VMS Vibe Online Parent Newsletter

December 2021

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    Message from the Principal

    I hope this issue of the VandenBerge Vibe finds you and your family in good health during this festive season. Many things have been written regarding the stresses that come with this time of year. Be aware that our children can be affected by the same issues that affect adults and our children may be exhibiting behaviors due to these issues. Our Counselor, Katie Svihel (kaitlan.svihel@isd728.org), and Social Worker, Krista Brannan (krista.ketelsenbrannan@isd728.org), are available to assist students during the school day with a variety of issues. Please do not hesitate to reach out to either of them. They would be happy to assist. 

    U.S. News & World Report published their first-ever rankings of public elementary and middle schools, and the news is good for ISD 728! Five schools earned a Best Elementary Schools badge and four schools earned a Best Middle Schools badge because they placed among the top 30% in the state. VandenBerge is one of those schools! Thank you for all of your support. We could not have made this list without our wonderful parents and guardians. Click the links below to see what they published about our district, including new rankings: 

            Elementary Schools

            Middle Schools

    As winter sets in, please remember that our doors remain locked until 7:45 each morning. For safety reasons, students should not arrive before 7:45 unless prior arrangements have been made.      

    As we head into the holiday break, I hope everyone will take some time to enjoy the season with family and friends. On behalf of the staff at VandenBerge, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to work with your children and for all of your support. You truly make VandenBerge a great place for all.  

    Wishing you the very best this Holiday Season!

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  • VandenBerge Flower Coupon Fundraiser

    VandenBerge is selling Flower Coupon Books for $10!

    Each coupon book includes SIX coupons, and each coupon is good for ONE seasonal bouquet, courtesy of Flowers Plus in Elk River. Coupons are valid through December 30, 2022.

    This is our ONLY fundraiser this year and VMS KEEPS 100% OF THE PROCEEDS!

    If each student sells just one card, VandenBerge will make over $5,000! But why stop at one?! The holidays are here, and a Flower Coupon Book makes a great gift! 

    Click here to purchase your card now and HELP SUPPORT VMS!

    Contact the main office at (763) 241-3450 for more information.

  • 2022-2023 Registration

    It is hard to believe we are already planning for the 2022-2023 school year! As part of the planning proces, our students will be completing registration for next year's classes.


    Registration for our current 6th and 7th graders is already open.  An email was sent to families on December 14th requesting that you complete registration for your students by January 5, 2022. Please check your messages and complete this task as soon as possible.

    • 6th graders will register for their 7th grade music or study hall class.
    • 7th graders will register for ther 8th grade music or study hall class, as well as their elective classes in thes ubjects of Art, Industrial Technology, and Family and Consumer Science.


    Our 8th graders will be registering for high school classes in January! This process is coordinated through Elk River High School.  Please note the following:

    • Registration will be open January 11 - January 21, 2022.
    • Incoming 9th Grade Orientation Night will be on January 10, 2022 in the ERHS Zabee Theater from 6:00 - 7:30 PM. Mark your calendar, you won't want to miss this!
    • If you have any questions about 9th grade registration, they should be directed to the ERHS Counseling Office. Counselors are assigned to students based on last name so feel free to reach out to them or the main counseling office at 763-241-3424.

    Note: Registration for incoming 6th graders (current 5th graders) will start in February 2022.

    Please contact the VMS Counseling Office at 763-241-3445 if you have any questions. Thanks in advance for taking time to talk with your student about their options and for getting them registered and set for next year! 

  • Student of the Week

    Congratulations to our December Students of the week! 

    Jocelynn Carbone, Kora Carlson, Finn Heasley, Evelyn Johnston, Ava Larson, McKaila Moeller, Obadiah Ongori, Dylan Page, Elena Rangel

  • Band and Choir

    Thanks to all who came out for our December band and choir concerts!! We are so proud of our students!

  • AVID

    Our AVID classes are busy working on building our AVID family through Tutorials, Collaborative Study Groups, and Organization. These skills will help students be successful in high school and college down the road.

    We are excited to welcome our 6th grade AVID students to our VMS AVID family. They will begin their AVID journey with Mr. Sears on Monday, January 3rd.

    The 8th grade AVID students will get a visit from an ERHS counselor on Tuesday, January 11th to go over the registration process and get their questions answered. We are excited to help them plan for their future!

    Please contact Sarah Weinhold at sarah.weinhold@isd728.org if you have any questions about the AVID program at VMS.

  • English

    Grade 6: Throughout December, we have worked on continuing to read and analyze texts. Students also reimagined an excerpt of a story through a different character’s perspective to practice with point of view and character traits. To round out December, students are reviewing theme and story structure with independent practice before they will practice creative writing with a holiday themed story.

    Please continue to encourage your students to read at home to strengthen their reading comprehension and fluency. Students should be reading a minimum of 2 novels per quarter, but more is always encouraged!

    Grade 7: Students should continue to read their novels over winter break. Quarter 2 novel responses are due January 14th.

    Grade 8: Our students just finished up their Suspense Narrative stories from Unit 1. It is great to see some of the creative writing these students can produce, and it is fun to read!! Please ask your child to share their suspense story with you. 

    After Winter Break, we will start reading the novel The Outsiders. We are requesting that students purchase a paperback copy of the book to annotate and write in the margins. By using a paperback book, it can help provide some offline and screen free time for the students. Please have your child bring the book to school starting Tuesday, January 4th. If you can't provide a copy for your child, please let their English teacher know and we can work on getting them a copy.

    As we move through the second half of the second quarter, please be checking Schoology for daily posted assignments and Campus for updated grades. 

    Please contact your child's English teacher with any questions!!

  • Math

    Hello from the Math Team! 

    We are almost halfway through the school year and student supplies are dwindling.  Please check with your student and replenish school supplies such as calculators, pencils, pens and highlighters.  

    There is Math Help four mornings a week before school from 7:45 - 8:10. This is done on a rotating teacher schedule, so please click HERE to view 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 their 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.


    ~ The VMS Math Team


  • Phy Ed

    Our Phy Ed students have been creating a dance to perform the last few days prior to break! They got to choose the song they would perform to and the group they would perform with. We have had so much fun watching them and really enjoyed seeing them in this element. 

    After winter break, Mr. Michalak’s classes will be doing Volleyball, and Mrs. Sheetz’s classes will start basketball.

    We wish you a healthy and happy holiday season!


  • Science

    Grade 6: Students are examining moon phases and why the moon looks different each night.  They will expand on their learning with the moon’s involvement in solar and lunar eclipses.

    Grade 7: Students have been continuing their study of cells: the basic unit of all living things. They are learning how cells divide and the cell cycle in mitosis and meiosis.

    Grade 8: Students have gone from the basic unit of all things: atoms to elements to minerals and then on to form rocks. They will be learning how rocks can change into other rocks as they go through the rock cycle.

  • Social Studies

    Grade 6: Students have been learning about Westward Expansion and land treaties in Minnesota Studies.  They have completed a variety of activities to learn about land treaties between Minnesota's Indigenous Peoples and the U.S. Government, and the impact of the treaties on each group.  Following Winter Break, we will begin learning about the foundations of government and Minnesota statehood.  

    Grade 7: With the help of various documentaries, we continue to analyze some of the most infamous battles of the Civil War and its generals. 

    Grade 8: Students have been working hard the last few weeks on studying the continent of Africa. They just completed their map test and are exploring a country they choose through research of the 5 themes of Geography on an Africa Brochure Project. Have a fun and safe Winter Break!

  • 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 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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