VAMS Panther Press Newsletter

August 1, 2022

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It's a GREAT year to be a Panther!

We hope that you had the opportunity to get some rest and spend quality time with your friends and family this summer. We are excited about the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year! We look forward to seeing our students on Wednesday, August 10th with smiles, hugs, and fist bumps! It's a GREAT year to be a Panther!

Calendar

  • Wednesday, August 3 - Student Schedule Pickup from 1:00-4:00 - Students MUST have registration paperwork complete (through Parent Portal) to receive their schedule. Incoming 7th grade students must have up-to-date shot records.

  • Thursday, August 4 - Student Schedule Pickup from 1:00-4:00

  • Thursday, August 4 - VAMS Meet the Teacher 5:30-7:00 (more information below) - ****7th & 8th Grade athletes - Swing by the main gym between 5:30-7:00 to receive athletics information. Coaches will be there to collect physicals, sell workout gear, and provide any additional athletic information.
  • Wednesday, August 10 - First Day of School
  • Friday, September 2 - Back to School Dance - 6th Grade Dance 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM and 7th & 8th Grade dance 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Monday, September 5 - Labor Day Holiday - No School
  • Tuesday, September 6 - First Pep Rally @ 3:00 - Parents and community members are welcome to attend!
  • Tuesday, September 13 - Fundraiser Kickoff (students will bring home fundraiser information)
  • Tuesday, September 27 - Fundraisers Due


Other Important Dates:

  • Pep Rally Dates - Sept. 6, Sept. 20, Oct. 4, Nov. 1 (Pep Rallies begin @ 3:00 PM)
  • Student Dance Dates - Sept. 2, Dec. 9, Feb. 10, May 5
  • Student Dance Times - 6th Grade Dances are 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM and 7th & 8th Grade dances are 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM. Only VAMS students are allowed at dances.
  • 8th Grade Dance - Friday, May 12 from 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM. This dance is for 8th grade VAMS students only.

2022-2023 Registration

Returning VAISD students must re-register each school year. Please go to Parent Portal to find all of the forms to register your child. To register your child through Parent Portal, go to www.vanalstyneisd.org, under the Parents & Students tab click "Parent Portal Link".

If you are having trouble with Parent Portal, please email Stephanie Wolfe at swolfe@vanalstyneisd.org.


Please know that registration paperwork must be complete and incoming 7th graders must have their shots up-to-date before school starts.

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Meet the Teacher Information

  • Our computer lab will be open to help parents who need to register their child
  • ALL incoming 7th graders must have updated shot records on file
  • Students can bring school supplies on Meet the Teacher Night or the first day of school. If your child brings supplies on Meet the Teacher night, then have your child check with one of their grade level teachers to find out where to leave their school supplies.


ATHLETES

  • ALL athletes - Swing by the main gym between 5:30-7:00 to receive athletics information. Coaches will be there to collect physicals, sell workout gear, and provide any additional athletic information.
  • Please know that all incoming 7th graders and new 8th grade students must have a physical on file and Rank One paperwork completed prior to participation.


If you have questions please contact:
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Attendance

If you need to communicate any attendance questions or issues, please email the following email address vamsoffice@vanalstyneisd.org.

VAMS PARENT/STUDENT INFORMATION:

  • If a schedule change is needed, please complete a schedule change form located in the front office. Any schedule change request made once the school year starts, must be requested by the parent within the first 5 days of school and approved by the principal. After that time, schedule changes will be made sparingly unless there is an extenuating circumstance.

  • FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL – Wednesday, August 10
  • SCHOOL HOURS: 8:05 AM – 3:38 PM (first bell rings at 8:00 to dismiss students to class)
  • Breakfast is served from 7:25 – 7:55 AM
  • Students can be dropped off by parents starting at 7:25 AM.
  • When students arrive in the morning, 6th grade students go to the cafeteria and 7th & 8th grade students go to the main gym. Students who need to eat breakfast go to the cafeteria to eat. If your child does not have their schedule on the first day of school, there will be a staff member at the entrance doors to pass out schedules.
  • If your child is participating in 7th or 8th grade athletics, please know that workouts begin the FIRST day of school! Please make sure your child has proper workout clothes to change into and tennis shoes.

