VMS Vibe Online Parent Newsletter

January 2020

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    Message from the Principal

    Happy New Year! The start of 3rd quarter means we are now in the last half of the school year. Time is flying by! The end of the school year will be here before we know it.

    Please check Parent Portal and Schoology with your child to ensure they have a clear understanding of your academic expectations for them. If you have any questions or concerns about a specific class, please contact your child’s teacher.

    On Wednesday, January 29, our 8th grade students presented a College Fair where the students were able to learn from one another. Students researched post-secondary options and chose whether they wanted to complete their presentation digitally or on a trifold presentation board.

    VandenBerge students will be going to Powder Ridge for a team building experience on Thursday, February 6. We have reserved Powder Ridge, so we have the whole place to ourselves! Students were able to sign up for one of the following activities: snowboarding, skiing, tubing or chalet games. We look forward to having a great day at Powder Ridge!

    Finally, our second round of conferences will occur from 4:00-7:00 on March 5 and April 16. More information will be coming out soon.

    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to work and learn alongside your child.  

  • Students Recognized by School Board

    Gabriella Tobin has shown incredible growth as a writer so far in 6th grade. Ella's essay for the Mayor for a Day contest was thought provoking, well written, and an example of a real life solution that could help the community of Elk River. Her idea was to set aside a day of each month for the community to come together to pick up refuse around the city. In turn, local businesses would provide coupons for citizens per each bag of refuse collected. Her idea was imaginative, helpful for the environmental health of the city, as well as thoughtful of local businesses to boost business. Her teacher, Morgen Schultz, and all of us in the VMS family are excited to see Ella's growth as a writer as well as a citizen of Elk River who wishes to make her community a better place. 

    Niya Staul, Ali Lee, and Addison Louder, 7th grade students at VMS, have all been chosen to be a part of the MN State Honors Choir. This is quite an achievement for 7th graders! All of these wonderful young ladies took the initiative to record their singing for the American Choral Committee to judge. Their passion for music, diligence and perseverance during choral classes and lessons is to be commended. Ladies, your hard work has truly paid off and the VMS Family is truly proud of you!

    Students are pictured below receiving their awards form the ISD 728 School Board (Ali Lee not pictured).

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  • 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 mark your calendar and do your best to ensure your student is at school on the testing dates. If you are aware your student will be absent, please contact the VandenBerge Counseling Office so we can make alternate testing arrangements.


  • Career Day at VandenBerge

    On Friday, January 10, Grade 8 students participated in a “Career Day” from 1:00 to 2:55. Students attended four different sessions, choosing from 15 different speakers from professions such as carpentry, military, nurse anesthetist, lawyer, law enforcement, scientist, entrepreneur, heavy equipment operator and a veterinarian to name a few. This event was the culminating activity after students spent the week studying potential career options in preparation for signing up for their 9th grade classes.

  • Students of the Week

    Congratulations to our December and January Students of the Week!

    Corinne Andersen, Nicholas Anderson, Karabella Bergstrom, Isabella Brady, Gavin Braley, Tristan Caouette, Julia Cyr-Pobuda, Brooke Engebretson, Abongnwi Fubienka, Joslyn Hines, Scarlett Jost, Benjamin Khang, Maeve LeMieux, Federer Mosioma, Stephanie Muniz, Quinn Rishovd, Emma Sampson, Austin St. Clair, Miichan Turney, Michael Vonada, Jayanthi Wijeratne

  • From the Health Office....


  • Math League - Season Ends on a High Note!

    This year, VMS students had the opportunity to participate in the MN State Jr High Math League. The top 10 students and the top 3 scoring schools in the division received awards for their efforts. This has been a great way for students to start building a college resume and to prepare for high school math league. Most importantly, it’s a great way for kids to challenge themselves, expand their knowledge of math, and have some fun!

    To end the season, we had a first place finish for Meet #5 with two of our Mathletes in the Top 10!!! That amazing outcome helped us clinch the 2nd place trophy for the League this season!  Way to go, VMS Mathletes!!! 

    MEET 5 Results:

    VMS = 1st place

    Salk = 2nd place

    Buffalo = 3rd place

    Rogers = 4th place

    Top 10 finishers from VMS: Jeron Hall (1st) and Whitney Langley (6th)

    2019-20 League Results:

    Salk = 1st place

    VMS = 2nd place

    Buffalo = 3rd place

    Top 20 finishers from VMS (overall): Jeron Hall (3rd) and Addison Maier (12th). Katrina Simonette and Alex Kaelke placed 21st and 23rd out of over 65 participants.

