Spanish and Chinese language instruction will be expanding in the White Bear Lake Area Schools next school year, the district announced this month.

The district began offering Spanish and Chinese to fourth- and fifth-graders this fall as part of its strategic plan.

Next year, the coursework will be expanded to cover all elementary grades.

The district plans to provide language instruction to fourth- and fifth-graders every second day and to first- through third-graders every third day. For kindergartners, an exploratory world curriculum will be embedded in the coursework, the district said.

The White Bear Lake Area Schools serves students in Washington and Ramsey counties.

Under the district's plan, Chinese will be taught at Vadnais Heights and Lincoln elementary schools, and Spanish instruction will take place at the remaining elementary schools.


Show choir to sing, hold auction Jan. 12

"Hot and Cold," a show choir showcase, is set for 7 p.m. Jan. 12 in the North High auditorium in North St. Paul.

Before the concert, show choir students also will auction services that include sidewalk shoveling, leaf raking, baby-sitting and pet-sitting, a district news release said. The auction will be held in the cafeteria of the school at 2416 11th Av. E. beginning at 6:30 p.m., but concertgoers also can bid on services during intermission.

Tickets are $5 in advance or $6 at the door. Advanced tickets can be purchased from a show choir student or by calling the choir department at 651-748-6060.

South Washington

Five candidates make first cut to fill vacancy

The South Washington County school board has agreed to interview five people who applied to serve the remainder of departing Chairwoman Leslee Boyd's term in office.

The initial list included 14 applicants.

The board plans to interview the candidates individually Jan. 4. They are Rick Goecke of Cottage Grove, Jonathan Hunt of Woodbury, Katy McElwee-Stevens of Newport, Daryl Parks of Woodbury and William Thurmes of Cottage Grove.

McElwee-Stevens is a former South Washington County board member who ran unsuccessfully for a Newport City Council seat in November.

The person appointed is expected to serve until the end of the day Nov. 5, which is Election Day.


St. Jude of the Lake sets two open houses

St. Jude of the Lake Catholic School, which has operated in Mahtomedi for about 60 years, has scheduled kindergarten and middle school open houses in January for families now weighing school choices for 2013-14.

The school, at 600 Mahtomedi Av., is seeking to attract students of all faiths, a news release said.

St. Jude is a candidate for designation as an International Baccalaureate school for its elementary school program, according to its website. Patty Gibbs, a spokeswoman, also noted recently that the school has invested in new technology, part of a strategy to compete with the Mahtomedi School District, which she described as "one of the finest" in the state.

Middle school students at St. Jude have access to personal laptops and a new science lab, the news release said.

The open house for the middle school is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 14.

The kindergarten open house is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 10.

Anthony Lonetree