We are a group of educators who have come together around a common set of principles about what a school should be for students and families. During the 2019-2020 school closures, our classrooms were expanded into homes of our students. This experience reaffirmed the lasting impression that hands on learning experiences have on students. It reminded us of the importance that social interaction plays in meaningful learning. It renewed our commitment to providing opportunities for students to work together, grow as collaborators, and build a community. The Sycamore Community School was founded from our passion to deliver excellence to our community!
Sycamore Community School’s mission is to support the dynamic learning experience of students grades K-8 in a small school environment with a low teacher-student ratio.
Fostering resilient, independent, compassionate, and engaged students is the goal of this program. Students will have many opportunities to collaborate within and across grade levels in and beyond the school campus on a regular basis. Hands-on learning experiences and robust instructional/curricular resources will be used across grades. Sycamore Community School is a values-based nondenominational school program and one that welcomes students of all faiths. Celebrating the great diversity of Los Angeles is part of the school’s mission.
Los Angeles is an exciting city and one that faces many twenty-first-century challenges. Students will have many opportunities to learn about the diversity, history, geography, environment, and population of the Los Angeles area. Outdoor adventures, including ones using public transportation, will foster civic pride and a commitment to serving those in need. Caring for the environment with and beyond school will be an expectation and a priority.
The school community includes partnerships with and between faculty, staff, parents, students, and neighbors. Sycamore Community School will be a catalyst in the formation of cohesive and supportive relationships in order to best serve students. Parent participation and collaboration is key to this process.
Research-based best practices drive the school’s curriculum and approach to instruction and will include setting individual growth goals for students on a regular basis and monitoring those goals to best meet student needs across subjects.
Preparation for high school and support through the application process will be both personal and comprehensive. Academic preparedness for secondary school and beyond will be fostered across grades as students develop skills and take increasingly more responsibility for their learning as students and leaders.
A child and young person’s education should include many different types of experiences in and beyond the classroom. Nurturing students to discover and develop their gifts and talents is a part of this education. Goal-setting supports growth and young people who learn how to work towards achievement develop self-esteem and grit. The classroom should feel supportive and challenging as well as a place where high expectations are clearly laid out and where all are expected to play an important role in their own learning as well as that of others.
Schools are visual places and the stories that are told in and beyond the classroom are an important part of student growth. The classroom and all public spaces in the school building should reflect goals for student learning and should celebrate students. Getting along and collaborating with others is engendered through experiences over time. Schools that teach citizenship and leadership skills prepare students for their future and meaningful work. An awareness of others’ needs fosters empathy. This can occur in real life situations and through literature. Classrooms with rich reading libraries and schools that set high expectations for student literacy prepare students to lead rich lives. Technology is a vital part of education; using technology as a tool is critical. Other tools are important as well — color crayons, markers, books, paper, chalk and play equipment — they all provide opportunities for student exploration and discovery.
Educators set a tone in and beyond the classroom. Like their students they are always learning, growing and collaborating. Their role is to know their students and to provide a rich learning experience for each individual student. This depends on the application of best practices, careful planning and providing students with knowledge of results in a timely manner. In the classroom there is a balance between the development of skills and content mastery; students are aware of the learning objective and their progress towards it.
Sycamore Community School welcomes and celebrates students and families from diverse cultural, racial, religious, gender, sexual orientation, and neurodiverse backgrounds. Sycamore is committed to fostering a community that is a catalyst for a more just society. Sycamore emphasizes educating the whole person, explicitly examining injustice in an historical and contemporary context, and providing opportunities for social change within the school, local and world communities. Students will embark on the journey to become agents of change and develop a deep awareness and understanding of the past and present injustices in society. A dynamic educational program will not only challenge students to critically think about social and economic inequity, but call them to take action towards advocacy for change.
Sycamore Community School plans to offer a wide variety of fun and exciting enrichment programs throughout the school year. Examples of just a few of these programs are Coding, Art, Musical Theatre, Chess, and Yoga. The classes will vary depending on the needs and interests of our students and will meet weekly after school. Once the 2021-2022 school has begun, please check back here for more information regarding the after school classes that will be available this fall!