-Capitol Visit, Sutter's Fort, CAASPP Testing Begins Next Week
May 6, 2016
SVA News & Notes
What's Happening at SVA?

May 6 -- Deadline to Order Yearbooks

May 9 -- PTO Meeting

May 9-20 -- CAASPP Testing

May 9-13 -- Staff Appreciation Week

May 14 -- PTO Spring Auction Fundraiser

May 25 -- Open House

June 1 -- 8th Grade Graduation

June 3 -- Last Day of School! 
Minimum Day 12:15 Dismissal
Principal/Superintendent Ruth Dutton Testifies in Sacramento in Support of Charter School Start-up Funding
On Tuesday, May 3, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance met to discuss $20 million proposed in the state budget for charter school start-up funding.  The federal start-up money that launched Sycamore Valley Academy is no longer available to new startup charters in California.  In response, Governor Brown has proposed $20 million in the 2016-17 budget to replace this vital lost revenue source, which has been vital in the opening of the majority of charter schools across our state.  Public charter start up funding is especially vital to areas like the Central Valley, where philanthropic support has not been comparable to urban, more resourced parts of California.  We are hopeful that this budget item makes it through the process in tact, and if it does, we will be applying to access these funds to help us launch our second K-8 school in Visalia.
You can watch an archive of the hearing on YouTube hereThe entire debate is fascinating, but if you're interested in our particular point of view, skip to 13:35 to hear SVA Principal/Superintendent Ruth Dutton (with student Harper Dutton) testify before the committee.  
The committee held the item open pending the May Revision of the state budget, to be released next week.

Ruth and Harper also visited legislators around the Capitol. Thank you Devin Mathis, Andy Vidak, and Jean Fuller for your support of charter schools and the time you took to listen to issues that matter to us during our visit!

Sutter's Fort

The highly-anticipated 3rd/4th grade field trip to live like pioneers at Sutter's Fort took place this week. Students, teachers, and parent volunteers immersed themselves in the total settler experience. Arriving by covered wagon, participants assumed their roles as characters they studied in advance of the trip. Dressed in authentic costumes, they learned weaving, carpentry, and blacksmithing and made candles and cornhusk dolls. They even washed laundry by hand! Supper was prepared over a wood fire, followed by Native American storytelling and a hoedown! A huge thank you goes out to the 3/4 team and all of the dedicated parents that made this incredible trip possible. These students will surely remember this experience for a lifetime. 

State Testing Begins Next Week

Our CAASPP testing window is May 9-20. Keep an eye out for your classroom newsletter which will highlight the exact dates your child's class will be testing. 

It is especially important that students are in attendance and arrive on time on testing days. Please schedule appointments outside of the testing window. 

Please take care to ensure your children have a good night's rest and a nourishing breakfast before they come to school. 

Talk to your child's teacher if you'd like to donate a healthy snack to share with the class on testing days.  

We are so proud of our student's performance on these exams last year. Encourage them to keep up the good work! 

Thanks, parents, for your help in ensuring our test administration runs smoothly! 
Yearbook Sale Ends Today

SVA Yearbooks are available for purchase NOW through the Picaboo website!  The book is approximately 100 pages and includes 4 free pages for personalization. 

The deadline for orders is TODAY Friday, May 6!  

The pricing is as follows:
Hardcover - $34.26 (becomes $37 with tax)
Softcover - $25.00 (becomes $27 with tax)
e-yearbook - $10.00 - actual yearbook purchase not required to purchase the e-yearbook.

To purchase a yearbook, please visit http://sva.picaboo.com
SVA's 4th Annual 
Student Talent Show 

Hosted by SVA Student Council, the event will be held Tuesday, May 31st.

Bring your talent to us! 

Students may apply as individuals or with a group, no more than 5 participants per group. Maximum time to showcase talent is a firm 2 minutes. 

Auditions will be held Monday, May 16th at 3:40 in the cafeteria.

Students must bring a completed application and signed permission slip to the audition. Please read all information in attached packet carefully.

No late entries will be accepted. 

Contact Jennifer Denham with questions, [email protected]
National Anthem Auditions

Student instrumentalists and vocalists are invited to audition to perform the Star Spangled Banner at our 8th grade graduation on June 1. 

We are looking for talented, enthusiastic performers who can convey pride for our great nation on graduation day. Complete details about performance requirements and a permission slip were sent home with your child this week and can be downloaded through the link below. 
Found Object Art Contest

Entries due Tuesday, May 24

Students are invited to reduce, reuse and recycle while exercising your creativity! 

Encourage your child to start thinking about what they can do with milk cartons, newspaper, egg cartons, cans, shampoo bottles or wrappers instead of throwing them away. Make something amazing from what you'd normally toss into the garbage or recycle bin.

Entries will be on display at Open House. Judging will be in several categories and by age group. For complete rules and more information, please 

Contact Mrs. Johnson with questions in room 8 or at

Mark Your Calendars 

Wednesday, May 25, 6-7:30PM

Plan to bring the whole family and spend the evening at SVA, we'll have dinner available for purchase from Tacos Galacticos and Planing Mill Pizza (a portion of the proceeds comes back to SVA), and plenty to see and do. Classroom visits begin at 6:00PM. 

