In Photos: February Fun!
Love of Learning
Otter Lake Elementary kicked off their school-wide Reading Rodeo event with various themed activities for staff and students! The excitement was captured in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds". Some of the activities included listening to guest reader Principal Nelson, enjoying a book in the Reading Ranch, learning to western line dance, and sharing their favorite books from home! As part of their read-a-thon, a school rodeo assembly was held with staff members participating in rodeo events and the WBLAHS Dance Line and Drum Line performed for students.
Speaking of learning, Lincoln Elementary hosted their annual Carlson Art and Science Fair. Students were eager to show off their creative works to staff, families and community members. Projects included sea creatures, volcanoes, catapults and many more. Check out additional projects, experiments and works of art in this video.
Oneka Elementary students were highlighted in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds" as they learned about robots and coding. Students worked in groups to program robots to move in certain patterns, change colors and make different noises. Another activity students took part in was design coding to make their own character to play in different video games! Lessons with this technology are happening at several Elementary schools in the district due to a STEM Station grant from the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation.
Early Childhood families were able to enjoy hands-on interaction and exploration with a wide variety of sensory materials at their Messin’ & Movin’ event held at Normandy Park. Students were excited to get messy exploring with their senses. They could even climb up and down obstacles, paint and play with sand.
Lastly, students in Ms. Butters’ class at Lincoln Elementary was visited by several special guests last week: Tori and her amazing pets! Students have been engaging in social-emotional lessons about following the group plan, and group leader, whole-body listening, and self-control. They practiced these skills when interacting with Tori and her amazing pets which included hermit crabs, chinchilla, a ball python snake and more!
At Birch Lake Elementary, students learned how they can make a difference in their own lives by being active. They enjoyed an assembly to get excited about health and fitness with Minnesota Wild Mascot Nordy and two 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 activity, students learned Birch Lake was gifted a Minnesota Wild themed floor hockey set to use during their gym classes and at recess.
As seen in this video, Dr. Kazmierczak recently hosted his Middle School and High School Student Advisory groups. During the lunchtime meeting, students participated in a taste-testing activity and had discussions about AI, school pride and extracurricular activities. The groups meet with Dr. K and other district leaders periodically throughout the year.
Students at the district’s Transition Education Center participated in a hands-on activity. During their advisory time, each student painted a wooden statue to represent themselves, their interests, and their backgrounds. This informative and creative lesson was highlighted in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds".
Third graders in Ms. Thun's class at Matoska International enjoyed a Glow Party last week in celebration of their completion of a Light and Sound unit. Students wore bright clothes, painted with neon colors and enjoyed many other fun activities together related to their Light and Sound lessons.
High school students who are members of the orchestra, band and choir participated in the annual Suburban East Conference Music Festival at Forest Lake High School. Our students spent the day working with several prominent music clinicians, polishing and perfecting their own musical skills, and listening to performances by their peers. Get a closer look inside the SEC Music Festival in this video.
Staff and students at Lincoln Elementary have been hard at work organizing a school-wide project to promote a sense of belonging and build a strong school community. The house system assigns students and staff to one of the five different “houses'' (groups): Fidus: House of Responsibility, Quantum: House of Respect, Compassio: House of Compassion, Fortitudo: House of Grit and Unitatis: House of Unity. The houses get together periodically throughout the year for community building activities and service learning opportunities. The house system gives students the chance to connect with students across classes and grade levels that they may not normally have a chance to interact with.
The White Bear Lake Girls High School Hockey Team recently hosted Teacher Appreciation Night, one of the teams' favorite events as it gives the athletes a chance to reflect on their educational journey and select someone who has profoundly made a difference in their life. Teachers from across the district were honored in a ceremony on the ice.
Students will work together this coming week to host the White Bear Lake Black Student Union's annual showcase in honor of Black History Month. The event 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. Student performances at the event include songs, dances, spoken word, games, and other activities that celebrate black joy. Find the flyer for this year's event here.
