da Vinci Arts Middle School

Creative minds
for challenging times.

2508 NE Everett StreetPortland, OR 97232Ph (503) 916-5356Fx (503) 916-2721

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da Vinci News

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  • Welcome to our new da Vinci Administrators

    Dear da Vinci Parents and Community, It is with great pleasure that I introduce your wonderful administrative team for the 2021-22 school year and beyond. 

    Principal Robbie Davis             Assistant Principal Margarita Wilson 


    Robbie comes to da Vinci from Beaumont Middle School, where she is currently serving as assistant principal. She has been immersed in the performing arts throughout her life and has performed as a dancer in ballet, African dance, and modern dance; has sung at Carnegie Hall, and as a theatrical performer in a variety of musicals. She understands the importance of arts integration, as she previously taught at a school that focused on embedding right-brain instruction in daily instruction via the Right Brain Initiative Organization. She also has a personal connection to and investment in da Vinci, as her daughters are both current da Vinci students. Robbie is dedicated to implementing evidence-based practices, equity, and establishing strong relationships with all stakeholders. She is innovative, research-driven, and collaborative.

    Robbie started her career as a special education teacher in PPS. In 2015, she moved to the central office as a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) for special education, delivering professional development and providing coaching for administrators and school teams. In 2017, she moved into school administration as an assistant principal at West Sylvan Middle School, where she served for three years before moving to Beaumont.

    Robbie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts, with a minor in Special Education, a Master of Science in Special Education, and an Administrative License from Portland State University.  

    Margarita Wilson started her career as a Middle School ESL Teacher in the Hillsboro School District. She became an Instructional Coach supporting middle and high school ELL teachers in Hillsboro. Margarita started in PPS in 2009 and has been a K-12 Administrator with a breadth of demographic and program experience. 

    For the past five years, Margarita has served as the VP at MLC Alternative School in PPS. With considerable experience with Project-Based Learning, Portfolios, and Mindfulness, Margarita was asked to join da Vinci Arts Middle School. While she will miss MLC, this a great opportunity and she is very excited to join Ms. Davis and the da Vinci community.  Additionally, Margarita has a passion for acrylic painting, crochet, embroidery, running, pilates, piano, and ukulele. Margarita has spent several of her vacations volunteering in a Mexican Orphanage and running parent groups for prospective adoptive parents for Families First, Journeys of the Heart, and DHS. 

    Margarita earned a Bachelor of Arts in Exercise Science from Willamette University, a Masters of Arts in Teaching from George Fox University, and an Administrative License from Lewis and Clark College.

    Please join me in giving Principal Robbie Davis and Assistant Principal Margarita Wilson a wonderfully warm da Vinci Dragon welcome! 

    Yours sincerely,

    Fred Locke

  • Dragons' Fire Review Literary Magazine

    Dragon's Fire Literary Review

    cover art

    Enjoy the 2020-21 edition of our annual Literary Review. 

  • Spring Dance Showcase!

    Our amazing Dance Department presents a Virtual da Vinci Spring Dance Showcase!
    We invite you to gather around and watch the full show with your families and help us celebrate our amazing students. You will see pieces from all our year-long dance classes, as well as dances from our 8th-grade choreography students, and of course the long-standing da Vinci tradition: the 8th grade Shim Sham.
    You may access the Dance Showcase HERE. Please feel free to share the link with friends and family! 
    We are so excited to share our students' wonderful work with you! We may not be welcoming you all into our auditorium, with our students nervously buzzing backstage, but we are thrilled to share DANCE with you all at the end of this historic school year.
    Our many thanks to you all for sharing your wonderful children with us, and we hope you enjoy the show!
    From Sara Martins and Anna Cushman
    Read More
  • 8th Grade Promotion Video

    Congratulations to our 8th Grade class! We enjoyed seeing you at our event. Here is the link to the video portion. 



  • Creative Minds for Challenging Times

    Thanks to Otto P. for the reminder! 

    Creativity is a Superpower

da Vinci Weekly Updates

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  • 5/28/21

    Just two more weeks of school until summer recess! Enjoy the long weekend and be sure to note the revised schedule for our short week after Memorial Day. 

    5/31/21- Monday, Memorial Day Holiday, no school 

    6/1/21- Tuesday, Periods 4, 5, and 6, CDL AM and Cohort B PM 

    6/2/21- Wednesday, Periods 1, 2, and 3, CDL AM and Cohort B PM

    6/3/21- Thursday, Periods 1, 2, and 3, CDL AM and Cohort A PM

    6/4/21- Friday, Periods 4, 5, and 6, CDL AM and Cohort A PM

    For the final week of school, 6/7-11, there is a regular schedule with the asynchronous day on Wednesday. 

