August 30th - September 3rd
Spoiler Alert: 1st day of School, COVID Procedures, PTSA Meeting and more...
I hope this letter finds you well. Teachers in the middle of engaging in our 4 day professional development/planning inservice. We have had a chance to connect, continue planning and get back into the swing of things. Thursday, Starbucks donated coffee to help us kick off our first day back together - which kept our staff fueled! On Friday, we had a really delicious lunch donated and catered to us by Por Que No? If you are ever in the mood for delicious Mexican food, please support this local business and check them out!
We also want to thank our lovely PTSA volunteers, Tracy Johnson and Carrie Czarnecki for helping us with staff lunches and other tasks to help our teachers get ready for our students' arrival.
Speaking of teachers getting ready, I suspect many of you are preparing to get back into the routine of in person school. As a mother, I have started my children back on their bedtime schedules and trying to support them with all of the changes to our daily routines, as things have been very different over the last year and a half.
Included in this newsletter will be information about COVID safety measures. I am hoping that you will take a moment to connect with your child(ren) about the safety protocols set in place. Of course, we plan to make their da Vinci experience fun and enriching and we must also do this in the most safest ways possible. As a school community we will be relearning and reteaching routines.
School is literally right around the corner and we can't wait to see you all very soon!
Have a lovely weekend - we will see our students on September 1st!
Thank you to Por Que No? for feeding our teachers and staff!
Community Care Day (tomorrow - come join us!)
Please join us in beautifying the grounds at da Vinci. We are excited to be able to bring this community building activity back this school year and we have lots of work to do! Community Care Day is a great opportunity to volunteer your time, while connecting and meeting other students and families. This year, Community Care Day is on: Saturday, August 28th, 9 am to 12 noon. We have some gardening tools, but if possible, please bring your own garden tools (if you can), gloves and plenty water to keep yourself hydrated.
A message from Ms. Wilson, Vice Principal
If you are interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org or text me. Texting me is the best way so we can schedule a chat if you need. 971 754 5047.
Be safe and love lots.💜
Back to School Information
Jumpstart Day for 6th and 7th graders
Accessing Students' Schedules & Canvas Observer
Schedules are now viewable on ParentVue/StudentVue. If you need help with access to your account, contact email@example.com or call the main office at 503-916-5365 between 8 am and 4:30 pm. We will do our best to return messages but email is the best way to reach us.
As a reminder, here is the Course Guide and forecasting instructions from last spring, way back in February 2021. We used forecasting to guide our staffing decisions and make our master schedule. Based on your input, we are excited to add three sections of Visual Art, build Drama Tech offerings, maintain African Drumming and Creative Writing. We did our very best to honor requests for electives but there are constraints. We must balance class sizes as much as possible and some classes are only offered certain periods. This year in particular, due to distancing restrictions, physical space is limited in some rooms.
Unless there is something majorly wrong with your schedule, we ask that you plan to get started with the six classes listed on your schedule for the first quarter. Many classes are full to capacity and there is not a lot of wiggle room. Even if your child did not get their top choice for an elective, we hope they will be willing to try something new.
If there is a big problem, please fill out this form. Students should fill out the form from their PPS account themselves. We will prioritize Special Education and students with 504 Plans who have issues with their schedules and core class placements, e.g., the wrong math placement. Our Assistant Principal will be reviewing requests. Until confirmation of a change is made, please plan to attend your classes as scheduled.
MOST importantly, changes will be made by Tuesday, August 31, 2021 5pm, if approved by Ms. Wilson. Otherwise, the priority for changing will be done the first to second week of school.
We appreciate your patience and understanding.
Video Tutorials of Accessing Parent/StudentVue and Canvas
Need a Device?
We are asking that students bring their chromebooks to school each day. Please be sure to send your student to school with a fully charged device each day.
Free Lunch for ALL Students
We are asking parents to complete the rapid covid test consent form. Once completed please have your student either bring in their signed copy or you are welcome to forward your signed consent pdf to Sheli at firstname.lastname@example.org. By signing this form, you are consenting to allow your student to self-administer a rapid covid test in the event that your student has COVID - like symptoms while at school. Families will be communicated with, notified of results, and will be asked to pick up their student regardless of the results.
da Vinci's Lunch Plan
This year we are introducing our students to two different lunch periods. Administrators have participated in a series of meetings within the last few days to help us plan for busy times, such as lunch times. During these administrator specific meetings, we were given the guidance that lunches should be outside as much as possible. da Vinci will follow this new guidance. Below are a few answers to some popular questions:
Q: How many lunches are there and are they grade specific?
