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

Fred Locke, principal

I am very pleased to be the principal at da Vinci Arts Middle School. You can click on these links to access my Educational Philosophy and the importance of Equity Work in our Schools.

If you ever feel the need to contact me you can reach me via email < fwlocke@pps.net > or though the school's main phone line (503) 916-5356. But don't be surprised if when you call I am out and about visiting classrooms. It's one of my favorite duties.

If I haven't already done so, I hope to meet you soon!
Fred Locke

I am also the teacher of record of our APEX program. APEX, or Alternative Physical Educational Experience is so 6th & 7th grade da Vinci students that want to take 2-year-long arts classes and neither is dance can meet their PPS PE requirement. Click on the link above to download the packet with assignments, deadlines and other expectations.

Current articles by Principal Locke:

Scholastic Art, Drama, Chess, & Dance Accolades!
January 29th

Dear Families,

For the last 19 years, da Vinci has offered students amazing opportunities to explore, create, and learn through art  alongside their rigorous academic studies. We are fortunate to have strong teaching, outstanding student effort, awesome parent support, and passion on all sides. With this is in mind, as a community we are deeply grateful to all the students who took the time to turn in over 300 Scholastic Art Award submissions, write their own plays, practice chess or rehearse for dance competitions or performances. Your collective efforts are impressive and define us as those who love and seek art. We pride ourselves on producing wonderful and compelling art, and we rely on your creativity and hard work. To all of you, as Austin shared... “we believe in your talent, and you inspire us each day!”

Drum roll please. With distinct pleasure I am honored to announce our 2015 da Vinci Scholastic Art Award winners. This year, under the tutelage of Kelda Van Patten and XK Austin, 72 of our 7th and 8th grade visual art students received 109 awards in 9 different mediums (Ceramics and Glass, Digital Art, Drawing and Illustration, Fashion, Mixed Media, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, and Sculpture).

18 students won 25 Gold Key Awards, many students won more than one award, including 2 American Vision nominees. Each Gold Key Award student will select one piece to be exhibited at the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) and go on to be juried for national awards. Congratulations to the following Gold Key Winners: Anna Christen, Rosa Christen, Helena Guerrero-Sullivan, Oscar Harold, Lindsey Hausafus, Bijou Holiday, Mackenzie King, Eva Ladd, Avery Marlia, Maude Neretin, Owen Posey-Scholl, Iris Siegel, Maisie Siegel, Shea Van Butler, Brooke Waxman, Arlyss West, Mimi Smith, and Madeleine Wonacott. Special congratulations to our American Vision nominees Rosa Christen for her painting, Island, and Lindsey Hausafus for her ceramic piece Drip. National qualifiers will be announced on February 18th at the Portland Art Museum.

37 students won 47 Silver Key Awards in the mediums listed above. Please Congratulate the following Silver Key Winners: Lupine Aldana, Jack Barrett, Ava Bayley, Olivia Bell, Priya Boucher-Colbert, Karter Bryan-Hart, Arden Butterfield, Anna Christen, Annaka Cornell, Olivia Craig, Ruby Dean, Scotty Douglass, Lev Eisenbah-Budner, Lindsay Faust, Anderson Fletcher, Emma Freedman, Oscar Harold, Sydney Haswell, Ava Hergenhan, Andres Herrera, Bijou Holiday, Selah Johnson, Henry Jordan, Maeve Kelly, Jaymes Logan-Harryhill, Taylor Marrow, Arlo Miotel, Pedro Perez, Izzabella Perini, Katarina Pokorny, Owen Posey-Scholl, Solomn Price-Blaze, Lucy Sennett, Dehlia Shaw, Lilly Warren, Sir Xavien Woods, and Eleanor Zaerr.

