The Wise Word 10/11/2023

Hello Golden Owls,

October is Safety Month in MVWSD. In the event of an emergency, it’s possible that circumstances are not safe enough for us to release students as we typically do at the end of the school day. In an emergency, parents should not rush to school, but instead wait for updates from email, social media and text/phone calls. So we know all students are accounted for, our schools will release students systematically to authorized adults when it’s safe. Please review our parent-student reunification procedures here.

 PARENTS should:

  • Stay calm and cooperative for the protection of all students and staff on site.

  • Report to the Sign-Out Area (Main Front Gate near office).

  • HAVE YOUR ID READY. Safety first. We want to reunite you with your child as quickly and efficiently as possible.

  • Stand in the appropriate line according to the first letter of the student’s last name.

  • Complete and sign the student release form.

  • Receive a ticket or card. NO TICKET, NO STUDENT.

  • Move to the Student Reunion Area (near the library).

  • A staff member with the corresponding ticket will be sent to the Reunion Area to bring your child to you.

  • BE PATIENT. Staff will bring children to the waiting area to meet their parents. Give the staff the matching ticket.

  • Parents and children should leave campus immediately. The campus will not be secure to enter after a disaster. Students should not expect to collect their backpacks or belongings.

  • Allow emergency responders to do their job.

Additional considerations:

  • DO NOT try to enter through the gates near the field.  Do not park in the parking lot. These areas are designated for emergency vehicles and first responders.

  • DO NOT send a neighbor, friend or relative not listed on your child’s emergency card to pick them up in your place. Can’t recall who’s on the list? Plan ahead – Email the school clerk, so we can verify and update at any time – [email protected]  

  • DO NOT remove your child from school grounds without signing a student release form. Why? We want to be absolutely sure that children are safely reunited with their families. 

  • DO NOT call the school or district office. ALL staff and students will have evacuated the building and no one will be able to answer your call. 

  • Follow us on Facebook.  In addition to sending text messages, we will also utilize social media to send emergency updates.

You can help us by reassuring your child that drills, like the earthquake drill we'll have on Oct. 19, are our way of practicing for an emergency.  These things may never happen, but if they do, we’re better protected and are more able to help ourselves and others. 

In Partnership, 

Principal Vern Taylor

Events Calendar


  • 12th Teacher Service Day - No School

  • 13th Recess Day - No School 

  • 16th School Site Council

  • 18th Pictures Retake info Here

  • 18th What is Unity Day

  • 18th 1st Grade Field Trip

  • 24th ELAC Meeting 6-7 pm MUR 

  • 31st Halloween Parade @ 2:45 pm


  • 1st Writing Workshop 3rd-4th-5th Grades Parents Only 6-7 pm MUR 

  • 2nd MVWSD Board of Trustees Meeting 

  • 2nd Hearing and Vision Testing for K, 2nd & 5th

  • 3rd Hearing and Vision Testing for K, 2nd & 5th

  • 3rd End of Trimester - Minimum Day 11:55

  • 3rd Walkathon After school - Save the date!

  • 10th Veterans Day - No School

  • 14th Math Festival 6:00 - 7:30 pm MUR

  • 20th - 24th Thanksgiving Recess - No School

  • 27th Parent U Extension: Effective Parent/Teacher Communication 6-7 pm MUR

In this Newsletter

School News:

Golden Ticket Winners

September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic American Heritage Month

What is Unity Day?

It’s Never too early to talk about College!

Halloween Parade 2:45 pm

Hearing and Vision Testing for K, 2nd & 5th - Nov 2 & Nov 3

Math Festival Nov 14 6-7:30 pm

Parking before School

Winter Clothes Donations

Attendance Awareness Month: Attendance Tips

Lost and Found - Thursday 10/19/23


2023 -2024 School Year Calendar - Here

SELPA 1 CAC Newsletter 2023-2024 Here

October Menu Here

October CAC and LCC Events Here

District News:

October No-School Days

Drafts available: Single Plans for Student Achievement

Parent University Speaker Series Presents

MVWSD Preschool Enrollment

Protect your family: Dangers of illegally-made synthetic drugs

BOC & PTOC Seeking Representatives

Better Together: October

MVEF Community Survey

October CAC and LCC Events

October 11, 7 pm Evening Let’s Talk 

Missed our Parent Education events last year?

The View Teen Center: October Here

Celebrate Shoreline: Oct. 15th Here

PTA News

Walkathon - November 3rd. Save the date!



Golden Ticket Winners October 05, 2023

Yiselle R. RM: 1          Ananya B. RM: 11

Diego C.   RM: 2          Philip H. RM: 12

Ahaan N. RM: 3          Ela D.         RM: 13

Ari K. RM: 4          Mia K.         RM: 14

Olivia M. RM: 5          Alexander S.    RM: 15

Braden R.  RM: 6          Citlaly A.         RM: 16

Sofia C. RM: 8           Antonio R.      RM: 17

Alondra L. RM: 9   Kira L.         RM: 18                            

Alexa P.. RM: 10         Mr. Gorman                                                                     



September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic American Heritage Month

We celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic American champions who have inspired others to achieve success. Our students will be engaging in activities to learn about the contributions of various Hispanic Americans.

