February 25, 2018

Student News

  • A Note from the Superintendent: Superintendent's Thoughts - Safe and Supportive Environments 
  • In photos: Fun in the snow at Hugo Elementary
  • Exploring experiences
  • Winter giving
  • Exciting visitors
  • Love for learning
  • 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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A Note from the Superintendent
Superintendent's Thoughts - Safe and Supportive Environments 
As we wrap up the school week, we reflect on yet another school shooting tragedy, this time at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. School communities across the country are grieving yet another senseless act of violence…... I hope you will join me in keeping the families of those impacted in Florida in your thoughts and prayers, and accept my genuine appreciation for your efforts in keeping our students and families safe. See the full message here.

Wayne Kazmierczak, Ph.D
Superintendent, White Bear Lake Area Schools

In photos: Fun in the snow at Hugo Elementary

Student News

Exploring experiences

On Mondays and Wednesdays, parts of WBLAHS - South Campus transform into a dance floor after school hours. Middle school and high school students throughout the district are enjoying their involvement with Dance Club where they listen to music, explore new dances and teach others new moves. Check out this video to see the students enjoying their time together dancing. This also is an opportunity for students to teach one another about different cultures, including Hmong traditions and dances. In other dancing news, middle school students also recently showcased their variety of talents at the Central Middle School Talent Show. Off of the stage, several middle school students were able to collaborate and participate in the Middle School Superintendent's Student Advisory meeting. The experience was captured in this video

Early childhood students explored their own type of fun and had a blast with their version of the Olympics, as they climbed around their obstacle course at Normandy Park Education Center. The fun can be seen in this video. It has been busy for early childhood families as they hosted their first parent-only class inviting Jennifer Hanlon to present on Finding Self Control: Responses to Children's Emotional and Physical Outbursts. Parents were given strategies on how to proactively respond and assist young children when they are experiencing less desirable behaviors. The Early Childhood PTA hosted their 2nd Annual Pasta Feed Fundraiser, partnering with Donatelli's and holding a silent auction. Fun was had by all who attended. Speaking of fun and partnerships, the numbers are in and White Bear Lake High School Student Council has totaled up all of the donations collected across the district earlier this fall. The Student Council was able to donate 17,599 pounds of food and $6,553.60. Thanks to the help of all those that participated in helping support the White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf.

Winter giving

Sunrise Park Middle School students traveled to Feed My Starving Children and volunteered their time to pack food for those in need. During the experience, students packed ingredients into bags, making nutritious meals that are formulated to best serve the needs of malnourished children. While some students contributed their time to help break the cycle of poverty, other students embraced the cold for a cause. Plungers for Willow Lane Elementary took a cool dip to raise money and continue the tradition of supporting their school with fun, family activities. In other fun news, district students who were honored in the Scholastic Art Awards program attended an award ceremony event last weekend. While students were recognized for their creative talents, one WBLAHS student earned the rank of Eagle Scout after completing a community project focused on designing and building an addition to a nature trail at Otter Lake Elementary, which was highlighted in this article by the White Bear Press

While some students jumped into a lake for a cause, others were more bundled up, but also enjoyed the winter weather, as they gave back. The White Bear Lake Area High School National Honor Society students volunteered at the Winter Carnival Vulcan Snow Park Giant Snow Slide. This was an opportunity for students to help bring the community together and put smiles on family members' faces, as they grabbed their sleds and slid to the bottom of the slide. The Vulcan Snow Park Giant Snow Slide was 16 feet high and more than 300 feet long. Several other students from Insight Recovery School also enjoyed their time outdoors at the Recovery School Snow Tubing Party at Green Acres. Over at Hugo Elementary, students wrapped up their Reading Olympics and participated in events and activities outdoors related to the "Ready, Set, Snow!" book, that teachers have all been reading to their classes. Students participated in sled pull races, frisbee curling and snowshoeing. In other Olympic news, two hockey players, and sisters, who started their careers in White Bear played for Team Korea and Team USA. Their success story was featured in this video.

Exciting visitors

Students at Willow Lane Extended Day recently enjoyed learning from an exciting visitor, Dr. Carol Nelson, while having a fun day by exploring the way others live in different parts of the world. Dr. Nelson is a retired physician from the University of Minnesota and now works with the Rural Health Care Initiative to improve healthcare in the Tikonko region. Students were able to learn where Sierra Leone is on the map. They even tried on traditional cloth wraps from Sierra Leone. Dr. Nelson shared photos and household items from Sierra Leone and described the lives of children in the Tikonko Chiefdom. Considering the fact that children in Tikonko wake up at 4 a.m. to carry water in buckets on their heads, from the village well to their homes, Willow Lane Extended Day students practiced balancing bowls on their heads too. Students were even able to play with instruments from Sierra Leone. 

