DaVinci Connection-September 10, 2021

School Links


Important Dates

Subject to change-see online calendar

September 24, Picture Retake Day

September 27,  No School

September 27, Board Meeting

October 18-19, School Conferences

October 18-22, No School for Students


Student Absence Reporting

Parents should call the attendance line at 763-252-6130 before 9:00 a.m. on 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 five consecutive days, you will need to fill out an Extended Absence Form four to six weeks in advance of the absence.

Greetings!

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



TRANSPORTATION


Bus Driver Shortage

If you are a bus riding family you know that this week has been exceedingly challenging with regards to late buses. Kottkes’ is actively recruiting additional drivers, but they still haven’t hired the amount that they need, and drivers take time to train. We anticipate continued challenges that could take weeks or more to overcome.
For this reason, we are asking families to consider making alternate arrangements for transportation to and from school. If you have the capacity to drive your child and/or other children until we are confident that Kottkes’ can provide reliable service, that would be extraordinarily helpful.  We will continue to notify families over email, voice, and text when we know that a bus is going to be late, so that you can plan accordingly. If you wish to be taken off that notification list because you will not be riding the bus for the remainder of the year, please let us know. Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to tailor those notifications to reflect whether a student is riding day to day though, so we apologize if you get notifications about busing when you don’t need them. If you are not receiving communications from the school we ask that you check your spam folders and permissions and contact the school if you are still having problems. Please note that you can receive notifications on your phone through the Silent Dismissal app when your child is being dismissed to a bus. That will also be helpful in tracking whether the route is leaving on time in the afternoon.
On the occasions that a bus arrives later than 3:30PM to the school for afternoon pick up, students will be sent to the atrium to wait.
If you have questions or concerns about this, please reach out to Holly Fischer at hfischer@davincicharterschool.org If you are interested in working for Kottkes’ as a bus driver, we have been assured that you can request to be assigned to the DaVinci routes. Their number is 763-755-3100.


NUTRITIONAL SERVICES & RECESS


Nutritional Service Information for 21-22 School Year

The United States Department of Agriculture is allowing schools to provide meals for the 2021-22 school year through a provision of the National School Lunch Program called the Seamless Summer Option (SSO). A waiver has been issued in order to support access to nutritious meals while minimizing potential exposure to COVD-19.

Our school has chosen to use this waiver and operate the SSO which enables us to provide meals free of charge for all students. No application is required to receive this free meal benefit.

However, your child(ren) may qualify for additional benefits such as reduced fees or the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) which is a federal temporary emergency nutrition benefit that is loaded onto electronic cards for families to purchase food. At public schools, your application also helps the school qualify for education funds and discounts.

To apply, complete the Application for Educational Benefits link following the instructions. You may also log into your Infinite Campus account to complete an electronic form. 

We are excited to be offering Uncrustables (PB&J’s) again for a meal choice at lunch. Breakfast and Lunch will be free of charge however, if your student needs an additional milk or a milk with their meal from home their account will be charged $.50 

All students will be using their 4 digit pin during breakfast and lunch services. This will help families know what their children are eating throughout the school day.

To get great tips and ideas for healthy school snacks, click here.


Recess Attire

Fall weather is upon us. Please remember to send a light sweater or fall jacket (labeled with your child’s name) with your child if it looks like it will be cooler outside. We do go outside daily and don’t want them to be chilly.


EVENTS


DaVinci Color Run/Walk

Reminder that the color run/walk is Saturday, September 18. Pre-event shirt pickup will take place at DaVinci Academy on Friday, September 17 from 3:30-5:00PM at the front door. If you plan to pick up your shirt on the day of the event please arrive at 9:30AM. Race will begin promptly at 10:00AM. We look forward to seeing our DaVinci families for this community building event. Remember to take pictures if you are participating virtually.


Picture Re-Take Day

Friday, September 24th is picture retake day.  If you missed the first picture day, or are unhappy with the ones that were taken, Scherling photography will be here all day.


ACTIVITIES


Basketball at DaVinci Academy

We are excited to offer basketball again for our students in grades 2-8 this school year. Please follow these links to find out specifics and register for either the girls basketball program and/or the boys basketball program.

Those players interested in trying out for our traveling teams in grades 4-8, please reserve the afternoon/evening of Tuesday, September 14 for tryouts. Those registering for traveling will receive specific information regarding tryouts.
Any questions should be directed to Jack Shields, jshields@davincicharterschool.org.

Instrument Donation

Do you have an old instrument in working condition lying around? Our students would happily accept any instrument donations you might have. Please reach out to the office if you can help out in this way.


SCHOOL NURSE


Attention Middle School Families!

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 requirements:

Age 12+ (Entering 7th and 8th grade):

DTap/DT: 5 doses

Polio (IPV/OPV): 4 doses

Hep B: 3 doses

MMR: 2 doses

Varicella (Chicken Pox): 2 doses

Tdap 

Meningococcal

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 you have any questions, you may contact Nurse Julie at the school.  


SUPPORT SPACE


Hey DaVinci Community!

