September 3, 2017
- In photos: #BackToSchoolBears
- Welcoming back Bears
- Dreams come true
- Giving back
- Early Childhood opportunities
- 62.4-second video updates
- Activities updates
School Board News
- School Board Meetings
- General Information
- Awards and Honors
A Note From the Superintendent
We hope my letter to families, which was mailed the week of Aug. 21, has arrived in families' mailboxes at this point. The piece contains annual legal notices, updates about our programs, and good news about our students. If you have not yet received your letter, you can find it here, and you can contact my office to request a copy be mailed to you (651-407-7562, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Wayne Kazmierczak, Ph.D
Superintendent, White Bear Lake Area Schools
In photos: Participate in the #BackToSchoolBears Facebook Challenge
Welcoming back Bears
While the end of the summer comes to an end, the staff gathered to celebrate the beginning of the 2017-18 school year at the Opening Convocation event. Cheerleaders greeted district leaders as they headed to their seats and enjoyed time catching up with colleagues. Staff enjoyed student performances, messages from our School Board Teacher of the Year Nick Marty and information about upcoming district initiatives. Superintendent Wayne Kazmierczak welcomed back staff and a special video was featured, thanks to students and staff who helped, highlighting how to correctly pronounce his last name. In addition, School Board members showed a video conveying what Strong Schools, Strong Community, Strong Tomorrows means to each of them, which is the theme to guide the district through levy renewal, strategic planning and comprehensive facilities planning initiatives this year. Keynote speaker, Jamie Almanzan from theequity collaborative shared an encouraging message about the importance of creating Strong Schools, Strong Community, Strong Tomorrows. Cheerleaders ended the event with an uplifting cheer to kick off the new year. The experience was recently captured in The Week in 62.4 Seconds video and a video of the entire event can be watched on YouTube. In addition, new educators were able to enjoy the New Educator Induction event where they could connect with one another through round table discussions and enjoy a staff mixer.
Families were also gearing up for the upcoming school year, as they attended Vadnais Heights Elementary's Back to School Picnic. Hot dogs, watermelon, and lemonade were on the menu. Students enjoyed crafts and games with their siblings and their parents. In addition, families could sign up for Welcome Back Conferences and receive school supplies to get ready for the first day. The picnic is a great time for families and students to connect with one another. In addition, it provides students an opportunity to establish relationships with staff members before the 2017-18 school year even begins. Elementary students across the district also had the opportunity to interact with teachers and other families before the first day of school.
Elementary students were able to meet their teachers, check out their classrooms, and visit with friends at the Welcome Back Conferences happening throughout the district. This provides students with an opportunity to get familiar with the building and district leaders before the first day of school. The experience was recently captured in The Week in 62.4 Seconds video. At the event, students were also able to complete important literacy assessments to help individualize instruction. In addition, families at Lakeaires Elementary were able to have some fun with the school's new traverse climbing wall. Sixth grade students were also welcomed back to school by WEB (Where Everybody Belongs) leaders at Sunrise Park Middle School and Central Middle School. The sixth graders were able to participate in activities to assist students in meeting classmates and becoming more comfortable with the new building. WEB leaders' jobs are to welcome, encourage and support students as they begin and during the first year of their middle school journey. The experience was recently captured in The Week in 62.4 Seconds video.
It was also an exciting time for freshmen, as they attended Link Crew Orientation to kick off their high school careers. Laughter filled the gymnasium as students started their day by participating in fun activities with the seniors and juniors, who showcased their roles as leaders and mentors. The freshmen were able to ride the bus to get comfortable with the transportation experience. The busses picked up students at their normal bus stops on the day of orientation and ran both the morning route before the event and the afternoon route after the event. The experience at North Campus was recently captured in The Week in 62.4 Seconds video. This event allowed students to ask questions, meet others, learn about opportunities and get familiar with the new building to ensure they are all ready when they step through the doors on the first day of high school.
Dreams come true
What started as Sofia Prado's fifth grade project for the Living History Museum, where students dress up and present facts about influential people, ended in a meet and greet opportunity with Diana Taurasi, professional basketball player for the Phoenix Mercury. Sofia probably never anticipated she would get to actually introduce herself to her hero that she chose to present as during her project. This opportunity brings light to Sofia's life, especially during a challenging year where the student's mother was recently diagnosed a serious bout with cancer. Sofia is bilingual, with her parents being immigrants, and carries her smile with her everywhere she goes, even despite the challenging year. When Oneka Elementary Principal Teresa Dahlem, former WBNA referee, saw Sofia's presentation she reached out to see if she could get the student and her family tickets to a game. The WBNA was more than accommodating, as they provided tickets for her and her family to attend a game where she got to meet her hero.
