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In This Issue
Da Vinci Innovation Academy Enrollment Day, First Teacher Symposium Held; An Invitation...
Da Vinci Students Exhibit Their Learning and Growth at Exhibition Nights
Da Vinci Students Visit Raytheon for National Engineers Week, Place 3rd in Engineering Challenge
Da Vinci Science Team Wins Best Community Service Award
Summer Sessions & Special Programs 2011
Da Vinci Design and Otis Integrated Learning Radio Present Final Student Audio Projects
Annual Giving Update
Da Vinci Apparel On Sale
Upcoming Events

More Cranes
Paper Cranes for Japan


May 6

Professional Development Day - No School


May 9-13

Minimum Days, STAR Testing & Student-Led Conferences


May 12

West Coast College Tour Info Night, 6pm  


May 14

Spring Formal

7-11 pm 


May 23-27

9th Grade Physical Fitness Testing


May 30

Memorial Day - No School  


June 6-10 

Portfolio Defenses


June 11

Welcome BBQ for Incoming Students, 11 am - 1 pm 


June 13

Red Cross Blood Drive

9 am - 3 pm 


June 14

Family Association Group Meeting, 6 pm 

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

Order Your High School
Yearbook Today!!

Yearbook cover

Cover art by Dondei D.

Pre-order today and save. We are selling them at lunch and after school.

May - $35 each
June - $40 each

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

Questions?  Please contact:

Ms. Lodhy


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


Dear Da Vinci Families & Supporters,

Steve WallisIt's hard to believe that there are only 6 weeks left in the 2010-2011 school year!! It is both scary and exciting for our high school students and teachers alike how quickly our second year has gone by. We are so proud of the terrific work our students and teachers have done, and we ask your help in encouraging them to make the final push in these final weeks to do their very best on their CST exams this week and on their Portfolio Defenses in June.

While high scores on the CSTs (California Standards Tests) are not the focus of what we do here at Da Vinci, we believe that the deep, contextual learning the students engage in here will result in an understanding of concepts that will enable them to be highly successful on those tests. Families, please help them do their best by encouraging them to get plenty of rest and to eat healthy breakfasts each day this week! During CST testing week we will also be holding Student-Led Conferences (SLCs) in which students will be discussing their goals and progress with their parents and teachers. We hope that all of our families will all be able to attend and participate in these important conversations!

Students' Portfolio Defenses will take place the week of June 6-10, and we invite families and community members to attend and be a part of this important event in which students have the opportunity to give a 10-15 minute presentation to a panel of adults on what they have learned and accomplished and how they have grown this year. We would love to have the participation of our families and community partners in this event! Incoming families are welcome to participate as well. If you are interested in participating as a panelist, please contact Sara Deulofeu in the front office at sdeulofeu@davincischools.org.

Thank you all for participating in the life of these fantastic schools. We appreciate you!


Wallis signature
Steve Wallis
Da Vinci High Schools

Da Vinci Innovation Academy Enrollment Day, First Teacher Symposium Held; An Invitation...
Dear Innovation Academy Families,

IA Enrollment DayAfter a dynamic enrollment day on April 30 filled with painting, making ice-cream sundaes, and meeting new friends, it is now with much joy that we officially welcome the newest additions to the Da Vinci Family. With some of our K-8 students enrolled, we will be contacting all of our waitlist families to give them an update about their status.

On Saturday, we held our first of two Teacher Symposiums to meet and evaluate teacher candidates. The Innovation Academy attracted a talented and diverse applicant pool of nearly 400 teachers! After screening and group interviews, about 30 of our top candidates were invited to attend half-day symposiums where they were asked to teach sample lessons, interview with students and families, complete a group activity and a variety of writing tasks, and interview with our founding families and advisory group. Thank you so much to the many incoming families who came out on Saturday to support the interviews.  We will be doing it again this coming Saturday and need your help. Please see the invitation below for details.

We would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to some of our staff members.

Our current staff consists of Da Vinci's founding Principal Dr. Nicole Tempel Assisi, current Da Vinci Science teacher Michelle Rainey, who is moving to the Innovation Academy, and elementary school veteran teacher Janette Kiso. Our office manager is Stefanie Fujinami.

We are extremely excited about the opening of the Da Vinci Innovation Academy on August 25. There will be much more to share in the days and weeks ahead as we prepare together for the launch of our new school. Parents of K-8 students, please note that starting in the next couple of weeks you will receive special K-8 newsletters about the progress and start-up of your school.

An Invitation...

We invite you to meet and evaluate teacher candidates at our Teacher Symposium scheduled for May 14.  Our top candidates will teach sample lessons to both children and adults.

If you are interested in participating, please contact 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 14 / 8-11 am
Sat., May 14 / 1-4 pm

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

Da Vinci Students Exhibit Their Learning and Growth at Project Exhibition Nights
Our schoolwide Exhibition Nights are genuinely exciting events.  Twice a year, students demonstrate their creativity and deep level of understanding through innovative, real-world projects that provide a comprehensive view of students' knowledge and mastery of the curriculum. At this semester's Exhibition Nights, held March 31 and April 21, students, families, facult9th Grade Exhibitiony, community partners, and other supporters saw a wide range of creative projects requiring group collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving and presentation skills -- all 21st century skills vital to academic and lifelong success in our global society.

