Supporting our students
As we near the end of the school year we are part of a greater metropolitan community that is grieving a senseless loss of life. The death of Mr. George Floyd and the ensuing protests and unrest have impacted our school community.
Providing support to students who are struggling is never more important than when something happens in our society that triggers immeasurable anger and confusion. Coupled with the ongoing pandemic, our students are bearing a great deal and we want to offer all of our students the support they need in whatever ways we can.
Our administrators, teachers and staff are here to listen, learn and support. Staff members will reach out to students to ask them how they are doing. Your student’s principal will contact you about ways they can support your family and create opportunities to process this week’s events.
There is great hope with each generation of children. As a district, we are committed to embracing all cultures with humility and respect. We unite to support our students to learn and grow into the young adults who will undoubtedly change the world.
Matoska International teachers have been busy getting the gardens started at the school! From the garden to the kitchen, high school students in FACS/life skills courses have been having fun with cooking during this Distance Learning Period. They have created some delicious recipes while harnessing their creativity and taking initiative to try new recipes. A few of the fun recipes have included homemade candy (toffee) and orange chicken!
The creativity continued, as elementary students throughout the district are working on Challini Challenges! They have created more than 400 videos sharing their thinking and there has been more than 3,000 views of their material. The different challenges have been creative including one with redesigning cups! One student even made a dog bed from household materials. Check out the students talking about their fun experiences in this video.
Vadnais Heights Elementary students recently enjoyed their very own Track and Field Day at home! The students had fun recreating several events including the long jump, standing long jump, hurdles, foxtail, javelin and shuttle run. From one exciting outdoor experience to the next, students at the Community Care - Tier 1 & Tier 2 Childcare site at Birch Lake Elementary took advantage of a windy spring day and had fun flying kites around that they created!
Willow Lane Elementary Kindergarten Teacher Anna Zamzow also recently embraced their creativity by visiting students’ homes with a lawn chair and having fun with a “Storytime with Ms. Zamzow” from six feet apart. The students were thrilled to see Ms. Zamzow via this creative socially distanced idea. Anna even made them graduation hats and delivered their kindergarten graduation certificates to them to make sure they had a special end of the year celebration. In other celebratory news, Lincoln Elementary students had fun writing poetry in the month of April for National Poetry Month, and their pieces were being displayed in downtown White Bear Lake until the end of May! This was a fun way for students to brighten others’ days by showcasing their work where families could walk downtown and enjoy a Poetry Hunt.
End of the year celebrations
Early childhood staff members recently had a blast waving goodbye to families, as they drove by at the various locations throughout the district. Families could decorate their cars and staff members made thoughtful signs to encourage their students during this time. This was a great way for staff members to be able to wave at families while cheering from afar and wishing students a happy end of the year! Check out the fun experience in this video clip, and a compilation of photos from both the morning and afternoon opportunities.
Students were recently recognized for their creative accomplishments on the SCC channel that aired the White Bear Center for the Arts' High School Visual Arts Exhibition Award Ceremony. From one celebration to the next, Area Learning Center MAAP Stars students were recently honored through distance learning this spring. The MAAP Stars program is statewide and focuses on developing student leaders through service and achievement. Students prepare for and compete in areas of Career Portfolio, Decision Making, Public Speaking and the Arts. The White Bear Lake Area Learning Center program emphasizes service learning and teamwork. Throughout the year these students have participated in activities such as: the Fall Leadership Conference, Legislative Day, Food Drives, Pennies for Patients, welcoming new students to the ALC and team building challenges. This year, students were treated with balloons and a boxed lunch to celebrate their accomplishments, and of course, maintained their six feet of social distancing to capture the fun experience in photos! In other exciting news, the WBLAHS Senior Class President Kaitlyn Stender is the third in their family (after Kaitlyn's father and grandfather) to be a Senior Class President for White Bear Lake Area High School. Go Bears!
Front line workers are continuing to work hard, providing meals and childcare to the community. Speaking of expressing gratitude, congratulations to the recent retirees! Join us in celebrating the retirees who have collectively served the community for 736 years through this video and program!
Congratulations to the students who were recently recognized for their creative accomplishments on the SCC channel that aired the White Bear Center for the Arts' High School Visual Arts Exhibition Award Ceremony. WBLAHS senior Ninchai Nok-Chiclana was recently highlighted by the White Bear Press in a story that covers the start of their love for acting and their path along the way. WBLAHS senior Josh Powell was highlighted in White Bear Press recently for their accomplishments on stage. 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.