Valley Middle School
From the Office of Dr. Vandal
Wow! I cannot believe it is March already. Time flies when you are having fun and have the best job in the world. Valley pride continues to shine through our coldest days with great things happening.
February was a month of greatness. We had both boys and girls’ basketball teams bringing home wins, our music department showcasing our students’ talent, our math team representing Valley at UND, to our Spelling students who will represent Valley at the State Spelling Bee. The Valley Musical is still practicing for their opening night and all our after school activities as well.
This year was my (and many other staff members) first RAD day. Let me tell you that this was the best experience I have encountered in my 25 years in education. The planning and organizing behind this event was insurmountable. A HUGE Kudos goes out to our team of teachers that took the lead to make this event a success. More importantly, we received some awesome feedback from a couple of our business partners letting us know how well-behaved and respectful our students were. This is a true indicator of why we do what we do.
Our PTO continues to play a vital role in connecting families and students. The second Monday at 5:30 is when they meet. It is a great way to show your Valley pride and share your feedback with a bigger group.
It is also that time of year again. What time do you ask? It is North Dakota State Assessment Time. This test showcases not only our exemplary teachers, but our students as well. Parents/Guardians will be getting a Blackboard message regarding the Assessment and how you can help. We will also be sending more detailed information once everything is finalized. The motto is:
“This is not a test about what you know, it's a celebration of your academic achievements and success.”
Research shows that students perform better on assessments when, “Provided a purpose and rationale, expectations are communicated, and when shown the results.” We all play a role in communicating the “why” and the “importance” of the NDSA. However, we are asking you all to communicate this as well. We want our Valley Pride to continue to shine today and everyday.
Again, I am looking forward to another successful month of greatness. As always, reach out if you have any questions. Have a great March.
Important Dates- NO SCHOOL March 13th-17th! Happy Spring Break 😊
Spirit Week March 6-10!
District Parent and Family Engagement Policy
Altru Safe Kids Winter Weather
March 1, 2023
Grand Forks Public Schools' Driver Education registration will be open on March 6, 2023 at 8:30 a.m. This is open to GFPS students in 8th-12th grades. Two 8-day sessions with morning and afternoon time slots will be offered. These classes will be held Monday–Thursday. Driver instruction includes classroom curriculum, simulated driving experiences, and behind-the-wheel training. All instructors are licensed Driver Education teachers in North Dakota.
The session fee for 2023 is $300. Registration will be available at https://www.myschoolbucks.com.You must register your student under your account in MySchoolBucks in order to purchase a session. Sessions sell out fast, so please be sure to have your account created beforehand. If you are unable to register online and/or need assistance, please call our school, Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m.-4 p.m. at (701) 795-2777. If you need immediate assistance, you may contact MySchoolBucks directly at 1-855-832-5226.
Driver Education students must be 14 years old. Driver permits are encouraged, but not required to take driver education. Students must be in attendance every day during the session and time selected. Please choose sessions for your student with mandatory attendance in mind. If you are not able to make the session you selected after registration, please be aware that moving to another session may not be possible. If you have any questions, please contact us at (701) 795-2777.
Terry Bohan, Driver Education Director
Block IV Sports
Please complete this form to sign up for:
*Girls Track & Field (March 27th-May20th)
*Boys Track & Field (March 27th-May20th)
1. Make sure your athlete has a physical: https://www.gfschools.org/site/handlers/filedownload.ashx?moduleinstanceid=10546&dataid=15605&FileName=NDHSAA_Physical_Form_approved%202019.pdf
2. Fill out and turn in the concussion form: https://www.gfschools.org/site/handlers/filedownload.ashx?moduleinstanceid=10546&dataid=20105&FileName=GFPS_Concussion_Form.pdf
3. Pay $50 for each season using https://www.myschoolbucks.com/ver2/login/getlogin.*
*Please reach out to Dr. Larson if there is a hardship. email@example.com
6th Grade Intramurals
- Basketball will begin February 28th. The dates are March 1st, 3rd, 6th, 9th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd. From 3:45-4:30PM.
- Students can sign up at lunch and in the main office.
