October 1, 2017

Student News

  • In photos: Biomedical Engineering Lesson
  • Brewing opportunities
  • Helping others
  • Enjoying experiences
  • Enhancing skills
  • 62.4-second video updates
  • Activities updates


School Board News

  • School Board Meetings


District News

  • General Information
  • Awards and Honors

A Note From the Superintendent
A strategic planning team comprised of 30 members of the White Bear Lake Area Schools community met in mid-September to envision the future of our school district. As the district continues to evolve, the planning team kickstarted conversations about how to best serve each student. The team's discussions reemphasized community leaders' commitment to ensuring students feel school is a safe and welcoming environment. The group came to agreement on draft belief statements, mission, objectives, parameters, and strategies. There will be opportunities to get involved in the development of action plans that will allow the district to accomplish the new strategies that have emerged from the process. Look for additional information related to the strategic planning team's work in the next couple of weeks.

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

In photos: Biomedical Engineering Lesson

Student News

Brewing opportunities

The aroma of freshly brewed coffee will be filling the air at District Center and Central Middle School on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Central Beans opened and students began delivering coffee to staff members in the two buildings. This is an opportunity for students to develop their work, life and social skills. The experience was recently captured in last week's The Week in 62.4 Seconds video. Students can train in one another to teach them how the coffee shop brewing and delivery system works. Special drinks such as a cup of tea, latte, mocha, hot apple cider and hot chocolate are available to purchase. Orders can be made through this form and are due by 8 a.m. the day of delivery. The Central Beans team can be seen making their deliveries between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

A 30-member team participated in the initial stages of the strategic planning process with Dr. William Cook from The Cambrian Group. The experience was recently captured in last week's The Week in 62.4 Seconds video. The process will continue in the coming months. Board action on the Strategic Plan is expected in March of 2018. There will be opportunities for staff members and community members to participate in action teams to continue to shape the future of White Bear Lake Area Schools. Learn more on the district's website

Helping others

One WBLAHS - South Campus student's passion to help people around the world who need access to clean water and sanitation brought her an opportunity to continue making a difference in others' lives. Sydney Peterson was the keynote youth speaker at the H2O for Life Water Ball at the University of Minnesota. The 8th Annual Water Ball is an opportunity for educators, businesses and community leaders to celebrate youth-service learning aimed at finding solutions for the global water crisis. Sydney and her friend have hosted Walks for Water for the past two summers to raise funds for H2O for Life. They engaged more than 100 participants during the walk this past July. They were also able to enlist their friends to volunteer at the walk where there were stations with educational materials available. This year, they have raised more than $4,500. They plan on passing the walk down to other youth in their neighborhood to keep the tradition alive.

Elementary students and families also gave back to others. Families picked up rakes, grabbed pairs of gloves and got busy cleaning up the Bear's Backyard at Vadnais Heights Elementary. The hardworking volunteers came together to prepare for the fall. The experience was captured in last week's The Week in 62.4 Seconds video. All of the volunteers could enjoy beverages and snacks during the Fall Clean Up Event. This was an opportunity for Vadnais Heights Elementary families to get to know one another while spending time embracing nature. 

Enjoying experiences

Community members could hop on a free shuttle and tour the White Bear area to explore various housing options throughout the community. There were senior living open houses and a resource room at the White Bear Area Senior Housing Awareness Day. Senior Service professionals were on the bus to answer any questions. There will be educational workshops available throughout the month of October. For more information call 651-653-3121. There were more opportunities for community members to enjoy experiences, as The White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation (WBLAEF) hosted its annual Bear Legacy Event at Dellwood Country Club. There was a social hour and silent auction. All of the proceeds benefit the WBLAEF. The WBLAEF provides support for students and educators. 

It certainly felt like a "touchdown" for most elementary students around the district when they received a special visit from varsity football players. The players showed up at the schools they used to attend as children to participate in activities with others students. Roughly five to ten players visited each of the schools they grew up attending. This was a great opportunity for the athletes to connect with younger Bears. The football players chose to read, play games and support students by working one-on-one in small groups. The team is gearing up for Homecoming, which will take place on Friday, Oct. 13. Go Bears!

Students twirled, laughed and ran around their new playground excitedly at Willow Lane Elementary. Community members and students worked hard to raise funds for the new equipment. Staff, community members and parents came together this summer for a two-day playground build experience, with the help of expert builders. Students are enjoying the new equipment that includes a merry-go-round, climbing structure combo and several additional spinning apparatus. The experience was recently captured in this Friday's The Week in 62.4 Seconds video. The students contributed more than 43,000 cans and 24,000 Box Tops to help raise money. Staff members explain how students are proud to say, "look at the playground we built."

Enhancing skills

Transition Education Center students were hard at work in their Project SEARCH program at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare. Project SEARCH is a business led high school transition model. Students are able to get real-life work experience while developing independent living skills and receiving training in employability. The Project SEARCH program allows students to explore career options and experience long-term job coaching. The experience was captured in this Friday's The Week in 62.4 Seconds video. The program's goal is to ensure individuals achieve competitive employment.

