Dragon Tales

March 28- April 1st, 2022

Spoiler Alert: Site Council, SEL Tuesdays, Dragon's Fire, Fundraisers and Volunteer Opportunities...

Dear da Vinci Families,

Welcome back from Spring Break! We are looking forward to being back with our students, come Monday.

Remember that old saying that our parents used to preach to us? You know the one where we recite, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." As I grew older and especially being in todays day and age, I have come to realize that the mantra I was taught, couldn't be further from the truth. Words do hurt - and the impact of our words (i.e bullying, cyberbullying, social media, unrealistic beauty standards, etc.) have lasting impact on our development. The veneer that our students sometimes have to wear just to fit in, is also taxing. Thus the need for more tailored and explicit lessons on social emotional learning (SEL).

Last week, I mentioned our SEL Tuesdays (more info below). Tuesday, we will be on a special schedule (school starts at the regular time though) engaging in the work to help our students navigate the social emotional elements of being a middle school student in 2022. Our journey will begin with self reflection and knowledge, as students complete identity maps. Over the next weeks, months, we will dive deeper into different relevant topics.

You can expect that your student will engage in these lessons and gain tools for their personal toolbox, every Tuesday (the length of time is undetermined, as we will gather feedback and effectiveness of our lessons). Please know, I suspect there will be kinks and things that we might not quite get all the way right; your feedback is valuable, as it helps us grow in our practice and the way we teach specific content.

SEL Tuesdays

This week we will have our first special schedule for social-emotional learning (SEL). We will have extra time in our 1st-period classes to engage in SEL topics such as anti-bullying, social media/digital citizenship, anti-racism/equity, mindfulness and strategies to support anxious feelings, and more.

Site Council

What is Site Council? Site Council functions somewhat like a mini- school board that is the driver that supports the school on a multitude of levels. It differs from PTSA or a Foundation, as the main focus of Site Council is on school improvement and not so much on fundraising efforts. Our Site Council members will help shape the fabric of da Vinci.

Background and Membership
The da Vinci Site Council was established pursuant to the Oregon Educational Act for the 21st Century for the purpose of helping improve student achievement. In compliance with the Act, Site Council membership is made up of at least one administrator or designee, a classified staff representative, elected faculty representatives, elected parent representatives, and at da Vinci, student representatives as well.

Responsibilities of the Site Council include conducting monthly meetings in order to:

  • Focus on improving student achievement.
  • Contribute to the school improvement plan.
  • Foster family engagement and school-home communications
  • Explore improvements to the school’s instructional program.
  • Support the professional growth of the school’s staff.

Site Council will be scheduled on the last Thursday of each month. Please join us on March 31, 2022, at 4:00 PM via this link. During this meeting, we will take time to establish our norms, format, and team.

Don't forget to check out the PTSA Corner. PTSA is selling tickets for a dinner event at Amalfi's. This is a great way to connect with other da Vinci families, support our school and arts programs. I would like to challenge us to make this a sold-out event!

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).

Be great!

Principal Davis

Women's History Month Poster- Call for Artists!

It's Women's History Month! To celebrate the amazing women in our history and in our lives we're asking students to create posters in their honor! Posters are due Tuesday after the break and can be turned in to the office. Finalists will have their work displayed in the art gallery and an opportunity to enjoy a pizza lunch with Ms. Davis and other finalists. We will have 3 student finalists.

Calendar Highlights

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 2 and 3, Outdoor School Day Trips for 6th Graders (revised dates)

May 19 and 20, Spring Dance Concert

May 30, Memorial Day Holiday

June 7th, 8th Grade Field Trip

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

Calling Writers for Dragon's Fire Literary Magazine

Big picture

The Dragon’s Fire Literary Review is seeking submissions for our Spring 2022 issue!

We’re looking for poetry, fiction, nonfiction, comics, and everything in between --and outside the lines. You may submit up to five of your best pieces.

Work will be chosen based on creativity, coherence, and writing conventions.

To submit your work, use this Google Form.

Submissions must be your own original work, include your name and a title, and should be well-edited. The deadline is April 29.

If you have questions, email Ms. Conner: emconner@pps.net.

PTSA Corner

Looking to build connections and community with other da Vinci families? We’ve got just the event! 53 tickets are remaining for the da Vinci at Amalfi’s fundraiser. Join us!

Da Vinci at Amalfi’s

Ticket selling is LIVE for da Vinci @ Amalfi’s! Join the da Vinci community on April 16th from noon - 3pm 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.

Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week May 2 - 6

We are cooking up a week filled with gratitude for our teachers and staff and we need your support! You can sign up HERE and see the needs below.

Sponsor a Lunch

Please let us know if you would be interested in sponsoring a lunch, are able to provide food items (can’t be homemade, unfortunately), or know of a local business that would be willing to give us a discount to purchase food for the staff.

Sponsor the Flower/Plant Day

Please let us know if you would be interested in donating flowers or small plants or know of a local business that would be willing to give us a discount to purchase flowers or plants.

Sponsor the Coffee and Pastry Day

Please let us know if you would be interested in donating coffee or pastries or if you know of a local business that would be willing to give us a discount to purchase coffee and pastries.

Create a Raffle Basket for Teachers

Please sign up to create a gift basket, filled with anything of your choice for a staff member. We will be holding raffles all week for teachers. Any basket big or small is appreciated. Themed baskets are always a lot of fun.

Outdoor School

Save the NEW Dates - 6th Grade Outdoor School- May 2 and 3!

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.

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 is an opportunity 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 Gathering. We have 1 more Q&A session scheduled.

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.

Summer Photography Workshop at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology with Kelda Van Patten

Offered June 17 -19 for students and a participating adult. See this site for details. Students will learn how to use digital photography as a creative tool that blurs the perception of what is real and what is fiction. Children must be accompanied by a participating adult.

Attendance Reporting 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.

COVID-19 Updates and Links

HERE is a Q & A form with our current guidelines.

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. A kit will be sent home on Monday this week for Tuesday. 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.

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.

Big picture