July 9, 2017

A Note From the Superintendent

It is an honor to share this message as the superintendent of White Bear Lake Area Schools! This note most certainly finds you well into your summer routine, which, if your home is anything like ours, includes lax bedtimes, a variety of children's activities, the encouragement of reading, unstructured play, and important family time. Summer is a great time to explore the many opportunities that our communities, the Twin Cities metropolitan area, and our great state of Minnesota have to offer! 

I look forward to connecting with many of you over the next few weeks and months and to serving the students, staff, and families of White Bear Lake Area Schools!

Wayne Kazmierczak, Ph.D

Superintendent, White Bear Lake Area Schools


In photos: Lil' Cubs Football Camp

Student News

Staying focused

Students are staying busy this summer as they fill South Campus each day to show their dedication to the district's activity programs. Other students are also engaged off-site. There are three summer internship programs supporting students in their career pathway work. Career Navigator Rich Wessels worked with a variety of stakeholders to develop the first summer paid internship program for manufacturing students. Four students will spend time working specifically with manufacturing mentors to learn more about the industry and potential career opportunities. There are also 13 students who participated in a collaboration with HealthPartners to create the first-ever Healthcare Career Exploration Academy. The students learned about careers in a dozen of different fields, from coordination and clinic operations to emergency medical services and pharmacy. They interacted with professionals in the field, heard about their day-to-day work, toured a variety of facilities and learned about the education and skills needed to enter different careers. In addition, students are experiencing a variety of opportunities in the trades via a paid internship provided by the St. Paul Building and Construction Trades Council. Students going into seventh, eighth and ninth grade in September are invited to come and explore the construction trades during the Kids at Work Construction Exploration Camp at Central Middle School on Wednesday, August 2. Register today. The exciting opportunities with the Healthcare and Manufacturingcareer pathways were also recently highlighted in the White Bear Press. Speaking of great news, a second batch of printed Manitou Days Writing Contest winners included White Bear students who were recognized in the White Bear Press

White Bear graduate David Gehrenbeck could not wait to share his latest news about literally climbing to his dreams, as he stepped onto District Center's rooftop. The alumnus enjoyed every moment of the bird's-eye view that will support his project to trace the history of the building that began 100 years ago next year. The current District Center used to be White Bear High School with the first graduating class from the building in June of 1919. He is aiming to produce a document to commemorate the centennial of the first graduating class including information about the history of the building, its many extensions, and uses up to the present. Last year, he started researching articles dating from 1916 at the Historical Society. David plans on incorporating names, stories and pictures of students and staff to make the building's story come to life. 

While David took a trip to the roof, students recently experienced a visit and learned about different types of art. Students are staying focused and having fun during summer school. One group of students was able to visit the White Bear Center for the Arts, which is just one of the many summer activities students are participating in. The second graders from Lincoln Elementary's program toured the gallery and learned about labyrinths, which is a beautiful sight. The group listened attentively while the master weaver from Peru was at his loom working, and the curator of the show explained the weaver's tree of life piece on display. 

From one exciting experience to the next, White Bear Lake Area High School graduate Hakeem Martins was recently honored as a Page Scholar through the Page Education Foundation. Hakeem was able to connect with Alan Page, who founded the Page Education Foundation with his wife in 1988. Alan was a professional football player for the Minnesota Vikings and serves as a Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. The foundation has supported and inspired young people of color for 30 years. Congratulations to Hakeem for this tremendous honor!

Getting active

Ready, set, go. Students lined up to spring out on the field to catch a pass, throw the ball back to the coaches, and encourage their friends at the Lil' Cubs Football Camp. Coaches from WBLAS Community Services & Recreation taught the students about giving it their all on the field while emphasizing the importance of teamwork. The camp is offered to students in kindergarten through sixth grade. During the camp, students learned how to properly tackle, catching techniques, route running and offensive and defensive terms and formations. Also, the students got the opportunity to enjoy relay races, flag football games and an obstacle course. 

It was nothing but fun at Family Fun Night, as families moved and grooved to zumba, enjoyed yoga and played with bubbles. During Manitou Days, BearPower and the White Bear Lake YMCA hosted this free annual event. If families visited all of the different community partners' booths, they could receive a stylish pair of BearPowered sunglasses. This year, the event took place at Lions Park. The event is centered around BearPower's mission, which is to encourage the White Bear community to eat well and be active. While families had fun staying active at Family Fun Night, others swung into action at the 18th Annual White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation (WBLAEF) Golf Tournament. Golfers had an opportunity to enjoy a lunch buffet, social gathering and awards program hosted at Indian Hills Golf and Country Club in Stillwater. All proceeds benefit the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation. 

Students at Willow Lane Elementary had fun building the school's new playground. Staff, parents and community members came together recently for a two-day playground build experience, with the help of expert builders. The new equipment includes the Rev8, a merry-go-round, climbing structure combo, several additional spinning apparatus and challenging traverses that promote strength, balance and concentration. Beginning in the spring of 2016 and throughout the 2016-17 school year, students were involved in initiatives that helped fund the playground. The project was funded through many avenues including a grant received from the playground equipment company Burke and St. Croix Recreation, local businesses such as Pratt Homes, White Bear HealthMart and McGough, the City of White Bear Lake and the Willow Lane PTO. The playground is not quite ready to have fun on yet, as there are still some finishing touches that need to be made, but it will be play-ready pretty soon!

