VHS Updates



From the Principal – “Did You Know?”

Good afternoon,

I have to tell you.  I found myself reaching for the Advil today.  It’s nothing bad–just really busy here today.  I see you all nodding in agreement.  I bet you guys have one foot out the door as well as everyone else does here.  I attribute that “get out of work early” anxiety to our short summers.  We are forced to “have fun” as fast as we can because winter is around the corner.  Talk about stress!

If you are already in your car, put your seatbelt on and read while someone else is driving.  I’ll keep it brief.

Have you found those “lost” library books?  Dig a little deeper–they are there somewhere.  If you don’t find them, I’m going to have to give my last two Advil to the library people.  They love their books–each and every one of them.  I get the feeling that they would be willing to come over and help you look for them.  Put the coffee on…..

Senior Parent Reminders:

Baccalaureate – Wednesday, June 3, Goodman Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Graduation Rehearsal (Mandatory) – June 4, right after 6th hour – Goodman Auditorium

Graduation – June 4th, Goodman Auditorium, 7:00 p.m. – Open Seating (Graduates need to be here at 6:30 to line up)

Now, if your child chooses not to participate, please let me know.  It takes us a while to figure out seating on stage.  Make sure your child has a cap and gown.  If they don’t, give me a call and we will provide one for them.

Today we had our annual awards assembly.  Lots of kids received awards. And lots of kids did not receive awards.  Lots of kids did not receive awards for their character, their kindness, or for their average grades.  I want you to know that I noticed them.  They were clapping for those on stage.  I applaud all of my students and I believe that most of them are working as hard as they can.  If they are not, we have a little chat in my office.  We never give up on them. They are our future. Keep in mind that you will never see their report cards……..but you will see their character.  Remember that.  Honor that.

And speaking of honoring, please remember all the men and women who have served our great country.  It only takes a moment to remember that soldiers gave their lives for all of us. Thank them– by honoring them.  Teach your children.

No school on Monday.  It’s “Click-it or Ticket” weekend.  Enjoy the time with your family.  It’s important. Be safe.

From the Principal – Did You Know?

Good afternoon,

Was it a little easier to get out of bed today knowing it was Friday?  I hope so.  I thought it was Friday on Wednesday if that makes you feel any better.  You’ve been there.  We’ve got dark clouds, dreary rain, freezing temperatures, state testing snafus, canceled sports, but on a Friday???….. it just seems a little more tolerable.  The kids are good and hanging in there. How are you doing?

OK Parents…..we have nagged your kids to return the borrowed library books, but for some reason they have yet to appear.  Could you take a look around the house and see if you can find any of them?  I know for a fact that lots of them will “be found” when the kids clean out their lockers–heavens to Betsy–you would not believe the multitude of questionable items stacked up in there!  I shudder to think about that.  Thanks for the help.  What greater weekend activity is there than a library book hunt?

Did you know that we allow any and all 11th grade students to sign up to take the PSAT test next year?  If you want your child to take this test, it costs $14.  They need to get their names on the list and their money turned in to the counseling office by May 26th.  These tests are ordered a year in advance and we only receive the number of tests we order so don’t miss this opportunity while it’s here.

I have to tattle on your kids.  They do not read….or the majority of them……do not read the daily bulletin that is sent directly to their emails and to their Schoology accounts every single day.  We send it to them so we don’t have to interrupt classes every day to read the bulletin to them.  We thought it was a great idea–everything at their fingertips–every day.  I don’t get it. I think they come by it naturally though….like when we adults buy something and it comes with directions that we don’t read until we put a swing set together that looks like a merry-go-round.  Perhaps it’s not such a strange thing.

That being said, maybe you guys better read the daily bulletin at  just to keep up with all of the things that are going on here at school.  Impress your children—-no easy task I might add.  (Wow….that’s an impressive link!  If I were you, I’d go there once and bookmark it.)

Did you know that a large number of you are calling the high school office with “last minute appointments” and “messages” you want delivered to your children?  We, of course, will try to accommodate but we have kids all over the place.  They are outside, inside, in the gyms, in the multi-purpose room, in the pool, etc.  We don’t call classrooms to interrupt classes so we have to do it the old-fashioned way—with a runner–yes, similar to the Pony Express.  I’m just letting you know that our horses are tired…….you get my drift….and thanks.

