Fyre Festival

In 2017, over 5,000 people bought tickets to a mysteriously luxurious event expecting Coachella on a private island, but what they got was more like William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.

In 2016, Billy McFarland needed a way to promote his new talent booking app, Fyre. Essentially what the app did was it allowed normal people, for a fee, to have some celebrity hang out with them, or perform for them, or anything along those lines. Now what McFarland and his team came up with was a luxurious music festival on a private island, with great food and famous people and amazing scenery.

It was a chance for people to be able to escape their lives- but only if they could pay upwards of $1,000.

In conception, the plan was solid, and for a little while, McFarland and his crew were feeling confident. They hired many famous models like Kendall Jenner, Emily Ratajkowski, and Bella Hadid to shoot videos to market the festival. This phase of the plan culminated when around 250 influencers simultaneously posted an orange tile on their Instagram, reaching millions of people.

It was a perfect they were selling what appeared to be a dream, and people bought it. Issues started to arise, however, when the cost of putting on the event started to increase.

With dwindling funding and rising expenses, McFarland came up with a plan to get even more money from the attendees. In an attempt to make the event “cardless and cashless” they created a mobile paying device called “Fyre Bands” that the participants could load with cash ahead of time and swipe payment at the festival. He suggested loading $400 for every day that they planned to attend, and through this, Fyre was able to acquire another $800,000 dollars.

Fast-forward to just hours until the guests are set to arrive, and a huge rain storm hits the island of Great Exuma. This was absolutely the final straw and is the factor that demolished any possibility of the event being salvaged. The “villas” (which were actually hurricane relief tents with mattresses) were soaked by the rain rendering them unusable.

Trying their best to fix things before people arrived, the guests were taken to a beach party and provided with alcohol so they would (hopefully) forget that they were not getting the luxury experience they had paid thousands for. Unfortunately, people noticed after being there for six hours that something was up. Eventually, buses arrived and led all of the attendees to a very rude awakening.

Not only were their living quarters destroyed by rain, but the food was also far from gourmet with salad lacking dressing, and a sandwich comprised solely of one slice of cheese. These conditions caused the rich to revolt. People were stockpiling mattresses, toilet paper, and pillows. This was obviously brought on by a gross misrepresentation of the actual event but also because there were not nearly enough resources to cover all of the attendees.

After the disaster of the first night, people just wanted to leave, which was impossible due to the fact that the high volume of travelers overwhelmed the Great Exuma airport. Because of this, the already furious attendees were forced to stay at the airport with a lack of food and water. Eventually, they were all flown back to Miami and many of the participants decided to take legal action against Fyre.

In total, there were seven lawsuits filed against different people within the Fyre company. The first was a class-action lawsuit filed by Daniel Jung for millions of dollars on behalf of over 150 other participants that claimed Fyre breached their covenant of good faith, had negligent misrepresentation as well as many other things. The other six lawsuits had similar claims and all wanted a large sum of money as reparations for the damage and loss the event caused.

The lawsuits were not the only legal action brought upon by Fyre Festival. On May 17th, 2017, Billy McFarland was arrested for wire fraud. Later, he pleaded guilty to another count of wire fraud and was accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of defrauding investors by doctoring documents that lead investors to believe that the Fyre app was making much more money than it actually was.

The legal proceedings culminated when McFarland was tried on October 18th, 2018 and sentenced to six years in prison and had to pay $26 million dollars for wire fraud. McFarland is currently serving his sentence at the Federal Correctional Institute: Otisville.

Since then, two documentaries have been made about the scandal and this publicity has helped to crowd raise funds to compensate the people that had been left unpaid after Fyre Festival fell apart.

Although this story seems hilariously ridiculous from the outside, once you look closer the damage that it left in its wake becomes more evident. Thanks to Fyre Festival, all can laugh, but also have more caution about what is to be found on the internet.

