The Wise Word 08/16/2023

Hello Golden Owls,

I am thrilled to share that Jose Antonio Vargas Elementary and Monta Loma Elementary Schools have been named by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to their 2023 list of America’s Healthiest Schools. The award annually recognizes schools nationwide who are leaders in promoting student health and well-being. 

Vargas was awarded for increasing family and community engagement and improving social-emotional health & learning. Monta Loma was awarded for increasing family and community engagement. 

This award underscores MVWSD’s commitment to a Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child approach to education, in which the entire community contributes to students’ academic, physical, and social-emotional health. The families and staff of Vargas and Monta Loma have been instrumental in promoting a school environment that values physical health and emotional well-being alongside academic success. 

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation will announce the official list of this year’s awardees in late September. We look forward to celebrating this accomplishment with other schools nationwide that share our commitment to prioritizing educating the whole child. 

Congratulations, Golden Owls and Monta Loma Leopards!

In Partnership, 

Principal Vern Taylor

Events Calendar


  • 17th MVWSD Board of Trustee Meeting Here

  • 18th - Community Check-in with Dr. Rudolph, 3:30PM - 4:30PM Register Here

  • 22nd Back to School Night - Minimum Day - Dismissal at 11:55AM

  • 25th Principal’s Coffee, MUR


  • 4th - Labor Day - No School 

  • 5th ELAC Meeting 6:00 pm- MUR

  • 6th - Picture Day

  • 26th ELAC Meeting 6:00 pm - MUR

In this Newsletter

School News:

Back to School Night

School & Community Engagement Facilitator (SCEF)

Physical Education


Updating Contact Information

STEAM Teachers

iReady Assessments

Short-Term Independent Study

Medication Forms

Reporting an Absence

School Supplies and Voluntary Donation Form

School Meals are Free

Stay in touch  


2023 -2024 School Year Calendar - Here

August Menu Here

District News:

The Board of Trustees will meet on Thursday, August 17 at 6:00 p.m.

Superintendent's Community Check In on Friday, Aug. 18

District orientation 

School meals are free, but fill out the EzSchool Meals application to help you and your school

Looking for an afterschool program? Read on to see if your child qualifies for MVWSD+!

No MVWSD+ Afterschool Programs on Tuesday, Aug 22, 2023

MVEF needs your support!

Living Classroom seeking Docents! Here

Parks and Rec to host park input community meetings Here

Hazardous Household Waste Drop Off event on Aug 26 Here

Housing and Eviction Help Center Here

Notice: National School Lunch / School Breakfast Programs

Back to School Night - August 22nd

Families, you are cordially invited to our annual Back to School Night on Tuesday, August 22, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. BTSN is an important opportunity for families to learn about their children’s classrooms, grade level programming, and general expectations. We will have two sessions to accommodate families with multiple children and allow them the opportunity to visit more than one classroom that night. Session one will begin at 6:00 p.m. and session two will begin at 7:00 p.m.  See you on August 22! 

Our STEAM teachers, Mrs. Bisbee and Mrs. Butchko, our Education specialist Mrs. Solorzano and Ms. Abraham, and I will also be hosting two sessions. Feel free to stop by their rooms as well!  ‘

School & Community Engagement Facilitator (SCEF)

As part of Vargas’s plan, we have a School and Community Engagement Facilitator who will work to ensure that every student, family, and community member will feel valued and supported while working, learning, and partnering with our school. Here at Vargas, Bea Claas is our School and Community Engagement Facilitator. She specifically focuses on students who are socioeconomically disadvantaged and/or English learners and works to organize parent education, provide translation services, and support positive student behavior. Bea’s overall goal is to increase parent education and engagement, support our PTA and ELAC parent groups, and form strong relationships with students and families. She can be reached at [email protected]

Physical Education (PE)

This week, our 1st through 5 grade students started Physical Education (PE) with Mr. Phan. Each student has PE twice a week. Please help your child remember to wear appropriate shoes and clothes for PE on those days. 


We are happy that we will be continuing with our composting program on campus again.  Our Golden Owls have started composting on campus. Students will be sorting their waste into liquids, recyclables, compost, and trash.  As students are sorting, they are learning how to tell the difference between what can be reused, and what has to go to the landfill. We need students to support our program by joining our Supreme Green Team. During recess, these students volunteer to help other students sort their waste correctly. If your child is interested in joining the Supreme Green Team, please let Mr. Taylor know. 

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 email our front office staff, Ms. McElyea at [email protected] with any changes or updates you may have.

