Community e-Newsletter

In Photos: Exciting Opportunities

Student News

Movin' and Groovin'

North Star Elementary students enjoyed the sights and sounds of Scooter City in gym class last week. They scooted through the obstacle course filled with tunnels, a car wash and raced through the speedway! Students also stopped by the movie theater, fishing spot and played a game of hockey! Get a closer look at the exciting activity in this video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds".

The spring sports season is underway across the district with students participating in a variety of activities. The adapted softball team and varsity baseball team faced off during an indoor scrimmage at South Campus which was captured in this video. The two teams used the friendly competition to help each other prepare for upcoming games. Find the adapted softball team's schedule here and the baseball team's schedule here. All spring sports and activities schedules' can be found on the district's Activities website.

Speaking of spring sports, the Girls' Softball team opened season play with a 6-1 win over Mounds View. Find additional highlights in this article. The Boys' Track and Field team placed fourth out of 26 teams at an indoor meet in Mankato. Caleb Anderson placed second in the 200 dash as well as Easton Miles in long jump. Tomi Animasaum was third in the 60 meter hurdles with Femi Animasaun finishing fourth. Luke Williams placed third in the 1600 while Keith Johnson was fifth in the 400. The 4x400 and 4x800 relays both placed second. Read more about their successful meet here.

Middle School students are movin' and groovin' across the stage, practicing their lines and rehearsing choreography ahead of their production of Disney's “Descendants: The Musical”. The play follows children of some of the most infamous villains as they venture off their island to attend school alongside the children of beloved Disney heroes. Check out a sneak peak at rehearsals in this video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds". Performances take place at the District Center Community Auditorium April 25 and 26 at 7 p.m. and April 27 at 2 p.m. Tickets go on sale Monday, April 8. 

At Lakeaires Extended Day, students and staff are jumping into spring in full force! They're ready for that sunshine, green grass and birds chirping in the sky. Meanwhile, students at Vadnais Heights Extended Day have been enjoying indoor activities! Using their creative energy, students built various structures and works of art with blocks and other connective materials, enjoyed a few new reads, and played with different musical instruments together.

Classroom Collaborations

Lincoln Elementary students in the Explorations Program teamed up with ninth graders for an exciting, hands-on activity. After studying momentum and impulse, students collaborated together to build egg impact devices. They engineered their designs to keep the egg safe when dropped from various heights, which was put to the test through various trial runs. Watch their project come to life in this video.

Transition Education Center students explored 3D technology. Their lesson was highlighted in this video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds". Students learned about the history of 3D printing before getting creative with 3D pens using them to make different shapes and objects. 

Fourth and fifth graders at Lakeaires Elementary were visited by a special guest. Author Drew Brockington shared with students his inspiration for one his most popular book series, “Catstronauts” and answered questions about his career as an author. Students were also given a drawing demonstration and learned how to draw one of his characters. The interactive presentation was captured in this video.

WBLAHS - North Campus students in the Career Investigations class participated in career exploration utilizing Virtual Reality (VR). This opportunity was in partnership with Washington County and their CareerLabs VR Headsets. Students were able to experience and practice hands-on skills and activities in areas such as carpentry, line prep cook, nursing and more. 

New Beginnings

Elementary schools across the district have been hosting Kindergarten Roundup events to prepare the class of 2037 for school this fall. The photos below were taken during the Vadnais Heights Elementary event. Families and students toured the buildings, met with staff members, asked questions about enrollment and took part in exciting arts and crafts projects! 

little bears having fun

White Bear Lake Area Schools consists of nine neighborhood schools that are assigned attendance boundaries throughout the district. Eight of our elementaries offer a traditional elementary curriculum, while Matoska International is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. Find more information about enrolling in White Bear Lake Area Schools on the district's website

WBLAS enrollment ad

Before Matoska International students start their new CKLA (Core Knowledge Language Arts) unit, they wrapped up their current unit: Astronomy, Our Solar System and Beyond with a celebration! They enjoyed fun activities, new reads and an escape room themed adventure! Students discovered facts about the sun and our moon, the planets, gravity, and other celestial bodies, and some significant historical figures connected to space exploration including Nicolaus Copernicus and Mae Jemison. 

Sunrise Park Middle School eighth graders stayed after school for an 8th grade dance, complete with a DJ, a dodgeball competition and a popular concession stand. This is the last dance of the year for Sunrise Park, as sixth and seventh graders had their own events in December and January respectively. Families were also welcomed into the building during an AVID Family night! Staff and students have spent the year celebrating a sunset on Sunrise as they prepare to move to Mariner Middle School next year which is currently the WBLAHS - South Campus building.

Career Pathways sponsored two tables at the Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation's inaugural Community Health Fair. Students from HOSA (Future Health Professionals) and the Career Pathways Coordinator informed the local community about the robust career and technical classes and pathways offered through White Bear Lake Area High School. HOSA students also provided complimentary blood pressure checks for all attendees, allowing the students to practice and engage with the community.

As we prepare for White Bear Lake Area High School to come together to begin the next school year, the district and Music Boosters are collaborating to purchase a state of the art piano for the new Performing Arts Center. Those who wish to help make this a reality for our community are invited to consider supporting the music program by donating to this opportunity. The total need is for 200 donations of $150 ($30,000) to reach our goal.  Donors will be recognized for their financial support. Donate here.

In the News

White Bear Lake Area High School alumni Jill Defiel is creating movie magic in Hollywood as a mix technician. She told the White Bear Press, “When a movie comes to us, all the audio — voices, effects, everything — is up front. It’s a wall of noise. We take that wall and wrap it around the room. We do everything we can to make it immersive.” Jill also thanked her WBLAHS teachers in the article, for encouraging her to pursue the arts.
 
