WBLAS Indian Education Newsletter
Providing information, updates, highlights, and resources.
Back to School Information
On July 30, Governor Walz announced a framework that allows local school districts to determine how they will begin the 2020-21 school year based on COVID-19 case data by county. On Friday, August 7 the School Board approved a Fall 2020 Return to School Plan.
White Bear Lake Area Schools will be offering a Hybrid Learning Model for all students K-12+. A Distance Learning Model will also be available for all families who choose that as an option. Regardless of which learning model a family chooses for its student(s), we are committed to providing an engaging, equitable and quality learning experience for each student.
In order to help us adequately prepare and plan for the return to school this fall, we are requesting each family to provide us with the following information:
- Skyward Annual Online Family Update - Principals recently emailed families with information about the Skyward Annual Online Family Update, which is now open. The Update process allows families to review their student’s information and to fill out & sign forms specific to their student’s school. This year, the Update is also being used to officially notify the district of the learning model each family chooses for their student to begin the 2020-21 school year. Schedules and homeroom teacher information will be available for all families that have completed the Skyward Annual Online Family Update at 6 p.m. on August 25. Detailed instructions for the Annual Family Update process can be found here. If you experience any issues during this process, call our Tech Line at 651-407-7637 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our technical support staff members will contact you.
- Transportation Opt-In Form - Transporting students safely to school is a significant challenge for the district during these times. To reduce the number of students on buses to a safe level, the walking distances have increased (to 1 mile for K-5 students, 1.5 miles for students in grades 6-12) and families are encouraged to transport their students to school when possible. Families who qualify for transportation will only be provided busing upon request by completing this Transportation Opt-In Form. Families who do not qualify but who are experiencing hardships can contact the transportation office at 651-407-7538 to appeal.
Indian Education Updates
Indian Education Clubs
During the 2019-2020 school year, Indian Education Clubs took place in most elementary schools, both middle schools, and North Campus. For the 2020-2021 school year, our program intends to continue our Indian Education Clubs, but is still planning the best way to offer this opportunity to our hybrid and distance learners. This will be a pivotal conversation at our AIPAC Kick-Off meeting on Tuesday, September 8th.
Students and families can expect to have a plan regarding the reconvening of Indian Education Clubs by Friday, September 11th. Updates will be shared through the WBLAS Indian Education Newsletter, landing site on the district website, and our Facebook page.
Ojibwe and Dakota Language and Culture Classes
The Indian Education program is excited to announce the continuation of our Ojibwe and Dakota Language and Culture classes for the 2020-2021 school year. To ensure public health and safety, our classes will be offered using a hybrid model. For each session, community members will be asked to RSVP for in-person attendance (limit to 10), or are invited to participate online through Google Hangout Meets - links will be shared prior to each session. Stay tuned for more information including session dates, times, RSVP's, and virtual session links!
Open Office Hours
The Native American Cultural Liaison, Jordan Zickermann, will hold office hours for all Indigenous students from all grade levels. The purpose of these office hours are to provide a designated time where students can stay connected with our program supports including:
- Hybrid/distance learning support
- Cultural enrichment
- Academic advocacy/mentoring
- Homework help/tutoring
- Navigating WBLAS resources and activities
- Navigating community resources
- Social emotional support
Our program calendar on the District Webpage has been updated with all open office hours. For a tutorial on how to connect to these office hours via Google Hangouts Meet - please click HERE.
Appointment slots can be used by all students, families, and staff and serve as a platform to engage with and support the needs of our Indigenous community during this time. To schedule a 1 on 1 appointment with the Cultural Liaison, please click this button below.
American Indian Parent Advisory Kick Off
The American Indian Parent Advisory Committee is excited to reconvene and kick-off the 2020-2021 school year. The purpose of this committee and its' meetings are to identify and address areas to improve academic achievement of American Indian students through positive self-identity and to enhance knowledge of culture in broader school communities.
AIPAC meetings will typically be held on the second Tuesday of each month from 5:30-7:30pm using a hybrid model. All meetings are open to the public and new members are encouraged to join!
September 8th - meet.google.com/wnx-uejp-dpk
We look forward to another year of collaboration with the American Indian families throughout White Bear Lake Area Schools.
On Thursday July 23rd, about 20 students, families, and community members joined Hope Flanagan, Cultural Teacher for Dream of Wild Health, and the White Bear Lake Indian Education Program as we walked the outdoor trails of the Tamarack Nature Center. Hope provided in depth knowledge of the land, seeds, plants, and Ojibwe Language. Check out pictures from the Nature Walk below, as well as the AllTrails recording that tracked our path!
Community members enjoying the view of Fish Lake
Hope Flanagan, Cultural Teacher for Dream of Wild Health
Community Members receiving traditional teachings from Hope Flanagan