April 28, 2019
A Note from the Superintendent
The District Facility Planning Committee recently presented the School Board with a plan the 90-member committee had been building through discussions since October of 2018. The engaged process comes at an exciting time for the district, which is seeing increasing enrollment and a growing community.
Please visit the Facilities Planning page of the District website for more information.
Dr. Wayne A. Kazmierczak,
In photos: Embracing fun learning
Community members enjoyed an opportunity to come together for The Many Cultures of White Bear Early Childhood event. The Normandy Park Education Center building was packed as families lined up to try delicious ethnic foods while wearing traditional clothing. After enjoying meals together, families were able to watch performers highlight their cultural dances! The experience can be seen in this video. Speaking of enjoying food, students were recently able to taste BearPower soup, which is a delicious recipe combining five vegetables that students having been trying in class through a weekly School Challenge to Try for 5 fruits and veggies every day! Check out Vadnais Heights Elementary students trying the soup that was featured district-wide in this video. What some students have called a "yummy taco soup," BearPower soup is comprised of sweet potatoes, green beans, red cabbage, tomatoes, and cauliflower. It is a fun way to encourage students to eat more vegetables, try and learn about new foods, and connect classroom learning with food during the school day.
From soup to chocolate bars and Oompa Loompas, the middle school musical was a great success! Willy Wonka, Jr. had audiences laughing and tapping their feet, as students sang their hearts out in the scrumptious tale of an individual, Charlie, who gets to learn about Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory! The students spent many hours rehearsing, and their hard work can be seen in this video. In other musical news, Sunrise Park and Central Middle School students and the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies all performed for Oneka Elementary students! From musicals to other student opportunities, it has been a busy time at Vadnais Heights Elementary! The school community has been able to enjoy family gatherings, a career exploration opportunity, collaborative staff sessions, the Rice & Beans Cultural Night and a poetry and punch experience!
Spring into Action
Students at Hugo Elementary have started lacing up their tennis shoes and running with their friends during the Hugo Run Club! This is a great time for students to enjoy being active in the outdoor spring weather! Running from one fun opportunity to the next, families could enjoy an evening of excitement at the Lakeaires Elementary Spring into Action event! During this time, families could enjoy many different activities including volleyball, basketball and rock climbing wall experiences. While students enjoyed being active at Lakeaires Elementary, they also recently indulged while enjoying their Annual Art Walk/Ice Cream Social and Buy One Get One Free Book Fair! This is a great opportunity for families to enjoy an evening of fun together!
From social events to bike rides, community members are invited to pedal away at the free BearPower Breakaway Family Bike Ride event at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 18 at Otter Lake Elementary. Registerfor the event today and check out this fun video! With spring being here it means the White Bear Lake Teachers' Association's 2019 Teacher of the Year has been announced! Abby Kath, kindergarten teacher at Lincoln Elementary, was named the 2019 Teacher of the Year at the White Bear Lake Teachers' Association's Teacher of the Year Extravaganza event. Also honored at the Extravaganza event on April 25 were six additional finalists including Robert Anderson (ALC/South Campus English Learner Program), Alexander Carlson (South Campus AVID/Social Studies), Katelin Held (North Campus Language Arts), Megan Perry (Sunrise Park Language Arts), Leah Sitka (Lincoln 5th Grade) and Julie Stonehouse (Oneka Media/Enrichment). Check out the event in this video.
Experiencing grand opportunities
WBLAHS - South Campus students have been spending their time preparing for Prom, which will take place on Saturday, May 4. Students have been learning about and focusing on public relations, finance, centerpieces and tickets to make the grand experience come to life. Check out the Prom preparation in this video. In other exciting news, Alex Oman recently enjoyed gaining hands-on experience at Techie Dudes, which is an organization that focuses on providing computer and networking services! The celebration of opportunities continued throughout the district! Project SEARCH, a partnership the district has with Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare and others, was recently highlighted on KSTP. Go Bears!
