DaVinci Connection-May 7, 2021Bethany Rask
(subject to change-see online calendar)
5/12 Student Development Committee Meeting, 3:30 p.m.
5/14 No School
5/24 Board Meeting, 6 p.m.
5/31 No School, Memorial Day
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.
Please review the latest Attendance Update along with the details outlined below for using the attendance line. This update is for both distance and in-person learners.
You may view your child’s attendance record in your Campus Parent account.
To the left, you will find helpful links to important pages on our website.
From Our Principals
It’s May—Let’s Finish Strong!
From Ms. Halverson, Elementary Principal
As we prepare for intersession next week, it seems hard to believe that it’s already May. After the end of this week, we’ll only have 21 days left of school for the 20-21 school year!
While I’m sure many of us are looking forward to summer break, we still have important learning to do in those last 21 days. We’ll be finishing up our last units of study, completing end of year assessments, and continuing to develop our social skills and connect with our classmates and teachers.
It can be difficult to stay motivated to learn in the spring, particularly after all of the challenges from the past 12 months or so. The weather is starting to get warmer and we start thinking about what summer might bring. Some of us may feel like we are “ready to be done” with this year. While those feelings are definitely understandable, it’s my hope that we will continue to focus and work hard until the end of the year.
For my students:
Keep working hard and showing SPARK every day whether you come to school or learn from home! You still have much to learn and we want to make sure you’re ready for next fall. Do your homework (if your teacher assigns it). Be sure to get outside when you’re able to and get a good night’s sleep. Attendance is still important during the last few weeks of school; be sure to show up on time each day, regardless of where you’re learning from.
The next few weeks will go quickly and before we know it, it will be summer break! Keep up the great work, DaVinci! We’re almost there – let’s finish strong!
Character Education at DaVinci
From Mr. Shields, Middle School Principal
DaVinci Academy was founded on four pillars: arts and science focus, enhanced learning experience, differentiation, and character education. Today I would like to share how our school encourages strong character development so that our students can reach their full potential as citizens of the world.
Our K-8 program builds on character development in several ways. First, character education is integrated by the teachers throughout the day. Teachers begin the day with a morning meeting in K-5 and a cohort meeting in grades 6-8. During these sessions, teachers are building a community of character by modeling character traits such as encouraging others, showing empathy, and taking responsibility. Teachers look for teachable moments throughout the day to reinforce what good character looks like and point out when students are demonstrating the desired traits. We use our SPARK tickets to reinforce these desired traits. Teachers also look for connection points throughout their curriculum where they can discuss characters in the books they are reading as good models of character or not good models. Throughout our social studies curriculum our teachers ask deep questions to have students consider the actions of people throughout history and the consequences, good or bad, of those actions.
Our next method of character development is our monthly focus on character traits. Our staff work to help students understand the “Trait of the Month” and model how these traits are demonstrated. This year we have highlighted traits such as grit, respect, kindness, courage, cooperation, thankfulness, growth mindset, citizenship, and for the month of May, integrity. We have an assembly each month where teachers award the DVA Character Quality Awards to students who have gone above and beyond to demonstrate the trait of the month.
Finally, we work to develop character by delivering focused monthly lessons by our school counselors. Ms. Hathaway (K-4) and Ms. Derby (5-8) go into each classroom to deliver a 30-minute lesson that helps our students understand themselves, build self-esteem, and inspire confidence. Both of our counselors also work with small groups of students to develop problem-solving skills and leadership capabilities.
Our school vision statement says we’ll be known for providing a dynamic education in which students become lifelong learners with a sense of responsibility to society. It is through this multi-faceted approach to character education that we hope to join with families in developing that sense of responsibility to society in each of our students.
Need to Know
School issued Chromebooks are due back to the school by the end of the day on Friday, June 18, which is the day after the last day of school and a teacher workshop day. Most students will use their technology until the very last day of school; however, if your child is not using their Chromebook because they have another computer that they are able to access for school work, you are welcome to return it to school. These returned Chromebooks can then be used for MCA testing and the like.
We are asking that parents return computers to the office with the Chromebook Return Form (provided below) attached to them. You can print one off and bring it in, or one will be provided for you in the office. Please do not send your child to school with the Chromebook return, as we need parents to sign off on the return. If your child has already returned their Chromebook to their classroom teacher, we can confirm that return once you send the Chromebook Return Form back to the office.
Note: Chromebooks not returned by the end of the day on Friday, June 18 will be considered lost and families will be charged a $300 replacement fee. Please contact the school office with any questions or concerns.
COVID Testing for Middle School Students Coming Soon
Minnesota is experiencing high circulation of variants of COVID-19. For example, it is currently estimated that 60% of all COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are the B.1.1.7. variant strain, which is a new version of the virus that spreads more easily. The spread of COVID-19 variants, including B.1.1.7, is contributing to a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases statewide in Minnesota and in particular we are seeing more cases concentrated in the school-age population.
Anyone can have COVID-19 and not know it, and it is estimated that almost 50% of people with COVID-19 have no symptoms. Getting tested is the best way to know you are healthy and allows us to continue to offer in-person learning and extracurricular opportunities, especially with the increasing spread of virus variants in our state.
Since the start of the school year, we have prioritized in-person learning while protecting the safety and health of our students, staff, and families. This has included access to regular COVID-19 testing for our educators and staff. We’re pleased to now be able to offer COVID-19 testing, through the state of Minnesota’s partnership with Vault, to our Middle School students, as well.
