Principal's Message

  • May 14 Updates

    Dear da Vinci Parents and Guardians, 

    We hope you continue to be well and safe. We appreciate all your flexibility and home support that you are providing for your students.  

    Here are some important updates: 

    Grading Requirements from ODE

    As you know we have prioritized care, connection, and continuity of learning for all students throughout this extended closure. Recently, the Oregon Department of Education released guidelines for K-8 students.  Teachers will be recording a P (progressing or proficient) or an N (no evidence). We are awaiting more clarification on this from PPS and hope to update families soon.

    State program offers families help to pay for food

    Families that were previously eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch will be receiving an Oregon Trail card in the mail for each child with no additional paperwork. Families that may now qualify, but didn’t in the past can apply online for this service. Please see THIS website for additional information and application. 

    A Daily Checklist

    Rather than trying to plan out every moment of your student’s day, perhaps try this daily checklist. You figure out WHAT they need to do, they figure out WHEN to do it. 


    Leap into 9th Grade – Program canceled for summer 2020   

    Due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines and budget constraints, Leap into 9th Grade will NOT take place this summer.


    Weekly Dragon Challenge

    This ends week three of the Dragon Challenge! Winners will now be announced every Thursday by 5 pm rather than Friday. Keep it up!



    Hang on to your PPS library books and textbooks for now! 

    This week email notifications were sent to families regarding the library and/or textbooks that your students have checked-out from the da Vinci library. The notifications were just a reminder and not a call to return books at this time. We’ll let you know as soon as we can when and where books can be returned. 

    If there’s not an opportunity to return materials this school year, please keep the books in a safe place and plan on returning them in the fall when school resumes. Also please make sure your school library books do not get returned to the public library by mistake! We don’t always get those back. 


    Listening to AudioBooks with Megan Young

    Have you run out of print books to read? 

    The Multnomah County Public Library has thousands of eBooks and AudioBooks to check-out and listen to. Our library website has helpful videos on how to access these resources. It also has information on how to apply for a library card online if you don’t already have one. 

    Are you new to audiobooks and want some expert tips on using this resource? 

    One of our language arts teachers, Megan Young, let me record a video with her answering questions about audiobooks: like, “How do you stay focused while listening to someone read to you?” She also shared great tips on improving your fluency and the joys of escaping into a wonderful story. 

    Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need assistance.  Susan Robertson, Teacher-Librarian

    School Belongings

    Thank you for your patience around being able to pick up your students’  belongings. As student safety remains a critical consideration, we are waiting for further guidance. 

    Finally, see Ottos’ award-winning artwork by using the following link:

    Stay Well, and we MISS YOU!

  • May 1, 2020 updates

    Dear da Vinci Families, 


    We hope you are well and that this week of Distance Learning à la da Vinci went smoothly. All of the
    da Vinci teachers were excited to see students participating. Here are a few updates as we wrap up the week. 

    OUTREACH  We are working hard to make sure we have heard from every student/family.  If you have not made contact with your teachers, please do so.  We will keep trying until we know you are safe and well!

    GMAIL FOR STUDENTS!  Don’t forget you have a PPS Gmail account.  Please check it regularly to see if there is a communication from your teachers.  It is a great way to reach out to staff and get one on one questions answered.  

    HD RESOURCES AND TIPS  Be sure to bookmark and use the da Vinci HD website as a resource. This is

    the best place to find links to schedules and classroom codes. 
    Confused about where to find assignments? Be sure to click the “Classwork” tab at the top of the page
    in Google Classroom. 
    Need some help setting a daily schedule for yourself? Watch this video from Counselor Katie
    and Susan Robertson! (It’s also posted on the Library page of the da Vinci website.)
    Did you enjoy that? Here’s another video from Katie and Susan Robertson on coping skills
    while you’re at home.   
    Ready to take action for next week? Here is a sample template
    you can use to make a schedule and checklist for yourself. Feel free to make a copy then customize
    it for yourself. 

    FORECASTING REMINDER We have received forecasting from about half of next year’s students. Please complete this as soon as possible! The link to the forecasting survey is in the Course Description and Instruction document, and here. Please read through the instructions first and discuss choices as a family. 

    6th GRADERS! Some of your fellow students requested a time for 6th graders to "hang"… so we've created the 6th Grade Lunch Social on Fridays! All 6th graders are welcome, use the google meet nickname "6glunchsocial". Fridays at noon!

    8th GRADERS!  Planning for your promotion is underway. Be sure to check your email and join the Google Classroom “Class of 2024” for information and instructions. We need to hear from all of you. 

    Week 1 Dragon Challenge WINNER Video  Thanks to all of those that played!  Dragon Challenge 2 will be posted Monday, May 4th at noon!  Go HERE to play!

