November 30, 2014
- Learning by example
- In Photos: Otter Lake Elementary Preschool Thanksgiving
- Enriching elementary opportunities
- South Campus students guests of Rotary
- The season of giving
- 62.4-second video update
- Activities Updates
School Board News
- School Board Meetings
- General Information
- Awards and Honors
Learning by example
Just before Thanksgiving, we are invited to a feast. Yes, before Thanksgiving.
We are welcomed into the dining area by a chorus of small voices. Our hosts for this occasion are four and five year old preschoolers at Otter Lake Elementary. With (significant) guidance from their teachers, the children display practiced social skills, and seem eager for the question, "what are you thankful for?"
"My dog," offers a girl with braids..."Greta Dog."
"I'm getting a baby cat," pipes up an eager lad.
"Does your mother know?" we ask.
"Riding on my grandpa's tractor."
"Getting to watch a dog for three days and three nights!"
On with the list. Fifteen children with fifteen different responses. No duplicates or imitations.
When it comes to being grateful, we each have our own story. Our family. Our friends. Those who care about us and those we care about. Opportunities. Events.
At this time of year we reflect and are more likely to be open and share about those people, places, and gifts for which we are most grateful, especially if we are asked!
Our best wishes for this beginning of the holiday season.
Michael J. Lovett, Ph.D
Superintendent, White Bear Lake Area Schools
In Photos: Otter Lake Elementary Preschool Thanksgiving
Enriching elementary opportunities
Whether it was through educational opportunities, grand openings, or holiday festivities, White Bear Lake Area elementary students were busy during these last few weeks. At Oneka Elementary, students had two interesting educational opportunities, where they also gave back to the community. First, Erin Maas's third grade class started a project where students make personalized books for a diabetes group at Children's Hospital and general books for any child who is admitted to the hospital.
"I like to do a service project each year where students take on full leadership of the project and I act as their guide," said Erin Maas. This year, they had four leaders who learned how to appropriately contact their chosen site and ask for information. After they have gathered interview data from the diabetes group, they will start writing the books during the third week in December. The group is hoping to have the books finished by the second Tuesday in February so that they can be given out at the diabetes support group meeting.
Also at Oneka Elementary, students and staff participated in a Mustache Week where student council and BOSS members sold mustaches before school all week for one dollar. The money collected will go to buy goats for families overseas. As of Nov. 20, the school raised more than $600, enough money to supply 12 families with goats. View some of the fun mustache photos from the fundraiser in the Nov. 21 62.4 second update!
Another educational opportunity Oneka students participated in recently was Science Day. School visitors, including 3M employees, spent Nov. 21 showing students a variety of science experiments. Some of the activities included changing water into vapor, making gas bubbles, and demonstrating how dry ice is used to transport heavy equipment.
Lakeaires Elementary School had the grand opening of their new gym last Friday! In addition, late last month, Willow Lane Elementary opened their new gym to excited students and staff.
At Lincoln Elementary, Shawna Traver's third grade class recently completed a service project raising money for Maasai Village in Kenya. For the project, students made cards and sold them to raise money to buy solar lanterns and help build a barrier to protect the water supply. In total, they raised $1,455, which is enough to purchase 20 solar lanterns and support the village water barrier!
At Otter Lake Elementary, preschool students had the opportunity to learn more about Thanksgiving when they joined School Board member Lori Swanson, district administrators and their teachers for a feast. Read more about the event in Dr. Lovett's article and see some fun images from the event in the "In Photos" compilation above.
At Birch Lake Elementary, third grade students held an Author's Tea Event. During the event, apple cider and cookies were served while students read a personal story to their parents and other family members.
Birch Lake Principal Tami VanOverbeke said, "They all did an amazing job of writing and illustrating their own works of art!" You can see a few of the images from the event in the most recent 62.4-second update.
South Campus students guests of Rotary
On November 26, students from South Campus were special guests at the weekly meeting of the White Bear Rotary Club.
