Ms. Zender in a T-rex costume and Ms. Peterson in an elf costume, being playful behind the front desk.

DaVinci Connection-December 18, 2020

School Links

Important Dates

(subject to change-see online calendar)

12/21-1/1  No School-Winter Break

1/4  School Resumes

1/11  DaVinci Board Retreat, 4:00 p.m.

1/13  School Development Committee Meeting, 3:30 p.m.

1/13  Finance Committee Meeting, 4:30 p.m.

1/18-1/22  No School

1/25 Tentative back to in person learning date for K-2

1/25  DaVinci Board Meeting, 6:00 p.m.

1/26  PTO Meeting, 6:30 p.m.

Attendance Line: 763-252-6130

Parents should call the attendance line at 763-252-6130 before 9:00 am 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:

On Wednesday, December 16 Governor Walz announced changes to the Safe Learning Plan,  which impacts elementary schools throughout the state of Minnesota.  These changes were brought forward based on evolving scientific and clinical knowledge and understanding of the virus and its transmission.  The wonderful news is that these changes mean we will be able to bring our elementary students (kindergarten through fifth graders) back to school sooner than we had anticipated! 

We will need each K-5 family to confirm whether they plan to send their students back to school. Please complete this survey no later than Monday, January 4, 2020 indicating your decision whether to return to in-person learning this school year OR to remain in distance learning for the remainder of the school year.

At this point, secondary students, grades 6-12, are not included in the updated guidance and will remain in distance learning. Middle School families do not need to indicate whether they will be transitioning to in person learning at this time. We will send another survey when 6-8 transitions to in person learning. Grades 6-8 will not be transitioning to hybrid again this school year, 6-8 will transition to full in-person learning when able to per the Safe Learning Plan. Additionally, students and families who would like to remain in distance learning will continue to have the option to do so.

Highlights of the changes and their impacts on our school include:


Click here to continue reading


    • Once a school is able to meet ALL the requirements in the new plan, schools may begin a staggered schedule for opening.  This staggered reopening approach allows for close monitoring of any potential spread of COVID-19 as a school reopens.
    • The state only allows schools to begin bringing students in with a maximum of three grade levels at a time.  As a result, DaVinci HOPES to open to all K-2 students on January 25.  If we are able to start K-2 on the 25th, DaVinci will be able to welcome back all grade 3-5 students on February 8.  In order for us to confirm these dates/plans for all of our families and staff by January 8, we are seeking your feedback per the survey link below.


    • Schools are required to utilize their transition days for teacher planning and building prep.
    • DaVinci will tentatively schedule our required transition dates for January 20-22.  Because Monday (Jan 18) is a holiday and Tuesday (Jan 19) is a planned professional development day for staff,  this means that there will be no school for all grades the week of January 18 (Wednesday-Friday would be required teacher planning days). If we are able to hold school for middle school that week we will (we are still waiting to hear back from the MN Dept. of Education).


    • A Minnesota Executive Order still requires additional ongoing daily prep time for teachers in order to support learners who choose to remain in distance learning. We have the option to concentrate that additional prep into one day (which we already have built into our schedule on Wednesdays)
    • For now, we will keep Wednesdays as at-home learning days for all students. As soon as we are able to we will transition Wednesdays to full in-person days.


    • With the return to in-person learning students will not be expected to socially distance from one another, however, they will still be expected to socially distance from adults.
    • Staff will social distance from students to the extent possible.
    • Students will be required to wear masks at all times including inside PE and indoor recess.
    • Staff must wear a mask and a shield.


    • Staff will have the opportunity to take a Covid-19 test on-site every other week during in-person learning.


    • Lunch will still take place in classrooms.
    • Buses will still have assigned seats to assist with contact tracing but students will be able to share seats with others as 6 foot distancing is not required for students.
    • Students will still be required to wear masks while riding the bus


    • The DaVinci Den program will be open to enrolled families beginning on Monday, January 25 (or whatever the first day back to school is for our K-2 students) for after school care on school days only. We are not able to offer school release day care at this time. Please contact the program coordinator with any questions.


    • Individual classes, students, and staff will still need to follow the quarantine guidelines, following any exposure, as required, even after the return to in-person learning. Families should be aware of this and have a plan in place for when/if their child is required to learn from home during a period of quarantine.

Please note: We are going to ask families to commit to one of our two learning plans (distance learning or full in person learning) for the remainder of the school year. We are asking K-5 families to make this decision by Monday, January 4. We are not able to provide another re-entry point this school year as it impacts teacher assignments for students.  As noted at the beginning of the year, if you are changing your child’s learning model, your child’s classroom teacher may change as we adjust for in-person class size and staffing needs. Please complete this survey no later than Monday, January 4, 2020 indicating your decision whether to return to in-person learning this school year OR to remain in distance learning for the remainder of the school year. We have made the form editable up until January 4.  We are encouraging families to fill out the survey as soon as possible.  We understand this is a short timeline to make an important decision, however, we want to give our staff as much time as possible to prepare.

My very best wishes to you and your family,




Need to Know

Sample of the Grab and Go Meals from Lancer Hospitality.

Winter Break Meal Pick Up

We will be offering our five day frozen meal pack pick up over our winter break Monday, December 21, and Monday, December 28, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Meal pick up will be at the main entrance.  If you would like to sign up for frozen meals, please contact 

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.

