DaVinci Connection – October 7, 2022

School Links

Important Dates

Subject to change-see online calendar

October 11 – Special Education Advisory Council meeting

October 17-18 – No School / Student Conferences

October 19-21 – No School, Office Closed

October 24 – No School – Staff Workshop

October 24 – School Board Meeting (6:00pm)


Character Development at DaVinci Academy

photo of Jack ShieldsOne of our four pillars at DaVinci is Character Development. We seek to partner with families to prepare our students to be positive and engaged citizens. I’d like to highlight a few ways we do this in our middle school. First, we have a character trait focus for each month. Teachers look for ways to help students understand the trait, what it looks like to demonstrate that trait, and students are selected to be honored with the Character Award during our monthly assembly.

 A second method we use to engage our students in character development is through our daily teaching practices. Teachers look for ways to integrate teaching about character into their daily lessons. If they are reading a novel, the teacher uses questioning strategies to get the students talking about important traits they see in characters that should be emulated by us as well as those that are problematic. Teachers may discuss historical events and talk about what we can learn from decisions people have made throughout history, both good and bad.

The third method of growing character in our students is through the Character Strong program. Each week during advisory, our teachers take the students through a lesson that is designed to be at grade level that encourages students to think through their actions and the actions of others. Students are able to reflect upon a video and class discussion around topics such as identifying emotions, understanding stress, showing kindness and/or empathy, and not bullying others.

In summary, character development is as important now as ever, and it starts at home. We are so happy that you have chosen our school to be your partner as we develop responsible citizens.

Graphic Novel - Author Visit

Graphic novel authors Dan Abdo and Jason Patterson visited DaVinci and spoke to students about the brainstorming and creative processes that go into creating a graphic novel, as well as the inspiration behind the creation of their many characters! Jason and Dan answered a lot of great questions from our students and then wrapped up the event by signing student copies of their books. Thank you to Dan and Jason for visiting DaVinci!

Special thanks to Red Balloon Books for sponsoring this event!

Mental Illness Awareness Week

Hey DaVinci Community!

October 2-8 is National Mental Illness Awareness Week! The goal is to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. Although there are MANY different mental illnesses, some of the most common mental health concerns at school are related to depression and anxiety. 

Please check out these kid-friendly info sheets about anxiety and depression. If you notice signs of these disorders or have other concerns about your child’s mental health, discuss them promptly with your child’s pediatrician. Our team serves as a resource to help you navigate the mental health systems and support your child. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us. 

To learn more about other Mental Illnesses, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/learn/index.htm  

DaVinci is thrilled to announce that we have a partnership with Lee Carlson Center for Mental Health and Well-Being to help provide mental health services during and around school hours to support our students further this year. If you think your child may benefit from this service, please reach out to a member of our team for a potential referral for their waitlist.

Mindfully Yours,

DaVinci Academy’s Mental Health Team

Phoenix Hathaway (K-4 Counselor) www.calendly.com/mshathaway (763)-754-6577 ext. 1204

Diana Muske (5-8 School Counselor) (763) 754-6577 ext. 1310

Courtney Ferderer (K-8 School Social Worker) www.calendly.com/mrsferderer (763)-754-6577 ext. 1215

Afternoon Pickup

Afternoon pick-up brings a lot of traffic and parking challenges. We understand the complications for families due to long pick-up lines and being stuck in school traffic. Our two main priorities during this time are safety and efficiency, and we can use your help to improve both.

Efficiency – Families that can make slight schedule adjustments are asked to delay arriving for student pick-up until 3:10. Having 50 fewer cars in the parking lot between 2:50 and 3:00 would significantly help ease congestion and would greatly improve afternoon pick-up.

Safety – please always remember to set good examples for our students by showing SPARK during pick-up (and drop-off). Please respect the rules and guidance DaVinci has set forth for student pick-up and drop-off.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Fall Assessment Update

Test scores from the spring 2022 MCA tests are now available in the Parent Portal for any students who took the MCAs at DaVinci last spring. To view your student’s scores: log in to your Infinite Campus Parent Portal, select more from the left menu, then click Assessments. From there, you will be able to view their scores. FastBridge, ACCESS, and COGAT scores will also be added to this page in the future. Printed test score reports for Spring 2022 MCAs will be sent home with students next week for students who tested at DaVinci.

Fall FastBridge scores will be available at parent/teacher conferences.

If you do not have a Parent Portal account or need help logging in, please contact the main office.

Welcome Zara & Stephanie

Please give a warm welcome to our resident therapy dog, Zara! She and her owner, Stephanie, have been graciously volunteering their time at DaVinci. We are so thrilled to have them join our DaVinci community and help bring comfort and smiles to students and staff alike! 

If you see them, feel free to say hello!

Earth Day Conservation Project

Hello, my name is Vincent Grammer from Boy Scout Troop 518. I am doing an Earth Day conservation project beginning on November 1st and ending on Earth day. There is a company called Nex Trex and they have a recycling program for schools. Where if schools can divert at least 500 pounds of plastic from landfills and oceans to recycling, they will give us a free low-maintenance composite bench. On October 17th and 18th, I will be at the school to distribute flyers and answer any questions you may have about my project or the school-wide competition we will be having.

Join Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts are confident—even in the face of challenges. They’re kind when others aren’t, and they see opportunity where others get stuck.
Essentially, a Girl Scout is your kid at their best.

In honor of International Day of the Girl, new girls join for FREE from October 10-14.

To participate, visit GirlScoutsRV.org/Join and select a join option. The discount will be automatically applied at checkout—no code is needed. Please select “credit card” as payment type to see the discount applied on the “add details” page.

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