August 16, 2017
Greetings, DVIA Families!
From Our Principal

Greetings DVIA Families!

It has been such an honor connecting with you over the past two days! Thank you for your gift of time. You each brought something unique to our time together and I enjoyed getting to meet so many new families. Please approach me if we didn't meet and remind me of your names and your children's names--I aim to know everyone! I'm excited to meet each new student in the coming weeks and reconnect with returning students. 

While PEC is still fresh in your mind, please give us feedback HERE! I hope you gleaned from my opening speech that hearing your needs and doing my best to meet them is very important to me. Knowing what worked for you, what didn't and what we could consider for future events is very helpful. Something you will hear me say on occasion is that when giving feedback, we ask that you be "kind, specific and helpful." We like to take this cue from Ron Berger, who wrote one of my favorite books on Project-Based Learning, An Ethic of Excellence. Check out the "Austin's Butterfly" video that is one of our foundational professional development conversation pieces. Giving feedback in a way that people not only can hear it but actually want to hear it is a skill we value very much. Thank you for taking the time to reflect on your PEC experience and share your thoughts! 

In order to give further support to new families, I will be available on Thursday and Friday from 9:20-10:00am and 2:30-3:15pm in our art/makerspace (we call it the Innovation Station). Bring your questions and I will do my best to answer them! 

One more request for new families--because we are a small school, we will very quickly know each of you and your child when you arrive for pick up. For the first few weeks of school, if at all possible, please plan to park* and walk to your child's classroom to retrieve him/her. And be sure to say hi to us at "curbside drop off/pick up" at the front of school. This will help us know who belongs with who, which will make the line go much smoother! We recommend that very young kiddos do not do valet until they are comfortable entering campus and finding their way to their classroom independently. 
*Parking options: In front of DVIA (few parking spots available, we realize), in the Wiseburn neighborhood near 138th and 135th street and at Dana Middle School. Please note that we share the south parking area with Wiseburn School District--please help us be good neighbors to our authorizers! 

Returning families, don't think I've forgotten about you! Thank you for continuing to choose DVIA and for trusting us with your kiddos. I hope the revisions we've made for the 2017-18 school year help you feel heard. We appreciate that year after year, you share your vision and help us become better at serving homeschoolers across the South Bay. 

Please read below for important information and reminders about the first days and weeks of school. 

M_Rainey sig
From Our Dean of Students

I can't believe we are about to embark on our 7th year at DVIA! This journey is at times going to feel exciting, invigorating, overwhelming, and a little crazy...and sometimes you might feel those things all at the same time! I say this not to scare you, but to remind you that it is SO worth it! Get ready to learn about your kiddos in a whole new light, and to learn a bit about yourself as well. Be gentle with yourself and your learner, and enjoy the ride!

As Michelle mentioned, if you are a new family, please continue to introduce yourself/your kiddo when we see each other! My goal is to know every family by name by the end of the first month of school! Returning families, don't hesitate to re-introduce yourself, either! Clearing those summer cobwebs from our brains takes a little while ;)

I am excited about additional opportunities to support our new families/new ways to involve FAN on campus! Look below for an immediate opportunity to "Ask Me" on the first days of school, and for additional opportunities in the near future. If you are a returning family and would like to be more involved, e-mail me!

Hybrid Families: What to Expect on Thursday and Friday  

We know the first day of school can feel exciting and overwhelming for you and your kiddo! Here's what you need to know: 
  • We open campus at 9:00am on most days but will open at 8:45am this Thursday and Friday. Starting next week, campus will open at 9:00am. We ask you to wait outside until the chalkboard door opens unless you have a scheduled meeting with a staff member. This ensures that our teachers can use their mornings to prepare for the day and meet with families as needed. Thank you! 
  • Enter/exit through the "chalkboard door" (next to the glass front entrance door) between 9:00-9:15 and 3:15-3:30. Outside these times the door will be locked and students/parents can only exit through the glass door. 
  • Our "curbside" drop off and pick up service will begin this week but it will be congested so leave yourself plenty of time if you choose this option. Make sure your kiddo feels good about entering campus alone before participating and please make sure your kiddo is packed up with backpack ready before you arrive at the front of the line (to ensure it moves swiftly). 
  • Please ONLY DRIVE NORTHBOUND in our driveway between 8:45-9:15am and 2:45-3:15pm. This is for the safety of your children, the staff assisting your children and your cars! 
  • When arriving for pick up, please wait out front until 3:15. We find that once parents begin walking down hallways, students stop engaging in closing meeting. Thank you for allowing us to wrap up our day with your children in a meaningful and connecting way! Besides, using the waiting time to socialize with other parents is fun! 
  • Middle school families: Please ask your child to head on back to Robin and Sascha's classrooms and all three of your teachers will meet them there and let them know where to go for first period. Thanks! 
Other Things to Know When Visiting Campus: 
  • Students should wear DVIA dress code attire every time they come to campus. Whether it's for enrichment, a workshop, a special education service, a whole day or a part of a day, if they come to campus, please ask your learner to dress according to our Dress Code Policy (see handbook). This includes close-toed shoes at all times. 
  • Students should always bring snacks, a lunch (when staying for the whole day or lunch period portion of the day) and a re-usable water bottle
  • Please avoid packing cookies, candy, sugary treats, soda, sugary drinks or fast food in school snacks and lunches (see handbook). These foods make learning hard for most kiddos and become a distraction and temptation to others. We also request that students do not share food due to allergies. 
  • If arriving on campus at any time besides the 9:00-9:15 drop off or 3:15-3:30 pickup, please plan to escort your child to the office where he/she can sign in (this is so we have accurate record of who is on campus in case of an emergency). Middle school students may escort themselves into the office (and sign in) but may not leave without an adult signing them out. Thank you. 
  • When taking your child home early or picking up from a service, please park and come in to the front office. Arrive in time for your child to be called out of class (please do not call or text your child and ask him/her to meet you in the front office--this needs to be handled through school personnel). We cannot allow your child to go find you in the parking lot so please come into the office and sign him/her out. Thank you! 
  • You will receive information about Wednesday enrichment drop off and pick up procedures next week. Thanks! 
First Day on Campus Photos! 

