Wise Word - 09/23/2020

Principal’s Message:

Dear Golden Owls,

It has been so amazing to see our students adapt to this new learning environment.  I went through Kindergarten and first grade students’ Seesaw classrooms this weekend and looked at student work.  It was inspiring to see how they have developed independence with taking photos of their work, typing in their names, and responding to their teacher’s feedback. 


Developing independence is an important skill for our students to develop not only for distance learning but as a life skill. While we cannot realistically expect students to be entirely responsible for their entire school day in the sixth week of school, I feel it is important for parents to support kids in allowing students to start taking charge in ways that are appropriate for their age and ability. A few suggestions: 


  • Allow students to sign-in and navigate programs independently (Zoom, Google Classroom, SeeSaw)

  • Leave students “unattended” (the teacher is there to help students)

    • If you are used to always being there, start with ten minute intervals and slowly build up your child’s stamina. It is ok if they struggle a bit

  • Developing a system where students ask  for assistance rather than rescuing them


This week, please challenge yourself to find one way to  allow for your child to be more independent. If you would like to discuss strategies, please join me today at my Principal office hours from 4-5. (Register Here)


Thank you you for supporting our school and students,

Mr. Taylor

 Events Calendar

  • 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 

  • Principal Virtual Office Hours

  • Lunch Applications - Due Friday 9/25

  • Learning Options Registration - Parent Survey - Due Friday 9/25

  • Gift Card Donation

  • Technology Support 

District News

  • Cafecito con el Superintendente on Sept. 23

  • Strategic Plan Survey

  • Planning for school reopening: Learning Options survey

  • Together We Are a Better MVWSD: Hispanic Heritage Month (Flyers attached)

  • Distance Learning Tip: What’s the easiest way to help my child upload pictures of student work?

  • Free Student Meals - Flyer here

  • MVEF - Please Support Our Students and Teachers!

  • The MVLA Parent Education Speaker Series - Flyer here

  • Mountain View Public Library presents “Sea Otters” (Flyer attached)

PTA News

  • Become a Member

  • Vargas Spirit Wear

  • Amazon


Golden Ticket Winners - Week  9/21/2020
Jacob C              RM: 1                       Engela J         RM:12
Sebastian H      RM: 2                       Pravara D      RM: 13
Angel L              RM: 3                      Aaron F           RM: 14
Hana U              RM: 4                      Mila F              RM: 15
Sara P                RM: 5                       Uriel L             RM: 16
Sachika M        RM: 9                       Elena S            RM: 17
Sabastian S      RM: 10                     Ms. Barrie       RM: 14

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.

Principal Virtual Office Hour - Today

Please drop in my Principal Hours today to discuss strategies that can help your child develop independence. I will also go over the 2 options on returning back to school. If you have any questions or concerns about anything please join me. Register Here

Learning Options Registration - Parent Survey - Due Friday 9/25

Please don’t forget to submit your response to the parent survey that was sent to you by our District. If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at (650) 903-6952. Or join my Principal Hours today at 4pm Register Here.

Lunch Application - DUE Friday, 9/25

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. 25th. 

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

Gift Card Donation

I hope you and your families are staying healthy during this unprecedented time. 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 with kids being home from school, some families need more support for providing dinner and weekend meals.  There is a critical need for gift cards for these families to use for food.  If you are able, please consider donating a 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!


Things to remember:

Gift cards should only be for Safeway and should be electronic.  (https://www.giftcardmall.com/e-gift-cards/safeway-egift-card

Electronic gift cards should be sent to our school and community engagement facilitator (SCEF), Ms. Bea, at mclaas@mvwsd.org.

Families are welcome to donate more than 1 gift card. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Bea at mclaas@mvwsd.org.

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

Coffee with the Superintendent on Sept. 23
Join us for an informal meeting for Spanish-speaking parents on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 5:30 p.m. Translation will be provided.

Please register in advance for this meeting here.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Strategic Plan Survey is open now

MVWSD is working on a new Strategic Plan. We want to ensure this new six-year Strategic Plan 2027  builds on the strengths and assets of our school system, while addressing the most promising opportunities to enhance our work. 

We need your help! Parents, students and staff members will be asked to engage in several steps during the strategic planning process in meetings, focus groups and surveys. 

Here is your first opportunity to give input.  Please take 10 minutes to respond to this survey by midnight on Sept. 24. https://www.research.net/r/MVWSDStratPlan

The survey is managed by a third-party consultant.  All responses will go directly to them and will be anonymous.  

Next steps: This information will be used to shape our future strategic direction. In October you will have the opportunity to see your efforts materialize in the resulting strategic plan framework and to provide feedback.  

Thank you for taking the time to inform our future. 


Planning for school reopening: Learning Options survey

Thank you for supporting your children in “Connected 100% Distance Learning” due to COVID-19. As you know, planning for potential school re-opening has been ongoing since March.

Our tentative plan: MVWSD is considering in-person learning beginning with the first group of our youngest, specific special education students and our at-risk students. However, we will not open schools if the process poses too great a risk to our students’ or employees’ health and safety.

In order to proceed, we want to hear from you. Many of the specifics of what school reopenings will look like in the future depend on our families’ responses. Please complete the updated Stage 3 Learning Options Registration survey (sent to you in email on Sept 18) before Sept. 25. Your survey link is unique to each of your students and can be completed only once. 

More information is in Dr. Rudolph’s update to the Board of Trustees on Sept. 17. (The video is posted here . Tune in at timestamp 2:33).

Together We Are a Better MVWSD: Hispanic Heritage Month (Flyers attached)

We are excited to announce that this month marks the beginning of a monthly offering towards MVWSD’s equity goals titled Together We Are a Better MVWSD.  Each month you will receive an infographic in both English and Spanish that offers educational tools and community guidance inspired by a national diversity calendar. This month is National Hispanic Heritage Month.

You’ll see:

  • Lessons provided by grade level that are designed to be used by teachers to enhance work they are doing in the classroom. 

  • Activities provided to parents, which are meant to help bridge the gap between lessons at school and conversations at home. 

  • Organization spotlights to help us engage with our community and learn more about organizations doing equity work.

  • Children’s books by authors who have either the lived experience or scholarly background to contextualize this topic for children and adolescents.

Please see mvwsd.org/BetterTogetherMVWSD


Distance Learning Tip: 

What’s the easiest way to help my child upload pictures of student work?

First, create a child’s folder in a parent’s Google Drive (only has to be done once. Requires parent to have a gmail account.)

  • download google drive app on smartphone

  • create a folder with child's name (ie "Emma’s Schoolwork”)

  • share the folder with the child's school email address. (Note: Students in grades TK-5 will not get an email notification of this share. The child does not have to access his/her email account. The folder automatically will appear in the student's “shared with me” folder on their Drive after the parent “shares” with the student’s email address.)


After that set up, its as easy as this:

  • open google drive app

  • open the shared folder

  • push + button and select “use camera” to take picture (this uploads it automatically)

  • child now has the pic on his/her school drive in the parent/child shared folder (under "shared with me" in the child's drive). They can also upload these images to other programs, such as SeeSaw.


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. 


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.


Mountain View Public Library presents “Sea Otters” (Flyer attached)

Mountain View Public Library presents “Sea Otters: Author Talk for Kids” (ages 7-12) on Wednesday Oct 14 - 4-4:30 pm. See attached flyer. Free. Sign-up at https://mountainview.gov/librarycalendar


Vargas PTA

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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