ANNUAL GIFTS. DAILY IMPACT.
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We extend our heartfelt thanks to our students, families, staff, key partners and supporters for helping us achieve these results and recognition.
- RISE High, incubated at Da Vinci Schools, wins $10 million 'Super School' Grant to start a school for homeless, foster youth, and other diverse learners in the XQ: The Super School Project, a national competition to reimagine high school funded by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. > See related article
- Da Vinci's hiring practices are highlighted in a Next Generation Learning Challenges brief, Next Gen Tools: Hiring for Mindset, and in a blog post, "How to Hire Teachers with a Next Gen Mindset." Da Vinci Communications was funded in part by a prestigious NextGen grant funded by the Gates and Hewlett Foundations.
- Da Vinci hosted its first-ever Project Pitch Panel - an event in which industry professionals provided real world feedback to teachers on their upcoming projects in order to incorporate industry knowledge and skills into the curriculum.
- Da Vinci hosted its first Summer Conference for Educators interested in taking a deeper dive into Da Vinci best practicees. The multi-day conference, hosted by Da Vinci Institute, focused on Project-Based Learning, Mastery-Based Grading, Fostering Authentic Industry Partnerships, and Building Positive School Cultures.
- Class of 2016 graduates are college-ready and career-prepared with 98% of graduating seniors having completed the necessary coursework for admission to a 4-year college or university, 80% of whom received 4-year university offers. Since 2011, more than 850 students have gained valuable work experience as part of Da Vinci’s Real World Learning program. >> See Delivering College and Career-Ready Results
- Two Da Vinci Science students have been named POSSE Scholars, receiving four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships at Northwestern University and Dickinson College.
- Our Real World Learning program has been undergoing an exciting expansion. In 2015-16, 286 students participated in internships and work experience, bringing the approximate total to date to 859 students since the program's inception. 61 students have been placed into summer internships, four students were selected for prestigious Boeing internships, and two students were selected for IT internships at SpaceX. >> See related article
- As leaders in progressive education, our leadership team has been invited to speak at several industry events this school year, including Deeper Learning 2016, Linked Learning Convention, K12 MindSHIFT Summit, California Charter Schools Annual Conference, Schools That Can’s “Reimagining the Education Pathway” Forum, the Association of Superintendents with Innovative Charter Schools, and Schoolzilla's Data-Driven SoCal conference.
- Da Vinci Schools continue to attract local, national, and international attention for our innovative programs and practices. This school year, we have hosted educators from Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, India, Italy, Denmark, Serbia, Turkey, Greeley-Evans School District (Colorado), Menta schools (Illinois), L.A. Unified, Alpine Union School District (San Diego), Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, California Charter Schools Association, and many more. >> See related article
- Da Vinci Design students designed and painted soccer-themed murals at Hawthorne Memorial Center Park in celebration of the opening of new public soccer fields that were funded by The LA Galaxy Foundation and Chevrolet. One of the murals is of LA Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes, a Hawthorne native, who joined in the festivities.
- Following its initial site visit, Da Vinci Communications achieved full accreditation through June 2019 from the Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC).
- For the third year in a row, Da Vinci Innovation Academy is named in Getting Smart's Top 65 list. This prestigious list of schools is compiled each year by Tom Vander Ark, one of the nation’s leading educational voices.
- Da Vinci Schools and Wiseburn Unified officially break ground on their new world-class, 21st century high school campus slated to open in August 2017. A construction blog, douglasat201.org, has been launched to document its progress.
- Da Vinci launches a 13th year program in 2015-16 called Da Vinci Extension, in partnership with UCLA Extension. DVX is a university transfer and career pathway program for current Da Vinci students who wish to complete their freshman GE college coursework at Da Vinci while gaining on-the-job work experience through paid and unpaid internships.
- In response to the hundreds of visitors from six continents who have come to Da Vinci to study its best practices, Da Vinci launches Da Vinci Institute to provide professional development for educators from around the globe. >> See related article
- Class of 2015 graduates are college- ready and career-prepared with 98% of graduating seniors having completed the necessary coursework for admission to a 4-year college or university, 75% of whom received 4-year university offers. Close to 600 students have gained valuable work experience as part of Da Vinci’s Real World Learning program since its inception. >> See related article
- Da Vinci Schools' archery team captured 2nd Place and five medals at the Olympic Archery in Schools L.A. Conference Championships held in April, qualifying for the State Championships on May 23, 2015. This is the second consecutive year that the team has placed 2nd and only their second year in competition.
