Archive for January 31, 2020

Week 21 and PD day on Friday 2/7

Hello DVD families!

Next week is National School Counselors Week! We would like to take this time to thank our amazing counselors, Pam Baker, Rachel Fusco, and Erin Knott for all they do!  Below is the schedule for Week 21, along with reminders about upcoming events. There will be no school on Friday, as our teachers will be participating in professional development.


  • 2/3-2/6: Instructional Rounds (for teachers)
  • 2/4 and 2/6: Dana Middle School visits
  • 2/7: PD Day – NO SCHOOL
  • 2/11: Kaiser Sex Ed Presentation for 9th grade
  • 2/11-2/12: Intervention Team @ UDL Academy
  • 2/17: Presidents’ Day – NO SCHOOL
  • 2/19: El Camino College courses begin

Have a wonderful weekend!

Veronica Rodriguez

Da Vinci Schools Families Connected: Health & Wellness Resources at Your Fingertips

families-connected Did you know that Da Vinci Schools and South Bay Families Connected have joined forces to bring health and wellness resources to our Da Vinci students and families? We invite students, families, caregivers and anyone committed to helping youth thrive to check out the Da Vinci Schools Families Connected website where there is an abundance of free articles, resources, blog posts, and videos on a wide range of topics, including Social-Emotional Wellness, Mindful Parenting, Substance Abuse Prevention, Depression & Mental Health Challenges, College Admissions Stress, Grief, Suicide Prevention, and more. (The Da Vinci Schools Families Connected website can be accessed on our Da Vinci Schools website under the Resources tab.) Families Connected also hosts a popular speaker series in the South Bay, free parenting workshops, support groups, and weekly parent chats. Some recent topics have included How to Be a Good Friend: Helping Your Child Develop Healthy Peer Relationships; Under Pressure: Stress Resilience When the Stakes Are High; and Secrets for Raising Kids Who Become Thriving Adults. Get health and wellness resources and support delivered right to your inbox by signing up here to receive the Families Connected monthly e-newsletter. We are grateful for our partnership with South Bay Families Connected. Together, we are committed to helping youth thrive and stay on a healthy path to maturity.

Summer Entrepreneurship Programs

Hello Students and Parents,

Quarter Zero is offering immersive entrepreneurial experiences and trusted guidance community to high schoolers this summer. The programs are:

  • Catapult Incubator – a five-week deep dive into the world of entrepreneurship. Students travel to Santa Barbara, Silicon Valley, and New York working on a real startup with like-minded peers.
  • Startup Camp – a five or ten day summer entrepreneurship camp filled with learning, skills development, and outdoor adventures in sunny Santa Barbara, CA.

Applications are now live. The upcoming deadline for early admissions is Sunday, February 16th 2020. Full tuition scholarships and grants are now available. 

For more information please visit,

9th grade families: Sex Ed-Health Curriculum and Kaiser Permanente STD Play

On Tuesday February 11th, 9th grade Da Vinci High School students will have the opportunity to see a dramatic performance entitled “What Goes Around.”  This performance is sponsored by Kaiser Permanente. The play tells the story of five students and how their behavior and connections to each other also connect them to other people who are unknown to them.  The play uses visual monitors, text messaging, cellular and computer technology to better reach its audience and to clearly illustrate its message: there are epidemic rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in the high school age group.

“What Goes Around” provides health information about STDs and students hear the facts and myths about STDs and see how the choices they make have a lasting impact on the lives of other people. The 60-minute play is followed by a 15 minute talkback session in which the actor-educators answer audience questions about sexually transmitted diseases.  The key message points of “What Goes Around” are:

  • The option of abstinence
  • The importance of testing
  • Prevention

For more information about the play you can visit their website:

Also happening in conjunction with this play are additional sex ed-health lessons/curriculum. Health lessons will occur in advisory throughout the second semester. Da Vinci Schools has adopted the Teen Talk curriculum which includes the below core components:

