The Navigator Newsletter

Sycamore Junior High's Parent Communication

September 2-6, 2019

Building Goals

* Provide rigorous learning opportunities

* Respect diversity

* Personalize learning

COMING UP at the JH!

August 31: Deadline for ordering Class T-Shirts

September 2: Labor Day NO SCHOOL

Mark your calendars:

September 11: PTO General Meeting 10:30am

September 16: Picture Day (details to come)

Class T-Shirts


Please click on THIS LINK to order your tee shirt for next year. The tee shirt for the Class of 2025 (incoming 7th graders) will be GREEN and the tee shirt for the Class of 2024 (incoming 8th graders) will be GOLD. If you ordered one last year, the Class of 2024 shirt is the same and has not changed.

Orders may be placed up until August 31st, 2019. On August 31st, the window will officially close and the tee shirts will be printed. The students will be able to pick up their tee shirts AT LUNCH in the middle of September once they are printed. Please contact Ms. Farroh if you have any questions.

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A.L.I.C.E. Training

On Friday, September 6, students in grades 7 and 8 will be working with our School Resource Officer James Martin from The Montgomery Police Department. Officer Martin will be providing ALICE training. The purpose of ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training is to teach strategies to survive a life-threatening event. If you would like additional information about ALICE training, visit their website

AIR Testing at the JH

What is AIR?

State achievement tests are taken at various grade levels and content areas. The State of Ohio requires all students in grades 7 and 8 to take standardized tests in language arts and mathematics. Students in grade 8 also take state tests in science. Students and teachers refer to these as the AIR assessments. AIR stands for the American Institutes of Research, the agency that develops and delivers the assessments.

These assessments give our students the opportunity to demonstrate their progress. Each of these assessments provides a snapshot of their understanding and application of curriculum standards. From a district perspective, these results allow us to benchmark ourselves against similar districts and to identify trends in data that will guide our work with teachers and students.

When will students take the AIR assessments?

Sycamore Junior High will administer the AIR assessments on April 15, 16, 22, 23 and 29.

How can you help?

Please mark these dates on your calendars and make every effort not to schedule your child for appointments or vacation days. Thank you for your cooperation!!

calling all boys!!!

The Sycamore Junior High Boy choir will hold open membership rehearsals Thursday, Sept. 5 and Thursday, Sept. 12 for the 2019-2020 school year. After September 12, membership for the year will be closed.

  • All rehearsals begin PROMPTLY at 7:15 a.m. and end at 7:50 a.m. The group meets in Room 105 at the JH.

  • Boys attending Boy Choir are to be dropped off at the rear entrance to the building – NOT the front entrance!

  • Information regarding Boy Choir attire, concert season, member database etc. will be distributed after membership is established.

  • DONUTS are the unofficial mascot for our group!

If you like to perform, if you like to sing, if you like to be a part of something that is a “winning team” think about joining us on Thursday, September 5 and/or 12 at 7:15 a.m. in Room 105. Any SJH young man is eligible to join – no audition necessary! Gentlemen must come to one of these open membership rehearsals to solidify membership in the group.

Any questions, see Mr. Callahan or Mrs. Stein in Room 105 or feel free to email: or

We look forward to seeing you!

P.T.O. Corner

Guests at first meeting

Our first meeting is September 11 at 10:30 am. Representatives from Sycamore's Board of Education will join us to discuss the MASTER FACILITIES PLAN. You don't want to miss this opportunity to hear about it and ask questions!



All information about the PTO can be found by clicking on this link:

Questions? Please email

Follow us on Facebook!

The latest news about flight fest

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Don't forget to shop at Altar'd State at the Kenwood Towne Centre on Mondays where 10% of sales goes to SJH.

Register to participate in Flight Fest at

1st 100 registrants get entered into raffle to win gift cards totaling $100 to Fleet Feet and First Watch!

Another way to support Flight Fest is by donating your time.

Next week's S'more will contain the volunteer SignUpGenius link.

Our "Flight Plan" direct mailer will arrive in your home mailbox the week of September 16th and will provide important dates, links and specifics about Scavenger Hunt and Spirit Week leading up to Race Day.

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Go to for more information!

Child Nutrition

AUGUST HARVEST OF THE MONTH! Every month in the kitchen this school year, the Child Nutrition Department will be featuring a locally grown fruit or vegetable. This produce was planted just for Sycamore Schools! This month will be fresh corn on the cob and cantaloupe. This was grown at Riehm Produce Farm in Tiffin, Ohio.

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in case you missed it

Immunizations for 7th graders

Thank you to all 7th grade families who have turned in immunization records. As we work to process those records received, please continue to be patient before you follow up. If there is a problem, you will be contacted via email by Amy Bonham. If you have not turned in your child's proof of immunizations from a doctor's office, please do so ASAP.


The Ohio Department of Health requires all students prior to entering the 7th grade to have (1) dose of MCV4 (meningococcal) and a Tdap (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis) booster.

