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Village Voice - Volume 21, Issue 31

Upcoming Events

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

  • Thursday, April 21, 5:30: 1619 Project Discussion Group (Zoom)


Administrator's Message

Dear Village School Families,

The rain just keeps on coming. A reminder we are living in the great northwest.

We appreciate the extra effort parents and guardians choose to make to leave home earlier than usual to ensure an unrushed and safe arrival at school. With more cars on the road and decreased visibility we want our community of drivers to be cautious as you drive and kind to others, especially in the congested drop off and pick up zones.

We have some good news, parent Heather Scott has agreed to facilitate our group meeting on The 1619 Book Project: A New Origin Story, written and compiled by Nikole Hannah-Jones. All parents are invited to attend, Thursday, April 21, 5:30 to 6:30 PM. Even if you haven’t read the first chapter, please drop in and contribute to this important topic. See below the full details how easy it is to join.

In today’s issue of The Village Voice we continue our four part series about improvements to our facilities. This week we wanted to let you know about our plans to update our HVAC system. Our goal is to bring energy efficient heat pumps to the middle school, Commons, and small offices area, comparable to the system installed in 2020 in lower wing classrooms.

Our legacy system is powered by two boilers that look like steam engines, but with modern safety controls. We intend to keep this system running as back up with the help of our building manager, Brett Jacobs, who has become a connoisseur of these systems.

The new heat pump compressors will go on the roof in a few places, so we are planning a few roof upgrades as well. As with the courtyard, the state has approved of us using federal stimulus funds to upgrade this part of the HVAC system. We hope to put bids out for this in the next few weeks, ideally for a summer installation.


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 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


Library Notes

Here are a few reminders about the Village School library's policy on student book choice:

The library has a wide range of books that appeal to different ages and interests, including early readers, picture books, graphic novels, chapter books, nonfiction, and teen fiction (YA). Student choice in book selection is honored with the understanding that parents reserve the final decision on what their child is reading. (An exception is YA, see below). I highly encourage parents to know their child’s class library visit schedule and check in with their child that day about what they checked out from the library. If you have concerns about what your child is choosing from the library, you can:

  • Send the book back to school with your child so they can choose a new book.

  • Contact me to discuss specific concerns or ask for recommendations for alternative books.

  • If you aren’t familiar with a book’s contents and recommended age, the website Common Sense Media is a great resource for helping parents and children make informed choices about what books are appropriate for their child to read.

  • If you aren’t sure if your child is ready for a particular book they are interested in, you can try reading the book with your child so you can answer any questions or concerns that may come up.

Village School library's YA policy: As a school that serves middle school students, the library includes books that are geared towards ages 12-18 and labeled as "young adult" (YA). YA books often have more mature themes, such as romance, violence, or mature language. These books are in a separate section and are restricted to students in 5th through 8th grade. Younger students can check out these books with a parent or guardian's permission, either with a written note or email, or in person after school on Thursdays.

As always, please contact me with questions or concerns.

Molly Bautista, VS Librarian


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.


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.


Village School Kitchen

Today, two first grade students noticed that a few children accidentally deposited their orange peels in the pig food bin, they asked for tongs to transfer the peels to our citrus bucket.

Thank you Zoe and Danika for thinking of the pigs who eat our lunch leftovers! On days when we serve oranges we always put out an orange bucket as our farmer friends let us know that the citrus isn't good for the pigs' digestive system.

Do you have any surplus cotton napkins at home? Have you noticed any VSK napkins make their way home in your child's snack basket? Our linen numbers are low. Even if you have a couple of random mismatched napkins your family no longer uses, please consider donating them to our program! We would also love to take any clean Nancy's containers with lids. They make excellent containers for leftovers. Let me know if you have a few to pass along.

Take care, Toña Aguilar



Please join us at the May 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 May 1, and June 5.


Wanted Participants for

The 1619 Project Book Club!

Thursday, April 21st! 5:30-6:30pm

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Book Study

You are invited to a discussion about the book The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story written and compiled by Nikole Hanna-Jones this Thursday, April 21, 5:30 to 6:30 PM. Here is the Zoom link for the meeting. It can be found on the school calendar too. We are delighted that parent Heather Scott has volunteered to facilitate this group .

At this meeting we will begin to discuss chapter 1-2. Please come even if you haven't completed chapter 1. The important thing is to join in a community conversation about this important topic.

There is a loaner copy of the book available at the school office. Call the office to reserve it for yourself. You may want to listen to an Apple Podcast about the book HERE. It is also possible to purchase an audio version of the book (or take advantage of a free trial) via Audible Books. Here is the LINK

At this next meeting we will poll the group regarding future meeting dates and times and perhaps make shifts that will accomodate the greatest number of attendees.


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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