Da Vinci Innovation Academy

      August 22           



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



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,   


It was fantastic to see all of you at Jump Start, and we are excited to start school this Thursday and Friday!  Thank you for your enthusiasm as we gear up for an amazing first two days of school.  We can't wait to see your children's excited faces on Thursday and Friday.   




  • School starts promptly at 9:15am and ends at 3:15pm
  • Please support your student by arriving with enough time for your student to be fully settled in class before 9:15am
  • Parents are asked to wait in front of the school before 3:15pm pickup (once students see parents they lose focus)
  • Curbside valet available: 9:00-9:15am and 3:15-3:30pm
  • For safety reasons, please only drive northbound in the parking lot during drop off and pick up
  • Limited parking is available in the Da Vinci parking lot, on 135th Street, and in the Dana Middle School parking lot adjacent to Da Vinci Science

In case you are looking for the Handouts I mentioned during Jump Start, here are a couple of links (all going to our resource site):


 http://davincik8.org/wp/?page_id=1745 - for handbooks


http://davincik8.org/wp/?page_id=1177 - for workshop handouts from Monday and Tuesday 


http://davincik8.org/wp/?page_id=227 - for Learning Goals and specifics about those Goals (found on the right side of the "Instructional Support" page)



  1. Passwords and usernames for online programs will be sent out again next week.
  2. We are getting the campus ready today and can use your help to cleaning and prepping.  Stop on by and ask how you can help! 
  3. We will be pulled in many directions for the remainder of this week and want to give our full attention to your children. If it can wait, please hold off on contacting us until next week. Thank you!  

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


See you on Thursday or Friday!


Your Principal,




In this issue of our newsletter:

  • School Events:
    • Family Picnic August 22nd | 5-7pm
    • Upcoming events this year
  • Important Information and News: Electives
  • Teaching and Learning:
    • Curriculum List
    • Sign up for Math Training
  • Parent Resource:
    • First Day Jitters and Separation
    • The Resource Site
  • Other: Core 4 and 5 Camp  
  • Reminders
  • How to get Involved  

School Events


Family Picnic


Wednesday, August 22 | 5 pm - 7 pm (TONIGHT) 

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 to 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 potluck:  please bring a picnic dinner and blanket for your own family along with a dessert item to share with everyone (simple, hand-held items recommended!).

Hope to see you there.





Mark your calendars. Details coming soon!


Back to School Night  

September 19, 6-8pm



Important Information and News:

DVIA Elective Program

(Re-run from previous week...no news yet. Sign ups coming soon!)


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


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

  • Families will receive one elective time slot as part of the DVIA program. 
  • There are three time slots 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 time slots 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 time slots. Additional time slots 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.




Teaching and Learning


Curriculum Resources


Listed below are some resources purchased and provided to you by DVIA. Usernames and passwords will be sent home on Monday and Tuesday.





Study Island






Complete Curriculum



Dream Box


Core 1-3






Core 4-5

Reading Eggs

Language Arts

Core 1-3

The Writer's Jungle

Language Arts

Core 4-5


Training and Workshops: 


Math Training for Core 4 & 5 CPM

Sign up at this link https://cpm.gosignmeup.com 


Make-up Jump Start workshops: 

Friday, September 7th (exact times will be announced soon). 


Core Class Jump Start Meeting Make-ups:   


Contact your child's teacher(s) to find out when a make-up meeting will be held. 




Parent Resources


First Day Jitters


We understand that you want to be there for your child, and we believe you should! We also believe that your child needs time and space to build relationships, which is sometimes challenging to do with mom or dad hovering nearby. Be mindful of the need to build a new community and how you can support your child in this. New things and change can bring up a range of emotions for adults and kids alike. We understand! There are new routines and new expectations, and new people will help with working through challenges. Here are some great tips and strategies to keep in mind for your child's first days.

1. Try to minimize your own anxiety. Just as it's perfectly normal for your child to feel some anxiety on the first days of school, it's absolutely normal for you to feel anxious when you see your child upset. And it's also understandable that you may experience some frustration when you see other children playing happily and your child is still clinging to your legs for dear life. But here is the most important thing for you to remember: Your child will adjust to his/her new classroom. It may take some kids a bit longer than others, but the fact is that it will happen, especially if you respond with understanding and patience and keep your eyes on the prize: a happy child who loves going to school and seeing his/her friends (it will happen!).

