Sycamore Leaf

May 28, 2022


May 30: Memorial Day, No School

May 31: Parent Input Letters are due (see below)

May 31-June 3: Outdoor Science School for 6th grade

June 1: Scoop Night at Bert and Rocky's, 4:00 pm-7:00 pm

June 3: Student-created gear designs are due (see below)

June 10: Publishing House Tea for authors and families, morning times assigned by grade

Open House is ready for viewing

Claremont schools held their Open House events virtually this year. Our Open House posts were shared on the front page of our school's website. You'll click on the Open House text under "News" then click on room numbers to view different classrooms. We'll keep that posted for the next two weeks. We hope you enjoy the "visit."

Parent Input Letters

As we close the year, staff will be organizing students into next year's classroom groups. Decisions about class placement are based upon countless and often confidential variables. We know quite a bit about our students, and this knowledge guides us in setting up our classroom communities.

Families are welcome to add their insights to this process in what we call an Input Letter, a written statement with the family's observations about their child’s school-based relationships and response to various learning environments. We ask that your comments speak to your child. We cannot grant requests for a certain classroom or teacher. Our placements are too complex to be able to honor narrow requests in that way. This year's letters must be received no later than May 31 in order to ensure your comments are available for consideration.

This letter is not required. I assure you that our staff is fully committed to creating classroom communities that will be supportive for all. Please complete the Input Letter then bring it to the office or email it to by May 31.

Scoop night!

What better way to end the school year than with a little ice-cream!! Bert & Rocky's is kindly inviting Sycamore families for scoop night this Wednesday, June 1st from 4-7pm. Bring your friends, bring your families, grab a scoop and have a little treat together! Many families will likely wander down to Shelton Park to enjoy their ice-cream - so bring a blanket and mingle a bit! A portion of sales will be donated to Sycamore.

Remember to mark your calendars for Pepo Melo on Monday, June 6th and Honeybird on Thursday, June 16th! We will end the year with local food together. YUM!

SAY HELLO to our NEW 2022/23 Governance Officers and Chairpersons

The votes are in and we have a new group of fun, kind and talented individuals leading our Governance Community next year. Let's get to know them a little!

Sarah Rockne - 2022/23 Facilitator

Hello Sycamore! I am Sarah and Mom to 3 kids. My family has lived in Claremont since 2015. I was born and spent most of my elementary years in the UK. I have since enjoyed living in many parts of the US - Washington, Colorado, Illinois, New York and California. Before becoming a Mom, I worked for 10 years in the Culinary and Hospitality field as a Chef and Event Operations Manager. I am currently a stay at home parent. My greatest loves are bringing people together, cooking, digging in the dirt, and taking long walks on the beach. I’m a huge advocate for community building and children's mental health. I am excited to continue supporting the variety of needs within our school community next year. Please reach out with ideas, thoughts and suggestions to

Megan Clark - Co-Facilitator

Hi Sycamore Families! I'm Megan and I have one kiddo who is currently in Kindergarten. I'm excited to take on the Co-Facilitator role this year! My family moved here in the summer of 2020 and in just a short time we have really fallen in LOVE with Claremont and Sycamore! My background is in community development and civic engagement, so I am super excited to put my passion for working with people to better communities to use with the Governance Community. I am looking forward to meeting many more families over the next year and working with all of you to find creative and productive ways to make Sycamore an even more amazing school.

Diane Barnes - Secretary

Hello Sycamore Family! My name is Diane and I’m excited to be the secretary for the upcoming school year. I’m mom to Alex, soon to be grade 6 and Graham, soon to be grade 2. We’ve lived in Claremont since 2015 after having moved around So Cal since 2000. My husband Michael and I are Midwest transplants, having moved here from Iowa and Illinois. Prior to moving to Claremont, I spent about 20 years working in HR. I am now a small business owner and started my business, Artful Succulents, in 2017. In our spare time we love gardening, traveling, watching the Cubs and Lakers and heading to the beach. I look forward to working with you all in the upcoming school year!

Steve Schaefer – Treasurer

This will be my fourth year as Treasurer. My son is a recent graduate of Sycamore, and my daughter is entering 4th grade this school year. I work for MUFG Union Bank and am responsible for various performance management initiatives (incentives, goals, reviews, etc.) for our branch front-line colleagues. I am currently pursuing my masters degree at Claremont Graduate University. For fun, our family enjoys going to the beach, hanging out at our community pool, or going camping. You can also find me at the hockey rink where I play goalie (when I can!).

Rachel Forester - Past Facilitator

Rachel Forester has a long-term connection to Sycamore. The mother of three has already graduated one Sycamore student, and she has two who'll continue next year. Rachel has served in countless roles here at Sycamore. Whether she's stopping traffic in the crosswalk or working as Past Facilitator, Rachel is focused on supporting Sycamore. Her business, family and volunteer efforts are deeply rooted here in Claremont, and we're fortunate to have her as part of our Governance Council.

