August 7, 2016


Olympic Performance

During the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, long jumper Bob Beamon of United States literally flew more than 29 feet, nearly two feet further than the previous world record. At the time the accomplishment was both stunning and inspirational.


So often athletic records stand for a while, but then broken by small increments, as training, conditioning, diet, coaching, and determination contribute to new records.


This month in Rio de Janeiro, as every athlete gives his or her best, the world will watch for new records.


More than 11,000 athletes will compete in 28 Olympic sports for 306 sets of medals. Some will win, but all will compete, building on years of training and discipline.


Back here at home, our students begin practices for fall seasons, no doubt taking time to watch Olympic events and head back to the field or court inspired to give their best.


Athletes in the Olympics aspire to a "PR", a "personal record" for their events, and hope that their PR will be competitive with the best.


This concept has implications beyond sports. This summer the Department of Education published the results of the 2016 State assessments in math, science, and reading. Our math and science scores were both up nearly two percentage points. That's a good news story for us because underlying those results are many more students who accomplished a new "PR".


Whatever your role, remember as we begin a new "school season," that each of our students benefit from our support for their training, conditioning, diet, coaching, and determination. 


Let this be the year that every student achieves an academic "PR". And may every student - sometime during the year in class, or on the field, court, or stage - experience a "Bob Beamon" moment!

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

In Photos: New middle school FLEX Program!

FLEX and fun!

Though school is not in session, it was easy to spot students in the halls of Central Middle School this summer - taking part in this year's first-ever FLEX Older Youth Program. This new summer program is designed for fifth through seventh grade students and encourages leadership, positive social interaction and most of all, a lot of fun in a relaxed environment. FLEX is a student-driven, choice-based summer program that also promotes wellness with a variety of fun activities and field trips. This summer, FLEX students spent a lot of time exploring White Bear, with walking trips to go fishing on the shores of White Bear Lake. Another unique part of this program is that it's youth driven and honors student "choice and voice." District staff helped to oversee committees, but youth were given the opportunity to decide almost all aspects of their summer program including their service projects, field trips, clubs, snacks and more. The program was capped off with a fun-filled carnival at Central, which included games, face painting and prizes. For more information on this exciting new program, clickhere.


Middle school students weren't the only ones enjoying our summer program opportunities, elementary kids were having all kinds of fun through the District's Extended Day Program. Extended Day students have been keeping busy with activities, field trips, fundraisers and more. For instance, Oneka Extended Day students participated in the annual Kids vs. Staff food drive benefiting the Hugo Good Neighbors Food Shelf again this summer (they collected 475 pounds of food and $85 in cash and FreshBucks); Vadnais Heights Extended Day students hosted a supply drive for Let Them Eat Cake, a non-profit started by a WBLAHS graduate; and Otter Lake Extended Day held a free car wash collecting donations for the White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf, just to name a few! Nearly all Extended Day students from across the District also participated in activities that support our partnership with H2O for Life - an initiative that aims to educate students on local water resources and water conservation. Beyond fundraisers and service learning, there was a lot of just fun! Otter Lake Extended Day kids recently enjoyed literacy time with a guest from the Ramsey County Library. She read books to the students, talked about the Ramsey County Library's Summer Reading Program and left them all with a bag of goodies. Oneka and Otter Extended Day Programs recently joined forces to partner with Twin Cities in Motion and its Wise Kids Program, which focuses on running and nutrition. These unique opportunities are just a few, of many, fun activities and learning opportunities made possible though the District's year-round Extended Day Program put on by the White Bear Lake Area Schools Community Services and Recreation department.

Facility updates
Students and staff will be returning to some exciting building changes in the fall, starting with newly painted murals at Vadnais Heights Elementary. The bathrooms in the main hallway were painted with themes to encourage students to wash their hands, take pride in their school and make the school a fun place to be. Rachel Schmidt is the artist and she has created fun, kid-friendly themes in the four sets of bathrooms throughout Vadnais Heights Elementary. The first ones she completed have an ocean theme with sharks, puffer fish and other under water creatures, reminding students to make sure they hit the trash can with their paper towels. The second set of bathrooms brought out characters and storybook friends to encourage students to take pride and clean up after themselves. Last summer, Rachel painted characters from movies to remind students of the important task of flushing before they leave the bathroom. The goal is for students to want to keep these cool bathrooms clean and to take pride in their school. Vadnais staff also hope the new bathrooms will give students one more reason to sing the school song with pride, enthusiasm and joy!

