Message from the Principal
It was good to see many of you at conferences on March 2 and I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of you on March 7. One of the questions I have been fielding lately is how parents can access the current assignments and calendars. This year, VMS and the district have implemented Schoology where students and parents can access calendars, assignments and materials. This is different than Campus Parent Portal which is the gradebook that shows grades after assignments have been turned in. The following video links explain how to set up your parent Schoology account ( Schoology Parent Video) and how to find the information you're looking for (Schoology Help Page). This is a great resource as you navigate our new integrated learning management system, and we move into next year with our 1:1 Digital Learning phase with Chromebooks for all VMS students.
Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to work with your children.
Registering for classes for 2017-2018
VandenBerge will use a new process for requesting electives and 8th grade quarter classes for the 2017-2018 school year. An email will be sent out in March to direct parents/students on how to register for their classes. They will make the selections through Parent Portal. We will open up this process to next year’s 8th graders first. This will be followed with an email to next year’s 7th graders to make their choices through Parent Portal.
On days opposite of Physical Education, next year’s 7th and 8th graders have the option of taking Band, Choir, both Band and Choir or Study Hall. Please note that schedule changes for these electives at VMS will only be made during first quarter 2017-2018. No schedule changes for electives will be made after that time. Please discuss the commitment of enrolling in Band or Choir with your student.
Eighth graders will be choosing their quarter of Art, Family and Consumer Science and Industrial Technology classes the same way. Please see the quarter options below.
Grade 8 Art chooses one of the following:
- Exploring Art Media: Are you ready for diverse experiences with painting, sculpting, drawing and other art media? Would you like the challenge of further developing your skills with a variety of materials? Explore different types of art media that build upon previous experience in middle school art class. After taking this class, you’ll be ready for any of the beginner level high school art classes.
~ or ~
- Voice & Choice in Visual Art: Are you interested in the freedom of choice to develop a theme that will come to life in various projects? In this class, you will choose the themes, ideas, and methods for each project-just like a real artist does! After taking this class, you’ll be ready for any of the beginner level high school art classes. This class is for you if you enjoy the challenge of choosing and creating art from your ideas.
Grade 8 Family and Consumer Science chooses one of the following:
- Food Science: Have you ever wondered why pizza tastes so good or why certain ingredients and processes affect a recipe? This course is designed to allow students to explore the science behind the foods that we eat. Students will explore the basics of food preparation through experimentation with food science. You will also learn life skills in financial literacy and developing healthy relationships.
~ or ~
- Pro Chef Challenge: Challenge your creativity in the culinary arts to prepare foods that both look and taste great-with competition served on the side! This course is designed to challenge students to prepare dishes from specific foods and work within constraints while competing in cooking challenges.
- You will also learn life skills in financial literacy and developing healthy relationships.
Grade 8 Industrial Technology chooses one of the following:
- Computer Science: Kids, parents, even grandparents are addicted to apps. They help make our lives easier and a lot more fun. In this class, students learn how to create their own applications to be used on smart devices. Begin building for your future by using your creativity and the design process to develop your skills in this cutting edge field.
- Green Architecture: Everybody needs a place to live, work, and play. In this class you will learn how to design buildings that are functional, beautiful and good for our environment. Use your creativity and skills in drawing to help shape our future. Learn to design anything from the smallest playhouse to the world’s largest skyscraper.
~ or ~
- Industrial Technology: If variety is what you seek, then this course is for you. Gain experiences in the areas of technology that are some of today’s most popular career choices. Gain access to high end machinery like 3D printers and laser engravers to learn more about the areas of graphic design and manufacturing. In this course, you will gain experience in manufacturing, construction, and communications. This course will not only prepare you to take Industrial Technology courses at the high school, it will also introduce you to skills that are needed in high demand, high wage careers.
Grade 8 Introduction to World Language (only one option)
From Health Services...
Now that we are in the midst of influenza season (October - April), we realize that germs can be spread throughout the school and there may be days when your child is too ill to attend. School attendance is crucial to academic success; therefore, we encourage students to practice illness prevention, such as getting a flu shot, covering their cough and good hand washing practices.
School administration recognizes the direct relationship between attendance and achievement. Classroom instruction is valuable; therefore, we discourage texting between students and parents to discuss health issues. If your student becomes ill or injured, they need to report to the Health Services office. Please remind your children of this Health Office procedure. Please observe the following rules:
- You need a pass from your teacher to come to the Health Services office. If it is between classes, report to your next class and get a pass, unless it is an emergency.
- Health Services personnel will sign you in when you arrive and sign you out when you go back to class.
- If deemed ill, a parent will be contacted by Health Services to go home.
- If you do not go through the Health Services office and you go home on your own, it will be counted as unexcused and detention may be assigned.
- For guidelines as to when to return to school, please refer to our website at Is my child well enough to go to school?
February Students of the Week
Josiah Bonin, Jake Faber, Amos Gborie, Laura Grundman, Gracie Jensen, Adria Kotzian, Mason Mattingley, Grace Mueller, Lilly Perron, Bailey Phipps, Kaitlyn Stelk and Cassondra Vang-Lohnes
VMS Math League Rocks!!!
