Community e-Newsletter

May 26, 2019

Note from the Superintendent

Just like that, another successful school year is coming to an end. I look forward to the end-of-the-year events coming up in the next couple of weeks.

One of the major projects happening this year has been the work of the Facilities Planning Committee, which finished a year-long schedule of meetings and presented a recommendation to the School Board in April. In order for the recommended set of projects to become a reality, it would require a successful bond referendum that could potentially be held this fall. The School Board will be deciding over the summer whether to put a bond referendum on the ballot.

The most recent part of the facilities process has been a phone survey conducted in order to gauge the wishes of the community. We learned through conversations with residents that the quality of the district is rated as strong. There was high agreement that the district spends tax money effectively and efficiently, and that the district is a good investment. Those surveyed see the growth of district enrollment and believe it will continue over the next five years. Seven out of 10 of those surveyed agreed that the improvements and projects included in the Facilities Committee’s recommended plan were good ideas.

We hope that you will take the time to learn about what’s in store, with many details of the project available on the district’s recently redesigned website here. We are excited for where the future will bring us, and we’re looking forward to be going there alongside the community - including graduation and all of the other end-of-the-year priorities happening in the coming weeks!

Dr. Wayne A. Kazmierczak, Superintendent of White Bear Lake Area Schools

In Photos: End of the Year Celebrations

Collage of exciting student experiences

Student News

Exciting connections

It was recently a meaningful meeting at Cup and Cone for elementary and high school students. Oneka Elementary third grade students and 9th grade Ambassador students became pen pals this past fall. They have been corresponding throughout the year. They were able to meet at Cup and Cone, enjoy a treat and get to converse about their school and life experiences! The fun can be seen in this video.

Students holding ice cream and talking with one another

In other exciting news, students recently enjoyed getting dressed up and dancing the night away at Prom! From dancing to music-related fun, students recently performed for families, staff and community members at the District Night of Jazz! The opportunities continued as the Indian Education Program recently hosted a Drum Making class where families could enjoy embracing their creativity and conversations! From White Bear to Washington D.C., middle school students were able to visit and learn more about the capital of the United States! Students were even able to experience the wreath presentation at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Students presenting a wreath at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Back in White Bear, Transition Education Center students have been hard at work in the greenhouse where they are planting, growing and caring for beautiful herbs and a few flowers, as part of the Grow and Bloom sale. The experience can be seen in this video. In other gardening news, Vadnais Heights Elementary students have been working hard in their Rain Garden and planting Minnesota native plants!

Performance fun

It was a fun time at Matoska International lately as students were able to learn and perform step dancing routines for their classmates. This was possible due to a Share the Rhythm grant through the Ordway! The opportunity was highlighted in this video. The creative experiences continued as Matoska International students were also able to enjoy hands-on learning experiences at the White Bear Center for the Arts and the Hanifl Performing Arts Center!

A group of students playing in a Gaga ball pit

Matoksa International students also have been enjoying playing in a Gaga ball pit where they can have fun being active, which was put in by a Scout and former Matoska International student.  In other fun news, there was recently a celebration at WBLAHS - South Campus to applaud athletes who signed with colleges! Check out the fun experience in this video. Students have been busy lacing up their tennis shoes and grabbing batons at their Track and Field Days! At the South Side Track and Field Day,  Lakeaires, Matoska International, Vadnais Heights and Willow Lane students had fun with their friends while enjoying being active outdoors. Students could choose to participate in a variety of events including relays and the long jump! Check out the experience featured in this video.

Student smiling outdoors at Track and Field Day

From one relay to the next, WBLAHS - North Campus staff and students recently facilitated a rescue mission for a mama duck and her ducklings. Check out the experience in this video!

Embracing experiences

South Campus Ambassadors is now officially called Key Club. This is a great opportunity for students to be involved in an internationally recognized organization where members make the world a better place through service. They recently celebrated at a charter breakfast and now are ready to forge forward as an official Key Club International group. One WBLAHS - South Campus student who is part of the Key Club has recently been working on the "Happy Project" where they are spreading joy through a video to share what makes students happy.

A group of students smiling in the hallway while holding a check

From one happy experience to the next, White Bear Lake Area High School - North Campus students recently raised a total of $1,043.58 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society thanks to the generosity of students and staff through Penny Wars! 

A group of students smiling at the camera with their certificates

In other celebratory news, congratulations to the 2019 MN Trades Academy Interns! More than 500 students applied this year throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul area! Six White Bear students were offered positions. The accomplishments continued throughout the district. In the Lincoln Explorations program, students recently spent the last 30 minutes of their days exploring topics of interest to them. One of their themes was "Make a Difference".  They watched several inspirational videos and came up with many great ideas throughout the process including thinking about the environment, doing clean up walks, putting out posters and recycling bins and knitting blankets for babies. From projects to reading experiences, Hugo Elementary and Vadnais Heights Elementary students were recently able to enjoy a visit and learn from an author! Several White Bear students also recently enjoyed a celebration for being chosen as Manitou Days Writing Contest winners!

Applause-worthy opportunities

Area Learning Center students recently enjoyed a MAAP (Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs) STARS Award Breakfast where they were recognized for their hard work! MAAP STARS focus on promoting innovative learning experiences for all Minnesota students!