Katie Tewell - Communications and Technology Chair

Hi! I'm Katie - Mom to 3 kids (2 boys at Sycamore & 1 who will join her brothers in 2023!). I was born and raised in Southern California and I have lived in Claremont since 2011. When I'm not chasing my kids, I work part-time at Pitzer College. I love brunches with my girlfriends, dates with my husband and being honest about how challenging motherhood is. I look forward to getting to know the Sycamore community better this year!

Jill Kendall Erb and Tamra Miller Coopersmith - Equity and Inclusion Co-Chairs

Hi Sycamore friends. I am Jill Kendall Erb. I am mom to three Sycamore students and have been involved in the community since my oldest was a sweet kindergartner in 2016. I am pleased to return to the post of co-chair of the Equity and Inclusion committee. It has been exciting watching it grow from an idea dreamt up at Memorial Park to a committee contributing to programming for our community. Outside of school, I have a professional role as director of Be The Match programs in SoCal (marrow registry). I am passionate about addressing disparities in healthcare and ensuring equal outcomes for all.

Hi Sycamore! I am Tamra, this is our first year at Sycamore and we’ve met so many kind and supportive Sycamore families, faculty and staff. Next year will be my first year as co-chair of the Equity and Inclusion committee. I am looking forward to participating in school events, further building community and belonging with our Sycamore families.

Alicia Forester and Jessica MacLachlan - Spirit Co-Chairs

My name is Alicia I have 3 energetic and fun girls. My oldest is starting at El Roble in the fall and my other two are here at Sycamore. I love living in Claremont. During the pandemic I discovered running and surfing. Not only was it a chance to be alone but I learned I actually love running and surfing. But if you ask my children what their mom loves to do they will say napping and eating chocolate which is also true.

Elise Ferree - 2022/23 Sustainability Chair

This is my second year as the sustainability coordinator, and I have two kids at Sycamore. I’ve lived in Claremont since 2010, am a biology professor at the Claremont Colleges, and on the board of Sustainable Claremont. I love being outdoors and spending time with friends and family. My goals for this year include helping start a community compost at Sycamore, continuing to connect students with nature and sustainability through gardening, and growing the network of sustainability efforts among the Claremont schools. Feel free to reach out with ideas or to get more involved (

Liz Spinrad - Volunteer Chair

Hi, I’m Liz Spinrad! I have a kindergartener, 2nd grader and 5th grader at Sycamore this year. We moved to Claremont from Seattle 7 years ago and fell in love with this community. My family loves going to the beach and skiing/snowboarding together… sometimes in the same weekend! I’m excited to be your volunteer coordinator this year and my hope is to get parent helpers back into classrooms as much as safely possible. Your commitment to our students is what makes Sycamore such a special place.

Amy Carnes - Ways and Means Chair

Amy M. Carnes, mother of two happy Sycamore kids, has been Ways and Means Chair for the past two years. A recent Claremont transplant, Amy has worked at USC Shoah Foundation for almost 14 years (but who's counting?!), doing everything from building curriculum, designing evaluation programs, curating exhibitions and writing proposals with some community building thrown in for good measure. An avid volunteer, Amy formerly served on her Los Angeles Neighborhood Council where she specialized in historic preservation, land use, and sustainability issues.

Last Weekend for the Governance Council End of Year Input Survey

What did you LOVE this year? What do you want to see RETURN next year? Do you have something to say or an idea to share? Please take 5 min this weekend to complete our survey. The survey is anonymous and your responses truly help us grow and adapt to meet the needs of our school community. Please click here to participate.

Good time for gardening

Please consider volunteering in our new garden. We're looking for a few families who'll visit from time to time and tidy things up. Make it extra fun by signing up with a fellow Sycamore family. Click here to sign up and for more information

Outdoor Science School this week!

Tuesday begins Outdoor Science School for Sixth Graders. Each day this week, our students will enjoy special field trips and hands-on activities focused on science. Sixth grade parents received an email with Outdoor School Tips on Friday. Read this to be fully prepared.

On Thursday from 8:15 to 8:30 am, we invite families to join us on 8th Street as we send our students via bus to the Three Oaks Outdoor Science School for a day of mountain hiking and activity.

We have not yet met our goal for fundraising. Please donate in any amount. Cash or checks will be collected in the school office and donations can easily be made through Zelle at Please add "Sixth Grade OSS" to the memo for Zelle or any checks.

Sycamore Gear Design - due FRIDAY

We're ready to collect student-created designs for next year's Sycamore t-shirt gear. Students should use up to two colors in their design (to keep costs for the t-shirts reasonable). Finished designs-saved as a pdf or picture- need to be submitted by Friday, June 3. Drop them in this google folder or email it to Mrs. Stanger at Students will vote on their favorite design on June 6 and 7.

CEF's Summer Slice

The Claremont Educational Foundation's SLICE of Summer program will offer online, in-person and hybrid summer enrichment for grades Kindergarten through 12th. Offerings include Sports Fun Camp, Speech & Debate as well as College Essay Writing for college bound students. CEF partners with the University of La Verne to offer Tech Ed for 7th to 12th graders and STEM Center USA to provide hands on STEM camps for Kindergarten through 6th grade. In-person classes will be held at El Roble Intermediate School. Visit to review SLICE offerings and descriptions. Register soon, space is limited!