33 students won 37 Honorable Mentions in the following 8 mediums (Ceramics and Glass, Digital Art, Drawing and Illustration, Mixed Media, Painting, Photography, Printmaking and  Sculpture). Congratulations to the following Honorable Mention Winners: Anna Christen, Eban Corona, Carter Crabb, McKenna de Paz, Sylvia Goldrich-Middaugh, Carson Grosse, Maya Gueissaz-Daoust, Ruby Hale, Sydney Haswell, Jaxon Hearst, Haley James, Henry Jordan, Eli Karn, Maeve Kelly, Liam Krug, Isabel Mace-McLatchie, Caroline, Maclean, Ciara Marcell, Asher Marlin, Taylor Marrow, Natalie Merwin, Maude Neretin, Eli Pearson, Pedro Perez, Izzabella Perini, Natalya Peterson, Lyric Ramaekers, Lucy Sennett, Dehlia Shaw, Maisie, Siegel, Lily Tewfik, Luke Walker, and Eleanor Zaerr.

18 of 25 Gold Key pieces will be showcased at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) and go on to be juried for National awards. The Scholastic Exhibition is open to the public and runs from Monday February 2nd - 26th. The Scholastic Opening Reception at PNCA is on Thursday, February 5th from 5-7 pm—we hope to see you there!

Our 18 Gold Key Award Winners will be honored at the Metro Scholastic Art Awards Ceremony on February 18th at the Portland Art Museum in the Grand Ballroom from 6:30 – 8:30. This is by invitation only. To Kelda, Austin, and all Scholastic Winners Wow…great effort, great work, congratulations!

From Art to Drama…EXTRA, EXTRA!!! News from Drama teacher Nicole Accuardi is equally compelling. Anjali King, Ainsley Leof, Annie Dynes, and Uma Frost-Hausman have all been selected as finalists for the Young Playwrights for Change Competition.  Four of Ms. Accuard’s classes wrote ten minute plays to submit. There were six finalists selected, and four are from da Vinci! Our students will now work with professional playwrights on their scripts. Congratulations to Ms. Accuardi and her outstanding playwrights. As Ms. Accuardi says, “Feeling proud!”

Chess anyone?

 The da Vinci Chess Club also has great news. In a recent Regional Tournament, our team placed 4th and two of our students qualified for the State Tournament. The da Vinci Chess Team includes: Haydn Bocian, Daniel Duyvestein, Will Faust, Ashton Fuller, Jonathan Price, Duncan Robbins, Lexington Russell, Somes Schwinghammer, and Valen Wilcox. Congratulations to the entire team, and especially to our two state finalists Haydn Bocian, and Ashton Fuller.

Finally, the da Vinci destino dancers went to a qualifying regional competition over the weekend and performed the first section of their dance. Out of six teams, they placed third! At the PIL Middle and High School Dance Team Championships on Saturday, February 28th, they will perform their entire dance.

Parents, thank you for your wonderful children and for your support of our fabulous arts program.

TONIGHT… come see the Dance 3-4 Winter Showcase. At yesterday’s Teaser, our dancers were awesome! Tickets are $ 5.00 and we hope to see you at 7:00! 

At your service!

Fred Locke


Letter to the Superintendent and the School Board concerning SACET recommendations
(Superintendent's Advisory Committee on Enrollment & Transfer policies)
Originally the board was scheduled to vote on this issue January 13th, but the vote has been delayed.

Information about the SACET recommendations can be found here:

A da Vinci Moment! 
December 12, 2014

Dear da Vinci Students, Families, and Staff,

For those of you who braved the elements and shared in what was, hands down, a magical evening of dance last Thursday —Thank you! Parents, your students were fabulous, and their uber enthusiasm, learning, and skill, were readily apparent for all to appreciate. Congratulations dancers, Claire Olberding, Sara Martins, and Katie Staszkow, for a job well done!

If you were unable to see the performance, the Dance 1 and 2 Winter Showcase, is a rehearsed, yet “informal” showing of classwork. Dance 1 students, the majority of whom have not had formal training before, demonstrated basic movements in Ballet, Jazz, and Tap. The Dance 2 students showcased an expanded repertoire of steps in each discipline, and the further complexity and focus were clearly evident. The stage brimmed with enthusiasm and the unabashed joy of moving through space. Warm and encouraging teacher-student relationships enhanced learning, and the result was delightful for all. At the show’s end, accomplished dancers and proud parents headed home into the blustery night.

