Community e-Newsletter

In Photos: Exciting Happenings!

Student News

Showcasing Learning

Willow Lane Elementary kindergartners celebrated their 100th day of learning with a royal tea party! They have been studying about Kings and Queens in their CKLA Knowledge lessons and decided to dress up in fancy clothes for their regal event. Principal Mr. Menier joined the celebration and gave a royal toast! The kindergartners enjoyed tasty treats, watched three different coronation ceremonies from around the world and tried out some new dance moves to close out their unit.

Snow Much Fun was had by everyone who attended the Art, Music, Science and Culture event at Vadnais Heights Elementary. Students, staff and community members enjoyed musical performances, artwork, science experiments and displays of students' cultural heritage. Each student in kindergarten through fifth grade also had three pieces of art displayed in the hallways for attendees to look at.

In gym class last week, North Star Elementary students focused on their bowling unit which was also captured in this recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds". After learning the rules and skills for the sport, students put their knowledge to the test with a friendly competition. They played dollar bowing, gaining points for strikes and spares. The team with the most dollars by the end of class was declared the winner! 

In honor of February being "I Love to Read" month, Birch Lake Elementary kicked off their One School, One Book initiative which was highlighted in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds". During an assembly, staff and members of the Birch Lake Critter Crew made a special announcement revealing the school will be reading A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold. Students are encouraged to enjoy the book at home and at school to engage students, staff and families while promoting the importance of literacy. 

Speaking of books, Willow Lane Elementary second graders had a special guest visit their classrooms. Author Ann Hobbie read her book, Monarch Butterflies, which is all about the life cycle of the monarch butterfly. Students also made brackets and keychains with beads, each representing a different part of the life cycle. Watch this meaningful lesson come to life in this video.

Meaningful Activities

Middle and high school students in the Nation to Nation Affinity Group are tapping maple trees to make syrup as an American Indian Education Program activity. Bags were placed on numerous trees outside District Center to collect the sap. The project teaches students about maple trees, the sap retrieval process, and steps that go into making maple syrup. See the project come to life in this video.

Oneka Elementary students watched a production from CLIMB Theater last week centered around recycling. During the play, students learned about the three different types of recycling and garbage bins in their school and what types of waste goes into each one. CLIMB Theater's mission is to inspire and propel young people towards acts that benefit themselves, each other and their community.

The WBLAHS Girls' Basketball team is making moves on and off the court. They recently visited Willow Lane Elementary to talk with our younger Bears about the importance of teamwork, bravery, empathy and determination. On the court, the team recently netted 16 three-pointers during their recent win over Cretin Derham-Hall. The win also secured their first place position in the Suburban East Conference. Find additional details in this White Bear Press article. The team also hosted their Coaches vs Cancer Pink Out games on Feb. 9. Through the team’s efforts, $1,543 was raised. The Boys’ Basketball Team held their Pink Out game on Jan. 24 and raised: $1,487, putting the total raised by WBLAHS basketball at $3,030 - well above their goal of raising $2,000. During the events, loved ones were honored, awareness was raised and money was raised for this important cause.

Sunrise Park Middle School students Neola Luswata and Cassandra Calvin joined 28 other students from throughout the Twin Cities area to participate in a Student Day Hearing held by the Minnesota Education Finance Committee last week. The students provided feedback to the legislators regarding how their year is going and whether they've noticed any changes this school year before being allowed to provide general input during their testimony.

Lakeaires Elementary Extended Day students participated in a meaningful activity last week. They took on the Lego "Build to Give" challenge. Students built a heart out of Legos and then share it with the #buildtogive #lego hashtag. By doing so, Lego will now donate a Lego set to a child in need. 

Important Lessons

Lincoln Elementary Extended Day students worked together on a service project. They formed a paper chain of hearts and wrote cards with notes and pictures of words of affirmation. Their chain of hearts and cards were sent to the residents of Cerenity Senior Care in White Bear Lake hoping to bring smiles and laughs.

Middle school students are celebrating Black History month with a creative project. Students decorated their classroom doors, highlighting the theme: Art and Music. The hallways are now filled with doors covered in beautiful artwork and quotes from different historical and pop-culture figures. Get a closer look at the students' work in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds". Students at Area Learning Center displayed their Black History Month artwork around their building also including a Periodic Table of Elements with each element representing a historical figure. Meanwhile high school students who are members of the Black Student Union were highlighted by the White Bear Press after hosting their annual Black History Month Showcase. Students captivated audience members as they danced, sang, played the drums and read their original poems. 

In line with February being CTE Month (Career and Technical Education), 25 Automotive Career Pathway students explored the collision repair side of the transportation industry during a field trip. Students made three stops. First at Advanced Vehicle Solutions and learned about Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). Second at 3M’s Skills Development Center to learn about how 3M has changed the collision industry with their products and tried their hands at securing body panels together through various welding and fastening techniques. Lastly, they stopped by Fairway Collision to see the ins and outs of how collision repair facilities operate and the career opportunities available to them. Meanwhile, four HOSA students (Future Health Professionals, formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America) performed as a quartet at HealthPartners Neuroscience Center providing music and joy to patients and visitors.

