Community e-Newsletter

Reminder of School Cancelation Notification Process

As the snow begins to fall, we want to remind families that if winter weather is so severe that schools need to close, alerts will be sent to families in three ways as soon as a decision is made:

  • A SchoolMessenger phone message and email will be sent to all guardians. A text message will be sent to those who have opted in to receiving texts from the district. (Instructions for opt-in here.)
  • A message will be posted on the homepage of www.isd624.org.
  • Messages will be posted on the District's Facebook and Twitter pages.

For school closings, early dismissals and late starts, call the School Closing Hotline at (651) 407-7540 or watch/listen for information on these media outlets:

In Photos: Innovative Learners

Student News

Collaborating

Students at Sunrise Park Middle School collaborated with their classmates on a variety of projects last week. Their lessons were captured in this video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds". In courses such as robotics, manufacturing, orchestra and FACS, assignments included an element of working together to offer students a chance to learn while making connections with peers and teachers. Collaboration looked a bit different at District Center, when Central Middle School Student Supervisor Jesse Kelley visited Superintendent Wayne Kazmierczak dressed as Dr. K! The obvious next step was a photo to document the occasion.

collaborating together

Elementary staff members from throughout the district took part in an all-day training last week related to the district’s adoption of a new Elementary English Language Arts, LETRS curriculum officially adopted by the School Board in September. Their training was captured in this video. The curriculum was chosen because of its overall consistent alignment to our elementary literacy vision, local priority statements, and evidenced-based practices. 

professional development

Lakeaires Extended Day students learned about Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on November 1. Dia de los Muertos is a vibrant and festive celebration of life and death, originating in Mexico but it now celebrated around the world. Students colored sugar skull masks to showcase their artistic abilities. Students also worked on their fine motor skills during a different project; crafting platypus themed bookmarks out of card stock and felt. 

creative project

We continue to hire for variety of positions, offering full- and part-time options. Two areas we are focused on filling are bus drivers and Extended Day child care team members. We offer competitive wages, flexible work hours, and a chance to make a difference for kids in our community. Find job posting at isd624.org/employment.

employment

Taking Center Stage

Step into WBLAHS fall musical, “Little Shop of Horrors”... if you dare. The comedy follows Seymour, a down-on-his-luck florist and his co-worker Audrey who find themselves in an epic battle that will determine the fate of the human race, after Seymour discovers a mysterious plant. Find a behind-the-scenes look at rehearsals here. Shows will be performed at 7 p.m. on November 10, 11, 16, 17, 18 and at 2 p.m. on November 11. Performances will take place at the White Bear Lake Area Schools Community Auditorium, as construction projects have taken the traditional Fall Musical location (the current WBLAHS - North Campus Theater) off-line this fall. Ticket information can be found here.

Speaking of performances, White Bear Lake Area High School choirs presented a concert series entitled “The Earth and Its Bounty” last month. One of their many rehearsals was captured in this video. Musical selections included a variety of pieces from around the world.

High school students produced and organized another Women Empowerment Seminar last week in the South Campus Theater. The event theme was perseverance, balancing commitments, self-care and getting rid of negativity. Students held an afternoon event for their peers and came back that evening to host an event that was open to the community. 

Last but not least, Lincoln Elementary students recently took center stage for a night of impressive performances! Families packed into the gym to watch nearly 40 acts during Lincoln Idol. The talented students sang, danced, lip-synced and performed to a standing room only audience. The event took place in the Lincoln gymnasium, one of the many constructions projects that have happened throughout the district and were made possible by the community's support of the 2019 Building Our Future bond referendum.

Impressive Accomplishments

Both the boys and girls high school cross country teams are sending runners to the State tournament after an impressive showing at the Section 4AAA meet. The girls team placed third with senior Rosie Sommars, eighth grader Logan Bailey and junior Amelia Nachtscheim qualifying for State. The entire boys team advanced to the State tournament after they placed second at Sections, lead by senior Luke Williams who was the champion for a second year in a row. Find additional details on the girls and boys meets from the White Bear Press.

The WBLAHS Girls Swim & Dive team finished their regular season 2-7 and finished first, second and second at three separate invitational meets. This is the team's best conference and invite record in six years. The team is now preparing for their Section meet happening Nov. 9-11 at Stillwater Middle School.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Jesse Schwab, a 2018 grad, was recently highlighted in The Citizen for his work in the Navy as a mass communication specialist aboard USS Kearsarge. Schwab credits his experience of growing up in Hugo with giving him the skills needed to succeed in the Navy, including seeing the value in the differences of people. Read more about his achievements here

The WBLAHS Automotive Career Pathway Program was recently highlighted in the MN Department of Labor and Industry's Youth Skills Training (YST) Program's 2023 Fall Newsletter for accomplishments including 1000+ students exposed to the automotive industry, 500+ students enrollment in Transportation Pathway, and 31 students placed in paid summer work experiences (with many full-time opportunity offers).

