DaVinci Connection – February 8, 2023

Dear DaVinci Academy Community,

Can you believe we’re already halfway through the school year? Time flies! This newsletter is packed with exciting updates and happenings, from stellar student achievements to upcoming events. Read on!

Community Healing Night Invitation

photo of Holly FischerGreetings DaVinci Academy Community,

We are delighted to extend a warm invitation to you for a community conversation focused on fostering an inclusive environment for all students at DaVinci Academy of Arts and Science. At the heart of our vision is a commitment to welcoming, honoring, and respecting everyone for their unique identity and contributions. 

Facilitated by Paula Forbes and Robin Francis of The Finding Human Institute LLC, this event will employ a World Café participatory process to delve into how we can create a space where all children feel a sense of belonging at DaVinci. This gathering aims to be an inclusive platform for every voice to be heard, fostering unity within our community. 

The event will take place on Thursday, February 15, from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm in the DaVinci Academy of Arts and Science Atrium. Light refreshments will be served.

Please accept our invitation to participate by 4:00 pm on Wednesday, February 14, 2024. Register using the link below.

Community Healing Night Registration Form

Let’s create space and have a meaningful dialogue to explore, understand, and reaffirm what makes DaVinci an extraordinary educational community for our students.



The DaVinci Character Trait for February is Compassion

focus on character pics (10)

“No matter who we are, no matter how successful, no matter what our situation, compassion is something we all need to receive and give.” 

-Catherine Pulsifer

What is Compassion

Compassion is a feeling we have when we learn someone else is suffering, and we feel motivated to relieve their suffering.

Closely related to kindness and empathy, compassion is having concern for another’s well-being, with a desire to help them.  

Benefits of Compassion:

Compassion is shown to improve health and wellness because of its ability to drive meaningful interactions. It pushes us to address inequality, cruelty, and the struggles of others. It encourages us to be kind. It allows us to see others and how we can help them or hold space for them. 

By truly understanding and caring about what others are experiencing, you are better able to respond in helpful ways. Compassion helps you approach situations with kindness and interest, an approach that creates trust. From that strong foundation, lasting relationships can be built and potential problems can be tackled together.  

The most important thing to remember is that you don’t need to be an expert to help someone experiencing distress. The most valuable thing is they don’t feel alone and they know someone cares.


Picture books about compassion for young readers

Chapter books for older elementary and middle-schoolers

Ten Must-Read Books on Compassion (for adults) 

Congrats Brenda Maulik - Teacher of the Year Nominee

Congratulations to Brenda Maulik, an outstanding second-grade teacher at DaVinci Academy, on her well-deserved nomination for Teacher of the Year! Brenda’s dedication to her students and passion for education has truly set her apart, earning her this prestigious recognition. What adds an extra layer of distinction to her achievement is that she stands as the sole nominee from a charter school this year, underscoring the remarkable impact she has had on her students and the school community. Brenda’s commitment to fostering a love for learning in her second-grade class is truly inspiring. Her innovative teaching methods and unwavering support make her a shining example of excellence in education.

Way to Go Ms. Maulik for this outstanding accomplishment!

Volunteer Spotlight

Meet our next Featured Volunteer: Jennie B!

Why did you decide to start volunteering at DaVinci?

I’ve been volunteering at DaVinci since 2017, originally it was as sort of a safety net on field trips for my kids (then 1st and 4th graders), and to build those memories with them before they grew up, and might not want me to be as involved. That thankfully hasn’t happened yet.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at DaVinci?

I enjoy making things (hopefully) a little bit easier for the teachers and staff that I’m helping out. They do so much for the kids in our community and this is a way for me to show my appreciation and give them a little breathing room. I also really like getting to be a part of the community. My kid spends so much time around these people, and being involved helps me understand their lives more and stay better connected. 

What is your favorite volunteer activity?

