VMS Vibe Online Parent Newsletter

January 2021

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    Message from the Principal

    I am so pleased with the announcement that we will be bringing our VMS students back for Face-to-Face learning on February 16, 2021! As a building, we are working on a plan to ensure a smooth transition for all of our students; some of our Distance Learners coming into the building for the first time and our hybrid learners returning after several months away. To complete this work, we will have planning days on February 11 and 12, where students will not have school but staff will be hard at work getting ready for their return. 

    Middle School Schedule for Students in Face-to-Face Learning Model

    VMS students who have chosen the Face-to-Face Learning Model will attend school Monday through Thursday each week. Fridays will continue to be a distance learning day for all students. 

    Distance Learning Model

    Students who choose to remain in the 100% Distance Learning Model instead of returning to school will be experiencing self-paced learning with independent, online lessons through Schoology. They will have opportunities to check in with teachers twice per week through Google Meets. For further information regarding our 100% Distance Learning Model, please click here.

    Learning Model Selection

    Now that we know our students can return for Face-to-Face learning, the district is providing you with a final opportunity to change your child’s learning model. If you would like to change the current learning model for your child, you must submit your request by 11:59 pm on January 31, 2021, by completing the Learning Model Change FormIf you have already submitted this form, there is no need to complete it again. 

    Note: If you are planning on changing your child to the Face-to-Face Learning Model from 100% Distance Learning and are in need of bus transportation, you will need to complete the transportation form that is provided at the conclusion of the Learning Model Change Form or you may click here to complete the form. If you do not need or want transportation, no further action is required. 

    We look forward to seeing all of our learners, whether it be Face-to-Face or Distance Learning, as we move ahead into the 3rd quarter of the 2020-21 School Year. Thank you all for your support, guidance, and commitment to education. We are incredibly grateful for all of you and could not do this without you! 

  • Prevention and Safety Newsletter

    The Prevention & Safety team continues to support students and staff by sharing important information regarding mental health, social emotional learning, and safety.

    Check out the January Prevention and Safety Newsletter and all of the valuable resources available on the ISD 728 Prevention & Safety Parent Page.

    Resources include mental health supports (external and internal), hotlines, family needs resources, COVID resources, resilience and self care resources, parent education, safety and more.

    Please reach out to our Coordinator of Prevention and Safety, Sheila Dokken (sheila.dokken@isd728.org) if you have questions or ideas for content on the Parent Page.

  • Health Services Update

    Greetings from VMS Health Services!

    We are thrilled to have students returning to in-person learning at VandenBerge in mid-February and want to provide a reminder about medications. If your student needs medication throughout their school day that should be kept in the health office, please send the medications to school with them on their first day of in-person learning. If you are not comfortable sending medication with your student, please contact the Health Office to schedule an appointment to drop it off.

    The Authorization for Administration of Medication at School is required if not already on file for your student.

    Please check that medication has not expired before sending it to school with your student.

    VMS Health Office 763-241-3400 ext 2605

    Health Services Assistant: Renee Nelson renee.nelson@isd782.org

    Licensed School Nurse: Rhianon Herman rhianon.herman@isd728.org

  • Coffee with the Counselor

    Thanks to all who have been joining our Coffee with the Counselor conversations!

    Please join our school counselor, Kaylee Mace, as she offers informal and interactive conversations on various social and emotional topics to help in the journey of parenthood. Discussions are open to all VMS parents and will provide an opportunity to discuss meaningful issues with fellow parents. 

    Coffee with the Counselor takes place via Google Meet on the second Thursday of each month at 3:00 pm. 

    • February 11th: Coping with Isolation

    Sign up by clicking here.  

    For questions, please contact kaylee.mace@isd728.org.


  • Student of the Week

    Congratulations to our January Students of the Week!

    Mia Baken, Madison Beckman, Blake Carter, Kendra Cole, Alutha Gittens, Mason Hoeller, Nadou Lawson-Anani, Samuel Moos, Lacey Price, Jacob Stolte, Tessa Traynor, Vincent Ward

  • AVID

    We are excited to welcome our 6th grade AVID students into the VMS AVID family! They started their journey with AVID on January 4th and are working with Mr. Sears on building community, organization, and self-motivation.

    Our 7th and 8th grade AVID students are working with AVID tutors once a week to help increase understanding of assignments and tests/quizzes in their classes. Mr. Michalak (7th grade) and Mrs. Weinhold (8th grade) are working hard with students on motivation, organization, and AVID strategies to help with taking notes and staying current with their classwork. 

    We look forward to helping the students look towards their future and completing some projects that help them start exploring colleges and goals they can set to get there!

    Please contact your child's AVID teacher with any questions.

  • English

    Grade 6 students have been writing, reading and pondering the essential question, “How do relationships shape us?” Students have also been hard at work generating questions that deal with the stories we read, in addition to adding to their academic vocabulary and honing skills related to working with others digitally. All of the 6th grade English teachers are so impressed with the hard work that each student has been putting in throughout distance learning. We know it’s difficult and many students are helping each other and taking each day in stride! Please continue to encourage your students in and outside of school, as well as encourage them to read books! It’s so beneficial to have activities that students can do offline. Reading a book is a wonderful way for students to take a screen break and help shape their critical thinking skills. 

