Archive for 09 Grade

Additional Grab-N-Go Food options

Hello Designers!

In addition to Da Vinci Schools Grab-N-Go pickup breakfast from 8 am – 9am and one lunch meal between 12 pm – 1:30 pm at Da Vinci Schools Multipurpose Room, below is the link to a list of Los Angeles County Charter Schools who are distributing free food to students via Grab-N-Go:


1-Minute Mindfulness Exercises

Hello Designers,

As we slowly move into virtual territory, we want to make sure to equip our families with helpful tools that you can use in your daily life that may help manage stress and reduce anxiety.  Practicing mindfulness can increase relaxation and improve self-esteem.  Below are 9 mindfulness exercises you can do in a minute or under.

By Leonie Stewart-Weeks

  1. Yawn and stretch for 10 seconds every hour – Do a fake yawn if you have to. That will trigger real ones. Say “ahh” as you exhale. Notice how a yawn interrupts your thoughts and feelings. This brings you into the present. Then stretch really, really slowly for at least 10 seconds. Notice any tightness and say “ease” or just say hello to that place (being mindful — noticing without judgment). Take another 20 seconds to notice and then get back to what you were doing.]
  2. Three hugs, three big breaths exercise – Hug someone tight and take 3 big breaths together. Even if they don’t breathe with you, your breathing will ground them.
  3. Stroke your hands – Lower or close your eyes. Take the index finger of your right hand and slowly move it up and down on the outside of your fingers. Once you have mindfully stroked your left hand, swap and let your left hand stroke the fingers of your right hand.
  4. Mindfully eat a raisin – Take a raisin or a piece of chocolate and mindfully eat it. Slow down, sense it, savor it and smile between bites. Purposefully slow down. Use all your senses to see it, touch it, smell it, and sense it. Then gently pop it into your mouth and really savor it. Savor its texture, its taste, how it feels in your mouth. Let it linger and then swallow it. After you have swallowed it, let your lips turn up slightly and smile. Do the same thing for each raisin you eat or bite you take.
  5. Clench your fist and breathe into your fingers – Position your fingers and thumbs facing down. Now clench your fist tightly. Turn your hand over so your fingers and thumbs are facing up and breathe into your fist. Notice what happens.
  6. STOP – Stand up and breathe – Feel your connection to the earth. Tune in to your body. Lower your gaze. Scan your body and notice physical sensations or emotions. Discharge any unpleasant sensations, emotions or feelings on the out breath. Notice any pleasant ones and let them fill you up on the in breath. Observe. Lift your eyes and take in your surroundings. Observe something in your environment that is pleasant and be grateful for it and its beauty. Possibility. Ask yourself what is possible or what is new or what is a forward step. If you find yourself being reactive, try the following steps: Pause and take one to three big breaths.
  7. Say “step back” ( You don’t have to physically step back, you can just do it in your mind.)
    Say “clear head.”
    Say “calm body.”
    Breathe again. Say “relax,” “melt” or “ease.”
  8. Mindful breathing for one minute – Lower your eyes and notice where you feel your breath. That might be the air going in and out at your nostrils or the rise and fall of your chest or stomach. If you can’t feel anything, place your hand on your stomach and notice how your hand gently rises and falls with your breath. If you like, you can just lengthen the in breath and the out breath or just breathe naturally. Your body knows how to breathe. Focus on your breath. When your mind wanders, as it will do, just bring your attention back to your breath. You might like to say ‘thinking’ when you notice your thoughts and just gently shepherd your attention back to your breath.This can be done for longer than one minute. However, even for one minute it will allow you to pause and be in the moment. Or you might just like to breathe out stress on the out breath and breathe in peace on the in breath.
  9. Loving-kindness meditation – For one minute, repeat ‘May I be happy, may I be well, may I be filled with kindness and peace.’ You can substitute “you” for “I” and think of someone you know and like, or just send love to all people.
  10. An aspiration – Decide on an aspiration. Just ask yourself this question: What is my heart’s aspiration? Pause for about 20 seconds. Do this a second or third time and write down what comes. Perhaps it is to come from love, or to be kind to yourself or others or to be patient. Once you decide which aspiration you like best, say that at the beginning of the day. This will set you up for your day and your interactions with others (and even with yourself).

