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In This Issue
March Pledge Month - Take The Chevron Challenge
Important Information for New High School Families
Da Vinci Innovation Academy: Upcoming Information Meetings for Prospective K-8 Families
Project Focus: QuikSCience Challenge
Da Vinci Athletic Director Recruits Top Talent, Expands Sports Program
Pay It Forward Week
Assembly Bill 354 Requires Whooping Cough Immunization

Spring flowers
March 1

Pledge Month Begins - The Chevron Challenge

March 8
Family Association Meeting


March 10
K-8 Information Meeting


March 19 - NEW DATE

High School Registration Day (new families)  



March 21

K-8 Information Meeting



March 30

K-8 Lottery Deadline



March 30

10th Grade Field Trip to 2011 Greater L.A. National College Fair  


March 31

Exhibition Night - 9th grade  



April 1

K-8 Lottery

6pm (attendance is optional) 


April 21 

Exhibition Night - 10th and 11th grades   


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 Family:

As we roll into spring, I see and hear reminders every day of what a splendid learning community we have here at Da Vinci, and what a privilege it is to lead such a talented and dedicated team of staff and students! We are proud to see our students growing in knowledge, responsibility and confidence, and take great joy in the character they are each developing in the process.

We are confident that our students' growth will be on display in many ways this spring. Next week the 10th grade will be taking (and passing!) the CAHSEE (California High School Exit Exam) - so parents, please make sure they eat a good breakfast and get plenty of sleep! I also invite you to join our community in seeing and celebrating our students' learning at our Exhibition Nights coming up on March 31st for 9th grade and April 21st for 10th and 11th grade.

Like our students, Da Vinci Schools are also growing. Over 600 students entered the lottery for the 9th grade alone for the 2011-2012 school year, and we can't wait to meet the newest members of the Da Vinci Family!  In addition, this fall we plan to launch the Da Vinci Innovation Academy, a unique and innovative K-8 Program, that combines school-site instruction with home based-learning.  If you want to join our community as a member of our elementary or middle school, it's not too late.  We have two remaining information meetings scheduled for March 10th and March 21st.  Dr. Nicole Tempel Assisi is principal of the Da Vinci Innovation Academy. For more information, please contact Dr. Tempel Assisi at ntempel@davincischools.org.

Finally, we are in the process of selecting our new teaching staff for the 2011-2012 school year. We have already received over 200 applications and are currently reviewing resumes, interviewing candidates, and setting up sample lessons to help us select the "cream of the crop" who will teach, guide, and inspire our students next year.

We are so grateful for the wonderful support of our students, families, staff, board members, authorizing school district, community partners, donors and volunteers as we continue to grow and build on Da Vinci Schools' success.  Thank you!


Wallis signature
Steve Wallis
Da Vinci High Schools

March Pledge Month

Take The Chevron Challenge Today!!   

Every donation and pledge during March
will be generously matched dollar-for-dollar
by Chevron, up to $25,000
Chevron Fueling Education logoDon't miss this extraordinary opportunity to Double the Impact of your gift with The Chevron Challenge. During March, every donation and pledge to Da Vinci Schools' Annual Giving Campaign will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Chevron, up to $25,000.

All donations and pledges made in March must be paid in full by June 1, 2011 to be eligible for the Chevron match.

Money raised through The Chevron Challenge will be used to support college and career counseling; purchase Naviance, a powerful web-based tool for students and families to research colleges and careers, track applications and scholarship opportunities; fund college field trips and internships; and purchase project-based learning materials for each teaching team. 
Don't forget your donation or pledge during March 2011 is worth twice as much thanks to a generous matching gift by Chevron

Hurry, don't miss this amazing opportunity to Double the Impact of your gift and support our wonderful schools!!!

Ways To Give

By check, made payable to Da Vinci Schools
Download a printable donation form/pledge card
Give Online
By phone, call (310) 725-5800
By mail
Pledge now, give later
Monthly giving
Matching company gifts
Share your time

If you have any questions or experience any difficulties making a gift or pledge, 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.  

Thanks for your generous support!!

Important Information for New High School Students & Families 
Congratulations on joining the Da Vinci Family!!  We'd like to take this opportunity to welcome new high school students and their families and to remind you about some important dates and information.

I.  New High School Student & Family Registration Day  Saturday, March 19, 2011 - NEW DATE

New high school students & families who have been offered enrollment and received a registration packet must register in person on Saturday, March 19, 2011 between 9am - 2pm. Registration Day is for new students not currently enrolled in Da Vinci Schools. Students, please plan on having a photo taken.

If you are offered enrollment, but do not register on 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 becomes available for you, you will be notified immediately. We routinely review our waiting list and move as many students as possible into open enrollment slots.

For more information about high school enrollment, please contact Yolanda Saldana-Bautista at (310) 725-5800 or ysaldana@davincischools.org.

II.  9th Grade 2011 Overnighter Registration Now Available
Aug. 31 - Sept. 2, 2011

We have an exciting 2nd week of school planned for all 9th grade students. From August 31 - September 2, 2011, 9th grade students will have the opportunity to participate in community-building activities during an overnight stay at Oakbridge, a beautiful retreat center in Ramona, California (in the San Diego mountains). The Overnighter trip is the highlight of the year for many students. Please join us for this great opportunity to get away and form new friendships with other 9th grade students and leaders.

Early Bird Registration through Mar. 19 - $90 per student

Standard Registration after Mar. 19 - $100 per student

Register now and save!

There are a limited number of scholarships available for families who are unable to cover the cost of the Overnighter. Please contact Steve Wallis at swallis@davincischools.org for more information.