There is an Awards Program next Friday, May 22nd, at 9:00 a.m. in Goodman Auditorium. You are all invited as well as grandma and grandpa.  This is what the hard work is all about–proper recognition.  Come and be a part of this day for your kids.  They earned it. (Heck, you probably feel like you earned it with the amount of time you spent helping your kids with the homework.  You better come and get your reward too!)

And speaking of Fridays, did you know that there are two Fridays left in the school year? Two.  Just two.  One. Two. My teachers made me say that.  :)

Last but not least, I told my own kids that if they did everything I told them to do, they would never make a mistake.  (And no, I’m not sure I had thought that all the way through but I’ll go on…..)  My point was, that if they took my good parental advice, they would probably not make bad choices in life.  Do you think they did everything I advised them to do or not do?  No.  I don’t know what to tell you.

When kids get into trouble, I hear parents say, “That’s not how I raised my child.”  And believe me, I know what you are saying.  Here we all are, standing in front of them as big as life, with many life experiences under our belts, and they look at us as if we know nothing.  We probably thought the same of our parents.  I would guess that this scenario is what prompted a sign I saw the other day–  “Hire a teenager now while they know everything.”  Find the humor in that…….for what it’s worth.

Happy Friday…….Saturday is only hours away.

From the Principal – Did You Know?

Good afternoon~

You made it through the week.  I know it may have looked doubtful at some point, but here we are.  How in the world do we do it?

Something is coming to your mailbox soon.  What, you might ask?  It’s a letter from the district that explains Early Release Days next year, a school calendar, and a little magnet to put on your refrigerator with the Early Release dates and times on it.  Put it up right away.  Go directly to the refrigerator and throw it on there now or your little ones will have it in their toy boxes.

Did you know that there are less than 4 weeks of school left?  How’s that news hitting you? Need more coffee?  I’m telling you this because I need you to check your child’s grades now. There shouldn’t be any last minute rescue missions during that 11th hour to try to save a grade.  Do it now and get that grade off life support.

OK–Parents of Seniors:  We know when Senior Skip Day is.  Yes, the kids talk about it in front of us–like we are inanimate objects–and they do it every year!  I’m only going to say this to you– and it’s because I worry about kids when they are not in school–but I can tell you that what goes on on Senior Skip Day is not always good…..and for sure not as safe as going to school is. Tradition or not – it’s not a good idea.  (Remember that their frontal lobes are not fully developed therefore they make poor decisions.)  OK ….Enough said.  That’s all  in your hands now.  Be strong.

Cliques.  Are they here at school?  Yes they are.  Did you have them when you went to school?  Yes you did.  I really don’t think I can control that but I can help you put them in perspective.  When you go to work, do you find yourselves hanging out with a certain group of people and avoiding other groups?  I’m guessing that most of you are nodding your heads.  Why would your kids be any different?  It would be wonderful if they all–or all of you–mixed it up with everyone but I don’t even think it’s possible.  And on top of that, I’m quite sure you have said to your kids, “I don’t want you hanging out with so and so”……..right?  Relax on that one……it will all work out for them.  We want them all to belong somewhere.

And to wrap up the day, I want to remind you that it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday.  And since I’m probably talking to many “moms” today, I’d have to say that you moms are the heart of the home.  You make it a place to feel safe and loved.  Your kids care what you think of them. You set the expectations of your children’s lives by your example alone.  No pressure…..but it’s a tremendous responsibility.  You deserve to be honored on this day.  Let your children pamper you.  Put your feet up.  Let them burn dinner in the kitchen.  Bite your lip if they leave a mess when they are cooking pancakes for you.  Smile when they give you bizarre gifts.  Act as if you have wanted a spotted lizard all of your life.  I, too, honor you and thank you for raising your children to know right from wrong.  I know where those lessons came from.

Enjoy the weekend……catch a fish…..


From the Principal – Did You Know?

Happy May Day–Did you get a May Basket?  I hope so……get that candy out now—-I think they call that “comfort food” don’t they?  You can exercise tomorrow.

Couple of things~  Your email is our best way to contact you.  Please keep us updated if you make a change.  Quite frankly, you guys change your emails way less often than you change your phone numbers….it’s hard to keep up.  Remember to update any contact info as soon as there is a change.  In case of an emergency, time means everything.

Just a quick reminder that the 11th grade students are taking their MCA Math test on Monday and TuesdayMay 4 and 5.  If you haven’t had that frying pan out for awhile, dust it off and get ready. A good breakfast is important when brainpower is needed.  (Aren’t you glad you don’t have a test to study for?  Or homework?) Or maybe you did wish you had a test so YOUR mom would come over and cook your breakfast!!  OH the good old days.

