VMS Vibe Online Parent Newsletter

January 2022

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    Message from the Principal

    Dear VMS Family,

    It has been a sincere honor and a privilege to serve as the VandenBerge Middle School principal for the past twelve years and as an administrator in ISD 728 since 1998. VMS will always hold a special place in my heart as it is truly a wonderful place for students, staff, parents, and our fantastic community. It has been a sheer pleasure to work and learn alongside our outstanding teachers, staff, parents, and students to make exceptional learning opportunities happen for each of our VMS Family members. As much as I love VMS, it is time for me to slow down and spend more time with my family and friends by retiring alongside my husband at the end of the school year.  

    Human Resources will begin the process of seeking my replacement soon. The interview committee will be made up of a cross section of VMS staff, district staff, and parents. 

    I want to thank each and every one of you as you all have had such a powerful influence upon me as an administrator and I feel truly blessed to have been on this journey with you. VMS is a unique and special place that has been created by all of your collaborative efforts. The next administrator will be so incredibly fortunate to step into a building with such passionate, talented, and caring individuals that go above and beyond for students and to work in such a supportive, compassionate community. I will always be a cheerleader for VMS and wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

  • 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.

  • Teen After School Hangout


  • Student of the Week

    Congratulations to our January Students of the week! 

    Breanna Allen, Kevin Bannister, Maria Boicenco, Sydney Callahn, Elliot Daniels, Addison Harris, Beth Kehn, Jonnie Lander, Alexxzander Lee, Hannah Leth, Elijah Puffer, Jacob Redlinger, Ryan Risk, Connor Shattuck, Tumo Tshane

  • AVID

    We are excited to welcome our 6th grade AVID students into the VMS AVID family! They started their journey with AVID on January 3rd and are working with Mr. Sears on building community, organization, and self-motivation.

    Our 7th and 8th grade AVID students are working with AVID tutors once a week to help increase understanding of assignments and tests/quizzes in their classes. Mr. Michalak (7th grade) and Mrs. Weinhold (8th grade) are working hard with students on motivation, organization, and AVID strategies to help with taking notes and staying current with their classwork. Our 8th grade AVID students will take a field trip to Anoka Tech on February 16 to experience campus life and some hands-on learning.

    We look forward to helping our AVID students look towards their future by completing some projects that help them start exploring colleges and goals they can set to get there!

    Please contact your child's AVID teacher with any questions.

  • English

    Grade 6: Throughout January, students have been writing, reading, and pondering the essential question: “How do relationships shape us?” Students have also been hard at work generating questions that deal with the stories we read, in addition to adding to their academic vocabulary and honing skills related to small and large group discussions. We wrapped up the unit with a final test that covered reading comprehension of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry excerpts. Additionally, there was a matching section for academic and content vocabulary words that we encountered throughout the entire unit.

    Students should still be reading at least one novel per month to keep up with their personal reading growth. Students may choose any book to read as long as it is suitable for their personal reading level. After students finish their book, they will complete a novel response based on what they read. We have completed four novel responses this year and will work on another four from now until the end of the school year.

    Grade 7: Students have been working on an informational text unit since returning from winter break. Our Media Specialist, Ms. Kohler, organized a fun and challenging Breakout Box for us to review what we’ve been studying. Our current Possible Project will be due on Monday, January 31, with presentations taking place on February 1 & 2. A unit test on informational text will be given February 4.


    Grade 8: Students have been working hard reading and annotating The Outsiders novel. This is a great coming of age story for teenagers who are trying to find their true self while navigating tough situations. Students have been working with the Annotating and Interacting with their Text reading strategies to help critically read and comprehend the novel. This strategy will be very helpful as students venture off to high school next year. We will be wrapping up The Outsiders unit next week and then we move into Informational Text and parts of Unit 2 of StudySync. Students will be building a website around The Outsiders novel as their final project for the unit, which will be included in 3rd Quarter grades.

    We encourage students and parents to check Campus Portal for grade updates and missing assignments. Please contact your child's English teacher with any questions about assignments, missing work, or Schoology.

  • Media Center

    This month in the Media Center, we have been keeping busy with Breakout Boxes. 6th graders in Mr. Sears and Ms. Southward’s MN Studies classes came in and tried to break out of a box about the U.S. Government. It was hard, but students put in a lot of effort and didn’t quit!  7th graders in Ms. Musselman’s U.S. Studies classes tried to break out of a Gettysburg Address box. They had to use knowledge about the Civil War and they learned some interesting information about the Gettysburg Address using primary sources. Finally, Mrs. Boche’s 7th grade English classes tried to break out using what they have learned in class about nonfiction text features. 


