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In This Issue
We Did It!
Welcome Incoming Da Vinci High School Students and Families
Da Vinci Innovation Academy Holds First Lottery, New K-8 School to Open on Aug. 25
Da Vinci Design Disruption Day
Project Focus: Children's Books
Exhibition Night...An Invitation
Summer Sessions & Special Programs 2011
College Planning & Preparation
Friday Internships Wanted
Da Vinci High School Apparel Now On Sale
Pre-Order Your Da Vinci High School Yearbook and Save!!
Volunteers Needed
Team Da Vinci Raises $3,300 for MS
Assembly Bill 354 Requires Whooping Cough Immunization


Paper Cranes for Japan Disaster Relief Made in Sewing & Fashion Design Seminar  

April 15
Field trip to USC for Project Lead The Way


April 21 

Exhibition Night - 10th and 11th grades   



April 22

10th Grade Design Field Trip to Museum of Tolerance


May 6

Professional Development Day - No School


May 9-13

Minimum Days, STAR Testing & Student-Led Conferences


May 14

Spring Formal

7-11 pm 


May 23-27

9th Grade Physical Fitness Testing


May 30

Memorial Day - No School 

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


or contact: 

Yolanda Saldana-Bautista

Quick Links

Da Vinci Schools
13500 Aviation Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA  90250

(310) 725-5800

Matthew Wunder, Ed.D.
Executive Director

Steve Wallis
Da Vinci High Schools

Nicole Tempel, Ed.D.
Innovation Academy


We Did It!  


Nearly 300 Families & Supporters Raise $66,366  

During March Pledge Month  

Chevron Fueling Education logoChevron Corporation challenged Da Vinci Schools to raise $25,000 during March Pledge Month -- and WE DID IT!!

Thanks to your amazing support, we raised more than double our goal --  $66,366 in donations and pledges during March bringing our total to $95,227 since the Annual Giving Campaign began on Oct. 1.

Way to go, Da Vincians!!

We are humbled that so many people joined together toward a common good. Donors of all levels, ranging from $1 to $10,000, gave to The Chevron Challenge. Your donations have a meaningful impact on every Da Vinci student, every day.

Pitzer CollegeAt a time when California schools are facing severe budget cuts, a successful Annual Giving Campaign allows Da Vinci Schools to enhance our college readiness and career preparation programs when others are cutting back. Your donations are being used for college field trips, internships, college workshops, Naviance, and project based learning materials for each teaching team.  We will also be able to fund 1 1/2 new college counseling positions thanks to your generous donations!!

So many people gave their resources and time to making The Chevron Challenge a success. Please join me in celebrating our dedicated Annual Giving volunteers and staff who helped us reach -- and exceed -- our goal.  We also pay special tribute to our students, families, faculty, staff, board members, community partners, Wiseburn School District, and local supporters who stepped up in a record-setting way. We couldn't have done it without the support of our entire Da Vinci Community!!

The match has ended, but you can still make a gift to support the vital programs we offer. We are optimistic that donors will fulfill their pledges by June 1, when Chevron makes its matching gift.

Da Vinci Schools would like to acknowledge the generous $25,000 matching gift from Chevron. We are enormously grateful to Chevron and Lily Craig, Chevron's External Affairs Manager, for their ongoing support of Da Vinci Schools and for their generosity in establishing The Chevron Challenge.

Once again, thank you from all of us at Da Vinci Schools!

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

Welcome Incoming Da Vinci High School Students and Families
Welcome to the Da Vinci Family!

Da Vinci High Schools held its 2011-2012 lottery on February 17, 2011. Over 650 students applied for admission for 256 freshmen spots. We will continue to enroll students from our waitlist as space become available.

We are committed to providing new students and their families with the information, resources and support that is needed to successfully transition to Da Vinci Schools.

