VAMS Panther Press Newsletter

August 19, 2022


  • Thursday, September 1 - Substitute Orientation @ 9:00 a.m at the Van Alstyne ISD administration building (more information below)

  • Friday, September 2 - Back to School Dance - 6th Grade Dance 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM and 7th & 8th Grade dance 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

  • Monday, September 5 - Labor Day Holiday - No School
  • Tuesday, September 6 - Student Senate Applications Due (more information below)
  • Tuesday, September 6 - First Pep Rally @ 3:00 - Parents and community members are welcome to attend!
  • Tuesday, September 13 - Fundraiser Kickoff (students will bring home fundraiser information)
  • Friday, September 16 - Homecoming Varsity Football Game at 7:00 PM - see more information below
  • Tuesday, September 20 - Picture Day (picture order information below)
  • Tuesday, September 27 - Fundraisers Due
  • Saturday, October 1 - VAISD Fall Festival @ VAHS Parking Lot

Other Important Dates:

  • Pep Rally Dates - Sept. 6, Sept. 20, Oct. 4, Nov. 1 (Pep Rallies begin @ 3:00 PM)
  • Student Dance Dates - Sept. 2, Dec. 9, Feb. 10, May 5
  • Student Dance Times - 6th Grade Dances are 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM and 7th & 8th Grade dances are 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM. Only VAMS students are allowed at dances.
  • 8th Grade Dance - Friday, May 12 from 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM. This dance is for 8th grade VAMS students only.

Dress Code

Please be familiar with the student dress code to help us proactively head off any issues before they arise.
  • Hair must be a natural color.
  • No Mohawks, faux-hawks, or designs in hair.
  • Holes in jeans are allowed in jeans, but skin cannot show through the hole above the fingertip. Oftentimes, students will wear leggings under their jeans or have patches behind the hole.
  • Skirt/shorts needs to be fingertip length
  • Tight-fitting clothing, such as yoga pants and leggings (must have something over them that meets the school dress code, fingertip length).

Student Dance

Our beginning of year student dance is scheduled for Friday, September 2. The 6th grade dance is 5:30-7:00 and the 7th & 8th grade dance is 7:30-9:00.

Students must follow the school dress code for the dance. The only exception is that girls may wear a dress that has a three-finger width strap. If a dress has spaghetti straps or is strapless, a sweater or cover-up must be worn at all times. Only VAMS students are allowed to attend student dances.

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Our Varsity Homecoming game will be Friday, September 16 at 7:00 PM. Students are welcome to attend the football game and enjoy time with their friends. Please know that mums and garters will not be allowed here at the middle school as they are a distraction to the learning environment. Students are welcome to wear mums and garters to the homecoming football game. We appreciate your understanding and hope you plan on enjoying watching our Panthers play Sulphur Springs at the Homecoming game.

Student Senate Applications

Student Senate is designed to help you grow and develop leadership skills. Members will assist in making the school a better place, plan and serve at school events, mentor younger students, plan house games, tutor, give building tours, and help new students. Student Senate will meet throughout the year, as well in the summer.

Candidates should be caring, creative, and responsible leaders. In order to participate in Student Senate, you will have to keep in good standing with both your academic and behavioral responsibilities. Additionally, you must be committed to following through to attend any events at which you choose to volunteer. Please carefully consider this commitment before applying.

To be considered for Student Senate, please submit your completed application with a parent signature.

All applications must be submitted to Mrs. Twila no later than Tuesday, September 6th.

Behavior Expectations

Our top priority at Van Alstyne Middle School is to provide all of our students with a safe learning environment. In order to do so, we need your help. Please take time to talk about the following things with your child.

  • Everyone will be treated with kindness and respect. Name-calling and teasing are unkind. Racial slurs will not be tolerated.
  • Students need to understand that saying anything about violence towards the school or others will be taken seriously.
  • Students should always keep their hands and feet to themselves. Physical violence will not be tolerated.
  • Please talk to your child about the responsibility that comes with social media. Students need to be careful about the things they say on social media, the posts they comment on, and the people they interact with.
  • Please know that if a student’s behavior in or out of school disrupts the learning environment, that student could receive a consequence.

We appreciate your partnership at home to help educate your child about appropriate behaviors at school. We encourage students to be kind, respectful, and friendly to all students and staff at all times. You are always welcome to contact the school if you have any concerns.

