Wise Word, 11/17/2021

Principal’s Message:

Hello Golden Owls,


Vandalism on school campuses: Stand Against Hate 

As you may be aware, our community has been recently impacted by graffiti; much of it containing messages of hate. In the last year, Imai has had racist messages written on play structures. Bubb has had Nazi-sympathetic messaging written on solar panel supports. Twice this fall, the bathroom at the edge of Monta Loma’s campus has been sprayed with racist graffiti.


Almost every one of our campuses has been damaged by graffiti or vandalism in recent years. Our stance is clear: Mountain View is no place for hate or ignorance. In response to bias-motivated vandalism on our campuses and acts of hate in our broader community, the Board of Trustees expressed a desire to pass a resolution affirming our commitment to ending hate at its Nov. 18 meeting.


Our District and Board of Trustees, along with community members and the Mountain View Police Department, continue to work to fight oppression in all forms and stop hate in order to ensure a more equitable and inclusive community. To read Dr. Rudolph’s letter on recent vandalism, please click here. Not only are we working to create a more inclusive community, we plan to add security cameras to catch vandals (See below).


Security cameras project

MVWSD’s Master Facility Plan and the Measure T Bond prioritized construction projects based on the criteria of safety, operational efficiency and short-term growth. One of the projects identified in the Master Facility Plan was the need for security cameras in public areas at all school sites as a way to increase safety for students and staff members by deterring misconduct and preventing vandalism. 


Members of the schools’ communities may engage in a series of feedback meetings through Jan. 2022 before the plan for security cameras is finalized. I have been gathering feedback at our most recent School Site Council, PTA, and ELAC meetings and will continue at our upcoming Principal’s Coffee on Friday, Nov. 19th at 8:30am, please register here.  


Additionally, parents and neighbors may attend community meetings:



In Partnership,


Principal Vern Taylor


Events Calendar

  • November

17th - Principal Office Hours - Virtual, 4:00pm - 5:00pm - Register Here

18th - MVWSD Board of Trustees Meeting, 6:00pm - 10:00pm - Agenda

19th - Principal’s Coffee, 8:30am - 9:30am - Register Here

19th - Report Cards go home - Electronically

19th - Superintendent Community Check-in, 3:30pm - 4:30pm - Register Here

22nd - 26th - Thanksgiving Holiday Recess - No School 


  • December

1st - Principal Office Hours - Virtual, 4:00pm - 5:00pm - Register Here

7th - Jose Antonio Vargas School Info Night, 6:00pm - 7:00pm - Register Here

8th - Principal Office Hours - Virtual, 4:00pm - 5:00pm - Register Here

9th - ELAC Meeting, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

15th - Principal Office Hours - Virtual, 4:00pm - 5:00pm - Register Here

17th - Principal’s Coffee, 8:30am - 9:30am

20th - 31st - Holiday Break - No School


  • January

3rd - Teacher-in-service Day - No school

4th - Students return to school


In this Newsletter

School News:

  • Golden Ticket Winners

  • After School Enrichment

  • Jose Antonio Vargas Community/Parent Survey

  • Student vision and hearing screenings coming up

  • Palo Alto High School COVID vaccine clinic: Nov. 21 - Flyer

  • Gift Card Donation

  • PowerSchool Uploads - Test Results, Vaccination Updates

  • Coach’s Corner

  • Attendance 

  • Attendance counts: Please ensure students are in school and on time

  • Drop-off and Pick-up Safety

  • Want text messages from the District? Opt in!

  • Principal’s Virtual Office Hours

District News:

  • COVID vaccinations for children 5-11 years are here

  • Board meeting Preview: Nov. 18

  • Superintendent's Community Check In on Friday: Nov. 19

  • Health and Wellness survey: Look for it in your email this week

  • MVHS Turkey Trot: Registration Open - Flyer 

  • City of MV Santa’s Workshop Event - Flyer 

  • MVEF Seeking School Representatives

  • Seeking EL Testers! 

