March 3, 2019

Student News

  • In photos: Picture-perfect moments!
  • Exciting adventures
  • Astonishing accomplishments
  • Snowy fun
  • Embracing books
  • Career exploration
  • The Week in 62.4 Seconds
  • Activities updates

School Board News

  • School Board Meetings

District News

  • General Information
  • Awards and Honors


In photos: Picture-perfect moments!

Student News

Exciting adventures

Third graders at Vadnais Heights Elementary took advantage of the snowfall and spent a sunny morning on snowshoes in the playground field. Snow was past students' knees, but with a little help from the snowshoes, students were able to not sink in too deep! Students searched for 20 different stations in the snow to do different activities in their groups. Singing, dancing and light exercises kept this new snow activity fun and engaging! WBLAS students are also embracing a fun activity while giving back to others with the Kid Pack Food Drive. On Saturday, March 23 and Sunday, March 24, students and families will be volunteering at participating stores where shoppers can help give back to others by buying certain items and leaving them in bins near the exits! Check out this Facebook page for more information and view this submitted video of students getting excited for the opportunity. Sign up today to volunteer!

From volunteering to violas, two Central Middle School and four Sunrise Park Middle School orchestra students had fun attending the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Viola Jamboree! The students participated in clinics all day and played a performance in the evening! Back in Minnesota, Oneka Elementary third grade students had some special guests from Keystone Place at Lavalle Fields' assisted living join them in their classroom during the afternoon on Valentine's Day. The students enjoyed visiting with them as they did some special Valentine's Day coloring and crafts. The creativity continued at Sunrise Park Middle School, as students built and designed bridges and then tested how much weight they could hold with the goal being 100 pounds! Students were also able to use 3D modeling software to design their own unique cube puzzles! The activities can be seen in this video.

Astonishing accomplishments

Matoska International parent Michelle Bruhn recently wrote this articleabout the Minnesota Farm to School Bill on their Forks in the Dirt blog with hopes of advocating for healthy and local food for school-age students state-wide. In other fun news, Lincoln Elementary PTA Productions will be presenting Mary Poppins Jr. on Friday, March 29 at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, March 30 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 31 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased on this website or at the door. Oneka Elementary also embraced their acting skills as they participated in "The Sneetches," which highlights the importance of respecting oneself and others. From one exciting opportunity to the next, students Nicolas Houwman and Blake Berwald recently took first place at the BATC-Housing First Minnesota Builders and Remodeler's Showcase! Congratulations! Nicolas and Blake weren't the only winners. Lincoln Elementary's Media Specialist Mary Pokorny recently won a group of books to add to the Lincoln Elementary library! 

The opportunities continued throughout the district, as families gathered for the Black History Month Showcase that was hosted by Black Girl Magic. The showcase included a guest speaker, music, dance and poetry! Student DJ Ingram told their story in a powerful speech that can be seen in this video. From speeches to singing, White Bear grad Jake Nelson's song "You're Not Alone" was recently named Song of the Year and Video of The Year at the Midwest CMA Award Show! Check out the song in this submitted video. In other great alumni news, 2018 graduate Sean Sieleni received a college acceptance letter into the Bethel University Inclusive Learning and Development (BUILD) program. Check out the exciting news in this White Bear Press article. Another article on the MN Boys' Hockey Hub website recently celebrated the fact the WBLAHS Boys' Hockey Team will play in the state tournament after a Sections championship win. Ticket info is available on the WBLAHS website.

Snowy fun
The tree tapping has begun at Tamarack Nature Center! Early childhood students have been hiking outside in their snow gear and learning all about how to get sap from the maple trees! The teachers assist students as they drill a hole into the maple tree. Once the hole is drilled, students help tap a spile (a peg that the sap drips through) into place with a hammer. This is an exciting step for the students because then they can place the buckets under the spile making them that much closer to getting the sap to start dripping! The fun didn't stop at the tree tapping experiences, as students were also able to recently sled, put on snowshoes and hike around Tamarack's backyard! While some students embraced the winter weather, one White Bear group enjoyed some warmth and represented White Bear Lake Area Schools in matching Bear wear at Disney World!

