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In This Issue
First Graduating Class Is Making History With College Acceptances; The DIRECTV Matching Challenge
Enrollment Information 2012-2013
K-8 Update: Supporting Families At School and At Home
Da Vinci Design Update: Students Demonstrate the Depth of Their Knowing, Doing and Reflecting
Da Vinci Science Update: Preparing for Presentations of Learning
Budget Update: Bracing for Mid-Year Cuts


Now thru December 31

The DIRECTV Matching Challenge 


December 19-January 6
Winter Break (No School)

January 9
School Resumes (K-12) 

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


Dear Da Vinci Families and Friends:

As the year draws to a close, we celebrate with pride and thanks, and reflect on the many successes at Da Vinci Schools:
  • The opening of the Da Vinci Innovation Academy, offering K-8 families a school and family collaborative model that combines school-site instruction with home-based learning.   
  • A culture of success where faculty and staff make every major decision by asking "How will our students benefit?" We are deeply grateful for our world-class educators who strive to cultivate the talents and abilities of each and every student and provide them with a personalized education that prepares them well for college and 21st century careers.
  • The support of our families, authorizing school district, Board of Trustees, community members, donors and volunteers who play a vital role in supporting our mission.
  • An unprecedented level of support and collaboration by more than 100 corporate and college/university partners who provide valuable resources, support our students, and share our vision for innovative teaching and learning.   
  • The relocation of Da Vinci Design. We are so grateful for the support of our friends in the Del Aire community!   
  • An exemplary college prep program with two college counselors per high school, ensuring that students receive the personalized support they need to succeed in college and beyond.     
  • Authentic real world learning experiences and exposure to real life applications through a highly engaging project-based learning curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills crucial in today's global workforce.    
  • Innovative programs such as Ed-U-Creationship, Early College and Internships.   
  • Successful fundraising that includes support from families, community members, corporations and foundations.   
  • New after-school sports opportunities and the appointment of Athletic Director Thomas Curry.
On behalf of all of us at Da Vinci Schools, thank you for supporting us, now and into the future.

Happy Holidays!


Wunder signature
Matthew Wunder, Ed.D.
Executive Director

First Graduating Class Is Making History With College Acceptances 
Da Vinci Schools' first graduating class, the Class of 2012, is making history.

Going to CollegeWe are thrilled to announce that 15 of Da Vinci Science's 44 seniors have already been accepted into four-year colleges and universities as the college admissions season gets underway.

GOING TO COLLEGE (photo from left to right): 
Gerardo Linares, Eva Serna, Daniel Villafana, Destiney Cardenas, Julia Murphy, Kahna Bolden and Vincent Barron. Not pictured: Ivonne Artero, Andrea Lidzbarski, Rafael Moreyra, Allan Murillo, Alejandro Parada, Samuel Renteria, Jose Reyes and Vanessa Suarez.

Da Vinci Schools have achieved tremendous success in demonstrating that all students can achieve academic success in a rigorous learning environment and enter post-secondary education prepared to succeed. Many of the students we serve will be the first in their families to attend college.

To date, Da Vinci seniors have been admitted to the following colleges and universities:  University of Oregon, Oregon State, Marymount College, Northern Arizona University, Art Institute of California, University of Advancing Technology, Cal State Los Angeles, Cal State Bakersfield and Cal State Dominguez Hills.

Students in the Class of 2012 are bringing Da Vinci's innovative curriculum and programs to the attention of colleges and universities throughout California and the nation. Congratulations, seniors!

Invest in the Future Success
of the Class of 2012 and Beyond

The DIRECTV Matching Challenge Fundraiser

Every donation made to The Da Vinci College Application Scholarship Fund during December will be generously matched dollar-for-dollar by DIRECTV up to $3,000

DIRECTV logoIn these challenging economic times, more and more students everywhere find themselves in great need of financial assistance even before they begin college. The cost of applying to college can run from several hundred to several thousand dollars. The Da Vinci College Application Scholarship Fund was established to help Da Vinci families pay for college application fees by granting scholarships to seniors who demonstrate financial need, academic excellence, and a strong commitment to enhancing their leadership skills through community service opportunities. Many of the students Da Vinci serves will be the first in their families to attend college.

We are pleased to announce that DIRECTV has generously offered to match every dollar that is donated to The Da Vinci College Application Scholarship Fund now through December 31, 2011 -- up to $3,000!

It is projected that Da Vinci's 44 seniors will each apply to a minimum of 4 colleges. The projected cost of college application fees for the Class of 2012 will be approximately $12,000. This assumes that each senior will apply to 4 colleges at an average of $65.00 per application. We ensure that students maximize all application fee waiver opportunities prior to applying to The Da Vinci College Application Scholarship Fund. Da Vinci Schools are committed to ensuring that all students have equity and access to higher education.

"As part of DIRECTV's commitment to science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, we are proud to support Da Vinci Science School with its College Application Scholarship Fund.  We hope our contribution will provide meaningful support to the talented students at Da Vinci Science as they prepare for post-secondary education," said Tina Morefield, DIRECTV's Director of Corporate Citizenship.

Help Da Vinci students get into the college of their dreams by making a gift to The Da Vinci College Application Scholarship Fund.

Every dollar you contribute in December will be matched dollar-for-dollar by DIRECTV, up to $3,000.