A Visit from Your Future

This year, students have multiple opportunities to learn about colleges here at Da Vinci. With representatives coming from as far as Oregon, our students have the chance to ask questions about the process of applying to college as well as college-specific questions. Every college visit is free and open to any Da Vinci high school student.

Whether you can’t be transported to college campuses outside of Yolo County, or you have no free time outside of school, visits from these colleges take place during the school day and at lunch, so they are easily accessible to anyone on campus at that time.

For students who are wondering what to expect from a college visit, look no further than Da Vinci’s own counselors, Ms. Roper and Ms. Strand. Although Ms. Strand recognizes that Da Vinci only hosts a handful of colleges, Da Vinci students are also welcome to attend Davis Senior High’s college visits.  She notes, “The College and Career Center at DHS has multiple college visits every week.” On the topic of how students can get updates on events, Ms. Strand said, “Juniors and seniors are encouraged to view and sign up through Naviance for the college visits at DHS.” Sophomores – don’t forget, it’s never too early to sign up for Naviance and get ahead in life.

Becca Wittman, a Da Vinci senior, has firsthand experience in attending a college event. The event taught her many helpful things. On the event, she commented, “We get to talk a lot about requirements for the college, about clubs that are offered on campus, student unions, music programs, sports teams, that kind of stuff, and where it’s situated like if it’s in the city or if it’s out in the wild.” These are all factors that go to making college an enjoyable experience, so it’s important to know! She also spoke about the importance and exclusivity of the events, with her experience going to the Lewis and Clark college visit, saying, “it was really helpful because not everybody is going to have the chance to visit them because they’re so far away.”

UCLA will be visiting from SoCal

The college visits at both Da Vinci and Davis Senior High are great opportunities for our students to be exposed to helpful college information and to ask the representatives any questions. Look forward to upcoming visits from U-Oregon, UCLA, and U-Puget Sound in the coming month. If you miss any of these, Ms. Strand encourages students to “visit the school’s website, take a virtual tour, read the view books in the College Corner in the presentation room, or consult with their counselor.”

Gather your questions and look forward to answers!


Da Vinci Students are Coding Their Way to a Brighter Future

Da Vinci High school now offers a college class on campus! CISP 360, a class introducing structured programming, is now being offered through Sacramento City College every Monday and Wednesday from 2:45-4:05 in Ms. Broughton’s room including high school students as well as college students. This allows Da Vinci students to work alongside and learn from college students.

CISP 360, also known as Introduction to Structured Programming, teaches students the basics of programming using the language C++. The prerequisite to this course is CISP 301, or the analysis and thinking behind code. However, for Da Vinci students, the prereq is the coding class offered at Da Vinci campus teaching students how to code using Python.

Having started in mid-August, CISP 360 is almost halfway complete and the students are quickly approaching their midterm. To further understand how students in this class feel about this course and what they are hoping to accomplish, two interviews were conducted.

In an interview conducted with senior Cole Hein, he expressed his decision to take this class in the following way; to “get a feel for college classes and further my knowledge in the field of my interest. “ Although the majority if high school students in this class agree with Coles reasoning, there are only 8 out of 300 students enrolled.

The limited enrollment poses the question why don’t Da Vinci students want to take advantage of enrolling in a college class on campus, thereby getting a head start on their college education? Principal Millsap said that Da Vinci has been offering Sacramento City classes on campus for around 6 years and yet very few students enroll in and complete the class.

Normally, Da Vinci offers general education college classes such as International Relations and Introduction to Sociology; so this is the first time a class has required a prerequisite course.

When looking at the community college classes proposed for the 2019/2020 academic year, the CISP 360 class may not be included on the list. This is because Da Vinci intends to incorporate college level curriculum in our basic Computer Science course.

Over the next few years, students might have the opportunity to enroll in a revamped coding course, with a series of classes starting in 9th grade and continuing through 12th grade. This revamp would encourage freshmen to dive into computer science in junior high, preparing them for college classes and maybe even an entry level job or internship in this field.


