DaVinci Connection – January 6, 2023

A Note from Executive Director, Holly Fischer

photo of Holly Fischer

Happy New Year!

We were excited to finally welcome the students back into the building after our long break, and it feels like everyone is ready to hit the ground running and engage with learning again. 

I wanted to make you aware of a number of board decisions that were made in December that affect all families.  

First of all, the School Board election schedule has been adjusted to align with the school calendar.  This means that Board elections, normally in January, will now be held in May with new board members being seated on the Board at the July meeting. Profe Lenny has more information about that subject in the next article.

Secondly, the board reviewed the feedback from parents about whether a later start or an early release schedule would be feasible to address the teacher collaboration time challenge that we have been trying to solve for.  As predicted, there was a 50/50 split between families who preferred the late start vs. the early release option.  However, there was a clear preference for Monday being the day used for the adjusted schedule. So, the board approved the following adjustment as a pilot program to the 22-23 school calendar.  Beginning Monday, March 20, 2023, and continuing every Monday through the end of the school year, classes will begin at 9:00 am. Detailed information about this change was emailed to parents earlier today, but can also be referenced here.  An updated School Year Calendar is now posted on our website (Updated 2022-2023 School Calendar) which indicates these days for your reference.  

Lastly, I have been officially appointed Executive Director of DaVinci Academy. I am truly honored to serve in this role and want families to know that my door is always open as we partner together for the benefit of the students.  I hope to hear from you and encourage you to introduce yourself to me if we haven’t yet met.

With Enthusiasm,


Board Election Changes

photo of Lenny Ulloa SilvaDuring our November Board meeting, the board reviewed the 2023-2024 MACS Proposed Policy Agenda regarding Board Governance. A regular board term of office for Charter School board members is recommended to begin on July 1 and end on June 30 to coincide with the fiscal year. Therefore, the board has amended Article IV Board of Directors, Section 2(c) Tenure – Ongoing Board of Directors to add the following:

“Commencing January 1, 2023, Board of Director terms will commence by an election held in May for a three (3) year term or until the director dies, resigns, is removed or the term otherwise expires.  The three-year terms will commence on July 1 and end on June 30 to coincide with the fiscal year. In order to effectuate the transition to the fiscal year election of School Board members the current Director positions A (Teacher), B (Teacher), C (Community) and I (At-Large) will hold office until June 30, 2024, current  Director positions D (Parent/Guardian), E (Community) and H (At-Large) will hold office until June 30, 2025, and current  Director positions F (Parent/Guardian) and G (Parent/Guardian) will hold office until June 30, 2023”.

Elections will be held in May. More information will be shared at a later date.

If you have any questions, please reach out to our School board chair Melanie Persellin at mpersellin@davincicharterschool.org

Julian Klaas Alumni Project

On January 6, 2022, DaVinci Academy learned about the death of one of our 2014 graduates, Julian Klaas. His tragic suicide reminds us about the power of connection and how important each and every person is within the DaVinci Academy community. In honor of his memory, we will be launching the Julian Klaas Alumni Project. The goal of this project is to create a database of former DaVinci students and families to bridge the gap between past and present and find ways to re-engage everyone. 

There will be more information to come about our process for collecting this data, but in the meantime please pass the word that DaVinci wants to reconnect. Emails including contact information and an update about what’s going on in the lives of our Alumni can be sent to alumni@davincicharterschool.org.

Little Mermaid - Spring Musical Auditions

Little Mermaid Auditions Next Week (grades 5-8)

  • Tuesday, January 10 from 3:30-4:30 pm in the PAC
  • Wednesday, January 11 from 3:30-4:30 pm in the PAC
  • Thursday,  January 12 from 3:30-4:30 pm (only for students who are asked for callbacks)

The cast and tech list will be posted on Friday, January 13!

In order to audition you must:

  • Sign up outside Ms. Tinawi’s room 305
  • Get the audition packet from outside Ms. Tinawi’s room (you must bring it to auditions as well) 
  • Sign up using the online form
  • Bring the audition packet to auditions 

To apply for tech you must:

  • Sign up outside Ms.Tinawi’s room 305
  • Get the application from outside Ms. Tinawi’s room (you must bring it to auditions as well) 
  • Sign up using the online form
  • Bring your fully filled-out application to Ms.Tinawi by Thursday, January 12

Cost: $140 (rehearsal schedule provided once casting is complete)

Tech leads are expected to attend all rehearsals, with an associated fee of $140. 

The tech crew will have an abbreviated rehearsal schedule in April and May only, with an associated fee of $60.

Once casting is complete, students who receive a part in either the cast or tech/crew will have the associated fee added to their Infinite Campus account.


We can’t wait to see you at auditions next week and/or get your application for tech! 

We’re ready for you to be Part of Our World.

Save the Date: High School Registration Information Night

Tuesday, January 10, 2023 6- 8:30PM

All 7th and 8th-grade families are invited to High School Information Night. We will host representatives from four different schools to talk about their high school and the registration process. The three charter schools will each get 20 minutes to share highlights of their school, and two Blaine High School guidance counselors will be here to help the 8th-grade students that need to register for 9th grade. If you know your child is going to Blaine High School, this is your chance to ask questions and get one-on-one help. There will a representative for the general education program and from the CEMS program. The schedule is as follows: 

  • Blaine High School from 6-7 PM to share information and assist with registration for CEMS and general education (DaVinci Academy Atrium)
  • Northwest Passage from 7:00- 7:20 pm (Performing Arts Center)
  • North Lakes Academy from 7:20- 7:40 pm (Performing Arts Center)
  • PACT Charter School from 7:40- 8:00 pm (Performing Arts Center)

From 8:00-8:30 pm, we will have the charter school representatives move to three different areas to answer specific questions you may have about their program.

If you have any questions, please contact Diana Muske, 5-8 Guidance Counselor, or Jack Shields, Middle School Principal.

Assessment Update

Students at DaVinci complete assessments at various points throughout the year to check in on their learning progress. Next week, we will begin our winter round of FastBridge testing in reading and math. The schedule for testing can be found at the link below. Testing windows are always approximate as these tests are generally not timed and students may take as much time as they need to complete them. Please note that kindergarten and first-grade tests are completed individually with a teacher, so those will happen throughout January. Test scores will be posted in Infinite Campus Parent Portal when all of the testing is completed.

Academic Assessments at DaVinci Academy

On testing day, please make sure your student gets enough rest and has something to eat to help fuel their brains. While we know that these tests don’t provide us with everything we need to know about your student, it’s still important for them to do their best and show us what they know.

If you have questions about your student’s testing, please contact their teacher or reach out to Academic Director Andrea Halverson.

Silent Dismissal App - Please Download

Oh the weather outside is frightful. The wind, snow, and cold are not delightful. Please take a moment to help our outside staff stay safe and warm by installing the Silent Dismissal app to your phone. Once you have the app, simply email the office what kind of phone that you have so we can activate the app for FREE.


If you 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.
SD Settings and App Instructions

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Share this post