November 2009 
In This Issue
Early College Program
Professional Development for Teachers
Making Real-World Connections
Enrollment Process
Annual Giving Campaign
Roller Coaster Project

Happy Thanksgiving

3  Coffee with the Principal

10 Enrollment Info Meeting & School Tour

11 College & Career Day (Da Vinci Science)

12 College & Career Day
(Da Vinci Design)

13  Early College Meeting

17 Caf?con la directora

19  Early College Meeting

23-27  Thanksgiving Holiday Week

College & Career Days at Da Vinci Schools
Nov. 11-12

Students will complete interest inventories and participate in a series of lectures, workshops and activities designed to promote college and career awareness and exploration.

New Friday Schedule

To better serve the needs of our students, we have made a schedule change for Fridays. Instead of meeting only with their core teachers, students will go to all 5 of their classes including their elective.  The start and end time of school will not be affected.
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Da Vinci Schools
13500 Aviation Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA  90250

(310) 725-5800

Matthew Wunder, Ed.D. Executive Director

Nicole Tempel

Dear Da Vinci Families and Friends:

What Makes Us Unique?

At Da Vinci Schools, our students and teachers know each other well in a small, safe, personalized learning community based on trust and high expectations for all. Our faculty collaborate during 19 days of paid professional development time so that they may integrate our innovative project-based curriculum across the subjects in a technology-rich environment. We will soon offer early college classes on-site so students may simultaneously earn a high school diploma and up to two years of transferable college credit.  Respected industry professionals and community partners support and enrich our programs through mentoring, internships and strategic guidance.

We offer a fundamentally different experience at Da Vinci Schools.  Find out more about what makes us unique below!
Early College Program

One of the hallmarks of a Da Vinci education is our commitment to prepare and qualify all students to attend a 4-year university. All Da Vinci students will have the opportunity to earn up to two years of college credit on-site by the time they graduate.  To find out more about our Early College Program, we invite you to attend one of our special Parent/Student Information Meetings.  Early College Program classes will begin in Spring 2010.  These classes are free to all Da Vinci students and will be offered by El Camino College on-site at the Da Vinci campus. 

WHAT:  Early College Parent/Student Information Meetings

WHEN:  Friday, November 13, 10:00 a.m.
            Thursday, November 19, 6:00 p.m.

WHERE:  Da Vinci Forum

Professional Development for Teachers

Professional development for our teachers is a top priority at Da Vinci Schools.  We know that the success of our students rests on the shoulders of our teachers.  That is why we provide our teachers with 19 days of paid professional development time plus 5 1/2 hours per week to ensure that they have the time, support and resources necessary to make sure that every student who graduates from Da Vinci Schools is capable of meeting the demands of higher education and the 21st century workplace.  Most schools, if they provide professional growth training at all, provide only 1-3 days per year. 

As part of our continuing professional development, eight Da Vinci teachers and our principal recently visited High Tech High Media Arts in San Diego, a similar project-based, college prep school. The Da Vinci team met with High Tech High teachers, conducted classroom observations, and saw many student projects.

Making Real-World Connections

Da Vinci Schools are very fortunate to have strong support from two highly respected and influential industry leaders.

Dr. Ray M. Haynes, Director of University Strategic Alliances for
the Technical Development Office of Northrop Grumman Space Technology in Redondo Beach, serves as Director of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Integration for Da Vinci Science.  As a recruiter of talent for Northrop Grumman and a respected and well-connected engineer and scientist, Dr. Haynes will work closely with Da Vinci teachers to ensure that our students receive the tools and skill sets needed to succeed and prosper in college and in careers in the scientific community.  Dr. Haynes has written extensively on the training and development needs for the workforce of the future, and is committed to making sure our students are prepared for challenging jobs in the aerospace and defense industry and other technology-oriented enterprises.

