April 7, 2019
From Our Principal
Greetings Families!

First of all, a huge thank you to each of you for meeting our Work Journal deadline! We know this one was an extra haul to meet the deadline. Your help ensures we are able to ensure every day of student attendance counts towards your child's attendance rates and our "average daily attendance" rates, which determine both our budget for next year. Additionally, one way schools are scored by the state is through attendance rates so again, thank you for keeping us in compliance, on budget and of course for granting your child all the attendance she/he deserves for his/her hard work!

Are you excited about Exhibition this week!?!? I am! As a mom and an educator, the opportunity for students to practice the very important and adult skill of effectively communicating his/her thinking to an authentic audience is one of the reasons I continue to choose Da Vinci Schools! We work with professional partners (local businesses and corporations) who time and again tell us that book smarts just isn't enough anymore and most schools don't teach students how to explain their learning, answer unscripted questions and maintain professional composure. At all Da Vinci Schools, we make time for Exhibition, Student Led Conferences and Presentations of Learning (coming soon!) specifically to give students year upon year of practice with these very adult skills. Thank you for visiting all classrooms and giving other people's children an audience. Some reminders are in the Exhibition blurb below. See you soon!

I'm looking forward to seeing you at our Silent Auction on May 13th! Thank you for being there and for contributing auction items! This is a very fun event and we want to see everyone there!

Lastly, I hope to see you on Tuesday or Thursday morning for Part III of my Parenting for Autonomy workshop series! I'll keep presenting as long as you keep attending! Your teachers have brainstormed the skills that are important for students at each grade level/age range and with Spring Break coming up, you'll want to start practicing. Do you know that I haven't packed my kids' bags for a trip in over 5 years? I haven't packed a school lunch for them since my youngest was in kindergarten! I haven't cleaned their bedroom or washed/put away their laundry in at least 4 years. When I come home late from work my 12 year old makes dinner and washing, drying and putting away the dishes is a shared responsibility--and rarely does a glass break! It's all possible!!!

Lastly, a humble and grateful thank you to all of our PEC presenters (we have the best parents and staff!) and to all of you who attended. Our community is so special and you're the reason why!
M_Rainey sig
From Our Dean of Students
Hello Families,

Thank you again to everyone who attended AND presented at our 4th Parent Educator Conference! I learned SO much as a mom and educator and was able to think about things in new ways--I am feeling refreshed and re-filled with purpose and passion! I hope you are, too. ;) All of our presenters are graciously sharing their digital presentations with us, and you can find them here on the Parent Educator Resource website, under the Parent Center "Resources" tab! Many of our presenters were DV Connect parents, and I feel beyond lucky to have experts like you in our community! Thank you again for sharing your gifts with us. If you are someone who did not present at PEC 4 but have a gift or expertise to share, send me an e-mail! We'd love to learn from you!

Also, our third Brainstorm book club is coming up on Thursday, April 11, at 2:00 pm! It's one of my favorite ways to spend my time each month! Sign up here to attend for thoughtful conversation, connection, and yummy treats. ;) See you there!

Enjoy the weekend!
Things You Need to Know This Week!
Mon/Tues/Wed, April 8/9/10, 5-6:30 pm
Monday is M/Th Hybrid
Tuesday is T/F Hybrid
Wednesday is Collaborative
Exhibition is fast approaching, and we are SO excited! Class-specific information was shared by your child's classroom teacher but here are a few school-wide reminders and requests:
  • Please ask your child to dress "professionally" for this event. "Cute" and "fancy" are different from professional, so please encourage your child to dress from head to toe in a way that will help your child's audience regard him/her seriously. Jeans and tennis shoes are discouraged and shirts should tucked in, etc. Thanks!
  • Students and adults should avoid using phones except for photos/videos. We want students to know that adults are fully focused on their learning.
  • Please visit as many classrooms as you can! Your child deserves an audience of adults besides their family. Please spend a reasonable period of time listening to your child and then allow him/her to present to others while you give him/her independence by visiting other spaces. It's really good for them to know they don't need you there!
  • You may absolutely invite friends, family and neighbors to attend Exhibition! This is a great way to show others what our school is all about! Please note it is not a time for visitors to ask teachers questions, however. We are all fully focused on student learning at Exhibition.
Thanks and see you there!
Autonomy Part III Workshop with Michelle
April 9 and 11, 9:30-10:45am