To support our new students' transition, we have set up a Big Brother/Big Sister Mentor Program.  Incoming students have been paired up with a currently attending Da Vinci student, who will serve as their mentor and be available to answer any questions or concerns they may have.  If you haven't already received a call, please expect one from your mentor very soon.
We invite you to visit us during 10th and 11th grade Exhibition Night on Thursday, April 21st.  Our students will be showcasing the fabulous projects they have worked on this semester.  It will be a great opportunity for incoming families to see project-based learning first hand.

SAVE THE DATE!!  Please join us for a welcome BBQ on Saturday, June 11th from 12 pm-2:30 pm for all incoming high school students.  It will be an exciting afternoon filled with fun games and activities designed to get to know each other in a relaxed setting. It could get messy, so please be sure wear casual attire.

First Day of School -- Our first day of high school for the 2011-2012 school year will be Tuesday, August 16. Our school year is aligned with the community college system allowing Da Vinci students to concurrently enroll in high school and college classes.

If you have any questions, please contact Yolanda Saldana-Bautista, our Student Services Director, at 310-725-5800 or ysaldana@davincischools.org

On behalf of all of us at Da Vinci Schools, welcome to the Da Vinci Family!

Da Vinci Innovation Academy Holds Its First Lottery, New K-8 School to Open on Aug. 25
K8 two girlsWelcome to your new school!

After thousands of hours of research, planning, visiting exemplary models, and listening to families and other vested stakeholders in focus group meetings, the Da Vinci Innovation Academy held its first lottery on April 1 in anticipation of our new K-8 school opening on August 25!!

We received 473 applications for the 2011-2012 school year. All applicants should have received official notice of acceptance or wait list status by April 9. 

There will be four classes of K-1 students, two classes of grades 2-3, two classes of grades 4-5, and four classes of middle school students.

The Innovation Academy offers families two unique educational models to choose from that combine school-site instruction with home-based learning. The Da Vinci Innovation Academy is based on the belief that education is a shared responsibility of students, faculty, parents, and community through blended teacher supported education and family facilitated learning. The new K-8 school will also incorporate project-based learning, a social-emotional curriculum, and personalized and gifted education for all students. 

"There's nothing more exciting than creating a new school," says Dr. Nicole Tempel Assisi, the Innovation Academy Principal, who has been involved in two other new school start-ups. "We can't wait to create an inclusive and cooperative community for learning -- a place we will be proud of and will build as one."

Two Unique Educational Models

2-Day Model (K-8) - 2 days of core instruction at-school, 3 days of supported work off-site, optional 1/2 day of electives at Da Vinci, stipend for electives with selected vendors, monthly teacher meeting, one-on-one tutoring when needed

Independent Model (Grades K-8) - 5 days a week off-site, meet with educational specialist at least every 20 days, optional 1/2 day of electives at Da Vinci, stipend for elective classes taught by Da Vinci teachers or selected vendors, stipend for materials, one-on-one tutoring when needed

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

Thank you to our wonderful Advisory Committee, Founding Families, and the Da Vinci Schools' Board of Trustees for believing in our vision.  We look forward to embarking on a grand adventure of learning together!

Call for Volunteers

We will be evaluating teacher candidates at Teacher Symposiums scheduled for May 7 and May 14.  Our top candidates will teach sample lessons to both children and adults.

If you are interested in participating, please contact our office manager, Stefanie Fujinami at sfujinami@davincischools.org and indicate which session(s) you are available and the age(s) of participating children in grades K-8. Spaces are limited. Priority will be given to children accepted into the Innovation Academy. 

Sat., May 7 / 8 am to Noon
Sat., May 7 / 1-5 pm

Sat., May 14 / 8 am to Noon
Sat., May 14 / 1-5 pm

Da Vinci Design "Disruption" Day
Design Disruption DayStudents, staff and a group of outside design professionals and educators participated in Da Vinci Design "Disruption" Day on April 1 -- a half-day meeting focused on strategic planning for the Design school. The purpose of the strategic planning process was to "disrupt" -- or break free from conventional thinking -- as we imagine what makes a great design school and how we can bring Da Vinci Design one step closer to being a premier design school. Participants looked at other successful programs, discussed the principles of great design, the role of partnerships, and the importance of students knowing their strengths and talents as they begin to envision their future.  We also began the process of identifying the specific core design principles and essential skills that students need to know for existing jobs and jobs that have yet to be created.

