September 18th

Quick Links
Da Vinci
13500 Aviation Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA 90250
Michelle Rainey,
Kaitlin O'Melveny
Dean of Students
Email the office:

Stay connected:

Greetings, DVIA Families!
A Few Words from Our Principal

Greetings Families!

I am so excited to be attending Astro Camp with our 5th and 6th graders this week (Wed-Fri) and then heading to Catalina Island with our 7th and 8th graders next week (Mon-Wed)! I look forward to sharing about our trips soon!

On a different note, this year one of my goals is to be better about transmitting to families DVIA's core philosophies, practices and influences as well as the continuum of "where we started" and "where we are now." You saw me share some of that during my opening remarks at PEC 1 a few weeks ago. Another of my goals is to find more effective ways to seek feedback from families in order to continue making improvements to our program.

During professional development we have watched, reflected on and discussed a video referred to as "The Story of Austin's Butterfly" by Ron Berger. Berger is the author of one of Da Vinci Schools' foundational readings, An Ethic of Excellence--a story of one teacher's classroom and attempt to transform education through project-based learning (I hope to read Ethic with some of you during book club next semester!). Berger believes that when giving feedback, it is important to always be Kind, Specific and Helpful. Such feedback has many benefits including helping the recipient hear/be open to the feedback, approaching a situation in a solution-oriented manner and using relevant examples and information that help the recipient understand the context. While we may not always use those exact words, we ask that students be kind, specific and helpful with each other. We model how to do that by being kind, specific and helpful when giving feedback to students. Our teachers are kind, specific and helpful when giving each other advice. And we would also like to ask that families, as well, be kind, specific and helpful with each other and when providing feedback to us. Thank you!

On a similar note, in last week's newsletter, I asked if
anyone could help us make a "kudos" jar and a suggestion jar so that we could hear your ideas, concerns and your commendations for what's working. Two middle schoolers, Grace and Jacob, volunteered and you won't believe what they came up with! Take a look at the larger-than-life "Everything is awesome" kudos jar and the suggestion jar that now live in our front office! Nice work you two!

Please stop by and tell us what we are doing right (your comments will be read during staff meetings so thanks for the warm and fuzzies!) and use kind, specific and helpful feedback to share your needs, your hopes and dreams, your questions and concerns... Thanks!
M_Rainey sig
From Our Dean of Students

Hi Families!

This week just FLEW by! Many exciting things are happening around here, including the news that RISE, a new innovative high school created by last year's Da Vinci Fellow, Kari Croft, was just awarded a grant to support the creation of her incredible program that will aim to serve LA's homeless and foster youth! More information about RISE can be found here:

We are incredibly proud of Kari and can't wait to see the amazing work she does in supporting these underserved communities of young people!

Also, we are sending our 5th and 6th graders off to Astro Camp this week! We hope they have an amazing time, and come home with many memories and new friends :)

I sent a final e-mail reminder about Astro and Catalina camp on Friday 9/16. If you did NOT receive my e-mail, please reach out to me ASAP:
What You Need to Know This Week!

Sandbox Closed for a Project
Monday and Tuesday 9/19 & 20
This week, the sandbox will closed to students, families, and visiting siblings--but for good reason! It's being transformed into a paleontologist dig site for Core 1. There will be lots of interesting tools and bones laying around. Please do not let students or siblings play in the sandbox or with these tools. The sandbox will be open again for play on Wednesday. Thank you!

Astro Camp!
Sept 21-23
Our 5th and 6th graders are going to Astro Camp this week! We are super excited for this opportunity for our kiddos and hope they have a great time! Be sure to read all emails from Kaitlin about how to best prepare your kiddo for camp!
Save the Date!
Wiseburn Library is hosting
Family Game Nights this fall/winter!
Click on the flyer image for more details. For information on this event and other events that our local library is hosting, visit the library's website.

Pool Noodles
Do you have any "pool noodles" leftover from this summer? Would you like to give them a new purpose? We can use some to line the edges of our Read & Relax ball pit! (Only the kind with a hole down the center please.) Kindly leave them in Michelle and Kaitlin's office. Thanks!

Upcoming Community Event for Parents of Older Students!
Sept 27 and Oct 20 7-9pm, RSVP required
Are you interested in learning how to navigate social media with your young adult? Do you want to know more about how to navigate conversations around money with your middle schooler?
The Willows Community School in Culver City is hosting two upcoming events on the above topics! If you are interested in attending, follow the link here for more information and registration.

UCLA Stress Study Needs You!
If you have a child between the ages of 10 an
d 17, please consider participating in a computer-based study on stress with UCLA PhD Michelle Rozenman. Michelle worked with DVIA last year and has presented at several of our workshops. She is doing great research in the field of stress and anxiety in children. She needs at least 40 participants, and older siblings/non-DVIA siblings can participate as well! Click on the flyer for more details.
Curriculum Corner
The one thing election years guarantee is the opportunity to teach your children all about politics. :) Need some ideas to get started? Visit Newsela's Students Vote 2016 Teacher Resources!
Did You Know...
...if you missed the keynote Michelle gave at PEC #4 last year, or if you want to revisit it or other workshops, you can head to the Parent Resource Website and find notes, transcripts, PowerPoints, and more!

Have a great week!
~ Your DVIA Team
Da Vinci Schools, 13500 Aviation Boulevard, Hawthorne, CA 90250