clip art: welcome back to school

DaVinci Connection-September 11, 2020

School Links

Important Dates

(subject to change-see online calendar)

9/14  First Day of Hybrid Learning Format

9/19  Color Fun Run, 10:00 am

9/28  No School, Teacher Workshop Day

10/7  School Development Committee Meeting, 3:30 pm

10/7  Finance Committee Meeting, 4:30 pm

10/12  Parent Teacher Conferences, 12:00 pm-8:00 pm

10/13  Parent Teacher Conferences, 12:00 pm-8:00 pm

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.

Ms. Silkey-Jones

Dear DaVinci Families,

We are excited to welcome our hybrid learners to campus on Monday. We kicked-off our hybrid program with our kindergartners on Thursday, and so enjoyed having students in our building again! We sent out a parent communication this morning, if you haven’t had a chance to review it, please click here to review important details for Monday. 

Also, please check out our back to school video reviewing COVID protocols and featuring our school mascot, Sparky!

My best,

Ahava Silkey-Jones
Executive Director


Silent Dismissal

If you have not received your family number please stop by the office before the first day of school so that you are ready for parent pick up. Please check your Silent Dismissal settings to make sure that they are accurate.  Here is a how to video for changing settings in Silent Dismissal.  Remember these settings will need to be accurate in order for dismissal to run smoothly and safely.

PARENTS WITH THE APP:  At the end of the day, you will not be able to dismiss your child from the app. This is so we may carefully control the flow of students on the sidewalk. However, you may change your child’s settings in the app.  Please note, in order for the app to work, you need to inform the school of your interest in using the app and the type of phone that you have (Apple or Android) so that we can enable the app for you.

20-21 Bus Stops & Routes

Please use the Interactive Bus Stop Map in you Silent Dismissal account, to make sure you know exactly when and where the bus you chose picks up and drops off. Remember to be to the bus stop 10 minutes before it’s scheduled arrival time for the first few weeks of school.

Morning Drop Off Procedures – Here is How it Works

Welcome to a brand new year!  Here are a few important reminders about the start of the school day that all families dropping off students need to know.

  • 7:30 am Doors open for students. Students will go directly to their classrooms. Please do not drop your child at school before that time unless they are meeting with a teacher for a special purpose.

    Left turns out of the parking lot are dangerous
  • 8:00 am is the time that school starts.  We recognize that all of these new protocols may cause morning drop off to go more slowly, so please be patient and plan accordingly.

Here is an instructional video that outlines how our morning drop off procedure works.  Please view it to refresh your memory.

Morning Drop Off Procedure Instructional Video

Bus Stop Protocol For Parents

Remember, parents must wait at the door of the bus to greet children as they exit.  This will help parents to get to know drivers and will assist in a safe hand off if there is a substitute driver.  It is also critical that parents teach their little one not to get off the bus unless they see their ride at the stop.  We want students to feel comfortable telling the driver that they can’t get off the bus without you being there so whatever you can do to help facilitate that conversation would be very helpful.

Need to Know

Peanut Free School DaVinci Academy is Now a Peanut Free School

As we prepare for students to eat in their classroom, we want to be mindful of our students with severe peanut allergies.  DaVinci Academy is now a peanut free school.  This means no sandwiches, granola bars, treats or other food that contain peanuts.  We understand that this change may be hard on some, but know that we will come together as a community to help keep all students safe.

Student Technology Guidelines

During the 2020-2021 school year, students at DaVinci Academy will be using technology devices more than ever before. With this new learning model comes more responsibility for our students. Having an internet-connected device at their fingertips can be an amazing tool for learning, when used in appropriate ways.

Student computer use is monitored at school when they are using their school account and device. Our internet use policy states that students are not allowed to use their device or account in inappropriate ways. While we can monitor student computer usage at home, we rely on parents as partners to help monitor at home. 

Parents can support their students by:

Setting Expectations: If you haven’t already, consider having a conversation with your child about what is and is not appropriate for them to do with their device. Ask them what sites they are visiting when they’re online or if they’ve seen things that are not okay. Keep an open dialogue and make sure your child knows what you believe is okay and not okay.

Monitor and Limit Screen Time: We know this one is tricky when we are doing distance and hybrid learning, but your student should not need to be online all day. While we definitely encourage your child to find a quiet, distraction free place to work when doing online class, some families might find it easier to supervise internet use if the student uses the computer in a more public part of the home, particularly after live instruction is completed.

Put the Device to Bed, Not in the Bedroom: Parenting experts suggest that technology devices (including cell phones, iPods/iPads, chromebooks, etc.) should not be kept in the child’s bedroom at night. Many times, the reports we get at school for inappropriate internet access happens later in the evening, often after parents believe their child has gone to sleep. Consider finding a spot outside of their bedroom for charging the device at night.

