VMS Vibe Online Parent Newsletter

October 2018

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    Message from the Principal

    It’s hard to believe that November is already here!  The first couple months of school have flown by and conferences are almost upon us.  Conferences will be held on Monday, November 19 from 12:00 – 7:00 pm and Tuesday, November 27 from 4:00 – 7:00 pm.   Please keep an eye out for conference scheduling information which will be sent to you via Campus Messenger email the first week of November.   You will be able to schedule a conference with your child’s RALLY (homeroom) teacher and we will also have time available for you to ‘drop-in’ and see other classroom teachers.  Conferences are a very important time for teachers to connect with parents/guardians and share information about their student.

    Stay up to date on current news and all the great things occurring at VMS by following us on Twitter.  Our account is filled with pictures of students and staff and will give you a taste of what a day is like at school. There is no need to have a Twitter account if you use the following link. http://www.twitter.com/ElkRiverVMS

    Please remember that the doors to our building will not open for students until 7:45 am.  The weather is turning colder now, and students are required to wait outside until the doors open unless they have arrangements with a staff member to enter the building early.  Students should also be out of the building by 3:15 pm unless they are being directly supervised by a staff member.

    I look forward to seeing you at conferences!

  • VandenBerge November Coat Drive

    Are you looking for a place to bring those winter coats you no longer wear?  VandenBerge is the place!

    The VMS Student Council will be having a Coat Drive from November 13 – 28.  We would love to have you bring us your gently loved (or new) coats in all sizes.  Our goal is to collect 300 coats to share with VMS families in need, as well as the larger Elk River community.

    Nature’s Dry Cleaning is partnering with us to clean all the coats we collect, so there’s no need to run them through the laundry.  Bring them in as they are!

    Students can bring the coats to school and student council will have collection boxes in the cafeteria each morning.  We will also have collection boxes out during conferences on November 19th.

    Student council members will be working with their Rally to promote the coat drive and encourage their classmates to bring in coats.  The Rally that collects the most coats will win donuts for breakfast during Rally on November 30th.

    Start cleaning out your closet and join in the coat collecting fun!  Help us meet or exceed our 300 coat goal and provide some extra warmth for families this winter. 

    Thank you in advance for your generosity!

  • Help VandenBerge Raise $10,000 

    VandenBerge Middle School is selling Flower Cards for $20.

    Each card entitles you to pick up a seasonal bouquet (like shown in the pictures below) each month for 12 months from Flowers Plus in Elk River for a onetime fee of $20.

    This is our ONLY fundraiser this year and VMS KEEPS 100% OF THE PROCEEDS FROM THE FUNDRAISER!

    If each family buys or sells just 1 card, VandenBerge will make nearly $10,000! But why stop at 1?  The holidays will be here before you know it, and a Flower Card makes a great gift!  Click here to purchase your card now and HELP SUPPORT VMS! 

    Contact the office at 763-241-3450 for more information.

    bouquet bouquet


  • Camp Friendship

    On October 11th, VMS 6th graders took a field trip to Camp Friendship in Annandale, MN.  The students participated in a “Team Quest” program that challenged them in the areas of teamwork, leadership, and problem solving.  The students worked together to solve challenges on the ground level and also challenged themselves on a high-ropes obstacle.

    It was a chilly fall day, but the students enjoyed spending time with classmates and working together.  When asked to reflect on the field trip, Avery said, “We worked together with a team and learned team bonding skills.”  The students experienced the challenging and rewarding aspects of working together.  Peyton said, “I liked that we got to do little courses. My team made good memories and laughed a lot.”

    This was an awesome way to start the year with our 6th graders!

    friendship  friendship

  • VandenBerge Honor Society

    The VandenBerge Honor Society held its annual induction ceremony on October 12th.  This year, 34 new members were inducted into the organization.

    The VandenBerge Honor Society is an organization for students in 7th and 8th grade who have attained membership based on high scholastic achievement, character, citizenship, leadership, and service.  The purpose of our organization is to promote these five ideals. Our aim is to encourage others scholastically, to develop qualities of citizenship, to take part in worthy service, to lead in those things which will advance the welfare of our school, and to grow in character.  We have been involved in community service projects for our school and the wider community.  Each year, we donate $200.00 for a scholarship that is given to a graduating senior who attended VandenBerge and was a member of our organization.

