March 17, 2019
From Our Principal
Greetings Parents,

I want to start by thanking each and every one of you for your diligence in completing the various independent study paperwork requirements asked of us by state education code and our auditors. We recently had our annual audit and I am excited to share that we once again impressed our evaluators and passed the inspection! Twenty five student names were randomly selected by the auditors and for those students, all paperwork needed to be immediately produced including independent study enrollment agreement (that document you signed back in August), all work journals and student samples. For each of those students, the auditors matched every signature, date, and document to determine our record keeping is pristine. For example, student samples have to match the work described within the journal, enrollment agreement dates must match student start dates, dates students were absent or present (or absent from school and marked absent by a teacher but then weeks later the work journal shows present--noticed and corrected by teachers and the office staff!) you can imagine, it's a stressful day and each of your hard work carries us through year after year. Thank you, thank you for your diligence, for being kind and patient when teachers, office staff or administrators ask clarifying questions or request timeliness and thoroughness, and for your overall care in ensuring our school continues to meet and exceed expectations outlined by the state.

I also want to make sure you note the date change below for the informational meeting I will be holding about the launch of a Connect high school program! This year, our team has been working hard examining the educational landscape including ways that students within our own community wish to be served. I am really excited to share what we're planning.

New date: Wednesday, March 27th, 5-6pm (after the Poetry Jam--see you there!)

M_Rainey sig
Things You Need to Know This Week!
Hygiene Kits for the Homeless - Last Call!
Homelessness is a big problem in Los Angeles. With 1 in 78 people struggling with homelessness, the DV Collaborative (grades 5-8) program has decided to make a difference. We are donating to an organization called MEND (Meeting Every Need with Dignity). MEND supports the homeless of Los Angeles and gets them the help they need, and MEND helps people who are homeless get back on their feet so they can live a whole happy life. The DV Collaborative program is now collecting hygiene items for hygiene kits for the homeless. You can donate an entire kit which must include a one quart zip lock bag, travel size tooth brush and tooth paste, dental floss, shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, bar of soap, body lotion, large comb or small hairbrush, washcloth, chapstick, pack of cotton swabs, and hand sanitizer; or you can donate individual items. Please bring in your kits/items to the collection box in the office by Tuesday, March 19. Thank you!
Parent Educator Spotlight: Valerie Hennessy
Monday, March 18, or Wednesday, March 20, 9:30-11 am ** (Sign up here.)
Join Valerie to learn about the production company she and her family have created! She will also share what you can do--from beginning to end--to work together as a family and take a creative spark and transform it into a movie!

Specific topics will include:

  • How to create a writer's room
  • How to pick a genre
  • How to create scenes and dialogue
  • How to create a storyboard
  • How to write a script
  • How to use any camera to capture a scene
  • How to choose video editing software
  • How to share your movie

**This is NOT a series. There are two opportunities to participate in this amazing workshop on how to create your own family production company.
Parenting to Develop Autonomy Part II
Tuesday or Thursday, March 19 or 21, 9:30-11 am
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!
Workshop: Creating a Robust Social-Emotional Learning Toolkit Part II
Tuesday, March 19, 2-3 pm (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 19 Workshop: "Focusing on Your Child’s Strengths Leads to Success" with Dr. Lea Waters

There is a common belief in parenting that in order to help our kids, we need to work on all their weaknesses. But strength-based science shows that the opposite is true. It tells us to turn the bulk of our attention on expanding our children’s strengths, rather than reducing their weaknesses. Dr. Lea Waters shows parents how (and why) to use this powerful concept from positive psychology in our families, schools, and in our lives. If we focus on our child’s strengths, we help them build resilience, optimism, happiness, and have more fun in life!

A Word About Dr. Waters:
Dr. Lea Waters is a researcher, psychologist, author and speaker who specializes in positive education and parenting. She is the President of the International Positive Psychology Association, and the author of The Strength Switch: How the New Science of Strength-Based Parenting Can Help Your Child and Your Teen to Flourish. Lea’s work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Globe, and The Guardian.
Kindness Movement Update: Rose's Birthday Party!
Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate Rose at the Gardena Retirement Center! We were able to celebrate this special, young lady’s 90th birthday with her and some of her dear friends who also live at the center! A very special thanks to Diana Shimoda and family for the delicious coconut cake!
Mykie’s Coffee and Baked Goods Truck Coming to DV Connect!
Every Tuesday, 8:30-10:00 am
Leave your coffee and breakfast at home! Every Tuesday, Mykie’s Coffee and Baked Goods Truck will be stationed in front of our forum ready to supply you with their delicious coffee and yummy baked goods from 8:30 am until 10:00 am! Mykie’s Truck was at DV Connect during the last PEC, and now we will have the distinct pleasure of having them return every week! Mykie’s Coffee and Baked Goods Truck is part of Mychal’s Learning Center, a local program here in Hawthorne that provides job training and job placement for adults with special needs. We are so excited to be able to have them here at our school each Tuesday and to be able to support such an amazing local business and cause!
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.
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
Coming Up...
New DV Connect High School Information Meeting NEW DATE!
Wednesday, March 27, 5-6 pm (following the Poetry Jam)
Did you know that DV Connect is piloting a high school this fall? Michelle is holding an informational meeting so you can learn more about our model. All interested families are welcome!
Poetry Jam
Wednesday, March 27, 3:30 pm
Calling all poets and their parents! The annual Poetry Jam is coming up fast!

Does your learner like to read poems? Does your learner like to write poems? All are welcome! Even parents are invited to the podium to read with their kiddo or share their own favorites.

This has been a favorite event for kids and parents alike. There is little to no prep involved for your participation, and it is a Da Vinci "Connecting" event! If you would like to help with setup or breakdown or with any of the goodies, please click on this link. Please RSVP so we can plan better!
Pizza and Spirit Day
Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday, March 27/28/29
Dress as your favorite book character day!
Eighth Grade Photos - Save the Date!
Wednesday, April 24, 3:30 pm
Eighth grade students are invited to participate in an 8th grade photo shoot with our amazing photographer, Stacee Lianna! Please reserve Wednesday, April 24, at 3:30 - location TBD.
The Parent Center @ DV Connect

March Office Hours Now Available!
Sign up here!

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

Parent Educator Spotlight: Valerie Hennessy
Monday, March 18, or Wednesday, March 20, 9:30-11 am ** (Sign up here.)
See blurb above.
Connect with us on Facebook!
Have a great week!
~ Your DV Connect Team