Sycamore Leaf

June 6, 2020

Picking Up and Returning Items

THIS Tuesday, June 9 and Wednesday, June 10, families will pick up students' personal belongings. This will include all classwork, artwork and personal items for your student as well as earthquake kits and our all-school YEARBOOK. That should entice you!

At the same time, we will collect items borrowed from the classroom (see your teacher's note for details on what you'll need to return), library books, iPads, power cords, keyboards and musical instruments. PLEASE make sure your iPad is fully charged, as we will need to turn in on as you turn it in to us.

Procedures have been thoughtfully designed to ensure physical distancing, reduced students/staff on campus, and guidelines for cleanliness. The campus will remain closed for this event and all parents/guardians will be able to complete the pick-up/drop-off without entering any buildings. Please be aware: only one parent/guardian may attend, as well as children of our school and their siblings (only). Everyone who enters campus must wear a face covering.

  • You will enter at the school office and move through campus in a one-way line marked for social distancing.
  • At the entrance of the MPR, a table will receive iPad devices, power cords and keyboards. Staff will quickly test the device, so we ask that all devices should be fully charged.
  • Next, you will move around to the north side of the MPR where you'll be directed by staff to deposit library books, borrowed musical instruments, and classroom materials in designated areas and boxes.
  • Staff will then bring students' personal belongings outside to the adult. This will include classroom items, earthquake kits, art portfolios, and yearbooks.
  • Finally, you will exit campus at the Yale Avenue gate just behind the MPR.

In order to limit the number of individuals on campus at any given time, we have assigned families to pick up during certain times. The schedule is built around student's last names and can be seen below.

  • Those will last names A-D should attend between 8:30 AM and 10:00 AM.
  • Those with last names E-J should attend from 10:00 AM and 11:30 AM.
  • Those with last makes K-Q will attend from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM.
  • Those with last names beginning in R-Z will attend from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM.

Families who cannot come during their assigned time are welcome to come at a time that work for them or between 2:30 PM and 4:00 PM. If you are not feeling well, if you have a fever or cough, simply email me for an alternative pick-up/drop-off time.

Some have asked about students attending. Protocols do allow students and their siblings to be present. It is important to know that not all staff will be there the entire time, so your child may not see their teacher. Please prep them on social distancing, and our possible limitation of talking only briefly in order to keep lines moving.

Looking forward to 2020-2021

We are looking forward to a summer of good health and well-deserved rest for students, families and staff. We'll also continue planning for the reopening of schools this fall. In addition to the guidance of the California Department of Education and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, our district is asking parents to share their input on the reopening of schools. This week, families received a link to a district survey regarding. This will allow you to share your thoughts on the possible models for schooling, based on current parameters. Please complete this survey for each of the students you have in your home. As we continue to receive additional guidelines from the state and local agencies, your input will allow us to formalize our plans for reopening.

It is very important that we have accurate contact information for parents and guardians. We will use these phone numbers and emails for important district and school-based messages in the summer and all year long. We also use these contacts to support your child if they are ill or in the case of an accident or emergency. Please make sure you submit contact information you check regularly. If you are not receiving Blackboard Connect messages as you'd should, please contact Tina Hensley at and we'll be happy to help you adjust this information in the system.

The "Required Forms for 2020-21" include the annual Emergency Form, Media Release, and the like. Completion of these forms affirm your intent to have your student attend CUSD schools next year, so please complete those as soon as possible. If you have plans to move out of CUSD or to another CUSD school this fall, please notify Maria Garcia in Student Services, Tina Hensley in our school office, or myself.

Sixth Grade Send-Off, Monday, June 8 at 10:30 AM

The Sixth Grade Send-Off is a time to celebrate our sixth graders and the many ways they have grown and contributed to our school over the years. Whether they've been here one year or seven, our sixth graders are a special part of Sycamore. We encourage you to join virtually with friends for our 10:30 AM start time to hear teachers' personal messages to members of this year's sixth grade class. The whole-school link will be sent separately, allowing everyone to join in on this annual community event. The video will be accessible after the event, as well.

End of Year Report Cards

In mid-March, you received a copy of your child's report card, a time-stamped picture of their progress toward grade level standards and skills. That same week, we shifted to distance learning. Teachers and students were physically separated. Parents and guardians made the shift to support school-based learning, while balancing work as well as the financial and emotional burdens of the pandemic.

