DaVinci Connection – June 14, 2024

A Note from Jack Shields

photo of Jack Shields

As we close out the 23-24 school year, I want to thank all of you for entrusting DaVinci Academy as your partner in the education of your students. Throughout this year, I’ve observed students doing amazing things both in the classroom and outside. Our students have grown academically, socially, and emotionally. I’ve seen teachers and staff pour into the students, balancing high expectations with care and love. My encouragement to all families is to take this summer to enjoy being together, play outside as much as possible, and try to read for enjoyment for 15 minutes several days a week.

As I finish my time at DaVinci, I want to thank all of you for your support over the last six years. I will miss the DaVinci family and take many great memories with me.

Jack Shields, Interim Executive Director and Middle School Principal


Celebrating our Year and Growing Together!

We want to express our deepest gratitude for your continued support and engagement. It has been a remarkable year filled with learning, growth, and countless memorable experiences.

Thank You for a Wonderful Year Your partnership and dedication to the DaVinci community have been instrumental in creating a nurturing and dynamic environment for our students. From volunteering at school events to supporting your children’s education at home, your involvement has made a significant difference. We are immensely grateful for your trust and commitment.

The Power of Word of Mouth As we look forward to the coming year, we are excited about the possibilities and new faces that will join our DaVinci Academy family. One of the most effective ways we can grow our community is through your word of mouth. Your recommendations are invaluable in helping us reach potential new students and families who can benefit from the unique educational experience we offer.

Spread the Word We encourage you to share your positive experiences with friends, neighbors, and acquaintances who might be considering new educational opportunities for their children. Whether it’s at church, youth sports, scouts, or other community activities, your endorsement can make a meaningful impact.

If you know of any families who are exploring school options, please invite them to visit DaVinci and see firsthand what makes our school special. We would love to welcome them and provide a tour to showcase our vibrant community, dedicated staff, and innovative programs.

Stay Connected As we enter the summer months, please stay connected with us through our social media channels and school website for updates and information about the upcoming school year. Your continued engagement is vital as we plan for another successful year ahead.

Thank you once again for an outstanding year. We look forward to seeing you in the fall and welcoming new families to our DaVinci community.

End-of-Year Family Survey

Each year, DaVinci Academy seeks feedback from parents and legal guardians through an end-of-the-year survey. Your participation is invaluable as we strive to continuously improve our services and support for our students and families.

Please take a few moments to share your thoughts with us. Your feedback helps us understand what aspects of our program are working well and where we can focus our attention for growth and enhancement. Responses will remain anonymous and confidential.

The survey comprises a combination of multiple-choice questions and opportunities to provide additional insights and suggestions within each section. It typically takes around 10 to 15 minutes to complete. The survey will be available until July 12, 2024.

We invite you to click on the following link to access the survey: [Link to Family Survey]

Thank you in advance for sharing your feedback on the 23-24 school year. Your contributions are immensely valuable to us as we work towards creating the best possible educational experience for our students.


A Note from Nurse Cassie

portrait of Cassie Johnson

Hello DaVinci Families,

As we come to a close on the current year and gear up for another exciting school year, the Health and School Counselor’s Offices are seeking your support to ensure that all our students have access to essential personal care items. We believe that every student deserves to feel their best, and having these necessities readily available can make a significant difference in their daily school experience.

We kindly request donations of the following personal care items:

  • Toothbrushes and travel-size toothpaste
  • Travel-size deodorant (non-aerosol)
  • Travel-size shampoo and conditioner
  • Travel-size soap and body wash
  • Travel-size lotion
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Hairbrushes, combs, and hair binders
  • Underwear and socks, of various sizes to fit Kindergarten through 8th Grade

Your generous contributions will directly benefit students in need, helping them to stay clean, comfortable, and confident throughout the school day.

Donations can be dropped off at the school office during regular school hours. We will be accepting items from now until the start of the school year. If you have any questions or need more information, please feel free to contact us.

Thank you in advance for your support and generosity. Together, we can ensure that every student has the resources they need to succeed.

Cassie Johnson, RN

School Nurse


PTO News

Group photo of DaVinci Academy's PTO committee.

The entire PTO Group would like to take a moment to thank all of our parents, teachers, staff, and volunteers for an amazing year. Because of everyone’s generous fundraising and volunteer efforts, we were able to offer an action-packed year full of many exciting events and cherished memories.

