Archive for March 20, 2020

Kaplan Offering Full Access to SAT Prep On Demand for 1 Month, For Free!

Hello DVD families and students,

We know that during this time SAT plans may have changed but Kaplan is offering students full access to SAT prep for 1 month, for free! This free trial includes:

  • Instructional videos on test content, strategy, and more
  • Practice questions and explanations
  • Quizzes throughout each lesson
  • Full access for one month

We encourage students to utilize this opportunity to prepare for future SAT tests. You can start your prep trial here!

Week 28: New Virtual Instruction Schedule

Hello DVD families,

Thank you to our parents, students, and staff for completing our survey and providing feedback. Based on this, we have made some adjustments to our schedule for the upcoming week. Please make note of the following changes:

  • School goes from 9:30am until 1:30pm (Monday through Thursday).
  • On Friday, students are expected to do a virtual check-in with their advisory teacher at 10am. The rest of the day is available for independent student work time.
  • Office hours will occur at the time of the regularly scheduled class, so there is no separate time for office hours.

Below is the revised schedule and guidelines for students as we continue with Virtual Instruction. Please click here to watch a video (English and Spanish version available) that provides more information about the new schedule, Google Classroom, and where to find important announcements on our website.

VI Schedule 2


Student Expectations

We are grateful to our DVD community for your patience and understanding as we navigate this Virtual Instruction journey together. As we have mentioned, the health and safety of our students, families, and staff is our first priority. Please click here for a list of resources from LA County that may be helpful during this time. We miss seeing our students!

Be safe and take care,

Veronica Rodriguez

DVD Virtual Instruction Parent/Guardian Survey

Dear DVD families,

First off, we want you to know we are wishing all families health, wellness, and safety during this time. We are grateful for our Da Vinci families and our intent is to continue to be of service in the best way possible for our students and families.

We are on Day 4 of Virtual Instruction, and we acknowledge that it has been an adjustment for everyone, including students, staff, and parents. Thank you for your patience as we continue to learn and figure this out together. Please know that staff has been in communication and working hard to ensure our students are still receiving quality education at this time and that their learning and overall well-being are being considered in every discussion and decision. With that said, we would appreciate your feedback on how virtual instruction has been going for your student. If you could please fill out this Virtual Instruction Parent Survey linked here, we would greatly value your feedback and thoughts. (We are also gathering students’ feedback via a survey that is being posted to their class Google Classrooms.)

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me at or Russell Stoll at


Take care,

Veronica Rodriguez

Amazon Future Engineer is offering FREE online computer science classes

Many schools in the US have had to close temporarily due to the coronavirus outbreak, or may be in planning stages to do so.

Recognizing the enormous impact of COVID-19 on our school communities, Amazon Future Engineer is offering free online computer science classes for any student or teacher affected by school closures due to COVID-19 in the US.

The courses provided will be:
• Explorations in Coding (Middle School)
• Introduction to CS – Python (High School)
• AP Computer Science Principles
• AP Computer Science A – Java
• Professional development aligned to each course above

These courses will be available until August 31, 2020. Amazon will continue to closely monitor the needs of students and teachers over the coming months to best provide support.

At this time an internet connected device with an internet browser and keyboard is required (Chromebook or similar; connection recommended at 2mpbs / 800 total mb of data per course).

These courses are appropriate for any independent learners from 6th to 12th grade, or teachers who are teaching remotely to this age group. Through this free Amazon Future Engineer access, teachers will also have access to online professional development to support their work – we want all interested students and teachers to be able to use this content.

Amazon is closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 in our school communities. In addition to the thousands who are affected by the illness, we understand thousands more are indirectly dealing with changes in their work, school, and community environments.

Now and always, the Amazon Future Engineer program is focused on increasing access to computer science education for hundreds of thousands of students and teachers. During these troubling times, as students and community members across the US experience educational disruption during the pandemic, Amazon Future Engineer will continue to identify opportunities to support students or teachers affected by school closures due to COVID-19 in the US.


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:


What can Srs do in lieu of college campus visits?

Hello Srs,

As many of you have received college acceptances and are awaiting to hear from the remainder colleges, we have received notices that most colleges have decided to cancel on-campus visits and admitted student activities which are typically done during this time.  COVID19 is changing the way things are normally done on a daily basis and we will do our best to keep you informed.

Historically, all acceptances should be released no later than April 1st and that has not changed.  Additionally, commitment day is May 1st (the day you commit to attending a college by submitting your Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) deposit).  However, because of COVID19 your commitment date may change from May 1st to June 1st.  We will let you know just as soon as we know.