Listen up parents of Seniors:  Did you know that there is a lack of interest in the Senior Banquet?  They are in danger of not having a banquet.  We emailed all parents of seniors in order for you to prod your kids into signing up and paying the dues–$15.00 for dinner and a nice evening with their friends.  This is just a heads up that if more kids don’t sign up, the advisor is prepared to cancel it.  It would be sad not to share that day with their classmates. The final sign-up date is next Wednesday.

Is there anything bothering you about the behavior of your kids lately?  Are they all of a sudden skipping classes? Getting bad grades? Disappearing for periods of time? Hanging out with a new set of sketchy friends? Asking for money more often? Tired or depressed?  These are just a few of the signs of drug abuse.  One of the first things we see here at school is truancy.  We take attendance every hour.  Why? Because they are teenagers.  Missing an hour of their day makes no sense to us.  Where are they?  What are they doing?  If they are not in class, we wonder what it is, exactly, that they are doing instead.

I attended the community meeting on the escalation of heroin use in our community.  There are other drugs being used as well, but the heroin use is really increasing ….. and it’s killing people–young people.  It was good to see some of you there with your kids.  They got to hear first hand about what an addiction did to some young lives.  I want to pass on what I thought was one of the most important deterrents:  Parent disapproval of drug use was one of the most effective weapons against drug use.  Kids do not want to make you mad at them or disappointed in them.  Did you know that you had that much influence on your kids?  Use that info.  One young man also said that if his mom would have called up his friend’s mom to see if he was really there, he would never have gotten away with using drugs.  Just let that sink in for a minute.  One phone call could have changed his life.

Be a parent.  Check on your kids.  It’s your job and they expect you to do this. Do not disappoint them.  Talk, talk, talk to them.  Ask questions.  Check on them.  You are NOT violating any privacy.  They can be private when they are on their own.  Remember that what you think of them matters.

And speaking of parenting, let’s talk about Facebook.  I wish it did not exist.  I know that’s extreme but it does not do one positive thing for us here at school.  It is a platform to say anything to anyone.  It’s not private.  There are thousands of Facebook postings going out every day and they are not all nice.  Kids read them.  Kids are hurt by them.  Words are powerful and long-lasting.  Kids bring those issues into school and all of a sudden my Dean of Students is neck deep in Facebook issues.  We cannot control Facebook.  We do not want to control Facebook.  We are asking parents to control your child’s Facebook.  Evaluate this to see if they really need Facebook.  People lose jobs due to Facebook.  People lose friends due to Facebook.  Like I said before, we don’t need to know the exact moment someone goes to change a diaper. That is not gripping information that I live for. Just food for thought.

I hope you don’t feel all beat up……I hope you feel empowered.  You are key to your kids’ success.  We parents never really give up.  There is something in us that won’t allow us to let go of our children.  Afterall, some of them were hard to come by.  Some of them need a little help until their frontal lobe develops.  (I see some of you Googling now ….”When…. does….. that…… frontal…… lobe…… develop?”)  I hear you thinking—–I’m not sure I can survive this teenage scene.  You can.  We live with 750 of them here and they are lots of fun.  Enjoy the time you have with them.  Soon they will be gone and you’ll be wishing they would come for a visit…or at least call you—oh, make that “text you.”  People don’t call anymore.

Have a fantastic weekend!  It’s summer tomorrow….don’t miss it.



From the Principal – Did You Know?

Good afternoon,

Someone let me know when I can put my snow pants and mittens away.  I’m cold.  The good news?  This weather sort of curbs that desire to skip class.  If it’s icky outside, they don’t mind spending their time with us.  When 70 degrees hits, I shudder.  And the rambunctious kids are another story……(And you thought I was talking about the kids, didn’t you.)  But enough of my worries.

What’s up for the weekend?  Prom!  It’s tomorrow!!! Pictures start at 5:15, the Grand March is in Goodman Auditorium at 6:30, the meal is served at 7:15, and the dance is from 8:30 to 11:30. Kids are not allowed to leave until 11:15.  Why?  Because now you have a time frame of your child’s whereabouts.  We hand them off to you at 11:15.  They cannot come and go like the wind——once they are with us, they stay with us.

