VAMS Panther Press Newsletter

August 26, 2022

Calendar

  • 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!
  • Thursday, September 8 - Progress Reports Go Home
  • September 12 - 16 - Homecoming Dress Up Days (more information below)
  • Tuesday, September 13 - Fundraiser Kickoff (students will bring home fundraiser information)
  • Wednesday, September 14 - Community Pep Rally at Panther Stadium at 7:00 PM
  • Friday, September 16 - Homecoming Varsity Football Game at 7:00 PM - see more information below
  • Tuesday, September 20 - Picture Day (picture order information below)
  • Friday, September 23 - First UIL Eligibility Check (more information below)
  • Tuesday, September 27 - Fundraisers Due
  • Saturday, October 1 - VAISD Fall Festival from 3:00 PM -7:00 PM in the VAHS Parking Lot
  • Friday, October 14 - VAMS Halloween Dance from 6:00-8:00 - free admission (more information below)


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.

Varsity Football Games

Our first varsity home game is TONIGHT where our Panthers will play Pottsboro starting at 7:30 PM. 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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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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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.

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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 lifetouch.com and click the "Order Now" button. The VAMS Picture Day ID is EVTMFQW4D.

Homecoming

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.

Homecoming Dress Up Days

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UIL Eligibility Check

UIL has a No Pass No Play eligibility rule that governs students participating in school-related extra-curricular activities. This pertains not only to middle school athletes, but to all school-related extra-curricular activities in which students compete, including but not limited to: athletics, cheerleading, showing animals, choir, and band competitions, etc. Here is a brief explanation...


The FIRST ELIGIBILITY CHECK will be on Friday, September 23rd. Any student failing at that time will not be eligible to participate in any UIL club or team. After the September 23rd eligibility check, all other eligibility checks will be made at the end of each 9 weeks. If a student is passing all subjects at the end of a nine weeks grading period, he/she will remain eligible to participate in extra-curricular activities until the end of the next nine weeks grading period. A student who fails any subject for the nine weeks becomes ineligible to participate in any extra-curricular activity at 3:00 the Friday following report cards.


Students can regain eligibility if they are passing all classes at the following times: at the end of the three weeks reporting period, at the end of the six weeks reporting period, and at the end of the nine weeks grading period. They will regain eligibility at 3:00 the Friday after progress reports or report cards come out.

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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 tdbramley1399@gmail.com
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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 paigemcd1323@gmail.com or check the VAMS Panther Parents Facebook Page.

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 www.myschoolbucks.com. **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.

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 lmerriman@vanalstyneisd.org

Attendance

If you need to communicate any attendance questions or issues, please email the following email address vamsoffice@vanalstyneisd.org.

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

Volleyball

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

Saturday, September 10 - S&S Ram Run


Coach Ingram, Middle School Girls Athletic Coordinator - kingram@vanalstyneisd.org

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

Please see the updated football schedule below

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 twhitaker@vanalstyneisd.org or call the school office.