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In This Issue
Da Vinci Innovation Academy News & Events
Portfolio Defense Presentations...An Invitation
Re-Enrollment Forms Past Due
Da Vinci Schools on the National Scene in Support of Strong Industry, K-12 and College Partnerships
Da Vinci Design Students Recognized in Statewide Digital Photography Contest
Summer Sessions & Special Programs 2011
My Internship Experience at Debra Bowen's Campaign Headquarters
College Road Trip
Annual Giving Update
Da Vinci Apparel Now On Sale
Senior Portraits
Upcoming Events

Swirly Sun 

June 6-10

Portfolio Defenses


June 7 

High School Family Association Meeting



June 11

Welcome Fiesta for Incoming HIgh School Students, 11am-1pm 


June 13

Red Cross Blood Drive



June 15

Last Day of School for High School Students


June 16-17

Staff Development   


June 29

Innovation Academy Work Day 


August 1

Last Day to Order Da Vinci Apparel to guarantee delivery by first day of school   


August 16

First Day of School for High School Students 


August 25

Da Vinci Innovation Academy Grand Opening 



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 immediately.  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.

Don't miss out on getting a high school yearbook! We are selling them at lunch and after school.

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

Nicole Tempel Assisi, Ed.D.
Innovation Academy

Steve Wallis
Da Vinci Science

Colleen O'Boyle
Incoming Principal
Da Vinci Design


Dear Da Vinci Families & Supporters,


As we reflect on our year together and prepare to embark on this next phase in our college-bound careers, there is much to appreciate, and so much to look forward to.  


Let us first celebrate our students and their commitment in helping Da Vinci foster a collaborative and mature learning environment. Next, it is important to acknowledge our families who bring to us sound and able minds, and support us in countless ways both on and off campus. A special thanks to the Hawthorne community, Wiseburn School District, our community partners, donors, volunteers, and Board members whose contributions have extended beyond our wildest beliefs. Whether it be the Belkin Design Backpack Challenge, the Northrop Grumman Innovation Lab, the Chevron Challenge, or El Camino College's commitment to our students and Early College program, just to name a few, we couldn't have done this without each of you. Your time, dedication, ideas and support all have had a great impact on our success. And, of course, a great big standing ovation to our teachers for the countless hours they spend crafting rigorous curriculum, mentoring our students, and exuding passion day in and day out.  


Da Vinci Schools have secured a place on the map in Los Angeles thanks to your dedication. We are truly grateful.  


Next year presents our Da Vinci community with a great opportunity to refine our college-prep curriculum and our STEM and design goals. Although we will be on two separate campuses when Da Vinci Design moves to the Del Aire community, the Da Vinci spirit will remain intact.   


Finally, next year brings our first graduating class! Go Class of 2012! Let us look to our first graduating class as a mark of success and accomplishment and let us continue with this tradition in the years to come.  


We look forward to working with and learning from all of you. Have a wonderful summer!



Steve Wallis
Da Vinci Science

Colleen O'Boyle
Incoming Principal
Da Vinci Design 

Da Vinci Innovation Academy News and Events
Nicole TempelBy Nicole Tempel Assisi

We are excited to inform you that we are making outstanding progress toward the opening of our new school on Aug. 25! We are proud to offer a new approach to K-8 education, a family collaborative model that combines school-site instruction with home-based learning.
  • We held our first-ever enrollment event and now have a highly dedicated group of about 220 students and their families, who are enrolled for the 2011-2012 school year.   
  • For the past four months, we have been screening teacher applicants, conducting interviews, and watching teachers deliver sample lessons. We believe we have found the perfect group of competent, compassionate and committed adults to join the Da Vinci Founding Team.       
  • We now have two sites. Our 2-day program will be held at the Da Vinci Schools' site at 13500 Aviation Boulevard and our 5-day off-site program will call 343 Coral Circle its home base. Our electives will also be offered at the Coral Circle site.      
  • Our parent-run Action Teams are busy and getting things done.  The Community Resources Team is working on building a comprehensive online resource center for families to access and link to their curriculum. The Da Vinci Family Network, called FaN, is planning potlucks and park days to get to know each other. We have a Facilities team devoted to campus beautification and preparation. In addition, we have scheduled upcoming panel discussions for families on project-based learning, constructivism, how to succeed at home schooling, and social emotional learning.  
  • On June 29, we have a special Work Day scheduled to get our little school ready!  
Da Vinci Innovation Academy Goes Social
To get the latest information about the Da Vinci Innovation Academy, become a fan on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @DaVinciK8.

For more information about the Da Vinci Innovation Academy, please visit our website, or I welcome you to contact me directly at nassisi@davincischools.org.

We are so excited to embark on this wonderful journey together.


