Community e-Newsletter

In Photos: Exciting Opportunities

 

Student News

Trying Something New

Birch Lake Elementary second graders eagerly laced up their rollerblades in gym class last week. Students learned how to put their safety equipment on and practiced balancing and skating with proper form. Laughter was heard across the gym as students smiled and encouraged each other while mastering this new skill together. The exciting lesson was highlighted in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds"

Speaking of showcasing new skills, for the first time ever the Transportation Career Pathway program hosted summer internship interviews at WBLAHS - South Campus. Students had an opportunity to apply for several positions that included body work helper, detailer, mechanic helper and customer service representative. Students enjoyed the experience and Pete G. of Fairway Collision stated it best, “this was a great experience for us getting to meet these students one-on-one. There were really good applicants and it will be tough to choose who we hire.”

Students across the district are finding new ways to collaborate with their classmates and showoff their talents! A young author at Lakeaires Elementary poised for a photo with her novel! Her book, All About Dogs, is displayed in the school's library for other students to read. At North Star Elementary, one student tried something new by organizing and leading a Hockey Art Camp for his peers! Students learned about hockey and created their own mini hockey sticks and rinks.

Willow Lane Elementary students are learning to play a new instrument. In their music class, each grade level is learning a different part of a song and playing it on various types of steel drums. Once each class has perfected their part, they will record it and piece it together to form the entire song. The experience is made possible by a steel drum residency offered at no cost to provide world music education to all.

Fourth and fifth graders at Birch Lake Elementary are preparing to visit JA Biztown in St. Paul. The interactive experience from the Junior Achievement program teaches students about different jobs, employment opportunities and what it takes for a city to run smoothly. Students conducted interviews with school staff, district leaders and community members ahead of learning what their job assignment will be.

Creative Bears

Lincoln Elementary students worked on their speed, concentration and steady hand skills during a creative activity. They stacked bolt nuts for one minute with a chopstick to see how tall they could make their stacks. Students cheered each other on and challenged themselves to make their stacks a little taller every time it was their turn.

Middle and high school orchestra students filled the South Campus Theater with music during the District Night of Chamber event. Each group of musicians performed several pieces before collectively taking the stage to play a final composition together. Their concert was captured in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds".

Willow Lane Elementary first graders are counting down the last 26 days of school using the alphabet. For the letter "C", students focused on creatures! They were excited when Snake Discover, a reptile education program, visited them in their multi-purpose space. Students interacted with several different creatures from turtles to snakes and even a salamander!

Central Middle School eighth graders worked on several projects in art class last week. Some students focused on glazing their ceramic pieces. They had the choice of making a tic-tac-toe board or a door out of clay. While others finished their “Window into Me” collages, cutting out images that resonated with them and forming them into a composition. Get a closer look at their student's masterpieces in this video.

Matoska International kindergarten, first and second grade students took center stage at dress rehearsals last week ahead of their weekend performances of “The Rainbow Fish” at the Hanifl Performing Arts Center. Students spent several weeks perfecting their lines and group dances all while having fun together! Watch a sneak peak of rehearsals in this video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds"

Creativity was flowing at Transition Education Center last week. Students in Ms. Becky's class and members of the Creating Keepsake club made sunburst greeting cards. They used different materials to make the cards including recycled magazines. Speaking of magazine's, TEC's Project SEARCH was recently highlighted in Minneapolis St. Paul magazine! Through Project SEARCH, White Bear students participate in a one-year internship at Gillette Children's that combines hands-on training with classroom instruction and career exploration through workplace rotations for students with cognitive or intellectual disabilities.

 

Enjoying the Outdoors

At Lincoln Elementary, students headed outside of their classroom and cleaned up the school grounds as a learning project! Once they were finished with their noble task, they tallied how many pieces of trash they picked up. Students observed that most of what they had found left discarded outside was plastic, and they spent time discussing what they thought could be possible causes of the issue.

Young students across the district are soaking up the sunshine! They are having fun using their playground equipment, running around, enjoying the sites and sounds of the nature, and laughing and exploring together. Some of them played around while sporting "I'm a Bear" t-shirts. The special item arrives in the mail when White Bear Lake Area Schools students are officially enrolled for kindergarten. Incoming kindergarten families who haven't yet completed the registration process for fall 2024 can learn more here and get their own kindergarten packet in the mail upon enrollment! 

When the weather isn't favorable, students are finding creative ways to stay active, engaged and innovative indoors. Vadnais Heights students organized building challenges using different materials. They rewarded each other prizes in categories like biggest structure, most item used, most colorful, weirdest thing built, and many more.

 

Community Interactions and Support

Dr. Kazmierczak hosted his Middle School and High School Student Advisory groups last week. The meeting was captured in a recent video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds". Students participated in a taste-testing activity and then enjoyed a tour of White Bear Lake Area High School, which is under construction and set to be finished in time to house grades 9-12 this fall. Those who are interested in seeing the finished high school are invited to mark their calendars for an Open House event from 3-6 p.m. on Thursday, August 29.

Students, staff, alumni and community members came together to celebrate Sunrise Park Middle School at an event that offered student performances and info booths, Sunrise Park history displays and an opportunity to share memories of Sunrise. The event was highlighted in this video. Thank you to those who were able to join us for one last hurrah before the Sunrise community moves into the current South Campus building next fall. Prior to the event, students, staff and alumni were asked to share what Sunrise means to them. Their answers were showcased in this video. 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. Find more information on the Building Our Future page of the district's website.

Oneka and Otter Lake Elementary schools hosted IZI (Intentional Social Interaction) events at their buildings last week. The purpose of these community events is to unify families and staff, with a focus of being intentional and meaningfully engaging with families to foster student success. White Bear Lake Area High School volunteers helped the schools in their hosting, as a shared meal being is an important component in the IZI experience.

