DaVinci Connection-November 12, 2021Nina Ehoff
Subject to change-see online calendar
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.
If your student will be late or absent please call the attendance line 763-252-6130 before 9:00 a.m. Please include:
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
An Extended Absence Form is needed for more than five consecutive absences and is due four to six weeks in advance of the absence.
Temperatures are getting lower and lower. Please send your student with appropriate (clearly labeled) attire including hats and mittens. We do go outside daily and don’t want them to be chilly.
To the left and right, you will find helpful links to important pages on our website.
Dear DaVinci Academy Families:
As we enter our final week of the first trimester I want to thank you for all of your support as we have navigated our full return to in-person instruction this fall! We are excited about all of the experiences our students have had the opportunity to engage with this fall including cross country, volleyball, basketball, field trips, a dance residency, guest speakers, and much much more!
The DaVinci Board of Directors, Leadership Team, COVID Response Team, and COVID-19 Task Force have been working diligently throughout the trimester to mitigate the spread of COVID at DaVinci including the development of a mitigation matrix, clear and updated communications, and a commitment to reviewing data on an ongoing basis to ensure we are making informed decisions. We are ecstatic that vaccinations are now available to our youngest learners and booster vaccination shots are also now available for individuals who are 6-months post-vaccination. Even though we have had an increase in spread in recent weeks, we are hopeful that once our students in grades K-6 are able to be fully vaccinated (two weeks post second vaccination shot) that our community will be more protected against the spread of COVID-19 and we can consider scaling back some of the mitigation efforts. We have exciting news that next week we will begin to pilot a Test and Stay program in which students, typically required to quarantine by the school because of non-household, unmasked close contact, will have the opportunity to participate in this program, test for COVID-19 daily and remain in school for as long as they remain asymptomatic and COVID negative. Please read below for more information in the COVID-19 Task Force section.
Also, if you haven’t already filled out the DaVinci Demographic, Housing and Digital Access survey please click here to do so! The survey includes updated federal reporting categories to ensure we are reporting our school data correctly as well as information on technology and housing so we can best support our students. If you already filled it out this year there is no need to resubmit.
I wish all of you a very healthy November break filled with time to rest, reconnect, and enjoy family and friends. 2021 has been a whirlwind of a year, and we are grateful to be in community with you!
YOU CAN DISMISS YOUR CHILD FROM YOUR CAR!
Really, you don’t need to wait for parking lot staff to put your number in. You just need to get the app and email the office what kind of phone that you have so we can activate the app for FREE. Please do this before the weather turns cold – our parking lot staff thanks you.
New Bus Routes Are Here!
As you are well aware, there has been quite a strain put on the reliability and consistency of our DaVinci bus routes this year because of the bus driver shortage. We are committed to providing transportation to our families as we know that it is essential for many in order to attend school. To address the challenges we have had in a sustainable way, we have consolidated our bus routes to reduce the number of drivers needed. These changes have resulted in an elimination of 3 buses. We are hopeful that this change will allow us to provide more consistency in transportation for all of our families that rely on this important service.
In order for us to consolidate our bus routes we had to make the following changes:
- Fourteen of our bus stops have switched to different routes. So if you are assigned a different route, this is why.
- In turn, most bus stop times have changed. Some of our bus routes are much longer as a result. Ideally we would have bus routes be approximately 30 minutes. This year they will be closer to 45 min-1 hour.
- Almost all of the buses are full to capacity.
We recognize and apologize for the challenges caused for some families due to these changes.
We hope that by making these fundamental changes, we will be in a better position to maintain more regular bus routes as the winter driving season (and cold and flu seasons) approach.
These new routes will begin when we return from Thanksgiving break on Tuesday, November 30th. The office staff will work over the next couple of weeks to change everyone’s Silent Dismissal bus authorizations, so that by Monday, November 29th (which is a non-school day), families will be able to set dismissal plans for the week. You may receive notifications from your Silent Dismissal account if you have this feature turned on, so this is just a heads up that we are working behind the scene on those settings. Current bus settings for the next 2 weeks will not be changed.
Thank you for your patience. If there are particular problems with these new routes causing your family a hardship, please reach out to Holly Fischer, Operations Director at email@example.com.
K-5 Students Dismissal to Pickup Line at 2:55
Just a quick update on afternoon parking lot procedures. Thank you to the families who made minor changes in their pick up routine at the end of the day to accommodate the 2:55 dismissal for the K-5 students. This small adjustment has made a great impact on the amount of families trying to get in to the parking lot at the same time. Remarkably, we now rarely see cars lined up on Jefferson to enter the lot.
