Wise Word, 05/29/2024

Principal’s Message:


Hello Golden Owls,


We have reached the final week!  It has been a tremendous year, and I want to thank all of you again for your dedication and support to all of the Vargas students and staff.  I hope you all have a wonderful Summer break, and for those who are returning, I look forward to seeing you all next year! For those who are not, I wish you the best of luck in all of your future adventures!

Just a few important reminders:

  • Please remember that both Thursday and Friday of this week are minimum days with dismissal at 11:55am. Please remember to join us for the PTA sponsored Ice Cream party from 12:00-1:00 on Friday, May 31, 2024. Please plan to join us for fun and celebration of our amazing 2023-24 school year.

  • Thursday May 30th is the Kinder Promotion at 11:00 a.m.. Please remember to arrive very early to allow time to check in through the office. Visitors will need to sign in the office with their picture IDs. As you know, parking is limited, so please plan ahead and arrive early if you need parking. 

  • On Thursday, May 30th we will also have the 5th Grade Promotion Ceremony afterschool at 12:30 p.m.  You will not need to sign in, as this is after school, but please plan ahead and arrive early if you need parking. 

  • Friday, May 31st report cards will be sent home electronically. 

  •  If you are not returning to Vargas for the 2024-2025 school year, please inform the front office staff immediately. By calling 650-903-6952 or emailing Mrs. Antunez at [email protected] 

Staffing Updates:

Next year, we will be having a few changes at Vargas. 

First, welcome back Ms. Kwon. She will return to teach 2nd grade in room 10. With that being said,  We will bid fond farewell to Mr. Almazan as he moves on to new life adventures. Additionally, Mr. Gorman will be moving to Landels to teach 5th grade. Our instructional Coach, Judy Espino, will be returning to the classroom. Thank you for everything you do to support our students. We will miss you next year! 


Mr. Damion will be moving to working only at Vargas to working at both Landels and Vargas. With that change we will also be adding a full-time counselor at our site. Our new counselor will work with Mr. Damion and Ms. Bea to support our students and families social, emotional, and mental health needs. 


Additionally, our instructional coach for next year will be Ryan Santiago.


Based on our enrollment, we are currently planning on the following classroom configurations for next year. Enrollment continues through the summer, so it is possible that this can change. I continue to monitor enrollment and staffing throughout the summer. 


  • Three K classes

  • Three 1st Grade classes

  • Three 2nd Grade classes

  • Three 3rd Grade classes

  • Three 4th Grade classes (this is a change from the two we have this year)

  • Two 5th Grade classes

  • One and a half STEAM teachers


June is Pride Month

According to data from the Trevor project collected from surveys in the 2020, roughly 42% of LGBTQIA+ youth seriously considered attempted suicide between 2019-2020. More specifically, more than half of those individuals were transgender and nonbinary youth.  What we know from data is LGBTQIA+ you who have access to spaces that affirm their sexual orientation and gender reported lower rates of attempting suicide than those who did not. At Jose Antonio Vargas Elementary School, I wanted to state unequivocally we want our LGBTQIA+ families and students to know that they can bring their authentic, whole selves to our school and be welcomed and celebrated here. Happy Pride Month!!! 


In Partnership, 


Principal Vern Taylor


Events Calendar




Mission San Jose Field Trip


Kinder Promotion - 11am


5th Grade Promotion - MUR 12:30pm


MVWSD Board Meeting, District Office 6pm-10pm - Agenda


Last Day of School - Minimum Day


Last Day of School Ice Cream Social


In this Newsletter

School News:

Golden Ticket Winners

Chromebooks - 2nd and 4th Grade

Turning in this Year’s Volunteer Badges; and How to Apply to be a Regular Volunteer Next Year

Lost and Found 

i-Ready Diagnostic 3 Assessments and Student Reports

Summer Reading Challenge 

Free Meals All Summer- Grab and Go



May Menu Here

School Year Calendar  2024-2025 Here


District News:

The Board of Trustees will meet on Thursday, May 30 at 5:30 p.m.

Better Together: May

Mental Health Month

MVWSD Summer Learning

Big THANK YOU to all MVEF donors supporting our MVWSD students with art, music, science, reduced English Language Arts (ELA) class sizes, and more programs! 