On the last day of school, we will mail your student’s report card for the third trimester. This report will look different than it would during a typical year. While many students were able to "meet" with classroom teachers, participate in lessons and submit work samples, the challenges of distance learning are unquestioned. Given these conditions, we want to evaluate student progress in a sensitive and gracious way. Rather than using a value to measure mastery for each content area or skill, teachers will use the report card's comment section to highlight student participation and learning to date. We thank you for being a part of our learning team this year, and we look forward to continuing together this fall, in whatever means possible.

Resources for Meals

If your family income has changed, you can apply for free or reduced price meal status on the district website at: These resources will continue to be available into the summer, so please consider signing up.

Families may also complete a simple online application before June 30, 2020 to be eligible for Pandemic EBT or P-EBT, a new benefit for families who receive free and reduced-price school meals. Visit for more information on this additional program.

Scholastic Book Fair

We are thrilled to be offering the end of year Scholastic Book Fair. What a great way to prepare for a summer of reading! Simply use the link below to place your order. Books will be delivered to your home, and a portion of your order will serve as a fundraiser for our school. The book fair will be open between now and September 4. Please feel free to share this link with friends and family.

Art and Music

This week, Mary will be working on preparing our students' art portfolios. Those will be given to families during pick-up on June 8 and 9.

Use this link to return to any art or music lesson we've posted through distance learning.

This week's music lesson includes a closing message from Mr. Hensley and an introduction to a new instrument...a drumset!

Looking for some Summer Fun?

I'm happy to pass along an exciting summer learning opportunity created by former Sycamore students and rising CHS seniors Zack Kreines and Rowan Orlijan-Rhyne. Zach and Rowan will be offering virtual summer physics camps including a session for incoming 4th to 6th graders and another for incoming 7th to 9th graders. See the linked flyer for details. Zach or Rowan can answer any of your questions via email. Space is limited. Enjoy!

Sycamore Gear? We've got it!

Simply enter your name and information to order Sycamore apparel. This form is for CASH, CHECK OR ZELLE. You will receive a confirmation email of your order. We offer contactless pick up and drop off. We have both this years and last years designs for sale. if you do not see your size then it is no longer available.

Zelle ID:


Parent Input Letters

As we near the end of this school year, we are already beginning to think about plans for the fall. This includes students' classroom assignments. Though we know quite a bit about our students, we are eager to have the input of families as we make decisions about classroom placement. Families are encouraged to complete a Parent Input Letter, a written statement about their child as a learner, with their observations about their child’s response to various learning environments and insights into their school-based relationships. Classroom placement decisions are based upon countless and often confidential student variables, so requests for specific teachers cannot be granted. Furthermore, I ask that you refrain from speaking to your child’s teacher about specific classroom requests. Be assured they want the best for your child and all teachers contribute in the process of making supportive placements. Letters must be received by June 12 to ensure your comments are available for consideration.

The form is available using this link.

Please use it as a reference and email your notes to

Sycamore's Gift Card Program-SCRIP

These days, it's especially nice to share as you shop. Using SCRIP, you can make a habit of it! Simply order SCRIP using this form and we'll get it to you. Each time you buy, a percentage of each purchase raises funds for our school. Consider stocking up for the summer. Here's the link to the form:

Resources and the Equity and Inclusion Committee

Earlier this week, I sent a message about strategies for talking with your child about race. In that message, I referenced the work of our school's Equity and Inclusion Committee. The Equity and Inclusion committee seeks to foster a community where students of all identities, backgrounds, and abilities are valued and embraced. We strive to raise awareness of and provide strategies for creating and sustaining an equitable and inclusive community on the Sycamore campus and beyond, and to help prepare all students to be compassionate and informed people of the world.

If you would like more information about this committee, please contact me or email our committee chairs, Anthea Kraut at or Sharon Stranford at

Thank You

This picture comes from the book All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman. The book paints a picture of an inclusive school, one where every individual is welcomed and valued. I read the book to each of our classes this fall. In one classroom, I distinctly recall a young student excitedly sharing, "That's just like Sycamore!" When I asked the child to explain why, the student remarked that the parents got to be at the school, too. I loved hearing that even our youngest students experience Sycamore as a place where families are a part of the school.

This year, that has been true in a whole new way. Teachers have been coming into your homes and families have been standing in as teachers. This was not easy, but I thank you all for taking this on with us. The road ahead is not entirely clear, but I want to assure you that whether we are present physically or not, we are together. Thank you for being a part of Sycamore now and always.


Amy Stanger

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