    6th Grade Office Hours

    • Mrs. Butts holds office hours via Google Meet every Monday from 3:05-3:25 and every Friday by appointment only.
    • Ms. Colton holds office hours via Google Meet every Monday from 3:05-3:25 and every Friday by appointment only.
    • Mrs. Holan holds office hours via Google Meet every Wednesday from 3:00-3:30pm and every Friday from 9:00-12:00.

    Grade 7 students will sail into 3rd quarter by finishing up our nonfiction/informational text unit and then they are moving on to the poetry unit. Please encourage your student to read the daily agenda posted on Schoology and join our daily Google Meet. On work days, Mrs. Boche is always available to work one-on-one in a breakout room and can also meet before or after school by request. 

    Grade 8 students have been working hard reading and annotating "The Outsiders" novel. This is a great coming of age story for teenagers who are trying to find their true self while navigating tough situations. Students have been working with the Annotating Reading and Interacting with their Text srategies to help critically read and comprehend the novel. This strategy will be very helpful as they venture off to high school next year. We will be wrapping up "The Outsiders" Unit next week and then will move into Unit 2 of StudySync. As we start 3rd Quarter, students will be expected to be reading an Independent Novel of their choice or reading a gathering of short stories to help increase vocabulary and reading comprehension. Information will be given to your child during their English class and posted on Schoology about this assignment. Reading time for their individual novels or short stories will be provided on Fridays when they don't have an assigned Google Meet time.

    Please continue to encourage your child to attend their Google Meets daily so they are getting the full instruction. Students and parents should be checking Campus for grade updates and missing assignments. Please contact me if you have any questions about assignments, missing work, or Schoology. Students are welcome to access my office hours for individual help on assignments or projects.

    8th Grade Office Hours:

    • Mrs. Weinhold holds office hours via Google Meet every Monday and Wednesday from 3:00-3:25.
    • Mrs. Butts holds office hours via Google Meet every Monday from 3:00-3:25 and Friday by appointment only.
  • Math

    Hello from the VMS Math Team!!

    We’d like to take this time to remind you that each math teacher provides opportunities for students to work virtually one-on-one with them (by appointment) every Friday using Google Meet. The links to these Friday Appointments are provided below.

    Ruhland - 6th grade math

    Tuholsky - 6th advanced & 7th grade

    Boyer - 7th grade & Algebra 1

    Olsen - Linear Algebra & Geometry

    As always, if you have any questions about daily practice or class expectations, feel free contact your child’s math teacher by phone or by email.


  • Media Center

    The VMS Media Center is open for digital check out! 

    Place holds on Destiny. You may place holds any day during the week and pick up materials Monday through Thursday. Ms. Kohler (kasey.kohler@isd728.org) will email families with more information if they have a child that places a hold.

    We have a number of weekly posts on Schoology: Meme Monday, Whatcha Reading Wednesday, Virtual Book Talk Thursday, and First Chapter Friday!

    On Destiny Discover, be sure to check out collections. Collections are a series of resources that are put together as an easy place to find informaiton. New this month are Chinese New Year and Black History Month resources.

    As always, you can find information about the media center throughout the month on our Media Center Website.

  • Phy Ed

    Students are wrapping up their Quarter 2, Unit 2 Exercise Logs. We have really enjoyed working out on Google Meets with our students, but are definitely looking forward to the day they come back to the building! We will start Quarter 3 with our Excercise Logs and shift gears when students return to in-person learning in mid-February. Until then, we know they will keep up the fantastic work in PE!!


  • Science

    Grade 6 students just wrapped up the States of Matter Unit to end 2nd quarter. We will begin our unit on Atoms as we move into the 3rd quarter. We will be learning how the whole world is made of atoms and how the different kinds, called elements, interact with each other to make all the compounds that make up our world.  

    Grade 7 students completed the "Cells and Heredity" book. We will be using what we learned as we dive into "The Diversity of Living Things." This new book was already picked up when we first went to 100% distance learning. If your student does not have a paper copy, here is a link to the online version. It is also in your student's Science Schoology course.

    Grade 8 students are finishing The Restless Earth Unit. We have been learning about Plate Tectonics and the effects of their movement, including earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountain building. In February, we will head back into Earth's History to finish The Dynamic Earth Unit. We will leap into spring with Earth's Water and Atmosphere.

  • Social Studies

    Grade 6 students in MN Studies spent the first part of January focusing on Chapter 6, which discusses settlers moving into Minnesota during the 1800s and different land treaties between the U.S. Government and Native American groups. As we wrapped up Quarter 2, we worked on a mini-unit about the foundations of government (including the 3 branches). 

    Grade 7 students in U.S. Studies have been learning about the impact the Civil War had on the United States. We are looking at how the South rebuilt economically, politically and socially during the Reconstruction Era. As we start Quarter 3, we will be discussing proper research techniques and will begin writing a three paragraph research paper.

    Grade 8 students in Global Studies have been focused on the continent of Asia. The first part of the unit focused on mapping out the continent. From there, students have been learning about North and South Korea, as well as how economic changes in our global society have affected Asia. Students learned about India's comparative advantages and the Fast Fashion industry. Starting in Quarter 3, we will move on to South America.

  • Yearbooks

    Yearbooks are still available! You can order from Jostens for $30.

    Visit jostensyearbooks.com, click ‘Order My 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 Butts (morgen.butts@isd728.org) if you have any questions about yearbooks. 

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

  • 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. 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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