DaVinci students at Feed My Starving Children

DaVinci Connection – April 5, 2024

DaVinci Dominates Regional History Day Competition

In February, eighteen outstanding projects from the DaVinci History Day Competition were chosen to advance to the Regional Competition, hosted at White Bear Lake High School on March 23. Competing against projects from neighboring schools, three DaVinci entries secured Honorable Mention, while an impressive eleven were selected as State Qualifiers!

DaVinci proudly leads with the highest number of State qualifying projects among all participating schools. These State Qualifiers will now vie with students statewide in their respective categories. 

Projects receiving Honorable Mentions:


  • Abi – Opportunity: Roving Mars


  • Yostina – Eritrean War of Independence
  • Ahmed, Mohamed – 9/11: The Day It All Went Down

Projects advancing to State History Day:  


  • Josh – The Gandhi March
  • Kayla – The Mother of Modern Chemistry
  • Sophia – The Bombings that “Saved” America
  • Femi, Lincoln, Denver – Rwandan Genocide
  • Violet, Yaretzi – “Thriller”


  • Aashi – British Raj
  • Eli – The Russian Revolution
  • Isaac – The Pentagon Papers
  • Mikey, Will, Kai – Soviet Space Dogs
  • Noah, Ian, Levi – Operation Desert Storm


  • Layla, Riley – The Glowing Killers

Congratulations to all the students for their dedication and effort! State History Day is scheduled for April 20.

Family Night In - April 25

Don’t forget about the upcoming Family Night In event on April  25, 2024, from 6:30-8:00 pm. This will be a great opportunity to come together and enjoy one another’s company as a DaVinci community!

We are looking to have families donate concessions so that families can attend the event without the obligation of spending money. We are hoping to use this sign-up genius which would allow each attendee 1 piece of pizza, 1 cookie, 1 drink, and 1 bag of chips. If your family can help donate requested items to make this happen it would be so appreciated! Check out the sign-up genius link to see how you can help make this happen! 

The Equity Committees are looking forward to seeing you there for a fun night of games, laughter, and community! 


Family Game Night Flyer

The DaVinci Character Trait for April is Respect

focus on character pics (10)

What is the true meaning of respect?

“Treating someone with respect means: • showing regard for their abilities and worth • valuing their feelings and their views, even if you don’t necessarily agree with them • accepting them on an equal basis, and giving them the same consideration you would expect for yourself. Respect begins with oneself.”   The Psychology of Respect    

Why is respect an important lesson?

Giving and receiving respect from others is important because it helps us feel safe and express ourselves. Being respected by important people in our lives growing up teaches us how to be respectful toward others. Beyond helping kids understand the basic order of their lives and giving parents the infrastructure to run the household, teaching the proper respect for authority helps instill other important qualities in kids, including humility, accountability, and personal responsibility.

National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Like most parents, you may know it’s important to talk with your child about safety but are not sure how to approach the topic of abuse. Here is some information to learn more about child abuse, and how to prevent it from happening to the children in your life.

What is considered child abuse? 

Child abuse is any form of mistreatment by an adult, which is violent or threatening for the child. Abuse includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure, or wound someone. One way to prevent child abuse is by using protective factors. 

What are protective factors?

These are qualities or environmental situations that, when present in individuals, families, and communities, promote well-being and healing. Here are some of the key protective factors:

  • Knowledge of parenting and child development.
    •  Parents who understand the usual course of child development are more likely to provide their children with developmentally appropriate limits, consistent rules and expectations, and opportunities that promote independence. 
  • No parent can be an expert on all aspects of child development or on the most effective ways to support a child at every age.
    •  As children grow, parents will need to continue to learn and respond to children’s emerging needs. 
  • Parenting styles need to be adjusted for each child’s unique temperament and circumstances. 
    • Parents of children with special needs may benefit from additional coaching and support. 

