August 13, 2017

Student News

  • In photos: A Fishing Experience
  • Fun in the sun
  • Exciting experiences
  • Climbing to new heights
  • Appreciating goodwill
  • 62.4-second video updates
  • Activities updates


School Board News

  • School Board Meetings


Staff News

  • General Information
  • Awards and Honors

In photos: A Fishing Experience

Student News

Fun in the sun

Oneka Elementary's Extended Day students learned what it was like to walk through a book during their Story Stroll. Sunshine beamed down on the students, as they participated in a self-guided walk where they explored a story displayed page-by-page near the ball field west of the school. They walked from one page to the next of the book "One-Dog Canoe" by Mary Casanova. Students took turns as they alternated between who read which page. Later in the day, they had a chance to listen to the Splatter Sisters who presented "Books & Beats," which is a show filled with music, dance and fun with books. This was a reward for participating in "Bookawocky," a summer reading program through Washington County Library. In addition, the students had a Super Hero Day and decorated capes and got their pictures taken, which they could bring home to their families. Oneka Elementary's Extended Day students were not the only ones enjoying summer activities, as students in Extended Year School Programming were also busy having fun learning. Some other fun in the sun continued as Otter Lake Extended Day students enjoyed a fishing experience off of the pier in White Bear Lake. In addition, they participated in a Water Bug Camp where they had a field day collecting and identifying data, and then compiling results. They declared the water quality at Sucker Lake channel to be "fair." 

Middle school students also enjoyed time by the water and activities outside. Intramural basketball​ games, trips to downtown White Bear Lake and Dinkytown, and bakery sales were just a few of the fun activities students have been enjoying ​this summer ​at the Middle School FLEX Program. One of the students' favorite activities was making solar ovens that were later used to cook the perfect s'mores. FLEX encourages leadership, making a difference, positive social interaction and a lot of fun in a relaxed environment. The activities are student-driven and choice-based. For the 2017-18 school year, the program is being expanded to be an after school option for ​youth. Students can enjoy academic support, ​exploration in ​arts,​ technology, and textile design, ​recreation activities and games ​and a variety of other activities on Monday through Thursday from 3 to 5 p.m. at both Sunrise Park Middle School and Central Middle School. Learn more about the program and watch this video to see the various opportunities students can embrace. Join this fall!

Four high school students embraced the great outdoors and embarked on an eight day Boundary Water Adventure with Community Services Programmer Tracy Cook. The students departed from Forest Lake and headed to the YMCA Camp Menogyn in Grand Marais, Minnesota where they kicked off their first day learning how to carry a canoe, paddle strokes, packing out equipment, meal and route planning and what to do if a canoe tips over. They enjoyed beautiful views as they paddled Gunflint Lake between Canada and the United States before officially entering the Boundary Waters at South Lake. This trip gave students the opportunity to explore new challenges everyday such as navigation, route planning, paddling, portaging and team building. In the evenings, the team would discuss the impact the experience had on them all and how it relates to the district's core values. Students shared the new perspectives they gained, appreciation for the outdoors, communication skills, and a better understanding of the importance of collaboration. When situations became challenging, students pushed one another to success such as when they carried a 90 pound canoe for a quarter of a mile. The individuals on the trip bonded during their time in nature and left the Boundary Waters as a strong team. The students were selected based upon recommendations from district administration. The opportunity was possible thanks to a partnership and collaborative effort with the YMCA Camp Menogyn.

Exciting experiences

Fidget spinners lined a table as students made the final touches to their new toys. Making fidget spinners was just one of the opportunities they had at the Manufacturing and Welding Camp at St. Paul College. Students were also able to enjoy hands on activities like computer design, machining and welding throughout the week. There were also a variety of summer manufacturing programs students could take advantage of throughout the entire summer. This called for a celebration. Students gathered at the Manufacturing Pathway Summer Wrap Up Celebration hosted by the Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation to be recognized for their hard work and learn about future opportunities in the manufacturing industry. This opportunity allowed them to hear about the 2017 GenZ Connection: Skills and Careers in Manufacturing program, the St. Paul College Manufacturing Camp Experience and other updates. 

