Community e-Newsletter

Note from the Superintendent

We recently met with many community members and PTA/PTO’s throughout the district regarding the Nov. 5 Bond Referendum. Materials that were shared at the meetings, along with presentation and Q&As from the sessions, can be found in the gray box. 

2019 Bond Referendum logo

Some important information that was covered, and asked about specifically:

  • A successful bond referendum would accommodate projected enrollment growth due to housing turnover and new construction happening throughout the district. More than 2,000 new resident students are expected during the next ten years, 25% higher than current capacity.

  • Compared to neighboring districts, White Bear Lake Area Schools has the lowest voter-approved school debt tax levy. Investments in the district will result in higher property values, and keeps us from being outpaced by neighbors who have made significant investments in recent years.

  • Various property tax relief measures exist for those below a certain household income threshold. Additional information is available here.

Bond Referendum Public Meetings

Materials shared at the Bond Referendum Public Meetings that took place on Sept. 24, Oct. 2 and Oct. 3 can be found below:

Projected Enrollment
Voter Approved School Debt Tax Levy Chart
Estimated Impact on Property Taxes and of MN Homestead Credit Refund

Voting is now open. Find information below about how you can vote in person, by mail or on Election Day:

Vote early in person

Early voting locations and hours vary depending on whether you live in Ramsey, Washington or Anoka County. Visit www.isd624.org/Bond2019 to find out when and where you can vote early.

Vote early by mail

Absentee ballot applications are available at all school offices or online at www.isd624.org/Bond2019. Complete and submit an absentee ballot application for the county where you live, as noted on the back of the application. Once you submit the application, a ballot will be sent to you with instructions. Ballots must be received by Nov. 5.

Vote on Election Day

Polls will be open on Nov. 5, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Your polling location is determined by where you live and may be different from previous elections. Visit www.mnvotes.org or call 651-407-7563 to find your location. Note: There is no school on Election Day.


 

Find complete Voting Information here.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions to Bond2019@isd624.org or contact me at 651-407-7563. More information about the referendum can also be found here (www.isd624.org/Bond2019).

Wayne A. Kazmierczak, Ph.D.
Superintendent

In Photos: Fun Fall Experiences

A collage of students enjoying fun fall experiences

Student News

Hands-on opportunities

High school students recently celebrated National Manufacturing Day by visiting local organizations including Wilson Tool, Trane, Wilbert Plastic Services and Teamvantage! During their visits, students were able to tour the facilities and interact with professionals. From visiting organizations to parks, middle school students recently competed in the Conference Cross Country Championship at Lakewood Hills Park. The girls' and boys' teams lined up and dashed through the finish line, as they raced against many other teams in the conference. There were six different heats with students racing for nearly 1.25 miles before finishing their races. The exciting experience can be seen in this video. In other athletic news, community members are invited to support the Adapted Soccer team in their game against North Suburban (Centennial) from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at WBLAHS - North Campus in the gymnasium. Learn more. Go Bears!

A group of students smiling at the camera in front of organization

The fun continued as Central Middle School students have been brewing up joy as part of their Central Beans experience. The students have been busy brewing coffee, preparing cold beverages and delivering the delicious drinks to staff members. The Central Beans tagline states “A Coffee Shop with a Smile”, a perfect summary of the fun experience that can be seen in this video. From coffee to BEAR Time, WBLAHS - North Campus students are enjoying their flex period where they can pick from a long list of fun activities, get help from teachers and catch up on homework every day. Recently, students had fun with many opportunities, including making videos, enjoying Guitar Club, creating shrinky dinks, experimenting in the Innovation Lab and the Harry Potter Club spent time creating wands in the Media Center! The fun opportunity can be seen in this video. In other video news, the Suburban Community Channel recently interviewed Superintendent Kazmierczak about the upcoming Bond Referendum. Check out the interview in this video.

Two students working on a project

Early childhood explorations

There is an exciting new resource for families in the White Bear Community called the Community Baby Closet. This closet brings free infant products to families in the White Bear area including diapers, wipes, infant formula and infant toiletries such as shampoo, lotion and diaper cream. This resource is available thanks to Eva Lundblad who is a Cadette Girl Scout from Troop 55013 and made this possible by completing this as their Silver Award Project. Eva collaborated with the Early Childhood Outreach Team and Early Childhood PTA and conducted a needs assessment in the community where Eva found there was not a free resource focused on infants. This inspired Eva's project and made the closet possible, which is now stocked with donations from community members and organizations. To access this resource visit the Early Childhood Center at Normandy Park between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or call 651-653-3100. Learn more. Eva began the project in May and saw a successful completion of the project when handing it over to the Early Childhood Outreach Team and Early Childhood PTA at the fall Community Baby Shower. The free Community Baby Shower event was a great way for community members to get resources about infants while enjoying giving their baby's massages to help show families how to nurture their infant's health and development. Check out the fun morning in this video.

