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In This Issue
Enrollment Information 2012-2013
K-8 Update: Presentations of Learning at Da VInci Innovation Academy
Da Vinci Design Update: Student Opportunities Abound at Da Vinci Design
Da Vinci Science Update: Bringing Real Life to Learning
Da Vinci Schools Awarded $100,000 Grant to Expand Early College Program
Da Vinci Schools Partner With Industry and University Partners to Launch Innovative Ed-U-Creationship Program
Kassandra In Her Own Words: Reasons for Giving
You're Invited...Come See Our Real-World Learning In Action
Sports Equipment Wanted

Happy Thanksgiving


November 10 

High School Information Meeting, 6pm


November 10

Staff Development - No School - High School Students Only 


November 11

Veteran's Day - No School (all K-12 students)  


November 15

Da Vinci Innovation Academy Information Mtn.,



November 16

Da Vinci Design Exhibition

Night, 6 pm 


November 17

Da Vinci Science Exhibition Night, 6 pm 


Community Partners

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

Complete List 

Quick Links

Da Vinci Innovation Academy
13500 Aviation Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA  90250
(310) 725-5800

Da Vinci Science
13500 Aviation Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA  90250
(310) 725-5800

Da Vinci Design
12501 S. Isis Ave.
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
Da Vinci Design


To The Da Vinci School Community:

Don BrannOn August 18th, 2009, history was made when the Da Vinci Schools opened their doors to students for the first time. Today, a little more than two years later, it is amazing to see how far we have already come!  So much good has happened, so fast.  It's to the credit of all throughout the Da Vinci Family.  The excellence in teaching and learning, the winning grants, the awards, the positive media coverage, the respect throughout the education community, etc. all signify the cycle of success Da Vinci is "trapped in." The "buzz" about Da Vinci has reached a "fever pitch" with the line of interested families growing longer and longer.

No one at Da Vinci is "waiting for Superman" any longer because all are part of a vibrant culture that puts students first.  Certainly, our best years are ahead of us so "fasten your seatbelts" because the ride is going to be exciting!  In about seven months, Da Vinci's first graduates will receive their diplomas and head off to college. Wow!  We did it!  We all have so much to be thankful for this month!

Yours for Better Education,

Dr. Don Brann
Da Vinci Schools Founder and Board Vice President  

[Dr. Brann is the former superintendent of the Wiseburn School District and a current El Segundo City Councilman. He was recently awarded El Camino College's 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award.]

Enrollment News
Enrollment Information 2012-2013 
Summer School SunThank you for your interest in Da Vinci Schools!

We are currently accepting applications for K-12 students for the 2012-2013 school year.

For more information about the enrollment process, lottery and more, please visit How To Apply and FAQ

Enrollment - Important Information
Parents or legal guardians must attend an Information Meeting as a required part of the application process for the Da Vinci Innovation Academy (K-8). High school Information Meetings are not mandatory, but we strongly urge you to attend to learn about our programs, curriculum and enrollment process. You will also have an opportunity to meet some of our faculty and staff, current students and families.

Upcoming Information Meeting Dates

Da Vinci Science and Design High Schools
Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011 | 6 pm

Da Vinci Innovation Academy (K-8)
Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011 | 6 pm

All meetings take place at 13500 Aviation Blvd., Hawthorne, CA  90250.

For a complete list of Information Meeting dates, please click on the links below:

Da Vinci Innovation Academy Information Meeting Dates
Da Vinci High Schools Information Meeting Dates

Application Deadline
The application deadline for all K-12 applicants is Friday, March 2, 2012, at 4:00 pm. Earlier submissions are appreciated. Late applications will be placed at the bottom of the wait list.

Lottery Dates
Wednesday, March 7, 2012 | 5:30-7:30 pm - High School Lottery
Thursday, March 8, 2012 | 5:30-7:30 pm - Innovation Academy Lottery

Families do not need to be present at the lottery.

Da Vinci Innovation Academy Enrollment

Da Vinci High School Enrollment



K-8 Update
Presentations of Learning at Da Vinci Innovation Academy

Car RacesJust as our high school students do, every K-8 Da Vinci student has now given a Presentation of Learning (POL) to demonstrate their personal and academic growth as learners. Over the past few weeks, students have made a case for what they have learned before an audience of peers, staff, family and friends. Students have demonstrated mastery in diverse subjects such as ancient civilizations, dream houses, body systems, Native American history, simple machines and windpower. In Darlene Wonggaew and Jennifer Hines' 7-9 year-old classes, students designed, tested, measured and raced mouse trap cars using at least two simple machines based on tested data that they entered into Excel spreadsheets. The project culminated in Derby Racing Days held on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 (see related photos).

This past SaCar Races 3turday, many Innovation Academy families spent the morning together at our local Barnes & Noble reading stories and sipping hot cocoa at our first book fair. While our main goal was to come together as a community and foster a love of reading, we also raised some money for DVIA.  If you want to support the event but could not make it in person, you can still help us raise some funds between now and Nov. 10th. Follow the link www.bn.com/bookfairs. Please use this Bookfair ID during check out 10588408. We thank you!