Design Disruption DayDesign Disruption Day was facilitated by Jonathan Schleyer, Da Vinci's Director of Design Integration and an Associate Planning Director at Avrett Free Ginsberg, an advertising agency. A seasoned marketing, research and advertising executive, Jonathan coined the term "edu-creation" and facilitated an earlier disruption workshop that resulted in the naming of Da Vinci Schools by a group of students. 

In the Media

IDSA logoIndustrial Designers Society of America, one of our Design school partners, recently featured Da Vinci Design in an article entitled Teaching Design to K-12. Thank you Clive Roux, Shelley Takahashi, and IDSA for helping us to understand how to integrate design teaching and methodologies into our high school curriculum.

"A stone's throw from LAX in Los Angeles we found the Da Vinci Design High School. The newest and potentially the most interesting experiment to date. At Da Vinci we met the most motivated staff we had encountered and with some digging we discovered why."
Full Article


Da Vinci Students Present their Children's Stories at Authors' Fair
PROJECT FOCUS: Juan Cabrillo Elementary School held its annual Authors' Fair on March 29 with 9th grade humanities students from Da Vinci Design and Da Vinci Science reading children's books that they wrote, illustrated, printed and bound for a recent project. As part of the Children's Story project in Michelle Rainey and Billy Omer's classes, Da Vinci students studied effective plot structure, how to engage children using repetition or other "gimmicks," effective vocabulary, active versus inactive verbs, verb tense consistency, commonly misused words, and correct punctuation when using dialogue quotations.  Students drafted their stories and then revised them many times until they were publish-ready.  Students also focused on how to effectively read to children.Brittany Sanchez - Story Time

At right, Brittany S. reads her story, "Toddlers by Day, Fairies by Night." Below, student authors in Ms. Rainey's class display their children's stories.

This is the second year in a row that Cabrillo invited Da Vinci student authors to share their work. Thank you, Cabrillo, for welcoming our students onto your campus and into your classrooms. It was as exciting for us as it was for your students.

Rainey Group Photo

10th & 11th Grade Exhibition Night...
An Invitation

ExhibitionPlease join us for 10th and 11th grade Exhibition Night on Thursday, April 21, 2011 from 6-8:00 pm.  During Exhibition Night, students will present their major projects from the semester in a dazzling array of creative formats to an audience of students, families, faculty and community members. Newly enrolled and prospective families are welcome as well!

During this specific Exhibition, students will present projects including, 20th Century Genocides:  Filling the Gap, We Were Soldiers, The MTV Music Awards, Quadr-ART-ics: Parabolas in Real Life, Da Vinci Toys, Chemical Warfare, and more.

Exhibitions are an important component of project-based learning and assessment, and provide a comprehensive view of each student's knowledge and mastery of the state curriculum, as well as additional 21st century skills that are vital to academic and lifelong success. Using oral presentations and digital portfolios, students will demonstrate how they were able to tackle real-world complex problems requiring critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, effective communication, and other essential skills.

Come see our real-world "learn by doing" curriculum for yourself.  We offer an exciting learning environment where education is rigorous, relevant and fun!

Summer Sessions & Special Programs 2011
There are a lot of great summer opportunities for Da Vinci high school students both on and off campus.

Summer School SunON CAMPUS

Da Vinci Summer School
Da Vinci Escuela de Verano

Students who have received a 69% or lower in any of their classes must enroll in credit recovery class(es) over the summer.  We also are offering Algebra & Geometry enrichment for students who want to advance their math skills.  Both options are FREE. (Please note:  Compass Learning is free only if the student's teacher has recommended that the student can independently master an online course to recover credit.  Otherwise, the student must enroll in Mira Costa or another approved credit recovery program at cost).

