Dragon Tales

October 18th - October 22nd

Spoiler Alert: Bring Chromebooks to swap out, ODS Reflections, Counselor Corner, PTSA Corner...

Happy day, da Vinci Families!

I hope this newsletter finds you well. I think I have found a cadence with our newsletter - please watch for them to come out Sunday morning/early afternoons.

I have to give a MAJOR shout-out to our Outdoor School Team! Ms. Shannon coordinated with MESD and organized a fun and engaging on campus Outdoor School Part 1 for our students. We were fortunate to have weather that allowed our kids to experience the great outdoors of da Vinci. Students explored our water garden, engaged in hands on learning, learned catchy songs and bonded with their peers.

ODS is such a neat experience for students. Believe it or not, I remember my ODS experience from when I was in 6th grade and also as a high school counselor. ODS allows students to step out of their comfort zone and experience science learning in a different capacity.

Fun Fact:

Did you know the slime on banana slugs have anesthetic properties? Would you like to know how I know this?! When I was in 6th grade, a very squeamish student (me), stepped out of my comfort zone and tried the slime on my tongue - indeed it became numb for a few minutes. This was an ODS memory that I will never forget!

Have an awesome week.

Ms. Davis

PS- no students tried slug slime this year at da Vinci ODS

Outdoor School

6th graders weren't the only ones having fun in the sun...our 7th and 8th graders organized a lunch time field game!

Save the Date

Chromebook Deployment

1:1 New Chromebook Distribution

On Monday, October 18, we will be distributing new Chromebooks to all da Vinci students. Students should bring back any PPS devices AND charging cords to exchange on Monday. Students will go through the distribution line in the auditorium during their science period. They should check in with their teacher first. From this point forward, students should be using a PPS device at school unless it is specifically written into an IEP or 504 plan for them to use a personal device.

MAP Testing

Map testing is scheduled for the last week in October. All students will participate in our district benchmarking assessment (there is no opt-out process). During the Math and ELA testing, we will have a special schedule.

Spirit Week is Coming! October 25th - 29th

Monday, 10/25- Favorite color/monochrome

Tuesday, 10/26- da Vinci Day (dress up in green & purple, or as a dragon, or as Leonardo da Vinci, or as your favorite teacher, or something else inspired by dV!)

Wednesday, 10/27- PJs & plushies

Thursday. 10/28- Throwback Thursday (dress from the past, from Renaissance to 90s and anything in between)

Friday, 10/29- Halloween costumes (no weapons of any kind, no excessive gore and must align to the PPS Dress Code)

Family/Teacher Virtual Conferences

Conferences will be held on November 22nd and 23rd.

Based on the feedback that I have received, it sounds like last year's virtual conferences were a success for families. Thus, why recreate the wheel?! We will be using the same virtual platform and format that da Vinci teachers used last year. We are working the logistical pieces out and should have an update about how to sign-up for virtual conferences very soon.


Google Chat: Google Chat has been disabled for da Vinci due to inappropriate use. It is part of the Google Education Suite, however, we found the majority of use was non-academic. Students can use GMail or Canvas for student/teacher communications.

Off and Away: Please remind your children that personal electronic devices such as cell phones and smartwatches should be off and away during the day, including lunch. If you need to reach your student, call the office and we can relay a message or call them to the office so they can call you. If students are on their phones during the day without permission, we will ask them to keep their phone in the office until the end of the day.

Picture Ordering and Retake Day

Picture proof packages were distributed last week. If you pre-ordered packages, they were included. If you still want to order, use the unique code and information provided. Retakes are October 29th for anyone who was not present on the original day or if you are unhappy with the original picture. If you bought a package you want to exchange with a retake, be sure to send it in.

Prepare your Student

We will be outside enjoying lunch recess as much as our weather will permit. Please be sure to send your student with gear suitable for the weather elements. When not pouring down, we will be outside - since we are entering fall, it will be colder.

Also, please only send your student with the essential items. But, please don't forget to have them bring their filled water-bottles. and remember, cellphones are not permitted during school hours. If you need to connect with your student, please call our front office, we will help you connect with them or you are welcome to leave them a message. Thank you.

Parking Asks

da Vinci Families, I have received a few emails about traffic flow. Please remember that you may not park in areas that prohibit parking. We are getting complaints from our neighbors. This year this is more traffic due to families not always feeling comfortable with carpooling. We know there is a need for a different or revised traffic plan at da Vinci. If you have ideas or suggestions, please email Ms. Davis at rdavis@pps.net. Thank you.

Please remember to travel headed east on Everett St. in front of the school at drop-off and pick-up times. Drive safely and be courteous of our neighbors. Never block driveways or the fire hydrant zone.

Additionally, the have been reports about families blocking the bike lane on Couch. Please remember that many of our students bike to school. Please do not idle and block the bike lanes.


We understand that families have different balls to juggle. However, we ask, if possible, please be mindful of how early students arrive to school, as we have limited adult support to monitor students in the morning. The first bell rings at 8:40 AM and the late bell rings at 8:45 AM. Students who are grabbing breakfast should arrive between 8:20 AM - 8:40 AM. As a reminder, breakfast is served through the doors nearest to the courtyard and is to be eaten outside.

Thank you for helping us with discouraging students from crowding, by not having students arrive too early to school.