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math)

This week, our students started visiting STEAM classes and teachers. Our two STEAM teachers, Mrs. Bisbee and Mrs. Butchko will be conducting introductory lessons for all students in their homerooms. In the next few weeks, we will start our STEAM rotations. Every Vargas student will receive STEAM twice a week.  Click Here to find more information about Mrs. Bisbee and Mrs. Butchko.

iReady Assessment

Our 1st-5th grade students are finishing up the iReady assessment this week. Parents, once we complete all testing, we will be sharing instructions for parents to access the results in PowerSchool. Kinder students will be taking the iReady reading and math assessment next week. 

Short-Term Independent Studies

If you are planning on scheduling family vacations, please make every effort to schedule around our instructional calendar. You can also find minimum days outside our regularly scheduled early release Thursdays for scheduling appointments for your scholar.  If your plans include your child missing 3-15 days of school, please notify the front office to discuss a short-term independent studies contract to minimize the impact of missed school days.

Medication Forms

If your child requires medication to be kept at school, please email Ms. Silvia McElyea [email protected] to be emailed medication release forms during our first week of school and return ASAP (we cannot administer any medication without the form).  Please note that all medication, even over the counter ones, need a medication form signed by your doctor.  

Reporting an Absence

Please call the office at (650) 903-6952 or email  [email protected] to report an absence or late arrival.  Provide the following information: date of absence, student’s name, grade and room number, reason for absence, name and relationship of the person reporting the absence.

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. 

School Meals are free

MVWSD will continue to provide free meals to all students as part of California’s universal meal program. Breakfast and lunches are available daily.  Menus and nutritional analysis can be found on There will be a vegetarian option each day. A count of those taking school lunch will be taken at the beginning of the school day. Students may bring their own self-contained lunches if desired. 

Stay in touch

Please take a moment and follow our district and school social media accounts. Staying in touch with us on social media will keep you in the loop on important happenings, as well as provide a critical line of communication during emergencies.

Click on the account links below and like or follow to stay in touch!

Mountain View Whisman School District  - Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo

Jose Antonio Vargas Elementary - Facebook, Instagram



The Board of Trustees will meet on Thursday, August 17 at 6:00 p.m.

Some of the topics include:

  • Response to City of Mountain View's Fiscal Report on North Bayshore Master Plan

  • Environmental Sustainability Advisory Council Progress

  • Monta Loma Fencing Choice 

For meeting details and agenda, please click here:

Superintendent's Community Check In on Friday, Aug. 18

Please join us for our Community Check-In with Dr. Ayindé Rudolph on Friday, Aug. 18 at 3:30 p.m. Bring your questions. Spanish interpretation will be provided. Click here to register: Mark your calendars for all upcoming community check ins! A list of dates and login information is here

District orientation 

Recordings of last week’s Parent University District Orientation presentation are now available in English and Spanish. To register in advance for future Parent U meetings, visit

School meals are free, but fill out the EzSchool Meals application to help you and your school

MVWSD will continue to provide free meals this year to all students as part of California’s universal meal program.

However, parents need to reapply for the Free and Reduced Price Meals program now for this school year. If you think you could qualify (qualifying income levels listed here), we ask you to apply at EzSchool Meals to help MVWSD receive additional funding to support students who are in need, and may help your family. If your child is eligible for free and/or reduced-price meals, your family could get medical benefits, housing benefits, utilities benefits and more. Qualifying is one factor in your child’s eligibility for free MVWSD after school care and summer camp.

The more applications your school gathers at the start of each school year, the more additional funding it can receive for all kinds of programs. If you are currently out of work, you may qualify and help your school, regardless of your financial situation. Apply at or call your school office.

Looking for an afterschool program? Read on to see if your child qualifies for MVWSD+! 

A student qualifies for the free MVWSD+ afterschool program if one or both of the following conditions are true:

  • The student is an English Learner (EL). EL status is established via the results of the Initial ELPAC exam, which is being administered to certain students in August and September. Results are usually available within two weeks of the completion of testing. If you have questions about the Initial ELPAC exam, please contact Leticia Corcoran at [email protected].

  • The student qualifies for free or reduced price lunches based on federal income guidelines. At this time, lunch for all children is free, but this may not always be the case. To fill out the application for free or reduced lunch, please go to Qualifying students’ data is collected at the state level and usually appears in the district’s data system within two weeks. If you have questions, please contact your school office.

Soon after a student’s EL or Free/Reduced Lunch Status changes to indicate he/she qualifies for MVWSD+, you will receive an email from the MVWSD+ Team inviting your child to enroll.

For questions or troubleshooting, please reach out to [email protected] or Jennifer Nunez at (650) 526-3500 x1061.

No MVWSD+ Afterschool Programs on Tuesday, August 22

Due to preparations for Elementary School Back to School Night and afterschool staff development, there will be no MVWSD+ Afterschool Programs on Tuesday, August 22 (a minimum day for students). MVWSD+ families, thank you in advance for making other arrangements. This affects all Right At School programs, all Beyond the Bell programs, and the district-paid YMCA programs. Programs resume as normal on Wednesday, August 23.

