Da Vinci Innovation Academy

   October 10      



In This Issue
Updates From Your Principal
Important Information & News
Exciting News
School Events
Outside Learning Opportunities
Get Involved!
Stay Connected

Quick Links



Social Emotional Learning 


Family Handbook 






Da Vinci  

Innovation Academy



13500 Aviation Blvd.

Hawthorne, CA  90250

(310) 725-5800 




Dr. Nicole Tempel Assisi








 Email the office! 







Updates From Your Principal


NicoleAssisi Hello Da Vinci Families,   

We just completed the 3rd Da Vinci Innovation Academy survey. The first time we administered the survey last Fall, we experienced a 25% participation rate; by the end of the year, that rate was up to 50%. Our goal for this year was to have least 75% of our families participating and we did it!!! 


Thank you to all who took the time to give us feedback. We can only improve when we know what you need. Let's shoot for 90% participation by the end of the year in May (mark your calendar)!

This quick overview is intended to give you a quick glimpse into the feedback we have received and what we are going to do about it: 

Warm Feedback 

  • 99% of you agreed that our staff cares about your child - yes we do!
  • 95%-98% of you said your child enjoys going to school, the environment is safe, projects are engaging, our teachers are professionals and we are responsive to your needs. Thank you for recognizing this. We work hard to make this happen.

Other trends from the written response questions:

  • You appreciate: project-based learning, compassionate communication, choice in how to deliver at-home learning, the new learning goals (this topic was double-edged in that you like having learning goals but are still unclear about what they say. See below).
  • You also mentioned you love the new resource site, really like the parent collaboration going on school-wide and are excited about reading/literacy support in Cores 1-3 and math support in Cores 4-5.

Cool Feedback 

  • 11% of you felt your kids are not sufficiently challenged. We hear you and we are working on this!
  • 21% felt there was not enough support for families. While this number is down by 10% from last year, we still have progress to make. You will notice that some changes have been made from last year to this year and we are working to continue to provide more support.
  • I was surprised to see that on average, 60% of you have not used the online tools we purchased. In reading your feedback we have learned a couple of things. See changes below.

Next Steps

When many of you first met me, I made a promise to you: We will not always get it right the first time, but we will always work hard to get there! That being said, here is how we will get there:  

  1. You can only use the online tools if you have the log-on information. You need log on info again and we did not deliver this to you often enough and/or in a timely fashion. You are getting it again by next week. Brianne is rerunning the report and we will send it home with your child.
  2. You are unsure about how to make best use of online curriculum. Here is a LINK to a write up and step-by-step instructions on how to use Study Island. I will work on others each week.
  3. You want more workshops, especially about Learning Goals and how to achieve them. We are putting together a schedule and will send it out with next newsletter.
  4. You want hard copy resources - our teachers are working to create "Complete Curriculum" texts that you can print and use. This will include lesson plans (teacher edition) on "how to teach" content and as well as support materials and handouts (student edition).
  5. We are meeting with publishers to see if there are other hardcopy resources that we can purchase for next year. Some sample copies might be available throughout this year for you to try out (on our list are Saxon, Houghton Mifflin, Write Source, Pearson, Envision Math, My Math). At this time we are not ready to receive feedback on these from you, so please be patient as we move forward.
  6. Based on your desire for more resources, especially for writing, we have purchased K-8 readers and writers workshop books for our community. You can download them on our resource site in the "Instructional Support" section or just click here and put them on your kindle, e-reader, computer or just print them.

Thanks again for your feedback and for being our partner in your child's education. We are deeply committed to our mission of providing a safe, caring and compassionate learning environment that supports all learners through both on-site and family-facilitated learning, and we will continue to work hard toward that vision.

With much gratitude,


P.S., to make sure you don't miss any news or opportunities, please join us through the following social media avenues:

In this issue of our newsletter:

  • Important Information and News:
    • Family Directory - We Need Your Help! 
    • Picture Day This Week!
    • Movie Night Is This Friday!
    • Annual Giving & Chevron Matching Challenge
  • Reminders
    • No School Next Friday, Oct. 19th
    • Core 5 Camp In Two Weeks!
    • Pick-Up & Drop-Off
  • Exciting News!
    • We're A School That Can!
    • 100% Audit Success!
  • School Events
    • Pastries With The Principal
    • Backpack Smarts Workshop
    • Movie Night FUNraiser
    • Student-Parent-Teacher Conferences
    • WJ's & DEF's Due
    • Middle School Game Night/Party
    • FAN Meeting
    • First Project Exhibition
  • Outside Learning Opportunities
  • Get Involved!
  • Stay Connected!
Important Information & News


Due to a technology glitch, we were unable to use the handwritten information families previously provided for the directory. We are asking each family to use this super quick Survey Monkey link to provide information for the directory.

