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K-8
Public
Newbury Park, CA

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4601 Via Rio
Newbury Park, CA 91320

(805) 498-1573
(805) 498-0385
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Map of Sycamore Canyon School address.

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September 19, 2014
Both of my children attend this school. They love the enthusiasm from the teachers and volunteers. They are doing well academically and are receive the nurturing I would expect from a distinguished school.

- submitted by a parent
October 01, 2013
Sycamore Canyon is a better than average school but not quite my "ideal" school. The majority of the teachers my child has had in the past were wonderful and caring and maintained parent communication throughout the year (not so much in grades 4 and 5). The bullying that goes on in the middle school is a problem that must be addressed by the adminstration. It does exist but is completely ignored by the staff. School to parent communication is mediocre at best - mostly relying on telephone messages or verbal student messages. I don't want to spend my family time on the computer on the school website after being on a computer all day at work. I miss the paper messages. My child maintains all A's and B's through her hard work at home and her good teachers. All in all, I like the school and am glad to be a part of the Sycamore family.

- submitted by a parent
September 24, 2013
This is a good school because of the neighborhood - most parents hold advanced degrees and pay close attention to the education of their kids. There are very dedicated teachers - every day we see some teachers walking out when we pick up kids from Childcare after 5:30PM. But also some teachers could not remember students names after a whole school year (my kid had a teacher like that before). From my own experience, the previous principal was responsive to parents concerns and I felt he cares about the students. I do not see that from the current principal - he listens to you with a pre-determined decision so it is a waste of time. It is very frustrated but understandable - in the end it is OUR 24 hour job as a parent but only his 8 hour day job, why bother. Overall I am dissappointed about the school's leadership. This is virtually one elementary school and one middle school, maybe too big for one principal to handle.

- submitted by a parent
September 05, 2013
Beginning the 6th year at Sycamore and I feel lucky to have this school in my neighborhood. It is a great facility, with strong teachers who deliver results both in API scores and with individual students. I find it easy to get involved in the classroom, as the art parent, and overall. The after school enrichment is plentiful and the on-site after school child care is so good that my son is delighted to go. I agree that the parent/teacher/administration communication could be better but that is a two way street. I have found everyone to be very responsive to my questions and concerns, you just have to speak up. The opportunities for improvement: 1. Add a more extensive/inclusive GATE program 2. Stop adding trailer style classrooms to the campus 3. Prioritize parent communication & requests feedback - especially when breaking new ground (example - I found out my son would have a "team" of 2 teachers that would trade off on different days of the week at back to school night, weeks after school started and though it was an "experiment" I was not asked once the entire year for my comments on how it was working. This was a big miss on the part of the teachers/administration.)

- submitted by a parent
February 02, 2013
I have to disagree with some of these reviews. Parents are involved when it comes to volunteering in the classroom, but attend a PTA meeting and you will see five parents there, at most. The same parents help with every PTA function and it's often difficult to find enough parents to help run events. The parents are expected to do a lot of work with their children outside of the classroom and homework and testing are excessive. High test scores are, in large part, due to the amount of support parents give their children at home. The teachers are definitely hit or miss; there are some amazing teachers who truly love their jobs and there are others that are merely mediocre. The new principal has a lot of potential and I am hoping that he brings great change to the school.

- submitted by a parent
December 17, 2012
The pocketbook can't BUY high testing scores. Those scores don't just fall out of the sky. The students of Sycamore are producing those scores through hard work and because they are learning everyday at this school. I have worked in some of the schools throughout the district and I am always surprised at the narrow path of learning opportunities given at those schools compared to the wide array of learning opportunities for the students at Sycamore Canyon School. My children LOVE Sycamore and I know they are getting a great education.

- submitted by a parent
August 23, 2012
I never worry who will be their teacher. My children are challenged, have fun and the communication is always open. My daughter was not enjoying recess and her teacher spent the whole recess, observing to get to the bottom of it....she wanted to be inside writing stories and they made that possible. They care about each child as an individual!

- submitted by a parent
August 19, 2012
The school is terrible, the teachers are mean, and most students are bullied. My 7th grader chose 2 elective (tech and choir) and was bullied because she was 'geeky' and 'boring.' I thought that this school had a smarter, wiser group of students who wouldn't discriminate or bully. But I was wrong. The school advertises the exact opposite of what it is. And lastly, I rated teacher quality and principal leadership 1 star, only because there was no 0 stars.