Family Time to Talk – Mental Health and COVID19

Concern over this new virus can make children and families anxious. Acknowledging some level of concern, without panicking, is appropriate and can result in taking actions that reduce the risk of illness. Helping children cope with anxiety requires providing accurate prevention information and facts without causing undue alarm.

It is very important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. If parents seem overly worried, children’s anxiety may rise. Parents should reassure children that health and school officials are working hard to ensure that people throughout the country stay healthy.

You know your children best. Let their questions be your guide as to how much information to provide. However, don’t avoid giving them the information that health experts identify as critical to ensuring your children’s health. Be patient; children and youth do not always talk about their concerns readily. Watch for clues that they may want to talk, such as hovering around while you do the dishes or yard work. It is very typical for younger children to ask a few questions, return to playing, then come back to ask more questions.

When sharing information, it is important to make sure to provide facts without promoting a high level of stress, remind children that adults are working to address this concern, and give children actions they can take to protect themselves.

Here are some specific guidelines:

  1. Go into a proactive mode about managing mental health and well being.
  2. The brain is a big part of our health – if we take care of our stress, mental health and well-being this will help to boost your immune system.
  3. Social distancing does not mean isolation.
  4. Check in with your loved ones and listen to their concerns.
  5. Let your children talk about their feelings and help reframe their concerns into the appropriate perspective.
  6. Children may need extra attention from you in order to talk about their concerns, fears, and questions. It is important that they know they have someone who will listen to them; please make time for them.
  7. It is important to avoid stereotyping any one group of people as responsible for the virus.
  8. Limit television viewing or access to information on the Internet and through social media. Try to avoid watching or listening to information that might be upsetting when your children are present. Engage your child in games or other interesting activities instead.
  9. Keep to a regular schedule (as much as possible), as this can be reassuring and promotes physical health.
  10. Encourage your children to keep up with their schoolwork and extracurricular activities, but don’t push them if they seem overwhelmed.

Most importantly:

Tell your children you love them and give them plenty of affection.

FREE Practice SAT/ACT test online

Hello Designers,

While we are working virtually, please take advantage of a FREE online SAT or ACT practice test offered by The Princeton Review and COMPASS Education Group.  It’s specifically important for Jrs to practice now to prepare for the upcoming tests for college admissions and it’s never too early for 9th and 10th graders to begin practicing.  This will allow all students to get a feel for each test in order to make better decisions on which test works best for you.  Practice makes perfect!


The Princeton Review

SAT –!Test-SAT_2016

ACT –!Test-ACT


COMPASS Education Group




Virtual Counseling While off Campus

Hello Designers,

Counselors are prepared for a “virtual” week of counseling support next week. Counselors will maintain an online presence Monday – Friday from 8:50am to 3:55pm via Google Meets. Students wanting to participate in drop-in counseling via Google Meets should email your counselor with a request for a private meeting. Your counselor will then send you a private Google Meet link. Students who have regularly scheduled meetings with their counselors will be contacted by their counselors directly. Please frequently check the DVD Blog for additional support information from counselors.

As a reminder:

9th grade (last name A-GL)
10th grade (last name A-GL, P-Z)
11th grade (last name A-GL, P-R)
12th grade (last name A-GL, P-R)

9th grade (last name GO-O, P-Z)
10th grade (last name GO-O)
11th grade (last name GO-O, S-Z)
12th grade (last name GO-O, S-Z)

Free SAT/ACT Tests Postponed Until Further Notice

Da Vinci Students and Families,

The Princeton Review SAT/ACT practice tests will now be postponed until further notice. We apologize for the inconvenience and will keep you all updated as soon as we have another date scheduled. If you have any questions feel free to email one of our school counselors. Thank you for your understanding.

– Da Vinci Counselor Team

Summer Classes at our Local Community Colleges

Summer 2020 Community College Classes are now posted!

High School students in good academic standing are eligible to take free classes at our local community colleges during the summer. These classes look great on your college applications and job resumes (if you work hard and do well).