Please supply the information no later than Sunday evening (Oct. 14th) and provide only the information that you want provided to the DVIA community. 

Even if you opt out of providing this information, please use the link to submit your student's name(s) so that we know your family is opting out.


Thursday, October 11th & Friday, October 12th
Please note these dates are different from those listed on the DRAFT calendar.
Proofs and order forms will be distributed by teachers. No date has been set by JW for the distribution but once they arrive they will be handed out with order forms that should be mailed directly to JW Photography after you've seen proofs.
Our 8th graders will have some shots taken now, and additional graduation, group and individual shots later in the year. 
Students are welcome to bring a change of clothes for photos, but should plan on changing back to dress code afterward.
Parents, you can get your educator card photo too so that you can take advantage of educator discounts. Stop in anytime on Thursday or Friday.

It's happening this Friday!!! Grab your family and friends, blankets and beach chairs and set up your seats in the Forum to watch "Surf's Up" on the big screen.  Dinner and activities start at 5pm and the movie starts at 6:30pm.  There will be pizza and salad, drinks, treats, and bake sale items for purchase.  For fun, we have a DJ and dancing, surf lessons on the ground, limbo, face painting and more. 


Tickets for food and treats are $1 each.  Purchase your tickets by drop off on Friday and get a discount, 25 tickets for $20, 50 tickets for $40, and 100 tickets for $75.  Come see us at the table in front of school or fill out the form available on the DaVinci K-8 resource site and return it to the office with your payment and you can pick up your tickets at the will call table the night of the event. 


We are still looking for volunteers and donations: packaged food and beverage, a box of candy bars, individual bags of chips, cotton candy or popcorn, a case of soda or water.


Donations of baked goods can be dropped off on Friday, October 12th between 9am and 10am or between 2:30pm and 3:30pm inside the DVIA entrance.  If these times don't work, you can also bring them at the start of the event at 5:00, although earlier is preferred to aid in setting up! 


We would also love for you to bake your favorite treat for the bake sale.  Cupcakes, cookies, pies and cakes, brownies, cobblers, crumbles oh my... Please go to Signup Genius to RSVP AND/OR volunteer and donate treats or to the bake sale.


All proceeds go to Da Vinci Innovation Academy 

Annual Giving Campaign & Chevron Matching Challenge

Da Vinci Schools' Annual Giving Campaign kicks off this month -- this is our top fundraising priority and the fundraiser we ask EVERY family to support.

This year, we are excited to announce that Chevron has generously donated $50,000 to Da Vinci Schools in the form of a matching challenge. Every donation and pledge to the Annual Giving Campaign will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Chevron up to $50,000!!

Pledges must be made by Dec. 31 and paid by June 1, 2013 in order to be eligible for the Chevron match.

Gifts to the Annual Giving Campaign touch every K-12 student in the Da Vinci community and help bridge the gap between what the state provides and what it really costs to deliver an outstanding education. As state budget cuts to education continue, we need your support now more than ever.

All currently enrolled K-12 families should receive an Annual Giving packet in the mail containing an appeal letter, pledge card and return envelope.

Please give what you can. Every gift makes a difference! 

Give Today
Download a Pledge Card




No School Next Friday

Friday, October 19th


Core 5 Camp


Core 5 camp is just two short weeks away! Please visit
www.davincik8.org for the Camp RSVP Form and the Parent Informational Packet.

Please see Brianne in the DVIA front office to pay with cash, check (made payable to Da Vinci Schools) or credit card (2.75% service fee applies when using a credit card). 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


Pick up & Drop off

School starts at 9:15 am. Please drop your child off with enough time to be in class and ready to learn at 9:15.


Please note: Teachers are in meetings or prepping for class each morning until 9 am. Unless a teacher has confirmed that s/he is available before 9 am, students arriving early must wait by the office for supervision and safety. 

