Wise Word, 9/8/2021

Principal’s Message:

Hello Golden Owls,


This week marks the 20th Anniversary of the commemoration of the events of 9/11. Twenty years ago, our country suffered a terrible tragedy. The memory of being in second period chemistry with Mrs. Hiers when I heard the announcement on the school’s intercom is forever etched in my mind. I vividly remember watching the news for the entire next period of math, as footage of the  second plane striking played on a loop on the screen. Similarly, many adults have similar vivid memories of exactly where they were when they learned about the events of 9/11 for the first time. Out of the sadness that often comes with remembering events like this, I hope that we can use this as an opportunity to become a better community.


On Friday, each site in our  district will be taking a moment to reflect on what it means to commemorate: To commemorate can mean to remember something, but remembering an event is only a small part of what it means to commemorate. To honor a memory of a tragic event, we must also commit to remembering and even practicing bravery, resilience, and compassion for others -- other important parts of our memory that are linked to the events of 9/11. 


For our moment of reflection, our students will sit or stand in silence all together as a school. During this moment when we are all quiet, we will think about how we can truly commemorate this day by all committing to doing one of the following:


  • Be kind to someone. On 9/11 20 years ago, people who didn’t even know one another reached out to pass along kindness and compassion. 

  • Offer a helping hand. Thousands of firefighters, police officers, and even ordinary people risked their lives for others.

  • Get to know someone you don’t already know. Our school community is made up of people who look, think, and experience the world  differently. This makes our school a better place. Our differences are our strengths.


As staff and students reflect during the moment of silence, I hope we are truly able to commemorate the bravery, compassion, resilience, and feelings of unity that 9/11 allowed our country to feel in that tragic moment.


In Partnership,


Principal Taylor


Events Calendar

  • September:

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

9th - MVWSD Board of Trustees Meeting - 6:00pm - 10:00pm - Agenda 

10th - Superintendent Community Check-in - 3:30pm - 4:30pm - Register Here

13th - MVWSD DELAC Meeting - 5:30pm - 7:30pm

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

15th - ELAC Meeting - 6:00pm - 7:00pm

             20th - Picture Day

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

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

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

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


In this Newsletter

School News:

  • Golden Ticket Winners

  • September Lunch Menu - click here

  • Lunch Update

  • School Site Council 

  • Picture Day - Monday, September 20, 2021

  • Pets are not allowed in the parking lot area

  • Update Contact Information

  • Principal’s Virtual Office Hours

  • School Supplies and Voluntary Donation Form


District News:

  • Cafecito con el Superintendente on Sept. 8

  • Board meeting Preview: Sept. 9

  • Superintendent's Community Check In on Friday

  • Securly: Keeping students safe on the Internet

  • Health and Wellness tip: Modeling behavior

  • Register for 2021-22 Parent U Events - Flyer

  • Discovery Education Hands-On STEM event: Tuesday, Sep. 21

  • Local Covid Vaccine Clinic: Sep. 3rd- Gift cards for first doses!

  • Mayor for a Day contest with City of Mountain View - Flyer

  • Better Together: Appreciating Differences - Flyer

  • MVEF: Please Support Our Students!

  • InPlay: After School activities


PTA News:

  • Get Involved

  • Panda Express Dine Out Fundraising Event 9/17 - Flyer here

  • Membership

  • Konstella

  • Spirit Wear

  • Website


Golden Ticket Winners - Week of 9/7/2021
Eva G             RM: 1         Yuan L           RM: 11
Josephine K   RM: 2         Adya I            RM: 13
Baran Y         RM: 3         Santi A            RM: 14
Parker B        RM: 4         Shinee P          RM: 15
Jeremy D       RM: 5          Emiliano G    RM: 16
Lynn S           RM: 8          Lili M             RM: 17
Hana U          RM: 9

Lunch Update

Keeping students and staff safe is our highest priority. As such, we are continually updating our reopening plans to allow for our school to operate as safely and effectively as possible. Many of you know that Vargas has had many constraints regarding outdoor eating, mostly related to providing a safe outdoor seating option for our students. Our main constraint has been the lack of shade cover for students during one of the hottest parts of the day. Our Vargas team, the MVWSD Business Office, and the MVWSD Maintenance and Operation Department has been working tirelessly in the background to provide all the necessary conditions so that students can eat safely outside. 


