Odyssey of the Mind update!

This year, all 3 of our Da Vinci Connect Homeschool Odyssey of the Mind teams surpassed all expectations to move through the regional competition and place first in their problem divisions and in the additional Spontaneous Award category at the state championship, qualifying for the world championship. Against all odds, and with the support of so many of you in the community, they managed to fundraise for all 19 state champs to get to the Odyssey of the Mind World Championship where they competed against hundreds of teams from all over the world, including South Korea, Poland, and Switzerland. In addition to representing Da Vinci Connect with pride in an incredible international competition, our first-time teams placed well in their problem divisions, and one of our coaches Sara Boscoe Bain stole the show at the Coach’s Competition, landing the coveted style award! Here is what your Da Vinci Connect teams had to say about the experience:

Just Nonsense, our 7th/8th grade team, which included Zoe Vokoun, Rya Nelson, Kayla Muhammad-Flissinger, Gloria Michael, Faith Ballard, and Malina Markey, loved the opportunity to meet competitors from all around the world! Kayla said, “It was so cool meeting people from all around the world and seeing different ways they could solve the problems.” Their team placed 25th overall out of 58 worldwide champs in the Division II “Performance Problem”. Challenged with creating a story of a circus with engineered, original creatures, the team showed up with more than just a show in the 100% kid-driven, ultimate STEAM, creative problem solving competition. A voiceless clown with a noisy little monster at her ear, using humor to hide her self-consciousness. A critical and controlling ringmaster, trying to micromanage it all. A stranger mocking you in the shadows, your inner-voice, until she finally comes out to confront you in the mirror. A bullying newscaster, sharing all the struggles with the world. A teacher too focused on the lesson to notice. A tight-rope walking anxiety monster and a spinning, hiding depression creature. This team made a message on mental health and the trials of being a teen that was heard all the way to the world championship for Odyssey of the Mind where they met faces from all around the world.  According to Rya, “It was an amazing experience being able to meet teams from all around the world on the Iowa State campus. I am so grateful for everyone who made this experience possible.”


The Extreme Team, our 5th/6th grade team which included Mia Vokoun, Fenna Vellenga, Aaron Bain, William Kekauoha, Dahlia Bain, Dominic Micheal, and Isabella Gonzales loved the process and the performance with friends. Mia said she “had so much fun performing my problem, meeting OMers from around the world, and doing it all with my best friends.” Their team placed 15th overall out of 45 worldwide champs in the Division II “Technical  Problem”. For this problem they needed to create a self- replicating threat to the environment, invent a device to eliminate the threat, include two hiding animals, a creative use of baking soda, and an original song all in less than 8 minutes.  William loves OM “because my friends listen to my ideas and we work together to figure out how to get them done. I think I’m way more creative now than I was before.”

WOCJAR Agents, our 3rd/4th grade team, which included Wes Vokoun, Olan Michael, CJ Durham, Jamie Kekauoha, Anja Vellenga, and Ray Romero loved the crazy fun and memories made with friends. Jamie said, “It was so cool to see other people that do crazy creative things like us.” Their team placed 13th overall out of 48 worldwide champs in the Division I “Vehicle Problem”. Challenged with making vehicles that could maneuver through an original escape room, these kids made an imaginary world where NYC transformed into a jungle full of banana portals and Pig-Latin clues, rainbow drawing vehicles and cheese eating mouse cars, and a little bit of Santa Claus to pull it all together.

A major thank you to the entire DV community, family, friends, and everyone who donated to help us make these dreams come true, including our sponsors Thinkom, Skyone, Belwood Properties, Motional, Scott Robinson Automotive, Zacatecas, Sunflower Dentistry, and Morgen Real Estate. Your support made memories that will last a lifetime.

If you’d like to learn more about Odyssey of the Mind you can start exploring here: https://www.odysseyofthemind.com/ or reach out to any of this year’s coaches for more information!

Congratulations to all of our teams and coaches for their beautiful work!


2022-06-13T16:58:48+00:00June 13th, 2022|

Yesterday’s News

Good Morning DV Connect Families,

I know that nothing I share will heal the trauma of hearing yesterday’s news about the tragedy in Texas. It wont stop the heartache, the fear, or the anger. As parents, caregivers, friends, and members of our community, we are all shattered by the news and the reminder that schools aren’t always a safe place for our staff and our children.

I want you to know that your child(ren)’s safety will always be our highest priority. I want you to know that we have a strong internal Emergency Preparedness plan in place, and are glad to have the support of our security team, including our own safety officer, Rene. I also want you to know that one of our biggest preventative efforts regarding student safety is a wide and consistent staff presence on campus, where we know, greet, and check in with every single student who steps foot on our campus. Our kids are seen and known by their peers and adults in this community.

