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In This Issue
Da Vinci Science Wins Excellence in Engineering Education Collaboration Award
Community Partner Spotlight: Otis College of Art and Design
Enrollment Information for 2011-2012
Mandatory College Night for 10th Grade Families
Make A Difference Today
Assembly Bill 354 Requires Whooping Cough Immunization

2011 New Year

December 20 - January 7
Winter Break

January 3-7
Professional Development Training (staff only)

January 10
Semester 2 Begins

January 11
Family Association Mtn
6 pm

January 13

Enrollment Information Mtn
6-8 pm

January 17
School Holiday

January 19

Mandatory College Night for 10th Grade Families

January 22
Enrollment Information Mtn
10am - Noon

February 3
Enrollment Information Mtn
6 pm

February 8-10
College Visits

February 8
Family Association Mtn
6 pm

February 9

Mandatory College Night for 9th Grade Families

February 12
Enrollment Information Mtn
10am - Noon

February 16

Lottery Deadline

February 16
Mandatory College Night for 9th Grade Families

February 17

Lottery, 6pm
(families do not need to be present)

February 18
School Holiday

February 21
School Holiday

February 24
Service Learning Day (9th grade)
Job Shadow Day (10th & 11th grades)

Community Partners

We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of our
community partners
 and supporters.

Complete List

Quick Links

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:

Happy New Year

As we begin the new year, I truly believe our schools are strong, stable, and well positioned to reach new pinnacles of achievement.

We are very grateful for the tremendous talent and dedication of our faculty, students, families, staff, board members, authorizing district, community partners, donors and volunteers. Together, we will continue to strive toward our vision of creating a school culture where every student graduates with the knowledge and skill sets needed to be college-ready, career-prepared and community-minded.

To achieve this goal, we commit 18 days plus 5 1/2 hours per week and a daily hour-and-a half planning period to ongoing professional development and collaborative planning. Our faculty is engaging in professional development training this week facilitated by Charity Allen of the Buck Institute for Education. The three-day workshop is focusing on planning, managing, and assessing rigorous projects to help students at all levels learn key academic content, practice 21st century skills (such as collaboration, communication & critical thinking), and create high-quality, authentic presentations. We are pleased to welcome Principal Aileen Harbeck of Dana Middle School and three Dana teachers who are joining us for the professional development workshop. For those of you who want to learn more about project-based learning, the Buck Institute has produced an excellent video, Project Based Learning: Explained.

In 2011, one of our top priorities will be adding more college-level classes to our curriculum that give students the opportunity to begin their college coursework early and earn college credit at the same time they are earning a high school diploma. All Da Vinci students are required to complete at least two Early College classes as part of our graduation requirements. Students may begin Early College classes in the second semester of their freshman year provided they are in good academic standing. This semester, we are offering two college level classes -- Film and Photography -- taught on the Da Vinci campus by El Camino College faculty at no cost to families. Additionally, we are offering two Project Lead The Way courses for college credit: Principles of Engineering and Introduction to Engineering Design.

We are delighted to announce that Da Vinci Science has been named a recipient of the 2011 Excellence in Engineering Education Collaboration Award sponsored by the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE). This is a very prestigious award that recognizes organizations that promote partnerships between industry and academia to advance engineering education. See related article below.

Some of you may have seen a recent article in the Daily Breeze featuring Da Vinci Schools, "Math teaching innovators tackle concepts." This piece is a powerful reminder that students gain a deeper understanding of content when learning is relevant and meaningful to their lives.

To each of you, I offer our community's deepest thanks. Your continued support will help Da Vinci Schools continue to grow in strength and prominence in the years to come.

Best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year.

Wunder signature
Matthew Wunder, Ed.D.
Executive Director
Da Vinci Schools

Da Vinci Science Wins ASEE/CMC Highest Honors: Excellence in Engineering Education Collaboration Award
ASEE logoThe American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE)/Corporate Member Council (CMC) has selected Da Vinci Science as a recipient of the 2011 Excellence in Engineering Education Collaboration Award. Dr. Donald Brann, Vice President of Da Vinci Schools Board of Trustees and former Superintendent of the Wiseburn School District, and Dr. Ray Haynes, Da Vinci Science's Director of STEM Integration and a retired Northrop Grumman engineer with 40+ years experience spanning both industry and academia, will accept the award at a luncheon held on Feb. 2 during the ASEE 2011 Conference for Industry & Education Collaboration (CIEC) in San Antonio, TX.

The award recognizes outstanding achievement in member organizations and companies that demonstrate partnerships or collaborations with education and industry to promote engineering education for young people. 