WBLAHS alum Neveah Hughes was mentioned in an article in the The Brainerd Dispatch regarding the Central Lakes College Women's basketball team's preseason practices. Coach Krystal Brodeen commented extensively on her excitement over adding the sophomore transfer to her roster this year, going so far as claiming 'I struck gold there.'" Hughes previously played on the WBLAHS state tournament team and transferred from Rock Valley.

Meaningful Visits

Middle schoolers at Sunrise Park were visited by a number of local automotive industry partners during the annual Transportation Day event. Students participated in hands-on activities as they learned about different career options in the automotive industry. The experience is one of the ways our middle school students learn about the Career Pathways opportunities available to them throughout their time in the district and beyond.

Members of the WBLAHS girls' soccer team visited fourth graders at Otter Lake Elementary last week. Students cheered on and congratulated the high schoolers for their recent trip to the state tournament. The teammates also spent time answering questions about teamwork, perseverance and the hard work they put in to each practice and game to qualify for the tournament. The exciting visit was captured in this video issue of "The Week in 62.4 Seconds"

Students in Ms. Johnsen's WBLAHS - North Campus class took a recent field trip to the Senior Center, which is run by the district's Community Services and Recreation Department. Students and patrons of the Center enjoyed playing games and completing puzzles together. In addition to hosting events such as this one, the White Bear Area Senior Program provides education, recreation, volunteer opportunities, and resource for older adults and their families.

North Star Elementary students were visited by a specialist from Wargo Nature Center. Students were excited and eager to explore the area around their building as they worked together to identify different plants and wildlife. Meanwhile, North Star families gathered together for a family event, where they were able to paint pumpkins, guess how many candy corn candies there were in the jar, and enjoy hot chocolate and hot cider together with their students!

getting active

The High School and Middle School Student Advisory members recently visited District Center for their first meetings of the 2023-24 school year with Dr. Kazmierczak. The students introduced themselves over a meal, then received updates and chatted with district leaders to provide important input and ask thoughtful questions. Topics of conversation included the WBLAHS vision, with planning underway for the unification of grades 9-12 at the current North Campus location happening next fall, and an update on the construction projects happening throughout the district.

students sitting around table watching presentation

Mark Your Calendar

The WBLAHS Wrestling annual pasta dinner fundraiser is happening from 4:30-7:30pm on November 13 in the South Campus cafeteria. Meal provided by Donatelli’s Restaurant. All proceeds benefit the team. Wrestlers will be serving meals during the event. Tickets are $9 and will be available during the event. Find additional details here.

Sign up today to become a part of the Sunrise Middle School Afterschool FLEX program. This program is designed by students, for students. It combines opportunities for homework completion, trying new activities and having fun with friends. More information can be found here

Thursday, November 16 is Youth Hockey Night at WBLAHS Varsity Girls’ Hockey’s 7 p.m. game vs. Eagan, which will take place at the White Bear Sports Center. The WBLAHA Association is sponsoring all youth girls - 8U, 10U, 12U and 15U girls attendance, with special events and activities offered as we cheer on our varsity team.

 Activities Updates

The Boys Cross Country Team is heading to the State tournament following a second place finish at the Section 4AAA meet lead by Luke Williams who was the champion. Find additional details here. The Girls Cross Country Team is sending three runners to the State tournament after they finished third in their Section meet. Read more here. Registrations are now being taken for the Nov. 29 & 30 WBL Cheer Basketball Season Youth Clinic. Find information 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

Oct. 23 Work Session

Oct. 9 Regular Session

Sept. 25 Work 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 end of school year activites

The June 16 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.

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! New this year is an “Orange Out” photo at 6:30 p.m. on June 27 on 4th Street!

Michele Norcross 2024 White Bear Lake Area Educators Teacher of the Year slide

White Bear Lake Area Learning Center Teacher Michele Norcross was named the 2024 White Bear Lake Area Educators Teacher of the Year at a celebration and recognition event. The Language Arts teacher was chosen from an impressive slate of 6 finalists from throughout the district.

adult headshot

WBLAS is pleased to announce that Kristen Nelson has been chosen to serve as the district’s new assistant director of early childhood programs, a position that was vacated when current assistant director Darcy Rodriguez accepted a position as the new early childhood family education specialist with the Minnesota Department of Education.

notice of WBLAHS Community Open House on Aug. 29

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 Aug. 29. Additional information will be shared as the event approaches.

adult headshot

The White Bear Lake Area School District is pleased to announce that 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.