Oh and a couple of other things:  Parents cannot go to the Curling Club to see the decorations.  I’m not sure how to tell you this, but once you see the Grand March and send them to the dinner and dance, you have become the second most important thing in their lives.  They want to be on their own without you guys “hovering.”  (They made me tell you this. I’m innocent.)

Speaking of parenting, have you thought about a prom curfew?  It’s OK if you have.  You know that old saying about “Nothing good happens after midnight,” is absolutely true.  You know what I’m talking about.  Be strong.  Have the courage to tell your kids what time they have to be home.  And remember those cell phones you bought your kids–the ones you pay the bill on every month?  I think you should use those minutes you bought.  Call them and tell them—- every 15 minutes—– that you love them.  You get my drift.  I’m sure they’ll appreciate hearing from you.  Fear not.

I’m teasing you a little about all of this, but deep down I worry about kids on this night.  I just want them all to come back to school on Monday after their fun night out.  It’s a special night. It’s exciting.  None of us want any tragedy.  Tell them to be careful.

OK….moving on.

Here’s the MCA Testing Schedule that remains:

Math 7 – Monday, April 27 & Wednesday, April 29

Math 8 – Thursday, April 30 & Friday, May 1

Math 11 – Monday, May 4 & Tuesday, May 5

Science 8 – Wednesday, May 6 & Thursday, May 7

Science 10 – Tuesday, May 12 & Wednesday, May 13

Just encourage your kids to do their best.  No stress.

Did you know that opiate (Heroin) addiction is on the rise?  It is all around us and it can affect any one of our families.  Find out what’s going on at “The Heroin Community Forum” next Thursday, the 30th, in the North Room of the Miner’s Memorial Building.  The presentation goes from 7 – 8 p.m. and then there is a Q&A after that.  This is a FREE program.  Bring your kids.

And finally, what kind of behavior do we expect from our kids?  We expect them to be polite, respectful, quiet, studious, on time, prepared, dressed properly, honest and for sure, we expect them NOT to text and drive.  Have you talked to them about texting and driving?  Do you text and drive?  Are you doing what you expect your kids not to do?  They are watching you…….Just food for thought.  It’s hard to be a parent….be brave.

From the Principal – Did You Know?

Good afternoon and welcome to the last 7 weeks of school!  Where are my manners?  Please sit down…….Take 5 and let’s get caught up on all the latest news! There………that’s  better.

I have a couple of important announcements.  First of all, the last day of school is June 4th. We are releasing students an hour early that day so the high school (7-12) will be out at 2:08 p.m.  Mark that down and get ready for those wonderful children to come running into your arms.  They will be with you (for what seems like an eternity) for the next few months. Heaven help you…………(I kid, of course.)

And speaking of those angels, I want to remind you that we (and you parents) will see an increase in anxiety at this time of year.  It builds to a boiling point and it’s real.  There is a lot of 4th quarter stress due to cramming for tests in order to pass the quarter, stress about graduating on time, stress from sports, and just plain stress from sitting in a desk 7 hours a day and wishing they could be outside.  I believe it is similar to little baby calves getting out of the barn in the spring. They are dying to kick up their heels.

Oh….and one more little thing….the dress code.  Remember last year?  I reminded you that if your child wears shorts, the shorts should have legs on them.  No legs on the shorts equals underwear.  Grandma would not approve.  Please, please help us with that.  Thank you.

Now…..parents of 11th grade students need to hear this.  The number one reason a student gets dismissed from the ACT test is because they try to use a TI-89 Calculator.  I am sending a letter to all parents of 11th graders next week, so you can make sure your child has the right one.  Make sure to read that letter in its entirety.  It’s important.  You can also go to for FAQ’s on the ACT test.  The test is April 28, right here on our campus.  OH, and put your wallet away…’s FREE.  This saves you close to $60.

Did you know that we offered the Accuplacer (college entrance exam) Test here a couple of weeks ago?  If your child is signed up for a PSEO Class or a Concurrent Enrollment Class, he or she will have to take and pass this test in order to receive college credit.  Now, if they missed the test, they will have to re-test at Mesabi Community College.  The college tests on Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. All testing must be completed by July 1st.  Certain cut-scores must be met in order to receive college credit.  Contact Cindy Altobelli at 218-749-7727 or at  Don’t put this off.