After improving the stadium facility at WBLAHS - South Campus with the installation of the synthetic turf in 2015, the track at South Campus was resurfaced and repainted this summer, too. Roughly every seven years, the track needs a fresh coat of rubber and paint to restore it to its near original quality. The School Board also recently approved the removal of the old press box and construction of a new press box in November. Plus, the new gymnasium floor project at WBLAHS - South Campus is now complete! As mentioned in last month's e-newsletter, the floor that had to be replaced was installed as part of the original construction in 1974. The old floor was not to the standard of competitive floors in the conference either, as it had numerous dead spots. The new floor will provide uniform performance and better absorption for the safety of our athletes. The floor reflects modern graphics and creates a beautiful environment for physical education classes and competition for our volleyball, basketball and adapted athletic programs. 

Summertime sports

Though it's a relatively quiet season for school sports, many of our athletes haven't given it a rest. White Bear cheerleaders attended the National Cheerleaders Association Summer Camp recently and it was a huge success. Eleven girls were named to the NCA All-American Team and senior captain Bryana Sherrick and 8th grader Abby Franta were recognized for their leadership roles. The varsity and middle school teams both received Superiors on their final evaluation at the competition. Our varsity team won both divisions they entered in; Champion Chant and Game Day Top Team and the middle school team won their division of Champion Chant. Go Bears!

Things were also heating up on the basketball court, as a group of White Bear girls recently won the Pacesetter Minnesota Invitational basketball tournament. Nineteen teams dueled on Saturday, with the top four designated for Division I on Sunday. The White Bear team beat Esko 64-47 in the semifinals. Pacesetter, which conducts basketball and volleyball camps in six states, hosts several tournaments each summer, including the MIT and the Sweet 16 for varsity teams. All of the Pacesetter tournaments are a throwback to the old one-class format. Check out this White Bear Press article for full coverage of the tournament. (Photo displayed is also courtesy of the White Bear Press.) The paper also recently honored members of the undefeated '84 and '85 boys' basketball team,here. Go Bears! 

Though they weren't competing on the field, our White Bear Lake Area High School Football Team rallied together this summer for a good cause. The team collected 377 pounds of food and $152 in cash for the White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf during the team's first-ever "Sack Summer Hunger" food drive on July 24th. Twenty-one football players stood outside of Cub Foods bearing signs and lists of the food shelf's "most wanted" nonperishable items. 

62.4-second video updates

Take a look at our 62.4-second video updates that highlight weekly activity throughout our schools during the school year.

Activities Updates
Another exciting year of WBLAHS activities is right around the corner - fall sports kick-off Monday, August 15! Find a complete list of all WBLAHS Activities, Athletics and Fine Arts here.


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

School Board News

School Board Meetings

School Board meeting minutes and agendas can be found here.

Date Type Time Location
August 8 Regular 7 p.m. District Center
August 22 Work-study 5:30 p.m.  District Center
September 12 Regular 7 p.m. District Center

Superintendent's Message

  • Olympic Performance

Student News

  • In Photos: New middle school FLEX Program!
  • FLEX and fun!
  • Facility updates
  • Summertime sports
  • 62.4-second video updates
  • Activities updates

School Board News

  • School Board Meetings

District News

  • General Information
  • Opportunities


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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.

  • Seasonal catalogs are available now! You can find them here.

