Da Vinci Innovation Academy

      August 14          



In This Issue
Updates From Your Principal
School Events
Important Info
Teaching and Learning
Parent Resources
Other Info
Stay Connected


August 20th & 21st
Jump Start


August 22nd 

Family Picnic


August 23rd &24th

First day of school


Quick Links



Social Emotional Learning


Family Handbook






Da Vinci  

Innovation Academy



13500 Aviation Blvd.

Hawthorne, CA  90250

(310) 725-5800 




Dr. Nicole Tempel Assisi
















Updates From Your Principal



Hello Da Vinci Families,   


Jump Start is less than a week away and we are excited about the events, workshops and activities we have planned for you. Our goal is to provide you with hands-on strategies, ideas and resources that you can use for this year. While 2 days might feel like a lot of time, it is hardly enough to touch on all the great things that you could and will be doing, but we sure are trying! Please remember that while we love having students on campus, in order to maximize our time together and have opportunities for adult learning, we request that students do not attend this event. We feel strongly that the event is not suitable and engaging for young minds and that in order for everyone to have the best learning experience we cannot have this be an adult and student event. We know that this can be challenging for some of you and understand that you may not be able to attend because of this. Please ask a friend or family member in your place if you need to.  Also, we will hold a student and adult event on Wednesday that will be geared at play, connection and easing the first day jitters. More info in the events section below.


Another piece I would like to clarify is our plan for how we will address Math and English Language Arts instruction. As you recall, we are asking families to teach both of these subjects at home. This does not mean that we will not be covering Math and English at school, but rather that we feel they are important enough for all of us to address these crucial subjects. A couple of ways that we will ensure students have appropriate support is by:

1. Providing you with a year-long plan of what skills students need to know and when we will touch on them or feel they are best covered.

2. Creating skill-based work journals that will guide you on what should happen at different stages of the year.

3. Provide you with monthly workshops focusing how to teach certain skills.

4. Offering academic support classes (called Scholar Club) in our elective program.
5. Providing all students in Cores 1, 2 and 3 with a reading block and all students in Core 4 and 5 with a Math block on the days they are at DVIA . These will be taught by specialists who will exclusively focus on the reading and math competency and success of kids during school days (these same people are also available as a resource to families).


I hope this clarifies some of your percolating questions. We promise that by attending Jump Start, all these pieces and  will become clearer.


We are so honored to work with you and are excited for the 2012-2013 school year to start :-)



In this issue of our newsletter:

  • School Events:
    • Jump Start August 20th and 21st | 10am-3pm 
    • Family Picnic August 22nd | 5-7pm
  • Important Information and News: Electives
  • Parent Resource: Carpooling
  • Teaching and Learning: Ways of Being
  • Wish List: Classroom materials
  • Other: Core 4 and 5 Camp  
  • Looking back and looking ahead
    • Teaching Resources and Curriculum
    • Da Vinci Shirts for sale



Dr. Nicole Tempel Assisi 



School Events


Parent Jump Start Days 

Monday AND Tuesday, August 20 and 21 | 10 am - 3 pm

in the "Forum"/Multi-Purpose Room @ Da Vinci





10 Welcome

10:30 Workshop 1: Reader's &Writer's Workshop (Cores 1-3) or CPM (Cores 4-5)

12:30 Lunch

1:00 Workshop 2:  Reader's &Writer's Workshop (Cores 4-5) or Questioning Strategies for Mathematics (Cores 1-3)

3:00 See you tomorrow



10 Overview of Policies adn Procedures

10:30 Learning Plan Meeting with Teachers Tuesday/Friday cohort  or Workshop Depth and Complexity

12:30 Lunch

1:00 Learning Plan Meeting w/ Teachers Monday/Thursday cohort

or Workshop Depth and Complexity

3:00 Remember: family Picnic Wednesday evening



In order to best prepare for this year and make everyone's experience even more successful, we request your presence at our Jump Start meeting. During this time you will learn about CPM and CGI math, receive training in Reader's Writer's Workshop, receive your first learning plan for the new school year, and much more! If you cannot attend, you will need to attend a makeup meeting to receive the information and items provided at the training (date to be determined). These workshops are an integral part of our success as a learning community, so please make every effort to attend! 