And speaking of PSEO, there is a mandatory PSEO meeting for students planning on attending Mesabi Community College (either part-time or full time during the 2015-16 school year) on Wednesday, April 29, at 3:15 p.m. in the Resource Center.  Either a parent or student must attend.  You will be able to pick up information and talk to a college rep at this time.  Enter through door #3 on the front of the building.

OK….are you still with me?  Apparently I had a lot to say today……  :)  There are changes coming next year for a couple of things.  (I will remind you a few times because we are creatures of habit and we are all really busy. I get it.)

First of all, school start and end times will change for next year.  The 7-12 kids will start school at 8:08 and end the school day at 3:05.  This is not a huge change but sometimes just a few minutes make a big difference in your morning routine–like either you get a pop tart or your don’t, right?  I’m already nervous for you…….

Second, the School District will be implementing Early Release Days two times a month next year.  You will receive a letter shortly–and a calendar–from the District which will explain more about who, what, when, where and why.  School will be dismissed at 2:08 on those Early Release days.  

And finally, I must tell you that you will have a new principal next year.  I have decided to retire.  I absolutely love my job–it’s not that.  Everyone in my family is healthy–it’s not that.  I guess that now that I am trying to explain it to you, I don’t even have a good reason to retire…..but nevertheless, I am.  I know you know the old cliche — life is short —and, well…. it is.  I want to retire while I’m physically and mentally able to participate in all aspects of life. I’m excited about it –and look forward to it.  I have enjoyed every minute of my time with all of you.  Working in Virginia has been the highlight of my career.  I was and always will be proud to say that I worked here—with all of you.  I will forever be a Blue Devil.

I hope I have had some sort of impact on your lives and the lives of your children.  If nothing else, I hope I have helped you put things in perspective about how life is for your children here at school.  I care very much about this school and the traditions you have upheld for many years.  You have much to be proud of. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and this great community.


From the Principal – Did You Know?

Good afternoon!  Grab  your calendars and take a good hard look.  Why?

Because there are ONLY 62 days of school left.  I know….shocking.  And I counted twice just to make sure.  Oh and add one more mark on that calendar– and that would be that the third quarter is done on March 20th. 

 As usual, we have lots going on so here we go–

This has been the best group of kids to finish their registration– on time. THANKS to parents for making sure your kids made good choices.  I do need one thing though…..If you have not sent back the signed registration form (the pretty colored ones with the student name sticker on them), can you get that back to us as soon as you can?  We keep them on file for reference.  I also want to know that you actually had a visual of that sheet—not that your child would sign up for 3 study halls, but you know what I’m saying, don’t you.

GOT SENIORS?  GOT PSEO SENIORS?  Well, these last few weeks of school are going to bring you either a lot of joy or a lot of stress.  They will be worried about grades, sports, graduation pictures, senior banquet, prom, GPA’s, and on and on…..don’t be surprised if they get a little snarky.  In order to help them, please read the daily bulletin.  Tell them to read the daily bulletin. This is especially important for PSEO kids who are not here in the building talking with friends and/or teachers. Many announcements for seniors are in the bulletin and we don’t want any kids to miss anything.

Speaking of seniors, some of your senior kids have not purchased their caps and gowns yet. Please get that done as soon as possible–check that off the list–reduce the stress.  Give those gowns a little time to hang and get the wrinkles out.

Did you know that I’m not building the master schedule until June?  To make a long story short, in order to take advantage of the technology I use to build the schedule, it works better when I have all the information in the system before I push the button.  Getting all that information takes a couple of weeks to gather after school is out.  What does this mean to you?  It means that your child will get his/her schedule at the end of June or at the beginning of August.  We will “instant alert” you when schedules are available.

And finally, do you moms know how powerful you are?  I want to share a little secret with you. Whenever I have a child in my office for some offense or inappropriate behavior, I can make them tremble in fear and trepidation by saying these 6 words:  “I am going to call your mother.”  Let’s keep that between us.

Have a wonderful weekend….you have earned it.  Being a parent is hard work……being a kid may be even harder.  Keep that in mind.


From the Principal – Did You Know?

Good afternoon!  I see you survived the 2 weeks with your children…..or did you?  I know you have a new appreciation for school now, don’t you.  Of course I kid.  It was a great first week back—cold or no cold.

I will tell you that we are experiencing a high rate of absenteeism due to colds and flu.  Please keep your children home if they are experiencing any flu-like symptoms.  We have stopped shaking hands–take no offense–we are just trying to help stop the spread of germs.

