Community e-Newsletter

In Photos: Hard-working Bears

Collage of students pictures

Student News

The perfect angle

It was a great day to grab a camera and head outside for a photography project at WBLAHS - North Campus. High school students were able to work on a framed photo project where they looked for natural frames to shape their photos. Some students used fencing, their hands and building structures to create their artistic frames. They then headed back inside where they sorted through their favorite pictures and showed them off to the class. The fun experience can be seen in this video. From photography to performances, it was another great year for students as they wrapped up their "Aida" shows. Audience members were able to enjoy many captivating songs and dances throughout this production.

Two students working with cameras on laptops

Ready, set, go! Sunrise Park Middle School students lined up in the front office to enjoy testing their wooden trebuchet projects by seeing how far they could catapult their marshmallows. The front office staff had their own wooden trebuchet they were able to test out to have fun flying a few marshmallows back at the students for defense. This was a great hands-on learning project for the students, as they were able to create their trebuchets and then examine the effectiveness when putting it to use with the marshmallow-launching task. In other tasks, students at Willow Lane Elementary have been teaming together to spread kindness throughout the school!

Two students smiling at the camera

Pages and popcorn

The snow was falling and it was the perfect time for Oneka Elementary students to cuddle up with a book in the library and read with a very special friend, Spike. Their pal, Spike, is Oneka's therapy dog and visits the students weekly with Spike's handler, Clare. They both are great listeners and students say reading to the duo makes them want to read "more and more and more." The furry literacy experience can be seen in this video.

Students reading with Oneka's therapy dog, Spike

In middle school, Central students had fun popping up their fresh popcorn as part of Kernels for Kids. This is a fun opportunity for students to gain hands-on work experience. During this time, students are able to learn about making the popcorn in the maker and dividing the delicious popcorn out into bags to serve. The salty treat-making experience can be seen in this video

Two students preparing popcorn bags

Exciting accomplishments

Congratulations to the 2018 White Bear Lake Area Schools graduates that participated in Project SEARCH, as 100% of them learned new skills to obtain competitive and integrated employment after graduation. Project SEARCH is a partnership between the White Bear Lake Area Schools and Gillette Children's Speciality Healthcare focusing on workplace immersion with a goal of competitive employment for every program graduate. Project SEARCH recognizes program sites that have achieved 70% to 100% competitive employment for participants in a given program year. The White Bear Project SEARCH site at Gillette Children's Speciality Healthcare was honored to receive this award for their first graduating class. They are currently in their third year of Project SEARCH. For more information about the White Bear Lake Area Schools' Project SEARCH site at Gillette Children's Speciality Healthcare, please check out this flyer and learn about Open Houses to get more information about Project SEARCH.

Project SEARCH students smiling at the camera

From one exciting accomplishment to the next, high school students are brewing up one awesome experience, School Grounds. Students are working on starting School Grounds, which will be a student-run, self-sustaining coffee shop business designed to provide students with an opportunity to grow their skills while providing a dedicated revenue stream to realize student passions and ideas. Currently, they are envisioning the experience for students and brainstorming about how to make it the most beneficial offering at WBLAHS - South Campus. The accomplishments continued throughout the district! The Vadnais Heights Elementary Extended Day team successfully completed the Minnesota Afterschool Accreditation Program (MAAP), a rigorous process aimed at ensuring quality out-of-school time programs. Go Bears!

Vadnais Extended Day students working together

Activities Update

Oneka Elementary's "Girls on the Run" program was highlighted in a recent issue of The Citizen. 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

