DV Masthead 20%
"Offering a private school education at a public school cost -- free!"

Back to Home Page


In This Issue
College Visits - Feb. 8-10
Project Focus: Da Vinci Toys
Introduction to Game Theory & Design Concepts
High School Information Meetings for Prospective Families for 2011-2012
Da Vinci Innovation Academy: Upcoming Information Meetings for Prospective K-8 Families
Mandatory College Night for 9th Grade Families
Volunteers Needed
Student Service Hours Opportunity
How You Can Help
Assembly Bill 354 Requires Whooping Cough Immunization

February 3

High School Enrollment Information Meeting
6 pm

February 8-10

College Visits

February 8

Family Association Mtn
6 pm

February 10
K-8 Innovation Academy
Information Meeting


February 11

School Dance

7-10 pm

February 12
High School Information Mtn
10am - Noon

February 14

Happy Valentine's Day!!

February 16

High School Lottery Deadline

February 16
Mandatory College Night for 9th Grade Families

February 17

High School Lottery for 2011-2012, 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)

February 26
K-8 Innovation Academy
Information Meeting

10 am

March 5

High School Registration Day (new families)

Community Partners

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

Complete List

Service Hours

All Da Vinci families are required to perform a minimum of 25 hours of service to the school community per year. Please complete your hours and submit verification to the school office by May 30, 2011.  To log your time, please download the forms below.

Family Service Hours Log

Student Service Hours Log

For more information,
please visit our
Service Hours



  contact Yolanda Saldana-Bautista at ysaldana@davincischools.org.

Quick Links

Da Vinci Schools
13500 Aviation Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA  90250

(310) 725-5800

Matthew Wunder, Ed.D.
Executive Director

Steve Wallis


Dear Da Vinci Families and Supporters:

Real-World Learning 

Real-world learning is a hallmark of a Da Vinci education. Projects both in and outside school that serve real-world purposes form the foundation of our curriculum and enhance the standards-based content that we teach.

We link to the outside world not just through projects, job shadows, internships and service learning. Many of our high school seminars are co-taught by Da Vinci faculty and leaders in business and industry. Students acquire practical tools and gain real-world business insight from the industry professionals on campus who serve as guest speakers, workplace mentors and subject matter experts. Professors from El Camino College teach courses in Da Vinci classrooms for which students earn college credit as they simultaneously work towards their high school diploma. Students also have many opportunities to attend conferences, go on college visits, and participate in other day trips where their learning extends beyond the classroom.

And just as Da Vinci students go out into the world, they also invite the world in -- through their digital portfolios. Here, students showcase their coursework and projects in electronic portfolios that they are able to present and share with potential employers and others.

Whether the subject is Shakespeare or Cartesian coordinates, designing a toy line or measuring the pH balance in water, we know that strong connections between academic work and hands-on, real-world learning hold the keys to deeper understanding and more engaged students.

We hope you will visit our campus soon and see for yourself the exciting real-world learning that is taking place. 

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

College Visits - Feb. 8-10
College mazeAt Da Vinci Schools, college planning and preparation begin in the 9th grade. As part of the Da Vinci College Bound Program, every Da Vinci student goes on yearly college visits to experience campus life firsthand, take tours, meet college students, and learn about admissions requirements and criteria. All Da Vinci students will be touring college campuses on February 8-10. Students will be visiting a variety of Southern California colleges and universities, including: Pitzer College, Harvey Mudd, USC, UCLA, Caltech, Pepperdine, LMU, UC Irvine and UC San Diego.

Funding the Future:  This year's college visits are being funded by the Making Dreams Come True Annual Giving Campaign. Your support is needed more than ever. Please donate today if you haven't already.  Thank you to those who have already donated!!

Da Vinci Toys
Showing ToysPROJECT FOCUS: As part of the Da Vinci Toys project, Science students from Michael Prendergast's classes recently visited Juan Cabrillo Elementary School to hold focus groups with their target consumer, second grade students. Da Vinci students are designing and developing three vehicles with interchangeable parts as part of a kids' wooden toy line. Students are brainstorming, conducting market research, meeting with their target consumers, and creating working drawings and digital simulations using professional quality 3D design and engineering Lego Toysoftware called Autodesk Inventor. The Da Vinci Toys project is a fun and exciting way to learn about the design process, sketching, prototyping, geometric shapes, volume, surface area, Cartesian coordinates, modeling, manufacturing, packaging and marketing. Students are also developing 21st century skills in critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, collaboration and presentation. Da Vinci students will present their real-world toy products to Cabrillo's 2nd graders as well as to the public and professional designers during upcoming Exhibition Nights in March and April. The Da Vinci Toys project is also incorporating curriculum from Project Lead The Way.

