Both of my children attend school at Sycamore, 2nd and 4th grade. This is quite a lovely school. Many people who are not educators have difficulty understanding the theory of constructivism, which is what this school embodies. With a Masters degree in education, I know the methods the teachers use are effective. Kids don't need hours of homework or worksheets to learn, they simply need authentic opportunities to use higher order thinking skills. Sycamore Academy appears to already be implementing the new mandated core standards. I am highly impressed with the teachers and their level of devotion to the job. Just an FYI: STAR testing is a state test and if a student scored above average, then the school must be doing a fantastic job.
Please parents think twice before sending your kids to this school. The school focuses on 1-3 major projects a year. There is no homework and in the 2 years my son was there I never saw any of his class work. They pride themselves in setting up SCORPIAN Goals which the child has to met by the end of the year. This is a joke. My son always tested Above Average on their STAR Testing but yet when I would have him write sentences for me or write a paragraph about what he read he couldn't do it. My son is now attending a College Prep Christian School and he is having a very difficult time keeping up because in his words, " Mom we never did this at Sycamore, all we did was play and art. "; I wouldn't recommend this school. His time there was a waste of time!! And I feel so bad for making that choice for him and not being more involved. He would come home happy and said school was great and a lot of fun. Sycamore Academy is a Day Care a place where you can drop off your child from 8:30am-3:30pm expect him to have fun but don't expect any advance or higher learning.
Great school focusing on keeping your kids interested in school. My son actually love going to school now!!
Sycamore is a one-of-a kind, all around, great school! We are happy with our decision placing our daughter here, 4 years ago, and have seen her grow socially,emotionally, and academically.
After moving to the area, we tried public school, but found our shy son was not challenged and had a hard time making friends in such big environment. As well, he continually complained he was bored. We moved him to Sycamore and I must say... the BEST decision. They have combined classes, which emphasizes my son's strengths and helps him to grow appropriately. He has grown academically and emotionally. We could not be happier with the teachers and their amazing communication with the parents. Highly recommend!
I can't believe anyone would post a negative comment about this school. This school is amazing! We put our son in Sycamore after much consideration and research. The teachers are top notch and very personable. So what if they don't have a "playground" they make it work, and my son has never once complained. I love this school ! To the lady who posted in November, I am a parent posting this, not a teacher. You seem generally miserable and it seems you like to complain. Hopefully you find a school for you child, that you won't complain about, however I think that will be an impossible task.
i love this school. And my son does too. the teachers are great! and everyone is nice.
As a parent of 2 students at this school, I couldn't be happier with my choice to bring them to this charter school. My oldest child is in a new style of math learning where the kids do computer lectures at home and the teacher actually helps the kids when in class. I have watched my child go from hating math to loving it. My youngest child is more advanced in all areas than the neighborhood kids that go to Ronal Reagan School. I just cant wait for a school of our own. We need a multipurpose room and cafeteria.
Sycamore Academy is a great school and a great choice! The children are taught to explore methods of learning that work for them. A way that is consistent with their learning style so that learning is fun. The classrooms can sometimes become what I call "organized chaos" which took some time to get used to. However, after spending lots of time in the classrooms of both of my children and after observing this "organized chaos", I see that it s actually a collaboration of young minds working together in groups to solve problems, expand their minds, think outside of the box, learn leadership and teamwork all while covering all of their subjects. Language arts, math, science, social studies, and art are often covered in one single project due to the way the curriculum is organized. The open-door policy of this school is one in which the Administrators and Teachers are always available & ready with an open door and open mind and are eager to work with you to resolve any issues. I would highly recommend spending the day there and see how special it is from the students right up to the Administrators and everyone in between.
As a parent who has watched their child start out at Sycamore as a below-basic 4th grader, I am extremely proud of the progress he has made. I try to do my best to sit with him as he does his schoolwork at home but the real credit goes to the upper grade teachers and staff. He now is in the 6th grade and is considered proficient and is on his way to becoming advanced according to the state tests. The improvement on the standardized tests are good but the real great part of this style of teaching is that my child is actually problem solving & learning on his own. This is better than memorizing multiple choice questions anyday. On the other hand, I am upset & skeptical of the less than handful of parents who have something negative to say about this school. These people either do not know or do not care to understand this proven system. It seems these misinformed parents have something personal against their child's teacher but if they were only to get out of their own way, their child will show progress thanks to the intelligent, selfless, & dedicated teaching staff. Thank you Sycamore Academy...Keep up the great work!
We love our school and are disappointed when someone does not have a great experience with us but we recognize and appreciate that this model is not for everyone, just like any model will not be a fit for everyone. Our school is in a store front and has been since we opened. Our playground is a fenced-in parking lot and has been since we opened. While not ideal, we make it work as demonstrated by our ever increasing CST and PFT scores. All of our faculty are fully credentialed and passionate about what they do. If you have a concern, we appreciate being informed and we will do what we can to help address your concern. For the person that posted on Nov. 18th, I'm sorry your experience wasn't good and you feel the way that you do. I hope you find the school that works best for you and your child.
