Community e-Newsletter

Ending 2020-21 on a positive note

As we bring this unusual 2020-21 school year to a close, we invite you to reflect on the positives that have come from weathering the unique challenges of the year. Share with us your one-word reflections at the linked image below, and you'll see the collective results shared out in the next Community e-Newsletter!

screenshot of end of the year form

In Photos: Busy Days

collage of student and staff photos

Student News

Hands-on classrooms

Students in the district’s eighth grade Automation and Robotics class recently completed a Build and Code assignment. Students had to build and program their own Bot to travel 40 feet as fast as possible and stop shortly after it traveled that distance. The Bot needed to stop with an autonomous stop in which the Bot stops without human contact or hitting another object. The Bots also needed to have a Push Button or Limit Switch to start the motor and be coded with a continuous loop program to run the program as many times as needed before reprogramming. Find a short clip of the experience here and a longer video about the projects here.
Robot automotive
Otter Lake Elementary hosted Governor Tim Walz, Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan and Education Commissioner Dr. Heather Mueller this week, an event captured on video here. The guests visited with students in the outdoor classroom, who were working on an earthquake experiment by designing and building structures before testing them on a shake machine. The Minnesota leaders also spoke with members of the media about Summer Programming, with Superintendent Wayne Kazmierczak providing examples of opportunities that will be available to White Bear Lake Area Schools students this summer. As the guests left the school, they were presented with Rec t-shirts.
adults posing for photo with Rec t-shirts
The district's Career Pathways Program has received attention recently. The White Bear Lake Area High School's automotive program was mentioned in a "Repairer Driven News" article, highlighting external funds that have been awarded to the district's program. Additionally, this week the district received checks from the Gene Haas Foundation. The grants, which will go toward the Engineering & Manufacturing Career Pathway to support future scholarships and the Robotics Team for the 2021-2022 School Year, were highlighted in Friday's issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds" video.
four adults holding two celebratory checks
Additionally, members of the district's Equity and Engagement team were recently interviewed by the White Bear Press for an article about racism and the work being done in the district to address racism. One such example of the work being done is a June 2 event with guest Dr. Derald Wing Sue. The virtual session about microaggressions and invalidations is open to educators, parents/guardians, students and community members. Find the event flyer here.
Students will extend their learning into an upcoming weekend, with plans underway for a June 6 Community Water Walk. The student-led Water Warriors activity will start at West Park/Memorial Beach, walk down Lake Ave and go back to the park, which will have some activities and local vendors as well. Registration is for free, and participants are invited to make a donation if they'd like.  The flyer for the event can be found here. The group's podcast can be found on Apple Podcasts or Spotify (search Water Warriors United), and they're also on Facebook and Instagram. Water Warriors United is a group of high school and middle school students who share the mission: To create a culture of water conservation and to inspire our community to take actions to solve the global water crisis.

Well deserved recognitions

Ten students from Otter Lake Elementary participated in the virtual Math Masters of Minnesota Challenge in April. The problem-solving competition included both individual and team components. This year’s virtual event included 119 student participants, with 26 teams competing. 
ten elementary students with certificates
A record number of students - 26 - will be recognized at an American Indian Graduation Honoring Ceremony that will take place on May 29.  The ceremony is hosted by the American Indian Parent Advisory Committee (AIPAC), an education program for American Indian students in the district. AIPAC is run by parent volunteers and facilitated by the district's Native American cultural liaison.
Greg Burke was recently named the new boys basketball coach for WBLAHS, succeeding Keith Lockwood. Burke serves as a counselor in the district and has many years of coaching experience. See the White Bear Press article highlighting Burke's new role here.
screenshot of article with adult portrait
School Board Student Liaisons Jennifer Adams and Bemnet Tessma were appreciated at the May Regular School Board meeting for their participation and commitment to this important student role with the School Board. Other students were also recognized for state- and national-level accomplishments in athletics and academics at the meeting, with a May Student Recognition Ceremony video.
screenshot of thank you slide with two high school student portraits
Jody Reber, who retired from her role as the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent in December after 32 years of service in the district, was recently honored as the 2020 Administrative Assistant of the Year from Minnesota Superintendents’ Office Personnel Association (MSOPA).
adult with Bear mascot

Activities Update

School Board Student Liaisons Jennifer Adams and Bemnet Tessma were appreciated at the May Regular School Board meeting for their participation and commitment to this important student role with the School Board. Read about the new WBLAHS Boys' Basketball coach here

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

Upcoming Meetings

The May 10, 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.

School Board Regular Meeting Subscribe to Alerts
Community Room 112, District Center

Past Meeting Highlights

May 10 Regular Meeting

April 26 Work Session

District News

General Information