III.  2011-2012 Student Handbooks Now Online

Student Handbook
Manual del Estudiante

Da Vinci Innovation Academy:
Upcoming Information Meetings for Prospective K-8 Families for 2011-2012, Volunteer Opportunity

K8 two girlsThe Da Vinci Innovation Academy is a small K-8 school offering 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 and gifted education for all students. 

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

Thur., March 10, 2011 / 6:00 to 8:00 pm
Mon., March 21, 2011 / 6:00 to 8:00 pm

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

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-5) - 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 Principal Dr. Nicole Tempel Assisi at ntempel@davincischools.org.

Volunteers Needed

We are pleased to announce that we have received a large donation of school supplies from a fellow charter school (Pacifica) and need some helping hands to move and sort the goodies. This is a great opportunity to meet other community members and help out the school.
WHEN: Saturday, March 5
TIME:   9 AM-11 AM  Moving Time - Need 5 strong people to help load and unload boxes from storage unit to the school
           11 AM-1 PM  Sorting Time  - Need 10 people to sort through boxes and create piles to save and/or donate
            2 PM-3 PM   Take Home Goodies - After we move and sort, anyone is welcome to come by the school and take what is left over for a small donation
WHERE:  Da Vinci Schools, 13500 Aviation Blvd., Hawthorne, CA
Bringing snacks and drinks for our volunteers is greatly appreciated!
If you are available to help, please RSVP to Stacy Hensel at dfitnutz@aol.com.

Da Vinci Science Students Participate in QuikSCience Challenge Sponsored by the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies and Quiksilver, Inc.   
Quickscience RecylingPROJECT FOCUS: 11th grade Science students in Alden Holmes' and Kim Merritt's classes recently created ocean science lesson plans, participated in community service projects, proposed solutions to environmental challenges, drafted research project proposals, and created portfolios and multimedia presentations as part of the QuikSCience Challenge, an annual competition sponsored by the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, Quiksilver, Inc., and the Quiksilver Foundation, to improve science education through students' love of the ocean. Twelve Da Vinci Science students submitted completed projects to the 2011 QuikSCience 'S O S' ("Surfing Onto Solutions for our Ocean Planet") Challenge and earned a day trip to USC's Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island. QuikSCience Challenge entries will be judged by a panel of scientists, educators, business leaders, artists and ocean athletes on March 16-17, 2011 at USC. The QuikSCience Challenge winners will be announced on Apr. 7.

As part of the community service component of the QuikSCience project, students held a recycling event at the Del Aire Farmers Market to teach about safe alternatives to plastic bags and containers, and the dangers of plastic that end up in the ocean. Students were so excited by this project that they are planning another Farmers Market event on Saturday, March 12, 2011 from 9 AM to 1 PM. Please bring your recyclables (aluminum cans, plastic and glass bottles) to the Del Aire Farmers Market (located on the Da Vinci campus) and exchange them for eco-friendly gifts and products hand-picked by our students. 

The 12 Da Vinci students who entered the USC QuikSCience Challenge are: Noor A., Nicole B., Jared C., Ariana C., Victoria M., Julia M., Nicole Br., Jose R., Michael F., Natalie C., Maximilian Z., and Kevin D.

Da Vinci Athletic Director Sergio Siderman Recruits Top Talent, Expands Sports Program
Da Vinci Schools are committed to providing high quality sports programs where there is interest and support.

In February, we added boys' and girls' soccer coached by Sasha Andrews, a member of Canada's women's national soccer team and a bronze medalist at the 2007 Pan American Games. About 40 kids are participating in twice weekly soccer drills to improve their soccer skills. In the spring, students will be playing in local soccer tournaments.  Adidas made a generous donation of $10,000 to Da Vinci Schools to pay for practice equipment, jerseys, balls and other sports gear.  The donation was secured by Da Vinci Schools' Board Treasurer Gary Wayland who also serves as president of the Manhattan Beach Athletic Foundation. 

This semester, we also added boys' basketball coached by Sean Terrell who played college ball at Tuskegee University.  Boys' basketball meets twice a week at Vistamar School, our community partner and neighbor.

Last semester, we had a very popular co-ed, intramural flag football team coached by Justin Hart, a recent USC grad and Trojan defensive back.

Students also have opportunities to participate in lacrosse and fencing that are being offered in conjunction with Vistamar.  As Da Vinci Schools grow, more sports and fitness activities will be added giving students more opportunities to participate in team sports and other healthy lifestyle activity.

Pay It Forward Week
By Hanz L., 10th Grade Science

Pay It Forward
We do things differently here at Da Vinci, like during Pay It Forward Week from February 14 to 17, where we encouraged people to be kind and give thanks to the people around us.  The purpose of the week was to pay kindness forward -- to do nice things and say nice things. For example, we complimented each other with our "I Am" cards. On Tuesday morning, our teachers passed out large cards that we hung around our necks with the words, "I Am," so if anyone had something nice to say about us, or wanted to post a word describing us, they could just write it down. We wore it throughout the day and some people were enthusiastic enough to wear it the whole week! This helped raise everyone's self-esteem and gave us a chance to be kind to one another. We were also encouraged to help each other by passing around small good deed cards, which we did the whole week. Basically, if we did something for someone else, we gave them a small card with our name on it stating we did a good deed for them.  Another way we encouraged kindness was by handing out smiley stickers all week long. Certain students in Leadership class got a roll of stickers and gave one to anyone who was truly smiling at someone else. Pay It Forward Week was a great way to show our appreciation to everyone, especially our community and family here at Da Vinci.

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.