From one experience to the next, Early Childhood students also had the opportunity to enjoy a bonfire together at Tamarack Nature Center. At the Bonfire Day, they were able to make apple oatmeal over the fire! It was a delicious treat for all! The outdoor experience can be seen in this video. While some students enjoyed a bonfire outside, other students enjoyed camping out with books indoors! Birch Lake Elementary students headed to the Media Center, which was transformed into a campsite! This was a great way for students to enjoy reading in a new and fun shared space with their classmates! Check out this video to see the reading fun! In more fun news, Lincoln Elementary families recently enjoyed a Breakout EDU experience, which was an escape room style game in which teams of parents and students solved puzzles to unlock a box. Each game had a fun theme!

Embracing books
Lincoln Elementary students had a great time at the Read Around Lincoln event where many staff members and special guests read aloud to students in three different rotations. The reading fun continued throughout the district, as Matoska International families gathered at the Rally 4 Reading event. Special guests read to the families including White Bear Lake Police Sergeant John Vette! The families were excited to get to spend time enjoying Read Dogs, many literacy games, student authors reading, ancient scroll making, bookmark creations and a poetry center! Everyone was welcome to come and dress up as their favorite book character, after students spent the last month dedicating their time to reading!

From the Rally 4 Reading event to the Wonka Reading Factory, students at Lakeaires Elementary continued to enjoy their reading festivities in decorated lollipops and a chocolate river. The students were able to relax and enjoy the scenery as they sat in candy decor, including a fun boat, and read a good book! At the end of the time, students were even able to listen to their teacher read them "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." The fun can be seen in this video. From reading to sledding, students were also recently able to pick up a sled and slide down the hill with a friend to enjoy the winter weather as part of their Physical Education class. This wasn't the only opportunity for students to be active at Lakeaires Elementary, as students are able to enjoy a sensory path in the hallway when they need a movement break! They can hop on their feet and follow the tape to get to the end of the path while enjoying their fun brain break! The sensory path excitement can be seen in this submitted video

Career exploration
WBLAHS - South Campus students recently had the opportunity to explore careers they are interested in at the Wunderkammer - Tech and Training Exploratorium. They could learn more about a variety of careers including law enforcement, firefighting, EMT, engineering, nature centers, community services, watershed, parks and recreation, human resources, communications, IT and public works. In other Career Pathways news, Career Pathways Navigator Jenny Moore and high school student Bela Larsen recently testified for legislators about the district's Career Pathways and Gen Z Connections program. Bela shared their narrative about their experience with the Manufacturing Career Pathway's Gen Z Connections Program! They also talked about how the district has been able to enjoy experiences with the Gen Z Connections Program in manufacturing, a CNA program and an offer for the first time this year with the Automotive Gen Z Connections Program, which will be the first Youth Skills Training program in the state of Minnesota!

Collaboration continued as Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) students at WBLAHS - South Campus enjoyed participating in Collaborative Study Groups where they can help each other learn in a fun environment. Check out the fun in this video. AVID helps students who are in the academic middle and have a desire and determination to prepare for admission to four-year colleges and universities. Learn more about the AVID program. From study groups to science experiments, Central Middle School students had fun learning how to build their own levees and tested how much water they could withstand. The experience can be seen in this video. The science excitement continued throughout the district, as Sunrise Park Middle School student David Becker was interviewed on FOX 9 for their participation with the Minnesota STEM Partnership! Check out this video of the interview!

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 WBLAHS Boys' Hockey team will play in the state tournament after a Sections championship win. Ticket info is available on the WBLAHS website. It was an exciting time for the WBLAHS Girls' Hockey team as they competed in the state tournament for the first time since 2002 and were featured in the February 22 edition of The Week in 62.4 Seconds video. Also, check out this fun video of the hockey team winning in a shutout game in Sections that led them to the state tournament! Goalie Calla Frank was even named the Pioneer Press girls hockey player of the year, which was highlighted in this article. Calla was also named Minnesota's 2019 Senior Goalie of the Year! Check out Calla's accomplishments in this article! Calla's great-grandmother was at the state game wearing a 'Goalie Granny' hat while cheering them on and was even featured in this KSTP video! Three WBLAHS skiers also recently earned all-state honors and were featured in this White Bear Press article! Congratulations to the Wrestling team who competed in the section tournament, and wrestlers T.J. Turinske, Luke Parzyck and Mathew Sloan all competed in the state tournament! Also, congratulations to Olivia Schwintek who was just named WBLAHS's Athena Award winner for being an outstanding senior female athlete! 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
March 4 Regular 7 p.m. District Center
March 25 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center 
April 8 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