    Congratulations to all!!!!


  • Art

    Greetings to all from the Art Room at VMS! Students have been busy planning, creating and learning about the great world of art! Here is a quick snapshot of what some students have been working on! They have been busy! 

    Grade 6 students just finished up a unit on cartooning where they produced a cartoon book with 8 panels. They met the goals of developing a storyboard, illustrating a character, using narration or thought, and speech balloons to tell a visual story. As an extension activity, students have been working with a number of digital art activities using their chromebooks.


    Grade 7 students recently completed a grid drawing portrait. They choose a favorite celebrity or a person they admire as their subject. Students have been using value shading and a drawing grid to create good proportion and accuracy of the subject. Many students invested time outside of class to make their project successful.


    Grade 8 students have been working on an expressive painting. The choice of subject was a portrait using a digitally manipulated photo, working up the color schemes to use color of great contrast. The results were very interesting! The use of arbitrary colors was supposed to create a certain mood, feeling or effect in the subject. 


  • 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! They have been busy incorporating Cornell Notes, Organization, and Tutorials into their learning. The new 6th grade group has started strong and are eager to learn about AVID. We are working on building our AVID family, getting students organized, and reviewing the responsibilities of an AVID student.

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

  • English

    Grade 6 students are continuing to read independent books, in addition to working on the nonfiction text unit. Students are working on units that focus on the central idea of texts, text structure, author’s point of view, finding details, as well as marking the text to find pertinent information while reading. Please continue to encourage reading at home to bolster reading skills in all areas.

    Grade 7 students are finishing up their nonfiction unit with a nonfiction text that details two survivor's accounts of the Titanic sinking. Please make sure that your students have working earbuds or headphones, as we will be watching video clips and listening to audio texts. Finally, there will be a reading competition between classes this next quarter. The class that reads and logs the most books will earn a class incentive at the end of the quarter. Please encourage reading at home when the opportunity arises!

    Grade 8 students just finished up our novel study unit and have moved into our college study unit. Students have been working on a Persuasive College Presentation for our College Fair that took place on Wednesday, January 29th. This unit connects with the district's mission to prepare students for college and career readiness. It also supports our English standards of researching, producing and presenting information. We were excited to invite parents to attend the College Fair to see the work produced by our students. 

  • Math

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


  • Music

    Honor Band Participants

    Three VMS 8th Grade Band Students performed at the Central Minnesota Band Directors Association 6-8 Honor Band on Saturday, Jan. 11th at Elk River High School under the direction of Dr. Justin T. Zanchuk. Congratulations to these awesome VandenBerge musicians!

    Brody Klingelhofer, Trumpet

    Allie Silvola, Clarinet

    Jay Wallace, Tuba

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    Coming Soon - Band Ensemble Night

    Tuesday, March 17th at 6:30PM and 7:45PM

    Students will perform in small groups for this performance. 6th Grade will perform in the Cafeteria, 7th in the Band Room, and 8th Grade in the Choir Room. Students will either perform in the 6:30 time slot or the 7:45 time slot. The Jazz Band will perform in between sessions at 7:15 in the Cafeteria. 

  • Science

    Grade 6 students finished working with Compounds, Elements, and Mixtures and have started learning about the basic units of all matter: atoms and the periodic table of elements.

    Grade 7 students finished learning about viruses and bacteria and are moving on to understanding simple life with protists fungi. They will be examining protists under microscopes soon.

    Grade 8 students are digging deep in the Geology Unit. They just finished learning about earthquakes and will be moving on to volcanoes to complete the unit.

    They investigated mountains of the Earth and determined which were Volcanoes and which were Tectonic. Forecast for the next unit is weather.

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  • Social Studies

    Grade 6 students are learning the basics of government, including the Three Branches of Government and an interactive group project about how a Bill becomes a Law. 

    Grade 7 students wrapped up learning about the Civil War and the Reconstruction. They are currently learning about the Second Industrialization moving into the Progressive Era. Students will be learning about big business men like Andrew Carnige and John D. Rockefeller. Students will also be working on a small immigration journal. 

    Grade 8 students are learning about the continent of Africa. Students are learning about the Apartheid and the colonization of Africa. The colonization activity was linked to the Black Panther movie. Students also got to participate in a break-out box about the Apartheid. 

  • Yearbooks

    Have you ordered your yearbook? Yearbooks are $30 and will be available until we sell out. 

    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!

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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