Snow covered land of DaVinci Academy

DaVinci Connection-January 8, 2021

School Links


Important Dates

(subject to change-see online calendar)

1/11  Annual 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.

1/18-1/19  No School, K-8

1/20-1/22  No School, K-5

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

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

1/26  PTO Meeting, 6:30 p.m.

2/8  Tentative back to in-person learning date for grades 3-5

2/8  Virtual Enrollment Lottery, 5:00 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.

Greetings!

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

Ms. Silkey-Jones

Dear DaVinci Community:

Wishing you a very happy new year! Thank you for all of your questions and feedback as we navigate our upcoming transition to in-person learning for our K-5 students. We received a 99% response rate from families on our survey, we appreciate you prioritizing this as we know there were many factors to consider. Please see below for key updates to our initial guidance as well as a link to our FAQ with updated answers in blue.  You can also watch this video message

PHASED TRANSITION PLAN 

We are able to move forward with our proposed transition plan, meeting the requirements outlined in the State of Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan. 

Click Here For More Important Details

DAILY SCHEDULE

  • 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. (While some other schools across the county/state have the staffing to cover these learners with separate staff, DaVinci does not – thus we need to provide our staff with the time to support in-person and distance learner needs.)  We have the option to concentrate that additional prep into one day. We surveyed both families and staff regarding what schedule would best serve students and provide teachers with the dedicated planning time needed.
  • Teachers overwhelmingly felt a 2.5 hour concentrated prep period was more valuable for common planning time and less disruptive to students’ schedules, therefore, we have developed a 5 day in-person learning schedule with a half day (12:30 pm dismissal) on Fridays.

TRANSPORTATION

  • Busing will resume on January 25 for grades K-2 and on February 8 for grades 3-5. If your child is signed up for busing you will receive a confirmation email from Holly Fischer next week.
  • Busing will continue for students in Tier 1 childcare.
  • Busing will be provided on early release day Fridays at 12:30pm. Childcare students will still be able to utilize the purple and gray routes at 3:00 on Fridays as well.

MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • Middle School is still required to follow the state guidance around COVID case numbers as we have been throughout this year. We are hopeful that they will be able to return soon based on the decrease in spread of Covid-19 for our region, but as of now we are required to wait until the county numbers are low enough. We will communicate with you as soon as we have an update for middle school.
  • The Middle School schedule will not change until MS returns to in-person learning. Wednesdays will remain cohort meeting and pre-recorded learning days for MS until they return to in-person learning regardless of changes to the K-5 schedule.
  • When Middle School returns to in-person learning their class schedule will remain the same with 40 minute classes with the addition of afternoon academic support time, recess, and lunch.
  • For Middle School families seeking additional social-emotional support for students navigating this extended distance learning time, please reach out to our 5-8 counselor, Melissa Derby at mderby@davincicharterschool.org.

HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES

The Minnesota Department of Education also released new safety protocols for students and staff learning and teaching in-person, including:

  • Requiring masks for students at all times indoors (except while eating), including during indoor physical education (PE) and indoor recess. Masks will not be required during outdoor PE and recess.
  • Students maintain a three-foot distance from each other whenever possible.
  • Requiring staff to wear masks and recommending they also wear face shields when possible while working in-person with students, while maintaining a six-foot distance from students and other adults.
  • Requiring that students remain in their classroom for some specialist lessons depending upon the specific building facilities. Students may leave their classroom for recess and PE in a gym or outside. Additionally, the guidance allows for lunch and breakfast to be served in the cafeteria with social distancing in place. DaVinci will provide this for grade levels when possible.
  • Making on-site COVID-19 testing available every two weeks for teachers and staff who work directly with students.