Students have also recently been focusing on giving back! Student Council hosted Charity Week at WBLAHS - North and South Campus where they collected donations in support of H2O for Life, the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation Angel Fund, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The giving continued! Sunrise Park Middle School students have been enjoying the Sunrise Park Penny Wars! This has been an opportunity for students to put spare change towards a great cause, with all of the pennies supporting local charities/foundations in the community! From pennies to LEGOs, students have been making LEGOs come to life by creating a movie out of a LEGO story they came up with at Lakeaires Extended Day! With it recently being Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, it was only fitting to highlight the unique opportunities students are getting to have with hands-on experiences at Extended Day. Check out the movie-making fun in this video.
Pathways to learning
Career Pathways students were recently featured on Minnesota Public Radio, as they were able to share about their hands-on opportunities with exploring careers. Read and listen to the Minnesota Public Radiostory. Career Pathways students were also recently able to enjoy the St. Paul College Career Sampler where they could explore industries including construction, healthcare, information technology and manufacturing. In other exciting career-related news, the WBLAHS - South Campus Chemistry Club recently achieved success when competing in the American Heart Association STEM event! The accomplishments continued, as Kyle Anderson also recently met and participated in a student panel with U.S. Senator Tina Smith! Kyle shared their story as a Manufacturing Career Pathway student and a past Gen Z Connections graduate.
In other career-related news, Birch Lake Elementary students were able to meet KS95 representatives, learn about the behind-the-scenes with radio production and congratulate Kelly Kentfield on recently being nominated as KS95's Teacher of the Week! Other students were recently recognized for being announced winners in the Minnesota State Clean Drinking Water Poster Contest! Birch Lake Elementary students Giorgia Luzia and Seanna Davis, Otter Lake Elementary student Maya Link and Sunrise Park Middle School student Elias Ramirez were all recognized for their accomplishments in the contest. Elias was surprised in their classroom with the presentation, which can be seen in this video. Congratulations to these hard-working Bears on their accomplishments and success with sharing the importance of protecting this precious resource!
Community members recently enjoyed conversations during the Coffee with Dr. K event at Caribou Coffee in Downtown White Bear Lake! From one excellent experience to the next, it was recently Excellence Week at WBLAHS - South Campus! Every senior has been able to receive a handwritten note from one of their WBLAHS - South Campus teachers! Students and educators also came together for the Excellence Event where students chose an educator to invite and honor for making a lasting impact on their life. In other community news, ‘92 White Bear grad Katie Kilroy-Marac authored "An Impossible Inheritance: Postcolonial Psychiatry and the Work of Memory in a West African Clinic." Check out the book.
The Week in 62.4 Seconds
Enjoy The Week in 62.4 Seconds videos highlighting weekly district activities throughout the school year.
White Bear's Curling Team was recently featured on Prep Spotlight (starting at 11:21) and this White Bear Press article! Go Bears! Olivia Schwintek was recently honored at and awards ceremony for being named White Bear Lake Area High School's Athena Award winner as our school's outstanding senior female athlete.
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.
|May 13||Regular||7 p.m.||District Center|
|May 20||Work-Study||5:30 p.m.||District Center|
|June 10||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 2019 White Bear Area Guide to Senior Housing and the 2019 White Bear Area Guide to Senior Transportation.
- Check out the latest edition of the Senior Voice.
- The latest edition of the Community Bridge Consortium newsletter is available. Register for events and activities starting on May 10.
Website Redesign - The district is currently working on redesigning the district and school websites. The new look and capabilities will be launched in May, which will give students, families and staff members the chance to get a taste of the new site before summer. A few of the new features we think will be especially helpful: calendars that offer a subscribe feature, website content that fits the screen of the device you're using, robust search functionality, and student/family/staff landing pages.
- Monthly Mental Well-Being Series - District staff and families are invited to attend monthly presentations focused on mental well-being throughout the school year. The last presentation will be Finding Self Control: Responses to Children's Emotional and Physical Outbursts by Jenny Hanlon, M.Ed, on Tuesday, May 21 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the WBLAHS - North Campus Theater. Check out this flyer for more details.
- Drum Stick Design Workshop - Students and families are invited to join the Indian Education Program and attend the free Drum Stick Design workshop that will be held on May 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Central Middle School in Room 140. View this flyer for more information. This event will prepare students and families for the upcoming free Drum Making workshop that will be held on Wednesday, May 15 at WBLAHS - North Campus from 6 to 9 p.m.