Dancer-generated magic was present throughout both shows, but there was a singular moment during the first performance that will make the da Vinci archives as both typical and special. Other schools were forced to cancel their events, but we proceeded. At the start of the show, we paid homage to the wind gods, and, with fingers crossed, began the show with the simple beauty and challenge of classical “plies” (to bend). All was well until mid-way through the across the floor segment of Jazz when the lights went dark and the sound stopped. From training and focus, the dancers kept going, and in a matter of seconds the auditorium was illuminated by cellphones so the dancing could continue.  After a very long minute, first the lights were restored, and then eventually later the sound. As if scripted—this spontaneous support meant the dancers didn’t miss a beat!

From the beginning, da Vinci has revered and relied on its parents’ educational, artistic, and financial support. To verify this you need only visit the office, our Library, classroom book groups, or any performance to understand this formidable and willing commitment of joy and service. That said, the lighting of our dark auditorium so the Showcase could go on, was a true gift.

The leadership of the Dance 4 students earned a special Shout Out! Their Green room support ensured that the performers stayed focused and both shows ran smoothly. To close the second show, along with Claire and Sara, Xavier Warner and Duncan Sennett made an impassioned Dance Department funding appeal. All in all, a special night, congratulations!

As we continue to bring in da Vinci holiday cheer, don’t miss The Winter Music Concert, this Thursday at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium.

Parents, your gift of light and dance time were common da Vinci brilliance. Thank you! I believe that Stephen Hawking would smile—you’re the best!


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

State of the School PowerPoint Presentation

presented at the PTSA Meeting on November 18, 2014


SACET UPDATE November 17, 2014

Good morning da Vinci Families and Staff,

I hope you are well, warm, and enjoyed this cold and beautiful Sunday. 

Having attended the School Board meeting to hear the SACET Committee's presentation on Monday, and read the full final report, I wanted to give you another update. For interested parents and staff, I have attached the Final SACET Report, and the Q and A transcript from the Focus Option meeting we hosted on Monday Nov. 3rd. To contextualize this important equity work and the thinking and evidence behind the SACET recommendations, time permitting, I suggest you read the full final report, or minimally read recommendations 3 and 5 as they will most directly impact our community.  

As the SACET Report is complex, here is a brief overview: 

The report recommends "revisions to enrollment and transfer policies to improve alignment with PPS's strategic framework and Racial Board Educational Equity Policy" (SACET, p.3). These changes are intended to improve equity of program offerings across neighborhood schools and improve access for historically underserved students, while minimizing any adverse impact on neighborhood schools. If adopted, the proposed lottery priorities for da Vinci would "add low income preference and geographic preference" (SACET, p. 33). This would increase our students on Free and Reduced Lunch to a maximum of 45% (The district average), and da Vinci students would be selected through a revised lottery system from all geographic areas of the district. Tomorrow, Monday, November 17, the Superintendent will present a timeline and an indication of which components of SACET recommendations need board approval and which do not.   

As part of my State of the School address on Tuesday night, I will share information on the SACET recommendations. Judy Brennan, Director of Enrollment & Transfer, is also happy to come to da Vinci in the near future to discuss the finer details of how the recommendations may effect our learning community. 

For your information, I have attached the following, and outlined the sections that directly pertain to da Vinci:

Final SACET Report

  1. The Six Recommendations, p. 14 
    1. Recommendation 3: Implement a quality review process for focus option schools, p. 20 
    1. Recommendation 5: Modify the Focus Option Lottery System, p.23 
    1. Recommendation 6: Supporting students receiving special education services, p.27
  1. A revised Q & A Transcript.
  2. Comparison model by High School Cluster (da Vinci is to the right of the middle).
  3. Comparison model by Free & Reduced Price Lunch (FRL)

SACET's goal, is to ensure equity of access for all PPS students and families. This is critically important equity work. I have every confidence that we can clearly define our purpose as a culturally relevant arts focus option program, and work with all of our students to prepare them to succeed in high school, post secondary studies, and professionally. Our da Vinci Arts middle school program is VALUE ADDED, and as a focus option program it is critical that we equitably serve the district as a whole.  

