In Photos: Important Connections
Going Above and Beyond
WBLAHS - South Campus leadership is preparing to host Winter Wonderland December 11-15. Students made posters, created props and established theme days for the week including polar express day and festive Friday. Get a sneak peak in this video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds". They are also encouraging their classmates, staff and community members to donate toys, winter gear and essential items for various charities. Items can be dropped off in the main office.
Fourth graders at Willow Lane Elementary held a gratitude gathering for several special guests. Students invited their Minnow Tank Project coaches to their school to say thank you for their leadership and guidance while planning their projects. Fourth graders read thank you letters to their guests and shared how happy they were to have worked with them. The empowering service learning project teaches students about leadership, confidence, kindness and teamwork skills. The winning group selected the Minneapolis Heart Institute as their charity.
Members of the White Bear Lake Retired Teachers Association went above and beyond to help those in need. The group was recently highlighted in the White Bear Press with a picture they took during a volunteer shift at Every Meal, packing bags of food for students to take home. They helped pack over 4,700 bags.
At Vadnais Heights Elementary, students learned how they can make a difference in their own lives by being active. The elementary students enjoyed a visit and an assembly to get excited about health and fitness with Minnesota Wild Mascot Nordy and former Minnesota professional hockey players. They helped students learn about “ The Faceoff For Fitness School Program'' which emphasizes the game of hockey, physical fitness, nutrition and healthy choices. Two students also participated in a hockey drill, with Nordy in the net. At the end of the hockey drill, the students learned Vadnais Heights Elementary gets to keep the floor hockey set to continue to engage in activities to be active.
Lastly, the Bears Varsity Cheerleading team stopped by Willow Lane Elementary. They attended the all-school summit to generate team spirit and taught the younger bears some cheers. Students had so much fun showing off their school spirit and getting to practice different “Go Bears!” chants.
In The Spotlight
The White Bear Lake Area Schools' Middle School Wrestlers took home a second place trophy after competing at a recent tournament. It was the first competition for many of the Bears athletes. Coach Josh Machado mentioned "The fight and grit these kids had to pull this off was amazing! Proud of this group and can’t wait to see how we finish the year. "
As we kick off Inclusive Schools Week, the District was honored with the Outstanding Disability Employer award from the Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation (MOHR). The district was nominated by PAI, a disability employment service provider based in White Bear Lake that helps place employees in roles in school cafeterias throughout the district. District staff were on hand at Otter Lake Elementary to receive the award which was also featured in this video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds".
WBLAHS Hockey standout Nolan Roed was named a potential front-runner for the 2024 Mr. Hockey award in a "The Rink Live" article. Roed is a St. Cloud State University commit. According to the article, he has scored 95 points over two seasons thus far and scored 13 points in 16 games while playing in the United States Hockey League (USHL) for players age 16-21.
Preschoolers who attend the Lakeaires program were featured last week in the White Bear Press, answering the question "How do you cook a turkey?" Some of their answers included, "With cheese bites. You put the cheese in there and make it into real cheese." "With an oven. First take it out and then eat the turkey." "You make his body first, then his wings and his head and his eyes and his mouth. And his feet." See the fun highlight here.
Central Middle School seventh graders are wrapping up their lesson on ecology and anatomy with a worm dissection. Students paired off for the hands-on activity, working together to identify different parts of the worm. During this unit, students also studied ecosystems and food webs learning about how everything is interconnected and works together.
In physical science, WBLAHS - North Campus ninth graders examined three different metals and their densities. Students used the scientific method to see if there was a pattern among metal groups within the periodic table of elements. Their lesson was captured in this video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds".
At Lakeaires Extended Day, staff encourage student voice including excouraging students to plan and lead different clubs together. Some examples include Lego Club where students built bridges to see how many pencils they could hold. Students also created the Best Friends Club where they make dog and cat toys for an animal shelter of their choosing using materials such as felt and t-shirts.
WBLAHS - North Campus geography students were visited by Princess Kay of the Milky Way last week. Emma Kuball spoke to students about Minnesota’s dairy farming and agriculture industry and her experiences growing up on a dairy farm in southern Minnesota. The Princess also touched on the nutritional benefits of dairy and dairy farmers’ continual commitment to environmental sustainability through hands-on activities. Her presentation was in relation to a recent classroom lesson on the State’s agriculture industry. See the lesson come to life in this video.
Central Middle School counselors conducted a lesson with sixth graders who are learning about self care and calming strategies. Students listened to a presentation before they rotated through different self-care stations which included playing with play-dough, breathing exercises and writing down a gratitude list among others.
Mark Your Calendar
Parents who have a child(ren) in middle school are invited to attend an information event at 6 p.m. on December 12 at Central Middle School. Jenn Funk, a licensed alcohol and drug counselor in our district, will lead a discussion related to drugs and teens. Find registration information here.
Keep your eyes peeled for the Community Services & Recreation Winter/Spring Catalog! The catalog will be available online starting December 15 and will be sent to homes throughout the district over winter break which is taking place Dec. 21-Jan. 1.
The Bears Wrestling Team defeated one of the State's top teams, Forest Lake, in a recent matchup. Find additional details here. The Girl's Hockey Team also found success with a win over East Ridge. Read more here. The Girls Basketball Team started their season off with two wins. Learn more 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.
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
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.
At the November 13, 2023 School Board Regular Meeting, the School Board approved the following calendars:
- 2024-25 Academic Calendar
- 2025-26 Academic Calendar
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.
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.
Community members are invited to stop by throughout the academic year for an informal chat with Superintendent Kazmierczak over a cup of coffee.
- Feb. 22, 2024 from 12-1 p.m.
- May 7, 2024 from 7:30-8:30 a.m.
The February 11 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.
It's time once again to celebrate professional excellence as part of the White Bear Lake Area Educators’ Teacher of the Year program. The process begins with nominations from community members, families, students and colleagues. Nominations close at 4 p.m. on Feb. 19.
The White Bear Lake Black Student Union's annual showcase in honor of Black History Month will take place Thursday, Feb. 15 at WBLAHS - South Campus (3551 McKnight Rd, WBL). Doors will open at 6:15 p.m. and the show will commence at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free, and donations are appreciated. Find the flyer here.
The White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation hosted a fundraising breakfast in the White Bear Lake Area High School Union area. After enjoying a breakfast together and hearing district staff members describe ways the Foundation’s support has impacted various district programs and classrooms, attendees enjoyed tours of the completed portions of the building.
A Building Our Future Update 2023 video was recently created and shared out to the community. This fourth annual update video provides an overview of progress that has been made across the district since the comprehensive facilities review and planning work began in 2018 and the community supported the Building Our Future Bond Referendum in 2019.