Dragon Tales

January 10 - 14th

Spoiler Alert: Music Concert Video Link, Dance Showcase Volunteer Signup, Parking/Drop- off Pilot, COVID updates ...

Dear da Vinci Families,

I truly hope this message finds you in good health and spirits.


da Vinci staff were happy to be with our students again after a two week long break. With any break in instruction and routine, as educators, we anticipate the need for reteaching expectations and reminders about how we interact with one another. For such reasons, I am reaching out to our families for your support. This message is a bit longer this week.


Here is what I need help with:


Social Media Posts

Last week, I spent a lot of time interviewing students, reporting social media pages to Instagram and investigating issues around cyber bullying. I am really disappointed that some of our students have decided to engage in (there is no other way to put it) mean and cyber bullying behavior. There are a few Instagram pages dedicated to da Vinci students. Some of the pages are light and silly, while others contain hurtful, mean and disrespectful posts towards students and even staff. This needs to stop.


I have worked with our IT Department to figure out how to address this issue and to figure out who owns certain accounts and Google Forms that are being used to keep students' posts anonymous. I suspect students are using PPS owned technology to support their posting on social media sites; however, there appears to be no link to their student Google accounts. In addition to working with our IT Department, I have interviewed a number of students. Luckily a few of our students have owned up to their parts for different pages and have since deleted them.


Please have conversations with your students about PPS and da Vinci's anti - bullying policy and expectations. We try really hard to foster a positive and inclusive environment at da Vinci and take our students' health and safety serious. Please know if students are engaging in bullying behavior, such as what is going on now, there will be consequences attached to the behavior. Below are a few ideas of how I, as a parent monitor my children's screen time and social media accounts.


Monitoring Screen/Social Media Time

Parents and Families, as you are helping our students learn social media etiquette, here are a few tools to hep you monitor while at home:


Securly

Securly is a resource made available through PPS to help families monitor their students interactions while browsing the web and accessing various sites. Families will receive weekly reports about their student's usage.


Screen Time Limits (iPhone)

Check out this article. This function can be used to monitor screen time, as well as to access to different apps and sites (such as Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat).


Xfinity Family Profiles

If your pre-teens and teens are like mine, they need support with turning down at night. I created different profiles for each of my children. I then set limits for internet use for each of my children's profiles for times throughout each day/week (it is different on weekends and breaks). The Xfinity App allows me to also monitor the frequency and which sites my children are visiting. I can turn my internet access on and off with the press of a few buttons on my phone via the app. I love this function.


Expectations with Masks Wearing and Physical Distancing

Omicron is here, there is no question about it. It is highly infectious and we need to continue to be mindful and vigilant. Please remind your student about proper mask wearing. Masks are expected to but properly worn over both their nose and mouth at all times (except while actively eating or drinking). Staff will verbally remind students but if there is an apparent need for constant reminders, we will be setting up an appointment to meet with the student and their family to address the issues and come up with a plan to help students remember the rules.


Please remind students that they are not to share food (please do not send your student with cupcakes, cakes or cookies, etc. to share with friends during lunch). In addition, students need to keep the appropriate distance at all times - this includes during lunch times, in halls and restrooms. Again, students who continue to need reminders will be meeting with their family and administration to devise a plan to help keep us safe and healthy.


I would like to sincerely thank you for sending your child to us everyday and allowing us to teach and care for them. We appreciate you aligning with us and helping us support our students through some of the growing pains that we are currently experiencing.



It takes a village,

Principal Davis


PS

Please remember to drop-off and pick-up your student at the grade specific designated area (review the locations below under Parking Pilot).

Candy Donation

Families, our Leo Leaders are organizing to support a few community efforts in the next few weeks and months. One of the ideas they have is to sell individually bags of candy to students and take the proceeds to donate to homeless youth, support a Period Drive among a few other things. If you are able, we would love it if a few families could pick up a bag of individually wrapped candy and donate it to our Leo Leaders. Our Leaders will then package the candy and prepare to sell. We will accept donations through Friday. Thanks so much!

December Music Concert Video

It was a thrill to have our musicians on stage for their Winter Concert. HERE is the video link if you would like to watch or share it with someone who could not be there.

If you would like to make a donation to the Music Department to support the program, use this LINK on SchoolPay.

Enjoy!


Winter Dance Concert, coming January 21

We are hoping to be able to proceed with the Winter Dance Showcase in two weeks. If all goes as planned, and under our current guidelines, the audience will be limited to four guests per student. Ticket information will come from the Dance Department. Guests will need to show their vaccination card (or proof of a negative test within 72 hours) upon entry.

Volunteers are needed for this production. If you are able to volunteer, please let us know using this Signup Genius site.

Spring Drama Auditions

Auditions that were scheduled for last Friday will take place on Tuesday, 1/11 at the same times. Interested students should listen for bulletin announcements and talk with Mr. Garcia or Ms. Sprecher if they have any questions. Signups and information is posted outside the Drama classroom.

Attendance Reminder

If your student will be late or absent for any reason, please notify the main office at 503-916-5356 or email the attendance secretary, Sheli Bryan at sbryan@pps.net. Because we receive a high volume of calls and the front doorbell also rings the front office, an email notification is preferred. Please let us know the reason for the absence and if your student is ill, a brief explanation of symptoms. We will follow up if needed.

