Wise Word - 09/16/2020

Principal’s Message:

Dear Golden Owls,

This week, we are finishing up the iReady diagnostic assessments for all of our students. We use the iReady data to inform our instruction. The data may help us form groupings for small group math or reading instruction. It also helps us identify standards that students have already mastered, as well as areas of focus during first instruction.  As we get to know students even better and collect various data points, we will continue to refine our groupings and instruction.  I really appreciate the families who supported a growth mindset by encouraging their children to try their best and then giving them the space to take the assessment and problem solve on their own. 


Some reminders and updates as we move into the 6th week of Distance Learning:

Principal’s Office Hours on Wednesday 9/16 @ 4:00.  Register for the meeting here.  I will be answering questions on getting ready for reopening (including perimeter controls and registration), using Securly to monitor student internet use, attendance, and upcoming surveys.

Please take a moment to participate in the Thought Exchange about Distance Learning by September 17th.  

Please have your child use their MVWSD Chromebook when doing school work. Why?  We use an application called Securly during school hours that allows us to see students’ actual screens in real time, push out URLs, force close tabs, and lock the screen to certain sites. This application only works on MVWSD devices.  It is much more effective for us to support your students when they use their MVWSD devices.

Reopening: We are getting ready for Reopening, when it eventually happens!  We don’t have a timeline or reopening date, yet, but we are still preparing so we’ll be ready when the conditions are safe. You can find our most recently updated checklist here. So far, we have cleared out some classroom furniture to allow for more space in classrooms, secured tons of PPE, set up touchless soap, paper towel dispensers and hand sanitizer stations, created staggered lunch and recess schedules, and started to educate students about safety through our Monday morning messages.  You can always view our meetings on our Facebook page or through our weekly Dashboard.  I am also currently working on a plan for arrival and dismissal that allows for physical distancing and limits non-students on campus. 



Thank you you for supporting our school and students,

Mr. Taylor

Events Calendar

  • 9/16 - Principal’s Virtual Office Hours, 4pm - 5pm Register Here

  • 9/16 - SSC Virtual Meeting, 5pm -6:30pm Register Here

  • 9/17 - PTA - Dine Out for Vargas: Pizza My Heart, 4pm - 9pm

  • 9/17 - MVWSD Board of Trustee Meeting, 6pm - 10pm

  • 9/18 - ELAC Virtual Meeting, 4pm Register Here

  • 9/23 - Principal’s Virtual Office Hours, 4pm - 5pm Register Here

  • 9/25 - Principal’s Virtual Coffee, 4pm - 5pm Register Here

  • 9/30 - Principal’s Virtual Office Hours, 4pm - 5pm Register Here

  • 10/1 - MVWSD Board of Trustee Meeting, 6pm - 10pm


In this Newsletter

School News

  • Golden Ticket Winners 

  • SSC Election

  • Reminder: Lunch Application Deadline Approaching

  • Lost & Found Items from last School Year

  • Reminder: Old Chromebooks & Library Books

  • Technology Support 

District News

  • ThoughtExchange

  • Public hearing on Sept. 17: Sufficient instructional materials

  • Track your student's online activities at home with Securly

  • Free Student Meals - Flyer here

  • Parent University videos are now on mvwsd.org website!

  • MVEF - Please Support Our Students and Teachers!

  • The MVLA Parent Education Speaker Series - Flyer here

PTA News

  • First Dine Out for Vargas: Pizza My Heart

  • Become a Member

  • Vargas Spirit Wear

  • Amazon


Golden Ticket Winners - Week  9/14/2020
Lumen R RM: 1 Tyler C RM:12
Ethan M RM: 2 Jaxson N RM: 13
Kiernan P RM: 3 Omar A RM: 14
Adalberto H RM: 4 Jazmin V RM: 15
Eliana T RM: 6 Isabella R RM: 16
Prisha V RM: 8 Lucas W RM: 17
Aadi U RM: 9             Mrs. Ragas RM: 3

You can stop by the office to pick up your prize! You may stop by on Monday or Wednesday from 11:30am to 2:00pm.

School Site Council Vote

Please see the links below to provide your vote for members of the School Site Council for Vargas Elementary School. Please submit this school ballot online, to the school office or by email vargasinfo@mvwsd.org by 4 PM on Wednesday, September 16, 2020.

School Site Council (SSC) Ballot (English PDF) or (Vote online)

If you prefer a printed ballot, please contact the front office.

Reminder: Lunch Application Deadline Sept. 21st

Although all students under 18 years of age can receive a free lunch, we strongly encourage you to fill out the application through the National Lunch Program. This will benefit your child once it is safe to return to school.

Free or reduced price meal benefit status from last year can be used to pay for lunches until Sept. 30. We can assist you  in applying for free or reduced price meal benefits through the National Lunch Program and can process applications quickly. Applications are at http://www.ezmealapp.com.  Deadline is Sept. 21st. 


If you need help, our office staff is available to help you.  Please email Ms. Silvia smcelyea@mvwsd.org, Ms. Evelyn etellez@mvwsd.org or Ms. Beatriz  mclaas@mvwsd.org

Lost and Found from Last School Year:  

We have a few bins with sweaters and other items in our lost and found from last school year. The bins will be outside the MUR, from 7:30am to 3:00pm if you would like to stop by and see if your child left any items please do so within those times. Any items not claimed by Friday, September 18th will be donated. 

Reminder: Old Chromebooks & Library Books

If you have an old chromebook or a library book from last year, please drop it off during the Lost and Found times: from 7:30am to 3:00pm until September 18th.

