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In This Issue
Da Vinci Design: Announcing New Programs, Design Symposium
An Overview of Da Vinci Academic Programs Workshop
Thank You to the 2010 Summer Interns!
Volunteer Opportunities
Mark Your Calendar


September 6
Labor Day:  No School

September 13
Professional Development: No School

September 14
Family Association Mtn  6pm

September 23
Back to School Night

October 5
Academic Programs Workshop:  "Achieving Academic Excellence Through Rigor, Relevance & Relationships"

October 13
PSAT Testing

October 14-15
Design Symposium

November 5
First School Dance

Our Community Partners

Art Center College of Design

Belkin International, Inc.

The Boeing Company
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo


El Camino College


Grandparents as Parents
High Tech High


Los Angeles Small School Center
LMU School of Education


Northrop Grumman
Otis College of Art and Design

reDiscover Center

Studio Printing



Vistamar School

West L.A. College

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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 Families & Friends,

Expanded Academic Programs

You may have noticed the extra energy and excitement at Da Vinci Schools. 

This summer, we welcomed more than 260 new students and 18 new teachers to the Da Vinci community.  We created a new Academic Dean position to provide individual support and to promote a college-going culture to ensure that all Da Vinci students graduate college-ready, career-prepared, and community-minded.

We've expanded our academic programs in many new directions.  At Da Vinci Design, we launched a Design Certificate Program for students who want to earn additional academic credit while increasing their skill levels.  Both schools now have an Honors Program for high achieving students who require greater academic challenge. We are offering more college level courses (Project Lead the Way: Principles of Engineering and Speech Communications) as part of our Early College Program where students attend college classes on campus at no charge to them while they simultaneously earn their high school diploma.  Our Early College Program was noted in a recent Daily Breeze article, "Hawthorne charter school off to an early start."

We've added many new seminar classes, including Product & Toy Design,  Drama, Science & Society, Start Your Own Business, Financial Literacy, Design Challenge, and Leadership, among others.

We have two important educational events coming up . . .

On Tuesday, October 5, 2010, our Principal and Academic Dean will give an overview of our academic programs at an educational workshop titled, "Achieving Academic Excellence Through Rigor, Relevance & Relationships."  See related story below.

On October 14-15, 2010, students enrolled in Da Vinci Design will participate in an exciting two-day Design Symposium aimed at introducing students to the design process and the broad range of careers available to them. Students will visit the workplaces of several of Da Vinci's design partners, including Belkin International, Otis College of Art and Design, Northrop Grumman and Gensler.  Students will also participate in a fun redesign challenge involving bicycle bags. See related story below.

These are exciting times at Da Vinci Schools, and we are energized about our future.  We are so grateful for the tremendous support of our students, families, staff, board members, community partners, donors and volunteers. On behalf of the entire Da Vinci staff, we look forward to a happy and productive academic year!


Dr. Nicole Tempel
Da Vinci Design:  Announcing New Programs, Design Symposium Scheduled for October 14-15, 2010

Making artWe are pleased to announce four exciting new opportunities for students enrolled in Da Vinci Design, including our first ever Design Symposium that is scheduled for October 14-15, 2010. 

The two-day Design Symposium will focus on introducing students to the wide range of career opportunities available to them and show them why "design thinking" and innovation are essential to business success.

Students will visit Belkin International, Otis College of Art and Design, Northrop Grumman, and Gensler to see the design process in action, participate in hands-on workshops (product redesign, kite building, sculpture), and hear from industry experts.  The Symposium will also feature guest speakers from The Getty and Avrett Free Ginsberg.


"It's no accident that many of the world's top brands
are also design leaders."

-- BusinessWeek, February 1, 2010 --


The Design Symposium is co-sponsored by some of Da Vinci Schools' community partners, including Belkin International, Otis College of Art and Design, Northrop Grumman, Gensler, and Art Center College of Design.

More information about the Design Symposium will be coming home soon! 

We are also excited to announce the launch of a Design Certificate Program, where interested students will have the opportunity to receive a certificate of completion on their transcript by completing coursework in basic design, 3-D computer design and modeling, product design, and marketing.  The program is ideal for students who want to gain additional academic credit, learn new skills, test out career paths, build their resume, and make valuable contacts. All Design students will also complete Da Vinci Schools' rigorous college-preparatory curriculum that exceeds UC and CSU admissions requirements.

Other new opportunities for Design students include real-world, design-based internships where students will gain the practical skills, concepts, technologies and aesthetic principles needed for 21st century jobs, and exciting new Design electives such as Product & Toy Design, Fashion Design, Design Innovation Challenges, Start Your Own Business, and many more!! 

Students enrolled in Da Vinci Design are preparing for college and 21st century careers in advertising, architecture, digital media, industrial design, product design, user experience design and other jobs that call for skills in art, science and technology.

10th Grade Openings - Design & Science

We still have a few openings in Da Vinci Design and Da Vinci Science for 10th grade students.  For enrollment information or to schedule a visit, please contact Yolanda Saldana-Bautista at ysaldana@davincischools.org.
Academic Programs Workshop

Achieving Academic Excellence Through Rigor, Relevance & Relationships

Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - 6:00-8:00 PM

Location:  Da Vinci Schools

Presented by:

Principal Dr. Nicole Tempel
Academic Dean Colleen O'Boyle

You are cordially invited to a free educational workshop with our Principal and Academic Dean.

