Wise Word - 9/30/2020

Principal’s Message:

Dear Golden Owls,

This past weekend MVWSD parents, staff members, and the Board of Trustees met for a strategic planning session. This session is one of the many steps MVWSD is using to gather input for Strategic Plan 2027. The group reviewed survey and academic data as well as discussed goals and priorities for the next six years. It was a very rich conversation, and it was inspiring to imagine the possibilities for what we can achieve in the next six years.


 As part of the process, we reviewed the impact of our most recent strategic plan, Strategic Plan 2021. One of the most impactful changes from Strategic Plan 2021 was our increased focus on using data to drive instructional decisions. At last week’s staff meeting, Vargas teachers analyzed the i-Ready data and are starting to make instructional shifts to address our students’ needs. 


If you have questions about i-Ready, please join me today for Principal’s office hours at 4PM. Register Here (Spanish Translation available)


Thank you for supporting our school and students,

Mr. Taylor

Events Calendar

  • 9/30 - Principal’s Virtual Office Hours, 4pm - 5pm Register Here (Spanish Translation available)

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

  • 10/7 - Principal’s Virtual Office Hours, 4pm - 5pm Register Here (Spanish Translation available)

  • 10/12 - Recess Day - No School

  • 10/14 - Principal’s Virtual Office Hours, 4pm - 5pm

  • 10/22 - MVWSD Board of Trustee Meeting, 6pm - 10pm

  • 10/23 - ELAC Virtual Meeting, 4pm - 5pm


In this Newsletter

School News

  • Golden Ticket Winners 

  • Material Distribution - Kinder and 1st grade only

  • Principal Virtual Office Hours

  • iReady Scores

  • Gift Card Donation

  • Technology Support 

District News

  • Check-In with the Superintendent on Oct. 2

  • Online Parenting Toolkit: Making Life with Kids Easier!*

  • Free Student Meals:  *New* Pick up meals for multiple days

  • Parent University: Raising Digitally Resilient Children and Teens during Quarantine

  • Distance Learning Tip 

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

  • MVEF News: Did you know that your donations to MVEF support CSMA art and music for your student?

  • The MVLA Parent Education Speaker Series - Flyer here

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

PTA News

  • October is for MEMBERSHIP so Get in the Vargas Nest!

  • PTA Newsletter - Link here

  • Vargas Spirit Wear

  • Amazon


Golden Ticket Winners - Week  9/28/2020
Keagan F           RM: 1              Aadit S           RM:11
Carlos M           RM: 2              Grace A          RM: 13
Cataleya H       RM: 3              Emiliano G    RM: 14
Adam M           RM: 4              Danna Z         RM: 15
Doughlas F      RM: 6              Grace J           RM: 16
Adya I               RM: 8              Evan B           RM: 17
Justin W          RM: 9               Ms. Tellez     Office
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.

Material Distribution - Kinder and 1st grade only

Please plan to come this coming Thursday, October 1st or Friday, October 2nd for material distribution for Kinder and 1st grade only.

  • Kinder - Read and Write Journal, Handwriting worksheets, and orange construction paper

  • 1st grade - Color alphabet sheet

Please write your child’s first and last name, their grade level on a piece of paper and place it on your passenger window. Please drive up to the MUR; a staff member will greet you with a mask and gloves, and place the items in your trunk.

Please plan to pick up your child’s materials during the following time blocks on Thursday, October 1, 2020         OR                 Friday, October 2nd





12:45- 2:00

Last Name

Last Name


Last Name


Last Name


Last Name


*The names and times are spaced such that we do not have all families coming to campus at one time. This serves to limit the number of interactions.

Principal Virtual Office Hour  

Please drop in my Principal Hours today to discuss how to view your child’s i-Ready scores . Register Here

iReady Scores

Families will be able to access their child’s i-Ready Reading and Mathematics score via their Powerschool Parent Portal starting October 1, 2020. 

