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Happy New Year 2012

In This Issue
In My Own Words: Waiting for College Acceptance Letters
Da Vinci Science Update: Da Vinci Science Robotics Team Prepares for FIRST Robotics Competition
Da Vinci Design Update: Starting the New Year with a Bang
K-8 Update: Congrats, Da Vinci Bots
Enrollment Information 2012-2013
Community Partner Spotlight: DIRECTV
Annual Giving Update

January 24
Da Vinci Innovation Academy Information Mtn.
6 pm 

January 28
High School Information
10 am 

February 2
"College and Coffee"
Da Vinci Science
8-9 am

February 4 
Da Vinci Innovation Academy Information Mtn. 
10 am

February 7
High School Family Association Meetings Location:  Science & Design
Topic: How to improve communication between parents and teens

February 9
High School Information
6 pm 

February 21
Da Vinci Innovation Academy Information Mtn.
6 pm 

February 25
High School Information
10 am 
March 2
K-12 Enrollment Application Deadline for 2012-2013
4 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


Dear Da Vinci Supporters,

Happy New Year! 

People are our greatest asset, and you can be so proud of the impact you have made in 2011. Thanks to the tremendous dedication of our students, staff, families, board members, donors, community partners and friends, our schools are being recognized for innovative teaching and learning that really engages kids and prepares them for college and beyond.

The start of 2nd semester sets off a series of events that will culminate in our first-ever commencement ceremony. We are so proud of the Class of 2012. Their hard work and dedication are paying off. It's only January and already 60% of our seniors have been accepted to a 4-year university!  Da Vinci students are college-ready -- achieving great things both in their families and their community.

We thank each and every one of you for inspiring and empowering our students for success.

With gratitude,
Wunder signature
Matthew Wunder, Ed.D.
Executive Director

In My Own Words: Waiting for College Acceptance Letters
By Rachel Hardie, Class of '12

Rachel HardieThe college application process is stressful with all the deadlines that need to be met. The first college that I applied to was Cal State Long Beach. It was very exciting to press submit and have that stress lifted off my shoulders. However, it is very easy to forget about the Educational Opportunity Program and scholarships that I have to apply to for each college, not including transcripts and test scores that need to be sent.  This took up most of my attention during winter break since I've applied to 10 colleges. I have yet to receive any acceptance letters, but I know it's still early in the process.  I should be hearing back from Cal State and UC schools by March - April. The colleges I've applied to thus far are:

U.C. Irvine
U.C. San Diego
U.C. Berkeley
U.C. Santa Cruz
Cal State Long Beach
Cal State Channel Islands
San Francisco State
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

It is hard to stay balanced during this nerve-racking time, which is why one of my New Year's Resolutions is to stay focused in not only Senior Seminar but all classes to ensure that deadlines are met and grades are improved.  Now that most of my applications have been submitted my time will be focused on preparing documents for each school and researching scholarship opportunities.  At Da Vinci, I'll work to raise my grades and find other ways to volunteer in community service or participate in extracurricular activities that I'll be able to add to my resume.  With the skills and help I have received from home and school I am sure that I will be viewed as a fine candidate to any college.

Editor's Note:  We are excited to announce that Rachel just learned she was accepted into Cal State Channel Islands!  A senior at Da Vinci Science, Rachel dreams of going to USC and studying psychology. This article is the latest in a series about the excitement of moving one step closer to achieving her college dream. 

Da Vinci Schools Deliver College-Prep Results

Da Vinci Schools' first graduating class, the Class of 2012, is college-ready. As of mid-January, 93% of our seniors are on track to complete their "a-g" college-prep coursework, 100% have applied to college and 60% have been accepted to a 4-year university already! 

Our College Future

Da Vinci Schools are proud to announce that members of the Class of 2012 have been accepted to the following 4-year colleges and universities:

Art Institute of California
Azusa Pacific University
CSU, Bakersfield
CSU, Channel Islands
CSU, Chico
CSU, Dominguez Hills
CSU, Fullerton
CSU, East Bay
CSU, Los Angeles
Marymount College
Northern Arizona University
Oregon State University
San Diego State University
San Francisco State University
Sonoma State University
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
University of Advancing Technology
University of Arizona
University of Kansas
University of New Mexico
University of Oregon
University of the Pacific
Weber State University

Students in the Class of 2012 are bringing Da Vinci's educational excellence and innovative curriculum and programs to the attention of colleges and universities throughout the nation.

Congratulations, seniors!

Da Vinci Science Update
Da Vinci Science Robotics Team Prepares for FIRST Robotics Competition 
We're off to a fantastic start of the second semester! In addition to their core classes, students chose from a selection of 23 seminars and are also playing on our basketball and soccer teams. Teachers, coming fresh off a week of professional development, have put together terrific projects for the students and we are excited about providing our students with exciting opportunities to grow and demonstrate mastery!

The Da Vinci Science Robotics Team, known as the Vitruvian Bots, will join dozens of high school teams from across the region in an intense 3-day FIRST Regional Competition held March 15-17 at the Long Beach Arena. 40 Science students with the support of our awesome engineering teacher and robotics coach Aaron Tostado
Robotics Team_2
and sponsorship by jcpenney are entered in a 6-week race to design, raise funds, build, program and test an original robot to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. This year's game is Rebound Rumble. Students are currently designing a robot that can navigate a court and shoot balls. This is our academic varsity sport!  Our students are working side by side with engineers from Raytheon, Boeing and COM DEV and getting as close to "real life" engineering as you can get! The FIRST Robotics Competitions are high-tech spectator sporting events. Admission is free. Please join us on March 15-17! To find out how you can get involved, please email Aaron at atostado@davincischools.org.