In response to the comment posted on Nov 11, your personal experience is just your personal experience. You're not an expert on the quality of every classroom and teacher. There are people who won't avert their eyes from what actually goes on in their kids classroom for the sake of harmony. Do you personally know every child? Did you know every school in CA is a school of choice? You can request a transfer in your home district or to any district you like. Sycamore is a public charter school, not a private school. The "if you don't like it, leave," mentality is the biggest barrier to school improvement. I wonder about people like you who make arrogant comments.
The lower grades look like they're doing a good job, but the upper grades are not. They have a crayola curriculum. The #1 activity in classrooms is coloring. They color about what they read and write more than they read and write. Their art program consists of coloring, cutting, and pasting. Reading and writing are assigned, but kids aren t really shown how to read critically or to write effectively. They re not constructivist or Montessori (furniture arrangement doesn t count, sorry). To raise their test scores, they narrowed the curriculum, or spent more time on fewer items (STAR tested items). They didn t revise instructional practices, they regrouped students. You ll find the same disappointing practices here, but there are fewer worksheets and more posters (which are just really big worksheets if you think about it). Really bad leadership and no accountability. I think the positive comments were posted by employees pretending to be parents. The negative ones are accurate. When student success occurs, it's likely due to efforts undertaken by families vs. teachers. Lets stop pointing fingers at other parents and support the kids. The kids have to come first. Education matters!
Sycamore has excellent teachers that go above and beyond for every child and help them become independent problem solvers, not just program them to pass a test. The administrator is always helpful as are the office staff. I am thankful to find such a great school that teaches beyond textbooks and scantrons. The school is in a store front but the classrooms are bigger than normal ones, which I like. The playground is terrible but they have done a great job with what they have. I wonder about people that complain about that...didn't you look at the school before you enrolled? As a parent that is often on campus, the biggest problem at the school are a few parents that don't understand what they are trying to accomplish..try reading the charter before you enroll your children. This is a school of choice!!
A disorganized mess in a store front no play ground could use a lot of improvement I don't understand test scores when my daughter tested below her grade level after we left. Now we have to catch up. And yes some of the staff seems a bit unhappy. Putting it mildly,
Love the school and love the teachers! Although some of the school aids could be a little nicer . Dear miss Ata...ah ,if you don't like working here or volunteering - it SHOWS! Nobody wants to see your unpleasant attitude, thank you!
I love this school .We had our son in ronald regan he is very smart always ahead of his class but instead of encouring him they would hold him back with everyone eles. I was affraid he would start to get in trouble because he was bored thats when I enrolled him at sycamore.Once at sycamore his teacher helped him come out of his shell and thrive he is in 3rd grade but he gets to do math with the 4th graders . I like the fact that the school is able to do this all the teachers work together and the kids benefit from this.My sons teacher Miss Gudia has done such a wonderful job helping him flourish .They also get to do art and science projects which he was not able to do at his other school .One more plus Miss Angleia who works in the office is so sweet the kids love her she is never rude to the parents.
Through thick and thin, from LEUSD negative comments to awesome fundraisers and giving a little man, whom was labeled difficult his academic years from pre-school to 1st, a chance to shine Sycamore and the awesome ladies like Ms. Hale , Ms. Angela and at no less Ms. Stearns, gave my little man the education and chance he deserved. Different is not negative and in this case different showed more educational gain and future promise than anything people call "Normal". This ideal is something I have learned about sycamore and have always known about my son (: Thank you Sycamore (:
I absolutely love this school for my daughter!! She started kindergarten shy and reserved, but over the past two years I have seen her blossom into a confident and outgoing young lady. I am amazed at the academic progress she is making and am proud to say that because of the collective efforts of Sycamore, my child, and us (her parents), she is exceeding grade level expectations in all subjects. Every childs education is tailored to their abilities, challenging but attainable goals and a plan for success are all put into place. This type of curriculum is not for every child or parent! For children and parents who require a highly structured learning method (worksheets) I would suggest a traditional public school. Rather than a top down dictated approach, Sycamore takes on a less traditional approach of bottom up. Every child dictates how the subject matter taught in class will be applied through personal selection of projects and homework. By making the children take an active role in their education, the subject matter becomes more relevant to them and their interests; School becomes less of a chore, is more engaging, and subject matter is actually absorbed.
I have a son at Sycamore Academy and it has been a great learning environment for him. I don't judge a school based on a website that a few parents give their opinions; I base my opinions after thoroughly checking out a school. Before placing him at Sycamore I spoke with the office staff, I took a tour, asked lots of questions and I even sat in on a class and observed his possible teacher. My concerns were addressed as were questions I didn't even think to ask and I am happy with the decision I made to place my son at Sycamore. My son is not behind or failing, but then I am not a parent who stresses about my child being a high achiever. I want my child to become the best that he can be and Sycamore is the right fit for us. He is at a school with caring staff and students that are taught that each of them matter and can make a difference in this world.
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