Wise Word, 2.1.2023

Principal’s Message:

Hello Golden Owls,


February is Black History Month. At Vargas. We are kicking off Black History Month with a school scavenger hunt where students learn about various influential Black individuals.  Our librarian, Mrs. O, is also taking time during library visits to highlight books about and by Black Americans. Last year, I was prompted by a few parents to think about the significance of having months like Black History Month. It was necessary for not only our Black Golden Owls, but all of our Golden Owls, to recognize and celebrate the significant achievements of Black individuals. I encourage you all to start discussions with your children at home as well. You can start by asking the following questions. Why is there a Black History Month? How can we celebrate Black History all year? Why is it important to celebrate Black history all year long? Again, I appreciate all your partnership and support in helping to make our community inclusive. 


A few important reminders:


We want to hear from you! LCAP survey coming soon!

The District is beginning its annual process of updating the LCAP (Local Control Accountability Plan). This input collected will guide the update of our District plan for the 2023-24 school year. An email with a link to the survey came to your inbox on Jan. 30. More information found here: https://www.mvwsd.org/lcap

In Partnership, 

Principal Vern Taylor

Events Calendar

February 2023


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


Student Registration Help Night - 5:00pm - 7:00pm, Vargas Library


Ability Awareness Community Meeting - 5:00pm, MUR


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


BookMobile on Vargas Campus


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


Dr. Rudolph Community Check-in, 3:30pm - Register Here


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


End Trimester 2 - Minimum Day

20th - 21st

Washington & Lincoln Day - No School

22nd - 24th

Winter Break - No School


March 2023


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


SSC Meeting - 5:00pm,


Wildmind Science Learning Assembly


Spring Pictures - Lifetouch


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


Palo Alto Baylands Field Trip


Teacher in-service Day - No school for Students


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


Mad Science Of the Bay Assembly



In this Newsletter

School News:

  • Golden Ticket Winners

  • In case you missed it: Incoming 6th grade information night for parents

  • Returning students: Enrollment in MVWSD for next year

  • 5th promotion date

  • Not Returning for 2023-2024 School Year

  • Sharing your culture

  • City of Mountain View's Safe Routes program

  • Principal’s Virtual Office Hours



  • February Lunch Menu - Here

  • 2023-2024 School Year Calendar - Link here


District News:

  • Bond Oversight committee seeks community representatives

  • February CAC Events and Announcements Flyer

  • Parent University: Living Our New “Normal”: Tips for Families on How to Thrive Post-Pandemic - Flyer

  • City of MV Parent’s Night Out: Feb. 11 - Flyer

  • MVLA Parent Math Night - Flyer

  • We want to hear from you! LCAP survey

  • Silicon Valley Reads Program

  • Health and Wellness Parenting Tip: Screen Time

  • Parent U SEL Recording Available

  • Earned Income Tax Credit Information Act Communication

  • MVEF needs your help!

  • MVEF Gala Sponsorships are available!

PTA News:

  • Walkathon Committee

  • PTA Executive Board Elections


Golden Ticket Winners 1/26/2023
Adelyn R.        RM: 1           Caralena D.      RM: 11
Jaiden O.         RM: 2           Aubrey V.         RM: 13
Mariangel Q.   RM: 3           Yuan L.            RM: 14
Ayden M.         RM: 4           Felipe Q.         RM: 15
Mira D.            RM: 5           Allison Z.        RM: 16
Chirstopher G. RM: 6           Cruz A.            RM: 17
Josh C.             RM: 8           Mr. Green        RM: 9 
Alivia R.          RM: 9              
Aquilles V.       RM: 9

School News

In case you missed it: Incoming 6th grade information night for parents

If you will have a 6th-grader next year, please check these links for the 6th Grade Information Night materials shared at the January 23 meeting. 

Crittenden Middle School

Graham Middle School

5th promotion date

Each year, we look forward to celebrating with families as our 5th grade students are promoted to middle school. This year, the 5th grade promotion date is Monday, June 5. We will share more specifics about the celebration as details are available.

Not Returning for 2023-2024 School Year

If you plan on moving during the summer or know your child will not return to our District for the 2023-2024 school year, please email our school secretary at [email protected].

Returning students: Enrollment in MVWSD for next year

MVWSD enrollment for next fall for returning students is open.


For CURRENTLY enrolled students in transitional kindergarten-7th grade: Starting Jan. 24, parents can log on to the PowerSchool Parent Portal to enroll their children for next year. Look for an email in your inbox dated Jan. 24. If you have difficulty signing in to PowerSchool, please contact your school office. For more information, call 650-526-3500 or go to https://www.mvwsd.org/register.

Sharing your culture

Please share photos or other artifacts from your culture so that I can then share with our greater community. Thank you to those who have shared so far. Here is a quick slideshow of some artifacts from Chinese, Russian, and Romanian, and Korean culture. If you would also like to share, please send photos to [email protected] or upload directly here. I will be sharing in next week’s Wise Word.

