Sycamore Family Summer Update

Sycamore Community Schools - June 19, 2020

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Sycamore Families,

The Sycamore administration and Board of Education continue to work diligently on how best to reopen our schools for the 2020-21 school year. Our plans are being made with necessary precautions to support the safety and well-being of all of our students and staff.

Our framework for returning safely to school will be directed by guidelines set by local and state public health officials. We expect that those guidelines will be shared with us in the coming weeks. We are reluctant to release any final plans until we receive the appropriate guidance by state and local officials. Until that time, administrators will continue to research and develop more details around the options for Back to School 2020 that have been shared with families and staff so that we are prepared for whatever option best fits those mandates and recommendations.

Back To School 2020 Planning - Phase I

Phase I of our Back to School 2020 Planning began in early May. Administrators have been meeting regularly with other local districts to work collaboratively on reopening plans. The district formed a Pandemic Planning Task Force composed of administrators in curriculum, technology, transportation, maintenance, and child nutrition. This Task Force has been digging into the potential scenarios that the upcoming school year may bring based on current guidelines. These options are laid out in this video released on June 5 in conjunction with our staff and family surveys.

Three Options Being Considered:

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Survey Results:

These options are laid out in this video released on June 5 in conjunction with our staff and family surveys. Nearly 2,400 families and 570 staff members responded to the surveys which closed on June 19. Among the preliminary findings:

  • 74% of families and 66% of staff ranked full face-to-face learning with social distancing guidelines as their #1 and #2 choice for the start of the school year.

  • 73% of families and 71% of staff ranked the combination of face-to-face and remote learning as their #1 or #2 choice for the start of the school year.

  • The least preferred option among families and staff was remote learning.

  • There is strong support among families and staff for utilizing masks, handwashing, and frequent cleaning.

  • A high percentage of families and staff are supportive of social distancing guidelines in classrooms and on buses.

To see more of the results, click below:

Back to School 2020 Planning Survey Results

Back to School 2020 Planning - Phase II

The Pandemic Planning Task Force will continue to dig into the data collected through our surveys to inform decisions as the district moves into Phase II of our Back to School 2020 Planning. We continue to work on the specifics for all three options as we wait for state and local guidance. This includes providing an online academy for students who prefer or need to continue their education remotely.

You may hear about the myriad of different draft plans and options that are being considered in school districts across our region on social media and in the news. Different counties are rolling out their plans at different times. After we receive the new guidelines from state and local officials, the district will share which option we will be moving forward with for the start of the school year.

We are committed to creating a plan that will be best for the education, health, and safety of all of our students and staff, but recognize that not everyone will be comfortable with whatever decision is made. We will communicate our plan with you as soon as possible so that families and staff have plenty of time to prepare for the start of the year. In the meantime, continue to check our website, social media (Facebook, Twitter), and your primary email account for the latest updates.

Master Facility Planning Continues

Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, our Master Facility Plan continues to move forward. Our plans for design and construction remain on schedule. SHP Leading Design presented an overview of the exterior design for E.H. Greene Intermediate and Sycamore Junior High to the Board of Education and the Community Design Team. Please watch the video below of this presentation for more information:
Sycamore Schools Master Facility Planning Update 6/19/20

#BlackLivesMatter March for Justice

Sycamore Community Schools Culturally Responsive Practices team is proud to participate in the Black Lives Matter March for Justice on June 27. This peaceful event has been organized by former and current Sycamore students. Please consider joining us as we work to successfully educate all students, families, and staff, and implement improvements to address inequities. It is essential that we take action against racism and bias in our schools for two reasons:

  • To increase awareness of systemic barriers that disadvantage students of color.

  • To encourage and support educators as they seek to adapt instructional and leadership practices to respond more effectively to the needs and aspirations of all the children they serve.

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Diverse Books for Sycamore

Thank you to our community for rallying behind the Diverse Books for Sycamore GOFundMe campaign! The fundraiser, created by Aves Alum Nicole Crone and current junior Megan Radakovich, has raised over $10,000 to purchase books featuring diverse main characters for our K-4 classrooms. Thanks to Sycamore Bridges for donating $1,000 and to an anonymous donor for matching the $5,000 in donations! Check out this WLWT story:
Two students start fundraiser to bring 'diverse books' to local classrooms

Free and Reduced Meal Applications

Free and Reduced Meal Applications can be filled out for the 2020-2021 school year starting on July 1, 2020. YOU HAVE TO REAPPLY EVERY YEAR.

There is a new MOBILE FRIENDLY website to fill out your student's application online- You will need to create a new username and password for the 2020-21 school year, as this is a different platform. Once created, you will use the same login information each year. For your convenience, the online version is also linked in the Sycamore App -> Apply for Free/Reduced Lunch.

Paper applications are still available but have a longer lead time in providing determination. Return attached application to:

Child Nutrition Services

5959 Hagewa Drive

Cincinnati, OH 45242.

If you have any questions, reach out to Kelsey Warren at or by calling (513) 686-1796. We also have provided how-to guides on our website.