Portland Public Schools
Portland, Oregon

da Vinci Logo imageda Vinci Arts Middle School

Creative minds for
challenging times.

2508 NE Everett Street | Portland, OR 97232
Phone: (503) 916-5356 | Fax: (503) 916-2721

About Us

Da Vinci Arts Middle School is a focus option school and part of the Portland Public Schools district. Students interested in attending apply and are chosen through a lottery. For more information about admissions, click here.

Today is a new day.
Today I am the possibility of da Vinci.
The possibility of a mind open
to learning the secrets of life.
Today I am the possibility of creation itself,
creation through paint & clay, song & dance, word & pen.
Today my heart goes out to the da Vinci Community.
I am the possibility of respect for any and all.
I can open my mind to others’ voice and art,
with a smile and a hug.
Today I am the possibility of possibility itself.
Today I pledge to be da Vinci!


da Vinci History Highlights





- A group forms to develop a proposal for an arts focused middle school. It primarily consists of parents whose children attend Buckman Arts Magnet Elementary School.

Fall 1995
- The PPS School board approves plans for da Vinci Arts Middle School, a middle school program with an arts focus.

- Da Vinci opens it’s doors to 140 students in 6th & 7th grade (Attendance goal 100)
- Nearly all students that applied are accepted
- No on-site administrator. Shared principal, Frank Scotto w/ Hosford MS; plus ‘lead teacher’, Jane Ferguson 1/2 time teaching, 1/2 administrator.
- Teachers work without a planning period to keep class sizes down.
- Volunteers work in the office at lunch so office staff can do lunch duty.

-PPS District Arts Administrator, Paula Kinney is da Vinci’s first on-site administrator
- Private community fundraising generates enough money to create a dance class space (sprung floor, baffles, mirrors) in portable E
- First full-scale drama production Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Jane Ferguson
- First yearbook - Mary Morris Advisor

- First full-time principal on-site, Tom Breuckman
- First Special Education staff Glenn ? + Elaine Ko
- Artist-in-residence, Tom Cramer works with students to create colorful murals throughout the school.
- Student Halston Williams has his design chosen for the Run for the Arts T-shirt
- First Dance Recital under the direction of Kristen Brayson & Elena Carter
- Two da Vinci staff are Awarded Excellence in Education awards from the PPS Foundation, Doug Ingamells & Connie Cheifetz
- First annual PTA Auction

- Students reinterpret Newsies, for the stage - our first musical, directed by Jane Ferguson
- Da Vinci staff member Dan Evans receives an Excellence in Education award from the PPS Foundation

- Da Vinci has its first counselor (part time)
- Thanks to a generous parent, the ceramics studio gets a linoleum floor, replacing the splintered wood.
- First trip to Ashland led by Shannon Wasson
- Strong School rating from the state (first AYP rating)

- Da Vinci breaks ground on the Water Garden, thanks to Science teacher Dan Evans’ hard work.
- Student Christian Rogers has his design chosen for the Run for the Arts T-shirt

July 2003
- School board approves da Vinci status change from a program to a school. This includes agreeing to move from a student population of 325 to 400+ over 3 years.

- We have a fulltime counselor for the first time.
- Our theater’s sound system gets an upgrade (auction funds)
- Student Camara Bedell Stiles has her design chosen for the Run for the Arts T-shirt
- Sunburst Education Award from Young Audiences

- First Poetry SLAM spearheaded by Shannon Wasson
- 8th graders create Arts Benchmark projects (later renamed Arts Capstone).
- Brass lettering on the building changes from James Monroe High School to da Vinci Arts Middle School

- Bernard Harvard serves as da Vinci’s principal.
- We have our first assistant principal.
- Da Vinci students present their first original rock opera - Faust under the direction of Tom Beckett, Dave Myers & Bob Price
- Da Vinci PTA launches first da Vinci Arts Fair
- The students walk out in response to proposed staff cuts
- The dream of an energy efficient classroom is born in Science teacher Dan Evans’ mind. (completed 2009)
- Exceptional School rating from the state

- LaShawn Lee serves as da Vinci’s interim principal, after Mr. Harvard passes away suddenly.
- Da Vinci receives an award from Oregon Green School for outstanding efforts in waste reduction & resource conservation.
- Mirrors are built for the gym to enhance dance classes (auction funds)
- Da Vinci awarded Creative Ticket School of Excellence Award from the Oregon Alliance for Arts Education & Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network for Outstanding Achievement in Arts Education

- Eric Bergmann is hired from Salt Lake City to become da Vinci’s current principal.
- First Master Arts Showcase - A new event to highlight student’s upper level work in Dance, Theater, Music & Visual Arts
- Student Luna Koenig has her design chosen for the Run for the Arts T-shirt
- Secretary Mary Sharp honored at a school board meeting
- New larger darkroom is built (auction funds)
- First time Visual Arts Capstone projects include interior murals
- First time the da Vinci Marching Band performs in the Junior Rose Parade, directed by Diana Rowey
- Outstanding School rating from the state

Summer 2009
- Stage is extended 10’ feet & dedicated to former student Finn Terry (auction funds)
- Evans-Harvard High Performance Classroom is dedicated (platinum LEED awarded)

- First paid library staff (half-time). Drama teacher,
- Courtyard mural created under the direction of community artist Joe Sneed
- Drama Teacher, Tom Beckett is honored at a school board meeting.
- Da Vinci Tree park begins the planning process thanks to Science teacher Jason Hieggelke
- Da Vinci forms a staff Equity Team to attend Courageous Conversation training to promote an equitable educational environment
- Outstanding School rating from the state

Summer 2010
- Work on the da Vinci Art Gallery begins (auction funds)

- da Vinci Foundation is formed. Potential donors are invited to a reception and a Master Arts Showcase performance
- First student art show in the new gallery during Master Arts Showcase
- Student Xander Balwit has her design chosen for the Run for the Arts T-shirt 
- Outstanding School rating from the state

- Fred Locke is appointed interim principal at da Vinci
- First staff art show opens the year in the gallery
- First community artist - Allejandro Ceballas (Oct) shows in the gallery
- Courageous Conversation Equity training extends to all staff
- Da Vinci families invited to participate in Courageous Conversation community monthly gatherings