August 3, 2014
- In the Summer Spotlight
- In Photos
- A BearPowered Summer Playground
- Extra, extra! Read all about our Bears!
- Summer dedication
- Activities Updates
School Board News
- School Board Meetings
- General Information
- Awards and Honors
Going Away and Returning Home
The last Thursday in July is fine weather. By the start of the evening Marketfest celebration in downtown White Bear Lake, the warmth of the day gives up a few degrees to make the weather close to perfect.
(Yes, after a winter with 60 days of below zero temperatures, we may be easy to please.)
A half-dozen principals and other representatives of the White Bear Lake Area Schools greet the crowds, which swell in size to what you might expect to see on a Saturday night at the state fair.
This night there is an excitement about retuning to school; summer sports seasons, camps and family trips draw to a close, and the school supply list is a frequent request.
Members of the graduating class of 2014 stop by to talk, and linger a while. In a matter of days they will be across town or across the country, beginning college or work.
"We've talked about what you are looking forward to in college... what will you miss?"
The students reflect quietly until one smiles and says "the close-knit community."
We talk more, but all agree; our community and our schools are a "close knit community" and graduates leave for the next step of their journeys secure.
And like more than 8,000 students from preschool through high schools, who look forward to "returning home" to school the day after Labor Day, these high school graduates know they will always be "Bears" children. Be prepared to cheer and enjoy!
Michael J. Lovett, Ph.D
Superintendent, White Bear Lake Area Schools
In Photos: A BearPowered Summer Playground
A BearPowered Summer Playground
The district's summer playground program, led by Joel Barthol, has been hosting amazing activities this summer in celebration of BearPower. Every Wednesday has been a dedicated BearPower day. At each of their sites the staff has planned different activities to help engage kids with good food and physical activity.
"Students had a lot of fun planting a vegetable garden, learning about healthy foods and where they come from," said Barthol. "We have kept the participants in the playground program physically active through activities such as a bike rodeo, a kickball tournament, and exercise/aerobics days."
In addition, they have participated in other BearPower driven activities such as creating a play instead of watching a movie, taste-testing fruits and veggies, completing a create-your-own nutrition label and restaurant menu, as well as making fruit infused water. Not to mention - the playground program have kept the kids busy every day with multiple gym and playground games as well!
Check out the video below to see a few clips from last Wednesday's BearPower activities during the playground program!
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! Free snacks and refreshments will be served. They will also have pre- and post-activities for the participants.
Register online or in person in the community services office at District Center before Sept. 25 or in person an hour before the event.
Extra, extra! Read all about our Bears!
Bears are making headlines in print and on the web! First, Michael Djupstrom, 1998 graduate of White Bear Lake Area High School, was awarded one of a dozen $60,000 fellowships from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage in June.
Djupstrom's story was featured in the White Bear Press including an in-depth look into his background and musical style!
In other news, a video from White Bear Lake Area High School went viral on Buzzfeed, a popular entertainment website that features lists. This list, 12 Performances Of "Anything Goes" That You Must Listen To Today, included White Bear Lake Area High School student, Emily Nies who finished at #12. Click the link above to watch see the list and watch the performance!
In breaking theatre news, White Bear Lake Area High School would like to announce the upcoming performance of The Addams Family on Nov. 7,13,14,15 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 8 at 2:00 p.m., which will be free for senior citizens. Tickets will be available on isd624.org on Oct. 1 or at the door one hour prior to showtime.
WBLAHS will be the first high school theatre in the state of Minnesota to perform this show! The show will include another community outreach campaign. Just as Wednesday Addams wants to help her family understand that there is really no definition for the term 'normal,' White Bear Lake Area Schools thespians will work with the elementary, middle and high schools to promote an anti-bullying campaign of "DEFINE NORMAL" by encouraging kids to break away from using stereotypes and to embrace and value uniqueness.
Dedicated White Bear Lake Area Schools students have been working toward their academic goals during summer school at WBLAHS - South Campus, Central Middle School, Sunrise Park Middle School, as well as Vadnais Heights, Oneka, Matoska, and Birch Lake Elementary Schools.
The free summer school program has given students the opportunity to develop a strong base that will help them prepare for next year's curriculum. This innovative programming will continue to help students excel academically in the coming school years.
As a district, in addition to providing students with fun opportunities, we are also dedicated to providing top-notch facilities. As highlighted in the previous newsletter, the district is dedicated to keeping our buildings and grounds safe, beautiful, and useful! For a more in-depth look at the summertime construction projects, check out this White Bear Press article. For a short video walk-through, check out the video of the construction and landscaping sites below.
62.4-second video update
Take a look at our 62.4-second update that highlights weekly activity throughout our schools!
The White Bear Lake Orange 14-under softball team got sixth place out of 16 teams at the Minnesota Metro Fastpitch Tournament. Caroline Grubs of White Bear Lake got second in the 180 Degrees Division of the swivel ski competition in Wisconsin Dells and was the youngest competitor.
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.
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.
- 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.
- East Metro Miracle League (EMML) - This baseball league is designed specifically for youth age 3-18 with cognitive and/or physical challenges. Click here for more information on how to sign up!
- 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
- Stay connected! - Sign up for the Community e-Newsletter, sent out twice a month. Join White Bear Lake Area Schools' social media circles - Facebook, Twitter 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
- 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 wblaef.org 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 www.wblaef.org. 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 www.wblaef.org. 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.