PTA News

Incoming Kinder Summer Playdates 

End of Year Ice Cream Social - Friday May 31 (12:00-1:30PM)

Golden Ticket Winners May 23, 2024
Ryan W.          RM: 1          Emma Y.         RM: 13  
Matilda L.       RM: 2          Hana U.          RM: 14
Dani Y.            RM: 3          Faizan H.        RM: 16
Joel G.             RM: 4          Ariel F.           RM: 17
Lucas Z.          RM: 5          Nathan L.       RM: 17 
Braden R.        RM: 6          Francisco S.   RM: 17
Bianca F.         RM: 9          Miles C.         RM: 18 
Marco S.         RM: 10         Mr. Green      RM: 9     

Continuing Students:
Most continuing students will keep their Chromebooks over the summer. However, students in 2nd and 4th grade need to turn in their Chromebooks to their teachers, unless they are going to summer school. Summer School students in 2nd and 4th grade will turn in their Chromebooks after summer school ends. 

Student Leaving MVWSD:

Students who are leaving our District please turn in your Chromebooks and chargers to the front office.

Turning in this Year’s Volunteer Badges; and How to Apply to be a Regular Volunteer Next Year

Parents, we are so grateful for your volunteering this year! It has been a great year, and we are looking forward to next year already. But first …

  • Please turn in your volunteer badges to the front office between now and the end of the school year. This year’s badge will not work for next year.

For all of the details and documentation requirements to get yourself set up as a frequent volunteer for the 2024-25 school year, please see mvwsd.org/volunteers. MVWSD will begin accepting volunteer applications for 2024-25 on August 1. Please look for an email this summer with more details about training and applying to volunteer next year. Thank you


Lost & Found

Is your child missing a sweater/jacket, lunch box, water bottle, and or umbrella? Our lost and found rack is overflowing with many items. Please take a moment at morning drop off or afternoon pick-up to look through it, the lost & found rack is located by the school office entrance. All items not claimed by Friday, May 31st at 3:30pm will be donated. 

i-Ready Diagnostic 3 Assessments and Student Reports

Your child will take the end of year i-Ready Math and Reading diagnostic assessments during the week of May 13th, 2024. Parents can access their children’s i-Ready Reading and Mathematics score via their Powerschool Parent Portal starting at 4 pm on May 31. Parents will have access to three reports for their child - For Families Report, Common Core State Standards Report (CCSS), and the Diagnostic Growth Report. Steps to access your child's i-Ready Reports on Powerschool are linked here. To learn more about how to read the reports, please click here. Please contact your child’s school office if you have any trouble accessing reports. 

Summer Reading Challenge 

Summer is just around the corner, which means lots of outdoor play, family time, and daily academic practice!  We know from brain research and our own lived experiences that skills that are not practiced, or periodically reviewed, can be forgotten.  Students have worked so hard this year to learn and grow. We want to make sure they maintain these skills over the summer!  We know that convincing students to do daily academic practice may be tricky, so we’re helping with an optional Summer Learning Menu: Menu and Work Log

  • Students can complete i-Ready Reading or Math, Zearn Math, or Khan Academy lessons.  The self-paced i-Ready lessons are tailored to students’ individual levels, based on their third trimester diagnostic assessments.

  • Students can read.  Daily reading is the most effective way to become a better reader. We read by reading the words, reading the pictures, retelling familiar texts, and listening to others read. We also read a variety of text types: picture books, novels, newspapers, magazines, blogs, graphic novels, comic books, etc.

  • Students can complete Math Fluency Activities. Students can play a math fluency card game with a deck of cards, practice with some flashcards, or complete a math learning game on i-Ready.

  • Students can complete STEAM or Profile of a Graduate challenges.  Students can complete these challenges on their own, with a friend, or with their families!

# of completed Activities for

First-Second grade in the fall

# of completed Activities for

Third-Fifth grade in the fall




10 Minutes extra recess



Popsicle party



Book Prize



Pizza Party



Popcorn and Movie



Vice-Principal for a Day



Pie Mr. Taylor in the face

Free Meals All Summer- Grab and Go

Free meals provided by MVWSD and Second Harvest Food Bank are available to everyone throughout the summer at these locations. No questions. No age limit. No IDs required.

