The Navigator Newsletter

Sycamore Junior High's Parent Communication

September 16-20, 2019

Building Goals

* Provide rigorous learning opportunities

* Respect diversity

* Personalize learning

COMING UP at the JH!

September 16: Picture Day

September 20: Interim grading period ends

Mark your calendars:

Oct 19: Flight Fest

Fall Picture Day

Fall Picture Day Details

  • Fall Picture day will be on Monday, September 16th, for the following students:

    • Any new students or students who were not photographed during schedule pick up.

    • Students who would like retakes. Students must return pictures already purchased on picture day.

  • Parents can order student pictures through the Lifetouch website mylifetouch portal. Please use the will need to use the unique picture day id for the junior high: Picture ID # EVTBRQD4J

  • It is important to note that parents, who order online, will not need to print out any information. The students will NOT need to bring in any documentation that they ordered electronically.

  • Paper order forms are available in the front lobby. If using the order form, payment options are by check or cash (exact amount), and given to the photographer on picture day.

Accessing your child's grades and Course Information


As part of an ongoing effort to help parents as they assist students in managing academic work, we wanted to remind you that parents have access to BlackBoard through Parent Portal. There you can view for each of your child's courses:

  • Grades
  • Syllabus and other course information
  • Class announcements
  • Daily homework assignments
  • Long-term assignments
  • Teacher contact information


The interim grading period ends this Friday, September 20. Parents are encouraged to access grades through Parent Portal.

oaks trip

Dear Parents,

On Thursday, September 26, 8th grade students will travel to Scarlet Oaks as a part of our career exploration and development for students. Only 8th grade students will be out of the building from approximately 8:30AM until 11:30AM. Please understand that students will not be accessible for pickup during these times. If you have a conflict, please reach out to Mrs. Marlatt at to make arrangements. Thank you.

P.T.O. Corner


Join the PTO! Being a member of the PTO doesn’t mean you have to volunteer and attend meetings, although everyone is welcome to do either/both! Joining the PTO shows your financial support for our programs that recognize students and teachers in our building. PTO membership is $10 ($11 online) and can be done online. Visit for more information!


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

Questions? Please email

Follow us on Facebook!

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The latest news about flight fest

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Mark your calendars for the 9th Annual Sycamore Junior High Aviator Flight Fest 2k/5k/10k Race on Saturday, October 19, 2019!

Please visit our website at to Register for the race, sign up to volunteer or learn more about family sponsorships.

The first 100 people to register for the race will be entered in a raffle to win one of two fun gift cards!


Check your mail next week for your very own Flight Plan to be delivered to your home! The Flight Plan will provide you with the information for you and your child to participate in and enjoy all the great activities taking place with Flight Fest this year!


The online auction is open! Be sure to check in weekly for new items as they are added. Items will continue to be added up to October 9th! The online auction closes on October 19th at 10am. The link to view the auction is below.

Please contact Michelle Ciotola at to learn about business and family sponsorships, volunteer opportunities, or any questions regarding Aviator Flight Fest.

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

Did you know?


We know you may have questions about the Junior High. Did you know that a great resource for school information is our website? It is accessible anytime! From the Sycamore Community Schools Homepage, click on "OUR SCHOOLS" and choose "SYCAMORE JUNIOR HIGH" from the drop-down menu. The green bar at the top lists various topics of interest (Our School, Activities, Students, Parents, Counseling, etc.) Of particular help may be the Student-Parent Handbook for answers to many questions.

We hope this provides a quick way to get the information you need. If not, we welcome your call to our school! We are here to help!


Announcements are available for viewing every afternoon! Go to the JH Website and click at the top green bar on "Announcements". Click here to access the page now!


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.


Thanks to our wonderful PTO, the Lost and Found is organized! If your child has lost an item of clothing, a backpack or lunch box or the like, have him or her check the lost and found in the cafeteria. It will be cleaned out and the items distributed about every two weeks or so. For items currently in L&F, click here. Items of significant value (eyeglasses, phones, etc) are kept in the office.

Child Nutrition: Free & Reduced Meal Application

The date for the roll-over cut off for free and reduced-price meals benefits is quickly approaching. On September 25th, if you have not filled out a new free and reduced-price meal application your student(s) will lose their benefits. Apply online today: or fill out a paper application and turn it into the district office. Contact the Child Nutrition Office with questions - (513) 686-1796 or visit the Child Nutrition webpage.

in case you missed it

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!!

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.

Reunification Plan

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.

Around Sycamore

#speakupAVES Mental Health Awareness Month

Sycamore Community Schools has made mental health, fighting its stigma, and advocating for its awareness, a priority among all buildings and within all grade levels. For the entire month of September, we will be engaging students, staff, and families in important conversations through our #speakupAVES campaign.

Unfortunately, mental health issues are a drastically rising problem among adolescents. According to research performed by the Child Mind Institute, one in five teens and adults suffer from mental illness and 20% of children ages 13-18 live with a mental disorder. It impacts people of all ages, demographics, and income levels. That is why Sycamore is committed to caring for the whole child and providing support for students, families, and staff.

