Sycamore Leaf

May 22, 2020

Are We There Yet?

We took a lot of road trips as a family. Our toaster-shaped van made annual treks from California to Indiana full of three, four and five children*. Our kids were fantastic travelers, but eventually they'd groan, "How much longer?" Maybe you know someone who is wearily asking that same question these days?

On Monday, Dr. Elsasser sent an update with an end of year timeline and detail for summer programs. As mentioned in the letter, elementary instruction will end on June 5. The final week of school is often used for special events, and though these will be different this year, we will be using those final days to wrap up the school year.

On Friday, June 5, we will enjoy our Publishing House Tea. Dozens of student authors have written and illustrated books for our school, and during our virtual "Tea" we will introduce each book and author. Each of these books will be available in our school library and in our digital Publishing House Archive. A link will be provided just before the event.

On Monday, June 8, we will come together for our Sixth Grade Send-Off. The Send-Off is a time to celebrate our sixth graders and the many ways they have grown and contributed to our school over the years. We encourage you to gather virtually with friends for our 10:30 AM start time and enjoy teachers' messages to our sixth grade class. I assure you, you'll be sweetly singing the Sycamore Song. An email will be sent to sixth grade parents this coming week, and a whole-school link will be sent later so everyone can join in on this annual community event.

On Tuesday, June 9 and Wednesday, June 10, all families will pick up students' personal belongings and return borrowed items to the school. Procedures have been thoughtfully designed to ensure physical distancing, reduced students/staff on campus, and guidelines for cleanliness. The campus will remain closed for this event and all parents/guardians will be able to complete the pick-up/drop-off without entering any buildings. Prior to the event, teachers will gather items from students' desks and around the classroom. They will also provide a list of the items students need to return to the school. Don't forget the library books your child may have at home! Please be aware: only one parent/guardian may attend, and everyone who enters campus must wear a face covering.

  • The parent/guardian will enter at the school office and move through campus in a one-way line marked for social distancing.
  • At the entrance of the MPR, a table will receive iPad devices, power cords and keyboards. Staff will quickly test the device, so we ask that all devices be returned fully charged.
  • Next, the parent/guardian will move around to the north side of the MPR where they'll be directed by staff to deposit library books, borrowed musical instruments, and classroom materials in designated areas and boxes.
  • Staff will then bring students' personal belongings outside to the adult. This will include classroom items, earthquake kits, art portfolios, and yearbooks.
  • Finally, parents/guardians will exit campus at the Yale Avenue gate just behind the MPR.

In order to limit the number of individuals on campus at any given time, we have assigned families to pick up during certain times. The schedule is built around student's last names and can be seen below. Families may choose a single time when family members use more than one last name.

In our last few weeks together, let's do all we can to finish strong and relish both the learning opportunities and events that celebrate the special people and accomplishments of our community. Though this may not be our preferred way of "traveling," we continue to be thankful that we're doing it together. Stay close.


Amy Stanger

*A Stanger family tip: Driving with more than two children makes better financial sense than flying, but driving with five children confirms you actually can put a price on a good time.

Timing window for Pick-Up/Drop-Off, June 9 and 10

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Sycamore's Gift Card Program-SCRIP

These days, it's especially nice to share as you shop. Using SCRIP, you can make a habit of it! Simply order SCRIP using this form and we'll get it to you. Each time you buy, a percentage of each purchase raises funds for our school. Consider stocking up for the summer. Here's the link to the form:

Art and Music

Mary's art lesson this week centers on Folk Art. Consider it an invitation to create a picture of the loved ones around you.

Here is the link to the lesson:

This week's lesson focuses on percussion lesson. It is going to be a real hit! He's sharing an assortment of instruments and you'll not want to miss Mr. Hensley's water drop sound. These lessons will lead to hours of fun. Watch them all!

Scholastic Book Fair

We are thrilled to be offering the end of year Scholastic Book Fair. What a great way to prepare for a summer of reading! Simply use the link below to place your order. Books will be delivered to your home, and a portion of your order will serve as a fundraiser for our school. The book fair will be open between now and September 4. Please feel free to share this link with friends and family.

Governance Council Election

We are ready to elect the officers and committee chairs for the 2020-2021 Governance Community. Our Governance Community includes everyone at Sycamore, and each year we elect officers and committee chairs, a balance of parents, community members and staff, who will serve as our Governance Council. The group meets monthly and operates as our School Site Council as well as our Parent Faculty Association, giving guidance to the school's educational program as well as efforts for supporting community spirit and fundraising. According to our bylaws, staff will elect membership for the Curriculum, Personnel, and Safety Committees as well as representatives from the Claremont Faculty Association and Classified School Employees Association. The Principal is also a member of Governance Council. As you'll notice, we are still looking for a chairperson for Ways and Means. Please contact Estelle Cordova if you are interested at

Please use the following link to vote for parent/community members between now and June 5.


I am thrilled to share that Susan Headley was honored by the Claremont Faculty Association as Sycamore's EPIC Ally during their 7th Annual E.P.I.C. Awards. Susan serves students as a noon duty supervisor, primary PE instructor, and as a support provider in the classroom. We are so fortunate to have her as a member of our team. She truly is an "ally." The following link provides more information on this well-deserved award. Congratulations, Susan!

A Message from Governance Council

If you haven't already, you should receive mail from Governance Council's Ways and Means Committee very soon. This letter offers a financial update for Governance and an invitation to consider supporting Sycamore through no contact methods as we prepare for the next school year. The funds raised by Governance provide students with weekly art and music instruction, support materials, and a variety of whole-child learning opportunities. Please watch for this letter and consider how you might contribute.

What's Next?

Several families have asked if they need to verify their student's enrollment for the coming year. There is actually an update that will allow you to complete this process remotely. Over the next week or so, you will receive an invitation to complete your "Required Forms for 2020-21." These include the annual Emergency Form, Media Release, and the like. Completion of these forms will affirm your intent to have your student attend CUSD schools next year.

It is also very important that we have accurate contact information for parents, guardians, and anyone who can pick up your child in the case of an emergency. Important notices will continue to come to families via Blackboard Connect emails and phone calls, so please ensure you have submitted contacts you check regularly. If you or members of your family are not receiving these emails as you'd should, please contact Tina Hensley at

Finally, if you have plans to move or plan to attend another CUSD school this fall, please notify the Student Services Department, Tina Hensley or myself as soon as possible.

Thank you!

Sycamore Gear? We've got it!

Simply enter your name and information to order Sycamore apparel. This form is for CASH, CHECK OR ZELLE. You will receive a confirmation email of your order. We offer contactless pick up and drop off. We have both this years and last years designs for sale. if you do not see your size then it is no longer available.

Zelle ID:


Parent Input Letters

It’s hard to believe we’re now in the month of May! It’s clear our year is coming to an end, and we’ll be planning for next year very soon. One thing we’ll be planning for is classroom assignments. As a staff, this is no small undertaking. Though we know quite a bit about our students, we are eager to have the input of families as we make decisions about classroom placement. Families are encouraged to complete a Parent Input Letter, a written statement about their child as a learner, with their observations about their child’s response to various learning environments and insights into their school-based relationships.

Classroom placement decisions are based upon countless and often confidential student variables, so requests for specific teachers cannot be granted. Furthermore, I ask that you refrain from speaking to your child’s teacher about specific classroom requests. Be assured they want the best for your child and all teachers contribute in the process of making supportive placements. Letters must be received by June 12 to ensure your comments are available for consideration.

The form is available using this link.

Please complete it and email it to me at