Da Vinci Charter Schools Board of Trustees
Wiseburn School District Board of Trustees
Wiseburn School District Management
Jennifer Morgan, Community Outreach Director
Jonathan Schleyer, Director of Design Integration
Ray Haynes, Director of STEM Integration
Data DirectorNorma Diaz
Yolanda Saldana Bautista
Business Community Supporters
Continental Development Corporation
Loyola Marymount University
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
High Tech High School Graduate School
Executive Advisory Council
Restoration Day Volunteers
Larry Hubler Larry
Francisco Javier Lopez
Welcome to Innovate!
From the Executive Director
Hello, Da Vinci Schools Community! I am excited to share this newsletter issue with you.
Thanks to the efforts of our amazing volunteers and staff, we are right on schedule for the August opening of Da Vinci Design and Da Vinci Science.
The ever-expanding roster at left shows how the community is really participating in the creation of these schools. If you would like to join in this invigorating process, we welcome additional volunteers. Please come to Restoration Day 3 this Saturday, May 2, to help complete some late-stage facility improvements -- and talk with me while you are there about other ways you can become involved.
If you are a parent who has not yet attended one of our Family Information Nights, please come this Monday, May 4, to hear how the Da Vinci schools will benefit your child and meet some of the exceptional, highly qualified teachers we have hired.
I hope to see you at Da Vinci on Saturday! Thank you for your continued support of the charter schools.
Volunteers Needed May 2 for Restoration Day
What are you doing on Saturday, May 2, 2009?
Hopefully you'll be joining other members of the Da Vinci Schools community to help complete the transformation of the facility.
Restoration Day 3 activities -- painting, gardening, cleaning windows, preparing rooms -- will take place from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm at 13500 Aviation Blvd., Hawthorne, CA 90250.
Don't miss this chance to roll up your sleeves and feel the rewards of working as a team for a common goal: the class of 2013!
Attention, Parents! May 4 Information Night
Are you the parent of an eighth-grader? Are you interested in having your child attend Da Vinci Science or Da Vinci Design but you haven't yet attended an information session?
You are invited to our next Family Information Night, to be held Monday, May 4, 2009, from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm in the Community Room at the Da Vinci Schools facility: 13500 Aviation Blvd., Hawthorne, CA 90250.
Bring your family and your questions! Don't miss this opportunity to learn how the Da Vinci schools will position your child for academic and college success, plus provide the kind of supportive social environment that makes high school meaningful for students. The Da Vinci schools are tuition-free public charter schools.
Photo credit Monica's Dad
Da Vinci Academic Programs Take Shape
The innovative academic culture at DaVinci Science and Da Vinci Design will feature proven, research-based instructional practices for all ninth-grade students entering this fall: rigor integrated into technology-enhanced, hands-on projects; a supportive atmosphere where all students are known well by staff; professional internships in areas of academic interest; the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school; and much more.
Recently Da Vinci staff met with faculty from Art Center, a global leader in art and design education, to discuss Da Vinci Design curriculum (see image above).
The hiring of outstanding teachers for the Da Vinci schools continues. Below, recent hire Erin Hughes, a talented English teacher formerly of Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, is pictured at left. To Erin's right are founding principal Nicole Tempel and founding science teacher Steve Wallis.
Meet Nicole Tempel, Principal
Nicole Tempel is the founding principal of the Da Vinci Schools.
Originally from Germany, Nicole worked in television in both the Unites States and Europe before becoming an instructional leader and educator. Fluent in four languages, she spent the past eight years as an educator in the United States, Germany, Brazil and Mexico, working in K-12 schools and universities. As Assistant Principal of Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, Nicole led staff in assuring 100% graduation and college acceptance for students, increasing parent involvement, and doubling English proficiency for English Language Learners. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Southern California and holds master's degrees from the University of San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University. Here, she answers some questions as part of our first DaVinci staff member profile.What was your favorite class in high school, and why?
Spanish. I had an amazing teacher at Coronado High School in Coronado, Calif. - Smoky Bayless. He always pushed me to do my best. He took the time to know me as a real person and made me realize I could be a successful student. I took three years of Spanish with him; he was tough, fair and engaging. In my last year, our Advanced Placement class hosted Spanish dinners and visited Mexico several times. Our culminating project was a summer trip to Spain. It was simply amazing. Smoky and I stay in touch - in Spanish - and to this day he makes sure my grammar and verb tenses are correct. What jobs did you hold in high school or college?
Like many teenagers, I made my first dollars babysitting. My first paycheck arrived during my senior year of high school, when I worked at a French home décor boutique down the street from my house. In college I was the lead student fundraiser, and in one month I raised over $11,000 in parent donations for student scholarships. It was a lot of fun. What draws you to education?
In high school, my counselor told me I was not "college material" and that "students like me" did not go to college. My principal, Dr. Davis, helped me see this was not the case and I could do whatever I set my mind to (he knew all too well how stubborn and free-spirited I was). Educators should never tell students who they cannot be; instead, it is their duty to inspire students to explore all the futures they might have.
The program we are designing for Da Vinci students introduces them to college (through early college classes which will prepare them and give them credit for later efforts) and helps them explore career and industry opportunities (through job shadows, apprenticeships, and a rigorous applied curriculum). In short, my interest in education comes from the desire to help all students explore their college and career choices so they may discover their passion and pursue opportunities for success. What excites you most about the Da Vinci schools?
I love the community we are located in. This is the third charter start-up I have been involved in, and the start-up phase is always exciting. You get to use your imagination to create great opportunities for students. However, what I am most excited about at Da Vinci is working in such a caring community. The support from our parents, students, community members and school boards has been wonderful. This is an amazing place to be and I feel so lucky to work with such amazing people.
The second thing I am excited about is June 2013 - the date of our first graduating class. Mark your calendar! With the community support we have, this first graduation will be a huge moment for our community, our schools, and our students and families.
Thank you for being part of the Wiseburn 21st Century Charter Schools community. Please contact us anytime to share your comments, concerns or questions -- these are your schools.
Executive DirectorWiseburn 21st Century Charter Schools