Symmes Elementary School

Symmesational News!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Our students were so excited to see the performance today by the Sycamore High School Choral Program Select Ensemble and the Sycamore Junior High Choral Program Singing Company.

For this first time, this year's performances will integrate the junior high show choir and the high school advanced ensemble, featuring sets by both groups independently and combining the groups for a closing number with soloists from the JH and the HS. We especially love to see our former Symmes students perform!

Important Dates for your Calendar

Dec. 12 - 16 MAP Testing - Grades 1 - 4

Dec. 15 Fourth Grade Winter Concert 2:45 pm & 7:00 pm
Dec. 21 Board of Education meeting - EH Greene School 7:00 pm
Dec. 21 End of 2nd Quarter
Dec. 22 - Jan 4 Winter Break - NO SCHOOL!!
Jan. 5 School Resumes

MAP Testing

Next week, each child in grades 1 through 4 will once again participate in reading and math MAP Testing. Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) is a computer adaptive test, which means every student gets a unique set of test questions based on responses to previous questions. As the student answers correctly, the questions get harder. If the student answers incorrectly, the questions get easier. By the end of the test, most students will answer about half the questions correctly. MAP results are provided as a numerical (RIT) score. This score is used to measure a student’s achievement level at different times of the school year and compute growth. It reflects the student’s academic knowledge, skills, and abilities during that particular test. Scores over time can be compared to tell how much growth a student has made. Teachers can see the progress of individual students and of their class as a whole. Your child’s MAP results will be shared via student backpack in January.

Staff Appreciation

It’s the holidays…and the PTO Staff Appreciation Committee needs your help in recognizing and thanking the Symmes Non-Teaching Staff. We understand that students often give or contribute to holiday gifts for their teachers in the classrooms. However, many of our wonderful support staff at Symmes, which include the office staff, educational assistants, custodians, and cafeteria workers, do not have classrooms of their own. These staffers work hard each day to provide a safe and happy environment for our children, and the Staff Appreciation Committee would like to remember them with a small holiday gift.
In order to make this possible, we are asking for donations of $5.00 to $20.00 from each Symmes family. (As always, please feel free to give a little more or a little less…) This is totally optional. If you are interested in contributing, please send cash or check (made out to Symmes PTO) in an envelope marked “PTO Staff Appreciation” by Friday, December 16th. Thank you very much for your support!

Any questions, contact LaToya Goshen at

News from the Nurse:


It can be difficult to decide when and how long to keep an ill child home from school. The timing of the absence is often important in order to decrease the spread of disease to others and to prevent your child from acquiring any other illness while his /her resistance is lowered.

  • If your child has a fever, is vomiting or has diarrhea they must stay home until they no longer have the symptom for 24 hours without the use of medication. In other words, if your child was ill the day/night before they should not attend school the next day.

Please contact our School Nurse, Mrs. Ferron at 686-1743 if you have any questions.

Our illness guidelines can be found on this link:


With holidays coming up and families getting together, there is typically an increase in lice cases after break. The following communication provides families with information about lice and school management as it relates to incidences of lice in our schools.

Here are some basic facts about lice to keep in mind from the National Association of School Nurses (NASN).

Here are some common questions our school nurse is asked about lice:

  • What do we know about the lives of head lice?

  • Head lice have been in existence for thousands of years.

  • Head lice do not cause disease. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice.

  • Head lice do not fly or jump. They live only on human heads. Pets do not get or transmit head lice.

  • Head lice transmission is primarily by head to head contact.

  • Head lice reproduction requires a male and a female louse. Nits (eggs) are laid very close to the scalp and cemented on to the hair. The egg hatches in 7 to 10 days. A louse is mature 7 to 10 days from hatching.

  • Head lice begin to lose water as soon as they are off the scalp and die within 24-48 hours; they are probably incapacitated before that.

  • Head lice and their eggs (nits) soon perish if separated from their human host. Adult head lice can live only a day or so off the human head without blood for feeding. Nits removed from the head cannot hatch at a temperature lower than that close to the human scalp. For these reasons, the risk of transmission of head lice from objects or the environment is low.

  • Only live lice can spread to another person. Nits (eggs) cannot spread to another person. Nit casings (empty egg cases) may remain on the hair for months after an infestation

  • Are schools to be blamed for head lice infestations?

