Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to frequently asked questions as well as other general information about our school. If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, please call us at (763) 754-6577 or utilize our online contact form to send us a message and we’ll answer your questions!
General School Information
What is a charter school?admin
Minnesota charter schools are independent public schools started, governed and operated jointly by licensed teachers, parents, community members and an elected board of directors. They are part of the state public school system, but operate independently, as a separate school district. All charter schools in Minneosta are tuition‐free and are open to and welcome all students, no matter ability or need.
Minnesota was the birthplace of the charter movement. In 1991, the Minnesota Legislature passed the first charter school law in the nation. It was the beginning of a unique public school option that has grown steadily over the past two decades. As of August 2015, there are 165 charter schools in operation in the state. While over 60% of charters are located in the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area, there are charters in communities across the state.
Charter schools are non-profit organizations funded by state general education revenues. However, unlike traditional school districts, charter schools cannot initiate tax levies to generate additional funding. Charter schools are open to all students, and do not charge tuition.
Every charter school in Minnesota must be approved by the Minnesota Department of Education and have a sponsoring Authorizer, who is responsible for oversight of all school operations. Both of these entities monitor the charter school’s performance in meeting both academic and non-academic charter contract goals the school has established and they have approved. DaVinci Academy’s Authorizer is Friends of Education.
Charter schools offer a unique educational choice in terms of curriculum, instructional methodology and an overall learning experience focused on results. An effective charter school is designed to increase student achievement above the levels experienced in a traditional public school.
Charter School Basics
- Charter schools are tuition free public schools.
- Charter schools may not require entrance exams or requirements.
- Charter schools may not limit the admission of pupils on the basis of intellectual ability, measures of achievement or aptitude, or athletic ability.
- Charter schools must accept all students up to capacity. If there are more students than slots, the school must conduct a lottery.
- Charter schools are normally smaller in size than traditional public schools and usually have smaller class sizes.
- Charter schools receive less per pupil funding than traditional public schools; they may not levy property taxes, and receive no funding from local property taxes.
- Charter schools are formed and operate as Minnesota non‐profit corporations.
- Charter schools boards enter into a legally binding charter contract with an authorizer.
- Charter school teachers must hold a valid Minnesota teaching license.
What makes DaVinci Academy different from other schools?adminOur focus on the Core Knowledge Sequence and differentiated instruction, together with a small community environment, where parents have the opportunity to become true partners in their child’s education, is only part of what sets DaVinci Academy apart from other schools. A curriculum that focuses on art and science and positive reinforcement strategies add to the unique attributes of our school. DaVinci Academy also provides students with opportunities to connect with the community by hosting annual science and art fairs and through group service projects.
What are DaVinci Academy’s hours and school calendar?adminDaVinci Academy’s school day begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m. We utilize a modified year-round schedule such that students start school the second week in August and continue through the third week of June each year, with approximately 6 weeks for a summer break. This schedule assures that students retain more over the summer break and it limits the time in the fall for gearing up and re-teaching before moving forward in the curriculum. The school provides shorter, more frequent breaks during the school year; and, these breaks benefit students as they allow time for administration and teachers to review data, refresh lesson plans based on that data, and prepare for the next unit of instruction. Students and teachers alike are rejuvenated by the regular breaks. We also offer an Intersession week each year school year. View our Academic Calendar for dates.
Who to contact for specific requestsadmin
Please contact your child’s classroom teacher first for specific requests. For additional needs you can contact the administration as follows.