DaVinci Connection – March 3, 2023
Middle School Happenings
According to the American Middle-Level Education Association, a great middle school needs to be a nurturing environment where students have teachers committed to excellence, each student has an adult to connect with, and students have a variety of educational and co-curricular activities. The size of our DaVinci middle school caters to those things by being large enough to have many opportunities, but small enough that each student is known and cared for.
In addition to the great teaching and learning that occurs each day, our DaVinci middle school students are participating in many co-curricular activities during the winter months. These activities take place after school and on weekends, so I’d like to share them with the greater DaVinci community. Our Knowledge Bowl students continue to practice and compete with other schools under the direction of Ms. Severson. Our 6th grade Math Masters team is competing this week under the direction of Mr. Mueggenberg. Our 7th-grade Zooms Science students are competing at the Minnesota Zoo next week under the direction of Ms. Brown. The 7th-grade students that qualified for Regional History Day are fine-tuning their projects under the direction of Ms. Boughton. We have 8th-grade students that are competing at the Regional Science Fair competition this month under the direction of Ms. Fields. And, our five middle school boys’ basketball teams are finishing their seasons this month. As principal, I am proud of our middle school program, and we’ll continue to improve as our teachers, staff, and families work together to have the best program possible.
School Board Update - 2023-24 Calendar
During the February 27 School Board meeting, the Board of Directors reviewed the proposed 2023-2024 school year calendar. Due to a couple of last minute adjustments, the calendar needs to go back to the board for a vote at the March meeting. Here are the important dates that you can count on.
- First day of school: August 8 (August 10 for Kindergarten)
- Last day of school: June 13 (Yes, this is one week earlier than we usually end so that we can honor the Juneteenth holiday)
- Spring break: March 11-18 (This aligns with the Anoka Hennepin calendar)
- October MEA break and fall conferences: October 13-20
- November break: November 20-27
- December break: December 18- January 2
You can expect the full 23-24 school year calendar to be published after the March 27 meeting.
Band, Orchestra, and Choir Concert Recap
The week our middle school band, orchestra, and choir students showcased their work to family and friends!
The band and orchestra students exhibited a number of styles including pop, classical, and jazz. Our choir students have been learning about different cultures through music and showcased what they learned at the “Around the World” choir concert. They performed songs in other languages from Spanish to Swahili!
Playing an instrument or singing with a group has many benefits, such as building motivation, promoting collaboration, perseverance, and expressiveness.
A big thank you to Mrs. Hoefer and Mr. Miko for all their hard work with these students!
Talent Show Auditions - March 23
ATTENTION 4th – 8th GRADERS:
Do you sing? Dance? Play an instrument? Do magic? Rock out in a cool band? Juggle with your feet?
We want YOU to try out for the DaVinci Talent Show!
Where: The Performing Arts Center
When: Wednesday, March 22nd, after school (3:15)
(If you can’t make that time, but still want to be in the show, talk to Mr. Lundahl (306) or Ms. Brown (327) about trying out another time.)
The actual Talent Show is the evening of Thursday, April 27th, so get practicing! See you there.
Volunteer Spotlight - Torri Sauve!
Why did you decide to start volunteering at DaVinci?
My daughter is in Kindergarten this year and I think it’s important to be involved as much as you can in your child’s education. Volunteering allows me to do that.
Do you enjoy volunteering at DaVinci?
I love seeing my daughter at lunchtime. Seeing her build friendship is so fun. I love getting to know all the students. And the smiles on their faces when I play along with them when they trick me into opening their already open milks. The smiles and laughter are the best.
What is your favorite volunteer activity?
I enjoy helping at lunchtime, and getting to know all of the students is so rewarding. I think every parent should volunteer in the lunch room at least once. I love it!
Thank you, Torri!
The Goddard School Before & After School Care
The Goddard School in Blaine is now enrolling students for their before and after school care program.
- Options for Before and/or After School
- Dates: Month-to-month commitment with flexible start/end dates – 3/20-6/15
- Re-enroll by the 15th of the proceeding month
- Transportation: Bussing through DaVinci Academy to and from school
- Play-based learning with our incredible teachers
- Open gym and climbing wall time
- Daily communication through our app
- School release days available – $60/day
- PM snacks included
- Grades: K-6
- Hours: 7-7:45 am and 3:30-6 pm
- 7-8:45 am on late start days
- Monthly billing by schedule
Families can register by contacting The Goddard School at 763-275-9797
Second grade is hosting an Olympics event next Tuesday, March 7th! We would love volunteers to help set up, host a game, or clean up.
The opportunities are only 30-35 minutes long between 5:15 pm-7:15 pm.
If you are interested in volunteering, please sign up using this link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c094aadac29a0ffc52-2ndgrade#/
We would love to have you help make our event a success!