    We are excited for this year and look forward to a fun year of service and leadership!

  • Students of the Week

    Congratulations to our October Students of the Week!!!

    Katie Chyrklund, Oscar Gonzalez, Max Hite, Lolia Jarouj, Coltin Johnson, Ella Lynch, Ragen McKernan, Azrielle Mickelson, Savannah Pawelk, Kate Perbix, Beatrice R., Jayce Rohde, Lauren Rusnacko, Kelsey VanValkenburg, Rashawn Young

  • Middle School Math League

    The VandenBerge Math Team faced some tough competition from Buffalo and Salk at their first meet.

    Two VandenBerge teams competed at the meet and there were 6 other complete teams at the meet.  The teams from VandenBerge finished in 5th and 6th place and were only 2 points apart.

    Kaylynn Breyen led VandenBerge scorers with 18 points (tied for 7th at the meet). John Palmer was the second highest scorer with 12 points. Top scoring 7th graders were Allie Silvola and Addison Brandt. Adriana Patullo was the top scoring 6th grader for the team.

    The next meet will be in Zimmerman on November 6th.

  • From the Front Office....

    Please keep in mind that messages delivered to students during the school day disrupt the entire classroom.  For this reason, if you are going to pick up your student early, please send a note with your student to bring to the office before school starts or call the attendance line (763-241-3555) before 8 am. Your student will be issued a pass allowing them to leave class to meet their parent in the office at the scheduled time. Students will not be dismissed during class time without a pass from the office. If an emergency arises and you need to contact your child, please call the main office at 763-241-3450. We will see that your student gets the emergency message.

    We also ask that you discuss any change in your child’s daily routine before they arrive at school. Discuss with your child their responsibility in bringing the appropriate books and supplies to school each day (including lunch money) and allow them to experience the consequences if they do not.  When a student has forgotten something and/or has called a parent to bring forgotten items, the student is responsible for checking on and picking up those items in the office during passing time.  We will not interrupt class to make deliveries of these items.

    Thank you for your cooperation.

  • Art

    Students are now in the final stretch of 1st Quarter and have been very busy working on a variety of projects.  

    Grade 6 has worked on everything from 2-point perspective and Spatial drawing to a project in clay.  They are currently finishing up a painting after a study of Mexican Amate bark painting.  Soon we'll start a cartooning unit and getting some practice in drawing!  Students will be telling a visual story with the creation of a cartoon book.   

    Grade 7 has worked on sculpture, clay, and printmaking projects this quarter.  They are now working on a wide variety of drawing methods that will lead into realistic drawings using the grid method.  Students have been working hard on learning how to produce light and shade, contour line sensitivity and seeing a subject and recording it with graphite pencil.  

    Grade 8 has been working with clay sculpture using the human portrait, optical art, and expressive mixed media.  They have been hard at work adding expressive elements to their art all quarter.  We will be learning the art of beautiful lettering and calligraphy to finish the quarter. 

  • AVID

    We are currently in the process of recruiting 6th grade students to join the 2018-2019 AVID program at VMS. You might be wondering what AVID is and who is an AVID student?

    AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. AVID is a program dedicated to helping students achieve their dreams of going on to higher education after high school. 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 for learning. An AVID student would likely benefit from learning to stay organized, assistance with work completion, and creating good study habits.

    If this sounds like a program that your child might benefit from, ask them to pick up an application packet from the Counseling Office, Mr. Sears or Mrs. Weinhold.  Applications are due Tuesday, November 13th and can be turned in to Mrs. Weinhold or dropped off in the Counseling Office.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Sarah Weinhold or Dave Crocker.

  • English

    Grade 6 students are continuing to read, write, collaborate, and discuss short stories. We have been covering varying literary terms, forms of fiction, focusing on themes of stories, and continuing our work with identifying genre. Soon, students will be working through our first whole class novel, which will include study of new vocabulary, discussion of topics in the story such as; theme, plot, conflict, etc. 

    Grade 7 students need to read their novels outside of school so they can finish reading 3 - 5 books during first quarter.  We do various activities with their novels that connect to our standards in class and reading to self helps build their overall reading stamina.  Thank you for encouraging your student to read!

