Special Notice: School Start Time Change info
The White Bear Lake Area School Board continues to discuss the proposal to change student start and dismissal times to be implemented in the fall of 2021-22. Information about the proposal can be found on the district website here. including presentations and communications related to the discussion, details of a March 30 informational meeting about the topic, a list of Questions & Answers, and a Submit a Question button.
The District's new Parent Teacher Home Visit program, which allows educators to communicate more effectively with students and their families, and give more individual attention to the needs of each student, was recently highlighted by the White Bear Press. The program was launched with the help of a $15,000 grant from the Education Minnesota Foundation. Read the full article here.
WBLAHS grad Bridget Hovde was recently highlighted in the White Bear Press for her work helping older Minnesotans set up COVID-19 vaccine appointments. Hovde's efforts are paying off for hundreds of others, as she estimates she’s booked more than 400 appointments since she first began at the very end of February. See the article here.
District publication continue to connect community members with information and resources as well. The March-May issue of The Voice, the Senior Program's quarterly newsletter, covers important updates, resources and opportunities for older adults (age 55+) in the community. The Community Services Summer Catalog is currently available online, with multiple opportunities for community members of all ages. The printed piece will be arriving in residents' mailboxes soon. The March issue of the district's School Nurse Newsletter covers COVID-19 basics and reminders including symptoms and testing, face coverings and masks, and basic precautions. The district's partnership in the Many Faces Many Stories collaborative offers the greater community access to various learning activities throughout the month of March. Find opportunities here.
Students in Sunrise Park Middle School’s Automation and Robotics Class are making important classroom connections through coding lessons. Students are preparing for upcoming project creating dragsters that will speed down the hallway. Find fun video footage of the classroom activities in this week’s video highlight here.
The district's March Mental Well-Being Series event was a White Bear Lake School/Community Cultural Well Being & Healing Event - A Digital Intentional Social Interaction (dIZI). Attendees co-created self and community care. Mark your calendar for the last series event of the year, Parenting After a Pandemic. The virtual event take place via Google Meet the evening of April 22. Find additional information on the Mental Well-Being page of the District website.
Otter Lake Elementary students recently enjoyed a research workshop in which the fourth grade teachers and the media specialist helped students prepare to participate in a Geogineers Project. The activity was funded by a Brosious grant from the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation. The elementary students’ learning is bound to help them with research endeavors for years to come. The activity was covered in the March 19 weekly video.
Fourth graders at Willow Lane Elementary voluntarily picked up trash along school grounds last week. The idea for the outdoor service activity came up during a classroom discussion about paying kind acts forward, at the request of an anonymous donor who is making it possible for all Willow students to purchase an item at the school's upcoming Book Fair. The recent support complements a donation the White Bear Lake United Methodist Church (WBLUMC) has made for the past few years, raising funds for Willow's first and second grade students to purchase books at the Book Fair. A fun request made by the recent donor was that each student finds a way to pay this act forward by performing a kind act for someone else. The students have taken the request to heart and have brainstormed many ways to pay the generous kindness forward.
Superintendent Kazmierczak's last "Coffee with Dr. K" event of the year will take place from 4:30-5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 6 in the front lawn of District Center. There is no set agenda, so stop by for an informal chat. Let us pour you a cup of joe!
Vadnais Heights Elementary students are celebrating a love for reading by participating in book-related March Madness events. One of the activities classrooms are participating in is a Book Battle Book Bracket. Students vote on books that have been selected and paired by teachers, with a champion ultimately being named the champion. Another activity is that Mystery Readers have been sharing stories reflecting the "Mirrors vs. Windows" concepts: Windows means that you can see into someone else’s life or perspective. Mirrors means you can see yourself within the story.
Students in the district’s Tamarack Nature Preschool program, housed at Tamarack Nature Center, spent time outside in the snow this week and learned how to tap maple trees. A photo of their recent experience was included in a recent White Bear Press article about the Minnesota pasttime. Read the article here.
Hugo Elementary students recently collected boxed goods for the Hugo Food Shelf, donating items like cereal to help those in need. When the collection is finished, students will celebrate by watching a domino run of all of the items collected. The activity was featured in this week’s issue of “The Week in 62.4 Seconds.”
WBLAHS - South Campus choirs performed a virtual concert of "All the Way Home" earlier this month. While high school students are back to in-person learning these days, with students who choose to continue with distance learning doing so, the virtual performance allowed audience members to enjoy a beautiful performance from the comfort of their homes. Enjoy the performance here.
Students at Vadnais Heights Elementary recently had a week of dressing up, with days of pajamas, favorite team clothes, fancy/favorite outfits and workout clothes. Thursday’s theme was “Dress like what you want to be when you grow up.” The students’ career choices were varied and impressive. They have bright futures ahead of them!
Awards and accomplishments
White Bear Lake Area High School’s two M3 Challenge math teams were both given awards for being in the top 100 submissions in the country this year. The team of Aaron Barton, Wyatt Fish, Tate Johanning, Alex Toner, Anika Volker were placed in the top 100 in the country. The team of Micah Anderson, Alex Dufresne, Eric Hosch, Anna Ryan, and Claire Schneider were placed in the top 50 in the country and were awarded $1000 for their paper in the applied math competition.
White Bear Lake Area Schools Assistant Superintendent Tim Wald was honored last week with an Outstanding Central Office Leader Award from the Minnesota Association of School Administrators. See the MASA press release here.
Area Learning Center students Shannen Gustavson, Kaitlyn Friederichs, Amber Schmidt, Kendrell White, Matilda O’Malley, Melanie Cramblit, Katy Alonso, Joe Schrankler and Marina Norcross participated in a letter-writing campaign to Minnesota law-makers through MAAP STARS (Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs Success Teamwork Achievement Recognition Self-Esteem). The students wrote letters about why alternative schools are important and asked the law-makers to support two bills, one for funding for the MAAP STARS student leadership program and one to increase funding for alternative programs. Additionally, some of the students’ letters are being published in The Alchemist, a yearly publication of art and writing from alternative students across the state of Minnesota, this Spring.
Orange and Black
A recent Minnesota Hockey Journal highlight had splashes of orange and black, celebrations of the historic Hippodrome, and mentions of the importance of classroom and life lessons. Read the full article here.
Students in grades 6-12+ were back to in-person learning last week, with distance learning still available for those who choose it. Students at Transition Education Center were be greeted by excited staff members in Bear Wear and by decorated classroom doors.
Bears Wrestler Matt Sloan placed sixth at State. See the article here. The Gymnastics Team placed second in state and had three individual state qualifiers. See a White Bear Press article here and enjoy a highlight in last week's "The Week in 62.4 Seconds" video here. Two M3 Challenge math teams from White Bear Lake Area High School were both given awards for being in the top 100 submissions in the country this year. Area Learning Center students participated in a letter-writing campaign to Minnesota law-makers through MAAP STARS (Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs Success Teamwork Achievement Recognition Self-Esteem).
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
The March 22, 2021 School Board Work Session Meeting will be conducted in person at District Center, with social distancing measures being put in place.
The remainder of the 2020-21 School Board meetings will continue to 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.