  • Rengstorff Park - June 6- July 26 from 11:30 AM-12:45 PM. (No Meals June 19 & July 4)

  • Castro Elementary  - June 6 - 28 from 11:30 AM -12:30 pm. (No meal pick on June 19). Meal pick up in front of Mistral Elementary School, 505 Escuela Ave 



The Board of Trustees will meet on Thursday, May 30 at 5:30 p.m.

Some of the topics include:

  • Recognition of staff members’ years of service, retirements and Teacher and Classified Employee of the Year 

  • Public Hearing: 2024-25 Local Control Accountability Plan

  • Public Hearing: 2024-25 Budget Adoption, Overview and May Revise

  • California Dashboard - Local Indicators 2023-24

  • First Reading of Resolution of Parcel Tax Election

  • Health & Wellness Annual Report 

  • Considerations for Heritage/Awareness Months

  • ReImagining Castro Plan of Action

For meeting details and agenda, please click here: https://www.mvwsd.org/trustees.

Better Together: May

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, a time dedicated to recognizing the rich history, cultural diversity, and significant contributions of the Asian American Pacific Islander community to our society. It's an opportunity to celebrate the many achievements and the vibrant traditions that AAPI individuals bring to the fabric of our communities. As we honor this important month, it's also an excellent moment to reflect on the #BetterTogether theme of recognizing our own self-worth. Each of us, regardless of background, has unique strengths and an intrinsic value that contributes positively to our communities and the world at large. Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month reminds us to appreciate not only the diversity around us but also the value within ourselves, fostering a deeper understanding and respect for all.

For more information about Better Together, visit mvwsd.org/BetterTogetherMVWSD.

Mental Health Month

All month we’ve been exploring #WhereToStart when it comes to taking care of your mental health. Life can be challenging, but every day shouldn’t feel hard or out of your control. If it does, there is help. 

One free, anonymous, quick and easy way to check for symptoms of a mental health condition is by taking a confidential mental health screener offered by Mental Health for America at mhascreening.org

While a screener doesn’t take the place of therapy or an evaluation from a mental health professional, your results can be a great way to start a conversation with your primary care provider, a trusted friend, or a family member about your mental health. 

Once the screening is completed, MHA will share resources and tips to try on your own, ways to connect with others or find a provider, and ideas about how to address any symptoms.

It’s always a good time to start working on your mental health!

MVWSD Summer Learning

Click here - mvwsd.org/summer - for a handy list of resources for students to practice their academic skills this summer.

Big THANK YOU to all MVEF donors supporting our MVWSD students with art, music, science, reduced English Language Arts (ELA) class sizes, and more programs! 

As we approach the end of the school year 2023-24, MVEF wanted to take a moment to reflect and thank every single donor and community member who believes in our mission to create a well-rounded education for every single student in our district. 

With your donations, you helped 4,577 students to enrich their education in one or the other way: with art & music (TK-5), hands-on science (TK-6), field trips (4-5), reduced class sizes in ELA, sports, clubs & activities (6-8). For a more detailed overview of our programs, please visit here.

Let’s celebrate another school year with so many great opportunities thanks to your donations! We have almost reached our goal to raise $1.2MM for all the above programs. If you still wish to contribute to reach our goal, please visit here.



PTA News


Incoming Kinder Summer Playdates 

Mark your calendars for the incoming kinder playdates on:

  • Saturday June 29, 10:00AM, @ Creekside Park

  • Friday July 19, 4:30PM @ Pyramid Park (BYO dinner for a picnic playdates)


End of Year Ice Cream Social - Friday May 31 (12:00-1:30PM)

Save the Date - The PTA is hosting an Ice Cream Social to celebrate the end of the school year on Friday, May 31st from 12:00-1:30PM on campus. More details to follow.

  • If you would like to donate toppings, sign up here.

  • To sign-up to help scoop ice cream, sign up here.

Kimberly Cheng, and the PTA Executive Board [email protected]g
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