A: This year, we will have two separate lunches. Lunches are not grade specific, so 6th - 8th graders will be eating lunch together in the identified spaces, based on whether they have 1st or 2nd lunch.
Q: Where will students eat lunch?
A: Per the current the guidance from PPS, schools need to have students eat outside as much as possible. da Vinci will follow these guidelines. Students who bring their lunches will head straight to the playground. If your student is eating hot lunch, they will head to the cafeteria, maintain distance and rotate through the hot lunch line. After students have their lunch, they will head outside to enjoy their lunch. Students will again, be expected to maintain their distance, wear their masks at all times, unless they are actively eating and/or drinking.
Q: Can my student use the microwave to warm up their lunch?
A: We are discouraging the use of microwaves. Please send your student with a true cold lunch that does not need to be microwaved.
da Vinci Locker Plan
I know many of our students look forward to having assigned lockers; however, we have concerns about congestion and students not being to resist the urge to congregate in the halls during passing times. We, as community, have decided not to assign lockers. I will assess the impact of no locker use during the first few weeks of school and revisit this issue if needed.
Q: My student is taking band or dance, what is the plan to support their carrying load?
A: Students who are taking band, have the option of dropping off their instruments to the band/choir portable at the start of school (before the head to their 1st period class). Students who are taking Dance and dressing down, should plan to bring their items with them and carry them in their backpack. If your student has dance specific shoes and is unable to carry them in their backpack, please connect with Ms. Martins or Mr. George. Our dance and admin team will work to determine support on a need -by- needs basis.
Q: Should I send my student with a bunch of stuff?
A: No, thank you. Please only send your student with only the essential items (fully charged chromebook, zipper binder, materials/supplies necessary to access their education, etc.). Students need to be prepared to carry their backpack, jackets, etc. with them at all times.
Q: What if my student brings their lunch from home?
A: Students should plan to carry their lunch with them or if need be, they are welcome to take their lunch to their 4th period teacher's classroom. Lunches will be stored until their lunch time. Please be sure to remind your student to clean out their lunch box each night, so that they are not traveling with old food and/or containers.
Q: Since my student will have their lunch with them, can they snack during class?
A: No. Students are required to keep their masks on and will not be able to take their masks off while they are in class. If your student has a medical reason or a pre-identified plan identified via an IEP or 504 Plan that requires them to eat a snack outside of lunch times, a plan will be established with their case manager.
Students will enter through grade-level-specific doors. At the end of the day, students will be expected to exit nearest to their 6th-period class (the last class of the day).
6th Graders - Enter through the doors to the east of the main entry doors at the front of the school.
7th Graders - Enter through the main doors in the front of the building
8th Graders - Enter through the doors to the west of the main entry doors at the front of the school.
Families, if you have a child who is feeling ill or reports that they feel sick, we need you to please keep them at home. By keeping your sick child home, you are helping to keep our students as safe as possible and reduce the unfortunate spread of the COVID virus. In the event somehow your student makes it to school and they are displaying COVID-like symptoms, they will be asked to transition to our Symptoms Space, where (if there is a signed permission form) they will be provided with a self - administered rapid covid test. Students who take a rapid covid test will need to go home, even if the results are negative.
COVID- 19 Updates
Updated Outdoor School Information (6th graders)
We were hoping that we would be able to have students engage in a traditional Outdoor School experience. However, today, I received an updated plan to our ODS programming. Please see below for the tentative plan:
Day 1 - Outdoor School Program staff will come to your school site and work with your students on school grounds.
Goals: Student relationship building
Day 2 - Day field trip at an Outdoor School site
Goals: Using scientific practices
Day 3 - Day field trip to an Outdoor School Site
Goals: Develop a scientific inquiry project
Days 4 - 6 - Students will be scheduled for a 3-day overnight program. (assuming the metrics allow)
Goals: Follow up on the scientific inquiry project, fostering of student relationships, and an immersive science experience.
A Note from Elena, our PTSA President
School is fast approaching and I wanted to take a moment to remind all families about the importance of joining the PTSA. The PTSA directly supports teachers and students by raising funds specifically for classroom supplies (think props for performances, tools for ceramics and plants for the garden club) and community building events like Field Day.
The da Vinci students and teachers would be so grateful if each of you could take a moment to become a part of the da Vinci PTSA by following this link and joining TODAY! This link also allows for a one time donation of any amount that works for your family. Please join us.
The first PTSA meeting of the school year is scheduled for Wednesday, September 8th at 6pm. If you are interested in learning how you can get involved with da Vinci this year, please save the date! I link to the virtual meeting will be provided in next Friday’s newsletter.
Thank you and be well!
da Vinci PTSA President