Message from the Principal
We are off to a great start at VandenBerge Middle School! Thank you for your support and for allowing us the opportunity to work with your children. We speak about and truly believe in educating, inspiring and empowering each and every student, but I have to say the students educate, inspire and empower us every moment of every day. VandenBerge is a great place to be, and we take great PRIDE in being a part of this building and community.
The first month of school has flown by! I recommend that you check on your students through Parent Portal to ensure that all assignments are turned in. If you see a discrepancy, please do not hesitate to contact the teacher. They will gladly discuss the situation with you.
We are starting our ZAP (Zeroes Aren’t Permitted) program for students who are missing 2 or more assignments. ZAP occurs over the lunch hour to give students extra help during the school day. Students assigned to ZAP will go to the head of the lunch line. They will take their materials and their lunch to the ZAP room where a staff member is there to assist them with assignments, quizzes or tests. We have seen a drastic decrease in the number of missing assignments and failing grades since we implemented this program several years ago.
VMS is once again implementing our SOAR (Student Oriented Academic Response) time in the mornings to access remediation or enrichment for students that need the extra help or the extra challenge. SOAR occurs on Wednesdays and Thursdays during our RALLY or homeroom time. Teachers sign students up based on need or interest for this 35 minute extra instructional time. Students and staff have enjoyed this time to touch base and learn together.
Thanks again for your support of VMS and your child’s success. I look forward to a great school year and getting to know you.
Degrees and Certifications:
September Students of the Week!
Nikki Hortian 6th Gr
Susan Kreber 7th Gr
Julia Fedosyuk 6th Gr
Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center
WEB students took it to the sidewalks sending positive messages to ALL VMS students!
Middle school Math League is starting!
VandenBerge students have the opportunity to participate in Math League for free. Our division has expanded this year. Big Lake and Monticello will be joining the ISD 728 schools in competition. The top 10 students and the top 3 scoring schools in the division will get awards for their efforts. This is a great way for students to start building a college resume and to prepare them for high school Math League. Most importantly, it’s a great way for your child to challenge themselves, expand his or her knowledge of math and have some fun. Practices will be led by the ERHS Math Team coach with help from some current high school math team members. The commitment is once per week after school until February 6. It is perfectly acceptable for students to miss a practice or meet. Students who just want to try it for one meet are welcome to come. All but one of the practices will be on Thursdays in room 129 at Vandenberge from 3:00 - 5:00. Coach Michener will run the first practice next Thursday, October 6. Students need to be picked up at 5:00. The first meet will be held on October 24. The rest of the meets will be on 11/10, 12/12, 1/9 and 2/6. More information about the league can be found at mnjhml.com or by contacting the coach. Please contact Coach Michener to express your interest in the league at firstname.lastname@example.org. He would like to know how many to expect next week. More details about the league will be sent out once meet locations have been finalized.
We are still recruiting 7th and 8th students to the 2016-17 AVID program. We are excited to expand AVID to 6th grade and begin recruitment in October. You might be wondering what AVID is and who is an AVID student. AVID is the acronym for Advancement Via Individual Determination. The AVID classroom is made up of students who are in the academic middle; GPA of 2.0-3.5, average to high-test scores and, most importantly, a desire and determination. An AVID student more than likely will be a struggling student with difficulty staying organized, completing work and turning the work in and/or may need help with creating good study habits. If this sounds like a program that your child might benefit from, ask them to pick up an application packet in the VandenBerge Counseling Office or from Mrs. Sykes (room 145). Applications can be returned to Mrs. Sykes or the counseling office. Questions? Please contact Mr. Crocker at 241-3450 x2631.
Grade 6 - Sixth graders have been working hard on creating strong paragraphs. Their writing is improving! Please keep reading at home to help us reach our goals! There will be a reading challenge in October.
Grade 8 - In the beginning weeks of English, students have been working hard reading a fictional story and interacting with the text using AVID marking strategies. They are moving into comparing a fictional text to an informational text of the same theme. Students will be asked to compare their findings in a formal writing assignment in the coming weeks.
We are starting to implement the use of Schoology as the year progresses. Please be checking your child's Schoology account for any upcoming assignments or tasks to complete. In addition to Schoology, your child should be writing in their planner regularly to help keep them organized throughout the school day.
In November we are going to be reading our first class novel: The Outsiders. We are requesting that students purchase their own copy of the book, so they can mark and interact with the text in their own book. An email will be coming home with further details about the purchase of the book. Please look for that in the coming weeks!
Grade 6 students were at Wolf Ridge ELC focusing on the environment and hands on science learning to become better global citizens.
Grade 7 is experimenting with microscopes to achieve a better understanding of plant and animal cells.
Grade 8 has blasted off into the space unit focusing on current astronomical events. All students have received a science book. An online version can be found at www.ThinkCentral.com. We are looking forward to a great scientific year.
Grade 6 - The 6th graders will continue learning the basics of mapping and working with different types of maps. The students will soon begin their study on the Early Dakota in Minnesota followed by a chapter on Early Ojibwe.
Grade 7 - Off to a terrific start of the year. Students are learning the foundation of our country and how our branches of government work. We have also been studying the important documents of our country: the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
INTRODUCTION TO WORLD LANGUAGE
Grade 8 students are learning the basic foundations of understanding mapping, including latitude & longitude, the 7 elements of a good map (TODALSS) and 5 themes of geography. Students have created their own visual map of the world, “map of the mind”. They will create another one at the end of the year to compare their growth.
We are less than a month into the school year, and the students have already learned one language! The 8th graders started with the German unit and learned how to describe how people look and their personality. The7th graders started with the Spanish unit and learned basic vocabulary. All of the students have been so enthusiastic and eager to learn the langauges, which is making for a wonderful quarter in World Language class!
NEWS FROM THE MEDIA CENTER