The Wise Word 08/30/2023

Hello Golden Owls,


Last year, the focus for our school and MVWSD was making sure all students, families, and staff members feel like they belong to our schools. As part of our  #BetterTogetherMVWSD campaign each month, we choose a focus skill to support our students in developing the necessary skills to achieve our goal of a safe, inclusive community. 


In an effort to build on the work we did last year, our focus this year is Allyship. Throughout the year, students will be learning about and engaging in activities that support them in becoming better allies. In the month of August, our students are exploring what does it mean to be an ally?


Being an ally in our community means: 


*Knowing when to step back: sometimes, we might step back to learn more about a community or the problem or to let someone else shine.  A thoughtful ally will spend time learning and listening. 


*Knowing when to stand beside: Sometimes we might stand beside someone when they are scared to speak up and to lend support. Other times, we might stand beside someone to let them know they are not alone.  In this instance, a thoughtful ally is courageous and compassionate.  


*Knowing when to step up: We might step up for someone when they are being treated unfairly.  Sometimes we might step up for someone when we see or hear something we know is wrong.  A thoughtful ally seeks to do the right thing even when no one is watching.  


Families, please support us in our efforts by discussing with your children ways they can be allies in our community. Families can also support us by being an ally as well. In what ways can you show that you are an ally in our community?


In Partnership, 


Principal Vern Taylor



Events Calendar



4th - Labor Day - No School  5th ELAC Meeting 6:00 pm- MUR 6th - Picture Day 7th Ice Cream Social 12:00 -1:30 PM 8th Community Check-in with Dr. Rudolph- Register here 11th CSMA Art & Music for K-4 21th Bike Safety Assembly 26th ELAC Meeting 6:00 pm - MUR


In this Newsletter


School News:

Golden Ticket Winners 8/17/23 & 8/24/23

Picture Day - September 6

Water Bottles and Student Property

Gift Card Donation

Pedestrian and Bike Safety 

School Meals are Free

Looking for an Afterschool program? 

How to Apply to be a Regular Volunteer

Attendance is Important

Short-Term Independent Study

Reporting an Absence



2023 -2024 School Year Calendar - Here

SELPA 1 CAC Newsletter 2023-2024 Here

August Menu Here

September Menu Here


District News:

Sown to Grow

MVWSD Seeks Parents & Staff Members for Health & Wellness Committee

MVWSD seeking District Equity Advisory Committee members

Volunteer with MVEF!

Mentor Tutor Connection: Volunteer Information Session

August/September CAC and LCC Events (English and Spanish) Here

Parent Chat - September 12, 10 am 

Let’s Talk - September 13, 10 am 

Missed our Parent Education events last year?

Housing and Eviction Help Center Here

City Searching for Volunteers to Serve Community

SCCOE Family Engagement Symposium 2023 - Sept. 9 8:30 am

Announcing the MVLA Parent Education Speaker Series for 2023 - 2024 Here

PTA News

After School Activities/Programs


Ice Cream Social 


Join and make a Contribution


Spirit Wear



Golden Ticket Winners August 17, 2023

Daniel Q.         RM: 1        Kristina D.         RM: 11

Davi D.              RM: 2         Camila D.           RM: 12

Austin T. RM: 3         Genesis D.          RM: 13

Valla A. RM: 4         Jason Y.              RM: 14

Faith T. RM: 5        Aiden H.             RM: 15

Violet P. RM: 6        Angelina Y.         RM: 16

Valentina H. RM: 8        Matthew S.          RM: 17

Miles G. RM: 9 Kiley A.               RM: 18

Sahasra D.          RM: 10    

Golden Ticket Winners August 24, 2023

Rachel D.          RM: 1         Daniil B.             RM: 11

Alan G.               RM: 2         Zadie A.              RM: 12

Braxton E.         RM: 3         Sohum J.              RM: 13

Isabelle V. RM: 4         Taloa V.                RM: 14

Maksim S. RM: 5         Jefferson B..         RM: 16

Tehara A.. RM: 6         Pedro L.                RM: 18

Bamba C. RM: 8         Mr. Almazan         RM: 10

Hannah P. RM: 9

Vihaan K.           RM: 10


Picture Day - September 6th

Picture Day is scheduled for September 6th.  Classes are scheduled to visit the multi-use room during the school day to take individual and class photos.  If you would like to purchase photos from our vendor, Lifetouch, you can send a check with your order form with your student to school on August 29th or order them online through their website:   You will need our picture day ID, EVT3ZRHXW to get started.   Forms were sent home the second week of school, but you can pick up another in the front office. 

Water Bottles and Other Student Property

Students continue to become more familiar with our daily school routines, but we continue to see lunch bags and water bottles left behind.  Please take a moment to label all of your child’s items so that we can quickly return them when left out at recess, snack and lunch.  