In other Career Pathways news,  South Campus students taking Personal Finance classes were visited by Lucie Misfeldt, City & County Community Engagement Manager, who gave an interactive presentation on Credit Scores. Students gained a new understanding of how impactful a Credit Score will be in their future. This is the ninth year an employee from City & County has spoken to finance students as part of their curriculum. Meanwhile, professionals from several Career Pathways industries spoke to high school students during a panel discussion last week. The guest speakers opened up about their industries and skills needed for their particular jobs. It was a great opportunity for students to ask questions to industry leaders as they prepare for their future careers. The event was highlights in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds".

Mark Your Calendar

Lincoln Elementary is preparing to bring their production of "Shrek the Musical Jr." to the big stage at the WBLAS Community Auditorium March 1-3. The cast and crew contains over 150 enthusiastic students in grades 3-5 who are ready to showcase everyones favorite ogre, Shrek along with his pals Donkey and Princess Fiona! Ticket information and showtimes can be found here.

Summer Extended Day and FLEX Program opportunities are available for elementary and middle school aged students. Registration opens March 1 at 11 a.m. with the program running from June 12 - August 16. Students can enjoy daily activities, special field trips and more! Find additional information here. Meanwhile, school year Extended Day registration opens April 1 at 11:00 a.m. Find more information here.

 

In The Spotlight

The Bears Varsity Competition Cheerleaders participated in the State competition and at Nationals in Orlando, Florida. The team competed in two divisions at Nationals; Small Varsity Non-Tumbling Game Day Division I (placing fourth out of 30 teams) and Small Varsity Non-Tumbling Division I (placing eighth out of 38 teams). The Bears took second at the Minnesota State High School League tournament in both the Varsity Game Day Non-Tumbling I and Class AA Varsity Non-Tumbling I divisions.

The Boys' Swim and Dive team placed sixth out of seven teams at the Section 4AA meet. Several swimmers and divers placed in the top 16 and top 8 respectively. Notable highlights includes junior Tony Parada Romero finishing second in diving qualifying for the State tournament, senior Brayden Kolb placed fourth in the 100 backstroke with a time of 56.87, sophomore Benedict Hoefer broke his own school record in the 500 with a time of 5:07.50 and Coach Tia Quirk was named the Section 4AA Assistant Coach of the Year.

WBLAHS Boys' Hockey's Nolan Roed was recently announced by the Minnesota All Sports Alliance as one of the Top Ten Candidates for the 40th Annual Mr. Hockey Award. The award, given to the outstanding senior high school boys’ hockey player in the state of Minnesota, will be presented at the 40th annual Mr. Hockey Awards Banquet on March 10.

WBLAHS Girls' Basketball Coach Jeremy Post was recently highlighted by the White Bear Press for his upcoming induction into the Minnesota Girls Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Meanwhile, it was recently announced that White Bear grad Scott Larson '70 will be inducted into the Minnesota State High School League's Hall of Fame in April. The honor comes in recognition of his successful career at Independent School District 196 during a time when the district won 19 Team State Championships and 76 Individual State Champions under his administrative leadership.

 Activities Updates

The Bears Varsity Competition Cheerleaders participated in Nationals placing fourth in Small Varsity Non-Tumbling Game Day Division I and eighth in Small Varsity Non-Tumbling Division I. The Girls Hockey Team wrapped up their season with a win over Gentry Academy and a loss to Hill-Murray during the Section 4AA tournament. Find additional details here. The Boys Hockey Team ended conference play with a win over CDH and tied for first with Stillwater for the Suburban East Conference title. Find additional details here. The Boys Swim and Dive Team placed sixth in the Section 4AA meet. The Bears Gymnastics Team placed third at Sections with one team member qualifying for the State tournament. Read 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

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

Feb. 12 Regular Session

Jan. 22 Work Session

Jan. 8 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 exciting district-wide happenings

The April 7 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.

Coffee with Dr. K logo

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.

White Bear Lake Area School District - ISD 624 Logo

The district’s most recent four-year graduation rate, released today by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), shows White Bear Lake Area Schools topping the state’s graduation rate by 5.7 percentage points, with 89.0% of 2023 seniors earning their diploma within four years.

The 2023 graduation rate at White Bear Lake Area High School - South Campus, which does not include students from the district’s Area Learning Center (ALC) or Transition Education Center (TEC) programs, is 94%. The Area Learning Center’s graduation rate of 73% is the highest ALC rate in the area. This most recent ALC rate is an increase of 9 percentage points over 2022 and 22 percentage points since 2021.

Bench covered in snow

If winter weather is so severe that schools need to close, families will be alerted via phone, email and text to those who have opted in to receiving texts from the district. (Instructions for opt-in here.) The message will be posted on the district's website and social media accounts, and the information will also be available on local media outlets.