Students in Rita Leonard's Biomedical Engineering class were able to utilize the new Maker Space at WBLAHS - South Campus while participating in a hands-on learning experience by designing and developing prototypes of face mask filters. After the masks are built, students will complete an analysis chart and share the results of their design. (Additional photos of the experience can be found in the In Photos section of this issue of the e-newsletter, as well as in this Friday's The Week in 62.4 Seconds video.) In other exciting news, congratulations to senior Liliana Rodriguez for being selected as a National Hispanic Scholar from the College Board. Liliana was eligible for the National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP) by scoring in the top 2.5% among Hispanic and Latino PSAT/NMSQT test takers in the region. Every year, the National Hispanic Recognition Program recognizes about 5,000 of the 250,000 Hispanic/Latino juniors who take the test. Congratulations to Liliana and go Bears!

The Week in 62.4 Seconds

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



Activities Updates

White Bear graduates Cody Braeger and Nick Truen were once football captains as Bears, and are now captains together at Northern State! Boys soccer took on Minnehaha Academy to commemorate the anniversary of the first-ever high school soccer game played at night. Fifty years ago these teams faced off "under the lights" and made history. 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 Meetings
School Board meeting agendas, packets, minutes highlights and videos/audio files can be found here.

Date Type Time Location
October 9 Regular 7 p.m. District Center 
October 23 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center
November 13 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

  • Levy Renewal Informational Community Meetings - There will be two more opportunities to attend Levy Renewal Informational Community Meetings that will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 4 and Thursday, Oct. 5. Learn more about locations and times. If you can't attend either of these meetings, you can watch the presentation on YouTube.
  • ParentCamp - On Thursday, Oct. 26 WBLAHS - North Campus leaders will be hosting a ParentCamp, which will be an opportunity for parents and teachers to engage in face-to-face discussion about what is best for students. Learn more and RSVP today.
  • Dementia Friends - Attend a one-hour session of a face-to-face discussion to become a Dementia Friend, learn more about dementia, and consider a practical action to help someone in the community. Learn moreinformation.
  • Purchasing White Bear Gear - Sweatshirts, sweatpants, hats and more are available to buy from The Official Shop of White Bear Area Schools.
  • Free Community Baby Shower - Community members are invited to join other parents of new babies, birth to six months old, for a free community baby shower on Tuesday, Oct. 17 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Learn moreabout the opportunity.
  • Tutors needed - If you are interested in tutoring students (paid position), please complete this form. For more information, contact Community Services at 651-407-7501 or visit the district's website.
  • 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 Oct. 3, Oct. 11 and Oct. 12. Learn more information and access the consent form.
  • Open Gym - On Wednesday nights at Normandy Park, there will be Open Gyms held from Nov. 1 to March 7 (except for Nov. 22 and Dec. 27) from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The cost is $3 per child and $7 per immediate family.
  • 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
    • BearPower Homecoming 6.24K Family Fun Walk/Run - Join family, friends and the community for the free BearPower Homecoming 6.24K Family Fun Walk/Run that starts at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14 at South Campus. Register today.
    • BearPower Ambassador Program - If you are a member of the White Bear Lake community and have an idea about how to make it easier for your community to eat better and move more, BearPower has an opportunity for you. Learn more about the BearPower Ambassador Program.
    • PowerUp in the Parks Adventure - Join PowerUp, BearPower, Minnesota State Parks and Trails and local doctors to celebrate the kick off of Parks Rx at William O'Brien State Park on Saturday, Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. All families are welcome to this free, fun-filled day and can participate in archery, bike rodeo, kayaking, fire building, hiking and more! Register today.
    • The "BearPower Press" - Learn about delicious recipes, fun upcoming events and more in the latest edition of the "BearPower Press."
  • 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.
    • Brosious Teaching Grant - The purpose of a Brosious Teaching Grant is to enhance the rigor of the curriculum or instruction within the school district. Applications are available and must be turned in no later than Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017.
    • Ryan Family Fund Elementary Art Grant - The Ryan Family Fund Elementary Art Grant helps provide art education to elementary schools in the WBLAS District. Applications are available and due in the WBLAEF office Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017.

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.

Awards and Honors

  • Digital Learning Specialists and Bear visited the classrooms of teachers who have recently become Level 1 or Level 2 Google Certified Educators. Each teacher had a picture taken, was applauded for their efforts and presented with a balloon. Congratulations!
  • October Recognitions:
    • Dyslexia Awareness Month
    • National Principals Month 
    • October 2 - National Custodial Worker Day 
    • October 5 - World Teachers Day 
    • October 9 - Indigenous Peoples Day
    • October 9 - Columbus Day
    • October 9-14 - Homecoming Week
    • October 9-13 - National School Lunch Week 
    • October 15 - End of Hispanic Heritage Month
    • October 15-21 - National Safe Schools Week and National School Bus Safety Week 
    • October 16 - National Boss's Day

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