The Navigator Newsletter

Sycamore Junior High's Parent Communication

November 25 - 29, 2019

Building Goals

* Provide rigorous learning opportunities

* Respect diversity

* Personalize learning

SJH Reunification Site: Blue Ash Rec Center

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COMING UP at the JH!

Mark Your Calendars:

November 27-29: Thanksgiving Break, no school

December 5: Orchestra Concert (at SHS) 7pm

December 11: Choir Concert 7 pm

December 13: Adopt-a-Senior Day

Safer Schools Ohio


Safer Schools Ohio is a multi-agency effort created to assist schools in continuously improving the safety of our students. By calling or texting the statewide anonymous hotline parents, students or community members can report anything that is suspicious or endangering you, your friends or your school.

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!

A Night Off From Cooking!

Don’t want to cook right before Thanksgiving? Join your friends from the Sycamore Junior High PTO on Monday, November 25, 2019 - for delicious BBQ! Sycamore Junior High PTO is teaming up with City BBQ in Blue Ash for a fundraiser! Present this coupon when you order anytime on Monday, November 25th and we will receive 25% of earnings. You can also pick up a coupon at the Sycamore Junior High front desk

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Flight Fest Survey

Hello Junior High Parents

Your 2020 Flight Fest team is already at work to bring a great event to Sycamore Junior High! Next year will be the 10th annual Flight Fest and we would like your input. The first half of the survey is for parents to fill out and the second half please get input from your students. Thank you so much for your time and support!

Donate to OGB Holiday Store

Sycamore Junior High Student Council & Operation Give Back are teaming up to give back to our community!

We are on a mission to provide resources for those in need this holiday season. We need your help!! From November 13-December 6, we are collecting apparel or gift cards.

For guidance, please see the attached "Shopping Guide".

Donations of NEW clothing or NEW/LIKE NEW coats can be dropped off in the bin in the front lobby. Gift card donations can be dropped off in the box in Officer Martin’s office. See a student council member (or Mrs. DiOrio or Miss Wein) if you have any questions. ‘Tis the season for giving!

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Aves Hangar Bookstore & Spirit Shop

Part Time Job Opportunity

The Sycamore HS PTO is looking for an individual to serve as the store manager and merchandise buyer for the Aves Hangar Bookstore and Spirit Shop, located on the school’s campus, anticipated to begin in January 2020. This is a new position and will replace the role currently held by volunteer managers.

Retail experience and knowledge of sales and marketing principles are necessary. This is a contract position, with an average expected work-load of 20 hours/week. Schedule is somewhat flexible. Incentive opportunities are also available.

For more information on responsibilities, time commitment, requirements, etc, please visit:

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In Case You Missed It

Sandwich Project Volunteers Needed

The Sycamore Junior High Sandwich Project is in need of volunteers to help organize and setup sandwich making on Thursdays throughout the school year. The commitment is just an hour or so on Thursdays from 10:50- 11:50.

This is the 21st year of the project. Weekly, students make 250 sandwiches in which they are picked up and delivered to St Francis Seraph located on Vine St in Over the Rhine. The sandwiches are then served to the hungry of Cincinnati that evening. It's a great experience for our kids as they demonstrate compassion, humility, and empathy to the less fortunate.

If you are interested in helping please sign up via the SignUp Genius. Thank you!

Lost & Found

Lost & Found is in the cafeteria and is cleared out periodically. Click here to see the current items.

Order Your Yearbook

Please visit this link to order your 2020 SJHS yearbook . . . . Check this off of your to-do list today!

*Yearbooks will be delivered to students May 20, 2020- make a note on your calendar if you purchase early so you don't accidentally purchase twice.

Questions? Contact Melissa Speelman

AIR Testing at the JH

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.