ISOLATION/QUARANTINE

  • We will continue to follow the MN Department of Health Decision Tree for Schools to determine isolation or quarantine length for those exposed to or who test positive for COVID-19 in our community. We are aware of the new strain of COVID-19 here in the US.  While current data show that it isn’t causing more severe illness, it does appear to be spreading from person to person faster. Therefore, families should continue to have a quarantine plan in place for their families.
  • In addition, staffing is a critical component of school operations. When adequate staffing to support an in-person learning model cannot be achieved, it may be necessary for schools to transition to an alternative learning model. A class may have to learn from home for a period of time if there is an exposure in their classroom or if there is not adequate staffing to cover a required teacher quarantine.

If you submitted a question please click here to review our DaVinci Family Q and A #2 January, 2021.

DaVinci Family Q and A #1 December, 2020

Safe Learning Plan

Vaccination Distribution

Tracking COVID-19 Trends in Minnesota

My best,

 

 

Ahava Silkey-Jones

Executive Director 

DaVinci Academy of Arts and Science

DaVinci Strong COVID Resource Page

763.754.6577


Need to Know


Notes from Nurse Julie

With the upcoming return to in-person learning, here are some helpful reminders:

Daily Pre-screening:

Please pre-screen your children before they come to school each day. If they have one of the more common COVID symptoms (fever greater than 100.4°f, new onset of cough, difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell) or a combination of two of the less common symptoms (sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, muscle pain, extreme fatigue, new onset of severe headache, congestion, runny nose) they will need to stay home, and siblings must also remain at home until a negative COVID test or alternate diagnosis is obtained from a health care provider. Thank you for helping keep our school open and safe!

Masks:

Please make sure your child has several masks to use during the school day, as they tend to get soiled quickly. Cloth masks should be washed each day and paper masks should be disposed of after use. Students unable to wear a mask can have their health care provider fill out a Medical Verification for Exemption form. Please reach out to Nurse Julie if you are in need of a mask exemption form for your student’s health care provider to complete.

Medications:

If your child will need to take any medications while at school, please fill out the appropriate forms for the medications required. Health forms can be found on the DaVinci website or you can access them here. Medications must be brought to school by a parent and delivered to the nurse unless other arrangements are made.

*Over-the-counter medication forms need only a parent/guardian signature and date.

*Prescription medication forms must have BOTH a doctor’s signature and date and a parent/guardian signature and date.

*For any child with asthma or anaphylaxis. Action plan forms can be used in lieu of the prescription medication forms if all the necessary medications can be listed on the plans.

Please Note:  Medication can only be accepted if it is accompanied with the correct forms, it is in its original packaging with a prescription label attached, and it is not expired.

If you have any questions, please contact Nurse Julie:

jswanson@davincicharterschool.org

763-754-6577, ext. 1110


Spring Picture Day!

Now that we have students returning (insert cheer here) we have scheduled a spring picture day for  Thursday, March 25th.  This picture day is open to anyone who:

  • missed the first picture day in the fall,
  • submitted a picture to Scherling but would rather have a studio photo,
  • is a staff member who didn’t get their photo taken yet,
  • is unhappy with the first set of Scherling pictures and would like a retake.

Uniforms are required for this photo and more details will be coming


Sample of the Grab and Go Meals from Lancer Hospitality.

Frozen Meal Pick Up

Our next meal pick up day will be Monday, January 11, 10:30 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. at the main entrance. The school will be closed in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 18. To accommodate this closure, weekly meal pick up will be on Tuesday, January 19, 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. at the east door. Starting Monday, January 25, meal times will change back to 10:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.

Please note: Beginning Monday, January 25 (grades K-2), and Monday, February 8 (grades 3-5), students participating in in-person learning will no longer have access to the distance learning meal program as they will have access to free breakfast and lunch at school.

If you have children in distance learning and would like to sign up for frozen meals, please contact canderson1@davincicharterschool.org 

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.


Nice to Know


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 and friends.


Special Education Advisory Council text with a stack of books and an apple on top.

Special Education Advisory Council

If you are a parent of a child that receives Special Education services, consider attending our DaVinci Special Education Advisory Council on Tuesday, January 12 from 5:00- 6:00 p.m. virtually.

