Message from the Principal
Greetings VMS Families~
It has been a wonderful couple of weeks at VMS with our Face-to-Face learners back in the building. The joy, laughter, and positive energy has finally returned to our classrooms and hallways and we could not be happier! I would love nothing more than to continue in this fashion for the rest of the year, but we need your help. Please keep your child home if they are ill and ensure they come to school with a mask each day and wear it properly, wash their hands frequently, and use the hand sanitizer provided throughout the building. Your reminders, along with ours, will help keep our students safe.
We had to change our parent drop off/pick up procedures recently and would like to thank you for your patience and flexibility as we adjust to the new traffic flow. If you have not had time to review the new procedure, please click here to learn more: Change in Student Drop Off and Pick Up Procedures. When entering the parking lot during busy drop off/pick up times, all cars must turn right when entering the lot, even if you want to park in the main entrance parking lot. Please join the line of cars when you come into the lot so we can get traffic off School Street and have a consistent flow of traffic within the lot. I greatly appreciate your feedback on the new procedure, your cooperation, and all your smiles and waves each day. Together, we can make this a smooth process for all and ensure everyone’s safety.
Plans are coming together for the building remodel that will begin this summer. VMS will receive approximately seven million dollars in renovations over the next two summers. These will be exciting times in our building! We will create a safe and secure entry, flexible learning spaces, new lockers, additional bathrooms, new classroom configurations in some areas of the building, and a variety of other things. I look forward to when I can share the final plans with you.
As always, thank you for the opportunity to work and learn alongside your child. We truly appreciate your trust in us and are grateful for all of our learners. Take care!
Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments
The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) will be conducted at VMS this spring. We are working on all the final details and more information will be coming in the next few weeks.
Student of the Week
Congratulations to our February Students of the Week!
Logan Bitzan, Kayla Cook, Riley Deitrich, Owen Grupa, Emma Kramer, Lydia Lazarz, Tori Oslund, Mary Peterson, Lorraine Salazar, Faith Schlief, James Schwartz, Brianna VanAllen
We are glad to have our AVID students back in the building and making connections with each other to build our AVID Family!
Our 6th grade group is working on organization, relational capacity and learning the basics of the AVID class.
7th and 8th graders continue to work on organization, time management with class work and connecting with each other now that we are back in person. Our AVID tutorials continue in the 7th and 8th grade classes and our tutors have enjoyed working with the students on their homework and test questions.
If your child is a Distance Learner, we encourage them to reach out to their AVID teacher through email and Google Meets. They need to check their AVID Schoology page to see when Google Meets are offered so they can connect with their AVID teacher!
Grade 6: This February has been great in 6th grade English! Welcoming students back in the classroom has been a joy to us in the English department. Students have been working on writing skills, critical reading skills, reviewing figurative language, reading poetry, and much much more! Students have also been reading a wide variety of short stories, nonfiction articles, and poems. Please continue to encourage your students to take time to read novels. All classes have been cycling through the media center for book checkout and media center orientation.
Grade 7: It has been so much fun welcoming students back in person, while maintaining positive connections with our distance learners! We started our poetry unit and are beginning by reviewing poetic and figurative language terms. Fridays will continue to be our reading and Quarter 3 novel project work day. This project is in your student's reading folder in Schoology, and there is a short story/novel excerpt option this quarter. Please make sure your student has a pair of headphones or earbuds that they bring to class each day. We listen to different audio recordings of texts and videos on a regular basis. Students can reach out for a one-on-one Google Meet appointment with Mrs. Boche via the link on her Schoology page. Office hours are from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm on Fridays and from 3:00 - 3:25 pm on Wednesdays.
Grade 8: We are so excited to welcome back some of our students to the classroom! It has been great hearing voices in the hallway along with the rumbling of activity in the classroom. We ended the second quarter by finishing The Outsiders novel and completing a Summative Novel slideshow or website. Please check with your child about this assignment and their status of completion. It is our first summative assignment in the grade book for quarter three and can cause great fluctuation in their overall grade if not completed. We are now starting Unit 2 of StudySync and working with poetry.