- The Da Vinci Science robotics team, the Vitruvian Bots, seeded 14th out of 76 teams and finished in 7th place in its division at the FIRST Robotics World Championships, capping an extraordinary season for this young team. In March, Team 4201 finished 2nd overall at the Ventura Regional Competition, winning the Industrial Design Award that recognizes excellence in design form and function. Junior Maleko Bravo was awarded the Dean's List Finalist Award. >> Read related article
- Da Vinci Design students compete at the 21st Annual Riordan Scholars Stock Market Research Analyst Competition with senior Nathand Carter and junior Stefanie Perez's team capturing 2nd place overall.
- Miguel Ceniceros, a Da Vinci Science senior, is named a Gates Millennium Scholar, a nationally competitive and elite scholarship program that provides full financial support for undergraduate and graduate school programs for 10 years. Ceniceros was one of the 1,000 students selected from a pool of 52,000 applicants. He is the fourth Da Vinci student to be named a Gates Millennium Scholar. >> Read related article
- Three Da Vinci Design students are named POSSE Scholars, receiving four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships at Bucknell University and Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
- Da Vinci Design 11th grade artists present "Painting Baraka" at MakerCityLA. Students created original acrylic paintings based upon the documentary film Baraka which explores themes of beauty and destruction in nature.
- Da Vinci Innovation Academy middle school student Karlsun Jennings competed in the 2015 Vex Robotics World Championship Middle School Division as part of the Rolling Robots Robotics Afterschool Program. Team 7700B took home the Excellence Award and ranked 2nd in Programming Skills.
- Da Vinci and Wiseburn Unified leadership present, "Charter-Authorizer Relations: Partnering for Success," at the 22nd Annual California Charter Schools Association Conference.
- Da Vinci Schools is selected as a model demonstration site at the inaugural Linked Learning Convention. More than 40 educators visit Da Vinci Science to see career-based education in action.
- Da Vinci Schools is awarded a $52.7 million state grant through the Charter School Facilities Program. These funds will be used to complete the new world-class high school facility at 201 N. Douglas Street in El Segundo, in partnership with the Wiseburn Unified School District.
- Da Vinci Communications 10th grade students are invited to present their conflict minerals project at Northrop Grumman's Global Supply Chain Preventative and Corrective Action Board Meeting, in support of responsible sourcing of minerals.
- Da Vinci Innovation Academy is recognized as one of the top 100 Schools Worth Visiting in the nation by Tom Vander Ark, founder of Getting Smart, and leader in educational technology.
- Da Vinci Communications students are invited to present at the iNACOL 2014 Symposium, the industry's leading event for K-12 online, blended and personalized learning.
- Da Vinci Schools is invited to present a case study on how K-12 schools and industry can work together to support real-world learning for the 21st century at the Schools That Can 2nd Annual e2e (Education to Employment) Symposium.
- Da Vinci Schools enters into a groundbreaking collaboration with Northrop Grumman and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to prepare students for college and STEM careers.
- Da Vinci Communications forms a partnership with 72andSunny, one of the most innovative advertising agencies in the world. 10th grade students work alongside agency brand strategists to conduct research, create story boards, strategy maps, and a final deliverable to raise awareness of the national TRUTH campaign (www.thetruth.com) to end teenage smoking.
- Da Vinci Science is called a "global model for STEM education" in a Huffington Post article penned by Dr. Vince Bertram, the president and CEO of Project Lead The Way, a national nonprofit dedicated to developing high-quality STEM curriculum and teacher training.
- Da Vinci Innovation Academy is recognized as a leader in personalized learning through its partnership with Activate Instruction connecting parents to teacher-vetted content to support home-based learning.
>> Read related article
- Wiseburn Unified School District, formerly Wiseburn School District, became California's newest K-12 unified school district on July 1, 2014. Da Vinci Schools now serve as Wiseburn's "home" high schools.
- Da Vinci Science is selected as "A Favorite" charter school by Daily Breeze readers in the South Bay's Best 2014 contest.