Many of you have asked about whether we will provide child care. We are not licensed for child care and do not have the capacity to do so right now. In an effort to help you plan your calendars and make your life work, we have reached out to some people who are interested in providing you with this service for Aug 20-21, our Jump Start Days. Here are a couple of ideas and leads for you:

1. Art Zone for kids ages 3-9

Monday drop off at 9:30 am and pick up at 2 pm.

Tuesday is 1 pm - 5 pm

Each day costs $40.50

To sign up contact Laura Krug at 310-318-6011


2. AdventurePlex for children ages 4-12

9 am to 4 pm on Monday and Tuesday. Cost: $50 per day

Monday agenda: AdventurePlex rotations

Tuesday agenda: Beach Day

Registration forms are available here. For more information, please contact AdventurePlex at 310-546-7708.  


If you know of other places and want to share information with other parents, please post information on our Yahoo Group at DaVinciInnovation@yahoogroups.com.



Family Picnic

Wednesday, August 22 | 5 pm - 7 pm

on the Da Vinci Innovation Academy campus


Please join us for the Da Vinci Innovation Academy Back-to-School Picnic! This is a chance to get to know the new families joining our community and catch up with friends we haven't seen all summer. We'll play some "getting-to-know-you" games to put everyone in the mood for a great first day of school!

This is a modified pot-luck:  please bring a picnic dinner and blanket for your own family along with a dessert item to share with everyone (simple, handheld items recommended!).

Hope to see you there.







Important Information and News:



Below is some information from Nancy Rosenburg, DVIA's Director of Enrichment and After School Activities: 


DVIA's elective program includes elective timeslots on Tuesdays or Thursdays (whichever day your child is not at DVIA) at Adventureplex, nearby at Aviation and Marine Avenue.

  • Families will receive one elective timeslot as part of the DVIA program. 
  • There are three timeslots to choose from (these times are approximate and are still being finalized): 9:00-11:30am on Tuesday or Thursday, 12:00-2:30pm on Tuesday or Thursday, and 3:15-4:45pm after school on Tuesday or Thursday. Scheduling will be based on times classes are offered. We will do our best to accommodate your needs!
  • The timeslots will consist of a blend of elective and academic content. All students will have one section of "choice elective" and one of "Scholar Club" (unless you opt to pick up your students early or drop them off late). Scholar Club is designed to provide academic support for students. The time will be utilized in a variety of ways, to be determined by the academic coach, according to the needs, interests, and ages of the students participating. Possible foci may include targeted skill work, educational games, reading buddies, independent work or other activities created by staff. More information will be available once enrollment is finalized. Scholar Club is optional, but available to all students enrolled in each elective block. 
  • The 90-minute after-school time slot will consist solely of "choice elective" (Scholar Club is available upon request after school).
  • All families will have access to one of the three timeslots. Additional timeslots are available at a cost of $250 per 13-week semester (independent of whether you select a 90-minute or 2.5-hour slot). 
  • Classes will begin the week of September 11th and end December 13th, excluding Thanksgiving break.  

Most classes will be taught by the awesome and talented DVIA instructors and academic coaches. Some highly experienced and well-respected outside providers may also be on the elective roster to further enhance the program curriculum.



Parents are welcome to send snacks and lunch if student will be spending the lunch period at Adventureplex. Adventureplex also provides healthy snacks and meals at an affordable cost. This option will be available after the first week of classes. Information to follow.


Possible Class Offerings:

  • Dance and Choreography
  • Mask Making
  • Comic Strip and Book Design
  • Form and Space: Autobiographical Sculptures
  • Lego Robotics
  • Musical Theatre: Jungle Book
  • Electrical Engineering with Minecraft
  • Everyday Items
  • Multi Sport
  • Yoga
  • Chess
  • Foreign Language
  • Math Support
  • Volleyball

If you have any questions or input, please feel free to contact Nancy Rosenburg, DVIA Director of Enrichment and After School Activities, at nrosenburg@davincischools.org  or (310) 725-5800 ext. 1604



Sign-ups for classes will take place after Jump Start and will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.