Jonathan Schleyer, a senior planner at TBWA\Chiat\Day, has spent countless hours working with Da Vinci Schools to develop our global brand strategy and marketing position to differentiate our schools from other local schools and exemplary institutions across the country.  A seasoned marketing, research and advertising executive, Jonathan coined the term "edu-creation" and facilitated a large group of school stakeholders to identify marketplace insights, similarities, differences, opportunities and positioning options.  This "disruption" workshop resulted in the naming of Da Vinci Schools by a group of students.  Jonathan also developed Da Vinci's "design book" and led the logo design process from start to finish, which took six months in development. Jonathan is committed to keeping a watchful eye on the Da Vinci Design curricula and philosophy to ensure a studio culture that fosters creativity, flexibility and innovative thinking. 
Da Vinci Faculty, Staff Invited to Speak at Two Education Conferences

Principal Nicole Tempel and Executive Director Matthew Wunder will speak at the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) Fall Forum on Nov. 6-7. Nicole will speak on "Avoiding Bumps, Potholes and Roadblocks:  Effective Structures and Strategies for School Start-Ups" and Matt will participate in a panel on "What Families Want:  Attracting and Engaging Parents and Students." The CES Network includes hundreds of schools focused on helping all students use their minds well through standards-aligned interdisciplinary studies, community-based "real-world" learning, and performance-based assessment.

Ninth grade design teacher Leona Matthews and Assistant Principal and humanities teacher Erin Hughes will present a workshop on Nov. 6 at West L.A. College's Annual College Retreat.  The session will focus on innovative teaching strategies to increase student engagement, understanding and retention. 
Enrollment Process

Looking to enroll your child in Da Vinci Schools next year? Admission for the 2010-2011 school year is underway.

Three actions are necessary to apply to Da Vinci Schools: 
1. Attend one mandatory Information Meeting & School Tour 
Information Meetings & School Tour Dates 
-       Thursday, November 5, 2009, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm (Dana Middle School) No tour given this date

-       Tuesday, November 10, 2009, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm (Da Vinci Forum)  New date added!

-       Thursday, December 10, 2009, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm (Da Vinci Forum)

-       Saturday, January 16, 2010, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm (Da Vinci Forum) 
 Students are encouraged to attend! 
All families must attend an Information Meeting & School Tour prior to submitting an Admissions Lottery Form. 
Our Information Meeting & School Tour will help give families a great overview of the curriculum, faculty and campus, and introduce you to current Da Vinci students. 
2. Fill out an Admissions Lottery Form at the Information Meeting & School Tour.  If you need help filling out the form, please let us know. 
3. Submit the Admissions Lottery Form on or before our deadline of January 20, 2010, at 4:00 p.m.  Earlier submissions are appreciated. 
Lottery Date 
The Lottery will take place on January 21, 2010, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the Da Vinci Forum.  Attendance is optional.

For more information, please visit our Enrollment FAQ page.

Annual Giving Campaign

Investing in Excellence

Recent education cuts have resulted in a funding loss of at least $250,000 for Da Vinci Schools. Whether you can give $50 or $500, every gift counts and will make an immediate impact on the daily lives of our students and programs. 

Look how far your dollar will go!

140 gifts of $50 will provide school-wide college field trips.

125 gifts of $100 will build an internship program for our students.

100 gifts of $180 will buy a comprehensive before and after school program with tutoring, sports, computer classes, and arts workshops.

55 gifts of $365 will provide all of our teachers with a project budget to engage students in more project-based learning.

70 gifts of $500 will buy a full set of laptops and software for an entire class of students.

The Annual Giving Campaign is Da Vinci's only fundraiser of the year
. The suggested donation amount for the 2009-2010 school year is $365 per family (only $1 per day)

Please support Da Vinci Schools by donating to the Annual Giving Campaign.  Gifts can be made in any number of ways, including by check, Visa, MasterCard or AMEX.  You may send your gift by mail to Da Vinci Schools, 13500 Aviation Blvd., Hawthorne, CA  90250. 

Or, click here to make a gift online or download a donation form/pledge card in pdf. 

For more information on Annual Giving, please visit our FAQ page or contact Sara Deulofeu at (310) 725-5800 or

Thank you for your generous support!

Roller Coaster
Roller Coaster project
PROJECT FOCUS: The goal of this project was to design and build a roller coaster for marbles using cardstock paper and to investigate how much of the gravitational potential energy of a marble at the starting point is converted to the kinetic energy of the marble at various points along the track.  The roller coasters included curves, loops, and funnels.  Students calculated speed, velocity, acceleration, kinetic and potential energy, gathering data that is unique to their own roller coaster.  Come onto campus and check out our roller coasters!
Customize Your Da Vinci Backpack

Sew Creative Cafe in Redondo Beach has offered to embroider student's names on Da Vinci backpacks.  The cost is $10 (a $5 savings off the regular price).  Sew Creative Cafe offers classes in sewing, quilting, knitting and crochet. For more information, visit