April 22, 2018

Student News

  • In photos: Math fun at Matoska International
  • Writing experiences
  • Love for learning
  • Music & math
  • Active Bears
  • The Week in 62.4 Seconds
  • Activities updates


School Board News

  • School Board Recognitions
  • School Board Meetings


District News

  • General Information
  • Awards and Honors


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In photos: Math fun at Matoska International


Check out a video of students learning math and coding through the Osmo Program in the April 20 edition of The Week in 62.4 Seconds video!

Student News

Writing experiences

It's Poetry Month and students are celebrating and working together to spread joy to the community through their writing skills. Kindergarten through fifth grade students at Lincoln Elementary, and district-wide, have been writing poetry throughout the year while learning how to create many kinds of poetry. They've focused on the power of free-verse where they can express their voices. The students wanted to bring joy to people on the cold, snowy, spring days by having them read poetry while sipping on coffee or tea at Caribou Coffee. When approached with the idea to place the poems at Caribou Coffee, the manager was excited to offer the content to customers. Students will be continuing to spread cheer as they will place poems at local businesses for Poem in your Pocket Day, which is on April 26. The fun will soon be captured in an edition of The Week in 62.4 Seconds video. 

It was an exciting time for high school students, as they were able to enjoy the National Honor Society Banquet at WBLAHS - South Campus. After the Banquet, students were able to participate in and enjoy the Induction Ceremony. The experience was captured in this video. The National Honor Society is an organization recognizing students for their accomplishments and challenging them to further participate and embrace involvement in school activities and community service. From one exciting event to the next, families and community members gathered for the Teacher of the Year event at WBLAHS - South Campus. Oneka Elementary fifth grade teacher Maggie Clark was named the White Bear Lake Teachers' Association 2018 Teacher of the Year! Congratulations! See additional information here

Love for learning

Babies enjoyed massages from a loved one at the free Community Baby Shower at Normandy Park Education Center. Parents of young ones were able to meet and learn about health, development and community resources. Afterwards, parents were able to spend time practicing massage techniques on their babies to enhance their well-being while strengthening their connection together. The relaxation for the babies was highlighted in this recent video. On a different note, the White Bear Area Senior Program was busy strumming away in their Ukulele Group. This was a time for community members of all skills levels to enjoy good music, play with and learn the instrument. The upbeat music-playing experience was captured in this video. This Ukulele Group will be held every second and third Monday of the month and is free and open to the public. Learn more about future opportunities by calling 651-653-3121. In other community news, families recently gathered together at the Sunrise Park Community Dinner where they could enjoy Donatelli's and entertainment while supporting the school. 

Celebrations continued as students and staff embraced the Week of the Young Child at Normandy Park Education Center. Students and parents were able to create their own "what I love about school" flower to plant in the garden mural on the wall, which is located at the front of the building. The experience was highlighted in this video. Students and parents were also able to strike a pose while holding a picture frame that said "I love Early Childhood." Additionally, they could even enjoy a delicious snack for Tasty Tuesday. Early childhood students weren't the only ones dealing with food. Matoska International hosted a family event for "The Sandwich Man," where they made 1,000 sandwiches for those in need. "The Sandwich Man" is a committed individual who has dedicated efforts to helping homeless throughout the Minneapolis area by giving out sandwiches.

Music & math

Students' feet are tapping, as they prepare for their opening night of "Singin' in the Rain Jr." This musical is about stars, Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont, who starred in silent movies together, and when their newest movie was created into a musical, a new star was brought into speak and sing for Lina who has a squeaky voice, which creates turmoil. The students will be performing songs including "Fit As A Fiddle," "Lucky Star" and "Good Morning." Watch a sneak preview in this video clip. Performances will take place on Thursday, April 26 and Friday, April 27 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 28 at 2 p.m. Purchase your tickets today. While some students prepare to perform in a musical, the Prom Committee is gearing up for high school students' big day on Saturday, May 5 with Prom. Students will have a Grand March at WBLAHS - South Campus starting at 4:30 p.m., and the dance will begin at 8 p.m. at the St. Paul RiverCentre. Students also have the opportunity to participate in a mini Grand March at 2 p.m. at each of the following senior care centers: Cerenity, The Lodge or White Pines. 

From dances to math rotation time, first grade students embraced a unique opportunity to experiment with coding at Matoska International. Through the Osmo Coding program, students are able to explore commands by guiding a character, called Awbie, through an adventure. This exciting classroom experience has been possible because of a Brosious grant. Students are able to manipulate "tiles" to plan out what they want Awbie in their game to do before it can actually happen. Then, the students press the "play" tile to make their coding come to life. The experience was highlighted in this video. The program allows students to enhance their problem solving and logic skills. Other students at Central Middle School have been showcasing their writing skills, as they have prepared letters to their favorite authors. Approximately ten of the students have gotten replies. Go Bears!

