VAMS Panther Press Newsletter

January 7, 2022

Calendar


  • Wednesday, January 12 - Spelling Bee at 2:00 PM in VAMS Cafeteria
  • Friday, January 7 - Star Card Treat After School
  • Wednesday, January 12 - Spelling Bee at 2:00 PM in VAMS Cafeteria
  • Friday, January 14 - Star Card Break the Dress Code
  • Monday, January 17 - No School
  • Friday, January 21 - Star Card Hat Day
  • Saturday, January 29 - Band Pancake Breakfast in the VAMS Cafeteria from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (more information below)
  • Thursday, February 17 - Van Alstyne Education Gala (more information below)

Report cards went home today. Please sign and return to school.

SPELLING BEE

The VAMS 19th Annual Spelling Bee will be on Wednesday, January 12th at 2:00 PM in the VAMS cafeteria. This is a big event, one for which dedicated students are working hard to prepare. Congratulations to the students below who are participating in the spelling bee! Parents and guests are welcome to attend, and will need to enter through the south entrance of the cafeteria.



6th Grade

Lillian Friday

Payton Meacham

Dakota Williams

Laura Tran

Brian Alonzo

Henry Hudgen


7th Grade

Lucas Brock

Madison Hanning

Jack Mosby

TJ Thomas

Joel Rejino

Riley Weaver


8th Grade

Nick Bustos

Connor Garris

Jett Jackson

Owen Moses

Yulissa Navarro

Nirmani Walpola

VAISD District Improvement Meeting

Parents, the District Improvement Team will be meeting on Wednesday, January 19th at 4:00 in the boardroom at the administration building. This meeting will also be a public hearing for revision of our District of Innovation plan (link to the proposed plan is below), as well as a public hearing regarding ESSER funding.


A little bit about the District of Innovation (DOI) plan: The 84th legislature passed a bill that allowed traditional school districts the ability to access flexibilities which had previously been reserved for charter schools. In order for an independent school district to obtain these flexibilities, they had to seek designation as a “District of Innovation.” The Van Alstyne ISD Board of Trustees initiated the process by adopting a resolution to pursue a “District of Innovation” designation and a committee was formed and came up with a DOI plan for our district. The plan is good for 5 years, and will be up for renewal at the conclusion of this school year. We have used this plan to give us flexibility in a number of areas, and would like to continue to have these flexibilities, as well as add some additional flexibilities we feel would be in the best interest of our staff and students.


For questions regarding the plan, please contact Ryan Coleman, Assistant Superintendent, at rcoleman@vanalstyneisd.org, or 903-482-8802.

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Van Alstyne Education Foundation Gala

The Van Alstyne Education Foundation (VAEF) is a non-profit organization that supports the students and teachers in Van Alstyne Independent School District. Our mission is to provide resources to enhance the educational experience for all students and teachers in VAISD, including scholarships for seniors and teacher grants. Since its inception, in 2012, VAEF has awarded over $500,000 in teacher grants and senior scholarships! The VAEF Gala and Auction is our largest fundraiser of the year. In 2021, the Gala raised $80,000.


Join us for A Mardi Gras Evening at the 9th Annual VAEF Gala and Auction. You will enjoy casino tables, entertainment, silent / live auction, unlimited food & drinks and much more! The event will be Thursday, February 17th at The Springs Event Venue.


Please click the link below to find out more information about the gala, how to be a sponsor, and/or how to donate.

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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.

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!

Panther Sports

Girl's Basketball


Thursday, January 13th @ VAMS vs. Clark beginning at 5:00 PM

7A, 8A - Gym 1

8B, 7B - Gym 2


Saturday, January 15th @ VAHS (Van Alstyne Tournament) TBD


Boys Basketball


Saturday, January 8th @ VAHS (Van Alstyne Tournament)- A Teams Only

7A - 1st game at 8:00 AM

8A - 1st game at 9:00 AM


Thursday, January 13th @ Princeton Clark Middle School beginning at 5:30 PM

7A, 8A - Gym 1

8B, 7B - Gym 2


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

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

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.
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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

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 Online Hour Log

Click this button to access the VAMS Community Service Online 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, 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.

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.

If your child tests positive for COVID-19

Please notify our nurse, Lorie Wilson.


lwilson@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.