Archive for October 16, 2019

Reminder: Application for the Riordan Programs’ Saturday Business Institute is Due Tomorrow

Hello 9th & 10th Grade Students,


A friendly reminder that the Riordan Programs’ Saturday Business Institute (SBI)  application is due tomorrow, Wednesday, October 16th by 3:35pm.  Applications can be submitted to your respective counselor. Space is limited!


About the program

SBI provides first-year high school students the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and begin to navigate the college application process.

The program includes:

  • Four Saturday sessions at the school site
  • A College Field Trip to UCLA
  • College Action Plan and financial aid counseling
  • Professional development workshops, including essay writing, resume writing, interviewing techniques, public speaking
  • Career exploration workshops


For more information, please review the SBI Flyer and Application


Celebration of Life – Oct. 20

Please note the correct date for the Celebration of Life for Mr. Steve Anderson is Sunday, October 20, 2019 at 3:00 PM at Da Vinci Schools, 201 N. Douglas Street, El Segundo.

All students, alumni, friends and families are invited to attend.

Coping with Grief and Loss 

Dear Da Vinci Science Families,

As you know by now, one of our beloved teachers and colleagues, Mr. Steve Anderson, passed away on Thursday evening. This morning, our entire school came together for an all-school meeting, then students spent time in Advisory to grieve and to remember Mr. Anderson. We’ve had grief counselors on campus all day, in addition to our regular counseling staff. Counselors will be on campus all week providing on-site counseling and other resources to address the needs of our students and staff. 

A Celebration of Life will take place here at Da Vinci on Sunday, October 20 at 3:00 PM. All students, alumni, friends, and families are invited to attend. 

We wish to share some additional resources with families during this difficult week.  Grief is a process and can come in many stages and forms. Your teen may react to news related to this event in a variety of ways. The following information contains a few strategies that might assist you with addressing their concerns.

Grief and Loss – Teenagers

Teenagers grieve in much the same way as adults. At this stage in their development they often have emotional ‘ups and downs’ and can become deeply distressed. They can grieve over the break-up of friendships and relationships, parents’ separation, or the death of someone close. They can become withdrawn, depressed and moody. They may want to spend more time with friends than family, but they still need to know you are there to talk to if needed. Some teens show their sadness through angry feelings to cover up their underlying feelings. Others just need to do active and noisy things (e.g., go for a run, dance to loud music, or play sports with friends. Some may find comfort in art, music, writing poetry, walking alone, or being in a quiet place to deal with their grief.

What parents/guardians can do

Help your teen express their feelings.

  • Let your child know you understand they are having difficult feelings. Provide an environment where they feel safe to express their feelings in whatever way they can.
  • Help them find ways to express their feelings (e.g. through play, writing a letter, a story, a poem, painting, drawing or music.)
  • Allow your teen time to talk, ask questions and share their worries. 
  • Make extra time to spend with your teen – they will need closeness and comfort. Sharing emotions and feeling connected with others can be a great support.
  • Telling children how you are managing your feelings, even if you are sad, shows them that grief can be coped with. You will help them understand grief is a normal part of life.

We encourage you to let us know what’s happening with your student. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your son/daughter’s school counselor or school psychologist through our school office. You are always welcome to contact me as well. 

When your teen needs extra help

We encourage students to seek help from our Da Vinci Science counselors or other professionals who know about grief if your child shows unusual signs that continue such as not wanting to talk about their feelings, a preoccupation with death, anger, excessive crying, sadness or depression, the inability to concentrate, or is ‘withdrawn’ at school weeks and months later.

Counseling Resources

Please find below a list of counseling resources that may be helpful for your students or other family members. 

We will continue to care for each other as we share our stories and memories of our beloved friend, teacher, and colleague Mr. Anderson.  I am grateful to be a part of such a loving and supportive school family. As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if I can provide additional support or if you have questions or concerns. 




