DaVinci Connection – August 6, 2022

School Links

Important Dates

Subject to change-see online calendar

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

August 11 – First Day of School (Kindergarten)

August 16 – Auditions for fall play

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!  To the left, you will find helpful links to important pages on our website.

A note from Principal Shields

This past Thursday was our Open House for the new school year. It was wonderful to see so many new and returning families. The evening was filled with joy and laughter. We are excited to start the new school year on Tuesday, August 9, for our students in grades 1-8, and Thursday, August 11, for our kindergarten students.

My name is Jack Shields, and I am the Middle School Principal. This is my 5th year at DaVinci as I served as K-8 Dean of Students for one year before moving into the principal role. Prior to DaVinci, I taught in a traditional public school for two years, taught in an independent school for three years, and served as a K-8 principal in an independent school for 18 years. I’ve really enjoyed working with the staff, students, and families at DaVinci. I look forward to continuing this work as we seek to provide an excellent learning environment for our students.

As we begin a new school year, we look forward to partnering with you in educating your children. At DaVinci Academy, we want each student to feel safe and supported throughout their learning journey. We encourage you to stay in contact with your child’s teacher and let us know ways we can best support them.

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

A couple thing to note:

  • Pants need to be twill, cotton, or cotton blend or polyester blend. They cannot be leggings, jeans, sweat pants, athletic pants, or jeggings.
  • Sweaters and sweatshirts cannot have a hood and need to be solid red, white, or black in Elementary. In Middle School they need to be solid navy blue, white, or black.
  • Some classrooms are cooler than others and students may want to have a uniform sweater or sweatshirt to keep in their locker.

Attendance Policy Reminder

As we start school again, we wanted to share a reminder about our attendance policy. Students in Minnesota schools are expected to be in school every day and parents/guardians are responsible for contacting the school when they need to be absent. If you need to call your child in as absent, please email attendance@davincicharterschool.org or call 763-754-6577 by 9 am each day.

A few reminders:

  • Students are required to be in their seats and ready to learn at 8:00 a.m. Students not in their classrooms by 8:00 a.m. will be marked tardy.
  • Students arriving to school late or leaving early must be signed in and out at the office by a parent.
  • Some absences are excused, while others are unexcused. For a full list of examples of excused and unexcused absences, please see policy 546. Please note that excessive unexcused absences will be reported to the county Child Welfare office for truancy. Parents/guardians will be notified if their student has excessive absences or tardies.
  • Parents must fill out an Extended Absence Form (found on our website) if a student will be missing school for any predetermined reason for which a student will miss more than 5 consecutive days of school. The extended absence form does not mean all of the absences will be excused.
  • Travel/vacation are excused up to 5 days (consecutive or not) for the year. Any additional days for travel or vacation will be unexcused. This includes vacations reported on the extended absence form.
  • Students missing 15 or more consecutive days may be dropped from enrollment.

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

Every Meal Food Program

We are offering Every Meal bags of food for students this school year. If you’re interested in having your child bring home a FREE bag of non-perishable food every Friday, please complete this form. This service will begin September 23, 2022! 

If you also need food support prior to our start date at DaVinci, please visit their website for details on their summer program. If you have any questions about our Every Meal program or are in need of other supports for your family, please reach out to our School Social Worker, Courtney Ferderer

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.


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.

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)

We will update our school website to reflect this information as soon as possible. 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.

Calling all Dancers!

K-5 students with or without experience can join the DaVnci Dance Team. 

We will be on stage with costumes this year! You won’t want to miss this!

Register online beginning August 9 in the Infinite Campus Parent Portal (School Store). 

Spots are limited.

We have a new opportunity for middle school students to help out as dance assistants this year. If your middle school student is interested, fill out this form to apply.

Fall Play

Auditions for our fall play, Game of Tiaras, will be held on Tuesday, August 16 in the DaVinci Academy Performing Arts Center. A rehearsal schedule will be provided to families once casting is complete. Performances will be on November 10, 11, and 12.

More information here!

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