We have had a rash of drivers traveling south on Jefferson who scoot past parents waiting in the turn lane to enter the school and turn in to the new middle entrance. This middle entrance was designed so that parents traveling north can enter the parking lot at the same time as southbound cars. If you are waiting at the stop light on Bunker Lake, please merge in to turning traffic so that you can enter the lot in the northernmost lane entrance. Parents will need to yield to each other at that corner so that traffic flow is not impeded. Please show SPARK to your fellow DaVinci drivers and allow cars to merge.
Special events that occur during the school day or in the evenings often require additional parking. Please note this event parking map as you prepare to come to the school for concerts, plays or other large gatherings. Parking perpendicular to the sidewalk at the east door is the best way to increase spots in the lot, but those cars must be moved by 2:30 pm if the event is scheduled during the school day.
Also as a reminder, regardless of whether it is drop off and dismissal time or event parking we ask that all families respect the Handicapped parking spots and only use them if you have a posted Handicapped parking permit. Thank you for your cooperation.
Health and Wellness
Hey DaVinci Community!
A fitting topic for November that we want to make sure to address is the importance of gratitude! Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Research shows that gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.
Gratitude is something that you can start talking about with your children at all ages! Here are some family friendly activities that you can try at home to practice and express gratitude:
Thank you notes
Gratitude glass jars
We hope your month is filled with joy!
DaVinci Academy 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
The Students Council is putting together a Toys For Tots drive this year. Thank you to all of the families who have donated toys so far. There is still time to send in your new toys. All toys will need to be collected by December 7th, 2021. If families would like to donate money instead of buying a toy, please make checks payable to Marine Toys For Tots Foundation and give the check to the front office. The floor that brings in the most toys will earn a sweatshirt day!
Order forms are due Wednesday, November 17 before break! Please send them in with your students or deliver them to the school office. Pickup will take place on Wednesday, December 1 from 3:30-5:30PM. Thank you for supporting us in meeting our goal to enhance the arts. Click here to place an order online.
Registration for session 2 after-school activities CLOSES TODAY! Session 2 activities will begin on November 30 and last until February 17. Click here to check them out before they are all gone.
Winter Choir Concert
We are excited to announce the return of our in person concerts!
Our winter choir concert, titled
“Cold Hands, Warm Hearts” will take place on Tuesday, December 14, 2021
5th & 6th Grade – 6:00 p.m.
*students arrive at 5:40
7th & 8th Grade – 7:00 p.m.
*students arrive at 6:40
All students will wear a white dress top, black dress bottom, and black shoes. Dresses are fine as well. Students must also wear a mask (ideally black)
*Masks will be required for everyone regardless of vaccination status.
Any questions, please reach out to Mr. Hanson
Middle School Band and Orchestra Concerts
Our Middle School instrumental concerts are fast approaching! We look forward to being able to present our performances in person.
Winter Band Concert: Tuesday, December 7
Winter Orchestra Concert: Thursday, December 9
Students should arrive to the instrumental music room by 5:40 PM wearing a white dress top, black dress bottom, and black shoes. Each concert will last about half an hour. Please direct any questions to Mr. Miko at firstname.lastname@example.org
DaVinci students have been thrilled for the past three weeks to work with dance instructor Mike Jones. Mike is joining us for a month-long dance residency where he will work with classes on choreography. With some classes, this work will result in performances, and in other cases this has been a fun outlet for energy and an opportunity to learn something new. Teachers have the option to bring their classes to our beautiful Performing Arts Center for lessons at select times. Students are getting exposure to dance terminology and it’s not unusual to see them doing a “pa de bourree” down the hall or breaking out in choreography, which they are all learning. Thank you to Mr. Jones for sharing your artistry and passion with our students!
If you are interested in learning more about Mike Jones’ body of work you can reference this page.
The deadline for signing up for the boys recreational basketball teams is Tuesday, November 16. Follow this link to find all of the information about our program and the link to register is also included in the information. Recreational teams will start practicing in December and begin games in January. Please contact Jack Shields with any questions.
We do not have our own wrestling team at DaVinci, however, we’d like to share two options for families of students that may be interested. The Andover Huskies Youth Wrestling Program is registering students grades prek-age 14. The Blaine Wrestling Takedown Club is also currently accepting registrations. Although we are not affiliated with either program, we do have students that wrestle for those clubs and have many positive things to say. Each of those websites has contact information for you to reach out to ask any questions you may have, and registration ends soon.
