• November 14, 2016

     Dear da Vinci Families,

     I hope this finds you well, and that you enjoyed your Veteran’s Day Holiday. 

    If you have not see Macbeth, it is brilliant, and will keep you entertained, participating, and absorbed from start to finish! Today at 2:00, and next Thursday and Friday at 6:00, and Saturday at 2:00! 

     As a school community we pride ourselves in being open, inclusive, and forward thinking. As growth minded individuals, we seek opportunities to strengthen our resolve to continue to evolve as an outstanding arts community that celebrates and values all individuals. Beyond the excellent instruction da Vinci students receive on a daily basis, there are other opportunities for our students and families to learn, and share their experiences in a safe and supportive setting. I encourage you and your student to consider the following:

    This coming Wednesday, November 16th please note the following After School meetings:

    QSA (Queer/Straight/Alliance)

    -- Meets twice a month.  Late opening Wednesdays (or where they would be if there are no late openings) from 3:00-4:00 and one Wednesday lunch meeting a month (two weeks afterward).
    -- Lead by teacher Erin Savage and counselor Katie Loewen.  
    - All LGBTQ+ students and their allies are welcome to join.
    -- Snacks provided. Meetings offer a safe space to de-brief life and plan schoolwide actions and events.

    --Room: 207  at  3:15 –4:45 p.m.


    **BSU/POC (Black Student Union and People of Color) 

    --Meets once per month

    Cafeteria at 3:15 –4:45 p.m.

    —African Drumming teacher Hakim Muhammad will facilitate for the 2016-17 school year. Interested parents are welcome to join him.

    --Pizza will be provided

     --All People of Color (Students and parents) are welcome to attend and join the conversation. This time affords People of Color the chance to connect and talk about school and life celebrations and issues in a safe and supportive environment. 

    **Please Note: In December and going forward, the BSU/POC will meet on a different Wednesday than the QSA so that students may choose to attend both. 

    Guest Speaker: Noni Causey, M.ED

    Executive Director, Black Educational Achievement Movement (BEAM)

    Ms. Causey will be sharing information on the 2nd Annual Middle Passage to Education Summit, which is a day long event on Friday, December 16, 2016 at the University of Portland. Attending students of African American descent, will participate in four workshops: 1) Positive Identity Through Black History; 2) Financial Literacy; 3) Personal Responsibility; and 4) Social Justice and Civic Engagement (See attached flyer).

    da Vinci Courageous Conversations About Race

    Wednesday evening, 7:00-8:30 in the Library; Light snacks will be provided, and ALL students and parents are welcome and encouraged to openly talk about race. 

    As an outcome of our first evening talking about race, la week ago, I was extremely fortunate to attend August Wilson’s Red Door Project as they presented the New Black Fest’s HANDS UP 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments, directed by Kevin Jones. Beginning with Darrell Grant’s inspirational arrangement of John Lennon’s Imagine, which was followed by four other brilliant pieces that opened each half of the program, the evening was beyond powerful. The jazz music and singers gracefully framed the seven monologues, that each shared their perspective and experience around race. The entire evening was riveting, compelling and humbling.  Here is the link to the Red Door Project. IF you have not seen Hands Up, I strongly urge you to see it if it is offered again: 

    The August Wilson Red Door Project


     The mission of the August Wilson Red Door Project is to change the racial ecology of Portland through the arts.

    We hope you will take advantage of these great learning opportunities. 

     Thank you for reading, your voices, and most of all, your wonderful children!