We have been very happy with Sycamore. The academic standards are high, the teachers are easy to communicate with, the school encourages creativity and critical thinking. When my child was experiencing difficulties with math, I e-mailed the teacher and worked with her over the next few weeks on the strategies to help my child. The teacher encouraged exploring different approaches to solving math problems, and that's what did it for my child. I like the free spirit of the school because my child thrives in it. The school, however, is definitely not the best for children who need more structure for effective learning.
this school puts different age groups in one class which is a good initiative unless the teachers are properly trained. Best way ofcourse would be with a Montessori credential. This is not the case at Sycamore there for it lacks the benefit this multiple age mix could create.
We enrolled our son at Sycamore for one year with high hopes and expectations but ended up moving to Chaparral after a couple of disappointments. Bullying is a problem, as one previous poster mentioned. Of course, kids bully each other in every school from time to time - that can't be avoided. What matters, I think, is how the school handles it, where by 'school' I mean every member of the faculty from the principal on down AND parents. In our case, the problem is that my son was bullied by the child of a couple of parents who were completely unwilling to recognize or let alone deal with the situation and that the administration failed to meaningfully intervene. My son's situation just wasn't a high priority. At the same time, we weren't very impressed with Sycamore's academic quality. I really like the concepts of mixed-age classrooms and all that in principle. Maybe the problem was in the implementation. One way or another, our son just wasn't learning at a speed that I thought he could be learning, and that problem was very quickly eliminated at Chaparral. I don't completely dislike Sycamore, but I don't think it's living up to its potential. Sycamore students deserve more.
I'm glad a couple of you are having good experiences with your child. For us it turned into "home schooling" because the school was more interested in presenting something they viewed as "creative" rather than teaching the students how to read. For us, their priorities were upside down, or, more probably, they didn't know what their priorities were...
Sycamore is a great school, the principal is awesome, ALL the teachers really do care about each individual student they are loving, compassionate, creative and dedicated. The teachers are absolutely amazing, the communication is much better than anything I have experienced with other schools- It is easy to feel a part of a community because parents get involved, there are so many volunteer opportunities, and it is nice to be around so many like-minded, creative and interesting parents.
Sycamore is a great school with children who are independent and taught how to think. Teachers find creative ways to teach standards while encourage students to develop in all areas. The students are kind to one another and do especially well in junior high and high school. You can always tell a Sycamore kid - they are the ones who smile when they think about their elementary school experience
If you read the reviews, take into consideration when it was written. Anything before September 2009 describes a very different school than what is here now. Poor Sycamore has fallen into the California school abyss.