A photo of DaVinci's Bestest Bedtime Stories performance

DaVinci Connection – November 3, 2023

A Time to Heal Our Community

photo of Holly Fischer

The dedicated members of the school board have met a number of times in the past month to help address the fracture that has occurred within our community.  They have developed a timeline for how to move forward, acknowledging that a healing and restorative process needs to take place.  This plan aims to restore trust and promote healing and we encourage your participation in that process.

In this critical juncture, the unity and progress of our community are of paramount importance. The concerted efforts of our school board members and the comprehensive restorative plan they have laid out stand as a testament to our commitment to healing and reconciliation. As we move forward together, we wholeheartedly invite every DaVinci family to dedicate some time to review the linked document below, which details the phases of this plan. 

Your active involvement and support will be invaluable in fostering a stronger, more cohesive community. Let us all embrace this opportunity to heal and rebuild, for it is in our collective action that we can make a lasting difference.

BoosterThon - Recap

We reached our goal of $45,000! The BoosterThon fundraiser at DaVinci Academy was an awesome event, and it exemplifies the power of a united community working towards a common goal. This accomplishment is a testament to the shared belief that quality education is the cornerstone of a better future.

The funds raised through this event will significantly impact the enrichment programs at DaVinci Academy. As we move forward, we are excited about the positive impact that these funds will have on our students and their educational experiences. The funds raised will continue to enrich their lives, helping them become well-rounded individuals who can contribute to our society and the world at large.

A Special Thanks

We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to:

  • The Parents and Guardians: Your dedication and hard work were the driving force behind the success of this fundraiser. Your belief in our mission is truly heartwarming.
  • Our Amazing Students: You showed unwavering enthusiasm and determination, reminding us of the immense potential that lies within each of you.
  • Our Dedicated Teachers and Staff: Your guidance, encouragement, and support have been instrumental in nurturing the talents and passions of our students.
  • The Local Businesses and Organizations: Your contributions and sponsorships played a significant role in helping us reach our fundraising goal.
  • The Wider Community: Your support has been a source of strength and inspiration for us, and we are deeply grateful for your generosity.

Once again, thank you to everyone who supported our fundraiser, making it possible to reach our goal of $45,000 for school enrichment. Together, we are shaping a brighter future for our students, and we couldn’t have done it without your incredible dedication and generosity.

Thank you,

Dan Rhinhart

Development & Communications Manager

DaVinci Heritage Night

DaVinci will be hosting a family heritage night on Wednesday, November 8 from 6:30-8:00 pm. We would love to have your family involved and share about your heritage. 

Share your heritage, make a poster, bring a food sample to share, teach a song or dance (or bring a video), share a craft, show or sell goods, share recipes, or come to enjoy learning more about our community! So far, we only have 18 families signed up!

Sign up here: https://forms.gle/tPYcCSHdSnF4uAGH8 

Learn about the heritages around you, and get your ‘passport’ stamped!

Focus on Character - Growth Mindset

focus on character poster

The DaVinci Character Trait for November is Growth Mindset.

“Having a growth mindset means believing that our abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work.” – Annabelle Williams

What is a growth mindset? 

A growth mindset is the belief that we can improve our intelligence and strengthen our skills by putting in effort and facing challenges. According to this way of thinking, we aren’t bound by a limited set of talents or levels of intelligence that we were born with. We can actually grow these areas.

The term growth mindset was originally coined by educational psychologist Carol Dweck in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Parents and teachers have since worked to instill this way of thinking in children to help them navigate through challenges and maintain a positive outlook. Children who have a growth mindset have been shown to be happier, healthier, and achieve more in life!

5 Characteristics of a growth mindset:

  1. Accepts flaws and mistakes as opportunities for improvement.
  2. Recognizes setbacks as part of the learning process.
  3. Sees intelligence as something that can be developed.
  4. Embraces challenges and even probable failure.
  5. Open to feedback.

