Message from the Principal
I can’t believe the school year is almost over. It always goes by so fast! It has been a treat to see the students develop both academically and behaviorally. Another transition period is coming soon for our 8th grade students. Their time at the high school will go by just as fast. We have thoroughly enjoyed having your children at VMS!
The staff is busy finalizing plans that include regular classroom material, assemblies, testing, concerts and field trips for the last few weeks of school. We are currently in our second round of MCA testing. Exploration Day is coming up on May 18, and students are getting excited for our Talent Show and Yearbook Signing on June 1. With all of these activities, please keep in mind that students are expected to be in school unless they have an excused absence due to illness, family vacation, etc.
As school winds down, spring and summer activities wind up and spare time is minimal for many of our students. Please continue to check your child’s progress on Parent Portal, and contact your child’s teachers if you have any questions or concerns. This is a pivotal time for many students, and sometimes attitudes change as the end of the year draws near. Student success at school can diminish and anxiety can set in. Be aware of changes in what they are wearing to school, who their friends are and what they are doing in their spare time outside of school. Please contact our Guidance Counselor, Dave Crocker, if you have any concerns.
Have a great last month of school!
Minnesota Math Corps
VandenBerge Middle School will once again have a Math Enrichment Tutor next year to work with students who need more support to catch up to grade level in math. Math Corps tutors are AmeriCorps members and do not replace teachers. Every year, the program sees real growth in its students. Here's what you should know:
We are now recruiting throughout the district for our Math Enrichment Tutor(s), who will serve at our school for 11 months, beginning in August. Tutors implement a research-based curriculum to pairs of sixth graders who are just below proficiency in math (Tier II children). They tutor students 90 minutes per week to grow their skills towards becoming algebra-ready by eighth grade. Math Corps provides our school with the expertise of an outside math consultant (Master Coach) who provides support and oversight by visiting the school regularly.
Please help spread the word about these open Math Enrichment Tutor positions. If you know someone who might be interested - a graduating college student, a friend in career transition, a grandparent or stay-at-home parent - please direct them to www.readingandmath.net to learn more and apply. We would love to have them at VandenBerge Middle School!
Media Center Fundraiser
VandenBerge's Media Center plays a critical role in increasing literacy among students. Student choice is proven to be one of the main factors leading to reading enjoyment. When students enjoy what they are reading, they read more.
Maintaining a book collection that meets the current interests of our student body requires the addition of hundreds of new titles every year, as well as replacement of worn out favorites (well-loved books don't last forever!). On average, a new library book costs $10-15.
With your help, we would like to add 100 or more books to our Media Center through a fundraiser with Minnesota-based book provider, Mackin Books.
We've tried to make it simple:
- Visit https://www.mackinfunds.com through May 22
- Enter code 34fe for VandenBerge.
- Click DONATE NOW to donate using their secure site.
- Select from our wish list (Donate Books) or add to our book fund (Donate Money) so we can select the books ourselves. 100% of the donations are used for book purchases.
- Mackin will process our books (cover, barcodes and spine labels) and ship them to VandenBerge.
- Books will be ready on the first day of school next year.
Please check out our wish list and we hope you choose to participate!
Students of the Week
MARCH - Maya Andrican, Emily Bridgeman, Ayden Dittberner, Neal George, Belle Hamlin, Devyn Jones, Abigail Kohout, Makayla Kurr, Annika Mathison, Peyton Maier, Lori Omollo, Lilyana Reichert
APRIL - Clara Anderson, Lily Burkness, Elle Cotton, Quinn Dehkes, Riley Harnage, Ella Harris, Robert Morse, Hannah Moss, Cole Newhouse, Brianna Rangel, Markus Roehrdanz, Lily Schoenert
Beat the Rush - Get your Student’s Sports Physicals and Immunizations
In preparing for the 2018-2019 school year, it is important to complete the appropriate medical information for your child as soon as possible. Immunization and sports physical dates the school has for your child are posted on Parent Portal. Immunization requirements reflect the current school year only and are posted on July 1st of each school year.
