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What is a Charter School?

Charter schools are publicly funded, independent public schools that are operated in terms of a multi-year performance contract or "charter." They must meet state testing requirements and laws for health, safety and civil rights. Charter schools are new, innovative public schools that are accountable for student results. They are designed to deliver programs tailored to educational excellence and the needs of the communities they serve. Like other district public schools, they are funded according to enrollment (also called average daily attendance, or ADA), and receive funding from the district and the state according to the number of students attending.

What is project-based learning?

Project-based learning (PBL) is learn-by-doing curriculum that integrates core subjects with real-life problems to be solved. Teachers work in teams with one another to identify key California state standards and skills that need to be addressed at the grade-level. Then, teachers work backwards to plan their curriculum, striving to create a project that centers on a big idea and a real world connection. Students work in teams to create a final product that demonstrates mastery of content standards and a demonstration of key skills. One of the most important aspects of project-based learning is a public presentation of the work created, as assessment is based on students’ ability to articulate and demonstrate the content and skills learned. For a recent Engineering project, students learned about mechanics and motion, then constructed a Medieval-style Trebuchet to calculate the trajectory of a ball’s travel from its starting point to its ending point represented by a quadratic equation.

Are Da Vinci Schools accredited?

Yes!  Da Vinci Schools are fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC), certified by the California Charter Schools Association, and are a member of the Coalition of Essential Schools.

Who are the students and where are they coming from?

Da Vinci students come from all over Los Angeles. During the 2015-2016 school year, our students come from 84 different zip codes.

What is the enrollment process?

Enrollment in Da Vinci Schools shall be open to any resident of the state of California. Parents/or legal guardians must attend an Information Meeting as a required part of the application process. Student applicants are encouraged to attend but it is not required. Attending the Information Meeting will allow you to learn about our project-based learning curriculum and other programs, tour our campus, and meet our faculty and staff, students and families.

What is the lottery and how does it work?

As prescribed by state law, charter schools conduct an admissions lottery—a public random drawing—for available enrollment spaces as a way to ensure equal opportunity of access for all students. (At most charter schools, there are more applications than enrollment spaces available.) During the lottery, students are assigned enrollment spaces according to the order in which their lottery tickets are drawn. For example, the first ticket drawn places that student first on the enrollment list. Once all enrollment spaces have been filled, subsequent students are placed on a numbered waiting list to fill any vacancies that may arise.

Do some applicants receive a preference in admission?

As described in our charters, a lottery for both schools will be conducted with admissions preferences
as follows:

1. Students currently attending the school;
2. Students residing within the territorial jurisdiction of Wiseburn Unified;
3. Children of founders and teachers—this preference will be applied to no more than 10% of student
4. Siblings of students already attending or admitted to the school;
5. All others.

What happens to late applications?

Late applications go to the bottom of our wait list in the order they are received.

How will colleges view graduates from Da Vinci Schools?

The Da Vinci student is a holistic student who has met or surpassed the minimum core academic requirements necessary to make them competitive in the college review process. All students have the opportunity to take honors or early college classes. In addition to core academics, our students will have mastered the Habits of Mind: Perseverance, Collaboration, Evidence, and Perspective. During the junior year, students will have participated in an internship and by their senior year they will have spearheaded a senior project from conception to completion. 75% of the Class of 2015 was accepted into 4-year universities - a testament of our academic excellence.

Why choose Da Vinci Schools?
We offer a college preparatory education, an engaging hands-on curriculum, community partnerships with many local corporations, an Early College program, internships, a community where every student is known, seen and valued, and much more.   Please come to one of our Information Meetings or schedule a visit to learn more.  We look forward to meeting you!