Symmes Elementary School


December 18, 2020


Mark your Calendar!

  • December 18: Last day of school before Winter Break
  • December 21 through January 1: NO SCHOOL- Winter Break
  • January 4: Return to school - Face to face begins remote learning for 1/4/21 and 1/5/21
  • January 6: Face to face students return to Symmes
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Symmes Players News-

Attention all parents of Symmes 3rd and 4th graders! Please read THIS NOTE and follow the link to complete a brief survey about your family's interest in participating in Symmes Players this year. Your response will greatly help us plan our next steps!


Each Friday, we will record and share the morning announcements in this newsletter. During these announcements, we will:

  • Highlight and give a Shout out to a Virtual Classroom Grade Level
  • Share highlights and or events for the upcoming week
  • Share birthdays of face to face and virtual students
  • Announce Bee Buck Winners for virtual and face to face

We hope that you can tune in each Friday!

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Mental Health Awareness

There is a significant increase in stress, anxiety and suicidal ideation among children now; however, there is a decrease in children accessing mental health services. If you recognize any of these warning signs contact your child’s school counselor or school-based mental health partner to make a referral for treatment. For crisis needs, contact the numbers below. Additionally, a short video that discusses more about recognizing signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety during COVID is available here.

Crisis Support Local: Call 513-281-CARE (2273) or text 4Hope to 839863 for help National Crisis Line: Text 741741 or call 1-800-273-8255 when in crisis. Available 24/7.

No hablas inglés? Encuentra ayuda en el sitio web de Suicide Prevention Lifeline o llamada 1-888-628-9454.

NOTE: Call 911 or go to the emergency department if you’re experiencing a medical emergency, a life-threatening mental health crisis, or are directed to go there by a medical provider.


If your 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grade child took the CogAT in November, please check your child’s e-bakpack on Parent Portal for the results of your childs’ CogAT test. These test results are one measure of your child’s ability and not intended to be an all-inclusive report. Please keep in mind that other factors can also influence a child’s performance on an assessment on any given day. If your kindergarten or first grade child took the CogAT, those scores will arrive in January since those students took the paper-based assessment which takes longer to score.

The purpose of this assessment is to provide you with information specifically about your child, but ability tests can also be used to identify children as gifted in the area of superior cognitive. According to the state of Ohio, a student can be identified as superior cognitive gifted if he/she has received a composite score of 2 standard deviations above the mean minus the standard error of measurement. What does this mean in relation to the CogAT test your child took? If a student in grades K-2 achieves a composite score of 127 or in grades 3 – 12 achieves a composite score of 128, he or she is identified as gifted in the area of superior cognitive. You can click here to better understand how to read your child’s report.

Please note that in order to be placed into accelerated programming in Sycamore, grades 3 – 6, a student must have a composite standard age score (VQN) of at least 128 on the CogAT 7 in addition to a minimum of 95th percentile on one administration of the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) in the content area of Math and/or Reading. To qualify for double accelerated math, a composite standard age score (VQN) of at least 144 is required in addition to a minimum of 98th percentile on one administration of the MAP Math test. If your child has met the district criteria for gifted programming in grades 3-6, more information will be provided from your building’s Gifted Intervention Specialist at a later date. Additionally, we will run every student through our matrix after the January MAP testing to determine additional qualifiers at that time. Note that new placements will begin in the 2021-2022 school year.

Single subject acceleration involves the assigning of a student to a higher grade level content area than is typical, given the student’s chronological age, for the purpose of accessing appropriate learning opportunities in one or more subject areas. Although instructional practices such as curriculum compacting and differentiating instruction can provide meaningful educational experiences for the academically gifted students, there are unique situations in which such strategies are insufficient for fulfilling the academic potential of a gifted student. In such instances, single subject acceleration may be considered as a viable option. If you would like more information regarding Sycamore’s acceleration process as an alternate means of qualifying for gifted programming, please contact Mindy Zellner at

It is our hope that this information will help you to better understand your child’s test results. Should you have any further questions, please feel free to contact your building Gifted Intervention Specialist or Mindy Zellner @ Please note it may take some time to respond to emails until after winter break.


Mindy Zellner


For all of the families that have been taking advantage of the free breakfast and lunches for ALL Sycamore schools and students this opportunity had been EXTENDED until the end of the 2020-21 school year!

All Sycamore families can enjoy free breakfast and free lunch all school year long.

Click here for more details for face to face families.

Click here for more details for virtual families.

PEBT- Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently authorized the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) through the 2020-2021 school year. To qualify for P-EBT during the 2020-2021 school year, children must be approved for free or reduced-price meals either in the 2019-2020 or the 2020-2021 school years.

If families qualify for free or reduced price meals LAST school year and you have not filled out a form yet for the 2020-21 school year, it is important that you fill out a form again this school year if you feel you will qualify.

If families did not qualify for free and reduced priced meals last school year but believe they might this school year due to financial changes during this unprecedented time please fill out a free and reduced price meal application online here. Any families who qualify this school year will not only receive P-EBT for each student they have in the district but also receive free or reduced priced meals for the first 30 days of next school year.

We understand that everyone is receiving free meals this school year, but filling out this form is necessary for ANY other benefit that it provides - this includes but is not limited to the P-EBT through ODJFS, fee waivers, extracurricular waivers, building assistance programs, etc.

More information on filling out a free and reduced price meal application can be found here.

Contact the Child Nutrition Department with any further questions. (513) 686-1796.

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CONGRATULATIONS to the great cafeteria staff at Symmes!

Our cafeteria has been awarded the Clean Kitchen Award by the Hamilton County Public Health department. This award is given to facilities that have demonstrated consistent use of sound public health knowledge and sanitation principles.
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Virtual Families - Ordering Curbside Meals for 2021

Reminder to all virtual families to continue to order meals for your virtual students for pick up every Wednesday. You will need to fill out the order form and choose which weeks you will pick up meals.

Please, only order for the weeks you can be there. We prepare enough meals for every family that orders each week, and when no one shows up, some parts of those meals will have to go to waste. ORDER VIRTUAL MEALS HERE

Virtual Meal Curbside Pick Up will resume on Wednesday, January 6th. More information can be found here. Look for some new menu options in your bags in January!

Need help?

Need help? Besoin d'aide? ¿Necesita ayuda? Нужна помощь? Yordam kerakmi?

你需要帮助吗? 도움이 필요하세요? お手伝いします?

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