DaVinci Connection-September 24, 2021Nina Ehoff
Subject to change-see online calendar
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.
To the left, you will find helpful links to important pages on our website.
This school year will certainly have challenges—some new ones and some that we have seen before. Families may be wondering how this year will be different than last year. The Minnesota Department of Education has created an overview for families to outline health and safety strategies, resources available for schools, information about online learning options and school meals for the 2021-22 school year.
Student Demographic Information Needed – ACTION REQUIRED
Thank you in advance for sharing up to date demographic and housing information with DaVinci Academy. This information is kept confidential and is only used for reporting purposes and to provide support for families as needed. Click the link here to submit your information: Student Demographic and Housing Form.
School starts at 8:00 a.m. That means that students are in their classrooms ready to learn at 8:00 a.m. If your child is walking in the door at 8:00 a.m. they will be marked tardy, so please plan accordingly. The school opens at 7:30 a.m. for student drop offs.
Please note, students who arrive by bus will be marked with an excused tardy if the bus is late to school.
A week ago, busing families were sent a survey asking them to indicate whether or not they would be willing to opt out of bus transportation for this school year. As the nation wide bus driver shortage is expected to continue, we are being proactive in our planning to address the difficulties with safe, reliable busing for our students. As a result of that survey 56 families said that they would be willing to opt out of bus transportation freeing up 92 spots on the buses. We will use this information to consolidate bus routes with the goal of reducing the number of buses for which Kottke’s needs to provide drivers. Updated route information will be coming in the next couple of weeks and will be communicated to all when the planning has been completed.
If you missed the opportunity to complete the survey we will assume that your family is still in need of busing and will plan for you. If you would like to indicate that you are able to find alternative transportation for your child, please email Holly Fischer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NUTRITIONAL SERVICES & RECESS
Every Meal – First Distribution 10/1
Update: The first Every Meal distribution will be on Friday, October 1st. Families who have signed up by September 23rd will receive meals in the first distribution.
We are excited to share that we have partnered with Every Meal (formerly Sheridan Project) to provide meals for families in need at DaVinci. This program is free for all families at DaVinci in grades K-8, there is no income qualification, and there is no private information collected.
Families who sign up will receive a 3-5 pound bag of food each week for each school age child they sign up. Families will need to complete a separate form for each child they are enrolling. There are 5 different types of meal bags available for families to choose from. Families can sign all of their children up for the same type of bag or they can sign up for different bags, depending on preference. Meal bags will be placed in your student’s backpack on the last day of each week. Families can sign up or cancel at any time as their needs change.
Use the link here to sign up: https://bit.ly/DaVinciEveryMeal
Please direct questions to Andrea Halverson: email@example.com.
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.
EVENTS & ACTIVITIES
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
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.
Immunization Record Mobile App
Minnesotans can now easily access their immunization record through their smartphones or other mobile devices by using an app called Docket. Docket enables residents with a Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) record to securely view and share their immunization records.
MIIC, Minnesota’s immunization information system, combines all immunizations a person has received into a single record, even if they were given by different health care providers in Minnesota. Anyone who has a MIIC record can use the Docket app to access their record, including their COVID-19 vaccination. The app provides a PDF document of the immunization record that can be saved to your mobile device, printed, emailed, or texted as needed. Docket is free and available for download in Apple and Android app stores. For more information, visit Find My Immunization Record.
We are reaching out to share that we are able to institute a new layer of prevention for our school community, as well as make testing easier for you and your family when you are required to quarantine. You will not be required to test, just given the option to use a school provided test if exposed to COVID-19.
Our number one goal is to help ensure a safe and healthy school year for all our students and educators. While we are employing several mitigation strategies [masking, sanitizing, assigned seating, etc.], COVID-19 testing will play a critical role in our efforts to keep students in their classrooms and to participate in extracurricular activities.
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) have improved their first-in-the-nation statewide COVID-19 testing program with new testing resources, and we are committed to using every tool at our disposal.
The state has also given districts and schools the flexibility to develop a COVID-19 testing plan that fits our school community. We have decided to offer Vault Tests and BinaxNOW OTC At-Home Testing.
