February 22, 2019
From Our Principal
Greetings Families!

I'm so excited for tomorrow's Talent Showcase and I hope to see you there! I don't know about you, but when I was in school, our Talent Show would have been more appropriately named a Popularity Contest. One of the most beautiful things about Da Vinci Connect is our authentic celebration of the wide variety of gifts, passions and interests of our students. Every student is seen and valued for who they are and this really comes through in our Talent Showcase event! Thank you to the many FAN parents who have volunteered innumerable hours in the past two weeks preparing for this event!

Also, I would like to make a request of each of you. Please take a few moments to have a conversation with your children about the following two topics:

1) Please remind students about what being an engaged and respectful audience member looks like at all of our events. Speaking, performing or presenting one's work (or hobby) in front of an audience is hard! It takes confidence and bravery! What makes our school different from so many is that students aren't teased or laughed at when they share with an audience. But students also need reminders that putting oneself on the stage and displaying one's work feels vulnerable and takes bravery, so please have this conversation at home prior to our Talent Showcase (and also prior to events like Exhibition and Presentations of Learning). Thank you!

2) Please also have a conversation at home about taking care of our school campus. In the past few weeks, our maintenance crew has found parts of student lunches (including, today, sandwich bags filled with whole sandwiches and bunches of grapes) stuffed in toilets (if your child brings sandwiches and grapes to school--you may want to double down on this conversation ;). They have also noticed increased incidents of students locking bathroom doors from the inside and then crawling under the stalls so that other students can't use the bathroom until an adult is notified to fix the problem. Currently, this is happening primarily in the boy's bathroom in the T/F Hybrid cohort. Please take time at home to talk about our school campus being an extension of our home. If something like a plastic bag or food item became lodged in our plumbing system, it would literally shut down our main student bathrooms for weeks and cause tens of thousands of dollars in damages. I manage our budget very carefully and we don't have that kind of money sitting around, and especially not for silliness! An additional conversation to have at home is that schools are required to provide free feminine hygiene products in girls' bathrooms and those are to be used when needed, not to be played with, thrown into toilets or used for chasing boys! Our maintenance staff are some of the hardest workers on our campuses and they see and clean up an interesting array of things! Feel free to tell them thank you for their hard work when you see them :)

Thank you in advance for your time having these careful and important conversations!
M_Rainey sig
From Our Dean of Students
Hello Families!

I am SO looking forward to the Talent Showcase tomorrow! It is an event that I always look forward to, and love seeing the many ways our students showcase their talents, bravery, and spirit! My family and I hope to see you there :)

The Talent Showcase and other FAN events are great opportunities for staff and students of all ages to connect with each other in ways they might not typically do--this is an important part of building and maintaining the Da Vinci Connect culture! The co-mingling of students from a range of ages happens in a variety of intentional ways on our campus. For example, in the Collaborative program, our students grades K-8 end their workshop day together to connect and share progress in their learning. In the hybrid program, we tried something new-ish this week! If you've been with us for a while, you may remember a practice called "Community Dialogue" or "Da Vinci Families". Well, yesterday and today we piloted a variation of these practices from our past: during our lunch eating time, students from all grade levels gathered with staff in classrooms in groups of about 10-15, sat together, ate lunch together, and connected in authentic ways. I saw classrooms with music playing, tablecloths laid out, games being played, and most importantly, students as young as 5 and as old as 14 discussing topics together and sharing space together in a way that was safe, kind, friendly, and most importantly...fun! We hope to continue this practice every 5-6 weeks :)

If you'd like additional opportunities to connect with our community in authentic ways, check out the many upcoming events below!

Enjoy Your Weekend!
Things You Need to Know This Week!
Our Talent Showcase Is Here!!!
Saturday, Feb 23, 4:30-7:30 pm (plan to attend in its entirety in order to see all the amazing talents described below!)
Come support our talented community at the Talent Showcase. We will begin by celebrating our Visual, Digital, Creative and Culinary Arts before settling into the Forum for the Performing Arts. Creative and Culinary items may be purchased using tickets. FAN will also have pizza to purchase during the beginning of the Showcase. Bring cash to purchase items at the event or use the pre-pay option (see details below). You won't want to miss any portion of this year’s Showcase. See you there!
 
