Dragon Tales

March 14 - 18, 2022

Spoiler Alert: New Mask Guidelines, Counselor Corner, PTSA Meeting this week, Outdoor School, Spring Break ahead ...

Dear da Vinci Families,

Last week was quite eventful! Our students ended their 3 day run of the musical, As For The Last Two Years... A Musical Revue. If you weren't able to attend, needless to say, we missed you and you missed a really good show! I found myself swaying to the music and tapping my feet a few times - it was the sweetest! With so much heartbreak going on in our world and community, it was truly special to be in the presence of our students engaging in such a positive way and doing what they love - performing.

Speaking of heartbreak, I would like to take a moment, to remind families to talk with their children, please. With the most recent tragedies of youth dying by overdosing, I encourage you to take a moment and ask your kids how they are doing, talk with them about the dangers of vaping, drugs/pills, etc. Our counselors shared a lesson last week with teachers, as well as a few other resources. You can also scroll down to the, "Counselor Corner" section of this newsletter for more resources.

This week is our final week before spring break; spring fever is definitely here! After Spring break da Vinci students and staff will do a reset of expectations - this will help to keep our students on track and the momentum going for the last few months of the year.

We haven't much response for Site Council participants; however, we are moving forward with regularly scheduled meetings. Site council will be scheduled on the last Thursday of each month. Please join us on March 31, 2022 at 4p via this link. During this meeting, we will take time to establish our norms, format and team.

Masking updates

As announced, starting this week, masks indoors will be optional for staff and students in all PPS buildings. Here is the announcement if you did not yet see it. As stated, we will continue with our OHSU screening program and provide rapid testing for school-based cases if students are symptomatic. We will continue to use air filters and have windows open to promote airflow. And we will notify the community if someone is positive for Covid-19 during their contagious period on-site. If your student is ill, please keep them home.

Finally, please check out the PTSA section. We have several events coming up and ways for you to get involved. We need you!

Have a lovely week,

Principal Davis

Bravo and Volunteer Shout Out

Congratulations to our Advanced Band and Musical Revue students and directors! It was wonderful to see our students at their best- working together and passionate in their enjoyment of the arts. A wholehearted thank you goes to Mr. Gerolami, Mr. Garcia Ms. Martins, Ms. Sprecher, and our guest Musical Director, Mr. Meade for all their work and guidance for the productions. In case you missed the play, we will share a video link when it is available.

Thank you also to the parent volunteers who helped out; Christine Gray and Tayler Kim for going on the band trip, and Abby Isles, Ellen Bialecki, Clint Chiavarini, Shelda Holmes, Monica Donohue, Ana Simantel, Jenn Lauder, and Andrea Thoits for helping with the musical. We truly appreciate your support.

Women's History Month Spotlight

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Susan Castillo was the first Latinx woman to be seated in the Oregon Legislature and the first to be elected to a statewide office. Prior to entering politics, she enjoyed a career as a broadcast journalist. She graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in communications and worked for Oregon Public Radio and later for KVAL-TV in Eugene. Her political career began in 1996, when she was appointed by the Lane County commissioners to fill a vacancy in the Oregon Senate, then won re-election in 1998. She became vice-chairwoman of the Education Committee, dealing with such issues as charter schools, teacher tenure and school reform. She served in the Senate through 2002, and then was elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction. She held that office from 2003 to 2012, overseeing a department serving more than a half-million students in more than 1,200 schools. She was an advocate for students of color and those from low-income households, supporting increased Head Start coverage, full-day kindergarten, and English for second-language learners. After resigning, she joined the nonprofit education organization Project Lead the Way as its western regional vice president.



Calendar Highlights

March 13, Daylight Savings Time Begins, set your clocks forward one hour

March 14, OBOB Pullout 5th and 6th periods for team reading battle in Library

March 16th, PTSA Meeting, see below for link

March 18, Spring Talent Show, Special Schedule

March 23rd, Dine for da Vinci at Ankeny Tap and Table

March 21-25, Spring Break!

March 31st, Site Council (every last Thursday)

April 7th, Last day of Quarter 3

April 8th, No school for students, teacher grading/planning day

April 8 and 9, All-City Honor Band, invitation

April 16th, da Vinci @ Amalfi's fundraiser

April 26th, Black and Brown Family Night

April 27th, PPS Choir Festival

May 2-6, Teacher Appreciation Week

May 18 and 19, Outdoor School Day Trips for 6th Graders

May 30, Memorial Day Holiday

June 9th, 8th Grade Promotion, 6:00 at Grant HS (new date and location)

June 8th, Portland Jr. Rose Festival Parade, Band students

June 10, Last Day of School

Counselor Corner


It's hard to believe that we are 3 weeks away from the start of the 4th quarter of the school year. So much has already happened this year and we are continually amazed at the resilience and flexibility that students, families, and staff have shown.

We wanted to acknowledge the tragedy that occurred this past weekend within the McDaniel community, where 2 students tragically lost their lives due to an accidental overdose of fentanyl-laced pills. In response to this very serious issue, we have created a page on our counselor's website dedicated to the dangers of fentanyl. You can find that page linked here. While we have no reports of da Vinci students using, we believe that prevention and education are primary pieces in curbing future drug use. Please reach out to your student's school counselor if you have any concerns or need support with your students.