One Lincoln Elementary student's act of kindness will not only leave bellies full, but hearts happy as he hosts a breakfast to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Ray Strobel recently decided to take his love of cooking and helping people to a whole new level by organizing the Cooking for Kids Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, Sept. 23. Ray even met with the manager of the American Legion Post 168 who agreed to donate their facilities for the event. He will be serving up pancakes, sausages, eggs and coffee or juice to drink. He has been learning so much about the impact of marketing, the power of social networking, asking for donations and support, and organizing volunteers. The seven-year-old is looking forward to mixing cooking and making people smile together to give back, which has been made possible by the generous support from all of the donors and community members. Learn more about the event through Facebook and this flyer.
Early Childhood opportunities
The district's Early Childhood Program has an exciting opportunity for preschoolers this fall with the School Readiness Plus Scholarship Program. Due to some additional funding designated to preschool programs, two preschool classes will be offered at Lakeaires Elementary starting on Sept. 11. These additional classes are designed to offer a learning experience to students before attending kindergarten. Students are able to have fun investigating through play based on age-appropriate math, writing, music, art, language, and science activities, while developing their social and emotional skills. For additional information and eligibility requirements visit the Early Childhood page.
Early Childhood fun is happening all across the district. Birch Lake Elementary recently became a new site for the BearFUNdamentals program. White Bear Lake Area Schools Bear FUNdamentals is a year-before-kindergarten full-day program focused on providing fun, nurturing and safe opportunities for play and learning that prepare children for kindergarten. Bear FUNdamentals focuses on children's emotional, social, physical and intellectual growth. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at Birch Lake Elementary.
62.4-second video updates
Enjoy 62.4-second video updates highlighting weekly district activities throughout the school year.
Incoming juniors Calla Frank and Sydney Shearen made the cut - they're skating for Team USA. The White Bear Press recently covered their exciting hockey adventures. 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.
|September 11||Regular||7 p.m.||District Center|
|September 25||Work-Study||5:30 p.m.||District Center|
|October 9||Regular||7 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.
- #BackToSchoolBears Facebook Challenge - Include #BackToSchoolBears and @isd624 (and then click on White Bear Lake Area Schools to tag the district) in a post, whether it be your first day of school pictures or from your office, explaining why you are excited for the 2017-18 school year for a chance to win a Cup and Cone treat hand-delivered from the Bear. Learn more.
- Homecoming Apparel - Homecoming 2017 is Oct. 9-14, with a variety of activities throughout the week. Find Homecoming items using access code Bears 2017 at www.bsnteamsports.com. Learn more.
- Health and Safety Notifications - Learn more about White Bear Lake Area Schools' 2017-18 Health and Safety Notifications.
- 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.
- School Supply Lists - School supply lists for the 2017-18 school year can be found here.
- Middle School After-School Programming - Middle school students can enjoy fun activities in the FLEX program after school on Monday through Thursday between 3 to 5 p.m. at both Sunrise Park Middle School and Central Middle School. Learn more and watch this video. Join this fall!
- 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.
- Facebook Engagement Survey - As we begin the school year, we continue to evaluate how to best serve our families, especially through social media. Please take some time to respond to this anonymous survey by the end of the day.
- Summer Activities in Ramsey County - Check out all of the free summer activities available in Ramsey County.
- Senior Program Guides - The Senior Program has two guides available for seniors. Learn more about the White Bear Area Guide to Senior Housing and the White Bear Area Guide to Senior Transportation.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Bear Legacy Event - The WBLAEF is hosting the 2017 Annual Bear Legacy Event on Friday, September 29 at Dellwood Country Club. Learn more and register today.
- 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
- Congratulations to White Bear Lake Area High School Track and Cross Country Coach Patricia Percival for being inducted into the Minnesota Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame 2017. Earlier this year, she was awarded the Breaking Barriers Award by the Minnesota Coalition of Women in Athletic Leadership. Go Bears!