DaVinci Connection-October 8, 2021

School Links


Important Dates

Subject to change-see online calendar

October 18-19, School Conferences

October 18-22, No School for Students

November 18, Last Day of Trimester 1

November 19, Grading Day, No School

November 22-26, No School

November 29, No School Day, Staff Development **Note, this information is different than what is reflected on your school magnet and we apologize for the error. Please see the 21-22 schedule for the most accurate information.


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.


IMPORTANT UPDATES

Provide Meals for Teachers During Conferences

Conferences are coming up and your DaVinci PTO members are working hard to provide meals for teachers during conferences! We’re going to have dinner on Monday, October 18 and lunch on Tuesday, October 19 available for the teachers. Please sign up to volunteer and/or donate items for one or both days. Cash and check donations can be sent to the school anytime, but no later than Friday the 15th at noon. (Checks should be made out to DaVinci PTO). Thank you in advance for your support of our fabulous DaVinci teachers!

Access the SignUpGenius HERE.

Attendance Reminder

Regular school attendance is important. Not only is it important for learning, but student attendance is required by state law. Students who have excessive tardies or unexcused absences will receive notices from the school and may be referred to the County Child Welfare office for truancy. Please be sure to call or email the attendance line for your student each day if they are ill and cannot attend school. If you receive an attendance notice and you believe there are errors in your child’s attendance report, please contact Ms. Halverson or Mr. Shields with questions.


Nutritional Service – Applications Needed!

We are still in need of families to fill out the 21-22 Application for Educational Benefits. Completing this application helps students receive reduced fees for school activities, and our school receives more state education funding.

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. 


Student Demographic, Housing, & Digital Equity Information Needed – ACTION REQUIRED

Thank you for participating in the Student Digital Equity Survey. This survey collects information on student access to the
Internet and electronic devices used for schoolwork in the student’s home. DaVinci Academy may use this
information to identify students that could benefit from additional supports to make sure they can access learning
opportunities outside the classroom or school building. It is important that we gather accurate information from every
student so that each student and family has the equipment, help and support needed.
The information you provide in this survey will be reported to the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). MDE may
provide state- or school-level summary data—without personal, identifying information—to the Governor, legislators,
agency staff and external partners who have established data sharing agreements and protocols.DaVinci Academy will not share your personal, identifying information provided in this survey with others without your consent. Student Demographic, Housing & Digital Access Form.

Please note that we need to report on this information regardless of whether you complete the form; so, it is critical that families help us make sure our data is accurate.  Thank  you so much for your help with this.


TRANSPORTATION

Transportation

Thank you to the 56 families who agreed to opt out of school busing to help with the bus driver shortage.   This frees up almost 100 seats so that we can do some re-organization of routes.  We expect those routes to be completed in the next couple of weeks and will be communicating the changes as soon as they are finalized.  Thank you for your patience.

The routes have been improving over the past couple of weeks; but, we know that the winter weather will bring additional challenges that we will want to prepare for.

Feel free to show your bus driver some love when you see them next and encourage your kids to do the same.  What would we do without them?!


Silent Dismissal App

We’ve had a number of very rainy pick ups in the past few weeks.  If you’d like to help the parking lot staff on days like that please consider downloading the Silent Dismissal app and entering your student’s number yourself.   Cold and rainy weather is hard on devices (and staff fingers) and sometimes mistakes are made.  If you have the app you will be assured that your number is entered.   Contact the office at Office@davincicharterschool.org for more information.


NUTRITIONAL SERVICES & RECESS

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.


COVID-19 Impacts on Food Service

Schools are starting to experience nationwide supply chain and product availability shortages. Disruptions are due to a lack of availability of raw ingredients and labor to produce, unload, and transfer food products. Some food and/or beverage products normally provided to students may not be available or arrive as scheduled. Due to unforeseen circumstances, last-minute menu changes and product substitutions may occur. Be assured meals will remain balanced, healthy, and plentiful. We ask for patience and understanding as we do our best to meet the needs of your children.

 Menus and nutritional information are always posted on our district website.


SCHOOL NURSE

Vision Screening at DaVinci Academy

Vision screenings will be offered at the school by the doctors at 20/20 Eyecare and Optics for grades K, 2, 4, 6, and 8 on Monday, October 11th and Wednesday, October 13th.  If you have a student in grades 1, 3, 5, or 7 and would like them to be screened, or if your student is scheduled to be screened and you would like to opt out, please send an email to Julie Swanson, the school nurse, at jswanson@davincicharterschool.org.  

If your child wears glasses or contacts, please have them wear/bring them to school the days of the screening.  The results of your child’s screening will be sent home with your student. 

WE NEED VOLUNTEERS! If you are willing to help during this event please reach out to the school nurse at, jswanson@davincicharterschool.org. We will provide coffee and donuts for everyone willing to help!


SUPPORT SPACE

Hey DaVinci Community!

October is National Bullying Prevention Month! DaVinci’s Mental Health Team is here to provide more information on this topic, and how to prevent bullying from happening.

