VMS Vibe Online Parent Newsletter

November 2021

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    Message from the Principal

    I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Break. The leaves have already turned their gorgeous colors and are falling from the trees, which means winter is right around the corner.

    As we move into winter, remember that we will use e-Learning Days this year when there are school cancellations due to inclement weather. Check out our ISD 728 e-Learning Day Guidelines. On e-Learning Days, students will receive assignments through Schoology, and teachers will be available through email from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. If a teacher is unavailable for any reason, students may email the principal to receive assistance. 

    The majority of our lockers have been installed, and they look fantastic. As I write this, we are waiting for the locks to be installed and to receive the master file with all the locker numbers and combinations, so it can be loaded into Infinite Campus. Once this is complete, we will be able to assign lockers to our students. We hope to have lockers assigned in the next couple weeks. I truly appreciate your patience with this process. 

    We will soon be starting the registration process for the 2022-2023 school year. Our incoming 6th graders will register for their music class, current 6th graders will register for their 7th grade music class or study hall and current 7th graders will register for their 8th grade music class or study hall and their quarter classes. Please watch your email for more information about the registration process. 

    Thanks again for the opportunity to work and learn alongside your child. We sincerely appreciate your trust in us and are grateful for all of our learners and for your continued support.

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  • Digital Health and Wellness

    Digital health and wellness refers to physical and psycho-social well-being in a technological world. Given the ever-increasing frequency with which students use technologies, particularly in their school and personal lives, health and wellness are areas that need to be addressed in the interest of developing well-balanced digital citizens. 

    ISD728 provides great information and valuable resources related to Digital Health & Wellness. Click the image below to learn more!


  • Nice vs. Kind

    On November 13th, countries across the globe celebrated World Kindness Day. The work of the VandenBerge PBIS team is to intentionally build a positive and welcoming community for EACH of our VMS family members.  Kindness is a foundational idea to this work. Check out this great, thought-provoking video about the difference between being nice and being kind. Share it with your student if they have not already seen it at school.


  • Student of the Week

    Congratulations to our November Students of the week! 

    Olivia Andresen, Hayden Barziza, Tyler Berklich, Lily Bram, Emily Brummer, Aiden Curtis, Austin Glime, Dayra Gonzalez, Gavan Hanson, Nadine Kreager, Cody Lease, Aliv Leos, Makayla Ree, Evan Rotz, Carter Shermak

  • Band and Choir

    It's concert season!! We look forward to having you join us at these concerts coming up in December.

    6th Grade Band and Choir Concert - 12/2/21

    The VMS 6th Grade Band and Choir students will be performing their first concert in the VandenBerge Gymnasium on Thursday, December 2nd at 7:00pm. 

    7th and 8th Grade Band Concert - 12/9/21

    The 7th and 8th Grade Band students will be performing their Winter Band Concert in the Elk River High School Zabee Theater on Thursday, December 9th at 7:00pm

    7th and 8th Grade Choir Concert - 12/16/21

    The 7th and 8th Grade Choir students will be performing their Winter Choir Concert in the Elk River High School Zabee Theater on Thursday, December 16th at 7:00pm.

  • AVID

    Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) is a program intended to help students who want to be a stronger student overall, but also provides support for staying organized, learning correct study habits, learning how to take notes correctly, and building their self-esteem as a leader.

    We are finishing up our recruiting for the 6th grade students and beginning interviews on Thursday, December 2nd. Before Winter Break, we will send out acceptance letters to the students who will be offered an opportunity in the program. The official class will begin on Monday, January 3rd.

    Our current 8th grade AVID students are working on AVID tutorials and learning the Focused Note-Taking Process. Our 7th graders are working hard at refining organizational skills and the beginning stages of the AVID Tutorial. 

    Our 7th and 8th grade AVID students had the opportunity to visit the St. Cloud State University Campus in November. They had a 45 minute presentation about what the school offers, followed by a campus tour. It was great to see the students exploring a college campus and dreaming big about their futures! 

    Feel free to contact Mrs. Weinhold at sarah.weinhold@isd728.org if you have any questions about the AVID program at VMS.

  • English

    Grade 6: English classes continue to work on reading and writing skills throughout the month. Students completed an essay where they described what changes they would make to Elk River if they were mayor for a day. Outside of that, classes have been developing their academic vocabulary as well as practicing using vocabulary terms in context and in conversations. The last week of November and into the first week of December, classes will read excerpts from Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor as they continue working on their English Language Arts skills. 

    Additionally, students are using ReadTheory.org to develop their personal reading comprehension skills as well as Typing.com to practice home row typing. Students should continue to read a self-selected novel each month to keep up with the novel responses throughout the year. 

    Grade 7: We will be spending December reading the play version of A Christmas Carol. Although students will be following along on paper versions of the story and study guide, digital versions will be posted in the A Christmas Carol folder in Schoology for those students who are absent. This will allow them to follow along with the posted daily schedule and complete the work. There will be a summative writing assignment and test at the end of the unit before winter break. Also, students are expected to be reading their choice novel on our weekly reading days, during free time, and at home. The 2nd quarter novel project, located in the reading folder in Schoology, is due January 14th.

