DaVinci Connection – July 29, 2022

School Links

Important Dates

Subject to change-see online calendar

July 25 – School Board Meeting (6:00pm)

July 26-29 – New Staff Workshop Days

August 1-5 – All Staff Workshop Days

August 4 – Back-to-School Open House

August 9 – First Day of School (Grade 1-8)

August 11 – First Day of School (Kindergarten)

August 19 – Picture Day

August 29 – School Board Meeting (6:00pm)

September 2 – No School

September 5 – No School, Office Closed

Back-to-School Hub

Download the 2022-23 School Year Calendar

View and download the calendar.

Download the 2022-23 School Supply Lists

View and download supply lists.


Tons of important back-to-school information, volunteer opportunities, fall sports info, and more below!  To the left, you will find helpful links to important pages on our website.

Welcome Back!

On behalf of the DaVinci Academy Staff, I would like to welcome you to the 2022-2023 school year! I hope all of you had a restful and enjoyable summer full of wonderful memories. I am excited to embark on this school year with each and every one of you.

My name is Kelly Zender, and I am the Elementary School Principal. This is my 22nd year in education. I began my career as a classroom teacher and taught second through fifth grade throughout my 18 years in the classroom. I finished up my years in the classroom as a Renaissance teacher here at DaVinci Academy. The last 3 years have been working with the school’s leadership team as an Instructional Coach and then the Director of Teaching and Learning. I am thrilled to be stepping in as the principal at a school that believes the education of your students is a partnership between home and school, and that parent involvement is crucial to the success of students. Our close-knit community allows us to know all of our students and focus on meeting individual needs academically, socially, and emotionally. My goal is to support the amazing work that has been happening here for many years. 

Please mark Thursday, August 4, 2022 for our Open House from 3:00-7:00 pm where you will meet our wonderful staff and receive other information about the coming school year. Class lists will also be posted during open house. I am looking forward to having a school full of students and families and the joy and excitement that a new school year brings. 

I am honored to be the Elementary Principal of DaVinci Academy. It is truly a privilege to be a part of a community where parents, teachers, staff, and students care for each other and strive to build positive relationships that support academic, social, and emotional growth. Please feel free to contact me at kzender@davincicharterschool.org with any questions, concerns, or joys.

Once again, welcome back! Let’s make it another great school year at DaVinci Academy together!


Kelly Zender, Elementary School Principal

Open House Next Week!

Open House INfographic

The open house is next Thursday, August 4. It is highly recommended that families plan to attend the open house, as back to school information packets will not be mailed home. Families will receive all back-to-school information during the open house.  You will meet your teachers, tour classrooms, receive your class schedule(s), as well as your back-to-school packet(s). 

The open house is also a great opportunity to get information about school meals, after school programming and sports, receive help with Silent Dismissal and Infinite Campus, drop off school supplies, and most importantly, connect as a community!

Open House Information

Thursday August 4, 2022

  • 3:00 – 4:00 pm | New Families
    • (There will be a presentation beginning at 3:15)
  • 4:00 – 7:00 pm | All Families

We look forward to seeing you!

ትምህርት ቤት መጎብኛ ቀን ሐምሌ ፳፰ ፳፻፲፬ (August 4, 2022)

ሐምሌ ፳፰ ፳፻፲፬ ላይ ቤተሰቦችን እንኳን ደህና መጣችሁ ለማለት በጉጉት እየጠበቅን እንገኛለን። ለመጪው የትምህርት ዘመን የሚጠቅም መረጃ በፖስታ ስለማይላክ፤ ከላይ በተጠቀሰው የትምህርት ቤት መጎብኛ ቀን ላይ ቤተሰቦች እንዲገኙ በአጽእኖት እንመክራለን። በእለቱ ለመጪው የትምህርት ዘመን የሚጠቅሙ የታተሙ መረጃዎች ይሰጣሉ። በተጨማሪም መምህራንን ትተዋወቃላችሁ፤ የመማሪያ ክፍሎችንም ትጎበኛላችሁ።