Compass Learning (credit recovery)
June 21-Aug. 30, 2011 (online learning at home)

Algebra & Geometry Enrichment
July 5-27, 2011 (M-W, 9 am- 2pm)

There are additional opportunities for credit recovery and skill building at Mira Costa High School. 

For complete information on credit recovery and math enrichment, including opportunities at Mira Costa, please click on the summer school links above. 

We are seeking math volunteers and mentors to help support our summer Algebra & Geometry Enrichment class.  The class will meet M-W from 9 am - 2 pm, July 5-27.  For more information, please contact Marshall Vallelunga at marshall@isscweb.com.



Summer Opportunities (off campus)
Early College Programs

There are many off-campus summer programs to choose from that offer enrichment, course credit, internships, early college experiences and more. 


West Coast College Tour & College Application Workshop

August 2-4, 2011

District Tours & Da Vinci Schools have paired up to offer sophomores and juniors the opportunity to tour 6 colleges in 3 days.  Students will visit:

UC Santa Barbara
CSU San Luis Obispo
Santa Clara University
Stanford University
UC Davis
UC Berkeley

Students will tour colleges along the West Coast, meet with admissions representatives, attend college application and financial aid workshops, and more. Program fee includes three hot meals per day, round trip transportation, hotel accommodations, and an overnight dorm stay. 15:1 adult chaperone ratio, on-site tour coordinators, and hotel security. Da Vinci counselors will also chaperone the tour. For the complete 3-day itinerary, click here.

Total price:  $425 per person

For more information, including registration and payment options, please contact Colleen O'Boyle, Academic Dean at (310) 725-5800, x1704 or coboyle@davincischools.org.

College Planning & Preparation, CollegeWeekLive on Apr. 26
College mazeThere is a wealth of information available to assist Da Vinci students and families with college planning and preparation.

Our college counseling webpages are loaded with testing information, articles, links, a year-by-year college planning guide, summer opportunities and more to assist students and their families in the college planning process.

One of the greatest resources we offer students and families is Naviance Family Connection, an online information and resource tool to research colleges, track applications, facilitate career exploration, and learn about the financial aid process and scholarship opportunities. To learn how to use the site more effectively, we've put together a list of detailed Naviance instructions.

Attention Juniors:  Don't miss our College Corner for Juniors with specific information for juniors about testing, college lists, resumes, summer school and more.



CollegeWeekLive STEM Day - April 26, 2011 - 2-9 pm

WHAT:  CollegeWeekLive STEM Day is a FREE online college fair designed to connect prospective students and their families with hundreds of colleges and universities in a live, interactive environment. The virtual event is designed for students who are interested in majoring in science, technology, engineering or math.

WHERE:  Online at www.CollegeWeekLive.com. Free

WHEN:  Tuesday, April 26, 2011, 2-9 pm PST

WHY:  At CollegeWeekLive you can:
  • Chat and text live with admissions representatives and students from hundreds of colleges & universities 
  • Watch live video presentations
  • Visit virtual booths and exhibit halls 
  • Participate in real time Q&A sessions with leading experts on admissions, SATs/ACTs, financial aid, scholarship resources, college essays and more 
  • Experience campus life through images, videos and podcasts
  • Search schools, download brochures and marketing materials 
  • Register for CollegeWeekLive and you could win a $10,000 scholarship, an Apple iPad, and more!  
Register for Free Today!

For more information on college or academic counseling, please contact Academic Dean Colleen O'Boyle at (310) 725-5800, x1704 or coboyle@davincischools.org.

Friday Internships Wanted (May 6-June 3)
InternshipsDa Vinci Schools are seeking internship opportunities in a variety of industries for our 11th grade students every Friday beginning May 6th and ending June 3rd. Students would report to their internship site rather than attending school on those days.

At Da Vinci Schools, internships are an integral part of our vision that every student will graduate college-ready, career-prepared and community-minded. The goal of the internship program is to teach students valuable business skills, offer job shadow opportunities, provide real-world job experience, networking opportunities, and to help students learn more about the rewards and challenges of work life.

Da Vinci students must complete at least one internship as a requirement for graduation.

