VMS Vibe Online Parent Newsletter

April 2021

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    Message from the Principal

    Happy spring! Sunny spring days with birds chirping and flowers blooming are just around the corner.

    With the change of season, VandenBerge will be seeing changes due to renovations made possible by the bond/levy that the voters approved. Abatement work in the old locker rooms has already started (after school hours) to prepare for construction this summer. As of June 14, the building will be closed to staff, students and parents due to construction. We will still be available by phone for questions or concerns. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us this summer.

     Here are a few of the highlights of the 2021 summer construction project at VMS:

    • A safe, secure entry to the building
    • A new office
    • Parking lot renovation
    • Additional girls’ and boys’ restrooms added to the building
    • New lockers throughout the building for all grade levels
    • New concession stand/school store area
    • Flex space in the 6th grade and main commons areas
    • HVAC and plumbing updates

    Here are a few of the highlights for the 2022 summer construction project at VMS:

    • Renovation to the media center
    • Renovation and reconfiguration of the 7th and 8th grade classrooms
    • Flex spaces added in the 7th and 8th grade areas
    • Conference rooms added throughout the building for students to utilize for meetings, test taking, group projects, etc.

    Our future looks bright at VMS. We consider ourselves incredibly blessed to be able to work and learn alongside your child(ren). Thank you for that privilege and your trust.

  • Student of the Week

    Congratulations to our April Students of the Week!

    Ellie Asbeck, Ethan Erickson, Devin Jackson, Brecken Keoraj, Cody Lease, Addison Maier, Emily Miceli, Lily Olson, Johnny Opsahl, Vincent Peloquin, Vyctoria Smith, Niya Staul

  • Health Services Update

    In preparing for the 2021-2022 school year, it is important to complete the appropriate medical information for your child as soon as possible.  Immunization records the school has received for your child are posted on Parent Portal. Immunization requirements reflect the current school year only. Requirements for the 2021-22 school year will be posted on July 1st. 

    Please note: Tdap and Meningococcal vaccines are required to start 7th grade.

    For requirements and appropriate forms to be completed by your medical provider, please refer to the Health Services webpage.

  • Art

    Fourth quarter Art students are moving along well! We have been focused on completing a variety of projects and meeting goals within the visual arts standards framework.  

    Each school year, ISD 728 Art teachers select works of art to be included in a district-wide display in the hallways and conference rooms at the District Office. This year, I had the pleasure of selecting works of art from VMS students, Lacey Price and Gracieann Khang.  These art students will be invited to an awards ceremony to be presented with a recognition certificate and handshake from Superintendent Bittman. Congratulations to Lacey and Emma for representing VMS with their fantastic work and for being excellent art students this school year! 




  • AVID

    Our 6th, 7th and 8th grade AVID classes are continuing to work hard on time management, organization and connecting as an AVID family. We are looking to recruit any current 6th and 7th grade students who are interested in joining our AVID program for next school year. If you have a child who would be interested, please review the students guidelines below and discuss if the AVID program would be a good fit for the student.

    AVID is a program dedicated to helping students achieve their dreams of going onto higher education after high school. The AVID classroom is made up of students who are in the academic middle; GPA of 2.0-3.5, average to high test scores and most importantly, a desire and determination for learning. An AVID student would likely benefit from learning to stay organized, assistance with work completion, and creating good study habits.

    Applications can be picked up from Mrs. Weinhold or the counseling office May 3rd - May 10th. Please assist your child in completing the application and return them to the counseling office by Thursday, May 13th.

    If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Weinhold (AVID Coordinator) through email at sarah.weinhold@isd728.org.

  • English

    Grade 6: In April, 6th grade English students completed their reading MCA test and have since been continuing to sharpen their reading comprehension skills and new vocabulary acquisition. Students did a wonderful job throughout test preparation and during the test, kudos to every student! Looking forward, 6th grade English classes will be focusing on nonfiction texts as well as mythology throughout the next few weeks. 

    Please continue to encourage your students to read at home, thank you for your support!

    • 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 7: We recently started out Greek mythology unit. This will evolve into the journey of the hero where students will get to create their own heroic journey following the story-telling patterns we will analyze and discuss. Students have a Quarter Four reading response that will be due May 20th. Students are expected to read outside of class, especially on Fridays when novel response work time is assigned. 