  • The VAISD Student Code of Conduct, VAMS Student Handbook, student dress code, and school supply lists are on the school website, www.vanalstyneisd.org. Hard copies for each of those documents will also be available upon request in the middle school office. Please be familiar with the student dress code to help us proactively head off any issues before they arise.
    • A few things to be aware of regarding the dress code are:
      • Hair must be a natural color. No Mohawks, faux-hawks, or designs in hair.
      • Holes in jeans are allowed in jeans, but skin cannot show through the hole above the fingertip. Oftentimes, students will wear leggings under their jeans or have patches behind the hole.
      • Skirt/short needs to be fingertip length
      • And guidelines for wearing tight-fitting clothing, such as yoga pants and leggings (must have something over them that meets the school dress code, fingertip length).

  • Parents, please stay connected to Parent Portal so you can accurately track your child’s progress. An added perk of the program is that you can set alerts to let you know if and when your child scores below whatever standard you set. The link to sign in is under the “Parents” tab on our school website. If you need login information, you can contact our receptionist, Twila Whitaker, at twhitaker@vanalstyneisd.org or by calling 903-482-8804.

  • School lunch is no longer free for all students. The program has been discontinued for this upcoming school year 2022-2023. Your children may still qualify for free meals or for reduced-price meals. Click the links below to access a Free and Reduced Lunch Application.

  • Parents can deposit money into their child’s lunch account online through www.myschoolbucks.com. **In accordance with state law, parents are not allowed to provide food for any child other than their own. This includes dropped-off lunches, sharing of pizza, cupcakes for their friends, etc.

  • Our homework lab is open daily from 7:30 – 8:00 AM every morning and from 3:40 - 4:00 PM every afternoon for students to work on homework or access a computer.

  • If parents are interested in serving on the Campus Improvement Team or being a school volunteer, please contact the office or your child’s teachers at 903-482-8804.

  • If you were receiving our weekly email newsletters last year and your email has not changed, you do not need to re-register to continue to receive them. If your email has changed or your child is new to our school, please go to our campus webpage and sign up to receive our weekly newsletters to help keep you informed. Go to www.vanalstyneisd.org, click Van Alstyne Middle School, click Newsletter Signup under the Parents tab.

  • Following our Van Alstyne Middle School Facebook page is also a great way to keep informed, as well as signing up for the grade level Remind accounts.


Feel free to stop by our office or call us at 903-482-8804 any time you have questions or concerns. Thank you for your support.

New VAMS Staff members

We have some faces at VAMS! See our new staff members below. We are excited to have them join our VAMS family!

Saftey Measures

Students and staff safety is a top priority for Van Alstyne ISD. We would like to let you know about the following safety measures we are putting in place starting this school year.


  • Teams visiting VAISD will not be allowed to bring in backpacks (visiting volleyball teams, basketball teams, etc. will have to leave their backpacks on the bus).
  • No one will be allowed to bring drinks to any VAISD games, this includes middle school and high school games. This alleviates people bringing in drinks from home that are not appropriate for school events. All drinks will need to be purchased at the event.
  • When you attempt to buzz into a VA campus, you will be asked a series of questions and asked to present an ID before entering the building. Please be sure to stand in front of the camera when answering the questions.
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Drop-off and Pick-up Procedures

MORNING:

ALL students MUST enter through the doors at the south end of our building (8th grade hallway). The north entrance (entrance to the main office) will be closed to all traffic except for buses. Students can be dropped off by parents starting at 7:25 AM. **Students WILL NOT be supervised prior to 7:25 AM. For their safety, please do not drop them off before that time. No students can be dropped off at the front entrance of our school. When students arrive in the morning, 6th grade students will go to the cafeteria and 7th & 8th graders will go to the main gym. Students who need to eat breakfast will go to the cafeteria to eat. If your child does not have their schedule on the first day of school, there will be a staff member at the entrance doors to pass out schedules.


During morning drop-off, parents need to turn LEFT onto Williams Way when they exit the carpool line.

AFTERNOON:

The north entrance (entrance to the main office) will be closed to all traffic except for buses. Parents picking up their children in the afternoon will all use the south entrance to our school. Once in the parking lot, we have a limited amount of space for curb-side pick-up. It helps alleviate traffic back-up on Highway 5 if the cars that won’t fit in the curb-side pick-up line park in the parking lot (*see pick up parking areas on the map). Once the curbside pickup line is backed up to Highway 5, the next cars in line can follow the red arrow below to find a parking spot. We will have carpool monitors to assist students safely across the parking lot and out to their car as quickly as possible.


