February 3, 2019

Student News

  • In photos: Bundle Up Bears!
  • Great times
  • Royalty & robotics
  • Embracing moments
  • Winter opportunities
  • The Week in 62.4 Seconds
  • Activities updates

School Board News

  • School Board Meetings

District News

  • General Information
  • Awards and Honors


In photos: Bundle Up Bears!

Student NewsGreat times

Sunrise Park Middle School students recently enjoyed a January Jubilee where they could embrace the opportunity to interact with their peers in a social activity and create new friendships. The middle school students were able to spend time with other students from all grades and teams and choose from a variety of in and out-of-school activities including bouncing on trampolines at Sky Zone and Zero Gravity, job shadowing, ice fishing, having fun with laser tag at the Big Thrill Factory or going on a trip to the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Giving back was one group of Sunrise Park Middle School students' main focus, as they gathered at Feed My Starving Children and packed meals to help those in need throughout the world! Speaking of meals, Willow Lane Elementary's fifth grade students will be taking over Donatelli's as servers, cooks, and hosts from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Tuesday in February (Feb. 5, Feb. 12, Feb. 19 and Feb. 26) and Tuesday, March 5. Stop in for a terrific meal! Check out this flyer for more information! 

In other terrific news, each morning in Kelly Sokolowski's class, Willow Lane Elementary kindergarten students are excited to walk into class where they can greet their fellow classmates with either a cool handshake, fist bump, high-five or hug! Check out the excitement in this video! While kindergarten students greeted their classmates, Central Middle School eighth grade students in Karin Hogen's Language and Literature class recently greeted recipients in letters that they were writing and editing to send to people about problems they hope get fixed. Their hard work can be seen in this video. While students were busy writing letters, Karin was also recently able to join other teachers from across the state and travel to St. Paul to take part in Social Justice Lobby Day with Education Minnesota where they could speak to legislators about policy changes that will help students and teachers!

Royalty & robotics
Heidi Gunderson was recently sworn in as the Vadnais Heights mayor and has a special connection to White Bear! Mayor Heidi Gunderson is a White Bear alumna! The mayor embraces their White Bear family with Mayor Gunderson's husband also being a White Bear graduate and all three of their children attending White Bear Lake Area High School. Check out this Vadnais Heights Press article for more details about the mayor's excitement and goals with the new role! In other exciting news, it was recently one grand surprise at Otter Lake Elementary when the St. Paul Winter Carnival Royal Court surprised a fifth grade student and their classmates with a "knighting" ceremony! While Otter Lake Elementary students had fun hosting special guests, early childhood students recently have also been busy building obstacle courses and expanding their skills, which was recently captured in this video that explains what the WBLAS Early Childhood Program has to offer families!

In other fun news, Otter Lake Elementary students and staff members recently enjoyed their kickoff for their Be a Reading Superhero Literacy event. Teachers put on a skit that highlighted reading superpowers including predicting, questioning and summarizing where they then challenged students to read 400 minutes in the coming weeks! From reading to robotics, the FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff took place in early January and the White Bear team is working hard to create the perfect robot to compete in this global competition. High school students are hard at work using sophisticated technology to build and code robots for a challenging field game. Check out the students gearing up for the competition in this video. The students are getting ready for the North Star Regional competition that will take place from March 27-29. 

Embracing moments
It was a great day for families to bundle up in warm gear and lace up ice skates during the Bundle Up Bears event! Families could enjoy music, ice skating, hay rides and photo opportunities! The event was free to the public and a great time to get active and embrace the outdoors in the winter! Vadnais Heights Elementary students also recently embraced the outdoors as they headed outside to look for signs of animals and talked about "what's for lunch in the Bear's Backyard"? with a Tamarack Nature Center naturalist. The third grade students started off the lesson by examining different types of skulls to determine if the specimen was an herbivore, carnivore or omnivore. Once they headed outside, they saw many squirrel, rabbit and deer tracks. They even spotted prints of mice and raccoons! The journey didn't stop there as the adventurers continued in their trek and found gull flies hibernating, woodpecker holes and scat from deer and coyote! 