 Staff Appreciation Week

We will be showing our gratitude the staff that serves our kids with a variety of events during the week of May 9-13.  We need your participation to make it special! 

Tuesday May 10 -- Bring a flower to your teacher 
Buy one, pick one, or make one! A vase will be in the classroom to make a bouquet. 

Friday, May 13 -- Make your teacher a card
Show your gratitude and your creativity! 
If you are interested in helping with Staff Appreciation Week please contact Suzy Plummer at 303-0160 or [email protected] for more information. 
8th Grade Graduation Information

We have a special evening planned for our 2016 graduates. We have moved the event to the Wyndham Hotel located at 9000 W. Plaza Drive. The ceremony will begin promptly at 6:30PM on Wednesday, June 1. 
A dessert reception will follow.  

The occasion is special, but not formal. Regular guidelines for appropriate dress as stated in the SVA Family Handbook must be observed. Appropriate attire for graduating boys is a long sleeved dress shirt and tie and dress slacks. Appropriate attire for girls is a nice dress or a skirt/slacks and blouse.  Shoes must not have a heel over 1 inch. No spaghetti straps, miniskirts, t-shirts, or low-cut tops are allowed. If you have a question about a specific item of clothing, please bring the item or a photograph of the item to the office for Ms. Dutton's approval prior to the event. 

Questions about graduation may be directed to Claudia Van Groningen
Middle School Admission Info 

Our innovative, student-centered middle school program is growing for the 2016-17 year. Currently, there are only a few openings remaining for new students.
We'll have new electives available next year along with other exciting changes such as daily PE and Spanish. 

If you know someone who is looking for an excellent option and a small family-like middle school experience, please share our application for 2016-17 admission, linked here, and forward them our recent email (subject line Changes Coming in 2016-17) that includes detailed information about our program. 
We're Hiring 

Please help us spread the word that SVA is seeking highly qualified individuals to fill several positions. Share the SVA Staff Recruitment Brochure with someone who might be right for SVA! 

With growth on the horizon, Ms. Dutton's dual role of Principal/Superintendent will be divided. Ms. Dutton will become a full time Superintendent, and SVA will gain a new full time Principal beginning July 1. If you know someone who might be the perfect candidate to fill this role at SVA, please send them our way.  View the job posting on EdJoin. 

After School Program Coordinator 
A part time position for the 2016-17 academic year. View the EdJoin posting here. 

Instructional Aide
An excellent opportunity to join the SVA team in 2016-17. This position is part time, approximately 32 hours/week. Apply here. 

Substitute Teachers and Instructional Aides 
We pay substitute teachers $116/day. 
Substitute Instructional Aides earn $10.30-14.42/hr (depending on education & experience). Must have Tulare County fingerprint clearance. For more information on qualifications and requirements, contact [email protected]
Attention Parents

Kindergarten oral health screenings must be completed and turned in by May 31. 

Tulare County is hosting TDap vaccination clinics at Visalia elementary schools. All students entering 7th grade must show proof of TDap vaccination. 

All clinics are held 3:00-4:00PM at the locations/dates listed below. 

  • May 10 - Manuel Hernandez School 
  • May 16 - Mineral King School
  • May 31 - Mt. View School

There is no cost for Medi-Cal recipients, $62 for those with private insurance.
Provide your Input on our Community Survey

California's Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) requires schools to solicit stakeholder input in developing their Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAP). Please take a few moments to complete the brief survey linked here
2016-17 Academic Calendar 

Check out the calendar for next year so that you and your family can make your summer plans accordingly. 

Awards Assembly May 27
DE Logo
Current DE Session - 
May 9-20

Destination: Warriors

Many periods in history have had their class of warriors with clothing, weapons, and lifestyles that fit their time. Learn about ninjas, samurai, knights, and centurions. Imagine a warrior fighting for your most important causes. 
Let's hear your battle cry!
Lunch Menu

Monday -  5/9 Beef & Cheese Rolled Taco
Tuesday - 5/10 Chile con Carne
Wednesday - 5/11 Breaded Beef Patty on a Bun
Thursday - 5/12 Teriyaki Beef Rice Bowl
Friday - 5/13 Pizza Quesadilla

Engaging Your Children in an Election Year

From now through Election Day on November 8, 2016 we will share information and ideas for engaging your children in conversation about the upcoming elections. 

We encourage you to start the conversation, to get involved, and to exercise your right to vote.  

Why should people vote?

Raise a future voter by teaching children about the importance of making their voices heard. Tell them that despite the struggle to extend the vote to all American citizens over 18, only 57.5 percent of U.S. citizens age 18 and over voted in the 2012 presidential election. Explain that because a surprising number of elections are determined by small margins, it's important for all eligible voters to participate at the local and national level.

Honoring Student Achievement

We accept nominations for student recognition on an ongoing basis, so be sure to let us know when something great happens! If you would like to nominate a student for their extra curricular accomplishments, complete this form
Next PTO Meeting

May 9, 6:00PM

Round Table Pizza
4035 S. Mooney Blvd.
Community Events

Featuring SVA's own Faye Lewis! 
Sycamore Valley Academy | 559.622.3236 | [email protected]
Like us on Facebook  View our videos on YouTube