It is National Suicide Prevention Week and we want to help your family navigate conversations about mental health and sucide with your child. Pain isn’t always obvious, but most people who think of completing suicide show signs they are thinking about it. The signs may appear in conversations, their actions, or in social media posts. If you observe one or more of these warning signs, especially if the behavior is new, increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change, step in and speak up. Please talk with your child as well as a mental health professional, and your child’s school counselor or social worker.

Warning Signs:

  • Talking about wanting to die

  • Uncontrolled anger

  • Reckless behavior

  • Changes in sleep

  • Feeling hopeless, desperate, or no sense of purpose

  • Withdrawal

  • Sudden changes in mood

  • Talking about being a burden

  • Giving away prized possessions

Tips on how to talk with your child:

  • Be prepared with crisis resources (see some listed below)

  • Practice what you might say ahead of time if you are feeling uncomfortable or nervous

  • Plan to talk when you’re not in a hurry and have plenty of time with your child

  • Don’t tiptoe around the conversation, ask directly if your child is thinking about suicide

  • Listen, express concern, and reassure. Validate your child’s feelings; it is common to have these feelings, don’t make them feel bad for having these feelings.

  • Let them know you care, that you take it seriously, and you’re concerned about them.

  • Listen to their reasons for both living and dying, show them you understand they’re considering both options, and emphasize that living is an option for them.

  • Assure them that you are going to get them help, and reach out for help right away.

  • If you feel your child is at risk, ask if they have a plan, and remove or restrict any means in the home (knives, medications, guns, etc.) from them.

Helpful Resources:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Hours: Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish.

800-273-8255

  • Crisis Text Line:  Text MN to 741741

  • County Crisis Response Teams available 24/7:
    • Anoka 763-755-3801
    • Hennepin 612-348-2233
    • Ramsey 651-266-7878

For more information, check out suicideispreventable.org

If you need further support, information or would like to discuss any questions or concerns with us, please feel free to contact us at any time! If your family is faced with new or ongoing needs and challenges, please let us know by filling out this survey  and someone from our team will reach out to further assist your family!

Mindfully Yours,

Mental Health Team

Phoenix Hathaway (K-4 Counselor) www.calendly.com/mshathaway (763)-754-6577 ext. 1204
Courtney Rowe (K-8 School Social Worker) www.calendly.com/msrowe (763)-754-6577 ext. 1215
Brittany Finley (5-8 School Counselor) www.calendly.com/bfinley-4 (763)-754-6577 ext.1310


EDUCATION


Special Education Families

If you are a parent of a child that receives Special Education services, consider attending our DaVinci Special Education Advisory Council on Tuesday, September 14 from 5-6 p.m. virtually. Please contact Kari Peterson, Special Education Director, at kmpeterson@davincicharterschool.org if you are interested or would like more information.


Minnesota School District Rankings

School Digger evaluates school performance and quality based on test scores, rankings, school and district boundaries, student/teacher ratio, etc. Congratulations to DaVinci Academy of Arts and Science on the well-deserved recognition by School Digger of your efforts on behalf of students.  DaVinci was ranked 25 out of the 430 districts that were ranked.


PARENT COMMUNICATION


STEM Builders

STEM Builders of Blaine provides after school options for your student with 3x and 5x a week options and convenient bussing from DaVinci Academy.  Additionally, a portion of your enrollment funds come back to the school.

Pricing for K-4 is $399 for 3x a week, $499 for 5x a week, 3:30-530pm.
Pricing for the 5-8th grade program is $449 for 3x a week, $549 for 5x a week, to cover materials and registration fees of the competition.
For more information or to register, check out our website https://stembuilders.com/blaine-afterschool or call 612-217-4117 and ask for Laurie, Center Director and Owner

K-12 Education Credit

Save your receipts! Save money when you file your taxes! The K-12 Education Credit and Subtraction can lower the tax you pay or increase your refund when filing your Minnesota income tax return. Here are a few examples of qualifying educational expenses:

  • pens, pencils, notebooks, and folders
  • Tutoring or instructor fees
  • Music lessons and instruments
  • Computer hardware and educational software

For more information, Click Here.


Energy Assistance Program (EAP)

The Energy Assistance Program (EAP) helps people pay their electric and heating bills. The American Rescue Plan is providing additional funding for Energy Assistance and people can apply for energy assistance throughout the year. EAP can help both renters and homeowners with grants up to $1,600. To apply for EAP, call 1-800-657-3710 and enter your ZIP Code. Review the list of service providers by county or tribeView more information on EAP and who is eligible. Energy Assistance Program flyers are available in multiple languages: EnglishEspañolHmoobSoomaaliကညီကျိာ် and Tiếng Việt.


BOARD


Board Position Open

The DaVinci Academy Board of Directors consists of parents, teachers and community member. Currently, there is an open position on our School Board.  If you are interested in applying, please click here.


EMPLOYMENT


Unlicensed Positions for 21-22 School Year  

  • Behavior Specialist – Educational Assistant

  • Lunch / Recess Monitor (Part Time)

  • Special Education Paraprofessional, Substitute

Licensed Positions for 21-22 School Year 

  • Middle School Science Teacher (8th Grade)

  • Health Education Teacher (FTE 0.5)

  • On-Call Substitute Teacher

  • In-House Substitute Teacher


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