The MySchoolBucks (MSB) Store is open for families to use! Families can pay for athletic fees, purchase bus tickets and other items online or via the MySchoolBucks button on the Grand Forks Public Schools' smartphone app.
POWERSCHOOL ONLINE REGISTRATION
A reminder was sent out in November to families that have not completed the mandatory online PowerSchool registration. You must use the PowerSchool Parent Portal to access the Registration link. The registration feature is not available using a cell phone and must be completed on a computer or laptop. If you do not have a computer, we have availability at our office for you to complete the registration.
If you do not remember your PowerSchool login information or need to update your information, please call our office at 701-746-2360 for assistance.
High School Summer School Registration
The Grand Forks Public Schools high school summer school registration form is now open! If your student has any questions or needs assistance with registering for high school summer school, please have them speak with their school counselor.
Students and families can purchase general admission tickets ahead of time at Valley and also can be purchased at the door at Central HS. Adults are $5 and K-12 students are $3. Cash or check accepted.
6th Grade Dragons
Science - In Science we are finishing up Electromagnetic Forces late next week. The first week in March the students will be constructing their roller coaster in Science class. This is always fun for the students to show their creative side. I am asking kids to bring a roll of scotch tape for this project. Thanks in advance!!! Mr. Vonesh
Math - Math class is all about Algebra and learning the basics. We have written and evaluated expressions and now moving into simplifying expressions and making equivalent expressions. Our focus quickly transitions into solving both single and multi step equations.
Little heads up. The sixth graders will be taking the STAR test March 7. We use the data to help determine the needs of all students.
RLA - We are continuing to read the Odyssey by Homer retold by Gillian Cross, hoping to finish the story by the end of this month. We are also working on Narrative writing and the importance of dialogue to the story. Looking ahead, the students will be writing, illustrating and presenting their own narrative story.
Social Studies - We have begun Ancient Greece! We are wrapping up how the geography of Greece affected early settlement. We will be talking about types of government next then moving into learning more about what life was like in Athens and Sparta. This is a high interest topic for many students! We will also touch on Greek mythology with a mini project
6th Grade Wizards
Looking forward to seeing everyone at Parent Teacher Conferences Mar. 2-Mar. 7, 4:00-7:00 p.m.
Please check your child’s school supplies, many of them are in need of pencils. Continue to check the Valley Family Forum website for information.
Science classes: We are starting electromagnetic forces! We have gone over magnets and now will be working on electric circuits. This quarter we are constructing paper rollercoasters.
Math classes: We are getting into properties of operations, distributive property, grouping like symbols, and solving algebraic expressions and inequalities.
Social Studies: Students are studying Ancient Greece, Athens & Sparta, and the Persian War.
Reading Language Arts: Students are completing the writing of their own monomyth.
7th Grade Bears
In science, students are finishing Punnett squares and pedigrees before we head into Spring break. After break, we will continue to discuss sexual and asexual reproduction for both plants and animals. The month will round out with DNA and how it replicates. Students can also look forward to presenting a genetic disorder of their choosing to their classmates.
In math 7, students will finish up the proportional relationships unit by creating a one-pager. This one-pager will show the difference between proportional and non-proportional relations through graphs, tables, and equations.
In pre-algebra, students are finishing up the linear relationships unit and will create a stained glass slope project. We will then move into an introduction to the Pythagorean Theorem.
In Geography we will be finishing up our Latin America Unit and transition into Europe. After reviewing all of the countries in Europe, students will get the chance to plan a trip to European countries and research important cultural, historical, and physical sites to see on their tour of the continent.
In English, students are wrapping up our argumentative unit. Students are learning how to do Socratic seminars and writing with claims and evidence in anticipation of our NDSA testing after spring break. Next up we'll be starting our class read aloud, Barren Grounds.
7th Grade Wolves
Hello Wolf families!
It's not too late to sign up for conferences. Use this link to reserve your spot.
Deep Portage Field Trip Update
We will be hosting informational meetings about the trip both nights of conferences at 6:30PM in the lunchroom at Valley. Packets with permission forms and other information will be coming home with your student Wednesday 3/8. All forms need to be returned, fully filled out and signed, for your student to participate. Their packet will also indicate how much is still owed for the trip. We have fundraising opportunities still available. Scholarships are also available on a case by case basis. Please reach out to Mr. Carlson - firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about scholarships for this trip.
