, McFarlane's volunteer community members drove the pontoons to give rides for enthusiastic seniors from 1-3 p.m. 

Along with the ride, seniors also had the opportunity to hear about and discuss the history of White Bear Lake! Check out a few clips in the 62.4-second update below.

62.4-second video update

Take a look at our 62.4-second update that highlights weekly activity throughout our schools!


Activities Updates
The White Bear Lake Girls' Swim Team tied for first place with Duluth East at the Greyhound Triangular on Saturday. Stella Cotner was deemed the third place winner in the State for the Ladies Auxiliary Patriotic Art Explorers Contest. Several White Bear Lake students from Central Middle School and North Campus received ribbons for their artwork at the State Fair. From Central Middle School: Natalie Dumas (1st Place - 6th Grade Sculpture), Jordan Gast (2nd Place - 7th Grade Sculpture), Jordan Gast (2nd Place - 7th Grade Reports), Eaden Hebert (Honorable Mention - 7th Grade Mixed Media), Ben Kroll (Honorable Mention - 7th Grade Reports), Zach Weiman (Honorable Mention - 7th Grade Reports), Colin Hupert (3rd Place - 8th Grade Pencil Drawing), Sadie Johnson (2nd Place - 8th Grade Pastel Drawing), Anthony Montalbano (Honorable Mention - 8th Grade Pastel Drawing), Chloe Nelson (Honorable Mention - 8th Grade Sculpture); from North Campus: Matt Genord (Honorable Mention - Color Pencil Drawing), Summer Parzyck (Honorable Mention - Clay Sculpture, Elise Ogden (Honorable Mention - Oil Pastel Self Portrait, Emma Corcoran (Third Place - Pencil Drawing, Molly Riley (Third Place - Pencil Drawing). Other winners include: Jacob Pierce (2nd Place), Oliver Harieux (3rd Place), Iris Lee (2nd Place), Abigail Cermak (2nd Place), Katie SIlverness (2nd Place), and three books from Abby Stenrud's class (Costa Rica Exchange). If you find yourself in the Education Building at the State Fair this year, check out these students' great works of art!

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.

Date Type Time Location
August 25 Work Study 5:30 p.m. District Center
September 8 Regular 7 p.m. District Center
September 22 Work Study 5:30 p.m. District Center

District News

General Information

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.

  • The Community Services and Recreation 2014 Spring-Summer Catalog was recently mailed to District residents. Click here to register for upcoming courses.

Parent Notices:

  • Transportation to day care providers - If your child needs transportation to or from any location other than your home, you must fill out a day care form.
  • South Campus Transportation - South Campus students entering grades 11-12 in September, who are eligible for transportation, MUST REGISTER for bus service. Click here for more information.
  • Final transcripts available - All final transcripts have been submitted to the post secondary institution your student indicated on his or her Senior Exit Survey via Naviance or by mail. Go to Naviance - Family Connection - Colleges - Transcripts - View the Status of All My Transcript Requests. You will see the date that the submission occurred under the Final column.
  • School Supplies - All school supply lists are now available here. If you are in need of school supplies or backpacks, please contact your specific school directly.
  • K-12 tax benefits on school supplies - Back to school shopping? Save your receipts for valuable tax benefits! Learn more here.
  • BearPowered Homecoming- If you and your family would like to get BearPowered during Homecoming weekend, staff, families and community members are invited to join BearPower for a free fun walk/run on Sept. 27 at 8 a.m. at South Campus. The first 624 registered participants will get a BearPower Community Services Recreation t-shirt! Register online or in person in the community services office at District Center before Sept. 25 or in person an hour before the event.
  • Summer Transportation Institute - Is your child interested in learning more about transportation, engineering, science, or technology? The Summer Transportation Institute at the University of Minnesota may be a perfect fit! Applications will be accepted until the program is full.
  • Energy Heroes - Read about our schools' energy heroes here!
  • NCAA clearinghouse - Is your child a college-bound student athlete? If so, you should consider registering him/her for NCAA eligibility here.
  • Assistive Technology in Math - Learn more about how your child could benefit from assistive technology in math here.
  • Interested in TV Production? - Volunteers and interns are needed for White Bear Lake Cable Public Access television. Click here for more information.
  • Thank teachers - Thank your teachers and help them win a grant through the Farmers Insurance Thank a Million Teachers initiative. Simply go to this website and write a thank you message to a teacher. Then, that teacher can submit a proposal for a chance to win a $2500 grant for use in their classroom.
  • Emergency School Closings - For school closings, early dismissals and late starts, call the School Closing Hotline at (651) 407-7540 or watch/listen for information on these media outlets:
    • KARE-TV 11
    • KMSP-TV 9
    • KSTP-TV 5
    • WCCO-TV 4
    • WCCO-AM 830
    If winter weather is so severe that schools need to close, parents will also be alerted in three ways as soon as a decision is made:
    • A SchoolMessenger phone message and email will be sent to all parents.
    • A message will be posted on the District's homepage.
    • Messages will be posted on the District's Facebook and Twitter pages.
    We know that closing schools can be disruptive, especially for working families. Student and staff safety are our primary concern. Ultimately, the decision to send children to school remains with families. The District supports those decisions that are made for the safety and health of students. There are no negative consequences, and our schools work with families to assure that work is made up when an absence is safety-related.
  • Stay connected! - Sign up for the Community e-Newsletter, sent out twice a month. Join White Bear Lake Area Schools' social media circles - FacebookTwitter and YouTube.
  • Do you like working with children and other volunteers? - The White Bear Lake Area Schools Early Childhood Screening program at Normandy Park Education Center is looking for volunteers to help at screenings on Fridays. Click here to learn more about this opportunity!
  • Calling all baby models - We're looking for "Born to be a Bear" photos! Email photos to us at and you may find your little one featured in District publications! See an example of a "Born to be a Bear" photo here.