-- Nicole Tempel Assisi, Da Vinci Innovation Academy Principal 


Da Vinci Design Update
Student Opportunities Abound at
Da Vinci Design 
HalloweenThe month of October brought the PSAT for all sophomores and juniors, eight college representative visits, student-led conferences, Service Learning Fair, Spirit Week, and a seminar visit from Mattel toy designer Kevin Cao! The good news is that November is just as busy and chock full of student opportunity. We kick off the month with some great college opportunities with additional college visits, one-on-one meetings with counselors and summer program researchDay of the Dead. On Nov. 16, we welcome everyone to an evening Exhibition at Design from 6-8 p.m. when students display, defend, and articulate their work. Progress reports will be mailed on the 7th of November so keep a look out!

Additionally, Da Vinci Design is excited to welcome Karten Design and Art Center College of Design (Pasadena) to the family. Stuart Karten and his talented group of designers, researchers, strategists and engineers will team up with ninth grade Engineering teacher Nathan Barrymore and students in a joint project planning program called Ed-U-Creationship where students will emulate the real-world design process from research to analysis, to storytelling and conceptual production. Please see related article below. Karten comes to Da Vinci Design with years of design experience and looks forward to informing our students about the design world. Secondly, we couldn't be more thrilled to welcome the Art Center on to campus as they will host two seminar classes next semester: Design 360 and an Illustration class. Semester two seminar sign-ups will happen the week of November 14th.  Lastly, please look for our new What's in DESIGN? Newsletter on November 7th which will highlight events, projects and articles relevant to Da Vinci Design.


-- Colleen O'Boyle, Da Vinci Design Principal   


Da Vinci Science Update
Bringing Real Life to Learning...An Invitation 
Science 3Students completed a very successful round of Student-Led Conferences and will soon begin preparations for our Exhibition Night, Thursday November 17th!!  Members of our community are welcome to join us and see classes present everything from mouse trap car competitions in Physics to a mock trial of Louis XVI in World History to Hydrogen-solar powered cars in Principles of Engineering, to the exponential growth of Rapunzel's hair in Pre-Calculus, and much, much more! We welcome one and all to come see what Da Vinci Science students have been learning!

-- Steve Wallis, Da Vinci Science Principal

Da Vinci Schools Awarded $100,000 Grant to Expand Early College Program
College boundA non-profit private Foundation has awarded Da Vinci Schools a $100,000 two-year grant to expand the Da Vinci Early College Program. The program allows highly motivated high school sophomores, juniors and seniors the opportunity to take rigorous college classes on the Da Vinci campus tuition-free at the same time that they earn their high school diploma.

"Giving high school students - especially those for whom college is not an automatic next step - a first-hand college experience provides them with the confidence and the motivation to know that they can succeed in college-level coursework," said Dr. Matthew Wunder, Da Vinci Schools' Executive Director. "We are truly grateful for this extraordinary opportunity to expand our program."

Research shows that investing in early college opportunities for high school students pays great dividends. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, early college students achieve higher high school graduation rates and higher college-going rates than their peers. Approximately 86 percent of early college students in 2009 went to college immediately after high school, compared to 66% of all high school graduates nationally.

The grant funding will be used to offer additional college-level classes at Da Vinci in which students can earn transferable college credit toward an Associate's or Bachelor's degree. The number of credits ultimately transferred depends not only on the student's wishes, but also on the policies of the colleges or universities to which they apply.

Da Vinci Schools offer a variety of college courses each semester. College courses have included:  Speech and Debate, Robotics, American Studies, Photography, Film/Video, and Calculus Prep.

In 2009, Da Vinci Schools formed an innovative partnership with El Camino College to make it possible for qualified Da Vinci students to enroll in and successfully complete "a-g" courses needed for UC and CSU admission. All Early College classes are taught by El Camino College professors on the Da Vinci high school campuses at no cost to our families. The Early College Program, combined with internships, job shadows, yearly college field trips, college fairs, comprehensive counseling, parent workshops, and other college-related activities and resources, provide our students and their families with tangible connections to college life and high-skill jobs.

Application for the grant was by invitation only.

Da Vinci Schools Partner With Industry and University Partners to Launch Innovative Ed-U-Creationship Program
A Real-World Curriculum and Project-Planning Consortium

Project PlanningDa Vinci Schools are partnering with industry experts and university partners to launch a pilot program to ensure that students are on track for college and prepared for the right jobs at the right time.

The innovative pilot program called Ed-U-Creationship will establish collaborative project planning teams that include teachers, students, industry experts, and university professionals to develop rigorous and relevant real-world projects that bring professional practice into the classroom.

Each project planning team will consist of a Da Vinci high school teacher who will ensure that all academic curriculum is linked to "a-g" college prep requirements and state and national content standards; a student representative to ensure that student engagement and understanding are represented on the team; an industry expert who will help align the project to the demands of today's professional workplace; and a university partner who will ensure that students are on track for college admission and more advanced study.