How to Promote a Growth Mindset 

We can help kids develop a growth mindset by being intentional with our words and encouraging them to keep growing, learning, and becoming their best selves. Here are some ways to do that:

  • Talk about the brain. 
    •  Kids feel empowered when they know they can grow their brains through the actions they take. Tell your children that when they work hard, that’s when their brain neurons connect and grow their learning. Practice asking questions, and actively participating in learning, is what helps make our brains strong. 
  • Accept mistakes as learning opportunities.
    • One of the best ways you can model a growth mindset is to speak candidly about the mistakes you’ve made, and the positive things you’ve learned from those experiences. This will show your children that taking risks and making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process. Explain to your children that trying hard is what helps us grow, and you can’t be perfect when you try something hard!
  • Say this, not that.
    • Praise kids for working hard, their strategy, and process. It sends a message that the child’s effort is what led them to success. 
You tried your hardest and that’s all you can do. Don’t worry if you don’t understand something right away. Focus on your next steps. What should they be?
You’ll eventually get these types of questions if you keep trying. If you don’t understand these types of questions, try using a different perspective. You may be able to draw or write them out.
Great job! You’re so smart! Great job! The study plan you made helped a lot. You should make another for the next test.

Video resources for further learning: 

Students may earn a Character Award for having a Growth Mindset in November!

PTO News

Group photo of DaVinci Academy's PTO committee.

It’s time to stock your freezers for the winter months. The PTO is sponsoring a Butter Braid Pastry and Luige’s Pizza Fundraiser in November. Order forms will be sent home with students on Friday, November 10, and need to be returned by Wednesday, November 29. Butter Braids and pizzas will be delivered to the school on Monday, December 11. The pick-up details are still being coordinated. Look for more information to be sent out prior to the start date. 

It was great to see so many DaVinci families who took advantage of October’s “Dinner Night” at Pizza Hut. We earned over $300 again this month which helps the PTO to support our teachers and fund future events. Come enjoy dinner (or go home with a pie or two) at Baker’s Square in Coon Rapids for November’s “Dinner Night” on November 21 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. 20% of the proceeds will go back to DaVinci! 

Thank you to everyone who helped make conferences a success. The PTO made sure that teachers and staff felt appreciated during these long hours by sponsoring two dinners from Mansetti’s and Aladdin Grill.

We are still looking for a CPA to file taxes for the PTO organization. As a non-profit organization, we are required to have an independent 3rd party file our tax statements. If you are interested in helping or have questions, please contact us at: davincimnpto@gmail.com.

Please note, there will not be a public meeting in November. The next public meeting will be on December 4, at 4:30 p.m. in room 304. Come join in the fun as we start planning the middle school party and the end-of-the-year carnival. All teachers, staff, and parents are welcome!

Upcoming Author Visit

Award-winning author Christina Soontornvat will visit DaVinci Academy to discuss her new book, Time After Time. The event will be held in the Performing Arts Center on Monday, November 6 at 12:30 P.M. 

This event is for grades 3-5, but autographed books are available to all grades. Students can order books directly from Red Balloon Bookstore, and Ms. Soontornvat will inscribe and autograph them that day.  Books will be delivered to classrooms later that day.

Author events at DaVinci Academy are supported by book sales.  

Order Form: https://www.redballoonbookshop.com/christina-soontornvat-visit-davinci-academy

Volunteer Corner

We continue to have an amazing start to the school year with volunteer help in the building!  Your time and presence are very much appreciated!  Please click here to see the current volunteer opportunities and sign-ups.  Please note that ALL volunteers must have a current background check on file.  Background checks are good for 2 years.  Please see this form if you need to fill one out, or ask Lindsey Gable if you would like to know if yours is still active in the system.  Thank you! (lgable@davincicharterschool.org).

Thank you!