Updates

Parking /Drop-off Pilot

Parking and drop-off/pick-ups are quite busy, especially as some of our families have opted out of carpooling with others. Being a focus option school, makes traffic a little different, as our students come from all over Portland and we need to get a better plan to support our situation. We do not want to rush morning drop-offs, as mornings are sometimes hard for families; however, once your kiddo is out of the car, please do not idle - please drive off in order to make room for the next family. Also, we cannot block bike lanes, intersections or parking in non-parking zones. In effort to intervene with the congestion, we ask that you try the plan outlined below:


8th grade:

Location: NE 24th and Couch back field road (it is a one way going East)


7th Grade:

Location: NE 24th between Everett and Davis (no turning left onto Everett)


6th grade: Location: NE Everett Street (front of school)

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Locker Use Requests

A few weeks ago, we mentioned that we would be reintroducing lockers. However, with the very contagious new variant upon us, we need to continue to be cautious and limit students gathering (which is definitely a task with middle schoolers). At the moment, we are in a compromise, we will offer lockers to students who need them. Our locker plan is somewhat of a hybrid model. Students who absolutely need them, will be assigned a locker - while those who are okay without will still carry their belongings.


If your student is in need of a locker, please help them complete our locker survey. Once the survey has been completed, we will assess the need and begin delivering locker assignments within the upcoming weeks.

Indoor Breakfast & Rainy Day Entry

Brrr...it is cold outside!! Thus, breakfast will be offered and eaten indoors. In general we don't have a lot of students participating in the breakfast program. However, those who do participate, will eat breakfast in the cafeteria, adhere to the covid guidelines for spacing and clean up after themselves. Please note, teachers will be in their classrooms planning for the day, thus, students will not have access to teachers (unless they have a scheduled appointment) and need to remain in the cafeteria, where there is supervision.


On the days where it is raining, we will open up the school so students are not hanging outside in the wet rain and cold. Here's the plan for non-breakfast eaters:


6th graders will enter through the regular 6th grade entrance and remain on the 1st floor (downstairs).


7th graders will enter through the main doors and remain on the main floor, seated in the auditorium.


8th graders will enter through the regular 8th grade entrance and remain on the 2nd floor, seated quietly in the hallway.


Please remind your students, they will not have access to the rest of the building and will remain in the grade specific designated spots.

Test-to-Stay

PPS is now allowing a Test-to-Stay protocol for students who meet the criteria for modified quarantine guidelines and expectations. Below is info more specific to this measure. Please note, PPS follows health guidelines, which are subject to change.
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Covid Testing at School

As a reminder, the OHSU screening program is available for weekly testing for asymptomatic students. Samples are collected each Tuesday morning. Those enrolled should bring home another test kit for this week on Monday. There are collection bins at each entrance and by the main office. You can opt-in or out at any time. For this program, we do need the OHSU form and the general consent form with the third box on the back page checked. The consent form with the other boxes checked is for on-site testing for students who become ill at school or are exposed while at school as part of the test-to-stay program.

Link for OHSU weekly screening

Link for information

Link for General Consent Form

Calendar Highlights

Black and Brown Virtual Family Night- MOVED to January 25th 6p-7p

January 12th, 6p, PTSA Meeting via Zoom

January 17th, MLK Jr. Holiday - no school

January 21, Dance Showcase, 7 pm, limited admission

January 28th, End of the Quarter/Semester 1

January 29th, Teacher Planning Day - no student day

From Nurse Cam about Immunizations

Hello Families,


The immunization exclusion date this school year is February 16th, 2022. You should have gotten a letter notifying you if your student's immunization status is not complete. If your Student's immunization status is not up to date by February 16th, 2022, your child will be excluded from school.


The Multnomah County Health Department is holding immunization clinics on Wednesdays and Saturdays. See the fliers for more information.

Clinic flyer in English.

Clinic flyer in Spanish.


If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call or email.

Thank you!

-Nurse Cam

971-801-4415 (text friendly)

clam@mesd.k12.or.us

PTSA Corner

PTSA Meeting, January 12

The PTSA will resume monthly meetings on the second Wednesday on January 12th at 6 pm on Zoom: https://pps-net.zoom.us/j/84506436915


Join the PTSA Today

Thank you to all those who have joined the PTSA, we are now at 62 members and more than halfway to our goal of becoming 100 members strong. Click HERE to join.


Passive Fundraising through Fred Meyer Community Rewards

If you have a Fred Meyer Rewards Card, you may link it to da Vinci PTSA and help raise funds for our school at no additional cost to you. In addition to still keeping your personal Fred Meyer Rewards, Fred Meyer will also donate to the charity of your choice. Learn how HERE.


BottleDrop

Did you know you can help raise money for da Vinci by recycling your bottles and cans without any extra cost to you? Learn how HERE. If you are in need of a blue bag, send your student to the office to pick one up!


Shop on Amazon & Support da Vinci Arts Middle School with Amazon Smile

Every time you purchase something off Amazon using the “Smile” page, da Vinci Arts Middle School PTSA gets a 0.5% contribution, at no additional cost to you. Please take a few minutes to sign up using the instructions below and be a proud supporter of the da Vinci Arts Middle School PTSA today. Learn how HERE.


Membership

Thank you to all those who have joined the PTSA, we are now at 61 members and more than halfway to our goal of becoming 100 members strong. Click HERE to join.


Follow the PPS COVID-19 dashboard HERE for real-time data.