- Class of 2014 graduates are college ready and career prepared with 98% of graduating seniors having met UC and CSU “A-G” requirements for admission and 84% of whom received four-year university offers. Close to 500 students have gained valuable work experience as part of Da Vinci’s Real World Learning program since its inception.
- Da Vinci Schools are invited by Los Angeles Unified School District to serve as a best practice demonstration site for establishing a regional real world learning model as part of a $15 million Career Pathways Grant from the state's Department of Education for programs linking learning and career and technical education.
- Three Da Vinci Science 9th graders capture 2nd place in the 2014 Chevron Design Challenge state finals coming within one point of the first place team. The freshmen trio of young women won the Chevron Design Challenge regional competition, beating out 16 teams from Southern California, many of whom were juniors and seniors.
- The Da Vinci Schools Sports Program is approved for membership in California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) at the Junior Varsity Level beginning in 2014-15. > Learn More...
- Da Vinci Design artists take 4th, 6th, 7th and 9th place at the 4th Annual L.A. Graffiti Art Exhibit and Award Celebration.
- Da Vinci Science is the recipient of one of 10 space kits awarded by the Canvas Space Program in partnership with Project Lead The Way. The kit contains everything needed to launch and retrieve a high altitude balloon into space.
- Thirty Da Vinci Design students participate in the Riordan Scholars Saturday Business Institute at Da Vinci Design, a mentoring program that pairs MBA students from the UCLA Anderson School of Business with 10th, 11th and 12th graders to discuss their academic, career and personal goals. Twelve students compete at the 20th Annual Riordan Scholars Stock Market Competition with senior Alejandro Jaramillo's team capturing top honors.
- Da Vinci Science junior Tony Stuart won a Dean's List Award and a $10,000 scholarship at the FIRST Robotics Competition National Championships in St. Louis, Missouri. Tony was one of only 10 students selected from a field of thousands who applied from across the country.
- Da Vinci Science FIRST Robotics Team 4201, the "Vitruvian Bots," had a stellar 2014 season, finishing 5th out of 66 teams in the Los Angeles Regional Competition, and their alliance finished in third place. In addition, Da Vinci won the Imagery Award and the Motorola Quality Award.
- Da Vinci Science is one of 9 recipients in California to win the "2014 Top AFS School” award for incorporating intercultural and experiential learning opportunities into the curriculum.
- Two Da Vinci Design students are named POSSE Scholars, receiving four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships at Syracuse University and Kalamazoo College.
- Deconstruction begins at 201 N. Douglas Street, the future home of Da Vinci Design, Da Vinci Communications, Da Vinci Science, Wiseburn Unified School District offices and Da Vinci Schools home offices. The new facility, designed by Gensler, will open in 2017 and will serve Wiseburn families and others in small learning communities with expanded opportunities in CIF sports, music, arts and more.
- Da Vinci Schools leadership presents on "Mastery-Based Grading and Project-Based Learning: A Marriage" and the "Freshman Overnighter Experience" at the 2014 California Charter Schools Association Conference in San Jose, CA.
- Da Vinci Schools are featured in several local and national news publications highlighting our work in real world, project-based, and blended learning. See "California Charter Caters to Home-Schooled Students" (Education Week, Jan. 8, 2014) and other articles In the News.
- Education Week recognized Da Vinci Innovation Academy as among "38 Elementary and Middle Schools Worth Visiting" (Nov. 27, 2013). Da Vinci Innovation Academy and the other schools were recognized for achieving exceptional results, creating powerful learning experiences, and creating innovative technology blends.
- Da Vinci Schools receives an official license from the TED organization to host a TEDx event. Students at Da Vinci Communications and Design talk about life, love and other stories that matter. See TEDx@DaVinciSchools.
- Da Vinci Schools establishes a Board of Regents to assist the schools in articulating our work and vision to the business, education, and philanthropic communities of Los Angeles and beyond.
- Da Vinci Schools receives a $100K gift from Northrop Grumman for STEM education. This generous gift was made possible through the leadership and vision of Art Lofton, a Da Vinci board trustee, member of the Da Vinci Family, and the Vice President Global Quality for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.
- Da Vinci Schools is invited to participate at a Schools That Can meeting at West Point on Oct. 26 to lay the foundation for initiatives across the country that “Accelerate the teaching of 21st Century skills leading to jobs of the future.” Da Vinci was among 45 thought leaders from urban schools, industry, foundations, universities, and government to participate.