Technology Support:

If you are having problems with the chromebook you can contact: support@mvwsd.org to create a ServiceNow ticket or call the Tech Department at

(650) 526-3252.

If it's not device/hardware related or account related, and more about using a program, please contact Marissa Hamaguchi, Tech Coach, (techcoach@mvwsd.org) or call/text (650) 336-5863.


District News


Join the MVWSD conversation: Distance Learning: What's working?

We’re now up to 1200 thoughts so far in our online conversation about Distance Learning.  Now that we've been distance learning for several weeks due to COVID-19, in your opinion, what’s working well and what are our areas of improvement?


Before Thursday, Sept 17: Please take some time to participate or rejoin the conversation to start thoughts entered since you were there last. You may participate in this exchange by clicking on this link: http://mvw.sd/TE. Translation is available in multiple languages.  Your input will help us further improve and refine our plans as we move into the future.refine our plans as we move into the future.


Public hearing on Sept. 17: Sufficient instructional materials

A public hearing will be held in order to comply with Ed Code section 60119 on September 17, 2020 to detail the extent to which text books and instructional materials were provided to all students, including English Learners.


The definition of “sufficient textbooks or instructional materials” means that each pupil has textbooks or instructional materials, or both to use in class and to take home in each of the following subjects:

• Mathematics

• Science

• History/Social Science

• Language Arts

The public hearing on September 17, 2020 at 7:00pm will be held during the regular meeting of the Board of Trustees. To view details about accessing the meeting either online or by phone, please click on the September 17 agenda link on this webpage: https://www.mvwsd.org/about/board_of_trustees/board_meetings


Track your student's online activities at home with Securly

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 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.

Free Student Meals - Flyer Here

The free meal program has been extended! (flyers attached) During Distance Learning, free meals are again available to all children in the Mountain View Whisman School District age 18 and younger. No IDs required. Locations: All schools, except Stevenson (pickup for Stevenson is at Theuerkauf). Times: 11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. at the elementary schools. 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the middle schools. Walk, drive or roll up to grab a free meal and go! Parents should continue to go here https://secure.ezmealapp.com/ to apply for free or reduced price meal benefits through the National Lunch Program, if needed. 


Parent University videos are now on mvwsd.org website!

Did you miss the latest Parent University event? Do you want to review the materials that were presented? Videos and materials are now in English and Spanish on the Parent University website at http://www.mvwsd.org/parent/parent_university

Latest uploads: Sept. 8 event: How to support your child with reading


MVEF - Please Support Our Students and Teachers!

MVEF raises money to provide all MVWSD students with an educational experience beyond what is possible with public funding. We hope you saw the MVEF brochure with your school supplies or watched the video during Back to School. Please see the website at https://www.mvef.org/ for more information and to donate online. Please consider joining our team of volunteers or emailing us with any questions at contact@mvef.org. Thank you for your support!


The MVLA Parent Education Speaker Series - Flyer here

The MVLA Parent Education Speaker Series presents: Jeff Selingo on "Who Gets In and Why:  A Year Inside the College Admissions Process" on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2020 - 7:00 - 9:00pm | Live Online | Zoom


Join us for an insightful evening with journalist and higher education expert Jeff Selingo, as he dispels entrenched notions about the college admissions process. 


While many have long believed that college admissions decisions are driven largely by merit, Jeff presents a more complicated truth.   Embedded in three distinctly different admissions offices — a selective private university, a leading liberal arts college, and a flagship public campus — Jeff closely observed college admission officers as they made their often agonizing and sometimes life-changing decisions.


Based on a year of reading applications and sitting through committee meetings where up and down votes were taken, Jeff reveals what really matters to the gatekeepers and how their ultimate decisions are often based on a college’s priorities.  Following interviews with students, testing agencies, marketers, and ranking organizations, Jeff also shares practical advice and helpful strategies for navigating the confusing, chaotic, and often-times stressful college application process.  


Audience:  High school parents and students; teachers and counselors

Register: To register for this free event, go to https://mvla2020-21-jeffselingo.eventbrite.com

Book:  Jeff's new book, Who Gets In and Why, will be released Sept. 15th and is available with free shipping from Books, Inc.  Jeff is generously offering our community a 30% discount + free shipping for pre-orders made directly through him. If interested, use code MVLA30.


Event Login:  We will send the Zoom link via Eventbrite email, Thursday afternoon, October 1st. 

If you have not used Zoom before, please make sure to allow a few extra minutes before the event to download the free Zoom app.    

Sponsored by Los Altos Educational Foundation (LAEF), MVLA High School Foundation, Mountain View Educational Foundation (MVEF), and Los Altos-Mountain View PTA Council.

Vargas PTA

First Dining Out Night!!!

Our first Dine Out for Vargas night is Thursday, September 17th at Pizza My Heart on El Monte Avenue, from 4pm - 9pm. It's easy to support the school by ordering dinner and mentioning our dining out night.  30% of sales get donated back to JA Vargas PTA. Tell your friends, neighbors, and coworkers! 

Become a Member!  

The PTA has a goal of 300 members this year and we are 1/3 of the way there.  Joining is easy – click here and join online

Do you have your JA Vargas Spirit Wear yet?

Do you have your JA Vargas Spirit Wear yet? Lots of great options and make sure your students wear Vargas Green on Mondays to show our school spirit! Here's a link to purchase spirit wear that supports your school! Easy and flexible curbside pickup!


If you shop through Amazon, please shop through the Amazon Smile portal for Vargas: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/90-1257353 A percentage of sales through this link goes back to the school

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