Introduction to Game Theory & Design Concepts Offers Students Real-World Experience
Monster HighSEMINAR FOCUS: One of the most exciting new Design seminars this semester is Introduction to Game Theory & Design Concepts taught by Jeannie Hardie, a well-known toy and game designer who previously worked at Mattel.  The class is using traditional and modern games from different cultures to teach students about linear and adaptive thinking; game theory; structural concepts in the design of social interaction; concepts in strategic thinking, anticipation and adaption; and design and revision of game engines. In January, Garrett Sander and Eric Hardie, the creators of Monster High, Mattel's successful new brand, were invited guest speakers. They spoke to Da Vinci Design students about what they do, how they got into the toy business, what being "creative" in a big company is like, and how they pulled off two of the most complicated things in toy design: a huge monster hit and cooperative design. 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. At Da Vinci Schools, our students are acquiring the knowledge and real-world skills vital for academic and workplace success.

High School Information Meetings for Prospective Families 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 for new families. 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.

Upcoming High School Information Meeting Dates

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

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

High School 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.

High School 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.

High School Registration Date for New Families
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. High school 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.

Da Vinci Innovation Academy (K-8):
Upcoming Information Meetings for Prospective K-8 Families for 2011-2012

The Da Vinci Schools Board of Trustees has approved an important study to be conducted during the next six months that could result in the formation of a small K-8 school, tentatively called the Da Vinci Innovation Academy. The K-8 school will be conveniently located in the El Segundo area and offer families three unique educational models to choose from that combine school-site instruction with home-based learning. The new school will also incorporate project-based learning; a social-emotional curriculum; and personalized, gifted and talented education for all students.  Dr. Nicole Tempel Assisi has been placed on special assignment to actively develop the new programs.

To learn more about the Da Vinci Innovation Academy, we strongly recommend you attend one of our upcoming Information Meetings. Reservations are not required. The Information Meetings will provide an overview of our educational models, curriculum and application process. The opening of the Da Vinci Innovation Academy is pending final approval by the Da Vinci Schools Board of Trustees.

Upcoming K-8 Information Meetings

Thurs., February 10, 2011 / 6:00 to 8:00 pm
Sat., February 26, 2011 / 10:00 am to 12 Noon
Thur., March 10, 2011 / 6:00 to 8:00 pm - NEW DATE
Mon., March 21, 2011 / 6:00 to 8:00 pm - NEW DATE

All meetings will be held at Da Vinci Schools, 13500 Aviation Blvd., Hawthorne, CA, unless otherwise noted.

Lottery Deadline
Wednesday, March 30, 2011 / 4:00 pm

Earlier submissions are appreciated

Lottery Date
Friday, April 1, 2011 / 6:00 pm

Attendance is welcome but not required 


All lottery forms should be turned into the school office at Da Vinci Schools, 13500 Aviation Blvd., Hawthorne, CA.  

Three Educational Models

2-Day Model (K-8) - 2 days of core instruction at-school, 2 days of supported work off-site, optional 1/2 day of electives, monthly meetings with teachers

Half-Day Model (Grades 5-8 only) - 4 days of 1/2 day of direct and collaborative instruction at-school, 4 optional 1/2 days of lab at- school or off-site work, optional 1/2 day of electives

Independent Model (Grades K-8) - 5 days a week off-site, optional 1/2 day of electives, monthly meetings with teacher, benchmarks/goals set by family and teacher

For more information about the Da Vinci Innovation Academy, please visit our website or contact Dr. Nicole Tempel Assisi at ntempel@davincischools.org


Daily Breeze | January 24, 2011
"Da Vinci charter school in Hawthorne proposes K-8 school"

Mandatory College Night for 9th Grade Families

Don't ForgetWhat:  Mandatory College-Night for 9th grade Parents/Guardians & Students

When:  Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 6-8:00 p.m.

Where:  Da Vinci Schools Forum

The College-Night for 9th 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!

Volunteers Needed
High School Dance
Friday, February 11, 2011
Volunteers are needed for set-up (4-7 pm), outside supervision and food sales (7-10 pm), and clean-up (10-11 pm). Please contact Karina Arroyo-Hicks at proudrican@yahoo.com.


Sewing & Fashion Design Seminar
Volunteers are needed to assist with the high school 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 (310) 376-0065 or joyce@sewcreativecafe.com.


Student Service Hours Opportunity
MS WalkWALK MS 2011Join and support Team Da Vinci for the 2011 Walk MS on April 3, 2011 at the Pasadena Rose Bowl. Walk MS is the signature fundraising event of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system.

Walk MS - Sunday, April 3, 2011
Location:  Pasadena Rose Bowl
7:45 am - Registration Opens
9:45 am - Opening Ceremonies
10:00 am - Official Start of 5K

The MS Society was one of two dozen nonprofit organizations to participate in Da Vinci Schools' Service Learning Fair on Oct. 8.

For more information or to get involved in the MS Walk, please contact De Anne Hehman at deanneh@wcfloordesign.com. Students will receive service hours credit for their time!

Student Service Hours Log

How You Can Help
Making Dreams Come True

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 one of the most important ways you can support your child's education and the fundraiser we ask EVERY family to support.

Please help us reach our goal of 100% participation. Our Annual Giving Campaign ends June 1, 2011 and we are asking every family to give what you can.  If you haven't had a chance to donate, please do so today and encourage other families and supporters to do the same.  Thank you to those who have already donated!

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 makes a difference.

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 are 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.