The kindergarten team at Lakeaires Elementary is bringing a fun experience into the classroom - and across the airwaves - these days. Ducklings were hatched in an incubator, and the process was available to watch through a livestream “duck cam.” Living/nonliving science standards have been a focus during the classroom experience, as students have been learning about ducks and writing informational reports about them with various topic sentences. The kindergarten teams will soon bring the ducks outside so the students can watch their feathered friends interact. The teachers will also fill up a "baby pool" so the ducklings can practice swimming with the students cheering them on. The ducks will stay in the classrooms for a couple of weeks and then go to a new home.
White Bear Lake Area High School students have once again had a terrific showing in the State History Day competition, which was done virtually this year due to COVID-19. See a full list of the district’s State History Day honorees here. Also, our district’s 17 consecutive year streak of sending a scholar on to the National competition continues with this year's 2021 National History Day Qualifier - Scarlett Ellison and her Individual Performance on Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
A group of 6th Grade Students at Sunrise Park Middle School recently hosted a Poetry Event to culminate the ending of April as it is Poetry Month. The 6th Graders are a part of an after school Poetry Club, where they write poetry weekly inspired by music, nature, pictures, they study other poets along with many more inspirations. Each week the students work on a specific skill in their poetry. One of the students discussed how he never felt like a strong writer, but through poetry he realized that he was a great writer and he stated, “Words have such power and we can use those words for the positive!” Several elementary classes, across the district joined in on reading their wonderful poetry from the month. Students as young as Kindergarten shared their poems. It was a wonderful, positive event and it really rang true how powerful poetry can be!
Registration for 2021 Early Childhood Family Education classes is now open. We are excited to bring back classes, field trips, community events, and new programs to meet family needs. Programs are offered at Hugo Elementary and Normandy Park Education Center. See the registration guide here. The Early Childhood Program was recently highlighted in the weekly video update. See the students and staff members having fun together here.
Students were actively involved in a recent initiative to help students and families learn about Bear Care Clinic offerings. See the students' informative handiwork in this video. The Clinic is open to help district families with health needs. All health services are free and available to all children in the White Bear Lake Area School District. Call us at (651) 653-2923 or email BearCare@BearCareClinic.org or click here to schedule an appointment. The clinic’s Facebook page provides clinic updates and can be found here.
The White Bear Lake Area High School spring play, "The Auditioners," is being performed in a virtual format this year. The play is a comedic look at the auditioning process, featuring monologues from a pool of wacky characters. The play was professionally recorded, and will be available for viewing on May 13th, 14th, & 15th as a video on demand. Additional information can be found on the play's Facebook page or buy tickets at bit.ly/wblahsauditionersplay.
White Bear Lake Area Schools will continue to offer distance learning during the 2021-22 school year for those families who choose that learning model for their child(ren). Complete information, including the application / VERSIÓN en ESPAÑOL to enroll, is available on the Distance Learning Academy website. Additionally, we will host virtual Parent Information Sessions next Wednesday, May 12 at both 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. The links to the virtual sessions can be found here (11 a.m. session) and here (5 p.m. session). Those who enroll in DLA by May 20 will be guaranteed a spot in the 2021-22 Distance Learning Academy. Applications received after May 20 may be placed on a waiting list.
The district's Senior Program is hosting a Parking Lot Rummage Sale from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. on May 22 in the Normandy Park Education Center parking lot. Those who wish to reserve a spot to sell can do so through the district's Community Services Registration platform here.
The district is looking to fill seasonal grounds positions. The role is great for college students or 18+, with both full-time and part-time options available. Former summertime employees have commented it’s like “working out in the sunshine” as tasks include mowing, weed-whipping and prepping fields to name a few. The posting is on the district website here.
WBLAHS senior Caleb Binkert was recently highlighted in a Gillette Children's Hospital article for his incredible recovery from a traumatic brain injury. Included in the article is a lighthearted classroom connection, with Caleb mentioning "All the therapy sessions felt like gym class." Read the inspiring story here.
Matoska International kindergarten teacher Kendall Gonzalez was named the 2021 White Bear Lake Area Educators Teacher of the Year in a recent virtual Teacher of the Year Celebration. Gonzalez was named among an impressive group of six finalists.
White Bear Lake Area High School, the first Minnesota high school to offer Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) Certification to Students, recently met a milestone. The Health & Wellness Teacher Team recently completed their first round of YMHFA Training to 23 WBLAHS Seniors. Thanks to a generous Greater Twin Cities United Way grant, Katie Marsh and Shannon Riebow have become nationally certified YMHFA instructors for WBLAS. Read more about the experience in the WBLAS Career Pathways May Newsletter.
The district's Middle School Musical performance of "High School Musical Jr." recently came alive on stage. The experience was highlighted in the White Bear Press here. Those who were not able to attend the performance in person have the opportunity later in May to watch the show via streaming on Friday, May 21 at 7 p.m. and/or on Saturday, May 22 at either 2 p.m. or 7 p.m. The link to purchase streaming services will be available on the district website in mid-May.
