Wise Word, 12/7/2022

Principal’s Message:

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Families,


As part of #BetterTogetherMVWSD, we will be exploring differences in the month of December. As you know, Jose Antonio Vargas Elementary School is an extremely diverse school with students from many different backgrounds. Our community brings a rich diversity of home language, culture, and backgrounds that truly make our school a special place to be. As Dr. Brene Brown says in her book, Atlas of the Heart, "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." Each day, we want our students and the greater community to show up as their most authentic self, so that we can embrace who you are, thereby celebrating who WE are.

As one part of acknowledging our differences, next week, our school will be partaking in Abilities Awareness Week. Abilities Awareness Week is a fun-filled and inspiring program designed to build empathy, understanding, and respect for the challenges of all students. 

  • For 1st and 4th graders

    • Grade-specific activities designed to simulate different challenges (e.g. learning disabilities, ADD, physical disabilities, autism…)

  • For all other grade levels

    • A short talk about the Rainbow of Abilities supported by an age-appropriate book reading and discussion.

In Partnership, 

Principal Vern Taylor

Events Calendar


5th - 9th

Parent Teacher Conferences - Minimum Days for Students - Dismissal 11:55am


Principal’s Office Hours, 4:00 PM Register Here


MVWSD Board of Trustees Meeting, 6:00pm - Agenda


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


Principal’s Office Hours, 4:00 PM Register Here


SSC Meeting, 5:00pm - 6:00pm - Agenda


Happy Birds Assembly - K - 2nd


Principal's Coffee, 8:30am


Canceled - Principal’s Office Hours, 4:00 PM

22nd - Jan. 9th 2023

Holiday Break - No School


January 2023


Teacher in Service - No class for students


Students Return to School


Principal’s Office Hours, 4:00 PM Register Here


School Info Night: New Students/Kinders - Register Here


A Touch of Earth Assembly - 3rd & 4th graders


Martin Luther King Jr. Day - No School


Principal’s Office Hours, 4:00 PM Register Here


Hidden Villa Field Trip


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


Principal’s Office Hours, 4:00 PM Register Here


Principal's Coffee, 8:30am


In this Newsletter

School News:

  • Golden Ticket Winners

  • December Celebrations

  • Upcoming traditions shared by one of our parents: Three Wise Men (Los tres Reyes Magos)

  • After school Enrichment Classes

  • Ravenswood Immunization Clinic - Flyer

  • Principal’s Virtual Office Hours


  • Lunch Menu December - here

  • Community Tree Lighting Celebracion - here


District News:

  • i-Ready Diagnostic 2 Test Scores available Dec. 2

  • The Board of Trustees will meet on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 5:30 p.m. 

  • Superintendent's Community Check In on Friday, Dec. 9

  • Better Together: Exploring Differences - Flyer

  • The View Teen Center: December - Flyer

  • Health and Wellness Parenting Tip: Instructions

  • MVHS Spartans Tree Lot - Flyer

  • Parent U SEL Recording Available

  • Available now: Updated COVID boosters for ages 5+

PTA News:

  • Books Inc and Crepevine Fundraiser - December 7th

  • PTA Parent Coffee - December 16th

  • Nominating Committee

  • Shop with Amazon Smile

Golden Ticket Winners 12/1/2022
George C.         RM: 1         Miroslava G.    RM: 10
Makayla D.      RM: 2         Andy T.             RM: 11
Eva N.              RM: 3         Dulce G.           RM: 13
Bamba C.         RM: 4         David J.            RM: 14
Erika F.            RM: 5         Malika K.          RM: 15
Gissell Z.         RM: 6         Tyler C              RM: 16
Laura A.          RM: 8          Abby D.            RM: 17     
Steve C.           RM: 9              

School News

December Celebrations

Over the months of November and December, many of our classrooms have been engaged in learning about the different traditions that are celebrated by different groups of people across the world. We have a diverse community, and it is great to see all of our students learning about the different holidays and celebrations that exist around this time including, Santa Lucia (December 13), Las Posadas (December 16-24), Christmas (December 25), and Kwanzaa (December 26). 