October 18 is Unity Day-Wear Orange

Watch this video.

Unity Day is an annual event occurring during National Bullying Prevention Month that promotes joining together to create healthier communities through kindness, acceptance of difference, and inclusion. It was started by PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center in 2011 and is now celebrated around the world.

Unity Day is a day when we can come together in one giant, ORANGE message of hope and support. The call to action is simple: wear and share the color orange. This vibrant statement becomes a conversation starter, showing support for students who have been bullied and for bullying prevention. 

A few FAQ’s

Why unity? 

For years, our culture justified bullying with expressions such as, “Bullying is a natural part of childhood,” “Some kids just deserve to be bullied,” or “Bullying is a rite of passage.” The goal of the day is to bring together youth, parents, educators, businesses, and community members across the nation to emphasize the message that bullying is not acceptable and that all students deserve to be safe in school, online, and in the community. 

What is the call to action?

 The call to action is simple—wear and share the color orange—as a visible representation of the supportive, universal message that our society wants to prevent bullying, and is united for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.

 Why the color orange?

 Unity Day is held during October, and orange is a color commonly identified with that month and season. It is also a color associated with safety and visibility. Orange is described as warm and inviting, and its vibrancy makes a strong statement. It was also a color that was not being used by another widely known cause.

It’s Never too early to talk about College!

At Vargas, we celebrate College Week


Monday 10/23    -  Scavenger Hunt at school

Tuesday 10/24   - For a bright future-Wear Yellow

Wednesday 10/25  - Your future is out of this world-Wear Blue

Thursday 10/26 - Wear College Attire or the Vargas t-shirt

Friday10/27        - Dress like a boss!

After school Halloween Parade 10/31 @ 2:45pm

This year, we will be hosting a Halloween parade after school. For those wishing to participate, we will be meeting on the blacktop after dismissal.  For those who have students in Right at School and YMCA, they will also be able to join.  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 10/31; however, if students want to wear costumes for the day of 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.

Student vision and hearing screenings set for Nov 02 & Nov 03

Each fall, MVWSD conducts hearing and vision screenings of all students in Kindergarten, Second, Fifth and eighth-grade, as California State Law mandates. These screenings will take place on November 2 & 3 for our Vargas students.

Parents will be notified in writing if children fail a screening. Parents who do not want their child screened for either vision and/or hearing should send a letter to our school indicating that their child is to be excluded, and vision and/or hearing results will need to be provided from their physician.

If you have any concerns about your child’s vision or hearing, please contact our school nurse. Questions about the screenings should be directed to the Health Services office at 650-526-3500 ext. 1050.

Math Festival - Tuesday, November 14, 2023 6:00-7:30 pm Vargas MUR

 Please join us for our first math festival at Vargas Elementary School. This is an opportunity for our community to come together and celebrate the joy of math.


The mission of Julia Robinson Math Festival ( is to help all students build confidence, joy, and a positive identity around math. The students and their families will explore a variety of fun, hands-on, Common Core-aligned math puzzles and games.

Parking Before School

Golden Owls, we need your help. Our staff is having a difficult time parking in the morning because parents are parking in the lot before school.  I want to remind families that unless you are  parking to come into the office, you should use the drop-off lane. Again, our staff appreciate your cooperation so that we can be here on time ready to work with your students each day.

Winter Clothes Donations

It's finally time to get the warm clothes out of the closet!  If you find items that are too small for your kids, or you just don't want them anymore, please bring them to the Vargas office and we will find them a good home.  Baby and adult clothes are also needed.

Clean and gently used clothes only, please.  Nothing with stains or permanent damage.  We will donate these items to families in need in our community.  We will be collecting donations until Friday, November 3, 2023.  Thank you!

Attendance Awareness Month: Attendance Tips

Early learning and success later in life depends on attending school. There are long-term positive outcomes for youth who attend school each day. Creating routines for strong attendance can help youth avoid chronic absenteeism.

Here are some tips to help improve attendance and ensure your child gets the most out of their educational experience:

  • Get a good night’s sleep

  • Prepare for school the night before

  • Establish regular morning routines

  • Have a back-up for drop off and pick up: Make a plan with family, friends, or neighbors

  • Reduce health related absences: wash hands and maintain healthy habits

  • Plan family vacations for school breaks

Lost and Found

The lost and found rack is getting full again, please take a look to see if any items belong to your child. The last day to claim any items is Thursday, October 19th. Anything left after dismissal will be donated. 



October No-School Days

Thursday, October 12 is a staff development day, which means no school for students and no work for 10-month classified staff. (Oct. 12 is a staff development/work day for teachers, school secretaries and 12-month classified staff.) Friday, October 13 is a recess day (no school/work for everyone except 12-month classified staff).

