October 29, 2017

Student News

  • In photos: Perfecting masterpieces
  • Uniting for kindness
  • Running after goals
  • Smiling opportunities
  • Cutting-edge activities
  • The Week in 62.4 Seconds
  • Activities updates


School Board News

  • School Board Meetings


District News

  • General Information
  • Awards and Honors

A Note From the Superintendent
This fall, residents are asked to vote on four School Board seats and the District's Local Operating Levy Renewal, which is a renewal of the same question supported by our community in the fall of 2011. Approximately 15% of White Bear Lake Area Schools' revenue comes from the local operating levy. Please make it to the polls to vote in this important election on or before Tuesday, Nov. 7. Find additional information here.

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

In photos: Perfecting masterpieces

Student News

Uniting for kindness

Orange, orange and more orange could be seen throughout the district on Unity Day. Unity Day is an important time for students, staff and communities to stand together against bullying while uniting for kindness, acceptance and inclusion. The counseling office sent out positive messages at Sunrise Park Middle School. Additionally, the North Campus Student Council and South Campus Student Council created posters and the North Campus students also wrote positive messages on Post-it notes that they placed on bathroom mirrors. Students at Transition Education Center had activities during the past month to prepare for Unity Day by creating bracelets, doing the Unity Dance and writing messages on leaves about how they can prevent bullying. The fun didn't stop with students, as staff members also enjoyed dressing up and sporting the color orange.

The kindness continued throughout the district, as fifth grade students at Vadnais Heights Elementary School participated in a Kindness Retreat through the Youth Frontiers Program. The experience was recently captured in this Friday's The Week in 62.4 Seconds video. This was a high-energy day where students were able to continue their journey of learning how to promote kindness and prevent bullying in their school and community with junior and senior leaders from WBLAHS - South Campus. The students participated in activities through music and play that encouraged them to step out of the box, talk with their classmates and connect with one another about what is taking place in their school. Fifth graders and high school leaders were able to walk away with the knowledge that kindness is like the boomerang effect - what you throw out in kindness can and will come back to you! Read the full story. While students shared their thoughts during activities at the Kindness Retreat, high school students also had the opportunity to share their thoughts with Superintendent Wayne Kazmierczak at the first High School Superintendent's Advisory Council gathering of the year.

Speaking of having a big heart, students and families at Otter Lake Elementary donated to Hurricane Harvey Heroes to help support Caldwood Elementary School in Beaumont, Texas that was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey. To assist the school in their efforts and help families get back on their feet, Otter Lake Elementary families and staff teamed up to purchase school supplies that were needed for the students to have a successful school year. The donations were then used to buy school supplies through Amazon Prime that could be delivered right to the school. Parents also embraced the opportunity to come together with other parents and teachers at ParentCamp. This was an opportunity for parents to engage in face-to-face discussions about what is best for kids and how to most effectively benefit student learning, teaching and parenting.  

Running after goals

Lap after lap, students at Vadnais Heights Elementary enjoyed the weather, time with their classmates and cardiovascular fitness. Nearly 150 first through fifth grade students participated in the Vadnais Heights Elementary School Run Club. This opportunity aligned with BearPower's initiative to encourage active lifestyles. This free afterschool activity was lead by Mark Theissen and supported by other teachers and staff on Mondays and Wednesdays. Students could choose to walk or run their laps around the school's backyard. While the temperature was a bit higher outdoors during Run Club, students did not let the snowy weather put any brakes on their fun for their big event. The students hard work paid off when they ran through vibrant colors with their classmates at the school's Color Run.

The running did not stop at Vadnais Heights Elementary. Students at Lincoln Elementary and Otter Lake Elementary also laced up their shoes for BearScare Boot Camp to prepare for a fun running event. Bear even visited to join the students as they warmed up. Students hustled and embraced speed training activities with their classmates, as they sprinted between cones in the gymnasium. The experience was recently captured in this Friday's The Week in 62.4 Seconds video. After the BearScare Boot Camp, students were ready to show off their hard work at the BearScare Fun Run/Walk. Otter Lake Elementary and Lincoln Elementary teamed up and the proceeds will benefit the schools. Families could enjoy a costume contest and music during their running and walking activities.