Little Women Takes the Stage at Davis High

Left to Right, Senior Jordan Hayakawa, Senior Savannah Mccoy, Junior Lily Linaweaver and Senior Mckella Van Boxtel, sit together during music rehearsals.

Little Women takes the stage at Davis High and a handful of our Da Vinci students are going be singing, dancing, and acting. Mckella Van Boxtel will be performing as Meg, with Samantha Sheridan as Marme and Neil Das as Mr. Lawrence.

Senior Neil Das is heavily involved in theater at DHS. “I first got involved with Legally Blonde at DHS as a junior. From then I’ve done Laramie Project a tribute to Tony Fields and I am now on the drama board,” said Das. “I don’t really relate to the role” he said. Mr. Lawrence is a grumpy old man, and those of us around campus know Neil is always upbeat.

Senior Mckella Van Boxtel is playing the role of the eldest sister,, Meg. “We both always have our head in the clouds” said Van Boxtel. The three other sisters Jo, Beth and, Amy go on adventures . “The appeal of the show is classic, but getting to tell the story on stage is exciting.” added Das.

The DHS theater department continues to welcome and encourage kids to audition. With Chad Fisk as the new director, and Stephen Ilagan as the new music director. Yet even with these new team members, rehearsals are going smoother than ever. Mr. Fisk and Mr. Ilagan have been extremely helpful and supportive. Most kids will spend afternoons between 3-6 pm at DHS, rehearsing lines, going over songs, and practicing choreography. It’s a big commitment, but the kids who are in these shows are more than up for the challenge.

As Da Vinci students, we stand separate from DHS, and getting to know people over there can be hard. Regardless, the cast of Little Women is extremely close-knit, always cracking jokes and making each other laugh during breaks. “Spending four hours with people at rehearsals and tech with people and when you’re not working helps you get to know people, even the stress of the show helps us bond” said Das.

They really are all in this together. Watching them rehearse, it’s easy to see that theater is essentially a big group project. “It’s very well casted. Everyone fits into their into their role like a glove” said Van Boxtel. “We are all very similar; we are outgoing and love performing, it keeps us close.” she adds.

Make sure to come and check this awesome show out! Little Women will be showing from November 2nd through the 10th at the Richard Brunelle Theater!


Three Days and Counting

It seems like just yesterday when the students of Da Vinci were going through workshops during the first 3 days of school. Now, summer is nearly here. For seniors, this means the end of their time in high school as they are gearing up for the next chapter in their lives. For sophomores and juniors, hang in there! There are still some great projects to get through, but you can do it!

Let’s get back to summertime. Although it is quite hot, it can also be relaxing, adventurous, and exciting. Most of us filled out a survey a couple weeks ago about our summer plans. Let’s take a look at the results.

When asked what students are most looking forward to this summer, there was quite a range of responses. Working was the most desired activity, while travelling, free time and hanging out with friends and family were next up for desired activities. “Surfing, cycling, and hanging out with the boys,”said sophomore Charlie Longshore-Neate. “Going to COSMOS at UC Santa Cruz to learn number theory and discrete math,” commented sophomore David Carlip.

After asking Da Vinci students if they are planning to travel, there were some amazing adventures mentioned. The chart shows all the results, but some students laid out some great plans. “I am going to India for a month, then Barcelona for a couple weeks, and finally to London for a year,”mentioned Junior Preet Kandola. Students will miss him next year, but they wish him safe travels. “The State Department is sending me to China,” stated Junior Andy Knox.
“Going on vacation she to Hawaii,” mentioned Senior Lev Turner.

Although only a few places were mentioned, DV students have big plans to travel out of city, state, and/or country.The Vitruvian wishes every student a fun summer, safe travels, and farewell.

Fun with Math: Da Vinci Math Festival

On May 12 starting at 9:00 A.M., Da Vinci Junior High School will hold a Math Festival to show young students, grades four through nine, that math is fun. Ms. Caroline Loomis, a math teacher at Da Vinci Junior High, brought this event to Davis after she attended one in the Bay Area. “[…] I was floored. There was a room full of 500 kids and they’re all playing with math, and it was all of these hands-on things and puzzles. It just blew me away,” explained Ms. Loomis.

