Message from the Principal
Spring is here!! Third quarter has ended, and we are on to the last leg of the school year. It always amazes me how fast the time goes. Please feel free to contact your student’s teachers if you have any questions or concerns leading into the last quarter of the year.
Beginning in 2012-2013, our staff has been implementing the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports system (also known as PBIS). One of the tenets of the program is to look for the positive behaviors our students exhibit and reward students for what they are doing right. We give students positive referrals (positive messages sent home to parents) as well as PRIDE tickets that students can turn in for different incentives.
To date, teachers have written 2,844 positive referrals on our 572 students. Our goal is 3,800 for the year. Our students have also turned in 77,775 PRIDE tickets for a variety of incentives. Our goal was 70,000 by the end of the year and they have well exceeded that goal.
In contrast, our behavior referrals are currently at 309. Since implementing the PBIS program, our behavior referrals have decreased dramatically, as shown in the statistics below. Research tells us that by continuing to focus on the positive, educating the students on what is expected and re-teaching when necessary, we will continue to have a positive atmosphere for students to learn and thrive.
As always, thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to work with your children. We appreciate each and every one of them. Take care and have a great month!
Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA)
Students will be taking the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments in Math, Reading and Science on the dates listed below. Tests will be administered in the student's regularly scheduled Math, English and Science classes. Please contact the VandenBerge Counseling Office if your student will not be at school to test on the dates below.
Grades 6 & 7 - April 9 - 12
Grade 8 - April 15 - 18
Grades 6 & 7 - April 23 - 26
Grade 8 - April 25 - 30
Grade 8 - May 6 - 9
To ensure that your student has a successful testing experience, please help us with the following reminders:
- Ensure your student's Chromebook is fully charged as it will be used for testing.
- Remind students they are not allowed to have phones or wearable technology (Apple Watch, FitBit, etc) in the testing rooms and to leave these items at home or in their locker.
- Encourage your student to get a good nights sleep and feed them a nutritious breakfast.
Resources to prepare your child for the MCAs can be found by clicking the following links: MCA Tips, Student Tutorials, or Item Samplers. In addition, your child’s teacher will be providing students with information to help them do their best on their tests.
VandenBerge Honor Society
The VandenBerge Honor Society students recently took an after school field trip to Feed My Starving Children in Coon Rapids. The students spent two hours packing meals that will be sent to El Salvador to help those less fortunate. Awesome job serving!
State Representative Nick Zerwas Visits VMS
State Representative Zerwas visited VMS on March 22nd to talk to Social Studies students about his years as a student at VandenBerge and his career in the State House of Representatives. He refreshed students on the law-making process and students asked Representative Zerwas many good questions about his life and experiences within government.
From the Health Office….
Beat the Rush - Get your Student’s Sports Physicals and Immunizations
In preparing for the 2019-2020 school year, it is important to complete the appropriate medical information for your child as soon as possible. Immunization and sport physical dates that the school has received for your child are posted on Parent Portal. Immunization requirements reflect the current school year only which are posted on July 1st of each school year.
Students of the Week
Congratulations to our March Students of the Week!
Lauren Barthel, Brielle Becker, Lindsay Bode, Sydney DuBay, Ashley Ege, Danny Fehn, Charles Gabrelcik, Avery Louder, Steven Peloquin, Hayden Robinson, Chloe Rocheleau, Grace Talbot
We have been busy recruiting AVID students for the 2019-2020 school year. The application deadline for those interested in joining AVID next year is Wednesday, March 27th. Please contact Sarah Weinhold if you have any questions.
The VMS AVID family is participating in a service project by volunteering time at Feed My Starving Children on Thursday, April 11th from 6:00-7:30 pm. Any current AVID students and their families are welcome to volunteer their time at this event. The event is FREE to AVID families and a bus will be provided for transportation. Families also have the option to drive and meet the group at FMSC in Coon Rapids. A permission slip was sent home last week. Please contact your student's AVID teacher for more information.
Grade 6 students looked at poetry and fictional stories over the past month. We reviewed many figurative language terms and even took time to create some poetry and short stories. Here's a photo of some students working on blackout poetry.