  • Safe Gun Storage Notice

  • Parent University: How to Talk to Our Kids About Race, Racism, and Equity (with Project Cornerstone)

  • Kinder info night, school meetings coming up. Open Enrollment for all MVWSD students starts in January


PTA News:

  • Membership Drive

  • Books Inc Fundraiser

  • Project Cornerstone: Become an ABC Reader

  • Spirit Wear


Golden Ticket Winners - Week of 11/15/2021
Reya F.            RM: 1           Aadi U.        RM: 11
Perla G.           RM: 2          Adya I.          RM: 13
Levi J.             RM: 3          Duru P.          RM: 14
Bewinwin L.   RM: 4         Kian S.           RM: 15
Pelin G.           RM: 6         Emily S.         RM: 16
Thea V.            RM: 9         Mila F.           RM: 17
Ishkirat S.        RM: 10      Mrs. Leopold  RM: 4

The Vargas Way - Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be an Upstander.


What are Golden Tickets?

Students earn Golden Tickets from teachers and staff when they are following the Vargas Way. What is 

The Vargas Way? Click here for an in depth view. 

Student vision and hearing screenings coming up
Each fall, MVWSD conducts hearing and vision screenings of all students in kindergarten, second-, fifth- and eighth-grade, as California State Law mandates. These screenings will take place at Vargas on Nov. 17.

Parents will be notified in writing if children fail a screening. Parents who do not want their child screened for either vision and/or hearing should send a letter to their child's school each school year indicating that their child is to be excluded, and vision and/or hearing results will need to be provided from their physician.


If you have any concerns about your child’s vision or hearing please contact your school nurse. Questions about the screenings should be directed to the Health Services office at 650-526-3500 ext. 1050.

After School Enrichment

As you know, we will be preparing for school-funded, after school enrichment classes. We are planning to start classes in January. Before we finalize vendors and classes, we need an approximate interest in order to plan accordingly. Please complete by November 19, 2021. (Click here for survey) Please complete one survey for each child.

Jose Antonio Vargas Community/Parent Survey

As part of growing and improving as a community, we would like to gather feedback about your experience at Jose Antonio Vargas. The following survey will help us understand where we can improve. Please complete by November 19, 2021. (Click here for survey). You only have to complete one survey per family.


Palo Alto High School COVID vaccine clinic: Nov. 21 - Flyer

A COVID vaccination clinic for children ages 5-11 is happening Sunday, November 21, 2021 from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. at Palo Alto High School (50 Embarcadero Rd. Palo Alto). Make an appointment for your child at: www.mhealthsystem.com/PaloAltoPeds. No appointment is needed for booster shots or flu shots. Note: the clinic appointment slots are opened in blocks of 500. If there are no appointments available, you are advised to wait and try again later as more appointments open.


Gift Card Donation

As you may know, there are several families in our district that need help to meet some basic needs. The district is providing meals every day. But some families need more support for providing food, clothes and shoes for their kids. There is a critical need for gift cards for these families. If you are able, please consider donating a Safeway or Target gift card to families in our own district. Thank you so much for your help! Let’s show these families how strong and supportive our Vargas community really is!

Please bring the gift cards to the office. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Bea, School and Community Engagement Facilitator – SCEF- at [email protected].


PowerSchool Uploads - Test Results, Vaccination Updates

Parents can now upload important COVID documents that will help expedite students’ return to school after a COVID exposure to PowerSchool. Please take a moment now to upload your documentation. After logging in to https://ps.mvwsd.org/public, parents will be able to click on the “COVID reporting” icon to upload:

  1. Students’ proof of COVID vaccination 

  2. Past positive COVID test. Here’s how to upload.

  3. Negative COVID results

If you have trouble accessing PowerSchool please call the Vargas office at (650) 903-6952 or email Mrs. Antunez at [email protected] or Ms. Silvia McElyea at [email protected] 


Coach’s Corner

Is your student interested in reading about animals, dinosaurs, or other science-related things? If so, National Geographic Kids! is an excellent website for them to explore! National Geographic Kids! has articles, videos, and games on all things science! Students can read about space, different places in the United States, and catch up on history too! Games include quizzes and funny fill-in passages. There is also a fantastic “Weird But True” section with exciting videos about the world around us!

