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In This Issue
Project Exhibition Nights -- A Huge Success!
Adult Volunteers Needed for Student-Run Clubs
2nd Semester College Classes & Seminar Menu
Clean Up Day - Dec. 18
Enrollment Information for 2011-2012
Assembly Bill 354 Requires Whooping Cough Immunization
Annual Giving Update

Happy Holidays

December 6-10
Portfolio Defense Week

December 9
Enrollment Information Mtn
6-8 pm

December 14
Family Association Group Meeting

December 15

Student vs. Staff Football Game (Dana)
4:30 pm

December 17
Da Vinci Rock 'n Skate Fundraiser (Toyota Center)
7:30-9:30 pm

December 18

Clean-Up Day

December 20 - January 7
Winter Break

January 10
Semester 2 Begins

January 13
Enrollment Information Mtn
6-8 pm

January 19
Mandatory College Night for 10th Grade Families
6 pm

January 22
Enrollment Information Mtn
10am - Noon

February 9
Mandatory College Night for 9th Grade Families

Rock 'n Skate Fundraiser

ice skating

Friday, Dec. 17
7:30-9:30 pm
Cost: $10 ea
Toyota Sports Center
555 North Nash St.
El Segundo, CA

Don't miss our first annual Rock 'n Skate
to raise funds for Da Vinci's spring formal dance next semester.  Two hour session
includes skate rental,
DJ and light show!!
Families are welcome.

Hope to see you there!!

Our Community Partners
(partial list)

Art Center College of Design

Belkin International, Inc.

The Boeing Company
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo


El Camino College


The Getty

Grandparents as Parents
High Tech High


Los Angeles Small School Center


Northrop Grumman
Otis College of Art and Design

reDiscover Center

Studio Printing



Vistamar School

West L.A. College

Free and Reduced Lunch

Lunch time

Families need to reapply each year for the Free and Reduced Meal Program. 
If you have not done so, please follow the instructions for completing the online application.

Da Vinci Schools
13500 Aviation Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA  90250

(310) 725-5800

Matthew Wunder, Ed.D.
Executive Director

Nicole Tempel, Ed.D.


Dear Da Vinci Community:


As the year draws to a close, we celebrate with pride and thanks, and reflect on the many successes at Da Vinci Schools.
  • A culture of success where faculty and staff make every major decision by asking "How will our students benefit?" We are deeply grateful for our exceptional teachers who strive to cultivate the talents and abilities of each and every student and provide them with a personalized education that prepares them well for college and 21st century careers.
  • The support of our families, authorizing district, Board of Trustees, community friends, donors and volunteers who play a vital role in supporting our mission.
  • An unprecedented level of support and collaboration by more than 75 community partners who provide direct funding, in-kind support, academic mentoring, internships, industry-specific curriculum, teacher training, career guidance, job shadowing experiences, volunteer support, strategic business advice, and much more. 
  • The passage of Measure AA in the Nov. 2 election.  We are humbled and grateful to the Wiseburn citizens who approved a $87 million school bond measure to open a state-of-the-art high school facility to serve the families of our education community. 
  • The launching of new opportunities at Da Vinci Design, including a Design Certificate Program. In October, Design students visited the workplaces of several of Da Vinci's design partners, including Belkin, Otis College of Art and Design, The Getty, Northrop Grumman and Gensler, to see the design process in action, learn about the wide range of career opportunities available to them, and discover why "design thinking" and innovation are essential for business success.
  • The appointment of Academic Dean Colleen O'Boyle to develop and oversee our College Counseling, Early College and Internship programs. Ms. O'Boyle is in the process of rolling out Naviance Family Connection, a web-based tool for students and their families to research colleges and careers, track applications and scholarship opportunities.  Naviance is being funded by gifts to the Making Dreams Come True Campaign.  
  • New after-school sports and performing arts opportunities, as well as the appointment of Athletic Director Sergio Siderman and Head Football Coach Justin Hart.
  • The launch of a completely redesigned Da Vinci website at www.davincischools.org.  We invite you to read about some of our remarkable students in our Student Profiles feature, find out more about Project-Based Learning, and get the latest Enrollment information for the 2011-2012 school year. 
  • Full accreditation by the Western Association of Colleges and Universities (WASC).
We are dedicated to instilling in our students a love of learning by providing them with a place where education is engaging, rigorous, relevant and personal.

On behalf of all of us at Da Vinci Schools, thank you for supporting us, now and into the future.

Happy Holidays!