Grade 8 students worked VERY hard at completing their first comprehensive research paper in English and Global Studies. We enjoyed reading their work and learning new aspects about the student's topics. As we wrap up 3rd quarter, we will be starting some poetry lessons through differentiation. When we return from Spring Break, we will spend a little time reviewing key concepts from the beginning of the year that will benefit students during MCA testing.
Please contact your child's English teacher with any questions!
WOW! How are we already done with 3rd Quarter?!? Your students have been so much fun to work with and we can't believe this year is moving by so fast!
To help students review and show they're ready to tackle their math class next year, we will continue to provide opportunities for students to review all of the mastered current grade-level Standards throughout the month of April.
Students will be expected to complete a minimum of eight Grade Level Skills Quizzes. Each quiz has 8 questions and is worth 8 points. All students must reach a mastery score of 6/8 or better. All quizzes will be available for students to do on Schoology with an opportunity to take each of them up to three times. Their highest score will be the one that is counted for a grade. Please see your child’s teacher for specific due dates.
Please remember that homework help is available Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings before school from 7:45 - 8:10. If your student is having a hard time working through some of the review material, please encourage them to come see one of us for help. We have been stressing quality practice all year and we want to do whatever we can to ensure they are truly Math Masters of the current Grade-Level Standards so they can move on to next year feeling comfortable, confident, and ready to be successful.
If you have any questions or concerns about what's coming up in April, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s math teacher.
STEADY INCREASE IN CIRCULATION NUMBERS
VandenBerge readers are pulling out all the stops this year. Our circulation numbers steadily increased all last year and this year they are consistently around 1200 per month. For many months, this is a 100% increase in circulation. To what do we owe this increase? Having plenty of titles of high interest to our students certainly helps. Our book selection process includes following book reviews, matching student demographics and interests and supporting curriculum needs. Along with having books on hand, it’s crucial to provide reader’s advisory to students as they search for reading material. Both the Media Specialist, Ms Y., and the Media Assistant, Ms. Tracy, love giving students book recommendations (although sometimes we have too many ideas - so many books, so little time!). A special shout out to our English teachers who do an amazing job of encouraging reading during class as well as giving students time to come in for checkout on a regular basis.
BOOK SPINE POETRY
Poets from all grade levels used book spines to create poetry during book checkout this past month. Book spine poetry is a quick and easy way for all students to get a jump start on a poem. The students used the titles on the spine of the book to create 5-7 lines of poetry. They then made short videos reading their poems, allowing them to add nuance to their creation through performance.
Grade 6 is making big waves with the study of waves. The emphasis of this unit is the use of waves to transfer energy including heat, light and sound. So jump on your surfboard, dial up the heat and crank those radios!
Grade 7 students are discussing simple animals including invertebrates. We recently started our dissection of worms.
Grade 8 students started the spring season with the March 20th Revolution of the Earth around the sun. We are just finishing our weather unit with the imploding of pop cans, a tornado in a can! We will then be starting the final review of physical, life, and earth science standards before our State MCA tests begin on May 6th.
Grade 6 students are finishing up their study of the Civil War. They just completed their first and only research project on a Civil War topic. Congratulations to them on their hard work! For many students this was their first "big" research project and a first for writing an informative essay in Social Studies. After spring break, we will begin our study of Minnesota's Civil War - The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.
Grade 7 is finishing up their research paper/biography on a famous personality of the 1920s. Rather than presenting who their personality is, students will be participating in a Roaring Twenties Social Hour where they will mingle around and share who their personality is and what impact they made on the decade. Students are encouraged to dress the part for more fun. We have a lot of topics left to study during the last quarter of our school year including the Great Depression, WW II, Cold War & Vietnam War, President Kennedy, and Civil Rights.
Grade 8 completed their biggest project yet, a research paper on a topic related to the United States. We worked on this paper in conjunction with the English Department, so students were able to turn in one paper for two grades - one in English and one in Social Studies. A huge sigh of relief was heard as their work on this project concluded on Friday, March 22. Congratulations to them for their had work and getting the papers done! We'll begin our study of Asia in the 4th quarter.
Do you want a yearbook? Place your order soon, because only a limited number are still available! Yearbooks will be delivered to school in the spring.
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. Checkout 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!
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.