The Ed-U-Creationship Program is being spearheaded by teachers Nathan Barrymore (Design) and Joshua Thomson (Science). The first Ed-U-Creationship teams will include representatives from Karten Design, an award-winning product innovation consultancy, and Art Center College of Design, a leading art and design private college located in Pasadena.

Through strategic collaboration, Da Vinci Schools, area businesses and university partners are supporting our common goals of ensuring that students have the real-world knowledge and skills needed to succeed in college and 21st century careers.

Both Da Vinci Design and Da Vinci Science will pilot the Ed-U-Creationship Program beginning in January 2012.

Annual Giving Campaign
Kassandra In Her Own Words: Reasons for Giving
Kassandra C.By Kassandra C.
Class of '13 - Da Vinci Science

"We do things differently at Da Vinci!"

That is what you hear every day at Da Vinci Schools. It is our motto. This is why so many students love coming to school every day. Da Vinci is our home away from home. The teachers really care about us. This is exactly why I love Da Vinci. Our teachers not only make students feel safe and cared for, but they also help prepare us for the future. For me in particular, teachers have helped me to develop my presentation and collaboration skills. We do many presentations at Da Vinci, like the end of semester defenses, called POL's (Presentation of Learning), as well as many projects. Doing so many presentations and group projects really have helped me get a feel for what my future might look like. My goal is to go to Columbia University in New York and major in Business. Then, because I have such a great passion for presenting and building things, cars especially, I would like to one day own my own auto repair shops.

When it comes to my future, my main goal is to help my family. They have all helped me become the person who I am today, and they will keep on helping me because they are family, and that is what family does. We help each other. The same applies to the new family that I have come to love, my Da Vinci Family. 

I support the Annual Giving Campaign because Da Vinci has been there for me. Many, many teachers have played a role in helping me become a better person and a better presenter. The money that is raised through Annual Giving helps our schools in many ways. And every dollar raised goes directly to support all students, K-12.  With your help, Da Vinci will be able to buy new materials, such as computers, microscopes, cameras, and many more things to help students complete their projects. I am extremely grateful to Da Vinci for all they have done, and I hope that you are too.

I hope that you will join me and the rest of our Da Vinci families and supporters in making a gift to the Annual Giving Campaign! Please help our future engineers, lawyers, designers, and CEOs achieve their goals.
 -- Kassandra

We Need Your Help

Your tax-deductible contribution comes at a crucial time. Da Vinci Schools are bracing for an additional $271,000 mid-year cut from the 2011-2012 budget, the latest in a series of steep cuts totaling more than $1 million since Da Vinci Schools opened in 2009.

Ways to Give

There are many ways to give to Da Vinci Schools.

1. By check.  Download a printable donation form here and mail to Da Vinci Schools, 13500 Aviation Boulevard, Hawthorne, CA  90250.

2.  By credit/debit card.  We accept Visa, MasterCard and AMEX. If you prefer to donate by phone, please call us at (310) 725-5800.

3.  Make a one-time gift online now.

4.  Give monthly.  Start automated monthly contributions using your credit card.

5.  Pledge now & give later.  Download a printable donation form/pledge card here.

6. Many local companies have MATCHING GIFT PROGRAMS that can double or even triple your gift. Find out today if your company has a matching gift program. If they do, simply obtain a form from the company's HR office, complete it, and send it to us. We'll take care of the rest! Click here to view companies in our area that match employees' contributions.
7.  Share your time.  We can always use volunteers!  Please email giving@davincischools.org and someone will get back to you shortly.  We thank you!

For more information about the Annual Giving Campaign, please visit the Annual Giving webpage.

If you have any questions or experience any difficulties making a gift, or wish to give by phone, 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 generosity!

You're Invited...Come See Our Real World Learning In Action 


P9th Grade Exhibitionlease join us for our first high school Exhibition Nights of the school year on Nov. 16-17 from 6-8:00 pm. During Exhibition Night, students will present their major projects from the semester in a dazzling array of creative formats.

From a mock trial of Louis XVI in World History to the exponential growth of Rapunzel's hair in Pre-Calculus, to roller coaster velocity in Engineering to the beautiful flower images of Georgia O'Keeffe in Art and much, much more,
please join us to see what Da Vinci students have been learning! Prospective families are welcome as well!

Da Vinci Design Exhibition Night
Wednesday, Nov. 16 | 6-8 pm
Location:  12501 S. Isis Ave., Hawthorne, CA

Da Vinci Science Exhibition Night
Thursday, Nov. 17 | 6-8 pm
Location:  13500 Aviation Blvd., Hawthorne, CA

Sports Equipment Wanted 

We are seeking new or used golf clubs and tennis rackets for our high school intramural sports program. Please contact Da Vinci Athletic Director Thomas Curry at twcurry31@yahoo.com if you are able to donate these items. We thank you!!

Golf Tennis