Give To The Max Day 2020 Logo

DaVinci Connection-November 19, 2020

School Links

Important Dates

(subject to change-see online calendar)

11/16-11/30  Heggies Pizza Fundraiser

11/19  Last Day of Tri 1

11/20-11/30  No School

11/30  Board Meeting

12/9  School Development Committee Meeting, 3:30 pm

12/9  Finance Committee Meeting, 4:30 pm

12/14  Board Meeting, 6:00 pm

12/21-1/1  No School-Winter Break

1/5  School Resumes

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 Community:
As we finish the first trimester and enter our November break you are all on my mind and in my heart. I know this has been a trying fall. We are committed to you and your family and have plans to bring as much joy as we can to students in December through virtual engagement opportunities. I shared a communication via Bloomz yesterday regarding schedules for the second trimester, click here to view it.

As we enter next week and reflect on all the things we are grateful for, know that we are tremendously grateful to you for entrusting us with your children’s education and for your support during this time. If you or your child would like to share something you are grateful for this season, please click here and we will be sure that your message gets shared.

My very best to you and your family,


Preparing for Distance LearningMs. Halverson Mr. Shields

We know that distance learning can pose challenges for families. Ms. Halverson and Mr. Shields wanted to take this opportunity to share some suggestions that they’ve gathered in talking with families in distance learning. We’ve also gotten feedback from our full time distance learning teachers about ways that students and families can be most successful in distance learning.

Set up a learning environment that is free from distractions.

Some students work well in a quiet space on their own, while others may need to be monitored more frequently to be sure they are on task.

Encourage students to use their school-owned device.

We have a monitoring program called GoGuardian that allows us to see if students are actually on task at home, but this works best on a school chromebook.

Check on your students during distance classes.

We have talked with several parents who weren’t aware that their child was actually watching YouTube videos instead of watching their teacher in class.

Clarify attendance vs. participation.

Just logging in to the Google Meet isn’t enough. We want students to be actively participating with the class. 

Make sure to check in every day.

Students are required to check in with their teacher every day during distance learning. Students can check in by attending live class, answering the attendance question in Google Classroom, or turning in work that day. If your child is ill and will not participate that day, please remember to call the office/attendance line.

Don’t leave class until dismissed.

We know computer glitches happen, but just like when students are in person, students should wait for the teacher to dismiss them.

Be focused on the teacher during learning time.

We know it can be hard to focus in class when students have other distractions, both in the home as well as online. Encourage your child to focus on the teacher during class and close all other tabs on their device.

Keep your camera on at all times.

Students are expected to have their cameras on at all times. It’s one way we can make sure they are paying attention and engaged in learning. If your family has a situation that prevents your child from being on camera, contact your child’s teacher.

Take breaks when the class takes breaks.

We know everyone’s bodies need different things at different times, but try to take breaks when the class takes breaks. This helps make sure students aren’t missing out on important instruction.

Use alarms and timers to keep yourself on schedule.

Many students have found success by setting alarms on a cell phone, tablet, or smart home device (Alexa, Google Home, etc.). Some will even use a basic kitchen timer to know when it’s time to log in for class. Posting the schedule in a visible place that your child can see is also a great way to keep everyone on track.

Thank you for your continued partnership and support. Just as in a normal school year, regular attendance and participation in class work is vital to keep your child learning and growing. We understand that each family may have unique challenges and we encourage you to reach out to your child’s school director with questions and concerns.

Ms. Halverson (Elementary)

Mr. Shields (Middle School)

Need to Know

Free and Reduced ProgramWe Need Your Help written on a chalkboard in white chalk underlined with yellow chalk

We have seen a major decrease in families applying for free or reduced meals due to the USDA free meal program for the 20-21 school year.

Students in households that meet the free or reduced-price meal income guidelines will generate compensatory revenue for our school. Schools must use this compensatory revenue to meet the needs of students who are behind their peers, such as remedial instruction, instructional materials including digital learning and technology, bilingual programs and additional teachers and teacher aides. 

The household must complete and return the  2020-21 Application for Educational Benefits form, or complete the online form in Infinite Campus no later than December 15, so the school can calculate eligibility and report to MDE. This will not impact your students’ eligibility to receive free meals during the 2020-21 school year.

The school will only receive these compensatory funds if families qualify under the free and reduced price meal income guidelines; but, we encourage families to apply if you believe your income falls close to the maximum allowable income.

Household income chart for Educational BenefitsIf you have any questions about this program, please reach out to Cassandra Anderson,

School Photos – Action Required for Distance Families

We have had many questions about how we will be offering school photos for retakes and families who have been in distant learning mode now that we are all going in to distance learning.  Scherling Photography will NOT be coming in to the school on December 2, as planned.  Instead, all students who didn’t get their photos taken previously should submit a photo to be included in the yearbook.  Please note the following instructions:

* Students must be in uniform

* Students must be photographed inside, in front of a solid colored background. A light colored wall is preferred over a brick or wallpapered wall.
* Students should be facing the camera straight on or angled slightly to their right.
* Cell phone photos will have sufficient resolution for submission (minimum 300 DPI) BUT Snapchat photos, or screen shots of photos will not work – original photos with no filters only.

* Photo submissions should be emailed to and should include the child’s name, teacher, and grade.

