March 11, 2018
- Notes from the Superintendent: Student Safety Reminders and An Invitation
- In photos: Tree tapping at Tamarack Nature Center
- Visits & violins
- Tapping into experiences
- Reading readiness
- The Week in 62.4 Seconds
- Activities updates
School Board News
- School Board Meetings
- General Information
- Awards and Honors
Notes from the Superintendent
Student Safety reminders
With students out and about more in the warmer weather, and the upcoming Spring Break, we wanted to take this opportunity to remind parents of the importance of reinforcing rules of personal safety with their children:
- always be aware of your surroundings
- don't be afraid to tell people "no"
- tell a trusted adult if you feel unsafe
Additional information, including resources and activities to facilitate with your child, can be found at www.kidsmartz.org.
Thank you for helping to keep all of our children safe.
March 20 Coffee with Dr. K - Community members are invited to stop by and chat with White Bear Lake Area Schools Superintendent Dr. Wayne Kazmierczak over a cup of coffee between 7:30-8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 20 at the Downtown White Bear Lake Caribou Coffee & Einstein Bros. Bagels (4733 Highway 61, White Bear Lake, MN). There is no set agenda, so please feel free to order a coffee from the barista and find Dr. K in the meeting room to join the conversation!
In photos: Tree tapping at Tamarack Nature Center
To see more of the tree tapping experience, watch the March 9 edition of The Week in 62.4 Seconds video!
Visits & violins
The Minnesota State Capitol became Area Learning Center students' classroom for several hours as they participated in the MAAP STARS Legislative Day where they met with legislators and discussed benefits of alternative learning. They started off the day by meeting with other Area Learning Center students from across the state. Throughout the experience, students were encouraged to learn about crafting their elevator speeches to their legislators about why it's important for them to support schools like the Area Learning Center and Insight Recovery School. The experience was captured in this video. The MAAP Stars Legislative Day aims to provide students with a platform to embrace their civic responsibility, tell their stories and express their needs to legislators while simultaneously learning more about the legislative process.
The sound of violins filled the orchestra room at Central Middle School. It is Music In Our Schools Month, and students' hard work with their instruments was featured in this recent video. One student explained how orchestra has been a fun way to cherish new friendships that began to blossom in the program during their fifth grade year. Students are learning about rhythm and preparing for their upcoming spring performances. Speaking of performances, there are a variety of district productions coming up this spring. From the White Bear Lake Middle Schools Players production of "Singin' in the Rain Jr." to Lincoln Elementary's performances of "Oklahoma," there are many opportunities to enjoy entertainment while supporting students. Learn more about productions, times, and purchasing tickets on the district's website.
Tapping into experiences
Early childhood students at Tamarack Nature Center bundled up and hiked out into the woods to participate in the annual tree tapping experience. Students were able to work with their teachers to drill holes into maple trees. The fun was captured in this video. After the holes were drilled, the adventurers could safely tap and secure spiles with hammers into the trees. Once this happens, it means the tree is all ready to start dripping the sap into buckets. The early childhood students even wrote in their notebooks about their adventure. After the tree tapping journey, students were able to enjoy delicious syrup and pancakes with special guests they were able to invite to the experience. This was a yummy and sweet reward after their hard work and learning outdoors!
High school students tapped into experiences in a different way. Congratulations to White Bear Lake Area High School - South Campus seniors for competing in the inaugural American Heart Association's Advancing Sciences event. Not only did they walk away with a $1,000 prize to support the adoption of American Heart Association's First Aid/CPR Curriculum for students, they also volunteered their time (on their day off of school), offered free demos and did all the brainstorming on how they could share the great things happening throughout White Bear Lake Area Schools. Their success was even highlighted in this article.
Speaking of great opportunities happening throughout the district, Willow Lane Elementary fifth graders finished up another successful year of the "Donatelli's Takeover" experience, after five Tuesdays of serving lunch and learning important work-life lessons. Lessons learned along the way have also paid off for Sunrise Park Middle School student Megan Van Ostrand, who won the school geography bee and is one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2018 Minnesota National Geographic State Bee. The contest will be held at Minnesota State University, Mankato in April.
WBLAHS - South Campus students are busy with JustUs, which is a discussion series happening that meets on a bi-weekly basis to discuss issues and initiatives around diversity, equity and inclusion. Their mission is to create a safe, collaborative space where students use their voices and experiences to create further awareness. Their next initiative is focused on creating safe spaces in middle schools. This has been a powerful dynamic being that staff have attended every meeting to absorb student feedback. Their most recent initiative is their JustUs Awareness video, which was emailed to all attendees of the "A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota" community conversation. The recent community conversation was a powerful way for attendees to have open dialogue about race, equity and social justice. Read more about the experience. Another engagement opportunity is the White Bear Lake Indian Education Program that is made up of students, families, staff and the American Indian Parent Advisory Committee (AIPAC). Learn more about the program and how to get involved.