The White Bear Press highlighted WBLAHS grad Lleyton Roed who signed an NHL contract with Seattle Kraken in late March. He will finish out the remainder of the 2023-24 season with the Coachella Valley Firebirds of the American Hockey League (AHL). In a Bemidji State University article, Roeds was quoted saying, "I just want to say how grateful I am for the coaching staff and my teammates. Tom and the staff gave me an opportunity and helped me get to this point. I also want to thank my teammates for pushing me and supporting me every single day. It obviously is a dream come true to sign an NHL contract and especially with such a great organization! And finally I want to thank my family for being there for me my entire life! I am proud to say I am a Beaver for life!"

The White Bear Press recently highlighted WBLAHS Wresting Coach Craig Nasvik, who announced his retirement after 39 seasons coaching the Bears (35 of them as head coach). In the article, Coach Nasvik commented on some of his career highlights mentioning, “Having the privilege of coaching individuals to state, and having many of those wrestlers 'place' at state.”

A hockey team photo from the 1945 White Bear Lake Yearbook accompanied a recent Press Publications story that wove together the stories of families with ties to hockey and state tournament teams over the years. Read the full article here.

The WBLAHS History Club was recently highlighted in the White Bear Press for its thriving membership, with varied opportunities for students to make connections and be invested in the community. Club Director Rheanna O’Brien says they have 50 students on their roster who participant when they can. Some of their past projects include the Yearbook Archive Project and the Fillebrown House maintenance project.

The district’s 2024 class of WBLAE Teacher of the Year nominees were recently named. In accordance with Education Minnesota’s Teacher of the Year Program, eligible nominees, who are members of White Bear Lake Area Educators - Local #7286, now have the opportunity to submit written responses to a series of questions regarding teaching and learning as well as their personal educational philosophies for consideration by a panel of readers. From those responses, six finalists will be selected to interview with members of the community, administration and their fellow teachers later this spring. 

Anita Ukpokolo, Speech team assistant coach, was named the 2024 Central Minnesota National Speech & Debate Association New Coach of the Year. 

According to nominator Zach Prax: "It takes a special talent to achieve success as a speaker, but it takes a true gift to share those talents as a coach.  I have a special appreciation for students that "come back" to coach for their alma mater, and in Anita's case, she hasn't just 'come back,' she has helped establish White Bear Lake as a dominant force in Minnesota (and national-level) Speech...

More important than coaching, Anita has attributes that make her an important member of our community. She is kind, she is thorough and constructive in her critiques of those she judges, and she ensures that each student and coach she meets feels welcome and valued.  Though Anita just became an official member of the NSDA in June 2023, she has an outstanding coaching record that many veteran coaches can't claim."

 Activities Updates

Three members of the WBLAHS Speech Team are heading to the State tournament after placing first in their respective categories at the MSHSL Section 4AA Speech Tournament: Sanyu Mwassa was the Dramatic Interpretive Champion, Praise Oyekunle finished first in Poetry and Mariam Elias Danjuma topped the podium in Prose. Alex Her also placed sixth in Informative Speaking. The Bears Softball Team defeated Mounds View 6-1. Find additional highlights in this article. The Boys Track & Field Team finished fourth out of 26 teams during a meet in Mankato. Read more here. The Adapted Softball Team and Varsity Baseball Team was seen in this video competing in a friendly indoor scrimmage.

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

Enjoy The Week in 62.4 Seconds videos highlighting weekly district activities throughout the school year.

School Board News

Upcoming School Board Meetings

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

Past Meeting Highlights

Mar. 25 Work Session

Mar. 4 Regular Session

Feb. 26 Work Session

School Board News Posts

celebrating staff

The district's 2023-24 retirees were sent off in style with a luncheon in their honor this week. The celebration honored employees for their combined 815 years of service to the district and community. Find a video recognizing this year's retirees here.

group photo with Jim Galvin

Jim Galvin, long-time coach, teacher, and community member, has been honored by White Bear Lake Area Schools for his decades of service to the school community. The White Bear Lake Area School Board voted at its March 4, 2024 meeting to name the fully renovated White Bear Lake Area High School gymnasium “Galvin Court.”

White Bear Lake Area School District - ISD 624 Logo

At December’s Regular School Board Meeting, representatives from the Be SMART awareness campaign and local law enforcement leaders presented information about a program developed to bring together parents and all adults concerned about kids, guns, and safety. The White Bear Lake Police Department, the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and White Bear Lake Area Schools are teaming up to share an important message about proper gun storage and safety.

Calendars approved

At the November 13, 2023 School Board Regular Meeting, the School Board approved the following calendars:

  • 2024-25 Academic Calendar
  • 2025-26 Academic Calendar
Board approves “Mariner Middle School” beginning Fall 2024

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.

Updated Strategic Plan Approved

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.

District News

General Information

District-wide News Posts

adult headshot

The White Bear Lake Area School District is pleased to announce that Susan Herder has been chosen to serve as the district’s Director of Technology and Innovation. She will begin her new role on July 29.

photo collage of summer fun!

The July 14 issue of the Community e-Newsletter is now available! The publication covers student and staff successes, School Board news, and school and Community Education offerings.

screenshot of isd624 Instagram profile

White Bear Lake Area Schools is now on Instagram as well as Facebook. Find us at instagram.com/isd624 for 624 Facts shared daily!

Free Senior Activity Pass

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 school activities.

June 27 Marketfest sponsorship

District representatives will be back this summer at Marketfest, which runs Thursdays, June 13 - July 25 in Downtown White Bear Lake. Stop by the district’s booth for pencils, bear paw tattoos and fun conversation!