This semester, our 9th graders presented the Da Vinci Olympics project (right). Using oral presentations and digital media, students selected a country to study, learned about its history, culture, economic condition, government, tourism, and transportation, as well as the physics of Olympic sports. 

Other projects exhibited included: 20th Century Genocides:  Filling the Gap, Science in the 21st Century, We Were Soldiers, The MTV Music Awards, Quadr-ART-ics: Parabolas in Real Life, Da Vinci Toys, Chemical Warfare, Two-Voice Poem Mobile, FORE! A Golf Course Project, and more.

9th Grade ExhibitionExhibitions are an important component of project-based learning and assessment in which students are asked to perform real-world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills.

We are extremely proud of our students for taking ownership of their learning and for producing beautiful work of lasting value.

Exhibition Eyeball

Thank you to everyone who attended the Exhibitions. And a huge thank you to our dedicated faculty for developing challenging and engaging interdisciplinary projects that prepare our students to be college-ready, career-prepared, and community-minded.

Da Vinci Students Visit Raytheon for National Engineers Week, Place 3rd in Engineering Challenge
By Danielle '14 (Design) and Kevin '13 (Design)

On February 23, three students from Da Vinci Design and three students from Da Vinci Science were accompanied by Mr. Barrymore to participate in the Raytheon Engineering Games as part of National Engineers Week. We had little knowledge of what to expect, but we knew that our school would be competing against teams from at least 30 otRaytheon Challengeher high schools.

When we arrived at Raytheon, we were greeted by our escorts. We then learned what we had to do for the Challenge:  We had to make an ion lifter out of materials nobody would think would ever be used for anything.

Since the Da Vinci team was so large, we split up into three groups. The first group's unit was made out of wooden skewers and wire. It was able to float, but the wire sparked and the tip of the skewer caught on fire.  The second group had to create a propulsion unit based on electro-hydrodynamics. In other words, we had to make a device that can be lifted using ions. The materials we used were environmentally friendly, including tinfoil, large drinking straws, small stirring straws, wooden skewers, wooden sticks, copper and clear wire, and plumbing tape. The lighter the materials used, the higher the unit would float. The third group's unit used the least weighing materials which were coffee straws and regular straws as our base for the ion lifter. We finished our ion lifter and took it up to test it. We were amazed to see that it worked! We were the only team that made our ion lifter out of straw and not wood or any other material. The atmosphere got really competitive while we raced against the clock and other teams. We had time still to improve our lifter and, at our second test, we made it in the top three. After a tiebreaker judged by Raytheon engineers, the Da Vinci Design team won 3rd place!

Participating in the Raytheon Engineering games was a great experience because we were challenged to utilize our prior knowledge of physics and engineering to build something we knew nothing about. The physics part of the challenge also related to a lesson that our class was planning to study.

After the competition, we toured Raytheon's El Segundo plant to learn about their engineering and manufacturing facilities. Raytheon specializes in the design, production and maintenance of aerospace and defense technology. We really enjoyed the tour because it focused on areas of study that we are interested in.

This experience is one of the reasons that we feel fortunate to attend Da Vinci Schools because we probably would not have had this opportunity at most other schools.

Da Vinci Science Team Wins Best Community Service Award in USC QuikSCience Challenge
A team of 11th grade students from Da Vinci Science won the Best Community Service Award as part of the QuikSCience Challenge, a national 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.

QuickSCience winners

The Da Vinci winners (Victoria, Julia, Michael, Nicole, and Jose) and their teacher Kim Merritt attended an awards ceremony on Apr. 7 at Quiksilver headquarters in Huntington Beach to accept the award. Students received t-shirts, pencils, skateboard sharpeners, and patches, and earned a trip to the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center (WMSC) on Catalina Island and $150.00 for classroom supplies. According to Victoria, "Everyone in the competition was considered a winner. At the awards ceremony, every group was honored with a recognition speech and a brief description of their project."

Team Da Vinci was recognized for its creative community service project in which students held a recycling event at the Del Aire Farmers Market to teach about safe alternatives to plastic bags and the effect of plastics on the ocean. QuikScience Challenge entrants had to submit an ocean science lesson, a community service project, a solution to an environmental problem, student reflections, and a creative presentation of the team's work.

Catalina IslandThe Da Vinci winners and a second team of students (Natalie, Max, Kevin, Nicole, Jared, and Arianna) who participated in the schoolwide QuikSCience competition went to Catalina Island on Apr. 28 and enjoyed an adventurous day of marine learning, kayaking, hiking and team sports.

The QuikSCience Challenge fosters leadership, environmental awareness and stewardship.

Congratulations to all of Da Vinci's QuikSCience participants!!  