Upcoming traditions shared by one of our parents: 

Three Wise Men (Los tres Reyes Magos)

Santa Claus might look like the international gift giver for American children, but besides Saint Nicholas, Nikolau, or just Santa, there are other main characters in the story of Winter holidays.

In Spain and most Latinoamerican countries the most awaited day of the holiday season for children is January 6th. The night of January 5th, children are pretty excited but they also tend to go to bed earlier, so they can rise up sooner and see what the Three Wise Men brought to them. 

The tradition says that the three Eastern Kings coming from far away lands were following a shooting star, and that star brought them to the place where baby Jesuschrist was born, the origin of Christmas. They brought gifts to the newborn: gold, incense and myrrh. Even though the Bible does not say any specific number, when you admire an old painting from the seventeenth century, you see 12, sometimes 18 kings worshiping the little child. In the eighteenth century, the Vatican determined that they were just 3 of them, and later on, they even determined their races to be inclusive for the whole world: one Caucasian, one Asian, and one Black.

On the evening of January 5th, huge parades showcasing children characters and of course, the Three Wise Men, take over the major cities and even neighborhoods, and lots of candies are thrown away for children to enjoy. That night, children polish their best shoes and put them below the Christmas tree or on the balcony, along with some cookies or other food for the Three Wise Men and their helpers, but also milk for the camels, which happens to be their way of transportation. 

The morning after, milk and cookies have disappeared, and close to the shoes lay the gifts that are to be opened with full delight.

On the day of January 6th, Epiphany Day, parks are full of children playing with their bikes and new toys, and families gather together to enjoy cocoa and rosco de reyes, a sweet bread sometimes filled with cream, and most of the time with candied fruits on top. In the rosco from Spain, hidden there is a bean, and a small gift. Tradition says that the one finding the bean has to pay the whole rosco, meanwhile the one finding the gift is crowned as the king of the party. 

That brings us to the end of the holiday season in Spain, which started on December 22th, with the Christmas lottery, but that is another story.

To learn more about the rosco and have it baked:


See more pictures on how they celebrate it in other countries:


After school Enrichment Classes

Thank you to those who have completed the interests survey. I am pleased to inform you that we are planning a contract with several vendors to offer a variety of after school classes, including Chess, Spanish, Hindi, Mathletes, Math 4 Fun, Korean, Mandarin, Theatre, Mixed Sports, Mexican Folk Dance, and STEM/Science for Fun. We are still working on a few more classes including, Art, Ukulele, and an additional STEM class. Our intent is to offer these classes without an individual fee to students. That being said, it is very costly to run these programs, and we will need to collectively raise $15,000 to ensure this number and variety of classes. For those able to donate for after school enrichment classes, 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. Please note, a donation will not be required to enroll in any of our offered classes. 

Ravenswood Immunization Clinic - Flyer

The Ravenswood Family Health Network is hosting Immunization and Flu clinics at their Mountain View Location (900 Miramonte Avenue), by appointment only. The Immunization Clinic occurs on Monday afternoons from 1-4 p.m. and has a variety of vaccines available, and the Flu Clinic is held on Monday mornings from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Limit of 2 siblings per parent per visit. Vaccines are free for children with Medi-Cal, HealthyKids, or no health insurance. Call (650) 330-7400 for more information or to set up an appointment.

(Repeat) 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. 


District News

i-Ready Diagnostic 2 Test Scores available Dec. 2

i-Ready is an online program that helps us determine your child’s strengths and areas for growth in mathematics and reading. Families can access their student’s i-Ready Reading and Mathematics score through their Powerschool Parent Portal. Reports are available on the PowerSchool Parent Portal at https://ps.mvwsd.org/public/ under “Parent Reports” for each of your students. To learn more, you can view the Parent U session on “Accessing Your Child's CAASPP and i-Ready Scores” at this link (English).

The Board of Trustees will meet on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 5:30 p.m. 

Some of the meeting topics include:          

  • Acknowledge the Retirement of Trustee Ellen Wheeler

  • 2022-2023 First Interim Budget Report 

  • Bylaws of the Board Agenda / Meeting Materials

  • County Staff Housing Update (231 Grant)

  • Open Enrollment / School Marketing Process Changes

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

Superintendent's Community Check In on Friday, Dec. 9

Please join us for our Community Check-In with Dr. Ayindé Rudolph on Friday, Dec. 9 at 3:30 p.m. Bring your questions. Spanish interpretation will be provided. Click here to register: http://mvw.sd/CC129.