El Camino College

West LA College: (the searchable list is not posted yet but will be posted here) –

Santa Monica College: (not posted yet, but will be accessible via this link)

Each college has their own process for the “concurrent” enrollment of high school students. In order to register for classes, you will first need to

1) submit an online application to that community college,

2) select the courses and sections you wish to register for,

3) complete a hard copy registration form and bring to your counselor to sign,

4) return the signed, hard copy registration form IN PERSON to the community college’s Office of Admissions.

Once all of these steps happen, then you can be registered for the class. Note that the registration dates are not for several weeks.

For a sample guide on how to search for classes, please click here.

9th & 10th Grade Family Meeting Resources

Hi Families,

For the families who were able to attend and for the families who were not able to join, here is a link to the 9th and 10th grade family meeting presentation slides. As you review the slides, please let us know if you have any questions.

Additionally, here is the link to the resource folder that includes additional resources regarding summer programs and future college and career resources. NOTE: this is the same folder for grades 9-11. We want you to have access to additional materials in case you and your student are ready to begin exploring the next steps to their college and career exploration process.

Click here for the link to resource folder


Da Vinci Design Counselors

Princeton Review Practice Test Registration Link

If you are interested in registering for the FREE full length practice SAT and practice ACT (administered by the Princeton Review) at Da Vinci Design, please sign up in advance here:


Saturday, March 21
8:30 am – 1 pm (testing will begin at 9 am)
@ Da Vinci Design
Saturday, March 28
8:30 am – 1 pm (testing will begin at 9 am)
@ Da Vinci Communications

Practice exams will be scored by the Princeton Review. They will not be official scores and will not impact college applications. These exams are purely for experience and exposure. All students are invited to participate.



Saturday, March 21, 2020
Center Theatre Group Offices at The Music Center Annex

601 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

RSVPs required to guarantee admission and be eligible for free headshots upon check-in. RSVP here – Deadline: March 19, 2020 at 5pm

A totally free event to help you go to college and learn about careers in the arts.

  • 25 local colleges, universities, and organizations participating
  • One-on-one college counseling
  • Student workshops on theatre careers and entrepreneurship for artists
  • Parent workshops on college planning and helping your student artist
  • Meet with professional actors, playwrights, designers, and directors
  • Food truck with free brunch
  • PLUS: free headshots for the first 100 students who RSVP and attend!
College & Resource Fair 9:30am – 2pm
Meet with representatives from local colleges and universities, as well as arts organizations and other services for teens and young adults.
Free Headshots 10am – 4pm
Professional photographers are donating free headshots to the first 100 students who register and attend. Photos will be taken on-site and available digitally afterward. Make sure you RSVP in advance and arrive early.
Free Food Truck 10:30am – 12pm
Vegetarian & vegan options will be available.
College Counseling 10am – 12pm
College counselors will be standing by to meet individually with students and/or their families.
Artists’ Life Info Tables 10am – 12pm
Curious about how to become a playwright, actor, designer, or director? We’ll have professionals available to answer all of your questions.
More Perks
Participate in fun artmaking activities, learn about free Center Theatre Group programs and tickets for students, and get a free one-year subscription to Backstage, a great online resource for actors and performers (for new student subscribers only).

Free Workshops

College Financing for Parents of Artists (Parents/Guardians/Educators Only) 12pm–1pm
Parents and educators are invited to this comprehensive overview of paying for higher education—including scholarships and financial aid—as well as school and degree options.
Your Theatre Career (Students Only) 12pm–1pm
This fun workshop will help you think about the life you want to lead in the arts, and how you might make it happen.
100% That Boss: When You Are the Brand, the Artist, and the Entrepreneur (Students/Parents/Guardians/Educators) 1:15pm – 2:15pm
Lead by Katrina Frye of Mischief Managed, a business development company that works to meet the needs and challenges of today’s artists + creatives.
I Am/You Are An Artist: Parents & Teen Artists in Conversation (Students/Parents/Guardians/Educators) 2:30pm – 4pm
Teen artists, what are your hopes and fears for your future? Parents and educators, what are your dreams for your emerging artist? All are invited to this thoughtful, participatory workshop.

The Fair is open to current high school students, parents, and teachers. Some workshops are just for students. Note that adults will not be admitted if not accompanied by a high school student.

Learn more here. For questions or more information, email


« Older Entries Recent Entries »