VAMS Panther Press Newsletter

March 11, 2022

Calendar

  • March 12 - March 20 - NO SCHOOL - Spring Break
  • Monday, March 21 - Rock Your Socks Day to support World Down Syndrome Day - just wear crazy colored or patterned socks.
  • Tuesday, March 22 - 6th-8th Grade Math & Algebra Benchmark
  • Thursday, March 24 - Report Cards Go Home
  • Thursday, March 24 - Holocaust Museum Night - 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM in the VAMS library. Come celebrate the learning of the VAMS 8th grade students as they exhibit their research and present their reflections on this unit of study. Everyone is welcome to attend.
  • Friday, March 25 - Star Card Hat Day
  • Friday, March 25 - Talent Show Tryout Application Due (see information below)
  • Wednesday, March 30 - Talent Show Tryouts (see information below)
  • Friday, April 1 - Start Card Treat After School
  • Friday, April 1 - 7th & 8th Grade Band UIL Concert & Sight Reading at Anna High School
  • April 4-22 - Student Council Diaper/Wipe Drive Buckner's Souls for Orphan Souls (more information below)
  • Tuesday, April 5 - Librarian Appreciation Day - Show Ms. Filbeck some love!
  • Thursday, April 7 - Progress Reports Go Home
  • Friday, April 8 - Star Card Treat Day

Talent Show

We are excited to have a VAMS Talent Show this year! Talent showpieces can include, but are not limited to: singing, dancing, acting, joke-telling, juggling, playing musical instruments, different tricks, and other entertaining talents. You may audition with more than one piece. The talent show is open to VAMS students only.


If your child is interested in trying out for the VAMS Talent Show, please click the link below to access the Talent Show Tryout Application.


Talent Show Timeline
  • Talent Show Application Due - Friday, March 25
  • Tryouts - Wednesday, March 30 from 4:00 - 5:30 in the theatre arts classroom (Room C08)
  • Tryout Results Posted outside the Library - Friday, April 1
  • Option Rehearsal - Thursday, April 21 from 4:00-5:30 in the main gym
  • Mandatory Rehearsal - Thursday, May 12 from 4:00-5:30 in the main gym
  • TALENT SHOW - Tuesday, May 17 from 9:00-10:00 and 1:30-2:30 (parents are welcome to attend)

Attention 8th Grade Parents

The 8th grade dance is scheduled for Friday, May 13 from 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM. This is a special night for our 8th graders to celebrate the end of their middle school journey. The 8th grade dance is planned and organized by 8th grade parents. Planning for the 8th grade dance is off to a great start! Please click the link below to complete a very brief survey to indicate how you would like to volunteer and/or make a donation for the dance.

Any 6th or 7th grader trying out for cheer needs to accept Mrs. Hensley's Cheer Google Classroom Invitation

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VASAT Application for incoming 9th graders

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Colorguard Tryout Information

Attention 8th-11th graders. See the information below regarding Color Guard tryouts. The first clinic will be Tuesday, March 1st from 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM in the high school band hall. Please scan the QR code below to sign up for the Google Classroom for more detailed information.
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3rd Quarter Exam by Grade Level

Our quarterly exam schedule will look a little different the 3rd nine weeks. STAAR-tested areas will be giving full benchmark exams (4 hours) to help pinpoint students needing interventions before STAAR testing time, while non-tested areas will be giving regular cumulative quarterly exams.


Parents, we wanted to make you aware of the rigor of the quarterly exams that your child will be taking. We pattern the quarterly exams after the STAAR tests, which are at a very high level. Don't be alarmed when your child brings home a grade lower than what they are accustomed to getting on normal, everyday assignments and tests. To compensate for the difficulty of the tests, the state lowers the passing standard to below 70%, and we allow every student the opportunity to correct their tests for half of their credit back. Please communicate with your child's teacher if you have a question or concern.


6th Grade

Tuesday, Mar. 22 – Math Benchmark


7th Grade

Tuesday, Mar. 22 – Math Benchmark


8th Grade

Tuesday, Mar. 22 – 8th Grade Math & Algebra Benchmark

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2021-2022 Yearbooks On Sale

Yearbooks are $35 until March 5

$40 until March 26

$45 until April 26


You can send a check, in an envelope marked YEARBOOK AND your child's name to the office made payable to VAMS or you can ORDER ONLINE, starting next week.