From one exciting Career Pathways opportunity to the next, district leaders enjoyed an experience where they learned more about Senator Al Franken's Advancing Career Pathways Initiative with the Senator himself. This was an opportunity to explore the MN Trades Academy while seeing first-hand the importance of the partnership to informing students about a variety of great career options. Last summer, the Senator started the Advancing Career Pathways Tour, involving visits to 17 communities in an effort to learn about efforts to provide opportunities to students in industries that are facing a workforce shortage. Later in the day, the Senator announced The Advancing Career Pathways Innovation Act, which would establish a grant program for public school districts to help them expand or create partnerships with industry leaders to provide students with the opportunity to explore career opportunities. 

While students celebrated their accomplishments in the manufacturing field, other students had fun exploring the construction trades with marshmallow launchers made out of plumbing equipment. Participants had the opportunity to get hands-on experiences in the Kids at Work Construction Exploration Camp. They learned about roads and pavement by making asphalt cookies, created a toolbox out of sheet metal and crafted wood coasters that they assembled and painted. Best yet, the students were able to take home the projects to show their family and friends what they had learned about the constructions trades. Freshmen will soon be embarking in a learning adventure of their own.

The beginning of students' high school careers are just around the corner, and this can be both an exciting and nail-biting time for many. On August 30 from 7:30-11 a.m. at WBLAHS - North Campus, there will be a Link Crew Freshman Orientation, which is a mandatory orientation to help make the transition from middle school to high school seamless. Seniors and juniors will be serving as mentors and leaders for the freshmen during the fun activities. Buses will pick up students at their normal bus stops on the day of orientation, with the AM bus route running in the morning and the PM bus route after the event. Learn more about the day. While freshmen prepare for high school, students participated in K Jumpstart, which is an opportunity to experience what it will be like to be in kindergarten while staff focused on reinforcing academic skills and social and emotional components. Recently, students were at Willow Lane Elementary where they could enjoy scavenger hunts around the school to find areas likes the gym, cafeteria, bathrooms, where the buses will come, explore a kindergarten room and more. During the last day of the session, the transportation company brought out a bus and talked about bus rules and safety and students were able to go on a ride. K Jumpstart is focused on acclimating students to school to prepare them as best as possible for an exciting time at Kindergarten Orientation on September 5-6 and the first day of school on September 7. 

Climbing to new heights

Students will be climbing the walls at Vadnais Heights Elementary! Summer 2017 has delivered a 40 foot climbing wall to Vadnais Heights Elementary School. The wall is eight feet tall and provides three color-coded, challenge levels for students to climb. There will be obstacles such as hoops to pass through or poles to climb over and this new addition will be a great way for students to improve muscle endurance, flexibility and balance. The wall comes with safety pads and as students traverse, or climb across the wall, they are never more than a few feet off of the floor. Mrs. Jensen, Ms. Thimjon and Mrs. Schneider were the first climbers on the new, fun wall at Vadnais Heights Elementary School. Staff are anxious for students to experience this new addition once school is back in session.

While August warmth may be in full swing, juniors Calla Frank and Sydney Shearen are hitting the ice at the 2017 USA Hockey Women's U18 National Festival taking place in Lake Placid, New York. Thirty-one players were invited to the festival. The event will be used to select a 22-player Under-18 Select Team roster for a three-game series against Canada that will be held August 17-20. In January, the team will compete in the IIHF World Championships held in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. 

