April 5, 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates
Thank you all for a great first week of distance learning. Your continued efforts and partnership are so appreciated!
We are incredibly grateful for the part you have played in making this work, and a special thank you to the technology team for working tirelessly to ensure families have what they need to make distance learning a success. Some fun information the Tech Team recently shared is that in a single day last week we had more than 1,737 total Google meets, with 9,729 users and 5,332 students joining conversations in that way. A total of 4,220 hours were spent connecting remotely! The team continues to follow up to get all families access to the internet via hotspots as well.
As the COVID-19 situation unfolds, we continue to update our district’s plans and protocols. Please see below an important update regarding the district’s outside spaces:
School district playgrounds closed to the public
In following the lead of our municipality partners, all school district playgrounds have been closed to the public. We will inform the community when district playgrounds have reopened to the public.
The district’s outdoor green spaces remain open and provide a great place to keep kids active. With more and more children heading outside, we ask you to remind your children to continue to practice social distancing and should:
- Avoid team sports, group activities and shared sporting equipment.
- Avoid crowded parks and trails.
Additional best-practice protocols also include:
- Stay home if you are sick
- Wash your hands frequently
- Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and others
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
Please find a couple of videos and activities below that teachers have created for you to enjoy and have fun with while either being inside or outdoors:
Thank you for your continued support and flexibility during this unusual time!
Dr. Wayne A. Kazmierczak
Superintendent of White Bear Lake Area Schools
In Photos: Embracing Distance Learning
Staff members have shared fun pictures showing students having fun, smiling and interacting with their teachers through the start of the Distance Learning Period. Early childhood students even had fun with a learning bag where they could enjoy a variety of creative and hands-on activities with glue sticks, rulers, pencils, crayons, markers, and more! Early childhood students also enjoyed a virtual story time reading a fun book with their teacher Jenny Hanlon! Teachers are continuously finding innovative ways to connect with and encourage their families. WBLAHS choir teachers offered students some advice and encouragement via video in this "Whole New World" rendition. From one fun video to the next, staff members recently had fun creating a video about providing essential services for families during this time, while following state and federal guidelines, to the fun tune of "Can't Touch This." Check out the great team work in this exciting video!
High School Language Arts Teacher Arthur Crutch made a fun video creating their own song to a beat that wishes students a great day and checks in with them. Check out the fun video. In other exciting musical news, orchestra teacher Katie Manley had fun with a student while practicing the violin in a socially distanced lesson. From one update to the next, Dr. Kazmierczak was recently interviewed in this video by WCCO’s Katie Steiner about the district’s plans for distance learning.
Vadnais Heights Elementary staff members let their fourth grade students know how much they were missed in a fun video they made! They encouraged students to wash their hands, read a really good book and play outside. Check out the creative fun in this video. From one fun video to the next, ASL Teacher David Nathanson had fun wearing different wigs/costumes in their lessons to students. Check out this fun lesson plan where David is wearing a Bear-spirited orange wig to help students learn while brightening spirits! From fun outfits to virtual pet introductions, Willow Lane Elementary Kindergarten Teacher Erika Lemke recently was having fun introducing their cat to their students through a virtual lesson that included a fun counting exercise. The exciting counting exercises continued as Hugo Elementary Principal Brian Morris made fun videos with their son playing guitar while Principal Brian Morris had fun counting by 5's and 2's. Go Bears!
It was an exciting time for Hailey Mitchell as they recently celebrated being an ALC Independent Study Graduate, after finishing up their last few high school assignments during this unusual situation.
Lakeaires Elementary is having fun with special video messages from Professor Ransbottom. This is a fun way for students to get to hear from staff members about what they are doing during this Distance Learning Period. Professor Ransbottom interviewed Principal Krusemark to learn about what they do when students are not in the school. This will be an exciting way for students to get connected and hear more about what all Lakeaires Elementary staff members are doing to make this a successful Distance Learning Period. The success stories are in full swing, as volunteers have been working hard to deliver food to community members through Meals on Wheels!
Bear has been hard at work recently coming up with activities to pass the time during this "hibernation situation." Be safe, stay healthy, and Go Bears! Bear wasn't the only one recently getting creative. One student recently had fun getting creative for their distance learning meeting. The student set up their “office”, but noticed the letters for a greeting message to their classmates behind them were backwards on the screen so the student figured out how to flip them. The student and staff member had so much fun figuring it out together so the message could read "hello" to classmates! In other fun news, WBLAHS grad Caroline Sass was recently chosen as a contestant on Ellen DeGeneres' “Game of Games” episode. Go Bears!
In other fun news, community members recently enjoyed a little neighborhood fun with DilBear - Distance Learning Bear, Quori The Quarantine Cow and Social Distance Shark! This was a fun way to remind others to stay safe during this time while encouraging bear spirit! The great community news continues, as community members recently expressed their gratitude in a Letter to the Editor about Administrative Assistant Rose Price for their efforts in checking in with community members during this time. Staff members throughout the district are having fun serving families, including those who are continuing to serve meals. School site meal pick-up and neighborhood meal pick-up are available to families, and more information can be found on the district's website. Staff members have even had fun naming each bus driving to a location to drop off food with a clever fruit or veggie name.
In other fun community news, Sophomore Ambassadors at WBLAHS - North Campus have been spreading their positivity and sharing their creativity by writing encouraging messages to the community in chalk on sidewalks. This has been a fun way for them to continue their service learning and community outreach!
WBLAHS senior Monte Collins was recently named White Bear's male Triple-A pick this year for achievement in arts, academics and athletics in a Minnesota State High School League honor program. WBLAHS senior Madison Carrol was recently named White Bear's female Triple-A pick this year for achievement in arts, academics and athletics in a Minnesota State High School League honor program. Go Bears!
Please contact the Communications Department (651-407-7695) to submit Student News for inclusion in future publications.
School Board News
In light of Governor Walz's Stay at Home Executive Orders issued on Wednesday, March 25, the White Bear Lake Area School Board will be meeting by telephone conference call or other electronic means under Minnesota Statutes 13D.021. During the time that the School Board is meeting by electronic means, those who would like to provide comments during Regular Meetings may submit their comments using the White Bear Lake Area Schools - Public Forum Comments form linked to the posted meeting agendas. Public Forum Comments will be read during the meeting. Public Forum will be open up to 30 minutes (3 minutes per speaker, 10 minutes per topic, no more than 3 speakers per topic as a general rule). Comments should be brief, and repetition of public comments already expressed at the same meeting should be avoided. Comments will be read in the order they were received.
Past Meeting Highlights
March 2 Regular
March 23 Regular