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.  Thanks 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].

Pedestrian and Bike Safety 

On Thursday, September 21, our students will participate in the city’s Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program. The program provides our Golden Owls with lots of good information on walking and rolling to school, including these safety tips and rules for riding. Please make sure your child wears a helmet if biking or scooting to school. You can also see MVWSD updated information about safe walking and biking routes to school. (Click Here-look under Vargas)


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.

How to Apply to be a Regular Volunteer

Start collecting documents now to avoid delays at the beginning of the school year. For all the details and documentation required, please see


If you have never had a badge before, please read the fingerprinting fact sheet and then ask your principal for the fingerprint request form. After you complete the form, your school will give you the link to the Raptor volunteer application.


If you want to renew your volunteer badge, ask your school for the link to the Raptor volunteer application. TB tests are good for 3 years, although you will still need to upload proof in the online application. Fingerprint checks are good for a few years. In the online application, you will provide the last school year you completed a check or the ATI number.


Attendance is Important

Research shows that school attendance is a strong indicator of success. It's about students learning what they need to know, belonging to the school community, and being part of the team that is preparing them with good habits for high school.

Regular school attendance is required by the state law, and is included in the District’s Local Control Accountability plan (LCAP) and reported in the California School Dashboard. State law requires MVWSD to notify parents whose students are truant or chronically absent. 

What’s an Excused vs. Not Excused absence? Illness (including quarantining due to COVID), doctor’s appointments, bereavement, and certain religious exercises are excused absences. Please see MVWSD board policy for the full list. All other reasons are not considered excused.

Are Vacations / Travel Excused? Unfortunately, family vacation or travel is not excused – even when you inform your teacher or the office. This comes as a surprise for parents. We appreciate you letting us know so that you will not receive a call from the auto-dialer asking you to verify the absence.

When do parents get truancy letters? California law requires MVWSD to notify parents of truancy. Any three unexcused absences and/ or tardies over 30 minutes means a child is truant. 


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.


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.




Sown to Grow

MVWSD is again partnering with Sown to Grow for the 2023-24 school year for grades K-6. Sown to Grow is a platform designed to promote safe and supportive classrooms. Through student check-ins and reflective activities, students are encouraged to engage in self-awareness, set personal goals, and develop essential social and emotional skills. This data allows teachers, principals, and counselors to proactively reach out to support student needs. For more information, please read the attached letter. Sown to Grow Letter (English)

MVWSD Seeks Parents & Staff Members for Health & Wellness Committee

The Health & Wellness Committee is looking for parents and staff members for the 2023-24 school year! This committee aligns District efforts to support student wellness through health education, physical education and activity, health services, nutrition services, psychological and counseling services, and through promoting a safe and healthy school environment. 

Last year, the committee’s work helped increase student access to nutrition information and education, professional development on USDA standards for school nutrition, and supported student opportunities for physical activity throughout the school day. We are seeking at least 1 parent and 1 certificated staff member representative from each school. 

If you have experience, knowledge, or interest, please complete an application at: Applications are due by September 13.  

The Health and Wellness Committee will meet 4 times during the school year on Zoom, with the first meeting scheduled for September 28. 

If you have any questions, please contact Brian White, Health & Wellness Coordinator at [email protected].

MVWSD seeking District Equity Advisory Committee members

MVWSD is continuing our work by engaging meaningfully with the community on issues of equity through the District Equity Advisory Committee (DEAC). The goal of the DEAC is to provide feedback to the Superintendent on how to support MVWSD towards achieving its goals of becoming a more equitable and inclusive school district.

We are seeking a combination of district-level leaders, principals, teachers, staff members, and parent participants who represent the interests of both elementary and middle schools. Committee members will be expected to attend and participate virtually in meetings held monthly (on average) online in the evening hours. 

If you’re interested in participating, please complete the application here. 

Volunteer with MVEF!
MVEF needs 1-3 additional volunteers at each school in MVWSD. MVEF school representatives help the families at their school understand what MVEF is and why it exists so that they are inspired to donate and spread the word about the impact of MVEF funding. MVEF also needs volunteers to help with planning our annual Gala and other community events. To learn more, visit:

Mentor Tutor Connection: Volunteer Information Session

Mentor Tutor Connection is holding a Volunteer Information Session on Wed., Sept. 13, 12:00 - 1:00 pm, MVLA District Office Conference Room, 1299 Bryant Ave., Mountain View. Please join us and learn about becoming a mentor and/or a tutor in the Mountain View and Los Altos public schools. Help a local student to a brighter future! To register go to  - or email [email protected].