For requirements and appropriate forms to be completed by your medical provider, please refer to the Health Services website.
Greetings from the VMS art department!
Grade 6 students are currently working on the art element of space, learning about methods of perspective and showing 3-D space in a drawing. They are creating works of art based on a theme of their choice and are demonstrating their learning by creating forms around vanishing points and various eye levels to show point of view. It’s amazing to watch them grow in their understanding of space in such a short time!
Grade 7 students just finished up a unit in surrealism where they looked at the artwork of Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte. They constructed a collage that shows the methods used by surreal artists and explored surreal space and forms. We had a lot of interesting investigations into wild combinations of juxtaposition and morphing forms. Simply using magazine images can open a world of possibilities!
Grade 8 students have been busy in the Voice and Choice class exploring theme development in art. Each student begins the course by gaining an understanding of what theme in visual art can be and how to further explore theme as a way to inspire and inform their art. They recently finished up a drawing and are now getting started with painting.
AVID students have been busy working on Collaborative Study Groups and Tutorials. Our 8th grade group will be touring the University of Minnesota campus on May 1st. We have been recruiting and interviewing students to join AVID for the 2018-2019 school year.
Mark your Calendars AVID Parents! On Monday, May 21st, we will be hosting a celebration night with ALL current AVID students and incoming students for the 18-19 school year. We will "graduate" our 8th graders into high school, induct our new AVID students, and celebrate the success we have had this year with all our AVID classes! We hope you can make it.
We are very excited about the growth of the AVID program over the last 2 years! Thank you for all your support.
Grade 6 students need to keep reading to meet their goal of completing 25 books by the end of the school year. We are very proud of the many students who have already reached this goal! We recently learned many Greek and Latin Root Words; please ask your student to name some for you. Next, we will begin working with drama and plays. Thank you to the parents/students from Kurmis's rally - we won the food drive!
Grade 7 worked hard on their MCA tests to start 4th quarter. This quarter, students need to be working on their Reader's Responses, there will only be two of them due this quarter. The first Reader's Response is due Friday, May 4th and the second Reader's Response is due Friday, June 1st. Keep reading!!
Grade 8 did a great job finishing up their Middle East Research Papers before heading off on Spring Break. The research papers are always a challenging and rewarding process for students. After spring break, we started our Poetry Unit and have been working on that around our MCA testing. We will be completing our Poetry Unit this week and moving back into some Fictional work in May. We are very proud of our 8th grade students for how hard they worked on their MCA tests. We will be sharing preliminary results with students in the next couple weeks. As the spring weather approaches, please continue to encourage the students to end the year strong by completing assignments and checking Schoology for updates.
Get the FACTS about FACS
Grade 6 students have been learning about Food and Kitchen Safety and Tools of the Trade. In Food and Kitchen Safety, students learned ways to practice good cooking hygiene, how to prevent cross contamination and foodborne illnesses, and proper handling of foods following the clean/cook/separate/chill methods. The Tools of the Trade unit focused on learning proper names of common kitchen utensils and what they are used for. Students also learned how to measure dry and wet ingredients.
Grade 8 students just wrapped up their first unit on Job Skills. In this unit, students were taught how to complete a job application, tips and tricks to interview for a future job, and what to expect once they obtain a job, such as forms to fill out, types of pay periods and what types of taxes will be taken out of their paychecks. We have just started our Financial Literacy Unit where students will be completing an online project to better enhance their understanding of budgeting, savings/checking accounts, managing debit/credit cards and other aspects to better prepare them for adulthood.
Homework Help is offered EVERY DAY with a math teacher from 7:45 - 8:10. All students are welcome to come get help with IXL, Study Island and daily homework. Here is the math help schedule:
Mon: Mrs. Tuholsky RM 131
Tues: Mrs. Olsen RM 141
Wed: Mrs. Beyer RM 111
Thurs: Mrs. Boyer RM 143
Fri: Mrs. Burken RM 217
Please join us for these upcoming performances to hear VMS students perform some amazing music.
