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Village Voice - Volume 21, Issue 29

Updated: Apr 8, 2022

Upcoming Events

  • Thursday, April 7, 6:30 pm: 1619 Project Discussion Group (need a volunteer to lead this session! contact Bob if you are interested.)

  • Wednesday, April 13, 5:30: Parent Council Meeting! (Zoom)

  • Wednesday, April 20, 5:30: Board Meeting (Zoom)

  • Thursday, April 21, 6:30: 1619 Project Discussion Group (need a volunteer to lead this session! contact Bob if you are interested.)


Administrator's Message

We hope you all enjoyed some time off for spring break and the transition back to school has been smooth. Each staff member in their own way has made special preparations to welcome the children back to school.

The transition back to school involves, among other things, our mask optional protocol. That and other changes to our protocols are explained below. If you need clarification or have questions please feel free to email

Transitions often require extra caution. For example we need to be prepared for a surprise spring shower this time of year. When out for a walk, some folks may choose to walk in the rain without an umbrella or jacket, while others may need to take shelter immediately. Remembering and respecting the different needs of all individuals takes understanding and effort. That is what inclusion is. By the same token, some folks will need to wear masks at all times, whereas others will choose otherwise. Without question, we at The Village School welcome and support this choice. These choices are personal and don’t merit a discussion with the individual. This is an approach we take among our staff and students.

Many of us are still fragile from being involved with various mitigating circumstances and protocols due to the pandemic. Now we are slowly emerging into a less restrictive school environment (but are ready to pivot when necessary). We believe we should share an even greater amount of emotional support for each other as we cautiously step into slightly different mitigation practices.

As we take another step into spring let’s help members of our community to enjoy the changing weather, remain warm, and be prepared for a downpour or skirting a big puddle of water.


Shannon, Sue, Bob and Andy


Volunteering is Back!

As we work toward reuniting our Village School community, more opportunities to volunteer are coming up! Be sure to watch your email, the Village Voice and the Village Vine for messages from Becky Fay (once again wearing the hat of volunteer coordinator!), Parent Council, your class coordinator, your child's teacher and the Village School Kitchen, to see the volunteer needs that are coming up for you to enjoy.

One of the ways to contribute to our school community is by attending Parent Council Meetings! We are still holding these meetings by Zoom so they are easy to attend (even while making dinner or folding laundry) and every parent and guardian's voice is valued in decisions about what Parent Council funds are used for, events that are held and collaborations with departments and teachers at the Village School!

Don't forget to sign in to HelpCounter and report your hours so we can see the amazing contributions from our Village School Families


Is State Testing Happening this year?

Yes, For the 2021–22 school year, state testing will return to normal. The Village School is required to administer annual statewide assessments of language arts and math for students in grades 3–8 and science in grades 5 and 8. Testing at The Village School will begin after April 11. You will be notified which days the test will be administered once the actual days are determined. One bit of good news is that the assessments are much shorter than they were several years ago.

All public schools in the U.S. are required to systematically assess student learning and report participation and results in school accountability systems. Students in Oregon are assessed periodically to measure proficiency in state and district standards, including completing statewide assessments in certain grades. State test results provide important information for students, parents, teachers, schools and districts.

Can students opt-out of state testing?

Yes. Under Oregon law, a parent or adult student may opt out of Oregon’s summative statewide assessments of math and language arts for any reason, by annually submitting a form. 2021–22 state testing notice and opt-out form (English / Español). For students who opt out of a particular assessment, their test score will default to a “Non-Proficient” rating. This could affect our proficiency ratings in subject areas across the grades as it is used as a performance indicator in our annual state Report Card. Further, our participation rate is evaluated by the 4J School District and is part of our compliance requirements. If we do not meet 4J’s participation expectations, our evaluation could be negatively impacted. Parents may submit an opt-out form at any time. Preferably the forms are submitted 30 days prior to the administration of the tests. If you have any questions please send an email to

For the science assessment, there is no opt-out form. Requests for exemption must

  • Be submitted in writing to

  • Include the reasons for request (disability or religion)

  • Propose an alternative learning activity for the student

Exemption requests are subject to review and determination whether to approve.


Health and Safety


  • As a school, we want to ensure the safety and wellness of our students and staff.

  • We prioritize equity in making decisions.

  • We place a high value on creating the conditions where students may attend in-person learning with as few disruptions to the rhythm of their day as possible.

  • We are dedicated to allowing our students to play, learn, and enjoy being with their peers. We are taking measured steps to resume the activities that make the Village School unique, such as festivals, field trips and parent meetings.

  • Together we will gradually reconnect those interpersonal relationships and reestablish those in-person meetings and school wide celebrations.

Updated Village School Protocols:

Please keep in mind that while the State lifted the mask mandate as of March 12, 2022, schools are still allowed to make their own local decisions on health and safety matters. At times our decisions may be more conservative than what is mandated by state or county authorities, but our mitigation policies can never be less restrictive.

  1. Face masks became optional starting March 19th for all Village School classes and activities as long as CDC COVID-19 Community Level for Lane County is in the low or moderate risk levels. As of today, Lane County is in the low risk zone. If the county moves into the high risk category, we will set a timeline to reinstate the indoor mask mandate. (Click here for more explanation about this change).