We recognize that our community will process this information and the aftermath of yesterday’s shooting in different ways. As you process your own grief and trauma, and prepare to support your family and your children,  I thought the best way that I can immediately support is to provide you resources to take care of yourselves and your people in the coming days:

  • If you or anyone in your family feel like speaking with a professional counselor, Nydia or I can connect you through Care Solace
  • This article from the Child Mind Institute provides resources for helping children cope with frightening news
  • The National Association of School Psychologists provides this resource for grownups talking to children about violence, including two helpful infographics
  • I also want to share that I’ve provided our staff This link and these tips to support them and their ability to support our students should they need
  • I am available to hold space for anyone who would like to speak 1:1 to listen, answer any questions, or just sit in community together

Oftentimes, taking action and memorializing in moments where we feel helpless can help us heal. I would love to work with anyone interested to brainstorm ideas on how our community can do something to memorialize the victims, take action against gun violence, etc. Feel free to reach out to me individually.

Holding space for everyone in our community and everyone in community at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas <3

Take Good Care and Hug Your Babies,


2022-05-25T17:41:15+00:00May 25th, 2022|

Talent Showcase Tonight!

This is a final friendly reminder that our Annual Talent Showcase is taking place tonight at 6:00pm at 201 N. Douglas in the blackbox theater! We can’t wait to celebrate the many talents that our students will share!

Due to the increase of COVID cases in our community, we highly recommend all guests wear masks while indoors. Student performers and speakers will, of course, be able to take their mask off while onstage.

Looking forward to a night full of TALENT!

The Team at Da Vinci Connect

2022-05-20T22:28:17+00:00May 20th, 2022|

COVID update from School Nurse

Greetings from the School Nurse!

We are seeing an uptick in cases in both the community and our K-8 community. Please see our COVID dashboard for updates. It is updated bi-weekly, sometimes more frequently! Classes will continue to receive notices of additional cases if they are infectious while on campus. For anyone who was a close contact we can also pass out a home test kit from the front office, available daily during business hours. We also have masks including child size surgical and KN95s for anyone who would like available at drop off daily.

Due to the number of cases, Public Health Investigator reviewed our school schedule, number of cases, contact tracing, mitigation strategies and determined there are no additional changes needed at this time. We also discussed the upcoming Talent show and it was their opinion that masks are strongly encouraged for all guests and audience members. All performers have the option to be on stage unmasked.

During this peak of Omicron Variant BA2 that is predicted to last the next 2 weeks, please find up to date information on County transmission here. They post daily updates on case rates, etc.

You can help by reporting positive cases asap to myself (egreen@davincischools.org) in order for us to send out close contact notices and allow families to make decisions regarding attendance, masking, testing, outside activities, etc.  Please monitor symptoms for all students and should they feel unwell, consider testing. 

Rapid covid tests are available at Da Vinci Connect K8 and 201 N Douglas Street. Student can come in during school hours, no appt needed. Students, please pre-register for testing here. It is a rapid test and results are available 15 minutes later.

PCR testing is also available at 201 N Douglas Street every Monday and Tuesday, 815-315p in office 1026, you can check in at lobby. Pre-registration is required: https://ihd-patient.preciseq.com/davinci-schools


Emily Green, School Nurse, RN, PhD

Fax: 310-356-3224

For current quarantine, isolation, and other COVID FAQs please see here.

2022-05-18T17:46:47+00:00May 18th, 2022|

Happy Mother’s Day!

Hello Da Vinci Connect Families,

We want to wish everyone who creates love, care, and safety in their  community a very Happy Mother’s Day! Whether you are a mom, grandma, caregiver, confidant, friend, cousin, or other grownup–you are creating a beautiful circle of love that directly impacts our students and there is no more magical superpower than that! We hope your day is full of appreciation and gratitude for the circles of love in your life.

Happy Mother’s Day!

The Team at Da Vinci Connect

2022-05-06T23:24:58+00:00May 8th, 2022|

FAN Annual Rhythm Event: STEAM Carnival!

THIS Friday April 29 3:30-5:30pm

Location – Connect K8 Campus

What area of ‘S.T.E.A.M.’ does your project or experiment fit best:


Please Click HERE to fill-out the event google form to Participate!

We would also invite your donations to help us with our materials Wishlist.


For questions, email Jahmal, our F.A.N. events coordinator at jdurham@davincischools.org

2022-04-29T01:42:12+00:00April 29th, 2022|

It’s Exhibition Week!

We are so excited for Da Vinci Connect Tk-8’s Exhibition events on Tuesday 4/5 and Thursday 4/7! Exhibition will be split into two sessions each night: from 4:30-5:15pm and 5:30-6:15pm. Students have been given specific presentation times from their classroom teachers. Please read below for crucial information to ensure a smooth and successful experience for all! Direct any student-specific questions to classroom teachers.

Exhibition is a Da Vinci Signature Practice that allows students to “show what they know” by sharing their classroom projects with visitors at this special evening event! Anyone in the community is welcome to attend.

