The Navigator Newsletter

Sycamore Junior High's Parent Communication

November 20, 2020

School Goals

Ensure safety of self and students

Provide engaging, standards-based digitized curriculum both F2F and Virtually

Remain prepared to adapt

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F2F Parents: Remember to scroll down to see F2F content

This Section Applies to Virtual Classroom Learners

COMING UP

THIS WEEK:

  • November 23: Parent-Teacher Evening Conferences 4:30-7:30

  • November 25-27: Thanksgiving Break - No School


Mark your calendar

  • December 21-January 1: Winter Break - No School

  • January 29: End of First Semester


Future Testing Dates

  • Winter MAP - Virtual Dates are TBD
  • Spring MAP - Virtual Dates are TBD

SPEAK UP/SAVE LIVES

By calling or testing the statewide hotline

- 844-SAFEROH -

- 844-723-3764 -

you can report anything that is suspicious or endangering you, your friends or school.

Questions? Here are your Building Contacts

Remember: If you have questions, our team is here! Please reach out to our Administrator or Counselor for Virtual Classroom Students.


Assistant Principal Molly Bernosky bernoskym@sycamoreschools.org

Counselor Rachel Morris morrisra@sycamoreschools.org

Learning model changes

Sycamore Schools is now accepting requests to change your student's learning model for the second semester. You DO NOT need to fill out this form if your student plans to stay in their current learning model. Please fill a separate form for each student in your household who wants to switch models by November 30 at 10:00 p.m. If you do not complete a form by the deadline, your student will be automatically re-enrolled in their current learning model. Please review our Frequently Asked Questions regarding the second semester and the process to change models. To access the request form, please click here. You will receive an email confirmation after you submit the form.

Attendance Policy

Please refer to the Student/Parent Handbook (always linked in the "Quick Links" section) or below on pages 8-13 for information regarding documenting your child's excused absence.

Cameras On/Off in Virtual Learning

There has been much discussion around students' having their cameras on or off during virtual learning. We have solicited feedback from our families, students, and teachers via the district survey, teacher feedback, the virtual engagement committee, and from a thorough review of virtual student academic data. We have heard from some stakeholders that the requirement for cameras to be on is preferred. Other stakeholders prefer that students continue to have the option to have cameras off.


The heart of the concern is active student engagement during remote learning and whether a camera's being "on" promotes engagement. From our analysis, we believe that when students have their cameras on, they are more engaged, and are exhibiting higher levels of performance. We are committed to exploring this issue thoroughly and thoughtfully. Moreover, we have been diligent about providing equitable learning experiences between face-to-face and virtual settings. In the face-to-face classroom, teachers are able to visibly witness student engagement as everyone is present in the same classroom. In the virtual classroom, when a camera is off, this level of engagement cannot be determined as readily or efficiently.


We need your support. In the coming weeks, we would like for you to begin having conversations with your child about their camera preference. As your child considers their video preference, have them note their level of engagement. Moreover, if your child is in classes through Google Meet, encourage them to use the "Spotlight" view and see if that affects connectivity to the class.


We will begin piloting students' having their cameras on in the coming weeks to troubleshoot connectivity issues and proactively problem-solve around any issues that arise. Expect additional communication around cameras and their use in virtual learning.

PTO NEWS

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Student Announcements

11-19-2020 SJHS NC Ann Episode 8, Season 20-21

News Crew Links

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SJH Virtual Play

Your "ticket" to this ONLINE play will be a link and will be priced at $5.


The theater group is working on the logistics of the ticketing and will have the information in next week's newsletter on Tuesday 11/24!

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Parent Access to Report Cards

First Quarter Report cards are available in eBackpack


Last year, we launched a new feature within Parent Portal called the “eBackpack”. The eBackpack provides you access to documents posted for your student(s), classes, or the school(s). As part of the launch, we are using it to post student report cards as an electronic .pdf file. Each student has their own eBackpack with documents that are specific to them.


