Cover of a book with a cow standing in a field Why Cows Say Cock-a-doodle-doo!!

DaVinci Connection-July 24, 2020

School Links

Important Dates

(subject to change-see online calendar)

7/30  Announcement from the Gov’/MDE/MDH

8/6  Back to School Open House-virtual

8/11  First Day of School, Grades 1-8

8/13  First Day of School, KG

9/4  No School

9/7  No School

9/25  Picture Day

9/28  No School, Teacher Workshop Day

Food Service Program

Current Lunch prices – including milk

Hot, Alt. or Emergency Lunch:

  • Full Pay = $3.50;
  • Free/Reduced = $0.00

Vegetarian Lunch:

  • Full-pay = $4.50;
  • Reduced-price = $0.00;
  • Free = $0.00

A La Carte Items -charged to ALL students:

  • Milk-only = $0.50;
  • Emergency meals = $3.50
  • Extra Entree (Grade 6-8 only) = $1.50

Current Breakfast Price:

  • Full-pay = $1.75
  • Kindergarten = $0.00
  • Reduced-price = $0.00
  • Free = $0.00

Go here to apply for free or reduced-price meals or to find out more about the food service program.

Attendance Line: 763-252-6130

Parents should call the attendance line at 763-252-6130 before 9:00 a.m. of the day your child will be absent. This phone number is available 24 hours a day to leave a message. Please leave the following information on the recording:

  • Date your child will be absent
  • First and last name of your child
  • Reason for the absence
  • Name of the parent/guardian who is calling

If you know your child(ren) will be gone more than three consecutive days, you will need to fill out an extended absence form four to six weeks in advance. Please send the Extended Absence Form to Ms. Moffatt.


To the left, you will find helpful links to important pages on our website.

Need to Know

Planning for the 2020-21 School Year

Ms. Silkey-Jones

Dear DaVinci Academy Families:

I hope this message finds you well as we continue to prepare for the 20-21 school year!  I am excited to share with you the many new team members we have joining our DaVinci Academy family this year. We have expanded our capacity to serve families as our community continues to grow and flourish. 

Our leadership team includes two new positions this year as well as redefined roles for our existing team members. We welcome Andrea Halverson in a new role as K-5 Director and Kari Peterson as our full-time Special Education Director. Jack Shields will be serving as our Middle School Director, working alongside our K-5 Director to provide on the ground support for our students, families, and teachers. Terry Moffatt, Academic Director, will continue to support school-wide curriculum K-8, Kelly Zender, Instructional Coach, will mentor new and returning teachers K-8, Holly Fischer, Operations Director will continue to support school-wide operations and maintenance of our gorgeous facility, and Jenny Kopecky, Human Resources Director will support our team of over 150 employees. Please join me in welcoming our new team members and congratulating this extraordinary leadership team for their work this summer in planning for the 20-21 school year. 

In addition to our new leadership team members we welcome a talented array of new teachers and support staff this year!

New Staff 20-21
Kenwon Tran, Special Education Teacher 
Rachel Boughton, MS Social Studies Teacher
Ashley Wink, MS Math Teacher 
Phoenix Hathaway, K-4 Counselor
Katherine Chan, MS Science Teacher
Natalie Hogan, Kindergarten Teacher
Betsy Murphy, 1st Grade Teacher
Jennifer Klobe, 2nd Grade Teacher
Amy Bruneau, 4th Grade Teacher 
Brandon Gaikowski, 4th Grade Teacher
Elliot Radeke, 5th Grade Teacher
Noelle Diekman, Physical Education and Health Teacher
Sandor Miko, Instrumental Music Teacher 
Michael Sachs, MS Math Teacher
Ryan Olesee, MS Social Studies Teacher
John Sundgren, Physical Education Educational Assistant

Following the guidance of the MN Department of Education and Governor Walz on July 30, we will determine in which format we will begin the school year (distance learning only, hybrid, or in-person).  We will provide information in the coming weeks for how you can stay connected to your child’s teacher and engage in virtual events this year, such as our back to school open house, which we will be hosting virtually.

