March 9, 2018
Greetings, DVIA Families!
From Our Principal

Greetings Families!

Our mixer is right around the corner and I'm really excited to spend the evening hanging out with so many of you off campus! :) Thank you in advance for making this your educational community! Thank you to our FAN families for organizing the event and donating auction items, and thank you to Rich Marcello and Jennifer Ito for hosting us at Strand Brewing Company! See you there!

One of the things I enjoy about being both a mommy and the principal of DVIA is that my children give me insight into student perspectives that adults sometimes don't see. On Friday, my daughter came home and said, "Mom, I don't like that it feels like DVIA is becoming like a regular school." Surprised, I asked her to clarify what she meant by that and she said, "Well, a few weeks ago we had to sign out to go to the bathroom and now we have to get an office pass if we need to go to the office." I explained to her the reason for that and realized that of course other students might be coming home with that same feedback, so it's important to me that I explain. Here goes:

A few weeks ago you probably read in the newsletter that we needed to be vigilant about who was using the bathroom and when because some vandalism was occurring. Fortunately, that has subsided and teachers have either returned to their former system or some have found that having a better pulse on who is leaving and for how long works better for them and may still be having students sign out before leaving the room. While some teachers just ask students to give them a signal when they leave, others have always required them to sign out or place their name card in a specific place, etc. to ensure everyone is accounted for at all times.

This past week, a different need came across our radar. We are experiencing a higher than usual number of students requesting to go to the office. While sometimes there are really legitimate reasons and the child's teacher is aware of the visit (such as, "Teacher, can I go to the office to call my mom...I forgot my lunch" or "I'm feeling sick and need to go home"), what we are also seeing is an increase in students saying they are using the restroom but going to the office instead or going to the office to report an illness or discomfort multiple times a day (or week). If the child's teacher isn't aware that the child is going to the office, it becomes very difficult to support the child in what he or she really needs. If this was happening with just one child in one class, we wouldn't need a more formal process. However, it's happening with enough frequency that it feels to the staff (office staff, administration and teachers) that we need to have a better system to ensure a challenge a student is having is on the teacher's radar.

So, will we have office passes forever? The answer is "I don't know." When DVIA first opened, we were a tiny school with maybe 100 students on campus each day and informal systems worked for us. But as we grew, some of those systems no longer worked. Four years ago we needed to have a more formalized policy for visiting campus because a lot of adults were "popping in" to say hi to their children or wanting to go back onto campus for parts or all of the day and it was beginning to feel unsafe not having a formal sign in/sign out system. That shift caused some big feelings for some adults, but we can probably now agree now that knowing who is on campus, for what reason and for how long is a good thing!

A more formalized system is not intended to show distrust or take away freedoms. It's simply a way for the adults on campus to make sure everyone is safe. Sometimes that means safety from viewing inappropriate images or words etched on a bathroom wall, sometimes it means knowing who is on campus and why, and sometimes safety means that teachers need to know if their students are going to the office to seek comfort or call home even if it isn't totally necessary.

Lastly, if your child is used to being able to speak with you on the phone whenever he/she comes into the office, that may shift as well. Especially with the flu season upon us, allowing 20-30 students a day call home into the same phone receiver that our office staff uses to perform the day to day operations of a front office isn't safe. It may be that your child's message to you needs to be communicated through the front office staff. We hope you understand!

Thank you for reading and as always, stop me on campus if you have questions or concerns!
M_Rainey sig
What You Need to Know This Week

Reminder: This Work Journal Is Short!
Work Journal #4 ends March 23 - it's a short one! Don't forget to put together a daily log and work samples as you go. It is absolutely crucial that you turn in this work journal on time! Our attendance is due to the state and our funding for the year is significantly impacted if we have to turn it in without your child's attendance accounted for. Thank you for helping us!