No disease is associated with head lice, and research shows that in-school transmission is considered to be rare. The school is not responsible for head lice infestations any more than it is responsible for the transmission of Strep or the chicken pox. In fact, these other conditions are much more hazardous to a child’s health.

  • How can schools minimize the possibility of head lice infestations in the classroom?

Children are encouraged to maintain appropriate head space as well as bodyspace. If children are seen touching head to head with another, they are reminded to maintain space between heads so that hair doesn’t touch. It is not reasonable to expect that children’s heads will never touch, but we try to minimize this type of contact.

  • If a child with nits or lice is not immediately excluded from the class, won’t the other students be exposed?

Nits do not move and cannot be passed from one child to another. Live lice must be present in order for an infestation to spread. Once a head lice infestation is identified, the child has usually had head lice for at least 2 weeks (and has been in the classroom for part of that time). We know that transmission of head lice is primarily by head to head contact. Therefore, the child need not be isolated, but will be identified and referred to a parent for treatment.

  • What about classroom and total school head checks?

Sycamore school nurses have done such screenings in the past. They have not been shown to be an effective use of time nor useful in controlling head lice infestations. This is true in our experience and in the literature. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses no longer recommend routine screenings in the classroom. An emphasis on identifying individuals with active infestations and referring them for treatment is a more effective strategy. There may be times when the school nurse decides that a classroom check is appropriate, but it will not be routine. Parents can request an individual “head check” by the nurse at any time.

  • What about Alert Letters to parents?

Research does not support the use of routine alert letters in the event of anecdotal incident of head lice in the classroom. It is proven to cause excessive public alarm and result in unnecessary over-treatment of children who are not truly infested. Instead, current information about head lice treatment would be shared with parents periodically. Parents should have primary responsibility in checking their children for lice routinely and as needed if symptomatic.

  • What about classroom outbreaks?

In the case of several infestations in one classroom, the school nurse will develop a plan with the teacher to address this situation. This happened in the past and will continue to happen occasionally under our current guidelines. In that case the school nurse will determine if parent notification is warranted.

  • What about children who seem to have chronic cases of head lice?

Due to many reasons, a few children have head lice often. In these cases, the school nurse will work with the family to develop a plan with the goal of minimizing loss of class time.

  • How can I get more information?

The major health organizations support our approach to head lice management. The following web sites will provide more information:

Symmes Players!

Many thanks to parents for coming to the meeting Tuesday night. Start to sign up for Volunteer jobs on Sunday! Visit the website for a link to the Sign Up Genius. The deadline to submit all Symmes Players registrations and participation fees is next Thursday, December 15.

Chess Club starting at Symmes!

We are excited to announce that registration is open for the Symmes chess club starting in January 2017. First day will be January 16 and the last day will be April 17th, no meeting on March 20th (spring break). It will take place on monday mornings before school. It is a 13 week programme where participants will learn all the basics as well as getting ready to play tournaments if they so desire.The registration form went home with students today.

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AVES Hangar Bookstore & Spirit Shop News for the week of December 12:

Bonus Shopping Hours: Tuesday, December 13 from 6-8 p.m. & Friday, December 16 from 6:50 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

New apparel and spirit items are continuing to arrive at the AVES Hangar in time for holiday shopping!

The best way to stay up to date is to like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter

When you come in be sure to check out our Holiday Specials and our very popular sale rack!

​For more information (including a complete schedule of hours & parking directions) please visit our webpage

Questions? Email:

Sycamore High School Hockey team

The Sycamore High School hockey team is hosting our annual Skate with the Aves event on Thursday, December 29th from 6-8pm. at Sport Plus Ice Rink 10765 Reading Rd. We would like to invite your families to skate with the Aves hockey players, have a chance to shoot on the Sycamore goalie, try your luck at a split the pot raffle, and check out our silent auction/basket raffle with many wonderful items from local businesses/restaurants. Admission is free, just bring your skates or rent them from Sports Plus. We hope to see you for a fun filled family night during winter break!

Perform with the Sycamore High School Flyerettes!


The Sycamore High School Dance Team is hosting their annual dance clinic on

Saturday, January 28.

All dancers will perform with the team during the halftime of the Boy’s Varsity Basketball Game on Tuesday, January 31.

Look for the informational flyer coming home with your child or click on the Flyer PDF below.