While it is easy to see the PTO in action by highlighting the large events, like the Middle School Party and End of the Year Carnival, it may be more difficult to see the day-to-day impact that the PTO has had on the DVA Community, and ultimately our children. This year’s fundraisers (Pizza/Butterbraids, Texas Roadhouse, and Gertens), monthly Dinner Night Out, and donations from the community helped us raise over $8,345. We used nearly $3,100 of these funds for monthly teacher classroom requests and other school activity needs. These funds also helped sponsor teacher conference meals, snack carts, the Middle School party, the carnival, and teacher appreciation week. Please refer to the DVA PTO website if you are interested in viewing more detailed information: Davinci Academy PTO – Home (weebly.com)

Our 2023-24 success depended on the entire DVA Community. We appreciate everyone who volunteered, donated to, or bought items from our fundraising events. Please accept our deepest thank you for making it an unforgettable year for the PTO.

Wishing you all a healthy, safe, and happy summer. See you in August (come find us at Open House)!

Summer Resources for Families

Summer imageSummer break starts next week! We care about you and your family and want to pass along resources to help our students be active, learn, and have lots of fun. 

Activities at home, or with family:

  • Check out this list of 100 Fun Summer Ideas for kids and families. See how many you can cross off before the weather turns cooler. 
  • Summer is the perfect time to get out and ride your bike! Biking is a great way to stay active and have fun (at all ages!). Check out Bikes 4 Kids if needing support in obtaining a bike for your child this summer.  
  • Check out these Printable coloring pages to keep kids occupied on rainy days.
  • Gardening can encourage kids to eat healthier, provides exercise, boosts confidence, teaches science, and relieves stress and anxiety. 
  • Make a difference! Volunteer as a family, or individually, to boost feel-good hormones and help others in need. It’s been a tough year for so many, and volunteering can benefit everyone involved!

In Your Community:

Looking for summer camp ideas?

Reading Opportunities

  • Check out the Anoka County Library Calendar for up-to-date information on in-person and virtual events happening throughout the summer.
  • Check out Barnes & Noble’s Summer Reading Program to see how your student can earn a free book this summer!

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)

  • Access the MN Dept of Education Resource for low-cost or free nutritious food options. 
  • Use these resources to find an SFSP site near you:
    • Click here for Anoka-Hennepin Summer Food Service Program sites
    • Download the Free Meals for Kids app provided by Hunger Impact Partners to your phone or device.
    • Food Resources and Programs
    • Community Food Calendar
    • Call the 211 Hotline. From a cell phone – Twin Cities Metro Area: 651-291-0211, Greater Minnesota: 1-800-543-7709, TTY: 651-291-8440.
    • Call the Minnesota Food HelpLine at 1-888-711-1151, available from Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Central Time.
    • Text “Food” to 877-877. Spanish speakers, text “comida” to 877-877.

Mental Health Support

  • 24/7 Mental Health Helpline
    • Anoka County: 763-755-3801
    • Ramsey County: 651-266-7878
    • Hennepin County: 612-348-2233
  • Crisis Text Line: Text MN to 741741
  • Crisis Lifeline / Suicide Prevention: Call 988

Have a great summer break!


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

Volunteer Corner

What a year we’ve had…and what an impact you’ve made! DaVinci Volunteers have donated over 5,000 hours of their time this year! That is 200+ full days of service that were so generously given to the students and staff here at DVA. You folks are nothing short of amazing! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

A couple of things to note before next year:

  • Background Checks are good for 2 years. If you aren’t sure of the status of your background check, please email me and I can look it up for you. New Volunteer Interest forms and Background Check forms will be available at the Open House on August 8th.
  • If you work for a company with a Matching Gift program, please let me know and I can print a report of your volunteer hours for you to submit to your company. Many companies offer programs that convert your volunteer hours into a monetary donation, which they then contribute to the school where you volunteered. Even if you’ve only volunteered a few hours, educational institutions can stretch money in amazing ways!

Volunteer opportunities happen even in the summer! As much as everyone might wish the summer could be endless, the Open House for the 2024-25 school year will be here before we know it. We always need help stuffing back-to-school folders, etc. before Open House, which is on August 4 this year. If you are interested in helping out with any summer tasks, please send me an email indicating your interest and I’ll send you a reminder as the end of the summer approaches.

Enjoy every minute of your summer! Take your kids on adventures, enjoy the sun and the rain, and relax and refresh before we see you again for the 2023-24 school year!

With Gratitude, Lindsey Gable

Have a Great Summer!

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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