I’ve volunteered all over the building throughout the years, but my favorite volunteer activities are a tie. I love chaperoning on the middle school ELC trips. I wish they were more than once a year. They are so fun and challenging. While my favorite activity in the building has been helping out in the library. I am a huge bookworm. Learning the systems there and interacting with more of the students has been a bright spot in my life. You’ll catch me there 3 mornings a week. 


Please click here for a current list of volunteer opportunities!

Only 50 Gala Tickets Left - Order Yours Today!

ONLY 50 TICKETS LEFT – Act now to ensure you don’t miss out on this remarkable evening. Visit our registration page to secure your tickets and join us in making a difference. Don’t miss the chance to secure your spot at the most glamorous event of the year, set to take place on Saturday, March 2, 2024, at Majestic Oaks Golf Course.

Event Details:

  • Date: Saturday, March 2, 2024
  • Location: Majestic Oaks Golf Course
  • Time: 5:00pm

This spectacular evening promises to be a night to remember, filled with elegance, entertainment, and a touch of the Roaring Twenties. We invite you to step back in time and immerse yourself in the enchanting world of The Great Gatsby.

Why Attend? The ‘Great Gatsby Gala’ is not just a great night of fun; it is also DaVinci Academy’s largest fundraiser of the year. Each year, our school faces a $2 million funding deficit compared to neighboring districts. Despite this challenge, we have consistently demonstrated our ability to do more with less. Now, envision the transformative possibilities that equal funding can bring!

Your involvement is crucial to guaranteeing DaVinci Academy thrives, delivering the exceptional educational experience our students truly merit. By attending the gala, you become an integral part of an extraordinary mission – bridging the funding gap and ensuring our students have access to the resources they deserve.

Seize this opportunity to contribute to DaVinci Academy’s continued success and be part of a community that believes in the transformative power of education.

Thank you for your ongoing support, and we look forward to welcoming you at the ‘Great Gatsby Gala’ for an unforgettable night of celebration and purpose.

Girls on the Run - Spring Program

a picture of Girls on the Run group

Exciting news: Girls on the Run is coming to DaVinci Academy!

Girls on the Run is an afterschool program that uses the power of being active to prepare 3rd – 5th-grade girls and non-binary kids for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living. Throughout the 8-week, 16-lesson season, participants will learn life-changing lessons about healthy friendships, teamwork, decision-making, self-respect, and more, all while preparing to complete a 5K. Open to all 3rd – 5th-grade kids and non-binary/gender-expansive youth; no previous running experience is required, and generous financial aid is available. Registration opened on February 1, and you can sign up at www.gotrmn.org! Our season will practice every Monday & Wednesday from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m., April 1 – June 2, culminating with a celebratory Girls on the Run 5K the weekend of June 1-2. 

Space is limited so register early!

Visit www.gotrmn.org or contact Lindsey Gable at lgable@davincicharterschool.org for more information.

News from the PTO

Group photo of DaVinci Academy's PTO committee.

DaVinci Families,

We’re thrilled to share some fantastic upcoming events and activities:

  1. Middle School Party (Grades 6-8): The date is set – mark your calendars for Friday, May 10 – We’re going to make DaVinci GLOW with middle school spirit!
  2. End-of-Year Carnival: Save the date: June 7 – we’ll blast into summer fun with food trucks, a book fair, music, and more!
  3. Monthly DaVinci Dinner Nights: Join us every month for our popular DaVinci Dinner Nights out – January’s Raising Cane’s event raised $165!
  4. February Dinner Night Out= Senor Patron!  Tuesday, Feb. 27 Senor Patron in Anoka is sharing 15% back to the PTO for ALL orders mentioning DaVinci  – ALL DAY – so you can go for lunch or dinner!
  5. Public Meeting on Monday, February 19 (4:30 PM, Room 304): Mark your calendar for our next public meeting. We’d love to see you there and hear your thoughts!