Active Bears

Even with snow on the ground, students are staying active outdoors. After the Snow Day, one student even rode their scooter to class. Other students will have opportunities to stay active at upcoming events such as Spring into Action, which is taking place at Lakeaires Elementary on Friday, April 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. Learn more about the free opportunity. Another exciting and action-packed event that is right around the corner is the BearPower Family Breakaway Bike Ride. Students recently had fun making this video to promote the event. The BearPower Family Breakaway Bike Ride will take place on Saturday, May 19 at 9:30 a.m., with the event starting at Otter Lake Elementary. Families will even have the opportunity to enjoy a Bike Rodeo before the race begins. Register by May 1 to receive a free T-shirt.

Recently, with spring looking more like winter, sports have had to make adjustments to where they train to ensure nothing slows them down. Several sports, including the lacrosse team, have been practicing in the Hippodrome. With equipment and all, some athletes are staying disciplined in their practices and training up for their seasons indoors, for now. The indoor fun continued throughout the district, as Willow Lane Elementary had their April Summit with a theme of compassion. At this month's Summit, students were able to present HopeKids with a check reflecting the money they raised from a portion of the tips when they worked at Donatelli's this winter. HopeKids is an organization that provides families with opportunities that have a child with cancer or a life-threatening condition. Also at the Summit, they recognized a fourth grade student for starting "The Fun Club." This club was created to ensure everyone has a friend to play with at recess. 

The Week in 62.4 Seconds

Enjoy The Week in 62.4 Seconds videos highlighting weekly district activities throughout the school year.



Activities Updates

Congratulations to the White Bear Lake Archery Team with Anika Dahl placing third overall in the High School girls division and Carly Mader placing fifth overall in the middle school girls division at the State Tourney. The team placed 11th out of 19 teams. The Bear Boys' Track team placed 2nd in a home meet of SEC teams. Go Bears!

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 Recognitions
Before the April 9 School Board Meeting, the School Board congratulated the following students and staff for their accomplishments:

  • Girls' and Boys' Alpine State Qualifiers
  • Girls' and Boys' Nordic State Qualifiers (not pictured)
  • Wrestlers
  • Girls' Gymnastics Team Member
  • Middle school Geography Bee student (not pictured)
  • Scholastic Art Award Winners





To see clips from the recognitions during the ceremony, watch the April 13 edition of The Week in 62.4 Seconds video.

During the School Board meeting, there was also a special recognition of the White Bear Lake Peace Poster contest winner and Sue Wurl, who was honored with a state Breaking Barriers award earlier this year. 


School Board Meetings
School Board meeting agendas, packets, minutes highlights and videos/audio files can be found here.

Date Type Time Location
April 23 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center
May 14 Regular 7 p.m. District Center
May 21 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center 

For highlights from the most recent Board meeting, click here.

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.

Parent Notices

  • Strategic Plan approved - The Strategic Plan was unanimously approved by the School Board on April 9, 2018. Find complete information about the plan here.
  • Revised 2018-19 and 2019-20 Calendars approved - At the April 9, 2018 Regular School Board meeting, the Board approved a revised 2018-19 calendar and a 2019-20 calendar.
  • Public Hearing Rescheduled - The White Bear Lake Area Schools American Indian Parent Advisory Committee's public hearing was rescheduled due to weather and will now be held on April 23, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. in Room 206 at District Center, 4855 Bloom Avenue, White Bear Lake. The purpose of this meeting is to determine the needs of the American Indian students for the Federal Title VI grant. All are welcome.
  • Self-Care Series - Those between the ages of 11 and 24 years old are invited to the Self-Care Series. These free community workshops help individuals learn how to make self-care a part of their everyday lives through fun opportunities. View the flyer for details and upcoming dates. 
  • A Night to Know the Truth - Community members are invited to free events called A Night to Know the Truth, which is part of a Ramsey County Forum Series where there will be discussions about the impact of addiction on communities. One event will take place at WBLAHS - South Campus on Tuesday, April 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. and the other opportunity will take place on Wednesday, April 25 at Roseville High School from 6 to 8 p.m. View this flyer for more details. 
  • Family Well-Being Resource Fair - All Ramsey County Families are invited to a Family Well-Being Resource Fair on Saturday, May 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Roseville Area High School in the cafeteria. Please see these flyers (English and Spanish) for details related to event meal, childcare, kids activities, transportation, prizes and more! Learn more about the Family Well-Being and Resource Fair talking points.
  • "Hands On" Kids' Health Fair - Children between the ages of two and six are invited (with an adult companion) to the free "Hands On" Kids' Health Fair where they can enjoy activities to learn about helping support healthy minds and bodies, and making "going to the doctor" easy and familiar. The event will take place at HealthPartners Clinic in White Bear Lake on Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Learn more
  • SchoolMessenger text message opt-in - Our district utilizes the SchoolMessenger system to deliver district-wide and school-wide voicemails and emails regarding general upcoming events, notice of emergency closings, attendance and nutrition services notices, and other important announcements from the district or school. We now have the capability to send district-wide and school-wide text messages through the SchoolMessenger system to those families who have cell phone numbers attached to their student's records and who have opted in to receive text messages. SchoolMessenger recently sent an opt-in text message, so please know this is legitimate correspondence. If you did not receive a text message from SchoolMessenger and you would like to opt in to the system, please update your cell phone on your student's records in Skyward (instructions here) and reply "YES" to the opt-in text you receive from SchoolMessenger that evening.
  • Hiring umpires - The Community Services and Recreation Department is now hiring umpires for summer baseball and softball leagues. This is for both youth and adult leagues. Please contact Matt Riebow if interested.
  • 2018 Aqua Fair - Splash into spring with water education on Saturday, April 28 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Otter Lake Elementary for the free 2018 Aqua Fair. View the flyer for more details. 
  • Special Education Parent/Staff Advisory Council (PAC) - Learn how and when to get involved in the Special Education Parent/Staff Advisory Council, which acts as an advisory body to the district through the Student Support Services Administrative Team on behalf of students receiving special education services. The next meeting takes place on Thursday, May 3 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at District Center. 
  • Monthly Mental Well-Being Series - The first three sessions of the monthly Mental Well-Being Series took place and district staff and families are invited to attend future monthly presentations. The fourth session in the monthly series will take place from 7-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25 at WBLAHS - North Campus. See the flyer with complete series dates.
  • Fraud and Scam Prevention presentation - The White Bear Lake Area School District and the White Bear Lake Police Department have partnered to offer a fraud and scam prevention informational session to community members from 10-11:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 26 at the White Bear Lake Area Senior Center. See the flyer here.
  • We Are Hiring! - The district is now hiring substitute teachers, Extended Day staff, nutrition services staff, bus drivers, paras and more. Find the online application page here.
  • Stay connected! - 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!