August/September CAC and LCC Events

SELPA 1 CAC and the Learning Challenge Committee are your groups for special education and broader learning challenge needs. We are ALL having learning challenges right now, and CAC and LCC are here to help. If you have questions about learning challenges and special education needs, email [email protected] or check out

We encourage families to learn about the sensory needs all children: Try a Sensory Diet

Parent Chat - September 12, 10 am

Are you concerned about the emotional well-being of your child?  Peer to peer support for parents of teens with mental health challenges. Every second Tuesday of the month at 10 am on Google Meet. Meeting is for 1 hour only due to Google Meet limitations. Contact [email protected] for invite.

Morning Let’s Talk - September 13, 10 am  - IEP/504 support group. Have questions about the process to get help for your child? Have an IEP but are not sure how to make changes? Need to vent? This is your confidential group. Register at:

Missed our Parent Education events last year?

We have a YouTube channel with many of our past events including last year’s Inclusive Fun Fair for summer camps and recreational activities, Anxiety and Depression in Children with Learning Challenges, SMART Goals and IEP Troubleshooting, and more. Channel is here:

Housing and Eviction Help Center Here

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

City Searching for Volunteers to Serve Community

Recruitment is open for upcoming vacancies on several City boards, commissions and committees that weigh in on a wide range of matters. If you have an interest or background in the City’s downtown interests, environmental planning process, library, parks and recreation, performing arts, inclusive community relations or bike and pedestrian concerns, we welcome you to apply to serve on one of these bodies. Find more information and the application form at Questions can be directed to the City Clerk’s Office at [email protected] or 650-903-6304. The deadline to apply is Sept. 29 at 5 p.m.

SCCOE Family Engagement Symposium 2023: Sept. 9

Join SCCOE’s upcoming free Family Engagement Symposium “Belonging Begins with Me” on Saturday, Sept 9, 2023. Workshops include Family Writing Activity - Writing Your Belonging Story, Establishing Your Financial Roots, How to Raise and Nurture an Antiracist Family, and more! Register here:

Announcing the MVLA Parent Education Speaker Series for 2023 - 2024

The MVLA Parent Education Speaker Series is excited to announce our speaker line-up for the 2023 - 2024 school year. Nationally and internationally recognized experts will join us to discuss important topics on child and adolescent well-being, as well as our own - including how to help kids face the unique challenges of growing up surrounded by computers, how to raise successful adults and break free of the traps of overparenting, exploring why puberty is so different for today’s kids than past generations and figuring out how to beat the college admissions system.

2023 - 2024 Speaker Events

Devorah Heitner 

Growing Up in Public: Helping our Kids Navigate the Digital Coming of Age

Wednesday, September 13, 2023 - 7pm

Mountain View High School - Spartan Theater 


Julie Lythcott-Haims 

How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success 

Tuesday, October 10, 2023 - 7pm

Mountain View High School - Spartan Theater 


Cara Natterson & Vanessa Kroll Bennett 

This Is So Awkward: A Conversation About How Puberty Has Changed

Tuesday, November 17, 2023 - 7pm

Los Altos High School - Eagle Theater


Susan Paterno 

Game On: Why College Admission Is Rigged and How To Beat the System

Thursday, March 7, 2024 - 7pm

Los Altos High School - Eagle Theater


For more information, visit Events are free thanks to our generous sponsors: MVLA High School Foundation, Los Altos Educational Foundation, Mountain View Educational Foundation, and the Los Altos-Mountain View PTA Council.




PTA News


Afterschool Programs

Afterschool programs are here at Vargas! The PTA has sourced an extensive list that includes chess, art, Spanish, lego robotics, basketball, soccer, mathletes, Hindi, Mandarin Chinese, science and much more! All these classes will be fee based as the state and federal grants have changed for 2023-2024. Some vendors will offer scholarships, but spots are limited and depend on enrollment. Book your spot soon! Classes that don’t meet minimum sign-ups are subject to cancellation. 


For the list of programs and details about scheduling and scholarships, click here.



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.  Visit this link to see volunteer opportunities: or email Kim at [email protected]


Ice Cream Social - Sept 7, 12-1:30PM

Save the date! The PTA will be hosting our first ice cream social of the year to celebrate the start of the school year. Come and meet other Vargas families! Sign-up for ice cream toppings donations or to help scoop ice cream on Konstella.


Join the Vargas PTA! All our programs are supported by memberships, donations, and fundraising. Our goal is to have 300 members this year and we are nearly halfway there! 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! 


Join and make a contribution:



Konstella is our main PTA tool to share information with our Vargas community, including upcoming social events, classroom updates, event volunteering opportunities, and fundraising opportunities. You will also be able to communicate with other families from your child's classroom. It's free and you don’t need to be a PTA member to join.

Use this link to register:

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.

Kimberly Cheng, and the PTA Executive Board 

[email protected]



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