April 8, 2018

Student News

  • In photos: Child and Babysitting Safety Class
  • Scholarships, skills & success
  • Learning opportunities
  • Science rules
  • Fractions & fun
  • The Week in 62.4 Seconds
  • Activities updates

School Board News

  • School Board Meetings

District News

  • General Information
  • Awards and Honors


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In photos: Child and Babysitting Safety Class

Student News

Scholarships, skills & success

In Karin Hogen's classes at Central Middle School, students got to put their advertising skills to real use! Students made advertisements for the White Bear Lake Middle Schools Players production of "Singin' in the Rain Jr." that will be taking place at the end of April. Check out students' outstanding promotional materials. Just like real people working in advertising, students got an information sheet from their "client" (the district) about what the objectives of the advertisements were as well as any required information that were "must haves" in the ads. Students then used a few online design software programs to create their advertisements. These musical promotions will be posted in several places, including in the daily announcements at both Sunrise Park Middle School and Central Middle School. Purchase tickets today for "Singin' in the Rain Jr." In other fun news at Central Middle School, students recently enjoyed creating a variety of pop art projects such as plaster casts, hard covered structures of their palms, paintings and drawings. The fun was captured in this video.

It was an exciting time for two WBLAHS - South Campus seniors who received inaugural Workforce Development Scholarships. This came as the result of collaboration between the Work Experience and Career Pathways programs. The recipients were recognized when Century College hosted the Workforce Development Signing Day. In other exciting news, several seniors are focusing on giving back this spring. The high school students have been busy organizing a Pennies for Patients Fundraiser Dinner and Silent Auction to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to fund blood cancer research and help families that are suffering from blood cancer. The event will take place on Friday, April 13 from 6-7:30 p.m. at WBLAHS - South Campus in the cafeteria. Learn more about the event. Community members can R.S.V.P. on this Facebook page

Learning opportunities

Students in Maggie Clark's class at Oneka Elementary have now completed several episodes of their "Real Talk" podcast series. Throughout the podcasts they have interviewed an author, professional athletes (from the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Timberwolves), a Bosnian refugee, executive chef, organ donor, the White Bear Lake police chief, a Team U.S.A. Paralympian, a Children's Theatre Company representative and more! The class has been working together to design, implement and produce their podcast episodes. Listen to the episodes and stay tuned for more! In other fun news at Oneka Elementary, students are also leading a Mental Health Awareness initiative. These students have completed a literacy study on mental health and to present their learning, hoped to raise awareness for mental health by having students and staff wear purple and turquoise to school. These fifth graders also created a website and hope to better inform students and adults of what mental health is and ways people can take better care of mental health. Other Oneka Elementary students are preparing to continue contributing to good causes, as they are organizing a BOSS (Bears Official Service Superheroes) field trip to Feed My Starving Children in May. 

For news with a different tune, beautiful orchestral music filled the gymnasium at Oneka Elementary, as students gathered for an all-school Orchestra Concert. The experience was captured in this video. On another note, fourth grade students at Otter Lake Elementary recently tested out butterflies of the future that they engineered to overcome environmental challenges. The fun was highlighted in this video. The fourth grade team was awarded a Brosious Grant earlier this year that helped make this fun unit come to life. In other grant news, Matoska International and Otter Lake Elementary were awarded E3 Grants from the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation. The E3 Grants further White Bear Lake Area Schools' students understanding and attitudes towards science, the community, the world and the outdoors. Matoska International received the grant for "Investigation on the Water," which will be used for Wilderness Inquiry in elementary summer school this year. Otter Lake Elementary received the grant for an outdoor learning space. Learn more about the exciting opportunities.

Science rules

Recently, at Central Middle School, science class involved balloons and races. Students blew up their balloon cars and tested how many meters their projects would travel down the hallway. Gutter boats were another fun activity happening in a Central Middle School science classroom where students blew on their boats to see how quickly they could race their projects down a waterway. Students at Central Middle School also recently had fun participating in a Google augmented reality experience, where participants could look at the world differently through devices by getting to explore a new perspective of animals and various realistic scientific happenings on their screens. From augmented reality to robots, students recently participated in the FIRST Robotics Regional Competition. The necessity of creativity continued, as community members enjoyed canvas art at the White Bear Area Senior Program. Blank canvases transformed into personal masterpieces by the end of the experience. While some enjoyed art in the community, families enjoyed food and games at the Otter Lake Elementary Carnival and Vadnais Heights Elementary Carnival.

Families could also enjoy an evening full of science at Lakeaires Elementary's first Science Fair. There were more than 30 kindergarten through fifth grade students who participated in the opportunity. A variety of topics were covered such as facts about the Earth, rainbows and the most common color of M&M's in packages. Students were excited to show their projects to the community and showcase their hard work. Speaking of showcasing hard work, Transition Education Center students were highlighted in this article for their contributions to the Project SEARCH program at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare. This program allows students to learn on the job and provides them with meaningful job skills through systematic instruction in preparation for competitive employment. 

Fractions & fun

It was all about fractions and fun at Birch Lake Elementary. Students participated in an equivalent fraction hunt where they worked as a team to find and pair the correct fractions together. The excitement was captured in this video. In other exciting news, families enjoyed food and conversation together at Sunrise Park Middle School's Latino Family Night. This was an opportunity for families to talk to the principal, ask questions, and learn more about the great opportunities at the middle school. The experience was captured in this video. One student even shared their insight regarding AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) and explained the benefits of the program to attendees. AVID students also recently enjoyed a college trip where they explored Hamline University. The experience was highlighted in this video. While some high school students toured a college in St. Paul, others also recently embraced the opportunity to visit the Minnesota State Capitol with district cultural liaisons!