#speakupAVES and Warrior Run

Sycamore Community Schools continues to collaborate with 1N5, a local nonprofit organization committed to stopping the stigma and starting the conversation by increasing awareness and education about mental health.

#speakupAVES Month is focused on raising awareness and will culminate with Sycamore High School’s participation in the 1N5 Warrior Run on October 5. As a part of the high school challenge, every dollar raised by the team will be reinvested back into Sycamore High School for mental health, mindfulness, and suicide prevention programming. Click here to sponsor the “Sycamore sAVES” team and select “donate.” You can also join the team by registering to be a part of the race by clicking here and select “join the team.”

School-Based Therapy Services

Meanwhile, Sycamore Schools continue to provide better access to mental health services for students. All seven Sycamore schools are now staffed with school-based therapists for the 2019-2020 school year. Children’s Hospital provides on-site independently licensed therapists at all seven schools at no cost to the district to confidentially serve students with significant mental health challenges.

Medication Management Services

Beginning in September, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital will also begin offering medication management services to families engaged in school-based therapy. These services include the evaluation, prescription, and management of medication for clients. Medication management services are delivered by an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN). The APRN will be at our District Office at 5959 Hagewa Drive two half-days per month. If parents are interested in engaging with medication management services, parents can schedule appointments directly through their building therapist. To receive these services, students must be active clients of the school-based therapist.

Help Us Start the Conversation, Stop the Stigma

But it doesn’t end with therapy and medication. It’s about providing a safe environment for students so that they can come to school feeling comfortable and ready to learn. District administrators have initiated the process of developing a comprehensive, three-year strategic plan based on feedback from a voluntary survey on mental health. Simply put, mental health awareness is not limited to the month of September in Sycamore Community Schools.

As a superintendent, I am proud of the work our school counselors, teachers, and staff are doing to increase their own awareness while supporting the whole child. As a parent, I am continually reassured by the commitment our educators have to student social and emotional wellness.

So for the month of September, let’s engage in tough and important conversations with one another around mental health. But let’s not let it end there. This is a year-long, lifetime battle, and Sycamore Community Schools is committed every day.

To discuss any of our mental health services available or with questions regarding services, Lisa Zelvy, Pupil Services Supervisor, is available to assist you. She can be reached at (513) 686-1700 or

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In the community

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community camps and event flyers

Helpful information for parents

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Know! To Defend Against Mean Girls

If your child’s safety is at-risk at any point, her property gets damaged or stolen, or the situation simply becomes too much for her to handle directly, you (parents) will need to step in and contact the school, law enforcement, or other appropriate party, depending on the circumstances.

Your daughter comes home from school in tears for yet another day because a girl in her class embarrassed and humiliated her in front of everyone - again. The mama or papa bear in you is growling and ready to attack. But experts say, keep the bear at bay and help your daughter help herself.

It is an unfortunate reality, but at some point in our daughters’ youth, she will likely have to deal with a “mean girl,” which means we have to deal with her too. We can best serve our daughter by giving her the tools she needs to recognize toxic people in her life and know how to handle them.

What exactly is a “mean girl?” She may be in your daughter’s current or past circle of “friends,” or she may be someone your daughter doesn’t know well or at all. Mean girl behavior is universally manipulative however, and typically involves one or more of the following (from

  • Excluding
  • Forming cliques
  • Gossiping
  • Spreading rumors
  • Making nasty comments
  • Cyberbullying
  • Outcasting
  • Sharing secrets
  • Backstabbing

A mean girl also tends to recruit others to join in her hateful tactics, and though they know it goes against their better judgment, others may comply to remain in “good graces” with the bully, or maintain their social status.

This is devastating for the victim, to the point where she may beg to stay home from school, may not want to participate in her extracurriculars, and withdrawals from the social activities she usually looks forward to and enjoys.

While this type of manipulative and mean behavior is not exclusive to girls, Nancy Rue, a teacher-turned-author of the Mean Girl Makeover trilogy, says that, “Teenage boys and girls handle friendships differently. While boys value their friendships, they’re not the potentially devastating things they can be for girls, who tend to over-analyze and emotionally invest more than boys. This means they [girls] suffer more when those friendships go wrong.”

In fact, the long-term consequences of mean-girl-type bullying include eating disorders, body image issues, substance abuse, PTSD, self-harming behaviors, depression and even thoughts of suicide.

The whole experience can be excruciatingly painful for her, and for us, as her parents who love her and want only the best for her.

The best defense in protecting our daughters against mean girls is open and positive communication, so that she knows she can turn to us (her parents) for understanding and sensible advice.

In the tip to follow, we will share tips on talking to our daughters about mean girls, and how best to handle them and move on.

Sources: Laurel-Ann Dooley, Woman’s Day: 8 Ways to Help Your Daughter Deal with Mean Girls. Mar 29, 2017. Sherri Gordon, Very Well Family: 9 Things You Need to Tell Your Daughter About Mean Girls. Jul 28,2019. Maria Lally. The Telegraph: Mean Girls - How to talk to your daughter about toxic friendships. Apr 8, 2016. Peggy Moss, JD, Girl Bullying: What to Do When Your Daughter Is the Victim of “Mean Girls.”