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In This Issue
Northrop Grumman Innovation Lab Opens On Campus
Supporting the Needs of Students at Both Ends of the Spectrum
State Schools Chief Visits Da Vinci Schools
New Student Registration Day
Community Partner Spotlight - Vistamar School
Make a Gift and Make a Difference
Project Focus: Seeing With Different Eyes

1 - New Teacher Information Meeting
6 pm

2 Coffee with the Principal 9 am

8 Parent Association Meeting 6 pm

12 School Holiday

14 Happy Valentine's Day

15 School Holiday

16 - Cafe con la directora 9 am

20 New Student Registration Day 9 am - 2 pm

25 Community Service Fair


Parents and Guardians, Don't forget to complete your service hour requirements of 25 hours per year (per family)
and support
Da Vinci Schools by volunteering on campus.

We especially need volunteers in the following areas:

After School Clean-Up 4-5pm daily

Be an advisor to an
after school club

For a list of clubs, click here

Computer Lab
M-Thur, 7:30-9 am
Fri 8:00-9:40 am

If you are interested in volunteering or need more information, please
email us at info@davincischools.org

Community Service Fair

February 25, 2010

Learning by Serving is integral to the mission of Da Vinci Schools, and already many of our students have participated in meaningful service projects.

On Feb. 25, students will have the opportunity to learn more about local volunteer opportunities
at our first annual
Community Service Fair. Representatives from several nonprofit agencies and service organizations will be on hand to discuss

volunteer opportunities.
Don't miss it!


Students enrolled in
Da Vinci Schools are required to perform a minimum of 25 hours of community service
each year.



Students have been busy collecting money and cases of water to support earthquake relief in Haiti. The money will be donated to the Red Cross Haiti relief efforts. The water will be picked up by the National Guard. Thank you, students, for all you have done and continue to do to help those in need!

Our Community Partners

Belkin International, Inc.

The Boeing Company

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo



High Tech High

Los Angeles Small School Center

LMU School of Education


Northrop Grumman

Otis College of Art & Design


reDiscover Center

Studio Printing



Vistamar School

Quick Links

Our Web Site


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Da Vinci Schools
13500 Aviation Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA 90250

(310) 725-5800

Matthew Wunder, Ed.D. Executive Director

Nicole Tempel


Dear Da Vinci Families and Friends:

These are exciting times at Da Vinci Schools!

Last week, we celebrated the grand opening of the Northrop Grumman Innovation Lab.Thank you, Northrop Grumman, for supporting tomorrow's innovators and turning your vision into reality by funding, designing and building this magnificent media facility for our students. The Innovation Lab showcases the best of what can be accomplished with partnerships between our schools and the business community.To take a video tour of the Northrop Grumman Innovation Lab, click here.

We began the new semester with a full-week of professional development for our teachers focusing on differentiated instruction and meeting the learning needs of all students, including our highest achieving students.

The state's top educator, Jack O'Connell, visited and toured Da Vinci Schools in mid-January, saying Da Vinci Schools should be a model for other public schools in the state.

We had standing-room-only crowds at our recent admissions events. A record-number 585 students applied for admission to Da Vinci Schools for the 2010-2011 school year.

Our inaugural Annual Giving Campaign has raised $30,000 to date.Thank you to everyone who has contributed! Help us reach our goal of 100% participation -- every dollar counts and only TOGETHER can we make a difference!

To learn more about these exciting events and the latest happenings at Da Vinci Schools, please read on.

Thank you for being part of the Da Vinci Schools community. Please contact us anytime to share your comments, concerns or questions -- these are your schools.


Matthew Wunder, Ed.D.
Executive Director
Northrop Grumman Innovation Lab
Opens On Campus

On January 27, Da Vinci Schools and officials from Northrop Grumman hosted a grand opening event, officially dedicating the new Northrop Grumman Innovation Lab at Da Vinci Schools. More than 300 company executives, public officials, Wiseburn School District officials, and Da Vinci Schools board members, faculty, staff and students attended the opening that showcased the new state-of-the-art media lab, where students will have access to the latest technology, including laptop computers, video cameras and television monitors. The Innovation Lab is organized into centers (Research and Development, Design and Simulation, Collaboration Corner and Project Place) allowing students to relate classroom projects to real-world problems, working in groups to come up with meaningful solutions.

To read a recent Daily Breeze article about the opening of the Northrop Grumman Innovation Lab,
click here.

The Innovation Lab would not be possible without the tremendous dedication, skill and support of many people at Northrop Grumman: Art Lofton, Vice President and Chief Information Officer; Gary Ervin, Corporate Vice President and Sector President; Rick Johansson, Director of Information Technology; Scott Sommer, Operations and Administration Manager; Kent Myers, Senior Division Network Manager; and countless other Northrop employees who have logged over 1,000 hours of volunteer labor. Under the long-term partnership with Da Vinci Schools, Northrop Grumman engineers and scientists also are serving as mentors and subject matter experts supporting students and our schools' project-based learning curriculum.

