Dragon Tales

February 22nd - 25th, 2022

Spoiler Alert: No School Monday for President's Day, Black History Month Door Decorating, Forecasting is coming, Fun for the Arts Dance Party ...

Dear da Vinci Families,

Happy day! I hope you are enjoying the holiday weekend. Please remember, tomorrow is a no school day, as it is President's Day. We will resume schooling on Tuesday.

School Wide Staffing Updates

As you may have learned, PPS (along with many other districts) is experiencing some pretty significant budget cuts. Due to da Vinci's consistent enrollment numbers, need, etc., we are maintaining our staffing numbers/FTE (full time equivalent) for the 2022-2023 academic school year. While staff numbers remain the same, there may be a few programmatic changes (mainly with which electives students forecast for).


We have almost officially entered our forecasting season. Forecasting forms via Synergy (StudentVue) will go live on Wednesday, February 23, 2022 at 4:00 PM. Please review materials under the Forecasting section of this newsletter. Students are expected to review the materials with their families. It is important to complete the forecasting process by March 2, 2022. Please remember, we try to honor forecasting requests as much as possible, as we will not be approving elective change requests next year.

Check out the amazing BHM Doors of da Vinci (see photos below).

Also, please check out the PTSA section. We have events going on and want YOU THERE!

All the very best,

Principal Davis

BHM Door Decorating Contest at da Vinci

Black History Month Highlight

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Ron Herndon is a long-time activist for minority rights and educational opportunities in Portland. Born in Kansas, Herndon arrived in Portland in 1968 to attend Reed College, where he graduated with a degree in history in 1970. Herndon's activist work focuses on the educational disparities and the disadvantages faced by African Americans.

Herndon helped lobby Reed college administrators to establish a Black Studies program in 1968. He founded a bookstore and the now-defunct Black Education Center, an independent school, in 1970. He later organized the Portland chapter of the Black United Front (BUF) to advocate the improvement of substandard Northeast Portland schools. Working with the BUF, Herndon led a protest in 1982 at a Portland School Board meeting demanding that predominantly African American Tubman Middle School remain open. Herndon felt the closure would adversely affect education by forcing students to commute long distances to other schools. He organized a one-day walkout by over 4,000 African American children and was successful in preventing the closure. In 1983 he worked with Nike to bring the brand's first outlet store to an economically depressed neighborhood in North Portland. In 1984, Herndon was arrested for trespassing on the consulate of South Africa as he led a protest against that country's policy of apartheid.

Herndon's public advocacy has been closely scrutinized by local police and federal agents. As reported in 2002 by the Portland Tribune, the police intelligence unit illegally created and maintained files on the political activities and personal life of activists during the 1970s and 1980s, including that of Herndon.

After nearly three decades of activism and experience in the field of education, Herndon became the director of Albina Head Start School in Northeast Portland. He later became chairman of the board of the National Head Start Association, an early education advocacy group.


https://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/herndon-ron/#.YhK0FJPMK3I (link)

https://www.oregonhistoryproject.org/articles/biographies/ron-herndon-biography/#.YhK0uJPMK3I (above passage)

Forecasting Materials

As mentioned in the intro message, we are entering our forecasting season. Forecasting will be live on Wednesday, February 24th, 2022 at 4:00 PM and you will use StudentVue-Requests

Read here to find out about forecasting for your Elective Classes next year at da Vinci (current 6th and 7th graders). Please watch these videos and view the Guide below to help you with choosing your electives for next year. The following classes will be assigned to you: Math, English Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Health and PE: Dance Fitness.

You will choose your electives and these videos will take you through how to request 3 electives and 3 alternative electives using StudentVue. Parents/guardian may be required to finalize the elective selections with a password from our newsletter.

*You will notice that the guide has different terms for classes compared to StudentVue. IT is working on updating those to match. Please refer to the course guide for more accurate information on course length. This will not impact your ability to sign up for electives. Still request three and also three alternatives.