Students have started a research paper in their Social Studies class, which will eventually transfer to their English class. We will help them outline their data and draft their research paper. Please ask your child about their research topic and what they have learned from their research!
We are looking forward to a busy Spring ahead, with many great assignments to help prepare our 8th graders for High School. We encourage you to check Campus Portal with your child regularly and discuss their grades/work completion. If your child is a Distance Learner, encourage them to reach out to their English teacher when they have questions or stop into a Google Meet on Friday from 10:00 am -12:00 pm to connect with us.
Please contact your child's English teacher with any questions or concerns.
Ms. Kohler and Ms. Tracy are so excited to have everyone back in the library! It has been a fantastic return to school for us.
This month we have been celebrating I Love to Read Month and Black History Month.
We would love it if you participated in our virtual sticker board, Let’s Stick Together. All VMS family and friends are invited to add to the project. Everyone gets 3 “stickers” per day. Continue coming back each day until the picture is complete!
Earlier this month, Student Council teamed up with the library to pull off an event called Puzzle Palooza. Although we were still distance learning, it was great to get together and do a virtual puzzle with others at the school.
Many 8th graders are getting started on research papers and Ms. Kohler has been happy to work with them as they continue learning about information literacy and using information sources responsibly! Research can be challenging. You are always welcome to reach out with questions. (email@example.com)
It has been great to see 6th, 7th, and 8th graders come to the library and check out books after being away for so long. Many classes have scheduled time to come in and explore the shelves and get reacquainted with the library. There are many brand new books available for check out so come on down and browse the collection.
As always, find out information about the media center throughout the month on our Media Center Website.
We are so happy to have the face to face learners back in the building for PE.
Mr. Michalak’s classes are doing volleyball while Mrs. Sheetz’s classes are doing pickleball. Students that are on Distance learning are continuing with their exercise logs. We are also adding in our Fitness Tests which are standing long jump, sit and reach, vertical jump, shuttle run, pacer, sit ups, push ups, and the 12 minute run.
Please contact us anytime if you have questions!
Grade 6: We are beginning to explore energy changes. We will be doing a handful of labs that highlight how energy is stored in one form, then can change and be released in another form.
Grade 7: Students are taking an inside look at bacteria and viruses, discovering their similarities and differences.
Grade 8: Students are completing the biggest unit of the year, which is the Geology unit. From there, we will be moving on to our final unit about Weather and Climate.
Grade 6: Over the past several weeks, students have come to understand the process of Minnesota becoming a territory and a state in the 1840's and 1850's. We have studied immigration patterns, systems of state government, and the impact of treaties on Minnesota's Indigenous Peoples - the Dakota and Ojibwe. We just started our unit on the U.S. - Dakota Conflict of 1862, and will be learning about the causes of the war, as well as the impact of the war on the different groups of people who lived in Minnesota at the time.
Grade 7: Students have been working very hard for the past few weeks and finally finished up their Reconstruction Research papers - many of them turned out really great! Due to time constraints, students got a mini lesson on the Progressive Era and completed station work learning about muckrakers - Jabob Riis, Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, Prohibition, and Women's Suffrage. We are now moving into WWI where they will learn the causes, conduct, and nations involved.
Grade 8: Students completed another region of study: Latin America. They learned about the spatial inequalities of Mexico City and the land use conflict in the Amazon Rainforest. We have now moved on to our Research Paper project. Students have been provided lessons on Evaluating Websites, Online Resources, & Databases. More lessons will be coming about Plagiarism and Citation Information. Research fully begins March 1. The paper is due Tuesday, March 23. This is a very large part of student's 3rd quarter grade. Here is the Research Paper Calendar so you can follow the project and help them stay on task!
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions about yearbooks.
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.