VMS Vibe Online Parent Newsletter

February 2022

  • m

    Message from the Principal

    Greetings VandenBerge Families.

    Thank you to all of you who were able to join us for virtual conferences on Tuesday, February 22. If you were unable to attend, please feel free to contact our wonderful staff through email or a phone call with your questions or concerns. We will have another night of conferences on Thursday, May 5 from 4:00 – 7:00.

    As we move into March, please remember that there is no school March 14 through March 18. School will resume on Monday, March 21. I hope you all enjoy a wonderful Spring Break.

    VandenBerge will undergo a second round of construction this summer thanks to the bond that was approved by you, the voters. Our students have been enjoying the new spaces from the first round of construction, so we are extremely grateful for this renovation. Here are a few of the highlights for this next round of construction at VMS:

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

    Our future looks bright at VMS. We consider ourselves incredibly blessed to work and learn alongside your children. Thank you for that privilege and your trust.

  • Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs)

    Students will be taking the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments in Math, Reading and Science on the dates listed below.  Tests will be administered in the student's regularly scheduled Math, English and Science classes. 

    Reading: April 11 - 13 (all grades)

    Math: April 25 - 27 (all grades)

    Science: May 2 - 4 (8th grade only)

    If your student has a planned absence on any of these dates, please contact the VandenBerge Counseling Office at 763-241-3445 to let us know.

  • Teen After School Hangout


  • Student of the Week

    Congratulations to our February Students of the Week!

    Vince Baker, Wyatt Bauer, Simon Bicek, Douglas Cox, Isabella Hill, Annabel Kanna, Brenden Kupczynski, Peyton Mechelke, Miranda Ragatz, Jagger Sasse, Kaylee Tainter, Hope Wandersee

  • AVID

    Our 6th grade group is working on organization, relational capacity and learning the basics of the AVID class.

    Our 7th and 8th graders continue to work on organization and time management, with class work and by connecting with each other. We are continuing our AVID tutorials and our tutors have enjoyed working with the students on their homework and test questions.

    Our 8th grade students took a field trip to Anoka Technical College and had a great time learning about trades and other options available at a Tech School. 8th grade AVID students also worked on getting their registration completed for 9th grade!!

    If your child is interested in joining the AVID program at VandenBerge, please email or call Sarah Weinhold at sarah.weinhold@isd728.org or 763-241-3450 ext. 2698.

  • English

    Grade 6: In February, students briefly studied Greek myths, then began a short non-fiction unit that we will continue through the first few weeks of March. We read the myth of Perseus and Medusa, then students characterized a character of their choice by creating a mini-poster with words and phrases the mythological character would think and say. The non-fiction unit began with a review of non-fiction text structures and a reading of the non-fiction text, “Everybody Jump” written by a past NASA roboticist, Randall Munroe. The text simply asked the question, “What would happen if everybody in the entire world jumped at the same time?” Students enjoyed discussing the question and learning what would happen in that hypothetical situation. We will be moving onto a few more non-fiction texts before wrapping up the unit and completing the unit 3 test in March.

    Grade 7: Please encourage your student to continue reading their choice novel at home, especially on nights when they have no other homework. Many students are still struggling with their reading stamina and free reading time helps with the brain/book connection. Quarter 3 novel responses are due by 3:00 PM on Friday, March 25. We are moving into our poetry unit and will spend several weeks on identification of poetic devices, analysis of poetic devices in poetry, and finally writing poetry.

    Grade 8: We ended 2nd quarter by finishing The Outsiders novel and completing a Summative Novel website. Please check with your child about this assignment and its completion status. It is our first summative assignment in the grade book for 3rd quarter, and it can cause great fluctuation in their overall grade if not completed. We are now starting Unit 2 of StudySync and working with poetry.

    Students started a research paper in their Social Studies class, which will eventually transfer to their English class. We will help them outline their data and draft their research paper. Please ask your child about their research topic and what they have learned from their research!

    We are looking forward to a busy spring, with many great assignments to help prepare our 8th graders for high school!

    We encourage you to check Campus Portal with your child regularly and discuss their grades/work completion. Please contact your child's English teacher with any questions or concerns. 