Please join Michelle for Part III of Parenting for Autonomy! Sign up here. Please note, we are meeting on Tuesday and Thursday, April 9th and 11th (originally scheduled for Th/F). Also, many of you have asked to take a look at the slide deck I used for Parts I and II. You can find that here.
Buy Your Yearbook Today! Deadlines below!!!

For every yearbook sold, TreeRing Corporation will plant trees in honor of Da Vinci Connect in countries devastated by deforestation and global climate change. Currently, 74 trees will be planted on behalf of Connect, but I know that our community can do much better than that! If every family purchases a yearbook, we could help plant over 200 trees worldwide! So while you are preserving memories, you will also help preserve our Earth!

LAST DAY TO CUSTOMIZE YOUR YEARBOOK IS APRIL 18! (during spring break) After customizing your 2 FREE pages of the yearbook, make sure you click "I'm Done" so that your customized pages are ready to print in your yearbook. If you want to purchase more customized pages, 2 pages cost $0.99 extra. Please note: yearbooks are prepaid to print, so no extra yearbooks will be available for last minute purchases!

LAST DAY TO PURCHASE A YEARBOOK WITHOUT CUSTOMIZATION IS MAY 2! Purchase your copy today by going to this link and entering our Da Vinci Connect Passcode: 1015036990232803
Connect Silent Auction FUNdraiser!
Monday, May 13, 5-9 pm
Strand Brewery, Torrance
Silent Auction Tickets are now LIVE!! Get yours here today! Bring your spouse, bring your best buddy, or just bring yourself. Homeschooling is hard but celebrating it doesn't need to be. Give yourself the gift of a night out connecting with the smart, funny, like-minded adults that make up our Da Vinci Connect community.

On May 13, let's gather together at the beautiful Strand Brewery from 5-9 pm to celebrate another FANtastic year of learning, growing and educating together. Your ticket will include dinner, a drink, access to the Silent Auction and the good feeling that comes with knowing you are supporting our children. This is an adults-only event, but we're providing you with a child care option at Pump It Up (down the street from the brewery) for children 5 and over.

Purchase early for early bird pricing! Ticket prices will increase May 1st.
Collaborative Program Robotics Co-Op Shout Out!

The Collaborative Program is hosting a parent and student led co-op where students are learning to build and code robots using Lego Mindstorm and Lego We-do sets. Currently, they are designing robots to meet the challenges of FIRST Lego League and FIRST Lego League Junior, which this year is focused on robots that would support humans living on a moon base. Two DVIA/DV Connect graduates and current Da Vinci High School Robotics team members, Joy and Miles, often come to our meetings to share their knowledge with our Robotics co-op.
The Kindness Movement’s Annual Bunny Drive!
It’s that time of year again! Time to “hop” to it, because the Kindness Movement is collecting bunnies! Please bring in your new or gently used stuffed bunnies to the DV Connect office, and drop them into our “Bunny Drop” bin! Your sweet and cuddly donations will then be delivered to a local shelter for women and children on Easter morning! Thank you so very much, and Hoppy Spring!
Spring Break
April 15-19
Enjoy some rest and relaxation!
Spring flowers
Summer Camp Sign-ups Are Here!
You've been asking, so we created a lineup of three awesome experiences! Check out the flyer and register here! Sign up now before it's sold out!
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 giving@davincischools.org). 
Coming Up...
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.
Science Museum FAN Event
Wednesday/Thursday/Friday, April 24/25/26
Does your child love science? Want to feature your awesome homeschool science learning at our Science Museum event? You can!

