We’re moving…

We’re in the midst of migrating to a new site…beta.miravistaschool.com.  Come take a look and stay up-to-date with the latest at Mira Vista School.

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Want to volunteer at Mira Vista? Now you can get fingerprinted for free!

West Contra Costa Unified School District now requires that volunteers who work with students in any other situation besides in their child’s classroom (i.e. field trips, library, yard duty) have both a clean TB test and fingerprinting.

Last week, the school board decided to host several “fingerprinting parties” throughout the district where parents and other volunteers can get fingerprinted free of charge. This is great news because otherwise this service costs at least $27.

WCCUSD will host six fingerprinting parties on Saturdays, starting on September 24th until November 5th from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (9/24-11/05).  Each event will have the capacity to process approximately 96 volunteers (5 minutes per volunteer) for a total of approximately 576 volunteers.  WCCUSD expects to have fingerprinting results within 3 to 30 days.  Only the fingerprinting fees associated with being fingerprinted on these Saturdays will be covered by WCCUSD.
Mira Vista community members can get fingerprinted at El Cerrito High this Saturday, Sept. 24, or on October 22. Additionally, fingerprinting will be available at DeJean Middle School on Saturday, October 29.
All volunteers will need to call to schedule their appointments (walk-ins aren’t allowed due to scheduling).

>>>>To schedule an appointment parents can call Cheryl Esquivel in the Community Engagement Office at (510) 307-4526.
The WCCUSD volunteer application is available here:
The WCCUSD volunteer page also gives details about where you can easily and affordably get a TB test.
After the appointment is made all volunteers will be asked to bring the following to their scheduled appointment:
  • Proof of TB test results (if available) 
  • Completed Volunteer Application
  • Completed Livescan Application (sent only to those who have a confirmed appointment)
  • Current government issued ID
  • All volunteers who attend a fingerprinting party will be provided with a receipt that they have been fingerprinted and their DOJ and FBI transmittal identification # as well as a note indicating the required pending documentation (if applicable)that is needed to complete their application
  • Once the DOJ and FBI provide clearance, an official WCCUSD Volunteer badge will be mailed to the volunteer or it can be picked up at Human Resources on a specified day
Please consider getting a fingerprinted even if you don’t plan to volunteer outside your child’s classroom this year. This is a great opportunity to get this done free of charge… a full badge may come in handy down the road during your child’s school career.
Got questions? Please contact me at amybkang@gmail.com.
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Artist of the Month

We have a new monthly project to introduce you to…Mira Vista Artist of the Month!

Students are encouraged to create a piece of original artwork in the style of the artist chosen for each month.  The board across from the teachers lounge is set-up with instructions and information about the current artist and examples of their artwork for students to observe.  Submissions will be installed in the Multi-Purpose Room “Gallery” for the following month for all to see and enjoy.

For the month of September, the artist of the month is Romare Bearden.  Here are the instructions from the September flyer:

Bearden’s subjects were the people, places, music, and stories he know.  Now it is your turn.  Create an original collage of the people, places, music, or stories in your life.  To begin, find old magazines, newspapers, gift wrap, shopping bags, foil, fabric, and colored paper.  You will also need glue, scissors, and a sheet of heavy paper or  cardboard as a base.  Next, cut out your shapes, arrange them on your base, and glue them down.  You can add paint crayon, or marker to your creation if you like.  

Your collage can be any size, up to 12″ x 18″.  Please be sure that you mark the back of your collage with your full name, grade, and teacher’s name.  You can turn it in at the box in the Main Office for inclusion in our Multi-Purpose Room Gallery display for the month of October.  All artwork will be returned to you at the end of the month.

Deadline for submission:  Friday September 30th.

Inspired yet?  I hope so, but if not, here are a few links to help get those creative juices flowing!

Romare Bearden – Wikipedia

The Romare Bearden Foundation

“Let’s Walk The Block” — The Metropolitan Museum of Art features an interactive presentation of Romare Bearden’s painting, “The Block.” (I highly recommend visiting this site with your kids.  It’s a very clear and inspiring look at one of his major works up-close).

