In Photos: February Fun!
Third graders at Vadnais Heights Elementary took an adventure walk through Bear's Backyard. They were joined by two naturalists from Tamarack Nature Center who helped the students look for animal clues and explore the forest and wetlands. Watch the students search for tracks, nests, and dens in the area behind their school in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds" here.
Students at WBLAHS - North Campus are cooking up delicious meals. In Mrs. Freeman's Foods and Nutrition class, students prepared dough to make chocolate chip cookies. They had several goals for this lab including sanitizing their cooking stations and utensils, following the recipe and making sure they measured all the ingredients properly. See this classroom lesson come to life in a recent video here.
As part of a physical science lesson, Central Middle School sixth graders were visited by Dazzling Dave the professional yo-yo master. He travels the world entertaining crowds and teaching students the physics behind the tricks and moves he performs. Students were also able to practice simple tricks and master the art of the yo-yo.
Elementary schools across the district are perfecting their spring musical productions. First through fifth graders at Lincoln involved in Rock of Ages: Youth Edition, got into character during a dress rehearsal in front of their classmates. It was also featured in a recent video here. The rock-and-roll fun took place February 25-27 at Central Middle School's Community Auditorium.
WBLAHS - South Campus jazz band students spent several classes preparing for the 42nd annual Jazz Night Club Dance event which was held in the South Campus cafeteria on Saturday, February 26. They preformed a number of classic jazz tunes alongside professional music group, Standard Deviation. The students preparations for the show were featured in a video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds" here.
Nancy Brasel, U.S. Federal Judge, visited Mr. Pai's third grade class (Distance Learning Academy) on the February 14 to answer questions from students about the work judges do. She also spoke to the students about how the Judicial branch fits into our Constitution's mission of not giving too much power to any one branch of government. Judge Brasel is the 37th U.S. Federal Judge for Minnesota since the founding of our State.
Students involved in the Oneka Elementary Safety Patrol went on their second quarter patrol field trip to Guidant John Rose MN Oval in Roseville. The students enjoyed a nice day outside, ice skating with friends and family.
The February issue of the Career Pathways Newsletter includes information on exciting classroom lessons such as constructing bird houses. High school students learned about HVAC Careers and were exposed to hands-on learning from professionals while exploring the variety of job opportunities available in the field.
Love Of Reading
Students at Lakeaires Elementary enjoyed their favorite books in a unique way. They read with flashlights as part of their school’s “I Love to Read” activities. During the month of February, students took part in crazy socks day, a door decorating contest and Reading Olympics among other activities. Students were also surprised with mystery classroom readers, which included Dr. Wayne Kazmierczak, White Bear Lake Area Schools’ superintendent. These reading centered activities were featured in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds" here.
Ninth graders in Ms. Shimshock's Language Arts class are reading one of Shakespeare's classic tragic love stories, Romeo and Juliet. The students took their reading assignment a step further by taking turns acting out the scenes and portraying the characters. Following each scene, they discussed what had happened to gain a better understanding of the play.
Distance Learning Academy students in kindergarten through eighth grade had a special guest join their classrooms. Author and teacher Emily Kilgore, who is a Minnesota native, read her book "The Whatifs" to students. The story follows a young girl named Cora who is constantly worrying about everything and is struggling with her "what if" questions ahead of an important piano recital. Mrs. Kilgore also shared that she has more books coming out later this year.
Minnesota author and illustrator David LaRochelle visited students at Hugo Elementary. He shared the process it takes to get a book published. Mr. LaRochelle told students how he received over 100 rejection letters from publishers, but it only takes one yes to publish a book so you must have resiliency and patience. He showed students how his book "The Best Pet of All" has been translated into many different languages and was turned into a puppet show. He also narrated and drew several stories using ideas from the students to create a unique story.
Students at Otter Lake Elementary got into the spirit of reading through their annual literacy event in partnership with their Read-a-Thon fundraiser. The event ran Feb. 14-28. The theme was the Great Minnesota Get Together. Each class created a Minnesota themed poster that lined their hallway. There was also a hidden mosquito image that students could look for each day on the posters. Students took time during the two week event to sit down and read their favorite books either in their classroom or at the campfire site in the media center. Get a closer look at this activity which was highlighted in a video here.
Vadnais Heights Elementary partnered with the University of Minnesota to host aspiring elementary teachers who are taking the class "Foundation of Reading". The U of M class was designed to acquaint future pre K-6 preservice teachers with how reading develops and how assessments can be used to understand typical and struggling readers. Part of this course involves working one-on-one with elementary students. They read with kindergartners and third graders, aiming to gain new skills while giving the students individual learning time.