Here are some additional resources that may be helpful for parents as you begin to have conversations with your child about technology use:

Online Safety for Children and Teens

NetCetera: Chatting With Kids About Being Online

At DaVinci Academy, the first time a student is found to be using the internet or their device inappropriately, we will call the family to inform the parents. For a second offense, parents and students will be required to have a conference with a member of the Student Support Team.

Thank you for your continued partnership in keeping our kids safe online!

Community Seat Available on the DaVinci Academy Board of Directors

Our success hinges upon thoughtful, sustained leadership, which is provided by a dedicated administrative team and a committed school board of volunteer directors.  Our bylaws call for a board of parents, teachers, and non-affiliated community members.  Today, we have an opening for a community member, and I am reaching out to invite people who may want to volunteer their time, expertise, and energy to help DaVinci Academy maintain its success into the future.  It is an incredibly rewarding experience to see the impact we are having on so many kids; and, it’s a great way to contribute to the community of Ham Lake and neighboring cities.  If you’d like to learn more, please contact, Melanie Persellin, Board President, at

The deadline for nominations is Monday, October 5.

Optional Chromebook Protection Plan

Did you indicate on the technology form you are interested in the Chromebook Protection Plan? If yes, please read and take the steps below to activate the plan.

The participation cost for those enrolling in the Chromebook Protection Plan is $35 per Chromebook. There is a family maximum cap based on the enrollment of two students for families with multiple students. When you purchase the plan for two of your students, all your students will be covered.

The Plan becomes active when you choose to purchase it from the School Store in your Infinite Campus parent portal.  It will be free for those families that qualify for free and reduced lunch prices; however, you still need to “purchase” the plan from the school store and your fee will automatically be adjusted to $0.00 in your cart. The protection plan will be available in the school store through Tuesday, September 22.

The Chromebook Protection Plan provides coverage for non-warranty repair, accidental damage (drops/spills), cracked screens, power surges, theft (with filed police report), vandalism by others, fire, flood, and other natural disasters. The $35 fee payment is non-refundable. This annual coverage begins upon receipt of the payment and ends at the conclusion of the regular school year. The plan does not cover lost Chromebooks, intentional damage or stolen, lost or damaged charging cords.

Chromebook Protection Plan Repair/Replacement Fee Deductible Schedule:

  • 1s t damage /repair claim: $0.00
  • 2nd damage/repair claim: $150.00
  • Additional damage/repair claims: full cost of Chromebook or replacement cord up to $300.00. All claims must be reported to the DaVinci Academy school office.

Please send a reusable bottle, labelled with your child’s name, to school so that they can have easy access to water during the day.
The water fountains are turned off to slow the spread of germs. The refill stations are on. If you need a cup please see your teacher or go to the office.

Notes from Nurse Julie Ms. Ganion

The state of Minnesota requires children enrolled in school to be immunized against certain diseases depending
on age OR to provide documentation of conscientious objection or medical exemption.  Here are the
Age 5-11 years (Entering grades K-6):
DTaP/DT:  5 doses
Polio (IPV/OPV):  4 doses
Hep B:  3 doses
MMR:  2 doses
Varicella (Chicken Pox):  2 doses
Age 12+ (Entering 7 th and 8 th grade):
All of the above vaccinations
Immunization/Exemption forms can be found on the school website under the health forms tab in the Students
& Parents section.
Please make sure your student is current on immunizations and that the updated immunization record or
exemption form is given to the school as soon as possible so that enrollment status is not affected.

If your child will need to take any medications while at school, please fill out the proper form(s) for the
medication required.  The forms can be found on the DaVinci website as you follow the Student/Parents
tab & Forms and Information tab & Health Forms.
Medications must be brought to the school by a parent and delivered to the nurse. Only medications with the
proper forms and signatures will be accepted.
*Over-the-counter medication forms need only a parent/guardian date and signature.
*Prescription medication forms must have BOTH a doctor’s date and signature and a parent/guardian date and
For any child with asthma or anaphylaxis, the action plan forms can be used in lieu of the prescription
medication forms if all the necessary medications can be listed on the plans.
Medication brought to the school must be in its original container and not expired.  Medication will not be
accepted if it is expired, not in its original packaging, or is not accompanied with the correct forms.
If you have any questions, you may contact Nurse Julie at the school.

Educational Benefits

Important ReminderEach year, you are required to fill out a new application for Educational Benefits to receive free or reduced meals. If your family qualified for free or reduced meals in the 2019-20 school year you have until September 23, to reapply for continued benefits. If we do not receive a new application, we will be required to change your students’ qualification to full pay for all meals. You can choose to log into your Infinite Campus parent account view to fill out your 20-21 application.  You can also print or email Cassandra Anderson the completed application.