Better Together: Exploring Differences - Flyer

For the month of December, we explore how our experiences are similar to and different from those of people from different backgrounds. We will also explore Disability Awareness while building literacy around this important topic. The resources linked through the digital copy of this infographic (attached) help you and your students explore themselves and others respectfully and meaningfully with activities meant to enlarge our perspectives about people with disabilities. Please see https://www.mvwsd.org/bettertogethermvwsd.

The View Teen Center: December - Flyer

The View Teen Center is a free facility in Mountain View (263 Escuela Ave) for all Mountain View and Los Altos 6th - 12th grade students. The center is open Monday through Friday: 3:30 - 7 p.m. and Saturday: 1 - 6 p.m, and features a game room, makerspace, kitchen, computer/study room, outdoor area, and much more! See attached flyer for details about upcoming December events and programs or visit their webpage for more information.

Health and Wellness Parenting Tip: Instructions

We give our kids dozens of instructions each day: Get ready for school. Wash your hands before you eat. Do your homework. Sometimes our kids follow our instructions, and sometimes they do not. One way to increase follow through is to give effective instructions. For example, making eye contact with your child and gently telling them to turn off the TV is likely to be more effective than yelling at them from another room.

To provide effective instructions:

Think about a few things that you would like your child to do and try using these tips to provide effective instructions.

Instead of saying… Say….

“Don’t bother me.” “Please work on your homework.”

“TURN OFF THE TV!!” “Please turn off the TV.”

“I told you to stop playing video games.” “If you don’t stop playing video games in the next 5 

minutes, then you won’t be able to play tomorrow.”

These tips came directly from the free, online Everyday Parenting program created by parenting expert, Dr. Kazdin.

To learn more parenting tips click here

MVHS Spartans Tree Lot - Flyer

MVHS Sports Boosters will be opening up the Annual Spartans Tree Lot on Friday November 25 at 10 AM for the 2022 season at the Mountain View High School Stadium (3535 Truman Ave.). Spartans Tree Lot offers premium, top-quality trees ranging in size from 3 feet to 12+ feet, holiday decorations, and supplies. In person and online delivery options are available. All proceeds benefit Mountain View High School Athletics. For more information, head to: SpartansTreeLot.com.

Parent U SEL Recording Available

In case you missed it, recordings of the most recent Parent University event, “Social Emotional Learning at School and Home,” are available. English (https://vimeo.com/765795126) and Spanish (https://vimeo.com/765899241). Find recordings of past Parent U presentations at https://www.mvwsd.org/parentu.

Available now: Updated COVID boosters for ages 5+

The updated COVID-19 booster is now available for everyone ages 5+! #GetBoosted to keep yourself and your family safer with the most protective doses yet. Find updated boosters for ages 5+ at http://www.sccfreevax.org, your pharmacy, or healthcare provider.


PTA News


Books Inc and Crepevine Fundraiser - December 7th

Get your holiday booklist ready and join us on Castro Street on Wednesday, December 7th. Books Inc. (317 Castro Street)  will give 10% of sales for JA Vargas back to our PTA. 


Dine Crepevine Restaurant (300 Castro St.) on the same day, December 7th, and mention JA Vargas PTA and they will donate 20% of sales back to our PTA. Only applies to in-person dining and take out, not Door Dash or other delivery apps.


PTA Parent Coffee - December 16th

On Friday, December 16th, 8am to 9am, join us after drop-off for a PTA parent coffee at Chetwood Park (345 Flower Ln, Mountain View). Coffee and donuts will be provided. Stay and chat or grab a cup and say a quick hello on your way to work!


Nominating Committee

We are looking for five volunteers to form our Nominating Committee. This is an important part of our PTA Association with minimal time commitment. Committee members will help to find candidates for next year's board please contact [email protected]


Shop with Amazon Smile

One of the easiest ways to support our PTA is to shop through the “Jose Antonio Vargas Elementary PTA” portal at smile.amazon.com. Amazon will donate a percentage of each purchase you make. 


Shannon Lundin, and the Executive Board 

[email protected]

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