If you wish to write a letter to the Superintendent and/or the School Board expressing how you value da Vinci's unique art infused academic program, I am sure they would appreciate hearing from you. My hope is that these proposed changes will strengthen our ability to align with the district equity policy, and afford us the opportunity to remain an outstanding choice for PPS families for years to come. 

I hope to see you at my State of the School address on Tuesday evening starting at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium. 

Be Well! Fred Locke


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Winter’s Tale, Talent, and SACET
November 10, 2014

How now da Vinci Parents!

With a cordial tone and wit to quick for capture, I beseech you gentle ladies and men to not remiss the fair treason, intrigue, love, death, and startling wonderments as our actors ply their wares to grant you pleasure and delight. With sharp tongues, dressed to match their station, and a marbled floor, may your appetite for Shakespearian drama find your calendars next Thursday and Friday at 7:00, and a final show on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Ms. Connie can ticket you.  You may lessen your purse for $15.00 (Reserved) or $7.00 for general admission. Delight at these prices, complete with tricks and skills you will rarely find on middle school stages, Ms. Accuardi’s players’ urgency is you a smile bring. Come ye one and all, this merriment and noble tale bears your witness for full satisfaction! To both casts, guest Director Catlin Fisher-Draeger, Ms. Accuardi, and the entire stage crew wonderful work as our stage radiated with your Shakespeare offering!    

If The Winter’s Tale was our only game, I would brag less, but in recent weeks, mastery and talents of our students have lived up to high da Vinci standards of excellence. Friday afternoon, directly after school, Kelda, Austin, and visual art students had their first, First Friday!  The rich Gallery display of gorgeous original batiks, colorful prints wrapped with text, fully captured half-drawings of a beguiling photo, ceramic cups and mugs of all persuasions, and stunning photos offer something for everyone to enjoy. I especially enjoyed the batik artist statements that described their artistic process. Unfortunately a principals SACET meeting kept me from attending, but I hear the Art Opening was well attended and appreciated by all.  Kelda, Austin, and visual art students—your work speaks to your creative spirit, emerging skill, and dedication. The year is young, and your offerings bode well for a wealth of learning and growth as the year progresses. Congratulations to all! 

The week before Halloween, our Spooky Talent Show was one to remember! The variety was refreshing and our student’s performance skills impressive. Twins 6th grade sisters (Maura and Siobhan McQuillen) played a lovely violin duet, and 8th grade twins Rosie (vocals) and Ben Folger-Vent (guitar) performed an excellent Halloween offering. Other memorable moments included a lovely song by Franny Cabler-Welch,  Zoe Ridgell who danced a moving pointe solo, the da Vinci destino dancers, and Arden Butterfield’s riveting solo cello composition closed the show with an outstanding performance. Ms. Wasson did a wonderful job reminding the audience of their important supportive role to all performers, and Dave Myers and Sara Daley’s able humor helped them be masterful MCs. In short, da Vinci’s visual and performing arts are thriving! Thank you to all, as this excellent work demonstrates the power of collective commitment to providing outstanding and varied authentic artistic learning opportunities for our students.

To all who attended conferences—thank you! We hope they afforded you a snapshot of your child’s progress, and offered you valuable insights and feedback about your student’s strengths and areas for growth and improvement. We strive for open and timely school family communication, and we urge you to use Synergy/ParentVUE to track your student’s progress. Please ensure that they always do nightly homework, and remain current in all assignments. Please contact teachers directly if you have questions or concerns.

