September 30, 2018

Student News

  • In photos: Furry friends help Hugo Elementary's yard
  • Fall fun
  • BEAR Time & opportunities
  • Enjoyable experiences
  • Music & creativity
  • The Week in 62.4 Seconds
  • Activities updates


School Board News

  • School Board Meetings


District News

  • General Information
  • Awards and Honors


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In photos: Furry friends help Hugo Elementary's yard

Student News

Fall fun

The BearPower Harvest Party was a successful event, as families gathered to enjoy food prepared by local chefs with ingredients that were either donated or grown by community members, play games and take their pictures with "Chomp" (BearPower's mascot)! Various organizations attended the event to show the community about gardening tips and tricks, including seed saving demonstrations by the White Bear Lake Seed Library. Community members were even able to take home seeds to get their own gardens growing next year! Seeds of community were planted last week at Willow Lane Elementary's "Community Feast and Conversation" event. The gymnasium was full of activity and discussion as families and staff members got to know one another over a terrific meal. Speaking of delicious food, students throughout the district recently added a delightful crunch to their lunch, as they were able to enjoy Pine Tree apples. 

From yummy food to fun activities, the BearPower Homecoming 6.24K Family Fun Walk/Run is just around the corner and you won't want to miss out. Families are invited to this free event on Saturday, October 6 at WBLAHS - South Campus, with the race starting at 9:30 a.m. Register today! Also, check out this video to see the excitement surrounding this great opportunity! The footage from the BearPower video was also highlighted in the September 21 edition of The Week in 62.4 Seconds video! The BearPower Homecoming 6.24K Family Fun Walk/Run is just one of the fun happenings next week during Homecoming Week. View this list of the exciting opportunities throughout the Homecoming 2018 Week with the theme of "We Wear the Crown" from Monday, October 1 through Saturday, October 6. Also, check out this fun videoof students preparing for the happenings at Central Middle School by creating and placing promotional artwork throughout the building with information about the Homecoming events. 

BEAR Time & opportunities

You name it, and WBLAHS - North Campus probably has it regarding fun activities that are offered Thursdays to students during BEAR Time. Once a week, students are able to choose what they want to do for BEAR Time, which can include receiving academic support, playing games or some students have even been experimenting with 3D printing. Those who have been working on 3D printing have even learned how to design Bear paw pencil holders! See the BEAR Time experience in action in this video. In other exciting news, White Bear Lake Area High School - South Campus was recently awarded a Water Bottle Filling Station Grant from the MN Department of Health. This provides students, staff and community healthier options than sugary drinks. It also removes harmful lead and contaminants from the water, keeps cavity fighting fluoride in drinking water and keeps people hydrated. Other students are making sure staff members are staying hydrated with Central Beans. This is an opportunity for Central Middle School students to serve as baristas while building their job skills by making and delivering drinks to staff members at both Central Middle School and District Center. 

From one opportunity to the next, between full-time PSEO classes at Northwestern, the WBLAHS tennis team, and a part-time job, Sabrina Bush, WBLAHS - South Campus senior, has carved out 80 plus hours to fulfill the requirements of a Girl Scouts Gold Award. The Gold Award (similar to the Boy Scouts Eagle Scout Award) requirements include identifying an issue, investigating it thoroughly, creating a service project plan and taking action. Sabrina knew they wanted their project to help White Bear elementary school students. Sabrina reflected on what it was they loved to do when Sabrina was a student at Matoska International and realized that Mr. Pai had jump started their math career and Mrs. Stonehouse had prepared them for middle school. Sabrina identified a service project that would honor these experiences. For the last nine months, Sabrina has collected, organized and codified fun and engaging math activities and resources for students in grades K-5. This week, Sabrina presented "math stations" to each of the nine Extended Day programs throughout the district. The math stations include games and puzzles to challenge students at all grade levels. Congratulations to Sabrina for their hard work in finding unique ways to always make learning fun for students!

Enjoyable experiences

Students at Otter Lake Elementary have been working on making improvements to their enviroscapes projects, which are small towns they created by building barriers to keep pollution out of their town's environment. They test their improvements by seeing how well the town holds up when storms come through, like a water bottle spraying down on their project. They quickly learn if their improvements worked by checking if the barriers effectively kept the pollutants from seeping into the water. Their hard work was captured in this video. In other environmental happenings, students also get the opportunity to conduct scientific investigations in the school's prairie. From prairies to goats, students at Hugo Elementary had fun laughing, smiling and inquiring, as they learned about special guests grazing in their school's yard. The excitement was captured in this video. Students learned why goats are visiting Hugo Elementary, which is to eat all of the poison ivy and other invasive species to help students and staff be able to better utilize the school forest. This opportunity is possible through the Munch Bunch, which is a goat-for-hire company that provides the goats who specialize in eating buckthorn, invasive and non-invasive plants.

