February 17, 2019

Student News

  • A Note from the Superintendent
  • In photos: I Love to Read Month
  • Exciting chapters
  • Food & fun
  • Appreciating partnerships
  • Snowy experiences
  • The Week in 62.4 Seconds
  • Activities updates

School Board News

  • School Board Recognitions
  • School Board Meetings

District News

  • General Information
  • Awards and Honors



A Note from the Superintendent
The district implemented a 2-hour late start the other week, which was a new experience for all of us. Thank you to our families and staff members for your flexibility in working with the changed schedule for the day! 

As we continue to experience this snowy winter, it is important for families to remember that they should always assume schools are open and in session unless they hear differently from an official district source. Ultimately, the decision to send children to school remains with families. WBLAS supports those decisions that are made for the safety and health of students. There are no negative consequences, and schools work with families to assure that work is made up when an absence is safety-related.

Dr. Wayne A. Kazmierczak, 

In photos: I Love to Read Month

Student NewsExciting chapters

Page by page, students across the district are picking up books and embracing I Love to Read Month! Recently, Birch Lake Elementary students were able to enjoy listening to staff members from District Center read their favorite books! Lakeaires Elementary students have also been celebrating the importance of reading with their Wonka Reading Factory that is open for business! Throughout the coming weeks, classes are able to take turns relaxing and reading in the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory where they can sit on boxes around the chocolate waterfall! The reading fun continued, as Otter Lake Elementary students were able to welcome Community Heroes into their classrooms to read to them. Special guests included White Bear Lake Mayor Jo Emerson, the White Bear Lake Fire Department and U.S. Army Officer M. Stachowiak!

While some students were busy enjoying reading opportunities, others had fun with Chemistry Day at WBLAHS - South Campus! Matoska International second graders were able to learn about science through fun activities that high school students planned for them! They could enjoy all sorts of opportunities including making homemade lava lamps, watching a game show themed demonstration and playing science games in the gymnasium! A couple of Matoska International students even went home and made a colorful substance they learned about at Chemistry Day! WBLAHS - South Campus students also enjoyed more invaluable experiences! Those who are involved with the Information Technology Career Pathway recently had an opportunity to participate in an eMentors experience where they could learn from industry experts about the knowledge and skills needed for a professional career, improve written communication skills and feel more comfortable with writing professional emails!

Food & fun
Willow Lane Elementary students have been having fun learning and growing their skills as they have been working hard as servers, cooks and hosts at Donatelli's! Check out this video to see the service in action! The students will continue to serve every Tuesday in February from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on Tuesday, March 5. Stop on by for a terrific meal! View this flyer for more details. It was also recently a special experience for Matoska International third grade students who participated in a mini-hat making project to support a classmate's friend who is battling cancer. Third grade student Juliette Weier-Rauscher led her class to participate in the project to support their best friend! Other Matoska International students also stayed busy with exploring in a Maker Space where they were able to learn about construction and get hands-on experience with using tools to explore computers and drill holes in wood!

There was also no shortage of fun as families gathered at Lakeaires Elementary and got BearPowered at a Family Fun Night! Families were able to enjoy a challenging obstacle course that was easily adapted to all ages and skill levels! This was a great way to get active and warm-up indoors on a cold Friday evening! In other fun Friday night news, Community Services & Recreation hosted their very first Sweetheart Dance. District students brought along a special adult to play games, make crafts, eat sweet treats and dance the night away with! While some students were the stars of the night on the dance floor, Willow Lane Elementary student Aiden Hamlin also was a star as they were featured in a Sanford Orthopedics: Health Lives Here commercial that can be seen playing on TVs across the Twin Cities area. Aiden is featured right in the beginning of the commercial where they are showing off their arm wrestling skills and again right around the :20 second mark!

Appreciating partnerships
It was a successful evening at the Transition Education Center Community Partner event where students and staff invited community partners to be recognized for their contributions to students through offering them jobs in the community! The excitement can be seen in this video! In other partnership news, the district's Comprehensive Facilities Planning Committee has been busy meeting and having great conversations about the district's future, which can be seen in this video. The collaboration continues! The White Bear Press recently highlighted The Big Sleuth, the district's innovative ideas project that yielded six ideas to be implemented or researched this year through the design thinking process. Students have also been helping design solutions to accomplish the ideas!