Sunrise Park Middle School held a Day of Service last week. Local group, White Bear Kiwanis organized the project with students from Student Council and Where Everyone Belongs (WEB). They made friendship bracelets and put together summer activity bags for children at Solid Ground. They decorated the bags, added positive notes, and filled them with toys, chalk, bubbles and the bracelets they created. 

Central Middle School AVID and ML Learners took a field trip to both the State Capitol and St. Paul College last week. Students got a tour of the Capitol building and the college campus. They saw a number of different departments at St. Paul College like carpentry, automotive, big rigs, robotics, and more. 

 

Go Bears!

White Bear grad Austin Luecke, a top-ranked axe thrower and co-founder of a Maple Grove-based axe throwing facility, recently competed at the World Axe Throwing Championship. He spoke with KSTP - TV about his passion for the sport and how he got into axe throwing. The article also mentions how Austin has competed in the WATL World Championships all six times the event has been held. He finished third in 2022 when Worlds took place in Minneapolis. 

WBLAHS senior Lily Pederson was named Minnesota Gymnast of the Year after winning all the events in the USA Gymnastics state meet in Minneapolis. The White Bear Press highlighted her successes. Following graduation this spring, Lily will continue her gymnastics career at the collegiate level for the University of Oklahoma. 

The WBLAHS Varsity Baseball Team hit four home runs to secure their 15-8 win over Roseville last week. The Bears are now 8-4 in season play. Blake Eckerle and Isaiah Weber hit single run homers while Kevin Zollinger added a two-run shot and Jackson Berg delivered a three-run homer. Find additional game highlights in this White Bear Press article. 

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. Sjosten has worked for Richfield Public Schools since 2017, serving as an instructional coach and multilingual lead teacher. Prior to her years in Richfield, Sjosten served as an assistant director at Global Academy in Columbia Heights, as a multilingual and Gifted and Talented Coordinator at Willmar Public Schools, and as a principal at Volunteers of America’s Opportunity Alternative High School. Find additional details in this article.

Seven Sunrise Park Middle School students qualified for National History Day happening June 10-13 at the University of Maryland. This marks 20 consecutive years Sunrise Park has participated in the National event. Sammy Hadley, Dylan Morse, Sam Nowak and Tyler Wickum placed first in the group exhibit. Miles Lindgren, Harrison Ross and Parker Wolfe were the runner-ups. Around 17,000 students in Minnesota completed a History Day project. Of those, just under 2,000 students advanced to a regional competition. 970 students then qualified for State History Day and only 64 of those students were selected to compete at Nationals. Nineteen students from Sunrise Park competed in State History Day.

seven middle school students with accomplishment medals

A team of educators from Willow Lane Elementary recently presented at a national conference about Willow's implementation of BARR (Building Assets, Reducing Risk), a strength-based whole school model that improves education systems predicated on two pillars - relationships and data. The presentation was well received, with teams from other districts who have long been facilitating BARR in their schools stopping by after the presentation to ask discuss ideas generated by the supports the Willow team has been able to put in place.

 

Mark Your Calendar

The district's 4th Annual Parking Lot Sale is coming up on Saturday, May 18. More than 40 vendors will be at the Senior Center parking lot for the sale from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Find more information here.

May 18 Parking Lot Sale info flyer

 

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 Thursday, August 29. Additional information will be shared as the event approaches. 

notice of WBLAHS Community Open House on Aug. 29

 

Incoming Kindergarteners are invited to enroll in a Next Step Kindergarten camp that will allow them to prepare for starting their K-12 career September. Students will build relationships with new friends, practice independent self help skills, and enjoy learning through guided play. Find additional details here

Next Step Kindergarten flyer

 

 Activities Updates

The Boys' Golf Team placed second and third at two recent invitational tournaments. Find additional details here. The Girls' Golf Team also placed third during an invitational tournament. Read more here. The Boys and Girls' Track and Field Teams each won their six-team hosted home meet. Find additional details about the boys meet here and the girls meet here. The Boys Team also won the Ron Sass Invitational. Read more hereSenior Lily Pederson received top honors at the USA Gymnastics state meet. Read more here. The Bears Softball Team defeated East Ridge 3-1 in a recent match up. Find highlights here. 19 Sunrise Park Middle School students competed at State History Day. Of those, seven qualified for the National History Day happening June 10-13 at the University of Maryland. The Boys Tennis Team took home a win over Hill-Murray in a recent match up. Find highlights here. The WBLAHS Varsity Baseball Team hit four home runs to secure their 15-8 win over Roseville last week. Find additional game highlights in this White Bear Press article. 

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

Past Meeting Highlights

Apr. 22 Work Session

Apr. 8 Regular Session

Mar. 25 Work Session

School Board News Posts

celebrating staff

The district's 2023-24 retirees were sent off in style with a luncheon in their honor this week. The celebration honored employees for their combined 815 years of service to the district and community. Find a video recognizing this year's retirees here.

group photo with Jim Galvin

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 at its March 4, 2024 meeting to name the fully renovated White Bear Lake Area High School gymnasium “Galvin Court.”

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 News

General Information

District-wide News Posts

adult headshot

The White Bear Lake Area School District is pleased to announce that Susan Herder has been chosen to serve as the district’s Director of Technology and Innovation. She will begin her new role on July 29.

photo collage of summer fun!

The July 14 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.

screenshot of isd624 Instagram profile

White Bear Lake Area Schools is now on Instagram as well as Facebook. Find us at instagram.com/isd624 for 624 Facts shared daily!

Free Senior Activity Pass

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 school activities.

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!