While some students enjoyed learning about goats, there is a great opportunity available for those who enjoy teaching. The WBLAS Community Services & Recreation Adult & Youth Enrichment Programs are looking for individuals interested in teaching adult or youth (K-8) Community Ed classes for the Winter and Spring season (February through the end of May). A teaching license is not required. The only requirement is a love of sharing one's knowledge with others. Whether staff, teachers or community members are interested in showcasing their passion about a skill, starting a book club or spreading knowledge about a special era or person in history, individuals are welcome to complete a class proposal to share their expertise. Learn more about this process. From teaching to learning, Sunrise Park Middle School students recently celebrated Mexico's Independence Day, which was on September 16, by making traditional tissue flowers. Go Bears!

Music & creativity

Early Childhood students turned into artists, as they enjoyed a new outdoor easel where they can express their creativity while working on their small and large motor skills at Normandy Park Education Center. The easel was given to the building in honor of retirees Mary Coleman and Jan McDaniels for their many contributions to the Early Childhood program and playground. Creativity continued to be a focus throughout the district, as students at Sunrise Park Middle School tested what it is like to sing with a marshmallow in their mouths in Odelis Anderson's choir class. This was a way for students to learn about the importance of spacing in their mouths when they are singing. The students laughed and were even able to eat the treat after they were done with the lesson. The experience was captured in this video

There were more musical opportunities throughout the district and community, as ukulele lessons, dominoes and knitting were just a few of the fun passions recently featured at the Senior Center Open House. Check out the excitement in this video. At the event, community members were able to showcase the activities and programs they are a part of while those attending could learn about the White Bear Area Senior Program's offerings by exploring groups, classes, and services. There was also a chance for attendees to learn about rewarding volunteer opportunities. The Senior Voice is another way for community members to learn about the various upcoming opportunities happening with the White Bear Area Senior Program. In other fun news at the Senior Center, the Library recently added new book shelves. Stop by and take a book or leave a book, everyone is welcome! Speaking of everyone being welcome, district staff and families are invited to attend upcoming monthly presentations focused on mental well-being. The first session of the series is "Know the Truth" by MN Adult and Teen Challenge and will be held at the District Center Auditorium on Wednesday, October 24. Learn more about this session and upcoming series opportunities. 

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



Activities Updates

High school student Brice Peters was recently selected as the Hot Highlight of the Week on KARE 11, where people can vote for their favorite high school football play that week, for a catch in the end zone that lead the Bears to victory in a recent game against Osseo. There will be an award presentation to honor Brice at WBLAHS - South Campus next week. Stay tuned for a clip to be featured in an upcoming edition of The Week in 62.4 Seconds video. 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
October 8 Regular 7 p.m. District Center
October 22 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center 
November 12 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