- submitted by a parent
July 03, 2012
We have been at Sycamore Canyon for K-2nd grade. We have not experienced any problems with teachers or staff. On the contrary, teachers have been excellent and the caring staff is above all others. My child enjoys going to school every day and the academics are the best around. I am taken back by the 2011 parents that have left bad feedback about this school...I can only guess that they are the "school-choice" parents who don't live in our DVR community. This is an amazing school with amazing teachers and super involved parents!

- submitted by a parent
June 01, 2012
Notice how all the reviews are extremely positive or negative? Please don't dismiss that other peoples' reviews are valid and based on inexcusably bad experiences with uncaring teachers, & a principal who turns against anyone who questions the school. Everyone deserves equal opportunities to have a good teacher, unfortunately that's not feasible at this school. It's a step in the right direction that the current principal and dean are leaving Sycamore as of June 2012. I hope the incoming faculty realize the poor judgement of their predecessors, and work to make this school a supportive and positive experience for all the families of this community.

- submitted by a parent
May 26, 2012
I am grateful to have had Dr. Sand as the principal at Sycamore Canyon, as I really felt that he cared for the children, the school, and the programs they offered. I also feel the same way about my daughter's teacher..She has the same type of caring and nurturing that goes into teaching the children. She's given my child more opportunities to fully utilize her abilities. I have seen my child learn so much within the year, not only from the daily homework assignments, but also the things that she would say or talk about that went on during the classroom. The staff here are also very helpful. It's been a wonderful kindergarten experience for my child, and beyond our expectations!

- submitted by a parent
April 18, 2012
Parents, please take the reviews seriously. I know everyone wants to go to a brand new, clean school but please do not judge a book by its cover. It is true beautiful school in a beautiful neighborhood but that is all. Teachers just care about high scores. Children are a product here a commodity. They are not valued or treasured. Talent is not developed here. Love of learning is not developed here. Kindness is most certainly not developed here. Sycamore Canyon earns the high test scores on the backs of the students and the pocketbook of the parents. Any of the other NP schools will produce a happier and smarter child.

- submitted by a parent
March 23, 2012
Horrible experience at this school. Principal is an egotistical elitist, sweeps parents' problems under the rug & feels the school is perfect based on API scores. Principal brags, Sycamore is the best private school at a public price & "meets needs of gifted students"- we found both to be untrue. Principal and dean have serious power issues. Cronyism runs deep between the principal & CVUSD, so good luck getting anyone to acknowledge problems at a higher level. Principal says all his teachers are excellent, and it is just not true (ask parents). If you get a great teacher & your child isn't bullied, I can see how the school might work for some. I agree with the prior post that "a dose of humility" is long coming. If you have issues with this school, do your child (& others) a service & at least email CVUSD's superintendent. Maybe finally some changes will take place at this school if enough people are not scared to speak up. If this school fails to treat you and your child with decency, move on. There are a growing number of families in DVR who have found private schools to offer better academics, social environments & teachers who can be fired (without union threats).

- submitted by a parent
February 11, 2012
Would score it higher but the administrative staff is weak kneed when it comes to providing a safe learning environment that is free of bullying, including bullying by parent volunteers and the occasional teacher. I've had either amazing teachers for my children, or one I would never let teach my children if I had a choice. They scorn those with learning disabilities and fail to perform as required. I think they could benefit from a healthy dose of humility. The neighborhood is affluent but who cares?

- submitted by a parent
November 21, 2011
While the school caters to the majority average, there are opportunities for students who want to challenge themselves. There are programs such as Odyssey of the Mind, Math Counts, Reflections, Science Fairs & Competition, etc. I am so happy that the principal, teachers and parent volunteers actively support and seek out these types of programs. The Middle School environment is excellent. High performing kids are differentiated with the Honors programs, giving them a chance to develop high academic calibre. My daughter is now a freshman in High School, and she continues to excel academically. I attribute that to the quality of the Sycamore Middle School and the rigor she went through for 3 years. I cannot thank the school enough for giving my child a challenging and enriching school experience!

- submitted by a parent
November 20, 2011
It is a fine school for a perfect child. If there are any struggles at all your child is stepped over like road kill. They have no time to slow down and help. The administration is oblivious to an enormous bullying problem. Some teachers are very good and others are very bad. It is a pretty new school and has some nice features but if I had it to do over again I would have picked a different school.