Last Monday evening, da Vinci hosted a Focus Option School SACET meeting with three SACET members and Enrollment & Transfer Office Director, Judy Brennan.  Approximately 100 parents representing all of the focus option schools listened and then had a chance to ask a number of salient questions. The SACET Committee explained their charge to review the role of focus option schools, and to make recommendations such that focus option schools fully align with the PPS Racial Equity Policy by mirroring district demographics. Regarding how the recommendations may directly impact their school community, many questions were asked and as time ran out, questions were recorded and collected. Although less of an issue for da Vinci, sibling preference was a recurring theme.  

Tomorrow night, Monday, Nov. 10th, at around 7:45 the SACET committee will present their recommendations to the PPS School Board at the BESC. I will be there, as this is an excellent opportunity to hear from SACET directly, and to listen to the Board’s questions and subsequent dialogue. The Board will not make any decisions tomorrow night, and there are no public comment slots available for testimony, but you are welcome to attend.  At Friday’s focus option principal meeting with Area Regional Directors, Jon Isaacs of Communications, Judy Brennan, and Superintendent Carole Smith, the following Timeline was shared. After tomorrow’s public SACET’s presentation to the School Board, Superintendent Smith will take approximately two weeks to review and then share with the School Board her Policy recommendations and implementation timeline. Judy Brennan is happy to come to da Vinci to answer questions about how the Superintendent’s recommendations and timeline will impact our da Vinci community.

One important aspect of this dialogue, is that our current Free and Reduced Price Lunch (FRL) is 24% compared to the district average of ~45%. My understanding is that our da Vinci community will have the opportunity to do the following: 1) Clarify our “purpose” and value added to the district’s overall portfolio of schools; 2) Attract through the new Lottery system enough FRL applicants to mirror the district’s demographics; and 3) Ensure that our rigorous art infused and strong arts academic curriculum prepares all of our promoted students to be high school ready. Thank you for your patience and we will let you know as more information becomes available.

 Supporting your amazing children as they discover and learn in our art infused environment is inspiring and important work! We are honored to serve your children!

- - - - - - - - - 

SACET Update (Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on Enrollment and Transfer) -
October 17th

Dear da Vinci Parents,

After Judy Brennan, the Director of PPS Enrollment & Transfer joined us at our PTSA Executive committee meeting, I wanted to provide some background information, and give you an update on the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on Enrollment and Transfer (SACET) committee’s work.

Brief Background Information

From the Preliminary SACET Report Executive Summary it states, "The Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on Enrollment and Transfer (SACET) is a standing committee of 15 community members whose purpose, since its inception five years ago, has been to advise the Superintendent on enrollment and transfer issues to improve equity, program access and educational achievement for all students. SACET broadly represents diversity in gender, age, ethnicity, and geography. It contains veteran and new committee members, including alumni of Portland Public Schools (PPS), community members, teachers, parents, and a student representative."

SACET focus & School Board presentation

For the last fifteen months, the SACET committee has been meeting to finalize their recommendations to Superintendent Smith on different issues. One of their main objectives is to strengthen neighborhood schools and to “align enrollment & transfer with the racial equity policy.” They are scheduled to present their recommendations to the School Board on Monday, November 10th.  

Next Steps:

At next week's PTSA meeting, time will be set aside to learn more about the SACET recommendations and discuss how we can work with the district to embrace these racial equity recommendations and advocate for da Vinci to remain one of a number of outstanding PPS Focus Option schools. 

We have been in touch with a Winterhaven parent has been working with Judy Brennan to schedule a meeting for Focus Option parents to understand the SACET committee’s recommendations, ask questions, and offer feedback. That meeting is scheduled for November 6th, and we will let you know as soon as they decide on the location and time.  

On Wednesday, October 22, at Grant High School, there is a Portland PTA Council meeting that may focus on boundary issues and overcrowding at Beverly Cleary, but may also address the SACET recommendations. Some of us from the PTSA Executive Committee plan on attending, and will share any new information that becomes available. 

After the SACET committee reports to the PPS School Board on November 10th, their recommendations will be considered by Superintendent Smith, who will then make final recommendations to the PPS School Board at a later date.

