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In Photos:  Winter Adventures

Student News

Winter Themed Fun!

Kindergartners and first graders at Hugo Elementary bundled up and headed outside to learn about how animals survive during Minnesota winters. A naturalist from Wargo Nature Center taught kindergartners how black bears interact with their surroundings to survive year round. The students acted out a "day in the life of a back bear" which included a relay race to collect food to bulk up in the fall prior to making a den to slumber in for the winter. First graders learned how to observe the tracks and signs of animals that live in or pass through the Hugo Elementary School forest. Watch their outdoor adventure play out in a recent video here.

Health & wellness teacher Mr. Nasvik took small groups of students from the district's Transition Plus program cross country skiing at Clearwater Creek Preserve in Hugo, MN.  Students engaged in physical activity, while enjoying a beautiful winter day. The Transition Plus program serves students with special needs ages 18-21.

Students at Matoska Int'l IB World School were graced with royalty when members of the St. Paul Winter Carnival’s Royal Family and Vulcan Krewe paid a visit. First and second graders felt the heat when the Vulcans stopped by. Their leader, Vulcanus Rex performed a surprise knighting ceremony for several school staff members. King Boreas, Queen Aurora and their royal court also visited students at Matoska. King Boreas preformed his own knighting ceremony for a group of school staff members, including second grade teacher Shannon Sullivan. Her daughter was named a Winter Carnival Princess 26 years ago on January 5, 1996 when she was only 12 minutes old. The exciting ceremonies were highlighted in a recent video here. 

Extended Day students at Willow Lane Elementary took part in their own St. Paul Winter Carnival fun! They hosted a Fantastic Frozen Fun for Community Youth Enrichment camp. Students took park in a number of activities centered around the Winter Carnival. They built ice palaces with sugar cubes and marshmallows, students made capes and crowns to represent the Vulcan Krewe or Royal Family and they held a medallion hunt. Extended Day students also received a visit from the Vulcan Krewe who knighted Program Assistant Leader Diane Smith as Diligent, Dynamic Duchess Diane!

Early childhood families had a perfect winters day to enjoy an afternoon of sledding! PTA members from Normandy Park organized the wintertime activity. Students had a blast racing down the hill with their families and having fun outside the classroom together. See the outing come to life in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds" here.

student enjoying a day of sledding

Important Lessons

February is Black History Month, and students across the district are taking part in important lessons. At Central Middle School, students from Speak Your Voice planned a series of events to celebrate. They created posters for a bulletin board shown below. They feature different historical and pop-culture figures that student's can learn more about by scanning the QR code. Other posters were also created and put up around the school for students to look at and learn more about the meaning of Black History Month. 

Fifth graders at Vadnais Heights Elementary received a lesson on cultural engagement and enrichment from the district's educational equity specialist on American Indian Education. Ms. Baswewe spoke about cultural identity and the history of Native Americans from her perspective as a modern Native American. Students also experienced and gained understanding of traditional ways of Anishinaabe indigenous people such as smudging.

Seventh grade Language Arts students at Central Middle School are recording their own podcasts. The students researched a nonfiction topic of their choice. As experts in these areas, they are now guests on each other’s podcasts where they analyze and discuss how their topics fit together as part of a larger conversation. This lesson was featured in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds" here.

Love For Learning

Every student at Vadnais Heights Elementary spent February 2 up and out of their seats for Global Day of Play! They enjoyed being creative, collaborating together and having fun! Students colored, painted, crafted lego sculptures, and played many different games. Some students even created cardboard buildings! This exciting day came to life in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds" here.

collage of students enjoying Global Day of Play

February is "I Love To Read" month and to celebrate, Birch Lake Elementary kicked off their One School, One Book initiative. Students are reading "The Mouse and the Motorcycle" by Beverly Cleary. Superintendent Dr. K assisted in making the announcement to the school and was presented with a copy of the book by the Birch Lake Critter Crew! They were joined by their newest member, Ralph S. Mouse who is the main character of the book.

reading initiative book announced

Speaking of reading, students at Hugo Elementary are taking part in their own school wide reading challenge inspired by the Winter Olympics. Students are competing in the "Reading Olympics" challenge. When a student finishes a reading sheet, which means they completed 300 minutes of reading, they turn it in for a "medal" and their name gets added to their class medal count on the wall in the hallway. 

Eighth graders at Sunrise Park Middle School in the automation robotics class built dragster cars from scratch. The project taught the students how to apply coding to building objects. See their cars zoom around a hallway in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds" here.

students holding their creations

Kindergarten through second graders from across the district received lessons from basketball mastermind and former high school coach Jim Galvin. These Community Services youth camps help promote an interest in basketball while learning the necessary skills to play the sport. These lessons were featured in a recent video here.