Beginning Thursday, May 20 and again on Wednesday, June 3 we will distribute testing kits throughout the Middle School classrooms to students who are interested. Each interested student can bring home a testing kit, complete the test with a parent and the help of the Vault Zoom program, and return the test to the school the next day. Student testing kits will be sent to the lab with staff testing kits that Friday. Please reach out to Holly Fischer if you have any questions about this opportunity.
For more information and testing details, please view the link below.
Nice to Know
Ham Lake to Install School Zone
The city of Ham Lake was very receptive to our request for a school zone on Jefferson Street NE and are working out the logistics of getting signage installed. Thank you Ham Lake City Council for your support!
Dollars for DaVinci Results
Thank you DaVinci students, parents, and community for going above and beyond in raising funds during our Dollars for DaVinci Fundraiser. Our goal was $18,000 and we exceeded that goal and raised $23,403.50!
School Development Committee
Join us for a golf event at Topgolf to support DaVinci Academy! Reserve your spot now for this fun twist on our traditional golf tournament. Teams can include up to 6 people and smaller groups will be combined with others so each of the 15 bays that we have reserved are full. Space is limited!
Click here to to learn more and to register!
Mental Health Awareness Month
Hello DaVinci Community!
Today, May 7, is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, and May is Mental Health Awareness Month! This is important because when we take care of our mental health, we set ourselves up for success and achieve wellness in other areas of life, too.
According to the CDC, mental health disorders are chronic health conditions that may span a lifetime. Without early diagnosis and treatment, children may experience increased challenges at home, school, and with social relationships. Children’s mental health affects children of all ages, genders, races, cultures, and across all regions of our country. It is estimated that 13-20 percent of children (up to 1 out of 5 kids) in the US experience a mental health disorder in a given year.
The American Psychological Association (APA) says, “positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development.” This year, the APA’s campaign focuses on relationships between caregivers and children, and how to support healthy conversations, especially in light of the current pandemic. You can find more information at their website here, or further CDC information on mental health here.
If you have a teen at home, encourage them to participate in the APA’s “Text, Talk, Act”. This texting event features fun activities, which help increase their mental health and raise their awareness. They can text APA to 89800. See the APA’s website or the infographic below for more information.
As a parent, the best way to look out for your child’s mental health is to model, teach, and encourage healthy coping skills, and monitor your child for changes in behavior. If you notice concerning changes in behavior, or have concerns about your child, talk with your child’s pediatrician, or reach out to their school counselor or social worker.
Please reach out if you have any questions, concerns or are in need of additional support. If your family is faced with new or ongoing needs and challenges, please let us know by filling out this survey. Someone from our team will reach out to assist your family!
Your Mental Health Team
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
NAMI Mental Health Month: Children’s Series Webinars
Children’s Series: Ways To Build Resilience
Thursday, May 13
4:30 to 5:00 PM
The NAMI Minnesota Children’s Team will help you learn about negative coping strategies, and then learn to trade a negative strategy for a positive coping strategy.
Children’s Series: Who Are You Gonna Call?
Thursday, May 20
4:30 to 5:00 PM
Join the NAMI Minnesota Children’s Team to explore skills and tools of resilience. You are not doing this alone. Learn to build your safety net and leverage your relationships.
Children’s Series: Resilience Building Montage
Thursday, May 27
4:30 to 5:00 PM
Celebrate Mental Health Month with the Children’s Team as they close out their series on building resilience.
Frozen Meal Pick Up
Meal pick up days for the remainder of May will be on the following days from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the main entrance:
- No meal distribution the week of May 10
- Monday, May 17
- Monday, May 24
Curbside assistance will depend on staff availability.
If you have children in distance learning and would like to sign up for frozen meals, please contact canderson1@
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.
P-EBT Hotline and Help Form for Families
The P-EBT Hotline is available for families Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m., to answer questions about P-EBT benefits. Families may call 651-431-4608 or 1-833-454-0153, or submit questions through the P-EBT Help Form, which is available in multiple languages.
Please remember that if your child OR anyone in your household has one of the more common symptoms consistent with COVID, or two or more of the less common symptoms, all members of the household must remain at home until a negative COVID test or an alternate doctor’s diagnosis is received. This does not include baseline allergies but may include the same symptoms as a cold or other viruses. Please reach out to Nurse Julie if you have any questions or are unsure if your child(ren) should stay home.
More common symptoms: fever ≥ 100.4°F, new or worsening cough, difficulty breathing, loss of taste and smell.
Less common symptoms: sore throat, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, chills, muscle pain, extreme fatigue, new severe headache, or new congestion/runny nose.
Thanks for keeping our school safe!
- 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.
COVID-19 Testing Resource for Families
MDH recommends all school-age youth returning to school, youth sports, or extracurricular activities, and their families, get tested every two weeks through the end of the school year. While it is not a requirement, regular testing complements other safety measures already in place, such as masking and social distancing.
For more information, please visit COVID-19 Testing for Kids and Families. Getting tested every two weeks from now until the end of the school year can help keep schools open and sports operating, and ensure we are limiting the spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19 Vaccine Connector
The MN Department of Education has asked us once again to share this letter, outlining who is currently eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccine as well as how to get registered using the Vaccine Connector. This letter is now available Hmong, Somali and Spanish, too.
State Fair FEMA Site
Check out this State Fair FEMA vaccination site flyer to learn more about getting vaccinated through the Minnesota Community Vaccination Program.
Minnesota has launched a public vaccine data dashboard to detail the progress of COVID-19 vaccine allocation, distribution and administration across Minnesota. The dashboard provides a visual and user-friendly way to view key vaccination data. The dashboard includes information on the number of doses promised (allocated) to the state by the federal government; shipped to Minnesota providers; and administered to Minnesotans. Information is updated daily at 11 a.m.