clip art of a school bus and three students "Transportation Update"

DaVinci Connection-September 25, 2020

School Links

Important Dates

(subject to change-see online calendar)

9/28  No School (or Childcare), Teacher Workshop Day

9/29  Board Meeting, 6:00 pm

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

10/7  Finance Committee Meeting, 4:30 pm

10/12-10/16  No School

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

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

10/15  Office Closed

10/16  Office Closed

10/26  Board Meeting, 6:00 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:

Congratulations on completing our second week of hybrid learning at DaVinci Academy! Students have been doing a great job navigating our COVID mitigation plan, and teachers and staff have been overjoyed to be able to connect in person with our onsite learners as well as maintain connection with our distance learners. As we continue to refine our hybrid program please continue to reach out and share your feedback and ideas.  We appreciate your vigilance in helping support our hybrid model. The most important thing each and every community member can do to help us be able to continue to stay open is to practice social distancing, wear masks, and wash hands both at school and outside of school. 

As we keep a close eye on the COVID case count for Anoka county, we will be revisiting our learning model prior to our fall break to determine whether we will be recommending any changes to our learning model prior to November 19. 

The Department of Education (MDE) has come out with a very helpful guide for families regarding when to come to school and when to stay home. Click here to review the COVID Attendance Guide for Parents and Families.  MDE has also developed a learning model portal for you to be able to look up the learning model of any school in the state by clicking here.

As always, please reach out to us if there is anything you’d like to address or any way in which we can better support you in navigating this challenging time.


Ahava Silkey-Jones

Executive Director

DaVinci Academy of Arts and Science

Chromebook Reminder

All hybrid students in grades 3-8 must bring their charged Chromebook and headphones or earbuds to school every day.  This technology is used daily and it’s very import that your child(ren) to be able to participate.


DaVinci Parents,
Please ensure that your student watches this video that explains social distance expectations at DaVinci Academy during recess time.  Thank you for your support in helping our DaVinci community stay safe!


20-21 Bus Stops & Routes-TIMES HAVE BEEN ADJUSTED

Now that the routes have been run a few times, Kottke’s was able to adjust afternoon stop times to make them more accurate.  Because we have fewer students riding the buses, the buses are able to leave the parking lot earlier than they have in the past.  So, BEGINNING TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, there will be new stop time ranges for families to pay attention to.  Please refer to the Interactive Bus Stop Map found in your Silent Dismissal account or the PDF version of the stops found on the password protected transportation page, so that you are aware of any changes to your stop times.

Silent Dismissal – Are your settings accurate?

Please check your Silent Dismissal settings.  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.  **NOTE If your child is a Monday Tuesday student please only assign them for the bus on Monday and Tuesday.  If you check the other days, they will continue to show up on the check in lists each day and teacher have to search for students who aren’t here.  Thank you.

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.

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.

**Note, If your child is able to walk home from the bus stop, you will need to change that permission setting in Silent Dismissal so that the driver is made aware of that fact.  Here is a How To video for that change of authorization process.

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.

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.

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!

Is Your Child’s Mask Labeled?

If not, please use a fabric marker to write your child’s name on his/her mask.  A label has been sewn into the gator masks for this purpose, but it’s a good idea to label any type of mask that your child will be wearing. For safety reasons we will not be saving unlabeled masks in the lost and found area.  They will be thrown away.  Thank you.

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.

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.

Nice to Know

Available Now: The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents

The highly anticipated Distance Learning Playbook for Parents is finally here! Doug Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie designed an intentional framework in their groundbreaking title The Distance Learning Playbook, Grades K-12. Now, in partnership with New York Times bestselling author and parenting expert, Rosalind Wiseman, they have developed this consummate guide to support parents.


Let’s partner with parents and caregivers to give them the tools to create an environment at home that is conducive to learning and develop mindsets that will outlast the pandemic. Get started by sharing these free excerpts with parents in your school:

–  Social Emotional Learning is Not Just Soft Skills

–  Student Mindframe 6: Evaluate Your Learning and Teach Others

–  The Value of Reading Widely

Internet Essentials Program Comcast logo

Do you need assistance with affordable internet service? Comcast has a program for low-income families. Click here for more information.

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!

We are excited to introduce you to our new team members in the building!

We are collaborating once again with a contracted mental health therapist from the Lee Carlson Center, named Kalee Petron. She will serve our students part time, providing therapy both in person and via telehealth. Our Mental Health Team will refer students to Ms. Petron based on need, with parent permission. Please reach out to your child’s school counselor or social worker if you are interested in a referral to our Lee Carlson therapist. You can read more about Ms. Petron here.

We also have an intern with our Mental Health Team for the fall semester. Tori Kezar will be here on Mondays and Fridays under the supervision of Ms. Derby, to provide services to the middle school students. As a school counseling graduate student, Tori will work with Ms. Derby to provide students with individual and small group counseling, and classroom lessons. All middle school students who receive counseling services will be supported by either Ms. Derby or Ms. Kezar who will work as a team to meet student needs. You can read more about Ms. Kezar here.

Please reach out if you have questions or concerns. You can also set up a meeting with any member of our team for further resources and 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.

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.


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.

Full Time Administrative Assistant Position Available

The hours for this year round position will be 9-5 Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and 7:15-3:45 Wednesday and Friday.   For more information, 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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