Wise Word, 1/12/2022

Principal’s Message:

Hello Golden Owls,


I want to extend a big thank you to everyone in the Vargas Community for your flexibility and support in  these first two weeks back from break. I know the last few weeks have come with heightened anxiety and stress for all, and I am so thankful to have you as part of our community to support us. 


A few reminders:

*Testing  We continue our pooled testing every Tuesday. It is not too late to provide consent. If you would like to opt-in please email our school secretary Mrs. Antunez at [email protected] if you would like your child to participate in weekly pool testing. 


*Vaccination  If your child has received their second vaccination, please upload their vaccination card into PowerSchool.  If your child is in close contact with a positive case, their vaccination status will determine whether and/or how they need to quarantine.  If you need help uploading your child’s vaccination record, please contact our office staff at 650-903-6952.


*Masking  It is expected that everyone on campus wears an appropriate, well fitting mask that covers their mouth and nose and goes under the chin. We practice universal masking indoors and outdoors. The only time students unmask is when they are actively eating or drinking. Please ensure you are sending your student to school with a mask daily.



Research shows that school attendance is a strong indicator of success. It's about students learning what they need to know, belonging to the school community, and being part of the team that is preparing them with good habits for high school.


Please make sure that you carefully read the Attendance Information in today’s newsletter. It has important information about what kinds of absences are excused, and Truancy Letters will begin coming out this month.


In Partnership,


Principal Vern Taylor


Events Calendar

  • January

10th - 14th - Parent / Teacher Conferences, Minimum day week dismissal at 11:55am

12th - Principal Office Hours - Virtual, 4:00pm - 5:00pm -  Register Here

12th - SSC Meeting - Virtual, 5:00pm - 6:30pm - Register Here

17th - Martin Luther King Jr. Day Holiday - No School 

19th - Principal Office Hours - Virtual, 4:00pm - 5:00pm -  Register Here

20th - MVWSD Board of Trustees Meeting, 6:00pm - 10:00pm 

21st - Superintendent Community Check-in, 3:30pm - 4:30pm - Register Here

26th - Principal Office Hours - Virtual, 4:00pm - 5:00pm - 

26th - ELAC Meeting, 6:00pm - 7:00pm -

28th - Principals Coffee, 8:30am - 9:30am -


  • February

2nd - Principal Office Hours - Virtual, 4:00pm - 5:00pm - Register Here

9th - Principal Office Hours - Virtual, 4:00pm - 5:00pm -Register Here


In this Newsletter

School News:

  • Attendance is important: Parent notifications ramp up in January

  • We need your HELP!

  • Morning Drop-off

  • Please upload your child’s completed vaccine card

  • Principal’s Virtual Office Hours

  • Coach’s Corner - Generating Questions



District News:

  • MVWSD Wellness Parenting Tip: Improving Your or Your Child's Mood

  • Booster and flu shot clinic Thursday (Jan. 13) at Blach Intermediate, Los Altos

  • COVID booster now available for individuals 12+

  • Mountain View Community Shuttle EXPANDED HOURS - Flyer

  • Preschool information meetings: Jan. 12 and Jan. 26

  • MVLA Parent Ed Speaker Series: Jessica Lahey - The Addiction Inoculation

  • Parent University: Managing Stress and Fostering Resiliency

  • Open Enrollment for all MVWSD students starts in January

  • Inclusive Fun Fair - Summer Camp and Recreation opportunities for students with learning challenges

  • MVEF Gala Save the Date: March 19, 2022 & Survey input requested

PTA News:

  • Readathon Planning Committee

  • Project Cornerstone: Become an ABC Reader

  • Spirit Wear


Attendance is important: Parent notifications ramp up in January

What’s an Excused vs. Not Excused absence? Illness (including quarantining due to COVID), doctor’s appointments, bereavement, and certain religious exercises are excused absences.

Letters: beginning in January, MVWSD will send letters to parents of any student who is truant (any three unexcused absences and/ or tardies over 30 minutes means a child is truant). These letters inform parents when students have had three or more unexcused absences and inform families of next steps and any resources or procedures in place to help their family get their child to school regularly.

Calls: In January, MVWSD schools will also begin using an automated system to notify parents when a student is absent from school. This automated call will alert a parent that a student has been marked absent.  This is important for the safety of your child and for our attendance accounting.  Please ensure we have the reason for your child’s absence. 