Be well

Counselor Heather & Ms Shannon

PTSA Corner

March Meeting, 3-16-22, 6:00 PM https://pps-net.zoom.us/j/84506436915

The PTSA invites you to join us for our monthly meeting this week on Wednesday at 6:00 PM on Zoom. Hear updates from Ms. Davis and the leadership group and bring your questions and ideas to the online forum. If you have a topic for the agenda, email davinciptsa@gmail.com.

There are two great ways to build community and support da Vinci in the weeks to come.

- Dine for da Vinci

On March 23rd Ankeny Tap and Table will be donating 10% of their total profits to da Vinci. Take out or eat in from 4 pm - 8 pm and support a local restaurant and our school!

- Da Vinci at Amalfi’s

Ticket selling is LIVE for da Vinci @ Amalfi’s! Join the da Vinci community on April 16th from noon - 3 pm for live music and food. This will be a fun outdoor fundraiser with live music from Grateful Dead cover band Big Foot Country, featuring da Vinci alumni Tage Gavin (class of 2018).

Da Vinci Auction

The PTSA is planning for an online auction and we need your help!

Do you or someone you know own a service-based business, retail store, or restaurant in town that would be willing to donate a gift card or package to support da Vinci Arts Middle School? Or how about a vacation home or cabin in Oregon or elsewhere that you or a friend would be willing to donate as an auction item?

Please email davinciptsa@gmail.com with donations or leads. Volunteers are still needed to make this event a success. Interested in volunteering to reach out to local businesses and secure donations? Sign up HERE.

Girls Can Run

Girls on the Run participant registration is now open! Girls on the Run is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that focuses on empowering youth through research-based activity and physical activity. An after-school program like no other they seek to provide safe, empowering spaces for the children in our community. Register your child today for 8 Weeks of fun, habit-building curriculum! The season starts March 28th and ends May 21st with a 5K celebration. Follow this link to learn more: https://www.gotroregon.org/Program-Registration.

Cellphones, Earbuds & Headphones, Lost and Found and other Housekeeping Topics

We could use some family support in reminding students that phones and personal electronic devices, including headphones and earbuds, should be off and away during the school day. It would be most helpful if earbuds and headphones are left at home and not brought to school unless your student has an approved plan that allows their use. Do not text your student during the day. If you need to deliver a message, call the main office (503-916-5356) and we can deliver a message or have the student come to the office to call you or use their phone with permission. If students are seen using their phones without permission, staff will ask them to keep them in the office for the remainder of the day. If there are repeated violations, we will ask that a parent or guardian pick up the phone.

Among the heap of Lost and Found are several single AirPods, two pairs of glasses, a few keys, and a number of nice water bottles. Small items are kept in the office. Coats, lunch boxes and other clothing left on the lost and found table will get donated after Wednesday this week.

We continue to go through a large number of small cups for quick drinks of water throughout the day. We want students to be hydrated and healthy but going through so many disposable cups is wasteful. It also leads to time out of class and occasionally, disruptive activity in the halls. We strongly recommend that students bring a small water bottle they can keep in their bag and refill as needed through the day for quick drinks. Make sure the bottle has a secure lid to prevent damage to computers.

Thank you!

Canned Food Drive

Thank you to everyone that has sent in cans of food so far! Our goal is to reach 1500 cans (which is about 3.5 cans a student). Collection boxes are located in 1st Period classrooms. The Drive will last until March 15th.

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Outdoor School

Coming up - 6th Grade Outdoor School!

In May our 6th-grade students will be attending 2 days of onsite outdoor school. We are still working on the details and will provide more information the week of April 4.

Basic information:

Outdoor school dates are May 18 & 19. These are NOT overnights, da Vinci students will bus to Camp Namanu for 2 days of outdoor school programming. Please put these dates on your calendars.

Parent Q&A Sessions (from our site director)

Because students are not staying overnight we will not be having a traditional open house for families to come and see the site. However, in lieu of that, we are offering a more robust website with information about the spring including videos recorded by site supervisors and our program nurse to get families ready for the spring session of ODS. As well, there are several opportunities for families to connect with a Site Supervisor to ask any specific questions they may have about their student’s needs in our upcoming Virtual Parent Gatherings. We have 12 separate Q&A sessions scheduled and the links to those hour-long drop-in meetings are listed on the website. Parents may attend any of the times that work for them, but if they would like to connect with me personally I will be hosting them on March 14th and April 18th.

*Please note that information could change between what you are told on March 14 and what is finalized by April 18, our suggestion is to wait until the April 18 meeting to attend so you have finalized plans from da Vinci first.

Monday, March 14, 2022

4:30-5:30 pm


Monday, April 18, 2022

5-6 pm


Ms. Stevens will be sending a more detailed email to you the week of April 4 with our specific da Vinci schedule.

Safe Oregon

SafeOregon is a program created for Oregon students, parents, school staff, community members and law enforcement officers to report and respond to student safety threats. Please see this brochure for information about how to share information.

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OHSU Screening and Covid Testing at School

OHSU Screening is available for all students unless they have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 90 days. Students can opt-in or out at any time. If your student needs a kit for this week, have them stop by the office. Remember to label the bag and the sample. Each week we have at least one sample that is unlabeled!

To opt-in, we need the OHSU form and the general consent form with the third box on the back page checked.

Sample collection instructions

Link for OHSU weekly screening

Link for information

Link for General Consent Form We need this form on file if you want your student tested in the event they become ill at school.

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.