Wunder signature
Matthew Wunder, Ed.D.
Executive Director

Project Exhibition Nights -- A Huge Success!
Elaborate projects, mixed media, and unbridled enthusiasm abounded at Da Vinci Schools' first Project Exhibition Nights of the new school year held on Nov. 17-18. More than 1,000 people attended the two nights of Exhibitions, where students from Da Vinci Design and Da Vinci Science presented their major projects from the first semester to a caring audience of families, staff, industry professionals, and community friends.

Exhibitions are an important component of project-based learning and assessment, and provide a comprehensive view of each student's knowledge and mastery of the state curriculum, as well as the 21st century skills that are vital to academic and lifelong success. Using oral presentations and digital portfolios, students demonstrated how they were able to tackle real-world problems requiring critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, effective communication, and other essential skills.

We are extremely proud of our students for taking ownership of their learning and for producing beautiful work of lasting value.

We wish to thank everyone who attended the Exhibitions -- and especially the many volunteers who rolled up their sleeves to help us prepare for this important event.

Roller CoasterRoller Coaster Project
9th grade Design students Brittany G., Dominique M. and Taylar B. exhibit their Roller Coaster Project.  As part of the project, students learned about velocity, acceleration, momentum, gravity, and kinetic and potential energy. 

Invention ExhibitionInvention Project
10th Grade Science student Melissa R. displays her detachable Da Vinci collar for the Invention project. Students created their own inventions, drafted business plans, made working models, and explained their invention's connection to the Industrial Revolution.

The City ExhibitionThe City Project
9th Grade Science students Sarah B. and Nicolaas V. exhibit their eco-friendly city called "Necco" as part of The City project. Students worked as city planners to design and build cities of the future taking into consideration the environment and the effects of the human and carbon footprint.  This project combined elements of social studies, language arts, science, and mathematics.  Students showcased a blueprint of their city design, an information brochure, and a resume and cover letter.

IR MuseumIndustrial Revolution Museum Project
Design students Edward S., Alfredo P., Kevin N.and Carlos M. showcase the advancements in art as part of the Industrial Revolution Museum project.  Students studied how the changes taking place all across Europe in the 1800s influenced every aspect of life, including art.

Exhibition TrebuchetTrebuchet Project
Kaylean G., an 11th grade Science student, discusses her Trebuchet project with parent Janice Byrd.  As part of this project, students designed and built medieval-style Trebuchets and learned about parabolas and how to factor and solve quadratic equations.

The Engineering City Project
Engineering City Exhibition
9th graders William T., Absadi K. and Oscar H. present their sustainable city called "Los Santos." Their city featured solar hydroelectricity, electric powered buses and miles of bike paths. As part of this project, students learned geometry concepts such as lines, angles, angle relationships and intersections.

Casino InventionCasino Project
Micah J. exhibits his Ring Toss as part of Casino Night.  Students presented a casino game and described the basics of theoretical and experimental probability theory.

Come see our real-world "learn by doing" curriculum for yourself.  We offer an exciting learning environment where education is rigorous, relevant, personal and fun!

Adult Volunteers Needed for Student-Run Clubs
There are still six student-run clubs that do not Volunteerhave an adult advisor. These clubs cannot exist without adult supervision.  Most clubs meet after school from 4-5 pm.  No experience is needed, just your time!!

Rock Band

These students are hoping that Christmas comes early this year and someone will step up to help them.  Please contact Kendra Janes at KendraJanes@att.net if you are able to make their wish come true.
2nd Semester College Classes & Seminar Menu
We are excited to offer an array of college level and seminar classes for the 2nd semester that begins Jan. 10. 

As part of our Early College program, we are offering two new college classes:  Film and Photography taught through El Camino College.  Students from both schools can earn up to 3 college units per course.  Courses are offered to all students but priority will be given to upperclassmen. The classes are taught on the Da Vinci campus by El Camino faculty at no cost to families. Students who are enrolled in Early College classes earn college credit through dual enrollment while they simultaneously work toward their high school diploma.  Students interested in enrolling in an Early College class must be passing all of their current Da Vinci classes. If your student is interested in taking a course on the El Camino College campus, please contact Colleen O'Boyle who can assist you.  Ms. O'Boyle can be reached at coboyle@davincischools.org or 310-725-5800. 


Our seminar classes (similar to electives) were made available to students this week. We are offering many great courses for 2nd semester, including Broadcast Journalism,  Robotics, Drama, Yearbook, SAT Prep, Leadership, Introduction to Engineering, Principles of Design, Financial Literacy, Tech Team and more!

