June 7th

Da Vinci
Innovation Academy

13500 Aviation Blvd.
Michelle Rainey

Tyler Phipps
Dean of Students

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Greetings DVIA Families!

A Few Words From Our Director

Hello Everyone!

I want to start by expressing how much I've enjoyed working with your family this year. Thank you for choosing DVIA! You've all showed such courage for embracing a homeschool model and challenging the norms of traditional education. Please take a moment to congratulate yourself no matter how amazing or challenging your experience proved.

Before we part for the summer, I wish to share some tearful goodbyes and exciting welcomes.
Some goodbyes:

To all of the students and families not returning to DVIA next year, whether because you have graduated 8th grade and are embarking on high school, or because your family is moving or just seeking a different choice in education...please know that you will be missed and you have made a significant impact on us while you were here. I wish you the best!

As you know, Tyler Phipps, DVIA's Dean of Students for the past two years and middle school humanities teacher for two years before that, will be moving with his family next week. Tyler has made a significant impact at DVIA and he will be missed by all. Tyler, thank you for all you have done to shape our school culture, our thinking and our experiences at DVIA. We all wish you and your family the very best.

DVIA is fortunate to have some of the most committed and talented teachers in the business. Ashley Scott has been part of the DVIA team for more than 3 years. She has supported innumerable students, those with IEPs and those without. She is thoughtful, kind, cares deeply for students and their learning, and she will be hard to replace. Ashley, thank you for all you've given our students, families and teachers. We wish you the very best in law school and in your future career!

DVIA's special education team had the pleasure this year of working with Ray Aliviado. His support for students and awesome debate and animation classes were enjoyed by many. Thank you, Ray, for sharing your gifts with us this year.

Lastly, Bonnie Rainey has supported DVIA's front office for the past 2 years. Her cheerful greetings, her care for students, attention to family needs and support with office projects and data have made such an impact on how we greet and attend to our families (and stay compliant with our auditors!). Bonnie will help us with occasional office projects in the future but won't hold her usual post in the front office next year. Bonnie, we appreciate you...your seat will be hard to fill! Thank you for all you've done!

And now for some welcomes and announcements:

I am honored to announce that DVIA's next Dean of Students will be our own Kaitlin Toon! Kaitlin is a founding staff member at DVIA and has worked with our students from kindergarten through 8th grade. I look forward to working with Kaitlin next year to continue Tyler's great work and begin our own innovative spin on how we support students and families together.

As I mentioned in the April 19th "Special Announcements" newsletter, next year DVIA will support 5th and 6th graders separately. While it is not yet determined what "Core 4 5th grade" and "Core 4 6th grade" will officially be called, what has been determined is that our very own Rita Bouchard, current 5th-8th grade Science teacher, will be the new 5th grade teacher. Rita is a founding staff member at DVIA and an advocate for innovative practice in education. I am excited about what Rita and her students will accomplish next year!

This year DVIA expanded its support of students by welcoming 25 Full Time Independent Study students led by Janette Kiso. Next year, we are welcoming an additional 25 students for a total of 50 FTIS students representing grades K-6. To support this additional group of students, DVIA is excited to welcome Ethel Brown. Ethel participated in our April hiring symposium and taught a lesson to Darlene's Core 3 T/F students. She comes to us with experience supporting homeschooling families as well as teaching in personalized educational settings. We are so excited for all she will give to her future students, the FTIS team and DVIA's support of families through workshops and curriculum. Welcome Ethel!

With Kaitlin's change in role, I have been on the hunt for a just right fit to support our 6th-8th graders in humanities next year. The search ended when we met Dan Katz. Dan participated in our hiring symposium in April and taught a lesson to our core 4 M/Th students. He wowed us with his awesome humanities lesson and most of all, his connection to students had great impact. We are excited to welcome Dan into our DVIA family!

When I decided that Rita would be our 5th grade teacher, I began the search for a middle school science teacher. I am pleased to say I have found a great fit and I look forward to sharing more when the hiring process is finalized. Stay tuned.

Similarly, filling Ashley Scott and Ray Aliviado's shoes will be a challenging one. I am actively working on staffing those special education positions and look forward to sharing more information soon.

Finding someone who can serve families in the high quality way that Bonnie does will be a tough feat. I have begun the search for a receptionist/office clerk and look forward to introducing someone to you soon.

Lastly, I have begun interviewing people for part time instructional aide and academic coach positions to support students in the classrooms.

I am excited for what 2015-2016 will bring to DVIA!

Please read below for a few final announcements. And have a most excellent summer!
M_Rainey sig

Some final announcements:

DVIA Summer camp
We still have camp spots available and I am excited to share which staff members will be organizing, planning and running camp:
Week 1: DVIA's Got Talent! Taught by Darlene*!
Week 2: Storyteller's Cafe! Taught by Darlene*!
Week 3: Let's Have a Ball! Taught by Kelly Ann and Darlene!
Week 4: DVIAmazing Race! Taught by Kelly Ann and Darlene!
*If enrollment increases, both Darlene and Kelly Ann will teach camps 1 and 2

F.A.N. Thank you!
THANK YOU to all of our FAN-tastic families who helped out in all sorts of wonderful ways throughout the year!! Have a great summer!

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who helped with or supported our Scholastic Book Fair! Special thanks to Tiffany Mickley and Nancy Slupski for co-chairing the fair!

THANK YOU to everyone who helped make the year-end social & Cultural Fair a success! Special thanks to Flora White & Karen Mack for chairing this wonderful event!

ST Math over the Summer
All continuing students currently in Cores 1-3 who have access to ST Math in the classroom will be able to use it at home over the summer. This letter explains how to access the program (Spanish version here). Continuing students who already have home access will still have home access. Contact Janette with any questions.

Staff Retreat and Professional Development Donations
Some of you have already inquired about how you can support us in the fall. Thank you for your thoughtfulness! If you are interested in donating towards our August staff development or overnight retreat, please contact Michelle. Thank you!

1st Day of School!
August 17 and 18
Just a reminder that our first day of school is Monday, August 17th. If you are in FTIS or the T/F cohort, this is a homeschool day. Can't wait to see you then!

Fall Parent Educator Conference
August 26, 9:15am-2:15pm Hawthorne Memorial Center
Please save the date for DVIA's first Parent Educator Conference (PEC 1)! We look forward to welcoming and supporting you as parent educators.

Have a great summer!
Your DVIA Team
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