Steps for accessing reports on PowerSchool Parent Portal: Accessing PowerSchool Parent Portal i-Ready Reports 

If you need help resetting your password please contact us at (650) 903-6952, or email us - Ms. Silvia smcelyea@mvwsd.org, Ms. Evelyn etellez@mvwsd.org or Ms. Beatriz  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

Check-In with the Superintendent on Oct. 2

Please join us for our Community Check-In with Dr. Ayindé Rudolph on Friday, Oct. 2, 3:30 p.m. Bring your questions.  Click here to register: http://mvw.sd/TIUcn

Online Parenting Toolkit: Making Life with Kids Easier!*

It’s difficult to be a parent right now. Everyday Parenting is a free, online program that aims to make your typical day in the home easier. In this program, you will be given tools for improving your child’s behavior, increasing your child’s compliance with your requests, and strengthening your relationship with your child. 

Please click here to access the FREE program: https://www.coursera.org/learn/everyday-parenting?utm_source=YALE&utm_medium=institutions&utm_campaign=202004-Group-EP-Graham-Middle-School

 *While we believe it can be helpful to families, this resource is not directly affiliated with MVWSD.

Free Student Meals:  *New* Pick up meals for multiple days

Free meals are again available to all children in the Mountain View Whisman School District age 18 and younger. No IDs required. 


Daily breakfast and lunch at 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.


Come to Graham Middle School between 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. to pick up meals for multiple days. Food items will be different from what is served during daily pickups. On Monday: Pick up for four days. On Friday: Pick up for three days.


Walk, drive or roll up to grab a free meal and go! For menus and information, please see https://www.mvwsd.org/nutrition.

Parent University: Raising Digitally Resilient Children and Teens during Quarantine

Kids are online more than ever in this post-COVID world, with increased use of digital technology for academics, entertainment, and social connection.

Join My Digital TAT2 for a highly engaging and informative webinar at the MVWSD Parent University event on Wednesday, October 7th from 5:30 to 7:00 PM. Hear how young people are affected by the latest news, trends, and data from the world of technology. Get tips and strategies for how to teach responsibility and balanced and healthy use of the internet and social media.

Click here to register for this event on Zoom.


Recommended for all adults who support youth and want to learn thoughtful and supportive ways to navigate media with children. For more information about My Digital TAT2 and their mission, please visit: www.mydigitaltat2.org

Distance Learning Tip: 

How can I help my child when I see him/her getting anxious and upset about distance learning?

Be proactive:  When you see your child getting anxious, let him or her know that you notice he or she may be having a difficult time.  Ask them if they would like a 2 minute break. Set a timer and then redirect him or her back to the session.


If the situation has already escalated, have your child use calming breathing exercises.  Once he or she calms down, you can discuss what your child needs to do before going back to the session.  He or she may need a drink of water, a snack or a two minute break.


You can use phrases such as: It seems like you’re having a hard time … I can imagine how difficult it must be… How can I help you?

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


MVEF news: Did you know that your donations to MVEF support CSMA art and music for your student?

Fifth grade art and music started on 9/23! TK-4 art and music started the week before! All TK-4th students will have virtual art and music classes led by a teacher from CSMA. This year 5th grade students chose instrumental music or art with CSMA.  We thank the CSMA teachers for sharing their engaging and FUN talents as well as filling a need for creativity and active learning on Zoom.


MVEF raises money to provide all MVWSD students with an educational experience beyond what is possible with public funding.  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

October is for MEMBERSHIP so Get in the Vargas Nest! 

All PTA MEMBERS will receive FREE COFFEE & DONUT HOLES from Clocktower Coffee!  Are YOU in the Nest?


Over the next few weeks you will see a BIG NESTS on campus, and it will fill up with Golden Owls!


This nest is a way for all of us to stay together as the Vargas community and boost PTA membership. Every family that joins the PTA for 2020-2021 will get a paper outline of an owl for your child to color or decorate as they wish. This owl will be a physical representation of your child's presence at Vargas. We've noticed that objects that children touch and interact with give a better feeling of connection to the school.   Join NOW!

PTA Newsletter 

Please read this month’s PTA Newsletter to learn more about what we are doing! 

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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