Wise Word, 9/22/2021

Principal’s Message:

Hello Golden Owls,


I was observing the fourth grade classrooms a few days ago and the students were making inferences in the class novel Wonder by R. J. Palacio. Watching students engage in high level thinking and discussions about this challenging text in fourth grade reminded me of the importance of establishing the foundations in earlier grades. The great part about the California State Standards is that they have backwards mapped the standards from high school (these are called the anchor standards), so there is coherence all the way down to kindergarten. While our 5th grade students are asked to “Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing” our kindergarten students are expected to “with prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.” Each subsequent grade builds on the established foundation from the prior grade-level’s work. While students are working on similar skills each year, and it seems repetitive, there are specific nuanced differences that are important to students, parents, and teachers to pay close attention to. If you are interested in examining this a little more closely, you can click here to find a copy of the learning progressions for English Language Arts.


Please check your inbox for an important email from [email protected] with an update on COVID testing on campus, how to upload your child’s COVID documents to PowerSchool and how to up the effectiveness of kids’ COVID masks.


In Partnership,


Principal Vern Taylor


Events Calendar

  • September:

22nd - Principal Office Hours - Virtual, 4:00pm - 5:00pm - Register Here

22nd - SSC Meeting, 5:00pm 6:30pm  Register Here

22nd - PTA Association Meeting, 7:00pm - 8:00pm - Register Here

23rd - MVWSD Board of Trustees Meeting, 6:00-10:00pm - Agenda Here

24th - Principal’s Coffee, 8:30am -9:30am Register Here

24th - Superintendent Community Check-in, 3:30 - 4:30pm Register here 

29th - Principal Office Hours - Virtual, 4:00pm - 5:00pm - Register Here

29th - SSC Meeting, 5:00pm - 6:30pm Register Here


  • October

6th - Principal Office Hours - Virtual, 4:00pm - 5:00pm - Register Here

7th - MVWSD Board of Trustees Meeting, 6:00pm - 10:00pm

8th - Superintendent Community Check-in, 3:30pm - 4:30pm

11th - Recess Day - NO SCHOOL 

12th - Teacher Service Day - NO School 

13th - Principal Office Hours - Virtual, 4:00pm - 5:00pm - Register Here

20th -  Principal Office Hours - Virtual, 4:00pm - 5:00pm - Register Here

21st -  MVWSD Board of Trustees Meeting, 6:00pm - 10:00pm 

22nd - Superintendent Community Check-in, 3:30pm - 4:30pm


In this Newsletter

School News:

  • Golden Ticket Winners

  • New at Risk Intervention Supervisor (ARIS)

  • Attendance / Tardies 

  • Gift Card Donation

  • Lost and Found 

  • Parking Lot Safety

  • Principal’s Virtual Office Hours


District News:

  • Board Meeting 9/23/21

  • Superintendent's Community Check In on Friday

  • Board approved air quality protocols

  • More than a meal: Reasons to Apply for Free-or-Reduced School Meals 

  • Your donations to MVEF support CSMA Art and Music!

  • MV Public Library: In Conversation with Joanna Ho

  • Returning District Hotspots

PTA News:

  • Association Meeting Wednesday, September 22, 2021 @7:00 PM

  • Scholastic Book Fair

  • Get Involved

  • Membership

  • Konstella

  • Spirit Wear

  • Website



Golden Ticket Winners - Week of 9/20/2021
Lilly S.           RM: 1       Matthew S.       RM: 11
Joe C.             RM: 2       Francisco S.     RM: 13
Angel G.        RM: 3       Aubrey C.        RM: 14
Aquilles V.     RM: 4      Alondra R.        RM: 15
Payton L.       RM: 5      Jai R.                 RM: 16
David C.        RM: 9      Samantha C.     RM: 17
Cynthia O’C  RM: 10

New At-Risk Intervention Supervisor (ARIS)

We have a new staff member, Mr. Damion, who is our At-risk Intervention Supervisor. He will provide student supervision, at-risk student support, attendance support, and assist with working through behavior issues. While enforcing rules, especially those designed for student safety, are ongoing and important tasks, Mr. Damion will also work to build relationships with students, teach students strategies to regulate their behavior and to be their advocate when appropriate. Social-emotional well-being must be at the forefront of the role. Please welcome me in joining Mr. Damion to our Vargas Community!


Attendance / Tardy


We don’t want your child to fall behind in school and get discouraged.  Please ensure that your child attends school every day and arrives on time.   

  • A reminder school starts at 8:00am, drop-off starts at 7:45am

  • Please ensure your child is at school or getting dropped off before the gates close at 8:00am. Your child is considered late at 8:00am

  • Ensure you have completed the OktoReopen Screener BEFORE you drop off your child at school, for the safety of all students and staff.

Here are a few practical tips to help support regular attendance:


  • Make sure your children keep a regular bedtime and establish a morning routine.

  • Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.

  • Ensure your children go to school every day unless they are truly sick

  • Avoid scheduling vacations or doctor’s appointments when school is in session.

  • Talk to teachers and counselors for advice if your children feel anxious about going to school.

  • Develop back up plans for getting to school if something comes up.  Call on a family member, neighbor, or another parent to take your child to school.


Tardy Procedure

Students are tardy if they are not in line by 8:00 a.m. Although one or two minutes may not seem like it makes a big impact, there really is an impact on your child and on the rest of the class. Please aim for having your child here by 7:50 a.m. to allow for possible slow-downs on your route here. We are well into our first month of school and have gotten our routine set. I will be starting to track students' tardiness on a weekly basis, and arranging appointments with families to discuss the importance, ramification, and any support you may need to resolve this situation if I see a pattern. 


If your child is at school after 8:00 a.m. please remember, students must come through the office to pick up a tardy slip. 


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].


