Friday, October 10, 2014

Congratulations September 2014 Virtuous Knights!

September 2014 Virtuous Knights
6th Graders Kaitlyn Baer, Grace Heitkamp, Alisa Matsuo, Alex Muzy
7th Graders:  Andres Miranda, Kaleb Snodgrass, Hunter Stone, Saige Warren
8th Graders Noah Frederick, Audrey Nessler, Drew Odenweller, Josh Orians, Jason Runion, Mackenzie Saltzman

Qualities of a Virtuous Knight:
Generosity; Respect; Kindness; Pride in School; Responsibility; Enthusiasm; Pride in Self; Hard Working
Thanks to Culver's, Pisanello's Pizza - North Baltimore, and the Van Buren Academic Boosters for their support of our students!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

VBMS Partners with Family Resource Center

We all know that young adolescents have a variety of social-emotional needs.  Using the research behind Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, those social-emotional needs must be met before we can expect students to be fully engaged in our classrooms.

Van Buren Middle School and Family Resource Center (FRC) have partnered to provide a school-based counselor to our school community.  Megan Hargraves, our FRC counselor, is a licensed social worker and provides a spectrum of services to students, who themselves have a wide spectrum of needs.   From problems with friends, goal-setting and organization, stress caused by family changes, to self-harm, we are obligated to provide sound options to our students and families so that students can realize their true academic achievement.

Megan is originally from Akron and spends much of her time working at both Arcadia and Van Buren in the school-based programs.  Ms. Hargraves graduated from Bluffton University with a bachelor of arts degree and The University of Akron with a masters of social work degree. Megan has been a home-based therapist for about 2 years, lives at home with her cat Arnold and enjoys spending her free time traveling.

As a parent, you may struggle with your young adolescent.  Megan is a resource for us all - students, staff, and families.  She can be reached at or 419-299-3384 ext. 321

Monday, August 4, 2014

Opening Knight 2014-2015 Information

It is time for another school year to begin!  I wish to invite you to our annual Opening Knight orientation and open house set for Thursday, August 14, 2014.  Our first day of classes is Monday, August 18.  

Adolescence is a tumultuous time in a child’s life and when school staff and parents can work together, we can support our young adolescents so that they learn to their fullest potential.  We have changed the structure of Opening Knight to allow for more communication about how teachers’ classrooms will operate this year.

When arriving, please use the auditorium doors.  Each grade level will have an introductory meeting in the auditorium to begin their orientation:
5:30pm – Sixth Grade 6:00pm – Seventh Grade 6:30pm – Eighth Grade 

During Opening Knight, students and their parents will have the opportunity to do the following:
  • Get school pictures taken (please be sure your child is dressed in appropriate school attire – ALL students will have their picture taken for school identification purposes)
  • Pay student fees
  • Receive student schedule and locker assignment
  • Process Medical Authorization & Procedure Card and Technology Form
  • Students are issued their school netbook computers
  • Students “move-in” to their lockers
  • Visit your child’s classrooms and meet our school staff

We decided to save a few trees:  The One-to-One Computing Guidelines and Policies are online at and a printed copy will be in your packet at Opening Knight for both parent and student signatures.  The signed agreement must be turned in so that students can be issued their netbook computers that night.

School fees for the 2014-2015 school year are listed below:  
6th Grade $66.50
7th Grade $63.50
8th Grade $71.50 (regular science); $81.50 (advanced science)

We are excited to start the new school year!  As summer comes to a close, I hope you are able to join us for Opening Knight August 14.  As a parent, you are welcome all year long and we hope you are able to join us at school as a volunteer for Project MORE, at a parent advisory coffee, as a member of a booster organization, or even by “liking” Van Buren Middle School on Facebook!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Trusty Advances in Letters About Literature Competition

Van Buren eighth grader Maria Trusty was notified in April that she was selected as a semi-finalist in the state Letters about Literature competition for her letter to J.K Rowling.
Letters About Literature is a reading and writing contest for students in grades 4-12. Students are asked to read a book, poem or speech and write to that author (living or dead) about how the book affected them personally. Letters are judged on state and national levels. Tens of thousands of students from across the country enter Letters About Literature each year. 