Where: Da Vinci Connect TK-8 Campus, 12501 Isis Ave. Hawthorne, CA 90250

When: Tuesday 4/5 and Thursday 4/7 from 4:30-5:15 and 5:30-6:15 (please plan to attend only one session in an evening)

Dress Code: Students are required to dress in “exhibition attire”–which includes dress shoes, slacks, (knee length or longer) dresses and skirts, and button up shirts.

Visitor Policy: All visitors who are not Da Vinci students must adhere to our visitor policy. Visitors over the age of 2 yrs must provide ID (adults) and proof of COVID 19 Vaccine or proof of negative COVID test taken within 72 hrs prior to the event. At-home tests are acceptable. If using an at-home test, it is advisable to take a photo of the negative test with a note in the photo that describes the date and time of the negative result. All visitors must wear masks indoors at all times.

*Please note that our visitor policy may delay check ins and entrance to the event. Please allow a 15-20 minute buffer and plan your arrival accordingly. 


We look forward to celebrating student learning with you this week!

Your Da Vinci Connect Team

2022-04-04T19:47:54+00:00April 4th, 2022|

FAN Events Update!

Happy Friday to all! We wanted to give our families as much time as possible before Spring Break to sign-up for our next two annual rhythm events. Please take a moment to view and sign-up to participate for the S.T.E.M Carnival and Connect’s Annual Talent Showcase!


S.T.E.M. Carnival Participation Invitation

Event Date: April 29 – from 3:30 to 5:30 at Connect K8 campus

Click HERE to participate:





Connect’s Annual Talent Showcase

Event Date: May 20 – evening time at the Black Box Theater

Click HERE to Sign-Up:




2022-04-01T22:01:49+00:00April 1st, 2022|

Learning Log #5 Due tomorrow!

Hi Connect K8 Families,

This is a friendly reminder that Learning Log #5 is due tomorrow, Friday 3/25 no later than 11:59pm! Please make sure you submit your child’s log completely and on time! Reach out to your child’s teacher for any support you might need.

Thank You!

The Team at Da Vinci Connect

2022-03-24T21:14:27+00:00March 24th, 2022|

Masking Updates at Da Vinci Connect

Good Afternoon Da Vinci Connect Tk-8 Families,

As previously shared (and copied below) by Da Vinci Schools, beginning tomorrow (3/14), masks indoors on campus will move from “required” to “strongly recommended”. We recognize that this change will bring a variety of feelings–from joy to apprehension, and every feeling in-between. It’s important that we continue conversations at home around what this might feel like, and how we might respond to our feelings regarding this change. Now that families are able to make the mask choice that feels safest for them, we will see some staff and students not wearing masks at all, while some will continue to wear masks throughout the day. We want to make sure that everyone feels safe to make the choice that works for them and their families, without fear or judgement. If you would like support in navigating these conversations with your child and family, we are here to help. Any questions can be directed to Kaitlin at ktoon@davincischools.org.


The update from Da Vinci Schools regarding masks on campus sent on 3/9 is pasted below for your review: 

Gov. Gavin Newsom and California state health officials issued an order on February 28 lifting the indoor mask requirement for K-12 schools, effective March 12, 2022, and moving to a strong recommendation to continue indoor masking. In addition, the L.A. County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) released a Health Officer Order on March 3 saying that it will align school masking measures with the State and shift to strongly recommending indoor masking as well.

Following discussion at a Special Board Meeting earlier this week and after receiving input from multiple stakeholders including staff, Da Vinci Schools has chosen to align with the County guidelines as we’ve done throughout the pandemic.

Effective Monday, March 14, all Da Vinci schools will no longer require masks indoors or outdoors regardless of vaccination status, but masks remain strongly recommended. Da Vinci will continue other protective strategies, including eating lunch outdoors on all campuses until further notice. Our existing visitor policy will remain in effect. Please note that masks will be required at all upcoming Exhibition Nights as these are large indoor events with students, families, staff and community stakeholders present.

We encourage all Da Vincians to assess their personal and family risks related to COVID strategies and masking in particular. In deciding whether to continue masking, individuals should consider:

  • Are there individuals in the household who have underlying health conditions that create elevated risk for severe illness from COVID? 
  • Are there unvaccinated family members in the household including young children not yet eligible for vaccines?
  • Does anyone in the household work in a setting with vulnerable individuals at elevated risk of severe illness from COVID?

It is also important to consider how much COVID transmission is in our local community to determine risk level and protective strategies. COVID transmission in L.A. County is now at the Low Community Risk Level. In the event there is a positive case in a Da Vinci classroom or on a WDV sports team, then the entire class/team regardless of vaccination status will be required to mask for 10 days since the last exposure, pursuant to the County COVID-19 Exposure Management Plan. Masks are available at all Da Vinci schools for anyone who wants or needs one.

As we move forward, we respectfully request that everyone mind their “mask manners” and make Da Vinci a safe space for all people to make their personal choices about masking. Thank you for your continued cooperation.


Enjoy Your Week,

The Team at Da Vinci Connect

2022-03-13T20:47:51+00:00March 13th, 2022|
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