Parent Notices

  • School Supplies - A new school year is around the corner! Click here for a complete list of what school supplies you'll need at your school.
  • 2016 MCA Test Results- The Minnesota Department of Education recently released student proficiency percentages in reading, mathematics and science. These results show a rise in math and science scores at the WBLAS District for 2016. For the entire press release, click here.
  • The 2016-17 Activities Calendar is currently being mailed out to District families. Community members who would like a printed copy of the calendar can pick one up at their neighborhood school or District Center in September. A request can also be made by email to Jody Reber (please include your full name and address in the email so we can mail you a copy).
  • Access your class schedule on Skyward - New this year! The 2016-17 Annual Skyward Family Update and Student Schedule Release for all WBLAHS students will begin online on Monday, August 22. Freshmen Orientation will take place Wednesday, August 31 from 7:30 -11:00 a.m. at WBLAHS - North Campus!
  • Summer Food Service Program - White Bear Lake Area Schools will be participating in the Summer Food Service Program where breakfast and lunch will be provided free of charge throughout the summer. Dates, times and locations can be found here.
  • Food Care Program - Willow Lane Elementary is now participating in the Food Care Program where children under the age of 18 can eat a free meal after school. The meals will be available at no separate charge to all enrolled children from 3:45-4:15 p.m. on school days. The goal of the program is to increase the opportunity for children to eat a variety of nutritious foods. For more information on this state-wide initiative, click here.
  • 2016-17 and 2017-18 Academic Calendars - The 2016-17 and 2017-18 Academic Calendars were approved at the March 14 School Board meeting. The approved 2016-17 calendar can be found here. The approved 2017-18 calendar can be found here.
  • One-stop online payments - The district offers a "one-stop" online payment system that enables families to make payments for food services, school activities and Community Education activities. The system also serves as the registration hub for middle school and high school activities. The system, new this summer, replaced multiple systems that are currently used for these purposes, including RevTrak, PayPams and ActiveNet.
  • PACER Center recently launched its National Parent Center on Transition and Employment website, which offers innovative tools, reliable research, and interactive training to support families who are going through the transition process.
  • 2015-16 Calendars - See the academic calendar here. See the activities calendar here.
  • Stay connected! - Sign up for the Community e-Newsletter, sent out twice a month. Join White Bear Lake Area Schools' social media circles - Facebook and Twitter.
  • Calling all baby models - We're looking for "Born to be a Bear" photos! Email photos to us here and you may find your little one featured in District publications!
  • Additional resources:
    • Resources to help with our limited English speaking families can be found here.

Senior Program Updates:

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

  • Summer activities - The Senior Center offers a variety of fun events and activities. See what's happening in the August issue of Senior Life.
  • Fraud and Scam Prevention session - WBLAS and the White Bear Lake Police Department have partnered to offer a free informational session to community members on how to protect themselves against fraud and scams. The session will be held Thursday, August 25 from 2 - 3:30 p.m. at the White Bear Lake Area Senior Center. Click here for the event flyer.
  • 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 District Activities Calendar. Find the application here. The Activities Pass is available to residents of the White Bear Lake Area School District who are age 65 and older.
  • Craft Corner Gift Shop at the Senior Center - Open from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, the gift shop is the perfect place to shop for a variety of beautiful, handcrafted items. With more than 100 consignees selling their personal crafts, there is much to choose from for purchase. If anyone, over the age of 55, has any love of creating crafts, we are in need of consignees to further our inventory. The Craft Corner Gift Shop is located at Normandy Park Education Center, 2484 County Road F East.

Partnership Updates:

  • H2O for Life - The Race 2 Reduce initiative at H2O for Life is a collaboration of stakeholders working to educate about local water resources and water conservation. White Bear Lake Area Schools is a partner in this effort and is working to align curriculum to integrate these important topics into school.
  • BearPower is a community-wide movement helping White Bear Lake area families eat well and be active. For more on this community partner and its upcoming events, click here.
  • The White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation (WBLAEF) is an independent, non-profit corporation promoting excellence in education in White Bear Area School District 624 schools.
    • Save the Date! The Bear Legacy fundraising event will be held on Friday, October 14 at the North Oaks Country Club. More details to come. Click here for details!
    • Bleed Orange and Black T-shirts - find out how to get one by contacting the Foundation Office (651-407-7696). Cost is $10


Support WBLAS Students:

  • Attend an event or two this spring by finding the event schedule in the 2015-16 Activities Calendar! If you do not have a child in school but you would like a copy of the district-wide activity listing, please contact Jody Reber at 651-407-7563 to request a mailed copy and request to be added to the Activities Calendar annual mailing list.
  • Be a Bear! The district currently has many staff openings available for the current school year and 2016-17! See additional information here, and find the online application page here.

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