The idea and goal of the event is simple. “I want [the students] to come and have fun,” said Loomis. It is all too common for students in the early years of their education to think math is too hard or silly, resulting in prolonged distaste for the subject. With this event, Ms. Loomis hopes to show attendees that mathematics isn’t just numbers, but about developing critical thinking skills to apply in the real world. “Math is about a lot more than just what x2 means or what the value of it is. I really want people to come and try the logic puzzles and see things they can make and patterns,” Loomis passionately explained.

During this event, there will be many tables set up around the Indoor Commons with a variety of puzzles and problems to solve. Each table requires one person to run the activity and play along should they so choose. “To be a table mentor, you just hang out at the table and you don’t have to know the math you just have to encourage kids to come try it,” says Ms. Loomis. “Maybe make suggestions like, ‘Well have you thought about this?’ It’s never ‘Do this’ or ‘Do it this way.’ It’s all about, ‘Well have you thought about this one yet?’ that kind of thing.”

Though the event is for students in ninth grade and below, Ms. Loomis believes that high school students add value to the event as table mentors. In a study published in Journal of Education Psychology, it was found that peer to peer education and assistance improves cognitive function, lowers stress around the topic and generally increases satisfaction with the material. By encouraging young students to persevere through math, high school students can create a lasting impact on a younger life.

Even if you cannot come to the event, Ms. Loomis encourages the high school students to still get involved in promoting the event. “ I would love some high school kids to bring their younger siblings or their next-door neighbors or the kids they babysit and come and bring some kids to play,” explained Ms. Loomis.

If you are available to help run the event, please email Ms. Loomis at cloomis@djusdk12ca.org for more information. If you are not available, you still have the opportunity to change a student’s view of math. Encourage your friends and family to attend this event to try out the math in a different, engaging way.

Recruitment Season is Upon Us

As the 2017-2018 school year begins to wind down, the Da Vinci students and staff begin to think about recruitment for the incoming sophomores.
Recruitment is an annual presentation given to the junior highs in Davis to inform younger grades about what Da Vinci is, and if it is right for them. “We talk to junior high students about what Da Vinci is and why we enjoy going to school here,” said senior Sarah Seyk, who is involved in recruitment.
Scott Steven Bell, the teacher in charge of recruitment, says it started about two years after the school opened. “We created a program over the years that took a lot of time to fashion the different parts, how it was going to function. We were on a different campus, we had different needs, we didn’t have a junior high at the time. We started with the idea of a video and a presentation and that’s kind of how it was born,” said Bell.
With so many working parts, and so many people involved, there are bound to be some hiccups. “[Recruitment] takes so much time and there are so many people involved. It takes months of planning, it takes a lot of work from the students. It happens during the busiest time of the year with 1929 Night, World War 1 Night, and Hail to the Chief all happening. You have night events, parent events, and student events, so it’s pretty intense,” said Bell.
But there are still exciting parts of the process. “Watching students get to take leadership and really take ownership of this and take pride in their school,” is the best part according to Bell. The whole school comes together to make recruitment happen. “There is a combination of volunteer juniors, seniors, and sophomores,” said Seyk in regards to who is helping out.
Recruitment is important because it provides information to students who are thinking about joining Da Vinci. It gives kids from Harper and Holmes a chance to learn about what Da Vinci is, since they would have no other way of learning about it. It also helps kids from Da Vinci Junior High or Emerson decide if the high school is the place for them, since they are already aware of what Da Vinci is.
“I think we influence a lot of students. I think none of the kids from Harper, or Holmes would even know about us without us going there and saying ‘Oh here’s the process’. So anybody who comes from either Harper or Holmes, is pretty much because we’ve gone there. And then at our junior high I think it’s helpful because we get kids who were at Emerson who might have not like the junior high but wanted to try the high school to find out it’s different than the junior high. And it also helps people decide they don’t wanna go because they might realize it’s not the place for them,” said Bell about the usefulness of recruitment.
Recruitment is a very important part of helping the Da Vinci campus grow with new members.

