DaVinci Connection – August 12, 2022

School Links

Important Dates

Subject to change-see online calendar

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

September 30 – Picture retake day

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.


Congratulations on making it through week 1 of the new school year.  Whether is was calm or chaos, give your students a high-five!  Below you will find lots of important details and  happenings as we kick off the school year, including opportunities to volunteer, fall sports info, important dates, after school activities, and more!  To the left, you will find helpful links to important pages on our website.

A note from Ms. Zender

Wow! What a great first week of school. The classrooms and hallways are full of excitement, smiles, laughter, and joy. I wanted to take a moment to send a special welcome to all of the new students and families to DaVinci Academy. Being new to a school is not an easy task for students or their families, but the DaVinci community welcomes you and is anxious to get to know you. 

This month and throughout the school year students are going to be learning about SPARK. SPARK stands for Success, Positive Attitude, Responsibility, and Kindness. Staff will be handing out SPARK tickets to students who they see showing those attributes. It could be to the student who holds the door open for others, or a student who cleans up the classroom without being asked, or even a student who listens intently to the teacher’s lesson. I encourage you to ask your students about the SPARK tickets they earn throughout the week. 

This year DaVinci Academy is partnering with a program called Playworks. Playworks’ focus is to help kids stay active and build valuable life skills through play. We have a fabulous coach from Playworks, Coach Raymi, who will be joining us every Tuesday starting in September. Coach Raymi will be out at recess with all of the students, teaching and organizing games for students. She will also be teaching one lesson a month to each classroom K-5. Her lessons will focus on a new game, problem solving, lessons on physical health and fitness, and principles of violence prevention and safety. She will also be working with a fourth and fifth grade leadership group. 

Thank you for sharing your child(ren) with us this year. We look forward to our continued partnership with you this year.

Parking Lot Safety

Here are some helpful hints to keep our parking lot safe for everyone.

  • Make sure your family number is displayed for the entirety of your time in the parking lot. If you need another copy of your number please reach out to the office.  
  • Taking a left out of the parking lot onto Jefferson is very dangerous if there are cars that are waiting to turn into the lot.  Please exit right during the busiest times of drop off and pick up.
  • If you NEED to exit north then please join the line at the front of the school where there are staff to direct cars into the bus turn around lane. When you leave at the Bunker Lake exit you will have more options for going east or west.
  • Please be kind citizens and avoid making U-turns in the driveways of our neighbors. Our parents should be showing SPARK inside and outside of the lot.

Bad Weather Days – Morning Parking Lot Tips

When it is storming there are a couple things that drivers can do to help get the students in to the school safely and efficiently.
  1. Drop off at the SIDEWALK ONLY.  When kids are dropped off in the parking lot, not only is it dangerous, but it causes the crossing guard to have to stop the flow of traffic more often to allow the students to cross.  Please stay in the line and drop the kids at the door for maximum efficiency.
  2. PULL FORWARD.  Yes, even when it is raining.  When cars stop at the door to drop kids off it disrupts the flow of traffic for everyone and increases wait time.
It was a very rainy drop off this morning, so we all appreciate your help on days like today.

School Picture Day!

Don’t forget, Friday, August 19 all students in grades K-8 will have their picture taken.

This is a standard dress-code day and all students should be in uniform.

Picture retakes will be on September 30.

DaVinci Academy families!

Our Davinci Academy student Fun Run fundraiser will kick off in just under three weeks on 08/30/2022. Our goal is to raise $30,000 for outdoor recess equipment, swing-set, and nine square in the air and to strengthen our school community. 

Key dates to remember: 

  • REGISTRATION OPENS – 08/16/2022

      Register on MYBOOSTER.COM

  • DaVinci Academy Student Fun Run Kick Off – 08/30/2022
  • Event Day – 09/09/2022

Donations will go toward supporting our school and can be given throughout the entire experience. There is no pressure to give, but we invite you to help our school by sharing our fundraiser with your family and friends! 

Thank you for supporting DaVinci Academy through the DaVinci Academy Fun Run.

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.

Nutritional Services

school meals

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that school meals will not automatically be free for everyone. To avoid accruing any debt on your children’s meal account, complete an application for free or reduced-price meals.  2022-23 Application for Educational Benefits 

Breakfast: $1.85 Lunch: $3.55 & milk only $.55

Your 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 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

DaVinci Academy Essential Need Drive

DaVinci wants to help ALL students thrive!

We are collecting essential need items, such as shampoo, toothpaste, socks, and more.

Click/tap here to learn more!

Community Board Seat

We are seeking a community member to join our school board.  Do you know of someone who has a passion for education and would like to benefit the DaVinci Academy community by serving on the school board?  Have them reach out to Melanie Persellin, School Board Chair at mpersellin@davincicharterschool.org.

Middle School ELC Trips!

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.

Volunteer Opportunities at DaVinci

Hello parents! 

My name is Lindsey Gable, and I am going to be handling the volunteer coordinating during this school year. Many of you may have stopped by our table at the open house to fill out interest forms…thank you! If you did not make it to the open house, that’s okay! There were also forms that were located in each of the open house folders with volunteer information and paperwork to fill out as well.  Please return these forms to school as soon as possible if you are interested in volunteering.

One of our goals this year at DaVinci is to get parents back into the building as much as possible to volunteer and participate in your child’s learning, as we were limited on doing so the last couple of school years. 

Prior to volunteering, all volunteers must fill out a background check form (including a $10 fee), which we keep on file (background checks are good for 2 years). This form can be located in your open house folder, OR on the DaVinci home page under the volunteer tab (https://davincicharterschool.org/students-parents/volunteering/). Once filled out, you can send the form to school with your child (their teacher will bring it to the office), or you can bring it to the office in person as well. 

I will be sending out sign-ups through “Sign-Up Genius” for some of the larger events that we will be looking for help with.  This will come via email, if you have filled out a volunteer interest form.  If you would like to fill out an interest form, please let me know and I can send one home with your child for you.

We look forward to seeing your lovely faces in the building this year, and so do the kids!!

Please reach out to me with any questions at lgable@davincicharterschool.org

Thank you!!!

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

After school activities session 1 will be available Sept 6 – November 17 from 3:15 – 4:30 pm on school days only. Some activities will begin earlier and/or end later than these dates. Take note of these differences for activities that you register for and plan accordingly.

Registration will be open August 15-25 for most activities. Some activities including DaVinci Dance and the Fall Play have a different schedule.

Please register for activities offered by DaVinci Academy faculty and staff using the School Store in Infinite Campus. Activity fees are due at the time of registration.

Activities offered by external vendors will need to be registered for and paid for through them.

*NOTE: DaVinci Academy DOES NOT offer bus transportation after activities. All children must be picked up from school promptly after their activity has ended.

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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Important Busing Update

Please review the linked PDF for updated busing information. Be sure to confirm your route color, time, and stop locations.

These changes are effective Tuesday, 9/27/22. 

9/26/22 Bus Route Updates

Contact Cassandra Anderson by email or phone with questions.

canderson1@davincicharterschool.org // 763-754-6577