The Navigator Newsletter

Sycamore Junior High's Parent Communication

August 20-25, 2018

Building Goals

*Ensure Safety of Students and Staff

*Cultivate a Positive Climate

*Implement Formative Instructional Practices

COMING UP at the JH!

August 21: Open House 6:00-7:30pm (Parent only event, please)

Mark your Calendar!

August 28 & 29: Sycamore Singing Company Clinics 3:15-4:00 pm

September 3: Labor Day - No School

September 4 & 5: SSC Tryouts 3:15-4:00 pm

Your New Administrators

Misty Belfrom: 7th Grade Assistant Principal

Mrs. Belfrom has replaced Lisa Zelvy as assistant principal at Sycamore Junior High. Belfrom has served as the Special Education Department Supervisor at the junior high since 2016. She also served as an intervention specialist during the 2015-2016 school year. Prior to coming to Sycamore, Belfrom worked as an intervention specialist at Lebanon City Schools for six years and as an education coordinator for Home for Life at Monroe City Schools.

Ron Brooks: Interim 8th Grade Assistant Principal

We welcome back Ron Brooks as interim assistant principal at Sycamore Junior High School for the 2018-2019 school year. Brooks will replace George Sturgeon who has accepted a principal position at Bethel Tate High School. Mr. Brooks filled in last fall while Mrs. Zelvy was out. Brooks retired as principal of Maple Dale Elementary in 2016 after more than four decades of service to Sycamore Community Schools.


We would like to remind you that our Open House event will be taking place August 21, 2018 beginning at 6:00 PM. Please remember that this event is for parents only. You will need a copy of your child’s schedule. Schedules will be given to students on Tuesday during the day. Please have your child give you a schedule. You can also see your child’s schedule by logging into Blackboard. Please report to your child’s first bell classroom to begin the evening.

Please be aware that parking at our building is limited and traffic will be heavy. In order to get a parking spot and get inside the building, you will need to arrive early. The main doors facing Cooper Rd will be the entrance into the building for Open House. Maps of the school will be available at the front desk if needed.

Donations to THE SANDWICH PROJECT and Operation Give Back will also be accepted. For more information, please read below.

The Sandwich Project

The Sandwich Project is our longest standing all-school character education program here at Sycamore Junior High. Each week since 1997, a different group of students makes 250 sandwiches for St. Francis Seraph Ministries in Over the Rhine. In addition, teachers Jim Dejoy and Marc Stern meet with students to discuss decision making, helping the community, and helping students right here at Sycamore Junior High. Students also have the opportunity to nominate themselves or their peers for weekly character awards that are read over announcements. Be a part of this long-standing tradition by volunteering to set-up or just making a small donation. Donations may be made during Open House or sent to school. As we tell the students, "$1.00 feeds 10 people" and "small things can have a big impact."

The project is made possible through the support of Klosterman Baking and Kroger.

Big picture


It was great to see so many people at schedule pick up last week! Thank you to everyone who joined the PTO already. If you haven't yet, don't forget that you can pay online using the link below. Membership in PTO will give you access to our student directory and is one way we raise money for projects, programs, and special requests.

We are looking forward to a great school year. Don't forget our first PTO meeting is on September 12 at 10:30 am. For more information about the Junior High PTO please visit

Membership Form:

Volunteer Opportunities


All meetings are at 10:30am with the exception of May 9

September 12

October 10

November 14

January 16

February 13

March 13

April 10

May 9 (Appreciation Lunch 11:00am)

Clubs & Activities at SJH

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

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.

Safety & Security

Sycamore Junior High School families,

Safety at SJH is of the utmost importance to us. As required by the state (HB 178) we will conduct school safety drills throughout the year. We are required to simulate at least 1 full scale evacuation drill, such as an active threat in the building. We will be evacuating the entire building on these dates and practicing the full scale evacuation with police and fire presence. Other drills may be simulations with discussion, or practice lockdowns. We partner with Montgomery Police Department, at times, to bring canine units to the building for specific safety drills as well. We will still conduct monthly fire and/or tornado drills in accordance with the house bill requirements.

It is always our intent to make sure we are as prepared as possible for a crisis to occur and keep our students safe. We appreciate your assistance in talking with your child about the importance of these drills and how critical they are to practice the drills. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school.


Sycamore Junior High is excited about our new support system, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). With PBIS, the goal is to encourage good behavior and a culture which is safe, supportive and welcoming for all students. Helping students develop these skills ensures that we are developing successful, engaged citizens that are able to contribute productively in the world after high school. At Sycamore, we will focus on the following expectations to help students develop and practice appropriate educational behaviors:

  • Be Respectful

  • Be Responsible

  • Be Safe

  • Be a Problem Solver

PBIS is a proactive approach to establishing the support needed for all students in school to achieve social, emotional, and academic success. Key focus areas of PBIS include prevention, positive behavior supports, using data to better determine the individual needs of students, team meetings to support students with complex emotional and behavioral needs, and community-based supports for families, youth and schools.