Building Our Future
The White Bear Press recently highlighted WBLAHS tours led by District staff members during the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation fundraiser breakfast. The tours showcased the work being done to bring students in grades 9-12 together in one building (current North Campus) this fall. Meanwhile, publisher Carter Johnson highlighted the mock interviews that recently took place at North Campus. He noted the design of the newly constructed spaces and the professional desire to learn displayed by the students during his experience as a volunteer interviewer.
The WBLAHS Basketball Teams are hosting celebrations during their final games at South Campus at their Feb. 21 games vs. the Stillwater Ponies. See the flyer with complete information here. WBLAHS - South Campus will transition to Mariner Middle School this fall and 11 and 12 graders will move to WBLAHS (currently North Campus). These projects and the ones happening across the district were made possible due to the community's support to the 2019 Building Our Future 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.
Students at Vadnais Heights Elementary let their creative minds loose and their imagination flow during Global Day of Play! This was an opportunity for students to have fun with a day of unstructured play where they could spread toys out around the room, enjoy crafts, play board games and have fun playing freely.
Creativity was also flowing in Ms. Gonzalez’s kindergarten class at Matoska International. Students were visited by Art Enrichment leaders who guided them through a clay creation activity. Students rolled out the clay and traced a fish design. Using different objects, they made various patterns and textures in the clay then formed their creation into a bowl shape. Get a closer look at their students' creations in this video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds".
We may not have snow outside but students at Lincoln Elementary are keeping the winter spirit alive! They created stained glass snowflakes. Students learned how no two snowflakes are the same and that each snowflake has six sides. They also loved telling each other stories of what they enjoy about the snow and wintertime!
Central Middle Schoolers worked on their culinary skills in their FACS class this week. Students practiced following a recipe, measuring ingredients and working as a team to make delicious cookies. See their lesson come to life in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds".
Creativity is blooming in our After-School smArt Club! Students are having a blast exploring their inner Picassos, molding clay into playful creatures, and painting vibrant landscapes. But art goes beyond the final product. Students are learning critical thinking skills and unleashing their inner artist as their experiment with different materials. Another smArt Club class for students in grades 2-5 is opening on April 4. It will be hosted at Lakeaires Elementary. Find more information here. Speaking of creative opportunities, Youth Enrichment students took part in an exciting camp. From thrilling theatre games to hands-on crafts, students dived into the mythical world of Percy Jackson crafting their very own mythical characters and conquering mythic challenges in an epic obstacle course. Children's Performing Arts Teaching Artists hosted the camp at Hanifl Performing Arts Center and have two more camps coming up: Level Up: Video Games from Screen to Stage and Inside Out: Exploration of Emotions.
Bears in the News
WBLAHS grad Wyatt Newpower was recently recalled to Detroit Red Wings. Newpower was playing for the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins. When playing for the Bears, the article mentions he compiled 73 points (19-54-73) and 81 penalty minutes in 101 games from 2012-16. Read the full article here.
White Bear grad Michael Djupstrom, a composer and pianist, is performing at the Hanifl Performing Arts Center on February 18 as part of a chamber music concert. According to the White Bear Press, program will also feature Gabriel Campos Zamora, principal clarinet with the Minnesota Orchestra, and Julia Harguindey, principal bassoon with the Nashville Symphony and Santa Fe Opera. Find ticket information here.
Despite a loss to Stillwater, the Bears Gymnastics Team recorded their best team score of the season. Find additional details here. The Bears Wrestling Team placed third out of 16 teams at a recent invitational. Read more here. The Girls Basketball Team clipped Woodbury 63-47. Find highlights here. The Boys Basketball Team also secured a win against Woodbury. The Bears Varsity Cheerleaders placed second at the State Tournament. The Boys Hockey Team is 14-5-1 after a recent win over Roseville. The Boys and Girls Nordic Ski Teams competed in the Suburban East meet. Find additional details 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.