Sycamore Leaf

August 24, 2020

Welcome to Sycamore!

I hope you read the greeting above with plenty of excitement, because that is the message I intended to share. I am simply thrilled to be opening the door to the new year and finding you there. We are separated in a way I wish we weren’t, but we are "together" for whatever this year brings.

This first edition of the Leaf, like every one following, will be sent to every Sycamore family: those in the Blended, CORE and CHAMP programs. Physically we'll be apart, but in spirit we will continue as the Sycamore community. Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman, speaks to this truth within her inspiring poem, “The Miracle of Morning:”

“While we might feel small, separate, and all alone,

Our people have never been more closely tethered.”

As a staff, we will do all we can to ensure Sycamore families remain safe and "closely tethered" throughout the 2020-2021 school year.

Approximately twelve percent of our students will spend the year in CORE and CHAMP, and the balance will be learning in the Blended Program. Since these programs require different teacher assignments, our classroom configurations have changed just a bit. Specifically, we were not able to fill a first-second grade classrooms for the blended program. So, Kelly Diaz and Shanna Singleton, our team teachers from Room 5, will teach a CORE classroom including Sycamore's CORE second graders. They ARE still with us. Just as is the case for CORE/CHAMP students, Kelly and Shanna will return to in-person instruction with us next year. For the 2020-2021 school year, our classroom configurations will be as follows:

Kindergarten-First Grade Classrooms

Lenora Hester, Room 7

Anna Sanchez, Room 8

Tina Mann, Room 9

Michelle Texeira, Room 13

Second-Third Grade Classrooms

Dawn Derleth, Room 6

Melissa Jackson, Room 10

Ernesto Ramirez, Room 11

Rebekah Raki, Room 12

Fourth-Fifth-Sixth Grade Classrooms

Jennifer Karmon, Room 1

Leslie Wallace, Room 2

Lydia Hernandez, Room 3

Lisa Schuster, Room 4

Katherine Gregory, Room 17

Jessica Marchant, Room 18

As we start the year, all of us are experiencing the learning curve of remote schooling. In addition to the parent trainings offered by CUSD, we have a plan to acclimate families at Sycamore. First, I encourage everyone to read this year's Distance Learning Handbook. It provides an overview about Sycamore, our staff, the instructional schedule and learning management system, Canvas. It outlines our school's methods for home-school communication, expectations for school attendance and and the parameters for parent involvement during phases of school closure. It is an interactive book, so you'll find it easy to click and go to the additional resources, webpages, documents and staff emails you need. I will also host an all-school parent night on Wednesday, August 26 at 6:00 PM. During this virtual event, I will share an overview about our current phase of distance learning at Sycamore. The meeting will review the contents of the handbook, and we'll finish with time for family members to ask questions. Families will receive the most detailed information during Back-to-School Nights (see calendar for times). Back to School Night is an adult-only opportunity to meet your child's teacher and hear about the schedule, curriculum, and routines of your child's classroom. I strongly recommend making Back-to-School Night a priority. We hope these options create a sense of comfort and confidence as we begin this year. It's uncharted territory in many ways, so don't hesitate to stop and ask for directions!


Amy Stanger, Principal


Wednesday, August 26

  • Teacher assignments will be posted in Parent Connect (see directions below)
  • 6:00 PM Mrs. Stanger will offer a virtual, school-wide parent overview of distance learning (Zoom link will be emailed to families on Tuesday evening)

Monday, August 31

  • Materials Pick-Up and Picture Day (see directions below)
  • 6:00 PM to 6:45 PM, Kindergarten-First Grade Classes hold Back to School Night (a Zoom link will come from your teacher)

Tuesday, September 1

  • Materials Pick-Up and Pictures (PM only, see directions below)
  • 6:00 PM to 6:45 PM, Second-Third Grade Classes hold Back to School Night (a Zoom link will come from your teacher)
  • 7:00 PM to 7:45 PM, Fourth-Fifth-Sixth Grade Classes hold Back to School Night (a Zoom link will come from your teacher)

Wednesday, September 2

  • First Day of School, 8:45 AM start time

Monday, September 7

  • No School, Labor Day

Click here to see Sycamore's 2020-2021 calendar:

Materials Pick-up and Picture Day

On Monday, August 31 and Tuesday, September 1, families will come to the school to pick up their student's learning materials and have their school picture taken. The pick-up plan is highly structured in order to ensure the safety of students, families and staff. If you do not feel you or your child can safely participate or comply with the safety procedures outlined below, please call or email staff and we will happily make alternative arrangements.

