VAMS Panther Press Newsletter

January 17, 2020


  • Monday, January 20 - NO SCHOOL
  • Thursday, January 23 - Elective Sheets for the 2020-2021 School Year Sent Home (more information below)
  • Friday, January 24 - Star Card Treat After School
  • Thursday, January 30 - 8th Grade Field Trip - College Visit to Texas A&M - Commerce
  • Thursday, January 30 - Progress Reports Go Home
  • Friday, January 31 - Elective Sheets Due
  • Friday, January 31 - Star Card Break the Dress Code
  • Saturday, February 1 - Band Pancake Breakfast at 9:00 AM in the VAMS Cafeteria (more information below)
  • February 3-7 - Counselor Appreciation Week - Show Mrs. Frye some love!
  • Friday, February 7 - Star Card Hat Day
  • Thursday, February 13 - VAEF Denim and Diamonds Gala (more information below)
  • Friday, February 14 - Star Card Treat After School
  • Friday, February 28 - Student Dance 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

No School on Monday, January 20

School Board Appreciation Month

The month of January is School Board Appreciation Month. If you see one of our wonderful school board members, please take the time to thank them for the time and effort they dedicate to our schools. We appreciate their hard work, support, and encouragement. Members include: Bottom row: Kurt Himmelreich, Debbie Nance, and David Kerr. Top row: Jim Atchison, Steve Roddy, Dennis Smith, and Randall Morgan.
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Spelling Bee Champion

Cayden Grimes was the winner of our 17th annual VAMS Spelling Bee. He will be representing our campus at the Grayson County Spelling Bee in February. Congratulations to Cayden and the rest of our contestants for a job well done. They spent a lot of hours preparing for this event
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Note From the Nurse

Dear Parents/ Guardians,

There have been several cases of the flu reported in schools throughout the county. During the next few days off, please watch for symptoms. Symptoms of severe headache, body ache, low-grade fever, cough, sore throat, and congestion. If any symptoms occur, please get tested and notify the school if positive results occur. This year, several flu cases are turning into pneumonia. Resting until fully healed and staying hydrated can help prevent pneumonia. The way to prevent the flu is to stay home if symptoms are occurring and washing hands often.

We have also had a few cases of head lice here at the middle school. Please, take the time to check your child’s scalp. Having lice is not due to bad hygiene. Lice like clean hair and pass by direct contact. There are several over the counter medications for treatment and actual hair salon treatment businesses. If need further information, please contact me for assistance.

Please, stress to your child to be more conscious of handwashing, cover mouth if coughing, and not sharing food/drinks or personal products (headphones, phones, pens/pencils, and etc.).

Thank you for your time and attention to these matters. Please, feel free to call me if you have any questions.

Lorie Wilson, LVN

VAMS Nurse


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Elective Sheets


Elective sheets for the 2020-2021school year will be sent home on Thursday, January 23. Every effort will be made to place students in their courses of choice. However, due to class size restrictions or other scheduling conflicts beyond our control, it may be necessary to alter your class requests or to fill classes based on a first-come, first-served basis.

Here are some important things you need to know regarding elective sheets...

  • Elective sheets will be due Friday, January 31
  • ALL elective sheets need to be turned in to Twila in the front office
  • Twila will begin to accept elective sheets on Friday, January 24, no sooner than that.
  • LIFT class (Learning Interventions for Today) mainly focuses on reading and math intervention while allowing pockets of time to support other STAAR subject areas.
  • 7th Grade Parents - please let your child know that office aide, library aide, and yearbook are not guaranteed classes. ALL students need to rank their top 5 electives and then indicate whether they are interested in office aide, library aide, or yearbook.
  • Later in the spring, our current 8th graders will have meetings to set up their classes for high school.
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Parent Portal

Coming Soon!

The Parent Portal/Gradebook Viewer program that parents/guardians utilize to stay connected to student's grades, attendance and enrollment information has undergone some big changes!

The new program, Ascender Parent Portal, provides the same information about your student, but in a format that is easier to read and manage.

Your existing username and password will continue to work on the new program.

The program will be launched on January 27th, 2020.

Important: On January 27th, 2020, the previous txConnect Parent Portal App and program will no longer be functional. Any saved bookmarks or URLs that point to this program will no longer be valid.

The link to the new program, as well as full detailed instructions, will be sent out the week of January 22nd, 2020, as well as posted on the district website and through campus newsletters.

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Due to a scheduling conflict, the Valentine's Dance has been rescheduled for Friday, Feb. 28.
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District Plan for Addressing Sexual Abuse and Other Maltreatment of Children

Parents, we wanted to bring our District Plan for Addressing Sexual Abuse and Other Maltreatment of Children to your attention. This state-mandated resource explains different types of abuse, helps you know what signs to look for, and gives you the resources to get the assistance you need. It is also located under the Students and Parents tab on the district website at, or by clicking on the following link:

Please contact your school counselor with any questions, and they will be happy to assist you.

Reminder About Cell Phones

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, after school, and during lunch. 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.

Panther sports

Girls Basketball - Saturday, January 18 - Basketball Tournament at VAMS - 7B, 7A, 8B, 8A

Thursday, January 30 @ 4:30 at Home vs Howe - 7A, 8A

Boys Basketball - Saturday, January 18 - Basketball Tournament in Celina - 7B, 7A, 8B, 8A

Thursday, January 23 @ 4:30 at Home vs. Ponder - 7B, 7A, 8B, 8A

Go Panthers!

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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.

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, 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.

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District Medication Policy

Click this button to access the district medicaiton policy.

Medication Parent Consent Form

Click this button to access the medication parent consent form.

Cafeteria Menus

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.

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.