February 12, 2023
Two important notes:
- Supporting Students - In light of the tragedy that happened at Harding High School on Friday, we know that students may have a lot on their minds as they return to school on Monday. Young children and teenagers will process news of these events differently and may need extra support. Student support staff members are available at each of our school buildings to assist those who may need some extra support. We strongly encourage any students to stop by the counseling office at any time. Resources will be made available for students who may need them, and the Mental Health and Well-Being category in the district's Support Hub page of the district website will continue to provide students and families access to additional resources as well.
- Feb. 15 & May 17 to Follow Regular Schedule - Two upcoming Two Hour Late Starts that had been scheduled to take place for students in grades 6-12+ on February 15 and May 17 have been changed to regular school days. Bus routes will run on their regular school day schedules as well. See complete information here.
In Photos: Learning and Growing Together
It was an exciting first day of the new semester, especially for ninth and tenth graders who walked through the doors of the newly-constructed three-story addition at North Campus. Staff helped students locate their Learning Studio, classrooms and the field house for gym class. Students were also seen in this video going on tours of the building to help them get familiar with the new space.
Willow Lane Elementary kindergartners were highlighted in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds" as they celebrated Global Day of Play. Students explored, created and played together by performing a puppet show, working on spelling, playing games, making art and so much more!
Middle school and high school students who are members of the Superintendent's Student Advisory committees met with Dr. K and other district leaders last week. The conversations included a look at district initiatives and a taste testing session. Both meetings were captured in this video.
The WBLAHS - South Campus band, choir and orchestra groups took part in the 34th Suburban East Conference Music Festival at East Ridge High School. Nine schools participated in the event. Our students spent the day working with three prominent music clinicians, polishing and perfecting their own musical skills, and listening to performances by their peers. Members of the All-Conference Band, Choir, and Orchestra performed together to conclude the festival.
High school students who are members of the Black Student Union are preparing for the fourth annual Black History Month Showcase. Students will be playing various instruments, reading original poems, dancing, singing and much more! The Showcase will take place at the South Campus theater at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, February 15. The event is free and open to the community. Check out a sneak peak of their rehearsals in this video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds". Find more information about the event here.
Several Sunrise Park Middle School students are celebrating Black History Month by sharing their research and knowledge of those who have personified Black resistance to them. On each day throughout the month of February, a different student will share their person or event they researched with the Sunrise learning community.
Several fourth graders from Willow Lane Elementary shared the important lessons they've learned while participating in the Minnow Tank Project with the Kindness Chronicles Podcast. The students explained the meaning behind the project, why they chose each charity and the lessons they learned about giving back to others. The empowering service learning project helps students build leadership, confidence, kindness and teamwork skills.
Visiting New Places
Birch Lake 5th graders had the opportunity to attend STARBASE Minnesota for 5 days of STEM activities and instruction. STARBASE is located on the Air Reserve Base in St. Paul and is funded and operated by the Department of Defense. Throughout their time at STARBASE, students were immersed in all things science, math, technology and engineering. This rigorous and hands-on learning uses top of the line technology and engages students beyond their school classroom. Students stretched their minds and persevered through intense learning during this educational opportunity.
Vadnais Heights Elementary students are preparing for an upcoming field trip to the Minneapolis Institute of Art by studying some of the pieces of artwork on display there. This video captured the history lesson given to students by a volunteer from the MIA, who focused on some of the artists and paintings students will see, along with other forms of art at the museum.
Lincoln Elementary students visited different classrooms in their school last week during a Read Around Lincoln event. Kindergarten through second graders were paired up with third through fifth grade buddies. They walked around the school together to hear different stories read by building staff.
A group from the Senior Center recently traveled to Lindstrom, MN to visit Northwoods Roasterie for a coffee roasting lesson, coffee flight, and lunch! Attendees tried a variety of coffee and flavors. Even the non-coffee drinkers found one they "liked".
Fifth graders at Lincoln Elementary took a field trip to WBLAHS - South Campus to create clay bowls with art teacher Ms. Latuff. Students learned how to roll out clay, cut the clay into a certain design, score it, and add slip to the edges so the bowl doesn’t have cracks. They also learned how the kiln works. Fifth graders are selling their bowls during a fundraiser to raise money for their overnight trip.
Extended Day students at Birch Lake and Lakeaires Elementaries showed off their creative sides together. Students enjoyed making a variety of different crafts including yarn ice cream cones, tissue paper hearts and painting snowmen.
Ninth and tenth graders in Profesora Kolodny's Spanish class reviewed their vocabulary lesson by performing skits. Students took turns portraying different characters in the story. This allowed students to practice verbs, common phrases and improve their listening and response skills.
