October 5, 2012
Bullying Prevention Month activities
On October 10th, schools across the United States will celebrate Unity Day. Thousands of students will participate in this event by wearing orange and sending one large "orange message of support" to students who have experienced bullying. White Bear Lake Area Schools will be among those recognizing this important day.
The middle schools in particular have some exciting initiatives planned throughout October. Sunrise Park students kicked off the celebration month by viewing "Stand Up, Be a Hero" video in advisory. Staff are in on the fun too, wearing the "HERO" shirts every Thursday of the month, handing out "Be a Hero" pencils and stickers throughout the month, and doing daily announcements related to bullying prevention. Leading up to Unity Day, students have been given the opportunity in gym classes to sign the pledge banner. The completed banners, one for each grade, will hang at the end of each hallway.
Activities at Central are similar, with a kick-off video being shared and a pledge banner being signed - by students clad in orange - on Unity Day. Central will end the month with a special Mix-It-Up Day at lunch that provides students the opportunity to sit with different groups of students at lunch and answer a variety of conversation-starting questions. Another initiative that will begin during October is a year-long kindness chain activity - during which students will have the opportunity to recognize their fellow peers for contributing to a positive school climate by writing down an act of kindness they see another student engage in. The acts of kindness will be linked together to create a long chain to symbolize everyone working together to create a positive school climate.
Cleaning up what has fallen down
Vadnais Heights Elementary is playing host to its annual Fall Clean-up, and event that has been sponsored by the school's Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) for many years. This year, a new group will join in the fun - a group of Girl Scouts who are fourth graders at Vadnais will complete a service project badge through the fun effort. Additionally, several students from the WBLAHS National Honor Society will be on-hand to help.
The clean-up efforts will take place at the elementary school's outdoor classroom, which includes Lambert Creek and wetlands. The area, now known as now known as the â€œBears Backyard" after school voting took place, will look spic and span after the students finish raking leaves and picking up trash that has recently blown into the back yard nature area.
Those who wish to join the group for the student-generated activity are invited to do so from 9-11:30 a m. on Saturday, October 13th - it is suggested that families who participate bring rakes, gloves and lots of energy! Snacks and refreshments will be available.
More than 70 White Bear Lake Area High School Chemistry Club students recently had a bit of fun with non-Newtonian fluid and a kiddie pool. In an activity you may have to see to believe - click on the descriptions to see the videos - the students performed "sinkability" tests, explained the phenomenon, and watched the material "dance."
This is just one of the many fun exercises on the docket for this year. Other activities in which the students will participate include lighting their hands on fire with methane bubbles, creating dust explosions, and creating colored flames and exploding hydrogen balloons. The explanations of the science behind the experiences, along with a tie to real-world experiences helps make the experiences memorable. In February, the students will showcase their favorite activities to a group of 5th or 6th grade students that come to WBLAHS - South Campus after school, with the intention of generating interest in science across different grade levels... and of giving high school members of Chemistry Club a chance to mentor and pass along their love of science to the younger group of students.
Says teacher Cassandra Knutson: "The students have absolutely love the activities in Chemistry Club. Their expressions are priceless as I light their hands on fire or as they run across the non-Newtonian fluid. They quickly become very interested in the question that I love to hear the most: 'Why?'... 'Why can I light my hand on fire without it burning' and 'Why can I run across this liquid, but when I stop I sink?' to 'Why does flour burst into flames when it is in a dust form but hardly burn when it is in a pile on a tabletop?' The answer I am able to give is simple - 'It's science!'"
AWARE program commits to volunteer service
The White Bear Lake Area School District's Accountability With Academics and Restorative Education (AWARE) program recently announced it has teamed with the White House to become a Certifying Organization for the Presidentâ€™s Volunteer Service Award, a national program recognizing Americans who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to volunteer service. Established in 2003, the award was created by President George W. Bush to give Presidential recognition to individuals who meet requirements for volunteer service, measured by the number of service hours performed over 12 months. The AWARE program will be responsible for verifying service hours, nominating potential recipients and delivering the award.
AWARE is an alternative to suspension for White Bear Lake Area School District middle school and high school students. It provides students who may serve an out-of-school suspension with a structured setting to stay current with schoolwork, process their decisions, and learn alternative strategies for solving issues and problems. The program seeks to integrate meaningful community service with instruction and reflection, teach civic responsibility, encourage lifelong civic engagement, and strengthen communities for the common good. Students at AWARE have opportunities to help maintain Matoska Park, read to elementary students, make and donate blankets to children in the hospital, and bake bread for White Bear Lake United Methodist Church Community Bread Oven.
Many AWARE students are overcome with pride and satisfaction when they meaningfully contribute to our community in a positive way. As a Certifying Organization for the Presidentâ€™s Volunteer Service Award, the AWARE program goal is to encourage students to continue volunteering, and making a positive impact upon our community.
Leading in the right direction
Two White Bear Lake Area High School students recently were accepted into the Special Olympics Youth Advisory Council (YAC). Madisyn Kephart and Morgan Richards, who are both members of our P.A.L.S. (Peer And Leadership Society team), were informed this week of their acceptance.
The YAC is composed of students with and without intellectual disabilities coming together for change and inclusion in our community. More info on the program is located here. Says parent volunteer Leslie Sieleni, who will participate along with Madisyn and Morgan as their chaperone for the 2012-2013 school year, "This is a huge accomplishment for both girls and for our community!"
The mission of P.A.L.S., a program run by students for students, is to offer opportunities to open doors for ALL children to learn, live and play together. The group hosts game days during which regular education students will come and play video games, watch movies, play board games, Foosball and much much more with individuals with special needs in the White Bear Lake Area School District.
Three Girls' Cross Country team members had exceptional performances at the prestigious Roy Griak Cross Country Invitational on Saturday, September 29th. Out of a field of nearly 500 runners representing 50 schools from numerous states, Bethany Kozak was the individual winner, Allison Ternes finished 11th and Ari Adams finished 15th. The Mariners Choir is one of four choirs from around that state that has been chosen to perform a solo set in the annual Choir Day Festival public concert, to be hosted at St. Olaf College in Northfield on Sunday, November 4. The public concert, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 4 p.m. in the Skoglund Center Auditorium on the Campus of St. Olaf College. Attend the Girls' Volleyball junior varsity and varsity team matches vs. Mounds View on Thursday, October 11 for the team's "dig Pink" event to promote breast health education and raise funds to eradicate breast cancer. Find a flyer here.
White Bear Lake Area High School Athletics schedules can be found here.
A comprehensive 2012-13 District Activities schedule can be found here.
Please contact Marisa Vette (651-407-7695) to submit Student News for inclusion in future publications.
School Board News
School Board meetings
|Monday, October 8||Regular||7 p.m.||District Center Community Room 112|
|Monday, October 22||Work-Study||5:30 p.m.||District Center Room 201|
|Monday, November 12||Regular||7 p.m.||District Center Community Room 112|
|Monday, November 26||Work-Study||5:30 p.m.||District Center Room 201|
Regular School Board meetings are re-broadcast on Cable Channel 20 in the local viewing area after regular business meeting as follows:
- Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.
- Thursdays at 10 a.m.
- Breaking Away
- General Information
- Awards and Honors
- Bullying Prevention Month activities
- Cleaning up what has fallen down
- But why?
- AWARE program commits to volunteer service
- Leading in the right direction
- Activities updates
School Board News
- Upcoming meetings