NPR — The Art of Romare Bearden — Collages Fuse Essence of Old Harlem, American South (All Things Considered – 2003)

Have fun and be creative!

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Don’t Forget to Come Out to Family Night – Tonight at 6 pm!

“The Best Me” Family Night by Kaiser Permanente begins at 6:00 p.m. tonight in the Multi-Purpose Room. There will be a performance, healthy meals for the first 200 attendees, and a resource table with take-home materials about healthy eating and active living. Bring the whole family and thrive!

Here’s more information about “The Best Me” program and a link to the Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre Programs site.

See you there!

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September 2011 Calendar and the Daily Schedule

Happy September 1st!

Fun fact:  Did you know that in Britain, it’s traditional and considered good luck to say “Rabbits” on the first day of the month?  Altogether now…”Rabbits!”

Let’s not forget the rest of the days though.  They may not be tied to bunnies or folklore, but there is still plenty going on!  Here are some dates to remember:

Thursday 9/1/2011 – The Mira Vista Band/Orchestra Orientation at 6:30 in the Multi-Purpose Room.  This is for anyone who is interested in knowing more about the program and/or would like to sign up.  Our instructor, Jane Magid, and two other musicians will be there to demonstrate (will they play the theme to Harry Potter this year?  Let’s hope!), and students will be encouraged to try out the various instruments.  Come one, come all…and here is a link to the details.

Monday 9/5/2011 – Labor Day Holiday (this means NO SCHOOL everybody.  Go have fun.)

Wednesday 9/7/2011 – “The Best Me” Family Night by Kaiser Permanente begins at 6:00 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room.  There will be a performance, healthy meals for the first 200 attendees, and a resource table with take-home materials about healthy eating and active living.  Bring the whole family and Thrive!  Here’s more information about “The Best Me” program and a link to the Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre Programs site.

Sunday 9/11/2011 – The Fall fundraiser begins (Sunday?  I’ll look into this one and get back to you…). It’s chocolate, y’all!  Sell chocolate bars for $1 each to friends and family and help raise money for Mira Vista School.  It’s fun, it’s easy, and oh my are the caramel filled bars yummy!

Thursday 9/15/2011 – Back to School Night, Grades K – 8, 6:30 p.m. (please note the change on your calendar). Come meet your child’s teacher and find out how you can enrich their school experience.  This day is also a modified school day.  Grades K – 3 are dismissed at 1:45 p.m. and grades 4 – 8 are dismissed at 2:05 p.m.

Update!  Monday 9/26/2011 – Rubio’s Family Night.  Please come out to the Rubio’s in El Cerrito Plaza and tell them you’re with Mira Vista School.  Part of the proceeds will be donated to the Mira Vista PTA, but even better, the restaurant is totally packed with Mira Vista families and a good time is had by all.

Last, but not least…Here is the September 2011 School Calendar that went home in the Wednesday folders this week.  Be sure to take a look!  It notes important events, holidays, and modified school days that you won’t want to forget.  I’m also including links to the daily schedules below to refer to.

Mira Vista Grades K – 5 Daily Schedule 2011

Mira Vista Grades 6-8 Daily Schedule 2011

Enjoy the holiday weekend!

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Healthy News is Good News!

I’m pleased to announce that Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Program will be delivering “The Best Me” Program to our Kindergarten through 5th grade students over the next week, beginning tomorrow morning.  This is an exciting opportunity to reach our students early in the school year about the importance of nutrition and exercise!

The Best Me is an innovative program that helps elementary school students and their families understand the benefits of making healthier life choices. The program uses audience participation, comedy, drama, music, and dance to promote healthy eating and active living, and is supported by in-class facilitated workshops for grades 3 through 5 and a culminating Family Night event.

