VMS Vibe Online Parent Newsletter

March 2021

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    Message from the Principal

    Happy Spring Break!

    I am looking forward to some sunshine and warmer weather over Spring Break as we move into April. Seeing the grass turn green and the flowers start to bloom while hearing birds chirp will give us all a positive boost during this COVID year.

    I am excited to share some details about phase one of the renovations that will start at VMS this summer. We are getting new lockers! The old ones have more than done their job and it is time for replacements. The new lockers are scheduled to be here in time for next school year. We are also getting a new safe and secure entry with a vestibule and entrance directly into the main office. In order to complete this project, our main office is moving. Phase one also includes flexible learning spaces in the 6th grade wing and the main entry area. A meeting space that will be available to the community during community education events will also be added.  

    Phase two of the VMS renovation project will occur mainly during the summer of 2022. In phase two, the classrooms in the 7th and 8th grade areas will be reconfigured, flexible learning spaces that will include small conference rooms for quiet testing will be added and the media center will be remodeled to make better use of the space.

    We look forward to these exciting changes at VMS and are very grateful for your support.

    Thank you again for allowing us the opportunity to work and learn alongside your child. We truly appreciate your trust in us and are grateful for all of our learners and for you. Take care.

  • VMS Food Drive

    VMS Student Council and Honor Society recently teamed up for a Food Drive at VMS. We had an amazing outpouring of donations! We collected over 200 items and $1,001.75 in monetary donations! WOW! CAER Food Shelf and the community are extremely grateful for all of your donations for those in need. 

    Here is the final total of items of food and money collected for each grade (each $1 counts as 1 item of food).

    1st Place: 6th grade - 1088 (items + money) 

    2nd Place: 7th grade - 61 (items + money) 

    3rd Place: 8th grade - 54 (items + money) 

    6th graders earned a hat day on Thursday, April 9th for taking 1st place!! 



  • Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments

    MCAs will be taking place at VandenBerge in April and May. Tests will be administered in regularly scheduled Math, English and Science classes. 

    Students who are learning In Person will be taking the MCA in Math, Reading and Science on the dates listed below. 

    READING - April 13 - 15 (all grades)

    MATH - April 27 - 29 (all grades)

    SCIENCE - May 4 - 6 (grade 8 only)

    Students who are 100% Distance Learners will test on the dates listed below. 

    READING - April 15 from 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

    MATH - April 30 from 8:00 am - 12:00 pm 

    SCIENCE (grade 8 only) -  May 7 from 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

    Please make sure your student is in attendance on the days they are scheduled to test. Contact the VMS counseling office (763-241-3445 or jennifer.eldredge@isd728.org) if your student will be out for a planned absence on any of these dates.

    To ensure that your student has a successful testing experience, please help us with the following:

    • Ensure your student's Chromebook is fully charged as it will be used for testing.
    • Bluetooth headphones are not allowed. Students should bring wired headphones.
    • Cell phones and wearable technology are not allowed. Remind your student to leave these items at home or put them away in their backpack/locker during testing.
    • Make sure your student receives proper rest the night before they test.
    • Provide a nutritious breakfast on the day of the test or have them eat FREE breakfast when they arrive at school.

    To provide your student with practice test opportunities and test functionality tutorials, click the following links:   MCA Item Samplers or Student Tutorials

  • Student of the Week

    Congratulations to our March Students of the Week!

    Alissa Borum, Easton Guyer, Kyle Jallah, Whitney Langley, Jaelynn Martie, Clemensia Ongori, Cameron Page, Blake Rafferty, Salvador Rangel, Ruthie Raske, Jack Reilly, Hazel Sepeda 

  • Math League


  • Chrome Depot Tips, Tricks, and Reminders


    • Students must keep the protective cases on their chromebooks at all times. If damage occurs when a case is off, it will not be covered by the protection plan if they have purchased one.
    • Chrome Depot has a limited amount of loaner Chromebooks that are typically used when somone has forgotten theirs at home. The Chrome Depot does not loan Chromebooks when students are charging theirs. Please remind your student to come to school with a fully charged chromebook so they can have a successful day at school.

    Tips & Tricks

    • If a chromebook isn't powering on, even after it has been charged, press the power and refresh buttons at the same time then release. 9 times out of 10 this works to restart the Chromebook.
    • If Wifi has to be reconnected each time a student closes/opens the Chromebook cover, try restarting the chromebook. It is ideal for students to restart their chromebooks at least once a week.
  • AVID

    We are continuing to work with our 6th, 7th and 8th grade AVID students in their AVID Elective Class on organization, studying skills, and building teamwork. We are looking to recruit additional 6th and 7th grade students who would be interested in joining AVID for the 21-22 school year. Look for more information to be sent out in April on the application process.