What a great finish for VandenBerge’s Math Team! At their final meet of the season they only missed one question on the team test and won the meet (completing the 5 meet sweep) by 36 points over Salk. The team was led by Mya Yoder who only missed one question and scored 26/28 on her individual tests. That score propelled her into first place for the season with 101 points. Mya finished in a 50th place tie in the entire math league, putting her in the top 3% of the league. Second place overall went to Katie Gerold who scored 22 points at the last meet and 95 points overall. Sophia Tobin scored 18 at her last meet and finished with 90 points overall to earn fourth place. Lindsey Redepenning (7th) and Olivia Kramer (10th) were the other top finishers for VandenBerge. Other team members were Tucker Brady, Elle Cotton, Peyton Maier, Kellen Michener, Caroline Nelson, Harper Westgaard, and Jason Wingard. Congratulations! We are so proud of you!!!
Grade 6: Students in MN Studies are currently studying the U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. Students have uncovered and discussed the causes and tensions leading to the war, dating back to the 1851 Treaties, and studied various battles of the war. We discussed what a civil war is, and learned how this was Minnesota's Civil War. We also connected the content we are studying to current events, such as the various civil wars taking place in regions of Africa and the Middle East. In the coming weeks, the students will learn the aftermath of the U.S. - Dakota War of 1862, and the consequences and impact on the Dakota, Minnesota's settlers, and the United States.
Grade 7: Students are wrapping up WWI. Our next unit will be a week long on the 1920s. Students will be doing a mini-research paper on a famous personality of the Roaring Twenties. Papers will need to include a short biography of their personality and information as to what contributions the personality made during the 1920s. On Friday, March 10 students will participate in a 1920s Themed Social Party where they will hold conversations with others in their personality. We ask that students dress their part if able.
Grade 8: You may have heard about the "research paper" that we started this past week. Social studies classes are working collaboratively with the English department to write a 5 paragraph research paper about a Middle Eastern Country. Students will write one paper for both classes. The process will take one month and will be a MAJOR portion of their grade. The calendar for the project is posted in their Schoology English class as we will follow the same schedule. Should your student fall behind on their progress, there is an open research paper lab on Thursday, March 2 from 4-7. Students can stay for all of that time or a portion.
Physical Education Department...
We started a swimming unit for our PE classes. The students will need to provide their own swimming suit and towel and a plastic bag to bring home each night. The swimming suit may not be a bikini and must be appropriate for aerobic activities with a lot of movement. If the suit is not acceptable they will be required to put a dark colored T shirt over the suit. Goggles are allowed and can be purchased at Target. Curling irons and hair dryers are not allowed due to the fire codes.
We will be learning basic swimming skills, games, and fitness activities. If your son/daughter is not comfortable in the deep end, there will be something for everyone, and staying in the shallow end is very acceptable. We want each student to feel safe and be comfortable with their swimming ability in the pool. If your child is not able to swim for whatever reason, a note from a parent excuses them for 2 days. Anything more will need a doctor’s note for the 2 weeks we are swimming.
Due to the large classes, I feel it is necessary to have extra “eyes” for supervision. This requires NO swimming! If you are able to volunteer, I would really appreciate your help. Please give me a call or email me.
Thank you! Looking forward to hearing from you!
The PE students are going to be very busy in the next couple of months with the rollerskating unit following swimming. On February 27 and 28 permission slips were sent home for rollerskating. Please ask your son/daughter for it. The letter has the information you will need. This permission slip will need to be returned to your child's PE teacher no later than March 28. The fee is $8.00 and needs to be paid on RevTrak or cash given to the office (not the PE teacher). Due to liability, the students must have permission from parents or they will not be allowed to skate. We are looking forward to all the fun activities! Any questions feel free to call Mr. Michalak or Mrs. Hudak.
If you should have any questions, feel free to contact:
Mrs. Hudak @ 241-3450 X2670 Susan.Hudak@isd728.org.
We are off to a great start of the quarter in World Language! Both 7th and 8th grade students have completed their German units and are now on to Spanish. By the end of this unit, the 8th graders will be able to order a meal, start to finish, only speaking Spanish-how exciting! It's been great seeing the students exploring different languages and cultures.
Band Ensemble Night is Thursday, March 16th. Students will be performing in small groups. 6th Grade and Jazz Band will perform in the Cafeteria, 7th Grade in the Band Room and 8th Grade in the Choir Room. There will be two different performance times--6:30pm and 8:00pm. The performance schedule will be sent out later this week. Jazz Band will perform in between the two time slots.
The VMS Jazz Band will be performing at the annual Swing Night at Elk River High School next Friday night, March 10th.
Choir Concert Date Change: March 23rd (was March 9th)
Thanks to everyone who came to Neon Night at the beginning of this month! Student Council members did a great job organizing it and putting it on for everybody. This month, we are participating in a district wide food drive competition. We are going to strive to be the school that donates the most money and nonperishable food items to CAER Food Shelf in Elk River. And better yet, this month all donations will be matched! The Student Council has been doing a great job this year getting involved with the student body and the outside community.