Website Refresh

We are thrilled to unveil its exciting website update, which features a fresh new logo and vibrant color scheme. Our commitment to innovation and creativity is reflected in every aspect of our institution, and this digital transformation is no exception. The sleek and modernized logo captures the essence of our forward-thinking approach to education, while the new colors infuse energy and enthusiasm into our online presence. This update represents a significant milestone in our ongoing journey to provide an enriching learning environment for our students and a user-friendly platform for parents and visitors alike. We invite you to explore our revitalized website and experience the DaVinci Academy spirit in a whole new way.

DaVinci Alumnus Eagle Scout Project

eagle scout logoI’m Vincent Grammer, an alumnus of DaVinci, and I’m currently working on my Eagle Scout project, which involves establishing an Outdoor Environmental Learning Center right here at DaVinci. This unique outdoor learning space will expand the opportunities for your child to engage in STEM activities in the great outdoors. Our vision for this new facility encompasses a greenhouse, bird feeder line, animal tracking station, a trail leading to the pond, and informative signage to facilitate learning without the need for smartphones or computers. I’m set to kickstart this project this month and anticipate its completion by August 2024.

To initiate this endeavor, I’m launching our first fundraiser in the form of a clothing drive, in partnership with the Minnesota Epilepsy Foundation. I’m hopeful that fellow students and the community will join me in donating used or outgrown clothing and bedding, contributing to the enhancement of our learning center. The clothing drive will commence on October 23, 2023, and conclude on December 1, 2023. This drive follows a similar model to last year’s plastics drive, featuring friendly competition among the three floors and designated clothing receptacles on each floor.

All contributions will be directed to the Minnesota Epilepsy Foundation, and in return, they will make a donation to our project based on the volume of clothing we collect. The greater our collection, the more impressive and robust our Environmental Learning Center will become. Furthermore, there will be exciting prizes for the floor that gathers the most materials. Your time and donations are greatly appreciated in advance. Thank you for your support.

Bring a Veteran to Lunch

DaVinci Academy wishes to express its deep appreciation and gratitude to our Veterans. As a gesture of our respect and admiration, we invite Veterans to join their students on November 10 for lunch and share in a moment of unity and gratitude.

Lunch Schedules

  • Kindergarten:  10:20 am – 10:45 am
  • 1st Grade: 10:50 am – 11:15 am
  • 2nd  Grade: 11:20 am – 11:45 am
  • 3rd Grade: 10:55 am – 11:20 am
  • 4th Grade: 12:25 pm – 12:48 pm
  • 5th Grade/Ren: 11:25 am – 11:50 pm
  • MS Group 1: 11:54 am – 12:18 pm
  • MS Group 2: 12:51 pm – 1:15 pm

Thank you, Veterans!

DaVinci Academy Student Council Update

a picture of DaVinci's Student Council

Davinci’s Student Council Team is a student leadership program. All students from 4th grade through 8th grade are able to apply to join at the beginning of the year. This year we have a team of 15 students. This is our fourth year as Student Council. 

Our Goal: 

  • Promote citizenship and leadership 
  • Represent the students of Davinci
  • Foster communication among students, administrators, staff, families, and our wider community
  • Organize or support activities and projects that bring our Davinci community together

Some of our Activities Include:

  • Lemonade Stand during the Fun Run
  • Toys for Tots toy drive (Nov. 1 – Dec. 5)
  • Book Buddies
  • Running Concession Stands for School Events
  • 8th Grade Send-off Party

Student Council would like to invite all Davinci families to participate in Feed My Starving Children meal packaging session on January 4, 2024, from 4:30 pm to 6:15 pm.

To sign up you will need to use this link: http://www.fmsc.org/join-group?joincode=0PK8N8

Put your name and the name of your student if you would like to attend this fun event hosted by FMSC and the Student Council.

