Wise Word 10/06/2021

Principal’s Message:

Hello Golden Owls,


Each year, elementary schools create a Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) that guides our work for the upcoming year. Over the past two months, elected parent representatives from our School Site Council (SSC), and English Language Advisory Committee (ELAC) have worked in partnership with our school staff members to provide input. This input and feedback is used to create a draft that is reviewed and approved by the MVWSD Board of Trustees. This plan helps us prioritize programs and strategies that will best serve our students based on various data points. A school’s SPSA establishes goals and outlines each school’s plan for achieving its goals. The SPSA aligns with both the District's Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) and Strategic Plan. These plans outline the goals and actions for the entire district.


To learn more about the overarching goals and efforts that will be included in this year’s Jose Antonio Vargas Elementary School’s SPSA, please watch our Principal’s Coffee from September 23, 2021 (Video. Discussion of SPSA starts at minute 11.


For a more detailed explanation, please join me on zoom at tonight’s joint ELAC and SSC meeting. We start at 5:00pm. Register here


Thank you for your help and support.


In Partnership,


Principal Vern Taylor


Events Calendar

  • October

    6th - Joint SSC & ELAC Meeting, 5:00pm - 6:30pm - Register Here

    7th - MVWSD Board of Trustees Meeting, 6:00pm - 10:00pm Agenda Here

    8th - Superintendent Community Check-in, 3:30pm - 4:30pm - Register Here

    11th - Recess Day - NO SCHOOL 

12th - Teacher Service Day - NO SCHOOL 

13th - Principal Office Hours - Virtual, 4:00pm - 5:00pm - Register Here

20th - Principal Office Hours - Virtual, 4:00pm - 5:00pm - Register Here

21st -  MVWSD Board of Trustees Meeting, 6:00pm - 10:00pm 

22nd - Superintendent Community Check-in, 3:30pm - 4:30pm

27th - Principal Office Hours - Virtual, 4:00pm - 5:00pm - Register Here

27th - ELAC Meeting, 6:00pm - 7:00pm 

29th - Principal’s Coffee, 8:30am - 9:30am


  • November

    1st - Lifetouch Picture Retakes

    3rd - Principal Office Hours - Virtual, 4:00pm - 5:00pm - Register Here

    4th - MVWSD Board of Trustees Meeting, 6:00pm - 10:00pm

    5th - End of Trimester - Minimum Day - Dismissal 11:55am

    5th - Superintendent Community Check-in, 3:30pm - 4:30pm

In this Newsletter

School News:

  • Golden Ticket Winners

  • No school for students on October 11 and 12

  • After school Virtual Halloween Parade 10/29 @ 3:00pm

  • Coach’s Corner

  • We are Hiring!

  • Water Bottles

  • Is your child feeling sick?

  • Gift Card Donation

  • Principal’s Virtual Office Hours

School Flyers


District News:

  • Up the effectiveness of kids’ COVID masks 

  • Board approved air quality protocols

  • More than a meal: Reasons to Apply for Free-or-Reduced School Meals 

  • Your donations to MVEF support CSMA Art and Music!

PTA News:
  • Scholastic Book Fair - October 4th - 17th

  • Membership Drive

  • Get Involved

  • Konstella

  • Website


Golden Ticket Winners - Week of 10/4/2021

Miles G.    RM: 1        Iris B             RM: 11

Erika F.        RM: 2        Ismael R.        RM: 13

Rhea D.    RM: 3        Peter J.           RM: 14

 Liam P.    RM: 4        Allison Z.      RM: 15

Yeva  F.      RM: 5        Danna Z.        RM: 16

Mia K.         RM: 8        Alton A.        RM: 17

Gaius T.     RM: 9


The Vargas Way - Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be an Upstander.


What are Golden Tickets?

Students earn Golden Tickets from teachers and staff when they are following the Vargas Way. What is 

The Vargas Way? Click here for an in depth view. 

No school for students on October 11 and 12

Monday, October 11th is a recess day (no school for students and staff). Tuesday, October 12th is a staff development day, which means no school for students but a staff development/work day for teachers, school secretaries and 12-month classified staff.


After school Virtual Halloween Parade 10/29 @ 3:00pm

We are having a virtual Halloween parade! For those wanting to participate, submit pictures of your children in their costumes to [email protected] by October 25rd. Please include your child’s grade level when submitting your picture. The virtual Halloween parade will take place after school at 3:00 on October 29, 2021. If you would like to join us for the virtual celebration, Please click here. Can’t wait to see OWL of you!


Please note: Our school does not have any school-wide event that asks students to wear costumes during the day of 10/29; however, if students want to wear costumes for Halloween, they can. We are asking, as is standard, not to wear masks or overly gruesome or violent attire. We are also asking that students not bring any accessories that would distract from regular classroom instruction.