Please click HERE to access step-by-step instructions. If you have questions, please follow the included instructions to email the helpdesk.

From our Counselors

Midwest Academic Talent Search


Sycamore Junior High participates in the Midwest Academic Talent Search sponsored by the Center for Talent Development (CTD) at Northwestern University. CTD uses the ACT and SAT tests to give families information on students' abilities beyond information generated by regular standardized tests. Sycamore students who qualify for accelerated/gifted courses may consider MATS. For more information please see this letter from Mr. Brenner.


Unfortunately, this year there will not be an ACT exclusive testing date at Sycamore Junior High. Students can still register for the ACT or SAT tests, but families will need to select a local high school for the test date of their choice. This means students will be testing with other high school students. When registering, available locations will be listed. Please note that if you choose to sign up, please keep a watch on any updates you may get sent from ACT/SAT or the location chosen with possible cancellations or changes to testing dates.

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Yearbook

Order your 2021 Yearbook now . . . price goes UP on Nov. 25th!


2020-21 will be a year like no other, the SJHS Yearbook Club is committed to documenting it for YOU! Order your yearbook today for your best price! The cost is $30/copy. This price will increase to $35 on November 25th.


Click HERE to order your 2021 Yearbook


Are you a F2F or virtual student who has photos of JH students you would like to submit for publication? Click HERE! We want to represent ALL students in this year's historic yearbook.


Questions? Contact Melissa Speelman

speelmanm@sycamoreschools.org



If you have any photos from athletic events or any other school-related event the Yearbook Club would love to include them in the 2021 yearbook. Please send photo submissions to Melissa Speelman at speelmanm@sycmoreschools.org .

Tech Help

Remember - If your child has tech issues in the virtual classroom, please call 686-1793 or email helpdesk@sycamoreschools.org. Please leave a message if you do not get an answer and they will respond ASAP!

2020/2021 Immunization Requirements

Please turn in your required immunization paperwork to nurse Amy Bonham ASAP at jhimmunization@sycamoreschools.org.


In Ohio, the following vaccines are required by law:

7th-grade students must show proof that they have received (1) dose of Tdap, and (1) dose of MCV4 . This requirement must be met NO LATER THAN THE 14th day of attendance at school for the 2020-21 school year.

If you have questions, please email Amy at bonhama@sycamoreschools.org or call 686-1763.

In Our Sycamore Community

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GEAR

Do you have questions about the Sycamore gifted program at the junior high school? Planning for high school? Do you have a story or expertise to share? Are you interested in connecting with other junior high school parents? If so, go to www.sycamoreGEAR.org, and register for our zoom call on Wednesday, Dec 9th from 8:00pm to 9:00pm. Looking forward to seeing you!

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SBOB Craft Show

Sycamore Band and Orchestra Boosters will not be hosting the 20th annual Arts and Crafts Show in 2020. However, we have created an online showcase to connect our vendors/shoppers. Please visit www.sbob.org/craftshow to view the list.
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THIS SECTION PERTAINS TO FACE 2 FACE CLASSROOM STUDENTS

Coming Up

THIS WEEK:

  • November 23: Parent-Teacher Evening Conferences 4:30-7:30

  • November 25-27: Thanksgiving Break - No School


Mark your calendar

  • November 30-Dec 4: REMOTE LEARNING for all F2F Students
  • December 21-January 1: Winter Break - No School

  • January 29: End of First Semester


Future Testing Dates:

  • Winter MAP for F2F - January 12 & 13
  • Spring MAP for F2F - May 12 & 13
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PLEAE READ: Remote learning Nov 30- Dec 4

Sycamore Schools will be moving all F2F classrooms to remote learning for all F2F students during the week of November 30 - December 4.


To assist you in understanding how this affects your child, we have prepared an FAQ to answer some of your questions. This document may be amended to include additional questions and answers that we could not anticipate. Virtual learning classrooms will not be affected by the change to remote for F2F students. If you have further questions, please reach out to your child's teacher or to our administration.