For more information, please contact [email protected] or call (650) 526-3500 x1061. 

MVEF needs your support!

The Mountain View Educational Foundation works collaboratively with the community to raise funds for programs essential to a well-rounded education for all Mountain View Whisman School District students. In the elementary schools MVEF donations fund Art, Music, and Science Enrichment; in the middle schools MVEF donations fund English Language Arts teachers, stipends for clubs, coaches and buses for athletics teams, and supplement performing arts programs. To download a copy of the 2023 informational flyer, visit this link. These flyers with donation information will be coming home with students -- keep an eye out for yours!  To donate today, visit

Living Classroom seeking Docents! Here

Do you enjoy spending time with kids and being outdoors? Volunteer with Living Classroom to teach fun, engaging STEM-based lessons in your local MVWSD school! No prior teaching experience is necessary. For more information on our volunteer program, please visit: or email [email protected]

Parks and Rec to host park input community meetings Here (Many languages)

Help the City imagine the future of Mountain View Parks and Recreation by joining one of four Community Meetings to kick off the Parks and Recreation Strategic Plan: August 21 and August 22 (Two meetings will be held in person at the Mountain View Community Center, and two meetings will be exclusively online via Zoom). All meetings will provide interpretation services in Spanish, Mandarin and Russian. Childcare and light refreshments will be available for the in-person meetings. Visit or see attached flyers for more information.

Hazardous Household Waste Drop Off event on Aug 26 Here

The City will be hosting a Hazardous Household Waste Drop Off event on Aug 26, 2023. It is a free event for residents of Santa Clara County to safely dispose of unwanted household hazardous wastes, including paint, batteries, electronics, auto fluids, pesticides, garden chemicals, propane tanks, fluorescent and LED lightbulbs, household cleaners and more. See the attached flyer.

Housing and Eviction Help Center Here (Many languages)

The City of Mountain View's Rent Stabilization Program runs the Housing and Eviction Help Center (HEHC) at the MV Public Library to provide housing-related support to the community, including information about housing programs and legal resources. These services are available on 1st and 3rd Thursdays (walk-ins welcome or virtually at from 6 - 8 p.m. For more information, see flyers attached or visit

Notice: National School Lunch / School Breakfast Programs

The Mountain View Whisman School District announces its policy for serving meals to students under the National School Lunch / School Breakfast Programs for the 2023-24 school year. 

All students will be served lunch and breakfast at no charge at the following site: Mariano Castro Elementary School.

Additionally, all students will be served lunch and breakfast at no charge through California’s Universal Meals Program (Universal Meals) at the following sites:

Bubb Elementary, Crittenden Middle, Graham Middle, Amy Imai Elementary, Landels Elementary, Gabriela Mistral Elementary, Monta Loma Elementary, Stevenson Elementary, Theuerkauf Elementary, Jose Antonio Vargas Elementary.

For additional information please contact: Deborah Austin, Director of Food Service, 1701 Rock St., Mountain View, CA 94043, 650.903.6965, [email protected].

While the program will offer free Universal Meals for all students, households will continue to be able to complete an application for free and reduced-price meals, which may support the school district’s local education funding and could also qualify the family for additional benefits. Click here for free and reduced price eligibility guidelines and for more information on applying

Non Discrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (AD-3027), found online at and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call 866-632-9992.

Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410

(2) Fax: 202-690-7442

(3) E-mail: [email protected]

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


PTA News


Want to hear more about school events? Konstella is a free app/website– you do not have to be a member to join. 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.

Register here to stay in the loop:


Do you have a special skill? Love to plan events? Want to support your teacher and connect with parents in your class? Whether it's making a poster, working an event shift, or filling a board position– every volunteer makes a difference. There are numerous ways to get involved, with varying time commitments, and each role is important in making this year even better than the last.

For more info, fill out the interest form: or email Kim at [email protected]. Volunteer and create lasting memories for you and your children.


Support your students’ classrooms and school community by joining the Vargas PTA.  Our membership drive will start Tuesday, August 22 and end Friday, October 6.  Memberships cost $10 and help to pay for community engagement events, special assemblies, author visits, educational subscriptions, teacher reimbursements for classroom materials, field trips, Ms. Bea’s scholarship program, teacher appreciation, and more. Classrooms that reach 70% membership participation will get a popsicle party. Members who register by October 6 will be entered in a raffle to win one of three $10 vouchers for spirit wear.  Thank you for supporting your school! 

Please join and make a contribution:

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.

Kimberly Cheng, and the Executive Board 

[email protected]

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