April 28, 2019
From Our Principal
Greetings Families!

I want to thank each of you, particularly with students in grades 3-8, for your child's participation in state testing. Please make sure your child comes to school after a good night's sleep! Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatrics has determined that children ages 6-12 should receive 9-12 hours of sleep per 24 hours and teens age 13-18 should sleep 8-10 hours per night? Your child's sleep and a hearty breakfast (with protein!) is essential every day, but will particularly help them stay focused during state testing. Additionally, please note that as a public school, federal laws mandate that schools achieve a 95% participation rate in order to operate. We have never missed that rate but each year, it is extremely close. If enough students don't test, our charter is at risk of renewal and federal and state mandates could put us in "program improvement" which means our staff must focus its instruction on more traditional curriculum and methodologies. Please help us by ensuring your child participates in state testing. We take a lot of care to deliver testing in a way that is supportive to children and low anxiety. Most of our students report that the tests are actually fairly interesting, which is not surprising when students aren't "over-tested." Thank you for your cooperation--it really does make a huge difference!

Don't overlook our final Parent Educator Conference of the year!!! At our last PEC, so many of you asked for MORE of Dr. Virginia Green and MORE of Connect parent and Child Development Professor (!!!) Kate Vokoun. We asked and they agreed! Please come take advantage of the chance to hear their wisdom. They are both engaging speakers, extremely knowledgeable about their content and their talks are guaranteed to be a good time! (No pressure ladies!!!). Read the PEC blurb below for more details!

I know that many of you are eagerly planning your summer vacations and knowing when school will begin is important! The 2019-2020 calendar is a coordinated effort by all Da Vinci Schools and is pending board approval. While details about the entire year will be released in the coming months, I can tell you with a relative degree of confidence that in the fall, the first day of homeschooling will be Monday, August 19th (we will continue what we did last year with a week of homeschooling plus meetings with teachers to get the year started). Your student's normally scheduled days on campus will begin the week of Monday, August 26th.

I hope this is helpful to your summer planning. it's hard to believe we are already approaching that time!
M_Rainey sig
Things You Need to Know This Week!
Congratulations to Dasa and Zita: "Water is Life" Art Contest Winners!
Congratulations to Dasa and Zita for their participation in the Water District's "Water is Life" contest. Of the 500 participants, they both scored in the top 15 and won recognition for their great work and iPads!
Congratulations ladies for your hard work!

You can learn more about the contest here and see Dasa and Zita's (as well as the other winner') work up close here.
Congratulations to the Da Vinci HS robotics team for winning the FIRST Robotics World Championship in Houston last weekend! Many of the Team 4201 members are DVIA/Connect graduates, including the entire drive team - Matthew Chan, Joy Uehara, Addy Hall, and Nicole Yeh. We are so proud of you!

You can also read more here.
The 2019 Annual Fund Matching Challenge Ends This Week!!!
This matching challenge is only available for a limited time. Make your donation or pledge by this coming Tuesday, April 30, 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.

Thank you!
The Kindness Movement: Let’s Celebrate Earth Day!
Earth Day was on Monday, April 22! To celebrate, the Kindness Movement is asking DV Connect families to connect with our Mother Earth and bring in a potted plant that will be added to our DV Connect Tranquility Garden! Please feel free to bring in the plants and place them along the brick wall across from the Core 1/staff bathrooms (inside the chalkboard door). DV Connect kiddos and families can also add to the Kindness Movement’s Idea Board located next to the sandbox, where they can share their ideas for helping to be kind to our earth and all of its creatures! There will also be free seeds available by the Kindness Movement Idea Board for everyone to spread the kindness and love to our Mother Earth! Thank you so much, and Happy Earth Day!!!
The Kindness Movement: Calling All Middle School Students!
Are you interested in an opportunity to change lives? The Kindness Movement is asking motivated students to sign up for our student panel. The panel will serve as a school task force addressing areas of need on our campus for all students to feel safe, supported, included and heard! Students will have an opportunity to sign up during the week of April 22 through April 26. The student panel will meet Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays on dates to be determined. Parents volunteers are welcome to participate as well. If you have additional questions, contact Kené. Be the change that you want to see in the world. 
Middle School Dance Planning/Design Meeting
Are you interested in planning and designing our next school dance? Gain experience organizing a venue and doing teamwork with others. Use your talents – drawing, building, writing, graphic design, etc. A meeting will be scheduled soon and you can also contact Connect 8th grader Mei to share ideas or express interest in participating: mei@meihigashi.com. A meeting date will be shared with all middle schoolers this week.
Passion Project Day for Adults was Awesome and will be Repeated!
Yesterday, a group of parents joined to spend a lovely and relaxing day working on their personal passions as collaborating to support each other's work. It was harmonious, connecting and overall fantastic! We will do this again and you won't regret a minute of it if you make time to be there! We all need to fill out buckets! What creative things do you love doing but never seem to have time? Or perhaps you just want to snuggle up with that book on your night stand and read quietly surrounded by others taking time for themselves too! Thank you for participating! This day is an example of Connect's holistic approach to student AND adult well-being!
Parent Educator Conference #5
Our last Parent Educator Conference of the year is RIGHT around the corner! PEC #5 is this Wednesday, May 1! Please see the flyer at right for ALL details! Sign up for Kid Care here.

