DaVinci Connection-January 7, 2022Nina Ehoff
Subject to change-see online calendar
January 10, Special Board Meeting 6:00 PM
January 17, No School (Staff Workshop Day)
January 18, No School
January 24, Board Meeting
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. Students go outside daily unless either the real temperature or the wind chill temperature is below 0 degrees.
To the left and right, you will find helpful links to important pages on our website.
Dear DaVinci Academy Families:
I hope you had a great first week of the new year. I wanted to share some COVID-19 related updates as we have new information regarding the revised guidelines released by the CDC in December. The DaVinci Covid Task Force met this week to discuss the updated guidance and the survey feedback received. We want to thank those of you who took the time to provide feedback on our COVID response this school year, the test and stay pilot program, and sharing your hopes for the future.
On December 27, 2021, the CDC announced an update that shortens the recommended isolation and quarantine period for the general population, including K-12 schools from 10 days to 5 days. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has noted that they plan to adopt this new guidance. The updated materials on how this will be implemented, will not be formally available until next week. DaVinci plans to adopt the recommendations from the Department of Health as soon as they become available. Until that time we are continuing to follow our current protocol.
Over winter break, Anoka County 7-day Average Case count temporarily dropped below 50 cases per 10,000 likely due to holiday lab closures and backlogs of test results. Case counts have quickly increased over the last few days to greater than 75 cases per 10,000 (as of 1/5/22). As a result, DaVinci will remain in Phase 4 of our COVID-19 Mitigation Matrix.
With the highly transmissible omicron variant of COVID-19 increasing in Minnesota, DaVinci will continue to follow our established Mitigation Matrix developed at the beginning of the school year. This includes the use of masks within our building. Multiple research studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of face masks in preventing school outbreaks.
DaVinci has N95 disposable masks available for any students who want to use them. N95 (KN95 or KF94) masks are high quality and have been shown to provide better protection against COVID-19 (compared to cloth masks). We encourage families to obtain their own supply of high-quality masks that are the best fit for your student. Resources and mask guidance is available on the DaVinci COVID Webpage.
Air Ventilation and Filtration
Evidence demonstrates that the virus that causes COVID-19 is airborne and the best mitigation strategies include ventilation and air filtration. At the beginning of the school year, DaVinci increased the outside air intake to allow at least 45% minimum outside air to circulate throughout the school building at all times when the school is occupied. In addition, air change per hour (ACH) rate increased from 0-3 ACH on average to 6+ ACH per ASHRAE, industry standard.
New this week! All classrooms are now equipped with HEPA air purifiers generously donated by GatherWell. This will help ensure optional air quality for our students, staff and faculty.
Data about vaccines and omicron are coming in quickly. According to recent studies, vaccines are around 30%-40% effective at preventing infections and 70% effective at preventing severe disease. Vaccination is currently available to anyone over the age of 5. We know that more students ages 5-11 will have had the opportunity to receive their second COVID-19 vaccination dose by January. On January 5, 2022, the CDC expanded booster shot eligibility to adolescents ages 12 and up. The CDC recommends the booster shot 5 months after the initial vaccination series.
If you haven’t already please consider sharing your vaccination or antibody status with DaVinci. You can share it through the Vaccination and antibody reporting form.
We ask you to continue to please be diligent in keeping your students home if they are showing any COVID-19 related symptoms. Symptoms of the omicron variant may be different than those of previous strains. We have seen students come to school with symptoms and then test positive the following day. With the current rate of transmission, it’s more important than ever to be diligent in watching for symptoms, keeping students home if sick, and testing for COVID-19.
DaVinci Academy’s COVID Resource Hub remains an up-to-date home including policies, resources and the data dashboard.
As we return from winter break, the COVID-19 Task Force will continue to monitor the pandemic’s trajectory and its impact on our school to help us keep students learning in-person, five days a week. DaVinci will continue to monitor other data which includes our operational logistics, including staffing and substitute fill rates, COVID-19 variants, and potentially new state and federal requirements.
We thank you for your patience as we navigate through the ongoing pandemic and wish you a happy and healthy New Year!
2022-23 Enrollment is Now Open
We are now accepting applications for the 2022-23 school year for students who would like to attend DaVinci Academy for grades Kindergarten through 8th grade. All new students who are interested and not currently enrolled at DaVinci Academy, including siblings, must complete an application. Applications are due by January 31, 2022 to be included in the enrollment lottery for the 2022-23 school year. The virtual Enrollment Lottery will take place Monday, February 7, at 5:00 p.m. To complete an application for the next school year click here.
