Civic Learning Award: DaVinci Charter Academy

Da Vinci Charter Academy

Davis Joint Unified School District
County of: Yolo
Civic Learning Award of: Merit
Recognized for: Mock Trial

School Website

Highlight: All sophomores research forms of government around the world, and use that information create a proposal for an island government of their design.

Civic Learning Description

Da Vinci Charter Academy is a project-based school. Students engage in highly collaborative tasks that culminate with a real world product. The Rise of Democratic Ideas project is the initiating unit for 10th grade, and requires students to both research political philosophers and forms of government around the world. This research informs their developing a comprehensive proposal for an island government, which includes civic, judicial, and social constructs for a new society. Students must convince a panel of islanders to accept or reject their government. In the senior year, the culminating Hail to the Chief project engages student teams in creating political parties with a social, judicial and economic platform and running campaigns that include mock debates, speeches, and press conferences.

Research-Based Civic Education Practices

This school demonstrates the following research-based best practices in civic education. For more information on research-based best practices, visit the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools website.
  • Provide instruction in government, history, law and democracy, and avoid teaching only rote facts about dry procedures.
  • Discuss current local, national and international issues and events in the classroom, particularly those that young people view as important to their lives.
  • Encourage students’ participation in simulations of democratic process and procedures such as voting, trials, legislative deliberation, and diplomacy.

Contact Information

Rody Boonchouy
1400 E. 8th Str.
Davis, CA 95616