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Know! To Put Kindness into Action

While there appears to be a designated “day” on the calendar for everything these days, World Kindness Day is one to celebrate and share with the young people in our lives. It takes place annually on November 13th, and promotes putting kindness into action through caring and compassionate acts. In a world where far too many youth face bullying, deal with anxiety and depression, and fight the pressures to succumb to a variety of risk-taking behaviors, why not encourage kindness and compassion? The benefits can be far-reaching and long-lasting.

Richard Davidson and his team of researchers from the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison say that humans are biologically hardwired for kindness and selflessness. He says that even very young children show a preference toward being cooperative, giving and warm-hearted in their interactions with others. Dr. Davidson also believes that kindness can and should be nurtured in youth, and is absolutely teachable. He says, “It’s kind of like weight training, we found that people can actually build up their compassion ‘muscle’ and respond to others’ suffering with care and a desire to help.”

While the motivation behind acts of kindness should simply be about doing something nice for a fellow human being, with nothing in it for ourselves, it cannot be helped that the giver receives a host of benefits in return. In addition to improving one’s relationships and connections with others, KINDNESS…

Kindness Increases

  • Oxytocin and Serotonin - powerful hormones that stabilize mood, and provide feelings of well-being.
  • Energy - some people report a spike in energy after doing good for others.
  • Pleasure - kindness toward others lights up the brain’s pleasure and reward centers.
  • Happiness - in a survey that spanned 136 countries, those who reported being charitable givers also reported being the happiest overall.

Kindness Decreases

  • Pain - produces endorphins, the brain’s natural painkillers.
  • Stress - reduces the stress hormone cortisol in the body.
  • Anxiety and depression - kindness elevates mood, wards off social avoidance.
  • Blood pressure – as oxytocin is produced, nitric oxide is released, a chemical that dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.

Ways to Be Kind

Kindness comes in all shapes and sizes, cannot be measured by cost or skill, and can be done at any age. Since this tip focuses on tweens and teens however, here are some ideas geared toward their age group. Of course youth are more likely to become more engaged if they come up with their own ways to put kindness into action. But here are a few ideas to help them get started.

  1. Go through your closet and donate some clothing items.
  2. Send a positive text to someone.
  3. Rake a neighbor’s leaves or shovel someone’s sidewalk or drive (depending on where you live).
  4. Give someone a compliment.
  5. Give your mom, dad or other caregiver a random hug.
  6. Thank a veteran.
  7. Smile more often at others.
  8. Say hello to someone new.
  9. Offer to babysit for free one evening.
  10. Send someone a hand-written thank you note.
  11. Hold the door for someone.
  12. Do a chore around the house without being asked.
  13. Forgive someone.
  14. Bake cookies for a neighbor.
  15. Ask about someone’s day.
  16. Call your grandparents.
  17. Put a happy face sticky note on someone’s locker.
  18. Volunteer at any kind of shelter.
  19. Smile and say “good morning” to an adult in your school building.
  20. Invite someone sitting alone to sit with you at lunch.

These are so many simple ways to be kind. Challenge your child to rattle off or jot down some ideas of their own. Of course parents walking the walk is the greatest way to nurture and teach children the importance of doing good for others.

Also keep in mind that you play an important role if you or your child happen to be on the receiving end of a good deed. Kindness goes full circle when someone accepts that offer of help, smiles back or acknowledges another’s kind gesture.

Let World Kindness Day be the kickoff to purposeful acts of kindness among your family that in turn may grow and spread worldwide.


About Know! Parent Tips

Everyone has a role in prevention. By reading this Know! Parent Tip today, you’re doing your part to prevent substance misuse and create a healthier world for all.

We created these free parent tips to empower parents like you to protect the young person in your life from alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. However, we rely on donations from people like you to provide these tips. If you found this tip interesting or helpful, please consider donating at

Know! Parent Tips are provided by Prevention Action Alliance with support from the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services, the Ohio Department of Education, and Start Talking!.

Know! Parent Tips are also available in Spanish at the Know! archives.

Community Camps and Event Flyers

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