More learning opportunities were underway, as staff and community members recently gathered at the Monthly Staff and Community Mental Well-Being Series. Chris Vendel recently presented about high achieving children and mental health pressure. The experience was captured in this video. Previous sessions have covered topics such as depression and anxiety. The next session will be on Wednesday, April 25 from 7-8:30 p.m. at WBLAHS - North Campus. Learn more about upcoming sessions of this series. Other learning opportunities were fruitful, as interested students participated in the Child and Babysitting Safety Class where they learned about being prepared, safe, responsible and professional babysitters. There will be another Child and Babysitting Safety Class offered on Friday, June 22. If interested, view more details about the opportunity. 

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 following swimmers who were recently named Academic All-American: Madison Beck, Dan Johnson, Bailey Letourneau and Sydney MacDonald.

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 agendas, packets, minutes highlights and videos/audio files can be found here.

Date Type Time Location
April 9 Regular 7 p.m. District Center
April 23 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center
May 14 Regular 7 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

  • 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.
  • 2018 Manitou Days Student Button Contest - Elementary students are invited to participate in the Manitou Days Student Button Contest. A First Place Winner and two Runner-up Winners will be determined. The First Place Winner will receive $100 and a pizza party for the classroom in addition to participation in the Manitou Days Grande Parade, handing out Manitou Days buttons to parade goers. See the button template here. Deadline for submissions is April 20.
  • Native Times - Enjoy the most recent issue of the Natives Times Newsletter, sent to district Native American families, here.
  • Fidgety Fairy Tales: The Mental Health Musicals - All Ramsey County families are invited to the "Fidgety Fairy Tales: The Mental Health Musicals" on Tuesday, April 10. Learn more about the opportunity. 
  • Young Explorers Classes - The district's Early Childhood Program has openings in two Young Explorers classes this April and May. View more details and register today!
  • 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. 
  • Notice of Public Hearing - The White Bear Lake Area Schools American Indian Parent Advisory Committee
    will be holding a public hearing on April 16, 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.
  • Wellness Event - Learn more about the importance of promoting mental health and wellness in students, families and the community at the Wellness Event on Monday, April 16 from 6-8 p.m. at Central Middle School. View the flyer
  • Free Community Baby Shower - You are your child are invited to join parents of new babies, birth to six months old, for a free Community Baby Shower on Monday, April 9 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Normandy Park Education Center. Learn more
  • Attention adult softball players - WBLAS Community Services and Recreation offers adult softball leagues starting in May. If you are interested and have a team or are looking to form a team, leagues are currently open. There are men, women and coed leagues available to join. More information can be found here using the keyword "softball" or you can contact Jon Anderson.
  • WBLAHS 2018 Senior Party - Planning for the WBLAHS 2018 Senior Party is in full swing! This is a parent-run end of the year party for all WBLAHS seniors. Please visit their website to purchase tickets, sign up for a volunteer shift and/or make a donation. The Planning Committee is currently soliciting donations from local businesses. Gift cards as well as items for prizes are greatly appreciated and can be donated online. Questions? Contact: wblaseniorparty@gmail.com or read this flyer.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • E3 Grant Recipients - Matoska International and Otter Lake Elementary were awarded E3 Grants from the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation. Learn more about the opportunities.
    • 19th Annual Golf Tournament - The 19th annual White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation (WBLAEF) Golf Tournament will be held on Monday, June 25, 2018 at Indian Hills Golf and Country Club in Stillwater, Minnesota. Indian Hills Golf and Country Club is one of the top private courses in the Twin Cities area and boasts 180 scenic acres of gently rolling hills and pristine greens. The course has a moderate amount of trees and enough water to put even the finest of golfers to the test. From start to finish, golfers are treated to many amenities. A free gift, lunch, drink tickets, golf cart, prizes and dinner buffet just to name a few. Cost is $150 per person. Register by Tuesday, April 17 and you will qualify for a chance to win $100! To register, visit www.wblaef.org or contact the WBLAEF at 651-407-7696. All proceeds benefit the WBLAEF. 
    • Clothing Drive - There is a Clothing Drive until Sunday, April 15 where community members can donate a new or gently used clothing item(s) and receive a coupon for 15% off regular price purchases at either GoodStyle, GoodThings or GoodKids. Donations will benefit The Closet, a White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation non-profit, helping local families in need. Learn more

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.
  • Pennies for Patients Fundraiser Dinner and Silent Auction - Families, friends and community members are invited to the Pennies for Patients Fundraiser Dinner and Silent Auction on Friday, April 13 from 6-7:30 p.m. at WBLAHS - South Campus. View this flyer for additional information and R.S.V.P on this Facebook page
  • Sunrise Park Community Dinner - Join other families and community members at the Sunrise Park Community Dinner that will take place on Tuesday, April 10 from 5-7:30 p.m. Check out the flyer for more details. 
  • 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

  • Congratulations to Oneka Elementary teachers Deb Thibault and Elizabeth Ulmer, as Fund for Teachers has recognized them as 2018 Fellows, which means they have the exciting opportunity to participate in a homestay/school visit experience in London this summer. Go Bears! 
  • April Recognitions:
    • April - Poetry Month
    • April - Math and Statistics Awareness Month
    • April 4 - Paraprofessional Appreciation Day 
    • April 8-14 - National Library Week
    • April 9-13 - Assistant Principals Week
    • April 10 - National Library Workers' Day
    • April 16-20 - Public School Volunteer Week
    • 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

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