Don’t miss out on the fun and community spirit. Join us as we make this school year even more memorable! Looking forward to seeing you at these exciting events.

Best regards,

DaVinci Academy PTO Committee

Drumming for a Difference

DaVinci Academy is excited to host Drumming for a Difference: Mental Health Music Performance on Thursday, February 22, 2024. 

There will be three shows during the school day, so all of our students may attend. As a bonus, we will host a free after-school drumming lesson for K-8 students, from 3:30-5:30, and a free community performance from 6 – 7:30 p.m.! This allows our whole school community to experience the transformative power of music and grow their mental health wellness. Keep reading for more details about this exciting opportunity!

Steve Schlosser is the Founder and Executive Director of Sheltered Reality, a non-profit organization based in Iowa with fifteen branches across the Midwest. Started in 1996, it promotes a simple mission: empower others to succeed. This mission is accomplished by including others in musical fun with a purpose. 

Enthusiastic, choreographed percussion routines are set to energetic pre-recorded music. Audiences are brought to their feet while opening their hearts and minds to a compassionate message of Never Give Up, and learn about the Steps of Success. These steps, combined with personal stories of triumphs over adversity, have particular appeal to young people. 

Here’s what Steve Schlosser says: 

Drumming for a Difference helps us realize that each person we meet is unique, has special talents, and is deserving of kindness and support. While we demonstrate the Steps of Success, audience members have a chance to succeed by participating in a drum lesson and performing with the group. This process is meant to inspire all to become better individuals but to also take action to help others succeed in life and be the best versions of themselves. 

We believe every person deserves the opportunity to be happy, learn how to succeed in life, and benefit others in the process. We believe in the power of “US.” When we do things together, believe in and support one another, we can do great things.” 

Please join us on Thursday, February 22, 2024, at 6 p.m. in our Performing Arts Center (PAC), and enjoy the show! Free for all ages to attend. 

If you are interested in having your child attend the free drumming lesson after school on February 22nd, please click here to register

For more information, visit: 


Instagram: @drumguysteve 



DaVinci Academy Mental Health Team

Cereal Drive

a picture of a bowl of cereal

Hello Davinci staff, students, parents/guardians,

The second-floor resource room will be hosting a cereal drive. From February 19-23, bring in boxes of cereal that can be shared during snack time. The floor that donates the most boxes of cereal will earn a hoodie day the following Friday, March 1st!

This is an effort to support the students who may have forgotten to bring a small snack to school for their enjoyment. Please help us by donating to our school!

Student Success Options Room

The “Options Room” serves as a pivotal space within our school, offering students a nurturing environment to take ownership of their actions and engage in constructive problem-solving. Here, students are empowered to reflect on their behavior, strategize for future success, and cultivate positive connections with their peers and adult mentors. It embodies a proactive approach to student support, fostering a culture of accountability and growth. Within these walls, individuals are encouraged to learn from their mistakes, develop resilience, and embrace opportunities for personal development. The Options Room stands as a beacon of empowerment, guiding students toward self-discovery and fostering a sense of community within our school environment.

Questions about how our options room works can be directed to our amazing SST staff: Dean of Students Jake Otterness, and Behavior Support Specialists Kristen Steinberg, Lori Forstad, and Alicia Brekkestran.

Parking Lot Guidance

We understand that the morning rush can be hectic. Still, by collectively practicing good parking lot etiquette and using the main entrance when directed, we can make a significant impact on the punctuality of our students. Please do not hold up a line of cars by waiting to use the East door entrance.

Please also note, the Bunker Lake Blvd. entrance is closed to incoming traffic on Mondays 8:30-9:00 am, and Tuesday-Friday 7:30-8:00. Parents may exit onto Bunker Lake Blvd. after dropping off at the main entrance. 

Thanks for your cooperation.

Recess Attire

Winter weather is here! Please remember to send a jacket, hat, and gloves (labeled with your child’s name) with your child when 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.

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