Appreciating goodwill

Volunteers are a critical part of the school district and the world would simply not go around without them. Recently, the White Bear Area Senior Program hosted the annual Senior Program Volunteer Appreciation Event to express gratitude for their generosity. The Senior Program had over 250 active volunteers in 2016/17 that donated over 7,500 hours to help with Meals on Wheels, Main Office, Foot Care, Craft Corner, Activities, Mad Hatters, Cleaning Crew, Library, Donations Pickup, Advisory Counsel, Ambassadors and in the schools. Approximately 100 volunteers enjoyed a a chicken dinner and cake, accordion music (even some dancing!), and a short program with thank yous from Superintendent Kazmierczak, Community Services and Recreation Director Tim Mauer and Adult Programs Coordinator Tara Jebens-Singh. Door prizes were provided by the generosity of area businesses and everyone in attendance received a Lifetime Activity Pass to attend District events and free scoops from Culver's and Cup and Cone. A fun time was had by all! Watch this video created to appreciate the volunteers and reflect on their fun memories of experiences. 

62.4-second video updates

Enjoy 62.4-second video updates highlighting weekly district activities throughout the school year. 



Activities Updates

Juniors Calla Frank and Sydney Shearen are participating in the 2017 USA Hockey Women's U18 National Festival taking place in Lake Placid, New York. 

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
August 14 Regular 7 p.m. District Center 
August 28 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center
September 11 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

  • 2017 Skyward Online Family Update and Schedule Release Information - The Online Family Update for elementary families will open on August 18 and for secondary families on August 15. Elementary families will be allowed to view homeroom information after they have completed the update. Once secondary families have completed the online update they will have access to see their schedules starting at 6 p.m. on August 22. Learn more.
  • School Supply Lists - School supply lists for the 2017-18 school year can be found here.
  • MCA Results - District and state Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) results recently were released to the public. The district continues to outperform the state in MCA results, while implementing long-term initiatives committed to success for all students. Find the full press release here.
  • Middle School After-School Programming - Middle school students can enjoy fun activities in the FLEX program after school on Monday through Thursday between 3 to 5 p.m. at both Sunrise Park Middle School and Central Middle School. Learn more and watch this video. Join this fall!
  • Free Summer Farmer's Markets - There are still a few opportunities to stop by the Free Summer Farmer's Markets - including the one at the White Bear Area Senior Center on Monday, August 14 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and at Willow Lane Elementary on Saturday, August 19 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. along with a few upcoming dates in the fall. Learn more.
  • Link Crew Freshman Orientation - Students and staff of White Bear Lake Area High School - North Campus invite the Class of 2021 to a mandatory Link Crew Freshman Orientation on Wednesday, August 30 from 7:30 to 11 a.m. at North Campus. Learn more
  • North Campus principal named - The White Bear Lake Area School District is pleased to announce that Dr. Alison Gillespie has been chosen to serve as the new White Bear Lake Area High School - North Campus principal, a position that opened when former principal Don Bosch was named principal at South Campus earlier this summer. Learn more
  • Flu Vaccination Clinics - Don't let the flu stop you! Homeland Health Specialists will be offering flu shot clinics at multiple White Bear Lake Area School locations on August 28, October 3, October 11 and October 12. Learn more information and access the consent form
  • Facebook Engagement Survey - As we begin the school year, we continue to evaluate how to best serve our families, especially through social media. Please take some time to respond to this anonymous survey by September 3. 
  • #BackToSchoolBears Facebook Challenge - Include #BackToSchoolBears and @isd624 (and then click on White Bear Lake Area Schools to tag the district) in a post, whether it be your first day of school pictures or from your office, explaining why you are excited for the 2017-18 school year for a chance to win a Cup and Cone treat hand-delivered from the Bear. Learn more
  • Summer Activities in Ramsey County - Check out all of the free summer activities available in Ramsey County including summer camps, movies and concerts. 
  • Senior Program Guides - The Senior Program has two guides available for seniors. Learn more about the White Bear Area Guide to Senior Housing and the White Bear Area Guide to Senior Transportation
  • 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.

  • 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
  • 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.
    • Bleed Orange and Black T-shirts - Find out how to get a t-shirt by contacting the Foundation Office at 651-407-7696. The cost is $10.
    • Bear Legacy Event - The WBLAEF is hosting the 2017 Annual Bear Legacy Event on Friday, September 29 at Dellwood Country Club. Learn more and register today

Support WBLAS Students:

  • Be a Bear! The district currently has many staff openings available! 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 inclusion in future publications.