Our students are self-motivated, positive and responsible. For more information or to offer an internship opportunity, please contact Academic Dean Colleen O'Boyle at (310) 725-5800, x1704 or coboyle@davincischools.org.
Da Vinci High School Apparel Now On Sale!
Da Vinci PoloOrders must be placed by August 1 to guarantee delivery before high school starts on August 16.

Attention Innovation Academy Families:  We will send out information about Innovation Academy apparel in the next few weeks.

Da Vinci polos, sweatshirts and dress shirts are now on sale in a rainbow of colors, styles & sizes. We are also offering NEW organic selections.

All products are being offered through U-Name It, a local vendor in the El Segundo area.

Shipping is included on all orders placed on or before August 1.  After August 1, shipping is $6.50 per order.  

As part of our dress code at Da Vinci Schools, all students are required to wear a polo shirt (any color or pattern, with or without the Da Vinci logo) or a dress shirt with tie. Jackets, sweaters or sweatshirts may be worn over, but not in place of, the polo or dress shirts. For more information about our dress code, please see our Student Handbook.

How to Order Da Vinci Apparel

1.  Order online through the official Da Vinci Store at www.davincistore.org. Fill out a secure online order form and use a Visa or MasterCard to complete your transaction.

Due to the large volume of orders, we strongly urge you to place your order online.  This will make the entire process run more smoothly.  Thank you so much for your support!!!!

Click here to view our online catalog and to start shopping!!!

2.  Download and complete a printable Da Vinci Apparel Order Form. Payment may be made by Visa or MasterCard or check made payable to "U-Name It."  Mail Apparel Order Form and payment directly to:

U-Name It
630 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 5A
El Segundo, CA  90245 (across from Sizzler)
Tel: (310) 322-1797
fax: (310) 322-1796

HOURS:  M-F, 9 am - 5 pm.


A sizing kit will be available at U-Name It beginning April 25.

Questions?  Please contact

Lee Jossel
U-Name It

Yolanda Saldana-Bautista

Pre-Order Your Da Vinci High School Yearbook and Save!!
Yearbook coverThis is your chance to preserve the wonderful memories of the 2010-2011 school year by purchasing a high school yearbook! The Yearbook staff has been working extremely hard to create this year's edition and is looking forward to the final product!

The yearbook has pictures of all the school year's highlights including student and staff portraits, projects, sports, clubs and so much more. It's all beautifully printed in color and hardbound in one spectacular edition! The cover art is by Design student Dondei D.

We will be selling yearbooks during lunch and after school, so please stop by our table and fill out an order form. You may also stop by Ms. Lodhy's classroom (Room 102) to make your purchase.

Pre-order today and save:

April - $30 each
May - $35 each
June - $40 each

We accept cash or checks, made payable to "Da Vinci Schools."

Questions?  Please contact:

Ms. Lodhy

Volunteers Needed
VolunteerWe have the following volunteer opportunities available:

General Office - Service Hours
Responsibilities: Several volunteers are needed to tally student and family volunteer service hours. 

Contact:  Pam Tomlinson at pt1967@yahoo.com

Communications Assistant/Coordinator
Responsibilities:  We are seeking highly dedicated volunteers to assist with web communications, publications and events. Strong organizational, writing and computer skills desired.  

Contact:  Carla Levenson at clevenson_98@yahoo.com

Math Volunteers & Mentors
Responsibilities:  We are seeking math volunteers and mentors to help support our summer Algebra & Geometry Enrichment class.  The class will meet M-W from 9 am - 2 pm, July 5-27. 

Contact: Marshall Vallelunga at marshall@isscweb.com

Team Da Vinci Raises $3,300 for MS
More than 15 students from Da Vinci Schools participated in the MS Walk at the Pasadena Rose Bowl on April 3rd, raising over $3,300.  The MS Walk is the signature fundraising event of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Students organized fundraisers, collected donations and raised public awareness for the chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system.  A HUGE thank you to parent De Anne Hehman for organizing this worthy community service project for our students.

MS Walk

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.