Dr. Nicole Tempel Assisi

Portfolio Defense Presentations...An Invitation
9th Grade ExhibitionPlease join us for our student Portfolio Defense Presentations June 6-10, 2011.  Defense presentations represent the culmination of all of the learning and growth students have done this school year. Akin to a dissertation defense or professional presentation, students will offer evidence of their progress to a panel of their peers, faculty and industry professionals who will decide if our students are ready to proceed to the next grade level.

To help facilitate the process of Defense presentations, Da Vinci Schools will follow an altered schedule the week of June 6-10.  This schedule will minimize the number of students on campus in order to maintain a calm environment for Defense presentations.

Portfolio Defense Schedule - June 6-10, 2011
If a student's defense is scheduled for any day from 8AM until 12PM, they are required to be in school from 8AM to 12PM from Monday, June 6th to Friday, June 10th.  If they are scheduled to present from 12PM to 4PM, they are required to be in school from 12PM to 4PM on those days.

(NOTE:  Lunch will be available either from 11:30-12:00 for students coming in the afternoon or 12:00-12:30 for students coming in the morning.)

If you are a community member interested in observing or participating on a Defense panel, please RSVP to Sara Deulofeu at sdeulofeu@davincischools.org. Families of current students who are coming to watch your child's Defense do not need to RSVP.

Re-Enrollment Forms Past Due
High school re-enrollment forms are past due. If you haven't already submitted your online re-enrollment form you must do so ASAP or risk losing your space at Da Vinci! All students, whether planning to return to Da Vinci or not, need to complete the online re-enrollment form.

Online Re-Enrollment Form
You will need to enter the password that was included in the latest progress report mailing.  We must have your re-enrollment form on file in order to guarantee you a space at Da Vinci for the upcoming school year.  If you have any questions, please contact the front office at 310-725-5800 or info@davincischools.org.  Hard copies of the re-enrollment form are available in the front office.

Da Vinci Schools on the National Scene in Support of Strong Industry, K-12 and College Partnerships
ASEE logoDa Vinci Schools are taking a prominent role in support of strong industry, K-12, and college partnerships.

Dr. Ray Haynes
, Da Vinci's Director of STEM Integration, is presenting on June 27 at the American Society for Engineering Education's Annual Conference in Vancouver. Dr. Haynes is moderating a panel on "Evolutionary Models for College-Industry Partnerships" that will explore emerging strategies in industry-education partnerships, including how to attract more K-12 students into STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) college programs and careers.

The Northrop Grumman Innovation Lab at Da Vinci Schools will be featured at the ASEE Conference with two poster sessions on the agenda. Da Vinci Schools' partnership with Northrop Grumman is a national role model for STEM innovation. A new Northrop Grumman innovation project in Sierra Vista, Arizona, utilized the Da Vinci Innovation Lab experience to model and develop its program.

Da Vinci Design Students Recognized in Statewide Digital Photography Contest
Marissa Manabat and David Gilroy, both 9th grade Da Vinci Design students, were recognized in the California Streaming Digital Photo Contest, sponsored by the California County Educational Technology Consortium. Manabat was awarded Honorable Mention for her photograph, "A Day at the Beach." The contest was open to all K-12 students in California. Entrants had to submit a student-produced digital photograph and a brief essay relating to the 2011 theme, "1,000 words" -- as the saying goes, a picture is worth a 1,000 words. Congratulations, Marissa and David!

Photo Contest_Marissa Manabat

"A Day at the Beach" by Marissa Manabat (Design) - HONORABLE MENTION

Photo Contest_David Gilroy

"Sunset" by David Gilroy (Design)

Summer Sessions & Special Programs 2011

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). Please contact  Frank Divinagracia with questions or concerns at fdivinagracia@davincischools.org.

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)

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 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

Please submit your payment to Ms. O'Boyle.  Questions? Please contact Ms. O'Boyle at (310) 725-5800, x1704 or coboyle@davincischools.org.

My Internship Experience at Debra Bowen's Campaign Headquarters

By Andrea Lidzbarski '12 (Science)

Debra Bowen InternshipFor my 11th grade internship, I was given an amazing opportunity to intern at the main campaign office for Debra Bowen, California's current Secretary of State, who was running to replace Jane Harman in Congress. As an intern, my responsibility was to make sure the public knew about the special runoff election and to communicate what Debra Bowen stands for. We called people all over the South Bay district to remind them about the election and to answer any questions they may have about the campaign. To do so, we had to become extremely knowledgeable about the issues and Debra Bowen views on energy, education, jobs, even animal rights.

During this campaign, I met Debra Bowen herself and heard her views on the campaign and how she felt about being in such a tight race. This experience allowed me to not only learn about how a campaign is run but how to communicate with the outer community. I have never had to speak to someone about something I believe in and to persuade them to feel the same way, especially in a campaign as sudden as this one.  The public seemed to have mixed emotions on what to believe. There were many instances where I had to deal with passionate voters. Some people hung up on me or were rude for no reason. But I never took these moments personally because I know it is very important to vote for someone who will represent what you believe in.