Ways to prevent child abuse from occurring: 

  1. Teach children their rights. When children are taught they have the right to be safe, they are less likely to think abuse is their fault and more likely to report an offender.
  2. Support prevention programs. Too often, intervention occurs only after abuse is reported. Greater investments are needed in programs that have been proven to stop the abuse before it occurs – such as family counseling and home visits by nurses who assist newborns and their parents.
  3. Know what child abuse is. Physical and sexual abuse constitute maltreatment, but so does neglect, or the failure of parents or other caregivers to provide a child with needed food, clothing, and care. Children can also be emotionally abused when they are rejected, berated, or continuously isolated.
  4. Know the signs. Unexplained injuries aren’t the only signs of abuse. Depression, fear of a certain adult, difficulty trusting others or making friends, sudden changes in eating or sleeping patterns, inappropriate sexual behavior, poor hygiene, secrecy, and hostility are often signs of family problems and may indicate a child is being neglected or physically, sexually, or emotionally abused.
  5. Report abuse. If you witness a child being harmed or see evidence of abuse, make a report to your state’s child protective services department or local police. When talking to a child about abuse, listen carefully, assure the child that he or she did the right thing by telling an adult, and affirm that he or she is not responsible for what happened.
  6. Invest in kids. Encourage leaders in the community to be supportive of children and families. Ask employers to provide family-friendly work environments. Ask your local and national lawmakers to support legislation to better protect our children and to improve their lives.

Talking about child abuse is the best way to prevent it. You can build these conversations into everyday moments to create trust, warmth and comfort around a serious topic. Just like any safety topic you discuss at home, you can teach your child age-appropriate body safety rules.

If you know or suspect abuse is happening, please call your county to report, or call Childhelp (800-422-4453) for assistance.

Additional Resources:

Summer Camps

a summer camp image with a sun and water

It is officially April!

The weather is warming up, days are getting longer, and we have just a couple of months left in the school year!

Now is a great time to be thinking about how to keep your kids engaged with learning and enrichment over summer break.  

Check out this list of camps published by the Star Tribune. There’s a handy search bar to curate a list of camps suitable for your family, based on the type of activity, age and grade of your student, and price level. 

Minnesota State also provides a database of summer camps specifically for middle and high school students. There are a variety of academic and athletic camp opportunities hosted on a Minnesota State college or university campus. 

A Note from Nurse Cassie

a portrait of Cassie JohnsonDear Parents,

As part of our ongoing commitment to the health of our students, we would like to take a moment to clarify our procedures regarding when students may need to be sent home from school by the Health Office, and when they are allowed to come to and remain in school.

When Students May Need to Go Home:

Our Health Office is equipped to assess and address various health concerns that students may experience during the school day. There are several situations in which the Health Office may determine that it is necessary for a student to be sent home:

  • Communicable Illness: If a student is exhibiting symptoms of a contagious illness, such as a fever or stomach virus, they may be sent home to prevent the spread of illness to other students and staff members. If this happens, the Health Office will call you. 
  • Serious Injury or Accident: In the event of a significant injury or accident, the Health Office will assess the student’s condition and determine whether they require further medical attention or need to be sent home for rest and recovery. If this happens, the Health Office will call you. 
  • Inability to Participate in Learning: If a student is feeling unwell to the extent that they are unable to actively participate in classroom activities and their learning experience is significantly impacted, the Health Office may recommend that they go home to rest and recuperate. This often happens when your student has visited the Health Office several times in one day, or if their teachers notice an unusual change in demeanor.

Communication with Parents:

In all instances where a student is sent home from school by the Health Office, parents will be promptly notified. If your student is calling you on their own, oftentimes it is because there is not a medical indication for them to go home, but instead that they desire to leave. We must have accurate contact information for all students on file to ensure efficient communication in these situations. We appreciate your cooperation in keeping this information up to date.

When Students Are Allowed to Come to and Stay in School:

We understand that there may be occasions when students request to go home without involving the Health Office; however, it is crucial for the safety and well-being of all students that any health concerns be communicated to the appropriate school staff.

Students should not leave school grounds without proper authorization from school personnel. Suppose a student is feeling unwell or experiencing any health-related issues during the school day. In that case, they should report to the Health Office, where trained staff members can assess their condition and provide appropriate care.