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 cutoff date is September 5th.

Meet the Administrator Assembly

Today students participated in grade level “Meet the Administrator” assemblies. These assemblies are designed to give students an overview of the procedures and expectations at Sycamore Junior High. During these class meetings, we also spent time reviewing the harassment, intimidation, and bullying policies (HIB) for the district. Students received instruction on the definitions verbal and written forms of bullying, harassment, and intimidation as well as how to report possible incidents of HIB. Time was also spent reviewing cyber-bullying. We will continue to review and instruct in these areas throughout our school year. If you wish to report potential bullying, harassment, or intimidation, you can do so through our website at

Meet your Counselors


August 13, 2018

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

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 an 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.


Please join us on SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2018

for the Annual


at Sycamore Junior High



Aviator Flight Fest helps support over 20 extra-curricular clubs & activities

for our 800+ 7th and 8th grade students at Sycamore Junior High School.



5k Run (chip timed) or 5k Walk - $35 Registration Fee

10k Run (chip timed) - $40 Registration Fee


All Races Start at 8:00am

All Racers receive a custom 2018 finishers medal, t-shirt, & swag bag!

Breakfast provided after the Race by First Watch


Inflatables, Games, Silent Auction, Reverse Raffle, Food, & more!

Entertainment for the whole family!

Interested in volunteering? Need more information?

Contact Michelle Ciotola

New Procedures for Guests to enter the JH

Dear Sycamore Families, Friends, and Stakeholders:

Our district is always looking for ways to make our schools safer and to implement new processes in order to support that mission. LobbyGuard is a visitor management system that will aid us in this effort. This system will "check in" visitors to our school and ensure accountability for all persons in our building, including information about who is currently in the building, who visited, and when they came and left.

The program also runs a background check on each individual who enters the school. The LobbyGuard Management software identifies individuals who should not have access to our building (i.e. registered sex offenders) and allows us to create a custom list of individuals who are prohibited from picking up children (i.e. potential custody situations, restraining order, etc.).

The program will be fully implemented the first day of school in August and will be required for any visitor who is entering the school building.

Please be aware of the following changes for visitors to our school buildings:

  1. All individuals planning to enter the school will be asked for a state-issued license or identification. If you do not have a license or state i.d., you will not be permitted to enter the building. You will either be asked to wait in the lobby for your student or the reason for being present at the building.

  2. Individuals who do not have access to a state i.d. should seek out how to obtain proper identification.

  3. All individuals will be asked to sign in and sign out through the program.

  4. All individuals will be required to wear the badge that prints out with their picture on it for the entire time they are in the building. This easily identifies each person as a visitor. All regular staff will wear their identification badges.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to the district or to me at the Junior High School.


Traci Rea, Ph.D.



The Child Nutrition Department is accepting Free and Reduced Applications for the 2018/19 school year as of July 1st, 2018. We recommend you apply online by going to the following website: This application needs to be completed on a computer or Chromebook. Unfortunately, it cannot be completed on a cell phone or tablet. Applying online allows for a much quicker response time.

We will also accept paper applications that are located on the sycamore website under Services -> Child Nutrition -> Free & Reduced Price Meals -> Printable Forms (at the bottom of the page).

Reminder: you must fill out an application for free or reduced-price meals EVERY school year. Benefits from the 17/18 school year will expire on September 26th, 2018 if there is no application on file after July 1st, 2018. Call the Child Nutrition with any questions (513) 686-1796.

Kelsey Gash RD, LD

Child Nutrition & Wellness Director

Sycamore Community Schools

(513) 686-1796

Around Sycamore

The Aves Hangar

Big picture

Sycamore Athletic Boosters


WHO: We are the only Sycamore Booster organization serving all Sycamore Athletics.

WHAT: Sycamore Athletic Boosters raise money for a broad range of athletic

programs at Sycamore Junior High & Sycamore High School. We help fund

shortfalls in School Board approved athletics and annually assist over 100

teams where coaches identify specific needs.

WHY: We strive to provide as many athletic opportunities as possible for our students

by maintaining a large athletic program and by keeping our pay-to-play fees

as low as possible.

Visit us at

FIRST Tech Challenge

Join FIRST Tech Challenge!

The online application is now available for the FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics program for the 2018-2019 school year.

The application can be found at:

What is FIRST Tech Challenge?
FIRST Tech Challenge are made up of 10+ members in grades 7-12. The teams are challenged to build, program, and operate robots in a head to head challenge in an alliance format.