    Staff Changes & Farewells As summer recess approaches, we want to recognize staff that are moving to new buildings and those that are retiring.  Anna Cushman will be starting a new dance program at Lent and Kellogg Middle School. AP Suezann Kitchens will be taking her expertise to Tubman Middle School. Susan Robertson, Elaine Ko, Allison Bernat and myself will all be retiring. Thank you all for sharing your talents and service. We will miss you all, and we wish you only the very best for the future! 

    Rose Photo Show We missed doing our annual Rose Show last year and are not quite ready for the full event but the roses are still blooming so let’s find a way to celebrate! Any community member can submit a photo entry in our show this year. Photos will be presented as part of the end-of-year talent show. Submit your rose photo HERE. The deadline is Friday, June 4th. 

    More news in the City of Roses  Our da Vinci Rose Garden is on the Portland Rose Festival Porch Parade map. Thanks to our neighbor, Ruth for her hours of weeding and Royal Rosarian friends for adding four new roses to our garden this week. If you are interested in helping with the ongoing care of our gardens and grounds, contact Sheli  

    Promotion for 8th Grade  Please talk with your 8th-grade students and encourage them to get their “blurb” video submitted. The link has been sent by Ms. Kitchens and is available on Canvas. We are also looking forward to seeing our 8th graders at our drive-through event on June 9th, and have a recommended time sequence in alpha-order to control the traffic flow. Families of 8th-grade students will receive more details next week.  

    Library News It’s time to return books! If your student has books out from this year or last year, start sending them back. If your student is attending hybrid class, they can drop them off in the office when they come. If they are attending online only, you can come by da Vinci during school hours, 8:30 - 4:30 and ring the front doorbell. We’ll be happy to meet you at the door and take them. 

    PTSA News  The final PTSA meeting on June 3rd. We will be electing new officers and discussing plans for next year. Join us at 7 PM on Zoom:  https://pps-net.zoom.us/j/87181407037. Contact davinciptsa@gmail.com if you are interested in joining the team or have any questions. 

    Congratulations to Emmanuel Dempsey - This is Portland History We’re proud and excited to share this story of the dedication of a new mural in NE Portland, celebrating the history of Black business owners. In addition to contributing to the large mural on NE Shaver and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Manny also painted this mural nearby. 


    Have a safe and fun long weekend, 


    Fred Locke


  • da Vinci Weekly Updates


    Here are some details for our Hybrid learning that will start on April 19th. If your student will not be participating please note the new weekly schedule as there is a slight change in that the asynchronous learning day is now Wednesday and the usual Wednesday/Thursday schedule is pushed to Thursday/Friday. This affects all da Vinci students. All students will continue with Distance Learning in the mornings. Students participating in Hybrid will come for two afternoons on a rotation.  HERE is the new schedule with the color-coded Hybrid Cohort rotation schedule.  HERE is a video with Ms. Kitchens explaining how this will work. 

    “Cohort House” Assignments

    Participating students have been assigned to one of three groups. The assignment is viewable in ParentVue/StudentVue under the “Student Info” tab, in the “Hybrid Cohort” field. The groups are A, B, and C (e.g., CHA is for Cohort House A). Once you see the group assignment, follow the rotation schedule to see when your student will be coming for their days. Again, with three groups, students come either Monday/Tuesday, Thursday/Friday or skip a week. If you have problems with access to Parentvue, let me know. You may need to complete the Yearly Verification if you have not done that yet or you are locked out. 

    These assignments are final and we are not able to make any changes. There are precise numbers involved in every classroom and period to fit within our safety parameters. 

    Upcoming Calendar Dates

    Friday, April 9th- No school for students, this is a grading day for the end of Q3

    Monday, April 12- Start of Q4- new quarter-term classes start. These are viewable on ParentVue/StudentVue. 

    Monday and Tuesday, April 12 and 13- CDL classes continue. 

    Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, April 14, 15, and 16, No live online class meetings- asynchronous lessons only. Professional development for teachers for Hybrid preparation.

    Monday, April 19- Cohort A starts in the afternoon, 1:30 - 4 pm, see the schedule in the link for the rotation of cohort days for the rest of the year. 

    More information will come regarding Hybrid sessions but this will allow you to mark your calendars.


    With Quarter 3 ending next Thursday, thank you in advance for supporting your student(s) to finish the quarter with their best effort. We appreciate all your hard work! 

