A Dynamic Education

Our students thrive in a dynamic learning environment, becoming competent, confident learners who maintain a true joy for learning.

A Personal Learning Program

Active. Engaging. Personal. Creative. Relevant.

- Average Teacher-Student Ratio: 1:15 (In Kindergarten, 1:12)
- Every Day: Academics, Physical Education

- Every Week:  Field Trips / Music / Art / Projects / STEM / Coding (Levels 3-8)
- Regularly:  Workshops / Cultural Events / Hands-on Projects / Community Service
- After School Activities: Yes

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Learners benefit from a rich and comprehensive course of study that has been extensively researched, developed, piloted and used for over 40 years by a national network of acclaimed schools. With a proven curriculum and highly effective approach to learning, young children build a firm foundation of knowledge, study skills and life skills. Graduates head off to high school with the personal and academic tools they need to succeed.

Talk to one of our graduates and you’ll hear common refrains: the personalized nature of the program, the encouragement and guidance they received from every teacher, and the confidence they feel having mastered both study and organizational skills that will help them learn anything they seek to know in the future.

Levels & Schools

Building a Foundation for Lifelong Learning

Our philosophy of education is simple. 

Students should be given a firm foundation in both academics and life skills to give them the tools and knowledge they need to problem-solve, persist and succeed in their future goals. 

Our teaching and study methods emphasize practical application of knowledge. Students learn with the purpose of using what they know to better understand the world and to make educated choices. In the end, we want to see our students maintain their individuality while being self-motivated, confident, active and purposeful individuals who are capable of pursuing and reaching their chosen goals. 

A Student-Centered Approach

DaVinci students thrive on our Independent Mastery Learning Program. When a learner arrives, they are quickly oriented to the dynamic classroom environment. Our student-centered approach is new to most students but they soon realize that they are in the driver's seat of their own education. We give them a personalized program so they aren't repeating what they already know and are studying at the exact right level for them.

As they continue through the Levels, students become familiar with many different approaches to learning and are encouraged to find answers for themselves. For example, we expect them to conduct a science experiment, not just watch a teacher demonstration and take notes. We bring experts into the classroom and take students on field trips to interact with professionals and to ask questions. Our students learn by doing:  visiting, talking, asking questions, experimenting, drawing, testing and designing – not just by reading textbooks.

Students work on social skills and executive skills, too:  getting along with others, collaborating, organizing, setting goals, persisting, communicating well, and managing relationships with others. 

Additionally, we orient new learners to the school culture of doing one's best, treating others well, learning to set goals and striving to achieve those goals with self-determination.

Most learners quickly adapt to the freedom and demands of DaVinci's active and personalized curriculum. The classroom environment and encouragement from teachers and peers creates school culture where students learn willingly and with great interest. Targets that may have seemed stressful in another setting can become a game and a challenge. It is our goal that learners find their education enjoyable!

Involving Parents. Empowering Students.

It is our philosophy that the student, teacher and parents form a team. In the beginning levels, the child is young and just getting accustomed to attending school. Naturally, the teacher is the main guide while the parents support the child's education with love, good nutrition, a stable schedule, regular communication with the teacher, etc. As the child grows up, however, it is the learner who can take the reins, set the goals, and gradually become the manager. By Level 6, the teacher becomes more of a supervisor and mentor as the student becomes a more independent, responsible, self-motivated and confident learner.

Levels vs. Grades

A New Vision:  Breaking Away from the Factory-Based Model of Education
In a traditional school, time is constant and learning is the variable. But we are just the opposite. For DaVinci students, learning is the constant and time is the variable.
Level n.  
1. A rich, engaging curriculum of study and practical application, field trips and activities designed to empower students to love and "own" their education while achieving and demonstrating mastery.

2. Each of a series of stages of increasing difficulty through which a player may progress, completing one stage in order to reach the next.

A student completes a Level when they have successfully and completely attained all the knowledge and skills required in that body of curriculum.

Seat Time vs. Engaged Learning

In a traditional school, students attend class for nine months and pass on to the next grade level at the end of the year. Parents hope that their child learned everything necessary to do well the following year, but unfortunately, many students find they have gaps of learning in their education. As a result, particular subjects become "hard" and students find themselves simply memorizing for a test or completely falling behind.

Our program avoids these pitfalls by making learning the constant and time the variable. In other words, we ask each learner to demonstrate mastery of a topic before they move on to the next one -- thus avoiding any educational holes that will cause a student to stumble on higher materials. As a result, quick learners can fly ahead but when they hit a subject of greater challenge they can slow down and take the time to truly understand and master the topic.  

How does this work in the classroom?

Each classroom maintains an energetic balance of order and independence. During a reading period, for example, each student will be reading a book at the level that is right for them. One learner may be far ahead in the reading portion of the Level while another is still in the early books. Dynamic teachers are trained to supervise all the learners and keep each one progressing smoothly. While it may sound complicated, a visit to a classroom in action shows how smooth and workable this model can be and how learners thrive when studying a curriculum that lets them master each step at a gradient that is neither too easy nor too difficult.

A Natural Way to Learn

Parents often comment on the changes and gains in maturity they see as their child progresses through a Level. Students are working on such a variety of things - new P.E. skills, home projects such as cooking and nutrition, community service, gardening, wood shop, coding, etc. - and setting their own targets and goals to accomplish steps on their Level. It is a natural way to learn and students enjoy taking on new challenges, gaining new abilities and becoming the managers of their own education.

Learning How to Learn

The Student Toolbox
The world is changing so fast that by the time our students graduate college, there will likely be many entirely new branches of technology and career opportunities available that do not exist today. So, how do we prepare children to succeed in a future we cannot predict? Our answer is to give students a solid foundation of S.T.E.M. and liberal arts studies, plus empower them with top notch study skills and the ability to study any new subject with confidence. 
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The Right Attitude

Throughout the Levels, starting in Kindergarten, learners are encouraged to ask questions. We teach them to look and observe for themselves, give them level-appropriate opportunities for critical thinking and hands-on projects, and empower them to learn anything they want to learn.

Somewhere along the line every learner faces a challenge or confusion in a particular topic. Having great study skills helps. A teacher that is available to each individual and easy to talk to is also very helpful. Our  teachers seek to nurture each learner's resilience and persistence, fostering a willingness to work hard, rise to challenges and realize, "OK, I know I can get this; I just haven't gotten it yet." 

Meeting High Standards

The Standards Department has the responsibility of verifying that the students have achieved the requirements of each Level. The educators here support the students and teaching staff in two ways. 

1) If a student is struggling in a subject and needs more help than the teacher can address in the classroom setting, the teacher can send the student to Standards for extra one-on-one help. 

2) All exams are administered in Standards, including the final portfolio review required for graduation from a Level. 

Standards staff are an important part of each student's support team.

Preparing for the Future

Study Skills for Life
Anyone who studies something usually hopes to learn it 100% so they can effectively use the information or skills in life. DaVinci Academy aims to give learners study tools and abilities to learn anything they want to learn -- now and in their future education.
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Empowering young students to become competent, confident learners and leaders.

Home of the Dragons

One West Campbell Avenue, Building A, Campbell, CA 95008
Call us for a free consultation.

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