    Please contact Sarah Weinhold if you have any questions about the AVID Program (763)241-2698 or through email at sarah.weinhold@isd728.org.

  • English

    Grade 6: Our students reviewed poetry, nonfiction, and fiction - it has been a whirlwind of a month! Students particularly focused on citing textual evidence to back up their claims about either the stories they read or the nonfiction texts they encountered. Students also reviewed evaluating arguments, central idea, author’s purpose, and text structure in nonfiction texts. Students should continue to read a choice novel at home. We provide many reminders about this during the week and really appreciate your help in encouraging them to do this reading at home as well!

    • Ms. Butts (Ms. B) holds office hours via Google Meet every Monday from 3:05-3:25 and every Friday from 9:30-11:30.
    • Ms. Colton holds regular office via Google meet every Friday from 10:00 to 11:40 am and after school by appointment. 
    • Ms. Jones holds office hours via Google Meet every Friday from 9:30 to 11:30 and after school by appointment.

    Grade 8: Our students just finished up their Poetry Unit and completed the Unit 2 Poetry Test in StudySync. We also assisted the Social Studies teachers in helping outline and draft the 8th grade Research Paper. It was great to see the students engage in researching a topic of their choice and finding out how they can put all their findings together in a finalized research paper! We have now started our Informational Text Unit, which will extend to the week after Spring Break. This unit will be our final preparation for the MCA test on April 13-15.

    Please continue to communicate with your child's English teacher if you have any questions. We encourage you to check Campus for grade updates throughout the quarter. As the end of 3rd quarter approaches, please talk with your child about their grades and assignments. Have a great Spring Break!

  • Math

    Morning Math Help is back!  Math teachers are available every morning before school to assist students. Please encourage your student to take advantage of thise opportunity if they need some extra math support.


    Also, each math teacher provides opportunities for students to work virtually one-on-one with them by appointment every Friday using Google Meet. Please contact your child's teacher if your student needs help signing up for a Friday appointment with their math teacher.


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

  • Media Center

    It has been a busy month in the library! We have enjoyed seeing all of the students back in the space before school and during study hall. The library is always open during school hours for independent study with a teacher’s permission.

    8th graders should be wrapping up on their research papers. It has been a long and challenging process for many but they have done an amazing job. We are very proud of their hard work and we will continue to be supportive of any information needs. 

    Starting March 23rd, the Bookish Sprouts (VMS Spring Book Club) will be starting. This is a student led book club. We are happy to host this club in the media center during lunch times. If your student missed the application deadline and would like to join, they can speak with Ms. Kohler or wait to join in the 2021-2022 school year.

    As a monthly reminder:

    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 10 “stickers” per day. Continue coming back for more! 

    As always, find out information about the media center throughout the month on our website.

    Check out this awesome group of kids building towers with Keva Planks. We have good times in the media center!


  • Phy Ed

    Our VMS students have been doing a fantastic job in Phy Ed each day!

    Mr. Michalak: Students are wrapping up Badminton and will start Basketball when they return from break.

    Mrs. Sheetz: Students are finishing up Volleyball and will start Badminton when they return from break.

    Please remind your child to have tennis shoes for PE. Wishing you all a great spring break! 


  • Science

    Grade 6:  Students have been working through a unit on the human body as a part of our 6th grade health standards. We are studying how the parts of the body work and what things can harm our body.  We will be using this information to create power points presentations about different issues that harm the human body and what we can do about them.  

    Grade 7: Students completed their exploration of the protist kingdom. They enjoyed examining live protists under the microscope. Next up is learning about the fungi kingdom where students will be taking a closer look at mushrooms.

    Grade 8: Students are discovering the science behind weather, atmosphere, and climate through hands-on labs and activities.  They are learning about how the sun’s heating of the Earth's surface and atmosphere drives convection within the atmosphere and hydrosphere and how these things produce winds, ocean currents and the water cycle, as well as influence global climate.

  • Social Studies

    Grade 6:  Students are part way through learning about the U.S. Civil War in Minnesota. After students come back from Spring Break, we will be reading through "Soldier's Heart" by Gary Paulsen to analyze the experience of a young soldier going to war. 

    Grade 7:  Students finished up learning about WWI and a quick Roaring Twenties unit will follow. When students return from Spring Break, they will begin learning about the Great Depression. So much to cover, so little time. We hope all students enjoy their break!

    Grade 8:  Students completed their big research project. Many were excited to be done and some were a bit nervous to turn in their final paper. Students worked very hard! When we return from break, our next region of study will be Africa.

  • Yearbooks

    The final day to place an order for a yearbook is March 30th! After that, only a very limited number of yearbooks will be available for purchase outside of the already placed orders. If you would like a yearbook for a child, please place an order by March 30th. 

    To order, 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 at morgen.butts@isd728.org if you have any questions about yearbooks or to check if you have placed an order.

  • GRASP Program


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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