White Bear Lake Area High School students were recently recognized for honors in the VFW Auxiliary’s Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest. Daisy Vanderwood was the overall winner, and her work advanced to become the district winner as well. Her work, which she based on photos of her dad and her grandfather in their respective uniforms, will now move onto state competition in June. Other students honored include second place Natalie Preiner, third place Fayeth Soto and Honorable mention Angel Roe Lumbo.
A Class of 1982 member will visit White Bear Lake Area High School later this month to be inducted into the district's Wall of Fame. The alumni honoree is Head of U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, Army Gen. Paul Nakasone, who enjoyed a variety of activities as a student and has gone on to an impressive career. See the White Bear Press article about the 4-star grad here.
WBLAHS seniors reached rank of Eagle scout together after a lot of hard work on projects that benefit Matoska International, their former elementary school. Projects included a new playground feature in the shape of a large hollow log, an outdoor life-sized chessboard and blacktop markers, and an outdoor stage for elementary students to use during recess. Read more about the projects in a recent White Bear Press article here.
Those who are celebrating the Class of 2021, either as a graduate or as a family member of a grad, can share their excitement about the upcoming accomplishment with profile frames available on Facebook. Frames can be found here (for grads) and here (for families/friends of grads). Go Bears!
The More Than Meals program, which the district participated in this winter with a pick-up location at the Senior Program, has come to an end after serving a total of 27,152 meals this winter. This “pay-it-forward” program was launched, thanks to a generous local donor, to help give back to restaurants who have given so much to our community, while helping people who were dealing with food insecurity and financial challenges. The More Than Meals program restaurants prepared more than 2,000 meals each week, and those meals were either delivered by NewTrax or brought to the WBL Senior Center or Hanifl Performing Arts for curbside pickup. To ensure that no meals went to waste, helpful volunteers brought unclaimed meals to Union Gospel Mission, Salvation Army, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, and the WBL Fire Department.
With Spring sports seasons underway, track and field and tennis were highlighted in this week's issue of "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 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 Start Time Change - At the April 16, 2021 School Board Special Session, the School Board approved the School Start Time Change proposal to be implemented in the fall of 2021-22. The recommendation that has been discussed in recent months aligns with the District’s Strategic Plan and research on adolescent sleep. Complete information can be found on the School Start Time Change informational page of the district website, www.isd624.org/SchoolStartTimeChange.
Info about changed quarantine requirements - White Bear Lake Area Schools will now be offering three quarantine options. The newest addition includes a 7 day option with a negative molecular test. If you do not want to get your child tested, they will still be able to do a 10 or 14 day quarantine. Please note that if the exposure occurred within your household, the only quarantine option is 14 days. Those families who have a child currently on quarantine and who wish to consider a shortened quarantine option are asked to contact their child’s health office to discuss options. You may find it helpful to order a Vault test to have on hand in the event your child is identified as a close contact. Vault saliva tests are molecular tests, free to all Minnesotans, and can be ordered here
Community Conversations on Teen Substance Use - District staff members are part of a team partnering to host a virtual event at 7 p.m. on May 10 to help families learn about resources in the community to support their teens. See the flyer and registration link here.
School Linked Mental Health Services - Find information about School Linked Mental Health Services available to our families here.
Support Hub - The District's Support Hub provides families with resources to address barriers & enhance well-being. This comprehensive resource gives families and community members access to information for essential services including crisis response, basic needs, mental health and wellbeing, physical health, social emotional learning and more.
Receiving district messages - District-level emails are being sent from the email@example.com email address. If you are not receiving emails from this account, it is possible that the email address is currently blocked in your email account. Find instructions to unblock the firstname.lastname@example.org email address in different email platforms here.
Distance Learning Meal Pick-Up Information:
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.
Meal pick-up times and locations are available here.
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.
Free or Reduced Applications - Even though free meals are available to all for this school year, it is still very important that families who may qualify for free or reduced-price meals complete the meal application as soon as possible. The meal applications not only qualify your family for free meal benefits, but also provide additional benefits that may include discounts for: internet access, college application fees, sports/activities fees, and AP test registration fees.Please check out this flyer for more information. Contact the Nutrition Services Department at NutritionServices@isd624.org or 651-407-7524 with any questions.
Vaccines for 16 and 17 year olds -The ‘Roll Up Your Sleeves, MN’ vaccine outreach campaign is focusing on Minnesotans aged 16 and 17. There are a few vaccine options available to 16 and 17 year olds that have been recently announced. Complete information can be found on the White Bear Lake Area High School website here.
Contact Tracing - In order to facilitate the district’s COVID-19 contact tracing, it is important that families and staff members let us know through this form of a COVID-19 diagnosis. Please also call your school’s attendance line (for students) or submit an absence in Skyward (for staff) if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Dashboard - The district's COVID-19 Info & Dashboard page lists the 14-Day Case Rate By County, District COVID-19 Cases Weekly Reporting, and Process for Individual Notifications. We have recently added local information to the dashboard, including by-school numbers of students and staff members who are confirmed cases of COVID-19 and who are quarantined as close contacts.