Please feel free to share this information with your family or friends.
Silent Dismissal Directions
A big thanks to those of you who have downloaded the Silent Dismissal app! If you are using it please post this sheet in your front window with your family number added so that the outside duty teachers know that they don’t need to put your number in to the system. Especially on frigid days like we had this week it is helpful to save our fingers and phones.
For those of you who still need to download the Silent Dismissal app below are directions to get you started. Please remember: the Silent Dismissal app will not work until you email or call the school and provide your phone information.
On a related note, we would happily accept donations of hand warmers for our outside staff. Thank you!
If you are a parent of a child that receives Special Education services, consider attending our DaVinci Special Education Advisory Council on Tuesday, January 11 from 5-6 p.m. virtually. What is SEAC? It is a group of wonderful parents devoted to supporting our Special Education program. Various topics are discussed from Special Education legislation and laws to services that are provided within our Special Education Department. Please contact Kari Peterson, Special Education Director, at email@example.com if you are interested or would like more information.
Hey DaVinci Community!
Happy New Year! The phrase, “the only constant is change,” is more true than ever during this pandemic. Your child may experience big emotions from unexpected transitions if they come about. Not to worry- we want to support and equip you with tips on how to ease their anxiety around such things. We hope this helps everyone get the new year started on the right foot.
Give advanced warning: Whenever possible, give kids a heads-up when change is coming. This can be very helpful in allowing them ample time to process and discuss what is to come.
Make time to answer their questions: Give kids space and time to process their feelings, and listen to their concerns. You may not have all the answers, and that’s okay. Work together to see who may have the answer, or brainstorm solutions as a team.
Keep as much the same as possible: We know there are lots of changes happening, but keep things predictable at home as much as possible (nighttime routines, weekly family routines such as “family game night” or “taco tuesdays”, etc).
Expect that regression may happen: It is normal to regress to old behaviors in times of change- be patient with your kids and yourself if things seem to get worse before they get better.
Don’t make your anxiety theirs: It is OK (and helpful!) for kids to see our feelings at times, but we need to be careful not to project our emotions onto them. While you may at times have anxiety alongside your child, try to share some optimism and positivity whenever possible. It can be a great opportunity for us to lead our children with more positive/optimistic thinking.
During times of stress, a little extra attention can go a long way!
If you need further support, information or would like to discuss any questions or concerns with us, please contact us! 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!
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
Are you receiving emails saying your student’s food service account is negative?
Payments Using Infinite Campus Online Service
Parents and guardians of DaVinci Academy students can now access even more information online about their student’s child nutrition account. To manage your account, Food Service My Cart Infinite Campus Instructions
- View meal account balances.
- Sign up for automatic recurring payments.
- Receive email notifications of low balances.
- Make payments with a credit, debit card or direct bank account withdrawal.
- View a student’s purchase history for the preceding 90 days.
Families that need help with their username and/or password can contact our Infinite Campus Coordinator Pam Carlson, pcarlson@
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
Are you just itching to find a creative outlet? We’ve got some bulletin boards that could use sprucing up. Please contact Holly Fischer if your DIY cravings need a fix. We can provide you with the materials and the ideas if you need some inspiration. Thank you in advance.
In addition, beginning on January 6, the community testing site at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in Saint Paul will have 50% more testing capacity.
Please share the following information with families:
- Walk in or schedule an appointment for a test at one of the state’s free community testing sites across Minnesota: COVID-19 Community Testing Sites.
- Order a test through the state’s free at-home COVID-19 testing program: COVID-19 Test at Home.
- Find a testing option near you through the state’s Find Testing Locations map: Find Testing Locations.
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:
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
Unlicensed Positions for 21-22 School Year
Health Clerk / Admin Assistant (Part Time)
Special Education Paraprofessional, Substitute
Special Education Paraprofessional
Lunch / Recess Monitor (Part Time)
Licensed Positions for 21-22 School Year
Special Education Teacher, ABS, ASD, or SLD
Special Education Teacher, DCD and/or ASD, SLD or ABS
Speech and Language Pathologist (FTE .7 – 1.0)
On-Call Substitute Teacher
In-House (FT) Substitute Teacher