- Vault Testing (While Supplies Last): Vault tests are individual PCR saliva tests. Vault may be used for people who are symptomatic or asymptomatic and can be sent home with students. These test kits are self-administered but conducted by a Vault test supervisor over Zoom. Individuals need to create a Vault account with a username and password and provide consent to Vault to participate in testing. Students who are under 18 years old will need a parent or legal guardian present at the time of the test to provide consent on the student’s behalf. Users of the Vault test kits should not eat, drink, smoke or chew gum 30 minutes before taking the test. Students receiving Vault tests from school must bring their completed tests back to school. Tests will be shipped from school to the lab to be processed. Results are typically available from Vault Health within 48 hours of being received at the testing laboratory sites.
- BinaxNOW OTC At-Home Testing: BinaxNOW OTC tests are individual rapid antigen tests that will be available to be sent home with students who are symptomatic– one package with two kits in each package. Students will receive one BinaxNOW OTC package per student. The tests use a nasal swab. It is a self-test recommended for children as young as 2 years old when samples are collected by an adult, and for all people 15 and older if they are collecting the sample by themselves. Results are visually displayed on the test 15 minutes after the test is performed. Even with a negative test result, a student who is experiencing symptoms should retest and should not return to school until symptoms have improved and the student has been fever free for 24 hours.
If your student is unable to take part in our COVID-19 testing program or develops symptoms before they come to school, there are many other options to get tested. Families can visit one of Minnesota’s free community testing sites, or go to a local pharmacy, clinic or hospital. Families can also use the no-cost COVID-19 test at home program to have a test mailed to them.
Additional information about our COVID-19 strategy is available at https://sites.google.com/davincicharterschool.org/one-davinci-21-22/covid-guidance
Based on current levels of community spread across Minnesota, the CDC and MDH recommend that:
- Unvaccinated school-age children and school staff should get tested for COVID-19 at least weekly throughout the school year.
- Unvaccinated children involved in any extracurricular activities or sports should be tested more frequently.
- Vaccinated students and school staff should get tested if they are experiencing symptoms or were exposed to someone who has COVID-19.
Testing is one important strategy to slow the spread of COVID-19. Vaccines continue to be the most important tool we have against the virus. Our youngest students can’t get vaccinated yet, so it is up to all of us to help protect them. Minnesotans ages 12 and older can find information on where to get a vaccine by visiting the state’s Vaccine Connector (vaccineconnector.mn.gov) or the federal Vaccine Finder (vaccines.gov).
Thank you for your understanding and patience as we navigate this school year. Please reach out with any questions.
Hey DaVinci Community!
October 3-9th is National Mental Illness Awareness Week! Although there are MANY different mental illnesses, some of the most common mental health concerns at school are related to depression and anxiety.
Please check out these kid-friendly info sheets about anxiety and depression. If you notice signs of these disorders or have other concerns about your child’s mental health, discuss promptly with your child’s pediatrician. Our team serves as a resource to help you navigate the mental health systems and support your child. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
To learn more about other Mental Illnesses, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/
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!
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
If you need custom or special sizes for your child’s school uniform, we now have a partnership with Schoolbelles. This is an online distributor of uniform clothing for families who like to shop online and have a difficult time of finding particular sizes. Schoolbelles offers a lifetime guarantee on uniforms. Click here to download the Schoolbelles Guide to Uniforms and Pricing. Enter the school code: s2979.
Calling all Novels!
Thanks to a large curriculum delivery, we have approximately 25 wooden pallets that we would like to re-purpose. If you have the perfect DIY project and are interested in one or all of them, please contact Chad Holm at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 tribe. View more information on EAP and who is eligible. Energy Assistance Program flyers are available in multiple languages: English, Español, H
Board Position Open
The DaVinci Academy Board of Directors consists of parents, teachers and community members. Currently, there is an open position on our School Board. If you are interested in applying, please click here.
Unlicensed Positions for 21-22 School Year
Behavior Specialist – Educational Assistant
Lunch / Recess Monitor (Part Time)
Special Education Paraprofessional, Substitute
- Mid-day custodial support (contact Holly Fischer for more information)
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