Morning Drop-off

Morning supervision does not start until 7:45.  Please do not drop off your child before 7:45am, as we do not have staff available until then. We appreciate your attention and partnership in helping us keep your child safe.



As we near the Holiday breaks, I want to remind families of the importance of students being at school every day. Chronic absenteeism has a lasting impact on a student’s academic, social and emotional development. We have lots of great things happening at Vargas and many strategies to address the impact of the Pandemic on student learning, including RTI, additional tutoring during the school day and after school, and strong, differentiated instruction with a focus on priority standards. But, students need to be present in order to take advantage of these services and resources. We know there are many reasons students may need to miss school, but we ask that you plan your vacations so that you do not need to miss school. Thank you for prioritizing your child’s attendance.

(Repeat information) Attendance counts: Please ensure students are in school and on time

We want kids to be healthy and be in school. Regular attendance is essential for students’ learning and to establish healthy routines.  Please make sure that your students come to school every day they are able.

If they need to stay home, please call or email the school with the reason to [email protected]. You must contact us in the morning of your child’s absence. This is a safety measure in order to account for all students daily. Illness (including quarantining due to COVID), doctor’s appointments, bereavement, and certain religious exercises are excused absences. Family vacation or travel is not excused. 

California law requires MVWSD to notify parents after three unexcused absences and/or tardies over 30 minutes. Any three unexcused absences and/or tardies over 30 minutes means a child is truant. We are here to support your family, so please contact your school for strategies or help, if needed.

For more information on attendance requirements, please see https://www.mvwsd.org/attendance

(Repeat information) Drop-off and Pick-up Safety:

  • Follow the directions of our staff who are trying to keep your children safe and keep the cars moving. 

  • Do not leave your car unattended 

  • Be patient, respectful and kind to other parents in the line as they are also dropping off their child/ren. 

  • While waiting be mindful of cars moving up

  • Please do not drive and use your cell at the same time - This is a hazard, and it is extremely dangerous for all our students and staff.

(Repeat information) Want text messages from the District? Opt in!

MVWSD sends text messages infrequently, for the purpose of notifying you of emergencies or with important, time-sensitive information.

In order to receive messages from the District you need to opt-in from the number that is listed as the cell contact number in our student information system. If you need to update this number, please contact your school.

Here’s how to opt in. You can subscribe or unsubscribe to receive text messages from the District at any time by texting one of the short codes listed below to 67587 using the cell phone number that the District has on record. 

  • Opt-in: "Y", "YES", "OPTIN", "OPT IN", and "SUBSCRIBE" are all acceptable keywords for subscribing to SMS text messaging.

  • Opt-out: "END", "CANCEL", "OPT OUT", "OPTOUT", "STOP", "QUIT", and "UNSUBSCRIBE" will cancel SMS messages to the recipient.


(Repeat Information) Principal’s Virtual Office Hours

Join me today for our informal Principal Office Hours (virtual) from 4pm -5pm. Feel free to drop in if you have any questions or if you just want to chat. For office hours, there is no formal agenda, it is a time for you to stop in to say hello, and for us to get to know each other better! I look forward to meeting you!


Register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 


District News

COVID vaccinations for children 5-11 years are here

After much anticipation, COVID-19 vaccinations for kids ages 5-11 are underway.  


Parents and guardians can visit www.sccfreevax.org now to sign up for an appointment or to find a convenient walk-in location. If initial available appointments are reserved, continue to check back as additional slots open. MVWSD has requested that Santa Clara County provide free, mobile vaccination events at our schools for our students. We will update you as we know more about the specifics and the dates.