Want to commemorate your child's first day of school at DVIA? Take an adorable "first day" photo using our custom-made frame (thank you to our FANtastic parent Brooke for making it!). Our photographer, Stacee Lianna, will be here to take photos on Thursday and Friday. 


Collaborative families, the frame will also be available for your child's first day of workshops when those start up. You can also stop by Kaitlin and Michelle's office to grab the frame and snap a pic when your child is on campus ! We know that in independent study, one size does not fit all and it may be a few days or even weeks before we see you! 

Enrichment Applications Due Friday! 


Please drop off your child's enrichment application to the front office by this Friday! We need to process each application, create class rosters and email you a schedule confirmation all next week. It's a lot to accomplish so the sooner you turn in your application, the better! Thanks! The application is available at the front office or on the Parent Educator Resource site under "Resources." 
  • Please direct all enrichment-related communication to our coordinators using
  • Payments for extra blocks are not due until confirmation of class availability is sent to you (if you submitted a payment we will hold it until confirmation occurs).
Curriculum Pick-Up 
Thursday & Friday, 8:45-9:30 and 3:10-3:40 in Collaborative Classroom 

Are you a family who did not pick up their requested hard copy curriculum resources at PEC or has not yet turned in your request? We can help! On Thursday 8/17 and Friday 8/18 from 8:45-9:30 and 2:45-3:30, previously requested items may be picked up at the Collaborative Classroom. You can also drop by to ask questions about the resources available and see examples of the hard copy items, to help in making your selections.

For newly enrolled families who made a request after 8/11, we will notify you when your materials are available.
Book Fair Still Open! 

Monday, August 14th-Friday, August 18th @ DVIA
Theresa's Room

If you missed the chance to peruse the book fair at PEC, don't fret! It will be available from 12:00-2:00 on Wednesday and from 2:45-4:00 on Thursday and Friday. 

If you have any questions please contact Ambur at
Did you miss PEC? 

If you missed PEC this week, you are still required to meet with your child's teacher to ensure you (and we) are fulfilling the mandatory independent study requirement. Your teacher will be sending out a makeup meeting option. Please be on the look out for that. Thanks!   

Comedy and Magic Club FUNdraiser
September 13th, 6:30-9:30pm

Start the school year off with laughter and community!  Please join DVIA for another Comedy and Magic Club Fundraiser on Wednesday 9/13/17. Seating begins at 6:30 and the plan is to arrange a group arrival/ group seating so we can laugh out loud together.  Dan McMilan in the stand-up entertainment for the night and has a great bio as software-engineer-turned-comedian. Tickets are $20 and will be on sale starting 8/14/17.  Please sign up here to indicate interest with your name and email. You will be contacted with more details related to the evening and acquiring your tickets.  Thank you in advance for your help to raise funds for DVIA.  

Please Review the DVIA Student and Family Handbook!

Do you know our Habits of Heart and Mind? Unclear about expectations for DVIA homeschool parent educators? Want to better understand what is expected of DVIA staff members? Need a refresher about what you agreed to in the independent study enrollment agreement? Need all the work journal deadlines at a glance? Want to be more involved and can't remember the FAN email address? Not sure if you can bring cupcakes to celebrate your child's birthday? (please don't!) Read about these topics and so much more in our handbook

Did you notice the enrichment application was posted? Want to connect with Michelle and can't remember the dates for Pastries or Popcorn with the Principal? Need to find something in a past newsletter and searching your email will take too long? Want to sync the calendar to your device and instantly download the calendar? Need some homeschooling ideas or have a great online resource to share? You can find this and so much more on our website created by parents for parents:
Important Contact Information!
Family Directory

Please start building your community now! Opt-in to our Family Directory here. You may access the directory through our Parent Educator Resource site: using the password: DVIAfams.

Eclipse Viewing at DVIA

You probably already know that the country is preparing for the "Great American Eclipse," or the total solar Eclipse happening the morning of August 21st! Be on the lookout for resources/articles/websites/ from your teachers on great homeschooling around this "stellar" astronomical event! For those kiddos who will be on campus that morning, we will view the Eclipse together, which will include observing the Eclipse through telescopes, pinhole cameras, and special viewing glasses that will protect precious eyes. 
Astro Camp and Catalina Camp 

If your 5th/6th grader is planning to attend Astro Camp on 9/20-9/22 or your 7th/8th grader is planning to attend Catalina Camp on 9/25-9/27, please attend one of the following mandatory parent meetings: 8:30am on 8/21 or 8/22 (location TBD). This meeting will inform parents of everything necessary for their kiddo to be ready for camp--including payment, packing lists and health forms! Questions? Email Kaitlin at
Popcorn with the Principal 
Sept 22 and 24 @ 3:30 in the Collab Lab, outside Core 1

Want to connect more with Michelle? Grab a seat, grab some popcorn and let's chat! 
Have a great week!
~Your DVIA Team
Da Vinci Schools, 13500 Aviation Boulevard, Hawthorne, CA 90250
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