Drafts available: Single Plans for Student Achievement

Each year, our schools create Single Plans for Student Achievement (SPSAs or “site plans”) that guide the work for the coming year. These plans help us prioritize programs and strategies that will best serve our students. In the fall, elected parent representatives from School Site Councils and English Language Advisory Committees work with principals and school staff members to create a draft that is reviewed and approved by the MVWSD Board of Trustees.  Parents and staff members may give feedback through Oct. 26 to their principal and elected parent representatives to SSC and ELAC. You may review the draft plans here.

Parent University Speaker Series Presents

Parenting in the Digital Era - Supporting Dialogue and Strategies for Building Healthy Tech Habits

Date and Time: October 24, 2023, 5:30-7:00 pm  Registration Link:

One of our favorite nonprofit organizations is back! The staff of My Digital TAT2 will be delivering a workshop that will empower parents with the knowledge and tools needed to navigate the complexities of raising tech-savvy, digitally responsible children. We will address common tech issues such as digital “perfection”, misinformation, and things you might not know about popular apps and platforms.

Parents will gain crucial strategies that will support open dialogue and cultivate healthy tech habits among all family members.

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

MVWSD Preschool Enrollment

MVWSD’s award-winning preschool has a limited number of part-day state preschool spaces still available at Latham.  These spaces are free for all 3- and 4-year-olds living within the Castro Elementary School boundary.  Families can get an application at, stop by the preschool office (1850 Latham St.) or call 650-526-3560.

Protect your family: Dangers of illegally-made synthetic drugs

It's important that you and your children know the dangers of illegally-made synthetic drugs. Synthetic drugs created in illegal labs, like Fentanyl, have ingredients that are impossible to know, and carry a high risk of overdose and death. Some are tasteless and odorless—even small amounts can cause an overdose. ANY pill bought through social media or even from a friend can contain deadly amounts of fentanyl. Learn more at

BOC & PTOC Seeking Representatives

The District is seeking qualified persons to serve on the Bond Oversight Committee and the Parcel Tax Oversight Committee. Representatives monitor, provide oversight and ensure accountability to the funds received by the District.

Apply at the links below.



Applications can be returned to the district office by mail or emailed to [email protected].

Better Together: October

Cultural appreciation is an acknowledgment and celebration of the rich and diverse tapestry of human heritage that exists around the world. Indigenous Peoples' Month, observed in various regions, highlights the unique cultures, traditions, and contributions of indigenous communities. It serves as an opportunity for all of us to learn, respect, and honor the invaluable knowledge, customs, and wisdom that indigenous peoples have preserved for generations. We are #BetterTogetherMVWSD. For more information about Better Together, visit

MVEF Community Survey

MVEF is seeking input from the community via the annual online survey, which will be open throughout October:

As a community-funded foundation where over 70% of donations come from families, your input is a very important part of the planning process for future MVEF-funded programs. If donations to MVEF approach the annual goal of $1.2MM by December 31, 2023, MVEF may be able to add additional programs in 2024.

MVEF has raised just shy of $400,000 -- donate today if you haven't already: THANK YOU MVEF donors and volunteers!

October CAC and LCC Events

SELPA 1 CAC and the Learning Challenge Committee are your groups for special education and broader learning challenge needs. If you have questions about learning challenges and special education needs, email [email protected] or check out

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!

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

October 11, 7 pm Evening 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 at:

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:

The View Teen Center: October Here

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. Drop-in hours are Monday - Friday, 3:15 - 7 p.m. and Saturdays, 1 - 6 p.m. (on no school days or minimum days, The View Teen Center is open 1-6 p.m.), and the center features a game room, makerspace, kitchen, computer/study room, outdoor area, and much more! See attached flyer for details about upcoming events and programs in October or visit their webpage for more information.

Celebrate Shoreline: Oct. 15th Here

The City is hosting Celebrate Shoreline, a free event for the community to celebrate Shoreline ’s 40th anniversary. The family-friendly event is taking place 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15 at Shoreline at Mountain View regional park, 3070 N. Shoreline Blvd. The event will feature live music, self-guided tours, carnival games, food, and more! Visit for more information.


PTA News

Walkathon - November 3rd, 12:15-3:30PM

Step right up for our carnival-themed Vargas Walkathon on Friday, November 3! This is a minimum day, and the after-school portion of the event runs from 12:15-3:30pm. Our students will embark on a thrilling walkathon adventure, walking laps to earn exciting prizes while contributing to the PTA's annual budget. But that's not all! There's even more fun to be had with food trucks, games, and a fantastic photo booth.


To ensure a fun, safe event, please do the following:

  • Sign the PTA Participation Waiver, required by the PTA's insurer and applicable for ALL PTA Events during the 2023-24 school year.

  • Sign the Walkathon Permission Form, to let teachers know if your student will stay on-campus at school dismissal.

  • Volunteers NEEDED: You can easily sign up through Konstella (link here) to become a part of the Walkathon team. We appreciate all the help!

Join us for an unforgettable day of fun, community, and fundraising.... See you at the carnival!


Konstella is our main PTA tool to share information with our Vargas community. It's free and you don’t need to be a PTA member to join. Stay in the loop– sign up for Konstella here.


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

Kimberly Cheng, and the PTA Executive Board

[email protected]


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