VAMS Panther Press Newsletter

September 30, 2022


  • Saturday, October 1 - Van Alstyne Education Foundation Clay Shoot (more information below)

  • Saturday, October 1 - VAISD Fall Festival from 3:00 PM -7:00 PM in the VAHS Parking Lot
  • Tuesday, October 4 - Pep Rally at 3:00 PM
  • Tuesday, October 4 - National Night Out from 6:00-8 at the Community Center and Central Social District
  • Saturday, October 8 - Fall der All (Community event put on by the Chamber of Commerce) from 10:00 to 6:00 downtown
  • Tuesday, October 11 - 6th-8th Reading & Science Quarter 1 Tests - We will have an alternative schedule this day.
  • Tuesday, October 11 - 6th Grade Beginner Band Concert at 7:00 PM in the VAMS Main Gym
  • Wednesday, October 12 - 6th-8th Math & Social Studies Quarter 1 Tests - We will have an alternative schedule this day.
  • Wednesday, October 12 - House Games from 1:15 PM - 3:30 PM
  • Thursday, October 13 - VAMS Choir Concert at 7:00 PM in the VAMS Cafeteria
  • Friday, October 14 - VAMS Halloween Dance (organized by parent volunteers) from 6:00-8:00 - free admission (more information below)
  • Monday, October 17 - NO SCHOOL
  • Tuesday, October 18 - NO SCHOOL
  • Thursday, October 20 - Report Cards Go Home
  • Friday, October 21 - Pumpkin Decorating Submission Deadline (more information below)
  • Friday, October 21 - Star Card Treat After School
  • October 24 - 28 - Red Ribbon Week
  • Monday, October 24 - Stand for the Silent School Assembly (more information below)
  • Monday, October 24 - VAISD School Board Meeting at 7:00 PM
  • October 24, 25 & 26 - Van Alstyne High School Theatre Haunted House from 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM at Van Alstyne High School - Tickets $5.00 at the door (more information below)
  • Friday, October 28 - Star Card Hat Day
  • Tuesday, November 8 - Picture Make Up Day
  • Tuesday, November 8 - Screen Time and Social Media: What You Need to Know Presentation at 5:30 PM in the VAMS cafeteria. Open to elementary, middle, or high school parents. (more information below)

Progress Reports Went Home Today

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1st Quarter Tests

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.

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Kona Ice

On Wednesday, October 12, our students will have an opportunity to purchase a Kona Ice in the afternoon during House Game. If you would like for your child to purchase a Kona Ice, then send $3-$5 with them. 25% of the proceeds go back to our school to support our teachers and students.

Halloween Dance Volunteers

Our parent volunteers are organizing a Halloween Dance! The dance will be on Friday, October 14 from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM. The Halloween Dance is for VAMS students only. If you are interested in helping with the dance, please contact Toni Bramley at Click the link below to sign up to volunteer or donate items.
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Pumpkin Decorating Contest

We will have a pumpkin decorating contest this year! Please know we will NOT accept CARVED pumpkins or pre decorated pumpkins. Decorated pumpkins must be school appropriate. Decorated pumpkins can be turned into Ms. Filbeck by Friday, October 21. We will have prizes for 1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place winners. We are excited to see the creativity of our students and staff!
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Red Ribbon Week Dress Up Days

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Veterans Day SlideShow

VAMS will host a Veterans Day program on Friday, November 11 at 9:00 AM. We would like to show a slideshow before the program to honor our veterans. If you have a family member or friend who is a veteran that you would like to honor, please click the link below to fill out the submission form. SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE BY FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4.
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Stand For The Silent

Stand for the Silent- Stand for the Silent, an engaging program on bullying prevention and youth suicide, will be coming to VAMS on Monday, October 24th, 2022. Our 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students will attend the program during the school day. We understand that the topics being discussed are sensitive, so we encourage you to talk with your children prior to the program. Detailed information can be found at Stand for the Silent's website, as well as on their digital brochure. Brochures are also available in the front office. If your family has been personally impacted by these topics, please don't hesitate to reach out to our school counselor, Britni Cady, in case the program brings up challenging emotions for your child.

