We are proud of Fernanda Valadez serving our country

“As a Purple Star School District, we are proud of one of our District employees like Fernanda Valadez, serving our country”.

This article acknowledges the benefits of having a military base in Fort Bliss in El Paso, because you are close to home.

The 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Command has its headquarters in San Antonio, Texas but we are present in five states, two time zones, and 25 communities from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Little Rock, Arkansas.

El Paso, Texas is one of the communities where our Soldiers pursue civilian careers or attend college full-time, and still serve their community and country.

Specialist Hector Perez and Specialist Fernanda Valadez, both 92F – Petroleum Supply Specialists, serve with the 263rd Quartermaster Company, a local El Paso Army Reserve unit.

DV Alumnus Lauren Martinez performing April 23 at 7:30 P.M.

Da Vinci alumnus Lauren Martinez will have a piano recital this Friday, April 23 at 7:30 P.M. at UTEP’s Fox Fine Arts Recital Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Lauren Martinez is a pianist born and raised in El Paso, Texas who has been studying the piano from the age of seven. A former student and graduate of Da Vinci School for Science and the Arts, she is currently a piano performance major at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Lauren has performed throughout Europe from Paris, France to the home of renowned Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo in Madrid, Spain, as well as at the ORFEO Music Festival in Vipiteno, Italy. She has received numerous music scholarships and devotes her time to her students and her personal growth as a pianist, focusing on music theory and music history.

In addition to performing, she is a member of the El Paso Music Teachers Association, the Music Teachers National Association, and is president of the piano organization HOLOS Piano Collective.

Linguistic Academy receives $150K grant from CREEED!

The Linguistic Academy of El Paso is expanding with support from the Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Education Development (CREEED)! This $150,000 grant will allow the Linguistic Academy to expand their innovative language immersion program. The expansion will include ten new classrooms, a teacher workroom, computer lab, library, and meeting rooms. To read more about the grant, see the CREEED announcement in English or Español.

3D rendering of the new Linguistic Academy classroom wing as viewed from the back
A 3D rendering of the new Linguistic Academy classroom wing

KTSM covers increased enrollment at Burnham Wood Charter Schools

In these challenging times, many parents seek face-to-face instruction. KTSM covered this trend in a report aired on October 1. You can view the report below or read the story on the KTSM site.

Charter school district sees rise in enrollment while a local public school district sees a drop
As the pandemic continues presenting changes and challenges for schools across the country, a charter school district in El Paso sees a jump in enrollment.

Combination Model of Instruction Provides Choices

Spaced out students along a walking path at Linguistic AcademyBurnham Wood Family of Charter Schools has again taken the lead when assuring that our students have every opportunity to succeed, whether it be through face-to-face instruction or virtual live streaming of classes. Superintendent Dr. Gonzales stated:

"We have learned that children learn best in a face-to-face pedagogical environment. Most educational experts proclaim that receiving lessons in a purely technological setting causes most children to perform at a 30% deficit from the traditional teacher-to-student and student-to-student setting. It is difficult to substitute solely technological classrooms for person-to-person classrooms. That is not to say that students did not learn and progress in a distance learning program, as some students actually received better grades in some classes and preferred the virtual learning platform."
Spaced out students along a walking path at Linguistic AcademyOn Tuesday, September 8, 2020, the district welcomed its first group of students to begin face-to-face learning on all campuses, grades Pre-K3 through 12th grade. Schools began their combination model for the delivery of instruction. Dr. Gonzales offered in his "Back to School" message to parents and families:
"The combination model provides choices. A student may choose to attend school on campus and be involved in direct face-to-face instruction. This model is the same as the historic method of instruction delivery. Other students may choose to to receive the same instruction, but through a virtual platform. That is, these students will receive their instruction via an electronic device away from the campus setting. Both sets of students will receive the same instruction from the same instructors at the same time via face-to-face teaching and live streaming to students who are at home. The choice for on-campus or at-home learning is totally up to the parents. All our campuses have been contacting parents to ascertain which instructional delivery method is preferred by the parents and students. All classes will be in real-time (live). Tutoring will be available to any student who would benefit from tutoring."

Da Vinci Robotics is Heading to Space!

A view of the International Space Station with a red arrow pointing at the Columbus External Payload Facility
The winning projects will be placed in an enclosure and mounted outside the Columbus Module of the International Space Station.
Following the high expectations of excellence set by our superintendent, Dr. G, for all students across the district, the Da Vinci Robotics Program has reached even greater heights. Students enrolled in Da Vinci’s Robotics classes under the direction of engineering teacher and district robotics coordinator, Alfredo Muñoz, have been identified as one of only two teams in the nation that will be sending a self-created experiment into space. Leading up to the final decision on the two winning teams, Da Vinci Robotics represented two of the four final teams competing to send their self-created research project to the International Space Station.

Logo of the DETECTS program, depicting a stylized magnifying glass pointing at a red dot with a yellow glow. Along the left side of the magnifying glass is part of a gear in yellow with a bit of red on the right side.The DETECTS Initiative invited high school teams from all over the U.S. to submit their proposed research designs. Sponsors, The University of Alabama at Huntsville, and SPARC Laboratory then evaluated the proposed projects for their effectiveness in meeting all challenge criteria.

The DETECTS challenge presented to students a year ago involves:

  • Two-semester, hands-on, space payload programming and testing challenge
  • Students designed a small Raspberry Pi experiment to be performed in Low-Earth orbit
  • Students will learn:
    • Basic Python programming
    • Basic circuit design
    • Experiment design and testing
    • Communication skills
    • Teamwork

Da Vinci’s Space Bound Winning Team and Project

Logo of the Toscani team, depicting a thermometer in front of a sun icon (representing summer), falling leaf (representing fall), snowflake (representing winter), and flower (representing spring)
  • Project Manager: Xavier Litman
  • Chief Engineer: Sebastian Banuelos
  • Design/Programming Lead: Seth Rodriguez
  • Design/Programming Member: Jessica Marquez
  • Test Engineer: Kimberly Cardona
  • ACE Lead: Alexandra Rodriguez
  • ACE Member: Jasmine Looney
The Toscani team's circuit board, showing a Raspberry Pi with a custom circuit board mounted to it. The custom circuit board has an accelerometer (a large rectangle on the left) and a thermometer (a slightly smaller rectangle just to the right of the accelerometer) visibly protruding.The Toscani project has several objectives:
  • Measure temperatures in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and identify any relationship between the on-Earth seasons and the temperature in LEO
  • Attempt to identify regions with the most greenhouse gas emissions
  • Measure the constant vibrations on the International Space Station (ISS) and any major changes in these vibrations to eventually identify how often the ISS gets re-boosted into orbit.
  • Potentially calculate the kinetic energy of their Raspberry Pi

Da Vinci Team Named to the Top 4 National Finalists

Logo of the GammaGang team, depicting a stylized box and the text "GammaGang" in various shades of green
  • Project Manager: Jonathan Herrera
  • Chief Engineer: Reagan Rubio
  • Design/Programming: Jonathan Gutierrez, Angel De Los Santos
  • Testing: Francisco Villagrana, Isaac Gomez, Ivan Iniquez
  • Marketing: Juan Santos, Alex Castro
The GammaGang's modified camera. The lens has been removed and replaced with an aluminum cover.The GammaGang project aimed to measure the amount of radiation in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and compare it to the levels on Earth using a modified digital camera, shown to the right.

The District is very proud of our Da Vinci Robotics Teams! Our appreciation goes to all those involved for the many long hours spent on these top-quality projects. These students serve as excellent representatives and ambassadors of what it means to be a student at Da Vinci School for Science and the Arts.