Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates
Hello district families and staff members,
What a week it has been, indeed!
District teams have been hard at work this week, planning and implementing free meals for all children, providing childcare for parents who are healthcare/emergency workers and arranging for other essential supports.
Our teachers and administrators have spent their days developing a distance learning plan that will be ready to launch on March 30, should we be asked to deliver education using this model. By now, many of our families have been contacted by a teacher to see how they are doing during this challenging time. These connections are so important and meaningful for all of us in these unprecedented times.
As we round out the week, I ask you to take a moment to appreciate how far we’ve come since last Friday when we first had an idea that the coming days and weeks might look different. Thank you to all who come together to make White Bear Nation a stand-out community!
For those of you who might be wondering, please know that we are currently planning to have our buildings open next week Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for students to get personal items and educational materials out of their lockers and to pick up instruments. We remind families of the importance of social distancing and ask that you practice safe passage in our buildings.
In these uncertain times, it is important to know that supports are available to district families. The Support Hub is a new resource available on the district’s website to provide families with necessary information to address barriers and enhance well-being. This support gives families and community members access to information for essential services including crisis response, basic needs, mental health and well-being, physical health, social emotional learning and more.
For those of you who are watching for daily updates, please know that we plan to resume daily emails on Monday, March 23.
Thank you again for all you're doing in this unprecedented time.
Dr. Wayne A. Kazmierczak
Superintendent of White Bear Lake Area Schools
Sharing great updates
Teachers and students throughout the district had fun connecting online recently with each other! This was a great way for teachers to learn more about students' needs while getting to touch base during this extended time off. The online fun continued as Birch Lake Elementary staff members and students had fun with Wacky Hair Day online! Staff members took fun videos of them with their crazy hair-dos and sent them to the students, who also had fun showing off their hair ideas!
Staff members throughout the district have also been working hard to provide students with meals. Some Nutrition Services staff members shared how excited they were to greet students while handing them their food.
On March 8, alumni gathered for a fun hockey game! The four teams were named after three players who have passed away including Jeff Parker (Mariner Class of 1983), Bruce Fishback (Mariner Class of 1982) and Troy Collova (White Bear Class of 2003), and also long time White Bear Coach Al Peterson. Team "Bruce Fishback" with Daniel Sorbo, Brian Bonin, Max Birkinbine, Matt Greer, Daniel Gallatin and Jon Norman were the winners of the "HiBearNation Cup." In other fun sports updates, the Janicki family, a team of Bears basketball enthusiasts, were recently featured in the White Bear Press. Go Bears!
From sports to creativity, freshman Meg Petersen recently received a Silver Key at the National Scholastic Art Awards! The artwork that received recognition was the impressive self-portrait below:
In other student accomplishment updates, one of the M3 Math Challenge teams with students Sydney Beck, Matthew Chouinard, Kailey Halama, Abbie Nistler, and Cristina Ryberg, have made it through the first round of judging and were selected as one of the best 145 papers submitted nationwide. The M3 Challenge was a one-day competition in applied mathematics. Students worked in teams of up to five to do their math and wrote up to a 20-page paper with their solution. This year's question was about electric semi-trucks and how to set up charging stations and where these vehicles most make sense for transport. The team practiced every Monday after school for 30-45 minutes learning how to research, apply math and write an academic paper.
Central Middle School eighth grader Lily Pederson has achieved Junior Elite status in gymnastics, a level currently held by just 22 of their peers in the country. Go Bears!
Please contact the Communications Department (651-407-7695) to submit Student News for inclusion in future publications.
School Board News
A School Board meeting of the White Bear Lake Area School Board will be held on Monday, March 23, 2020, at 5:30 p.m. via Google Hangout, following guidance from the Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA). Dr. Kazmierczak will be located in the Community Room 112 at the District Center, 4855 Bloom Avenue, White Bear Lake, MN. Board members will attend via Google Hangout. On the meeting agenda will be an item to approve a resolution to hold School Board meetings via teleconference or other electronic means until the end of the state of emergency. The video of all meetings conducted using Google Hangout during the state of emergency will be made available online as soon as possible.