Wishing you my very best,

Ahava Silkey-Jones
Executive Director

Time Sensitive Required Family Survey

Thank you so much for your support as we navigate the logistics of our start to the 2020-2021 school year. We are reaching out with a time sensitive survey in which we ask you to indicate your plans for the school year in the event we are allowed to resume in-person learning.  The Governor will be announcing the format in which schools are allowed to start on Thursday, July 30.  Due to the delay in this announcement we may implement modifications to our first week(s) of school.

Please complete THIS SURVEY no later than the end of the day Monday, July 27.

K-5 Director

Ms. HalversonMy name is Andrea Halverson, and I am proud to serve as your Elementary Director at DaVinci Academy! I am honored to work with such a committed and energetic community of educators and learners.

This will be my 15th year working in education. I started my career as a music teacher at the elementary and middle school levels. I then spent the next few years working as a technology specialist and curriculum director before stepping into the principal role. One of the best parts of this job is getting to know our students and seeing them in action as they learn and grow.

While there are likely still several questions about what the 2020-2021 school year will look like, please know that we are here to support your students and their learning. As we continue to learn more about the upcoming school year and share information with our families, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions I can answer.

I look forward to meeting you soon!

Andrea Halverson

Elementary Director

Special Education Director

Mrs. Peterson

Hi! My name is Kari Peterson. I’ve been in education for the past 16 years. During my tenure, I was a practicing School Psychologist in the Stillwater School District and thereafter the Anoka Hennepin School District. I counseled one day a week in an elementary and the remainder of my time was devoted to doing special education assessments. I am trained on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-II) and am well versed in differentiating disability areas between Autism, Bipolar, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, etc. I’ve worked closely with the Department of Education helping the state move towards a no discrepancy model related to Specific Learning Disability. Additionally, I’ve created several informal assessment tools to better assess our English as a Second Language community.

I worked with DaVinci Academy as a contracted School Psychologist for one year while returning for my administrative license. After that year, I stepped away from the evaluation team in Anoka and walked into a lead teacher role assisting in the supervision of staff, due process, and maintenance of behavior within the special education department. Taking a leap of faith, I left my district of over 10 years and began work as a Special Education Coordinator in the Dassel Cokato School District. I continued work with the Department of Education understanding the training needs as they relate to Dyslexia and began serving on different committees within my cooperative to expand my knowledge. In my past three years, I’m proud to share that the Birth to 18 special education team became highly respected with robust systems in place to ensure processes and procedures were followed. It has been a journey to say the least. I live in St. Michael and am approaching 20 years of marriage to my wonderful husband, Jason. We have two boys with one who will be a senior this year and the other going into 8th grade. And I can’t forget our two pets, Penny our dog and Mr. Jiggles our cat. I’m excited to embark on this journey with DaVinci Academy and be a part of a recognized special education department.


If you work for a company that is willing to direct donations on your behalf, please consider DaVinci Academy as a recipient.  We are very grateful for your contributions.

Infinite Campus-Is Your Address Current?

Please make sure your information in Infinite Campus is up to date.  Please also consider adding your child’s cell phone number to your account as this is helpful for the school in a myriad of ways.

Can’t remember your username or password? Click the links on the screen or call the office at 763-754-6577.

Here are two documents that can help you navigate Infinite Campus.

School Supply Lists

We have posted our school supply lists for the 20-21 school year.   All grade levels have adjusted their plans so that there are no shared school supplies and students will all use their own materials. So, please label all supplies that you send to school with your child.  Note: a pencil box of some kind is requested in order to contain art supply materials.

20-21 Bus Routes

Busing for the 20-21 school year may look a bit different depending upon the format in which the school resumes.   We will not be adding any new bus stops this year, and may reduce the number of bus stops that are available and/or the number of buses that we use to transport children.  Prioritization of stops will be dependent upon how families answer the back to school survey, and how many bus drivers are available.   This is how we envision the buses working if the school resumes in a hybrid learning format.