I have just a couple of things this week—

Did you know that we are not a St. Louis County School?  I say that because we had parents who thought we had a two hour delay due to an announcement on the TV that said, “TWO HOUR DELAY FOR ALL OF THE ST. LOUIS COUNTY SCHOOLS.”  If we ever close or delay school, it will always say VIRGINIA PUBLIC SCHOOLS.  And I thought only the kids came up with ways to get out of school….. :)

Registration will take place in February.  We are updating our registration manual and are looking at some changes for next year.  Many classes depend on student enrollment so making good first choices is important.  I plan class sections depending on how many kids are in the class.  Take some time with your child to choose classes that are beneficial for the future.  Have them try classes in high school to see if they like something.  All registration material will come home to parents prior to registration.  I need your signature so that I know you sat down with your child and took a look–or at least approved of your child’s choices.

Did you know that according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development agency, the 2010 estimated employment in our region was 155,501 jobs? They anticipate 58,110 job openings between 2010 and 2020.  My point is, there will be plenty of jobs–all kinds of jobs from health care to skilled labor jobs–for everyone who wants to work in our area—comforting to many of us.

Did you know that because our band, orchestra, and choir are taking a joint trip in March, that there will be no school from March 30 to April 6?  Just a heads up on that.

Did you also know that next Friday is the last day of 1st semester?  Oh yes, half the year is gone.  I know….I’m checking to see if I got caught up in some time warp myself.

A Tech Tip for you:  Do you have trouble getting your kids up for school or do you have a “snooze” habit yourself?  Well, there is a new device called “clocky.”  It’s an alarm clock on little wheels that gives you one snooze and then it jumps off your nightstand and and rolls around your bedroom looking for a place to hide–and the whole time it is raising a ruckus so that you have to get up and shut it off?  Genius.  Don’t ever think any of your kid’s ideas are a “waste of time.”  Their daydreams just may come true.  This developer will make $50 bucks per clock.

And finally, it’s 2015.  I’m sure many of us made resolutions……that we all will find hard to keep.  Why?  Well, perhaps the resolutions were too lofty…..losing 20 pounds in a couple of weeks is rather “lofty.” Let’s face it, we don’t want to think about losing 20 pounds every day for the next year or the next 6 months even.  That would mean that we would have to spit out everything that tasted good for at least the next 6 months.  Right?  Personally, I can’t do it.

What can we all do?  We can have more patience.  We are dealing with children–young adults.  They are going to make mistakes.  We adults make mistakes.  We can try to start every day with a clean slate.  Isn’t that the way you’d like to be treated as well?

Have a great afternoon–and don’t forget that 450 calorie Caramel Latte you promised yourself for getting on the treadmill the other day.  Enjoy it—-after all, you’re worth it!


From the Principal – Did You Know?

Good afternoon!  It’s Friday–the sun is out–it’s above zero–and hopefully you are sipping on a latte and having a good day.  Let me add to it–

First of all, it’s midterm time and the midterm reports are available.  You will get an alert –don’t panic–it’s just a message to tell you to check your kid’s progress report.  I’ll assume that you will still be having a good day after you read the midterm report–maybe not so much for your child.  If you have concerns, we are here to help.  Call.  E-mail.  Stop in.  There is still time to bring the grades up.

Did you know that on your child’s official grade transcript, there will only be 2 grades per class? You will see 4 quarter grades from us internally BUT on the OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT that colleges see, they will only see one grade for first semester, and one grade for second semester.  ( I heard a little sigh of relief–you are welcome.)

If your child is doing well–celebrate that.  A pat on the back goes a long way.  Don’t miss that opportunity to recognize good hard work.  And by the way?  That “pat on the back” should not cost you a dime–they should do well for free.

And speaking of doing well in school, educational accomplishments are very important for their future success–for future jobs.  In my reading, I came across an article in Business Insider, January 2014, that talked about the top 20 needed jobs in 2022.  No, that’s not that far away. The number one needed job was a Registered Nurse–and they predict a need for 526,800.  I think what they are really saying is that we have an aging population and we need well-trained people to take care of us.  Either way, it’s a good career.  They also said there would be a need for 167,900 Elementary School Teachers, 218,200 Carpenters,182,900 Licensed Practical and Vocational Nurses, and 192,600 Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers.  I did not mention them all, but the list is varied as well as the educational requirements that go along with these jobs.  Encourage your kids to start thinking about what they are going to do.  I believe that companies will be seeking your kids instead of the other way around.