We are so excited to have Dr. Virginia Green as well as DV Connect parent and Child Development Professor, Kate Vokoun, back to share their gifts and expertise with us! This is sure to be an inspiring, enriching, and bucket-filling day!
Please note that there will NOT be a potluck lunch. Light snacks will be available throughout the day—feel free to bring any you’d like to share!
If you have any questions, feel free to email Kaitlin.
Connect Silent Auction FUNdraiser!
Monday, May 13, 5-9 pm
Strand Brewery, Torrance
What an amazing journey we’ve been on together. From the Fall Carnival to the Talent Showcase, to the day to day madness a classroom without walls brings - Da Vinci Connect is the heart and soul of our learning adventure.

We would like to ask you to reserve the evening of Monday, May 13 to give back to the institution that is giving our children memories, adventure, and a foundation for life-long learning.

FAN will be hosting our second annual fundraising event which includes friends, food, and drinks along with a silent auction and raffle. The auction includes homeschool support, weeks of summer camp, and other FUN! Go to the parent educator resource website for an updated list of items. Proceeds from the auction and raffle will be used to help support our school, and will play a part in ensuring families for years to come get to benefit from project-based learning.

The event is adults only and intended for Da Vinci parents, community members, and friends of Da Vinci Connect. Childcare is offered at Pump It Up, merely 1.3 miles from the event. 

To purchase tickets, please fill out this form and then make your payment. Early bird pricing until April 30. You can pay online via this Eventbrite link or at the Connect front office by cash, check (made out to Da Vinci Schools) or credit card. Please consider sponsoring admission for a teacher or staff member! We will also be selling tickets before school in April AND at PEC, so don't miss on the chance to buy tickets for the event or raffle! (Raffle tickets are available for presale, so you can participate even if you can't attend the event.)  
Can You Help?
We have an amazing selection of camps and classes for the Silent Auction, but we are looking for more! Please let us know if you can help.

Some of the camps/classes/activities that will be available for bidding:
The Loft * Steve & Kate Summer Camp * Raddish Kids * Alyce's Art Studio * Aerial Warehouse * Golden Star * uCode * Sew Creative * Ms. Bee's Tutoring Services * Destination Science Camp * Massage Revolution * Sender One * Galileo Summer Camp * VIP Tickets to see the Angels * Hangar 18 * Private Spanish Lessons with Carlos * Art Experience with Cordula * Flight School Gymnastics * Chef Arm Cooking Camp * Stay Singing: Stay Singing Choir, Voice & Music * Dietz Music *
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!
Coming Up...
State Testing!
April 29 through May 10
?Please remember 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!
Physical Fitness Test
Each year, 5th and 7th grade students participate in the CA Physical Fitness test. This year, students will take the test on Mon/Th and Tues/Fri the week of May 13-17, from 2-3 pm. It is recommended that students bring athletic clothes and shoes to change into for the test. Collaborative families with 5th/7th grade students should have received a SignUp Genius through email. Please email Kaitlin with any questions
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! Sign up here!

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--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.
Have a great week!
~ Your DV Connect Team