Senior Program Updates:

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

  • Community Forum on Seniors Celebration - Join community members for a brief update of ongoing initiatives in service to area seniors followed by tours of the new Lakeshore Players and Children's Performing Arts Theatre on Wednesday, May 16 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Hanifl Performing Arts Center. The event is free, but registration is appreciatedLearn more!
  • Fraud and Scam Prevention Presentation - The White Bear Lake Area School District and the White Bear Lake Police Department have partnered to offer a fraud and scam prevention informational session to community members from 10-11:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 26 at the White Bear Lake Area Senior Center. See the flyer here.
  • 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.
  • Be a Bear! The district currently has many staff openings available! See additional information here, and find the online application page here.

Partnership Updates:

  • 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
    • Spring into Action - Enjoy a night full of fun during the Spring into Action event at Lakeaires Elementary on Friday, April 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. Read the flyer for additional details.
    • BearPower Family Breakaway Bike Ride - Join families and community members at the free BearPower Family Breakaway Bike Ride event on Saturday, May 19 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Otter Lake Elementary. Sign up by Tuesday, May 1 to receive a BearPower T-shirt. View this flyer for more details.

Support WBLAS Students:

  • Matoska Art Enrichment Spring Art Show - Matoska International will hold its 20th annual Spring Art Show Open House and Silent Auction on May 8, from 5-7 p.m. in the school gymnasium. This fundraiser for the art program features a display of 1000+ items of student artwork, many beautiful items available for purchase, as well as dinner catered by Donatelli's. The school is located at 2530 Spruce Place, White Bear Lake, Minnesota. All are welcome. There is more information available at this website.
  • Purchase "Singin' in the Rain Jr." Tickets - The White Bear Lake Middle Schools Players will be presenting "Singin' in the Rain Jr." on Thursday, April 26 and Friday, April 27 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 28 at 2 p.m. Purchase your tickets today.
  • Spring Theatre Productions - See a variety of springtime theatre productions to be performed by district students here.
  • Be a Bear! The district currently has many staff openings available! See additional information here, and find the online application page here.

Awards and Honors

  • Oneka Elementary fifth grade teacher Maggie Clark was named the White Bear Lake Teachers' Association 2018 Teacher of the Year! Congratulations! See additional information here
  • Congratulations to Cross Country Assistant Coach Shawn Gritzmacher who was named Minnesota Boys Cross Country Assistant Coach of the Year! 
  • April Recognitions:
    • April - Poetry Month
    • April - Math and Statistics Awareness Month
    • April 22 - Earth Day
    • April 22-28 - Administrative Professionals Week
    • April 23-27 - Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week
    • April 25 - Administrative Professionals Day
    • April 27 - Arbor Day
  • May Recognitions
    • May 4 - School Lunch Hero Day
    • May 7-11 - School Nutrition Employee Week
    • May 6-12 - Teacher Appreciation Week
    • May 8 - Teacher Appreciation Day
    • May 9 - National School Nurse Day
    • May 19 - Armed Forces Day
    • May 28 - Memorial Day

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