2. Be mindful of the questions you ask: Sometimes what we ask kids can create new anxieties. Instead of asking "Will you be ok if I leave?" (which may make kids wonder if they should not be ok or if there actually is something wrong) try asking things like "Would you like me to wait 5 minutes or leave now?" or "Is there something you need from me before I leave?" These questions still address your child's needs without creating anxiety.

3. Don't stay too long. Reassure your child that you will be back and say a quick goodbye. Lingering tends to create more anxiety as your child will be "waiting for" the separation to happen. As wrenching as it may be for you to walk away while your child is crying, chances are that he/she will be playing happily soon after you are out of sight. However, we also recommend that you don't sneak out as this may undermine your child's trust and could worsen separation anxiety.

4. Identify his/her anxiety. What exactly is your child's fear? Talk to your child and find out what he/she is worried about. Is he/she concerned that you won't return? That someone will be mean to him? Or that he/she won't know where the bathroom is or won't know what to do? Once you establish what the specific fears are you will be better able to address the concerns and work with your child and his/her teacher(s) to find ways to handle those needs.

5. Have faith in the school. We realize there is nothing more important than the safety and well-being of your child. Teachers will be ready with morning routines, songs, games, and other fun activities to get your child into the swing of things while he/she adjusts to the new surroundings. We believe there is a difference between the emotion attached to being nervous and unsure about a situation and not being able to adjust. The school will contact you if your child needs you.

6. Downplay the milestone. Ratcheting up expectations and highlighting the first day as a really big deal with a capital "D" is likely to backfire as it makes your child more nervous than he/she already is. Instead, try to compare school to something he/she is already familiar with...perhaps a music class, a day at the museum without you. Explain that this will be a place where she will make friends and have fun, just like she may have done with groups of kids before. And as tempting as it might be to record your child's first day at kindergarten, do leave the video camera at home.

7. Don't put a time limit on how long it should take. For some kids, first day jitters may not last beyond a few days if they happen at all. For others, tears and school fears may go on for weeks. Just as each child has his own individual set of experiences and personality and anxiety that may be influencing his feelings about starting school, the time it takes to adjust to school will vary from one child to another. 





Parent Resource Website


The Resource Site (www.davincik8.org) has been revised and updated and is now ready to support DVIA's learning community! We created the resource site to not only offer inspiring and engaging resources for all subject areas, but also to share information on field trips, upcoming workshops, and community classes. We've even added a calendar to help you stay on top of all the great opportunities and events that will take place throughout the school year! Please take some time to tour the site. As you do, you will notice highlighted resources, videos and articles as well as ways to get involved and volunteer your time (shameless plug: we are still in need of a few subject specialists for Science, Social Studies and Language Arts).


Because we are interested in learning partnerships where students, teachers, and parents all learn from each other, we have included sections on Instructional Support and Social/Emotional Learning which not only reinforce DVIA's philosophy of educating the whole child but also remind us that we have as much to learn as we do to teach. We intend for this site to be dynamic and interactive, so we have included a Parent's, Teacher's and Kid's Corner where everyone can share their ideas, passions, and resources. Chris Miko is our featured teacher for this month. You can read what inspires Chris in the Teacher's Corner. We look forward to resource contributions from the community as we will rotate resources on a regular basis to keep content fresh and innovative. Please contact Lisa Grady at lisa.grady7@gmail.com if you have content to share.


But that's not all. You will even be able to go to the resource site for copies of forms, handouts, etc. that you can download to save yourself a trip to the office whenever possible. And be sure to visit Language Arts and download your Educator Application for Barnes and Noble. All you have to do is fill it out and take it to the local Barnes and Noble on Rosecrans to get 20 percent off all your book purchases (25% during Educator Appreciation Days) for the coming year.  How will you know when the next Educator Appreciation Days are happening? Why, check the calendar of course...


Finally, I would like to thank our 'subject specialists' (you can read about them in their individual subject areas) for sharing their knowledge and some of their favorite resources. I am also deeply grateful for all the hard work and collaboration of my resource site 'partners', Nancy Slupski and Tasneem Sutarwala. I would also like to take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to all the new families joining our community.


Best wishes for a wonderful year!



FAN (Family Action Network)



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 Bernardino mountains, and Core 5 kids have the option to explore Catalina Island!   


Although the brochures include payment due dates, we ask families who are ready to commit to 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 ongoing support with these events!  




  • Want to see the smiley faces of our staff before school starts, click here 
  • Dress code for school is a polo or Da Vinci shirt and pants/shorts/skirts as described in the DVIA handbook.  Click here to access our handbook and read more!   

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 for 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