Adult and baby at Community Baby Shower

In more exciting early childhood news, students recently were able to enjoy early childhood's first family field trip to the pumpkin patch! Families took a bus ride to Pinehaven Farm in Wyoming where they enjoyed a tractor driven trolley ride out to pick their favorite pumpkins. Next, families were able to feed the farm animals, play in the corn pit, ride tractors and explore the giant slides. Farmer Sue, owner and operator of Pinehaven Farm, drove their first crew out to the pumpkin patch and also generously donated two wheelbarrows full of pumpkins and a box of gourds for early childhood teachers to use in their classrooms. These donations will help students learn all about how pumpkins grow, teach them about colors and textures, seeds and vines and so much more. White Bear's littlest learners loved their hands-on learning experience. 

Staff members at Pinehaven Farm surrounded by pumpkins

Community excitement

It was an exciting Friday night for those who gathered at the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation’s BEAR Legacy Fundraiser to give back to students. More than 250 guests were able to enjoy a social hour, dinner and program that  helped raise funds that will directly impact White Bear educators and students. View more videos and photos here

Three adults checking people in at the BEAR Legacy Fundraiser event

From one social outing to another, community members were invited to enjoy Senior Housing Awareness Day. During this event, attendees were able to receive more information regarding supportive in-home programs and services along with local senior housing options. In addition, there were 30 minute information sessions where attendees could learn about what to consider in living safely and independently in the home of their choice. Speaking of choices, one White Bear graduate has been making the fun choice to take advantage of many musical opportunities! Joshua Mason is a teacher at Gustavus Adolphus College and recently has been enjoying the duties of teaching jazz combos, directing the University Jazz Ensemble, and performing in the Graduate jazz combo, the NIU Jazztet. After Joshua Mason graduated from White Bear in 2013, they completed their Bachelor's Degree in Music Honors at Gustavus Adolphus College. During college, Joshua was a member of several ensembles and went on eleven performance tours across the nation/world in their four years. In 2017, Joshua began their master's degree at Northern Illinois University where Joshua served as a graduate teaching assistant in the music department. Besides teaching at Gustavus Adolphus College, Joshua is an active performer and educator throughout the Twin Cities area.

Adults talking at the Senior Housing Awareness Day event

Community members recently were able to attend the What you always wanted to know about Islam and Muslims presentation. This class aimed to help attendees have a better understanding of what Islam teaches and what Muslims practice. The class introduced basic terminology, demographics and differences between religion and culture, and attendees also had the opportunity to get their questions answered first-hand.

Learning adventures

Early childhood students at Tamarack Nature Center recently enjoyed making delicious apple cider. During the adventure, the students were able to learn more about apples and press the fruit to make the tasty drink. Speaking of food experiences, high school students are hosting a Food Drive the week of Oct. 28 through Nov. 1 to collect donations for the White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf. Learn more about donations they are looking for that can be dropped off for collection at both WBLAHS - North and South Campus. Also, high school students will be coming around to Trick’r Can during Halloween. If you have any non-perishable food items, cleaning supplies, or hygiene products that you are able to contribute, please put the items in a bag or box, attach this flyer, and place it on your front step or wait for the students to ring the bell!

Student learning how to make apple cider

At Willow Lane Elementary, kindergarten students recently were able to read the "My 'w' Book" together where they talked about what the letter looks like, sounds like and what objects start with "w". Then, the students practiced writing the letter "w". This was a fun way to integrate the academics into everything they do so they can absorb their learning in fun and exciting ways. The great experience can be seen in this video. The learning continued! Artists from White Bear Center for the Arts came to visit Vadnais Heights Elementary to teach students how to utilize watercolor paint and techniques. Students learned different ways to blend colors, paint lines and patterns and add texture to their artwork.

Student participating in classroom activity

Activities Update

Community members are invited to support the Adapted Soccer team in their game against North Suburban (Centennial) from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at WBLAHS - North Campus in the gymnasium. Learn more. 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.

Bond Referendum Info to Know...

Informational graphic about details to know for the upcoming Bond Referendum
Informational graphic about early voting information regarding upcoming Bond Referendum
Informational graphic about the district's projected enrollment
Informational graphic about tax relief measures regarding the Bond Referendum
Informational graphic about a positive review from the Minnesota Department of Education regarding the Bond Referendum

School Board News

School Board Recognitions

A group of students being recognized for academic achievement at Oct. 14 School Board meeting

Before the October 14 School Board Meeting, the School Board congratulated AP Scholars and National honorees. Check out the experience in the October 18 edition of The Week in 62.4 Seconds video.