Additional Community Events
Minnesota Historical Society
Sixth graders can go to any MNHS location for FREE! It’s a great way for children to explore history during non-school hours.
Any child who is in 6th grade during the 2021-2022 school year is eligible for this pass. The pass provides free admittance for the 6th grader (not parents or siblings) to Minnesota Historical Society sites and museums through August 31, 2022. Not valid for field trips, paid programs or specially priced exhibits.
Families must fill out this form regardless of their or their students’ vaccination status if one of more of the following is true:
1. Student or household member has tested positive for COVID-19
2. Student or household member has symptoms related to COVID-19
3. Student or household member has had close contact with someone who has tested positive for or has symptoms relating to COVID-19
Anoka County Public Health voluntary vaccination clinic for children ages 5-11 set for Dec. 4
With regulatory approval of COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5-11, Anoka County Public Health is coordinating a vaccination clinic for children on Saturday, Dec. 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Anoka Technical College (1355 West Highway 10, Anoka).
Advance registration is required at this link: https://acappt.co.anoka.
The vaccination clinic is a voluntary, no-cost option for students and is offered in addition to other options. The second dose clinic is set for Jan. 8, 2022 at Anoka Technical College. Although recipients of the Pfizer vaccine can get the second dose as early as three weeks after the first dose, a five-week delay is acceptable.
All youth must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and masks are required on site. If you need assistance, please call 763-324-4250. Find other options through a vaccine locator service offered by the State of Minnesota.
Coordinating distribution for at-home, private COVID-19 testing and promoting voluntary COVID-19 clinics for students are supportive of the district’s goal to maintain in-person school, five days per week.
Following an extensive clinical trial and final recommendations from CDC for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for 5-11 year-olds, Governor Tim Walz announced that Minnesota will begin vaccination children this week. To aid families, the state has launched a new webpage (mn.gov/vaxforkids) to help parents and guardians find 5-11 year-old children a vaccine and answer questions they may have about the vaccine.
The state has mobilized a diverse network of providers around the state – hospitals, clinics, local public health, Tribal health agencies, pharmacies, school located clinics and state-run community clinics – to administer vaccines to our children as quickly as possible.
Minnesota providers have ordered as many doses as possible from the federal government. Doses will arrive in waves this week, with most providers receiving their vaccines by this weekend. The state’s main goal is to ensure that the vaccine is widely, equitably and efficiently available to all Minnesotans age 5-11.
How Minnesotans ages 5 and older can get their free shot:
Minnesotans looking to vaccinate their child can:
- Visit mn.gov/vaxforkids to find clinic locations near you.
- Check with their pediatrician, family medicine clinic or pharmacy about appointments.
- Go to a community vaccination clinic at Mall of America. For more details and to register click here: Mall of America Community Vaccination
Before you go, make sure the vaccine location provides the Pfizer vaccine to 5-11-year-olds. Not all Pfizer vaccine providers will have the vials specifically packaged for 5-11 year old doses in their supply.
Minnesotans with questions about the vaccine can also call the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Public Hotline at 1-833-431-2053. The hotline is available Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
For unique ways of talking to your kids visit The ABC’s of the Covid-19 Vaccine hosted by Sesame Street
Kids Deserve a Shot!
Minnesotans 12-17 years old who start and complete their two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series between October 18 and November 30 are eligible to receive a $200 Visa gift card through the ‘Kids Deserve a Shot’ vaccine incentives program.
In order to be eligible, Minnesotans 12-17 must receive their first dose between October 18 and November 9 and receive their second dose by November 30.
Minnesotans must be
- at least 12 years old at the time of one or both shots
- and 17 or younger at the time of their first shot.
The reward registration form will open at 8:00 a.m. on November 9, 2021. The registration form will stop accepting requests for $200 Visa gift cards at 11:59 p.m. on November 30. Gift card requests will be fulfilled beginning on November 30, 2021 and throughout the month of December 2021. Please allow up to six weeks after November 30, 2021 to receive your Visa card in the mail.
For more information click here: Kids Deserve a Shot
Local COVID Testing: 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.
Find a COVID Vaccine: The COVID-19 vaccine is widely available. There are many options for places to get a vaccine. Here are some different
ways to find a COVID-19 vaccine:
For more on the COVID Vaccine click here:
The DaVinci Academy Task Force is continuing to evaluate mitigation efforts that prioritize in-person learning. This month the Task Force is evaluating Test and Stay as an alternative to school-issued quarantines. The Task Force will also be re-evaluating the Covid-19 Mitigation Matrix following the release of vaccines for children ages 5-11.