Wise Word, 8/17/2022

Principal’s Message:

Hello Golden Owls,


In her book, Atlas of the Heart, Dr. Brené Brown, wrote "True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone. True belonging doesn't require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are."

A goal for MVWSD and Jose Antonio Vargas Elementary is that EVERYONE feels that they belong to our community. Our school staff is starting this process by helping students to explore and strengthen their own individual identities. Our school is fortunate that we have such a diverse group of individuals that can learn and grow from each other. This growth and learning happens when our students bring their authentic selves to school each day. 

Therefore, for the months of August and September, our teachers will be incorporating lessons that support students in building a positive self-identity.  During the first week of school, each of our classrooms read or listened to School is More than a Building by Kelley Donner (See Video).  Our goal is making sure that all students are able to see themselves as part of our school. They also created a self-portrait or other representation that is displayed in each of their classes. 

One way you can support your child at home is to have conversations with them about their personal interests, likes and dislikes. If you’d have questions or would like more ideas, feel free to contact me or stop by my office hours on Wednesdays. (Register here)

In Partnership, 

Principal Vern Taylor

Events Calendar

  • August


  • September

  • 5th - Labor Day - No School 

  • 7th - Principal’s Office Hours, 4:00 PM  Register Here

  • 14th - Principal’s Office Hours, 4:00 PM  Register Here

  • 20th - ELAC Meeting, 6:00PM

  • 21st - Picture Day

  • 22nd - Family Science Night, 5:30pm -6:30pm

  • 23rd - Principal’s Coffee,  8:30 AM

In this Newsletter

School News:

  • iReady Assessment 

  • Updating Contact Information 

  • Physical Education (PE)

  • STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math)

  • Composting

  • Help our School - EzSchool Meals are Free

  • Principal’s Virtual Office Hours

  • Reporting an Absence

  • School Supplies and Voluntary Donation Form

  • Back to School Night - August 25

  • School & Community Engagement Facilitator (SCEF)

  • Stay in touch   



  • 2022 -2023 School Year Calendar - Here

  • August Food Menu - Here


District News:

  • Board meeting preview: Aug. 18

  • Last Call: District Equity Advisory Committee

  • August/September CAC Events

  • Why MVEF Matters

PTA News:

  • PTA Parent Coffee

  • Hello Golden Owls

  • Kontella

  • Membership

  • Spirit Wear

  • Website

iReady Assessment
Our 1st-5th grade students are finishing up the iReady assessment this week. Parents, once we complete all testing, we will be sharing instructions for parents to access the results in PowerSchool. Kinder students will be taking the iReady reading and math assessment next week. 

Updating Contact Information

It is important we have your most current contact information (phone number, email address, emergency contacts). If you have a change or want to add an authorized person to pick up your child, please email our front office staff Mrs. Antunez at [email protected] or Ms. McElyea at [email protected] with any changes or updates you may have.

Physical Education (PE)

This week, our 1st through 5th grade students started Physical Education (PE) with Mr. Phan. Each student has PE twice a week. Please help your child remember to wear appropriate shoes and clothes for PE on those days. 


STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math)

This week, our students started visiting STEAM classes. Our two STEAM teachers, Mrs. Bisbee and Mrs. Butchko will be conducting introductory lessons for all students in their homerooms. In the next few weeks, we will start our STEAM rotations. Every Vargas student will receive STEAM twice a week.  Click Here to find more information about Mrs. Bisbee and Mrs. Butchko.



Last year, Vargas Elementary alongside Graham Middle Schooled piloted composting in the MVWSD schools. We are happy that we will be continuing this program on campus again. Our Golden Owls have started composting on campus. Students will be sorting their waste into liquids, recyclables, compost, and trash. As students are sorting, they are learning how to tell the difference between what can be reused, and what has to go to the landfill. We need students to support our program by joining our Supreme Green Team. During recess, these students volunteer to help other students sort their waste correctly. If your child is interested in joining the Supreme Green Team, please let Mr. Taylor know. 

School meals are free, but fill out the EzSchool Meals application to help your school

MVWSD will continue to provide free meals to all students as part of California’s universal meal program. Breakfast and lunches are available daily.

We ask you to please Apply at EzSchool Meals to help MVWSD receive additional funding to support students who are in need, and may help your family.


This Free and Reduced Price Meals benefit is not limited to meals only. If your child is eligible for free and/or reduced-price meals, your family could get medical benefits, housing benefits, utilities benefits and more.

Students who qualify for free and/or reduced-price meals may be eligible for P-EBT cards. The more applications your school gathers at the start of each school year, the more additional funding it can receive for all kinds of programs that help children at your school.

If you are currently out of work, you may qualify and help your school, regardless of your financial situation. Apply at https://secure.ezmealapp.com/ or call your school office.


Principal’s Virtual Office Hours

I will again be hosting Principal Office Hours virtually on Wednesdays 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. 


Reporting an Absence

Please call the office at (650) 903-6952 or email  [email protected] to report an absence or late arrival.  Provide the following information: date of absence, student’s name, grade and room number, reason for absence, name and relationship of the person reporting the absence.


School Supplies and Voluntary Donation Form

We will be furnishing all basic school supplies and textbooks for all students. Donations of items and funds for this purpose are appreciated, but not required. For those able to donate, please fill out this form and bring it to the front office, along with your donation, and our front office staff will provide you with a receipt. Sharing of supplies between students will be limited.