Students at the Birch Lake Extended Day program hit the ground running with one of their latest activities. Students had fun with the Sports Sampler Club where they were learning about soccer. The Sports Sampler Club is a youth enrichment camp that is open to registered Extended Day students, as well as the greater community of students. 2016 White Bear graduate Madeline Bahnemann is teaching this fun activity to inquisitive students. Madeline is working towards a degree in elementary education while gaining real-life experience working with students during fun opportunities such as Sports Sampler Club. Another student is running after and accomplishing their goals. Ashlyn Bohrer was recently recognized at the BestPrep's Educational Forum. Ashlyn wrote an essay on "Why Character Matters in Education" and was one of 25 winners from across the state. Ashlyn also got to meet Alan Page, former Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court and NFL Hall of Fame member, along with other award recipients.

Smiling opportunities

Nothing says Minnesota quite like the Mississippi River. High school students hopped on a riverboat with French students, as just one of the many fun activities with their new friends who were visiting the United States. The experience was captured in last week's The Week in 62.4 Seconds video. Since the 1994-1995 school year, White Bear Lake students and their families have been participating in the Meaux Exchange Program. This program is coordinated by the White Bear Lake French Department and its partner school, Lycée Bossuet in Meaux, France. The Meaux/White Bear Exchange program is an experience which includes hosting students from France and traveling to Meaux, France. When the French students were here, White Bear students benefited by having the French group attend school for one day. During Spring Break, White Bear students will travel to France and stay in the French student's home for approximately 10 days. 

While high school students met new friends, staff members were introduced to new families and babies at the fall Community Baby Shower. Babies smiled, as they received relaxing massages from their parents who were learning baby massaging techniques to help stimulate their child's central nervous system. Parents with new babies from birth up to six months old attended the free event at Normandy Park Education Center. The experience was captured in last week's The Week in 62.4 Seconds video. This is an opportunity for families to learn what resources the district and White Bear Lake community has to offer. Parents were able to ask questions about beneficial ways to support and nurture their infant's health and development. Early childhood families also had a blast dressing up together for the annual Costume Party.

High school students will also be dressing up for the White Bear Lake Area High School's Production of "Footloose The Musical." Dancing, singing and wearing awesome shoes will be just a few of the exciting elements seen throughout the show. "Footloose" is the story of Ren McCormack, a teenager from Chicago. Ren and Ren's mother move to the small town of Bomont after Ren's father abandons them. Upon arriving, Ren finds himself at odds with most of the town, including the Reverend of Bomont. The Reverend has convinced the town to outlaw dancing, which Ren finds unbelievable. With the help of Ariel (the Reverend's daughter) and Willard (a country hick who becomes Ren's best friend), Ren convinces the Reverend to let the teenagers dance, and in the process helps the town to heal from a tragedy that affected them all. There will be performances at 7 p.m. on Nov. 10-11, 16-18 and a matinee on Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. at the WBLAHS - North Campus Theater. Purchase tickets today.

Cutting-edge activities

While most people take a knife from their kitchen to cut their vegetables and meat, Ben Craig's Anthropology class took a different approach. Students at the Area Learning Center used sugar glass, rock candy, to create stone tools. They tested the effectiveness of their tools by butchering produce such as a chicken, celery, peppers and carrots. The students were able to determine if their tools were sharp enough to cut through the materials and evaluate how the experiment went compared to their initial thoughts. Students at Lincoln Elementary were able to have fun thoughts, as they participated in a Fall Social involving the Bookfair, Bring Our Learning Together Night and Lincoln Idol. Bring Our Learning Together Night is an opportunity for high school and middle school students to play math and literacy games with students so they know how to play them when they bring them home.

Students were able to participate in another cutting-edge activity at the White Bear Center for the Arts. High school students taking Ceramics 1 were able to experience raku firing. This is a fun and dramatic way to fire ceramics wares since there is a rapid reduction in combustible material. The experience was recently captured in this Friday's The Week in 62.4 Seconds video. Raku firing is a process where materials are removed from a kiln at red heat and are placed in containers of the combustible materials. After being set in these materials, the smoke blackens raw ceramic surfaces and reacts with special raku glazes creating a predictable yet beautiful surface. At the end of this project, students were able to take their masterpieces back to their homes. One student even had the idea to put flowers in it to make for a beautiful decoration piece. 