  • Media Center

    In the library we have been celebrating I Love to Read Month. All students were able to participate in a reading challenge based on Olympic events. Completed forms are due on February 28th.

    Mrs. Drysdale and Mrs. Boche’s classes came in for a book tasting at the beginning of the month and sampled different genres in our library. We enjoyed replicating a restaurant atmosphere to share many great books.

    8th graders were in the library earlier this month learning about research resources. As they continue finding resources for their projects, the library is a great place to seek assistance. 

    Book Club members created an interactive display for the month. Members chose a favorite book in the library and wrapped it up with keyword summaries on the outside. Other students have been checking out the books without seeing the cover. 

    At the end of the month, the Scholastic Book Fair opened to students. Students were eager shoppers and purchased many fabulous titles. Although the physical book fair closes February 23rd, the online fair is open until March 1st. We appreciate the support the book fair has gotten and plan to purchase many new books for the library soon.  

    The link to the online fair is www.scholastic.com/bf/vms.



  • Phy Ed

    Greetings from the VandenBerge PE teachers!

    We just wrapped up our Badminton and Pickleball units. Our swimming unit starts on Monday, February 28th. The PE swimming schedule will be as follows:

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


    For girls, a one-piece swimsuit is preferred. If a two-piece swimsuit is worn, then a dark colored T-shirt must also be worn over the suit. For boys, swim trunks are required (no cut off jeans).  A towel, shampoo/soap, comb or brush, and a plastic bag for the wet swimsuit and towel should be brought to class each day of the swimming unit. Goggles are not provided and are optional (they are inexpensively sold at Target or similar stores.)


    Fins, snorkel, hair dryers or curling irons.  Dryers are provided in the locker rooms. 


    Students will have 10 minutes after swimming to change and get ready for their next class.  Please be organized and do not take long showers. It is important to use soap after swimming to remove chlorine from skin and to prevent dryness and itchiness.


    There is not a test for deep or shallow swimming. Be sure NOT to go into the deep end if you cannot swim well. Swimming lessons will be on the front crawl, back crawl, breaststroke, and sidestroke. Treading water, diving, and underwater swimming will be included. We will also play games each day to reinforce swim skills, water adjustments, and fitness. Students are not forced to swim in deep water if they have a fear of water. The pool provides swim belts for non-swimmers in deep water. I will give lessons in the deep and the shallow water.


    A parent note is required in order to be excused from swimming for three days or less.  A physician’s note is required in order to be excused from swimming for more than three days. Students will dress for an alternative activity if they cannot swim. They will perform a circuit of exercises on the pool deck instead.

    Please email Mrs. Sheetz at: stacey.sheetz@isd728.org or call 763-241-3400 x2670 if you have any questions. 

    Mrs. Sheetz and Mr. Michalak

  • Science

    Grade 6: We are learning about Puerto Rico and why it has so many earthquakes. We are also trying out a new curriculum to develop our learning about natural phenomena. The pictures below were taken during our tectonic palte experiment where students learned how the different plants interact with one another.

    Grade 7: We are exploring the microscopic world of fungi and protists. Students are using microscopes to see life that we don't usually notice.

    Grade 8: We are studying the layers of the earth and the history each layer tells us about the past.

  • Social Studies

    Grade 6: Students are connecting their past knowledge of the Dakota and treaties as we move into Chapter 9, the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. Students will be learning about the causes and consequences of the conflict from the perspectives of both the Dakota people and MN settlers. Afterwards, students will be moving on to Minnesota's role in the U.S. Civil War.

    Grade 7: Students finished learning about the Progressive Era. They learned about immigration to the United States and different push and pull factors that brought immigrants to our country. Moving forward, students will be learning about WWI for three weeks and then we'll do a brief unit on the Roaring 20's. This will lead us to the end of Quarter 3. 

    Grade 8: Students have started their research paper. Students received a hard copy calendar with due dates and what they should be working on. This calendar can also be found in Schoology. Starting on February 25, students will also be working on this in their English class. This is a major part of their 3rd quarter grade. Papers are due March 11, just before spring break.

  • 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.

  • Yearbooks

    Yearbooks are in limited supply!  They are available for purchase through Jostens for $30 plus tax. 

    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.

Follow us on Twitter!