Message from the Principal
As we move into the second half of the school year, I would like to thank all of you for your continued support of VandenBerge Middle School. Great things happen here every day for our students and our community because of our wonderful parents and guardians.
Our parents and our community were instrumental in creating our Strategic Plan, the foundation for our overall thoughtful planning process, which ensures we have the resources to provide the most appropriate learning environments for our students. Our Strategic Plan will lead us into the future by providing our students with innovative learning environments, equitable opportunities and access to programs and facilities. I hope you will take a moment to review our Strategic Plan, so you can see the community-driven plan for our future.
Spring conferences will take place on February 28 and March 5 from 4:00-7:00. Teachers will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. This is a great time for you to connect with your child’s teacher. We hope to see you there.
ISD 728 schools were closed on January 29, 30 and 31 due to cold weather. Two of these school days will be made up on June 7 and June 10. Please make sure to add both days to your home calendar. While we do not like to extend the school year, we also did not want to risk the safety of our students and staff during the severe cold.
Again, thank you for being a part of ISD 728 by being a member of the VandenBerge family!
Please assist your students in remembering to charge their Chromebooks each night and on the weekends. Students need to arrive at school each day with their Chromebook charged and ready to go for the full school day. Thank you!
Mayor for a Day Essay Contest
Congratulations to Vandenberge 6th grader, Breanna Bode, for winning the Mayor for a Day essay contest sponsored by the League of Minnesota Cities. Congratulations also goes to Avery Louder for receiving Honorable Mention in the contest.
Please click here for more information about the contest and also to read Breanna's essay.
Valentine's Day Fundraiser
Vandenberge Honor Society is raising money for Guardian Angels. Students can buy a rose for a friend and have it delivered to them on Valentine's Day.
Snow Week - February 4 -8
It's Snow Week at ERHS Febuary 4 - 8 and VandenBerge is joining in the dress-up fun!!
Students of the Week
Congratulations to our second half of December and January Students of the Week!!!
Madison Birdsall, Quinn Dehkes, Haley Erickson, Brandon Hill, Daniel John, Ayva Johnson, Alex Kaelke, Gabby Koehler, Mark Kohout, Sage, McLean, Andi Mehrer, Josephine Schmidt, Piper Smith, Wes Tatro, Sofia Vang, Austin Waletzko, Janelle Williams, Olivia Wold
Middle School Math League
The Middle School Math League season concluded on January 14th. Seven schools competed in the NW Metro division. There were approximately 75 students who consistently showed up to meets this year, with around 15 of them being VandenBerge students. The team from Buffalo was formidable this year, winning all five meets. Team VandenBerge finished in 3rd place overall after 2nd place Salk. Top individual finishers for the year were Kaylyn Breyen (9th place) and Izzy Silvola (10th place). John Palmer and Kristin Landrus finished in 14th and 15th place, respectively. The top scoring 6th grader from VandenBerge was Adriana Patullo, followed by Tessa Traynor who scored just one point less.
The final meet was the toughest one for the division as a whole. VandenBerge finished in 3rd place with John Palmer and Isabel Roiland scoring in the top 10. The kids were excited that they finally outscored their friendly rival, Salk Middle School. That was a great way to end the year!
Despite being a tougher year for Team VandenBerge, the kids continued to work hard during practice, had some fun, and definitely ate a lot of cookies. They were an awesome group and should be proud of themselves for spending extra time doing math.
Coach Michener had a lot of help this year from members of the ERHS Math team (and VandenBerge alumni) Katie Gerold, Mya Yoder, Gabe Livingston, and Sophia Tobin. they were a big help at practices and did a wonderful job working with the middle school team this year.
Time is running out to order a yearbook for $30! Order today to ensure your student will receive their yearbook when distributed at school in May.
The final deadline to order a yearbook is April 12, 2019.
Visit www.jostens.com and search for VandenBerge. Click "2019 Yearbook” to view products and add them to your cart. Check out online and be sure to enter your email address so you get a receipt for your purchase. If you need additional help, click HERE for details about how to shop & order
Please contact Morgen Schultz at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about yearbooks. Thank you!
Our students made some amazing works of art during 2nd quarter. Check some of them out below!
Our 7th and 8th grade AVID students had the opportunity to visit Bethel University to hear about the college experience and tour the campus. It was a very enjoyable experience for our students, and it helped them understand what it takes to be ready for college.
Our AVID classes are busy working on Tutorials, Collaborative Study Groups, and Organization. These are skills needed to be successful in high school and college.