- submitted by a parent
September 23, 2011
Excellent teachers, attentive staff, lots of volunteers, beautiful facilities, and councelors that really care about the kids. Not sure why all the negative reviews. It is a competitive academic environment but they offer numerous opportunities to the students who need some extra help. Have an 8th grader, 4th grader and one in K. The K has 21 kids, 2 full time certified teachers, and 2 parent aids each day. I feel so fortunate because my student does need the extra instruction. I don't think reducing the curriculum to suit the needs of a small percentage of the students that can't keep up is the way to go. Like any public school, it is hard to meet the varied needs of the population. It must be so much easier for teachers in private schools where the kids are of a similar academic level.

- submitted by a parent
September 02, 2011
I give this school 5 stars because I compare it to other schools I have gone to in Bell Gardens & Lakewood, CA where Academics standards were not that high....and I see what my kids do and it way better than what I was expected to do. Also, knowing that our kids will have to compete in a new Global enviornment, one filled with kids that are edcuated in China, India, Japan, etc, where academic standards and expectations are very high, we need to get our kids prepared for the competition and it starts in Elementary. If we can get them used to higher level of standards and expectatiions, I feel like they will be ready for the competition when we send them off to Universities and eventually the workplace. Finally, I say to the teacheres, bring on the homework...more the better.

- submitted by a parent
August 22, 2011
Ditto! The previous review was right on the money..excuse the pun. My 2 daughters scored "Advanced" in STAR testing, were blessed with good teachers and achieved high marks all year. But this means little to a school system that caters to the "Average" and those who write the large donation checks. As a class volunteer (a must, this allows one to know 1st hand what is happening in the class room) I saw teachers sacrifice valuable lesson content for interruptions of indiscipline students that distract and rob others of quality learning. There are exceptional students at this school, they just go unnoticed and misunderstood while problem students get their attention and time. There are many rules & regulations . At these tender ages school should be fun & enjoyable, not a burden. My 2nd Grader dreaded Sunday night knowing school & homework were the next day. Heck! I did not have these feelings until Grad School. We leave S.Cal next summer. I can hardly wait. 2 yrs in this school is plenty! My advice to New Enrollees... Remember you are the Parent, Not the school. My advice to Administrators seeking Ratings... It is Elementary School! Not Grad, Law or Medical School.

- submitted by a parent
August 09, 2011
Great teachers, excellent parents participation.... clean buildings, and love the diversity... It is a little competitive surrounding, but still it is a good motivation for the kids. I love this school.

- submitted by a parent
August 04, 2011
Superb Principal, Vice Principal & Dean. Excellent teachers. Very high standards academically. Parents need to calm down a little in terms of not placing too much pressure on the kids and the teachers to achieve at the cost of increasing everyone's stress levels. Race to Nowhere was one of the best programs ever. Parents - please try to learn from it.

- submitted by a parent
August 01, 2011
We couldn't have been happier with this school. Our Kindergarten and First Grade teachers have been nurturing, thoughtful and have challenged our boy. It's a beautiful school in a beautiful neighborhood. Would like to see greater exposure to science and humanities, but I'm afraid budget cuts will limit any expansion of the curriculum. SCS is a sought after school. It probably brings in more students from outside it's territory than of the other schools in the CVUSD. BTW, parent involvement is outstanding.

- submitted by a parent
February 28, 2011
This school put too much emphasis on academics with NO arts or music specialists of any kind during the day. With the fast pace of full acadmics as they are here these kids are very stressed out and desperately need to be allowed to just enjoy themselves with SOME art and music. Very high pressure culture here all around. Huge multi-subject binders and letter grades starting in 3rd grade. Everybody - this is just elementary school - stop stressing the kids out too soon. There is going to be enough stress and plenty of time for intense academics as it is in Middle School, High School and College. Take the message of Race to Nowhere to heart. Slow down and let kids just be kids. Why the intense competitive academic rush? It's really an outdated way to educate children. Teach to the Whole Child (the heart and hands not just the head) is the word nowadays. Beautiful facilitites though and very nice teachers, staff and admin for the most part. K-2 program developmentally and age appropriate, just not 3-5 program.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 12, 2010
great neighborhood school, dedicated teachers

- submitted by a community member
September 07, 2010
We teach woodshop in an after school program. We used to teach at this school. The parks and rec. have come into the school systems and offer after school. Woodshop has to run Independent of any company because of our insurance. We would love to come back to your school.