  • WBLAHS Boys' Hockey Team going to state - The WBLAHS Boys' Hockey Team will play in the state tournament after a Sections championship win. Ticket info is available on the WBLAHS website.
  • Guide to School - The Minnesota Department of Education's "A parent or guardian's Guide to School - For families new to the country" is available (at the bottom of the page) and provides information to families about the public school system in Minnesota and the roles families can play in their child's education.
  • 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 Avenue, 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:
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • Internet Safety Resources - The following are some resources to help our young learners navigate the internet, as well as tools for families looking to parent in the digital age:
  • 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. 
  • Special Education Parent/Staff Advisory Council (PAC) Meetings - The purpose of the Special Education Parent/Staff Advisory Council is to act as an advisory body to the district through the Student Support Services Administrative Team on behalf of students receiving special education services. The PAC is scheduled to meet four times during the 2018-19 school year and the last meeting is on Thursday, March 28 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Room 206 at District Center (4855 Bloom Avenue, White Bear Lake). View future meetings on the district's website
  • Save the Date - An All-School Reunion will take place on Saturday, September 28! Details will be announced as they are finalized.
  • Community Baby Shower - Community members and their baby are invited to join other parents of new babies, birth to six months old, for a free Community Baby Shower on Monday, April 8 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Normandy Park Education Center. View this flyer for more information.
  • 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.
  • Adult Softball - Join the winter resistance and beat those snowy blahs with thoughts of sunny days! Adult Softball Leagues are now forming! Community Services and Recreation offers Mens, Womens and Co-Ed leagues - all played at the beautiful Lakewood Hills Park! Sign up today! 
  • Career Pathways Newsletter - Please enjoy the March 2019 Career Pathways Newsletter!
  • Innovate 624 - Check out the latest editions of Innovate 624 about Mindfulness in the Makerspace and Innovative Learning Spaces that Spark Joy and Learning.
  • 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. Check out this flyer for more details.
  • 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 - The White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation is pleased to honor Lynn Mielke, a former White Bear Lake cherished educator. They will again this year grant the Lynn Mielke Distinguished Educator award to an employee in the White Bear Lake Area Schools community who uses their talents to enrich the lives of others. Nominations are due on or before Friday, April 5. Nominate an educator today by filling out this form and emailing it to
    • WBLAEF 2018-2019 Glasrud Fellowship Recipients Awarded - The White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation recently awarded 12 Glasrud Fellowships totaling $24,940.10. Read the full story and view all of the photos. In 2004, Ted Glasrud, a 1933 graduate of White Bear Lake Area High School, and their family made a generous contribution to the Foundation by establishing the Ted Glasrud Family Endowment. Glasrud Family Fellowships are awarded to WBLAS teachers and teams for professional growth opportunities that will allow them to pursue innovative experiences and expand personal and professional growth. 
    • WBLAEF Receives Grant - The White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation's Angel Fund was recently chosen to receive a $3,000 grant from the Neighbors Helping Neighbors nonprofit thrift store. Check out the great news in this article

Support WBLAS Students

  • Willy Wonka, Jr. - White Bear Lake Middle School Players will be presenting Willy Wonka, Jr. at 7 p.m. on April 25, 7 p.m. on April 26 and 2 p.m. on April 27 at White Bear Lake Area Schools Community Auditorium (4855 Bloom Avenue, White Bear Lake). Tickets will be available soon.
  • Mary Poppins, Jr. - Lincoln Elementary PTA Productions will be presenting Mary Poppins, Jr., which will be playing at White Bear Lake Area Schools Community Auditorium (4855 Bloom Avenue, White Bear Lake) on Friday, March 29 at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, March 30 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 31 at 2 p.m. The Lincoln Elementary cast and crew contains approximately 138 students in 1st-5th grade led by a team of parent and teacher volunteers. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased on this website or at the door. 
  • Spring Theatre Productions - See a variety of springtime theatre productions to be performed by district students 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. for the last time this year on 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

  • Matoska International IB World School fourth grade teacher Angela Bianco was named a 2019 Teacher of the Year by the Minnesota Council for the Social Studies. Bianco was chosen to represent the elementary level, alongside two other teachers from throughout the state who represent middle school and high school levels. The teachers are honored for exemplifying the best of social studies teaching in Minnesota.
  • 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.