Sycolin Creek Chronicle

September Edition

Principal's Corner

Dear Sycolin Creek Elementary Families,


Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year! On behalf of the entire staff, it is my pleasure to welcome you and your children to an exciting and productive school year as we proceed on our journey to educate your children. Our entire staff has worked hard to prepare a welcoming school environment for our students and families. As you participate in our Virtual Back to School sessions, you will see many familiar faces and a few new ones. Please make sure to extend them a warm Salamander welcome! All staff members have returned energetic, excited and ready to create meaningful relationships with your children.


At Sycolin Creek, we believe that parents are an important part of the learning process. Parents, teachers and administration must partner together to help the students achieve high academic and behavioral expectations. It is our hope to see that all families are active members of the PTA, an organized body of people who have an interest or purpose in common…our children! If you would like to learn more about the PTA and/or volunteer opportunities at school, please plan on attending our PTA meeting scheduled on September 15th at 7:00 pm.


Sycolin Creek Elementary is a school that works together as a community to inspire academic excellence and innovation while respecting each child’s individual talents and differences.

Looking forward to a great school year,


Derek Racino

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Attendance

Sycolin Creek will be maintaining strict attendance expectations while instruction is in progress, even with the Distance Learning model. Attendance at school on a regular basis is vital in maintaining satisfactory school progress. We ask that you have your child attend school each day that he/she is healthy. It is disruptive to your child’s educational program when you remove him/her from school for trips or family outings. Parents should make every effort to plan these outings so as not to conflict with the school’s instructional calendar.


Our school day begins promptly at 7:50 a.m. Students are expected to be in their virtual classroom by that time, ready to begin their day. Students who are not in their virtual classroom at 8:00 a.m. will be considered tardy. Students arriving late to their virtual classrooms or dismissing early for a doctor/dentist appointment will need a note from the doctor/dentist office for the absence to be excused.


If your child will be absent/tardy due to illness/appointment or other circumstances, please call our absentee call in line at 571-252-2911 or visit our Sycolin Creek website at https://www.lcps.org/sycolincreek and complete the new online absence form. Families are now able to submit absences via ParentVUE. See how here! Should you need to speak to someone in the school office, please call 571-252-2910.


Students must be fever free and Covid 19/Flu/Strep negative before returning to school.


Students who will be absent due to vacation, and will be absent for three or more days, will need to notify the principal. You can email him at derek.racino@lcps.org for approval.


If you have not notified the school either through the absentee line or the online portal of your child’s absence, school personnel will make reasonable effort to contact you concerning the absence of your child. Unconfirmed absences are marked unexcused. Please note that an excessive amount of excused absences and or tardies may require a doctor’s note to continue being marked as excused. Click HERE for the attendance guidelines.


The following changes in attendance have been made effective the 2020-21 school year:

Students with 5 unexcused absences will receive a letter from the principal. The 6th unexcused absence will require a meeting with the Guidance Counselor to develop an attendance plan. The 7th unexcused absence will require a meeting with the Principal and the LCPS truancy office.

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Staying Connected

There are several ways to stay connected and up-to-date with what is happening at Sycolin Creek.


Sycolin Creek website: visit us at https://www.lcps.org/sycolincreek

Sycolin Creek Twitter: @Sycolin_Creek

SCES PTA website: https://scespta.ptboard.com/


Parent Vue: allows access to your child’s grades, report cards, progress reports, attendance, and assignments


LCPS App: free download from the Apple App store and Google Play App Store


For the 2020-2021 school year, Sycolin Creek will publish a newsletter. We will also continue with our weekly Connect-ed messages. The weekly emails will highlight the upcoming week's activities. The message will be sent on Sunday night at 6:00 p.m. It is very important that you notify the office if you are not receiving these weekly messages. We will verify that we have the correct information on file for you.

Back to School Night/Open House

Back to School Night – This event will be online and take place on Tuesday, September 1st at 6:00 PM. We will host 2 separate sessions that evening for parents who have more than one child attending our school. Specific log-in information has been provided by your child’s teacher on August 27th. Each session will last approximately 30 minutes, followed by a Question and Answer Session. This year, we will send out the Welcome Message from the Principal, AP, and PTA in a separate email to allow more time to be spent with our staff.


  • Session 1: 6:00 – 6:30 – Welcome and Presentation from Staff
  • 6:30 – 6:45 – Question and Answer Period
  • 6:45 – 7:00 – Transition to Session 2 or Log off


  • Session 2: 7:00 – 7:30 – Welcome and Presentation from Staff
  • 7:30 – 7:45 – Question and Answer Period
  • 7:45 – Conclusion of our Evening


Open House – The dates for our Virtual Open House this year are: Wednesday, September 2nd from 3:00 – 6:00 pm and Thursday, September 3rd from 12:00 – 3:00 pm. Specific schedules and information for the events was shared on August 27th by grade level staff.

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ParentVUE/Virtual First Day

The Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) Virtual First Day website is now available. Families may access the page at www.lcps.org/VirtualFirstDay.


The Virtual First Day website contains a number of resources families need to start the new school year. These resources cover such topics as:


  • Parent access to and training in Schoology
  • School Calendar
  • COVID Mitigation Documents
  • Student Rights and Responsibilities
  • Parent Resources
  • Guide and Directory to the LCPS division
  • Program of Studies for Secondary Students
  • Free and Reduced Lunch Application
  • McKinney-Vento Application
  • Insurance Information
  • LCPS Mobile App Details


Families also will be able to login to ParentVUE on the Loudoun County Public Schools website (not the mobile app) to complete the Online Verification process as part of LCPS’ Virtual First Day initiative.


This process is required for families to review and update important information about their students as we begin the 2020-21 school year. LCPS requires families complete the Online Verification process for their students no later than Friday, September 25.


For more information about the Online Verification process, please visit this webpage. Once families complete the Online Verification process, they will be able to view student schedules in ParentVUE. If families have questions about this process, they can reach out to school support staff or to parentvuesupport@lcps.org.

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Breakfast and Lunch Available at School

School Nutrition Services is continuing to support the community through meal service at our school beginning on Tuesday, September 8th. Breakfast and lunch will both be available for pick-up between the hours of 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. each day. The cost of lunch will be $3.05 and breakfast will cost $2.10. If your child qualifies for Free or Reduced Lunch/Breakfast, there will be no charge for either meal. The pick-up location will be the side door by the cafeteria. More info. to come in the near future.


IMPORTANT Meals program links:

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Chromebook Technical Assistance

If students require technical assistance, the contact methods during 100% distance learning are provided below for your reference:


  • How to/Instructional technology questions: Recommended to start with their teacher
  • Account access or hardware problems with instructional devices: Email DDI-TechnologySupportCenter@lcps.org or call the Technology Support Center at 571-252-2112, M-F, between the hours of 7:30AM – 5PM (excluding holidays)

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JOIN THE PTA - Membership is open!

You are invited to join the Sycolin Creek Elementary School PTA! Discounted memberships are being offered this year – just $15 for a Family Membership ($5 for Staff) or $55 for a Sammy Booster Club Membership ($40 for Staff). Join by September 14th and be entered in a drawing to win a $25 Amazon gift card.


The PTA will continue to host fun events and activities, offer educational enrichment programs, show our staff how much we appreciate them, and serve as a source of information for our families.


Your membership is critical to the success of our PTA. Please visit scespta.ptboard.com to join the PTA, purchase spiritwear, learn about volunteer opportunities, and more! You can also follow the PTA on Facebook @SycolinCreekPTA.

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