Please note: Sports will continue in person during remote learning.



Remote Learning FAQ for Parents


What does a typical day of remote learning look like?

Please review this “Day in the Life of a Remote Student” graphic.

The pace of the day will be identical to a typical day in the classroom except that students will log into a video conferencing tool to engage virtually with their teachers.


What materials will my child need for remote learning?

Your child should have his or her district-issued Chromebook, a set of earbuds or headphones with a microphone, an internet connection, a quiet place to work, and any school supplies that they normally use.


Will attendance be taken?

Yes, every teacher will take attendance and monitor student engagement. If your child will be absent, please call the absence line 513-686-1707. Students are expected to be to class on time for all seven bells and engaged in learning activities.


What is the bell schedule?

The SCHEDULE remains the same as it has been all year for F2F students. Class begins for the day at 8:02 am. Each class is 45 minutes in length with an 8-minute transition and a 30-minute lunch.


What about electives and study halls? Does my child need to log in for those subjects?

Yes. Our expectation remains the same as if your child were sitting in the classroom at SJH. All students are expected to be engaged in every bell.


How will my student log in to class? Will they know what to do on November 30?

Teachers will conduct a review with each class to discuss and walk through how to log into the video conferencing tool to their class. Parents can review this GUIDE in case a student has questions. Teachers will also review remote classroom expectations (microphone and camera use, chat features, etc) with students.


What are the behavioral expectations for remote learning?

Please review this PBIS chart created for our students.


When will my student eat lunch?

Lunch will be at the same time as before and will be 30 minutes in length. Your student should know if they have A, B, or C lunch. Some fifth bell teachers may adjust lunchtime while remote to avoid splitting up the class time. Students to whom this applies will be notified by that teacher. Otherwise, lunchtimes are as follows:

Lunch A: 11:35 – 12:06

Lunch B: 12:06 – 12:37

Lunch C: 12:37 – 1:08


My child is on an IEP. How will that be managed?

The pace of the day will be identical to a typical day in the classroom except that students will log into a video conferencing tool to engage virtually with their teachers. This includes Flex classes and Academic Study. IEP services, including related services, will be delivered as described in the COVID-19 IEP Implementation Plan.


What if we have tech issues?

Our helpdesk will be available. Please call 513-686-1793 or email helpdesk@sycamoreschools.org

Free Meals for F2F Learners During Remote Learning

Sycamore Face-to-Face Families,


For face-to-face learning families who still would like to have access to free meals during the week of November 30-December 4 while the district is operating a remote model, Sycamore Child Nutrition will be offering 5 days worth of breakfast and lunch for curbside pickup on Tuesday, December 1.


These meals need to be PRE-ORDERED. If you have other children in the household that are between the ages of 1-18 you can request meals for them as well even if they are not Sycamore students.


Pre- Order your meals HERE.


Pick up will be at whatever school is requested, but we prefer the oldest student’s home school when possible.


Tuesday, December 1st Pick Up Time for the Junior High are 8:00 am - 9:00 am OR 10:00 am - 12:30 pm


If you still need access to meals, but these times will not work for your schedule, please contact Kelsey Warren at warrenk@sycamoreschools.org or call the Child Nutrition Office at (513) 686-1796.


This information is for face-to-face learning families only. Virtual classroom learners will receive a separate communication and will continue to follow the same pickup date/times as during normal weeks.

Learning model change

Sycamore Schools is now accepting requests to change your student's learning model for the second semester. You DO NOT need to fill out this form if your student plans to stay in their current learning model. Please fill a separate form for each student in your household who wants to switch models by November 30 at 10:00 p.m. If you do not complete a form by the deadline, your student will be automatically re-enrolled in their current learning model. Please review our Frequently Asked Questions regarding the second semester and the process to change models. To access the request form, please click here. You will receive an email confirmation after you submit the form.

Speak Up/Save Lives

By calling or testing the statewide hotline

- 844-SAFEROH -

- 844-723-3764 -

you can report anything that is suspicious or endangering you, your friends or school.

