About Sycamore Elementary School
Sycamore Elementary School, founded as Claremont Grammar School in 1890, is home to approximately 380 students in grades kindergarten through six. Ninety-nine percent of our students reside within the boundaries of CUSD; however, a strong percentage of families are students who transfer from within the city. These families cite the unique nature of our multi-age, constructivist-based educational program as the reason for their decision.
Learning is student centered at Sycamore Elementary School. Respect for each child as a learner is the foundation of our instructional activities and curricular decisions. Within our multi-age environment, leadership and collaboration is promoted. We encourage students to solve problems in a variety of ways, to influence and reflect upon their learning, and to apply their learning to real-world scenarios. At Sycamore, we intend to respond to the unique needs of each student by differentiating instruction and providing teaching strategies based upon the multiple intelligences.
Sycamore is committed to reinforcing a love for learning. The relationship students enjoy with their teacher is foundational to students' positive attitude for school. By design, our students have more than one year with their classroom teacher, and strong bonds between teacher and student develop, as a result. Thanks to the support of our school's Governance Council and the Claremont Educational Foundation, our students enjoy music and art instruction taught by credentialed teachers each week. In addition to planning curricular studies on a variety of topics, students enjoy creating and performing class plays and benefit from a broad range of field trips, assemblies, author visits, and school-wide enrichment activities including Mask Parade, Ability Awareness Day, Across Generations Day, Sycamore Faire, and our bi-annual all-school musical. Students contribute meaningfully toward educational decisions in student-led conferences and curriculum planning sessions, and through these opportunities, students develop as self-reflective, life-long learners. Opportunities for choice and creativity within the classroom serve to affirm the joy we all find in learning.
Our school embodies a value for community. Our school's Governance Council acts as the primary decision making body at Sycamore. Membership in this group is open to parents, students, staff and community members, and its work incorporates that of the Parent Faculty Organization, School Site Council, and Shared Decision Making Team. Parent and community volunteers are vital part of our school's activities and our day to day classroom environments. Our partnership with the local colleges, businesses and community organizations enrich our school's program. Students are encouraged to develop responsibility for their actions and the effect their actions have on others. To support students in their efforts to gain inner responsibility, they are taught to base decisions on the following four questions: Is it safe? Is it kind? Does it support learning? Does it protect our school and our planet? When problems occur, students are asked to reflect on what happened, accept responsibility for their actions, consider the consequences their actions have had on others, and devise a plan for what they can do differently in the future. Natural consequences, school service, and reflections reinforce the importance of improved decision-making and self-control for students and those around them. Student leadership opportunities are abundant. Within the classroom, in Big and Little Buddy partnerships, and in across the campus, students are encouraged to use their interests and talents to support individuals and their school community, as a whole. We believe the citizenship our students exercise within our school community serves as the foundation for their development as citizens of the world.