The Senior Class Undergoing Some Underwater Fun

From February 27th through March second, students in the beloved Zobot class will be bussing down to SoCal to spend a couple days in the beautiful islands of Catalina.
This trip is one to look forward too all year! Chaperoned by Grima, Langone, Burke, Mike, and Uliasz, what is there not to love?
On the island the students participate in numerous physical activities and bonding experiences.”On wednesday we hike up mountain, eat dinner, and then go on a night hike and stargaze. Thursday is our morning snorkel and afternoon lab work where you get to pet and look at sea creatures. Then friday is our last day snorkel and then departure home.” Said Mr. Grima, Da Vinci’s Zobot teacher and leader on the trip.
The other main high school in Davis, DHS, also attends the Catalina trip but are kept separate from our school. In the past there have been incidents of students trying to ride wild bison and even having substances, but these incidents have never occured from our own school. “Last year we got stuck in an accident and got delayed, our school is pretty good in terms of misbehaving.” Said Grima.
Since the trip is jam packed with activities there is much to be eager for. “I’m excited for the night hike and seeing Grima in his wetsuit.” Said Camilo Rodriguez, a senior who could not attend his classes trip last year so is joining this years excursion. “The nature, hiking with friends and having great experiences with teachers.” Said senior Jenna Karoly. “Snorkeling and night hikes.” said Carson Janke, another senior. Obviously hiking would be a popularity among students, since Davis is notoriously an active and nature-bound community.
Although the trip is hyped up to be all fun and games. There is anxiety for the teachers in running the trip smoothly. “Going through luggage and making sure no one does any shenanigans, and this year we have more students so we need to keep track of two buses.” Said Grima.
He continued with some final advice for the students. “Be a responsible student, follow the instructions given by your guides, swim safely, be aware of your surroundings, be aware of the animals around you because they are not pets, participate, maintain a good attitude, try even if your uncomfortable because it is a once in a lifetime experience for many people and costs a lot of money.”
If you have any questions or concerns about Catalina then email Grima at john.grima@djusdk12ca.org

A Look Into This Year’s Upcoming 1929 Night

As February rolls around, so do the ensuing night projects. It’s a time of stress, frustration and work for many, but the juniors’ big project always tries to bring a bit of joy into the middle of a Great Depression: 1929 Night. Students research the decade of the 1920s and use that research to create a magazine and booth for display during the big night in late-February. Previous years have allowed people to explore speakeasies, the first Academy Awards and casinos. Following the big night, there’s also an Academy Awards ceremony, where groups win awards for their booths and magazines. There’s plenty of work in creating it all, but the end result is a magical time warp into the United States 90 years into the past.

New for this year’s roaring night is a reward for the Academy Awards ceremony: A “Best Magazine Mockup/Cover” award.

You might be asking though, why 1929? “The 20s was a roaring decade,” said history teacher Ms. Gretchen Conners, who teaches two sections of juniors this year. “There was a lot of change socially, politically and economically. We currently live in that post-1920s world.” The 1920s brought several innovations and popularized several things that we take for granted today such as sound cinema, the radio and even the greatest invention ever: sliced bread. Along with the toaster, you could finally make buttered toast, and for people back then it was a marvel comparable to being able to watch videos on your phone. “There’s a lot of fun to the era, and I think that’s why a lot of people really get into it,” said Ms. Conners.

There is certainly a sense of both excitement and fear surrounding the junior class at this time. Da Vinci junior Nate Bitners describes, “I’m most looking forward to the actual night of 1929 Night, with the overall sense of relief that everything’s put together.” His group’s niche is “Sports and Culture”, and he’s already thinking of bringing a record player and some books from the era. As for his biggest concern, Nate says, “My biggest concern is if any of our group members don’t finish their work,” which is almost certainly a shared fear among most of this year’s class.