If you have any questions, please contact me @ mwilson5@pps.net. May the force be with you!

  1. Forecasting Guide Video Link
  2. Forecasting StudentVue Video Link
  3. Forecasting Guide link

Please be sure to watch Ms. Wilson's forecasting tutorial video.

** Materials are currently in draft form, but will be finalized on Wednesday. It is a good idea to review materials and understand, the information included in the Forecasting Guide, is accurate; however, videos share general information about the course. It is important to note, some videos share slightly inaccurate information about the length of the course (as there have been a few updates since the recording of individual elective videos). You should pay most attention to what is included in StudentVue and the Forecasting Guide.

Calendar Highlights

February 21st, No school for President's Day Holiday

February 22nd, Black and Brown Family Night (Zoom link), 6pm

March 4th, Fun for the Arts! Details coming soon

March 9th, All day pullout for Musical cast and crew

March 10, 11, and 12, Spring Musical Revue

March 10th, PPS Middle School Band Festival, Advanced Band trip

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

April 27th, PPS Choir Festival

June 8th, Portland Jr. Rose Festival Parade

BSU Lunch Bunch

BSU is increasing our student-facing time (thanks to our community leaders at Urban League). BSU will now meet during lunch, every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, as well as our previously scheduled times on every 1st and 3rd Wednesdays. After-school meetings will continue to be reserved for students who identify as Black; however, BSU Lunch Bunch is open to Black students and their conspirators.

Call for Spring Talent Show Acts

Spring is just around the corner, which means it's time for another talent show! Upload show-ready acts through this link The audition window will close on Friday, March 11th. Start rehearsing!

Dance Showcase Video

If you missed the Dance concert or just want to see it again, here is the video from our PPS team: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWqCJ4AHeHo


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Fun for the Arts, March 4th

On your mark! Get set! Go! DANCE!! We are getting ready for Fun for the Arts. This year’s theme is, Dance Party! Da Vinci is planning an all-school event on March 4th and we need and want your support! We hope all students will join us by registering with an online donation page HERE.

We would also like donations of individually packaged snacks, juice pouches, and small bottles of water. In addition, if you have the flexibility, we would love volunteers to help us cheer our kids on and motivate them as they dance the day away- save the date and we'll post a sign-up soon.

PTSA Corner

April Auction

The PTSA is planning for an April 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. Please sign up HERE.

Amalfi’s April Fundraiser

Mark your calendars! On Saturday, April 16th from noon - 3 pm at Amalfi’s, join members of the da Vinci community for a fun outdoor fundraiser. Grateful Dead cover band Big Foot Country featuring da Vinci alumni Tage Gavin (class of 2018) on guitar. Tickets will go on sale next week.

Updates & Reminders

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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Covid Testing at School

Kits will be sent home this week. If you do not need them, please let Sheli in the office know. Be sure to follow the directions carefully and label the test sample AND the bag with the label provided by OHSU.

The OHSU screening program is available for weekly testing for asymptomatic students. Samples are collected each Tuesday morning. If your student has tested positive in the last 90 days, they should not be participating in this screening. If you do not need more kits or you have any questions, please let Sheli Bryan in the office know. To opt-in, we need the OHSU form and the general consent form with the third box on the back page checked. The consent form with the other boxes checked is for on-site testing for students who become ill at school or are exposed while at school as part of the test-to-stay program.

Sample collection instructions

Link for OHSU weekly screening

Link for information

Link for General Consent Form

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.

Family Resources

  • PPS' Mathematics Team is hosting their second family/stakeholder/educator/student engagement evening, virtually, on Thursday, February 17th. The event will run from 6-7:45PM via this Zoom:https://pps-net.zoom.us/j/81915603833. No need to be a mathematician to attend, we are screening materials for not just math specific content, but also, very importantly, cultural relevance, English language learning and special education supports, formatting, and ease of use, etc. Families and educators are invited to attend.