    Calendar Updates

    April 8th, End of Quarter 3

    April 8th, PTSA Meeting, 7 PM, Zoom, the link will be posted on the website

    April 9th, No School for students, grading/planning day for teachers

    April 14, 15, and 16, Hybrid Planning days for teachers, Asynchronous schedule for students

    April 19, Hybrid instructional afternoons start at da Vinci  


    Starting the week of April 19th, Wednesdays will be our asynchronous learning day instead of Fridays. As shared before the break, the hours for hybrid sessions will be 1:30 to 4:00 PM. Students will meet with three teachers one day and the other three the next and the morning distance learning schedule will remain the same, except for the Wednesday/Friday switch.  All students will continue with distance learning in the mornings. Specific cohort assignments and more detailed scheduled information will be shared next week.

    Required State Testing Notice 

    Each year we are required to provide information about state testing and the opportunity to opt-out of the tests if a family so desires. At this time, it has not yet been decided if PPS will be required to administer the tests. Current updates are posted HERE on the PPS website. That site holds the Annual Notice and links to the Opt-Out forms. 

    If you wish to Opt-out at this point, in case we are asked to do testing, please do so using This Link so your response is accurately and securely recorded. This is preferred to paper forms at this time. 


    As a spring fundraiser, the PTSA is offering plants from New Leaf Greenhouse in Cornelius, OR. Orders are due by April 21st and will be delivered on Wednesday, May 12th. Order here now! 

    Stay safe and enjoy your weekend! 

    da Vinci Admin Team


    Hybrid Updates (Hybrid learning begins Monday, April, 19th)

    Here are some important updates regarding our Hybrid planning: 

    -- Our planning is still contingent on the number of students participating but we hope to share a more detailed schedule the week of April 5;

    -- We still need about 20% of the surveys returned to determine the number of cohorts (please let us know if you still need a link);

    -- Cohorts are limited due to distancing requirements and space available; 

    -- We are not able to accommodate cohort requests beyond keeping siblings in the same group and special education needs;

    -- Likely, students will attend in the afternoon for two days every other week;

    -- Students will come either Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday. Each day, from 1:30 to 4 PM students will attend three classes. The days of the week may rotate depending on the number of cohorts; 

    -- Again, as there is not usually district-provided transportation for da Vinci students, there is not transportation for Hybrid instruction; 

    -- CDL will continue as it is now for all students in the morning through the end of the year. Hybrid instruction will primarily be for academic support and peer/teacher connection by period. There will not be new or additional content provided. Students not participating in Hybrid will not miss out on new academic content;

    -- The Asynchronous day will shift from Friday to Wednesday. 

    Please visit the PPS website for more information on Hybrid planning. 

    6th-Grade Outdoor School, Anywhere Reminder! 

    If you have not yet picked up the supply kit for your 6th-grader, put it on your calendar to do so after the break! 

  • Weekly News 11- 20

    I hope this finds you well. As Thanksgiving nears, please safely cherish the time you have with family and loved ones. We are thankful for the resilience, love of art, and learning of your wonderful children. 

    As November is Native American Heritage month, I want to share an appreciation of our Native students, and the following Land Acknowledgement:

    “When we talk about land, land is part of who we are. It’s a mixture of our blood, our past, our current, and our future. We carry our ancestors in us, and they’re around us. As you all do.” Mary Lyons (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe)

    “We Must Protect the Land for the Next Seven Generations” Artist: Chief Lady Bird, Nancy King (Nancy King is a First Nations (Potawatomi and Chippewa) artist from Rama First Nation) 

    Last call  for Conference Signups, 4 PM today

    So that teachers can print lists and prepare for back to back conferences, the signups will close at 4 PM on Friday. For all the conference information, see our website. If you have a conference set for Monday or Tuesday, be sure to download Zoom in advance and note there are passcodes to get into some meetings after clicking the link. 

    Calendar Reminder

    There are no classes next week. Monday and Tuesday, the teachers will be holding conferences. Wednesday - Friday is off for the Thanksgiving holiday. 

    Attendance Reporting and School Support Communications 

    PLEASE- Please report excused absences if your student is missing class due to illness, appointments, or family emergencies. We are concerned when students are not coming to class and accurate attendance reporting is required by the district and state. 

    As we are working remotely, the best way to report attendance is to email Sheli Bryan with the reason for the absence. 

    Reaching our Counselors- If you need to connect with our Counselors for support for your student, please email them directly. 