2020-21 Application for Educational Benefits.

Do You Still Need to Pick Up Materials?

Nice to Know

#DaVinciStrong Shirts Third grade team wearing their DaVinci Strong shirts

DaVinci Strong shirts are back! We are partnering with Lettermen Sports in selling T-shirts as a fundraiser for the school. What better way to show our unity than to wear it loud and proud?! Shirts are $10 and are available in youth and adult sizes.

Extra Curricular Classes

Trimester 1 extra curricular classes begin Monday, September 14.  If your child is attending an in-person class, please make the necessary updates in your Silent Dismissal account.

Here is a how to video for changing settings in Silent Dismissal.

Attendance Line: 763-252-6130

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

  • The date your student will be absent
  • The first and last name of your student
  • The reason for the absence
  • The name of the parent/guardian who is calling

If you know your child(ren) will be gone more than 3 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.

You may view your child’s attendance record in your Parent Campus account.

Support Space Ms. Hathaway Ms. RoweMs. Derby

Hey DaVinci Community!

It is National Suicide Prevention Week and we want to help provide your family with some tips on how to navigate conversations about mental health and suicide with your child. Pain isn’t always obvious, but most people who think of completing suicide show some signs they are thinking about it. The signs may appear in conversations, their actions, or in social media posts. If you observe one or more of these warning signs, especially if the behavior is new, increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change, step in or speak up. Please talk with your child as well as a mental health professional, and your child’s school counselor or social worker.

Warning Signs:

  • Talking about wanting to die

  • Uncontrolled anger

  • Reckless behavior

  • Changes in sleep

  • Feeling hopeless, desperate, no sense of purpose

  • Withdrawal

  • Sudden changes in mood

  • Talking about being a burden

  • Giving away prized possessions

Tips on how to talk with your child:

  • Be prepared with crisis resources (see some listed below)

  • Practice what you might say ahead of time if you are feeling uncomfortable or nervous

  • Plan to talk when you’re not in a hurry and have plenty of time with your child

  • Don’t tiptoe around the conversation, ask directly if your child is thinking about suicide

  • Listen, express concern, and reassure. Validate your child’s feelings; it is common to have these feelings, don’t make them feel bad for having these feelings.

  • Let them know you care, that you take it seriously, and you’re concerned about them.

  • Listen to their reasons for both living and dying, show them you understand they’re considering both options, and emphasize that living is an option for them.

  • Assure them that you are going to get them help, and reach out for help right away.

  • If you feel your child is at risk, ask if they have a plan, and remove or restrict any means in the home (knives, medications, guns, etc.) from them.

Resources you should know:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Hours: Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish.


  • Crisis Text Line:  Text MN to 741741

  • County Crisis Response Teams available 24/7:

    • Anoka 763-755-3801

    • Hennepin 612-348-2233

    • Ramsey 651-266-7878

For more information, check out

Please reach out if you have questions or concerns. You can also set up a meeting with a member of our team to hear about more resources or get support!

Phoenix Hathaway (K-4 School Counselor) (763) 200-1338

Melissa Derby (5-8 School Counselor) (763) 200-1281

Courtney Rowe (K-8 School Social Worker) (763) 200- 6081

September Character Corner: Respect

As a part of our Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) & Social Emotional Learning (SEL) at DaVinci Academy, we have a monthly character trait focus. Each month, students will be learning about our character traits through classroom and/or school-wide activities and conversations. For the month of September, our character trait is Respect. We would love for you to help reinforce this character trait at home as we try to model, teach, and talk about it here at school. Check out some ideas from Kiddie Academy’s Character Education spotlight you can try at home.


School Supplies

A number of generous families have donated school supplies for DaVinci families in need.  Some items include crayons, markers, glue sticks, scissors, and folders.

Please reach out to the office if you would benefit from that gift.

COVID-19-Community Testing Stay Safe MN

The Minnesota Department of Health works in partnership with communities to provide safe and free on-site COVID-19 testing in areas with outbreaks, increasing cases, or other barriers to access existing test sites.

Visit COVID-19 Community Testing to sign up for an appointment or learn more.


Essential Workers Child Care & Lunch/Recess Monitors Needed

We are looking for people to join the team who will be working with our day care kids and people to monitor our students in the lunch room and on the playground.   For more information about these positions, please see the Employment page of our website.

Bus Drivers Needed

There is a state wide bus driver shortage and Kottkes’ Bus Services Inc. is looking for people who are interested in transporting our students.   Please call 763-755-3100 if you are interested in learning more about a bus driver position.

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