Back to School Night - August 25th

Families, you are cordially invited to our annual Back to School Night on Thursday, August 25, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. BTSN is an important opportunity for families to learn about their children’s classrooms, grade level programming, and general expectations. We will have two sessions to accommodate families with multiple children and allow them the opportunity to visit more than one classroom that night. Session one will begin at 6:00 p.m. and session two will begin at 7:00 p.m.  See you on August 25! 


Our STEAM teachers, Mrs. Bisbee and Mrs. Butchko, our Education specialist Mrs. Solorzano and Ms. Abraham, and I will also be hosting two sessions. Feel free to stop by their rooms as well!  ‘


School & Community Engagement Facilitator (SCEF)

As part of Vargas’s plan, we have a School and Community Engagement Facilitator who will work to ensure that every student, family, and community member will feel valued and supported while working, learning, and partnering with our school. Here at Vargas, Bea Claas is our School and Community Engagement Facilitator. She specifically focuses on students who are socioeconomically disadvantaged and/or English learners and works to organize parent education, provide translation services, and support positive student behavior. Bea’s overall goal is to increase parent education and engagement, support our PTA and ELAC parent groups, and form strong relationships with students and families. She can be reached at [email protected]


Stay in touch

Please take a moment and follow our district and school social media accounts. Staying in touch with us on social media will keep you in the loop on important happenings, as well as provide a critical line of communication during emergencies.

Click on the account links below and like or follow to stay in touch!

Jose Antonio Vargas Elementary - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

Mountain View Whisman School District - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo


District News


Board meeting preview: Aug. 18

The Board of Trustees will meet on Thursday, Aug. 18 at 6 p.m. 

For meeting details and agenda, please click here: mvwsd.org/trustees

Last Call: District Equity Advisory Committee

Help us continue the great work of making MVWSD a more equitable and inclusive community. Committee members will engage in meaningful dialogue and provide feedback to the superintendent and designees about the future of this work in the district. Offer your voice at our virtual meetings. You are welcome here! Our first meeting will be held virtually on Monday, September 12th. To join the committee roster to be informed of meeting dates and links, complete the form linked below:


August/September CAC Events

Happy Back to School! SELPA 1 CAC and the Learning Challenge Committee are your groups for special education and broader learning challenge needs. We are ALL having learning challenges right now, and CAC and LCC are here to help. If you have questions about learning challenges and special education needs, email [email protected] or check out www.selpa1cac.org

We encourage families to learn about the sensory needs all children: Try a Sensory Diet


August 29, 9 am- General Parent/Community Meeting with Special Ed. Directors & Staff, Zoom at 9:00 am for LCC and 9:30 am for CAC. We will be planning for the year, discussing upcoming programs and discussing distance learning and learning challenges. For our agenda, please join our Google group, https://groups.google.com/g/selpa1cac. Register here.


September 14, 10 am Morning Let’s Talk  - IEP/504 support group. Have questions about the process to get help for your child? Have an IEP but are not sure how to make changes? Need to vent? This is your confidential group. Register here. 

Why MVEF Matters

Thanks to financial support from parents like you, the Mountain View Educational Foundation (MVEF) ensures your child will have access to a competitive, well-rounded education that would not be possible without this additional funding.  MVEF is a volunteer-driven, non-profit that raises funds to bring essential programs to all Mountain View Whisman School District schools. State and local school funding is not enough. School funding supports salaries, facilities, and core academic programs that meet state standards. MVEF funding creates the well-rounded, robust learning environment that our kids deserve including art, music, hands-on environmental science programs from Living Classroom and Environmental Volunteers, and middle school athletics and English Language Arts teachers. Please see the website at mvef.org for more information and to donate online.


PTA News


PTA Parent Coffee

This Friday, August 19th, 8am to 9am join us after drop-off for a PTA parent coffee at Chetwood Park (345 Flower Ln, Mountain View). Stay and chat or grab a cup and say a quick hello on your way to work!


Hello Golden Owls!

 The JA Vargas PTA wants to welcome you back to school! If you are new to our school and are wondering what the PTA is, a quick synopsis is that we are a non-profit organization made up of parent and teacher volunteers that helps to support student enrichment and community engagement at our school. To support these goals we raise money through membership, donations and fundraisers. The funds we raised are spent directly at our school on after-school enrichment classes, assemblies, field trips, school-wide events, and more!

In the coming weeks you will be hearing from us at back to school events, principal's coffee and a PTA Welcome packet that will be sent home with your student soon. We will share information on how to contribute, how to get involved and the programs that we fund! 

Below are some links on how to get started.


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”. Membership


Joining the PTA helps our organization to support our Vargas students, teachers and families and builds parents' connection to their school community. https://jointotem.com/ca/mountain-view/jose-antonio-vargas-pta

Spirit Wear 

We are in the process of re-stocking our Vargas t-shirts. We will update the shop as soon as we receive our shipment. We will also have gear to purchase in person at Back to School Night on 8/25.

Mondays are spirit days at JA Vargas, wear green and show your school spirit. Check out our selection of green spirit wear. Place your order online and pick it up on designated days at the office.



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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