Exciting News

Because We're A School That Can!


Da Vinci was selected to be a member school with "Schools That Can," a national organization recognizing high achieving, innovative schools.


Thank You Families!


We were recently audited regarding our at-home curriculum component and we are happy to report that your hard work resulted in 100% success for our first audit. Keep up the good work! The auditor will be back in the Spring. 

School Events

Pastries with the Principal
Tuesday, October 9th & Thursday, October 11th | 9-10 am

Bring Your Back Back to School: 

Managing your Backpack and your Back 
Thursday, October 11th | 3:30-5 pm 
This workshop is intended for Cores 4 and 5 students and their parents!

Movie Night "FUN"raiser
Friday, October 12th | 5 pm
Catch a wave at our first Movie Night! Bring your family and friends to watch Surf's Up on the big screen. Dinner and activities start at 5 pm and the movie starts at 6:30 pm.

Student-Parent-Teacher Conferences
Wednesday, October 17th through Friday, October 19th
The purpose of these conferences is to collaborate, communicate, support and empower students. Please check with your student's teachers for details.

To clarify, there is no school on these days (note Friday, October 19th); however, students should still participate in at-home learning on those days!  Thank you. 

Work Journals & Daily Engagement Forms Due
Thursday & Friday, October 18th & 19th

Middle School Game Night/Party
Wednesday, October 24th

Spirit & Pizza Day
Thursday & Friday, October 25th & 26th
Spirit Day theme is Sports/College Jersey Day!  Wear your sports or college-themed jerseys.  Remember that all other dress code agreements apply (appropriate pants/shorts/skirts, hats off in class) and students must wear polo shirts if they choose not to wear a sports or college themed-jersey. 

Family Action Network (FAN) Meeting
Thursday, November 1st | 3:30-4:30 pm

First Project Exhibition
Tuesday, November 6th & Thursday, November 8th | 5-7 pm
Students are required to attend (special dress code). Families are expected to attend their student's presentation, and encouraged to visit other classrooms, too. Exhibitions are an exciting product of our home and school collaboration. Check with your student's teachers for details. Family and friends are also welcome!

Book Club #2
Tuesday, November 13th | 10-11 am   
The Whole Brain Child
- Daniel J. Siegel, MD & Tine Payne Bryson, Ph.D
Copies are available for purchase in the office!    

Family Jubilee  
Wednesday, December 19th | 6-8 pm

Upcoming Workshops

Mindfulness Workshop for Parents & Educators
Thursday, October 25th | 6-8 pm
Outside Learning Opportunities
Special Concert
Friday, November 9th | 12 pm | El Camino College

We have been invited to a special free student concert with the 67-member Symphonic Jazz Orchestra and special guest piano soloist Dave Grusin. Students will be introduced to the families of the orchestra and learn about jazz and classical music. The central theme of the concert is "What is improvisation" and the program is geared toward 4th-8th grade students. More information to follow.

Do You Have Great Outside Learning Resources To Share?

Some terrific learning resources have been shared on our Yahoo Group Listserv. In addition to posting your resources to the group, please send them to Lisa Grady at lisa.grady7@gmail.com so that she can add them to our Parent Resource Website and make your hard work available to families for years to come.

Please also be aware that we are in the process of establishing Core-specific Yahoo Groups to support discussion and resource sharing within individual Cores. As discussions on resource sharing migrate from the main group to individual Listservs, it will become even more important to get your suggestions shared in one place that everybody can access, as many resources will apply across multiple Cores.

Get Involved! 


As we kick off this new school 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 school 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.


If you have interest in helping out regularly on campus, please contact Laura Glasser in the DVIA office at lglasser@davincischools.org.


For Family Support Sign-Ups, please use this link on Sign Up Genius 


To lead a Book Club, please use this link on Sign Up Genius  


To support Events, please use this link on Sign Up Genius 


To help with FUNdraising, please use this link on Sign Up Genius 


For School Spirit Sign-Ups (whole year involvement), please use this link on Sign Up Genius 


For School Spirit Sign-Ups (date specific), please use this link on Sign Up Genius  


For Staff Support Sign-Ups, please use this link on Sign Up Genius 

Stay Connected!

To make sure you don't miss any news or opportunities, please join us through these following social media avenues:


DVIA's Yahoo Group 

 DVIA on Facebook