Sycamore Leaf

October 3, 2020

Principal's Message

Over the next two weeks, we will be turning a page in our distance learning plan. So far, our emphasis has been on classroom relationships, routines and tools for distance learning. We've focused on getting to know peers and building relationships among students, teachers and family members. This week's Goal Setting Conferences will allow us to deepen those connections. Most of us have mastered the rhythm of synchronous schedules, and we're building independence for completing each day's asynchronous tasks. We're still learning Canvas and strategies to solve the occasional tech hiccups, but we are on our way.

The next step is to add in opportunities for personalized learning. This is a value for Sycamore. Developmental expectations and our State's Standards are the framework for learning goals, and our multi-age setting provides space for what we expect will be a unique learning journey for each child. While we expect each child to grow in their own way, we are deliberate in our efforts to support the needs of each learner and intentional in providing ways for students to explore and develop their interests.

We have completed our beginning of the year assessments, and we've identified areas where we would like to support students with their learning goals. That support will come in a variety of ways, based on student needs. Some of the support will come directly from classroom teachers as they work with students in class and in small groups. During the week of October 12, some students will begin to receive additional support from our intervention teachers to develop mastery in foundational skills for reading, writing and mathematics. Parents will receive a notice if their child is recommended for this additional support as well as detail on the additional times when they will meet with our intervention teachers, Talia Bowman and Shanna Singleton. We will also be offering Zoom sessions in the afternoon so students can join support staff to get questions answered or get support as they complete classroom assignments. If you have questions or feel your child is in need of support, please talk with your child's teacher or contact me directly.

With regard to student interests, our activities will begin this week. This Wednesday from 12:30-1:00 PM, the upper grade Equity and Inclusion Student Committee will meet for the first time. This group focuses on the ways students can promote equity here at Sycamore. Interested Fourth, fifth and sixth can join by meeting teacher Jessica Marchant for this meeting in Zoom:

Meeting number 94044035029 and password room18.

In the following weeks, additional optional, interest-based activities will be offered. These meetings will be held virtually on Zoom from 12:30-1:00 PM, and will likely include options such as an upper grade and middle grade math club, book clubs for various grade levels, student leadership, and activities related to the arts and games. Later, we will extend to choices appropriate for our youngest students. Some will meet once a month, and others will meet weekly for a period of time. We hope students will look forward to these opportunities to connect with interests and their friends who share those interests. Please continue to watch the Leaf for more information on these opportunities as they unfold.


Goal Setting Conferences

October 5-9, individual meeting times-set those up with your teacher

Sycamore's Equity and Inclusion Committee

Monday, October 5 at 6:00 PM (see article for Zoom link)

STUDENT Equity and Inclusion Group, Fourth to Sixth Graders

Wednesday, October 7 at 12:30 PM (see Principal's Message for Zoom link)

Materials Pick-up (choose a date/time that works for you)

October 6 from 1:00-4:00 PM

October 7 from 1:00-5:30 PM

October 8 from 1:00-4:00 PM

Governance Council Meeting

October 14 @ 6:00 PM

Goal Setting Conferences held daily THIS WEEK

This week, we'll hold our annual goal-setting conferences. Students will select goals related to school-based learning and personal interests. With the help of their teacher and an at-home adult, they'll choose actions that move them toward their goal and come up with a plan to monitor their progress through the year. The process of setting goals and monitoring growth allows students to experience the relationship between effort and growth and the value of self-directed learning. Please talk to your teacher to schedule a conference for your family.

Materials Pick Up

This week, we have our second pick up for school materials. Not every class will have materials for pickup, so please check in with your teacher's notes about whether or not you'll need to attend. This time, we will offer a streamlined, drive-through process.

Families may come at a time of their choosing from 1:00-4:00 PM on Tuesday or Thursday or on Wednesday from 1:00-5:30 PM.

  • Drive from east to west along the north curb of 8th Street. Avoid the red curb and wait in the white zone.
  • Staff will bring your student's materials out to your vehicle. No need to get out of the car!
  • If you choose to walk to pick-up, use the markings for physical distancing on the sidewalk along 8th Street, again moving from west to east.

If you need an alternate time, please contact Tina Hensley in the school office via email or phone (see contacts listed at the end of the Leaf).

School Shirts for School Spirit

This week, students will vote on their favorite designs for this year's school t-shirt! We had a healthy group of creative designs. Each conveys a thoughtful connection to Sycamore. We will share this year's design with you next week and plans for ordering school shirts will follow soon after.

Sycamore's Equity and Inclusion Committee

The Equity and Inclusion Committee meets this Monday, October 5th at 6pm. In addition to making introductions, we’ll start brainstorming ideas for the year and begin planning for Ability Awareness Day. The Zoom info is:

Meeting ID: 981 7696 3043

Passcode: equity

If you’d like to be added to the E&I mailing list to receive updates and meeting reminders, please email We look forward to seeing new and familiar faces and hearing your ideas on how we can work together to ensure that Sycamore is equitable and inclusive for all!

School Pictures

Those who ordered school pictures will receive their picture pack this week with student materials. If you did not order, you'll receive a proof of your child's picture with details on how you can order copies. If you did not take a school picture, you may make arrangements to have your school picture taken at the photo studio.