Earlier this week one of our fabulous middle school teachers was an honored educator for DaVinci alumni at a National Honor Society induction ceremony.
In addition we had two DaVinci alumni, Ben Dauman (class of 2022) and Dom Mekrami (class of 2020), inducted into the Anoka High School National Honor Society.
Honored teacher: Mr. Brian Mueggenberg
Action Alert! Contact Your Local Representatives
Did you know that Minnesota charter school students are excluded from safe school funding? That’s right… Traditional school districts, but NOT chartered public schools currently receive $36 per student for school safety expenditures which include:
School security enhancements
Student and staff safety measures
Violence and crime prevention tools
Police liaison services
Drug abuse prevention programs
Gang resistance education training
Improving school climate
Costs of a licensed counselor, nurse, social worker, psychologist, and chemical dependency staff
Moreover, the Minnesota Legislature is taking up bills to increase school safety funding for traditional school districts, from $36 per student to $44 per student.
ALL MINNESOTA’S PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS – INCLUDING THE 67,000 + STUDENTS WHO ATTEND CHARTERED PUBLIC SCHOOLS DESERVE EQUAL RESOURCES FOR SAFE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENTS.
!!! PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATOR ASAP !!!!
THE QUESTION TO ASK YOUR STATE SENATOR & LEGISLATOR
“WHY ARE CHARTERED PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR SCHOOL SAFETY AID?”
ASK YOUR LEGISLATOR TO SUPPORT SAFE SCHOOL FUNDING FOR THE 67,000+ STUDENTS WHO ATTEND CHARTERED PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
Here are the links to the contact information of each legislator representing DaVinci Academy.
We also encourage you to contact each Senator and Representative for your home address by using this search link, entering your address in the search field, and then using the contact button for each representative.
Please use this letter/email template to help get you started.
Thank you for doing your part as an engaged DaVinci parent!
Equity Team Update!
Hello DaVinci Community!
We are having lots of fun on the Equity Team. We are creating student-led programs to promote safety on the bus, and organizing school community events to occur later this spring. These initiatives help our students and families build a connection and experience a sense of belonging. We are proud of the progress toward our mission of providing a safe and equitable experience for all learners.
If you are interested in volunteering for a school community event hosted by the Equity Team please email Sara Sweeney, email@example.com or contact our volunteer coordinator, Lindsey Gable, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some important dates to know coming up this month!
Dates to Know:
- March 6-7 Purim
- March 7 Lailatul Barat
- March 8 International Women’s Day
- March 8 Holi
- March 8-10 Hola Mohalla
- March 17 St. Patrick’s Day
- March 21 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
- March 31 Transgender Day of Visibility
Holiday Spotlight: Holi
Holi is a major festival in the Hindu religion. It is celebrated on the day after the last full moon of the Hindu month of Phalguna. Phalguna falls between late February and early March in Western calendars. Holi usually marks the happy transition from harsh, dark winter to a brighter, warmer springtime.
Holi celebrates the Hindu story of Prahlada. Prahlada was a prince dedicated to the worship of Vishnu, a major Hindu god. Prahlada’s father and aunt opposed his religious faith, and as punishment made him sit in the middle of a raging bonfire. Vishnu protected Prahlada, and the prince did not burn.
Bonfires remain a part of Holi rituals today. However, the most striking aspect of the festival is the spraying of brightly colored powders and water in enormous public celebrations. The colors mark both Prahlada’s flickering bonfire and the bright colors associated with spring.
The “Festival of Colors” is also a time for Hindus to relax social codes. Barriers between rich and poor, men and women, young and old are broken down by Holi’s bright colors. A familiar saying is bura na mano, Holi hai—don’t be offended, it’s Holi!
Awareness Highlight: Women’s History Month
Women’s History Month is an annual declared month that highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. It is celebrated during March in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. We can celebrate Women’s HIstory Month this March by reading books by female authors, support female entrepreneurs, or send a quick thank you to the inspiring women in your life!
Awesome Person Spotlight: Ann Bancroft
Ann Bancroft is an American explorer who was the first woman to reach the North Pole by foot. She grew up in Mendota Heights, Minnesota. Ann had a learning disability, and graduated from St. Paul Academy to become a physical education teacher, coach, and wilderness instructor. Hooray for awesome Minnesotans!
Family Night In!
BOARD GAME EDITION!
Join us for a night of board games, concessions, and community!
Thursday, March 30th – 6:00-7:30 pm
Some board games will be provided, and families are welcome to bring games to share!
*** Parent supervision is required ***
If your family has plans to move on from DaVinci at the end of this school year, please reach out to email@example.com to let us know. Filling vacancies is easier if we are aware of these in advance of the summer.
We understand that life happens, and moves are sometimes unpredictable, and we appreciate you sharing any enrollment change detail as soon as possible.
DaVinci Academy Enrollment Coordinator