Juniors Peter Schultze and Jacob Greenbaum thanked the Rotary Club for sponsoring their participation in "Camp Enterprise," a program designed to help students learn about business through a weekend of business simulations with area business executives and high school students from the Twin Cities Area.
Also presenting to the club were members of the South Campus Ambassadors Club, a service organization. Ambassadors Club members Hannah Schulz, Abby Hoover, Megan Hazen, Clare Craigan, Madison Gohl, and Kayla Foss lead a fund -raising initiative through H2O for Life, an international non-profit, to build a well in Uganda.
The Rotary Club provided a grant and a loan to the student organization to allow them to purchase water bottles for sale to raise money for the well project. The students thanked the Rotary Club and presented the Club with a check repaying the loan.
The season of giving
Throughout our schools the season of giving has begun. Foremost, White Bear Lake North and South Campus Student Councils have finalized the data and the district is extremely excited to announce that our food drive raised 19,509 pounds of food and $3655.56! Our district continues to have one of the best food drives in the entire state. In addition, KARE 11 featured our food drive on a recent news program!
Two more recent stories from South Campus highlight how our students are committed to giving back to the community during the holiday season. First, on Nov. 19, South Campus students hosted another Coffee for Water event. Fresh brewed coffee, hot cocoa, Panera bagels & cream cheese, and water bottles were available for purchase. Along with the beverages and food, the event was serenaded by the jazz band that played some holiday songs. The fundraiser was preceded by a talent show the previous night. As a part of H2O for Life, all donations funded a water sanitation system for a school in Uganda.
Another way South Campus students and families have given back to the community recently is through the Casa de Esperanza organization in St. Paul. In memory of the late Marsha Wellstone, a former Spanish teacher at White Bear Lake Area Schools, the South Campus Spanish department has continued its effort to support families in need during the holiday season. This year, twenty families in need have been adopted by South Campus students and families. Money that is raised will go toward purchasing items for the families' holiday wish lists.
At the middle school level, students at Sunrise Park Middle School eighth grade students engaged in a variety of volunteering activities on Nov. 13 and 14. The activities included: sewing fleece hats and scarves for the Salvation Army, making holiday cards for area seniors, cutting out shapes for Children and Family Services, making activity bags/door hangers for sick children, knitting scarves for homeless youth, weaving potholders for Meals on Wheels, designing journals for homeless youth, and building cat toys for area animal shelters.
In addition to all of the giving back our students have been doing, they have also received many opportunities. Seven Central and Sunrise Park Middle School students had the chance to perform in last weekend's American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota Honor Choir. Central student participants were Leanne Fahie, Cameron Sharlow, Billy Pilacinski and Joey Dennis. Sunrise Park student participants included Allea Eichler, Tom Perreira and Emy Marier.
The White Bear Lake Area Schools' Accountability With Academics and Restorative Education (AWARE) program has also given back to the community in an educational setting. The St. Croix Valley/Stillwater Chapter of MN Deer Hunters recently made a donation of $300 to fund the AWARE Program's Survival Bracelet for Soldiers project. Each week, AWARE students make survival bracelets for deployed troops. They are also given a presentation about the importance of community service and civic organizations. So far, the group has made more than 100 bracelets!
Finally, our youngest students were given the opportunity to meet new friends and area family members at the district's bi-annual Community Baby Shower on Nov. 24. The event consisted of new parents and babies getting to know our Early Childhood Program through playing games, winning fun prizes, receiving baby massage lessons, and connecting with other families.
62.4-second video update
Take a look at our 62.4-second update that highlights weekly activity throughout our schools!
Read about the upcoming girls hockey season in this White Bear Press article. The White Bear Lake girls cross country team took 15th place at the state meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield.
White Bear Lake Area High School Athletics schedules can be found here.
Please contact the Communications Department (651-407-7695) to submit Student News for inclusion in future publications.