At Vadnais Heights Elementary, students formed a reading train with books in hand to celebrate a variety of happenings that support literacy initiatives. On March 2, they created a reading train to honor I Love to Read Month in February, the NEA's (National Education Association's) Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss's birthday. The reading train fun was captured in this video. Read Across America Day is an annual nationwide reading celebration to encourage diverse readers across the country to enjoy books in a fun environment. The opportunity took place following their all-school summit focused on assertion. While some elementary students enjoyed reading about topics that interested them, one Sunrise Park Middle School student pursued their interests and interviewed a former Gopher's football player! The student conducted the interview for a project focused on the dangers of concussions in sports.
Books, books and more books. Hugo Elementary students enjoyed their time while participating in a Book Tasting activity. The experience was recently captured in this video. Throughout the Book Tasting, they were able to test out mints that were placed at each of the tables. At the end of the activity, they were asked to identify their favorite books that they read during the experience. The Book Tasting was aimed to highlight the importance of reading and showcase a lesson about the love and fun reading can bring to students. While students participated in the Book Tasting activity, high school students at WBLAHS - North Campus focused on tutorials in their AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) classes with tutors, such as one White Bear graduate, Hakeem Martins. The tutorial learning opportunity was highlighted in the March 9 edition of The Week in 62.4 Seconds video.
The Week in 62.4 Seconds
Enjoy The Week in 62.4 Seconds videos highlighting weekly district activities throughout the school year.
Congratulations to students on the wrestling team who qualified and competed in the Minnesota State Wrestling Tournament. The City of Vadnais Heights is planning a celebration for Olympians who started their hockey careers in a White Bear youth program! The exciting news was highlighted in this article. 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 Meetings
School Board meeting agendas, packets, minutes highlights and videos/audio files can be found here.
|March 26||Work-Study||5:30 p.m.||District Center|
|April 9||Regular||7 p.m.||District Center|
|April 23||Work-Study||5:30 p.m.||District Center|
For highlights from the most recent Board meeting, click here.
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.
- Student Safety reminders - With students out and about more in the warmer weather, and the upcoming Spring Break, we wanted to take this opportunity to remind parents of the importance of reinforcing rules of personal safety with their children. Read the full reminder on the district's website.
- Website Quick Links changing after Spring Break - In an effort to make the district's website more family-friendly, the Quick Links options on the front page of the district website (in the white box) will be changed to reflect those links most used/requested by families. The drop-down Quick Links listing (in the gray box across the top header, near the Search box) continues to offer the expanded listing. If you have any questions, please contact Marisa Vette.
- March 20 Coffee with Dr. K - Community members are invited to stop by and chat with White Bear Lake Area Schools Superintendent Dr. Wayne Kazmierczak over a cup of coffee between 7:30-8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 20 at the Downtown White Bear Lake Caribou Coffee & Einstein Bros. Bagels (4733 Highway 61, White Bear Lake, MN). There is no set agenda, so please feel free to order a coffee from the barista and find Dr. K in the meeting room to join the conversation!
- White Bear Lake Indian Education Program - Learn more about the White Bear Lake Indian Education Program.
- 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.
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 two sessions of the monthly Mental Well-Being Series took place and district staff and families are invited to attend future monthly presentations. The third session in the monthly series will take place from 7-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Open Gym with Mr. Butters - Families are invited to enjoy rock climbing, floor hockey, scooterboarding, basketball and more at Matoska International on Thursday, March 22 from 6-7:30 p.m. Check out the flyer.
- 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.
Support WBLAS Students:
- VHES Spring Carnival - Families are invited to attend the VHES Spring Carnival on Saturday, April 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. where there will be food, games, inflatables, a silent auction and raffle prizes. Learn more about important dates to remember and how to get involved.
- Save the date - 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. Tickets will be available to purchase beginning on Friday, March 23.
- Spring Theatre Productions - See a variety of springtime theatre productions to be performed by district students here.
- Minnesota Golf Cards for Sale - The boys' golf team is selling Minnesota Golf Cards once again this spring. The cards sell for $35 each and are good at more than 160 golf courses statewide and in western Wisconsin. If you are interested contact Coach Nasvik.
- 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 White Bear Lake Area Schools' six outstanding 2018 Teacher of the Year Finalists:
- Maggie Clark (Oneka Elementary)
- Ben Kirkham (WBLAHS - North Campus)
- Cassie Knutson (WBLAHS - South Campus)
- Alli McCann (WBLAHS - North Campus)
- Mel Tlusty (Central Middle School)
- Melissa Wickert (WBLAHS - North Campus)
- Congratulations to educators who were awarded the Glasrud Family Fellowship Grants to embrace innovative experiences and personal and professional growth opportunities. Learn more about and check out pictures of the recipients!
- March Recognitions:
- National Nutrition Month
- Music In Our Schools Month
- Women's History Month
- Youth Art Month