The two-hour workshop will provide an overview of Da Vinci's academic programs:
  • Discover how Da Vinci's rigorous, college-preparatory curriculum integrated with project-based learning cultivate the 21st century skills essential for success
  • Why the Three R's of education - Rigor, Relevance & Relationships -- have a powerful impact on students' desire to learn
  • The Da Vinci core curriculum:  college-ready, career-prepared, and community-minded
  • Graduation requirements and college admissions - every student takes a college-prep curriculum that exceeds the requirements for UC admission, giving Da Vinci students a competitive advantage in the college application process

  • Da Vinci's Essential Skills and knowledge - 10 "I Can" statements for each grade level and subject area

  • Find out more about our Early College Program where students take college classes on campus while they simultaneously earn their high school diploma
  • Learn about our Honors program for high achieving and highly motivated students who require greater academic challenge

  • Developing the holistic student through academic rigor, college classes, internships and summer programs

Don't miss this important educational event!!  No RSVP required.
Thank You to the 2010 Summer Interns!

Summer interns

This summer, Da Vinci Schools welcomed three college interns from Cal State University Los Angeles.  The students worked two days each week for college credit on a variety of projects including assessing and tracking Da Vinci student progress and reaction to an e-learning environment.  The 2010 internship project was a pilot program to determine how to get active college students engaged with Da Vinci Schools and was completed under the supervision of Jaime Hernandez, Da Vinci's IT Director.  From left to right:  Heather and Dapo, both seniors representing CSULA's College of Engineering, Computer Science & Technology and Mona, a senior from the School of Natural & Social Sciences.

It was a pleasure having these fine students here at Da Vinci Schools.  On behalf of the Da Vinci staff, we thank you for your hard work, innovative thinking, and enthusiastic work ethic!
Volunteer Opportunities

VolunteerThroughout the school year, there will be many opportunities to volunteer, make a difference, and complete your volunteer service hours requirement of 25 hours per family.

There are three ways service hours can be fulfilled: 

1. Service to the school (organizing activities on campus, helping in the classroom, office, field trips, technology, recreational activities, etc.).

2. Educational visits - spend time with students off campus engaged in educational activities (museum visits, library trips, etc.).

3. Personal Educational Development - parents and guardians can earn service hours by enrolling in college classes of your own!

Verification of service hours completion must be shown by May 31. To keep track of your hours, click on the link below.

Family Service Hours Log

Here is a list of our current needs:

Sewing & Fashion Design Seminar
Volunteers are needed to assist with the Sewing & Fashion Design seminar class that is held on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 9:00-10:05 AM. Sewing, knitting or crocheting experience is helpful but not essential.  Please contact Joyce Blaney at Sew Creative Cafe at (310) 376-0065 or joyce@sewcreativecafe.com.

Before School/After School Supervision
Volunteers are needed to supervise and monitor the school grounds and parking areas during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up Monday - Friday.  Volunteers are needed from 8-9:00 AM Monday thru Thursday, from 8:30-10:00 AM on Fridays, and from 3:30 to 4:15 PM daily.  Days can be divided up among several parents. Please contact Kendra Janes at kendra@DavisandDerosa.com.

Campus Maintenance/Facilities Support

The Facilities Department has an ongoing need for volunteers to help with general upkeep (sweeping, dusting, vacuuming, trash removal) and landscape maintenance (weeding, watering, mowing, trimming). Hours are flexible. Please contact Yolanda Saldana-Bautista at ysaldana@davincischools.org.

Da Vinci Clubs
Interested in Art?  Poetry? Cooking?  Science?  Guitar?  Cheerleading?  Adult volunteers are needed to support and supervise our student-run, after-school clubs.  For more information, please contact Kendra Janes at kendra@DavisandDerosa.com.

Annual Giving Matching Funds Coordinator
A volunteer is needed to compile and maintain a list of matching companies, follow up with donors who work for matching companies or who are unsure, and process all matching company paperwork. This position requires a commitment of about 1.5 hours per week and can be done from home.  Please contact Carla Levenson at

Thank you for your interest in volunteering!!

Mark Your Calendar!

Mark Your CalendarThe next Family Association Meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 14, 2010, at 6:00 PM, on the Da Vinci campus.  Family Association meetings are held the 2nd Tuesday of each month, and are a great way to meet other families, get involved, and become familiar with your child's school environment.

Back to School Night will be held on Thursday, September 23, 2010, from 6-8:00 PM. Families will have an opportunity to visit classrooms, meet with teachers, and learn more about our project-based, "learn by doing" curriculum that emphasizes rigor, critical thinking, creativity and real-world application.  We look forward to seeing all of you!

Academic Programs Workshop:  "Achieving Academic Excellence Through Rigor, Relevance & Relationships" - We hope you'll join our Principal Dr. Nicole Tempel and Academic Dean Colleen O'Boyle for an informative educational workshop on Tuesday, October 5, 2010, from 6-8:00 PM. They will be providing an overview on Da Vinci's academic programs, including our core curriculum, graduation requirements, our Early College and Honors programs, and much, much more!  

COMING SOON:  The launch of our 2010-2011 Making Dreams Come True Annual Giving Campaign and Enrollment information for the 2011-2012 school year.