March 23, 2018
Greetings, DVIA Families!
From Our Principal

Greetings Families!

This newsletter is jam packed so be sure to read carefully! I want to thank you in advance for working hard to get those work journals done and turned in on time. The attendance deadline from the state is very strict and directly affects funding for next year. Thank you for helping us, your children and your teachers by turning those in on time!

Approximately 30 families gathered this past Wednesday evening for a workshop presentation on integrating field trips and real world learning into homeschooling. Thank you to everyone who attended, to our guest speaker, Penny Ross of Tools for the Home Educator, and to the FANtastic parents who organized the event! We even had some families accepted through the lottery come to the event!

We have a family-sponsored Da Vinci Cares collection going on this week as well as a middle school exhibition event and pizza and spirit days this Thursday and Friday, so be sure to check out those blurbs below!

Lastly, I want to touch on something we are trying this semester regarding Exhibition. Each year, DVIA holds a fall and spring Exhibition. It is typically on two nights in a row, as you've experienced in the past. While those events are generally successful, I wanted to try something new this semester. Each year I hear feedback from parents that while they like being able to see so many classes in one night, they aren't able to effectively visit all the spaces or even spend as much time at their own child's exhibition if they are also getting into siblings' classrooms, let alone checking out additional grade levels. I also wanted to "open up the box" on what's possible as a way to Exhibit projects since holding those events in the same place at the same time can be limiting. So this semester you will receive invitations from your children's teachers to their events and you will also read about other Exhibitions you are invited to check out, such as the Hybrid middle school Maya Temple Museum blurb below. We will reflect on whether this worked and your input is always valued so feel free to share.

Thank you and enjoy your weekend!
M_Rainey sig
From Our Dean of Students

Hi Families!

Happy Spring! This should mean that sunshine and warm weather are approaching, and it means that State Testing is around the corner. ;) As you may know, 3rd-8th grade students at DVIA participate in the state CAASPP tests in ELA and Math, our 5th and 8th graders participate in a NEW version of the CA Science test (now called the CAST), and our 5th and 7th graders participate in the Physical Fitness Test.

This year, state testing will be held during the weeks of April 16th-April 23rd, with Physical Fitness testing the week of April 30th (more details on PFT coming soon!). Tests will take place during regular classroom instruction for hybrid students, and through a signup genius (already sent by Jennifer) for collaborative students.

While we don't hold much value in these state tests, we want you to have as much information as you need to feel comfortable in knowing that we will create a testing environment that feels safe, comfortable, and least impactful for your students. With that being said, I will hold a special "Donuts with the Dean" on Thursday, March 29, and Friday, March 30, at 9:30 am that will be focused on discussing the state tests. I look forward to seeing you there if you're interested in chatting more about these tests!

In the meantime, feel free to read this letter from the state that shares more information and provides some helpful links. :) Please note that as a state- and federally-funded school, we are required to reach a mandated 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!

What You Need to Know This Week

Reminder: This Work Journal Is Short!
DUE Tuesday, March 27th by 4:15pm
Work Journal #4 is due this Tuesday
! 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!

Da Vinci Cares!
This week only!
Calling all bunnies! We are collecting gently used/new stuffed, toy bunnies this coming week for a local shelter for women and children. Please bring your cuddly bunny(ies) to the turquoise bin located by the lost and found throughout this week, and they will all be delivered to the shelter on Easter!

Core 5 Exhibition - Maya Temple Museum!
Monday and Tuesday, March 26 and 27, 3:15-4:30pm
Core 5 has been studying the Maya civilization of Mesoamerica and would love to invite any interested DVIA family to stop by and visit our Maya Temple Museum located in Robin's classroom on Monday and Tuesday after school.


Middle School Health Education Workshop
Wednesday, 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 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.

Pizza and Spirit Day!
Thursday, March 29, and Friday, March 30
Dress up as your favorite character: Calling all book characters, superheroes, and villains--dress up and use your i
magination!


Donuts with the Dean
Thursday, March 29, and Friday, March 30, 9:30am
Interested in chatting with Kaitlin about the upcoming state tests? Join her for a chat about the state tests (and donuts)!


New Official DVIA Facebook Group for Families!
We are streamlining the way in which our community communicates online, specifically with respect to social media and community forums. As of June 8th, we will be dismantling and shutting down our various Facebook/Yahoo/etc. community forums and will solely operate a new, private DVIA Facebook group. Reques
t to join here. We already have 164 members!! Woohoo!

We realize that you may have found traction and value in using the other forums. However, we have also realized that managing so many different spaces to connect makes it much trickier for families to actually feel connected, especially when many members of these forums are no longer members of that specific group, core, or even our school. The DVIA team's goals are to make community communication easier to access for new and veteran families and to create an online community where we are all truly connected and learning from each other. If you'd like to transfer any resources/files to the new Facebook group, be sure to do so before we shut down the other sites on June 8th. Once you join the new group, please review the guidelines! This will help us all be on the same page about expectations and will give you tips on how to post with tags specific to group/core/purpose that will be easily searchable within the group. Please reach out to Kaitlin with any questions, concerns, or if you would like to meet to discuss this change. Thanks!

Lost and Found Reminder
Before Spring Break
Please visit the lost and found to collect jackets, water bottles, lunch boxes and any other lost and lonely items! During Spring Break they will be cleaned and donated to local charities. Thank you!

Annual Giving Campaign - Matching Challenge - Donate Today!
Please consider donating now! Matching ends April 30th!
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!

Help Needed!
Needs to be done before spring break
Are you available to help relocate our colorful tire planters by chicken coop?! If you can help, send Kaitlin an email! Thanks. :)
Scientific Study in Collaboration w/ UCLA
Are you interested in a free mental health evaluation for your child or in helping him or her learn more about what it's like to be involved in scientific research? Researchers at UCLA are looking for kids ages 9-13 to participate in a landmark study on how brain development is linked to anxiety during adolescence. Qualified participants can earn up to $100 and get a free picture of their brain! For more information, go to: https://ucladays.wixsite.com/website

Save the Date
Middle School Dance!
April 27, 7pm
Please reference Kaitlin's email (sent 3/9) for more information. The dance committee will resume planning on April 11 @ 2:15! The committee is open to all middle schoolers!

8th Grade Beach Photo shoot!
April 11th @ 3:30 pm underneath Manhattan Beach Pier.
See Kaitlin's e-mail to 8th grade families for more information.

Chumash Village Family Field Trip
May 10-12
Join DaVinci families on a parent-led field trip to Wishtoyo's Chumash Village - a unique and authentic re-creation of a working Native American village! Visit this link to get more information. This is a family sponsored trip and completely optional to attend, but it's always a good way to connect with fellow Da Vincians!

DVIA Cultural Fair
Thursday, May 31, 4:30-7pm
Mark your calendars and plan to join us! Get more information, sign up to help, and RSVP here!
Did You Know...
...the Parent Educator Resource website has a calendar with upcoming events. You can also find the calendar for the academic school year on the Da Vinci Schools website.
Have a great week!
~Your DVIA Team