  2. Children are allowed to play, learn, and socialize without distancing restrictions, both indoors and outdoors, except in cases of very close contact. (For example, a knot of children climbing together, creating a huddle and other close contacts of multiple children). We will continue 3 foot minimum spacing of classroom desks.

  3. There will be no changes to snack and lunch protocol. Students will eat snack outdoors and should remain stationary and 6’ apart while eating. Lunch seating arrangements will stay the same. Kindergarten will continue eating outdoors with 4-6’ of distance between students.

  4. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions and more


Village School Kitchen

Welcome back dear Village School Friends!

Please take a moment to look through the April breakfast and lunch menus with your child. We offer fresh fruit and milk alongside our muffins, scones and granola bars in the mornings. If your child wants to sit in the cafeteria to eat before heading to class, they are welcome to join us at 8:00. When the first bell rings at 8:20 they will finish up and head to class. Snack bags will continue to be available for pick up in the southwest corner of the courtyard for those who prefer to keep the food for a morning snack.

Every day we have a delicious and nutritious lunch entree option along with fresh fruit and vegetables, homemade dressings and other condiments and optional organic milk. We encourage children to take a variety of food options to make a colorful tray of healthy, filling food. If your child has a food allergy which restricts what they are able to eat, we need to have paperwork on file to accommodate the dietary restriction. Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions at any point. We are here to support you!

We are in great need of someone to join our amazing volunteer crew every Thursday morning. This is an easy way to get your required volunteer hours in for the school year! Come to the cafeteria after dropping your child off in the morning and fold napkins, aprons and rags for 30-40 minutes. We also need to fill a few morning food prep shifts on various days, or if it works best for your schedule, you could come in before pick up time to whip out a salad dressing or two for the next day! Let me know your availability and we can make it happen. Helping with our unique food service program is a fun way to meet other parents and get to know our school community better.

First campus harvest of the season. Did you know we have a basil and tomato plant growing in our boiler room? The heat and steam make it a fabulous spot to overwinter warm season plants. Brett harvested this tomato a few weeks ago for us to incorporate a little homegrown magic into one of our dishes.


Toña Aguilar



Please join us at the April Parent Council Meeting!

Please join us and send questions and ideas to

The notes from past meetings can be found here.

Every Village School parent and guardian is a part of Parent Council - The Virtual Parent Council Meetings are open to all parents and guardians on the 2nd Wednesday of each month.

You can also engage with Village School families on the Parent Council Facebook page, The Village Vine!

Don't forget to sign in to HelpCounter and report your hours so we can see the amazing contributions from our Village School Families


Monthly LGBTQ+ and Allies Gathering!

Sarah Maxwell and her family will be "hosting" a monthly gathering at Tugman park, the first Sunday morning of each month at 10:00 am, at the picnic tables on the Hilyard side of the park. The meetings are open to all LGBTQ families & allies, with the simple mission of just building community.

There is no need to RSVP or commit to bringing anything, and masks are welcome but optional. Students of all ages and their families are welcome and encouraged to join in! The dates of the gatherings will be Sunday April 3, May 1, and June 5.


Maestra Sarah

Tudo bem? how to greet friends in Brazil.

I spent most of my spring break in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil as well as a couple of days in the capital city Brasilia (not to mention six airports). It was a wonderful experience and I saw and learned a lot.

In Bahia the culture is strongly influenced by both Europe and Africa. It is traditional to tie a colored ribbon on the fence at the Bomfim church or on one's wrist. The ribbons represent different desires: wealth, love, health, etc. depending on the color. The three knots in the ribbons signify three wishes. The ribbon tradition is an example of the importance of Afro-Brazilian culture in Salvador.

You may see that some children choose to tie a Bomfim ribbon on their wrist. They are a gift from me. For more information on this custom-

Maestra Sarah


Searching for people to lead meetings of

The 1619 Project Book Club!

We are hoping we can hold a meeting on Thursday, April 7th!

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Book Study

The Parent Council is sponsoring a book study of the text The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story created by Nikole Hannah-Jones and the New York Times.

The project which led to the book, sought to reframe the United States history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of the U.S. historical narrative.

It has been proposed there will be six group sessions that will be held every two weeks via zoom. The group will read between one and three chapters in preparation for each meeting. Each chapter is an essay so a person may attend all the sessions consecutively or any of the sessions that their schedule will allow. The goal is to make a welcoming environment for all that want to attend all or in part.

When conditions permit the group will consider when to shift to in-person meetings. A limited supply of the book is available for check out at the school office.


LTD Passes Available!

If you have signed up for your child, their touchpasses are waiting! Come on into the office and pick it up this week!

The Village School has worked with 4j and LTD to make touchpasses available to Village School students!

Fill out the form below to sign up and provide permission for your Village School student to have a card. Then come into the office to have a card assigned to your child!

If you have a child that does not attend Village School, please contact their school to see if they have touchpasses available for students. We are only able to provide passes to Village School Students.


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