The Stand For The Silent (SFTS) program addresses the issue of school bullying with an engaging, factual, and emotional methodology. With the help of student leaders, Kirk Smalley presents his inspirational story, and students are shown firsthand the life and death consequences of bullying. Students, some for the first time, develop an empathetic awareness through education and understanding. At the end of each event, pledge cards are given to those who agree to stand for the silent. The pledge illustrates the main lesson taught through the Stand For The Silent program: I AM SOMEBODY.

Stand for the Silent Pledge: “From this day forward, I promise to respect those around me as well as respect myself. I am somebody, and I can make a difference. I can make another feel loved. I can be the helping hand that leads another back to the path of hope and aspiration. I will not stand silent as others try to spread hatred through my community. Instead, I pledge to lift up those victims and show them that their life matters. I will be the change, because I AM SOMEBODY!”

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Parent Volunteer Group

We love our parent volunteers! Our parent volunteers help organize student events, host teacher appreciation luncheons, and support our school. If you are interested in volunteering, please Paige McDonald at or check the VAMS Panther Parents Facebook Page.

2022-2023 Yearbook Orders

Buy early and save money!

Secure your memories!

Cost: $42.00 if you order by Monday, November 21, 2022

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Students Calling Home

Please do not allow your child to call or text you from school using their cell phone for any reason, including to come pick them up when they do not feel well. Proper procedure is to report to Nurse Wilson and allow her to use her training to make that determination. Misuse will result in confiscation of the cell phone and the parent will be required to come pick up the phone.

Covid Absences

If your child has a doctor's note that states they tested positive for Covid, please email a copy of the doctor's note to our office at and our nurse at

If your child tests positive for Covid with an at-home test, please email a picture of the positive at-home test along with the dates your child will miss school to our office at and our nurse at

Lunch Accounts

School lunch is no longer free for all students. The program has been discontinued for the 2022-2023 school year. 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 **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.

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Feed My Sheep Program

Backpack food programs provide nutritious, non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food to

children to ensure they get enough food on weekends and holidays in an effort to avoid hunger

when they are unable to depend on school meals. By providing kids with the nutrients they need when they’re away from school, they show up on Monday morning healthy and ready to learn. Each student will typically receive 2 breakfast items, 2 lunches, 2 dinners and 2 snack type items.

If your family would benefit from the Feed My Sheep program, then click the link below to view the Feed My Sheep flyer. Complete the bottom portion of the page and return it to our VAMS counselor, Mrs. Cady.


If you need to communicate any attendance questions or issues, please email the following email address

Cell Phone Policy

Students are allowed to bring cell phones to school. They are allowed to listen to music and play games on their cell phones before school, during lunch, and after school. Students must keep cell phones out of sight and turned off (not on silent) during the school day. Please reinforce this rule with your child so they are well aware.

Also, please do not allow your child to call or text you from school using their cell phone for any reason, including to come pick them up when they do not feel well. Proper procedure is to report to Nurse Wilson and allow her to use her training to make that determination. Misuse will result in confiscation of the cell phone and the parent will be required to come pick up the phone. If the student continues to misuse their cell phone, the student will be required to check their cell phone into the office each morning.

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Panther sports


Thursday, October 6 @ Anna

5:00 PM - 7A & 8B

6:00 PM - 8A & 7B

Thursday, October 13 @ VAMS vs. Denison

5:00 PM - 7A & 8B

6:00 PM - 8A & 7B

7th Grade Football

Tuesday, October 4 at 6:30 & 7:30 PM at Anna

Tuesday, October 11 at 5:30 & 6:30 PM at New Celina Middle School located at 300 East GA Moore Parkway

8th Grade Football

Tuesday, October 4 at 6:00 & 7:00 PM at Van Alstyne Stadium vs. Anna

Tuesday, October 11 at 6:00 & 7:00 PM at Van Alstyne Stadium vs. Celina

Cross Country

Monday, October 10 - District Meet in Celina

Coach Ingram, Middle School Girls Athletic Coordinator -

Coach Sedlacek, Middle School Boys Athletic Coordinator -

Varisty Football Games

We love seeing our middle school students attend games to support our high school students. Please see the information below about football game expectations.

  • Middle school students who are not sitting with their parents/guardians need to sit in the middle school section (top, left side of the bleachers).
  • No footballs or other balls can be brought to the game.
  • No one is allowed on the football field after the game.
  • Students will be asked to leave if they continue to make poor choices after a warning/redirection.
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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.

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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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 or call the school office.