Starting today, Wednesday, September 8, all Vargas students will normally eat lunch outside at picnic tables, and on the ground in cases where we do not have enough tables available. Students will be spaced  4 feet apart on the benches and 6ft apart on the carpet squares. Because students will be eating within 6ft of each other, we will continue to limit the eating portion for students to 15 minutes. Students will be using hand sanitizer and handwashing before and after eating. While grade-levels K- 3 will eat first, then play, fourth and fifth grade students will play first then eat. This will be a change and adjustment for our   students, but we are confident that we can make this transition with our students.


So what is next? Our district office has ordered additional tables, but those need to be shipped, assembled and delivered equitably amongst all the schools in the district. Once we have more tables, all students will be able to sit at tables during the lunch period. We will be opening a position for a noon- duty to support lunch supervision. We will need your support in advertising and recruiting for the position. 


If you have any questions about updates for lunch, I encourage you to join me at today’s Principal’s office hours at 4:00PM. You can click here to register.


School Site Council 

Congratulations to our two new School Site Council representatives, Claire Curvers and Inna Tsirlin. While we have four representatives,  We still need one more parent. If you are interested, please email [email protected]


Picture Day - Monday, September 20, 2021

Picture day is coming. Please check your child's backpack for ordering information. If you'd like to purchase online please use the information below on Lifetouch.com

School Name: Jose Antonio Vargas Elementary School

Picture Day Date: Monday, September 20

Picture Day ID: EVTTPD2F4


(Repeat) 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. Thank you for your cooperation.


(Repeat) Updating Contact Information

It is important we have your most current contact information (phone number, email address, emergency contacts). If you have a change or want to add an authorized person to pick up your child, please send an email to our front office staff Mrs. Antunez at [email protected] or Ms. McElyea at [email protected] with any changes or updates you may have.


(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. The first date for Principal’s Office hours will be 8/18/21. That’s today. See you there!

(Repeat) School Supplies  and Voluntary Donation Form

We will be furnishing all basic school supplies and textbooks for all students. Donations of items and funds for this purpose are appreciated, but not required. For those able to donate, please fill out this form and bring it to the front office, along with your donation, and our front office staff will provide you with a receipt. Sharing of supplies between students will be limited.


District News

Cafecito con el Superintendente on Sept. 8

Please join us for an informal meeting for Spanish-speaking parents on Wednesday, Sept. 8, at 6 p.m. Interpretation will be provided.

Please register in advance for this meeting here: http://mvw.sd/FpoWY.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Board meeting Preview: Sept. 9

The Board of Trustees will meet on Thursday, Sept. 9. Some of the meeting’s topics include updates on:

  • Construction

  • Monta Loma greenspace project

  • Student growth

  • Air quality protocols

  • Honoring newly tenured teachers

Agenda and meeting details are here: http://mvw.sd/ZdiNA. 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. 10 at 3:30 p.m. Bring your questions. Click here to register: http://mvw.sd/RNm0l

Securly: Keeping students safe on the Internet

MVWSD provides a tool that allows parents to be aware of their students' online activities and to help keep them safe on their school-issued devices. 

Securly (www.securly.com/) allows you to see what choices your student is making online while at home so that you will be alerted to potential issues and can guide your student. Please note: Securly is for school-issued devices only. Check your email for these weekly reports, and you may also download the Securly app. For more information, please see https://www.mvwsd.org/technology.

Health and Wellness tip: Modeling behavior

As we settle into our back-to-school routine as best as possible, we might be experiencing some challenges at home with unwanted or undesired behaviors.  Our partners from Palo Alto University, Dr. Alana Park and Dr. Eduardo Bunge, have provided us with some information to support our parents as the school year progresses. Here is a great tip from our partners at Palo Alto University to promote desired behavior at home: 

Modeling refers to teaching by example. Your child will learn by observing your actions and the actions of others. To model desired behaviors:

For example, you could model being kind to others by greeting your neighbors or offering to help other family members around the home. Make sure to keep praising the behaviors that you want to see (“Great job helping your sibling with their homework”).

This tip came directly from the free, online Everyday Parenting program created by parenting expert, Dr. Kazdin. To learn more parenting tips click here

Register for 2021-22 Parent U Events - Flyer

Register in advance for this year’s MVWSD Parent University events. For more information about Parent U and event dates, see attached flyers or head to www.mvwsd.org/parentu.