    Shannon Foxley for students with last names A - La

    Heather Mathewson for students with last names Le - Z

    COVID or Serious Illness- If your student is ill such that they will not be able to participate in distance learning for more than a few days, our Administrators will communicate with teachers about adjustments to assignments and grades as needed. 

    New Digital Online Gallery Enjoy the collection of student art, shared by Kelda Van Patten’s students here

    High School Transition Information The information sessions from Wednesday this week were recorded and there is information on all of the PPS High Schools at this website. Remember the deadline for dual-assignment decisions and to apply to choice option High schools is December 11th. 


    TAG (Talented and Gifted) Nominations If your student received a winter 2019-20 MAP score that was in the TAG range, you should have received a postcard in the mail recommending you nominate them for TAG.  If you would like to pursue this nomination and for other TAG related questions, please email Mz. Kitchens at skitchens1@pps.net or visit the DL site.  There is a TAG tab at the top of the page.

    ESL Virtual Presentation For ESL/ELL families, there is a virtual presentation of supports offered at da Vinci on our DL website.  You can also view it here.  For more questions about this program, please contact Mz. Kitchens at skitchens1@pps.net

    Fall Foundation Ask Each year, the da Vinci Foundation asks for your generosity. It is your tremendous support, one donation at a time, that supports our outstanding arts program and keeps our arts focus community vibrant. Every donation, large and small, helps us reach our goal. 

    Three ways to make a donation: 

    1) Donate directly through The Fund for Portland Public Schools

    Be sure to select da Vinci Arts Middle School as the purpose; 

    2) Become a MONTHLY donor ($10, $20, $50 a month)

    You can opt for a recurring donation through the above link; 

    3) Make a One Time donation with a check by mail:

    Check payable to The da Vinci Foundation 

    Mail to:

    Da Vinci Arts Middle School (Attention: Liz Robbins)

    2508 NE Everett St.

    Portland,  OR 97232

    PTSA Membership You can now join the da Vinci PTSA on our new Memberhub site. Membership is just $15 per person and anyone is welcome to join. PTSA fundraising goes toward teacher budgets for supplies for all students, Library books, and more. For more information or to get involved beyond membership, contact the officers at davinciptsa@gmail.com. The next meeting will be December 3rd at 7 PM on Zoom. 

    Be well, be safe.

    Happy Thanksgiving!


  • 20-21 Welcome letter from Mr. Locke

    Dear da Vinci Families, 

    Welcome to the 2020-21 School year! 

    I hope you all had a wonderful, safe, summer and that you are enjoying our lovely NW sunshine. Teachers and staff will be meeting next week, and we are all very excited to start our virtual school year on September 2nd. I am very pleased to announce some wonderful additions to our staff.

    • Maia Kinigopoulos, Math/Health

    • Alexander (Al) Williams,  ELA 6-8

    • Emily Conner,  AVID/Creative Writing/ELA Support

    • Ellen Ingamells, Science 7-8 (da Vinci alumna)

    • Chelsea Blair, Social Studies 7-8

    • Shannon Foxley and Heather Mathewson, Counselors

    • Francisco Garcia, Drama

    • Hakim Muhammad, African Drumming (Explore and Year Long)

    • Anna Cushman, Dance (da Vinci alumna)

    • Susan Verheyleweghen .5 Learning Center Teacher

    • Heidi Sprecher, Drama Tech/ Health

    • Jenna Morano, School Psychologist

    • Thank you all for bringing your skills and passion to our da Vinci community. Congratulations and Welcome! 

    Our virtual school year will begin as a “Soft Start” (Monday, September 2nd through Friday, September 11th). Our focus will be connecting with students and families to build positive relationships, learn more about distance learning platforms/tools, and build virtual classroom culture. Our virtual Quarter 1 schedule will commence on Monday, September 14th.

    Virtual Learning Platforms

    As we start the year with virtual instruction, thank you in advance for helping your student get the most out of each of their classes. To support your navigation and monitoring of online learning, our teachers will primarily be using Canvas in addition to Google Classroom and Google Meets. Teachers will use other platforms, some that your child may be familiar with, and some that will be new. 

    Please understand that as staff our exclusive focus will be on providing the best virtual learning experience in our arts focus setting. We are super excited to “see” your children. 

    In the near future, we will share additional information on the beginning of school. Student schedules will be available and our Home Based Distance Learning website will be updated. For school start-up needs (Chromebooks, internet access, ParentVue/Synergy access) and other questions, our school secretary Sheli Bryan will be sending an informational email.

    Thank you for your wonderful children, and we can’t wait to “see” you all soon. On behalf of the staff, I wish you a great year of learning! 


    Fred Locke, Principal

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