Coach’s Corner

Looking for help with your student’s Mathematics homework? Try Embarc! This online platform provides support for the Eureka Math curriculum. Embarc has hyperdocs for review, vocabulary cards, practice problems, downloadable resources, and a parent newsletter for each Module topic. There are also lesson videos that review each math skill and concept. Embarc is an excellent resource for supporting students with their mathematics at home! 


(Repeat) We are Hiring! 

Join our Vargas Team! Our school is in need of yard duty supervisors. If you are interested please apply here reference to job  # 1374.

(Repeat) Water Bottles

Please remind your children that we want to make sure they are drinking enough water throughout the day, especially on hot days. Please remember to pack a full reusable water bottle each day. Students can refill water using the water stations inside the class. 


(Repeat) Is your child feeling sick?

Please keep your child home if they are not feeling well. Signs to look for are headaches, runny noses, sore throats, fever etc…  If your child has any of those symptoms, we will need a negative COVID test before returning to school. We want to ensure the safety of all children and staff. Thank you for your cooperation in keeping your child home to get the rest they need to recover.  For more information about our district and county guidelines for quarantine and COVID testing, click here

(Repeat) 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. Thank you 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].


(Repeat) Principal’s Virtual Office Hours

Join me today for our informal Principal Office Hours (virtual) from 4pm -5pm. Feel free to drop in if you have any questions or if you just want to chat. For office hours, there is no formal agenda, it is a time for you to stop in to say hello, and for us to get to know each other better! I look forward to meeting you!


Register in advance for this meeting.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 


District News


Board meeting Preview: Oct. 7

The Board of Trustees will meet on Thursday, Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. Some of the meeting’s topics include:

  • Equitable Access to Choice Schools

  • Learning Recovery Plan Update 

  • Enrollment Update

  • ESSER III Expenditure Plan and Safe Return Plan

Agenda and meeting details are: http://mvw.sd/c54jS. The meeting is also streamed on www.youtube.com/mvwsd.


Superintendent's Community Check In on Friday

Please join us for our Community Check-In with Dr. Ayindé Rudolph on Friday, Oct. 8 at 3:30 p.m. Bring your questions. Click here to register: http://mvw.sd/sZD6Z. To plan ahead, please see this webpage for upcoming meeting dates: https://www.mvwsd.org/about/communications/news___events/connecting_with_the_community. In case you miss it, a video recording will be posted on this webpage.

Free Tdap vaccination clinic for grades 6-8 on Wednesday

Has your middle school student been vaccinated for Tdap? Vaccination for tetanus, diphtheria & pertussis (Tdap) is required by 7th grade in order to attend school. 

For the convenience of parents, the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health is hosting a FREE Tdap vaccine event:

Wednesday, Oct. 6 4-7 p.m. at the Crittenden Middle School multi-use room

The vaccine is available regardless of immigration status. No insurance needed. For more information on immunizations needed for school, please see https://www.shotsforschool.org

Parent University: Supporting Math at Home Grades 3-8

Date and Time: October 13, 2021, 5:30-7:00 p.m.  Registration Link: mvw.sd/pu101321

Join Principal Heidi Galassi (former math teacher and coach), Instructional Coach Ranen Bhattacharya, and our friends from YUP, the on-demand online math tutoring app, to learn about how you can better support your young mathematicians at home. The math seed you plant now will blossom and help them to succeed in life whatever path they choose!

To submit questions prior to the event, go to mvw.sd/questions. We will do our best to address your question during the session.

Note: While the title indicates that this will focus on students in grades 3-8, everyone is welcome to attend. Please also check out last year’s math-related Parent University event, which focused more on supporting the lower grades: Video (English) // Presentation slides (English)

COVID updates: Testing and PowerSchool uploads

Upcoming testing: Full-scale COVID pooled testing for students is coming this month. Please check your email for important information on this topic from MVWSD. Click here for a video showing what student testing will look like. 

PowerSchool Uploads: Parents, please take a moment now to upload to PowerSchool the important COVID documents that will help expedite students’ return to school after a COVID exposure. After logging in to https://ps.mvwsd.org/public, parents will be able to click on the “COVID reporting” icon to upload 1) students’ proof of COVID vaccination and 2) Past positive COVID test. Here’s how to upload. Let us know if you have trouble accessing PowerSchool.

Better Together: Seeking Multiple Perspectives 

The focus of October’s Better Together infographic is “Seeking Multiple Perspectives.” When individuals examine issues from a different point of view, they are able to think more critically and question dominant beliefs. Please see the graphics attached to this newsletter, or visit https://www.mvwsd.org/bettertogetherMVWSD.

Online Wellness Center and October Wellness calendar

MVWSD now has a Virtual Wellness Center on mvwsd.org. At https://www.mvwsd.org/wellness, there is information on physical health, as well as resources for families, students, and employees about sustaining well-being and for accessing care when it is needed.