Encouraging Open Communication:

We encourage parents to discuss with their children the importance of communicating any health-related concerns or issues they may be experiencing during the school day. By working together to ensure open communication between students, parents, and school staff, we can best support the health and well-being of our school community.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Health Office.


Cassie Johnson, RN

School Nurse

DaVinci Academy of Arts and Science


Volunteer Spotlight

Samuel family portraitMeet our Next Featured Volunteer: Kristina Samuel!

Why did you decide to start volunteering at DaVinci?: I started volunteering as a way to show appreciation to the teachers and staff who put in extra effort to make school positive and meaningful for students. I also volunteer so I can be a bright spot in the students’ day and be an encouragement. 

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at DaVinci? I enjoy getting to know all the students better and seeing them support each other and grow. 

What is your favorite volunteer activity?: I enjoy all the volunteer activities, but spending time in the classroom is my favorite because I can work individually and in small groups with the students. Davinci students are amazing people.

Thank you Kristina for all that you contribute to the DaVinci community – We appreciate you!


We need volunteers for a few different events around the building, one of them being hallway monitors for MCA testing, which is happening now.  Please click here for a current list of volunteer opportunities, and to sign up to help out!  Thank you!

Girls on the Run - Spring Program

a picture of Girls on the Run group

There are still spots available for the Spring GOTR program at DaVinci!  Practices began April 1st, but registration is open until April 12th!!  Practices will run every Monday and Wednesday from 3:30-5:00 pm.  This group is so much more than about running!  If you have a student in grades 3-5 who would benefit from learning some positive self-talk and affirmation, all while having FUN, then this is the perfect opportunity!

Generous scholarships are available!  Don’t let cost be a deterrent! 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.

Dear 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 May 10th-we’re going to make DaVinci GLOW with Middle School spirit!
  2. End of Year Carnival: Save the date for June 7th! We’ll blast into Summer Fun with food trucks, bouncy houses, a book fair, music, and more!
  3. April DaVinci Dinner Night Out!: Monday, April 22nd from 5-7 pm at Culver’s in Blaine!  DaVinci PTO will receive 10% of all proceeds during that time frame. Present this flier upon ordering!
  4. Thank you to everyone who participated in the Texas Roadhouse rolls/butter orders and Gerten’s Plant Sale Fundraisers!  Both were successful in contributing to our earnings and ability to help support our teachers! Remember that the plants from Gerten’s will be delivered to DaVinci on Wednesday, May 1st (time TBD). 

Your DaVinci PTO

Spring Intersession - May 13-16

Intersession 2024 takes place Monday, May 13 through Thursday, May 16 from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm. DaVinci Academy’s intersession program offers students in all grades additional opportunities to grow and learn. Explore the intersession options on our school website here and be sure to register using the Infinite Campus School Store Wednesday, April 3-April 17. Intersession classes fill up fast… don’t delay!

Dear Edwina Jr. - Community Performances

You’re invited to see our spring musical production, Dear Edwina Jr! Join thirteen-year-old problem solver, Edwina, as she dishes out advice with the help of her friends and a little song and dance! Community performances are:

  • Friday, May 3 at 6:30 pm
  • Saturday, May 4 at 11:00 am.

See you there!

Community Theatre Opportunity

Auditions for Alice in Rockland, a Summer Theater production with Bach to Rock, will take place on May 1 at 6:30 pm. Click this link for more information!

Parking Lot Etiquette

Here is a friendly reminder about some of the parking lot rules during drop off.

  • When entering the lot, there are 2 lanes you can use to enter. 
  • You can use the East door to drop students off or the front door when there is space (please mind the stop/go sign).
  • When using the East door, pull all the way to the end of the sidewalk and move forward as far as you can – even when it is snowing or raining.
  • Students should NOT get out of their vehicle in the actual parking lot – only at the sidewalk or front door.
  • Drivers need to stay in their car. If you need to get out of your car to help your student out of the car, please park and have your student use the crosswalk.
  • Please be mindful of the crossing guard and the students crossing. 
  • Only TURN RIGHT when leaving the parking lot. 

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

With this year’s unpredictable winter weather, 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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