We would also like to express our sincere appreciation to the following companies for their generous donations of their products and services: Absolute Software, Adobe, AGI, AutoDesk, Belkin International, Best Buy, Bowman Design Group, Cadence Design Systems, CCS, Dassault Systemes, DIRECTV, ExhibitCorp, Google, IKEA, KST Data, MathWorks, MSC Software, Mentor Graphics, Microsoft, Modern Line Furniture, MSC, Rhinoceros, Safe Cities Foundation, Siemens, Tek Panel, TRIL, VMware, Wolfram Research, and Xerox.

And a very special thank you to Chet Pipkin for his generous support and leadership.

Check out our new state-of-the-art Innovation Lab
located at Da Vinci Schools.

Northrop Grumman Innovation Lab

The Northrop Grumman Innovation Lab @ Da Vinci Schools
Supporting the Needs of Students at Both Ends of the Spectrum

From the Principal - Nicole Tempel

One of the benefits of teaching and working at Da Vinci Schools is being part of a learning community that is truly committed to collaboration and excellence in teaching. We know the success of our students rests in part on the shoulders of our teachers to provide learning opportunities that challenge, support and engage all students. That is why, as a staff, we dedicate much of our time to professional development. Together, we collaborate, plan, implement, reflect, evaluate and then plan some more so that we may continually improve instruction. For our new teachers, we hold 3 days of professional development before summer begins. Every teacher participates in 18 days of professional development throughout the year plus 5 1/2 hours per week in addition to a daily one-hour planning period to ensure that every student who graduates from Da Vinci Schools is college-ready, career-prepared, and community-minded.

In January, we held an intensive week-long professional development workshop focused on meeting the curricular and instructional needs of both slower and faster learners. Each teaching team planned and prepared their next interdisciplinary unit and project addressing a mixed-ability classroom. We worked on differentiating instruction, flexible grouping, tiered assignments, and other specialized strategies to ensure that all students can show what they know. At the end of our week together, each teaching team presented projects to challenge students at a basic level, mid-level and advanced level depending on their individual strengths, needs, and learning styles.

It was an extraordinarily productive week focused on promoting challenging instruction for all students. We benefited greatly from the experience and wisdom of Dan Charlin (Raytheon), Dr. Jeff Phillips (LMU College of Science & Engineering), Kathy Clemmer (LMU Center for Math and Science Teaching), Dr. Barbara Christie (LMU Science and Engineering Community Outreach Program), and Lynn Kim-John (Agile Mind), who were on hand for the project presentations to offer constructive feedback.

This semester, there will be many other signs of our commitment to academic excellence for all students. We have adopted digital math and physics resources that students will use both on campus and from home. We are also kicking off our Early College program with classes beginning in February. In addition, we are offering various elective classes for advanced studies (advanced Spanish, advanced art, robotics etc.) and extra support classes (such as math and English intervention).

We are deeply committed to ensuring that every student who graduates from Da Vinci Schools is fully prepared for college and to meet the challenges of the 21st century global workplace.

Thank you for your continual support of Da Vinci Schools.

State Schools Chief Jack O'Connell
Visits Da Vinci Schools

The state's top educator, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell, recently visited Da Vinci Schools and toured the campus with school leaders and Wiseburn School District officials by his side, resulting in a Daily Breeze news article, State superintendent O'Connell visits Hawthorne schools.

"I'm very impressed," O'Connell said while standing in the Northrop Grumman Innovation Lab. "It's a school preparing students for success not just in school, but in the workplace," O'Connell said, adding that Da Vinci Schools should be a model for other public schools in the state.


Joining California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell (3rd from right) are: Tom Cox, Wiseburn School District Chief Business Officer; Steve Wallis, Da Vinci Science Assistant Principal; Chet Pipkin, Belkin International Chairman and Founder and Board President of Da Vinci Schools; Nicole Tempel, Da Vinci Schools Principal; Dr. Tom Johnstone, Wiseburn School District Superintendent; and Dr. Matthew Wunder, Da Vinci Schools Executive Director. Not pictured: Erin Hughes, Da Vinci Design Assistant Principal.
New Student Registration Day

Thank you to all families who applied for admission for the 2010-2011 school year. We had 585 total applicants as of Jan. 21 with more coming in each day.

Students who have been offered enrollment for the 2010-2011 school year must complete the Registration Form and bring in all required documentation to our Registration Day on Saturday, February 20, 2010, between the hours of 9 am to 2 pm at Da Vinci Schools.

If you are offered enrollment, but do not register on Registration Day, your space will be given to a student on the waiting list.