Table of students' work

Congratulations to the White Bear students who were recently honored at the 2019 Harmony Adult Education GED and CNA Graduation Ceremony! The district works in partnership with area districts to offer adult education opportunities. Find additional information

Student smiling at the camera sitting at a table at the Senior Breakfast

Seniors were recently able to enjoy good food and time with their classmates at the breakfast on Senior Day! They were also able to listen to guest speaker Tim Gabrielson. Great opportunities continued as staff members recently had an opportunity to learn from Dr. Paul Ramseth who is a former Gopher football player, former White Bear teacher, a principal in several area districts, and a former AVID tutor. Dr. Paul Ramseth made some headlines recently, as they successfully defended their dissertation on the AVID program at Sunrise Park Middle School and visited with several groups of staff members to present the findings! From presentations to performances, high school students had another successful year with their Spring play, Lettres et Café. The story took place in the summer of 1946, two years after Paris was liberated from the Nazi's occupation.

Activities Update

White Bear grad Elsa (Shorey) Bruestle was recently named the new girls' hockey coach, which was recently highlighted in this White Bear Press article. Central Middle School's 8th-grade girls' track and field team culminated their undefeated 2019 season with a conference championship recently, beating seven other conference schools. White Bear’s adapted softball team won their playoff game and are going to state next weekend. White Bear's track team had their conference meet and after the two day event, the boys finished 2nd as a team and the girls were conference champions!  Four Bear senior athletes recently received recognition at the Senior Awards Night that was highlighted 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. 

The Week in 62.4 Seconds

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

School Board News

Notice of Filing - 2019 School District General Election

The filing period for candidates to file affidavits of candidacy for the 2019 election in school districts with a primary, including White Bear Lake Area Schools, is May 21 - June 4. The final day for candidates to file affidavits of withdrawal for the 2019 school districts with a primary is June 6. A primary election would take place if the number of candidates filing is twice the number of open seats plus one.

Find the official Ramsey County Notice of Filing document here.

School Board Recognitions

Two students holding certificates and smiling at the camera at School Board meeting
A group of students holding certificates and smiling at the camera at School Board meeting
A group of students holding certificates smiling at the camera at School Board meeting

Before the May 13 School Board Meeting, the School Board congratulated the following students and staff members for their accomplishments with:

  • Middle School Music
  • National History Day

Check out the experience in the May 17 edition of The Week in 62.4 Seconds video.

Upcoming Meetings

Past Meeting Highlights

May 20 Work-Study 

May 13 Regular

District News

General Information

Parent Notices

  • Website redesign - You may have noticed that www.isd624.org looks a bit different! We have been excited to roll out the new and improved website to help make everyone's life easier by improved calendars, search and landing page features. A single Sign On option is available to you on the front page of the district and school sites. We hope you have fun learning the new site! Check out this video to preview the new site!
  • District website update - The website address www.whitebear.k12.mn.us will no longer be available after June 30. Please update any bookmarked pages you have for the district website to reflect the correct website address, www.isd624.org, before June 30. As always, if you have any questions related to technology, please email the Technology Department.
  • American Indian Honoring Ceremony - The Indian Education Program will be hosting the American Indian Honoring Ceremony on Saturday, June 1 to celebrate and honor all Native American student achievement within WBLAS. There will be food, song, dance, and activities - along with District staff/teachers and community members to make this day a special one. Check out this flyer for more information.
  • Nutrition Services updates:
    • Request for Refund - If your student is graduating or moving out of the district and still has money in their meal account, please complete the Request for Refund Form. For information on the Nutrition Services Angel Fund, please visit the Nutrition Services webpage and view "Angel Fund and Donations" under the "Meal Costs and Payments" tab.
    • Free Summer Meals - There are free summer meals available throughout the community for kids and teens who are 18 years old and younger. Learn more
  • 2019-20 Calendar file updated - The 2019-20 calendar approved by the School Board in December of 2018 has been updated to reflect edits. The March parent teacher conference date has been changed due to the primary election date, and the schedule for District Center being closed during winter break has changed. See the edited calendar file here.
  • Notice of Filing - 2019 School District General Election - The filing period for candidates to file affidavits of candidacy for the 2019 election in school districts with a primary, including White Bear Lake Area Schools, is May 21 - June 4. The final day for candidates to file affidavits of withdrawal for the 2019 school districts with a primary is June 6. A primary election would take place if the number of candidates filing is twice the number of open seats plus one. Find the official Ramsey County Notice of Filing document here.
  • Tamarack's Summer Offerings - Families are invited to play and learn at Tamarack Nature Center this summer. Learn more about the opportunities.
  • Innovate 624 - Check out the latest editions of Innovate 624 with one about the design of effective swim lessons and one with great ideas to keep students busy and engaged this summer.
  • 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!

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.
  • Be a Bear! The district currently has many staff openings available! Find the online application page here.

Awards and Honors

  • Chemistry Teacher Award - WBLAHS - South Campus Chemistry Teacher Cassandra Knutson is the recipient of the Minnesota American Chemical Society's Chemistry Teacher Award!  Cassandra recently gave a speech and received the award to acknowledge excellence in teaching at a ceremony at WBLAHS - South Campus! Go Bears!
  • Wall of Fame - White Bear grad and architect Ross Chapin was recently inducted into the Wall of Fame! The experience was highlighted in this White Bear Press article.
  • Google Certified Educators - Twenty-four newly Google Certified Educators were recently celebrated throughout the district!
  • Ongoing/Upcoming May Recognitions:
    • May 27 - Memorial Day
  • June Recognitions:
    • June 14 - Flag Day

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

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.

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! Find the online application page here.

Partnership Updates

  • 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.
    • Don Craighead has been selected as the 2019 J. Stanley and Doris Hill Legacy Award recipient. Established by the Century College Foundation, the Mahtomedi Area Educational Foundation and the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation, the award honors the memory of Stan and Doris Hill for their remarkable commitment to community service. Craighead was recognized for their extensive volunteer service to the White Bear Lake area and beyond its borders.