Sycamore Leaf

May 2, 2020

Big picture

Prinicipal's Message

The life force for humankind is, perhaps, nothing more or less than the passionate energy to connect, express, and communicate. Enrollment is that life force at work, lighting sparks from person to person, scattering light in all directions. Sometimes the sparks ignite a blaze; sometimes they pass quietly, magically, almost imperceptibly, from one to another to another.

-Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander; The Art of Possibility

This quote paints a beautiful picture of the work of our staff. Connection in learning is their passion, and they are fulfilled by the shared process of picking up and passing along the magical sparks that ignite and travel on in ways they may never fully know.

Our staff members miss the hum (or roar, as it may be) of the classroom, the way the content is stretched and shaped by each learner, and the subtle tidbits of feedback, affirmation and joy each student delivers throughout the day. Despite the limitations of distance learning, they are driven to connect and support their students and families. Staff have created and reworked routines and strategies for learning, invited all the grown-ups into their learning circle, and stretched themselves to reach and hold their class families together. I am always impressed by the individual skills and the collective strength of our staff. During this time of separation, I'm blown away. Their devotion to our students and families is powerful. It allows them to muscle through, over and around so many hurdles to connect with, enjoy and serve their students and families. During the coming week, Staff Appreciation Week, please join me in thanking them for their ongoing efforts, creativity, and care.

Final Yearbooks

We don't want anyone to miss out on this year's unique yearbook which will highlight day to day learning at Sycamore and special events from August 28 through March 13 and a glimpse of what "school" was like during the final third of the school year which students spent learning at home. The window for online yearbooks sales has closed. Email Lydia Hernandez at to be added to the yearbook waitlist. We will contact the company to see if we can add final orders on Monday, May 4.

Furloughed? Laid off? Unexpected expenses? We have a fund to cover the cost of a yearbook for families who would like to order a yearbook but under current circumstances are not able to pay for one. Please contact Mrs. Stanger or Lydia Hernandez at by email immediately to request a donated copy which will be ordered on your child's behalf. We don't want inability to pay to prevent anyone from getting a copy of this special keepsake. Sycamore community cares!

Art and Music

Mary's art lesson for the week is Earth Art. Use this link to go to the lesson.

Consider posting what you create on FlipGrid. Directions are at the end of the lesson. You can also go and view the art videos other students have created on Flipgrid.

Go to Sign in using your ID. Student IDs follow this formula: Student name, First initial of your last name and student's room number. Example: ElizabethT13.

If your child is in an even numbered classroom, the Art at Home Flipgrid is stanger2264.

If your child is in an odd numbered classroom, the Art at Home Flipgrid is stanger9780.

If your child wants to add a video, simply click the plus sign to record.

Mr. Hensley has also prepared this week's music lessons. Here is the link to Week 4 classes!

PIZZA WEEK at Pizza N'Such

Pizza N'Such has been incredibly generous toward Sycamore over the past ten years, annually donating over $2000 to our school as we enjoy dinner with friends. Over this coming week, from May 6-10, we'll be having our second Pizza SPIRIT WEEK. Use the link below to access a coloring page your child can complete and deliver as you pick up takeout pizza at Pizza N'Such. They'll post the artwork in their store windows. Don't forget to share a picture of your family enjoying pizza on our Sycamore Governance Facebook Page...a much needed virtual dinner party with our Sycamore friends.

We've got SCRIP, and you can too!

These days, it's especially nice to share as you shop. When you buy SCRIP, you can get something you need and donate to Sycamore. And, we've a really easy way to help you do just that. Please order SCRIP using this form and we'll get the SCRIP to you. Keep in mind, a percentage of each purchase raises funds for our school. Thank you in advance.

Here's the link to the form:

Governance Council

During our May all-school Courtyard Picnic, we usually include a community meeting of our Governance Council and vote for our Governance Council membership for the coming year. This year, we will hold that vote electronically. Results will be shared during a Governance meeting on May 13 and later shared in the Leaf. More information about the slate and voting will be available soon. Thank you in advance for participating, to those who volunteer as Governance Council members and to all volunteers who support these leaders and the initiatives of our group.

Poetry Month Videos

April was Poetry month. Samples of poetry were added by staff throughout this week. Videos are accessible using this link.

Publishing House

Our due date for Publishing House stories was May 1. If your child is an author and you have any questions, please contact Joanna Lord at or Mrs. Stanger at this week.