Though my internship did not last very long, I did learn several valuable skills such as effectively communicating with others and the importance of being involved in politics. One thing I admire about Debra Bowen is she understands the importance of allowing high school students to be a part of politics since we are the future, and I believe that to be so true. I may never run for office but I do know that being involved in your community and government allows you to express your opinion and feelings, and to do so you must have an active voice. I thank my fellow interns, field officer Fera, and Debra Bowen for allowing me to have an opportunity so valuable in my life. I hope that once all Da Vinci students experience an internship, they will take full advantage of whatever they choose to do.

Debra Bowen conceded the 36th Congressional District race on May 19. Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn will face businessman Craig Huey in a July runoff for former Rep. Jane Harman's congressional seat.

College Road Trip

By Julia Murphy '12 (Science)

This Spring, the Da Vinci Science juniors went on a three-day California college road trip. We visited three schools, slowly moving our way up the coast of California. We left Da Vinci early in the morning and went to Santa Barbara where we visited the beautiful University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) campus located right off the ocean. The hot weather reminded me of home. We then went on to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. This agriculturally based college is more rural than UCSB. The next day we visited the University of California at Santa Cruz, by far my favorite campus. There were trees everywhere, and the campus was amazing. We then went to San Francisco before driving straight home. I really enjoyed experiencing the comparison among the three schools.

We took walking tours while visiting the campuses. Though we did not have a tour guide at UCSB, we walked around the campus and got a good feel of it. We saw various students promoting their clubs, sororities, and fraternities. A student showed us around the Cal Poly campus, including the football field and buildings where the various majors are located. The students had the day off, so the campus was dead. I did not get a really good feel of the school. A former student of Kim Merritt, our English teacher, met us in Santa Cruz. He showed us all the different schools. I really like that the classes are, for the most part, located in the dorm buildings.

Our rides on the large bus were very fun. People sang and laughed almost the entire time. There was always something to do. I was uncertain of the long bus ride at first, but it really was not that bad. Some people even said being on the bus was the best part of the trip, because you just felt like you were hanging out with all your school friends.

The hostels were definitely the most interesting part of the trip. The first night I slept in a room with all my friends. We stayed up almost all night having fun and talking. We had to create a shower schedule, which was difficult with a bunch of teenagers. The next night I was so tired that I gratefully shared a smaller room at the hostel with only two girls. We loved having a private bathroom. Our entire grade played board games and enjoyed themselves. The first night we walked around Monterey Bay and ate wherever we wanted. Some of the girls made dinner for everyone the second night. They made a ridiculous amount of pasta and garlic bread; pizza was ordered, too. Everyone enjoyed it, and there were tons of extras to be eaten the next morning.

I definitely recommend this trip to incoming juniors. We had a lot of freedom on the excursion, and our grade bonded. You get to know your teachers and classmates on a whole new level. It was also very useful in helping me determine what kind of school I am looking for. I now know that I want a small- to medium-size school, but I am still undecided about most other factors. Of the schools we visited, I think I might apply to the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Annual Giving Update
Thank YouWe couldn't have raised nearly $125,000 without the support of our many donors and volunteers. We are proud to acknowledge all contributors to Da Vinci Schools in 2010-2011 through our
Annual Giving Donor & Volunteer Honor Roll.

We are extremely grateful to Chevron for its matching gift of $25,000 and to all of our donors and volunteers who made the Annual Giving Campaign a huge success.

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

We are optimistic that donors will fulfill their pledges as soon as possible.  We still have about $8,700 in outstanding pledges. Please complete your pledge TODAY.

Thank you again for your incredible generosity!

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

Senior Portraits

Attention Juniors, Class of 2012
:  Look for a letter in the mail by the end of June from Marcy Dugan Photography with information and a senior portrait appointment. Once you have received your appointment letter, please call the studio to either confirm or reschedule your appointment. All appointments are at 726 W. Maple Ave., El Segundo.

Marcy Dugan Photography
(310) 322-2917
Upcoming Events

High School Family Association Meeting

June 7, 2011, 6 pm

Don't miss the last Family Association meeting of the school year. We're looking for volunteers to help with assembling the high school teacher gift baskets and to help plan our back to school activities. Incoming families are welcome to attend! Come see what you can do to enrich your student's experience at Da Vinci!


Welcome Fiesta for Incoming High School Students
June 11, 2011, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

There will be a Welcome Fiesta for incoming students, mentors and faculty on June 11 at Da Vinci Schools, 13500 Aviation Blvd. We look forward to seeing you!


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

Red CrossBlood 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. To avoid lines, we recommend you make an appointment. Go to www.redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code DaVinciSchools. 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.