dV Weekly Newsletter, Dragon Tales
May 1st - 5th, 2023
News from Ms. Wilson, White Bird Trip this Wednesday, Appreciations, PTSA News & Auction, ...
Update from Ms. Wilson
Dear da Vinci Families,
I hope that this letter finds you well. We have had some busy and challenging times in the last two weeks and I want to give you some updates. I also encourage you to discuss this information with your children.
On April 13, we learned that someone used Instagram to try to get a da Vinci student to send them inappropriate pictures and they threatened to bring a gun to school if they did not comply. We are grateful to the student who received the message for bringing the information to the school administration. We were advised by PPS Security that we hold on communication until the threat was investigated because it was unknown who the threat was from or if it was credible.
An investigation was immediately launched on April 13 and then Portland Public Schools security, schools supervisors and others met that weekend to solidify Portland Police and Homeland Security involvement. Both local and federal law enforcement agents visited students’ homes, interviewed families, examined student devices and engaged in other regular investigative processes to determine whether there was a credible threat. The school, with the support of the district threat assessment coordinator and the Title IX director, also completed threat assessments. (The students who initiated this incident were not at school during this time.) As a result of the thorough investigation and threat assessment, law enforcement and district officials determined that there was not a credible threat involving weapons. The investigation was finalized on April 21.
There were, however, school rules broken and those have been investigated and processed according to the PPS Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Discipline Handbook. Student rights include the right to privacy for all students and this is why we have not disclosed any information about who the students are in this incident or what consequences they have or may face for infractions (except to any persons who directly received a threat, as per state law).
We understand that people want to know some details that we can’t share. When this happens, rumors and speculation sometimes fill in the blanks and this process leads to fear. I encourage all students and families to share fears with a trusted adult in the school, rather than posting rumors and speculation on social media. This has caused a great amount of anxiety and harm to our community.
I am also cognizant that the fear people have felt was compounded this week by what happened next: a power outage from a vehicle accident, followed the next day by a district-wide internet outage. Additionally, a PPS campus security agent who is a rover and moves throughout the district to cover absences and events, was present at da Vinci the same day as the power outage. We understood later that his presence may have caused some people to think that a greater or lingering threat existed and I apologize for the way this appeared.
If your student would like to talk to a trusted adult in the coming days, please reach out to a member of our counseling team: Shannon Foxley, counselor for students with last names A-La, email@example.com and Shelby Anderson, counselor for students with last names Le-Z, firstname.lastname@example.org.
I encourage anyone who has information about possible threats to student safety to call our main office at (503) 916-5356. You can also contact the SafeOregon tip line via text or phone at 844-472-3367; by email at email@example.com; or you can download the SafeOregon app. Additionally, you can report any gender-based discrimination or harassment using the Title IX website report form.
If you have any questions, please reach out to me. Please know that, in partnership with school district support, I am doing everything in my power to continue to make da Vinci a safe learning environment.
Thank you for your collaboration to make da Vinci a safe and positive learning environment. I am hopeful that we can end this school year celebrating the accomplishments of our students.
White Bird Field Trip Wednesday This Week!
We want every student to attend but we must have the permission form. Print this form or we have more paper copies in the office. We will remind students who have not yet turned it in on Monday. Please have the form in no later than Tuesday or let us know that your student will not be at school so we can be prepared for a smooth departure. The last time we saw a White Bird show, we had 100% attendance! If your student is not planning to be at school that day, please let us know in advance to help with planning and organization. We have seats reserved and do not want to waste them. Several other schools are also participating and it will be a packed house at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Please help support the expectation that students will not have their cell phones or personal electronics during the trip. As always during the school day, these should be safely locked in lockers. If there are students not going, we can open spaces for parent volunteers.
To learn more about MOMIX, visit their website at: www.MOMIX.com.
Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month
Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month is observed annually in May to celebrate the contributions that generations of AAPIs have made to American history, society, and culture. The theme this year is "Advancing Leaders Through Opportunity." Thank you to student leaders for coming together with Ms. Wilson, bringing ideas to celebrate this month and raise awareness for all students.
Congratulations to Ms. Shakyla, our Administrative Assistant 1
May 2nd- Choir Field Trip, Middle School Choir Festival at Jackson MS
May 3rd, White Bird, All school field trip- special schedule all day
May 17th - Syttende Mai Parade (both beginning and advanced bands, after school
May 19 & 20- Spring Dance Concert , 7 PM on the 19th and 2 PM on the 20th
May 25th- Spring Music Concert, 7 PM
May 26th- Student Dance 3:45 - 5:15 PM (new date)
May 29th- Memorial Day. No school
June 7th- 8th Grade Trip
June 8th- 8th Grade Promotion at Grant High School, 6 PM
June 14th- NEW LAST DAY OF SCHOOL- An extra day was added to make up for the snow days.
