January 21, 2019
From Our Principal

Greetings Families!

There are so many great things happening at Connect right now! Be sure to read the list of upcoming events carefully to hear about the Kindness Movement, the Film Festival, curriculum trainings, Coffee with the Counselor and more

Thank you to so many of you who took the time to fill out the survey about interest in a DV Connect high school in last week's newsletter! I'll be collecting results until Thursday so feel free to take it if you haven't already. I'm also holding an "ideation session," an opportunity for you to share your thoughts, hopes and wonderings with me this Thursday from 9:30-10:30am. Especially if your child is in the upper grades and you think he or she would benefit from a flexible high school experience that incorporates dual enrollment (high school and college credit), competency based learning (learning at one's pace based on proficiency) and project-based, social emotional learning outcomes with DV Connect caliber teachers, be part of the creation process! This meeting will not be me telling you what we are making--it will be me hearing what you and your child wants and needs out of high school! See you there! 

I also wanted to share a note about the upcoming Parent Educator Conference on February 6th. Recently a parent told me she was more likely to stay for the entire day of PEC if she didn't have to come home and complete an entire day of homeschooling for multiple children after attending the workshops. If you're thinking the same thing, please keep reading! Independent study is meant for flexibility, so for parents who want to attend PEC and get the most out of it, you could consider that a "homeschool lightly day" and that would be understood by the staff who evaluate your attendance and well within the rights and spirit of independent study law! Thus, on those days, if you ask your children to read for 30 minutes (or 45, or an hour-whatever their tolerance level is) and maybe even independently write a paragraph about what they read, you could log that as their homeschool work for the day. Just like there are days when you take a field trip, or sick days (for you or your child) where some work is accomplished but not the same amount as on a "normal" day, Parent Educator Conferences are meant to provide you with meaningful information, strategies, resources and opportunities to network with fellow educators. Please take advantage of these days and don't let the "work journal" slow you down. Just like nutrition, exercise, rest and fun--moderation is the key to healthy and sustainable outcomes! 

I hope you have a great week. 
M_Rainey sig
From Our Dean of Students

I hope everyone enjoyed the rain this week, and is looking forward to a long weekend! 

First, I want to express my gratitude for the staff members, families, and students who organized and facilitated our Kindness Assemblies this week! We heard from Kene and members of the Kindness Movement committee, and we also heard updates about Core 3's Kindness benches! Finally, we heard from two Core 5 students, each of whose poems I'll be printing in the next two newsletters! The first was written and performed by Flora White:

The human heart's the strangest thing
It must work with the mind
To keep these two organs intact
You must always be kind

Be kind to fellow humans for
Your own self's sake and theirs
It feels quite nice;it warms their hearts
And shows somebody cares

Be kind to your companions, for
How else can friendships soar?
(Though teasing is permitted if it's friendly at the core.)

Be kind to your enemy; be
More ethical and true
Do not stoop down to their level
But bring them up to you

Be kind to your family, though
You might hate your brother
When all is said, you're family
You all love one another

Be kind to your own self; though
This is the hardest one
Treat yourself like a BFF
And you'll have loads more fun

Thank you for sharing, Flora!

On another note, after collecting feedback from you around the Brainstorm Book Club I hope to offer, the responses clearly indicated vast more availability on one day over others. We will be meeting on Thursdays, starting on February 14th at 2:00pm! The series will continue on 3/14, 4/11, and 5/16. With that being said, I wish that I could meet everyone's needs and offer times that worked for every person interested! I hope you can make it if you'd like to join us. I'm excited to spend time with you in this way!

Enjoy the long weekend :)

Things You Need to Know This Week

Pizza & Spirit Day
Wednesday/Thursday/Friday, Jan 23/24/25
Spirit Day Theme: Dress up as your favorite animal!
Pizza Lunch: $3 per cheese slice and $1 per drink - CASH ONLY. If you prepaid, please go to the prepaid line for your pizza and drink. 
Please sign up here to volunteer and/or donate lemonade.

ThinkCERCA Families: Best Practices 
Wednesday, Jan 23, 9:30-11:30 am 
Did you know that ThinkCerca is one of the highest rated educational products available for teaching students to read, write and think critically? Join Theresa and Dr. Mona Kiani for a mid-year check-in and make sure you're using this resource to its maximum potential! Immediately following, the group will collaborate on a list of questions, wonderings, and a wish list for Theresa to take to ThinkCERCA at their annual Lead Teacher conference in January. Sign up here to attend the ThinkCERCA check-in. 