To learn more about SACET here are some additional resources that may be useful:

--Click here for the Preliminary SACET Report from June 2014.

The following links provide additional information that may be useful:


This YouTube video on SACET was created by PPS. The site has as other related documents: 


Oregon Live:



 Since understanding the SACET committee recommendations are critical to da Vinci and other focus option communities, I will update you as more information becomes available.

At your Service!

Fred Locke   fwlocke@pps.net

GRACED!     September 22, 2014 

Dear da Vinci Families,

Greetings, and welcome to week 4! Thank you for meeting with teachers on Back to School Night.  I appreciate any and all feedback, and am glad that you took the time to get to know our terrific and dedicated staff. Your children inspire us, and together, we want to afford them the very best da Vinci education possible!

For those of you not familiar with the da Vinci Community Pledge it begins with these words: “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.” Studying passionately, persevering through challenges, and investing in one’s dreams affords us the chance to realize “the possibility of da Vinci.”

Last Spring, two of our 8th grade students Amelia Muldrew and Alisa Folen, won National Scholastic Art Awards—a da Vinci first! Amelia’s Gold Key award was for her ceramic mask Mad Bunny, and Alisa’s Silver Key award was for her photograph Captured. Both girls accepted their awards at Carnegie Hall in New York City in June, and this short video will give you a glimpse of their art. 

“PPS story is featured on Northwest Cable News Website, which means it aired in Portland, Seattle, Idaho and parts of California and any other NBC affiliate along with way,” writes Christine Miles. 


Over the summer, Amelia received a congratulatory letter from Senator Ron Wyden, and she was also invited to a “celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Building, last Friday in Washington, D.C.” Her Mad Bunny mask has been selected for display at the U.S. Department of Education as part of a special, two-month exhibition featuring student work from the Portland Metro Region of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.  

In other National news, da Vinci Alum Viktor Usov, a Northwest Dance Project dancer, was recently awarded the 2014 Princes Grace Award! As was reported in a local paper, “Named after Grace Kelly, it is awarded to emerging U.S. artists in dance, theater, and film. Usov is among eight choreopgraphers and dancers to win the award this year. Born in western Ukraine, he moved to Portland when he was nine. In applying for the award, Usov had to explain his greatest obstacle to becoming a dancer. Usov, who says he’s been called “too short and stocky,” said his was overcoming expectations. “How I found to do that “ he says, “was to try to understand why I was dancing onstage. And for me, being onstage is the most honest thing I have ever done in my life.” At da Vinci aspiring to, and helping dreams become reality is part of our school culture. Congratulations da Vinci Alums, Amelia, Alisa, and Viktor!   

To support all our Vinci students, our PTSA and our da Vinci Foundation work tirelessly throughout the year. Last Spring, when we needed funds to ensure that we could maintain 15 sections of Core, as a community your response was overwhelming. In May and June, we raised $39,411. With special thanks to Paul King and Walter Jaffe of Whitebird, our Final ASK winners, will each be awarded 2 prime seats for the following shows: Congratulations to current parent Kimberly Stewart who will receive 2 tickets to BalletBoyz, in November, and Rebecca Dobkins (parent of a da Vinci graduate) who will receive 2 tickets to Alonzo King and Ballet Lines in February.

Your support of our da Vinci PTSA and Foundation are huge. Tomorrow night, Tuesday, September 23rd, is your first chance! PLEASE STOP at PIZACATTO, support our Dough for Dollars da Vinci Foundation fundraiser AND bring your pizza pie over to our first PTSA meeting in the da Vinci Cafeteria beginning at 7:00!  At the meeting we will review and vote to adopt our PTSA budget, and Conference Sign Ups will be available at the end of the meeting. See you tomorrow night!!!

 We are GRACED with your children—Thank you!

At your Service!

Fred Locke  fwlocke@pps.net

Recommended Parent Resources:
- How Children Succeed Grit
- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
: Carol Dweck - Available from Amazon - please use the da Vinci foundation link to get there! http://davincischoolfoundation.org/

Back to School September 2014