On the Virtual Wellness Center landing page, you will find Community Resources and monthly Wellness Calendars. The printable October wellness calendar features a tip a day to help you and your family stay well.

In the Physical Health section: Health Screenings, Teen Health Education, Vaccinations, Health Insurance for Children, Health Resources and Forms, as well as various other physical health related information.  

In the Mental Health section: Info on immediate mental health crisis needs, mental health literacy, and information on how to take charge of your mental health.

Up the effectiveness of kids’ COVID masks
Please click here for tips. 


MVEF Relies on Parents Like You!

Please donate to MVEF to help us reach our annual $800,000 fundraising goal and raise an additional $300,000 to fund two ELA teachers to reduce class sizes at the middle schools in 2022-23. Please see the website at mvef.org for more information and to donate online. You can use your credit card to pay in monthly installments.  

Disaster Preparedness: Make a Plan

It’s important to take time to prepare for community disasters and emergencies. Asking a few questions of yourself will help guide the creation of an emergency plan:

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?

  2. What is my shelter plan?

  3. What is my evacuation route?

  4. What is my family/household communication plan?

  5. Have I updated my emergency plans due to COVID-19?

As you make your emergency plan, be sure to stay informed. Getting verified information from trusted sources is extremely important before, during, and after an event or emergency. Sign up to get free text or email alerts from AlertSCC, the County of Santa Clara’s official emergency alert and warning system.

Planning for the unexpected begins with the whole family and should be a household conversation. Ready.gov provides age-appropriate tools for parents and teachers to teach emergency preparedness to both kids and teenagers.

SMART Goals - Creating and Troubleshooting IEP Goals that Work (flyers attached to email on 10/4)

IEP Goals are written in very specific language and it can be difficult to see how the goals relate to concrete skills and goals for your child. Learn more about SMART Goals and how they work with Professor Anne Spillane of University of Massachusetts Global.


What: Parent Education Event and Discussion

When: Tuesday, October 19, 7-8:30 PM

Where: On Zoom, email [email protected] for link


Mentor Tutor Connection Volunteer Information Session - Thursday, October 14th

You can change the life of a student! Come learn about volunteer opportunities to Mentor high school students and Tutor students in grades K-8  in our Mountain View and Los Altos schools. Becoming a Mentor or Tutor will add joy to your life and help a student in our local community to a brighter future!

There is no obligation to sign up as a volunteer.  You're welcome to just come and learn more about what we do.

All volunteers must be high school graduates.  

Date:             Thursday, October 14th

Time:             5:30 - 6:30 pm

Location:       Online via Zoom (URL provided upon registration)

Register:       REGISTER ONLINE

Questions:    [email protected]

Information:  MentorTutorConnection.org

Eviction Help Center at MV Public Library

The City of Mountain View hosts a help center at the MV Public Library with city staff, CSA, and Project Sentinel to provide residents with rent assistance, eviction help, legal resources, and other support services. There are multiple representatives that speak Spanish. The help center is available every Thursday from 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. at the Mountain View Public Library on the 2nd Floor, Room 205. For more information, contact [email protected] or visit mountainview.gov/COVID19HousingRelief

MV Public Library Event: Learn + Explore with Science Comics Author Jason Viola

On Tuesday, Oct. 12 from 1-2 p.m., join the MV Public Library for an interactive look at how Science Comics are made with graphic novel author Jason Viola. Recommended for children ages 7-12. Registration required: mountainview.gov/librarycalendar.

PTA News


Scholastic Book Fair - October 4th - 17th

Our Scholastic Book Fair is here!  All book-only orders over $25 ship to your home for FREE! Now is a great time to shop for upcoming birthdays and more. You can even share the link with family and friends so they can shop for loved ones as well. Every purchase benefits our school and helps develop a love of reading. 


Shop from the link until Sunday, October 17th:



Membership Drive

Our PTA membership drive is coming in October!  We need your help to reach our 80% participation goal.  To support your classroom teachers, please go to jointotem.com and choose Jose Antonio Vargas as your homeschool.  Memberships cost $11 and additional donations are very appreciated!  Donations will help pay for community engagement events, assemblies, author visits, educational subscriptions, teacher reimbursements for classroom materials, field trips, Ms. Bea’s scholarship program, and teacher appreciation.  Your participation and support are needed to build our Vargas community! 


Get Involved

A great way to get involved this year is to become a room parent. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1VmB94ytD0ck24ygVjFXIjAKcElWOoP1HlW0Nm6P0_2A/edit



Konstella is our main communication tool. The PTA will post information about meetings, events and volunteer opportunities. You will also be able to communicate with other families from your child's classroom.


Use this link to register: https://www.konstella.com/cd/XGJHYL


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”.


Find links to membership, Konstella, gear shop and volunteer opportunities on our website.



Shannon Lundin, and the Executive Board 

[email protected]

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