January is Welcome to White Bear Month! While families are invited to learn about our programs at any time, special registration events will be taking place this month to help families learn about our early childhood, elementary, middle school and high school offerings. Find additional information here.
Based on new guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education and Governor Walz, we are planning to welcome elementary students back to in-person learning on the following phased schedule:
- Jan. 13 & 14 - Grades K-2 Transition Days - Grades K-2 students will not be in school or in distance learning (Grades 3-5 will remain in Distance Learning on those days)
- Jan. 15 - No School Day for K-5 students (previously scheduled)
- Jan. 18 - No School Day for all students (previously scheduled)
- Tuesday, January 19th - Grades K-2 students return to in-person learning (Grades 3-5 will remain in Distance Learning)
- Jan. 27 & 28 - Grades 3-5 Transition Days - Grades 3-5 students will not be in school or in distance learning (Grades K-2 will remain in in-person learning on those days)
- Jan. 29 - No School Day for all students (previously scheduled)
- Feb. 1 - Grades 3-5 students return to in-person learning
Our Secondary schools, serving Grades 6-12, will continue in distance learning for the time being, following previous state guidance that relies on the level of community spread of COVID-19, and other key data. In early January, we will reevaluate the middle school and high school learning models based on guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Education as well as our local data.
Winter season youth sports, including middle school and high school athletics, will begin practices starting January 4.
Find additional information about the phased return to in-person learning for elementary students here.
Former students in the news
Former student Latrell Jackson was recently highlighted in the White Bear Press for his recovery journey. Mentioned in the article is the strong showing of support he's gotten from White Bear families, which started as an organized effort by two of his former teachers - Kristen Konop, a fifth-grade teacher at Matoska Elementary, and Odelis Anderson, music teacher at Sunrise Park Middle School. See the full article here.
The White Bear Press also recently published an article about the long tradition of Bears hockey being celebrated by the families of Owen Gallatin and Lleyton Roed. The two players, who have a shared history of playing on Bears hockey teams, have signed to play hockey with University of Minnesota-Duluth and Bemidji State University respectively. Find the full article here.
Mark your calendar
The "Coffee with Dr. K" event will continue to look a bit different on Jan. 7, with social distancing challenging us to come up with a virtual format for the quarterly check-in that includes a livestream event and submitted questions that are answered on that day. Dr. K will get through as many questions as possible, and we will provide a written Q&A to any questions he doesn't get to in the 60-minute event. We hope community members grab a cup of joe and join us remotely at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 7. Instructions on how to submit questions before the event and view the livestream at 11:30 a.m. on that day can be found here.
The White Bear Lake Area Educators Local #7286 is seeking nominations for Teacher of the Year in a nomination process. Please consider nominating an educator who will represent all of the dedicated teachers in our district and compete in the state-level program. In alignment with Education Minnesota’s Minnesota Teacher of the Year program, nominations will be advanced for WBLAE members who: have a valid Minnesota teaching license; have taught for five years before nomination; and spend at least 50% of their day working directly with students. Find the form online at isd624.org. Nominations will be open until 4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 11.
Those who wish to enroll in the district’s Elementary Distance Learning Academy are asked to complete this registration form by the end of the day Tuesday, Jan. 5. The new White Bear Lake Area Schools Elementary Distance Learning Academy is a fully online enrollment option for K-5 families. Students will attend school online each day and work with their teachers to complete learning activities specifically designed for their grade level. Students learn the same concepts and curriculum as their in-school counterparts but the delivery will be adapted to help students succeed in an online environment. The WBLAS Elementary Distance Learning Academy will be taught by WBLAS teachers, aligned with WBLAS curriculum and Minnesota state standards and designed to meet the same high levels of academic rigor present in traditional in-person school.