da Vinci Newsletter, Dragon Tales

Get Ready for Back to School!

Principal’s Welcome

Greetings da Vinci Dragons,

I am so excited to kick off what I know will be another successful year at da Vinci Arts Middle School. In future years I hope to have this message out to you sooner and I ask for your grace and understanding with the learning curve (at times it feels a bit like a learning cliff) that comes with transitioning into a new role so close to the beginning of the school year.

It has been a busy first week filled with district meetings, finalizing staffing, familiarizing myself with the building, asking questions about our school policies and practices, and beginning to build relationships with our office and custodial staff. I cannot wait to meet the rest of our amazing staff in a little over a week. Additionally, I am grateful for the support and guidance Assistant Principal Ms. Wilson has given me throughout this transition.

As I shared in my introductory message to the community, it is the job of all building educators to provide students with a culturally relevant and meaningful academic experience that prepares them for success. We must be responsive to our students’ needs and interests while also ensuring we teach them the academic, organization and growth mindset skills necessary for success. I believe deeply that an arts infused education provides these opportunities and I look forward to supporting and expanding this work at da Vinci. I’m excited to work with the staff, the PTSA, our Site Council, and the wider da Vinci community to determine what is working well and what adjustments we need to make to ensure the success of all da Vinci students. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions and be on the lookout for opportunities for family-principal meetings over the next few months.

The first chance for us to meet will be this Thursday, August 17th from 5:45-6:45pm at school for a short principal "meet and greet." I will send additional information about this event early next week. Additionally, we also hope to see as many of you as possible at our Community Care Day on the 19th and at our 6th grade social on the 27th of this month. More information on these events can be found below.

Again, I am so excited to get this school year going and to have been accepted into this role. School success is largely fostered through strong relationships and communication so please do not hesitate to say, “hi” when dropping off your students or coming into the building.


Mr. Roosevelt

About Schedules

Assistant Principal, Margarita Wilson, will be overseeing schedules and any schedule change requests. We will continue with the same process as last year if students want to advocate for changing a class. Please know we do not make changes based on teacher preference, however we can make changes if a student did not receive any of their electives, including their alternate requests, they originally forecasted for. If students did not forecast, then we will hold on class changes until those who forecasted get placed first. Below is an overview of the process if a student wants a change to their schedule:

  • The student will come to Ms. Wilson’s office to complete and submit a change of schedule request form.

  • Ms. Wilson will schedule an appointment to meet with your child. In the meantime, we expect students to continue to follow the schedule they were originally assigned.

  • At the conclusion of this meeting, Ms. Wilson will determine whether or not a schedule change is appropriate or available.

The purpose of this process, which I understand worked well last year, is to teach our students how to advocate for themselves and to learn that sometimes, even talking and advocating may not result in the change they hoped for. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity for Ms. Wilson and the student (and possibly their counselor) to work together to ensure they have a successful school year. Thank you for supporting this process.

Getting Ready for School- First Days

Tuesday, August 29th is a "Jump Start" day, only for our 6th graders. This day is designed to be a soft start for new students to meet each other and learn their way around the building. If you have a new student entering 7th or 8th grade, please contact your counselor to see if it would be helpful for them to attend. They should enter the main doors starting at 8:30 and go first to the gym to get a name tag and get their small group assignment. They will then attend an assembly in the auditorium to get further instructions. They do not need to bring many supplies on this first day except something to write with, lunch (unless they are getting school lunch), a water bottle, and something to to carry their computer (a binder, small shoulder bag, or backpack).

Wednesday, August 30th is the first day for all students, both starting at the regular school time of 8:45 am and ending at 3:15 pm. See below for entry times and traffic tips.

Schedules and ParentVue Schedules should be available on ParentVue/StudentVue about a week before school starts. We will let you know when they are ready.

At this time, you can log into ParentVue to do the "Yearly Verification" process to make sure your student's information is correct. Please see the below section for more information on ParentVue. We need this updated information every year. Accurate emails and emergency contacts are very important so please do this as soon as possible. Make sure your email is listed if you want to receive communications. If you want to receive text messages through "School Messenger" make sure you have a cell number listed and check the box to receive text messages. If you need help with your setting up or getting access to your account, contact Sheli Bryan in the office at 503-916-5356 or Sbryan@pps.net.

The Supply List is on the link below. Most students will need a combination lock to secure their locker (some downstairs have built in locks). It is a good idea to purchase a combination lock and learn to use it. Then practice using it! This can be one of the biggest challenges if students have never used a combination lock before. Don't stress about having all these items right away. The main things are a supply of pencils and a few composition books. Be sure students put their name on their water bottles, lunch boxes, etc.

Suggested Supply List

Please see the the following link for the suggested supply list.
Suggested Supply List

Here is the list of suggested supplies.