  • Covers topics of sexual and reproductive anatomy, conception and fetal development, birth control, pregnancy options, STIs and HIV, gender and sexual orientation, media analysis, relationships, sexual crimes, consent, communication and decision-making
  • Establishes a foundation for understanding sexual health and common language for communicating respectfully
  • Helps students identify resources (e.g., parents/trusted adults, school personnel, healthcare providers)
  • Encourages communication with parents/trusted adults, including an interview assignment
  • Uses gender inclusive language

More info on the curriculum used can be found here:

9th grade students will be given a hard copy of the following letter to take home today: DVD Sexuality Education Parent Notification. Parents/guardians have the option of excluding their child from sexuality education instruction. If you do not want your child to participate in comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention education, please give a written letter to the office. Students who are excused will be assigned study hall for the period. Questions can be directed to the School Nurse, Emily Green at 

Vietnam Veterans of America South Bay Chapter 53 Scholarship

Hi Students and Parents,

Vietnam Veterans of America South Bay Chapter 53 is proud to announce their 25th Annual Scholarship Program for graduating high school students. In addition to encouraging and supporting continued education, they are trying to heighten awareness of the Vietnam War, the men and women who served during that period, and the huge impact it has made on the United States, both then and now. This year Chapter 53 will again award scholarships of $1,000 to selected college- or technical-school- bound South Bay area high school seniors.

Applicants must submit an essay on a Vietnam Era Veteran (defined as any Veteran who served in the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty, for other than training purposes, either 1) in the Republic of Vietnam between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975 or 2) in any duty location between August 5, 1964 and May 7, 1975.

An information flyer is attached and is also available for download from their website at Entries must be submitted before 11:59 P.M. on Monday April 13, 2020. 

Scholarship Opportunity – Sandpiper Scholarship Due 2/11/2020

Hello Students and Parents,

Here is a scholarship opportunity to check out. The Sandpipers Scholarship is just 2 weeks away from the deadline. In 2019, Sandpipers awarded more than $300,000 to 59 students (freshman – senior). High school seniors living in the South Bay (both citizens and eligible non-citizens as defined by the U.S. Department of Education) are eligible to apply for a Sandpipers Scholarship.

To apply for this scholarship and view the requirements click here. 

Week 20 Schedule and Newsletters

Greetings DVD Families!

Week 20 schedule is posted below, along with the January newsletter from each grade level team and reminders about upcoming events.

week 20


Grade 9 January Newsletter

Grade 10 January Newsletter

Grade 11 January Newsletter

Grade 12 January Newsletter



  • 1/31: All-School Community Dialogue
  • 2/4 and 2/6: Dana Middle School Visits
  • 2/7: PD Day – NO SCHOOL

Have a wonderful weekend!

Veronica Rodriguez

Upcoming Free Events from The Princeton Review

Hello Students and Parents,

Here are some upcoming events that The Princeton Review are offering to students. These are great opportunities for students to practice taking the ACT or the SAT tests before taking the final one.

ACT Practice Test Princeton Review – Westwood Los Angeles 1/25/2020
SAT Practice Test University of Phoenix – Pasadena Pasadena 2/1/2020
SAT Practice Test The Princeton Review – Westlake Village Westlake Village 2/8/2020
ACT Practice Test Princeton Review – Westwood Los Angeles 2/9/2020
SAT Practice Test Princeton Review – Westwood Los Angeles 2/15/2020
ACT Practice Test The Princeton Review – Westlake Village Westlake Village 2/16/2020
SAT Practice Test The Princeton Review – Westlake Village Westlake Village 2/22/2020
SAT Practice Test The Princeton Review – Palos Verdes Palos Verdes 2/22/2020
ACT Practice Test Princeton Review – Westwood Los Angeles 2/23/2020
ACT Practice Test The Princeton Review – Westlake Village Westlake Village 2/29/2020
SAT Practice Test Princeton Review – Westwood Los Angeles 2/29/2020
SAT Practice Test University of Phoenix – Pasadena Pasadena 3/1/2020




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