City of Mountain View's Safe Routes program

The City of Mountain View's Safe Routes program is seeking parents to observe the walking environment around schools with the goal of improving safety. There are several walks scheduled for each school, and parents are encouraged to attend. Please view the upcoming dates and sign up here:  https://forms.gle/Jm1CphJ4wp5sP5wc8


(Repeat) Principal’s Virtual Office Hours

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

Bond Oversight committee seeks community representatives

The District is seeking qualified persons to serve on the Bond Oversight Committee for the District's Measure T Bond Program.

Representatives monitor, provide oversight and ensure accountability to the funds received by the District, including an annual report to the Board regarding the actual uses of such funds.

Applications can be mailed to: Mountain View Whisman School District, Attn: Dr. Rebecca Westover, Chief Business Officer, 1400 Montecito Ave, Mountain View, CA 94043 or emailed to [email protected].

Link to Application: Bond Oversight Committee

Questions? Please call Dr. Rebecca Westover, Chief Business Officer, at 650-526-3500.

February CAC Events and Announcements - Flyer

The Learning Challenges Committee is looking for members!

Are you interested in helping students with learning challenges? This can include students who receive special education services, students with a 504 plan, or any student with a learning challenge.


The Learning Challenges Committee of the Los Altos Mountain View PTA Council (LCC) helps provide teachers and school staff in Mountain View and Los Altos schools with supplies in their classrooms related to learning challenges. We need a variety of parent and student voices to help us best decide how we can help teachers and students about these issues. 


Can you attend 2-3 meetings per year to help make these kinds of decisions with the LCC? Please email [email protected] 


We need more voices to help students with learning challenges. We need you!


February CAC Events   

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


General Parent/Community Meeting

February 6, 9 am 

with Special Ed. Directors & Staff, Zoom at 9:00 am for LCC and 9:20 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 at: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAudO2vrjIsHdP4dzX05kdxoMH8eGZm3VWb


Parent Chat

February 14, 10 am

Are you concerned about the emotional well-being of your child?  Peer to peer support for parents of teens with mental health challenges. Every second Tuesday of the month at 10 am on Google Meet. Meeting is for 1 hour only due to Google Meet limitations. Contact [email protected] for invite.

Missed our Parent Education events last year?

We have a YouTube channel with many of our past events including last year’s Inclusive Fun Fair for summer camps and recreational activities, Anxiety and Depression in Children with Learning Challenges, SMART Goals and IEP Troubleshooting, and more. Channel is here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuy7IcVz-4LTDxv2Jaq13nw

Parent University: Living Our New “Normal”: Tips for Families on How to Thrive Post-Pandemic - Flyer

Date and Time: Feb. 7, 2023 5:30pm  Registration Link: https://mvw.sd/pu020723

The last three years have been difficult on parents and children. How do we keep going and continue to show up to support our families?

Together, we will be able to: 

  • Identify what the “New Normal” means to us.

  • Learn tips and strategies to manage stress and navigate our “New Normal”

  • Commit to take one action to address a personal goal

City of MV Parent’s Night Out: Feb. 11 - Flyer

The City of Mountain View is hosting a Parent’s Night Out on Saturday, Feb. 11 from 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM at the Mountain View Community Center. Need a night off? Drop your kids off and treat yourself to a parent's night out. You can feel good leaving your child in a safe, fun environment complete with games, art projects, pizza, and a big-screen movie. Register here.

MVLA Parent Math Night - Flyer

MVLA will be hosting their Math Night for parents on February 16, 2023 from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Staff will share information about the high school math pathways and math preparation for college and beyond, in addition to the computer science and engineering pathways. Register for the webinar here.

We want to hear from you! LCAP survey

The District is beginning its annual process of updating the LCAP (Local Control Accountability Plan). This input collected will guide the update of our District plan for the 2023-24 school year. Look for a meeting at your school to learn more about the LCAP process.

We want to hear from parents, staff members and students (grade 4-8)!  Before Feb. 17, please click on your unique survey link sent to your email. Your responses are confidential. Students in grades 4-8 and staff members will also be taking the LCAP survey.

More information found here: https://www.mvwsd.org/LCAP

Silicon Valley Reads Program

Silicon Valley Reads is a community engagement program that features books and an annual theme to bring people together by providing more than 100 free, public events each year in February and March. Events for all ages include author talks, book clubs, art/music events, community activities, arts and crafts, movies, and creative events or activities based on the theme each year. For more information and event details, visit siliconvalleyreads.org/home/Pages/default.aspx.

Health and Wellness Parenting Tip: Screen Time

Managing your child’s screen time is beyond a difficult task. Technology overuse is ranked as the No.1 fear parents have for their children, but it shouldn’t be. Effective communication and implementing little changes about technology use and screen time in the household can make a difference and improve the bond with your child. 