The winter fun continues, as Oneka Elementary students recently kicked off I Love to Read Month at their One School, One Book assembly where all students received a copy of "Because of Winn-Dixie" to read together! The book is about a child who moves to a small town in Florida and amongst missing their old friends, finds companionship with their dog, Winn-Dixie. Different teachers recorded each chapter of the book so students can read or listen to the chapters at home. Each day, students are able to answer trivia questions based on the nightly reading and winners are able to choose new books. Some students were so excited on the first day that they were already reading in the bus line! In honor of the book, the staff and students are working with the Northwoods Humane Society to collect donations such as food, toys, shampoo and more! The students will celebrate the conclusion of their book reading at a free showing of the movie on Friday, February 8 at the Central Middle School auditorium!

Winter opportunities
Lakeaires Custodian David Gurney recently had fun plunging for a cause at the Vulcan Snow Park Polar Plunge where they jumped to help raise funds for the Special Olympics! David wasn't the only one embracing the cold weather. Willow Lane Elementary students, Tessa, Jaxson and McKenna Schultz, recently enjoyed the Water Challenge in the cold weather where they threw water in the air, watched it freeze and caught it all on video for you to enjoy too! With January in the rear-view mirror, we are excited for the various happenings that will be taking place during February, including the fact that it is Black History Month. Watch for information to be shared through district and school communications about upcoming celebratory and educational events, including a Black History Month Showcase that will take place the evening of February 22 at WBLAHS - South Campus! 

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's Curling Team was featured on Minnesota Prep Spotlight last weekend (curling story starts at 22:15). 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
February 11 Regular 7 p.m. District Center
February 25 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center 
March 4 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

  • 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
  • Monthly Staff & Community Mental Well-Being Series - District staff and families are invited to attend monthly presentations focused on mental well-being. The fifth session of the series is on Tuesday, February 19 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the WBLAHS - North Campus Theater, which will be a presentation called The Fallacy of Perfect Parenting by FRrē Family Recovery Resource Experts. Check out the details for this upcoming event.
  • 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.
  • Rattle Making Workshop - All are invited to attend Indian Education's free upcoming Rattle Making Workshop that requires participation on both dates of Wednesday, February 13 and Friday, February 15 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at WBLAHS - South Campus in the lunch room. View this flyer for more information.
  • Native Times - Enjoy the most recent issue of the Natives Times Newsletter!
  • Wellness Committee Meeting - For those interested in attending, the next White Bear Lake Area Schools Wellness Committee Meeting will take place on Tuesday, February 5 from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the District Center (4855 Bloom Avenue, White Bear Lake), in Room 201. For more information, please view the Wellness Program page on the district's website.
  • 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 few free Open Gym nights including:
      • Friday, February 8 at Lakeaires Elementary from 6-8 p.m.
        • BearPower Obstacle Course - Families are invited to enjoy a challenging obstacle course easily adapted to all age and skill levels for free at Lakeaires Elementary on Friday, February 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. Check out this flyer for more details.
      • Thursday, March 21 at Matoska International from 6 to 7:30 p.m

Support WBLAS Students

  • Love Your Melon Signup - The WBLAHS gymnastics team is selling Love Your Melon hats again as a fundraiser. The description of the item is available here and you can purchase the hats by cash or check, or through FeePay. A step-by-step ordering guide for FeePay can be found here.
  • 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 (Feb. 5, Feb. 12, 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
      • Watch for information to be shared through district and school communications about upcoming celebratory and educational events, including a Black History Month Showcase that will take place the evening of February 22 at WBLAHS - South Campus!
    • February 4-8 - National School Counseling Week
    • February 17 - National PTA Founders' Day
    • February 18-22 - School Board Recognition Week

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