- Da Vinci Schools is chosen by The Philanthropy Roundtable as one of only two schools to host a visit of 70+ foundation leaders and private philanthropists.
- Da Vinci Innovation Academy is featured in two Daily Breeze articles on the changing face of homeschooling in America, "Homeschooling is no longer just for the deeply religious, enters mainstream" and "Modern-day homeschooling is more social than it sounds."
- Da Vinci Communications, Da Vinci's fourth school, opens with 64 9th grade students, a focus on computer-based instruction, and an optional 5th year of high school providing students the opportunity to complete an Associate’s Degree and reduce the time and cost of earning a Bachelor’s Degree. The school is funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates and The William and Flora Hewlett
Foundations, Northrop Grumman, Chevron, and two private foundations.
- Da Vinci Science engineering teacher Lenny Perez is one of only two teachers in California selected by Project Lead The Way to pilot the first course in their newest career pathway, Computer Science Engineering.
- Da Vinci Design and Da Vinci Science each are reaccredited by the Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC) for 6 years, the longest accreditation term the body grants to any institution.
- Da Vinci Schools' first full class of seniors from Da Vinci Design and Da Vinci Science graduate, 98% of whom completed their "a-g" requirements for admission to a 4-year university, and 78% of whom were accepted to a 4-year university. Three Da Vinci students were named Gates Millennium Scholars. > See Delivering College Prep Results
- Da Vinci Schools hosts a Young Women's Career Conference with seven senior level executive women, including SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell, discussing what it takes to get ahead and be successful.
- Da Vinci Science receives certification for its Project Lead The Way (PLTW) program. Da Vinci Science currently offers six PLTW classes and will add two more in 2013-14. PLTW is the gold standard of rigorous and innovative STEM education curricular programs used in middle and high schools across the U.S.
- Da Vinci Science is selected by Project Lead The Way to participate in a national pilot program exposing students to high-demand career paths in Computer Science and Information Technology. Da Vinci Science will join about 50 schools nationwide to pilot a new PLTW course, Computer Science and Software Engineering, for the 2013-2014 school year.
- Da Vinci Design, Da Vinci Science, and Da Vinci Innovation Academy are named among an elite group of Schools That Can.
- Da Vinci Schools is awarded a coveted Next Generation Learning Challenges grant, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundations, to start a new high school-university "hybrid" in 2013-2014 that will reduce the time and cost of completing a bachelor's degree.
- Dr. David Brown, Executive Director of the WASC Accrediting Commission for Schools, says "Da Vinci Schools are among the very finest I've seen."
- Da Vinci students have been accepted into prestigious summer programs at Yale, UCLA, LMU and other programs designed to develop students’ skills in key academic and leadership areas.
- Da Vinci Schools delivers college prep results with 100% of Da Vinci Science’s inaugural Class of 2012 going on to college, 87% of whom have been accepted into 4-year universities and 98% of whom have completed their "a-g" UC/CSU admission requirements.
- In June, we held our first Da Vinci Teacher Presentation of Learning Colloquium as part of our Teacher Education and Support Program, a teacher credentialing program launched this school year, in partnership with High Tech High Graduate School of Education.
- In April, a team of women from Da Vinci Science won 1st Place at the 3rd Annual YES! (Youth Engineering Success) Program, sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers at Cal Poly Pomona.
- Da Vinci Design was one of 50 semi-finalists in the 2012 Vans Custom Culture Shoe Design Competition, a national contest that attracted a pool of over 400 entrants from all 50 states. This is the second consecutive year that Da Vinci has been a semi-finalist.
- Da Vinci Schools was selected to participate in an informational hearing on STEM education hosted by Assemblymember Betsy Butler at Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach. The event brought together innovators and educators focused on preparing the next generation of engineers and scientists.
- Da Vinci's Robotics Team won the Top Rookie Seed award at the 2012 Los Angeles Regional FIRST Robotics Competition, finishing #5 out of 66 teams.
- Da Vinci Science won 2nd Place in the Northrop Grumman High School Innovation Challenge that was part of National Engineers Week 2012.
- Da Vinci Schools are awarded a $100,000 technology grant from The Riordan Foundation as part of The Riordan Personalized Digital Learning Initiative.