Da Vinci Science was selected for its extensive collaboration with Northrop Grumman and with local universities including Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly Pomona, CSULA, LMU, Otis College of Art and Design, UCLA, USC, El Camino College, and West L.A. College. Northrop Grumman provided significant resources to establish the Northrop Grumman Innovation Lab and also has a continuous presence at Da Vinci with employee/engineers on campus weekly for software training, project support, tutoring and seminar/workshop activities.

"We are inspired to deliver because we are led and supported by an extraordinary team of dedicated faculty, staff and industry partners who are committed to filling the STEM pipeline with young people who have the real-world skills needed to hit the ground running," said Dr. Matthew Wunder, Da Vinci Schools' Executive Director.

Da Vinci Science students have participated in many STEM- focused project-based learning activities, including Project Lead The Way college courses, Engineering seminars, and the NAE Grand Challenges Summit at USC Viterbi School of Engineering in collaboration with Cal Tech, Duke and Olin College.

In October, Da Vinci Science was cited by the U.S. Department of State as a "best practice" example demonstrating how industry, government, academia and the K-12 community can effectively collaborate to engage students in STEM education.

We are extremely grateful to Dr. Haynes who has been instrumental in establishing collaborative relationships that increase the visibility and credibility of Da Vinci Science. Dr. Haynes, who has served as a recruiter for Northrop and has written and spoken extensively on mentoring and developing the workforce of the future, was previously a professor and associate dean in the School of Engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  Additionally, he has been a lecturer at Cal Tech, MIT, Stanford, and many other major universities.

ASEE is a non-profit organization which brings together engineering educators from all of the engineering and engineering technology fields to collaborate on solutions to promote excellence in instruction, research, public service, and practice. For more information, please visit www.asee.org.

Community Partner Spotlight
Otis logo

We gratefully acknowledge the leadership, support and commitment demonstrated by our community partner, Otis College of Art and Design, for its role in helping to shape our Design school curricula.

Otis College of Art and Design is working closely with Da Vinci Design to define the 21st century learning skills and curricula needed to prepare students for college and careers in the creative sector. According to the 2010 Otis Report on the Creative Economy of the Los Angeles Region, one of every six jobs in the region is a creative job -- making the creative economy the 2nd largest regional business sector in the area.

We are extremely excited by our collaboration with Otis College of Art and Design and wish to express our sincere thanks to Amy Gantman, Dean of Continuing Education; Debra Ballard, Interim Provost; Michele Jaquis, Direct of ACT and Interdisciplinary Studies; and Kathleen Masselink, Program Manager of K-12 Programs; and Richard Shelton, Adjunct Assistant Professor, whose knowledge, expertise and vision have been invaluable to us. We are also enormously grateful for the support of Steve McAdam, Department Chair of Product Design, who was introduced to us by Diane Levitt, Da Vinci's Technical Advisor/Consultant. We also greatly appreciate Dr. Ray Haynes, Da Vinci's Director of STEM Integration, who plays an important role in the ongoing professional relationship with Mr. McAdam.

As a valued community partner, Otis College of Art and Design is taking an active role in training and nurturing tomorrow's creative leaders.

Founded in Los Angeles in 1918, Otis College of Art and Design prepares diverse students of art and design to enrich the world through their creativity, their skill, and their vision. The College offers an interdisciplinary education for 1200+ full-time students, awarding BFA degrees in Advertising, Architecture/ Landscape/ Interiors, Digital Media, Fashion Design, Illustration, Graphic Design, Product Design, Painting, Photography, Sculpture/New Genres, and Toy Design; and MFA degrees in Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Public Practice, and Writing. Continuing Education offers College Preparation, Young Artist Workshops, and other Certificate Programs. For more information about Otis College of Art and Design, please visit www.otis.edu.

Upcoming Program:  Otis College of Art and Design and Music Center present Creativity and 21st Century Learning on Thursday, February 24, 2011, from 4-6:30 pm at Otis College of Art and Design, 9045 Lincoln Blvd., Los Angeles, CA.  This event is free and open to the public.  Limited seating available; please call (310) 665-6850 to reserve a space.
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 students and their 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, 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.

Mandatory College Night for 10th Grade Families

Don't ForgetWhat:  Mandatory College-Night for 10th Parents/Guardians & Students

When:  Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 6-8:00 p.m.

Where:  Da Vinci Schools Forum

The College-Night for 10th Grade Families is an important evening where Academic Dean Colleen O'Boyle provides an overview of the college application process and provides login information for Naviance Family Connection, the web-based research tool to research colleges and track applications.

Don't miss it! 

Save the Date
Mandatory College Night for 9th Grade Families is Wednesday, February 9, 2011.

Make A Difference Today
The Need is Real

Your gift to the Making Dreams Come True Annual Giving Campaign 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.

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

Please help us reach our goal of 100% participation. 

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!

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.