Community e-Newsletter

Note from the Superintendent

We have greatly appreciated your feedback, collaboration and patience these past several months. We understand this is an incredibly challenging time and we are grateful for your partnership in working together to provide a safe learning environment for students and staff as we return to school this fall.

We are writing to provide an update on the decision for the Fall 2020 Return to School Plan, which was approved during today’s School Board Special Work Session.

White Bear Lake Area Schools will be offering a Hybrid Learning Model for all students K-12+. A Distance Learning Model will also be available for all families who choose that as an option. Regardless of which learning model a family chooses for its student(s), we are committed to providing an engaging, equitable and quality learning experience for each student. Thank you for the integral part that you play in supporting your child(ren).

If you were not able to join today’s Board meeting via Livestream but you would like to see the discussion, the recording of today’s meeting can be found here, along with the presentation that was discussed. Please note that the video is currently being Closed Captioned in English and Spanish. When that process is complete, the captioning will be added to the video file.

Additionally, please find resources with more detailed information regarding the Return to School Plans below:

Fall 2020 Return To School Guide - This Guide will serve as a resource to families to provide information regarding the different learning models, health and safety guidelines and important general guidelines to help families as we return in September. As new information becomes available, the online PDF will be updated.

Image of the Fall 2020 Return To School Guide Cover

Fall 2020 website - Families and staff members can find the most recent communications sent to families along with other important district updates about returning to school this fall on the isd624.org/Fall2020 website. 

Screenshot of Fall 2020 Website

In order to help us adequately prepare and plan for the return to school this fall, we are requesting each family to provide us with the following information in the coming days:

  • Fall 2020 Preference Opt-In - Please provide important input regarding your family’s learning model preference and childcare needs by completing this survey before next Friday, August 14. 

  • Transportation Opt-In Form - Transporting students safely to school is a significant challenge for the district during these times. To reduce the number of students on buses to a safe level, the walking distances have increased (to 1 mile for K-5 students, 1.5 miles for students in grades 6-12) and families are encouraged to transport their students to school when possible. Families who qualify for transportation will only be provided busing upon request by completing this Transportation Opt-In Form by August 16. Families who do not qualify but who are experiencing hardships can contact the transportation office at 651-653-7538 to appeal.

We are here to support each of our families as they make decisions that are best for their given situations. Thank you for partnering with us every step of the way and we look forward to continued teamwork with each of you this school year.

Dr. Wayne A. Kazmierczak
Superintendent

In Photos: Sunny experiences

Collage of students enjoying experiences

Student News

Creative adventures

Extended Day students recently enjoyed artistic adventures through generous Creative Art Kits that were given out through the White Bear Centers for the Arts. The kits included a sketchbook, full-sized color pencils, a pencil sharpener and drawing prompts. The kits encouraged students to express the best parts of themselves and use their artwork to remind them of a bright and happy world that they made come to life in their drawings. Students could use their sketchbooks to draw pictures and remember their summer of 2020! Students also recently had fun at other summer opportunities throughout the district while enjoying creative projects and learning in new ways!

Student playing outside

In other creative updates, 1998 WBLAHS grad Erick Toussaint has recently been entertaining his neighbors with sidewalk chalk art. Check out the fun news in this article. From art to music, the Music Boosters are working on a fun way to showcase student talent in a virtual fundraiser and are asking for help from former and current students. They are creating a series of videos featuring musical performances from WBLAHS music students - past and present - and they are asking for their submissions. Check out this fun flyer and find out more and submit a video at bit.ly/WBLMusicBoostersVideo. In other musical news, Music Teacher Kristin Chase was recently highlighted in a Band in Minnesota podcast discussing knowledge and resources to promote music and music education in school communities while in this pandemic.

Making splashes

Extended Day and FLEX students have been having fun enjoying summer activities, which was recently highlighted in this exciting video! Students have been creative whether it has been playing with water, running around outside or working on creative projects. In other fun news, Early Childhood recently donated Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) flyers for new parents at M-Health Fairview, the St. John's Location. These flyers give new parents information about programs in their area for parent-child classes for children age birth-five years old. Early Childhood is excited to continue this partnership with community members to support families. To learn more about how to sign up for classes in your area call 651-653-3100 or visit this website.

Congratulations to WBLAHS - North Campus student Celia Fuhrman for winning the Marketfest Artwork Contest. The committee was impressed with the watercolor painting that included bears celebrating at the gazebo in White Bear. They felt this was a great representation of the community. While Marketfest is canceled this year, Celia has received their prize and the artwork will be featured on the 2021 Marketfest posters and t-shirts. In other fun outfit news, two twins had fun showing off their Born to be a Bear onesies this summer!

Babies in Born to be a Bear onesies

Creative discoveries

The University of Minnesota recently published an article about the impressive workshop WBLAHS Science Teacher Cassie Knutson offers each summer along with other chemistry professionals. This year, they embraced a virtual workshop where they sent kits with household safe chemicals and materials home to each of their participants so they could immerse themselves in the workshop activities from the comfort of their homes! During the Green and Sustainable Chemistry Workshop, participants could learn more about a variety of topics including green chemistry principles, plastics and UN Sustainable Development Goals! Go Bears!

Participants posing in Chemistry experience

WBLAHS hockey alumnus and WBLAS Adult Programs and Facility Coordinator Jon Anderson has been working with a local group to make it possible to host Hockey Day in White Bear Township in 2022 or 2023. The fun news was featured in this White Bear press article, highlighting the fact that White Bear Township has given approval for the event to happen at Polar Lakes Park in the coming years. In other exciting accomplishments, Matoska International IB World School fourth grade teacher Angela Bianco was recently on MPR News with Angela Davis discussing the topic "What we didn't learn in history class."

Activities Update

Graduated WBLAHS seniors recently teamed with Eagan to play as a co-op team in the St. Paul Saints' Senior Class Salute baseball tournament. The WBLAHS Boy's Hockey Team's volunteer efforts were recently mentioned in a White Bear Magazine article about how White Bear Lake is coping with the coronavirus crisis. Go Bears! The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) recently made decisions regarding the fall sports season. Additional information is available in the message sent to high school parents on August 5.

Please contact the Communications Department (651-407-7695) to submit Student News for inclusion in future publications. 

School Board News

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Community Room 112, District Center

Past Meeting Highlights

July 31 Special Work Session

August 7 Special Work Session

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