Please contact Kari Peterson, Special Education Director, at kmpeterson@davincicharterschool.org if you are interested or would like more information.


High School Planning

On December 17, we hosted a high school information night for 8th grade students and families. Here is a recording and slides to look over for those families that may have missed the meeting or would like access to the content discussed. Many high schools have deadlines that are quickly approaching so it is important to enroll soon. Open enrollment ends January 15, and most magnet programs (Blaine CEMS, Anoka STEAM, etc.) had their applications due December 31.

Here is an informational letter from Andover High School for interested 8th grade families.

If you want more help making your decision for high school or navigating the application process, please reach out to Terry Moffatt (tmoffatt@davincicharterschool.org) or Melissa Derby (mderby@davincicharterschool.org)!


Love and Logic Heart Logo

FREE Parenting Seminar from Love & Logic

Love & Logic is offering a free virtual parenting seminar titled, “Parenting during Uncertain Times: Elevate Your Skills Quickly to Raise Healthy, Responsible Children.”
Find more information and register at https://events.loveandlogic.com/.

Common Sense Media text with checkmark logo

FREE Media Resource

From Andrea Halverson, K-5 Director

One of the biggest challenges facing parents today, particularly in a year of distance learning, is keeping up with what your kids are doing and watching online. You’ve likely been confused as you’ve heard your child talk about different apps or games that sound completely foreign to you. You might even find yourself yearning for the simpler days when the only video games around were Atari and Super Mario Brothers.

You might be wondering how you can keep up with all of the changes and keep your kids safe online. Often movie and video game ratings don’t give us enough information. Two movies that are both rated PG can have very different content!

One resource I use quite frequently is called Common Sense Media. This free website reviews books, movies, apps, and games to help parents make informed decisions about what their child views.

Each review will generally list what age an item is recommended for. Even more, it will list what age the Common Sense experts recommend, what parent reviewers recommend, and what kid reviewers recommend. It will also give you information about things like language, violence, drinking or drug references and other things you may want to know about.

Each child and family is different and has different standards by which they decide what’s appropriate for them. Common Sense Media is a tool for parents to help make informed decisions for their families with just a few clicks.


Support Space


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

Easing Transitions

Hey DaVinci Community!

Happy New Year! The phrase, “the only constant is change,” said by Greek philosopher Heraclitus, is more true than ever throughout this time. Your child may be experiencing big emotions with the upcoming transitions, such as a new learning format or changing schedules. We want to support and equip you with tips on how to ease this transition. We hope this helps everyone get started on the right foot.

  • Give advanced warning: Give kids a heads-up when change is coming. This can be very helpful in allowing them ample time to process and discuss what is to come.

  • Make time to answer their questions: Give kids space and time to process their feelings, and listen to their concerns. You may not have all the answers, and that’s okay. Work together to see who may have the answer, or brainstorm solutions as a team.

  • Keep as much the same as possible: We know there has been a lot of change happening, but keep things predictable at home as much as possible (ex. nighttime routines, weekly family routines such as “family game night” or “taco Tuesdays”, etc.).

  • Expect that regression may happen: It is normal to regress to old behaviors in times of change. Be patient with your kids and yourself if things seem to get worse before they get better.

  • Don’t make your anxiety theirs: It is OK (and helpful!) for kids to see our feelings at times, but we need to be careful not to project our emotions onto them. While you may have some anxiety about your child transitioning back to school in person, try to share some optimism and positivity about this new opportunity. Discuss what positive things may come from it.

During times of stress, a little extra attention can go a long way!

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) www.calendly.com/mshathaway (763) 200-1338

Melissa Derby (5-8 School Counselor) www.calendly.com/msderby (763) 200-1281

Courtney Rowe (K-8 School Social Worker) www.calendly.com/msrowe (763) 200- 6081


Ongoing


Free RScholar Squad Logoeading & Math Tutoring Available Online

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 ScholarSquad.org 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.


