Sycamore Leaf

January 15, 2022

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COVID Testing Clinic

Monday, January17 from 8:30 AM-11:00 AM at Sycamore

for CUSD students, members of their household and staff

Monday: No School in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Principal's Report and Health Updates

I want to provide an update on our efforts to support and encourage families and staff during this time. We've seen an improvement in this second week after Winter Break. There have been fewer positive cases and fewer notices of school exposures. Clearly, we are reaping the benefit of frequent COVID testing, more protective mask wearing protocols, and timely communication between homes and school. We'll need to continue to be vigilant to get through this difficult time.

All year long, we have monitored for COVID-like symptoms and required PCR testing when symptoms were present. Between the start of school in September and December, we had ten positive cases of COVID-19 at Sycamore. As it stands now, we have added about 40 cases since January 3. Given the surge in the community, family activities and travel over Winter Break, it is no surprise our school community has been affected.

We are continuing to reinforce safety practices at school, and adding new LACDPH protocols for mask wearing. We now ask students to wear masks in outdoor areas where distancing may be difficult. This includes coming and going from school, while waiting in line, and while walking in hallways. We are continuing to offer PCR testing through CUSD and are requiring rapid tests for those who've been exposed. Though testing results have been slow recently, we are beginning to see that improve. We are catching many positive cases through rapid antigen tests, even where symptoms were not present. Please continue to be diligent in using testing and report results right away. When you or your child have exposures in the family or community, please feel free to call us to walk through the next steps. Open communication is essential to ensure we identify and respond to positive cases as soon as possible.

CUSD will offer a PCR testing clinic this Monday at Sycamore. From 8:30 AM to 11:00 AM. This testing clinic is ONLY for CUSD students and staff, and members of their immediate household. This testing is not open to anyone outside of CUSD. If you have not tested at a CUSD testing clinic before you will need to complete the online testing form.

Student Testing Form

Adult Testing Form

Families can support in the following ways:.

  • Please check emails daily. This is how we notify you of exposures or policy changes. If you have questions, please email me at or give us a call at 909-398-0324.
  • Please communicate with us just as soon as you have information about symptoms, an exposure for your child or a positive test result. If your child is required to take a rapid antigen test, upload results here and/or share it with our health staff at
  • Keep your child home at the first sign of illness. If COVID symptoms appear, students must take a PCR test. These are offered in CUSD throughout the week. Consider a routine of testing as a family each week. This may help us catch cases even when symptoms are not present.
  • Make sure your child’s mask fits snugly. Consider a medical mask or layering masks. The school continue to provide students with masks, if they’re needed.
  • Please discuss quarantine requirements with your child. If your child has been exposed, they must wear their mask inside and outside, taking it off only when drinking and eating for ten days.
  • When eating, students must be at least “airplane arms” away from a friend.
  • Purchase rapid antigen tests and use them to monitor your family’s health. Look for them in the community. Create plans for how you can keep one another healthy at home, and think about your options should a family member tests positive for the virus.
  • When a family member tests positive, consider keeping your other children home, as well. We are finding the virus tends to spread among family members.
  • Avoid situations when your child may be exposed in the community. If your child has been exposed, take time away from school until their time of quarantine has passed. If they must travel, please talk to us about best practices before returning to school.
  • When your child receives notice to quarantine from school, avoid other out-of-home activities, as well.
  • Exposure letters outline when to take rapid tests to check for the virus. The county provided CUSD with a single rapid test kit for each child. We have ordered more, but we encourage you to look for and purchase them in the community. If you are able to supply a test for your child, please do. That way, our limited supply can be stretched. If a rapid test is needed following an exposure, please contact the school office.
  • We report all our site data to the LACDPH. They monitor our cases, alert us of concerns or outbreaks, and provide support or recommendations.

Thank you for your patience, your communication and for adhering to protocols. If your family would feel safest learning independently at home right now, please let me know. We are happy to support you with that option.