Calendar Highlights

8/17/23- Meet Mr. Roosevelt, 5:45 - 6:45 at da Vinci, more details coming early next week

8/19/23- Community Care Day, 10-12 am at da Vinci- come help us clean up the grounds

8/27/23- Informal social for 6th graders and families, 5-6 pm, playground, see invite below

8/29/23- First day of school for 6th graders! "Jump Start" orientation day

8/30/23- First day of school for all students

9/4/23- Labor Day Holiday, no school

9/15/23- Picture Day with Lifetouch

9/21/23- Back to School Night

The 2023-24 PPS Calendar is HERE so you can plan ahead.

Community Care Day is August 19th, 10 AM to Noon

Come join us to help clean up the school grounds before school starts. We'll do some weeding, spread mulch and have some conversation as we cut back the blackberries. If gardening is not your thing, we could use a few volunteers to help at the sign in table. Please RSVP so we can know how many folks to bring treats for. Thanks to our PTSA for helping out with drinks and snacks.
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SignUpGenius Link to RSVP

Let us know if you can help with the sign in table or bring certain tools to help out.

New Family Social, August 27, 5 - 6 PM

Incoming 6th graders and their families are invited to an informal social on Sunday, August 27th at 5 pm on the da Vinci playground. Thanks to new parent, Erin Savage for sponsoring this event. Come meet and have a popsicle with us!
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Lockers and Cell Phones/Electronic Policy

Lockers: Families and students, last year we were directed by PPS Facilities that we will no longer be able to paint our lockers due to the years of layers of paint that have compromised the functioning of them. We will remain with this and we are saddened but we will keep the current art on them. All students are to use their own locker only and keep their combination confidential. Locker assignments will be managed in Advisory classes.

Cell Phone and Electronic Devices Policy Link: Our mantra is “Off and Away in Lockers ALL Day 8:30-3:15!”. (Cell Phones, music devices, gaming devices, cameras, personal laptops, ect.) While it’s a simple mantra, we have included the details and why we are strong believers in our policy to help our students specifically with anxiety, depression, bullying and other mental health needs. If a parent ever needs to get a hold of their child, call the front office 503-916-5356. Students can also use the front office phone to get a hold of families. Please read some of these articles that support our policy: Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, Link 4. We believe that schools are a place for social interactions in person, real time. All students are able to use their assigned PPS Chromebooks for appropriate use of technology led by teachers. Please do not bring your own laptop to school.

Opportunities for Free Lunch!

​​Mr. Roosevelt has been collaborating with the Nutrition Services department and has some exciting news to share. We will be joining a pilot program to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students this school year!

In order to make this a success we need to have all eligible families apply for free and reduced price meal benefits. The application can currently be found online and will be available in printed copies at the school office or kitchen as the school year begins. More information to come!

Drop Off/Pick Up, Traffic Flow and School Hours:

The front of the school (Everett St.) is a two way street, however, due to neighborhood parking, there is not enough space for two way traffic flow. Drop off and pick up can be very cumbersome and we ask that families be mindful, respectful, patient and understanding when it does not flow perfectly. PLEASE travel headed toward the east, (from 24th Ave. to 28th Ave.) to prevent gridlock.

Parking in the neighborhood is very limited. Please do not block driveways or park in front of the fire hydrant zone. We encourage folks to find carpools, walk, bike or take public transportation if possible to reduce congestion and help our planet. Arrange in advance where you will pick up your student at the end of the day.

We are asking for your help with this. It will be much less hectic for you all if you can follow our traffic asks below:

  • 6th graders are dropped off on NE Everett St. at the front of the school. 6th graders enter the center doors.

  • 7th graders are dropped off on NE 24th St. and enter the west side of the building (right front door)

  • 8th graders are dropped off on NE Couch St. and enter the east side of the building (left front door).

School Hours and Breakfast: The playground gate will open at 8:30 am for students to come in early to eat breakfast. We ask that students turn off their phones at this time. The first bell rings at 8:38 for all students to enter the building. School Starts at 8:45 am and ends at 3:15 pm. Students who arrive after 8:45 enter the center front doors and get a late pass from the attendance secretary in the main office. We ask that students leave the building at 3:15 to be picked up or take public transportation as we do not have school supervision after 3:30 unless students are attending an approved after school activity. Clubs and activities usually start by 3:20. Rehearsal schedules are announced by department.

23-24 Family Directory and Carpool Form

Please enter the information you want to share for the family directory. Access to the sheet will only be given to folks who opt in for purposes of carpools, bike or bus buddies, or other community connecting.

PPS Nutrition Services Website

Here is the place to apply for free meals and learn more about nutrition services. Even if you are not interested in school lunches, please apply if you might qualify. If you are not sure if you qualify, please check the guidelines.

ParentVue Information

Make sure you have your ParentVue account set up! If you do not have an account, contact the main office at 503-916-5356 or email sbryan@pps.net. Students will use their StudentVue accounts.

PTSA Website

This is the spot to learn more about the PTSA and get connected.

Volunteer Clearance Process

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.