Stay Safe MNCOVID-19-Community Testing

MDH bulletin 12/17/2020

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.

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


Energy Assistance Program

As we face cold winter weather, 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.

Flyers:

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.


Help Wanted


Employment Needs at DaVinci Academy

Spread the word!

  • Special Education- Paraprofessional (Sub)
  • Lunch & Recess Monitor (Sub)
  • On-Call Substitute Teacher
  • School Bus Driver (Contact Kottkes’ Bus Inc. at 763-755-3100)

For more information about these positions, please see the Employment page of our website.

DaVinci Connection-December 18, 2020

School Links DaVinci Academy Staff Directory Food Service School Calendar School Supplies Volunteer Information Anti-Bullying Policy 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 [...]

DaVinci Connection-December 4, 2020

School Links DaVinci Academy Staff Directory Food Service School Calendar School Supplies Volunteer Information Anti-Bullying Policy Important Dates (subject to change-see online calendar) 12/7  Material Pick Up Day 12/9  School Development Committee Meeting, 3:30 pm 12/9  Finance Committee Meeting, 4:30 pm 12/14  Board Meeting, 6:00 pm 12/15 Heggies Pizza Pick Up 3:30-6:00 12/16  Student Care [...]

DaVinci Connection-November 19, 2020

School Links DaVinci Academy Staff Directory Food Service School Calendar School Supplies Volunteer Information Anti-Bullying Policy 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, [...]

DaVinci Connection-November 6, 2020

School Links DaVinci Academy Staff Directory Food Service School Calendar School Supplies Volunteer Information Anti-Bullying Policy Important Dates (subject to change-see online calendar) 11/11  School Development Meeting, 3:30 pm 11/11  Finance Committee Meeting, 4:30 11/19  Last Day of Tri 1 11/20-11/30  No School 11/30  Board Meeting 12/2 Picture Retake Day + Distance Students 12/9  School [...]

DaVinci Connection-October 23, 2020

School Links DaVinci Academy Staff Directory Food Service School Calendar School Supplies Volunteer Information Anti-Bullying Policy Important Dates (subject to change-see online calendar) 10/26  Board Meeting, 6:00 pm 10/27  Picture Day, Cohort A *NOTE NEW DAY 10/29  Picture Day, Cohort B *NOTE NEW DAY 11/11  School Development Meeting, 3:30 pm 11/11  Finance Committee Meeting, 4:30 [...]

DaVinci Connection-October 9, 2020

School Links DaVinci Academy Staff Directory Food Service School Calendar School Supplies Volunteer Information Anti-Bullying Policy Important Dates (subject to change-see online calendar) 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 11/3  Picture Day, Cohort [...]

DaVinci Connection-September 25, 2020

School Links DaVinci Academy Staff Directory Food Service School Calendar School Supplies Volunteer Information Anti-Bullying Policy 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 [...]

DaVinci Connection-September 11, 2020

School Links DaVinci Academy Staff Directory Food Service School Calendar School Supplies Volunteer Information Anti-Bullying Policy 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 [...]

DaVinci Connection-August 28, 2020

School Links DaVinci Academy Staff Directory Food Service School Calendar School Supplies Volunteer Information Anti-Bullying Policy Important Dates (subject to change-see online calendar) 8/31  Color Fun Run Registration Deadline 8/31  Board Meeting, 6:00 pm 9/4  No School 9/7  No School, School Office Closed 9/8 Supply Pick Up Day 9/9  School Development Committee Meeting, 3:30 pm [...]

DaVinci Connection-August 14, 2020

School Links DaVinci Academy Staff Directory Food Service School Calendar School Supplies Volunteer Information Anti-Bullying Policy Important Dates (subject to change-see online calendar) 9/4  No School 9/7  No School 9/19  Color Fun Run, 10:00 am 9/28  No School, Teacher Workshop Day Food Service Program Current Lunch prices - including milk Hot, Alt. or Emergency Lunch: Full Pay [...]

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