From one idea to the next, Oneka Elementary fifth grade students are working on their very own podcast! Their podcast is called BAMT, which is all of the podcasters initials combined. During their podcasts, they have three questions and include many interesting facts. They also have daily Harry Potter facts that they share and special guests (such as other classmates and students) who join them! They upload all of their podcasts on their website and said they have been having a lot of fun with it, which can be seen in this video. Oneka Elementary students are not the only ones having fun with technology! High school students have been embracing technology, as they recently thanked the Greater White Bear Lake Foundation for gifting them with Raspberry Pis. These tiny computers help students learn how to program while having fun with practical projects!

Snowy experiences
Winter is in full swing and Tamarack Nature Center students have recently been taking advantage of the snow and embracing snowshoeing adventures! They have had the opportunity to teach their adults how to snowshoe! These have been exciting days for students who were able to show their adults what they know about their outdoor classroom and lead their grown ups around Tamarack Nature Center! Check out the snowy experience in this video! Speaking of winter weather, the district implemented a 2-hour late start recently, which was a new experience. Superintendent Dr. Wayne Kazmierczak recently thanked families and staff members in this video for their flexibility in working with the changed schedule for the day, which helped keep students safe on that icy Minnesota winter day!

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



Activities Updates

WBLAHS Girls' Hockey goalie Calla Frank was recently named a 2019 Senior Goalie of the Year finalist! The WBLAHS Girls' Hockey team is competing in the state tournament, for the first time since 2002. See an article about their win here. A limited number of tickets will be on sale after school on Tuesday and Wednesday at the South Campus front entrance from 2:45-4 p.m. or until sold out. Or find tickets at Ticketmaster. Three WBLAHS skiers also recently earned all-state honors and were featured in this White Bear Press article! 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 Recognitions
Prior to the February 11 School Board meeting, the School Board honored staff and students involved with band, orchestra and choir who participated in state-level competitions!

To see clips from the Student Recognition Ceremony, watch the February 15 edition of The Week in 62.4 Seconds video!

School Board Meetings
School Board meeting agendas, packets, minutes highlights and videos/audio files can be found here.

Date Type Time Location
February 25 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center
March 4 Regular 7 p.m. District Center 
March 25 Work-Study 5:30 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

