DV Masthead 20%
"Offering a private school education at a public school cost -- free!"

Back to Home Page


In This Issue
Da Vinci Schools Deliver College-Prep Results
K-1 Students Explore Careers in Community Study and Job Fair
High School Sports @ Da Vinci Schools
In the News: Da Vinci Flight School Class Featured on HCTV-22
Ed-U-Creationship Team Rolls Out First Project This Week
Making Real World Connections: Seeking Local Business and Non-Profit Partners to Provide Work Experience Opportunities
Da Vinci Schools Awarded $100,000 Technology Grant from The Riordan Foundation
Many Distinguished Visitors Tour Da Vinci Schools
Da Vinci Students Join Thousands at 'Schools We Can Believe In' Rally
Curriculum Spotlight: En el restaurante Denny's
Enrollment Information 2012-2013
Annual Giving Campaign: Save the Date! The Chevron Challenge
Wanted: Acoustic Guitars


February 21
Da Vinci Innovation Academy Information Mtn.
6 pm 

February 25
High School Information
10 am

March 1
Science College & Coffee
8 am 
March 2
K-12 Enrollment Application Deadline for 2012-2013
4 pm

March 3
Da Vinci High Schools
Spring Formal
LAX Marriott
7-11 pm

March 6
Design Coffee & Chat with the Counselors
8-9 am

March 7
High School Lottery
5:30 pm

March 8
Da Vinci Innovation Academy Lottery
5:30 pm

March 9
Da Vinci High Schools
Talent Show

March 13
High School Family Association Meetings
(Design & Science)
6 pm

March 31
Registration Day for Accepted K-12 Families
9 am

April 3 and 5
Da Vinci Innovation Academy Exhibition Nights
5-7 pm

April 4
Da Vinci Science Exhibition Night
6 pm

April 5
Da Vinci Design Exhibition
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


Dear Da Vinci Supporters,

These are incredibly exciting times at Da Vinci Schools as we celebrate the successes of our pioneer Class of 2012 and look forward to our first commencement ceremony on June 7. Already, 73% of our seniors have been accepted into four year colleges and universities. We are so proud of our students for making a difference in their own lives, in their families and in their communities.

We are thrilled to announce that Chevron Corporation is offering a generous $25,000 matching challenge grant for the second year in a row. During March, every donation and pledge to Da Vinci Schools' Annual Giving Campaign will be generously matched dollar-for dollar by Chevron, up to $25,000. Don't miss this extraordinary opportunity to support Da Vinci Schools and Double the Impact of your gift with The Chevron Challenge. Please mark your calendar!

Our success would not be possible without the tremendous dedication of our students, staff, families, board members, authorizing school district, community partners, donors, volunteers and friends.

Thank you for supporting us now and into the future.

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

Da Vinci Schools Deliver College-Prep Results

Our pioneer Class of 2012 is continuing to receive good news from colleges and universities across the nation. Already 73% of our senior class has been accepted into four year colleges and universities! Da Vinci students are college-ready, with more than 95% of seniors completing their UC/CSU A-G course requirements. We are incredibly proud of our senior class and look forward to their many achievements.

Going to College2

GOING TO COLLEGE: (L-R:  Marilyn Sanchez, Daniel Villafana, Vincent Barron, Sierra Cerda, Anthony Salazar, Ariana Chavez and Monica Menendez).

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!

K-8 Update
K-1 Students Explore Careers in Community Study and Job Fair 
K-1 FiremenAs part of the community study in Jose Arias' K-1 class, students set out to answer the question: Who are the people in my community and how does the job they do affect my life? Through conversations in class and at home, students listed people they know and the jobs they do. They referred to these people as community helpers. The students picked a community helper they wanted to research further. They brainstormed questions they wanted answered about their community helper. At home students found answers to their questions through research books, research on the internet, and even through interviews with community helpers they knew.

With the research they gathered at home, students created a "How to" book about their community helper in class. Each page in their "How to" book was a step on how to become a community helper - firefighter, mail carrier, a mayor, marine biologist, etc. The children learned most community helpers had to go to school to learn different things. The book was written for people who are interested in pursuing a career like their community helper's. The first part of the unit culminated with a job fair. Families were invited to learn more about community helpers and to become one. Students came dressed as their community helper and read their "How to" books to the people that attended the job fair.


