June 9, 2019
Note from the Superintendent
As we wrap up the 2018-19 school year, I want to take a moment to thank each of you for a wonderful year. Your support of our students and staff members is so appreciated.
While students are away at summer break, work will continue to happen in the district to position us all to move forward together. One of the areas we’ll be working on will be continuing the conversation about the Facilities Planning process that began last fall with a 90-member Facilities Planning Committee. Discussions about the plan continue, and the School Board will decide over the summer whether to put a bond referendum on the ballot in November.
We invite you to stay informed about the process. The Facilities Planning page of the district’s website will continue to house the most current and accurate information, including a recently-added FAQ area.
Have a terrific summer, and Go Bears!
Wayne A. Kazmierczak, Ph.D.
High school seniors recently visited their elementary schools and walked around their former buildings while getting high-fives and “good luck” wishes from elementary students! The Senior Walk experience can be seen in this video. The celebrations continued as students were applauded by their families and staff members at the WBLAHS Graduation Ceremony at Aldrich Arena on Friday evening before heading to the parent-planned Senior Party that takes place at WBLAHS - South Campus. The day before, Area Learning Center students took the stage and received their diplomas in front of a packed auditorium with an audience cheering them on! The experience can be seen in this video. Graduates from WBLAHS, ALC and Transition Education Center recently shared with us "What it Means to be a Bear" in this video. Congratulations, graduates!
Fifth grade students throughout the district recently enjoyed their graduation ceremonies! Families and staff members gathered to cheer on their students, as they begin the next steps of their educational journeys. Check out the experiences in this video. This year’s graduation was a special one for Oneka Elementary. The group of students who entered the doors of the brand new school as kindergartners graduated from White Bear Lake Area High School on Friday evening.
Eighteen graduates recently took the stage in their gowns as they were congratulated on their accomplishments at the Transition Education Center Commencement. The ceremony can be seen in this video. The commencement theme was "The Future is Bright and Full of Opportunity." Graduate Stephen Schuch gave this year's Farewell Address, that can be seen in this video. The recognitions continued as families gathered and honored all Native American student achievement K-12 at the American Indian Honoring Ceremony. Families and community members could enjoy food, song, dance and activities! High school seniors were even gifted a beaded Eagle feather that they could wear during the official WBLAHS Graduation Ceremony!
End of the year celebrations
Sunrise Park and Central Middle School Latino families were invited to a Get Together event! Families were invited to bring a dish to share, play games and enjoy music! In other celebratory news, it was an exciting time for AVID students as they were able to be recognized for their accomplishments at the AVID Celebration event! Check out the experience in this video.
From one celebratory moment to the next, Lincoln Elementary student Sophie Aldana’s Living History Museum presentation literally came to life when they were surprised with a visit from their chosen person, KARE 11’s Reporter and Co-Anchor Jana Shortal!
The playground was full at Normandy Park Education Center, as families gathered for the End of the Year Party! Students were able to enjoy sensory play, delicious snacks and dancing along with Davey Doodle. Check out the experience in this video. The celebrations continued as families and staff members gathered to honor retirees at the White Bear Lake Area School District 2019 Retirement Recognition Dinner, which was highlighted in this video and all retirees can be seen in this program! The School Board honored the retirees for their 1,096 years of service. Check out this video to thank all of the retirees for spending their careers positively contributing to the White Bear community.
Sunrise Park Middle School seventh grader Miranda Olson was recently announced a winner of the HUB International Insurance Coloring Contest in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month and received $500 for Sunrise for child abuse prevention programs. H2O for Life founder, Patty Hall, accepted a check for $80 from Isabelle Pomorin and her friends Ashley Kragness and Nevaeh Swanson at Willow Lane Elementary. Isabelle created bracelets and necklaces that her team sold them to support implementation of water sanitation and hygiene education for a global partner school.