Online orders: https://link.entourageyearbooks.com/my/VAMS2022

Panther Sports

VAMS Track Schedule

March 22 - Pottsboro - Time TBA

March 29 - Girls District in Sherman - Time TBA

March 29 - Boys District in Celina - Time TBA


Coach Voris, Middle School Girls Athletic Coordinator - jvoris@vanalstyneisd.org

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

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Feed My Sheep Pantry Community Food Assistance Program

Backpack food programs provide nutritious, non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food to children to ensure they get enough food on weekends and holidays to avoid hunger when they can’t depend on school meals. Each student will typically receive 2 breakfast items, 2 lunches, 2 dinners and 2 snack type items. Click the link below to access a Feed My Sheep Pantry Form. Return the bottom portion of the form to the school counselor if your family would benefit from the weekend backpack program.

IMMUNIZATIONS - ATTENTION 6TH GRADE PARENTS

In 2009, the State of Texas began requiring specific immunizations for all 7th graders.


The immunizations that incoming 7th graders need are:


1. Tetanus, Diptheria and Pertussis-containing vaccine (Tdap): All students entering the seventh will be required to have a booster dose of Tdap only if it has been five years since their last dose of a tetanus-containing vaccine.

2. Varicella (Chicken Pox): All students entering the 7th grade will be required to have 2 doses of varicella vaccine. The 1st dose must be received on or after the 1st birthday.

3. Meningococcal Vaccine (Meningitis): All students entering 7th grade will be required to have one dose of meningococcal vaccine.


If your child has already had these immunizations, please send a copy of the immunization record from the health clinic or physician. It must include the month, day and year as well as validation by a physician or public health official.


*Immunization records must be received before schedules will be released for the 2022-2023 school year*


Immunizations are available from your family physician, the Grayson County Health Department 903.893.0131, 515 N. Walnut Sherman, Texas, Collin County Health Department 972.548.5000 N. McDonald St, Mckinney, Texas or local medical/rural health clinics. Please call the health department for hours and availability.


If you have a medical or religious reason that conflicts with these requirements, please contact the school nurse. Information on obtaining a conscious exemption can be found at the following website:

https://corequest.dshs.texas.gov/


Thank you,

Lorie Wilson, LVN

Van Alstyne Middle School

903.482.8878

All state requirements may be found at www.dshs.state.tx.us/immunize

The following COVID safety protocols will be in place at the beginning of school:

  • Water fountains All water fountains will be turned on this year. We still encourage students to bring a water bottle from home if they are able to. There are three water bottle refill stations that are accessible to students. Please make sure your child's water bottle has their name on it.
  • Masks are optional
  • Sanitizing stations — Students will be encouraged to use hand sanitizer throughout the day. Desks will be sanitized between classes.
  • Visitors will be allowed — We love our parent volunteers and visitors! Parents and guardians are welcome to come and eat lunch with their child. All visitors will need to check in with Mrs. Twila in our front office where their temperature will be taken.
  • Restrooms — We have signs posted on all restrooms asking students to limit 4 people at a time. We will also encourage students to wash their hands for 20 seconds before they leave the restroom.
  • Symptom and Temperature Monitoring — All students will be required to enter through our south entrance (8th grade hallway). This entrance has a camera that checks the temperature of each individual that enters the building. A staff member will be at this entrance monitoring the camera. If someone has a fever, they will be asked to go to the nurse for further evaluation. All faculty and students are required to monitor symptoms and no one is permitted to come to class if they are displaying symptoms.
  • Building sanitized nightly
  • Buses will be sanitized after each route

If your child tests positive for COVID-19

Please notify our nurse, Lorie Wilson.


lwilson@vanalstyneisd.org

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.

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!

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 FAQ Flyer

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

VAMS Community Service Online Hour Log

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

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.

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, and follow us on Twitter at @vamiddleschool


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.

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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.

Attendance Reminders

Just a few reminders about attendance:

Please send a note giving a detailed description of the reason for the absence within 3 days of any absence. Notes received after 3 days will result in an unexcused absence. Please send a doctor's note anytime your child misses school for an appointment. If your child is absent longer than 3 consecutive days because of personal illness, you must bring a statement from a doctor or health clinic verifying the illness or condition that caused the student's extended absence. If you have any questions, please send an email to vamsoffice@vanalstyneisd.org.

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VAISD Kindness Challenge

As most of you are aware, school districts around the country have been plagued by students participating in TikTok challenges. These challenges ask students to destroy/vandalize school property, steal things, and do other things that can lead to legal consequences. Our youth are better than that! In an effort to combat the negative challenges on social media, VAISD challenges our youth to make a positive impact in our school and our community. Our youth can do great things! #takebacktiktok #supporteducation #VAISD #KindnessChallenge


Complete the Google Form below if you participated in the VAISD Kindness Challenge! We want to hear about the great things our youth are doing!

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VAISD Kindness Challenge Form

Complete the Google Form if you participated in the VAISD Kindness Challenge! We want to hear about the great things our youth are doing!