Community e-Newsletter

In Photos: Important Lessons

collage of student and alumni photos

Student News

Black History Month activities

Black History Month celebrations have looked different this year due to COVID-19, but students continue to learn valuable lessons in their classroom and extracurricular activities.
 
Students at Central Middle School have enjoyed perusing digital bookshelves featuring Black authors and listened to authors Jelani Memory and Kwame Alexander read their books, "A Kids Book About Racism" and "Undefeated" respectively. They also learned about how self-taught photographer Gordon Parks used photography to tell the story of racist rules and structures during segregation. In art class, students have been introduced to the art of Jacob Lawrence and The Migration Series, learning a bit more about when The Great Migration happened, the reasons that so many African American citizens migrated North for a better life, and working on activities to connect to current events in the US. 
 
screenshot of virtual library web page
White Bear Lake Area High School - South Campus Student Council members created a Black History Month calendar board display, which students soon be able to see and learn from when they return to in-person learning later this month. The Student Council at North Campus will be hosting a viewing of the movie "Soul" later in February. In addition to the student-led efforts, a staff-led South Campus Equity Team provides daily emails inviting staff to reflect, celebrate and learn during the month and beyond.
 
bulletin board Black History Month calendar
Younger students are benefiting from these opportunities to learn, too. At Willow Lane Elementary, Principal Menier is doing a daily spotlight of prominent African Americans during morning announcements. Fifth graders at Oneka Elementary researched lives of Black Americans and displayed their informative timelines in the hallways throughout the school.
 
student hanging poster
The high school's Black Excellence Club's Black History Showcase, which usually takes place in person, is planned as a virtual event this year. The video will be shared later this month, with students performing songs, poems and skits.

Getting creative

Teacher Chad O’Leary recently wrapped up a lab in AP Biology that was done differently, with North Campus students unable to complete traditional labs due to distance learning. The assignment had students heading into a kitchen to learn about how we use cellular respiration in yeast for food production. Students were cast as "food scientists" hired by General Mills, testing the effect of alternative sweeteners on bread dough rise and reporting their findings back in a professional letter. Then, students were to choose an extension activity, one of them being "The Great AP Bake Off." Students were given a basic challah bread recipe that their teacher had used to win a blue ribbon at the Minnesota State Fair. Those choosing to participate added at least one element of their own and submitted it for tasting (using the same judging criteria as the State Fair). Winner Jack Gray's Tomato Basil Challah Bread recipe can be found here.
 
plates of breads with number signs
The White Bear Lake Area High School Speech Team's recent competition was pulled off creatively as well, with virtual rounds being attended by our students and others at the team's first meet of the season, the Prior Lake High School’s Lakers Speech Tournament. The team participated in the events of Informative, Dramatic Interpretation, Original Oratory, Prose and Poetry at both the novice and varsity levels. See them in action in this week's issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds."
 
student presenting before a computer
Bear recently enlisted the help of an artist to graphically share some Winter Wear Tips that will help others stay warm during this cold spell. The district's Nutrition Services team undoubtedly uses these measures when battling the elements to provide FREE meals weekly to families in all weather conditions. Families should use the WBLAS Meal Order Form each week to order free meals for students. Go Bears!
 
picture of bear in winter clothing layers

Ready to read

Central Middle School has been celebrating "I Love to Read" month with a Get Caught Reading campaign.  The school keeps a slideshow of students who have "gotten caught." Students will also have the opportunity to participate in a bookmark design contest that is planned for the last two weeks of February.
 
two students reading books
The Birch Lake Elementary community is having fun celebrating the month with a school-wide read aloud activity. All of the school's in-person K-5 families received the book "Friendship According to Humphrey," a bookmark, and projects that relate to the book. The main characters of the book, Humphrey the Hamster and Og the Frog, recently kicked off the initiative by seeing the students onto the busses and waiting cars at dismissal time, and they've been engaging with students around the fun initiative since that time.
 
book characters at elementary school
Another group we are eager to help get ready to read is our class of 2034 incoming kindergartners. Those who enroll receive a welcome packet from their school, complete with an "I'm a Bear" t-shirt. Find enrollment paperwork and additional information here.
 
photo of incoming kindergarten informational postcard
And last but not least, the Feb. 5 issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds" featured two fun reading-related highlights. Early Childhood students were caught on video enjoying "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" activities among others. And fourth graders focused on literacy during their first week back in the school learning with their classmates. Watch the video here.
 
preschool students doing activities

Attracting attention

Late White Bear grad Amelia Brown was recently honored in the Star Tribune as an art activist and believer in the healing power of art. See the article here. On the anniversary of his death, former Sunrise student Jaeden Kaetterhenry was remembered with 100 luminaries in his front yard. See the White Bear Press write-up about this special remembrance here. The February Career Pathways newsletter includes a Graduate Spotlight of '19 grad Abbey Shimon, who participated in the Healthcare Career Pathway as a WBLAHS student. Class of 1992 grad Ben Robinson was recently highlighted in the White Bear Press as a new owner of Pontoons on Bald Eagle (formerly Bald Eagle Boat Rental). See the article here.
 
Student music groups have recently taken to video to deliver performances, and the results have been fun watch-whenever-you'd-like treats. Enjoy the musical performances of students from Central Middle School, Sunrise Park Middle School, and WBLAHS - North Campus below!

With student activities back in the swing of things, students are garnering attention on the court, gym, mat, and ice. Of special note is White Bear Lake Area High School wrestler Matt Sloan, a junior wrestling at 182 pounds who reached the 100-win milestone with a pin in just 19 seconds. Go Bears!

wrestler, coach and family with congratulations sign

Activities Update

Girls' Hockey recently beat Irondale/SAV 2-0 while Boys' Hockey beat Forest Lake 3-2. The Wrestling Team recently lost a close contest to Mahtomedi this week, and a member of the team recently reached his 100th win. Boys' Basketball recently lost to Woodbury. The Gymnastics Team recently lost to Forest Lake. The MSHSL recently announced state tournament plans.

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.

School Board News

School Board Recognition Week

School Board Recognition Week is Feb. 22-26. The week is an opportunity to thank School Board members for their service to students, families and community members. In celebration of the week, Board members will receive a custom-made "Bearshey's Bar." Go Bears!
 
custom-made candy bar cover

Upcoming Meetings

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.

School Board Work Session (Meeting in-person, viewable via electronic means) Subscribe to Alerts
School Board Regular Meeting (Meeting in-person, viewable via electronic means) Subscribe to Alerts
School Board Work Session (Meeting in-person, viewable via electronic means) Subscribe to Alerts
School Board Regular Meeting (Meeting in-person, viewable via electronic means) Subscribe to Alerts
School Board Work Session (Meeting in-person, viewable via electronic means) Subscribe to Alerts
School Board Regular Meeting (Meeting in-person, viewable via electronic means) Subscribe to Alerts

Past Meeting Highlights

February 8 Regular Meeting

January 25 Work Session

District News

General Information