በዚህ የትምህርት ቤት መጎብኛ ቀን ላይ የሚከተሉት ጠቃሚ መረጃዎች ይሰጣሉ፦ ትምህርት ቤት ስለሚቀርበው ምግብ፣ ከዘወትር የትምህርት ሰዓት ውጪ ስለሚኖሩ መርሃ ግብሮችና የስፖርት ዝግጅቶች፣ ልጆችን ከትምህርት ቤት ለመውሰድ የሚጠቅመውን አፕሊኬሽን (Silent Dismissal) እና ለክትትል የሚረዳውን አፕሊኬሽን (Infinite Campus) ለመጠቀም እርዳታ ከፈለጉ እገዛ ይሰጣል፤ እንዲሁም ለትምህርት አመቱ የሚረዱ አቅርቦቶችን ማስረከብ ይችላሉ። በመጨረሻም እለቱ እንደ ማህበረሰብ ለመገናኘት እና ለመተዋወቅ እድል ይፈጥራል።

ትምህርት ቤት መጎብኛ ቀን መረጃ

ሐሙስ ሐምሌ ፳፰ ፳፻፲፬ (Thursday, August 4, 2022)

  • 3:00 – 4:00 pm | አዲስ ቤተሰቦች
    • 3:15 ጀምሮ መረጃ ይሰጣል
  • 4:00 – 7:00 pm | ሁሉም ቤተሰቦች

በእለቱ ልናያችሁ እንመኛለን!

Open House Parking – READ ME!

overflow parking map

To help ease parking congestion during the open house, overflow parking and shuttle transportation will be available starting at 5:00pm.  Overflow parking will be located at Majestic Oaks Golf Club, which is just east of DaVinci Academy.  A shuttle bus will transport families to-and-from the school.

Please click here, or tap the image above for additional overflow parking details.  The route to overflow parking is highlighted in yellow.  Please do not park in the parking lots closest to the Majestic Oaks club house.  Shuttle buses will not be running to these lots.

Application for Educational Benefits

school mealsYour child(ren) may qualify for free or reduced-price school meals. To see if you qualify, or apply, complete the linked Application for Educational Benefits following the instructions. A new application must be submitted each year. At public schools, your application also helps the school qualify for education funds and discounts.

2022-23 Application for Educational Benefits

school uniform infographic

Please be sure to review DaVinci’s School Uniform Policy as you plan your child’s wardrobe for this school year. Please note that our K-5 students wear red polos and our middle school students wear navy polos. We have very specific considerations around the pants students may wear. You will notice that students may not wear jeans, joggers, jeggings, or leggings. Some of our students get cold in the building, and they are allowed to wear a white, black, or red cardigan, sweater, or crew sweatshirt with no logos. The Uniform Policy outlines all of the details

We have a limited supply of “hand me down” uniforms that will be available to parents at the Open House.

Save Back-to-School Receipts

If you are buying school supplies for your child(ren) in kindergarten through 12th grade, you may qualify for one or more tax relief programs available through the Minnesota Department of Revenue.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue has two tax relief programs for families with children in kindergarten through 12th grade: the K-12 Education Subtraction and the K-12 Education Credit. Both programs help lower taxes and may provide a larger refund when you file Form M1, Individual Income Tax. Click on the link below to learn more.

K-12 Education Subtraction and Credit

Middle School ELC Trips are Back!

We are excited to announce the return of our Middle School Environmental Learning Center trips scheduled for September of 2022. We have seen these trips benefit our students’ understanding of science and nature as well as the amazing camaraderie built both student to student and student to teacher. The relationship building that takes place carries over to make for a very successful school year.

Each grade level trip is to a separate location.

  • The 8th grade students will spend three days and two nights at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center in Finland, MN, on September 19-21
  • Our 7th grade students will spend three days and two nights at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center in Lanesboro, MN on September 19-21.
  • Our 6th grade students will spend two days and one night at Long Lake Conservation Center in Palisade, MN on September 20-21. On September 19, our 6th grade students will have a special day of learning and growing closer here at school.

Middle school families should refer to the email Mr. Shields sent on July 19 for more information.

5th Grade Families – Band/Orchestra/Choir

The fifth grade students have the opportunity to join band, orchestra, or choir this year. We would love it if you would start to have conversations with your student about which music specialist they would like to join this year. Mr. Miko will be available to discuss instruments at the Open House if your student is interested in band or orchestra.