In order to limit the number on campus at any one time, we have created a schedule for attending based upon the last name of your child. If the individuals in your family have more than one last name, feel free to come at a single time that works well for you. For those who cannot come on Monday, we have a few spots available on Tuesday. We strongly encourage you to attend on Monday, if that is at all possible.

Pick-up time should be attended by a single adult and Sycamore students. From the time you arrive until you exit campus, you will be outside, but you and children over two will need to wear a mask, remain together, and follow our markings for social distancing.

The traffic flow will move one direction only. We ask that you enter campus at the front steps of the school. Your child's picture will be taken outside in the courtyard. As you will see on the attached flyer, you may place an order for your pictures online before or after taking the picture. If you prefer, you may pick up a picture envelope at the school and make payment at that time.

When you are finished with your picture, you will move west down the hallway to a station at the front of the multipurpose room. At that station, you will sign out your child's technology or decline the offer. We are fully prepared to provide an iPad for every student K-6. Having a district device will ensure your child has the apps they need, it will help them participate without needing to share a device, and it will allow our tech team to support, as needed. We will have all the necessary forms here at school, but I've attached a link to them so you can review the details ahead of time.

As a last step, you will walk around to the north side of the multipurpose room to pick up a bag of materials from your child's teacher before exiting campus onto Yale Avenue.

Monday, August 31

8:30 AM-10:00 AM ----------Last Name A-E

10:00 AM-11:30 AM --------Last Name F-J

11:30 AM-1:00 PM ----------Last Name K-O

1:00 PM-2:30 PM ------------Last Name P-S

2:30 PM-4:00 PM ------------Last Name T-Z

Tuesday, September 1, (for those who cannot attend on Monday):

1:00 PM-2:00 PM Last Name A-H

2:00 PM-3:00 PM Last Name I-P

3:00 PM-4:00 PM Last Name Q-Z

Again, if you do not feel comfortable participating in this way or you cannot comply with the safety procedures I've outlined, please let us know in the school office and an alternative will be provided.

Big picture

Class Placement will be shared through ParentConnect

ParentConnect allows parents to view their child's attendance record, standardized test data, and pay for school lunches online. This will also be the place where you will find out your student's teacher assignment for the school year. The district will release this information on Wednesday, August 26. Simply sign in to ParentConnect, click "demographics" and look in the upper right corner under "advisor" to see the name of your child's teacher. If you need help with your ParentConnect login, see the following:

Prior to August 31, your child's teacher will provide your piece of classroom communication, an email with information on how to connect to the virtual Back to School Night for your child's classroom.

School Picture Day

As mentioned above, we will be taking school pictures on August 31 and September 1 during materials pick-up times. In order to promote safety, we will take pictures outside, and we are offering an online option to pay for any pictures you'd like to purchase. We will have payment envelopes on campus, if you would rather pay in person.

See the flyer to purchase online:

Pictures will be distributed to families in October during a drive-through pick-up. A plan for retakes will be shared at a later date.

Parent Training for Canvas

Many of you have asked about training for parents. Recently, you received a flyer about trainings on Canvas, the learning management system that all students will access for online learning. The final webinars will be held at 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM on Thursday, August 27. You may still register for those, but if you're unable to attend at those times, you can access a recorded webinar using this link. (You may scan through the first part; the training begins at 16:50)

Student Technology

Having a device for online learning is a very important for even our youngest students. As you may have already read or heard, all our students will be meeting with their teacher in the morning, and independent learning activities will be completed later in the day. We realize this will make sharing a family device rather difficult. We are fully prepared to provide a district iPad for every student in CUSD. Because the district devices include all the instructional apps your child needs, and the district's tech team can support problems with a district device, this ensures your child will have what they need to engage in distance learning each day. During the materials pick-up time, you can either elect to receive a district device or to decline a device. The link below allows you to review your options and related forms prior to material pick-up time. Please feel free to contact me if you have additional questions or if you need help securing wifi.

Is campus open?

Under Phase 1, our campus is closed to visitors. Essential staff may be physically distancing on campus as they support student learning, but we are not able to host visitors, students or volunteers. If you need any resources or need to speak with a staff member, please contact them by email or call the school office at 909-398-0324. Any meetings we need to hold, such as Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings or conferences, will be held virtually with staff. Thank you for your understanding.

BLAST Staff Update

During Phase 1, the District's after-school care program, BLAST, will not be operating. This means our students will not be able to see these beloved staff members. If your child would like to send a card or note to BLAST staff, please bring that note to school during pick-up day. We will get those notes mailed to staff at home.