Campus Visitor Procedures

Van Alstyne Middle School and VAISD welcomes visitors to our campuses for a variety of reasons. We have recently refined our visitor check-in procedure to enhance the safety and security of our campus to more thoroughly vet all individuals wishing to gain access to our campus. We appreciate your cooperation in helping us implement these procedures in an attempt to keep our students and staff safe every day.

All VAISD campuses have locked entry access doors at the main entrance. There is a doorbell at each entrance. When approaching the school to gain entry, please be prepared to do the following:

  1. Ring the doorbell and stay in full view of the camera.
  2. Show valid I.D. to the camera
  3. State your full name, student’s name, and purpose of your visit.

Once entry to the campus is granted, proceed immediately to the main office to check-in. Please do the following:

  1. Present your valid I.D to the office staff. (I.D. will be safely retained in the office until visitors check out.)
  2. State your name, student’s name, and reason for the visit.
  3. I.D. will be scanned and, if cleared for entry, a badge will be printed that must be visibly worn at all times while on campus. Once you receive your badge, you may proceed to the area you intend to visit.
  4. When your visit is complete, return to the main office and return the badge. When you do so, your I.D. will be returned to you.
  5. Please refrain from bringing backpacks and large bags into the building.

If you are entering the building to check out a student from school for an appointment, you MUST have an I.D., even if you do not plan to enter the building for a visit.

Thank you for understanding the new security procedures. Please be aware that these procedures will apply to all individuals entering the building every time you visit, so please make it a habit to remember your I.D. Please call us with any questions or feedback.

2022 2023 ES VAMS Security Video

Lunch Accounts

School lunch is no longer free for all students. The program has been discontinued for this upcoming school year 2022-2023. 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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VAMS Picture Day

Our picture day is scheduled for Tuesday, September 20. If you would like to place an online order for pictures, go to and click the "Order Now" button. The VAMS Picture Day ID is EVTMFQW4D.

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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.

Substitute Orientation

Substitute Orientation will take place on September 1, 2022, @ 9:00 a.m at the Van Alstyne ISD administration building.

Van Alstyne ISD is currently looking for substitute teachers!!! In order to sub for the 2022-2023 school year, you must attend the orientation...and you must be 21 years or older to sub!

You will need to bring the following with you to the orientation:
Driver's License
Social Security Card
Voided Check or Bank Documentation for Direct Deposit
Copy of Teacher Certification (if certified)
Your picture will be taken for a badge

If you have any questions, please contact Lawana Merriman at:
(903) 482-8852 or


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.

Food Regulations

As a parent, you have the right to bring food to your child. However, to be in compliance with federal law, you are not allowed to bring in food for a child other than your own (for example, bringing a pizza for your child and his/her friends). This also includes bringing cupcakes and snacks on your child's birthday. To be in compliance with law, we cannot offer them during the lunch period. Therefore, the only time we could legally do that is during class time; which is not something we are going to be able to do as the students are busy in their classes and we do not want to disrupt the learning environment.

Lunch Drop Off

You are certainly welcome to bring your child a lunch. Since there are classes going on during each lunch period, we are not able to call students over the intercom to come and pick up their lunch from the front office. If you drop off a lunch for your child, there is a bookshelf in the front office for you to leave your child's lunch. There are sticky notes and markers to label their lunch. You will need to text your child to let him/her know they have a lunch in the front office. Your child will see the text when they are allowed to turn on their phone at lunch.
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Panther sports


Thursday, September 1 @ VAMS vs. Southard Middle School

5:00 PM - 7A & 8B

6:00 PM - 8A & 7B

Thursday, September 8 @ Clark Middle school in Princeton

5:00 PM - 7A & 8B

6:00 PM - 8A & 7B

7th Grade Football

Tuesday, September 6 at 5:45 & 7:00 PM at Van Alstyne Stadium vs. Southard Middle School

Tuesday, September 13 at 5:00 & 5:30 PM at Van Alstyne Stadium vs. Whitesboro

8th Grade Football

Tuesday, September 6 at 5:30 & 6:30 PM in Princeton vs. Southard Middle School

Thursday, September 15 at 7:00 PM at Van Alstyne Stadium vs. Whitesboro

Cross Country

Thursday, September 1 - Running Wolves Invitational at Wolfe City

Coach Ingram, Middle School Girls Athletic Coordinator -

Coach Sedlacek, Middle School Boys Athletic Coordinator -

Varsity Football Games

Our first varsity home game is Friday, August 26 where our Panthers will play Pottsboro. 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 of the bleachers behind the band).
  • 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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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.

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.