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Village Voice - Volume 21, Issue 32

Upcoming Events

  • Thursday, April 28, 6:30: 1619 Project Discussion Group (Zoom)

  • Tuesday, May 3rd, 1:15PM: May Day Celebration


Administrator's Message

Dear Village School Families,

Staff Appreciation Week is May 2 - 6.

The Village School would not exist as we know it without contributions from the entire staff. The Parent Council is making a special effort this year to recognize everyone – the full and part-time staff, contracted custodians, and members of the 4J Special Education team this year. This is a work force of 55 people that creates a lively, clean and caring environment for our children.

The easiest and often the sweetest way to thank someone for their service is to write a note, draw a picture, or provide a small handmade decoration. Please consider no-cost ways of showing your gratitude and appreciation. Students and parents are invited to deliver your thank you on the following days.

Monday, May 2 -- Main Lesson and Specialty Teachers

Tuesday, May 3 -- Kitchen, Recess Supervisors, Librarian, Maintenance, Village Care and Afterschool Program Specialists

Wednesday, May 4 -- Teaching Assistants, Title I Staff, Office Staff, Counselor, Special Education Staff, Custodian

Thursday, May 5 -- ALL Staff

Friday, May 6 -- is a no-school. It is a teacher work day

BTW: It's ok to send a thank you note on any day of the week or any day of the year!

May Day Celebration is Tuesday, May 3.

We are easing into one of our favorite traditions – May Day – a festival honoring the changing of the seasons from darkness to light. By celebrating the passage of the seasons through art, music and story we strengthen our connection to the rhythms of nature.

People who want to volunteer please be on the lookout for announcements from either

your classroom teacher or requests from the office.

We need A LOT of flowers for this day. Please drop off flowers on a table outside of the office Tuesday morning.


Shannon, Sue, Bob and Andy


Facilities Updates

For today's update on facilities improvements, here's a few words about plans to update windows around the building. Window, HVAC and "clean-ability" are key priorities of the Federal stimulus money for schools. Here's a sample of one bank of windows we hope to improve with these funds:

One of the great design features of our 90 year building (yes - the older, red building was completed in 1932!) are the majestic, eight-foot tall windows. They let in lots of light, but several have become difficult to operate, and as single panes, exhaust a lot of heat. With the upgrades, we hope to have easier access to opening the windows and greater energy efficiency while they are closed.


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


Keep Sick Children at Home

It has come to our attention that several parents are dropping off sick children at school. Though Covid-19 conditions have receded, it is our longstanding policy that sick children stay home. If a sick child arrives at school or a child becomes ill at school, the school will call parents or emergency contacts to pick up the child as soon as possible.


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. They were shorted in 2019 and have since then been shortened some more.

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 students had the opportunity to try jicama. We offered it alongside red bell pepper, watermelon radish, a lovely cabbage kale apple slaw, red leaf lettuce from Groundworks Farm, bananas and oranges. Many of the children said they had never tried jicama before.

Nico, from the 3rd grade, went back to the salad bar for a second helping of jicama sticks. Nico said "It has a unique flavor, kind of like pears."

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 28th! 6:30-7:30pm

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Book Study

Heather Scott, parent, is leading a discussion inspired by the book The 1619 Project, created by Nikole Hannah-Jones. The next meeting is Thursday, April 28, 6:30 to 7:30 PM, via Zoom. Please come, even if you haven't read chapters 1 and 2. Please join in this community event. Our dialogue is part of the courageous conversations our school community is having about diversity, equity and inclusion. There is a loaner copy of the book at the school office. Call if you want to reserve it. You may want to listen to a free 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


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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