Band Concert - Thursday, May 17th at 7:00 PM
Choir Concert - Thursday, May 24th at 7:00 PM
We will be hosting a Band Instrument Display Night on Thursday, May 10th from 4:30 - 7:30 in the Small Gym at VandenBerge. This is for all VandenBerge and Salk incoming 6th grade band students. This is the time to rent your instrument and purchase the supplies and accessories needed for band this summer and next year. Students will also sign up for the week of FREE (required) Summer Band Lessons and can choose the week of August 13-17 or August 20 - 24. If you have any questions, please email email@example.com.
Thanks for your support!
Grade 6 is currently working on forces and motion. We have been learning how to calculate speed and acceleration. Before spring break, we raced toy cars and calculated the speed of them. Next, we are moving on to Newton's Laws of Motion.
Grade 7 just finished studying invertebrates are now moving on to vertebrates. In the weeks to come, students will be dissecting frogs and learning about the organs of their bodies.
Grade 8 has completed all state standards for 8th grade. Students are reviewing standards from 6th and 7th grade in preparation for the Science MCA test that starts on May 7th.
Grade 6 students just finished studying industrialization in MN at the beginning of the 20th Century. Students discovered ways the flour, lumber and mining industries transformed our state, and the impact these industries have left on our state today. The students also studied immigration, the rise of population and growth of cities, and the types of jobs men, women and children had to take to support their families. In our next chapter, we will look at progressive reform movements of the early 1900's that sought to improve our nation, state, and local communities. On April 13, students had the opportunity to listen to Representative Zerwas explain what he does in the Minnesota House of Representatives. He was unable to make a visit to VMS while 6th graders were studying government, but we were excited to learn first hand what happens at our state capital.
Grade 7 students have enjoyed learning about the greatest economic downturn in American History, the Great Depression. Students got to play a stock market game where they bought and sold stocks. We are now shifting gears to World War II, followed by the Cold War, Korean War, Vietnam War, and the Civil Rights Movement.
Grade 8 students are making their way across the world. The past few weeks, students have been studying Asia. Recently they have been working on a group project focusing on China, India, or Japan. They are researching historical aspects of the country, their education system, government and religion, their economy, and how their population affects the country and society. Finally, they will complete a video cast of their project. Our next region of study will be Latin/South America. Next, they will study the geography of Latin America and finish the year off learning about Africa.
The 3rd quarter World Language students have moved on to their next quarter class. I enjoyed teaching them these past several weeks.
Grade 8 students ended the 3rd quarter by learning how to describe what people are like in German. The students' task for their final project was to create a family tree, which could be of their real family or a made up family - they turned out great! There were some very creative celebrity family trees.
Grade 7 students wrapped up the quarter by taking an imaginary trip to a country of their choosing. It looked like they had some pretty great adventures!
4th quarter students were welcomed to World Language and have been learning all about the Spanish language and culture. I'm looking forward to wrapping up the school year with this new group of students.
School Health Clerk
Building Hours for Students
Students are not allowed to enter the building before 7:45 unless they have a scheduled activity with a staff member. Students remaining in the building after 3:15 must be under the direct supervision of a staff member.
Assistance with Groceries
There are resources available for VandenBerge families who are struggling to make ends meet. One of these resources is a program that is coordinated by the Elk River Women of Today, who deliver products such as bread, muffins, cookies, etc. to VandenBerge each week. The products are collected from Coborn's, Cub Foods and Perkins Restaurant. The food is then distributed to student lockers or you can make arrangements with the School Social Worker to pick up a bag in the main office. If you are interested in receiving a bag on a weekly basis, please contact Krista Brannan at 763-241-3450 extension 2687.