May / June 2021
Message from the Principal
The end of the school year seems to have snuck up on us once again! We have enjoyed watching the 8th graders grow and mature the last three years and wish them the very best as they move on to high school. We look forward to seeing the 6th and 7th graders next year! Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to work with your children.
June 11 is the last day the building will be open to the public due to the demolition of our main office and main entrances. The office staff and I will still be available through email, phone calls and virtual meetings, but we will not be able to meet on site. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you in advance for your understanding. If you need to drop anything off after June 11, please bring it to the front desk at the District Office.
This is the last edition of the Vibe for this unprecedented school year, and I would like to thank everyone who helped make VandenBerge the best it can be. The support you have given our staff has been great! Without the extra time parents/guardians put in, we would not be able to accomplish the things we do.
Thank you for all you do to help us educate, inspire and empower your children.
Student of the Week
Congratulations to our May Students of the Week!
Dominic Boner, Michaela Carpenter, Giselle Clemons, Hadassah Close, Ella Hamilton, Easton Jones, Joseph Kotzian, Alicia LaValley, Lincoln Nelson, Oliver Pryzbylinski, Ryley Rydell, Stone Schmidt, Benjamin Sinclair, Aliya Staul, Joel Warren
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.
We want to thank our AVID students for a wonderful and crazy year! They have done an excellent job with adjusting to learning models and still participating strongly in their AVID class. Our 7th and 8th grade AVID classes are wrapping up tutorials with our AVID tutors and preparing to move into the next grade level of AVID. Each class will be hosting their own celebration to honor the students and their hard work this year!!
If you there are any current 6th and 7th grade students who are interested in joining the AVID program, please grab an application from Mrs. Weinhold (Room 139).
Grade 6: This May, we wrapped up unit 3 in StudySync. Students read the myth of Perseus, learned what would happen if everyone in the world jumped at the same time, and learned about real life heroes in the fields of creative writing, photography, and natural history. The latter portion of unit 3 will help students as we get into our last project of the year. Students will either choose from a list of teens who have accomplished something remarkable in their eyes, or they will select their own young person who they feel has done something remarkable.
Grade 7: Students will be working on a 50 point summative Hero's Journey project 5/27-6/7. There will be a rough draft process, work time on the final draft, and then a day to share with peers. Although daily class time will be given, students will be expected to stay on task and make use of in-class work time. Distance learning students will be given the same opportunity. They may email me with updates and questions, and may also request to meet with me on Fridays via Google Meet or sometime after school. I look forward to seeing what creative journeys they send their heros on!
Grade 8: We just finished up Unit #3 of StudySync. For the last 3 weeks, students are working on their end of the year presentation. As their middle school journey ends, we want them to start looking towards their future, so we have been reading articles and researching about the importance of education after high school and what they can do over the next four years to make themselves successful. The students will be choosing a college of their choice, researching certain aspects of the school and putting together a final presentation. The presentations will take place on June 7th, 8th and 9th in class. If you know your child will not be here the last week of school, please reach out to their English teacher so they can make adjustments ahead of time.
Please continue to check Parent Portal for grade updates and Schoology for day-to-day assignments. All missing work is due Monday, June 7th. No missing work will be accepted after this date. Please contact your child's English teacher with any questions!
Yeah Math! Our VMS students have been having fun with math this spring!
The Algebra class made foil hats while they were learning the FOIL method of multiplying algebraic expressions.
8th graders used their algebra problem solving skills to break out from a deserted island... with cannibals!
With the year quickly approaching the library is taking the time to make sure all materials that have been enjoyed over the year are returned. If you have a library book checked out please be sure to return it as quickly as possible.
Book Club came to a close this month. Good luck and best wishes to our 8th grade members moving over to the high school. We will miss you!
Mrs. Olsen’s 8th grade math classes came to the library to complete the Island of Despair breakout box and put their math skills to work trying to escape the island. Mrs. Boche and Mrs. Butt’s 7th grade English classes also tried to break out this month while using their knowledge on the hero’s journey. We had a great time working with the students on the challenges they needed to have a successful breakout.
The makerspace update is complete and we have seen an increase in the number of creative projects and collaborative games taking place in the library. Our most popular new activities are the Sphero Mini coding robots and the button maker. Now that we are at the end of May the makerspace will be closed until next year. Students are still able to come to the library with a teacher’s permission for Chrome Depot, the charging station, and to use the student printer.
Over the past few months we have told you about our virtual sticker board, Let’s Stick Together! As a school community, we have finished! It took us 2161 hours, 4 minutes! Special shout out to Mrs. Butts’ classes. They put a lot of effort into the finished product.
As always, find out information about the media center throughout the month on our website.
It has been a fun spring to get outside! Mrs. Sheetz just wrapped up Tennis and Mr. Michalk just finished Ultimate Frisbee/football. We are onto some kickball and recreational games to end this school year! We hope you all have a fun and safe summer and stay active!
Grade 6: Students are using the energy they learned about to finish off the year with Force and Motion and completed a toy car acceleration lab.
Grade 7: Students are finishing up our vertebrates unit. We completed both earthworm and crayfish dissections and now we leapt to the 7th grade all-time favorite - frog dissections.
Grade 8: Students are finishing off the year with final projects and a jump back in time to experience some of the highlights they missed as 7th graders during the original COVID-19 lock down. Some highlights include both crayfish and frog dissections.
Congratulations, especially to our eighth graders, on making it through a crazy middle school year. We are so proud of all the effort, resilience, patience, and support of each other shown by our Science students throughout this unprecedented year.
Grade 6: Students have been studying the rise of industries and the growth of cities and population in Minnesota at the turn of the 20th Century. We have explored the flour milling, lumber, and iron ore industries and how these industries triggered a dramatic growth of population and technological innovation in our state. We will end the year by studying about the Progressive Era and the Roaring 20's.
Grade 7: We are currently learning about the Cold War. Students created group presentations about various topics related to the Cold War. Going forward, we will be analyzing the Civil Rights Movement and the Women's Rights Movement of the late 1950s and 1960s.
Grade 8: We just wrapped up our study of Europe with a test on Northern Europe maps, Population Pyramids, and the European Union. Going forward, we will be briefly discussing the UN's Declaration of Human Rights. We will then spend time exploring student interests as they think about future career planning!
Yearbooks will be distributed on Tuesday, June 8th. We will be celebrating our students by giving them some time to connect with friends, sign yearbooks and enjoy a Dilly Bar!
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.