Lost and Found

Our Lost and Found Rack is seeing nice sweaters, water bottles, lunch boxes that miss their owner. If items are not claimed by the end of this month 9/30 they will be donated. 


Our Lost and Found Rack can be found in the following places:

  • Morning - during drop-off: Located by the main gate (in between the main office and MUR)

  • Afternoon: 

    • Kinder Pick-up - Located in the blacktop

    • Upper grades: Located by the field


(Repeat) Parking Lot Safety

Please help us to stay as safe as possible by reading the following guidelines. We want to keep people safe while on our campus. Remember that drop-off begins at 7:45am each morning.

  • There is no parking in the drop-off and pick up zone. 

    • Parents may get out of their car to quickly assist their younger child, but will then need to get back into their car as soon as possible to exit the parking lot. This will help the flow of traffic move more smoothly for morning drop off and pick up. If you need to take more time to drop off your child, please park on the street and walk your child to the entrances.

    • Please place your child who is dropped off on the passenger side, so that our staff can easily assist in opening the door. 

    • Make sure your child has all materials ready to go at time of drop off. This includes a face mask.

  • Pull as far forward in the drop-off/pick-up area as you can.

    • This way, more vehicles can drop off their children. Pulling forward will also allow the flow of traffic to go more smoothly.

  • Parking lot spaces are for staff only.

    • Please do not park in the Vargas parking lot. Parking is limited, and we need to make sure that our teachers and staff are able to have a parking spot to be able to provide instruction and services to our students.

  • Please use the sidewalk and paths to drop off your child.

    • It is not safe to cut across the parking lot; there are many cars entering and exiting. Please use the sidewalk and path to walk around for the safety of our students and community.

    • Our staff will be out front directing traffic. Please wait for them to assist you in crossing the crosswalk.

  • Please use crosswalks on the streets.

    • Do not jaywalk across the streets for the safety of our students and community.

  • Pets are not allowed in the parking lot area.

    • For the safety of students, staff, and community, pets are not allowed in the parking lot and drop-off/pick-up area.

(Repeat) 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

Board meeting Preview: Sept. 23

The Board of Trustees will meet on Thursday, Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. Some of the meeting’s topics include updates on:

  • i-Ready Diagnostic 1 Assessment Data Overview

  • Site Plan Process Overview

Agenda and meeting details are: http://mvw.sd/WYjXv. The meeting is also streamed on www.youtube.com/mvwsd

Superintendent's Community Check In on Friday

Please join us for our Community Check-In with Dr. Ayindé Rudolph on Friday, Sept. 24 at 3:30 p.m. Bring your questions. Click here to register: http://mvw.sd/ZCfdY. To plan ahead, please see this webpage for upcoming meeting dates: https://www.mvwsd.org/about/communications/news___events/connecting_with_the_community

Board approved air quality protocols
The Board recently approved the MVWSD Air Quality Index Plan. On bad air days, decisions about actions, activities cancellations or school closure will be made based on AirNow measurements and the MVWSD Air Quality Index Chart. To view the MVWSD AQI chart and the live AirNow measurement, please see https://www.mvwsd.org/parents/health/air_quality.

More than a meal: Reasons to Apply for Free-or-Reduced School Meals 

Did you know that filling out a free-or-reduced price school meal application each year can benefit not only your family but also your children’s schools? Before Sept. 30, please fill out your back-to-school 2021 application by visiting: https://secure.ezmealapp.com. Only one application per household is needed.

Your donations to MVEF support CSMA Art and Music!

Did you know that your donations to MVEF support CSMA art and music for your student? The CSMA programs for TK-4th began September 13th!  Fifth grade art and music started August 31st!  MVEF thanks the talented teaching artists and musicians who guide all MVWSD students to reach their potential with patient instruction and support.  Please donate to support all MVWSD students at mvef.org/donate

MV Public Library: In Conversation with Joanna Ho

The Mountain View Public Library presents “In Conversation with Joanna Ho” on Wednesday, Sep. 29 from 7-7:45 p.m. on Zoom. Joanna Ho, bestselling author of Eyes That Kiss in the Corners, is a writer and educator with a passion for anti-bias and equity work. Come with your questions about kids, self-acceptance and anti-racism. Registration required: mountainview.gov/librarycalendar.

Returning District Hotspots

Families, if you still have a district-issued internet hotspot from last year that you are no longer using, please return them to your school’s office. Thank you.


PTA News


Association Meeting Wednesday, September 22, 2021 @7:00 PM


Register in advance for this meeting: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwud--grjMuEtaAt7R8s88t1V8r9ldg5i4U


Mark your calendars for Vargas’s Online Book Fair COMING SOON: 

Parents, be on the lookout for our online Scholastic Book Fair coming October 4-17! Support our kids' love for reading AND earn rewards for our school in the virtual book fair. You’ll have access to thousands of best-selling books, collections, educational toys, games and more, shipped directly to your home. 


Get Involved

A great way to get involved this year is to become a room parent. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1VmB94ytD0ck24ygVjFXIjAKcElWOoP1HlW0Nm6P0_2A/edit






Konstella is our main communication tool. The PTA will post information about meetings, events and volunteer opportunities. You will also be able to communicate with other families from your child's classroom.


Use this link to register: https://www.konstella.com/cd/XGJHYL


To Join a Classroom

Web:  Click your name at the top left corner.  Click “Your Children” to add/modify your children.

Mobile App:  Click the Settings icon at the top left corner.  Click “Your Children”.

Spirit Wear

Mondays are spirit days at JA Vargas, wear green and show your school spirit. Check out our selection of green spirit wear. Place your order online and pick it up on designated days at the office.




Find links to membership, Konstella, gear shop and volunteer opportunities on our website.



Shannon Lundin, and the Executive Board 

[email protected]

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