Clean Up Day - Saturday, Dec. 18

Spring CleaningWHAT:   
Clean Up Day
N:    Sat., Dec. 18
9 am to Noon

Da Vinci Schools

Please join us for our semi-annual school Clean Up Day to get our campus in top shape for the 2nd semester. We'll be cleaning classrooms, picking up trash, pulling weeds, and more.

You will receive service hours credit for your time. We thank you!    

Ages 10 and up only, please.

Clean Up Supplies Needed

dust pans
All-purpose cleaners such as 409
trash bags
paper towels

We could also use water donations for our Very Important Volunteers! 

Hope to see you there!
Enrollment Information for 2011-2012
Thank you for your interest in Da Vinci Schools!  

Parents or legal guardians must attend an Information Meeting as a required part of the application process. Information meetings are designed to provide prospective students and their families with both a general introduction to Da Vinci Schools and specific information about our project-based curriculum, application process, student life and other programs. It is also a great opportunity to meet and talk with current families, faculty, and administrators. Student applicants are encouraged to attend. You do not need to RSVP.

All meetings will take place at Da Vinci Schools. For more enrollment information, please visit our Enrollment FAQs.

Information Meeting Schedule

Thursday, December 9, 2010 / 6:00 to 8:00 pm

Thursday, January 13, 2011 / 6:00 to 8:00 pm

Saturday, January 22, 2011 / 10:00 am to 12 Noon

Thursday, February 3, 2011 / 6:00 to 8:00 pm

Saturday, February 12, 2011 / 10:00 am to 12 Noon

Lottery Deadline
The lottery deadline is Wednesday, February 16, 2011, at 4:00 pm. Earlier submissions are appreciated. Late applications will be placed at the end of the wait list.

Lottery Date
A public lottery will take place on Thursday, February 17, 2011, at 6:00 pm. Families do not need to be present at the lottery.

Registration Date
A notification letter of your child's place on the enrollment list or waiting list will be mailed to you within one week of the lottery date. Students who are offered enrollment must complete the Registration Form and bring in all required documentation to our Registration Day on Saturday, March 5, 2011 (time and location will be mailed out in advance). If you are offered enrollment, but do not register on the designated Registration Day, your space will be given to a student on the waiting list. If you are placed on the waiting list and an enrollment space opens up for you, you will be notified.
Assembly Bill 354 Requires Whooping Cough Immunization
Students entering 7th through 12th grades for the 2011-2012 school year will be required to receive the Tdap booster shot against pertussis (whooping cough) as a result of the passage of Assembly Bill 354. Da Vinci Schools are requiring that families provide a photocopy of the proof to the school office before July 1, 2011.

The new law:
* Begins July 1, 2011
* Will be met by receiving one dose of Tdap vaccine on or after the student's 10th birthday
* Applies to all public and private schools
* Does not affect students enrolled in summer school

Exemptions are allowed for verified medical conditions or personal beliefs.

If your child has not been vaccinated with a Tdap booster since his or her 10th birthday, PLEASE begin this process now!  We thank you in advance for your attention to this important matter.

For general information about whooping cough, please visit the California Department of Public Health website. Updates on implementing this new law will be posted later in the 2010-2011 school year.

Annual Giving Update
Congratulations to the Da Vinci community for a great kick-off to the 2010-2011 Making Dreams Come True Campaign. We are proud to report that as of November 30, 2010, we have raised $23,345 in gifts and pledges. So far, 86 families, staff, board members and community supporters have generously contributed to the Campaign. We are on our way to our goal of $75,000.  Every gift makes a difference!

The Need is Real

Your gift is crucial: the state's budget crisis has resulted in a $700,000 funding loss to Da Vinci Schools. Making Dreams Come True is our top fundraising priority and the fundraiser we ask EVERY family to support.

Please help us reach our goal of 100% participation. 

Our 34 volunteers for the Annual Giving Campaign are personally reaching out to every Da Vinci family to ask for your support.

Your tax-deductible gift will be used to establish a comprehensive college and career counseling program; purchase Naviance Family Connection, a powerful web-based tool for students and families to research colleges and careers, track applications and scholarship opportunities; fund internships and college visits; and purchase project-based learning materials for each teaching team.

Whether you are able to give $365 per family (the suggested donation amount) or any amount, every gift matters.

Ways To Give

Drop off your donation in the main office
By phone, call (310) 725-5800
By mail
Monthly giving
Pledge now, give later
Matching Gifts
Share your time

Download a printable donation form/pledge card here.

If you have any questions or experience any difficulties making a gift, please contact Sara Deulofeu at (310) 725-5800 or email us at giving@davincischools.org.

All gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.  Da Vinci Schools are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Thank you for your generous support!