Didi Hirsch – Inglewood (multiple locations)            

232 N. Prairie Avenue

Inglewood CA 90301     

(310) 677-7808 


Richstone Family Center    

13634 Cordary Ave.

Hawthorne, CA 90250    

(310) 970-1921 


Pepperdine Community Counseling Clinic    

6100 Center Drive

Los Angeles, CA 90045    

(310) 568-5600 


The Gathering Place    

5315 Torrance Blvd., Suite B1

Torrance, CA 90503    

(310) 546-6407 


The Maple Counseling Center

9107 Wilshire Blvd., Lower Level

Beverly Hills, CA 90210

(310) 271-9999 



Class of 2020-FAFSA Night Reminder

Hello Class of 2020 Families,

This is a friendly reminder that the FAFSA workshop will take place this Wednesday, October 16th from 5:00 to 6:30 pm in the Multi-purpose Room.

Please bring 2018 tax returns in order to fill out the FAFSA application. You and your student will also need to have your FSA ID handy so that you can electronically sign your application. Please make sure that this is done prior to attending the workshop

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you!

Kindest regards,

DVS Counselors



Revised plans for this week

Dear DVS Families,

This week will be a difficult and painful week for the entire DVS family – staff, students and parents alike – as we grieve the loss of our beloved Mr. Anderson. He was a treasured teacher, colleague and friend and we will miss him terribly.

We will have many additional counselors on campus on Monday and through the week to help our students and staff through this, and we are modifying the schedule for the week to best meet the DVS family’s need to process and grieve and move forward together.

On Monday, students will begin the day in their advisory classes at 8:30, and then we will hold a school assembly in the theater where I will speak briefly to the students and let them know about the counseling support and resources that we will have for them in the days and weeks to come.

Though our daily schedule will be modified, we will continue to hold classes to provide students with a healthy sense of routine and normalcy in the days to come. We have canceled office hours for week 9 to give us a greater ability to care for the needs of our staff and students before and after school.


Mr. Anderson’s room will be open to students throughout the week to allow them to go in and remember him if they wish to do so, and our scheduled Tuesday morning parent meeting will be held there as well to allow parents to do likewise.

Finally, Mr. Anderson was a lifelong loyal Dodger fan, and I invite everyone to wear their Dodger Blue tomorrow in his honor.

Please feel free to reach out to me with your questions and concerns. I am grateful for the strength and love of this DVS family. We will carry each other through this.



In loving memory


Dear Da Vincians,

Email would not have been my preferred way of sharing this sad news; however, due to the timing of when we received it, I felt that this was the best avenue available to reach everyone in our Da Vinci family in a timely manner.

It is with a heavy heart that I write to inform you that Mr. Steve Anderson passed away unexpectedly last night. Mr. Anderson served as our 11th grade History teacher at Da Vinci Science since 2011 and was loved and revered by students, staff, and parents alike.

A Crisis Response Team will be on campus next week to assist and support students and staff for as long as it is needed.

We want you to know that we will do everything possible during this difficult time to support our Da Vinci family. We will provide you with an update as soon as more information becomes available.


Matthew Wunder, Ed.D.
Chief Executive Officer


Queridos Da Vincians,

El correo electrónico no habría sido mi forma preferida de compartir esta triste noticia; sin embargo, debido al momento en que lo recibimos, sentí que esta era la mejor vía disponible para llegar a todos en nuestra familia Da Vinci de manera oportuna.

Me da mucha pena informarles que el Sr. Steve Anderson falleció inesperadamente anoche. El Sr. Anderson se desempeñó como nuestro maestro de Historia del 11º grado en Da Vinci Science desde 2011 y fue amado y venerado por los estudiantes, el personal y los padres.

Un Equipo de Respuesta a Crisis estará disponible en el campus la próxima semana para ayudar y apoyar a los estudiantes y al personal durante el tiempo que sea necesario.

Queremos que sepan que haremos todo lo posible durante este momento difícil para apoyar a nuestra familia Da Vinci. Le proporcionaremos una actualización tan pronto como haya más información disponible.


Matthew Wunder, Ed.D.
Director Ejecutivo

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