Lincoln Elementary hosted their annual Carlson Art and Science Fair, which was highlighted in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds". Students were eager to show off their creative works to staff, families and community members. Projects included volcanoes, Lego structures, DNA pattern bracelets, creative artwork and more.
In The Spotlight
Former White Bear Lake Area High School staff member Ben Kohler was highlighted by the White Bear Press for writing a children's book which was illustrated by former WBLAS School Board member Sandy Rummel. Kohler says his book "Benji and Iggie: The Magic of Friendship" was inspired by bedtime stories he told his grandson. Learn more about Kohler's book in this article.
The district's Automotive program was highlighted in a "Paving the Road to Success" article in the January issue of MN Teaching Today. The article features unique lessons for middle school and high school students, hands-on learning both in and out of the classroom and continuing education opportunities.
A group of WBLAHS and Central Middle School staff members traveled to the Minnesota State Capitol last week. The high school staff were given the opportunity to testify to the MN State Legislature advocating for the benefits of BARR (Building Assets, Reducing Risks). While the Central staff advocated for more student mental health support. It was a full day of speaking with the Senate and House of Representatives for both groups.
Lincoln Elementary fifth grader Nash Walicke played goalie in the Hockey Day MN Sled Hockey game. He was seen playing in a story reported by local TV News Station FOX9. Meanwhile, as part of Bally Sports North's coverage of Hockey Day MN, the history of the Hippodrome Ice Arena located at Central Middle School was highlighted in this video.
Mark Your Calendar
The 43rd Annual Jazz Night Club Dance will take place from 7-10 p.m. with dinner at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25 at the WBLAHS - North Campus Commons. Dinner will be provided by Donatelli's. Tickets are on sale through Sunday, Feb. 19. More information can be found here.
WBLAHS Environmental Club members are partnering with the nonprofit Tree-Plenish to help make their community more sustainable. They plan to plant 440 saplings on April 22 to offset the school’s energy consumption from the past academic year. Community members can order a sapling to be planted in their yard or sign up to volunteer to plant saplings on the day of the event. Saplings are $5. See complete information here. Order a sapling by March 22 here.
The Bears Gymnastics Team placed fourth out of 12 teams at the Royal Invitational in Rogers, MN. They also won a dual meet against Mounds View-Irondale. Find highlights here. The Bears Wrestling Team placed third among nine teams at the Maple Grove Invite. Read their highlights here. The Girls Hockey Team wrapped up conference play with a win against Mounds View-Irondale. Read their article here. The Boys Hockey Team also gained a win in a recent game against East Ridge. Find highlights here. Despite a loss to East Ridge, the Boys Swim & Dive Team placed first and second in several events during the meet. Find highlights here. The Boys Basketball Team finished second in the SEC after defeating Stillwater. Read their article here. The Boys and Girls Nordic Ski Teams each placed sixth at the SEC meet.
This year White Bear Lake Area High School, along with every school in the Suburban East Conference (SEC) is going to online-only ticket sales for all varsity sporting events. All conference schools have partnered with Hometown Ticketing to make it easier for spectators. The easiest way to access our online tickets is by downloading the Hometown Ticketing App or you can access and purchase tickets to our home events by clicking here. An alternate way to view home games is by purchasing adult and/or student pass(es).
Senior community members (age 65+) who live in the District are invited to participate in the Senior Activities Pass program and enjoy complimentary admission to most school activities. Find out how to receive your free pass here.
Please contact the Communications Department (651-407-7695) to submit Student News for inclusion in future publications.
The Week in 62.4 Seconds
School Board News
Upcoming School Board Meetings
Past Meeting Highlights
Jan. 23 Work Session
Jan. 9 Regular Session
Dec. 12 Work Session
At the February 13, 2023 School Board Regular Meeting, the White Bear Lake Area School Board approved a committee’s recommendation to change the name of Sunrise Park Middle School when it moves from the Sunrise Park neighborhood to the current White Bear Lake Area High School - South Campus building in the fall of 2024. The new name, Mariner Middle School, is a nod to the District’s past.
At the August 8, 2022 School Board meeting, the Board heard an update of the District's Strategic Planning process and approved four updated strategies.
A revised 2022-23 Academic Calendar was approved at the July 11, 2022 School Board meeting.
At the March 28, 2022 School Board Work Session, the White Bear Lake Area School Board unanimously approved a Resolution Supporting Commitment to Equity and Inclusion.
The district’s plan for changed attendance boundaries was approved at the Feb. 14, 2022 Regular School Board Meeting.
At its August 12 regular meeting, the White Bear Lake Area School Board approved two purchase agreements for land in Hugo that recently became available.