More information about The Best Me Program can be found here:


Wednesday, August 31st

Student Assemblies 8:35 (K-2) and 9:15 (3-5)

Thursday and Friday, September 1st and 2nd

Classroom Workshops (One for each 3rd, 4th and 5th grade class during the a.m.)

Wednesday, September 7th

Family Night 6:00 – Free Dinner for first 200 people


  • Armond Dorsey and Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Program – For making this free program available to us
  • Principal Szot and Norma Chavarria – For coordinating the program details with me and our KP contact during a VERY busy time of the year
  • Our Mira Vista Educators (especially those in 3rd through 5th grades) – For their support of this program in their classrooms, and partnership with Kaiser ETP facilitators during classroom workshops
  • Mira Vista PTA – For initially suggesting outreach to Kaiser Permanente to explore possibilities for offering programs like this
  • Alexandra Terninko and the Health Committee – For their continued support of health and wellness at Mira Vista
  • Amy Kang and Victoria Rome – For coordination of our Family Night facilities use permit
  • Shallah Jones – For flexibility in scheduling of afterschool program activities to allow for Family Night setup
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Mira Vista Band Update

Dear Music Lovers,

We will be holding the Mira Vista Band and Orchestra Orientation on Thursday Sept. 1 at 6:30 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room.  All interested parents and students should attend. We will go over the program details and our music teacher, Jane Magid, will provide a demonstration of the instruments available for participation in the program.

Tell your friends and see you there!

Please click the following link for more information about the program:

Mira Vista Band General Info 2011-12

Paul Allen

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Welcome Back!

A new school year has officially begun and we are off to a great start. We have new co-PTA Presidents, Victoria Rome and Hector Ruiz, and VP Amy Kang who have all been working diligently to kick everything off right. They held a luncheon to welcome back all the teachers and staff yesterday and set-up a station early this morning for the parents to congregate while sipping a nice, warm beverage. Many thanks to the PTA team and Catahoula Coffee for our delicious, fresh coffee this morning!

We’ve got lots to look forward to this year in terms of art, science, music, and enrichment activities both during and after school. Details will be posted as we receive them, so check back often! We’ll also be providing information under the "Calendar", "Committees", "Events", and "Ways You Can Help" tabs at the top of the page soon.

Until then, please help our school be successful by joining the Parent Teacher Association. The more parent and teacher involvement, the stronger we are. Classroom folders go home each Wednesday and should contain a wealth of information about the coming school year as well as a sign up sheet for the PTA. Please fill out the form and return it to your child’s teacher in the same folder.

Also, be encouraged to volunteer on campus or in the classroom this year! Our teachers are very happy to have parents involved on a regular basis and/or for special events. Please talk to your child’s teacher (or any teacher), and see how you can best help.

One last thing (for now)…please take a look at DonorsChoose.org. We currently have four projects up and will be posting more shortly. This is a way for individuals to directly support specific projects and classes at Mira Vista School. We had great success utilizing DonorsChoose in the 2010-11 school year. Many of our classes have received anything from racks to keep their backpacks neat and organized and a soft rug for the children to sit on for circle-time, to forensic science kits for the upper-grades and a full drumset for our Little Kids Rock band. Giving directly to our classes is a quick and easy way to support our students and give them projects to work on throughout this year. Please do visit the site: www.DonorsChoose.org

Welcome back, everyone!

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Band Performance

Last night was MV’s first band performance in as long as we have been MV parents…so just 6 years.  But 6 years without music education is almost an entire elementary stay!  MV’s band performed with other El Cerrito Elementary bands including Harding and Kensington followed by Portola and El Cerrito High.  More than 600 family members and friends packed the El Cerrito gym for the warmly received concert.  I am ashamed that our district has had to give up so much to the detriment of our children.  While band in elementary is traditionally not huge, it should never have to be funded by PTA and parents when it is linked to learning, brain function and the development of well-rounded global citizens.  Although our kids are only getting maybe 40 minutes  a week total band participation it is worth it, but it is not enough.  Please help keep MV band alive.

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Mira Vista PTA Now Has A PayPal Account!

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