High School Sports @ Da Vinci Schools
We are continuing to expand our high school sports program and opportunities for students with the addition of Athletic Director Thomas Curry.  

Students have many opportunities to engage in intramural sports and fitness, including twice weekly flag football, and boys and girls basketball and soccer. Soon, we will be adding tennis and volleyball to the mix. We also offer a very popular yoga class at both high schools and Marathon Club for long distance runners.

As Da Vinci Schools grow, more sports and fitness activities will be added to our sports program. 

In the News:  Da Vinci Flight School Class Featured on HCTV-22
Da Vinci Science's Flight School elective course was recently profiled on City of Hawthorne HCTV-22. The class, taught by private pilot Dan Mikkelsen of Giving Kids Wings Flight Academy, offers students real life flight training coupled with textbook learning about aviation. Check out the segment below!
Da Vinci Students Learn to Fly
Da Vinci Students Learn to Fly

Ed-U-Creationship Team Rolls Out First Project This Week 
In November, we told you about an innovative new program we launched at Da Vinci Schools called Ed-U-Creationship. An Ed-U-Creationship is a project planning team consisting of a Da Vinci student, teacher, industry expert and university partner. Working collaboratively, the Ed-U-Creationship team plans rigorous and relevant projects that bring real-world professional skills and knowledge into the classroom so students are prepared for college and the global workforce.

Ed-U-CreationshipOver the past two months, Da Vinci Design students, teachers and professional designers from Karten Design have been planning an interdisciplinary project for freshmen students at Da Vinci Design. The project involves creating social change through poetry (written in their humanities class) and student-designed and created fully functional headphones (created in engineering class). 

The Ed-U-Creationship team recently sat around a conference room table looking over mood spreads featuring designer headphones, classical violinists and electronic culture images. The conversation centered around the phenomenon of individuals sponsoring headphone lines, and what consumers wanted their designer headphones to say about them.

This project will take advantage of the professional design knowledge of Karten designers and of student passions to create an immersive, in depth and professionally applicable learning experience.  The results will be displayed at Da Vinci Design's Spring Exhibition on April 5th.

The Ed-U-Creationship Program is being spearheaded by teachers Nathan Barrymore (Design) and Joshua Thomson (Science). An Ed-U-Creationship team at Da Vinci Science that includes Raytheon engineers and a university partner will begin work on their first project within the next two weeks.

Making Real World Connections:
Seeking Local Business and Non-Profit Partners to Provide Work Experience Opportunities for Our Students 
Real world learning at Da Vinci Schools consists of many different components that allow students to connect with the workplace: guest speakers, career day, field trips, job shadows, mentorships, work experience, internships and more.

Da Vinci Schools' Work Experience Program offers students the opportunity to work unpaid in an organization. Students learn on-the-job skills while providing the organization with additional help. Students make a contribution to the organization and gain a hands-on understanding of the workplace.

Help us build our program!
We are currently seeking businesses and non-profit organizations in the immediate area which could use the help of our outstanding students. Beginning in early March, each student in the Work Experience seminar will work unpaid two afternoons a week from approximately 3:15-5:00 for two months. If you have a contact or know of a business that could use FREE HELP, please email the referral to Melanie Franko at mfranko@davincischools.org. We are interested in all types and all sizes of organizations, so do not hesitate to pass along your recommendations. Students can help in a variety of ways from greeting customers and filing, to performing data entry, updating websites, and more.

Thank you Da Vinci supporters!                                                  


Da Vinci Schools Awarded $100,000 Technology Grant from The Riordan Foundation
Da Vinci Schools have been awarded a $100,000 grant from The Riordan Foundation as part of The Riordan Personalized Digital Learning Initiative.

iPad 2The funds will be used to help purchase 950 iPad 2s to power a 1:1 iPad program that will involve every student and certificated staff member at Da Vinci Science and Da Vinci Design in personalized digital learning that dovetails with our existing project-based learning culture. 

The iPad 2 technology will allow us to integrate technology more powerfully into our curriculum, increase student engagement and achievement, help students acquire 21st century skills,enhance project-based learning, offer more personalized instruction, increase mentoring opportunities, and much more.

Da Vinci Schools IT Director Jaime Hernandez is spearheading the project that will be implemented over a four-year period.