Bullying is when someone repeatedly and on purpose says or does mean or hurtful things to another person who has a hard time defending themselves. At school we teach students that conflict, meanness, and bullying are different. Bullying and meanness are never ok, but we want to distinguish between them as we have different responses on these issues. Conflict is a normal part of friendships, and we teach students how to manage and resolve conflict with one another. When a student is bullied, we encourage them to reach out to safe adults at school and at home for help. This includes any trusted adult- all staff members are prepared to help students get the support they need!

Students learn best when we work as a team, so we appreciate when you reinforce this information at home as well. We are here to support you with further resources surrounding this topic. You can view our school’s policy on bullying by clicking here.

Resources to Learn More:

https://www.stopbullying.gov/resources/get-help-now

https://www.pacer.org/bullying/resources/sites-for-kids-and-teens.asp

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


PARENT COMMUNICATION

STEM Builders

Looking for something to do with the kids October 18-22?  Send them to MEA camp at STEM Builders of Blaine.  The theme for the week will be space and animals and all science, engineering, robotics and coding activities will focus on one of these two themes.  Build a rocket, watch how a bird feeds its young, build your own zoo, and more.  Weekly cost is $269/student and we do offer a 10% sibling discount.  Enrollment is limited to 12 students grades K-6.  Looking for day options? Email us at blaine@stembuilders.com or call 612-208-0936.  To enroll, click on this link and you will not be charged until camp starts.


Artificial Intelligence, Humanities and Ethics Program Taught by Yale Graduates: Winter ’21

Inspirit AI is a 25-hour enrichment program that introduces middle and high school students to fundamental artificial intelligence concepts in order to work through socially impactful projects in areas including art, healthcare, education, law, and more. Developed and taught by our team of graduate students from Stanford and MIT, students receive a personalized, interdisciplinary learning experience with a student-instructor ratio of 5:1, and custom curriculum appropriate for complete beginners to more advanced students. Applications for our programs are now open and due October 15th. For our middle school programs, you can find our flyer here and our MS application here.


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.


EVENTS

October 11th – October 14th
Fair will be held during the school day for students only. DaVinci earns 50% of the sales to buy books for the library.

The DaVinci PTO will be hosting a uniform exchange during parent/teacher conferences. If you have uniform clothing that is clean and free of holes and stains, please drop them off at the front office. Tables with uniforms will be available for families to browse during conferences on October 18th and 19th.

If you are a parent of a child that receives Special Education services, consider attending our DaVinci Special Education Advisory Council on Tuesday, October 12 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.


COVID TASK FORCE

There are many COVID-19 testing options available to Minnesotans. Please visit COVID-19 Testing – Minnesota Dept. of Health (state.mn.us) for more information on Minnesota’s free community testing sites, no-cost COVID-19 test at home , or locations at a local pharmacy, clinic or hospital. Local options include https://gslabstesting.com/ and https://www.gatherwellmn.com/

The COVID-19 Task Force is continuing to meet several times a week to review the current COVID-19 situation within the school and Anoka County and re-evaluate recommendations for the DaVinci Academy Board of Directors. The Task Force will share updates with the community in each newsletter.  At this time, the COVID-19 Case Rate for Anoka County continues to rise, and we are continuing to have positive cases at DaVinci. We strongly encourage you to continue using multiple COVID-19 mitigation strategies while outside of school, especially with October break coming up.  Whether traveling or staying in Minnesota, please be mindful of gatherings and take any mitigation efforts you may be able to take (masking, socializing outside when possible, staying away from others if either you or someone else is symptomatic or has tested positive for COVID-19, etc.).

 

Additional Updates:

· Please continue to follow the DaVinci Dashboard for information on DaVinci case rates. We are working on how to best capture a statistic around spread from within the school (at this time the data on the number of students who test positive after being a close contact is incomplete because not all students test)

· The Task Force would like to hear your questions, as well as things that you would like for us to consider.  Please email these to: asktaskforce@davincicharterschool.org.  We are still discussing how best to host the Q&A/Town Hall meeting mentioned during the recent Board Meeting.  The questions and comments you send through will help us better understand the outstanding questions/concerns within the community.  Thank you!

· If you haven’t already, please consider sharing your information on vaccination status or antibody testing results:  Antibody Test Results Form  Student Vaccination Status Form

Thank you for your support as we help the school navigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

-The DaVinci COVID-19 Task Force


EMPLOYMENT

Unlicensed Positions for 21-22 School Year

  • Behavior Specialist – Educational Assistant

  • Lunch / Recess Monitor (Part Time)

  • Food Service Assistant (Part Time)

  • Special Education Paraprofessional

  • Special Education Paraprofessional, Substitute

Licensed Positions for 21-22 School Year

  • Elementary Gifted Education Teacher (Renaissance)

  • Response to Intervention Teacher

  • On-Call Substitute Teacher

Do you enjoy working with kids? If so,the Special Education Department has the job for you!  We’re presently hiring for the Paraprofessional position. We have full time positions and substitute para positions available. This is a great opportunity to work at your child’s school and make a difference by supporting students with disabilities.  Interested individuals are encouraged to apply online or contact Stacy Ericson, Paraprofessional Coordinator, for more information at sericson@davincicharterschool.org. Join our team!

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