The first couple of days of student pick-up will be a little hectic because many people will want to pick their child up on those days. Please be patient and follow the directions of our staff members who will be directing traffic. By the end of the week, it should be running fairly smoothly.


Tip: To shorten your wait time and allow some of the traffic to dissipate those first couple of days, it helps if some parents come about 3:50 to pick up their child. By the second week, you will be able to come at the normal 3:38 time. **Also, starting the second week of school, students will be unsupervised outside after 3:50, so please be sure to pick your child up prior to that time.

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Parent Volunteer Group

We love our parent volunteers! Our parent volunteers help organize student events, organize and run our book fair, host teacher appreciation luncheons, and run a spirit wear store. If you are interested in helping out, please click the link below and complete the form for the parent volunteer group to get your information to help get you plugged in!
Parent Portal – View Student Grades

This is the link to view your child's grades and attendance. Passwords were sent home with progress reports. If you need any help with this process, you may send an email request to twhitaker@vanalstyneisd.org or call the school office.

Community Service Hour Log

Promoting community service is a goal of VAMS! In order to promote and foster serving our community and others, students can earn a community service award at the end of the year awards assemblies to recognize students who give their time, talents, and hearts.


Find opportunities throughout the school year for your child to work on their community service hours. Make sure your child is documenting their community service time on their hour log.


VAMS Community Service Hour Logs are due on Friday, May 1st. Hours are documented digitally. Click the link below to access the digital hour log.


Click on the link below "VAMS Community Service FAQ Flyer" for more information.

VAMS Community Service Hour Log

Click this button to access the VAMS Community Service Hour Log.

VAMS Community Service FAQ Flyer

Click this button on access the VAMS Community Service FAQ Flyer.

Communication throughout the year

It is important for us to provide avenues for parents to stay informed. Here are the communication tools we use at VAMS to ensure you know what is happening throughout the school year.


Middle School Website: Click HERE to access the VAMS webpage.


Social Media: Want to see what goes on at VAMS during the week? Want to see pictures of students doing awesome things? Want to see what learning looks like on our campus? Be sure to like us on Facebook, Van Alstyne Middle School.


Digital Newsletter: We email parents a digital campus newsletter every Friday. If you are not currently signed up to receive our weekly newsletter, click HERE.


Grade-level Remind Accounts: Please sign up for the appropriate Remind accounts below to help keep you informed. We also recommend having your child sign up as well. Teachers use Remind to communicate important dates and information.

A Note From Our Nurse....

Our clinics must have a Medication Parent Consent Form on file for students requiring medication administered during school hours. This form must be signed by parent/legal guardian. Medication must be kept in the ORIGINAL bottle. (see links below)


Children who have the following symptoms should stay home and not come to school until these symptoms have been gone for at least 24 hours without the help of medication.

  • Fever (100 degrees or higher)
  • Sore Throat (with fever or swollen neck)
  • Persistent Vomiting or Diarrhea
  • Rash (with fever and itching)
  • Conjunctivitis/Pink Eye (your child can attend school 24 hours after starting medical treatment)


A child with a typical cold, but no fever or green drainage, may come to school.

If a student becomes ill during the school day, he or she must receive permission from the teacher before reporting to the school nurse. If the nurse determines that the child should go home, the nurse will contact the parent.

Medication Parent Consent Form

Click this button to access the medication parent consent form.

Panther sports

Please know that all incoming 7th graders and new 8th grade students must have a physical on file and Rank One paperwork completed prior to participation. If you have questions please contact:


Coach Ingram, Middle School Girls Athletic Coordinator - kingram@vanalstyneisd.org

Coach Sedlacek, Middle School Boys Athletic Coordinator - dsedlacek@vanalstyneisd.org

Volunteer Approval Form

All volunteers, including parents, have to fill out a Volunteer Approval Form to have a background check before volunteering (ex: attend field trips, volunteer on campus, help with testing, etc.). This form must be filled out EVERY school year. The entire process, from submitting the form to receiving approval, can take as long as two weeks. This process must be completed before being approved to volunteer. If you have students at multiple schools, only one application is required.


Click the button below to access the Volunteer Approval Form. We appreciate our volunteers!

Volunteer Approval Form

Click this button to access the VAISD Volunteer Approval form.

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