Exciting adventures

White Bear Lake Area High School students and graduates will bring the story of Bonnie and Clyde to life this summer. The production team is comprised of current and former district students. "Bonnie and Clyde" the musical is an action-packed show (rated PG-13) that tells the story of real-life fugitives, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. In the midst of the country-wide depression, the couple find notoriety and love in this thrilling, fast-paced musical. Frustrated with their poor, ordinary lives, Bonnie and Clyde both dream of the exciting lives they have seen in the movies. Their craving for fame and thrills leads them into a life of crime and a life on the run. Passionate, exciting and daring, "Bonnie and Clyde" the musical combines gospel, rockabilly and blues music to produce an innovative score that complements this action-filled plot. The shows will be performed in the White Bear Lake Area School Community Auditorium on July 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29 at 7 p.m. and on July 22 at 2 p.m. Purchase tickets

Bears in nature
The Bears' hard work in nature has created an absolutely beautiful sight. The Otter Lake Elementary prairie is in full blossom this summer. A field of yellow flowers stretches across the school's grounds. These developed flowers started as seeds and were planted in November of 2015. The prairie became possible when Teacher Thom Greene received $3,200 from the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation to plant a 2.37 acres prairie in the school's "backyard." The students were able to help sprinkle seeds across the area and they even danced on the field to help push the seeds into the soil. While the students' environmental knowledge blossomed, so did the colorful prairie. There is even further proof that Bear Pride doesn't fade in the summer. White Bear Lake Area High School Art Teacher Shawn Gritzmacher captured an image of a feathery friend showcasing a bit of Bear pride recently. The high school's Facebook page shared out a fun image that Gritz had taken in his yard this summer. 

62.4-second video updates

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


Activities Updates

White Bear Lake Area High School graduate Hakeem Martins was recently honored as a Page Scholar. Congratulations Hakeem! Students had fun at the Lil' Cubs Football Camp where they learned about tackling, catching and running. 

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
July 10 Regular 7 p.m. District Center 
August 14 Regular 7 p.m. District Center
August 28 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

  • Kids at Work Construction Exploration Camp - On Wednesday, August 2, White Bear Lake Area Schools students going into seventh, eighth and ninth grade in September are invited to come and explore the construction trades. Register today
  • White Bear Lake Area High School Administrative Change - The White Bear Lake Area School District is pleased to announce that Don Bosch has been chosen to serve as the new White Bear Lake Area High School - South Campus principal, a position that will be vacated when current principal Tim Wald steps into the role of Assistant Superintendent on July 1, 2017. Learn more.
  • Annual Report mailed - The "2015-16 Annual Report to the Community and 2016-17 Update" was recently mailed to all community members. The Report provides a snapshot of the District, including information regarding: Student Achievement, School Climate, Student Awards, Innovation, Finance, District Profile, School Board and Partnerships. If you would like additional copies of the publication, please contact the Communications Department at 651-407- 7695.
  • Communications Survey Results - Thanks to the nearly 900 parents who recently responded to a district communications survey. We are incorporating the results into recommended improvements in our district communications efforts. A few highlights:
    • Overall, parents feel well informed.
    • Trust levels in various district information sources are high.
    • Many parents feel overwhelmed by the length, volume and multiple sources of information from teachers, schools and the district.
  • Walk for Water - On Saturday, July 15 there will be an opportunity to walk around White Bear Lake to raise money for a well in Cambodia. Learn more and register today.
  • Free Summer Meals - There are free summer meals available throughout the community for kids and teens who are 18 years old and younger. 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 new guides available for seniors. Learn more about the White Bear Area Guide to Senior Housing and the White Bear Area Guide to Senior Transportation
  • Summer Wrestling Camp - Students have an opportunity to attend the Augsburg/Bears Youth Wrestling Camp, which will take place on July 24, 25, 26 and 27 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Learn more information about how to register today. 
  • 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.
    • Marketfest Volunteers - BearPower is looking for volunteers to work at their Marketfest booth this summer where they will be hosting veggie tastings, spin the wheel, life size connect four and more. Please email Julia.a.johnson@lakeview.org if you are interested in helping out this summer. 
  • 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 651-707-7696. The cost is $10.

Support WBLAS Students:

  • "Bonnie and Clyde" - White Bear Lake Area High School students and graduates will perform "Bonnie and Clyde" this summer in the Community Auditorium on July 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29 at 7 p.m. and on July 22 at 2 p.m. Purchase tickets.
  • 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.


Student News

  • In photos: Lil' Cubs Football Camp
  • Staying focused
  • Getting active
  • Exciting adventures
  • Bears in nature
  • 62.4-second video updates
  • Activities updates

School Board News

  • School Board Meetings


District News

  • General Information

School Board Regular Meeting
7 p.m.
July 10
District Center

School Board Regular Meeting
7 p.m.
August 14
District Center

School Board Work-Study Meeting
5:30 p.m.
August 28
District Center

Find the 2016-17 Activities Calendar here. 2016-17 Parent Academic Calendar here. Find the recently-approved 2017-18 Parent Academic Calendar here.