Jim Galvin talking to a group of campers

First through fifth graders at Lincoln Elementary are diving into the world of rock and roll as they prepare to perform their musical "Rock of Ages-Youth Edition". Set on L.A.'s famous Sunset Strip in 1987, Rock of Ages tells the story of Drew, a city boy from South Detroit, and Sherrie, a small-town girl, who have both traveled to L.A. to chase their dreams of making it big and falling in love. The Lincoln Elementary cast and crew contains approximately 84 students led by a team of parent and teacher volunteers. See all the rock and roll fun come to life at Central Middle School’s Community Auditorium on February 25th and February 26th at 6:30 p.m. and February 27th at 2:00 p.m. Scan the QR code below to purchase tickets. 

Central Middle School students were seen showing off new classroom seating options. It's part of the Flexible Furniture Project. North Campus, South Campus, Area Learning Center, Central and Sunrise Park Middle Schools all received one classroom set of flexible furniture. Over the next 6 weeks, students and staff will be providing feedback which will be taken into consideration when purchasing new furniture. 

students sitting in flexible furniture

Congratulations to the following 8th grade students that are being recognized by the Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards! Claire Dusing (far left) and Jade Norton (center) received an Honorable Mention recognition while Molly Winkel (far right) received a Silver Key recognition. 

The Knowledge Bowl Team "Norngus Chorngus" qualified for the SubRegionals Tournament. Ari Shimek, Jack Langenfeld, Simon Carlson and Jessica Grann will now compete against 33 other teams. If they place in the top nine they will move onto the Regional Competition on March 1st. This is the first time in the team's five year tenure that a WBLAHS team made it into the postseason. In total 20 students took part in knowledge bowl this year. 

Making a Difference

White Bear Lake Girls Hockey and Girls Basketball are teaming up to raise money for the Ingavira Primary School in Kenya through H2O For Life, a local 501C organization that pairs schools/communities in need with groups around the world that are willing and able to help. Ingavira is currently in need of $13,000 and their hope is that between the hockey and basketball communities, they can exceed that goal. The teams are raising money by hosting Chuck a Puck and Basketball Toss activities during their games. Each ball/puck will cost $10. Along with the purchase of a ball/puck, each donor will get a free H20 for Life t-shirt and the chance to win a gift card to Donatelli’s.

The Closet, operated by the White Bear Lake Area Education Foundation was highlighted in the White Bear Press for all the outstanding work they do. When students in our school district present a need for clothing, they are able to shop for items free of charge. Students and families are referred to The Closet by school administration staff and a personal appointment is scheduled for the family or student to visit. Read the White Bear Press article here. You can find more information and learn about volunteer opportunities here.

Last year's White Bear Lake Area Schools Teacher of the Year Kendall Gonzalez is one of 77 candidates for 2022 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. See the full list of candidates here.

The White Bear Press recently ran a "Proud to be a Bear" letter to the editor, written by a thankful alumnus who came back to watch a basketball game at Vadnais Heights Elementary. See the submission and read the other letters to the editor here.

2004 grad Sam Hogerton was recently named one of this year’s 40 under 40 by the Milwaukee Business Journal. Read the article highlighting his successes here.

 Activities Updates

During the Boys Swim and Dive's final conference meet against Woodbury, junior Amerre Zalzare broke the school record in the 100 backstroke with a time of 57.76. Two Bears Boys Alpine Skiers are headed to state. Senior Patrick Levins captured the Section 7 individual championship in Alpine Ski. Junior Garrett Jungmann is also advancing to state with a 17th place finish. Read their article here. The Boys Wrestling Team finished fifth out of seventeen teams during a recent tournament in which senior Matt Sloan reached his 150th match win. Read their article here. The Girls Gymnastics Team wrapped up conference play with a win over Woodbury. Read their article here. The Nordic Boys Team placed fifth while the Nordic Girls Team placed sixth out of  seven teams in a recent meet. Read their article here. The Girls Hockey Team wrapped up conference play with a win over Park High School. Read their article here. The Boys Hockey Team defeated Roseville in a recent game. Read their article here. You can also read about their 6-1 win over Mounds View here. The Boys Basketball Team rallied in the second half to defeat Stillwater in a recent game. Read their article hereThe Knowledge Bowl Team Norngus Chorngus qualified for the SubRegionals tournament where they will compete against 33 teams for a spot in the Regional Competition in March. 

Along with season passes and punch cards, the WBLAHS Activities office is now offering digital ticketing to all regular season, home athletic events. Information is available here.  

Please contact the Communications Department (651-407-7695) to submit Student News for inclusion in future publications. 

The Week in 62.4 Seconds

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