Symmes Elementary School


December 4, 2020

Mark your Calendar!

  • December 7: Face to Face Students return to Symmes for instruction
  • December 7- 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm: GEAR Informal Gathering for Kindergarten-2nd Grade
  • December 9- 10:00 am - 11:00 am: Symmes Ambassadors Online Gathering
  • December 9- 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm: GEAR Informal Gathering for 3rd and 4th Grade
  • December 18: Last day of school before Winter Break
  • December 21 through January 1: NO SCHOOL- Winter Break
  • January 4: Return to school
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Sycamore Mourns Loss of Symmes Elementary Principal

Sycamore Community Schools mourns the loss of a long-time administrator. On November 27th, Mrs. Anne Van Kirk, Symmes Elementary Principal, passed away after an extended, non-COVID related illness. The entire Sycamore Community School’s family extends its deepest sympathies to the Van Kirk family.

“Sycamore has lost a giant and our hearts are broken. Mrs. Van Kirk led with her heart focused on Symmes students, staff and families. She was the epitome of servant leadership,” shared Frank Forsthoefel; Superintendent.

Mrs. Van Kirk’s contributions to Sycamore Community Schools impacted thousands of lives. Mrs. Van Kirk was a dedicated, inspirational leader for teachers and students. She served in the Sycamore Community Schools for 32 years serving as the principal at Symmes Elementary since the fall of 2002. Mrs. Van Kirk started her career as a special education teacher at Edwin H. Greene Intermediate School and later moved to Symmes Elementary where she enjoyed teaching primary grades 2, 3 and 4.

Following her time as a teacher, Mrs. Van Kirk tirelessly served the Symmes Community as Assistant Principal and as Principal for the last 18 years.

“Symmes Elementary was and is the reflection of Mrs. Van Kirk’s leadership and passion,” said Forsthoefel. “She has left an indelible mark on the school she loved. I ask that the entire Sycamore Community keep the Van Kirk and Symmes Families in its thoughts and prayers.”

Support Our Symmes Staff through this Difficult Time

As Symmes parents, let's flood Symmes Staff with an outpouring of support as they return to the building next week. Mrs. VanKirk touched every single staff member and they all miss her dearly. Items can be sent in any day next week. Here is how you can help:

  1. Follow this sign up genius to select a comfort food you can send in with your student or drop outside the main door during the school day. We are not allowed to enter the building.
  2. Send a card from you or your child to three staff members, your child's classroom teacher plus two other teachers or building staff. Consider office staff, educational assistants, specials teachers, intervention, child nutrition, and the custodians. F2F can bring the letters with them, virtual families can put the letters in the mail or drop them off outside Symmes main entrance.

Questions? Thank you!

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School Pictures

Good news!

YOUR PHOTOS ARE READY! Pictures from picture day are now available for viewing and ordering!
Click below to get started.


You will need our event code: FE40720 and your student's unique ID number. You can find your student's ID number by logging in to Final Forms. The ID number is the 6 digit number below your child's name


  • You can personalize your photos with a variety of backgrounds and
  • Photos are shipped directly to your home
  • High-res digital downloads are available
  • If you have more than one child, you can order together and pay

Symmes Players

Hello Symmes Families! This is usually the week that we announce our Symmes Players show for the year. Of course, we need to alter our plans for this year! We want to let you know that discussions are happening to try and have a Symmes Players event later this school year.

Symmes Players is a much-loved after-school music theater group for Symmes third- and fourth-graders. Typically, the program rehearses from late January through April, performing a Junior version of a well-known Broadway show. While there are no guarantees that the program will be able to be offered this year, please know that Mrs. Haupt and Mrs. Bethune are doing what they can to make something happen.

Please look for a survey in December to gauge your family's interest in participating in Symmes Players this year. More information will be provided at that time. For questions, contact Director MaryWynn Haupt at

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Unwind Virtually with Parents of Gifted Kids

Do you have a story or expertise to share? Do you want to be more connected to the GEAR community? Do you have questions about navigating the Sycamore gifted program with your

Join us for informal conversations with other parents.
  • December 7- 6:00 pm -7:00 pm: Kindergarten-2nd Grade
  • December 9- 6:00 pm -7:00 pm: 3rd and 4th Grade
See more information and register at
Feel free to sign up for higher grades to get a sneak peek of what is to come or to ask questions on how to better prepare for your young child!
See you there!
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The Multi-Purpose Room is GONE!

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Sycamore to Return to Face-to-Face Learning on Dec. 7

All PK-12 face-to-face students will be returning to school in-person beginning will be returning Monday, December 7 following a week of remote learning.

Sycamore’s Data Assessment Risk Team (DART), composed of district leadership and local health professionals, have been carefully evaluating our school and local health data over Thanksgiving Break and this week (11/30-12/4). According to our data:

  • Positive COVID-19 Cases Reported Between 11/25-11/29

    • 1 student

    • 10 staff

  • Positive COVID-19 Cases Reported Between 11/30-12/3

    • 11 students

    • 4 staff

The self-isolation period for 20 of these 26 students and staff will end prior to our restart of face-to-face learning on December 7. There is no definitive evidence of in-school transmission among our students and staff at this time.

“Our school data supports that it is safe to return to school next week,” said Superintendent Frank Forsthoefel. “By giving ourselves a week buffer, we have been able to minimize the risk of bringing community spread into our schools. We know the importance of in-school instruction and we will continue to monitor our school data as well as local health data to ensure schools continue to be the safest place for our students and staff.”

The 7-day moving average of new daily cases among residents in 45242 and 45249 is 20.375 That is a 1.75 decrease from the 7-day moving average reported prior to the Break on 11/19. However, it is important to remain vigilant in preventative measures to ensure safety outside of school. This includes avoiding large gatherings, staying socially distant, wearing masks, and staying home when you do not feel well.

The DART team will evaluate our school data prior to the upcoming break to determine if the district should consider another preventative week of remote learning following the Winter Break. A decision will not be made until closer to December 18 in order to utilize the most current data. We will communicate if there are any changes at that time.

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Virtual Meal Curbside Pick Up

The pick-up location for all families for virtual meals is no longer at the High School. You instead will pick up at your student’s assigned school location. IF you have multiple students that attend different buildings, meals for all of your children will be available for pick up at the OLDEST child’s school. You do not need to visit multiple schools.

Pickup time for Symmes will be Wednesdays from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.

If you have not already signed up and would like to do so, please sign up here. Please note, the cutoff each week to sign up is Sunday at Midnight.


We know that Virtual Classroom students will experience technology issues. If you have a problem, contact Sycamore Schools Technology Support at or call 686-1793. The technology phone number is dedicated to supporting Virtual teachers and families.

Need help?

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Click here to be connected with Symmes Ambassadors:

Click here if you want to help other families: