VMS Vibe Online Parent Newsletter

November 2019

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    Message from the Principal

    The leaves have already turned their gorgeous colors and are falling from the trees, which means winter is coming. As we move into winter, remember that we will be using e-Learning Days this year, instead of snow days, for inclement weather. Check out our ISD 728 e-Learning Day Guidelines, which includes a great video for parents. On e-Learning Days, students will receive assignments through Schoology, and teachers will be available through email from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. If a teacher is unavailable for any reason, students may email me to receive assistance.

    Our 8th grade students participated in a district wide Career and College Exploration Event at Anoka Technical College and Anoka Ramsey Community College on November 15 (see pictures below). Students visited both sites and were able to speak to staff and different business partners to get an idea of possible career paths. Before attending this event, all students completed a career interest inventory to help them identify possible career fields they might be interested in researching. Students will return to their career interest inventory in January, when we have Career Day here at VandenBerge. They will once again meet with a variety of individuals from various career paths and hear about the educational needs, as well as advantages and disadvantages of different careers. Our students have such bright futures!

    We will begin the course registration process for the 2020-2021 school year in mid-December. Please watch for more information to come.

    Have a wonderful Fall Break!

  • Veterans Day Program

    We held our VandenBerge Veterans Day Program on Monday, November 11th. We were honored to have the Elk River Color Guard and special guest speaker, Bruce Price, a Veterans Services Officer from Sherburne County Veteran Services. The program also featured performances by our 8th grade choir and band.

    vet vet


  • Cold Weather Gear Donations Requested

    As the weather outside turns colder, we are looking for donations of cold weather gear. Please consider donating the following items for us to share with students who are in need this winter season. 

    • New or gently used coats in sizes appropriate for middle-school aged kids.
    • New hats and mittens/gloves.

    Thank you in advance for your generosity!


  • Students of the Week

    Congratulations to our November Students of the Week!

    Jeron Hall, Emmalyn Konkol, Kaden Kupczynski, Oleksandra Pomazanova, Ethan Scannell-Thompson, Isaiah Sanga, Nicolas Schmid, Allie Silvola, Sofia Vang

  • From the Health Office....


    Influenza season has begun, so please use this questionnaire each day your child is sick with flu-like symptoms and follow the instructions for when to keep your child home. If your child has received the flu vaccine, he/she is much less likely to get sick. It is certainly not too late to get the vaccine this year. Getting a flu shot (or nasal spray) helps protect your child from getting the flu, so the flu won't be passed to people who risk getting very sick - like babies, elderly and people with chronic diseases. 

    Please refer to the additional guidelines below to prevent the spread of illness at school.  If your child has been diagnosed by a doctor or clinic with a different disease, such as strep, please notify your child’s school Health Office.


    Just a reminder of the attendance procedure:  A doctor’s note is required for absences that extend beyond three consecutive days or ten total absences due to medical reasons. The doctor’s note must be provided within three days of the request.


  • Art

    We have been busy during 2nd quarter 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. 

    Grade 6 students just finished sculpting with clay and created 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 had fun manipulating the clay! We just started a unit working with 1 and 2 point perspective. Students are using these skills to create 3-dimensional space on a 2-dimensional surface.  

    Grade 7 students are learning about the art of surrealism and are in the process of creating a collage. We looked at works by Salvador Dali and have been using the elements of surrealism to create the collage works with magazine images. Students are excited to create interesting combinations of images.  

    Grade 8 students are working on a modern sculpture using nylon and wire. We looked at the work of Architect, Frank Gehry, and other modern sculptors as the inspiration for the sculptures. The process has given some exciting results.

    Enjoy the pictures of some of our student's works of art!

  • AVID

    AVID recruitment has started for our 6th grade class. Applications were due Thursday, Nov. 14th and interviews are underway. We will notify students about their acceptance into AVID during the first week of December with the class scheduled to start on Monday, December 9th. We look forward to welcoming our 6th graders to the VMS AVID family!

    Our 7th grade AVID students attended a field trip to St. Cloud State University on Wednesday, November 20th. Our 8th grade AVID students went to St. Cloud Tech and Community College on November 13th. They had a great time exploring the campus and programs offered.

    If you have any questions about the AVID program, please contact Sarah Weinhold.

  • English

    Grade 6 students are continuing to read, analyze texts, practice writing, and work on vocabulary skills. Please continue to encourage reading at home so all students can reach their reading goals. In addition to continuing with regular English class, several 6th graders are also working on novels for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The stories that are being written this month are incredible!

    Grade 7 students in Mrs. Boche's hours 1,3,4,5,6 and Ms. Schultz's 3rd hr will be reading an abridged play version of "A Christmas Carol" in class. Students will have a study guide they will be expected to complete. They will then be quizzed on each scene and will be allowed to use their study guide if they have filled it out. Finally, there will be a summative test at the end of the unit before break. 

    Grade 7 students in Mrs. Boche's 2nd hr will be reading the novel version of "A Christmas Carol." Students will have one in-class workday to read a chapter and answer questions on a study guide. The expectation will be that if they don't finish in class, they will finish the chapter as homework that night. The next day, students will have a quiz on the chapter and will be allowed to use their study guide if they have completed it. We will go through the study guide and watch the corresponding part in the movie. After we finish with reading and discussing, there will be a summative essay test and small project. Students need to be able to use work time in class wisely, complete homework, and participate in any collaborative group work in order to understand the story and do well on the unit assignments and tests. Our aim is to be able to have this unit finished before break.

    Grade 8 students have been working hard with Independent Reading and building their reading stamina during the first few months of school. Please encourage your child to read 20 minutes per night to support literacy and vocabulary skills. Some of our 8th grade students will be starting novel units in December. If you have requested to purchase a novel for your child, please contact their English teacher with any questions. As we continue to work through second quarter, please be checking Parent Portal and Schoology for updates. 

  • Math

    If your student needs extra help with math, please encourage them to take advantage of Math Help!


  • Music

    7th, 8th, & Jazz Band Concert

    Date: Tuesday, December 3rd, 7:00pm

    Location: Elk River High School Zabee Theater

    VandenBerge and Salk 7th & 8th Grade Choir Concert

    Date: Tuesday, December 10th, 7:00pm

    Location: Elk River High School Zabee Theater

    VandenBerge 6th Grade Band & Choir Concert

    Date: Thursday, December 12th, 7:00pm

    Location: VandenBerge Gymnasium

    Attire for all concerts is dressy black on the bottom and dressy white on top. (No leggings, please.)

  • Science

    Grade 6 students just finished wrapping up the technology and engineering unit by designing and building either a paper catapult or a paper tower. They used their paper catapults to compete and see who could throw a ping pong ball the furthest. Their paper towers had to withstand "storm" strength wind.  We are now in our Matter and Chemistry unit, which includes labs on physical properties like density and chemical reactions that show the law of conservation of mass.

    Grade 7 students are currently learning why we are the way we are. We are working on genetics and mapping out traits through punnett squares and pedigree diagrams.  

    Grade 8 students have started the geology unit, reviewing atoms and elements and learning how they form minerals. The unit started with a crystal growing lab and a mineral identification lab.  Next we will move on to rocks. 

  • Social Studies

    Grade 6 students are exploring the Fur Trade. We just completed the chapter readings and after break will create a Voyageur Journal that tells their story of a fur trade journey. We had a speaker who is a participant in re-enacting Rendezvous at various locations in Minnesota. Ask them about what they learned from him! 

    Grade 7 students have officially started their unit on the Civil War. This unit will cover the causes of conflict that lead to war, as well as some of the major events and outcomes of the Civil War. Students will also complete a research video project on a chosen Civil War topic later in December, which will be due before Winter Break.

    Grade 8 students began their first region of study, which is Australia. Students will map the Australia/Oceania region and learn about the Aboriginals and the effects of their relative & absolute location. The next region of study will be South America. Students will map the region and create short Pechakucha videos of countries tying in the 5 Themes of Geography.

  • 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 (morgen.schultz@isd728.org) if you have any questions about yearbooks.

    Thank you!

  • 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.


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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