DV Connect High School Focus Group with Michelle 
Thursday, January 24, 9:30-10:30am
Thank you to so many of you for completing the survey Michelle sent out last week regarding the possibility of DV Connect developing a high school program. If you wish to share more about your thoughts and hopes for such a program, please meet with Michelle on Thursday in the Parent Center. Please note: since the program is in the developmental stages, this is an opportunity for Michelle to hear your ideas, not for Michelle to inform you about the program. Your ideas are crucial! 

Coffee with the Counselor
Wednesday, January 30, 10-11am
Please join our counselor, Ken, on Wednesday, January 30, from 10-11 am in the Parent Center for our first Coffee with the Counselor. We will discuss social-emotional issues facing students, as well as strategies and best practices. All are welcome!

School Photo Makeups Have Been Re-scheduled!
Wednesday, Jan 30, 9-11 am 
Due to rainy weather this past Wednesday, we have rescheduled Stacee to be back on campus Wednesday, Jan 30, from 9:00-11:00 am for makeup photos.

FAN Film Festival: THIS FRIDAY!  
Friday, Jan 25 4-7pm
FAMILIES, FRIENDS, AND CONNECT COMMUNITY, the Kindness Movement Committee in collaboration with FAN will be featuring the movie WONDER for our Annual Winter Film Festival, January 25th from 4-7 pm. Based on the New York Times bestseller, WONDER tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time. We hope WONDER will inspire students, families and the community to have compassion and to Choose Kind! We hope to see you there. 

FAN will be providing subway sandwiches for dinner, please let us know if you will be attending by Thursday, the 24th- so we can order accordingly. We are looking for beverage & dessert donations. Please use this SUG link to RSVP & volunteer! 

Middle School Health Workshop Series
January 30th, 2:00-3:00
Our next middle school health workshop with Emily Green and Ken for 7th and 8th graders is scheduled for January 30th from 2:00pm-3:00pm! This ongoing series is now for students only.

8th grade Student Tours to the DV High Schools
Attn: 8th grade families! You should have received an e-mail from Kaitlin regarding student tours for the Da Vinci High Schools on 1/23 and 1/30--sign up here if you haven't already!

Coming Up...

Save the Date for Our Next PEC!  
Wednesday, February 6, 9am-3pm
Attend workshops, collaborate with staff and fellow parent educators, connect with each other and learn some new strategies to support your homeschooling adventures! These events are designed for YOU! See you there :) 

Saturday February 23, 4:30-7:30 pm
DEADLINE for Talent Signup: Wednesday, February 6th ( NO EXCEPTIONS)

Sign up HERE so a coordinator can contact you.

Stay Connected!
To maintain connection with our community, be sure to check out our private and official group on Facebook!
The Parent Center @ DV Connect 
January Office Hours Have Been Posted!
Sign up here! 
Come Network with Other Parent Educators --"Morning Mash-up" in The Parent Center
Monday/Wednesday, Feb 11/13, 9:30-10:30 am
There will be coffee, donuts and other snacks. But even better, this is dedicated time and a space to connect with families just like yours!
ThinkCERCA Families: Best Practices 
Wednesday, Jan 23, 9:30-11:30 am 
Join Theresa & Dr. Mona Kiani for a mid-year check-in! Immediately following, the group will collaborate on a list of questions, wonderings, and a wish list for Theresa to take to ThinkCERCA at their annual Lead Teacher conference in January. Sign up here to attend the ThinkCERCA check-in. 
Parent Educator Spotlight: A Three-Part Series on Cognitively Guided Instruction with Nick Johnson
Wednesday, January 30 & February 13, 5-7 pm in the Forum 
Please plan to attend all three sessions.

1/30/19 (Focus: Multiplication) 
2/13/19 (Focus: Fractions)

Discussion will center on how children learn mathematics. Through this exploration, participants will:

  1. Learn about research on children's mathematical thinking (Cognitively Guided Instruction-CGI).
  2. Actively engage in math through hands-on activities and examples of children's work.
Da Vinci FAN will be hosting a pizza dinner fundraiser, and Kid Care will be offered. We hope you can attend this informative and exciting parent educator workshop series!

Coming soon! Parent Educator Spotlight: Jennifer Racusin & Getting Started with Project Based Learning (PBL)
February 19 & 22 from 9:30-11 am
Watch for details and a SignUp Genius link!
Have a great week!
~Your DV Connect Team