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