8th Grade Eagles
Eagles Team Note: We want all Eagles students to be successful! Please encourage your students to utilize the times before (8-8:30am) and after (3:30-4pm) school to get one-on-one help with specific teachers. Please also speak with your student about getting to class on time, each period, and accomplishing work in-class.
Information about our upcoming trip to Character Challenge Course in Park Rapids, MN will be shared at conferences. If you are unable to attend conferences, this information will be mailed home.
In January of 2023, we held our next Eagles RT Olympics event. Students had to learn and practice to stack cups like professionals. Then, using the 3-3-3 format, they had to successfully stack in order with everyone from their RT participating. Some RTs had to have multiple students stack twice to ensure fairness. Mr. Darko’s RT was the winner of this event, and they currently hold the Olympics Trophy. We will have our next RT Olympics after Spring Break. It will be Eagles Teachers Jeopardy!
8th Grade Mustangs
No update from the Mustangs. Have a great month.
Family and Consumer Science
7th grade FACS class demonstrated their sewing skills with felt hearts. They learned the whip stitch, backstitch, running stitch, and how to sew on a button. Students used their skills and creativity to design their own heart.
Information from our Social Workers
Active Parenting of Teens
Date: March 28 – May 2
Time: 6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: Online via Zoom
Facilitator: Maura Ferguson
Even more classes can be found on the NDSU Extension Parent Education website: https://www.ndsu.edu/agriculture/extension/programs/parent-education
Yearbook Form - Final Opportunity!!
GF Youth Commission
The Youth Commission is a diverse group of youth representing many perspectives, ages, and backgrounds.
Youth Commissioners develop leadership skills, encourage other young people to get involved and voice the concerns and needs of our young people.
The GF Youth Commission meets the first Wednesday of each month from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the school year.
If you are interested in joining the group, please complete an application using this link: https://forms.gle/R4ZWoSCqut8GoswW9
One of the most influential factors during a child’s adolescence is maintaining a strong, open relationship with a parent/guardian. When we each create supportive and nurturing environments, children make better decisions. Though it may not always seem like it, children hear concerns, which is why it’s important that parents/guardians discuss the risks of using alcohol and other drugs. How do you start the conversation? Visit www.parentslead.org.
Parents Lead - Influential Factors
Tips for Being a Good Listener.
As a parent/guardian, sometimes you may feel as though your child does not listen to you. It is important that you communicate your needs and feelings to your child in an effective way. A simple suggestion to improve communication between you and your child is to use “I” messages rather than “You” messages (which often create an oppositional situation). For example, instead of
saying, “You always leave your dirty dishes on the table. Can’t you pick up after yourself?” say, “When you leave your dishes on the table, I get frustrated because it makes extra work for me when I get home and I’m trying to make dinner.” Visit www.parentslead.org for more information.
Setting a Pattern of Rules and Consequences
Kids are less likely to use alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs if their parents have established a
pattern of setting clear rules and consequences for breaking those rules. This applies to no-use
rules about tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs — as well as bedtimes and homework. Have clear
expectations for behavior, monitor your child, and implement appropriate consequences. In
setting these rules, be sure you discuss your rules and expectations in advance and follow
through with the consequences you’ve set.
Don’t forget to acknowledge times when your child follows the rules! Parents who have a warm
relationship with their children while maintaining rules for behavior are teaching their children
self-discipline. Parents who have rules that are too harsh or no rules at all are more likely to
have children who are at greater risk for drug-taking behavior.
For more information and resources, visit www.parentslead.org.
Talking openly and honestly with your kids is one of the most effective ways to support their
behavioral health. Whether it’s everyday topics like friends and school, or more serious topics like substance use, anxiety, or depression, it’s never too early to start the conversation. As your kids grow, your conversations may change, but they will always be centered on keeping them happy, healthy, and safe. Keep your conversations relaxed, friendly, non-judgmental, and genuine. And most importantly, be a good listener. What should I say? Visit www.parentslead.org for more information.