December 6, 2020
Note from the Superintendent
With the switch to Full Distance Learning for all students K-12 last Monday, our students, families and staff members have adjusted to the new situation admirably. Terrific job, Bears!
Find information here that building principals have shared with families about distance learning at the elementary, middle school and high school levels. Classroom and additional school-specific information will continue to be shared by teachers and principals. Also, as shared last week middle school and high school teachers answered questions about the Secondary Distance Learning Model in White Bear Lake Area Schools in this video. An elementary version will be shared soon.
Thank you all for your flexibility as we navigate the newest normal.
Dr. Wayne A. Kazmierczak, Superintendent
In Photos: Important steps
Central Serves, a student service group who is working together to make life better for local citizens, recently held its first virtual meeting. For their first session, they spent time getting to know one another, created reindeer and began decorating bags for local Meals on Wheels participants. The Central Middle School students will continue meeting each month this school year and are always looking for new ideas on how they can support our community from a distance.
Vadnais Heights Elementary recently received a generous donation from the Vadnais Heights Fire Department. Each year in October, for Fire Protection Month, the school has partnered with the fire department to educate students on fire safety. Due to the pandemic, the annual event did not take place this fall, but the VHFD didn’t stop supporting Vadnais Height Elementary. The fire department recently raised money in one a local restaurant and decided to give $2,000 of their proceeds to Vadnais Heights Elementary, allowing the school to purchase math learning materials for each student. These materials will greatly impact our students as they learn from home. Thank you VHFD!
Each year the White Bear Lake Area High School Student Council hosts a food drive. The 2020 version kicks off tomorrow and will run through December 11. Those who wish to help the students reach their goal of raising $10,000 can do so by donating or by dropping off high need baking items from 2-3 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10 at the White Bear Area Food Shelf. A video explanation of the student initiative can be found here.
The White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation's week-long Orange Tuesdays Virtual Silent Auction launches runs through Tuesday, Dec. 8. The fundraiser benefits the district's students and teachers. Those who wish to check out the opportunity can find the auction page here.
Those who wish to also support the senior population in the district have a way to do so in the coming weeks. The district's Senior Program is facilitating a Senior Gift Bag drive, with the goal of bringing joy and entertainment to isolated seniors during the pandemic and holiday season. The deadline for dropping off gifts or making a monetary donation is Dec. 15. Find additional information here.
White Bear Lake Area High School graduate Jackie McIntosh was recently sworn in as a new police officer for the City of Blaine, after serving on the Lino Lakes Police Department for 13 years and for the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office for three years prior. Find the full article and learn more here.
Class of '00 grad "Fiddlin Dan" Dan Hochhalter continues to be highlighted locally. He was recently covered in the White Bear Press for his success in Nashville. KSTP also highlighted the grad, who has been playing violin since the age of 3, won a talent show while he was a student at WBLAHS, and recently shredded his bow in a Country Music Awards performance.
On a good path
The district's Career Pathways Program, which has evolved from the Manufacturing Career Pathway offered four years ago, was highlighted in the fall issue of Teaching Today Minnesota. Also, the program is embarking on a new partnership with Wilbert Plastic Services, which recently created a 20-hour, part-time Assembler position for high school students. Additional information about the partnership, including feedback from WBLAHS junior Tyler Thinesen can be found here.
Nine district staff members recently received White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation Brosious Grants, which are awarded for various projects to enhance the rigor of the curriculum or instruction within the school district. The six grants, totaling $8471.95, will fund a variety of district initiatives. Read about each of the projects to be funded by the grants here.
Serving up support
The Bear Care Health and Wellness Clinic located in WBLAHS - North Campus has a limited supply of free flu vaccines available. District families can make their appointment at this link, by calling (651) 653-2923 or by emailing BearCare@BearCareClinic.org.
Free meals are available for all children ages 18 and under through June of 2021. Weekly pick-ups are available at locations throughout the district on Wednesdays, with both morning and evening time slots available, and on Friday mornings. To take advantage of the opportunity, families should pre-order meals each week using the Meal Order Form for distance learning pick-up so Nutrition Services staff know what to prepare. Reasons to take advantage of the free meals being offered:
- It extends your food budget and saves you time prepping meals
- It’s comforting and familiar to your kids to have food from school
- It’s confidential and not only for low-income families
- You’re helping the local food service program stay financially afloat
- You’re helping the food program use up food inventory = less waste
You are not taking meals away from someone who needs it more.
The December Meals on Wheels menu is now available from the district's Senior Program. Those who wish to learn more about the program and/or sign up for the service can call the Meals on Wheels Office at 651-653-3123.
The Week in 62.4 Seconds
Enjoy the most recent issues of The Week in 62.4 Seconds videos, which highlight weekly district activities throughout the school year and are produced during periods of in-person and hybrid learning.
School Board News
The remainder of the 2020-21 School Board meetings will be viewable via electronic means. Livestream links are available on the district's online calendar and will be posted on the Meeting Materials page the week prior to each meeting.
Past Meeting Highlights
November 23 Work Session
November 9 Regular Meeting