Musical Theater Work Day!
Thank you for joining the cast and crew of the 4th-8th grade Musical Theater class as they built sets and props for their upcoming performance! Everyone worked hard and the performance is going to be awesome! (Performance will take place during the afternoon/evening of the final Enrichment day, April 25th)

Da Vinci Mixer & Silent Auction (Adult-Only Event)
Monday, March 12, 5-9 pm
Thank you for purchasing a ticket to this exciting event! Your ticket includes appetizer, food, dessert and 1 beverage of choice. There will only be a LIMITED amount of tickets sold at the door.***

Families and local organizations have donated some awesome raffle and auction items! Take a look at a sampling of the offerings listed on the Parent Education Resource Site:!

Pastries with the Principal

Monday, March 12, and Friday, March 16, 9:15 am
Come join Michelle and other parents for a bring-your-own-topic discussion!
Parent Workshop: How to Incorporate Field Trips & Life into Your Homeschooling
March 21, 5-7pm
Join DVIA Families on Wednesday, March 21st from 5 to 7 pm in the forum to learn how to integrate learning into the natural flow of your day and into your family's lifestyle. The workshop will be conducted by Tools for the Home Educator. We want to offer more events like this but we have to get good attendance so please come!

Middle School Health Education Workshop
March 21, 2:30-3:30 in the Forum--for parents
March 28, 2:30-3:30 in the Forum--for 6th-8th grade students
The California Healthy Youth Act requires school districts to provide students with integrated, comprehensive, accurate, and unbiased comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention education at least once in middle school and once in high school. Parents may choose to opt out of providing this instruction but we still have to offer it.

Our nurse has prepared curriculum for you to use during home instruction, if you choose. She will distribute it this month to all parents of students in grades 6, 7 and 8. We are hosting a parent info session March 21, 2:30-3:30 in the forum to hear more about the curriculum and answer any questions. We will be offering a student presentation that introduces many of these topics March 28, 2:30-3:30 in the forum. A private sign-up will go out for the student portion to ensure we have materials for all who wish to attend.

Annual Giving Campaign - Matching Challenge - Donate Today!
There has never been a better time to support Da Vinci Schools! Donate or pledge by April 30, 2018 and your contribution will be DOUBLED by our generous industry partners, up to $75,000. All pledge payments must be received by June 30, 2018 to be eligible for the match. Annual Giving dollars provide unrestricted funds and flexibility that allow us to address urgent needs and take advantage of special opportunities as they arise. They also provide funding for hands-on curriculum, a materials budget for every teacher, and much more.
Every gift makes a difference! Give online or download a pledge card today! We thank you!
Bugs and Botany
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
The La Brea Tar Pits & Museum is excited to announce our third Homeschool Day this school year: Bugs and Botany! What can insect fossils teach us about the Ice Age Environment? How do seeds get preserved in asphalt for thousands of years? Spend this Homeschool Day with two often under-appreciated groups of organisms-insects and plants! Join us in the hunt for bugs in our Pleistocene Garden. Meet some very special invertebrates in a live animal presentation. You can also get an up-close look at some of the smallest fossils from the tar pits!
Schedule of Programs:
Microfossil Identification: 9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Drop in, no tickets required
Bug Hunt: 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Drop in, no tickets required
Observation Pit: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Drop in, no tickets required
Live Animal Presentation: 10:15 am, 10:45 am, 11:30 am
Tickets required, pick up limited free tickets at check in-first come, first served.
Titans of the Ice Age 2D: 12:00 pm, 12:30 pm, 1:00 pm, 1:30 pm
No tickets required
Save the Date
DVIA's Second Annual Science Fair
Saturday, March 17, 1-4 pm
This year, we are combining the Science Fair with the Day of the Steminists at DVS. The Day of the Steminists is a day filled with science and engineering challenges, hosted by the Da Vinci Science Society of Women Engineers and the Vitruvian Bots (FIRST Team 4201). This FREE event is open to boys and girls ages K-8th. Follow this link for more information and to sign up.

Middle School Dance!
Please reference Kaitlin's email (sent 3/9) for more information.
Did You Know...
...there is a "New Families FAQ" on the "Resources" menu of the Parent Educator Resource website? If you're new, go check it out!
Have a great week!
~Your DVIA Team