DaVinci Connection – May 5, 2023

Spring Golf Scramble - Sponsor a Teacher

photo of Kelly ZenderWith the weather warming up and hopefully staying that way, it’s time to start thinking about our annual golf event. We are excited to have a great event with as many members of the DaVinci community in attendance as possible. 

I want to highlight the opportunity for families to sponsor a teacher so they are also able to play in the event. This is another great way for our community to recognize teachers and show our appreciation for all the hard work they do! If you are interested in sponsoring a teacher, please reach out to Dan Rhinhart at drhinhart@davincicharterschool.org

This annual event is a great day of good golf, bad golf, lots of laughs, and community building. Whether you’re a golfer or not, come join the fun!

Friday, June 9, at Majestic Oaks Golf Course

Golf packages include: 18-hole round of golf, golf cart, dinner, and awards ceremony.

Majestic Oaks Golf Club
701 Bunker Lake Blvd NE
Ham Lake, MN 55304 Get directions

12:30 p.m. Tee Off

  • 11:00 a.m. Registration
  • 12:30 p.m. Shotgun Start
  • 5:30 p.m. Social Hour
  • 6:00 p.m. Dinner
  • Silent Auction/Program

Interested in a Business Sponsorship?

Do you own a business or work for a company that would be interested in helping to sponsor this event? Click on here to learn more about our sponsorship opportunities.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Dollars-for-DaVinci Recap!

The numbers are in – we raised $22,744 during Dollars for DaVinci!

A quick reminder that funds raised during this year’s Dollars-for-DaVinci will be allocated toward two primary initiatives.

  1. Building Security Upgrades & Enhancement. The safety of our students and staff is always our top priority. Having the tools, equipment, and resources to ensure our building is secure is paramount.
  2. Middle School Field Trips. Each year, DaVinci middle school students participate in several field trips which support our arts and science focus. These field trips bring many benefits to students, including real-world learning, social-emotional growth, and academic impact. 

Thank you so much to our families, friends, and neighbors! We greatly appreciate the tremendous support.

Teacher & Staff Appreciation Week

We will honor our teachers and staff at DaVinci during the week of May 15-19. This is a great opportunity to express your gratitude for the work teachers and staff are doing to partner with you in the education of your child(ren). Consider sending cards, letters, and emails to the staff members who work with your children to express your appreciation. 

Teacher and Staff appreciation week is made possible through the generous support of parent donations. If you would like to contribute, please click on the link below to sign up for the item(s) you would like to help with. We still need several gift card donations.


Donations can be dropped off all next week. Our office is open Monday-Thursday 7:30-3:30 during Intersession week. 

Below are the week’s events.

  • Monday: Breakfast for all. Provided by PTO
  • Tuesday: Coffee & tea. Provided by our families
  • Wednesday: Build-your-own trail mix. Provided by our families
  • Thursday: Bring in something special for your favorite teacher or staff member
  • Friday: Staff PLINKO game. An opportunity for all staff to win fun gift cards provided by our families

The Little Mermaid Jr.

Save the dates for DaVinci Academy’s performance of “The Little Mermaid Jr.”

Friday, May 19 – 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 20 – 12:00 p.m.

Purchase tickets at the show.

  • $10 – Adults
  • $8 – Seniors, Students, Military ID
  • FREE – Children under age 5

Check out the program flyer here!

We hope to see you at the show!

Volunteers Needed


We are seeking volunteers to help with our swing-set community build project on Thursday, May 25. If you can help in any of the following ways, please email Lindsey Gable to sign up today.

  • Site Prep Skills – Equipment Operators/Excavation (Bobcat, Dump Truck, Trailer, etc.) Are there any families who own or have access to a skid steer?
  • Construction/Installation Skills – Experience working with concrete, concrete footers, etc.
  • Basic Construction – Use of socket/ratchet, impact drivers, drills, and basic tools.
  • Landscape or general work – Install plastic curbing, landscape fabric, moving mulch, etc.
  • Workers for clean-up & Unpacking/Staging Equipment – Unpacking pallets, and keeping the site clean/safe. Organize and assemble “kits”, etc.


Mental Health Month

Hello DaVinci Community!

Happy May! We’re excited to celebrate Mental Health Month, to build awareness of this important topic. When we care for our mental health, we set ourselves up for success in other areas of life, too. 

What is mental health

Mental health is “a person’s condition regarding their psychological and emotional well-being” (Oxford Dictionary). Basically, how we think, feel, and take care of our mental wellness, so we can feel our best. When we are intentional about caring for our minds, other parts of our health (such as social, physical, and emotional wellness) improve, too!

What about Children’s Mental Health? 

An estimated 13-20 percent of children in the U.S. (about 1 out of 5) experience a mental health disorder in a given year (CDC Children’s Mental Health Report). Children’s mental health affects children of all ages, genders, races, cultures, and across all regions of our country. According to the CDC, mental health disorders are chronic health conditions that may span a lifetime. However, with early diagnosis and treatment, children may experience improved relationships with others at home and school, with reduced challenges. 

What are some ways we can take care of our mental health? 

Here are ideas from the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH)

  • Get regular exercise
  • Eat healthy meals
  • Stay hydrated
  • Prioritize restful sleep
  • Try a relaxing activity
  • Set goals and priorities
  • Practice gratitude
  • Focus on positivity
  • Stay connected

When do I need to seek professional help? 