While there may not have been school during MEA Break, that didn't stop some middle school students from having fun at the first-ever FLEX Lock-in. The evening was jam-packed with fun activities including board games, cards and karaoke. The students were even able to play with Knockerballs, which are giant inflatable balls they can crawl inside and participate in games with. The experience was captured in last week's The Week in 62.4 Seconds video. There was even an opportunity for students to showcase their dance moves with upbeat tunes. While energy was being expended, students didn't go hungry. There were many delicious treats available to munch on including Cup and Cone and root beer floats. FLEX is the district's middle school program, providing afterschool programming during the school year and full-day programming on most non-school days and during the summer. Learn more about FLEX.

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 cross country teams were recently highlighted by the White Bear Press for their accomplishments in the conference meet. The now section champion teams will be competing at the state meet on Saturday, Nov. 4. WBLAHS grads Jack O'Rourke (NDSU), Joey Goudreau (Saint John's Univ) and Ethen Peterson (UMD), 2015 state champions lacrosse, recently played each other in college ball pre-season! A "golden anniversary" Bears soccer game was highlighted by the White Bear Press.

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
November 13 Regular 7 p.m. District Center 
November 27 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center
December 11 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

  • Strategic Planning Update, Opportunity to Get Involved - A 30-member Strategic Planning team met Sept. 18-20, 2017 and identified draft beliefs, mission, objectives, and strategies. See the full details here. After a process that will take place this fall and winter, School Board action on the Strategic Plan is expected in March, 2018. The next step in the process involves forming Action Teams, which will develop action plans for each of the eight strategies (listed below in the form). Action Team meetings are tentatively scheduled to take place 6-8 p.m. on the following evenings: Nov. 16 & 30, Dec. 14, Jan. 4 & 18, and Feb. 1. Action Team meetings will take place at White Bear Lake Area High School - North Campus. If you are interested in volunteering on an Action Team, complete the registration form.
  • Local Operating Levy Renewal Informational Video - This video is the second in a trio of levy renewal videos that showcase the district's strong schools, community and tomorrows. Enjoy "Strong Community!" Find complete information on the levy renewal on the district's website.
  • Transition Resource Fair - On Thursday, Nov. 2 from 4-7 p.m. at WBLAHS - South Campus, the Ramsey County Suburban Community Transition Interagency Committee (CTIC) will again be offering a Transition Fair featuring a range of community resources to staff, families and students. This event serves both Ramsey and Washington County families with an emphasis for students with disabilities grades nine and above. Typically there are around 25 community organizations that cover topics including independent living, housing, county and vocational rehabilitation services, advocate services and employment services. Learn more.
  • Safety Information Night - All district parents are invited to attend Safety Information Night on Thursday, Nov. 9 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at WBLAHS - South Campus. Learn more about this free information night. 
  • Purchase "Footloose" Tickets - Tickets are available for the White Bear Lake Area High School's Production of "Footloose The Musical." There will be performances at 7 p.m. on Nov. 10-11, 16-18 and a matinee on Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. at the WBLAHS - North Campus Theater.
  • 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.
  • 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
    • Family Yoga Day - Families are invited to Family Yoga Day on Saturday, Nov. 11 at WBLAHS - South Campus to celebrate the health and wellness of the White Bear community. The Judy Craig Group is donating a $500 gift card to the White Bear elementary school that has the most attendees at the event. 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.
    • Family Dance - The community is invited to move and groove at the free Family Dance on Sunday, Nov. 19 from 3-5 p.m. at Oneka Elementary in the gym (registration is not required).

Support WBLAS Students:

  • Purchase "Footloose" Tickets - Tickets are available for the White Bear Lake Area High School's Production of "Footloose The Musical." There will be performances at 7 p.m. on Nov. 10-11, 16-18 and a matinee on Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. at the WBLAHS - North Campus Theater. 
  • 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

  • October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The Minnesota Department of Administration Council on Developmental Disabilities has educational materials and resources available to highlight how people can work together and increase the employment of individuals with developmental disabilities. 
  • November Recognitions:
    • November 5 - Daylight Saving Ends
    • November 7 - Election Day
    • November 11 - Veterans Day
    • November 13-17 - American Education Week and Geography Awareness Week
    • November 15 - Education Support Professionals Day
    • November 16 - National Parental Involvement Day
    • November 22-24 - Thanksgiving Break
    • November 23 - Thanksgiving Day

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