- Da Vinci Schools launched a Work Experience Program with more than 50 students interning at more than 20 local businesses. This real world learning is a hallmark of a Da Vinci education.
- Da Vinci was invited to contribute a chapter to a scholarly book on educational practice coming out later this year, Educating for Creativity.
- Da Vinci Schools form new partnerships with Antioch University Los Angeles, Marymount College and Foothill-De Anza Community College District to offer “early college” classes in which students earn college credits for free while simultaneously working toward their high school diploma.
- Da Vinci Schools partner with industry to launch an innovative new program called Ed-U-Creationship, The pilot program establishes collaborative project planning teams that include teachers, students, industry experts, and university professionals to develop rigorous and relevant real-world projects that bring professional practice into the classroom. Raytheon and Karten Design co-create the program’s first projects.
- Da Vinci Schools are awarded a $100,000 two-year grant by a private non-profit foundation to expand the Da Vinci Early College Program.
- Da Vinci Science was named an official chapter of the Rotary Interact Club, the California Scholastic Federation, and the National Honor Society.
- Da Vinci Design forms new partnerships with Art Center College of Design, Industrial Designers Society of America, and Deutsch, Inc. to offer college level classes and curriculum support.
- Da Vinci Science won the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) 2011 Excellence in Engineering Education Collaboration Award for its extensive collaboration with Northrop Grumman and other key partners.
- The Da Vinci Innovation Academy officially opened its doors on August 25, 2011, offering families a new approach to K-8 education that combines school-site instruction with home-based learning.
- Da Vinci Schools were awarded two large "Energy for Learning" grants by Chevron in 2011 and 2010 as part of the company's investment in South Bay schools to advance STEM education and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.
- Da Vinci Schools were featured at the 2011 ASEE Conference with two poster sessions on the agenda. Dr. Ray Haynes, Da Vinci's Director of STEM Integration and a retired Northrop engineer, moderated a panel on "Evolutionary Models for College-Industry Partnerships" that explored emerging strategies in industry-education partnerships, including how to attract more K-12 students into STEM college programs and careers.
- Da Vinci Design students won Third Place in the Raytheon Engineering Games that was part of National Engineers Week 2011.
- Da Vinci Schools won the Best Community Service Award in the 2011 QuikSCience Challenge, a national competition sponsored by the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, Quiksilver, Inc., and the Quiksilver Foundation.
- In November, the Wiseburn Community resoundingly approved an $87 million bond measure to open a state-of-the-art, 21st century high school facility to serve the families of our education community.
- Da Vinci Schools earned four years of accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The Visiting Committee noted our high quality learning environment, supportive community partnerships, ability to serve students with different learning needs, and our clear sense of purpose and direction.
- The U.S. Department of State selected Da Vinci Schools as a visit site for 25 international STEM educators. Da Vinci Science was identified as a "best practice" example demonstrating how industry, government, academia and the K-12 community can effectively collaborate to engage students in STEM education.
- Da Vinci Design students won First Place in the Pancho Barnes Film Contest held in conjunction with the 2010 National Engineers Week, co-sponsored by Northrop Grumman.
- In April, NASA and Northrop Grumman selected Da Vinci Schools as the site for a community event that featured a presentation by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Dr. John Mather, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Senior Project Scientist.
- The Da Vinci story was part of the plenary presentation at the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) STEM Summit 2010 at UC Irvine and was presented as a best practice as defined by the NAE "Engineering in K-12 Report."
- Da Vinci students piloted a remote controlled plane to a Second Place finish in the Northrop Grumman Innovation Challenge.
- Da Vinci Science students won First and Second Place at the 2010 Los Angeles County Science Fair.
- In January, the Northrop Grumman Innovation Lab at Da Vinci Science was opened and was quickly recognized nationally as a role model for STEM innovation.
- In January, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell visits Da Vinci Schools and is quoted saying, "Da Vinci Schools should be a model for other public schools in the state."
- Da Vinci Schools form extensive partnerships with industry and university leaders, including Northrop Grumman, Belkin, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and many others, in preparation to launch the new schools.
- The name Da Vinci Schools was suggested by a student in an ideation workshop.
- The Wiseburn School District authorizes two independent charter schools, known as the Wiseburn 21st Century Charter Schools.