Reunification

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

Detailed information can be found on the district website under Reunification Plans.

For more information on safety & security at Sycamore Schools, visit the district Safety & Security web page.

After School Detention and Friday School Parent Pick Up

Please note the following schedule and procedure


  • After School Detention (3:15 - 5 PM)
  • Friday School (3:10 - 5:45 PM)


When detention is over, students will be escorted to the entrance of the main lobby to be released.

A parent picking up a student should arrive promptly at the front entrance and remain in their car until the student exits the building.

Student Announcements

11-19-2020 SJHS NC Ann Episode 8, Season 20-21

News Crew Links

Big picture

SJH Virtual Play

Your "ticket" to this ONLINE play will be a link and will be priced at $5.


The theater group is working on the logistics of the ticketing and will have the information in next week's newsletter on Tuesday 11/24!

PTO NEWS

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Attendance

Please refer to the Student/Parent Handbook (always linked in the "Quick Links" section) or below on pages 8-13 for information regarding documenting your child's excused absence.

Parent Access to Report Cards

First Quarter Report cards are available in eBackpack


Last year, we launched a new feature within Parent Portal called the “eBackpack”. The eBackpack provides you access to documents posted for your student(s), classes, or the school(s). As part of the launch, we are using it to post student report cards as an electronic .pdf file. Each student has their own eBackpack with documents that are specific to them.


Please click HERE to access step-by-step instructions. If you have questions, please follow the included instructions to email the helpdesk.

From our Counselors

Midwest Academic Talent Search


Sycamore Junior High participates in the Midwest Academic Talent Search sponsored by the Center for Talent Development (CTD) at Northwestern University. CTD uses the ACT and SAT tests to give families information on students' abilities beyond information generated by regular standardized tests. Sycamore students who qualify for accelerated/gifted courses may consider MATS. For more information please see this letter from Mr. Brenner.


Unfortunately, this year there will not be an ACT exclusive testing date at Sycamore Junior High. Students can still register for the ACT or SAT tests, but families will need to select a local high school for the test date of their choice. This means students will be testing with other high school students. When registering, available locations will be listed. Please note that if you choose to sign up, please keep a watch on any updates you may get sent from ACT/SAT or the location chosen with possible cancellations or changes to testing dates.

Big picture

Yearbook

Order your 2021 Yearbook now . . . price goes UP on Nov. 25th!


2020-21 will be a year like no other, the SJHS Yearbook Club is committed to documenting it for YOU! Order your yearbook today for your best price! The cost is $30/copy. This price will increase to $35 on November 25th.


Click HERE to order your 2021 Yearbook


Are you a F2F or virtual student who has photos of JH students you would like to submit for publication? Click HERE! We want to represent ALL students in this year's historic yearbook.


Questions? Contact Melissa Speelman

speelmanm@sycamoreschools.org



If you have any photos from athletic events or any other school-related event the Yearbook Club would love to include them in the 2021 yearbook. Please send photo submissions to Melissa Speelman at speelmanm@sycmoreschools.org .

2020/2021 IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS

Please turn in your required immunization paperwork to nurse Amy Bonham ASAP at jhimmunization@sycamoreschools.org.


If you have questions, please email Amy at bonhama@sycamoreschools.org or call 686-1763.

In Our Sycamore Community

Big picture

GEAR

Do you have questions about the Sycamore gifted program at the junior high school? Planning for high school? Do you have a story or expertise to share? Are you interested in connecting with other junior high school parents? If so, go to www.sycamoreGEAR.org, and register for our zoom call on Wednesday, Dec 9th from 8:00pm to 9:00pm. Looking forward to seeing you!

Big picture
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SBOB Craft Show

Sycamore Band and Orchestra Boosters will not be hosting the 20th annual Arts and Crafts Show in 2020. However, we have created an online showcase to connect our vendors/shoppers. Please visit www.sbob.org/craftshow to view the list.
Big picture
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