VMS Vibe Online Parent Newsletter

September 2019

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    Message from the Principal

    We are off to a great start at VandenBerge Middle School! Thank you for your support and for allowing us the opportunity to work with your children. We speak about and truly believe in educating, inspiring and empowering every student, but I have to say the students educate, inspire and empower us every day. VandenBerge is a great place to be!

    We had a wonderful parent help session on Schoology in September. If you weren’t able to attend the session but are interested in accessing the information that was provided, please visit the Parent Portal Overview or Schoology Overview pages on the ISD 728 website. The site also has links to several other great videos and documents to support parents. 

    Our next parent information session will be on October 10 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm in the VandenBerge Media Center. This session will be presented by experts in the field of alcohol, drugs and our youth. We are working with the Sherburne County Substance Use Prevention Coalition to provide you information on the latest drug trends in our area, including a focus on vaping, which we are seeing at VandenBerge and throughout the district. We hope you can join us.

    On November 5, residents of ISD 728 will decide whether to increase school funding through two referendum questions. The School Board unanimously approved holding a referendum after a year and a half of community input, research and planning. Please take a moment to watch this informational video on the two referendum questions or visit the 2019 Referendum Information Website. All schools in the district will benefit from the passage of this referendum; click HERE to see how the referendum would positively affect VandenBerge and Elk River High School. Strong schools equal strong communities. Please vote on November 5 or take advantage of early voting at the Sherburne County Government Center.

    Thanks again for your support of VandenBerge and your child’s success. I look forward to a fantastic school year and getting to know you and your student.

  • Parent Awareness Meeting at VMS



  • ISD 728 E-Learning Day Guidelines

    Why e-Learning Days?

    E-Learning Days are intended to provide access to learning on days when there are school cancellations due to inclement weather. These days cannot replace the face-to-face time students have with their teachers, but it can provide continuous learning when school is cancelled. E-Learning Days also eliminate the need for makeup days at the end of the school year, helping families plan summer activities.

    Important Information

    • Cancellations will be announced via phone, email, district website and social media indicating that there will be an e-Learning day.
    • Teachers, principals, and other licensed professionals will be available by email or phone (via voicemail) from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm. Staff contact information can be found in the ISD 728 Staff Directory.  Staff will respond to all communication requests in a timely manner during scheduled hours. 


    Attendance will be based on the completion of the work for e-Learning Days. Students who do not have the necessary resources may make arrangements with the teacher for additional time to complete the work. 

    Student Work Guidelines

    Middle School students will receive the e-Learning Day activities for each class through Schoology. Students should complete and submit activities as directed by staff. Staff will post the e-Learning Day's activities on Schoology no later than 9:00 am.

    Parent Informational Video

    Parents can view the informational video below to learn more about the eLearning plan.


  • From the 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 them 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. To avoid class disruption, please try to schedule student pick up during passing time (see bell schedule below). 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 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.

    Thank you for your cooperation!


  • 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 picture 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 one card, VandenBerge will make nearly $10,000! But why stop at one?  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.


  • Art

    Greetings to all! I hope your school year is off to a great start. We have been busy in the VMS art room, planning, creating and learning about the great world of art!  Here is a quick snapshot of what some students have been working on so far this year.

    Grade 6 students are currently learning about sculpting clay and have been creating fun clay monsters that also have a function.  We looked at the work of clay artist James DeRosso and how he works playful additions into his work. Students have had fun manipulating the clay. 

    Grade 7 students recently learned about surrealism. We looked at works by Salvador Dali and have been using the elements of surrealism to create collage works with magazine images.  Students have enjoyed creating interesting combinations of images. We have moved on to working with clay and have used the work of artist Henry Moore as the inspiration. Students have been planning ideas to create an abstract sculpture based on the human figure. 

    Grade 8 students have been creating an oil pastel work using an aerial landscape as the inspiration. Students have created some interesting work with high color contrast and the dynamics of color and light. They are now working on a clay portrait showing an expression to make a strong statement.   

  • AVID

    AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. It is a college preparatory program that helps students prepare for higher education.

    Our 7th and 8th grade classes are off to a great start. We are working on building our AVID family, getting the students organized, and reviewing the responsibilities of an AVID student.

    We will be looking at recruiting 6th grade students in November. Please watch for more information as that time frame comes closer.

    If you have any questions about AVID, please contact the VMS AVID coordinator, Sarah Weinhold, at sarah.weinhold@isd728.org.

  • English

    Grade 6 students have had quite a bit to work on in English. We’ve gone to the media center for our first orientation (it was a seek and find-- very fun!), wrote some practice paragraphs to get used to middle school level writing, and began to do some reading. We look forward to writing, questioning, thinking, reading, and overall fine-tuning our English Language Arts skills. Please ensure your student is reading at home to keep up with the book requirements for the year. This includes reading a goal of 25 books over the course of the year, as well as completing book reports/responses to reading.

    Grade 7 students have been getting to know each other and are reviewing reading and writing strategies. We established our weekly vocab program on Thursdays and wrote our first formal paragraph, which was due 9/20. We will spend the next month in a short story unit building our comprehension and analysis skills. Some of the pictures below show students reviewing media center skills with a fun break out box activity.

    Grade 8 students are off to a good start in English. Students had a chance to participate in Media Center orientation and check out Independent Reading novels. Over the last week as we have become more familiar with each other, we have been getting more in-depth into the curriculum. This year in English, we will focus on reading strategies, writing in different modes, and working collaboratively with classmates.