Students will set up their displays/tri-folds in the Forum on M/T/W April 22-24 and classes will visit on Wednesday (Collaborative) and Thursday/Friday (Hybrid). Please encourage your kids to participate - kids love sharing their learning and seeing what others have done! Sign up here to take part. Please note: we needed to change the format of the event and eliminate some aspects due to the lack of a coordinator for this awesome FAN event. Please know that your leadership and participation as a parent makes a difference! Contact davincifanevents@gmail.com to help with future events!
State Testing!
April 29 through May 10
Students in grades 3-8 will be participating in the state mandated SBAC tests in ELA and MATH, students in grades 5 and 8 will participate in the CA Science Test (CAST), and students in grades 5 and 7 will participate in the Physical Fitness Test (PFT). While this sounds like quite a lot (it is!) we do our absolute best to schedule and administer each test in a way that is LEAST impactful to our students and learning community. Thank you for trusting us to navigate this mandatory experience in the most compassionate way possible!

?Please note that as a state and federally-funded school, we are required to reach the state testing participation rate in order to receive funds and have the leeway to run the kind of program we do. We ask that you do not opt out of state testing as that puts us in jeopardy of being categorized as a "program improvement" school, which would mandate curriculum and programmatic changes we do not want to see. Thank you!

If you'd like more information about state testing, please read this notification letter drafted by the California Department of Education. If you have questions about state testing, please e-mail Kaitlin.
Cultural Fair (and Related Homeschool Ideas!)
Thursday, May 30
Have you ever wanted to learn about your heritages? Well, here's your chance! At the 2019 Cultural Fair/End of the Year Social, families will learn about the unique traditions, arts, food and culture of their heritages and those of others. So join us for a fun-filled cultural potluck to wrap up the 2018-2019 school year on May 30th!
If you need ideas for Work Journal #5, next week I will provide a guide to homeschool projects you can do related to and in preparation for the event!

This event has been organized by 8th grader Flora for the past several years. Help her make this event an awesome culmination to her vision for an annual Connect Cultural Fair that celebrates the diversity of our community!
The Parent Center @ DV Connect

April office hours are available! Sign up here.

Workshop: Parent Educator Spotlight with Jan Stolpe
Tuesday, April 23, 3:30-4:30 pm
Jan will explore the science behind and the benefits of mindfulness. More details to come! Sign up here.

Workshop: Parent Educator Spotlight--Create a Curriculum Map & Expand Your Resources with Jen Rutkowski
Wednesday, May 8 and 22, 9:30-11 am
Join Jennifer Rutkowski as she shares her vast knowledge of creating and using a curriculum map to keep her homeschool planning on track--for multiple students. She will also share a whole host of curriculum resources to support your plan. More details to come! Sign up here.

Workshop: Parent Educator Spotlight--Continue the Conversation of PROCESS-Based Learning with Jennifer Racusin
Friday, May 10, 9:30 to Noon
Jennifer Racusin will be back in the Parent Center to continue the conversation about her own brand of PBL--PROCESS-Based Learning. All of you--newbies and veterans--are welcome! Come ready to discuss your current project or a project your child wants to start. It is sure to be an informative and inspiring discussion! Sign up here.

Passion Project Day for Adults: A Day Dedicated to Working on YOUR Personal Passion Project!
Saturday, April 27, 10 am - 2 pm
You have creativity inside you, and it wants to come out! Here's your time, place and space to let it emerge. Theresa Leone and Jennifer Racusin will be on hand for collaboration and support, but this is your time to use as you wish!

Inspired by the salon community of artists in turn-of-the century Europe, we are creating our own time and space where participants can refresh and share their work--or begin a brand new project.

Our goal for this day is to bring together members of our like-minded, unique, creative and passionate Da Vinci Connect community for a day of creativity and exploration. Allowing yourself to support your own creativity will energize you and allow you to more fully support your child's passion projects! Sign up here.
Have a great week!
~ Your DV Connect Team