VAMS Panther Pause Newsletter

January 15, 2016


  • Monday, January 18 - NO SCHOOL - Martin Luther King Day/ Staff Development - no school for students
  • Friday, January 22 - STAR card iPod in advisory
  • Thursday, January 28 - Progress Reports

NO school on Monday, January 18th

Spelling Bee Champion

Congratulations to 7th grader Makenna Dancer for winning this year's VAMS spelling bee. She will move on to represent our school at the Grayson County Bee on February 3. Should she win that, the state bee will be in Dallas, with the winner moving on to the National Bee in Washington DC. Awesome job Makenna!

Teacher of the Month

Congratulations to our Teacher of the Month - Lindsey Flores, 7th grade reading. We appreciate all of your hard work and your dedication to our students!
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Outstanding Students

Our Outstanding Students program recognizes students who go above and beyond to make our school a great place. Teachers choose one student from each grade level who deserves recognition. The students who are chosen receive a Sonic drink of their choice, get their name on the marquee, and are recognized in the VAMS newsletter. We would like to congratulate the following students for making our school a great place to be:

Ja'Lasia Anderson - 5th Grade

Cade Milroy - 6th Grade

Parker Ritchie - 7th Grade

Kayla Bellamy - 8th Grade

Way to go! You make us proud!

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Outdoor Classroom Vegetable Garden Coming Soon!

Some of our students are working on securing donations to build 5 raised vegetable gardens as an extension of our Outdoor Classroom. When completed the vegetable gardens will be 4’ x 8’ in size and grow a variety of vegetables. Students will learn valuable life skills and become immersed in hands on science and math concepts. To date, LOWES in Sherman and McKinney have graciously agreed to donate the materials needed to construct one vegetable garden each. A huge thank you to LOWES for helping us make our project a reality!

Parent Survey Coming next week.

Parents, our annual parent survey will be coming out next week. Having your feedback is critical for us because it helps us see things from a different perspective. We hope that you will take the time to fill it out because the information we receive is invaluable to helping us improve. Our focal points from last year's results revolved around proactive academic communication (which was the reason we started our grade level newsletters), and regular and meaningful technology integration. We feel we have made strides in this area and hope you feel the same way as well.

Gifted and Talented Referrals

Dear Parents,

Referrals are now being accepted for the Van Alstyne Unique Learners and Thinkers (VAULT) program. VAULT is designed to provide academic challenge for children who have been identified as gifted and talented through a process of academic testing. Children, who possess the ability to function above their current grade level, or demonstrate outstanding academic performance, should be carefully considered.

Parent and teacher evaluations constitute two of the six assessment parameters used to determine placement in VAULT. Therefore, I strongly encourage that you consult with your child's classroom teacher prior to requesting a referral to be tested.

Parent Inventory forms are available in the office at the middle school office. The deadline for parental referrals is February 5th. If you have any questions regarding VAULT, please contact the undersigned at the school.


Ryan Coleman, Principal

Rachel Sevarino, VAULT Coordinator

*Van Alstyne ISD VAULT referrals receive the testing component of the GT assessment every two years. Though, teacher and parent inventories can be updated yearly. If the referral was tested last year, only teacher and parent inventories will be updated on the student profile sheet this year.

School Board Appreciation Month

The month of January is School Board Appreciation month. If you see one of our wonderful school board members, please take the time to thank them for the time and effort they dedicate to our schools. We appreciate their hard work, support, and encouragement. Members include: Bottom row: Randall Morgan, Kurt Himmelreich, and Debbie Nance. Top row: Dennis Smith, Jim Atchison, Steve Roddy, and David Kerr.
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Scholarship in honor of Reagan and Grant Small

An endowed scholarship is being set up through the Van Alstyne Education Foundation to honor Reagan and Grant Small. All donations are tax free and will help us to continue to honor the memory of these two precious children for years to come. Checks can be made payable to the VAEF with Reagan and Grant's name in the memo line. You may send your monetary donation to:

Van Alstyne Education Foundation
PO Box 1620
Van Alstyne, Tx. 75495

With an endowed scholarship once the requirements are met, the foundation will be able to give a scholarship each year without having to continuously raise the money yearly. Karen and her family will be able to present this scholarship and continue to keep the memory of her children alive for years to come. If you could help with any amount at all, it will be GREATLY appreciated.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Sarah Coleman at 903-816-4321 or

Thank you so much,
Sarah Coleman

Panther Sports


Girls Basketball - Thursday, January 21 @ 4:30 vs. Lone Oak @ home (7B, 8B, 7A, 8A)

Boys Basketball - Thursday, January 21 @ 4:30 @ Lone Oak (7B, 8B, 7A, 8A)

Go Panthers!

Volunteer Approval Form

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

Lost and Found

There are many unclaimed items in our lost and found. Please encourage your child to check and see if there is anything that belongs to them. We also encourage you to put your child's name on the tag of his or her coat, or sweatshirt, and lunchbox to minimize the chance of losing it.

Facebook and Twitter

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