PRE-PAY for tickets and pizza via PayPal: Tickets are $1 each and pizza is $3/slice. Paypal your payment to DavinciFANevents@gmail.com and indicate the number of tickets, # of cheese pizza slices and/or # of pepperoni pizza slices in the notes section. You will receive a confirmation email once payment is received.
Workshop: EDUCATION/JR. NBA VIRTUAL FIELD TRIP
Tuesday, Feb 26, 10-10:30 am
Friday, March 1, 9:30-10 am
Monday, March 11, 9:30-10 am
Streamed in the Parent Center
*** THIS IS NOT A DROP-OFF EVENT; PARENTS WILL NEED TO STAY TO SUPERVISE THEIR STUDENTS ***

There’s nothing more exciting than going to an NBA game… but have you ever considered what it takes to bring that experience to life? Join Discovery Education and the NBA for a Virtual Field Trip to the All-Star Game. This exciting 30-minute program will give students a glimpse behind the scenes and help them learn how NBA staff use STEM skills in their work each and every day! Please sign up here if you will be attending.
DV Connect Pizza Lunch & Spirit Day
Wednesday/Thursday/Friday, Feb 27/28/March 1
Spirit Day Theme: Mismatch Day
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. Sign up here to volunteer or donate lemonade.
Workshop: Using Assistive Technology to Support Student Learning and Productivity (Best fit for students in grades 4-8.)
Wednesday, Feb 27, 9:15-10:15 am
The Parent Center @ DV Connect
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Hosted by Allegra Johnson, Director of Special Education for Da Vinci Schools, our discussion will center on the questions "What is assistive technology?" and "How is it useful?" Participants will learn about free or low-cost tools to use with your kids.

Attendees will be asked to identify a focus area (reading, writing, or time management) that includes a specific challenge they are currently working to solve. Then, in small groups, teams will be able to engage in hands-on exploration of three different assistive technology tools. A whole-group share-out will identify benefits, barriers and real-life application opportunities for each of the tools presented. Sign up HERE.
New and Re-Enrollment 411--Deadline Feb 28th--Tell your friends!
Do you have another child who would like to join Connect? Will your currently-enrolled child be returning to us next year? Do you have friends or family interested in joining our community? If you answered yes to any of these questions, please read below:
 
February 28 is the deadline to apply for both inclusion in the lottery (new families) and re-enrollment (current families). Both enrollment and re-enrollment will take place through SchoolMint.

All current families should have received an email prompting you to re-enroll! Doing this helps us determine how many spots we have available in the lottery so please complete this process by February 28th!

FAN Needs You!!
FAN Volunteers Needed!
The FAN Calendar has been updated and we are looking for volunteers. Please let us know if you can help with the 2019 events at this link.
Coming Up...
The 2019 Annual Fund Matching Challenge Is On!

Make your donation or pledge by April 30, 2019 and your gift will be doubled!!

Missed #GivingTuesday? We have another amazing opportunity to make a gift in support of Da Vinci Schools. Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of our industry and philanthropic partners (Chevron, Kinecta Federal Credit Union, Pipkin Charitable Foundation, and The John H. and Cynthia Lee Smet Foundation), all donations to the Da Vinci Schools Annual Fund will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $75,000!!

This matching challenge is only available for a limited time. Make your donation or pledge by April 30, 2019 and your gift will be doubled!! All pledge payments must be received by June 30, 2019 to be eligible for the match.
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Make An Impact. Give Now.

With your support, we will continue to provide an exceptional college and career-ready education for the next generation of innovators and creative problem solvers.

(P.S. There are many ways to support Da Vinci Schools. If you are interested in volunteering for the Annual Giving Campaign, please email our team at giving@davincischools.org). 
Parent Workshop on Adolescent Anxiety and Depression
When: Wednesday, March 6, 2019, at 6:00 p.m.
Where: Black Box Theater at Da Vinci Schools, 201 N. Douglas St, El Segundo, CA. 
For more information and to sign up, look here.
For parents of middle and high school students, Da Vinci Schools is offering an informational workshop on adolescent depression and anxiety for Da Vinci Schools parents. Attendees will learn strategies to identify depression and anxiety in their child, as well as coping skills to address these challenges.
The Kindness Movement Celebrates Miss Rose!🌹

Please join The Kindness Movement on Friday, March 1st at 4:30 pm at the Gardena Retirement Center- 14741 Vermont Avenue in Gardena as we celebrate Miss Rose! This lovely, young lady will be turning 90 years young that day, and we can’t wait to celebrate her! She was a first grade teacher for LAUSD for over 27 years! We are so excited to surprise her, make her feel special and shower her with lots of roses! Please contact Grace Bader if you and your kiddos would like to participate in the celebration of Rose!💝🌸🎂🎁💐💕🌹
Parenting to Develop Autonomy Part II
Tuesday or Thursday, March 19 or 21, 9:30-11 am
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If you missed Michelle's PEC 3 workshop, or attended and are craving more, look no further! She will be offering a "Parenting to Develop Autonomy 2.0" workshop. Sign up here if you plan to attend!
SAVE THE DATE for the Upcoming FAN Events of 2019
Wednesday, March 13th, 4-6 pm
Students can bring in a tri-fold and share science wisdom with the school! We are working on putting together a fun, family-friendly science event for all ages.