For more information, please visit our FAQ Enrollment page or contact us at (310) 725-5800.
Community Partner Spotlight

Vistamar logo

Da Vinci Schools and the Wiseburn School District have developed a cooperative partnership with
Vistamar School unlike any other public-private school joint venture. Typically, well-funded private schools like Vistamar have provided services or developed programs for less well-funded public schools as a community service.

The relationship between Da Vinci Schools, the Wiseburn School District and Vistamar School is different. The three have developed a highly collaborative partnership combining and sharing the expertise and resources of each to serve all their students.

The Wiseburn School District, established in 1896, welcomed Vistamar to the area when it opened to students in September 2005. Vistamar enjoys significant in-house expertise, but does not have athletic fields or a gymnasium typical of more mature schools. When Vistamar needed playing fields, the Wiseburn School District let Vistamar use theirs. When the Wiseburn School District needed additional storage and maintenance space, Vistamar allowed the maintenance and operations staff to relocate to an unoccupied warehouse on Vistamar property, providing space essentially rent-free and saving the district tens of thousands of dollars. Vistamar high school students regularly tutor Dana Middle School students and participate in a weekly "Readers are Leaders" program at Cabrillo Elementary School. High achieving Wiseburn students have enrolled in advanced math classes at Vistamar.

The partnership between Da Vinci Schools and Vistamar School has been based on common values and community from the beginning, with each school being fully committed to the success of the other. Our friends at Vistamar introduced us to Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, where we met our future principal, Nicole Tempel. They provided us with office space when we had none. Vistamar administrators Jim Buckheit, Jean Campbell and Stefanie Knutson have shared invaluable technical expertise with us in the areas of strategic and operational planning, as well as budget development. Dr. Dan Golden, Vistamar's Director of Life Planning & Experiential Learning, graciously invited Da Vinci students to the Vistamar College Admissions Fair in October, where about 70 of our students met with recruiters and alumni from top universities. Jim Drennen, Vistamar's Athletic Director, helped us start our intramural sports program. The two schools are sharing an academic counselor, Brianna Shepard, and an art teacher, Mari Kono. We have also benefited from the expertise of Ryan Tillson in Admissions, Erin Tyner in Development, and Joe Landers in Facilities.

We hope to do more together. We have offered our Early College program to Vistamar students, and we will work to connect students from both schools with meaningful community service projects so they may explore and develop their leadership skills and make a positive impact in society.

We are truly grateful for the genuine partnership we have with Vistamar School. We know we are better off together than we were ever on our own.

Founded in 2005 in the South Bay of Los Angeles, Vistamar School is an independent, co-ed, day school for grades 9-12. To learn more about Vistamar School, visit
Make a Gift and Make a Difference

Investing In Excellence

The Annual Giving Campaign is Da Vinci's only fundraiser of the year. We will not ask you to sell cookie dough, gift wrap, magazines or any other products.
The money raised from the Campaign goes directly to funding internships and mentoring programs; classroom laptops and software; field trips to public and private colleges; and project-based learning materials for each teaching team.

Help us reach our goal of 100% participation.

The suggested donation amount for the 2009-2010 school year is $365 per family (only $1 per day).

Every gift, no mater how large or small, makes a difference.
Make yours today!

Gifts can be made in any number of ways, including by check, Visa, MasterCard or AMEX. You may send your gift by mail to Da Vinci Schools, 13500 Aviation Blvd., Hawthorne, CA 90250.

click here to make a gift online or download a donation form/pledge card if you wish to pay in installments.

Many local companies have MATCHING GIFT PROGRAMS that can double or even triple your gift. Find out today if your company has a matching gift program. If they do, simply obtain a form from the company's HR office, complete it, and send it to us. We'll take care of the rest!

For more information about our Annual Giving Campaign, please visit our
FAQ page or contact Sara Deulofeu at (310) 725-5800 or giving@davincischools.org.

Thank you for your generous support!
Seeing With Different Eyes: Individuals with Special Needs

eyesPROJECT FOCUS: Da Vinci Design students are reading Mark Haddon's debut novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, an old fashioned murder mystery and a contemporary coming-of-age story told through the eyes of a 15-year-old autistic boy obsessed with Sherlock Holmes. Students are honing their reading, writing and critical thinking skills, emphasizing literary analysis and criticism while learning more about the real-world challenges that face an autistic teenager. As part of the project, students will also write a children's book with a plot structure that promotes awareness of individuals with special needs. The project also has a required service learning element. On February 27, Da Vinci Design students will  participate in the Southern California Polar Plunge to benefit the Special Olympics. Students will be taking a plunge in the chilly Pacific to raise money for the Special Olympics. Team Da Vinci's goal is to raise $3,600. The plunge begins at 10 am at Zuma Beach - Lifeguard Tower 9. The Zuma Beach event is one of about 12 similar events scheduled statewide to raise money for the Special Olympics. We hope you will join us!

To support Team Da Vinci and raise money for the Southern California Special Olympics, click