Preparing the next generation of students to lead, innovate and thrive in the modern world.

Da Vinci students are preparing for college, career and life simultaneously through a project-based, real world curriculum that is shaped by industry and higher education partnerships to ensure our students have access to a broad range of choices when they leave Da Vinci.

Da Vinci Schools are small schools with a big heart. Every student is known, seen and valued. Discover what it’s like to be a Da Vincian.

At a Glance

Free, public schools
college and career program
miles from LAX and the beach, Da Vinci Schools are just minutes away from leading tech, aerospace and creative neighbors
zip codes represented
of Da Vinci graduates have successfully completed the A-G college entrance requirements (a rate 51% higher than the 2022 State Average)


educators from 6 continents have come to Da Vinci to study our best practices
Da Vinci students have gained valuable workplace skills through career pathway classes, project consults, work experience and internships
industry partners, including Belkin, Northrop Grumman, Chevron, Boeing, Gensler, SpaceX, Children's Hospital L.A. & many more engage with Da Vinci to provide a bridge between the classroom and the workplace
“Da Vinci Schools are among the very finest I’ve seen.” – Dr. David Brown, former Executive Director, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)



of only 10 schools in the U.S. to win a $10 million XQ ‘Super School’ grant to reimagine high school


of only 8 schools in the nation to win a Wave III Next Generation Learning Challenges grant for innovation in college readiness and completion


of Getting Smart’s “Top 75” School Networks in the nation


Groundbreaking district-charter partnership model

Strategic Plan

A new generation of students prepared to lead, innovate, and thrive in the modern world.

Da Vinci Schools seeks to improve the quality of life for our students by cultivating culture, building future-ready skills, developing partnerships, and creating impact in our work to solve complex educational problems.

  • Culture
  • Future-Ready Skills
  • Partnerships
  • Impact


Aspirational Values
At Da Vinci Schools, we aspire to the following values:

  • People First
  • Collaboration
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Possibility

Critical Success Factors

What is most vital during the next 3-5 years to fulfill our vision and achieve our mission?

  • People
  • Culture
  • Growth
  • Partnerships
  • Operational Excellence




The K-8 Wiseburn School District authorized two independent charter schools, known as the Wiseburn 21st Century Charter Schools, to provide a neighborhood high school option for its residents and other students. In an ideation workshop, students named the schools Da Vinci Schools after Leonardo da Vinci who was accomplished in both the arts and sciences, and who learned by doing. This integrated approach to learning was the vision for Da Vinci Schools. There were a number of founding team members who designed and co-founded Da Vinci Schools, including Dr. Nicole (Tempel) Assisi, the founding principal of Da Vinci Science, Da Vinci Design, and Da Vinci Innovation Academy (now Da Vinci Connect).

Da Vinci Science and Da Vinci Design High Schools officially opened their doors on August 18, 2009 in Hawthorne, CA, with 445 students.

Wiseburn voters approved $87 million in local bond Measure AA monies to build a new high school campus.

The Da Vinci Innovation Academy (later renamed Da Vinci Connect) opened its doors on August 25, 2011, offering families a new hybrid approach to K-8 education that combines school-site instruction with home-based learning.

Da Vinci Schools was one of only eight projects in the nation awarded a Wave III Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) grant, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundations, to start a new high school-college pathway with a real-world, project-based curriculum and an increased focus on computer-based instruction.

Funded in part by the NGLC grant, Da Vinci Communications opened with 64 9th grade students and an optional 5th year of high school providing students the opportunity to complete up to one year of college credit while in high school.

Da Vinci was awarded $52.7 million in state matching funds through the Charter School Facilities Program to complete the new high school campus at 201 N. Douglas Street in El Segundo, in partnership with the Wiseburn Unified School District.

Da Vinci was invited by the Los Angeles Unified School District to serve as a best practice demonstration site for establishing a regional real world learning model as part of a $15 million Career Pathways Grant from the state’s Department of Education for programs linking learning and career and technical education.