Volunteers Needed!

volunteerHave you always been eager to keep the car line moving in the mornings and afternoons? We have the perfect opportunity for you! Come help us in the mornings, afternoons, or BOTH! Our morning shift is 7:40-8:00 am and afternoon shift 2:50-3:15 pm. Contact Cassandra Anderson canderson1@davincicharterschool.org for more information.


Kindergarten Family Conferences

Our amazing Kindergarten teachers will be contacting all families to schedule in-person conferences which will take place August 9 & 10. Families and students will have a chance to see the classroom, drop off school supplies and meet with their teacher to discuss the upcoming year.


School Supply Drive

Amazon.com: Sargent Art 22-0054 Early Childhood Back Kit Elementary Art, School, Supplies, 1 Count (Pack of 1), Assorted : Office ProductsWe will be hosting a School Supply Drive at the Open House! If you are able, we would be so grateful for any donations towards this cause. All donated items will be used to support our DaVinci Students this school year! Refer to the flyer link below for details regarding the most needed school supply items.

Thank you in advance for your support!

If your student is in need of support with school supplies, uniforms, or any other things please stop by the School Social Worker’s table at our Open House and she will help ensure that your child has the necessary items to start the school year off with success! 


Does Your Child Need Health Insurance?

Does your child have health insurance? If not, help may be available.

Minnesota Health Care Programs have free and low-cost health insurance for children and families who qualify.  Check out the link below for more information.

Fun-Run Shirt Sponsorship

We have our Boosterthon Fundraiser coming up and we are SO excited! Along with our fundraiser, we’re going to be getting custom shirts for the students to wear on our event day. They’re going to look AMAZING!

What’s even better is that we’re trying to get our community involved by offering the chance to sponsor our event and get business logos on the back of these shirts.

Families: If you have a business or a business connection that would want to get in on sponsoring us, as a sign of appreciation for supporting us, WE’RE OFFERING A HUGE DISCOUNT FOR JUST YOUR BUSINESS! Take a look at the details and contact Ellen Sachs at the email listed on the flyer if you’re interested. We appreciate you and your support!

Fall Sports


DaVinci Academy partners with Centennial Community Education to offer recreational volleyball each fall and spring for both boys and girls in grades 4-8. Practices will start the week of September 20. Games are on Monday nights between 6:00 and 8:30 starting on October 10 at Centennial Middle School in Lino Lakes. Practice days and times are determined by the parent/volunteer coach, and they are held in our DaVinci school gym. The first two weeks we practice twice a week, and we move to one practice a week once games begin. Season ends November 7. If you are willing to coach you may indicate that during registration.

  • Registration deadline is September 1, and you register through Centennial Community Ed by selecting the DaVinci Academy button on this website.

Students in 3rd grade have the opportunity to participate in a volleyball intro skills clinic on Thursdays from 6-8pm through the same Centennial Community Education program. The clinics are held at Blue Heron Elementary and Centennial Middle School September 22-November 17. You can find out more information and register here.

Cross Country

This will be our second year of offering cross country for our students in grades 6-8. The team practices after school two to three times a week during the season. We participate in 6-8 meets in September and October. The races vary in length from one mile to 2.5 miles. Chad Retterath, our middle school technology teacher, coaches the cross country team. Practices begin Monday, August 22, and our first meet is Thursday, September 8. We will publish the practice and meet schedule when school begins, and students may register for the team at that time.

After School Activities

The after school activity session dates for the 2022-23 school year are as follows:

  • Session 1: Sept 6 – Nov 17 (family registration Aug. 15-25)
  • Session 2: Nov 28 – Feb 16 (family registration Nov. 1-15)
  • Session 3: Feb 27 – May 4 (family registration Feb. 1-15)

Our school website will reflect this information by the end of next week. There will be some activities such as dance and theater that follow a slightly different schedule this year and that information will be posted online as well.


Bus routes for the 22-23 school year have been created.  If you have registered your child for the bus you should have received an email today from Cassandra Anderson regarding those stop times.  Families were asked to reserve a seat on the bus before June 30 so that accurate bus routes could be created based on known ridership numbers.  If you didn’t receive an email about the bus routes and you think an error has been made, please reach out to Cassandra Anderson at canderson1@davincicharterschool.org.

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