Wednesday, March 27, 3:30-5:30 pm
All families are invited to the forum, where poets and poetry lovers can recite their favorite pieces to a friendly audience in a space with a warm, relaxed atmosphere.

6th Annual Cultural Fair
Thursday, March 30, 4-6 pm

DV Connect Fundraiser
Monday, May 13, 5-9 pm
Join us for an adults-only evening as we raise money to support our school. Let's come together as a community and enjoy an evening with each other!
The Parent Center @ DV Connect

Dates for Parent Educator "Mash-Up" Collaboration
Come have a cup of coffee and chat with fellow parent educators! All meetings run from 9:30-10:30 am.

* March: 12/13/14
* April: 29/30
* May: 15/16/17
 
This is the perfect opportunity to talk to other DV Connect home educators about homeschool issues, share resources and strategies, and make connections! Use The Parent Center @ DV Connect as your hang-out! If you have a specific discussion topic you'd like to facilitate, please email Theresa (tleone@davincischools.org) to coordinate a SignUp Genius invitation.


Workshop: Using Assistive Technology to Support Student Learning and Productivity (best fit for students in grades 4-8)
Host: Allegra Johnson, Director of Special Education for Da Vinci Schools
Wednesday, February 27th from 
9:15-10:15am
(Meet in The Parent Center @ DV Connect) Sign up HERE.

Our discussion will center on the following:
What is assistive technology? 
How is it useful?
Participants will learn about free or low-cost tools to use with your kids 

Specifically, during this time attendees will be asked to identify a focus area that addresses a specific challenge they are currently working to solve: Reading, Writing or Time Management.

Then, in small groups, teams will be able to engage in hands-on exploration of three different assistive technology tools. A whole-group share-out will identify benefits, barriers and real-life application opportunities for each of the tools presented.


Workshop: Creating a Robust Social-Emotional Learning Toolkit
A Three-Part Series: 3/4, 3/19 & 4/3 (Sign up here)

Janette will facilitate these informative discussions focused on content from the most recent Happily Family Virtual Conference offered by Jason and Cecilia Hilkey. Participants will have the opportunity to view presentations on a variety of important social-emotional learning topics and then spend some time discussing and sharing with fellow parent educators.

March 4th Workshop:
Cecilia and Jason Hilkey of Happily Family interview Dr. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, author of Raising Your Spirited Child.

After watching the interview, we will touch on: 
* How what we think about our child impacts our interactions. 
* How flexibility and openness keep the lines of communication open. 
*How to recognize the positive aspects and strengths of our spirited children.
*How we can help them to develop the skills they need to use those strengths in ways that serve them well.

A word about Dr. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka and context for the interview you will watch: Dr. Kurcinka has worked for decades with children and families, so her wisdom and experience shines through. In this interview we challenged her with three real life situations to see what she would do… We asked her about how to help the spirited child who has big feelings, how to help the highly distracted child get out the door in the morning, and how to help the child who likes a lot of routine and gets thrown off if things are changed.

Workshop: DISCOVERY EDUCATION/JR. NBA VIRTUAL FIELD TRIP
Streamed in the Parent Center
Bring your child to watch on the following days:

TUESDAY, 2/26 @ 10:00-10:30AM
FRIDAY, 3/1 @ 9:30-10AM
MONDAY, 3/11 @ 9:30-10AM

*** THIS IS NOT A DROP-OFF EVENT; PARENTS WILL NEED TO STAY TO SUPERVISE THEIR STUDENTS ***

There’s nothing more exciting than going to an NBA game… but have you ever considered what it takes to bring that experience to life? Join Discovery Education and the NBA for a Virtual Field Trip to the All-Star Game. This exciting 30-minute program will give students a glimpse behind the scenes and help them learn how NBA staff use STEM skills in their work each and every day! Please sign up here if you will be attending.

Workshop: Parent Educator Spotlight with Valerie Hennessy-Creating a Family Production
March 18 & 20

Details to come!
Have a great week!
~ Your DV Connect Team