Community e-Newsletter


When we begin school in September, families, staff and community members are invited to share back-to-school pictures (along with why they are excited for the school year) on Facebook with a #BackToSchoolBears hashtag for a chance at being featured in a September Community e-Newsletter. Photo entries may also be emailed to us at

In Photos: Bears Having Fun!

Student News

Go Bears!

While we hope everyone is having a wonderful last few days of summer vacation, we are also looking forward to a terrific 2023-24 school year! The district-wide Back to School page on the district and school websites provides easy-to-access information, including classroom supply lists, calendars, busing, Applications for Educational Benefits information, attendance maps, access ParentVue by Synergy and more!

Schedules were recently released for our students. If you or your student(s) have not been able to see their schedule, the following should help: use the website to access the information, or log out of ParentVUE app on phone and restart the app. Find additional information here.

Last week, new educators came together for a 2-day orientation session that included time at their buildings, time with district leaders to get to know White Bear Lake Area Schools, and (of course) an opportunity to practice their mightiest "Go Bears" cheer!

In preparation for the new school year, building and program teams came together week for a 2-day strategic planning session. Building and program leaders also worked together to establish individual Mission Statements, that reflect the District's. 

Building Our Future

School and district leaders recently took part in a groundbreaking ceremony at Central Middle School to celebrate the start of construction on the Phase 1 additions happening at the school. When completed in late summer of 2025, the Central projects will include a new gym and fitness area, expanded kitchen and cafeteria, and the renovation of the current District Center to create additional classroom spaces.

When the school year begins in September, the Oneka Elementary addition and renovation that was under construction during the 2023-24 school year will be finished. The addition contains five classrooms that were designed to allow for collaborative learning between multiple classrooms, several flex rooms and a remodeled media center. 

Also ready for student and community use are the outdoor spaces at WBLAHS - North Campus. Specifically the new courts on Bald Eagle Avenue, which are painted and lined for both tennis and pickleball. They were completed in mid-August to be used for the fall sports season and available for community use. These projects are part of the district-wide comprehensive facilities plan that was made possible through the community’s support of the 2019 bond referendum. Community members can follow along in the district’s Building Our Future Facilities Process to see all projects happening right now, what's been completed and the projects still to come.

Summer Activities

Students at Lakeaires Elementary have been enjoying their summer by taking part in several exciting activities! Students were visited by members of the White Bear Lake Fire Department, checked out the inside and outside of a firetruck and presented the firefighters with cards, pictures, and signs they made for our first responders. Students also visited the Hippodrome to rollerblade, participated in a Color Run and visited Cascade Bay!  

2023 WBLAHS grad Arianna Haines, an Adapted Athlete, recently signed with the MN United Unified Football Club. She will travel to San Jose at the end of the month with the team to play out there and then will play again at Allianz Field on Sept 16 after the MN United home game.

WBLAHS students Madisyn Hood and Samantha Nelson won a first place blue ribbon at the Minnesota State Fair! The duo wrote a research paper in their AP Bio class last school year around the subject of water contamination. 

Bon Appétit

These two Bears were seen smiling while eating a delicious breakfast thanks to our Nutrition Services department. Our staff provided breakfasts and lunches for students throughout the summer across the district.

Speaking of our awesome staff, White Bear Lake Area High School - North Campus Kitchen Manager Natalie Sagdalen received her Hero Award during the 2023 Minnesota School Nutrition Association Conference. Sagdelan has worked in the district for 29 years, and was surprised in the spring by building staff that she had been selected to receive the honor. 

Our school offers healthy meals each day. We are a part of Minnesota’s Free School Meals Program, which means that all students can get one breakfast and one lunch free of charge each day at school. Although no application is required to receive this free meal benefit, filling out the Application for Educational Benefits is still important because children may qualify for other benefits such as reduced sports/activity fees, reduced internet access and utility bills, reduced AP test registration and college application fees, reduced drivers training and more! Complete the Application for Educational Benefits online at Paper applications can be requested by contacting Nutrition Services at 651-407-7515.

Alumni Highlights

2023 grad Coleton Thiel was highlighted in a recent White Bear Press article about his participation as a WBLAHS student in the District 916 Career and Technical Center. Read his full article here.

The Rink Live recently highlighted WBLAHS grad Aiden Welch, who has committed to play college hockey at St. Cloud State University. Find additional details here

White Bear Lake Area High School alumni and assistant wrestling coach Donny Longendyke has qualified to compete as a member for the USA Greco-Romas team in this fall. Longendyke was a state heavyweight champion in 2010 and 2011.  

The White Bear Press recently highlighted Class of 2023 graduate Brennan Schachtner as an "emerging artist" in the community. Brennan won several state-wide awards for his sports photography skills during his senior year including the 2023 Football Hub Photo of the Year and the 2023 Hockey Hub Photo of the Year.  

Be a Bear!

The White Bear Lake Area School district continues to hire for the 2023-24 school year. We have positions for bus drivers, paraeducators, Extended Day and more! We offer competitive wages, flexible work hours, and a chance to make a difference for kids in our community. Find job posting at

We are currently accepting enrollment for the 2023-24 school year! Find additional information on the enrollment page of the district's website. 

Mark Your Calendar

The WBLAHS Girls' Swim & Dive Team invites you to their Youth Night event on Thursday, September 21. The event starts at 5 p.m. at the White Bear YMCA with fun activities for kids including learning the team cheers, a t-shirt contest, chuck-a-duck and more! Find additional details here.


Community members are invited to shop the Flea Market sale at the Senior Center from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 30. Enjoy the wide variety of items and have a bite to eat from the food truck. If you're interested in selling, scan the QR code below.

 Activities Updates

Registration for Falls Sports is open. Find additional details here. The Girls Swim & Dive Team is hosting a Youth Night at their September 21 home meet at 5 p.m. at the White Bear YMCA. Come learn the team cheers, enjoy a chuck-a-duck contest and be with the team during the meet. Find more details here. The Bears Cheerleaders are hosting a Youth Clinic this fall. Learn more here. There is also an opportunity for students age 3-6 to participant in cheerleading. Additional details can be found here.  

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. 

School Board News

Upcoming School Board Meetings

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

Past Meeting Highlights

Aug. 14 Regular Session

July 10 Regular Session

June 12 Regular Session

School Board News Posts

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 Logo (Multi)

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.

District News

General Information

District-wide News Posts

photo collage of end of school year activites

The June 16 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.

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! New this year is an “Orange Out” photo at 6:30 p.m. on June 27 on 4th Street!

Michele Norcross 2024 White Bear Lake Area Educators Teacher of the Year slide

White Bear Lake Area Learning Center Teacher Michele Norcross was named the 2024 White Bear Lake Area Educators Teacher of the Year at a celebration and recognition event. The Language Arts teacher was chosen from an impressive slate of 6 finalists from throughout the district.

adult headshot

WBLAS is pleased to announce that Kristen Nelson has been chosen to serve as the district’s new assistant director of early childhood programs, a position that was vacated when current assistant director Darcy Rodriguez accepted a position as the new early childhood family education specialist with the Minnesota Department of Education.

notice of WBLAHS Community Open House on Aug. 29

Those who are interested in touring the renovated White Bear Lake Area High School are invited to mark their calendars for a Community Open House event from 3-6 p.m. on Aug. 29. Additional information will be shared as the event approaches.

adult headshot

The White Bear Lake Area School District is pleased to announce that Jenni Sjosten has been hired to serve in the role of High School Associate Principal - ALC at the district’s Area Learning Center. Sjosten will step into the role this summer upon the retirement of Gretchen Harriman, who has led the ALC for the past 12 years.