Discovery Education Hands-On STEM event: Tuesday, Sep. 21

You're invited to Discovery Education’s upcoming Hands-On STEM event on Tuesday, September 21 at 10:00 a.m. PST! This action-packed virtual session empowers the next generation of STEM Solution seekers, equipping them with the skills they need to take on some of the planet's greatest sustainability challenges.

Join host Brandon Okpalobi, President of Siyanse, a STEM organization helping kids to create, think, and innovate. During each Hands-On STEM, Brandon will identify a local or global issue, explore why it's happening, introduce interesting people who are working to find solutions, and inspire your students to uncover their own potential with exciting hands-on STEM activities. 

Register at: https://www.discoveryeducation.com/info/hands-on-stem-9-21-21/. If you have any questions about this event, reach out to Nina Sclafani at [email protected].

Local Covid Vaccine Clinic: Sep. 3rd- Gift cards for first doses!

Santa Clara County is hosting several upcoming Covid-19 vaccination clinics at the Waldorf School of the Peninsula and Saint Athanasius Church in Mountain View (160 N Rengstorff Ave). Vaccinations are free. Gift card incentives will be provided for first doses.

  • 1st/2nd dose on September 25th from 12:30pm to 5:30pm. (This is a 1st dose clinic for Saint Athanasius Church Second Harvest Food Distribution Event, those who received a vaccine on 9/3 can get their second dose on 9/25.)

  • 2nd dose October 16th from 12:30pm to 5:30pm. (This is a clinic for those who received a first dose on 9/25)

For more information about COVID vaccinations in the area, please visit https://vax.sccgov.org/

Mayor for a Day contest with City of Mountain View - Flyer

Do you have an elementary or middle school-aged student who would like to be the mayor of Mountain View (at least, for one day in October)? The Mayor for a Day contest is an exciting opportunity for kids to learn about local government and civic issues.

Students are invited to write up to a 500-word essay about what Mountain View would be like if they were mayor for a day. Mountain View’s mayor will select the two winners, who will each present their essay at a City Council meeting in October.

For more details, including contest rules and how to submit your entry, visit MountainView.gov/MayorforaDay. All entries are due by Friday, Oct. 1 at 5 p.m.

Better Together: Appreciating Differences - Flyer

This is the first issue of #BetterTogether’s second year in circulation. This past summer, the Tokyo Olympic games had us transfixed. Though there is still a way to go, these past games had the most culturally and racially diverse Team USA in history. Just before the start of the school year, the release of the US Census data also confirmed for all of us that we are one nation, more beautifully diverse than ever. This month, Mountain View Whisman School District is celebrating our diversity with resources for teachers, parents, and community partners to aid in the transmission of our message: our diversity is one of our greatest strengths as a nation, as a city, and as a school district, where all are welcome. Please see the graphics attached to this newsletter, or visit https://www.mvwsd.org/bettertogetherMVWSD.

MVEF: Please Support Our Students!

MVEF raises money to provide all MVWSD students with an educational experience beyond what is possible with public funding.  Help us fund programming for your child and every child in the district!  We hope you saw the MVEF brochure (which doubles as a donation envelope) or watched the video during Back to School.  Please see the website at mvef.org for more information and to donate online.  Use your credit card to pay in monthly installments.  Please consider joining our team of volunteers. Email us with any questions at [email protected]Thank you for your support!

InPlay: Afterschool activities

Looking for afterschool activities for your student? InPlay offers a free searchable program guide for parents, with filters for age, location, price (including free or reduced cost), and more. To find programs local to Mountain View, head to: https://www.inplay.org/r/mountain-view. Available programs include those that serve students with special needs or English learners.


PTA News

Get Involved:

A great way to get involved this year is to become a room parent. Our goal this year is to have a room parent in every classroom. A room parent can be a great support for the teacher, and help build student and family engagement. Read more about what a room parent does and sign up here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1VmB94ytD0ck24ygVjFXIjAKcElWOoP1HlW0Nm6P0_2A/edit


Panda Express Fundraiser:

Dine out at Panda Express, Mountain View on Friday, September 17th. Show the flyer or code on your smartphone and 20% of sales will be donated to JAVArgas PTA!







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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