- submitted by a community member
June 12, 2010
SCS is a pretty average school. The main problem that I have seen with the school is teacher-parent communications. The teachers don't communicate well with parents leading to surprises on report cards due to lack of detailed and regular communication regarding work habits of students and information about students leaked to other parents. It is a fact that SCS has high test scores. This is not necessarily due to better teaching than elsewhere in the district, but due to the parents involvement and being requested to push the students beyond developmental norms. Many parents of kids in younger grades "joke" about how hard they work to complete each trimester's big project. These projects ought to be completed in school, but they are sent home which leads to overachieving parents essentially completing the projects for their children. SCS is really no better, nor worse, than the other schools in the district.

- submitted by a parent
October 14, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
May 30, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
April 11, 2009
Our children been at SCS since it opened 7 yrs. Dr. Sand really cares about the students. At times though he has promised more than he can deliver. Booster Club does a fine job but they tell you they are raising money for one thing and then use the money for soemthing else, their communication could be more detailed.Parent involvement high in classroom and low for school events. Offer a direct donation program =less fundraising. The teachers are for the most part some of the best around. Not much of a GATE program considering the high percentage of GATE kids. Your student's year really depends on which teacher you get. The front office staff is genuinely concerned and helpful. The writing program 'Step Up to Writing' is the best! After school programs are plentiful.

- submitted by a parent
May 20, 2008
i am a student at sycamore and have been for 4 years. this school is very good i love the fact that my parents are involved and that our dean, pincipal and vice principal come out at nutrition and lunch to talk with us about how we've been doing and other things. because of this i no longer look at them as scary authoritative figures but as friends who i can go to if a have a problem i can talk to. i also love the fact that our gym has been finished and we now have p.e. in there a least once a week. i also am very happy with some of the classroom competitions we have because its fun to beat my friends in a friendly competition such as door decorating contests or collecting clothes and stuffed animals for homeless shelters. this is a great school! i <3 it!

- submitted by a student
May 08, 2008
Sycamore Canyon is the best. The teachers really care about the kids and the principal Dr. Chasse really cares and is willing to find solutions to any problems. She has a wonderful philosophy of education. The school is now a California Distinguished School. The Dean is very child oriented and knows both the middle school and elementary school students. She is also a good problem solver and is very child oriented. The student support staff goes out of their vay to meet the needs of the at-risk students. The elementary counselor is excellent as are the special education teachers. The school may be large but the staff members hearts are large and they put forth huge effort to meet the needs of all students. I love this school!

- submitted by a parent
March 26, 2008
There is very little parent involvment, I know, I'm on the PTA board. Some family activities have had to be cancelled due to no volunteers. Poor leadership by the prinipal. It is an' us vs. them' mentality. Makes for strained relations between parents and staff. Poor leadership, it all stems from that.

- submitted by a parent
March 06, 2008
Way too many kids and the principal is unwilling to adapt to children's needs. She often ignores parents' suggestions. To set up a meeting with her requires patience. Don't let the score fool you. The GATE program might as well not have been established. What's the point of identifying GATE students when there's no programs to support it? Talk is cheap. Dr. Chasse presents the school very nicely on paper but nothing gets implimented for the GATE students. Both Assistant Principal and Dean of Students left the school. Teachers come and go; no stability. Children of same academic level are not always treated equally; some get advanced while others stay in the same level and continue to be bored. If it weren't for my kids having such close friends at SC, I would've transferred them. The school really needs 2 principals; one for elementary and one for middle school.

- submitted by a parent
March 06, 2008
Our daughter has been at Sycamore Canyon for 2 years, and we are thrilled with the school. The teachers are great and the parents are very involved.

- submitted by a parent
November 02, 2007
This school is as good as it is going to get for the area. We were there for 5 years and were constantly begging the teachers to challenge our child. We worked a lot with him at home and he is very bright but completely bored by the teaching styles of most of the teachers at Sycamore. The one teacher that he had in third grade was wonderful. Unfortunately she left the school. I thought Sycamore was good while we lived there but, now that we have moved out of California I see how the school was holding both of my children back. My children now enjoy going to school. Parent should look at the program closely and get involved if teachers are saying that your children are disruptive to the classroom. It is more likely they are bored by the dry teaching style.

