Community e-Newsletter

As we begin Spring Break, Bear contemplated what plans to make in a video shared with students, families and staff members last week.
 
Regardless of where you find yourself during Spring Break, we hope you are able to find some time to take a breather, read a book or learn something new, and get some fresh air spending time outside!

In Photos: Spring Adventures

 

Student News

Go Bears!

The WBLAHS Girls' Basketball team is heading to the State Tournament! The Bears defeated East Ridge in the Section 4AAAA championship game 56-48. Find additional game highlights from the White Bear Press. They will take on Hopkins at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 13 at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota Campus. Find ticket information here and general tournament information here.

The WBLAHS Boys' Hockey wrapped up their season with a trip to the State Tournament, defeating Hill-Murray in the Section 4AA championship game 3-0 to qualify. The White Bear Press highlighted the team's first round game in this article. Teammates Nolan Roed and Leo Gabriel were highlighted by the White Bear Press for being named to the Star-Tribune’s All-Metro second team. Roed was also named the East Metro Player of the Year by the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Another recognition during the State tournament went to Nate Celski who was awarded the Channel 45 TV 2024 Dr. Chuck Ells Hockey Hair Award with his homage to the Hanson brothers in the movie “Slap Shot”. In alumni news, the Bemidji Pioneer shared a story highlighting Nolan and his older brother Lleyton Roed, a WBLAHS grad, for both their recent accomplishments on the ice. Lleyton helped the Bemidji State Men’s Hockey team win the MacNaughton Cup on the same night Nolan and the WBLAHS Boys' Hockey team won the Section 4AA title.

In more alumni news, WBLAHS grad Grady Gallatin, defenseman for the Janesville Jets, recently committed to play D1 hockey for Western Michigan University. Gallatin joined the Jets right after the 2023 NAHL Showcase. He was quoted in the article saying, "I am proud and honored to announce my commitment to play Division 1 hockey and further my education at Western Michigan University." Read more about his commitment here.

Here are two more "Go Bears" moments! For the first time ever, a White Bear Lake Area High School Knowledge Bowl team will compete in the state tournament! The Voidcats - Xanthea-Simon Carlson, Amelie Hodge, Jack Langenfeld, Ari Shimek and Rebekah Weiman - qualified at the Norlander Regional Meet last night. This same team also won the 2024 Lenius Award for the team that best exemplifies sportspersonship, a competitive spirit, and the love of the game as voted by metro area coaches. Meanwhile, Central Middle School's Knowledge Bowl  sent three teams to the state tournament. Out of 32 competing teams, they placed fourth, 13th, and 21st. Together, Central's teams achieved some of the highest scores statewide. 

WBLAHS - North Campus student Paige Downey recently learned she made the US Women's National Deaf Hockey Team. The team will be playing against Canada in Buffalo, NY at the Jeff Sauer International Deaf Hockey Series from April 11-14.

Some of the bus drivers who serve White Bear Lake Area Schools were recently highlighted in a White Bear Press article that mentions some of their favorite parts of the job including the ability to build connections with student passengers.

Exploring Interests

Otter Lake Elementary third graders wrapped up their current CKLA unit called "What's in Our Universe?" with an out-of-this-world activity! Students stepped into a Space-themed Escape Room which highlighted in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds". They worked together to decode secret messages, solve different math problems and practice vocabulary words all while learning fun facts about the planets and moon phases. After completing the activities, students earned a special NASA Astronaut certificate.

High school students in the CNA class tested their skills this week. They had the opportunity to practice hand washing, putting on their scrubs and gloves and working with other personal protective equipment (PPE). This classroom lesson provided students with real world experience in the field of healthcare. Their hands-on activity was captured in this video.

Vadnais Heights Elementary kicked off their March Book Madness challenge. Each day during the month of March, students will listen to a mystery reader then vote on the books they liked the best until there is a winner. Students are also excited to guess the mystery readers and read new books all month. This exciting school-wide event was highlighted in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds".

Spring Activities

A vertical garden is growing in the Area Learning Center's science classroom. It was made using recycled water bottles that students collected. Several different varieties of seeds were planted in the water bottles. Students installed the garden setup and are actively watering the seeds waiting for the first sprouts to pop. Meanwhile, ceramics students cooked with their creations last week. They prepared french toast casserole and baked it in the clay ramekins they made in class. Students are preparing to make more clay creations to bake more tasty dishes in including banana bread and mac and cheese. See the students' work come to life in this video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds".

The WBLAS Community Services and Recreation rec basketball season came to a close. Thanks to all the players, coaches, and fans who made it a great season! Registration is currently open for all summer activities and middle school opportunities which include boys' tennis, boys' and girls' golf, and track and field. Information about new intramural offerings can be found here.

Sunrise Park Middle School students in the Nation to Nation Affinity Group enjoyed tasty pancakes featuring maple syrup made from the sap pulled from the trees at District Center. Middle and high school students in the affinity group are tapping the trees as part of an American Indian Education Program project. It takes approximately 40 gallons of sap to produce a single gallon of syrup. Next school year at Mariner Middle School, each flex space will be named and decorated by each of our affinity student groups. While snacking on the pancakes, students brainstormed names for the flex space that they would name and decorate.