There was another fun visitor in the classroom at Matoska International, D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Sergeant Gadbois. All the fifth graders at Matoska International participate in the D.A.R.E. program, which focuses on giving students the skills they need to avoid any type of involvement in drugs, violence and gangs. The students have recently been focusing on learning more about communication styles, resistance strategies, stress management and how to make safe and responsible choices. The experience was captured in this video. Students at Vadnais Heights Elementary also recently had fun with an opportunity to learn more about others' work and showcase their own at the Art and STEM Fair. Exciting work was on display such as a DIY hologram projector, robot unicorn and demonstration on how tornadoes form.

Love for learning

Otter Lake Elementary recently had a fun experience while continuing to celebrate I Love to Read Month through the Wonders of the World, which is a literacy event. Each of the grades at Otter Lake Elementary were assigned one of the Seven Wonders of the World and their corresponding country. Each grade read stories about their country and learned about their assigned wonder. They even had the opportunity to explore their countries such as Peru, using Google Expeditions. The experience was recently captured in this video. Then, the entire school competed in a game show where students from each grade came together to form a team and answer questions about the information they learned from the stories that they read. The goal is for students to learn about other countries in the world, through books. 

District representatives were also able to learn when they attended the Project Search Information Night where they could show support for and discuss more about the district's partnership with Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare. The agenda included an introduction of the Project Search team, an overview of the Project Search model and a tour of the facilities. Back at Transition Education Center, students, staff and community members celebrated at the Community Partner event. This event is an opportunity for students to connect with and express their appreciation to community partners who have opened their doors to give students the opportunity to learn valuable employability skills. The fun experience was captured in this video. 

The Week in 62.4 Seconds

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



Activities Updates

The Bears boys' hockey team was highlighted in the White Bear Press for rallying their way into the playoffs. Students also competed in and qualified for state on both the alpine and nordic ski 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 Feb. 12 School Board Meeting, the School Board congratulated band, orchestra and choir students who represented the district well at a variety of higher-level competitions and performances. 


During the School Board meeting, there was also a special recognition of Patriot's Pen winners and the newest National Board Certified teachers.


To see clips from the recognitions during the ceremony and the School Board Meeting, watch the February 16 edition of The Week in 62.4 Seconds video.

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

Date Type Time Location
February 26 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center
March 5 Regular 7 p.m. District Center
March 26 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center 

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. 
  • Digital Backpack information is emailed to parents every other Thursday and available here.
  • The Senior Program has two guides available for seniors. Read the White Bear Area Guide to Senior Housing and the White Bear Area Guide to Senior Transportation.
  • The latest edition of the Senior Voice is available online.

Parent Notices

  • 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 looking to form a team, our leagues are currently open. We have leagues for men, women and coed. Registration ends March 31, 2018. More information can be found here using the keyword "softball" or you can contact Jon Anderson.
  • Title Programs Parent Advisory Committee- We are forming a Title Programs Parent Advisory Committee that will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at the White Bear Lake Public Library. RSVP by Feb. 27. Find additional information in: English, Hmong, Spanish.
  • 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, March 8 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at District Center. 
  • Monthly Mental Well-Being Series - The first session of the monthly Mental Well-Being Series took place and district staff and families are invited to attend future monthly presentations. The second session in the monthly series will take place from 7-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at WBLAHS - North Campus. See the flyer with complete series dates.
  • A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota - Community members are invited to read "A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota" and then listen, discuss and learn from others in a community conversation on Wednesday, Feb. 28. Learn 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.
  • 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 - Facebookand 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.

  • Creating Dementia-Friendly Communities - Community members are invited to participate in conversations about how to create more dementia-friendly communities. View a flyer and invitation for dates, times and locations. 
  • 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
    • BearPower Open Gym - Come check out featured friends at Open Gym. Learn more.
      • Open Gym with Mr. Butters - Families are invited to enjoy rock climbing, floor hockey, scooter board, basketball and more at Matoska International on Thursday, March 22 from 6-7:30 p.m. Check out the flyer

Support WBLAS Students:

  • Willow Lane 5th Graders Donatelli's Takeover - Willow Lane Elementary fifth graders are taking over Donatelli's during the lunch hour one last time on Tuesday, Feb. 27. Stop in for a terrific meal and great service! Find additional information here and see the students in action in this video.
  • 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

  • March Recognitions:
    • National Nutrition Month
    • Music In Our Schools Month
    • Women's History Month
    • March 2 - Read Across America Day
    • March 2 - Employee Appreciation Day
    • March 4-10 - National School Social Worker Week
    • March 5-9 - National School Breakfast Week

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