- submitted by a parent
October 31, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
July 22, 2007
The elementary school has way too many kids per classroom. Extra attention is given to those that are at the top and bottom of the pack only. The 'A'/'B' kids are completely forgotten about. In a class size of 36 my children are given no one on one attention. The library is only available for 1 session per week at 45 minutes per class. PE, art, music, and computers are only offered once a week as well. I did research this school district before moving to the area, but feel disappointed by the education. I guess SC is the best of the worst.

- submitted by a parent
April 27, 2007
Fantastic School. Many superior teachers in the district. Even several of the kindergarten teachers have advanced degrees in education from top rated colleges. Demographic of the community promotes 'strong' family involvement in the education process. School is experiencing minor growing pains, needs 'tweaks' in subtle areas (i.e. better supervision of younger kids (5-8) that need to be picked up early or go home sick etc. Don't totally rely on school to safeguard your child the way you would at home. Be diligent to ask questions and get response to things that need attention. School/Parents/Teachers/Principals are a team effort to overall success.

- submitted by a parent
April 04, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a administrator
September 20, 2006
The principal really cares and is an amazing leader. The school is overcrowded and has become more of an 'institutional' atmosphere. There is no fundraising and parents are asked to make a yearly cash donation. Parent involvement is high. The challenge facing this school is now to meet the academic needs of so many bright children. The test scores are high but the students do not seem to be achieving their full potential. More staff training is needed to really meet the needs of the bright minds attending this school. The school is new and offers many after school programs. There are many building projects that have diverted the attention needed to address student needs.

- submitted by a parent
September 19, 2006
Sycamore Canyon is one of the finest elementary and middle school programs I have ever seen. Not only are the school grounds well cared for, but the students are happy and take pride in challenging each other in academic areas. Dr. Chassee, the Principal and her staff are magnificent. I am a Grandparent with a 5th grader at Sycamore, I have volunteered in the classroom and really enjoyed interacting with all the children. I see the students at other places in the community and they are well spoken and polite with their social skills very well polished. I have had 5th graders stop to say hello and introduced them to my husband. They shook hands and said something interesting about themselves and said something about their family and continued on with what they were doing. Great school, great families, great teachers, you'll be very pleased at Sycamore Canyon.

- submitted by a parent
March 20, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
December 27, 2005
Great school and teachers Too many pupils now and it seems a little overcrowded! Not enough supervision in morning and recess. Excellent music programmes.

- submitted by a parent
September 14, 2005
This is a fairly new school and it has experienced some growing pains. The school has already outgrown itself, so there are temporary buildings for the overflow. There are not enough comperable extracurricular activities for the middle school kids. The more established middle school in the community offers more in that way. However, the school is small and the kids can get more attention if needed.

- submitted by a parent
July 24, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
June 22, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
February 17, 2004
The school opened in the Fall of 2002. During the first year, and now into its second year of operation, the Principal provides consistent, positive and inspiring leadership. My children are in their second years at Sycamore, having had experienced and seasoned teachers as well as teachers in their early careers. The teachers have high standards for academics. I appreciate their dedication because I see how much overtime it takes them to be organized and effective teachers. My kids have enjoyed how their teachers have added elements of fun and music into their curriculums. I appreciate the focus on character building and positive values and the award assemblys that recognize all children at the school at some time during the year. The school features Art Trek, a program professional artists have designed. They teach a monthly lesson to parents whom, as docents, go into their children's classrooms once to twice a month to teach these lessons. The children learn about different ways to express themselves through art as well as learning technique, mediums and information about selected artists. I also appreciate the 'Family' program where children across all grade levels are divided into 'families' with a teacher as their leader. The program facilitates building relationships and respect among different grade levels. There is band, PE and a good variety of after school programs. Within a 5 minute walk of the school is the new Dos Vientos Park and Recreation Center that also offers great and low cost after school programs. Parent involvement is high. I don't like the endless array of fund raising activities and the classroom competitions. I don't agree with giving 3rd & 4th graders letter grades. I don't like the school's practices of recording nightly reading (child's or parent's choice) and if you fulfill 30 days worth of reading your child gets a coupon for a free individual pizza. I feel fortunate my children attend this school, despite the few complaints.

- submitted by a parent
August 11, 2003
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a community member
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Sycamore Canyon School
4601 Via Rio, Newbury Park, CA  91320
(805) 498-1573
Last modified Sycamore Canyon School is a Public school that serves grades K-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Sycamore Canyon School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 48 reviews. Top