In other maple syrup related news, preschoolers in the Early Childhood program at Tamarack Nature Center read a book called “Sap to Syrup”. It helped the students understand the process and time it takes to make maple syrup. Preschoolers had the opportunity to tap maple trees in the sugar bush at Tamarack Nature Center and collect the sap. With help from the center's Naturalists, students brought the sap to the Sugar Shack where it will be boiled down to make maple syrup. This hands-on activity was captured in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds".

 

With enrollment for the 2024-25 school year happening, we invite viewers to join Bear on a Bus Tour through the district to get a glimpse at each of our buildings. Those who wish to see the buildings in person are invited to reach out to individual schools for a personalized tour! We are also always on the lookout for photos of our youngest community members showing off their Bear Wear. Incoming kindergarten students receive "I'm a Bear!" shirts when they enroll and smaller "I'm a Bear" shirts are sent to toddlers as a reminder to families to participate in screening at age three. The smallest of them all is the "Born to be a Bear" onesie sent to families with newborns. Email photos to us here  and you may just find your little one featured in a District publication! 

Exciting Experiences

Professional trombone quartet, The Paper Clips, preformed for Central Middle School music students last week. One of the musicians, Chris Allen (pictured far left in the photo on the left hand side) is a 2010 White Bear Lake Area High School grad. The group played several songs for students, demonstrated different instruments in the trombone family and how to play them. Students also had the opportunity to ask questions about music to the professionals. In other musical news, during small group work time in orchestra class, violinists at Central Middle School learned how to play the notes in their E string scale, the highest notes in their register. Students practiced reading the notes and the proper hand and bow placement to play each note. Their lesson was highlighted in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds".
 

Members of the WBLAHS Boys’ and Girls’ Swim and Dive teams visited Willow Lane Elementary as part of their all-school summit. The theme for February was bravery. Two older students shared stories of a time in their lives when they needed to show bravery. The high schoolers also taught the elementary students a team cheer and gave out high fives to all the younger students.

Elementary schools across the district are taking the stage and perfecting their spring productions. Lincoln Elementary students got into character to practice their performance of Shrek the Musical, Junior for their classmates before they performed for families and the community March 1-3 at the WBLAS Community Auditorium. Their production was highlighted in this video and by the White Bear Press.

taking the stage

Creative Collaborations

Area Learning Center and Matoska International second grade students collaborated on a fun art project. Students worked together and designed friendship quilts using paper. The second graders read the book "Belle the Last Mule at Gee's Bend" which talks about unique quilts made by the Quilters of Gees Bend from which their project was modeled. 

Speaking of collaborating together, Lakeaires Elementary Extended Day students are having fun completing puzzles. Check out this giant United States of America puzzle one group of students did. The puzzle was discovered at District Center. Students were excited to bring it back to life and that all the pieces were there!

In more collaboration news, Willow Lane Elementary Extended Day students are enjoying working with their Knitting Ladies! They stop by a couple of times every week to work with the older students, teaching them knitting basics. They have completed a “Scrubby” and are now working on a larger project. 

Honors Orchestra students performed several of their pieces for Central Middle School students during Bear Time. The group is made up of seventh, eighth and ninth grade musicians from WBLAHS - North Campus and Sunrise Park and Central middle schools. Music teachers and students answer questions from the middle schoolers related to Honors Orchestra, the different instruments in the group and their sheet music.

Otter Lake Elementary Student Ambassadors have been hard at work. They created "Take One Posters" within their groups with help from their mentors. The purpose is to write a message on the bottom that can be ripped off. The posters included jokes, life advice, kind messages, positive thoughts and compliments. Students placed their posters throughout the community with the goal of sparking joy and putting a smile on community member's faces.

 Activities Updates

Two teams recently competed in State tournaments including two members of the Boys' Wrestling Team (find additional details here) and the Boys' Hockey Team (read more here). The Girls' Basketball Team is headed to the State Tournament! Find highlights from their Section 4AA game here and State tournament ticket information here. The Boys' Basketball Team ended their season in the Section 4AAA tournament with a loss to East Ridge. Find highlights from the game here. High school Spring Sports are gearing up to start their seasons. Find more information about tryouts and practices 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

Honorary Naming of a Facility

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 to name the fully renovated White Bear Lake Area High School gymnasium “Galvin Court” at the March 4 regular meeting. Find a press release highlighting the decision here.

School Board Student Recognition

During the March 4 School Board regular meeting, School Board members celebrated students who have represented the district in various activities. Our Cheer Team competed at both state and national levels, and we had a member of our Gymnastics Team represent us at the State Meet. Additionally, we had students participate in honored state-level orchestra, band and choir events. Watch the video here.

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

Mar. 4 Regular Session

Feb. 26 Work Session

Feb. 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 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.