In the meantime, colleges have begun announcing optional opportunities that students can take advantage of in lieu of visiting college campuses.  Below are a few suggestions you can find simply by checking on the colleges website:

  1. Live Chats
  2. Webinars
  3. Live Stream Sessions
  4. Parent FaceBook Groups
  5. Admitted Student Networks
  6. Virtual Campus Tours
  7. College Instagram Accounts

Lastly, make sure to check out acceptance letters for additional information and updates on admissions websites.  If all else fails….. let good instinct and your heart lead the way!

Remember to contact your counselor with questions!







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).

ACT reschedules upcoming tests

Notice from the ACT


The safety of students and test center staff is ACT’s top priority. ACT has rescheduled its April 4 national test date to June 13 across the U.S. in response to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). All students registered for the April 4 test date will receive an email from ACT in the next few days informing them of the postponement and instructions for free rescheduling to June 13 or a future national test date.

College Board Cancels May SAT

College Board Cancels May SAT in Response to the Coronavirus

In response to the rapidly evolving situation around the coronavirus (COVID-19), the College Board is canceling the May 2, 2020, SAT administration. Makeup exams for the March 14 administration (scheduled March 28) are also canceled. Registered students will receive refunds.

The College Board will provide future additional SAT testing opportunities for students as soon as feasible in place of canceled administrations. We’ll be as flexible as possible to give students the best chance to show their skills and stay on the path to college. We have not yet canceled the June 6, 2020, SAT administration and will continue to assess its status with the health and safety of students and educators as our top priority. The College Board is working with local partners, and we’ll soon share information about weekday school-based administrations this spring of the SAT, PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9.

To help students keep their college readiness skills sharp when many schools are closed, the College Board and Khan Academy will continue to provide free resources online, including full-length practice tests and personalized learning tools at

Together with our member schools and colleges, we will be flexible, thoughtful, and collaborative in exploring ways to continue to support student learning and provide opportunities to test during this challenging time.

In the coming days, the College Board will share additional information and details directly with registered students and test centers.

Coronavirus Update: School Status & Tech Pick-Up Announcements (March 17, 2020)

Dear Da Vinci Families and Staff,

As of today, March 17, there are still no known cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) within Da Vinci or Wiseburn schools.

School Status (pertains to DV Connect, Communications, Design, Science, DVX)

Da Vinci Schools will continue with virtual instruction through Friday, April 3, 2020. Da Vinci Schools will remain closed from April 6-10, 2020 for Spring Break. It is our hope that we will resume on-campus instruction on Monday, April 13. However, we will remain flexible and will do what is best for the health and safety of our students and staff, in consultation with local and state authorities.

RISE Status

Da Vinci RISE High will continue with virtual instruction this week (March 16-20). Classes and programming will be canceled during Intersession (March 23-April 3). RISE will resume virtual instruction on April 6. It is our hope that we will return to our learning center campuses on Monday, April 13. However, we will remain flexible and will do what is best for the health and safety of our students and staff, in consultation with local and state authorities.


For those who do not have a device at home for virtual learning, we will be open again tomorrow (March 18) from 10am-12pm at DV Connect, DVC, DVD, DVS and DVX for students/families to pick up school-issued Chromebooks. 

RISE-Hawthorne students may pick up their tech/resources and meals at the 201 N. Douglas campus from 12:00-1:30pm daily.  RISE-APCH students may pick up their tech/resources and meals at APCH from 12:00-1:00pm M-F.

Internet and WiFi Access

If you do not currently have Wi-Fi access at home, Charter is offering FREE access to Spectrum for 60 days. To enroll in the program, call 1-844-488-8395 (English) or 855-765-6995 (Spanish). Installation fees will be waived for new student households. > MORE INFO

Virtual Instruction
Your teachers, counselors and school leaders will continue to share curriculum and resources directly with students/families. 

Meal Pick-Up

Students and families from all six of our Da Vinci Schools may pick up “grab-and-go” meals M-F in the Multipurpose Room at Da Vinci’s home campus, located at 201 N. Douglas Street. Meals are for students only.

Breakfast:  8:00-9:00am
Lunch: 12:00-1:30pm

Check out the Menus here. Please be aware that, due to the unusual circumstances, every meal item listed on the menu may not be available during the duration of the meal distribution. Thank you for your understanding.

I am deeply proud of all of our Da Vincians — our students, families, teachers and staff — who are all pulling together and rising to meet these challenges with optimism, flexibility, creativity, and determination. I encourage all of us to look out for each other as we take care of ourselves. I am confident that our Da Vinci and Wiseburn communities will meet this challenge. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to your school leader or reply to this email. We also want to direct you to our Coronavirus webpage for regular updates.

With gratitude,

Matthew Wunder, Ed.D.
Chief Executive Officer

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