Central Middle School students recently competed in the National Geography Challenge. Each student completed a 50 question geographical knowledge assessment. The top ten scores (Kaisa Brown, Ryan Mattson, Marion Moore, Kaitlyn Porter, Megan Ryan, Sophie Scroggins, Joey Thomalla, Kathryn Twist, Anthony Vomela and Will Heise) are combined and then submitted to the National Council for Geographic Education. Central’s Top Scorers earned a total of 411 points, which was solid enough to be 2nd in the nation, just six points behind first place. Central's top scorer, Marion Moore, was the third highest score in the nation with a score of 44 out of 50. The accomplishments continued, as tenth grade student Ava Del Castillo was recently announced as the winner of the Marketfest Artwork Contest! Their artwork will be featured on this year’s Marketfest posters and t-shirts! Ava will be recognized on the opening night of Marketfest where they will be presented with a check. All of the artwork submissions will be on display at EAT at Banning and Fifth during the Marketfest season.
In other contest news, it has been an exciting time for WBLAHS - South Campus students who have been wildly successful with their video they made to promote sustainability in two contests. The White Bear Lake Area High School Environmental Club and film production class worked to produce the A Change of Heart video to inspire future leaders and spread the message that through individual actions, large and small, all can project positive change in their own community of Lakes and Legends and further, around the world. They won first place in the Energy Video Competition, which was through Climate-Smart Municipalities (CSM) and is a partnership between the State of Minnesota, and North Rhine Westphalia, Germany. This contest pairs municipalities to accelerate progress toward a cleaner and more efficient energy footprint since 2015. There were 16 schools in Minnesota and Germany who were asked to participate. It was also recently announced at a Saints game that the video content won second place and earned $1,500 for WBLAHS - South Campus’ Environmental Club in the Your Big Idea for a Sustainable Minnesota, which was a contest with 18 other Minnesota schools through the Saints and District Energy St. Paul and the St. Paul Saints.
Productions & planting
The WBLAHS - North Campus Honors Language Arts classes were recently performing their spins on Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream". They created a stage in the Media Center and were able to enjoy presenting their scripts and characters to their classmates while also using fun props! In other performance news, Sunrise Park Middle School's band, orchestra and choir collaborated on a song together at a recent choir concert. They performed "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen, which was arranged by White Bear educator, Troy Strand! This was the first time all three groups performed something together and the first time they have performed something arranged by a White Bear staff member! It was a musical moment to remember!
Otter Lake Elementary fourth grade teacher Thom Green received a grant from the National Science Foundation and the U of M Citizen Science Driven to Discover program. The grant will fund planting a pollinator garden, which they recently planted around Otter’s new outdoor classroom space! Central Middle School students have also been embracing being outside and enjoying gardening! From one outdoor story to the next, WBLAHS - South Campus students were able to enjoy a day with staff members at community garage sales.
Love for learning
The aroma of hot chocolate recently filled the air in one Central Middle School classroom! Students were able to work with their classmates in their FACS class to cook up delicious hot cocoa that they were able to later enjoy. Check out the fun opportunity in this video!
Students throughout the district were recently busy lacing up their tennis shoes for Track and Field Day. Lincoln Elementary students enjoyed being active outdoors, as well as Vadnais Heights Elementary students who recently had their annual Field Day event! Students rotated through 18 stations playing games and activities they have learned throughout the school year. With the help of fifth grade mentors leading the stations, everyone was smiling and having fun! This was a fun way to wrap up the school year by showing off all that they have learned in Physical Education class. Check out the outdoor fun in this video. In other fun news at Vadnais Heights Elementary, third grade students worked on a S.T.E.M. project that had every student creating paper airplanes. First, they followed the design provided by a Vadnais Heights Elementary student's parent, Ben Meir, who also works at the Science Museum, and then they created their own airplanes and adjusted the shape and weight to determine what factors had the greatest impact on flight distance. Check out this video of the aviation experience!