It’s possible that you might receive a call after you have notified the office of the absence. We apologize for any inconvenience that this additional call may cause. This process helps us to maintain a safe school environment and support your child and family. Thank you for your support.


We need your HELP!

Want to join the Vargas family? We need more yard duty personnel. If you are interested, please click here for more information.

Morning Drop-off

When dropping off students in the front driveway of the school in the morning:


  • Drivers should pull forward as much as possible. All gates lead to the classrooms, so parents and drivers can drop off at any of them.  

  • Drivers need to stay in the vehicle in the drop-off lane. Stopping and getting out of the vehicle can be unsafe and slows the flow of traffic. If a student needs help getting out of the car, PULL FORWARD AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. A staff member can assist if needed.

  • Students should be ready to leave their car without driver assistance. This means having masks on and backpacks and lunch boxes easy to grab. 

  • Use the crosswalk to get from the parking lot across the driveway. Wait for a staff member to cross.

Please upload your child’s completed vaccine card

Many of our younger students are getting their 2nd COVID vaccine shot this week. When your child's vaccine card has their second shot listed, please upload a copy to Powerschool. Vaccine cards will be referred to in the case of a positive COVID exposure for your student, and MVWSD needs accurate data for decisions about COVID protocols. Click here for a video that shows you how to upload documents: https://vimeo.com/606954357.Thank you in advance for uploading your documents now!

Principal’s Virtual Office Hours

Join me today for our informal Principal Office Hours (virtual) from 4pm - 5:00pm. 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. 


Coach’s Corner - Generating Questions

Looking for a fun, higher-ordering thinking activity to do with your student at home? Try generating questions about a topic! Pick a topic that your student is highly interested in, and take 5 minutes to create as many questions as possible on a list. Once you have created all your questions, have your student research the answers through an informational text or online! 

Generating questions is an important skill for all students to practice, and helps grow their inquisitive nature. By asking questions, students can make sense of the world around them and develop skills to further their understanding. It also helps students tap into their imagination and encourages students to analyze, evaluate, and create!


District News

MVWSD Wellness Parenting Tip: Improving Your or Your Child's Mood


Stressful events influence our thoughts (words or images that pop into our mind), feelings (our emotions), and actions (what we do or say). For example, if your childcare falls through, then you might think, "my day is ruined;" you might feel frustrated; and you might act short-tempered with your child, partner, or colleagues. Doing enjoyable activities can prevent stressful events from ruining our day.

To improve your (or your child's) mood:

1) Track your mood throughout the day (e.g., rate how you feel each morning, afternoon, and evening from 1 = unhappy to 5 = happy).

2) Create a list of activities that you enjoy doing.

3) Schedule one or more of these activities.

4) Do the scheduled activity.

5) Compare your mood before and after doing the activity.

Watch this video to learn more about how doing fun activities can make you (or your child) feel better: http://mvw.sd/4V8V1

Booster and flu shot clinic Thursday (Jan. 13) at Blach Intermediate, Los Altos

COVID vaccines, COVID boosters (including for ages 12+) and flu shots are available. See the attached flier here for information and for the link to make an appointment.


COVID booster now available for individuals 12+

The CDC has now approved boosters for children ages 12 to 15. Boosters provide an additional layer of protection against COVID-19, including the Omicron variant. Also, if you received the Pfizer vaccines as your initial COVID-19 vaccine series, you can now get a booster 5 months after your second dose instead of 6 months. You can schedule your vaccine appointment at: www.sccFreeVax.org.


Mountain View Community Shuttle EXPANDED HOURS - Flyer

Thanks to new VTA funding, the City of Mountain View is pleased to announce that the Mountain View Community Shuttle will expand weekday hours to better serve our community. 


Beginning Monday, January 3, 2022, the Shuttle’s weekday hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Weekend service hours will remain 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, please call Customer Service at: 855-730-RIDE (7433) or check MVCommunityShuttle.com.


Preschool information meetings: Jan. 12 and Jan. 26

The award-winning MVWSD Preschool Program is currently accepting applications for full- and part-day for the 2022-23 school year.