Maria has been invited to attend  the Letters About Literature awards ceremony and luncheon to be held on Saturday, May 3rd at the Main Branch of the Cleveland Public Library.   Maria is the daughter of Alvin and Anjie Trusty.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

VBMS Students Fare Well in Math Competition

Van Buren Middle School eighth graders eligible for the final round of the MathCON competition.

Six VBMS eighth graders earned the opportunity to move to the final round of the MathCON math competition.  MathCON is open to students in grades 5-12 in the Midwest.  The first round consists of an online test and the final round is administered in Chicago where a paper and pencil test is taken.

Congratulations to these Van Buren students earning to opportunity to move to the final round:  Morgan Jackson, Josie Masters, Autumn Pisarsky, Jessica Roberts, Lisa Simmons, and Brandon Wehrle.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Congratulations March 2014 Virtuous Knights

March 2014 Virtuous Knights
6th Graders:  D.J. Helfer, Madelyn Parsell, Camrie Roberts, Zachary Seitz
7th Graders:  Jaden Butler, Noah Frederick, Marisa Gilbert, Andrea Iliff, Natalie Williamson
8th Graders:  Lydia Brown, Jessica Roberts, Carrigan Stacy, Madi Youngpeter

Qualities of a Virtuous Knight:
Generosity; Respect; Kindness;
Pride in School; Responsibility; Enthusiasm; Pride in Self; Hard Working
Thanks to Culver's, McDonald's - North Baltimore, Pisanello's Pizza - North Baltimore, and the Van Buren Academic Boosters for their support of our students!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

VBMS Eighth Grader Advances to National History Bee

Four VBMS students qualified for the regional round of the National History Bee.

Alexander Godzak will move to the national finals of the National History Bee.

Alexander Godzak, an eighth grader at Van Buren Middle School, qualified for the National Finals of The National History Bee in Atlanta, Georgia, June 6-8.  Alex was one of the top scorers out of the fifty students competing in the Regional Round.  Alexander is the son of of Jeffrey and Susan Godzak.

Four students from Van Buren Middle School qualified for the Regional Round of the National History Bee on Friday, April 4, 2014.  Seventh Grader, Miranda Eaton and Eighth Graders Alexander Godzak, Andrew Godzak and Quinton Graber qualified for the Regional History Bee in Novi, Michigan.  Similar to a Spelling Bee, students must prove their knowledge of World and American History beginning approximately 3000BC to the modern day.

The Intramural Bee was administered to all students in grades six through eight in early January.  The top four scoring students from a school qualify for the Online Regional Qualifying Exam. This exam consists of fifty questions administered online.  The top scoring students in a given region are invited to participate in the Regional Competition.

The regional competition is competed similar to a quiz style game show where participants must “buzz in” to answer.  High scorers in the four preliminary rounds then compete in the Regional Final Round. The top finishers in each of the thirty seven regions around the United States are invited to the National History Bee Finals in Atlanta, Georgia this June.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Congratulations February Virtuous Knights!

February 2014 Virtuous Knights
6th Graders:  Aaron Clark, Hunter Evans, Landon Forsyth, Amber Pisarsky
7th Graders:  Josh Bowles, Nate Gregory, Brady Harmon, Megan Muzy, Bryce Smith
8th Graders:  Graham Anderson, Amelia Durliat, Andrew Godzak, Mason Miarer, Brendan Miller 

Qualities of a Virtuous Knight:
Generosity; Respect; Kindness;
Pride in School; Responsibility; Enthusiasm; Pride in Self; Hard Working
Thanks to Culver's, McDonald's - North Baltimore, Pisanello's Pizza - North Baltimore, and the Van Buren Academic Boosters for their support of our students!