Black History Month Activities
During Black History Month, middle school students in the “Speak Your Voice” group celebrated with a series of activities. They decorated a bulletin board with posters at Central Middle School showcasing historical and pop-culture figures. Students can scan a QR code to learn more about the people shown. Students also took part in afternoon announcements and created a video. Their hard work was featured in a video here. At WBLAHS - South Campus, students are gearing up for the Black Excellence Showcase on Monday, February 28 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the school's auditorium. The event is free and open to the community.
At WBLAHS - North Campus, students took part in a Black History Month spirit week from February 14-18 with themed dress up days such as Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) Day: wear gear or school colors of an HBCU. There were also slides on the TVs featuring a "Leader of the Day".
At Hugo Elementary, posters highlighting a number of African-American historical and pop-culture figures were put up all around the school. Students took time to look at the photos and ask their teachers questions about the different people they see in the hallways.
Sunrise Park Middle School's Ice Fishing Club was recently highlighted by a local T.V. news station for its positive impact on students and use of grant money from the DNR’s “No Child Left Inside” program. Watch the story here.
Central Middle School student Evelyn (Eviee) Foster received her prize for winning the district level of the White Bear Lion's Club Peace Poster Contest. She also won a prize for creating a poster that best demonstrated the theme "We Are All Connected." Eviee was awarded $150 from the district and $25 from the Lion's Club, who also presented her with an art kit, a plaque and cards of her poster.
WBLAHS senior Patrick Levins placed sixth at the Alpine Ski State meet on February 16 earning All-State status. His recorded times were 38.05 seconds and 38.07 for a 1:16.12 total. Read the White Bear Press article highlighting Levins' success here.
The WBLAHS Cheer Team placed fourth at the National High School Cheerleading Championship in Orlando, FL. The tournament took place February 11-13 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at The Walt Disney World® Resort. All teams invited to compete at the championship qualified at a regional competition. Our Bears scored high enough at the 10,000 Lakes Regional Competition at Minnetonka High School in October to attend Nationals. This event is the pinnacle of cheerleading competitions for high school cheerleaders across the country. Teams were credentialed in cheer safety and leadership training, crowd leading, spirit raising, ambassadorship, athleticism, and entertainment. The WBLAHS Cheer Team competed against 79 teams in the Small Varsity Non-Tumbling Game Day division.
WBLAHS gymnast Grace Squires captured the State title on uneven bars with a score of 9.65. Her teammate Laney Gunderson placed third in the event. Read the Twin Cities Pioneer Press article with highlights from the State meet here. The White Bear Press also featured Squire's and Gunderson's outstanding showing at State in an article here.
The White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation recently announced the WBLAS staff who were awarded grants from the Glasrud Family Fellowship, which totaled over $14,000. You can find more information on the recipients here.
WBLAHS grad Claudia Verkerke was one of 15 members of the Bemidji State Women's Hockey Team to earn academic recognition as selections to the 2021-22 WCHA Scholar-Athlete award list. To earn this recognition, student-athletes must have completed at least one year of residency at their present institution prior to the current academic year and must also have a grade point average of at least a 3.50 for the previous two semesters or three quarters. Verkerke is currently a senior at Bemidji State.
The 2022-23 Preschool Registration Guide is now available online here, with registration opening March 1. The district's preschool programs are all Four star Parent Aware rated which is the highest possible rating.
The White Bear Press highlighted the district’s plan for changed attendance boundaries which will be implemented over a two year span. These changes were approved at the February 14 School Board meeting. Details of the changes have been shared out to families and can also be found on the district's website here. The White Bear Press article can be found here.
Alpine Skier senior Patrick Levins placed 6th at State. Read the article here. The WBLAHS Cheer Team placed fourth at the National High School Cheerleading Championship in Orlando, FL. Girls Gymnastics star Grace Squires captured the State title on uneven bars while teammate Laney Gunderson placed third in the event. Read their article here. The Boys Hockey Team beat Forest Lake 7-2 during a recent game. They also defeated Champlin Park 4-2. Read that article here. The Girls Hockey Team ended their season with a loss to Gentry Academy in the quarterfinals of the Section 4AA tournament. They were 6-20-1 this season. The Nordic Ski Girls Team ended their season with a 7th place finish at Sections. Leading the Bears was Megan Ryan who placed 20th. In the two-person relays, the team of Gianna Mcleod and Amelia Nachtscheim placed 7th. The Nordic Ski Boys Team placed 8th at Sections. Leading the Bears was Tanner Hoel who placed 14th. In the two-person relay team, Micah Fritz and Andrew Klier placed 4th. The Girls Basketball Team defeated Woodbury 59-24 in a recent game. Read that article here.
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
Enjoy The Week in 62.4 Seconds videos highlighting weekly district activities throughout the school year.
School Board News
School Board Recognition Week was Feb. 22-26. This is a great opportunity to thank School Board members for their service to students, families and community members. In celebration of the week, Board members received a custom-made "Bearshey's Bar" at the February 14th Regular Meeting.