As a school, we are working hard to monitor cases, track exposures and provide that data to the community. Sycamore's data in the CUSD dashboard is current as of 1/11/22 and our data has already been reported to LACDPH for their review and recommendations. We continue to look for ways to make communication, testing and reporting easier for families. Please feel free to share concerns and suggestions as you have them.

As a staff, we are incredibly thankful for support and kindness of our families. Please continue to let us know of your needs and thoughts as we move through this difficult time.

Amy Stanger

Important Protocol and Testing Updates

It is essential that everyone is feeling well while at school. Ask your child how they are feeling before leaving for school, and keep your student at home is any symptoms are present. If your child is not feeling well, use our 24 hour attendance line, 909-398-0325, to contact Norma or email her at If a child does not feel well while at school, a family member will be contacted to immediately pick up the student. We also ask that you stay in contact regarding any positive cases or exposures for your child as all exposures have the potential for impact on others.

Please be aware that our students eat outside each day. On cooler days, please send your child with a jacket and/or dressed in a way that they will be comfortable sitting outside for their breakfast, snack and lunch. Since jackets often get taken off later in the day, please put your child's name on the tag of the jacket. That makes it easier to return the jacket to your child.

Don't forget, personal water bottles are key! Students need to remain hydrated to stay healthy, and our water fountains are closed except to water bottle filling. Refillable bottles are much more efficient that providing disposable cups.

PCR testing for COVID-19 will be required prior to the return to school if COVID symptoms are present. CUSD will continue to provide testing at school sites (see below). This Monday, January 17, a testing clinic will be available at Sycamore from 8:30 AM to 11:00 AM. This will be only available for CUSD students, members of their household, and staff. If this is your first time attending one of our testing sites, see the link below to access a one-time testing form.

Student Testing Form

Adult Testing Form

CUSD's Weekly Testing Sites this week:

Tuesday: at Vista del Valle Elementary from 2:45-3:45 PM.

Wednesday: at Sumner-Danbury Elementary from 1:00-2:00 PM

Thursday: at Taylor Hall, just above CHS from 3:30-5:00 PM

Testing can also be obtained through one of the resources below or your physician:

book club

Sycamore’s Equity & Inclusion Committee will host a February event, a discussion of Resmaa Menakem’s book about racism and body-centered trauma, titled My Grandmother’s Hands (2017). The book discussion, co-sponsored with El Roble’s E&I Committee, will take place virtually on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022 from 6-7:30pm PST. Please register at to receive zoom information and suggested reading sections. We also have some complimentary copies of the book available. Reach out to Anthea Kraut ( to request a copy.

East Courtyard Update

We've hit the ground running with the East Courtyard update (pun intended). Last Saturday, a small team of parents from our Sustainability Committee started work on an outdoor space for students to socialize and learn. Volunteers created the decomposed granite (DG) path and an outdoor sink was also installed. We are beyond excited to see this project take off. Keep watching for changes as you drive or stroll by the corner of Harvard and 8th Street!

The project recently received additional funding from our Governance Council. Thank you, families, for your continued support. If you would like to volunteer, please email Elise Ferree at

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Sycamore and Uncommon Good Citrus Exchange

Sycamore and Uncommon Good have recently partnered together in a "CITRUS EXCHANGE - Helping Families Together". Each Wednesday during citrus harvest season, families are welcome to bring a box (or two) of locally grown fruit to school. Place your boxes along the sides of each gate entrance. Sycamore Families may take what they'd like, then Uncommon Good will happily distribute any excess fruit to the families they support. To read more about Uncommon Good please click here.

Coming Soon: "Wood you be mine?"

Be on the lookout for a very special craft activity at the end of this month. "WOOD you be Mine?'' will kick off on Monday, Jan 24th. Thanks to our partnership with the local Sawdust Factory, WOODEN heart craft kits will be available for families to take home and paint. Perhaps you WOOD like to donate one to a friend? Perhaps you WOOD like to create one for a family member, or even yourself! More details coming in next week's LEAF.
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