    6th graders in Ms. Harms and Ms. Kohler’s coding classes came down to test out the Edison Robots. Students had to code their birthday and have Edison drive it out. It was a blast to see students interacting with the robots and their coding skills are amazing! For fun, we had the robots sumo wrestle!

    The Bookish Sprouts Book Club has been meeting twice a month to discuss our favorite books and engage in book related activities. This month we set up reading goals and looked into other fun activities to keep us motivated, such as book bingo.  

    February is I LOVE TO READ MONTH and we are having a BOOK FAIR! Students will be able to come with their English classes to get some new Scholastic books. The book fair starts on February 16th. 

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

  • VMS Music Department

    As registration is wrapping up for next year, please read about some of the wonderful ways music can enrich our students' lives, as provided by the National Association for Music Education

    Important Benefits of Music In Our Schools

    Musical training helps develop language and reasoning: Students who have early musical training will develop the areas of the brain related to language and reasoning. 

    A sense of achievement: Learning to play pieces of music on a new instrument can be a challenging, but achievable goal. Students who master even the smallest goal in music will be able to feel proud of their achievement.

    Kids stay engaged in school: An enjoyable subject like music can keep kids interested and engaged in school. Student musicians are likely to stay in school to achieve in other subjects.

    Success in society: Music is the fabric of our society, and music can shape abilities and character. Students in band or orchestra are less likely to abuse substances over their lifetime. Musical education can greatly contribute to children’s intellectual development as well.

    Emotional development: Students of music can be more emotionally developed, with empathy towards other cultures. They also tend to have higher self-esteem and are better at coping with anxiety.

    Music can be relaxing: Students can fight stress by learning to play music. Soothing music is especially helpful in helping kids relax.

    Development in creative thinking: Kids who study the arts can learn to think creatively. This kind of education can help them solve problems by thinking outside the box and realizing that there may be more than one right answer.

    Kids can learn teamwork: Many musical education programs require teamwork as part of a band or orchestra. In these groups, students will learn how to work together and build camaraderie.

    Responsible risk-taking: Performing a musical piece can bring fear and anxiety. Doing so teaches kids how to take risks and deal with fear, which will help them become successful and reach their potential.

    Better self-confidence: With encouragement from teachers and parents, students playing a musical instrument can build pride and confidence. Musical education is also likely to develop better communication for students.         

    Upcoming Performances:

    March 3, 2022 - Band Ensemble Night - 6:30pm or 7:45pm at VandenBerge Middle School

    March 10, 2022 - VMS 6-8 Grade Choir Concert - 7:00pm at VandenBerge Middle School

    Musically yours,

    Sara Klingelhofer (Band) and Kelly Heinonen (Choir and General Music)

  • Phy Ed

    Greetings from the VandenBerge PE teachers!

    We are looking forward to starting our swimming unit in March!  This is meant to be a fun, introductory unit for students to improve their skills, no matter what their current swimming level is. We will be working on front crawl, back crawl, sidestroke, breaststroke, front diving, breath control and fun games to play in the pool. Students not comfortable in the deep water will stay in the shallow water.

    The PE swimming schedule will be as follows:

    • February 28th-March 11th: SHEETZ'S PE CLASSES 
    • March 21st-April 1st: MICHALAK'S PE CLASSES

    Students will need a swimming suit, towel, shampoo/conditioner (if desired), and a bag to bring things home in each night to dry out. Girls with a bikini must wear a dark colored t-shirt over the bikini. Those with a tankini or one-piece suit will not need to wear a t-shirt. Nose plugs are not allowed but earplugs are allowed. 

    If a student is not able to participate in the swimming unit, we need a Dr. note excusing them from the unit. If they need to be excused just for a day or two, they will need a parent note excusing them and will participate on the deck with different exercises. 

    Due to class sizes, we would appreciate any parents who can volunteer to come and help supervise in the pool, even an hour or two would help tremendously. Volunteers walk back and forth on the deck and keep eyes on the students while Mrs. Sheetz is teaching, they are not required to swim. Volunteers should wear a comfortable, short-sleeved shirt since it is rather warm in the pool area. A current background check is required to volunteer.

    Please email Mrs. Sheetz at: stacey.sheetz@isd728.org or call 763-241-3400 x2670 if you can volunteer or have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

    Mrs. Sheetz and Mr. Michalak

  • Science

    Grade 6: We are wrapping up our study of space and will be moving on to Earth science next.

    Grade 7: Students finished the unit on genetics and have started the classification unit. They are currently working on cladograms and then will do dichotomous keys.

    Grade 8: Students are digging deeper into plate tectonics with mountain building, volcanoes, and earthquakes.

  • Yearbooks

    Yearbooks are in limited supply!  VandenBerge Middle School yearbooks are available for purchase through Jostens for $30. 

    Visit www.jostens.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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