Senior Program Updates:

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

  • FREE Activity Pass for Senior Community members (age 65+) - White Bear Lake Area Schools offer a variety of activities - home athletic contests, concerts, and theater productions to name a few. Join us! Call the Superintendent's Office at 651-407-7563 to request a FREE Activity Pass for home athletics events and a 2013-14 District Activities Calendar. The Activities Pass is available to residents of the White Bear Lake Area School District who are age 65 and older.
  • Community Resources - The White Bear Lake Area offers many resources for older adults in the community. Click here to view a comprehensive list of programs and services.

Partnership Updates:

  • BearPower - Check out the newest edition of BearPower Press here! Stay up to date on all BearPower events on the BearPower Facebook page.
  • 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.
    • Reminder to teachers - WBLAEF Grants are available online so that you can access during the summer.
    • Teachers - There's something NEW at the WBLAEF website! It's the BEAR LEGACY GRANT! This summer come to to learn more about this exciting new grant.
    • Ryan Family Elementary Art Grants - This grant awards elementary teachers up to $500 per person or team. These funds are available to purchase art supplies, instructional materials, or to assist with the expenses of an Artist-in-Residence. The Application Form will be available on the WBLAEF website. Completed Application Forms will be due October 2, 2014 at the Foundation office in District Center. This grant will be awarded in late October, and teachers have 12 months to complete usage of this grant.
    • Brosious Teaching Grants - The purpose of the Brosious Grants is to assist WBL professional personnel working directly with children in our schools. The goal of the Brosious Teaching Grant is to enhance the rigor of the curriculum or instruction within the classroom. This grant must be aligned with the District's goals and objectives. The Application Form is available on the WBLAEF website. Completed Application Forms will be due Oct. 22, 2014. This grant will be awarded in November, for use during the following 12 months.
    • Glasrud Family Fellowship Grants - The Glasrud Fellowship Grants are different from the Brosious Grants. They are directed at personal and/or professional growth of the individual educator or team of educators. They are intended to provide funds for educators to assist them in pursuing an opportunity or experience that would not otherwise be possible. The Application Form is available on the WBLAEF website. Completed Application Forms will be due on March 22, 2015. This grant will be awarded in April, for use during the following 12 months.
    • The Eugene & Kathleen Johnson Student Enrichment Scholarship is available to all students in grades 6-12 in White Bear Lake Area School District 624 who would like to participate in enrichment activities such as writing, speaking, journalism, musical performance, and composition. The purpose of the scholarship is to provide opportunities for students that extend beyond the classroom and encourage higher level thinking skills. Scholarships up to $1,000 per individual, with a total amount of $2,000 in grants, will be awarded per year.
      • The WBLAEF is accepting applications for the 2013-2014 school year for enhancement activities for students completed by September 1, 2014.
      • Applications will be reviewed on a continual basis throughout the year, until the $2,000 maximum per year has been awarded.
      • Grant applications should be sent to: White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation, 4855 Bloom Avenue, White Bear Lake, MN 55110.
    • The winner this year of the the Lynn Mielke Distinguished Educator Award is Evelyn Swenson - a social worker at Central Middle School. "Lynn Mielke was a speech clinician and Special Education Coordinator in the WBL District. Her compassion and love for children was at the forefront of all she did. She was known as a warm and loving person who worked to create a positive environment for everyone around her. This award was established to recognize an individual who has exemplified Lynn's dedication and care for the students and staff in our district."
    • Student Activities Scholarship - The Jim Honsa, Sr. Memorial Student Activities Endowment provides access to co-curricular activities for students who may not otherwise have access due to financial need. The scholarship, administered by the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation, provides up to $200 per applicant and is available for students in grades 9-12.
    • Attention 6th - 12th Grade Teachers - The Eugene & Kathleen Johnson Student Enrichment Scholarship is available for any WBLAS 6th - 12th student who would like to participate in enrichment activities such as writing, speaking, journalism, musical performance, and composition. The purpose of this scholarship is to provide opportunities for students that extend beyond the classroom and encourage higher level thinking skills. If you would like a flier to post in your classroom, please contact Lisa Lindvall and she will send you one! Students will be awarded up to $1,000 per individual, with a total amount of $2,000 in grants to be awarded per year. The application is on line for your students to apply at Completed Grant Applications should be sent to WBLAEF at the District Office, 4855 Bloom Ave. Once the $2,000 amount has been reached for the 2013-2014 school year, I will send a note to teachers through the e-newsletter that we are no longer taking applications.
    • Visit our website - Visit our website to see all of the grants the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation has available for teachers.
    • Bleed Orange and Black - Foundation board members also handed out team spirit shirts reading, "Bleed Orange and Black". To find out how to get a team spirit shirt contact the Foundation office at Check out the WBL U-12A girls' hockey team sporting these shirts 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. Learn about our energy heroes here!


Support WBLAS Students:

  • Golf team fundraiser - The WBLAHS golf team is selling 2014 PGA "two for one" golf card once again this year. Please consider helping the golf program. The cost is only $35.00 dollars - if you use the card once, it is paid for! If you have any questions or would like to purchase a card, contact Craig Nasvik.

Awards and Honors

  • White Bear Lake Area High School is seeking nominations for its Athletic Hall of Fame. If you have an interest in nominating a former athlete, coach, or community member connected with Bears athletics, please contact Karen Larson, Activities Secretary at South Campus (651-773-6206) for information about the requirements, as well as the nomination form.

Please contact the Communications Department (651-407-7578) to submit District News, General Information, Opportunities or Awards & Honors for inclusion in future publications.