*Deadline for submission is Friday, December 4

Students who did get their pictures taken already can expect an email communication from Scherling Photography soon with the child’s photo proof and instructions for ordering prints. If you are not happy with that photo, you can submit a different one for the yearbook using the instructions above.

Please contact Holly Fischer with any questions regarding photo options for the yearbook.

Sample of the Grab and Go Meals from Lancer Hospitality.

Food Service Update

Starting November 30, we are extending our 5 day frozen meal pack pick up times, 10:30 am-3:00 pm.  If you would like to sign up for frozen meals, please contact 

Meals will not be provided the week of November 23-27.

Looking for a meal site? Use these resources to find an SFSP site near you:

  • Download the Free Meals for Kids app provided by Hunger Impact Partners to your phone or device.
  • Call the 2-1-1 Hotline or from cell phones – Twin Cities Metro Area: 651-291-0211, Greater Minnesota: 1-800-543-7709, TTY: 651-291-8440.
  • Call the Minnesota Food HelpLine at 1-888-711-1151, available from Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Central Time.
  • Text “Food” to 877-877. Spanish speakers, text “comida” to 877-877.

COVID-19-Community Testing

MDH bulletin 11/18/2020Stay Safe MN

All community testing sites will be closed:

  • Thursday, Nov. 26 and Friday, Nov. 27 for Thanksgiving
  • Thursday, Dec. 24 and Friday, Dec. 25 for Christmas
What you need to know:
  • Testing is free, you do not need insurance or identification
  • You can get tested even if you don’t have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • To avoid long lines, people are encouraged to pre-register for a time slot, using the registration link listed for each location.
For more information and to register for an appointment, visit the COVID-19 Community Testing web page. Those who are unable to sign up online or need interpretation can call 1-855-612-0677 for assistance.

All Minnesotans are now able to order an at-home saliva test at no cost.  For more information, visit COVID-19 Test at Home.


Heggies Pizza LogoHeggies Pizza Fundraiser

Who: School Development Committee

What: Heggies Pizza Fundraiser

Order Dates: November 16 – November 30

Where: ONLINE ONLY Heggies Pizza Order Form 

Why: To raise money to expand our outdoor space and equipment

Enjoy pizza and help us expand and improve our outdoor spaces, equipment and activities. To help raise funds, the School Development Committee is sponsoring a school wide Heggies pizza Fundraiser.  This is a great opportunity to sell to your friends, family members, coworkers, and community through ONLINE ordering.

Give To The Max DayGive To The Max Day 2020 Logo

Spread the word, Give to the Max Day is Today, November 19!
Our focus this year is to make our outdoor space accessible for our entire community! Currently, we have a gravel walkway around the pond. With your generous support, we hope to pave the walkway and to purchase exercise equipment to be installed along the path for all to enjoy. Thank you in advance for your donations!

Nice to Know

Distance Learning Success

Please share these fun videos with your students before coming back from November break! The first video gives great tips on how to show spark during distance learning. The second video gives tips on how your student can prepare a successful work space in any area of the home! The teachers will be reviewing both videos with your students in class as well!
Distance Learning SPARK video:
Set up your work space at home video

Energy Assistance Program

As the weather is getting colder, we are again reaching out to community leaders and networks to share information about the federally funded Energy Assistance Program (EAP), which helps lower-income Minnesotans keep warm during the winter months by helping them pay their energy and heating bills. The Energy Assistance Program can help by providing financial assistance:

  • To pay past due energy bills to avoid disconnection
  • To purchase fuel for delivery in emergencies
  • To repair or replace homeowners old or malfunctioning furnaces.

The application period is currently open. Attached please find flyers in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong. Additionally, here are links to flyers in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong.


MN Energy Assistance Flyer – English

MN Energy Assistance Flyer – Spanish

MN Energy Assistance Flyer – Somali

MN Energy Assistance Flyer – Hmong

You can find more information at the  Minnesota Department of Commerce website.


After School Activities

We have decided not to offer after-school activities for the 2nd trimester (uncertainty regarding COVID cases, holiday season, inconsistent student activity attendance). We will make a decision whether or not to offer trimester 3 activities in early February.


Employment Needs at DaVinci Academy

 Spread the word!

  • Paraprofessional – Special Education (FT and Sub positions) 
  • Long-Term Substitute Teacher 
  • On-Call Substitute Teacher
  • Child Care Assistant (FT or PT)
  • Educational Assistant (support with distance learning in child care)

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.


clip art of a chalkboard "Distance learning care packs, help us cheer on out staff and students". The chalkboard is outlined with students.Distance Learning Care Packs for Staff & Students

We are partnering with School Administration to provide a little care package for students and staff as we embark on our next round of full-time distance learning.

We’d like to invite parents/guardians to partner with us and sponsor some care packages if you are able.

If you’d like to join us in this gesture to cheer on our staff and students, please click the the donate button below to make a donation via PayPal to help us spread some cheer.


You can donate whatever amount you’re comfortable with.  Here’s a breakdown: there are 914 students and 160 staff.  A $10.00 donation will help sponsor 1 teacher and 2-3 students.

Donations need to be received no later than 5:00 PM on Monday, November 30.

Thank you for your help,


*Please note that there is a $0.30 fee per transaction.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Share this post