Pandemic-EBT Benefits for Families

Students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals may be eligible for Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) to purchase food for days they are not in the school building. To be considered, households must submit an application for free or reduced-price meals for the 2020-21 school year or be approved for Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Families who received P-EBT benefits last summer are not automatically eligible; eligibility is based on the current school year. Benefits may be retroactive to September 2020, depending on when eligibility for free or reduced-price meals is determined. To ensure you qualify for the most benefits, please submit your application as soon as possible.

*Please note this is a state run program not a school run program.

Free and Reduced Program-Deadline has been extendedWe 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 and reduced meals due to the USDA free meal program for the 20-21 school year.

Students in households that meet the free and 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 January 4, 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,

High School Panning

Last night we hosted a high school info night for 8th grade students and families.  We wanted to make sure all families who need it have access to the helpful information, so here is a recording and slides to look over.  Many high schools have deadlines to enroll soon.  Open enrollment ends January 15, and most magnet programs (Blaine CEMS, Anoka STEAM, etc.) have their application due Thursday, December 31.  If you want more help making your decision for high school or navigating the application process. please reach out to Terry Moffatt ( or Melissa Derby (!


School Development Committee

On behalf of the School Development Committee, we would like to THANK YOU for your contributions towards DaVinci Academy’s 2020 fundraising efforts. We are thrilled to have your support.  Because of your generosity, we have raised over $5,000 to go towards our school development initiatives.

Through your partnership we will continue to work towards our 2020-21 fundraising goal to improve our outdoor space, equipment and activities.

In years past your donations have supported purchasing items such as the risers in the Performing Arts Center, the beautiful pavilion that serves as an outdoor learning space, and playground improvements.

Color Run Video

Nice to Know

Winter Break Opportunities

Looking for something your child(ren) to do over winter break?

2021-22 Enrollment is Now Open

We are now accepting applications for the 2021-22 school year for students who would like to attend DaVinci Academy for grades Kindergarten through 8th grade.  All new students who are interested and not currently enrolled at DaVinci Academy, including siblings, must complete an application.  Applications are due by January 31, 2021 to be included in the enrollment lottery for the 2021-22 school year. The virtual Enrollment Lottery will take place Monday, February 8, at 5:00 p.m.  To complete an application for the next school year click here.

Please feel free to share this information with your family or friends.

Support Space  DVA Mental Health; Ms. Derby, Ms. Rowe, Ms. Hathaway

Hey DaVinci Community!

With winter break right around the corner, our Mental Health Team wants to encourage you to fully relax and do what you most enjoy. This looks different for everyone- having some “me time”, hanging out with loved ones (in-person or virtually), baking your favorite treats, etc.

This year looks different for many of us and you may be facing new challenges and losses this winter season. We encourage you to embrace the small things you are able to do with loved ones and try to create new traditions. Some of these ideas are listed below:

  • Snowball sock fight: use laundry baskets as barriers and throw those sock “snowballs” back and forth with two teams.

  • Wear mittens or gloves to unwrap presents. Make sure to add extra tape to make the presents tricky to unwrap.

  • Snowball hot potato: put on music and pass around a white ball, snowball. Turn off the music and whoever has the ball hot potato is out. Continue until only one person is left.

  • Catching snowballs: kids can hold cups to catch the snowballs. One person takes pom-pom balls and throws them towards the other kids. Whoever catches the most wins!

  • Try baking a new cookie recipe.

  • Pick out a fun winter craft, or color a winter-themed picture.

  • Write letters or cards to family or friends that you wish you could see this year!

  • If your family is into games and you want to play virtually, here are some sites you can check out (most are free, some have paid options):  Boardgame arena, Tabletopia, Drawasaurus, Codenames online, Settlers of Catan online, Cardgames app

  • Do you have favorite movies or shows you watch this time of year? You can watch them together while apart with different screen sharing apps: Watch2gether, Netflix Party, or Kast app (requires a paid subscription if you want to share your screen vs watch their programming).

We hope you have a great winter break! Please reach out if you have questions or concerns. If your family is faced with new or ongoing needs and challenges throughout this time, please let us know by filling out this survey  and someone from our team will reach out to further assist your family!

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

Anoka High School STEAM LogoDeadline Approaching

The priority lottery deadline to apply for the STEAM program at Anoka High closes on Dec. 31, it’s not too late!  You can APPLY HEREIf you have questions, want materials mailed out or wish to take a tour, please email Rana Nestrud; STEAM coordinator at today. View more about STEAM here: STEAM website

COVID-19-Community Testing

MDH bulletin 12/17/2020Stay Safe MN

All community testing sites will be closed:

  • Thursday, December 24, and Friday, December 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.


Free Reading & Math Tutoring Available Online

scholar squad

Let’s face it. COVID-19 has made everything challenging this year, especially learning. Reading Corps and Math Corps have launched a new initiative to help! Scholar Squad offers free one-on-one, online tutoring for Minnesota students in grades PreK-8.

Visit to request help for your child. A literacy or math coach will set up a time to learn more about your child and conduct a short screening. If the screening shows your child could use extra help to boost their skills, you’ll be matched with a tutor who will provide one-on-one practice and support.

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.


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.

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