    Stay well and let us know if we can help! 


    The da Vinci Admin Team 

  • Distance Learning Information

    April 14, 2020

    Subject: NEW! Da Vinci HD Website and Student Gmail accounts!

    Dear da Vinci families, 

    da Vinci Home-based Distance Learning Resources  da Vinci now has a distance learning website to help support students and families during this difficult time. Please bookmark this as a place to find up to date information all in one place.

    Our students are now able to use PPS gmail ( accounts. Students and teachers will use email to communicate as needed. Students will find the email app on their student Google account. The following protections are in place for these email accounts:

    • Only able to send and receive email from PPS domains

    • Forwarding of email to another account has been disabled

    • Ability to delegate control of the email account to another user has been disabled

    • POP and IMAP services disabled.

    • Email can only be checked on the web or through a mobile application

    • GSuite Sync for Outlook has been disabled

    Remind App  PPS will be using Remind for an additional communication tool as we work from home.

    This platform will protect the privacy of personal phone numbers and afford some controls over how
    and when you receive notifications. Official accounts have been created for all students, parents and
    guardians. You should have received an invitation to set up your account, which will allow you to customize your own personal settings. You can also opt out of receiving notifications. Teachers and staff will be able to call, text, send photos and video content using the Remind platform. Here is a video demo to see how
    Remind works. 

    New Google Classrooms Added for Grade Level (Graduating Class of ##)  Counselor Katie Loewen has created

    a new virtual classroom for each of the grade levels at da Vinci. Students should see an invitation to join.
    This will allow Katie and Ms.Kitchens to connect with students and for students to connect with other
    students in their grade.

    As always, let us know if we can answer questions or provide help.

  • Distance Learning Introduction

    April 10, 2020

    Dear da Vinci Families,

    We hope that you are all well and safe.

    As you may know, Governor Brown announced on Wednesday the end of in-person public school classes across

    the state for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. Please understand, however, that learning opportunities will continue via distance learning for the rest of this school year, and we hope that all students will take full advantage of what is provided.    


    Portland Public Schools  has recommended that we set a schedule for distance learning. Learning opportunities will

    be conducted primarily through Google Classroom. Each student should look at their Google Classrooms to see messages from teachers and assignments. Content delivery will vary by teacher. Some may be live and some may be recorded. Most of the work can be done independently at any time throughout the week. 

    Beginning Monday, April 13, for the first two weeks, learning opportunities will focus on English/language arts

    and math. On Monday, April 27, when students are more familiar with distance learning through Google Classroom, students will also be given learning opportunities in other classes. 

    Middle school guidelines expect students to engage in school work for approximately three hours each day.

    Per teacher direction, this can look like students reading, writing, doing math problems or making art.
    Twice a week, teachers will connect with their students. One opportunity will be during a class period and
    one will be during their office hour. To ensure that classes do not overlap, while providing some flexibility
    for teachers, please click on this LINK to see what time teachers will be providing a learning opportunity.  

    Each department has set aside Office Hours/Flex Time time to interact with, and offer student feedback. 



    See current work from our students. Thanks to Kelda  for setting up a juried online Gallery through a Seesaw blog, where visual arts students will have the opportunity to showcase their artwork. Please be sure to visit! 


    Can I come to da Vinci to clean out my locker or get belongings? Not at this time. We will communicate with families by email when this is possible. 

    What about grades? Grades will not be issued for middle school students for quarters three or four. Teachers are expected to give feedback to students. 

    Does my student have to participate in distance learning? Participation in distance learning is optional, and yet it is strongly recommended to stay connected to teachers and classmates. For many students, the structure and opportunity to “see” other people and be productive will help them feel better. We understand that each student and family has unique needs. This is a stressful time for many of us. Please do what works for your student and family. 

    Who do I ask for support? We created this survey last week and sent it out to gather information about family needs. We hope to connect families with available resources in the community. If you have not yet done so, please fill it out. 

    Technical support

    • For technical issues with Google platforms, our Media Specialist, Susan Robertson, can be reached at

    Contact Principal Locke or Assistant Principal Kitchens by email if you have other concerns.  

    What about 8th Grade Promotion and other year-end events? At this time, we will not be able to hold any of our usual events in person. We will look for ways to connect as a community and honor our students, especially those who will be promoted to high school next year. 

    Are we still going to have a Yearbook? YES- you can still order a yearbook on SchoolPay and we will figure out the distribution when they arrive. The deadline to order is April 24th. 


    Thank you for the opportunity to serve your students during this unprecedented and challenging time.

    We will get through this together. 

    Be Well, Stay Safe!


    da Vinci Admin Team & Staff