  1. There will be a limited number of seats available on the school buses in order to facilitate the spacing of students.  A maximum of 34 kids will be allowed to ride.  For that reason, the buses are being reserved for families who absolutely have no other form of transportation to school.
  2. Students will be required to wear masks while on the bus.
  3. Students will load the buses from back to front and sit in assigned seats.
  4. Children from the same family must share seats.
  5. We may load buses 1 or 2 at a time in the afternoon to alleviate student congestion on the sidewalk.  This would change bus stop times in the afternoon.

Please use the interactive map in Silent Dismissal for your reference as you consider your transportation options.

Nice to Know

Click on image to enlarge.

People with Basic Sewing Skills Needed

We have ordered 1,000 gator style masks for the students and anticipate a lost and found nightmare if they are all the same style and unlabeled.  So, we are looking for a few individuals to sew name labels on the inside of each gator so that we can try to limit the number of lost masks.   If you can sew a straight stitch and have a couple of hours to donate, please contact Holly Fischer at

Media Release – Opt Out Option

We no longer require families to do the Back to School Registration each year. However, if you do NOT give your permission for your child’s image to be used in the different media, both internally and externally, you will need to complete the Media Release form to opt out. This includes, but is not limited to, articles and photographs in a school newsletter, video of a student program shown in school or published to families via an online program, a news story by local media, or something on our web site. Click here for the Media Release Form.

Food Service Program 

Meal prices have not increased from last year.  See the Food Service web-page for details.

For families who would like to apply for Educational Benefits, the form is now available online through Infinite Campus.  Log in to your Parent Portal > More (bottom of the menu on the left side) > Meal Benefits. Families will need to complete an application for each school year.  Applications do not carry over from year to year.

Special dietary meals and vegetarian meals need to be placed two weeks in advance. Send the request to Cassandra Anderson to be added to the vegetarian order email.  Special dietary meals and vegetarian meals are the only meals that need to be ordered in advance.

Student Spotlight:  Cover of a book with a cow standing in a field Why Cows Say Cock-a-doodle-doo!!

Amelia S., Emily K., Josie M., and Kaylin W. are Published authors! “Why Cows Say Cock-a-doddle-do!! (And Other Short Stories)” is now available on Amazon.
Read about history from the viewpoint of famoos cows! This collection of short stories and poems takes you into historically accurate events, told from the viewpoint of the cows that were there to see it. Learn all about Moozart’s fantastic musical career, and the great Chicowgo fire. Written by a group of four middle school friends, “Why Cows Say Cock-a-doodle-doo!!” is a tribute to their teachers, their friendship, and their time together. Often appearing in various homework assignments, Chicken the cow and his barnyard friends have become a beloved part of life at DaVinci Academy in Andover, MN. You will quickly see why, and will grow to love them too!

School Store flyer


Pandemic EBT Card

The Minnesota Department of Human Services is now offering additional funds for the families of children ages 5-18 who qualify for free and reduced-price meals.  This new program, called P-EBT, will provide $325 per child that families can use to purchase nutritious food for their household. The deadline for this program has been extended to July 31, 2020 and more information can be found here.

Free Meals for Students – Where are They?

The Anoka-Hennepin School District is participating in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Meals will be provided to all children under age 19 without charge regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Meals will be provided on a first come, first served basis. (Español.)

Meals will be available at 15 district locations, as well as four other community locations. It is not necessary for the child to attend school at the host location, and sites will be offering different types of meal services.

Adults may purchase meals with correct cash/change. (No checks, credit, or debit cards.) Adult breakfast is $2.25 and adult lunch is $4.00.

All meals must be eaten at the site. For more information, visit

Students and families can find additional summer meal sites by using these resources:

To learn more, see the full press release and visit the Summer Food Service Program website or contact MDE Food and Nutrition Services (, or call at 651-582-8526 or 1-800-366-8922 (toll-free).

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