Symmes Elementary School

Symmesational News!

Thursday, September 27, 2018


Thursday, Sept 27 Family Fun Night 6:00 - 8:00 pm ~~TONIGHT~~

Thursday, Sept 27 Cookie Dough Sale Kick-Off
Friday, Sept. 28 NO SCHOOL for students

Tuesday, Oct. 9 Family Literacy Night 6:30 PM

Thursday, Oct. 11 PTO Meeting 9:30 AM

Monday, Oct. 15 NO SCHOOL - Teacher Records Day


Family Fun Night is TONIGHT! This is a FREE event hosted by our PTO! We hope you can come and join in the fun!

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Fundraising Answers

Dearest Symmes parents,

My name is Camilla Millar, and I am serving as the Symmes Elementary PTO President this year. I have 4 children, 2 of whom have been students at Symmes. I love Symmes- the administration, teachers, and staff are all top notch. In addition, my 2 older children have had great experiences at Greene, the Junior High, and High School. I hope your experiences thus far have been as positive as mine.

I've had some questions asked of me about fundraising at Symmes through the PTO. The first question is why do we fundraise at Symmes? The PTO sponsors over 60 events/programs including classroom parties, Symmes Steppers, Staff Appreciation Committee, Symmes Players, and Cultural Heritage Night, to name a few. In addition, we are dedicated to supporting our teachers and staff. This fall were able to gift each full time teacher $200 for classroom needs, and part time/support staff $100. In addition, we do a large gifting initiative in the spring where teachers submit requests to the gifting committee for a variety of requests. Past spring gifts have included flexible seating for classrooms, the gaga ball pit on the playground, and a large donation to the media center to support makerspace supplies and books, to name a few. One of the reasons we attract such great staff is because they know they are valued and supported by parents, both emotionally as well as financially.

Having said that, no one wants to be overloaded with fundraisers. Historically, the PTO has sponsored 3 fundraiser each year: a fall fundraiser (cookie dough sales), the winter carnival, and a spring fundraiser (dodgeball tournament or walkathon).

In August we were approached by the City Saver company and were impressed with their product and rate of return on sales. The executive PTO board decided we'd like to try this fundraiser out but weren't sure how it would be received. The decision was made that we would support this fundraiser in addition to the Otis Spunkmeyer Cookie Dough fundraiser that was already established and popular. The Otis Cookie Dough fundraiser kick-off will begin today, Thursday, September 27. Samples of product will be available for you to taste at Family Fun Night! We do NOT anticipate the PTO will sponsor back-to-back fundraisers in the future.

In summary, yes, the PTO is sponsoring 2 fall fundraisers: City Saver and Cookie Dough sales. You are in NO way obligated to participate in either fundraiser. You can choose one fundraiser to focus on, neither fundraiser, or both. If you hate the hassle of fundraisers, but would like to support our staff and programs, you can make a tax-free donation directly to the PTO:

We are looking for feedback about both fundraisers so we can make a decision in the future about which fundraiser parents and students prefer. It is our plan that the PTO can reach its fundraising goals with just one fall fundraiser in the future. Please contact me at if you have any questions or concerns (or compliments).

Sincerely, Camilla Millar

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Know! The Risk Factors Associated with Drug Addiction

September is National Recovery Month. Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Recovery Month is a time to increase awareness and understanding of mental health and substance use disorders and celebrate people living in recovery.

Over 20 million Americans are currently in recovery from addiction, which is something to celebrate! Tragically, however, more than 20 million more Americans are currently facing addiction.

Have you ever wondered why some people become addicted to alcohol and drugs, while others don’t?

Many people believe those who are addicted to substances lack moral principles or willpower and make the conscious choice to continue to use. The truth is more complicated, however. While people may initially choose to use alcohol and other drugs, the brain changes over time from repeated drug use. These changes severely impact our students’ self-control and hinders their ability to stop using.

Just like any other disease, vulnerability to addiction is different for each person. No single factor determines if someone will become addicted to substances or not. What we do know is that the more risk factors a person has, the greater the likelihood for abuse and addiction. And on the flip side, the probability for substance abuse and addiction decreases in people who possess more protective factors.

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Talking regularly with youth about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs reduces their risk of using in the first place.

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Prevention Action Alliance

6171 Huntley Road, Suite G

Columbus, Ohio 43229

PH: (614) 540-9985

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Risk factors include:

  • Aggressive behavior in childhood.
  • Lack of parental supervision.
  • Poor social skills.
  • Drug experimentation.
  • Availability of drugs at school.
  • Community poverty.

Protective factors include:

  • Good self-control.
  • Parental monitoring and support.
  • Positive relationships.
  • Academic know-how.
  • School anti-drug policies.
  • Neighborhood pride.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), risk and protective factors are further broken down as either environmental or biological. Environmental risk and protective factors pertain to conditions at home, school, and in the neighborhood. Biological risk and protective factors relate to a person’s genes, their stage of development, gender, ethnicity, etc.

Environmental: A child’s home environment, for example, is crucial in determining risk. Children are much more likely to experience drug problems themselves if their parents or older family members abuse alcohol or drugs or are engaged in criminal behavior. Friends and peers also matter greatly, especially during adolescence. A drug-using peer can influence even those without other risk factors to try drugs for the first time. Academic failure or poor social skills can also increase a child’s risk for using and becoming addicted.

Biological: According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence(NCADD), a family history of drug use or addiction is the single most reliable indicator for risk of future alcohol or drug dependence. A family history of mental health problems also increases one’s risk.

A person’s age of first use is another critical factor in determining one’s risk for addiction. The earlier the onset of drinking, smoking, or using other drugs, the greater the likelihood for addiction later in life.

It is important that parents and other caregivers KNOW! that every child is at risk for substance use. It is also important to keep in mind that family history does not determine one’s destination and that awareness is the first step toward prevention.

Addiction is harmful and destructive to not only the individuals using but their family and friends as well. However, the message SAMHSA wants people to hear is that addiction is a treatable disease. Prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.

If you know of a student or adult in need of help, here are some resources to share:

National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA’s) What to Do If Your Teen or Young Adult Has a Problem with Drugs provides parents of teens/young adults with information on how to identify and handle possible drug misuse situations.

National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA’s) What to Do If Your Adult Friend or Loved One Has a Problem with Drugs includes a list of the warning signs of drug misuse as well as resources and information to help someone who might have a drug use problem.

Sources: National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence: Definition of Recovery. National Institute on Drug Abuse: Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Recovery Month Toolkit, 2018.

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Sycamore High School Variety Show

Sycamore High School Hosts Variety Show Saturday, October 6th @ 7p in the HS Auditorium. Tickets: $10 available pre-sale at starting September 21st / $12 at the door.

Acts feature groups and soloists who are members of the student body including vocal and instrumental groups, cool human tricks, gymnastics, a performance by all choral ensembles and more! Proceeds benefit the Sycamore Vocal Boosters

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