Here are some changes that can be made: 

  1. Don’t monitor, mentor! Try to understand the media that your child uses. Know the difference between different social media platforms and different video games. Notice your child’s behavior and emotions when they engage in their screen time. Be a sounding board for your child. 

  2. Look for the good in your child’s interests. Your child consuming media is not as different as you consuming something on TV. Your child may have built communities and a space for them to express themselves. You may feel distanced from your child, but that’s a normal part of growing up. 

  3. Work together to make changes as a family. Make sure that the rules created are being followed not only by your child but also by you as well. Some ways you can implement change in the household would be: 

    1. Banning devices at mealtime

    2. Taking phones away at night

    3. Imposing more chores; brings a source of self-esteem to get things done and to be valued in the family

    4. Introducing new interests; setting a goal during the summer for your child to reduce screen time and to add a new hobby

    5. Implementing screen-free whole-family activities such as board games, going on trips, or even a walk to the ice cream shop

    6. Ask your child to monitor their mood while playing video games; this can help with developing self-regulation skills 

    7. Suggest other activities with their interests; For example, if your child likes fantasy video games, suggest that they’ll probably like fantasy books. 

Dealing with a child immersed in their screen time is an all-too-common experience for parents. However, if you want your child to engage less in screen time, following through with these changes can make a big difference not only in your child’s life but your life.

To learn more parenting tips click here

These tips came directly from the free online website NPR: Life Kit.

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.

Earned Income Tax Credit Information Act Communication

Based on your annual earnings, you may be eligible to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit from the Federal Government (Federal EITC). The Federal EITC is a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families. The Federal EITC has no effect on certain welfare benefits. In most cases, Federal EITC payments will not be used to determine eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, food stamps, low-income housing, or most Temporary Assistance For Needy Families payments. Even if you do not owe federal taxes, you must file a federal tax return to receive the Federal EITC. Be sure to fill out the Federal EITC form in the Federal Income Tax Return Booklet. For information regarding your eligibility to receive the Federal EITC, including information on how to obtain the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Notice 797 or any other necessary forms and instructions, contact the IRS by calling 1-800-829-3676 or through its website at www.irs.gov.

You may also be eligible to receive the California Earned Income Tax Credit (California EITC) starting with the calendar year 2015 tax year. The California EITC is a refundable state income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families. The California EITC is treated in the same manner as the Federal EITC and generally will not be used to determine eligibility for welfare benefits under California law. To claim the California EITC, even if you do not owe California taxes, you must file a California income tax return and complete and attach the California EITC Form (FTB 3514). For information on the availability of the credit eligibility requirements and how to obtain the necessary California forms and get help filing, contact the Franchise Tax Board at 1-800-852-5711 or through its website at www.ftb.ca.gov.

MVEF needs your help!

MVEF has raised $885,000 towards the goal of $1,200,000! As MVEF annual funding continues to grow, we will be able to fund additional programs in MVWSD schools. In order to keep growing, we need more volunteers to help us spread the word about "why MVEF." We will soon be coordinating a training and development program for our volunteers, so if you're interested please contact us soon. Volunteer opportunities include: 

- Additional school "influencers" at every school site

- Volunteers to donate Gala auction items

- Volunteers to help with check-in and other tasks at the Gala 

- Governing board members

To learn more about these opportunities, please email [email protected]

Finally, don't forget to complete the MVEF Programs Survey by Jan 31: bit.ly/3XnfMGx

MVEF Gala Sponsorships are available!

MVEF is currently accepting sponsorship donations for the annual Gala, happening April 29, 2023. With approximately 150 in-person attendees and a goal to raise $100k, the MVEF Gala is an opportunity for residents, district parents, business leaders and community members to come together and support local schools. This year’s event will include dinner, fundraising activities (including a raffle plus live and silent auctions), and community-building. 


MVEF offers 4 Gala sponsorship levels to community businesses and individuals.  Each level includes different benefits for the sponsoring entity. To learn more and to complete a sponsorship application, click here: https://www.mvef.org/galasponsor


PTA News


Walkathon Committee

JA Vargas will be doing our first Walkathon this spring and we are looking for volunteers to help us plan the event. We are looking for general volunteers and also someone with art/ graphic art skills for making promotional materials. If you would be interested in helping us plan for this event please contact Sandy Wen:  [email protected] or Shannon Lundin [email protected]


PTA Executive Board Elections

We will hold elections for next years’ PTA Executive Board in March and we have started looking for members to help fill positions that will be open next year. Joining the PTA Board is a great way to make an impact at our school; helping to plan for programs and events that provide enrichment and foster belonging for students and families. The three main positions we need to elect for next year, President, Vice President and Auditor. Other positions will also be available. See a list of open positions with a summary of the role and timeline here and/ or contact Shannon Lundin [email protected], Kim Cheng [email protected]

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