If you or your child is experiencing severe or distressing symptoms that have lasted for 2 weeks or more, talk to your doctor or general practitioner. Symptoms to look out for include: 

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Appetite changes resulting in unwanted weight changes
  • Struggling to get out of bed in the morning due to mood
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Loss of interest in things you usually find enjoyable
  • Inability to perform usual daily functions and responsibilities

What can I do in a mental health emergency?

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health or having thoughts of suicide, there are lots of helplines available: 

  • Anoka County Crisis Response- 763-755-3801
  • Hennepin County- 612-348-233
  • Crisis Text Line- Text MN to 741741
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline- 988

To learn more about mental health resources available in Minnesota, click here.

DaVinci Academy Mental Health Team

Phoenix Hathaway, K-4 School Counselor, phathaway@davincicharterschool.org 

Diana Muske, 5-8 School Counselor, Dmuske@davincichrterschool.org 

Amy Key, K-8 School Counselor Intern, akey@davincicharterschool.org 

Dom Jefferson, K-8 School Social Worker, djefferson@davincicharterschool.org 

Board Member Voting Now Open

DaVinci Families,

The time has come for you to vote for this year’s Board of Director members.  Each new board member will serve on the school board for three years.  As an eligible voter, you have the opportunity to select two parents to join (or rejoin) the DaVinci Academy School Board. The polls are now open. PLEASE VOTE

2023 Ballot Instructions and Guidelines

For reference on the candidates, you may want to review the Voter Guide which was distributed earlier. You can also find it by clicking this link: VOTING GUIDE 2023. An additional opportunity to get to know the candidates is provided by watching the candidate forum portion of the April board meeting. (April 24 Board Meeting Recording)

Don’t forget to complete and submit your ballot by 4:00 p.m. on Monday, May 22. No ballot will be accepted after 4:00 p.m. We also encourage you to attend the May School Board meeting at DaVinci Academy on that same day at 6:00 p.m., to learn the election results and hear about other school updates.

If you have any questions, please email Lenny Ulloa Silva, School Board Secretary, and teacher, or Holly Fischer, Executive Director.

Volunteer Spotlight

This month our spotlight volunteer is Jeff Watland.

Why did you decide to start volunteering at DaVinci? 

As a Christian, I feel called to do good works, and serve others. Volunteering at DaVinci is one of the ways I do that. The reason I chose DaVinci is because I have 2 grandchildren in attendance: Ellie and Axel.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at DaVinci?

I most enjoy interacting with the younger kids. Some are simply anxious to talk about their weekend.  And I get to visit Ellie and Axel during their lunch.

What is your favorite volunteer activity?  

My favorite volunteer activity at DaVinci was working with the third-grade boys’ basketball team. 

Thanks for all you do, Jeff!

Better Hearing and Speech Month

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month. Communication disorders—which include speech, language, and hearing difficulties—are among the most common disorders that school-aged children experience. Left unaddressed, they can significantly affect a child’s academic success. You can learn more about communication disorders, and how speech-language pathologists help, here: www.asha.org/public/speech/development/speech-and-language-services-in-schools/.

It’s important for us all to reflect on how we can be respectful and supportive of those in our school community who have speech, language, or hearing difficulties. Remind children to be understanding by giving classmates time to express themselves; by focusing on what they say instead of how they say it; and by never bullying someone because of how they communicate.

As the end of the school year approaches, it’s also a good time for families to consider how they can help their children continue to improve their communication, literacy, and learning skills during the summer months. We recommend some simple but meaningful steps: having a dedicated time for reading every day (and even writing in a summer journal); having rules for using screen-based technology (such as daily time limits or tech-free times, including family breakfasts or dinners); and prioritizing outdoor and/or creative activities. Most children won’t need workbooks or formal educational programs over the summer, but they will benefit tremendously from participating in recreational activities that allow them to move, explore, and interact with their peers.

We wish you a happy Better Hearing and Speech Month—and a fun, relaxing, and safe summer.

Best wishes,

Kristina Dose, Cara Schmidt, and Kristine Vogtlin

St. Paul Saints Charter School Day - June 11

Take me out to the ball game! Charter School Day at the St. Paul Saints will be Sunday, June 11. This is the second year for Charter School Day @ a Saints game. Tickets for the June 11 St. Paul Saints vs. Iowa Cubs game are only $18 each, which includes a St. Paul Saints Baseball Cap.

All charter school staff and families are invited to participate in this fun event.

To purchase tickets, go to: saintsgroups.com and use the password: charter2023 

Yearbook Orders - Last Chance!

Yearbooks for the 2022-23 school year are available for pre-order now through Infinite Campus.

Log in to your Infinite Campus parent portal and navigate to School Store / DaVinci Academy / Yearbook

Yearbooks are available to pre-order through May 10, 2023.

Price: $32.00 each.


If your family has plans to move on from DaVinci at the end of this school year, please reach out to enrollment@davincicharterschool.org to let us know. We understand that life happens, and moves are sometimes unpredictable, and we appreciate you sharing any enrollment change detail as soon as possible. Filling vacancies is easier if we are aware of these in advance of the summer.

Thank you.

Pam Carlson

DaVinci Academy Enrollment Coordinator

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