Important Information for 8th graders
IT'S YEARBOOK TIME ...
1. Students and Guardians, it's time to order your 2022-23 yearbooks! Please see the flyer. The suggested price for our yearbooks (to cover printing costs) is $15 (or a larger donation!). However, it is pay what you can and we will ensure every student will receive a yearbook. You can order via QR code on the flyer or via THIS LINK!
2. Students, please make sure we are using your preferred names in the yearbook by filling out THIS FORM. Thank you!
3. 8th Graders: please submit a baby photo and quote to be included in the yearbook by filling out THIS FORM (no need to re-submit if you have already). Baby photos and quotes are DUE by May 1st! Note, these will also be used in the Promotion slideshow and we really want every student featured.
Thank you to everyone who attended the PTSA meeting last week. Your questions, concerns and ideas are all heard and valued. We are working on further communications to bring more people to the table and get the support necessary for da Vinci to thrive as the arts focused school that we all love.
We really appreciate all who have become involved in supporting our school one way or another this school year. If you are available to support the school in any capacity, we would be very grateful. Right now, we have several volunteer opportunities HERE. Remember that our students, teachers, and staff still need our support.
SPECIAL SHOUT OUT- Thank you to Natalie Divine who represented da Vinci during our shift at the PPS Clothing Center last Thursday. Thank you, Natalie!
THANK YOU- Thanks to Autumn Voirol for volunteering for the No One Eats Alone lunch on Friday. Organized by Ms. Blair and Leo Leaders, this was a fun event for students and a nice finish to the hard week.
Thank you to all who went to Steeplejack last Monday for Dine for da Vinci. Next week, we should find out how much we raised, and we will let you know then. Thanks, again, for your support!
Teacher Appreciation Week 2023 – Volunteers Needed ASAP
Teacher Appreciation Week is on May 8-12. Let’s show our love and gratitude to our teachers and staff by signing up to bring food for breakfast and snacks (store-bought only, please), to help decorate the teacher’s lounge, and clean. Please SIGN UP HERE
Don't Miss Out on the Auction! Bid Now and Bid Often
Our Annual Online Auction will continue this week, and many folks have multiple bids on several items already. Head over to the AUCTION WEBSITE HERE to bid on or buy great items.
Some of the items with a buy-now option are selling out, so make sure to sign up for one of our fun classes (Mother’s Day Jewelry Class, Burlesque Dance Class, and Beginning Crochet Class) soon.
If bidding is not your thing, but you would still like to help da Vinci, you can make a CASH DONATION HERE. Remember that all funds raised at the auction will go back to our school by supporting our students, teachers, and community (i.e: sponsor special classroom projects, purchase art materials, buy food for after school clubs, etc.)
Auction closes on May 7 at 8 pm!
Upcoming Events and Important Dates
April 21, 8am– May 7, 8pm – Annual Online Auction
May 3, 3:15-4:00pm – da Vinci Store
May 7, 8pm – Online Auction ends
May 8 – 12: Teacher Appreciation Week
May 9, 10, 11, 3:00-4:00: Spring Plant Pickup
May 17, 6-7:30pm – PTSA General Meeting
May 19 or 20 – Spring Dance Concert flower sales (exact date and time TBD)
May 25 – Spring Music Concert flower sales (time TBD)
June 2 – Family Movie Night (time TBD)
This is the spot to join the PTSA, shop the online store, sign up to volunteer and more.
Please see the PPS Nutrition Services website for information about meals. You can apply at any time through the year.
If your student is eating breakfast or lunch at school, you can send a check or cash to the kitchen and Georgie will put the funds on your student's account, or you you can put money on the School Cafe site yourself.
We welcome volunteers! If you are interested in volunteering in the school, you must have a current background check on file. These are good for three years. Go ahead and follow these steps if you are not sure of your status.
da Vinci Store open THIS Wednesday!
This week the PTSA will be offering PTSA Swag Store hours after school on Wednesday, May 3rd from 3:15-4:15 so the da Vinci community can purchase dV swag, snacks, drinks, and lots of other fun items. If you cannot make it to the PTSA Swag Store this week, then you can click HERE to order.