The big night and booth is one thing, but the magazine is another beast entirely. “I’d probably say the hardest part for every student is the magazine,” says Ms. Conners. With a cover, numerous articles, and lots of formatting and editing, the magazine will be the most time-consuming and tedious part of the project, but as long as a team is able to meet the deadlines everything should be okay.

Ms. Conners gives some final advice for all the juniors working on this year’s project. “Meet all the deadlines and be nice to your magazine editor,” said Ms. Conners. “Remember to just have fun. Allow yourself to get into the vibe of the 20s and have a big splash.” Take Ms. Conners’ advice and do your best for a wonderful final product, juniors!

Facilities Master Plan Stirs Conversation

Since late 2017, the Davis Joint Unified School District (DJUSD) has been developing a new Facilities Master Plan with the hopes of addressing site needs and developing facility goals across multiple campuses. Though facility development is hardly addressed in the average school day, The Vitruvian reached out to students and staff to hear out possible facility improvements on the Da Vinci campus.

Da Vinci staff was notified of the Facilities Master Plan during a staff meeting in late January where they were asked to consider facility goals and improvements that could be made on campus.

The larger proposed idea for the Facilities Master Plan is the creation of a unified campus between both the Da Vinci Junior and Senior High campuses. During a Facilities Site Council Meeting during lunch last week, a group of 15 students and staff from both sites came together to discuss the possibility of a joint campus and other separate site improvements.

Da Vinci Junior High science teacher Mrs. Megan Bettis and senior Sage Furman see this as a promising idea that could revolutionize the future of Da Vinci and Project Based Learning. “We’re all doing the same thing, we would all be working towards common goals,” said Furman. “I think it would be cool if the Junior High combined with the high school so that they could see more of what they’ll be doing.”

Mrs. Bettis additionally believes that having a unified campus has the capacity to improve Da Vinci Charter Academy on a much larger scale. “We’d be able to have more cross grade mentoring and support,” said Mrs. Bettis.

Freshman and council member Antonio Velásquez feels that the use of space and funds would be put to much better use on a unified campus, but believes that a joint campus has the capacity to negatively affect future enrollment and the social groups of DVJHS students. “I think that a lot of kids go to DVJH because they have friends going to Emerson,” said Velásquez. “If we limited their social groups to only the kids going to [Da Vinci], I think that we would definitely lose some future Da Vinci-ites.”

If a joint campus isn’t possible, Da Vinci community members believe that there are many improvements should be made to each separate site.

Science teacher Mr. John Langone believes that one realistic goal for Da Vinci Senior High should be updating the science labs in Mr. Grima’s classroom. “I would definitely say that updating (Mr. Grima’s) labs would be valuable. Whether it be getting more sinks, disposable areas and sources of water,” said Mr. Langone

At the Junior High, Velásquez believes that increasing space outside of the B-Wing should be the priority if a joint campus isn’t possible. “We have lots of rooms being shared by teachers, and I don’t think that’s right,” Velásquez said. “When you have to go across campus because you were teaching in another classroom the period before that adds a step that shouldn’t be there.”

Mrs. Bettis agrees with Velásquez and feels that Da Vinci Junior High needs more facility space. “I may be biased, but we need science specific rooms and it would be great if each teacher could have their own space and not have to share or move classrooms,” said Mrs. Bettis.

As discussion about the DJUSD Facilities Master Plan continues, Da Vinci staff and students agree that though the campus is small, the school deserves a voice in the conversation. “If we have better resources we can achieve even more as an entire school,” said Furman.

The Master Plan editing process will continue throughout the year with several events along the way. On Wednesday, February 7 from 6-8 PM, there will be a town hall-style meeting for several sites, including Da Vinci, at the Emerson library. This event is meant to gather input from the public, students and staff. Students across the district are also taking a survey to provide additional input. The Vitruvian will track the progress of the Facilities Master Plan process and follow up with future articles.