Sycamore Leaf

May 1, 2021

Get Your Sycamore Gear!

Due to popular demand, we are offering a second opportunity to order this year's school t-shirts and selling our in-stock gear from previous years. This order form includes pictures of each of the styles and sizes available. Orders are due by SATURDAY, MAY 1 so don't hesitate! You'll be wearing your Sycamore gear soon.

Teacher Appreciation Week

Our staff is deeply grateful for the many ways families have extended themselves to support student learning this year. I am sure families are feeling a similar level of gratitude for teachers. Since we closed campus last March, our teachers have adjusted and reinvented nearly every part of their practice. They've developed programs for online and in-person learning, and now they're juggling both at the same time. Staff have tweaked and transformed the how, who, when and where of instruction and always managed to center their connection and care for and among students.

The first week of May is "Teacher Appreciation Week." If you want to drop a note of thanks to your child's teacher or another staff member, you may do so via email or at the school office. We're open to visitors any afternoon or all day Wednesday.

So that you know...

In last week's Leaf, I shared a few comments addressing concerns or questions raised in our recent parent survey. I'll continue here with information on other important topics.

  • Water fountains are closed both in the classroom and around campus. Please make sure your child brings a personal, filled water bottle each day.
  • The CDE and the USDA have extended the Summer Meal Service to provide free meals to all students through June 17, 2021. Each school-aged child can receive a free lunch and breakfast at no charge. Students on campus may request a meal and take it home with them at 11:00 AM. When not attending school, families can use our drive through lane on 8th Street to receive a meal for each child in their home. The drive through lane is open from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM daily. If a student needs a snack in the morning while at school, we will offer them a choice of fruit.
  • If a student feels ill while at school, a family member will be contacted for immediate pick-up. We may notify a cohort if there has been a sick person in class, and we will very clearly give notice to any cohort member who was exposed to a positive COVID-19 case.
  • Please talk with your child about how they're feeling before coming to school. As you do, help them with specific language to describe how they are feeling. An upset stomach can mean, "I didn't have breakfast," or "I'm unsure about my math lesson," or "I feel like I'm coming down with something." Please keep an ill child at home, and contact your child's teacher or one of us in the office about any anxious thoughts your child is having about school, friends or learning.

Please feel free to reach out as you have additional questions.Thank you for all your support!

Amy Stanger


Saturday, May 1: Sycamore gear orders due (see above)

May 3-7 Teacher Appreciation Week

Monday, May 3 @ 6:00 PM: Equity and Inclusion Committee meeting (see below)

Monday, May 3 iReady End of Year Testing Window opens for all students (see below)

Friday, May 7: final date for yearbook orders (taken in the school office)

Thursday, May 27 Open House: This event cannot be held in person. We will share "Open House" with families in a digital format. More soon.

Final Yearbook Orders

It is no longer possible to order the yearbook online, but we can take orders in the office until this Friday, May 7. Send an envelope with your name, your child's name and room number and the number of yearbooks you'd like. Yearbooks sell for $15 each and payments can be received in cash or check payable to Sycamore Elementary School. The office is open for visitors from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Mon., Tues., Thurs. or Fri. and anytime on Wednesday. You may also send the payment envelope to school with your child.

Activities beyond the classroom

Because our lunch time is shortened slightly in the Phase 2 Hybrid schedule, student clubs meet from 12:30 PM-1:00 PM. Students are welcome to enjoy their lunch during club time. The following activities will be available to students this week:

12:30-1:00 Monday: Yoga and Second/Third Grade Book Club

12:30-1:00 Tuesday: Math Clubs and Reading in Spanish

12:30-1:00 Wednesday: Student Leadership

12:30-1:00 Thursday: K-6 Sign Language Club, upper grade book club and K-6 Lunch Bunch

12:30-1:00 Grades K-6 Lunch Bunch and Crafting Club. (see the Crafting Club button on Canvas for the list of supplies you'll need this week)

All club links are NEW and they are available on the Sycamore Student Canvas page by clicking the club button.

Child Development Program extends the day

Space is still available in the BLAST child care program. This fee-based program allows students to extend their time at school on their cohort days. Registration information can be found in the Child Development webpage or by contacting their office at 909-398-0373.

Assessments begin this week

In response to this year's learning environment, the California Department of Education is allowing local educational agencies to use alternative tests in place of the full battery of summative, spring assessments. CUSD's plan varies by grade level, but students in grades 3-6 will take the third iReady diagnostic assessments as their end-of-year test. The results will not be tied to state accountability. They will only be used by our school and teachers to celebrate student learning and understand the needs of learners. (Click here for more information on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System).

Students in K-6 are familiar with the iReady Diagnostic because they have been using the iReady program all year. They took the math and English Language Arts diagnostics in the fall and in January, and they were already slated to take them in the spring based on our district-wide assessment plan. Students may recall that the iReady program uses their test results to assign them practice lessons in iReady. During this unique time, we are glad to use this familiar measure of student assessment instead of taking on the state's more involved, summative tests.

Teachers will begin assigning iReady assessments this week, and we’ll continue into the next week, as need be. Teachers will remind students about the test's format and suggest a schedule to complete just a portion of the tests each day. The difficulty of questions adjusts based on how a student is doing, and the length of the test will be unique to each student. The tests can feel challenging since they will include questions learners won't feel certain about. We are happy to help, and our intervention teachers are prepared to join students in Zoom to support completion of the tests. The following are resources that may help you support your child with the iReady testing.

  • A two-page family introduction with a video and checklist for supporting your child with the iReady diagnostic assessment
  • Fridge Tips, a list of simple suggestions to support your child before and during the diagnostic test

If you have questions or if you'd like to talk about your student's performance, talk with your child's teacher or contact the office.

Thank you for your support.

Equity and Inclusion Committee

Sycamore’s Equity & Inclusion Committee will hold its monthly meeting this Monday, May 3rd from 6-7:30pm. Come hear about our recent meeting with the Sycamore staff, learn more about how we might best support the Sycamore community, and help draft a statement to submit to the District Advisory Committee on Racial Equity.

Zoom link below. Contact with any questions.

Meeting ID: 981 7696 3043 Passcode: equity

Summer Programs

Summer is just around the corner! As academic and enrichment programs are advertised, I'll include notes on them here.

Claremont Unified will offer a summer program for academic support. Students learning English and those with academic need will be prioritized. The program will be held five days a week from 8:00-12:00 AM. It will begin June 25 and run through July 23. More details will be available soon.

Here are links to two local enrichment programs:

LA County Summer Discovery Program

Claremont Graduate University's Summer Enrichment Program

Publishing House Reminder

Joanna Lord recently sent a reminder to PH authors reminding them about final submissions. It's time to go to print, so notify Joanna right away of any last minute questions.

Please send your permission slips for the digital archive and PH Tea to Tina at by May 1st. We look forward to including each author in this special event and collection.

PH digital permission slip:

Water bottles needed!

Please send your child to school with a water bottle each day. Both our classroom and outdoor water fountains are closed at school, so having a personalized water bottle allows students to easily stay hydrated. Thank you!

Claremont Educational Foundation (CEF) Toyota Raffle

As a part of their fundraising and partnership with schools, CEF holds an annual car raffle. Claremont Toyota has donated a brand new 2021 Toyota Rav 4 to this year's raffle, and in June, one person will be the lucky winner. Tickets sell for $20 or 6 for $100. A portion of each ticket comes back to our school, and the balance of the ticket price is profit for CEF. In turn, CEF donates those funds back to CUSD to support the arts and technology. We will sell tickets in the school office; please call ahead to set up a time to come in.