    Grade 8 is continuing to work on our Fiction Unit with emphasis on the Common Core Standards in Reading. As we move into November, we will be reading our first novel of the school year. In addition to the novel reading in class, we encourage students to be reading for 20 minutes each night. This helps build vocabulary and comprehension skills. As the end of the quarter approaches, please check in with your child about grades on Parent Portal and looking at work posted daily on Schoology. 

    Feel free to contact your child's teacher with any questions or concerns.


  • Get the Facts about FACS

    Grade 6 has completed several food labs, giving students hands-on, real world experience practicing basic kitchen skills and promoting teamwork to overcome adversity.  In the Egg Lab, students researched how to make a specific type of egg.  In the Knife Skills Lab, they learned how to properly hold knives and do different cut styles.  During the Muffin Lab, they gained experience in measuring out dry ingredients and properly using a KitchenAid Mixer, as well as and preheating an oven. We just wrapped up our Laundry Unit where students were exposed to basic ways to sort, wash and dry clothes. Students also learned how to treat stains and read care labels on clothes. A home laundry assignment will help students show what knowledge they have gained.

    Grade 8 Food Science students have been completing food labs and learning about the “science” behind making food.  Labs focused on chemical reactions in chocolate chip cookies, how boiling points affect making pasta, applying the scientific method to making pancakes, and knife holds, safety, and proper cutting methods. We are now working on freezing points and will be making homemade ice cream.  

    Grade 8 Pro Chef students have been participating in group based food challenges.  Students are provided with guidelines and restrictions for the labs and then they must find a recipe to make. We have done Cookies, One Pot Pasta, and Stir Fry Challenges.  Students have also done a mini lab regarding knife holds, safety and proper cutting methods. Our final lab is a Hotdish lab.  As an added bonus for the students, staff members come in during labs and judge their food. The winning team receives extra ingredients for the next lab.  

  • VMS Library Media Center = Reading, Inquiry and Discovery

    First-time visitors often ask if our Media Center is always so full of students.

    Mornings are quite busy and we wouldn’t want it any other way. From 7:45 - 8:50, there is a constant stream of students dropping off chromebooks at the charging station, returning and checking out books, enjoying the makerspace, chatting with friends and working on projects. During 1st and 2nd hour, we stay busy with students from study hall, students taking tests, and a steady stream of students checking out books from all grade levels. On days when classes visit for checkout, lessons, or a breakout box challenge, our Fitbits log a lot of steps! 

    To answer the visitor’s question, we aren’t always completely full of students but we sure hope they enjoy the space when they are here. Students are the heart and soul of our space.

  • Social Studies

    Grade 6 students just finished a unit on the Dakota, the first people to ever reside in Minnesota.  Students learned about important Dakota values and the concept of Circle History.  Next, we will begin a unit on the Early Ojibwe people of Minnesota and design booklets about yearly Ojibwe life and their migration with the seasons. 

    Grade 7 is just finishing up a chapter on Westward Expansion and the War of 1812. Students completed a beautiful, large-scale map on the expansion of the United States. We will be continuing our work on Westward Expansion with a "Station Rotation" model of blended learning, and then we will move on to our final unit of the quarter.

    Grade 8 has been exploring the 5 Themes of Geography by either writing a paper or creating a foldable. Recently, we've been learning about the 5 major religions. Between now and Thanksgiving break, students will learn more about the different types of governments and economies. All of these topics set the stage for exploring the seven regions of the world and are essential components to what the student's will study at the high school next year. 

Contact Us!

  • VMS Main Office

    Marcia Welch

    Assistant Principal
    Paul Warzecha

    Attendance Line
    763.241.3555 (24hrs)

    Counseling Dept.

    School Health Clerk
    763.241.3400 x2605

    Vision Transportation

  • Youth Tobacco Use Rises for First Time in 17 Years

    Over 26 percent of high-school students surveyed reported using tobacco products in the past 30 days. 

    Click HERE to read more.

  • Thanksgiving Lunch

    Students will enjoy an early Thanksgiving feast on November 7th.  Our awesome kitchen staff will prepare a lunch complete with oven roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, cornbread, stuffing, buttered green beans, cranberry relish, warm rolls, and homemade pumpkin bars.  YUM!

  • 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.

bread program

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