All 4-year-olds residing in the Castro School boundaries are now eligible for FREE, part-day state preschool at Latham.

Our preschool offers age-appropriate early math, language, literacy and science inquiry instruction, as well as social-emotional development in either part-day and full-day classes.

*** Join us for an info meeting on January 12 at 3:30 pm (Spanish) at Zoom link: http://mvw.sd/PK112 or January 26 at 3:30 pm (English) at Zoom link: http://mvw.sd/PK126 ***

Children who will be 3- or 4-years old at any time during the school year are eligible. Priority enrollment is for children who will be 4 years old by Sept. 1.  Full day is 8 a.m.- 3 p.m., part-day is 3 hrs in the morning or afternoon.

Now accepting applications for full- and part-day spaces. Enrollment appointments begin in March. For more info go to www.mvwsd.org/preschool or call 650-526-3560.

MVLA Parent Ed Speaker Series: Jessica Lahey - The Addiction Inoculation

Join us online on Thursday, January 13, 2022 from 7:00 - 9:00pm as Jessica Lahey, educator and NYT columnist, provides evidence-based strategies to raise healthy kids in a culture of dependence. In this supportive, life-saving resource, Jessica helps parents and educators understand the roots of substance abuse and identify who is most at risk for addiction, and offers practical steps for prevention. Register for this free event.

Parent University: Managing Stress and Fostering Resiliency

Date: 1/19/22  Registration Link: http://mvw.sd/pu011922

Does hearing about stress make you feel stressed out? Let’s face this universal phenomenon together. This presentation will:

  • Identify common stressors and the effects of stress

  • Explore tips for stress management for oneself

  • Provide tips on how to support our kids with stress management 

To submit questions prior to the event, please click here. We will do our best to address your question during the session.

Open Enrollment for all MVWSD students starts in January

For CURRENT students in transitional kindergarten-7th grade: Parents will be asked by email to confirm enrollment from January 24-28.

For NEW students:  Open Enrollment is from January 10 through Feb. 4, 2022 online. You can register your child for the 2022-23 school year when online registration opens here:  www.mvwsd.org/register 

Please visit www.mvwsd.org/register for more information.

Inclusive Fun Fair - Summer Camp and Recreation opportunities for students with learning challenges. Sponsored by SELPA 1 CAC (www.selpa1cac.org) Flier here

Tuesday, January 25 7-8:30 PM on Zoom


Learn more about local summer camp and recreational opportunities from our panel, including:

Via West and Camp Altitude, The Friendship Circle, Camp EDMO, Camp Tuolumne Trails, Learning Play with Chaia May, Special Olympics Nor. Cal., Animal Assisted Happiness. Camp Harmon, Quest Therapeutic Camps and more!


MVEF Gala Save the Date: March 19, 2022 & Survey input requested

The MVEF Gala Committee is hard at work ensuring that our Annual Gala on March 19th will be a fun evening that raises funds for our schools. We are still working out all the details as current conditions shift - so stay tuned! We do know that Trivia will be back as will our annual raffle. If you'd like to join the planning committee, please contact Andrea Maes at [email protected].

Please take our Survey! MVEF wants your input on our funding priorities

MVEF wants to know your thoughts about our stretch goal, the programs that we usually fund, and areas where MVEF could potentially fund programs in the future for all MVWSD students.

Please take a moment to complete this survey.  


PTA News

Readathon Planning Committee

We are starting to plan for our annual Readathon (dates to be announced soon). This is our main PTA fundraiser to fund our programs (teacher reimbursements,teacher appreciation, student enrichment, community events etc…) If you are interested in helping with the planning to make this a successful fundraiser and fun event for the students please reach out to us!

[email protected]

Project Cornerstone: Become an ABC Reader

By volunteering just 2 to 3 hours per month, our Asset Building Champions build relationships with young people by reading selected books and leading classroom activities and discussions with a focus on respect, tolerance, peaceful conflict resolution, caring and friendship. Children learn what to do if they encounter bully behaviors and how to become an UPstander. 

For more information, email:  [email protected]


Spirit Wear

It’s sweater weather! Check out our selection of long sleeves and hoodies for winter! Also adult and childrens cloth face masks available.  Place your order online and pick it up on designated days at the office.



Shannon Lundin, and the Executive Board 

[email protected]

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