Sycamore Leaf

April 17, 2021

Principal's Report: We're so PROUD!

During Thursday night’s Board meeting, our own Room 4 teacher, Lisa Schuster, was named Claremont Unified School District’s Teacher of the Year. This is a significant honor and we could not be more proud!

Nominated multiple times over the past several years by teachers across the district, the recognition affirmed the high esteem she has earned from her peers. Lisa Schuster is in her 17th year of teaching which began here at Sycamore. Her love for Sycamore, its multi-age pedagogy and student-centered learning runs deep. Her expertise in curriculum design has been a gift to her students and our school. She's driven to develop meaningful relationships and to advocate for equity and inclusion for all students and families. She's extended her reach as the CFA Human Rights Committee chair and by developing the CFA sponsored Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta essay and art contest. For years, Mrs. Schuster has nurtured students in the noontime math club, and this year she spearheaded the sixth grade's Indoor Science School. Each of these initiatives are a reflection of her heart for students.

Mrs. Schuster's success is fed by the partnership she enjoys with the upper grade team and our entire school staff. Our school’s program has been enriched by her leadership and volunteerism. She is an eager contributor and generous colleague. Humbled by the honor and somewhat uncomfortable in the spotlight, Mrs. Schuster is looking forward to using her role as Teacher of the Year to share the strengths of Sycamore’s program with others. She is an excellent representative of our school, our staff and the amazing teachers district-wide.

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The First Week in the Hybrid Model

What an exciting week!

It's been a long time coming, so we've been delighted to finally move into the Hybrid Schedule.

Our students are our life force, and their physical presence has been a powerful boost to staff. Those students who attended in person seemed to enjoy their "first day of school," too! Zoom sessions continue to be lively, and our hope is that this new schedule allows all students to complete their school year in a way that is comfortable for them.

So far, the process of getting students to and from campus has gone relatively well. There are a few practices we'd like to clarify:

  • Students need to enter and exit their vehicles at the curb. Please ask your child to slide over the seat so they can exit or enter your car on the passenger side.
  • Those who want to personally drop off or pick up their child, should park away from the drive through lane and walk to the entrance. Drivers in the drop-off and pick-up lane must stay in their vehicles. Cars should continue to pull forward as they wait for their child to move to the car.
  • The orange Xs allow the adults who walk up to wait in a single line for their child.
  • We ask that adults avoid standing in the gate area. Families are welcome to watch and wave away from the gate. This allows staff to support students as they come and go through the gate.
  • Students do take a short break each morning. Please consider sending your child with a small snack, in addition to their water bottle. A simple finger-food item is best.
This short survey will allow family members to provide a bit of feedback on these first days. Please use it, as you'd like, to ask questions and provide the feedback that may help us improve our practices.

Thank you,

Amy Stanger

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.

Activities beyond the classroom

Because our lunch time is shortened slightly in the Phase 2 Hybrid schedule, student clubs will all 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: Equity and Inclusion Club

12:30-1:00 Thursday: K-6 Sign Language Club and K-6 Lunch Bunch

12:30-1:00 Grades K-6 Lunch Bunch and Crafting Club

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

Contribute to the Yearbook

Over the next couple of weeks, we'll be finishing up the all-school yearbook for this year. If you have a special pictures you'd might contribute, please upload it here:

We will not be able to use all of them, but we appreciate your help during this unique time. We are especially interested in having pictures of:

  • student's at home projects
  • student's work on independent learning goals
  • student experiences in the CORE and CHAMP programs

If you have not purchased a yearbook yet, they are still available. The price is now $15 each. Please use this link to purchase. Our school code is 164860.

National ASL Day

April 15 was National American Sign Language Day. Sycamore's Sign-Language Club helped mark the day with a musical video of the group signing together. The video is posted on the Sycamore Student Canvas page under the Sign Language Club button. The Zoom link to Thursday's Sign Language Club is also available on that button. All students are welcome to join Leslie and the club.

Claremont Educational Foundation (CEF) Toyota Raffle

This Sunday, Sycamore will be selling CEF's Toyota Raffle Tickets at the city's Farmers' Market. I can't guarantee a winning ticket, but this fundraiser really is a win-win. Claremont Educational Foundation has long been a supporter of Claremont's students. As a part of their fundraising and partnership with schools, CEF holds an annual Toyota 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. 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 also sell tickets in the school office, if you call ahead. We encourage you to participate!


Sunday, April 18: CEF Raffle tickets sold at Claremont's Farmers' Market

Wednesday, April 21 @ 3:00 PM: District English Language Advisory Committee (See the CUSD webpage for the link)

Monday, May 3 @ 6:00 PM: Equity and Inclusion Committee meeting

Bike rack options

As the weather improves, more of our students may be riding bikes to school. Upper graders may ride independently to school. As they enter campus, they will bring their bikes to school with them. After screening, they may chain them to the north fence right away or leave them at the east courtyard bike racks as they go to class. We ask that students in third grade and below be accompanied by an adult when riding their bikes to school. When students arrive, students will chain their bikes to the backstop on the grassy field. If you have questions about plans for your child to ride a bike, please contact Mrs. Stanger.

District Advisory Committee on Racial Equity

The District Advisory Committee on Racial Equity will meet again on April 28 and May 26. You may follow the work of the committee and find information on how you can submit a written comment to the committee using this link: website:

Summer Programs

Parents have begun asking about programs for the summer. The district will offer a summer program for students learning English and for those recommended based on academic need. Details on that program will be available soon. As I become aware of those programs, I'll share flyers so families can investigate those options. Here are links to two local programs to consider.

LA County Summer Discovery Program

Claremont Graduate University's Summer Enrichment Program