Upcoming Meetings

Past Meeting Highlights

September 23 Work-Study

October 14 Regular

District News

General Information

Parent Notices

  • Building Bond 2019 Referendum Update - On November 5, White Bear Lake Area School District residents will vote whether to provide funding for building needs across the district. If approved, the bond funding would provide space for our growing enrollment, improve school safety and security, address deferred maintenance needs and update classrooms for more flexible learning spaces. We invite you to become more familiar with the bond referendum, which impacts all of our buildings and students, by visiting the district's website (www.isd624.org/Bond2019).
    • Bond Referendum Public Meetings - Materials shared at the Bond Referendum Public Meetings that took place on Sept. 24, Oct. 2 and Oct. 3 can be found below:
    • WBLAS Referendum Proposal Receives Positive Review from State Department of Education - The Minnesota Department of Education has given its stamp of approval to White Bear Lake Area School District’s bond referendum proposal that will come before voters on November 5, 2019. View the full press release.
    • SCC Interview regarding Bond Referendum - The Suburban Community Channel recently interviewed Superintendent Kazmierczak about the upcoming Bond Referendum. Check out the interview in this video.
    • Voting Information - Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. Absentee voting began on Sept. 20. Find complete Early Voting information here The district’s website - www.isd624.org/Bond2019 - houses the most complete and up-to-date information regarding the bond referendum.
  • SchoolMessenger sign up for text capabilities - Our district utilizes the SchoolMessenger system to deliver district-wide and school-wide voicemails and emails regarding notice of emergency closings, attendance and nutrition services notices, general upcoming events, and other important announcements from the district or school. Families have the ability to opt in to text message notifications that will be shared (to those who opt in) when school and district messages are sent regarding emergency closings, attendance and nutrition services notices, general upcoming events, and other important announcements from the district or school. Follow these steps to sign up for the text notifications.
  • 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:
      • 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on October 23
      • 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
  • “AIDA” WBLAHS Fall Musical Tickets Available - Tickets for the White Bear Lake Area High School’s production of “AIDA” (being performed Friday, Nov. 15 - Saturday, Nov. 23) are available to purchase at this link.
  • Food Drive - High school students are hosting a Food Drive the week of Oct. 28 through Nov. 1 to collect donations for the White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf. Learn more about donations they are looking for that can be dropped off for collection at both WBLAHS - North and South Campus. Also, high school students will be coming around to Trick’r Can during Halloween. If you have any non-perishable food items, cleaning supplies, or hygiene products that you are able to contribute, please put the items in a bag or box, attach this flyer, and place it on your front step or wait for the students to ring the bell!
  • Safety Information Night - Parents are invited to Safety Information Night from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 6 at WBLAHS - South Campus. The free Information Night is an opportunity for parents to enjoy a free dinner and learn more about mental health, human trafficking, internet safety, youth drug trends and awareness, teen driving laws and safety. Free childcare is available for those in need. To register for daycare, please email Sergeant John Vette at JVette@whitebearlake.org and include your children's names and ages. Learn more.
  • Career Pathways Expo - Community members are invited from 3-5 p.m. on Wednesday, November 13 to enjoy the Career Pathways Expo event at WBLAHS - South Campus (3551 McKnight Road, White Bear Lake). At this event, attendees can apply for and explore high demand jobs, connect with local organizations about volunteer opportunities and receive transition resources and information. View this flyer for more information.
  • Children's Sleeping Habits - Families are invited to learn more about children's sleeping habits at a free early childhood event from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7 at District Center. View this flyer for more information.
  • Movie Night - White Bear Indian Education will be presenting Movie Night at 6 p.m. on Nov. 20 and Dec. 18 at District Center! View this flyer for more information.
  • 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 third presentation will take place from 7-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21 at the District Center Community Room 112. The topic will be Adverse Childhood Experiences & Relational Trauma: What it is, how to identify it and how to heal from it by Family Resources Recovery Experts. 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 Nov. 9, 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.
  • 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.

Awards and Honors

  • October Recognitions:
    • Oct. 21-25 - National Safe Schools Week/National School Bus Safety Week
  • November Recognitions:
    • Nov. 11 - Veterans Day
    • Nov. 10-16 - Geography Awareness Week
    • Nov. 18-22 - American Education Week
    • Nov. 20 - Education Support Professionals Day
    • Nov. 21 - National Parental Involvement Day
    • Nov. 27-29 - Thanksgiving Break 
    • Nov. 28 - Thanksgiving Day
  • 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

  • “AIDA” WBLAHS Fall Musical Tickets Available - Tickets for the White Bear Lake Area High School’s production of “AIDA” (being performed Friday, Nov. 15 - Saturday, Nov. 23) are available to purchase at this link.
  • Adapted Soccer Community Game - Community members are invited to support the Adapted Soccer team in their game against North Suburban (Centennial) from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at WBLAHS - North Campus in the gymnasium. Learn more.
  • 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.
    • Family Yoga Day - Families are invited to enjoy Family Yoga Day where they can celebrate the health and wellness of the White Bear community from 9 to 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9 at WBLAHS - South Campus. View this flyer for more details and register today.
  • 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.
    • Update from WBLAEF about BEAR Legacy Fundraiser - Fun was had by all on Friday, Oct. 11 at the WBLAEF BEAR Legacy Fundraiser, held at the Vadnais Heights Commons. With more than 250 guests in attendance, we helped raise funds that will directly impact our educators and students. A special thank you to all the volunteers, guests, sponsors and donors for ensuring it was an amazing evening. We had some extra fun that evening, with a special guest appearance by the White Bear Mitsubishi Bear, who took on the WBLAS Bear mascot in a dance off. View the videos and photos here.