Upcoming Meetings

Past Meeting Highlights

November 12 Regular

November 25 Work-Study

District News

General Information

Parent Notices

  • WBLTA Teacher of the Year nomination - It takes just one inspirational person to positively impact a life forever. The educators of White Bear Lake Area Schools teach by extraordinary example - they allow students to not only follow their dreams but give them the skills necessary to become the role models of the future. Our district has a rich heritage of exceptional teachers who reach out to help others every day, and the Teacher of the Year program is just one way to recognize the efforts of those who devote their time, talents, and energy to making a positive difference in our community. Please consider nominating an educator who will represent all of the dedicated teachers in our district and participate in the Minnesota Teacher of the Year Program. You may use this form to nominate a teacher. Nominations are due by 4 p.m. on Jan. 10, 2020.
  • Wellness Committee meeting - The next White Bear Lake Area Schools' Wellness Committee meeting will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 3rd from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at District Center (4855 Bloom Ave.), Room 201. The Wellness Committee is open to the general public and school community (including parents, students, teachers, school health professionals, the school board and school administrators). Please contact Bridget Lehn to learn more about joining the team. For more information, please visit the Wellness Program website.
  • White Bear High School: Celebrating the Centennial of a Building 1918-2018 Book - Those wanting a copy of alumni author David Gehrenbeck’s book, "White Bear High School: Celebrating the Centennial of a Building 1918-2018", can pick them up from the Superintendent’s Office. The books are $20 and checks are payable to David Gehrenbeck.
  • 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!
  • Emergency School Closing Notifications - If winter weather is so severe that schools need to close, guardians will also be alerted in three ways as soon as a decision is made:
      - A SchoolMessenger phone message and email will be sent to all guardians. A text message will be sent to those who have opted in to receiving texts from the district.
     - A message will be posted on the homepage of www.isd624.org.
    - Messages will be posted on the District's Facebook and Twitter pages.
    Find complete information here.
  • Upcoming events:
    • Coffee with Dr. K - Community members are invited to stop by and chat with Superintendent Dr. Wayne Kazmierczak (Dr. K) over a cup of coffee at the Downtown White Bear Lake Caribou Coffee. There is no set agenda, so please feel free to order from the barista and find Dr. K in the meeting room to join the conversation!
      • Upcoming “Coffee with Dr. K” events:
        • 4:30-5:30 p.m. on January 9
        • 7:30-8:30 a.m. on March 3
        • 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on May 5
    • Monthly Mental Well-Being Series - District staff and families are invited to attend monthly presentations focused on mental well-being throughout the school year. The fourth presentation will take place from 7-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 19 at the District Center Community Room 112. The topic will be Mental Health Issues and How We Can Make a Difference by Certified Family Peer Specialist Michelle Uetz. Find more information on the district's website.
    • Winter Market - The Winter Market will be taking place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 14 and Jan. 11 at Tamarack Nature Center. This is an opportunity for community members to shop for fresh produce from local farmers and producers. Learn more.
  • Volunteer Opportunity - The district is helping facilitate volunteer recruitment for a program that is run out of our secondary schools. Please find information about a volunteer opportunity here.
  • Native Times - Enjoy the most recent issue of the Natives Times Newsletter

Awards and Honors

  • Extended Day Program Accreditation - The Vadnais Heights Elementary Extended Day team successfully completed the Minnesota Afterschool Accreditation Program (MAAP), a rigorous process aimed at ensuring quality out-of-school time programs. Go Bears!
  • Sara Paul Named 2020 Women in School Leadership Award Finalist - Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Sara Paul was announced as a finalist for the School Superintendents Association’s Central Office/Principal Award. The 2020 Women in School Leadership Awards pay tribute to the talent, creativity and vision of outstanding women educational administrators in the nation’s public schools. The final award recipients in each category will be announced during the AASA National Conference on Education that will take place Feb. 13-15, 2020. Check out the full press release.

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.

  • Senior VoiceCheck out the latest edition of the Senior Voice.
  • Resources Guides - Stay informed about the latest community offerings for seniors in the community with these three guides:
  • 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.

Support WBLAS Students

  • December Dinner - The White Bear Lake Area High School choirs will host a new tradition, with singers from grades 9th-12th performing a concert in the North Cafeteria called "December Dinner" on Dec 16 and Dec 17. While the choirs perform, the audience will eat a three-course meal served by Donatellis. Tickets are available for purchase at bit.ly/DecDinner.
  • Youth Night Food Drive - Join the White Bear Lake Area High School Girls Gymnastics Team as they host the East Ridge Raptors on Friday, Dec. 6 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the WBLAHS - South Campus Gym. All youth ages 3-12 can get in for free and anyone 13 and older can get in for free if they bring two non-perishable food items per person to donate to the local food shelf. Learn more.
  • Italy Trip Fundraiser - Would you like to support students traveling abroad? On Dec. 7, students from WBLAHS will be bagging groceries at Cub foods (1059 Meadowland Drive, White Bear Township) to help raise money for their trip to Italy this summer.  They will be working from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Come support our students and get your to-do list done.
  • Be a Bear! The district currently has many staff openings available! 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.
    • Winter Market - The Winter Market will be taking place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 14 and Jan. 11 at Tamarack Nature Center. This is an opportunity for community members to shop for fresh produce from local farmers and producers. Learn more.
  • 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.
    • Brosious Teaching Grant Recipients - The White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation is pleased to announce this year's Brosious Teaching Grant Recipients. Congratulations to all our wonderful applicants! Check out the full story and photos!
    • Holiday Angels Program - The White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation (WBLAEF) is once again starting the Holiday Angels campaign. Interested parties can make a donation to the WBLAEF Angel Fund in any denomination in someone's name, and they'll send a special note letting the receiver know a donation was made in their name. Donations are utilized to support district students and families in need of food and shelter security and everyday necessities. Learn more.