How To Make Your Gift

* Make a one-time gift online by credit card.

* By check made payable to "Da Vinci Schools." Please put "DIRECTV Matching Challenge" in the memo line. Mail or hand-deliver to:

Da Vinci Schools
13500 Aviation Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA  90250

Questions?  Please contact:

Thank you for your generosity!

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 Charter HIgh Schools
Thursday, January 12, 2012 | 6 pm

Da Vinci Innovation Academy (K-8)
Saturday, January 14, 2012 | 10 am

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.

Questions?  Please contact:
Da Vinci Innovation Academy Enrollment

Da Vinci High School Enrollment



K-8 Update
Da Vinci Innovation Academy: Supporting Families At School and At Home
Compass LearningWe are excited to soon offer every student additional curriculum support through the online company Compass Learning Odyssey.  This online tool can further personalize each child's education as it allows families to utilize a student's MAP assessment scores in reading and math to create individualized lessons.   

Additionally, we are able to provide students with Compass curriculum in every subject matter and for every grade level, so that every student receives the support that is right for him or her!      

The teachers have developed personalized, online plans for each student.  Parents will have the opportunity to log on and see their student's portfolio which includes learning activities, assignments  and progress. This is an optional program available to families who are needing extra support at home.

-- Nicole Tempel Assisi, Da Vinci Innovation Academy Principal 


Da Vinci Design Update
Students Demonstrate the Depth of Their Knowing, Doing and Reflecting 
Design ExhibitionDa Vinci Design wishes to thank everyone for their attendance at Exhibition night. It is because of your participation, thoughtful questions and encouragement that our students are evolving into sound young men and women.

December brings equal opportunity for your participation as we approach December Portfolio Defenses and finals. All students will present and defend semester 1 content learned in all academic classes to a panel of their teachers. We will begin on Monday, December 5th and run through Wednesday, December 14th.  The last two days of school are reserved for finals, Defense re-dos, and Advisory Olympics. Each student has two chances to present and will receive specific feedback from their panel as to their strengths and needed areas of improvement.  In order to create a sound working environment for this high stakes time, student will show up to school ONLY on their assigned day. For example, "Johnny" presents Monday, Wednesday, and Friday thus he does not attend school on Tuesday/Thursday. Students have received their assigned date/time with rubrics and guidelines from all teachers. If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact their teacher with questions.  We also encourage you to attend your student's Defense and witness firsthand their mastery of content. See > Design December Defense Schedule. If you are interested in volunteering, providing breakfast or snacks for students and teachers please contact Sara Deulofeu at sdeulofeu@davincischools.org.

In college news, don't miss the December issue of the counseling newsletter (coming out on Dec. 12) with specific highlights regarding college and opportunities to meet with college representatives. If you would like to see content added to the counseling newsletter, please email Candice Mackey at cmackey@davincischools.org who has spearheaded communication with all of our parents. If you haven't utilized Family Connection to learn more about college admission officers visiting our campus or summer/enrichment programs please do so. You can contact your college counselor with questions. This program is a wealth of knowledge and can reveal the many opportunities present for your student.

Finally, first semester reports cards will be mailed out Monday, December 19th. If your student did not pass a class he/she will receive instructions for an online Compass Learning credit recovery account. He/she may use the 3 week break to recover and master this content before moving on to the next semester.

Again, many thanks for your support thus far and we look forward to our continued success!


-- Colleen O'Boyle, Da Vinci Design Principal   


Da Vinci Science Update
Preparing for Portfolio Defenses 
As I write this, our students are nervously preparing and practicing their Portfolio Defenses - sharing what they have learned this year and reflecting on their strengths and struggles. They have come a long way in a short semester, learning content in the context of rich, hands-on projects. Portfolio Defense time is also an opportunity for us as school leaders to do reflect as well, and looking back over first semester we have many things of which we are proud!

YogaIn addition to our project-based core classes, our seminars for next semester will include everything from Aerospace Engineering to Yoga, and will give our students tremendous opportunity to explore new interests. We have students taking flight school classes (both ground school and flight simulator), an Academic Decathlon team preparing for the Los Angeles county competition, a Youth & Government delegation preparing to attend the Model Legislature & Court in Sacramento, a robotics team preparing for the Los Angeles Regional FIRST competition, a marathon team preparing for the LA marathon, and students participating in internships to give them a taste of work in the "real world" of industry and business.

Finally, Da Vinci Science is now an official chapter of the Rotary Interact Club, the California Scholastic Federation (CSF), and the National Honor Society (NHS). Our students have tremendous opportunities to grow in knowledge and experience, and we are so proud of them!

-- Steve Wallis, Da Vinci Science Principal

Annual Giving Campaign
Budget Update:  Bracing for Mid-Year Cuts
House of CardsYour tax-deductible contribution to Da Vinci Schools' Annual Giving Campaign 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 state cuts totaling more than $1 million since Da Vinci Schools opened in 2009.

Thanks to careful fiscal management, we are prepared to weather the storm. But your support is more critical than ever.

Please pledge or give today if you haven't already.

Your donations provide hands-on curriculum for every K-12 student; innovative academic and enrichment programs; state-of-the-art technology; field trips; college visits; art materials; professional development; and the day-to-day operating expenses that are not funded by the state of California.

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!