    Grade 8: We are just finishing up Unit One: Everyone Loves A Mystery. Students will start writing their own narrative after Thanksgiving Break. We can't wait to see the creative writing that our 8th graders can produce! Remember to check Schoology for updates on daily work and due dates for assignments. Then, be sure to check Campus for grading on assignments.

    In January, our 8th grade students will be reading the novel, The Outsiders. We encourage students to purchase their own copy of the book so they can use annotating strategies and interact with the text to increase comprehension. More information will be coming from your child's English teacher in December.

    Please communicate with your child's English teacher about any concerns you have with assignments, grades, daily work, or stress levels; we are here to help! 

  • Math

    Greetings from the Math Team!

    We want to take this opportunity to remind you that we provide Math Help four mornings a week before school from 7:45 - 8:10.  This is done on a rotating teacher schedule, please see below for the teachers/locations that are available each day.  Each math teacher also provides additional opportunities for students to work one-on-one with them either during RALLY, SOAR, or after school (by appointment).  Please contact your child’s teacher if your student needs additional help with math.


    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 by email. We can't tell you enough how thrilled we are to have the privilege to teach your child the importance of mathematics in their world and are so excited to dive into the world of math with you all!

    ~ The VMS Math Team


  • Media Center

    The makerspace has been busier than ever in our library this month. Students are able to play, create, and innovate with materials provided. Lots of students are choosing to make their own art into buttons with our button maker. It’s great to see all of the creativity!  Our Sphero coding robots are also in high demand with students programming the robots to zoom around the library and through mazes of their creation. 


    This month the library received a large order of new books that have been making their way onto the shelves. It’s exciting to see the joy many of the titles bring to students. Our most popular section is our graphic novels with titles such as My Hero Academia , I Survived, and Nat Enough going the ranks. Be sure to check out Destiny for more new titles that are being added to the collection every day. 


    The Bookish Sprouts Book Club has been meeting twice a month to discuss our favorite books and engage in book related activities. At the end of October, students created origami bookmarks and in November we will be creating snowflakes made from damaged books. 

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

  • Science

    Grade 6: We are currently learning about the reasons we have seasons and finding out the Earth is actually farthest from the sun in the summer and closest in the winter. From seasons, we will be moving into the phases of the moon, what they are, and why we have them.

    Grade 7: Students are deep into learning about the cell and cell processes. There were some surprises with the effects of osmosis and diffusion during the egg and carrot labs. Learning the cell processes continues with mitosis and meiosis.

    Grade 8:  We just completed the Astronomy unit and are reviewing the basic chemistry of elements, including physical and chemical properties. These basics are the foundation that will lead us into our rocks and minerals section of the Geology unit.

  • Social Studies

    Grade 6: We just finished a unit on the Fur Trade in Minnesota, which took place between approximately 1700 and 1850. Students learned why Europeans seeked and desired furs from North America and how Minnesota's Indigenous People came to rely on trade goods from the Europeans. As we move into December, we will begin to study treaties between the U.S. Government and the Dakota and Ojibwe people of Minnesota and European-American settlement of our state.  

    Grade 7: We are exploring the events leading up to the Civil War through primary sources, videos, and historical texts. In the coming weeks, we will dive into some of the most iconic battles of the Civil War, the aftermaths, and why this war changed the United States forever.

    Grade 8: We just wrapped up our first continent unit on Australia/Oceania with a map test. Moving forward, students will have the opportunity to explore the continent of Africa! Students will be learning about Africa's physical geography, as well as events that have shaped different nations.

  • Yearbooks

    Have you ordered your yearbook? Yearbooks are available on the Jostens website 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 at 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)

    Student Support Services (Counseling Office)

    School Health Office
    763.241.3450 x2605

    Vision Transportation

  • Building Hours for Students

    Students are not allowed to enter the building before 7:45 unless they have a scheduled activity with a staff member.  Students remaining in the building after 3:15 must be under the direct supervision of a staff member.  

  • A Note to VMS

    Did you know you we have a new option for reaching us for attendance purposes?  You can submit "A Note to VMS" to report your student's absence, late arrival or early release at school. You can also find this on the VMS Website under the Families section. This is just another option to use if it is more convenient for you. As always, you can reach our attendance line at 763-241-3555 (24 hours a day).

  • Every Meal Weekend Food Program

    We are excited to partner with Every Meal to offer a free weekend food program to all of our students.  

    Every Meal is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to fight child hunger through community and school partnerships. They strive to make a difference in people's lives by focusing on food gaps like weekends, school breaks, and summer when they cannot receive food in school.

    • Free for all families
    • No qualifications for enrollment
    • Students enrolled in the program will receive a 4-5lb bag of nutritious, nonperishable food for each week
    • Every Meal does not collect information from families; privacy is protected.
    • Families may enroll in the program anytime throughout the school year.

    Please contact Krista Brannan, School Social Worker, at 763-241-3450 x2687 or krista.ketelsenbrannan@isd728.org for more information or to enroll your child.

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