    Grade 8: Now that we have completed our Reading MCA's, students should be receiving a PRELIMINARY score from their English teacher if they took the test. Please contact your child's English teacher if you have any questions pertaining to the MCA Reading Test. We are now working into Unit #3 of StudySync. This continues our work with Informational Text around the theme of risk taking. Please continue to check Campus Portal for grade updates and missing assignments for your child. In Schoology, please check the daily slides for what assignments need to be completed on a daily basis. If you have any questions please contact your child's English teacher.

    Office Hours:

    • Mrs. Weinhold: Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:00-3:25
    • Mrs. Butts: Mondays from 3:00-3:25 and Fridays from 10:00-11:00
  • Math

    As we near the end of the year, student supplies begin to dwindle. Please check with your student and replenish school supplies such as calculators, pencils, pens and loose leaf paper. Let's finish the year out with success! 

    Remember that each math teacher provides opportunities for students to work virtually one-on-one with them by appointment every Friday using Google Meet. We provided links below for the Friday Appointments with each of the teachers:

    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

    It is so wonderful to have the library in working order and to have all the creative and innovative minds working together within its walls. 

    Book club has been going well and there have been lots of discussions during our short time together. We have two more meetings this year. Be sure to look out for a book club sign up next year, if you are interested.

    Mrs. Wold and Ms. Southward’s global studies classes were the first to use our break out boxes this year. We are happy to share that everything went well and students were able to stay safe during their learning time. 8th graders learned more about South Africa and the effects of apartheid during their break out session. We hope to plan more break out boxes this year.


    The makerspace is currently undergoing an update so we can offer more opportunities for students to create, innovate, and play. We are excited to share new materials and see what students do with them. Although makerspace is closed for a bit, the library is always open during school hours for independent study with a teacher’s permission.

    May 20th will be the last day to check out books from the library and all books will be due on May 24th. We appreciate your help in making sure all borrowed materials are back by this time. Around this same time the library will be closing for inventory and end of the year procedures. 

    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. We are almost done! 

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

  • Phy Ed

    We are looking forward to spending some time outside for PE this spring!

    Mr. Michalak's classes just wrapped up Basketball and are moving on to Frisbee Golf. Mrs. Sheetz just finished Badminton and is starting Tennis. 

    Please remind your child to have tennis shoes and to dress for the outdoor weather for PE. Thank you for your assistance!


  • Science

    Grade 6: We are currently studying waves. We are wrapping up sound wave and will be moving into light waves next week.

    Grade 7: We are learning about simple invertebrates and have completed our first dissection of earthworms. After the invertebrates we will focus on the vertebrates and look forward to taking a closer look at frogs through dissection. 

    Grade 8: Students are reviewing the foundational science themes learned in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, getting ready for the transition to high school. Eighth graders are the only Science students who will be taking MCA tests May 4 - 6.


  • Social Studies

    Grade 6: Students finished their unit on Minnesota and the Civil War by reading the novel "Soldier's Heart." This novel followed Charley Goddard, a teenager from Winona, Minnesota who was part of Minnesota's First Volunteer Infantry Regiment and fought in many famous Civil War battles. We also watched a documentary about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the manhunt for John Wilkes Booth. Currently, we are learning about Minnesota in the late 1800's, when European immigrants flooded the state and cultivated the land for farms and the growth of cities and towns. We are examining the way trains and railroads transformed the state and led to a rise in industries in our state such as flour, lumber, and iron.  

    Grade 7:  U.S. Studies students just finished up learning about the Great Depression. They all did an unbelievable job creating booklets that summarized the causes of the Great Depression. Next, we are moving on to learning about World War II. 

    Grade 8:  In Global Studies, students finished learning about Africa by creating a brochure highlighting the 5 Themes of Geography of a country. Our next region is Europe where students will map (Western, Eastern, & Northern regions), learn about Population Pyramids, and the European Union. 

  • Yearbooks

    We are making a final call for you to order a yearbook! There are a limited number of yearbooks still available for purchase, so place an order as soon as possible.

    You can order a yearbook by clicking HERE.

    Orders will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis. In the case of yearbooks being oversold, the last orders placed will be refunded.

    If you have any questions, please contact Morgen Butts at morgen.butts@isd728.org.


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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