Teaching and Learning


It is our hope to provide you with food for thought and tools for teaching and learning in every newsletter. This week during our staff professional development, we spent quite some time talking about how we "want to be" towards and with each other, including students, parents and community members. Here are some notes from our discussion!


Staff "Ways of Being" Ideas:

  • We are a family.
  • We believe in students being heard. Their ideas matter.
  • We teach positive conflict resolution skills.
  • We believe that how we learn is as important as what we learn.
  • We emphasize collaborative learning and outside-the-box thinking. Students are not here to "be at school" but to enhance their lives.
  • We teach metacognitive reflection and ensure students are in a mental space to take in new information by making sure their needs are met.
  • We value intrinsic motivation and know that rewards and punishments are not the best course of action.
  • We respect all people (students, families, staff) as whole people, not just as people in an academic environment.
  • We identify the needs and feelings of those around us and offer support accordingly.
  • We believe in students building their own knowledge in hands-on, multisensory, collaborative and dynamic ways.
  • We know it is important for students to have an authentic audience.
  • We understand that behavior is not random but tied to an issue that needs nurturing.

Here is a link to an article that we found helpful in capturing some of our beliefs and pratices as well as providing tips and ideas. Click here




Parent Resources



Tips from some veteran DVIA parents

Getting started can be the hardest part. Here is an article written by a Da Vinci Parent giving some tips on how to make your family facilitated learning more effective.




If you are in need of carpool options we now have a resource to help you find and provide a ride. Please click this link www.carpoolworld.com/davinciparents and register with a valid e-mail address. Once you have created your account, you are free to search the site for other people who want to carpool. If you are interested in carpooling with someone, simply send them an e-mail and begin to devise a schedule that is convenient for both of you.



Other: Core 4 and 5 Camp


By now, Core 4 and 5 families should have received a brochure with details about the Mountain and Sea Educational Adventures Science Camps. Core 4 students have the opportunity to attend a 3-day adventure in the San Bernadino mountains, and Core 5 kids have the option to explore Catalina Island! 

Although the brochures include payment due dates, we ask that families who are ready commit, please make a partial or full payment as early as possible so that we can secure the dates requested

If you have any further questions about either of the MSA camping trips, please reach out to our science camp chairperson Kristie Wakefield at kristiewakefield@verizon.net


Thank you Kristie for your on-going support with these events!  




  • If you have not already done so, please turn in your enrollment/re-enrollment forms to the office ASAP.No later than Monday August 20th. 
  • Want to see the smiley faces of our staff before school starts, click here
  • Dress code for school is a polo or a Da Vinci shirt. Further details are in our handbook. Click here to access our handbook
  • Child care during Jump Start not provided by school. 2 possible options listed in last newsletter and other ideas were posted by parents on the Yahoo Group 

Coming in next issue:

  • Parent Resource Site
  • Parent Educator handbook
  • Common Core curriculum planning resources

Get Involved


As we kick off this new year, we again want to thank you for all the ways you partner with us to make DVIA a truly wonderful learning community!  At the end of May, some of you signed up for various volunteer opportunities for this year - thank you! FAN council members will contact you in the coming weeks to engage you in the various opportunities. For anyone who missed the signups, the initial signup links are listed below.  We will continue to use Signup Genius to post new opportunities.  Please note that volunteer opportunities may shift as we gain greater clarity on actual needs, so thanks in advance your flexibility.  There are plenty of service opportunities, so find the one that calls to you! :)  If you have any questions about volunteering for events, feel free to reach out to Nancy Slupski at nancy.slupski@gmail.com 

Additionally, if you have interest in helping out regularly on campus, please contact Laura Glasser at lglasser@davincischools.org


Family Support Sign-Ups: 



Lead a Book Club Sign-Ups: 



Events Sign-Ups:



FUNdraising Sign-Ups: 



School Spirit Sign-Ups (whole year involvement):



School Spirit Sign-Ups (date specific):



Staff Support Sign-Up Ups:






Stay Connected


Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and stay connected to all that is happening in our school!


Yahoo Group:




Twitter: @DaVinciK8




Facebook: DaVinciInnovation