Robotics Team_1FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a non-profit organization designed to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology by engaging students in innovative robotics competitions. Da Vinci Science is one of 900 high school teams across the nation being sponsored this year by jcpenney. We thank you!

Follow Team Da Vinci on Twitter and Facebook


-- Steve Wallis, Da Vinci Science Principal

Da Vinci Design Update
Starting the New Year with a Bang
Da Vinci Design is kicking off the New Year with a bang!! Teachers met for professional development the first week of January and diligently planned for second semester.  In student news, all grade levels returned to take a 3.5 hour SAT/ACT assessment offered by Princeton Review. Surprise -- students were excited! This assessment will give both students and parents a better idea as to what exam is best suited per learning and test-taking style. The Counseling department will hold an information night to discuss the results with you and provide guidance for test-taking strategies and test preparation. For more information about these exams, you can visit www.davincischools.org/collegecounseling

In other college related and student opportunity news, school-wide day trips to colleges are in the works for March.   


New Partnerships 


We are proud to welcome the following partners to Da Vinci Design.They will be teaching, offering college courses for "early college" credit or providing curriculum support on campus:  Art Center College of Design, Antioch University, photographer Andrew Hall, illustrator Will Musgrave, Stuart Karten of Karten Design, and Suzy Nece of Yoga Loft (please see www.dvdesignportal.com to review course descriptions).   


Finally, we look forward to a new mentoring program with DIRECTV. Working one-on-one with a DIRECTV mentor, students will discuss and explore the skills and education needed to succeed in high school, college and future careers. See related story below.  

As you can see, second semester brings great opportunity for all and we look forward to our student success.


-- Colleen O'Boyle, Da Vinci Design Principal   


K-8 Update
Congrats, Da Vinci Bots!! 
Da Vinci Innovation Academy wins its "FIRST" Award!

Da Vinci BotsOn Saturday, December 3rd, after investing over 100 hours in the project, our LEGO FIRST Robotics (FLL) team, "Da Vinci BOTS," placed 6th out of a field of 25 teams to qualify for the Los Angeles Region FLL Tournament. Not only did they qualify for Regionals, they also won the "Innovative Solution Award" for their research report and oral presentation for a new product called "Sani Sense" to solve the problem of employee hand sanitation in the food service industry!

Congratulations to our Middle School team, Joe Biner, Cody Nakagawa, Anthony Landavazo, and Elan Lerman!

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen. Over the last 20 years it has blossomed into a family of robotics programs for kids aged 6-18.  FIRST's project based learning and core values are a great match for Da Vinci Schools.  Please take some time to check out the FIRST video link below to see what the program is all about.


-- Nicole Tempel Assisi, Da Vinci Innovation Academy Principal 


Enrollment News
Enrollment Information 2012-2013 
Summer School Sun
Thank you for your interest in Da Vinci Schools! We are currently accepting applications for K-12 students for the 2012-2013 school year.

Please tell your friends, neighbors & co-workers!

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
Saturday, January 28, 2012 | 10 am
Thursday, February 9, 2012 | 6 pm
Saturday, February 25, 2012| 10 am

Da Vinci Innovation Academy (K-8)
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 | 6 pm
Saturday, February 4, 2012 | 10 am
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 | 6 pm

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

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


NOTE:  Pursuant to Da Vinci Schools' charter, students residing within the territorial jurisdiction of Wiseburn receive admission preference, provided their completed enrollment application is received prior to the application deadline of March 2, 2012.   

Community Partner Spotlight: DIRECTV 

We are deeply grateful to DIRECTV for providing direct funding, volunteer support, scholarship assistance, college and career mentoring, and much more to Da Vinci Schools.

Last month, DIRECTV generously donated $3,000 to The Da Vinci College Application Scholarship Fund to help eligible families pay for college application fees. Additionally, three employees from DIRECTV's Information Technology department gave a career talk at Da Vinci Science emphasizing the importance of collaboration and communication, and other 21st century skills vital for workforce success. Seventeen more IT volunteers greatly improved the Da Vinci Science parking lot by weeding and painting all the planters as part of a community service project.

This semester, DIRECTV will participate in a new mentoring program at Da Vinci Design, giving students the opportunity to meet one-on-one
with a DIRECTV mentor. Together, they will discuss and explore the skills and education needed to succeed in high school, college and future careers.

We gratefully acknowledge DIRECTV and its employees, especially the support we've received from the Corporate Citizenship department. DIRECTV is a true community partner committed to making sure students stay competitive in the global economy.  


Headquartered in El Segundo, DIRECTV is one of the world's leading providers of digital television entertainment services delivering a premium video experience through state-of-the-art technology, unmatched programming and industry leading customer service to more than 30.8 million customers in the U.S. and Latin America. For the more information on DIRECTV, please visit www.directv.com.  

Annual Giving Campaign
How You Can Help 
House of CardsAs state funding for K-12 schools continues to shrink, we need your help now more than ever to support the success of our students and schools.

Please consider a pledge or gift today.

100% of your donation goes directly to support Da Vinci students and programs.

Your gift provides 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!