  • District Facility Planning Update - The District will notify District Facility Planning Committee Members tomorrow, October 1. Committees will meet as an entire team on October 9 and 23. Subcommittees will meet throughout November and December. The entire committee will reconvene in January before the Needs Findings are presented to the School Board at the January 28, 2019 Work-Study meeting. Master Plan development will take place in February and March. Community-wide engagement and feedback will take place in April and May. Find additional information here.
  • October 9 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 7:30-8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 9 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:
      • 7:30-8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at Caribou Coffee, Downtown WBL
      • 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 15 at Caribou Coffee, Downtown WBL
      • 7:30-8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15 at Caribou Coffee, Downtown WBL
      • 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 first session of the series is "Know the Truth" by MN Adult and Teen Challenge and will be held at the District Center Auditorium on Wednesday, October 24. Learn more about this session and upcoming series opportunities. 
  • Emergency response drills information - Learn about the safety protocols that will be followed throughout the 2018-19 school year.
  • 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 first meeting is on Thursday, October 4 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Room 112 at District Center (4855 Bloom Avenue, White Bear Lake). View future meetings on the district's website.
  • ECSE Supervisor hired - Angela Drange was offered and has accepted the position of ECSE Supervisor, which was open due to the resignation of Danielle Barkley. Angela brings to the district significant early childhood experience including serving as an interim ECSE coordinator in Spring Lake Park School District, an ECSE intervention teacher and general education kindergarten teacher. 
  • Teaching & Learning Coordinator hired - Jen Babiash is our new 6-12 Teaching & Learning Coordinator. Jen most recently served in district leadership roles for Columbia Heights School District and the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District. She provided equity leadership in White Bear as our first AVID elective teacher leader and as an Equity Coordinator. We are excited to have her back in White Bear Lake Area Schools as we work collectively to implement our new strategic plan.
  • Transition Resource Fair - WBLAHS - South Campus will be hosting a Transition Resource Fair, sponsored by the Community Transition Interagency Committee (CTIC) on Thursday, November 15 from 4-7 p.m. Community organizations will come together to share information on independent living, housing, vocational rehabilitation services, county and advocate services, mental health and employment services.
  • Community Services teaching opportunities - The WBLAS Community Services & Recreation Adult & Youth Enrichment Programs are looking for individuals interested in teaching adult or youth (K-8) Community Ed classes for our Winter and Spring season (February through the end of May). Learn more.
  • Seeking Meals on Wheels drivers - The Senior Program is looking for Meals on Wheels drivers to deliver meals between 11 a.m. and noon. Volunteer once a week, month or on the sub list. Please call 651-653-3121 for more information. 
  • Free Screening of Documentary: "ANGST" - The district is co-sponsoring a free screening of the documentary "ANGST" to raise awareness around anxiety on Thursday, October 11 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Read this flyer for more information.
  • MEA Career Sampler: The Field Experience - Students have the opportunity to participate in the MEA Career Sampler on Thursday, October 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday, October 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. This event gives 15 high school students who are Career Pathways participants and are interested in pursuing a career in Automotive, Construction Trades, and/or Manufacturing the opportunity to gain hands-on experience at local businesses. Students must be 16 years old to participate and can apply by filling out this application. The event is sponsored by Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation, Schwing America Inc., McGough Construction Co., Inc., and Buerkle Car Campus. The application window is Monday, September 17 through Sunday, October 7 at 11:59 p.m. Students will be selected and notified by Tuesday, October 9. For any questions, email Jenny Moore.
  • Free Community Baby Shower - You and your baby are invited to join other parents of new babies, birth to six months old, for a free Community Baby Shower on Tuesday, October 16 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Normandy Park Education Center. Learn more
  • Homecoming Online Store - There is Bear spirit wear available to purchase on the Homecoming online store. This store session will close on Monday, October 1, which will be delivered after Homecoming.
  • We Are Hiring! - The district is now hiring substitute teachers, Extended Day staff, nutrition services staff, bus drivers, paras and more. Find the online application page here.
  • Stay connected! - Join White Bear Lake Area Schools' social media circles - Facebook and Twitter.
  • 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.
    • BearPower Homecoming 6.24K Family Fun Walk/Run - Families and community members are invited to participate in the free BearPower Homecoming 6.24K Family Fun Walk/Run event on Saturday, October 6 at 9:30 a.m., with registration starting at 8:30 a.m. at WBLAHS - South Campus. There are two courses to choose from including a 6.24K (3.87 miles) route and/or a 1 mile walk/run. Register today! If you are interested in volunteering for this fun event, sign up on this website.
  • Ramsey County is located in the middle of the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area, and more than 540,000 Minnesotans make their homes in Ramsey County. For more information, visit the Ramsey County website.
    • Bruce Vento Regional Trail Extension: Highway 96 to County Road J - Ramsey County Parks and Recreation is initiating a planning study to refine alternative regional trail alignment corridors located between Highway 96 and County Road J in the cities of White Bear Lake and White Bear Township. This process will find one preferred trail alignment for the Bruce Vento Regional Trail. Two community meetings have been scheduled to gather feedback on Thursday, October 4 and Thursday, October 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. Read this flyer for more information about the Community Engagement Meetings.
  • The City of White Bear Lake is located closely to the Twin Cities with a population of nearly 25,000.
    • White Bear Lake in running for Top 10 Best MN Towns - The city of White Bear Lake is among Top 10 Best MN Towns. Citizens of Minnesota can cast their vote for the Top 10 finalists as chosen by the editorial team of Minnesota Monthly: Eden Prairie, Fergus Falls, Little Falls, New Ulm, Northfield, Roseville, St. Cloud, Wabasha, Waconia, and White Bear Lake. Start voting today! You can vote up to 10 times per day and voting is a breeze! Click,, select White Bear Lake in the list, enter your email, submit. Then click Vote Again and repeat this 9 more times every day through October 12. The public vote will make up 25% of the score for each finalist, with 75% coming from a panel of notable Minnesotans.
  • 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.
    • The Foundation is celebrating its 25 year anniversary - The White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation is celebrating its 25 year anniversary, and as part of the milestone celebration, their annual BEAR Legacy Fundraiser event will be held on Friday, October 12 at the Vadnais Heights Commons. Learn more about the opportunity.
    • WBLAEF grant applications - The White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation is once again offering grants for teachers. Applications can be found on their website. Please contact the Foundation Office at 651-407-7696 for more information. The application deadlines are as follows:
      • Ryan Art Grant - applications due October 9
      • Brosious Grant - applications due October 23
      • Glasrud Fellowships - application due January 29, 2019
      • E3 Grants - application due March 5, 2019

Support WBLAS Students:

  • Be a Bear! The district currently has many staff openings available! See additional information here, and find the online application page here.

Awards and Honors

  • October Recognitions:

    • Dyslexia Awareness Month
    • National Principals Month
    • Farm to School Month
    • October 1-6 - Homecoming Week
    • October 2 - National Custodial Worker Day
    • October 5 - World Teachers Day
    • October 8 - Indigenous Peoples Day
    • October 15-19 - National School Lunch Week
    • October 15 - End of Hispanic Heritage Month
    • October 16 - National Boss's Day
    • October 21-27 - National Safe Schools Week
    • October 22-26 - National School Bus Safety Week

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