da Vinci Newsletter, Dragon Tales

August 25th, 2023

Principal’s Welcome

I can’t believe we are only a few days away until we welcome students back into the halls of da Vinci. Our Leo Leaders will be on campus this coming Monday in preparation for 6th grade Jumpstart on Tuesday, August 29th.

This past week our teachers, counselors, case managers, custodians, office staff and admin have been hard at work preparing for the school year. We have had a great week of learning, diving into racial and cultural identity work as we continue to strive to create a school culture that is inclusive and welcoming to all students and creating climate expectations necessary for a successful school year. I am thankful for everyone’s hard work and know they will be prepared to welcome all students back on August 30th. Check out the pictures below of our teachers hard at work.

I am also grateful to our amazing PTSA who has helped provide our teachers with bagels and lunch throughout this week of preparation. Those gestures mean a lot and demonstrate the commitment our families have to the success of our school.

I would also like to thank the many families who showed up last Saturday for our Community Care Day. We pruned bushes, spread mulch, washed stairways, cleared brush, spruced up community spaces and did our best to make the school look ready to welcome staff and students back to school. Check out some of the photos below.

This Sunday, from 5-6 pm, we are hosting a new student/family orientation at school. We hope to see as many of you as possible in attendance. A huge thank you to Erin Savage (former da Vinci teacher and now parent) and to PTSA for helping organize this event. I’ll be there and look forward to meeting our new students and families.

Welcome back to our Teachers!

Thanks to our Volunteers!

Big picture

Calendar Highlights

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.

Schedule Distribution

Schedules should be available to view Monday 828. Since our cell phone motto is, “Phones turned off and away in lockers all day” we do not want to rely on students using their phones to find their classes through StudentVue.

To assist with this, we will be printing off student schedules and distributing them by grade level according to the entrance each grade level enters the building (see below for more information.) We could use some family support to help hand out the schedules. If you can help, please sign up on this PTSA SignUpGenius site with details.

Update on Nutrition Services at da Vinci

​​We are excited to announce that da Vinci students will receive one free breakfast and lunch if they wish this year. This is a provisional status so we do need all eligible families to submit the application for 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.

Cell Phone Reminder

As stated above, students are not to have their phones on them during the day. We expect them to keep them in their locker and turned off. Cell phones are incredibly distracting to the learning environment. If your student has a cell phone, please remind your student of this expectation.

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!
Big picture

Back to School Heath Protocols and Vaccine Reminders

Please take a moment to review these guidelines for when to keep your student home if they feel ill. We use these guidelines as well. These guideline also provide a timetable for when students should return to school if they have any of these symptoms. Additionally, please review these back to school vaccine basics. If you have any questions, please consult with your student’s healthcare provider. Lastly, here is a link to an OHA COVID-19 testing consent form. If you would like the school to be able to test your student for COVID-19, while at school and if feeling ill, please complete this form and return it to the main office.

Advisory at da Vinci

This year PPS is extending Advisory Programs throughout all 6-8th grades in comprehensive middle schools and also K-8s. This is a school-wide time for teachers to thoughtfully and intentionally foster a sense of belonging, community and social emotional well-being for students, staff and families. Lessons will be centrally planned by the district and site level teams may adapt and adjust as needed.

Our staff will be learning and growing this year as we bring on Advisory Programming to our school using the newly adopted Social Emotional Curriculum.

This past May we engaged with our community in the selection of one of two options for the Social Emotional Learning curriculum. Both options foster a sense of belonging and community with explicit instruction and home connection. Our school will be using We Do It For the Culture and our staff attending a training on the new curriculum during our teacher in-service week.

This has been a two year process of adopting a high quality curriculum that will engage our students and increase their sense of belonging. The criteria for this selection can be found here. We will continue to evaluate the implementation of this curriculum in each school and make adjustments as needed. We are committed to continuous growth and improvement in this process.

In order to best prepare our staff for Advisory Programs, we have identified two dates for additional professional learning and would like to make you aware for your planning purposes.

Fall 2-hour Late Opening:

  • The fall 2-hour Late opening will be on Oct. 4th.

*Winter 2-hour Late Opening:

  • The winter 2-hour late opening will be on Jan. 25th.

Our teachers will receive training from the site-based trainers and K-5 educators will use the time to collaborate on SEL instruction.

If you would like to provide feedback to the district level administrators, please do so on this form.

Join the Bike Bus

If you live in Southeast and are interested in biking to school, here is a great opportunity to join other students on a route. They will plan on doing this each Wednesday. Contact Chris Rall (Orion’s dad, christopherjrall@gmail.com, 971-230-4745) for questions, to let us know you're coming, or for help setting up a da Vinci bike bus from another part of town.
Big picture

Getting Ready for School- First Days FAQ

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.

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

Here is the list of suggested supplies.

Important Information on 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: 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.

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. PPS IT recently sent an email to everyone without an account with the activation letter.

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.