Attendance Reporting

If your student will be absent from school for any reason, please notify sbryan@pps.net with their name and the reason for the absence. If your student is ill, please keep them home. We will need to ask questions to screen for specific symptoms. You can also call the main office at 503-916-5356 but we receive a high volume of calls and email is preferred.

Updates from Assistant Principal Ms. Wilson

Latinx Student Union

Hello Parents, Students and Teachers,

Please sign up using this quick form if you are interested in participating as a student and parent. Students, parents and teachers can join!


TAG (Talented and Gifted) Nominations start now!

I believe all children are talented and gifted in many ways. I want to express how important it is that all students from various backgrounds can be nominated: TAG, ELL, SPED, Black, Native and Students of color. Read below for updates:

In case you were not able to attend da Vinci's TAG Info Night, here is the recording.

Counselor Corner

It’s legit what you or your students might be feeling right now as we have come back to school full time in person, especially after almost 18 months doing CDL. If you or your student are feeling “over it” there is a psychological reason, it’s called surge capacity.

Surge capacity is a “collection of adaptive systems - mental and physical - tha humans draw on for shorter survival in acutely stressful situations, such as natural disasters - or global pandemics.” The issue is that our suge capacity only allows us to adapt to major disasters if they are temporary. However with the pandemic, the disaster stretched out indefinitely. The emergency phase has now become chronic. So because this is going on, and on ,and on….Your surge capacity is depleted and it needs to be renewed.

Things you can do to feel better:

  • Accept that life is different right now.

  • Expect less from yourself - or your student.

  • Recognize the different aspects of grief.

  • Look for activities, new and old, that continue to fulfill you - you can do this individually or as a family.

  • Focus on maintaining and strengthening important relationships.

  • Build regular practices into your life that promote resilience such as:

    • Better sleep

    • Good nutrition

    • Exercise

    • Meditation/mindfulness

    • Self compassion

    • Acts of gratitude

    • Saying no

If you feel like you need support helping your student identify ways to increase their sense of resilience please reach out to your students’ counselor. If you feel like your student would benefit from individual weekly counseling please reach out to your students’ school counselor, we can help you find available resources.

This is a FANTASTIC podcast with Brene Brown discussing “pandemic flux syndrome” Check it out. https://brenebrown.com/podcast/brene-with-amy-cuddy-on-pandemic-flux-syndrome/ (Please note that if you don’t know Brene Brown, she does use some mildly colorful language)

Be well,

Counselor Heather & Ms Shannon

PTSA Corner

School Volunteers Needed

Our school is in need of volunteers, specifically for lunch duty and safety patrol shifts. Please take a moment to review these opportunities along with other school needs HERE.

Please review the updated PPS guidelines for volunteering HERE.

PE Equipment and Board Games

Does your family have gently used PE equipment (balls, hula hoops, jump ropes, etc) or intact and complete board games that can be donated to da Vinci? Staff are looking for ways and activities to keep our kids busy during lunch/recess. Reach out to davinciptsa@gmail.com to coordinate a drop off.

Passive Fundraising through Fred Meyer Community Rewards

If you have a Fred Meyer Rewards card, you may link it to da Vinci PTSA and help raise funds for our school at no additional cost to you. In addition to still keeping your personal Fred Meyer Rewards, Fred Meyer will also donate to the charity of your choice. Learn how HERE.

Shop on Amazon & Support daVinci Arts Middle School with Amazon Smile

Every time you purchase something off Amazon using the “smile” page, da Vinci Arts Middle School PTSA gets a 0.5% contribution, at no additional cost to you. Please take a few minutes to sign up using the instructions below and be a proud supporter of the da Vinci Arts Middle School PTSA today. Learn how HERE.


Did you know you can help raise money for da Vinci by recycling your bottles and cans without any extra cost to you? Learn how HERE.

Poinsettia Sale

It is almost Poinsettia season! The ordering form will be up next week.

Fall Raffle Ticket Sales

Be on the lookout for an email with the link to raffle ticket sales this coming week.

COVID-19 on your mind? Interested in seeing how PPS is handling the pandemic? Follow the PPS COVID-19 dashboard HERE for real time data.


OHSU COVID-19 K-12 Testing Program

Consent forms with information are being sent home with students on Friday. The primary target for this program is unvaccinated students for screening of asymptomatic cases of COVID. You can opt in by filling out and returning the forms. The implementation of this program is coming but due to supply chain issues getting all of the materials, we do not know the exact timeline. More information will be coming as we receive it but you can send in the consent form now if you are interested. The yellow consent form is for in-school testing in the event your student has symptoms while at school. If you have already turned this form in, you do not need to complete it again. Check all three boxes on the back side of the yellow form if you give consent for those options.

Weekly vaccine clinics at the Multnomah County Student Health Centers:

Multnomah Early Childhood Program Flier (Spanish)

Carpool List and Family Directory

Carpool List and Family Directory If you want to be added to the directory, fill out this form. The sheet is only shared with those families that opt-in.

Free Lunch for ALL Students

PPS has announced that all students will have access to one breakfast and one lunch, per day, free of charge. This is huge in making sure every student has access to healthy breakfast and lunch options during an already tricky pandemic. Please note, you do not need to complete a free/reduce lunch application; however, if your family would like to determine other services you might qualify for such as reduced athletic fees, etc., you will need to complete the free/reduced lunch process.