Wiseburn Unified School District, formerly Wiseburn School District, became California’s newest K-12 unified school district on July 1, 2014. The Wiseburn Board continued to partner with the five-year-old Da Vinci Schools to deliver its high school program, rather than going through the arduous and costly process of starting its own high school from scratch.

Da Vinci launched Da Vinci Extension (DVX), a post-secondary pathway leading to college degree completion, in partnership with UCLA Extension. DVX later added two additional higher education partner, Southern New Hampshire University and El Camino College, to provide Da Vinci students with an affordable pathway leading to A.A. or Bachelor’s degree completion at Da Vinci.

Da Vinci Schools and Wiseburn Unified officially broke ground on a new world-class, 21st century high school campus in El Segundo, CA, slated to open in Fall 2017.

RISE High was one of only 10 schools in the nation to win a $10 million XQ ‘Super School’ grant to reimagine high school. Created with the help of 30 founding students, Da Vinci RISE High was created for youth in need of a flexible learning schedule, including students navigating foster care, experiencing housing instability, probation and/or other circumstances that have caused disruptions in their academic journeys.

Da Vinci educators co-facilitated a Summer Institute for LAUSD educators.

Da Vinci Communications, Da Vinci Design and Da Vinci Science high schools moved into a four-story, innovative new campus designed by Gensler, located at 201 N. Douglas Street, El Segundo, CA. Each school occupies one floor. Da Vinci Science is housed on the second floor, Da Vinci Communications on the third floor, and Da Vinci Design on the fourth floor. Da Vinci and Wiseburn administrative offices occupy the first floor in an unprecedented district-charter partnership.

RISE High opened a second site in South Los Angeles at A Place Called Home to provide robust educational opportunities and wraparound counseling, tutoring, and diverse extracurricular opportunities for chronically underserved students who have become disconnected from the traditional school system because of circumstances like homelessness and foster-care placement.  LEARN MORE >

Da Vinci Innovation Academy officially re-launched as Da Vinci Connect. LEARN MORE >

The LA County Board of Education unanimously approved Da Vinci RISE High as a countywide charter, allowing Da Vinci to provide RISE students with access to a consistent school environment so they may maintain academic progress toward graduation even when they move across district boundaries. The Wiseburn-authorized RISE High closed and RISE High re-opened as a LACOE-authorized charter in September 2018.

Da Vinci Schools became a founding partner of the Transforming Learning Collaborative, a national group of innovative schools committed to offering deep, intensive learning experiences for educators seeking to design new schools or redesign existing ones.  LEARN MORE >

Da Vinci RISE High received national recognition as the first alternative school to be named one of Teach For America’s Schools to Learn From. RISE served as a learning laboratory by hosting visits and facilitating professional development for educators across the country.

The Da Vinci Schools Fund launched to serve as the philanthropic (education foundation) of Da Vinci Schools.

Da Vinci Connect TK-8 moved to its new home at the Del Aire Campus, located at 12501 Isis Avenue, Hawthorne, CA.

Da Vinci Connect’s charter petition was modified to serve students in TK-College. Da Vinci Connect High School launched in Fall 2020, combining hybrid learning (on-campus and remote) with early college, social emotional learning, and real world learning.

Da Vinci joined the Alder Graduate School of Education’s SoCal Teacher Residency Program to grow an internal talent pool of teacher candidates for high-need, difficult to fill positions in Math, Science and Special Education.

Da Vinci Connect High and Da Vinci Extension opened their doors at their new campus, located at 550 Continental Boulevard in El Segundo.

Da Vinci Schools was recognized as One of America’s Most Innovative Educational Organizations by the Yass Foundation, in partnership with the Center for Education Reform and Forbes Media. Da Vinci RISE High was named a semi-finalist in competition for $1 million national prize.

Da Vinci Connect TK-8 was one of 356 elementary schools out of 5,824 statewide to be recognized as a 2023 California Distinguished School by the California Department of Education for its outstanding work in closing the achievement gap and achieving exceptional student performance.

Da Vinci hosted CA State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond as he recognized Da Vinci Schools as a leader in bringing personal finance curriculum to students. See related article >