After receiving the COVID shot, it's possible that your child may have symptoms that may be caused by the vaccine. Side effects of the vaccine are not typically a cause for concern and should go away in a few days. However, if your child has any of these symptoms, regardless of cause, he/she should stay home from school: Loss of taste or smell, fever, chills, cough and shortness of breath.

If it’s possible these symptoms were caused by the vaccine and they resolve in 48 hours, with the last 24 hours being fever-free, the individual may return to work or school. If symptoms persist beyond 48 hours, individuals should stay home and get tested for COVID. After being home with symptoms, parents should present proof of the recent COVID vaccine shot upon the student’s return at school. 


Don’t forget to upload!

When your child receives his/her second shot, please upload proof of being fully vaccinated to PowerSchool at https://ps.mvwsd.org. Here's how to upload proof of vaccination. http://mvw.sd/upload

Board meeting Preview: Nov. 18

The Board of Trustees will meet on Thursday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. Some of the meeting’s topics include the Educator Effectiveness Block Grant and COVID update. For meeting details and agenda, please click here: http://mvw.sd/APqmF.

Superintendent's Community Check In on Friday: Nov. 19

Please join us for our Community Check-In with Dr. Ayindé Rudolph on Friday, Nov. 19 at 3:30 p.m. Bring your questions. Spanish interpretation will be provided. Click here to register: http://mvw.sd/t5VUc. To plan ahead, please see this webpage for upcoming meeting dates. In case you miss it, a video recording will be posted on this webpage.

Health and Wellness survey: Look for it in your email this week

As part of its Strategic Plan 2027, our district is prioritizing our health and wellness. MVWSD has partnered with an education market research firm, Hanover Research, to seek the opinions, perceptions and needs of our school community in order to inform our health and wellness programs and practices.


As a first step, MVWSD wants to hear the voices and experiences of students, parents/families, and staff. As such, we will invite you to participate in the Health and Wellness Needs Assessment Survey between November 17 and December 3, 2021. Students in grades 6-8 will be asked to participate during the school day. Please be on the lookout for an email from MVWSD this week that will share a secure link to the survey.


Your input will help us provide effective health and wellness services to our students. We look forward to hearing from you! Please contact Karin Jinbo, Director, Health and Wellness, with any questions about the survey.

MVHS Turkey Trot: Registration Open - Flyer 

MVHS Sports Boosters is proud to present the 12th Annual Spartan Turkey Trot this coming Thanksgiving weekend 2021. This year there are both in person and virtual opportunities to participate. 100% of proceeds benefit Mountain View High School Athletics and supporting clubs and teams. Find more details and registration at SpartanTurkeyTrot.com

City of MV Santa’s Workshop Event - Flyer 

Join the elves at Santa’s Workshop for a jolly-filled time in building and creating some incredible holiday themed crafts on Saturday, Dec. 11th from 9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m at the Senior Center Social Hall. Children will have the opportunity to design ornaments, decorate cookies, customize their own stocking, make a snowy wonderland globe, write a letter to Santa, and so much more! This holiday program is open to all children ages 6 to 11 years old. Register online at MountainView.gov/Register using Code 15789.

MVEF Seeking School Representatives
MVEF is looking for school representatives.  MVEF needs your family's help to be closer to other families at your child(ren)’s school. As a school site rep, you help spread the word about MVEF by chatting with other families about the importance of supporting MVEF and the programs that we fund.

Volunteers needed: Please consider joining us and fellow parent volunteers with our annual phonathon on December 7! If you are interested, please email [email protected].

Seeking EL Testers! 

Are you looking for a part time job and enjoy interacting with kids? Our district is looking for a few more EL Testers to administer the annual assessment of Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking for English Learners. Fluency in academic English is required. For more information, or to apply, please visit mvwsd.org/jobs and look under “Support Staff - Hourly.” Alternatively, you may contact department secretary Leticia Corcoran at [email protected]

Safe Gun Storage Notice

Schools alone cannot prevent incidents of gun violence. In 2019, California Education Superintendent Tony Thurmond requested that all schools send parents education about the legal requirements for storing firearms at home. California Penal Code Section 25100 mandates that in all homes where children live (or where children might reasonably be expected to enter), firearms must be safely stored. 