    We strongly encourage parents/guardians to be checking Schoology and Parent Portal for homework and grade updates. If you have any questions about the class or your child's progress, please contact their ELA teacher.

  • Get the FACTS about FACS

    My name is Jon Golla and I have the privilege to teach both 6th grade FACS and 8th grade Pro Chef/Food Science at VandenBerge. This is my 3rd year at VMS. I live in St. Cloud with my fiance', soon to be wife on Oct. 12th, and our two cats, Finnegan and Winston. 

    Grade 6 students have been learning about topics of Food and Kitchen Safety, such as how to prevent kitchen accidents and promote correct food handling practices. We also discussed Tools of the Trade, which is learning proper names of kitchen utensils, equipment and measuring of ingredients. We are currently reviewing how to read a recipe in anticipation of starting our food labs. 

    Grade 8 Food Science students have been learning about Job Skills. Students learned how to fill out a job application for Subway and the importance of doing it correctly. They practiced interview skills and completed a practice interview with a parent. We just wrapped up our Knife Skills Unit where students demonstrated what they've learned by practicing one of the five cuts (chop, dice, mince, slice, or cube) on fruits and veggies.

  • Math

    Greetings from the Math Department! We are looking forward to a great year in math!  

    We’ve already had the chance to practice skills using fun activities and stations. 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students have enjoyed working in collaborative groups and learning from each other.

    The VMS math teachers would like to take this opportunity to give you all a couple of reminders so that every student has the chance to succeed in math this year.

    First, it is important that all students come to class prepared, which includes having a scientific calculator, pencil, paper, and other supplies.  Please note: The calculator on the Chromebook is not a sufficient replacement for this required and necessary tool.

    Second, students typically have daily practice to work on the skills taught in class that 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. 

    Please be aware that there is morning math help available four days a week. Students are encouraged to take advantage of this time if they need some extra help with math.


    If you have any questions about daily practice or class expectations, feel free to contact your child’s math teacher. We are looking forward to a great year!

  • VMS Media Center

    -Reading, Inquiry and Discovery-

    It’s been a great start to the year in the VMS Media Center. The VMS Media Center is open every day from 7:45 until 3:15. Mornings are especially busy with students checking out books and visiting the charging station. Students may check out up to 4 items at a time for a loan period of three weeks. Students who forget to charge their chromebook at home can visit our charging station prior to first hour. Please help your student remember to bring a fully charged chromebook to school each day. 

    6th Grade Media Orientation

    6th grade students engaged in a scavenger hunt that took them all over the media center in search of information. The hunt gave them a chance to practice using their chromebooks as they completed a google form.

    7th Grade Media Center Breakout Review

    The 7th grade students were challenged to a Breakout Box experience to see how much they could remember from last year. The box had 4 locks to open and the clues sent them searching all over the media center for answers. We moved the printer this year and most of our 7th graders still aren’t sure where to find it! Look for the bright PINK sign!

    8th Grade GooseChase Media Review

    The GooseChase app was a hit for the 8th grade review. This allowed students to show what they know about the media center through photo and video evidence.  Each team was required to complete a minimum of 9 missions. Our top two teams were from Ms. Weinhold's 6th hour ELA class and they tied with 7500 points each. One team completed 18 of 22 possible missions - Well Done! Below you can see some of the photo evidence submitted during the GooseChase Review. 

  • Science

    Grade 6 students are exploring the nature of science and engineering beginning with the scientific method.  We then are moving into the Solar Ovens and the transfer of heat.

    Grade 7 students are learning about the microscopes and cells.

    Grade 8 has blasted off into space to explore our planets.  We are also investigating the movement of the moon around the earth and the resulting phases of the moon.

  • Social Studies

    Grade 6 students have spent the first weeks of school getting to know each other and learning about the necessary elements for reading a map, known as TODALSS. Please ask your student what this acronym stands for! We will complete our study of mapping in the next few days and then will begin our study of Minnesota's Native Tribes, the Ojibwe and Dakota. 

    Grade 7 students have just wrapped up their review of the 50 states and TODALSS in anticipation of this year's learning goals. Students can retake the 50 States Test until 9/30. Students began their unit on the US government and Constitution, and they will continue to look closely at our nation's founding documents. After talking about government, students will be moving on to Westward Expansion.

    Grade 8 students have also been reviewing TODALSS and learning about a variety of other types of maps and their uses. Students recently created a "Map of the Mind", which is a map of the world they created from memory on a blank piece of paper. This was a challenge for many of the students! We will keep these maps until the end of the year when the students have expanded their view of the world. Then students will create a new "Map of the Mind" they can compare to their first view of the world from the start of the year.


  • Yearbooks

    Have you ordered your yearbook? Yearbooks are $30 and will be available until we sell out. Almost half of the yearbook supply has already been purchased so order today!

    Visit  www.jostens.com and search for VandenBerge. Click "2020 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.  Yearbooks will be delivered to school in the spring. 

    Please contact Morgen Schultz at morgen.schultz@isd728.org if you have any questions about yearbooks.

    Thank you!

Contact Us!

  • VMS Main Office

    Marcia Welch

    Assistant Principal
    Paul Warzecha

    Attendance Line
    763.241.3555 (24hrs)

    Counseling Dept.

    School Health Clerk
    763.241.3450 x2605

    Vision Transportation

  • 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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