Important: I am attaching a very important document for you.  It is a list of all of the classes we offer at VHS that also carry college credit.  You should print this and keep this.  Why?  Because when your kids go to any college to register for classes, you will be able to refer to this sheet to see if your child has already taken the college course. You don’t want to pay for any more classes than you have to.  Your wallet will get opened many more times so hang on to your money for as long as you can!

Note – There are two kinds of credits on the document–Academic Credit and Technical Credit.  They are not the same.  

And finally, you are all invited to the Choir Concert this Sunday in the Goodman Auditorium-2:00 p.m.  There is something about hearing children sing that I cannot explain.  I can tell you that it’s uplifting–unlike watching the news.  Put the world aside–just for a couple of hours–and focus on the good in this world.

Did you know that whatever you celebrate this time of year should not have to be about “how much it cost”?  It should be about how kind you were to someone.  Kindness has no price tag. It’s free to give…and there are many in need.  Do you have an elderly person in your neighborhood who has a difficult time shoveling her/his sidewalk?  Run over there and shovel it.  Shovel it in the middle of the night so that when he/she wakes up and looks out, they have the best gift ever——(either that or they will be calling the police)—–I kid.  You can sit back anonymously and know you did a really nice thing—and your kids will learn a lot about you on that day…… and you thought I was talking about your kids shoveling here, didn’t you?…..Nope–you need to set the example.  Happy shoveling!


From the Principal – Did You Know?

Happy Thanksgiving!  I felt the need to share a few items before the holiday so here we go!

You do know that our streets were built during the horse and buggy days, right?  That being said, did you know that when you drop your kids off at school (by door #5) that you can drive on our sidewalks? YES–please do!!!  We have a yellow line (which may be under the snow now) but the purpose of that  is for you to drive on the sidewalk in order to make room down the middle of the street for cars to pass while you drop your kids off.  It’s OK….don’t worry about what you learned in Driver’s Ed.

Do your kids need a tutor while they are home doing their homework (or maybe I should ask if you need a tutor while your kids are asking you for help on their homework?)  Well, I have just the thing for you and it’s sponsored by your local library.  All you need is a library card and you can log onto (your local Virginia Public Library website) and look for HelpNow Homework Helper  Give it a try when you feel exasperated….it may save your sanity.

Don’t forget Khan Academy  if you need help with math or science.  The on-line teaching videos can relieve the stress of parents trying to help when none of us have had math for a few years.  Save some of that stress for the holidays….

And talking about the public library, did you know that they just added a new feature called Learning Express Library?  What’s there? A career center, college prep info, ways to prepare for college entrance tests, and many, many other things. Take the time to visit that site.  It’s never too early to get prepared for life after high school.

In working with students over the years, I have always been worried about the kids who don’t have good attendance.  I’m not talking about the kids who are missing school for school activities–I’m talking about the kids who skip school.  I came across this startling statistic from Get Schooled’s Skipping to Nowhere report:  They reported that “kids who miss more than 10 days of school in one academic year are less likely to graduate from high school.”  Wow…then they went on to say the “those same kids have 25 percent lower likelihood of ever enrolling in college. ” Another shocker.  And the final shocker was this—“42% of the chronic truants said their parents rarely knew [they skipped.] ” Keep hounding your kids to “get to school.”  It’s worth your time.

And finally, it’s the time of Thanksgiving.  What are you really thankful for?  What really matters to you and your family?  What are your kids thankful for?  Go around the Thanksgiving table and take a moment to tell each other what you are thankful for.  You might be surprised.

I’m thankful for young people.  There are times I question whether their heads were with them all day, but in the big picture, they are our future.  They are kind and good.  They are not wise but they will learn wisdom–some the hard way.  I hate to even tell you that I was in McDonald’s again the other day, but I was……and what did I see?  I saw a young man put his change from his meal into the McDonald’s donation box that you see at all of the registers.  He did not have to do that…..but he did.  He looked like a poor college kid.  He put me to shame because I did not put my change in the box.  You see….this young man taught me something as well……he taught me that all is not lost in this world.  We do have a bright hope in our young people.

Happy Thanksgiving…….and give thanks for all of the many things you have in life.


  • Virginia Minnesota Public Schools
  • ISD 706
  • 411 South 5th Ave.
  • Virginia, MN 55792
  • Phone: 218-749-5437
  • Fax: 218-741-8522