Proof of immunization from the doctor’s office must be given to the school before the start of 7th grade. Immunization documents can be brought to school or mailed to the JH, emailed to the JH Nurse Amy Bonham at or faxed to (513) 792-6192.

Academic Supports

B.E.N.C.H: (Being Expected to Complete Necessary Classwork and Homework), Layover and other supports

Note: B.E.N.C.H. will begin for 8th graders on Monday, August 19. It will not begin for 7th graders until September 3 to allow their acclimation to our expectations.

The teachers at Sycamore Junior High work very hard to have all classwork and homework standards-based, age-appropriate and applicable to classroom experiences. Over the years, our staff, through a review of data, believes there is a significant correlation between student completion of classwork and homework and his or her individual learning. As a general rule, students should expect to have homework each night in their core academic classes.

Language Arts 7/8: 15-20 minutes

Language Arts Honors: 45-60 minutes

Math: 10-15 problems

Science: 15 minutes

Social Studies: 3 to 5 nights a week; no more than 30 minutes per night.

In order to assist parents in setting expectations for classwork and homework completion, we have two proactive programs at Sycamore Junior High.

The first program is called B.E.N.C.H. (Being Expected to Complete Necessary Classwork and Homework). The intent of the proactive program is to provide students who were unable to meet the expectation of completing classwork or homework ample time after school to do so for the benefit of his or her own learning. Transportation is provided.

While B.E.N.C.H. is a mandatory program, it is not a “detention” nor is it punitive. Its intent is to provide a quiet time for students to complete their work. Because we are sensitive to the developmental age of students, 7th graders do not begin in the program until September. For all students, a “parachute pass” is offered by every teacher every quarter which allows students to have an “oops” moment. The consequence for late work is subject to teacher policy. We also understand that there are occasionally more significant extenuating circumstances in family life and, in those cases, parents are encouraged to reach out to teachers to make arrangements directly with them. Students with disabilities or special accommodations are expected to complete assignments with their appropriate modifications in place. Students involved in athletic activities are also expected to complete work and are subject to the B.E.N.C.H. process.

We at Sycamore Junior High believe that students have enough grit to be held accountable to this expectation and that they are resilient enough if issued a B.E.N.C.H. to participate in the time to finish the work. Additionally, data on our B.E.N.C.H. program indicates that students involved in completing their work showed significant academic progress in learning and achievement.

The second proactive program we have to support your child in meeting expectations is “Layover”. In some rare occasions, there are students who, despite their time in B.E.N.C.H., still fail to complete the necessary classwork or homework. In this case, in order to encourage work completion, students who have been issued a B.E.N.C.H., participate in that B.E.N.C.H., and yet do not turn in their assignment(s), will be offered another opportunity to finish their work during Layover. Layover will be held during the child’s lunchtime and will offer both language arts, math and science support. Students will continue to be provided support until they complete the necessary work in Language Arts, Math or Science. Students will be notified prior to Layover and sent a reminder to attend.

If you believe in your role as a parent that your child has challenges in completing classwork and homework, please be aware that we have additional, ongoing opportunities for your child to receive support. Our after-school Homework Club runs Monday through Thursday with transportation provided to home. In addition, your child may enroll in our Study Hall and Guided Study Hall which occurs during the school day. If you believe your child would benefit from enrollment in Study Hall or Guided Study Hall, please contact your child’s counselor.

Ben Brenner Last Names A-K

Kristen Suter Last Names L-Z

Clubs & Activities at SJH

Sycamore Junior High has many opportunities for students to get involved in extracurricular activities. The Clubs & Activities Guide may be found on the JH website under the "activities" tab or accessed HERE.

Clubs and activities do not begin until several weeks after school resumes. Dates and times of initial meetings will be announced several days ahead of time in daily announcements so students have the opportunity to attend the first meeting. Daily Announcements can be accessed from the SJH webpage.

Reunification Plan

Dear Sycamore Families,

Sycamore Community Schools takes the safety and security of our staff and students very seriously. As part of an Ohio Revised Code requirement, the District is required to inform students and parents/guardians before the first day of school each year of our emergency parental notification protocols.

In the event of an emergency where an evacuation of the school building is necessary, students will be transported to safety at Sycamore Community Schools’ reunification site:

Blue Ash Recreation Center 4433 Cooper Rd. Blue Ash, OH 45242

Please watch this short video for important information on our reunification plan.

In the event of an evacuation, families should report to this location to pick up their student(s). A Reunification Information Document will be used in an event of an emergency where a reunification process is required. This document will be made available at the Blue Ash Rec Center to assist us in releasing your child to you.

In any emergency, we will disseminate information through our mass notification system, which includes phone calls, emails, mobile app alerts, as well as the district website and social media. Additionally, we will continue to provide updates through the above avenues as needed.

We are asking parents to verify their emergency contact information is up to date in Final Forms in order to be contacted in case of emergency. If you make any changes to your contact information in Final Forms, please confirm that the changes have been received by your child’s school by calling the front office.

In the community

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