Notifications - White Bear Lake Area Schools will continue to ensure that all who are directly affected are appropriately notified in accordance with health department guidelines and privacy laws. A close contact notification and request to quarantine will be sent to all identified close-contacts. A general notification of a positive case in the building will be sent to: all building staff (including traveling and classified staff members) and all students attending the same school.
Bears Protect Bears - Find information about the White Bear Lake Area Educators’ “Bears Protect Bears Commitment” here. Remember the important steps of social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands, and staying home when sick.
Mail order saliva test information from MDH - The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has asked that we share that the state’s mail order pilot test is now open for anyone in Minnesota to access. Staff and families can use the mail order form to access the saliva tests. Testing is free for every Minnesotan, whether or not you have insurance. If you do have insurance, you will need to provide your information so your insurance company can pay for your test. If your insurance does not pay for COVID-19 tests or does not pay enough, the state will cover the cost. If you do not have insurance, the state will pay for your test. You will not receive a bill.
Community Testing Sites - Find COVID-19 Testing Locations on the MDH website here.
Bear Care Health and Wellness Clinic Appointments - The Bear Care Health and Wellness Clinic located in North Campus (5045 Division Ave., White Bear Lake, MN 55110) is now offering online appointment scheduling. Use this link to schedule an appointment. The clinic is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 2-6 pm. All health services are FREE and available to all children in the White Bear Lake Area School District.
See a video about the services available at the Bear Care Clinic here.
Requesting an interpreter - Find more information about requesting a call with an interpreter in the language your family speaks.
We Are Hiring! - White Bear Lake Area Schools is hiring for a variety of positions, offering both school-day and out-of-school-time hours. Full- and part-time options are available, and many positions offer flexible hours if needed to accommodate family schedules. The district is seeking paraprofessionals, community services and recreation staff and coaches, and more. Find the online application page here.
2021 Lynn Mielke Distinguished Educator Award - Sunrise Park Middle School Pupil Support Assistant Beth Nevala was recently surprised with the Lynn Mielke Distinguished Educator Award from the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation. The award is given annually to an individual who has exemplified the late Lynn Mielke's dedication and care for the students and staff in our district.
April Recognitions - The following April celebrations are ongoing/upcoming:
April - National Poetry Month, Math and Statistics Awareness Month
May Recognitions - The following May celebrations are ongoing/upcoming:
May 1 - Principals Day
May 3-7 - Teacher Appreciation Week
May 4 - Teacher Appreciation Day
May 5 - Cinco de Mayo
May 7 - School Lunch Hero Day
May 12 - Eid al-Fitr and National School Nurse Day
May 13 - Eid al-Fitr
May 15 - Armed Forces Day
May 31 - Memorial Day (No School, District Offices Closed)
The WBLAS Community Services and Recreation Department provides a wide range of services and opportunities that enhance the quality of life for all members of ISD 624.
Community Services Updates following the Governor's Executive Order can be found here.
Seasonal Catalogs - Seasonal catalogs are available now! 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.
Digital Backpack - The Community Services Department distributes electronic flyers on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month. Flyers include announcements from the school district, as well as local organizations. Those who wish to request distribution of a flyer should email the files to Director Tim Maurer at email@example.com.
Community Bridge - Check out opportunities here. The Community Bridge Consortium is an adults with cognitive disabilities program supported by the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale, South Washington County, Roseville, White Bear and Mahtomedi School Districts.
FREE Activity Pass for Senior Community Members (age 65+) - White Bear Lake Area Schools offer a variety of activities - home athletic contests, concerts, and theater productions to name a few. Join us! Please fill out this application and you will be sent the pass in the US Mail. If you have questions, please contact Rachael Markuson at 651-407-7563 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be a Bear! The district currently has many staff openings available! Find the online application page here.
Visit the WBLAHS online store - The WBLAHS online store offers a variety of fun Bear Wear items for purchase, including apparel and accessories.
The White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation (WBLAEF) is an independent, non-profit corporation promoting excellence in education in White Bear Lake Area School District 624 schools.
Be a Bear! - White Bear Lake Area Schools is hiring for a variety of positions, offering both school-day and out-of-school-time hours. Full- and part-time options are available, and many positions offer flexible hours if needed to accommodate family schedules. The district is seeking paraprofessionals, community services and recreation staff and coaches, and more. Find the online application page here.
Congratulations to WBLAHS students who received awards in the 2020-2021 WriteNow! High School Writing Contest. See the complete listing here.
The White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation (WBLAEF) is an independent, non-profit corporation promoting excellence in education in White Bear Lake Area School District 624 schools.
Congratulations to Lynn Mielke Distinguished Educator Award recipient Beth Nevala, a Pupil Support Assistant at Sunrise Park Middle School.
Related to BearPower:
Vocational Culinary (VoCul) Training Led by The Good Acre - Are you interested in joining the ranks of skilled culinary professionals working in area public school kitchens? If so, VoCul is for you! This program consists of:
10 weeks of training including a mix of online Zoom lectures, in-person cooking labs, and flexible remote work tasks