Many Distinguished Visitors Tour Da Vinci Schools
Lockyer visitWord is getting out that Da Vinci Schools is a leader in educational excellence and innovation. Over the past several months, many distinguished visitors have toured Da Vinci Schools, including:  California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer (pictured right: back row, middle with Executive Director Dr. Matthew Wunder, Science principal Steve Wallis and 11th grade students); CA Charter Schools Association President and CEO Jed Wallace; CA State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson; Antioch University Los Angeles President Dr. Tex Boggs and Provost Dr. Luis Pedraja; Art Center College of Design President Lorne Buchman; Marymount College President Dr. Michael Brophy; Stuart Karten of Karten Design; and many more. 

Thank you for sharing your time with us!  

Da Vinci Students Join Thousands at 'Schools We Can Believe In' Rally
On Sat., Feb. 4, forty-three Da Vinci students and staff joined more than 5,000 parents, students, teachers and education leaders from across Los Angeles for the "Schools We Can Believe In" rally at Exposition Park, to demand high quality public schools in every neighborhood and equal funding for all public school students. Currently, funding for public education in the state dropped to a historic low late last year, according to a report by the California Budget Project, with California ranking 46th in the nation in per pupil spending. The rally was coordinated by Families That Can, a statewide organization of charter school parents that is part of the California Charter Schools Association.

CCSA Rally 2 

CCSA Rally

Curriculum Spotlight:  En el restaurante Denny's
PROJECT FOCUS:  To make the "En el restaurante" project come alive and to give students a real experience of using the vocabulary they acquired, students in Gracie Petrash's Spanish 2 and 3 classes recently went on a field trip to Denny's restaurant in the Del Aire neighborhood to practice their conversational Spanish.

Denny'sThe Denny's wait staff was instructed to only speak Spanish to the 10th and 11th grade students to give them a genuine experience of dining in Spanish.

Most students said they practiced ordering beforehand by downloading Denny's Spanish language menu or by consulting Google Translate. As part of the project, students learned basic restaurant vocabulary, how to order food, how to describe food, how to request a check, and how to pay the check and tip.

Upon their return to class, students wrote short reviews in Spanish of their dining experience as if they were food critics writing for a magazine. Students' written reviews will be their first project of the 2nd semester.

Students in Spanish 2 are learning the preterite (past tense), verb endings and conjugations.

At Da Vinci Schools, what goes on outside the classroom is as important as what happens inside. This "learn by doing" experience was a great way for students to apply their knowledge from the classroom to an authentic off-campus learning experience.

Enrollment Update
Enrollment Information 2012-2013 
Summer School Sun
Hurry don't miss your opportunity to join the Da Vinci Family. The application deadline for the 2012-2013 school year 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.

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, February 25, 2012| 10 am

Da Vinci Innovation Academy (K-8)
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 | 6 pm

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

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 admissions preference, provided their completed enrollment application is received prior to the application deadline of March 2, 2012.   

Annual Giving Campaign

March Pledge Month
Chevron Matching Gift Challenge

Every donation and pledge during March will be generously matched dollar-for-dollar
by Chevron, up to $25,000
We are thrilled to announce that Chevron is offering a generous matching gift challenge for theChevron Fueling Education logo second year in a row.

During March, every donation and pledge to Da Vinci Schools' Annual Giving Campaign will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Chevron, up to $25,000!!

Don't miss this extraordinary opportunity to Double the Impact of your gift with The Chevron Challenge.  Please mark your calendar!

Any donation amount will help us reach our goal of 100% participation.

All donations and pledges made in March must be paid in full by June 1, 2012 to be eligible for the Chevron match.

Money raised through The Chevron Challenge will be used to support 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.

We are deeply grateful to Chevron and Lily Craig, Chevron's External Affairs Manager, for their ongoing support of Da Vinci Schools and for their generosity in establishing The Chevron Challenge.

Phone-a-thon Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are crucial to our Annual Giving success. We are looking for enthusiastic callers to participate in our Annual Giving Phone-a-thon on Saturday, March 3 from 8:30-Noon. If making calls isn't your thing, we have plenty to do behind the scenes including post-call record keeping. To volunteer, please contact Carla Levenson at clevenson@davincischools.org. You can volunteer for a block of time or as much as you like. Snacks and volunteer service hours credit will be provided!

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!

Our Guitar Seminar class is short on acoustic guitars. If you
have one available, please contact Gracie Petrash at gpetrash@davincischools.org. We thank you!