In March, we will begin recruiting for additional AVID students (for next school year). Please contact Sarah Weinhold if you have any questions about the AVID program at VMS.
Grade 6 English students are working hard to finish up their fiction unit. In class, we’ve read a variety of short stories and novels to look at vital information regarding fiction. This includes theme, plot, conflict, and genre. Over the past few weeks, students have also participated in a book tasting in the media center. This involved students ‘tasting’ 12 different books to get an idea about the story so they can add to their reading list if desired. Overall, students found many books they are interested in reading in the future. Looking forward to quarter 3, we will be working through a nonfiction unit.
Grade 7 students will be wrapping up their non-fiction unit the week of February 8th. From there, we'll move on to a poetry unit that covers our figurative language standards. Students should try to reach a minimum of 6 books read for 3rd quarter. Their Reader's Response Plot Diagram is due on Feburary 8th for them to receive full credit.
Grade 8 English students have been working hard on the College Fair they hosted here at VMS. Students chose a college they were interested in, then researched it and gave a presentation to fellow VMS students, staff and peers. It was a great way for them to share their work and see the interest they acquired about their chosen school. Pictures from Career Day are shared below. We will be moving on to Informational Text and nonfiction work as we begin 3rd quarter. This quarter contains our cross-curricular research paper with the Social Studies classes, so please watch for emails and information over the next couple weeks about your child's upcoming research.
Greetings from the Math Department!
We are now in third quarter and the start of testing season. The VMS math teachers would like to take this opportunity to provide a couple of reminders.
Students typically have daily practice to work on the skills taught in class each day. Please use Schoology to keep up-to-date on assignments. Daily work should be completed in FOCUS. Students are expected to show their work and correct any mistakes made to demonstrate mastery. If you have any questions about daily practice or class expectations, feel free contact your child’s math teacher.
Math Help is available most days before school. Please encourage your student to take advantage of this extra time with a math teacher.
VMS Media Center
NEW YEAR, NEW BOOKS, NEW TEAM, NEW TURING TUMBLE
NEW is the theme for January in the VMS Media Center!
To keep students interested in reading, it is crucial to offer them appealing and relatable books. The art of creating a collection that supports an ever changing group of students (we say hello to new 6th graders and goodbye to 8th graders every year) keeps us on our toes. Some of our 70 new, fiction titles can be seen in the photos below.
This year the Media Center is lucky to have a Student Media Advisory Team (MAT) that helps us with bulletin boards, chromebook charging, book displays and so much more. This month, MAT students set up two displays for book recommendations. One display invites students and staff to suggest their favorite books - we love knowing what our VMS family enjoys reading! The other is a display of books suggested by our MAT members hoping to inspire other students to try something new.
NEW TURING TUMBLE
The newest addition to our Makerspace area is the Turing Tumble, a marble powered logic machine. Students have been explanding their coding mindset through challenges that make them think through multiple steps in order to achieve a specific outcome of colors or switch angles. The challenges startout simple and progress as additional levers and wheels are needed to enable the machine to produce the required output. Students tell us they really like these machines by coming back day after day for more challenges.
Grade 6 are learning about matter, atoms, and the periodic table. This included them making a model of an atom.
Grade 7 students are finishing their study of bacteria and viruses. Next, they'll be moving on to protist and fungi.
Grade 8 is wrapping up their Geology unit by studying volcanoes and earthquakes. For 3rd quarter, we'll be moving on to our weather unit.
The Social Studies Dept has changed their test retake policy, and our policy now aligns with the English Dept. Students will be given a new copy of the test and one will be posted on Schoology. Please contact your student's social studies teacher if you have questions.
Grade 6 has been studying the 3 branches of the United States Government and how a bill becomes a law. Students participated in a United States Constitution breakout box challenge in the media center. We will be moving on to treaty negotiations and how the United States government acquired the Minnesota land from Native Americans.
Grade 7 students wrapped up the Civil War unit by studying the Reconstruction time period. We have now moved on to studying the Second Industrial Revolution. Students have been studying new inventions, principles of business, and industrial age entrepreneurs. Up next will be the Progressive Era where students will study immigration, followed by World War II.
Grade 8 students will be finalizing their study of Africa by presenting on a topic/problem affecting the continent or a country. We will move on to studying the Middle East during 3rd quarter. This will lead students into their research paper which will wrap up at the end of 3rd quarter.
Teacher of the Year
Congraulations to VMS Band Teacher, Sara Klingelhofer, on your Teacher of the Year nomination! We are so proud!
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.
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.