Gun owners can avoid criminal penalty by keeping their firearms in a locked container or secured with a locking device that renders the firearm inoperable. Ensuring firearms are securely stored prevents small children from accidentally accessing the firearm and prevents older children from using an unsecured firearm to commit school violence or suicide. For more information, please see https://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/el/le/yr19ltr1120.asp

Parent University: How to Talk to Our Kids About Race, Racism, and Equity (with Project Cornerstone)

Date: December 8, 2021, 5:30pm-7:00pm  Registration Link: http://mvw.sd/pu120821

Conversations on race, racism, and equity can be uncomfortable. Where do we even start? This presentation will:

  • Explore the concept of recognizing our own racial identity. It starts with us.

  • Build a shared understanding of key definitions so we can be more informed when we listen, learn, and talk.

  • Gain language and tools to hold conversations with our kids.

To submit questions prior to the event, please click here. We will do our best to address your question during the session.

Kinder info night, school meetings coming up. Open Enrollment for all MVWSD students starts in January

For CURRENT students in transitional kindergarten-7th grade: Parents will be asked by email to confirm enrollment from January 24-28.

For NEW students:  Open Enrollment is from January 10 through Feb. 4, 2022 online. You can register your child for the 2022-23 school year when online registration opens here:  www.mvwsd.org/register 

School info meetings: Check www.mvwsd.org/register for a complete list with login information.

  • District new student information night, covering the registration process, is on November 30 at 5:30 p.m. (in both English and Spanish) at this Zoom link: http://mvw.sd/kinder1130.

  • School kindergarten/new student information nights are online on December 7 at 6:00 p.m. for all elementary schools, and include choice school information. Click here for meeting information: http://mvw.sd/schoolinfo

  • If your child turns 5 years old between September 2, 2022 – February 2, 2023, he/she may qualify for transitional kindergarten. TK info night is December 14 at 5:00 p.m online at http://mvw.sd/TK1214

  • If you are interested in the District's choice schools, information nights are: 

Gabriela Mistral: Dual Spanish/English Immersion: December 14 at 6 pm at http://mvw.sd/MI1214

Stevenson: Parent Child Teacher: December 15 at 6 pm at http://mvw.sd/ST1215

Choice schools will also have information at the elementary schools’ info nights (6 p.m. Dec. 7).

Please visit www.mvwsd.org/register for more information.


PTA News


Membership Drive

Congratulations to Mr. Green and Ms. Ragas!  Their classrooms reached the 80% PTA membership goal!  It isn't too late to join the PTA.  Your membership and donations help to support staff appreciation, educational subscriptions, classroom supplies, library books, community engagement events, and after school programs and we would love for more families to get involved.  Thank you to everyone who participated in the membership drive and for your continued support of the Vargas staff and community.  



Paper forms available in the office if needed. If membership fee is a barrier please contact the office about sponsorship opportunities. 


Books Inc Fundraiser 

Vargas Families and Staff!  Save your holiday shopping for books and toys for the week of Monday, November 29 through Sunday December 3 at Books Inc. in downtown Mountain View.  10% of your purchases (gift cards excluded) will support the Vargas PTA.  This is a great way to get ahead on your holiday shopping and support your school at the same time.  

Project Cornerstone: Become an ABC Reader

By volunteering just 2 to 3 hours per month, our Asset Building Champions build relationships with young people by reading selected books and leading classroom activities and discussions with a focus on respect, tolerance, peaceful conflict resolution, caring and friendship. Children learn what to do if they encounter bully behaviors and how to become an UPstander. 

For more information, email:  [email protected]


Spirit Wear

It’s sweater weather! Check out our selection of long sleeves and hoodies for winter! Also adult and children's cloth face masks available.  Place your order online and pick it up on designated days at the office.



Shannon Lundin, and the Executive Board 

[email protected]

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