- Host Family Opportunity - Amazing Family Experience - During the 2019-2020 school year, White Bear Lake Area High School will be hosting a student from Brazil sponsored by the White Bear Lake/Mahtomedi Rotary Club. This is an exciting opportunity for our students and community. Volunteer host families are needed and can choose to host for as little as two months and as long as nine months. Host families are encouraged to provide a Minnesota family experience and treat the exchange student as one of the family. Host students don't need a lot of excursions or special treatment, but rather a supportive and welcoming family life experience. It is typical for host families to report relationships with exchange students and their families that last well beyond their hosting experience.
The student will arrive in late August and will come with their own spending money and insurance. All the host family needs to provide is room, board and a supportive family experience. If you are interested in hosting, please contact Tim Wald at 651-407-7516.
- Innovate 624 - Check out the latest editions of Innovate 624 with one about how teachers are incorporating the 4 C's (communication, critical thinking, creativity and collaboration) and 21st Century Skills into their classrooms and one about three tools for cooking up engagement at the end of the year.
- We Are Hiring! - The district is hiring for a variety of positions. Find the online application page here.
- Stay connected! - Join White Bear Lake Area Schools' social media circles - Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
- 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. The FREE Activity Pass for community members can now be picked up at the Senior Center (2484 East County Road F, White Bear Lake), as well as the District Center (4855 Bloom Avenue, White Bear Lake)!
- 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 Breakaway Bike Ride - Get BearPowered by riding bikes with families and community members at the free BearPower Breakaway Bike Ride on Saturday, May 18 at 9:30 a.m. at Otter Lake Elementary. Register by May 1 to receive a BearPower gift and check out this flyer! Sign up to volunteer today! Check out this fun video!
- 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.
- Lynn Mielke Distinguished Educator Award Recipient - Elementary paraprofessional Katie Sorenson was named the Lynn Mielke Distinguished Educator Award recipient, which is a White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation award, which honors Lynn Mielke, a former White Bear Lake cherished educator.
Support WBLAS Students:
- Football Golf Fundraiser - Community members are invited to participate in the White Bear Lake Area High School Football Golf Tournament Fundraiser on Thursday, August 15 at 12 p.m. Register today and learn more.
- Minnesota Golf Cards for sale - The Boys' Golf Team is once again selling the Minnesota Golf Cards. This is a two for one golf opportunity at hundreds of courses statewide. Please feel free to contact Coach Nasvik to get a Minnesota Golf Card and support the golf program.
- Be a Bear! The district currently has many staff openings available! Find the online application page here.
Awards and Honors
- Teacher of the Year - Abby Kath, kindergarten teacher at Lincoln Elementary, was named the 2019 Teacher of the Year at the White Bear Lake Teachers' Association's Teacher of the Year Extravaganza event. Also honored at the Extravaganza event on April 25 were six additional finalists:
- Robert Anderson, ALC/South Campus English Learner Program
- Alexander Carlson, South Campus AVID/Social Studies
- Katelin Held, North Campus Language Arts
- Megan Perry, Sunrise Park Language Arts
- Leah Sitka, Lincoln 5th Grade
- Julie Stonehouse, Oneka Media/Enrichment
- KS95's Teacher of the Week - Birch Lake Elementary and Matoska International English Language Learner Teacher Kelly Kentfield was recently recognized as KS95's Teacher of the Week!
- Lynn Mielke Distinguished Educator Award Recipient - Elementary paraprofessional Katie Sorenson was named the Lynn Mielke Distinguished Educator Award recipient. This White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation award honors Lynn Mielke, a former White Bear Lake cherished educator, and recognizes an employee in the White Bear Lake Area Schools community who uses their talents to enrich the lives of others.
- Ongoing/Upcoming May Recognitions:
- May 3 - School Lunch Hero Day
- May 6-10 - Teacher Appreciation Week
- May 7-11 - School Nutrition Employee Week
- May 7 - Teacher Appreciation Day
- May 8 - National School Nurse Day
- May 18 - Armed Forces Day
- May 27 - Memorial Day