Summer Sessions & Special Programs 2011
Summer is an opportunity to volunteer for a community organization, take a class, participate in an internship, explore a new interest, prepare for the SAT, research colleges and careers, travel, create something (write a book, plant a garden, invent a product or process), catch up and move ahead, develop a new talent, apply for jobs and get working, and so much more. Whatever you do, please optimize your summer.  If you don't know what to do, please see Ms. O'Boyle, our academic dean, for assistance.

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. 

Please return your summer enrollment forms to Ms. O'Boyle.

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 Trip & College Application Workshop
August 2-4, 2011

College Trip Info Night  (get all of your questions answered)
May 12, 2011, 6-7 pm (Da Vinci Forum)

District Tours & Da Vinci Schools have paired up to offer sophomores and juniors the opportunity to tour 6 colleges in 3 days.  On August 2-4, 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 3 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 trip. For more information about the trip, please attend our College Trip Info Night on May 12 and click on the links College Tour Information and the 3-Day Itinerary.

Total price:  $425 per person

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

Da Vinci Design and Otis Integrated Learning Radio Present Final Student Audio Projects
KXLUDa Vinci Design's Broadcast Journalism class, taught by Ricardo Jara, has been involved in an exciting partnership this semester with Otis College of Art and Design's Integrated Learning Radio class taught by Michele Jaquis and Mark Farina in partnership with Loyola Marymount University's KXLU (88.9FM) and KLMU Online Radio. Da Vinci Design students created two radio projects with Otis students, El Marielito and Nisei, that will be broadcast live on Otis' OFXCK Radio. Design students recently visited KLMU Online Radio at LMU and got to speak live on air (pictured above).

Listen to the student projects 24/7 online at: http://ofxckradio.wordpress.com/

These projects are another example of Da Vinci's innovative partnerships that engage students in real-world active learning.

Annual Giving Update
Thank YouWe are extremely grateful to Chevron and to all of the donors and volunteers who made The Chevron Challenge a huge success. Thanks to your amazing support, we raised $69,163 in donations and pledges during March bringing our total to $98,024 since the Annual Giving Campaign began on Oct. 1.

YOU made this happen. Thank you!!!

At 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 1.5 college counseling positions thanks to your contributions!!

While the match has ended, you can still make a gift to support the vital programs we offer.

Donors can help our schools by paying outstanding pledges before June 1, when Chevron makes its matching gift.

Thank you again for your incredible generosity!

Questions?  Please contact Sara Deulofeu at (310) 725-5800 or at giving@davincischools.org.
Da Vinci Apparel Now On Sale for All Students in Grades K-12
Da Vinci PoloDa Vinci polos and sweatshirts are now on sale in a rainbow of colors, styles & sizes for all students in grades K-12. We are also offering dress shirts and NEW organic selections in adult sizes.

Orders must be placed by August 1 to guarantee delivery before school starts.

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 the new dress code at Da Vinci Schools, all students are required to wear a Da Vinci collared shirt OR a solid color, collared polo or dress shirt. Hoodies and sweatshirts must be Da Vinci wear or college gear.

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

Upcoming Events

Family Association Group Meeting

There will be no Family Association Group meeting this month. The last meeting of the school year is June 14, 2011 @ 6 pm.


Minimum Days, STAR Testing & Student-Led Conferences

May 9-13, 2011

There will be minimum days for STAR testing this week. Please ensure that your child is in school everyday and on time. Student-led conferences will also be held this week. Using digital portfolios, students will reflect on their progress and deliver a presentation to their families that demonstrates their growth and evidence of meeting learning goals. There will be 11th grade Friday internships this week.


West Coast College Trip Information Night
May 12, 2011, 6-7 pm

Please join us in the Forum to learn more about the West Coast College Trip scheduled for August 2-4, 2011. Students will visit 6 colleges in 3 days (see article above). District Tours will be available to answer all of your questions. For more information about the trip, see College Tour Information and the 3-Day Itinerary or contact Ms. O'Boyle at coboyle@davincischools.org.


9th Grade Physical Fitness Testing
May 23-27, 2011

CA public schools require all 9th grade students to take a Physical Fitness Test. If your child has a medical excuse from a doctor, please contact Erin Hughes at ehughes@davincischools.org. We also need volunteers during this week.  If you're available, please contact Ms. Hughes.


SAT Test
June 4, 2011

Juniors, please register now for the SAT that will be administered at Da Vinci Schools on June 4.  Go to www.collegeboard.com.


Welcome BBQ for Incoming Students
June 11, 2011, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

There will be a Welcome BBQ for incoming students, mentors and faculty on June 11. Stay tuned --- more information will be sent home soon.

Red Cross
Red Cross Blood Drive
June 13, 2011, 9 am - 3 pm

Blood donors save lives.  Please consider donating blood at the Da Vinci Schools Blood Drive on June 13 to ensure there is a safe and adequate blood supply in the Los Angeles area.  Adults and students 16 and over (with parent permission) may give blood. Haven't completed your service hours requirement? We will give three hours of service hours credit for blood donations on this date.  We hope to see you there!


Assembly Bill 354 Requires Whooping Cough Vaccination

July 1, 2011

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.

Questions?  Please contact Yolanda Saldana-Bautista at ysaldana@davincischools.org.