If you are doing something in our Davinci Community and would like to partner with the Student Council, please contact Mandy Paumen mpaumen@davincicharterschool.org

A Note from Nurse Cassie

portrait of Cassie Johnson

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) requires all school-aged children who are enrolled in school to be immunized or to provide documentation of conscientious objection or medical exemption. Reviews of records have been ongoing, and if your student is missing immunizations, you have been contacted to complete this part of their record. 

Law §121A.15 states that for your student to remain enrolled within school, the school must receive proof of immunizations, objection, or exemption. If your student will be objecting to or exempt from one or more immunizations, they must be selected on the MDH Immunization form, which can be found on the school website. Please note that these forms must be signed and notarized. 

Immunizations, objections, or medical exemptions are due November 24, 2023. If they are not completed by this deadline, your student may not be eligible to participate in school until documentation is received

If you have any questions, please contact the Health Office at (763) 754-6577, extension 1110. 

Thank you, 

Cassie Johnson, RN


MAP Assessments

DaVinci students will take the MAP assessments again from November 28-December 15. As a reminder, these results are used to inform teacher instruction and check student progress. Please contact the Academic Director, Amy Erendu, at aerendu@davincicharter.org, if you have any questions.

Winter Afterschool Activities

It’s a great day to try something new! Winter activities are posted on our school website here and are open for registration NOW until November 10. Most winter activities will begin the week of November 28. Grab a friend and register for Nerd Club, Glee Club, LEGO League, Battle Bots, or any of the other awesome activities we are offering this winter!

A New App to Motivate Your Child to Read!

We’re excited to announce DaVinci Academy is launching Beanstack, a new app that will help your child track their reading and earn rewards! Beanstack is a fun and engaging way for kids to develop a love of reading and reach their reading goals.

With Beanstack, kids can:

  • Log their reading time and books
  • Earn badges and rewards for completing reading challenges
  • Connect with their friends and classmates to see how they’re doing
  • Discover new books and authors

Beanstack is available on both iOS and Android devices. Once connected, your child can start logging their reading and earning rewards!  

November’s Native American Heritage Month is our first school challenge.  All students and staff are automatically enrolled in this challenge to read Native authors, complete activities, and expand their perspective while earning digital badges and a greater understanding of others in our world. 

Happy Reading to All!

World Kindness Day!!!

This year we are celebrating World Kindness!

World Kindness Day is held on Monday, November 13th. We also want to celebrate kindness all week, from November 13-19th. We are encouraging our students to be kind to themselves and others. This helps everyone in our school feel safe, positive and loved. 

“World Kindness Day serves as a reminder of the positive impact that kindness can have on individuals, communities, and the world at large. It encourages people to perform intentional acts of kindness and foster a culture of compassion and generosity.” – Awareness Days Ltd

Kindness is more than just a ‘nice thing to do’. It plays a crucial role in our well-being. Research has shown that kindness improves our physical and mental health – whether we’re giving kindness, receiving kindness or even just witnessing kindness. How amazing is that?” – 52 Lives, School of Kindness

World Kindness Week Activities:

  • Monday Odd Socks Day. Wear mismatched socks to show your support for kindness and anti-bullying. 
  • Tuesday– Show fun, age-appropriate videos about kindness to your student(s). 
  • Wednesday– Play Kindness Bingo as a family!  
  • Thursday– Write a kind note to someone.
  • Friday– Create your family’s Kindness Tree!  

Click here for kindness ideas your whole family can enjoy. Incorporate them into your daily routine, and experience a happier, healthier life, and spark joy in others.


DaVinci Academy Mental Health Team

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

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

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

Recess Attire

Fall weather is upon us. Please remember to send a light sweater or fall jacket (labeled with your child’s name) with your child if cooler temperatures are forecasted. We do go outside daily and we want to ensure students are not chilly.  Check the forecast, and then dress appropriately.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Share this post

24-25 Academic Calendar Changes

There have been a few changes to the 24-25 Academic Calendar.
Please be sure to download the most recent version below.
Added No School Days:
October 21, 2024
Jan 31, 2025
March 28, 2025