The Boy's Lacrosse team recently won their playoff game, ending their season in the Section championship! WBLAHS Boys' Track team member Adam Bear was highlighted on Fox 9 recently for leading while overcoming medical challenges. Four White Bear golfers will be competing at the State Golf Tournament! The Adapted Softball team recently competed at State! Senior Tavis Dean was voted league M.V.P. The coaches and referees voted on this award and it goes to an exemplary overall athlete, student and teammate of all three adapted sports! Go Bears!
Find a complete list of all WBLAHS Activities, Athletics and Fine Arts 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
- Parent Notices
- Support WBLAS Students
- Awards and Honors
- Community Services
- Senior Program Updates
- Partnership Updates
- District website update - The website address www.whitebear.k12.mn.us will no longer be available after June 30. Please update any bookmarked pages you have for the district website to reflect the correct website address, www.isd624.org, before June 30. As always, if you have any questions related to technology, please email the Technology Department.
- Nutrition Services updates:
- Request for Refund - If your student is graduating or moving out of the district and still has money in their meal account, please complete the Request for Refund Form. For information on the Nutrition Services Angel Fund, please visit the Nutrition Services webpage and view "Angel Fund and Donations" under the "Meal Costs and Payments" tab.
- Free Summer Meals - There are free summer meals available throughout the community for kids and teens who are 18 years old and younger. Learn more.
- Tamarack's Summer Offerings - Families are invited to play and learn at Tamarack Nature Center this summer. Learn more about the opportunities.
- Innovate 624 - Check out the latest edition of Innovate 624 that is a heartfelt thanks to the White Bear community from Director of Technology and Innovation Mark Garrison, who will be heading off on their next adventure!
- Career Pathways Newsletter - Please enjoy the June 2019 Career Pathways Newsletter!
- We Are Hiring! - The district is hiring for a variety of positions. Find the online application page here.
- Stay connected! - Join White Bear Lake Area Schools' social media circles - Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
- Calling all baby models - We're looking for "Born to be a Bear" photos! Email photos to us here and you may find your little one featured in District publications!
- Football Golf Fundraiser - Community members are invited to participate in the White Bear Lake Area High School Football Golf Tournament Fundraiser on Thursday, August 15 at 12 p.m. Register today and learn more.
- Be a Bear! The district currently has many staff openings available! Find the online application page here.
The WBLAS Community Services and Recreation Department provides a wide range of services and opportunities that enhance the quality of life for all members of ISD 624.
- Seasonal catalogs are available now! You can find them here.
- Digital Backpack information is emailed to parents every other Thursday and available here.
- The Senior Program has two guides available for seniors. Read the 2019 White Bear Area Guide to Senior Housing and the 2019 White Bear Area Guide to Senior Transportation.
- Check out the latest edition of the Senior Voice.
- The latest edition of the Community Bridge Consortium newsletter is available.
The White Bear Area Senior Center is a program of the White Bear Lake Area Schools Community Services & Recreation Department.
- FREE Activity Pass for Senior Community Members (age 65+) - White Bear Lake Area Schools offer a variety of activities - home athletic contests, concerts, and theater productions to name a few. Join us! Call the Superintendent's Office at 651-407-7563 to request a FREE Activity Pass for home athletics events and a District Activities Calendar. Find the application here. The Activities Pass is available to residents of the White Bear Lake Area School District who are age 65 and older. The FREE Activity Pass for community members can now be picked up at the Senior Center (2484 East County Road F, White Bear Lake), as well as the District Center (4855 Bloom Avenue, White Bear Lake)!
- Be a Bear! The district currently has many staff openings available! Find the online application page here.
- The White Bear Center for the Arts (WBCA) is a non-profit organization that focuses on creating community through art and providing a gateway to diverse arts experiences.
- Sandcastles & Creatures Building Contest - Families are invited to enjoy the WBCA-sponsored Sandcastles & Creatures Building Contest on Saturday, June 15 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Memorial Beach on White Bear Lake. The contest is an official Manitou Days event and the winners will be announced at noon. Check out this flyer for more details.