  • SchoolMessenger text message opt-in - Our district utilizes the SchoolMessenger system to deliver district-wide and school-wide voicemails and emails regarding general upcoming events, notice of emergency closings, nutrition services notices, and other important announcements from the district or school. We have the capability to send district-wide and school-wide text messages through the SchoolMessenger system to those staff members who have cell phone numbers attached to their staff records and who have opted in to receive text messages. To opt in to the SchoolMessenger system:
    • If your employee profile does not include a cell phone number, update your information in the Skyward HR system to include a cell phone number (find instructions here), then reply "YES" to the opt-in text you receive from SchoolMessenger (text opt-in will be sent within 24 hours of the time you update the Skyward HR system).
    • If your cell phone number is already in Skyward and you simply need to complete the SchoolMessenger opt-in, information about how to do so is here.
  • February 21 Coffee with Dr. K - Community members are invited to stop by and chat with White Bear Lake Area Schools Superintendent Dr. Wayne Kazmierczak over a cup of coffee between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 21 at the Downtown White Bear Lake Caribou Coffee & Einstein Bros. Bagels (4733 Highway 61, White Bear Lake, MN). There is no set agenda, so please feel free to order a coffee from the barista and find Dr. K in the meeting room to join the conversation!
    • Upcoming Coffee with Dr. K events:
      • 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21 at Caribou Coffee, Downtown WBL
      • 7:30-8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 16 at Caribou Coffee, Downtown WBL
  • Report Card Access information - In order to access your child's report card, follow the directions listed on the district's website.
  • Black History Month Showcase - Families are invited to the Black History Month Showcase event that will take place on Monday, February 25 at 6:45 p.m. at the WBLAHS - South Campus Theater. View this flyer for additional details.
  • Parent Night on E-Cigarettes - The district will be hosting a Parent Night on E-Cigarettes on Tuesday, March 5 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the District Center Community Auditorium (4855 Bloom Ave., White Bear Lake). Check out this flyer for more details.
  • Monthly Staff & Community Mental Well-Being Series - District staff and families are invited to attend monthly presentations focused on mental well-being. The following presentations will take place in the coming months:
    • The Fallacy of Perfect Parenting by FRrē Family Recovery Resource Experts on Tuesday, February 19 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the WBLAHS - North Campus Theater. View this flyer for more details.
    • ADHD/ADD Supports and Toolbox by Nicole McKinney on Tuesday, March 19 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the WBLAHS - North Campus Theater. Check out this flyer for further information.
    • Healthy Teens and Safety by Ramsey County Public Health on Tuesday, April 16 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the WBLAHS - North Campus Theater. View this flyer for more more information about the upcoming session.
  • Save the Date - An All-School Reunion will take place on Saturday, September 28! Details will be announced as they are finalized.
  • National School Breakfast Week - March 4-8 is National School Breakfast Week (NSBW), which is an annual national campaign designed to raise awareness of the National School Breakfast Program. Eating school breakfast fuels brains to prepare WBLAS students for learning, as highlighted in this flyer. The Nutrition Services team serves breakfast every day but have extra special plans to celebrate NSBW 2019 by offering some fun new breakfast choices. Check out your child's school menu on Nutrislice for more information. 
  • New Early Childhood Family Education Outdoor Family Adventure Class - Join us on Saturday mornings at Tamarack Nature Center to learn about animal habitats, search for animal tracks on the trails, discover spring blooms as the thawing begins, and play in our outdoor classroom. This class is a traditional Early Childhood Family Education model class designed for families to enjoy time together while learning outdoors. An Early Childhood teacher and a Tamarack naturalist will team teach this non-separating class. Check out this flyer for more details.
  • VHES Carnival - Families are invited to enjoy food, games, inflatables, face painting, raffles and a silent auction at the Vadnais Heights Elementary Carnival on Saturday, March 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Vadnais Heights Elementary. View this flyer for more information.
  • Career Pathways Newsletter - Please enjoy the February 2019 Career Pathways Newsletter. Highlights include an apprenticeship grant announcement, job shadows, field trips, scholarships, upcoming events and much more! 
  • 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 - FacebookTwitter 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.
  • 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 fun time gets BearPowered - BearPower is teaming up with the WBLAS Community Services & Recreation Department to offer a free Open Gym night on Thursday, March 21 at Matoska International from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Support WBLAS Students

  • WBLAHS - Girls' Hockey playing in state tournament - The WBLAHS Girls' Hockey team is going to state for the first time since 2002. A limited number of tickets will be on sale after school on Tuesday and Wednesday at the South Campus front entrance from 2:45-4 p.m. or until sold out. Or find tickets at Ticketmaster.
  • 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.
  • Donatelli's Takeover - Willow Lane Elementary fifth graders are taking over Donatelli's from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Tuesday in February with the remaining dates on Feb. 19 and Feb. 26 and Tuesday, March 5. Stop in for a terrific meal and great service! All tips above and beyond the 15% will go to HopeKids, a charity that supports children with cancer. View this flyer for more details.
  • Be a Bear! The district currently has many staff openings available! Find the online application page here.

Awards and Honors

  • February Recognitions:
    • Black History Month
    • February 4-8 - National School Counseling Week
    • February 17 - National PTA Founders' Day
    • February 18-22 - School Board Recognition Week
  • March Recognitions:
    • National Nutrition Month
    • Music In Our Schools Month
    • Women's History Month
    • March 1 - Employee Appreciation Day
    • March 2 - Read Across America Day
    • March 4-8 - National School Breakfast Week
    • March 4-8 - Paraprofessional Recognition Week
    • March 11-15 - Spring Break
    • March 17 - St. Patrick'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.