- Summer Updates, Middle School Orientation, Introducing Principal Phillips

July 1, 2016
SVA News & Notes
What's Happening at SVA?

July 22 -- Bus Signup Deadline 

August 4 -- New Parent Orientation 6PM

August 4 -- Middle School Orientation 7PM

August 10 -- First Day of School 

Introducing Damien Phillips

It's with great pleasure that we announce to you that, effective today, July 1, SVA officially has a new principal.  

The Board of Directors made it official when they welcomed Mr. Phillips at their meeting last week. Mr. Phillips gave a brief presentation about himself and fielded questions from the Board before their vote to approve his hire. One Board Member asked him to describe the culture at SVA, to that Mr. Phillips responded "empowering." We believe that to be so true.

In the words of Superintendent Dutton, "Damien brings the wisdom of many years of teaching, work in administration, work in Special Education, and a scholarly disposition and deep commitment to our work.  His career in education demonstrates an alignment with our mission/vision, his ethic is consistent with our commitment to excellence, and he understands what it means to 'be the change.'  We have confidence in his judgment and ability and look forward to his contributions."

Please join us in welcoming Mr. Phillips to SVA. 

A Message from
Mr. Phillips

I could not be more excited to start this school year as a member of the Sycamore Valley Academy family.  It will be my honor to serve as your principal and assist SVA on its continued path of excellence. 
 
For those of you whom I have not yet met, please allow me to introduce myself...
 
I was raised in Tulare, where I still reside today with my family, including my three children who will attend SVA.  I graduated from Tulare Union High School in 1995, and then attended the University of California at Santa Barbara where I earned my Bachelor's degree in Law and Society.  After a brief stint, (four years) with the Tulare Police Department I decided that education was my true calling and went back to school and studied Education at Chapman University.  I took a position with Shelly Baird School in Hanford where I taught elementary, middle, and high school grades and have single subject competencies for specialized settings in the core subject areas of English, Math, Science, and Social Studies.  I have been a learning director, an assistant principal, and have served as a principal for Kings County Office of Education for the last two years.  I have a Master's degree in Education, and have completed the academic portion of my doctorate degree in Organizational Leadership and am currently working on my dissertation. I am committed to providing every student at SVA with an educational environment where they can grow both academically and socially. 
 
As an active member of the educational community I have never been more impressed with a school than I am with what I have seen in SVA's short existence.  I am thrilled to be a member of the team, and look forward to contributing to the continued success of such a fine institution. 
 
Damien Phillips
Principal
Sycamore Valley Academy

SVA Compass
Middle School Orientation 

ATTENTION! All middle school students and parents should plan to attend our orientation meeting on August 4, 7-8PM, in the cafeteria. 

Class schedules, elective placement, and advisor assignments will be handed out at this meeting. If you and your student do not attend the meeting, your student will receive their schedule on the first day of school.

A message from the Middle School Team: 

Come learn about all the exciting changes happening this year.  
We will discuss:
  • Middle School Daily Schedule
  • Advisory and Reflection Classes
  • Restorative Justice and Peer Mediation
  • Increased Emphasis on Student Portfolios
  • Subject specific presentations in each content area.
Attendees will receive their class schedules, including advisory and elective placement. 

We look forward to meeting with you.

Mr. Sommer, Mrs. Lewis, Mr. Bigler, Mrs. Lopez 

New Parent Orientation: August 4, 6-7PM

Families who are new to SVA are encouraged to attend our orientation meeting on August 4, 6-7 PM in the cafeteria. You'll learn the ins and outs of SVA and will have a chance to get your questions answered. This is a great opportunity to meet school staff too. 

Even if you're not new to SVA, this is a good opportunity to refresh your memory on our program and policies, especially if your child entered SVA mid-year last year.  
2016-17 Bus Signup

SVA provides no-cost bus service to families who need student transportation to and from our campus.

Seats on the buses are limited and are assigned on a first come, first served basis. 

In the event that there are more rider applications than available seats, preference will be given first to students who qualify for free and reduced price lunch. Second priority will be given to students who will ride the bus daily. Remaining seats will be filled based on the order applications were received. A waitlist will be established once all seats are filled. Please do not reserve a seat for your child if you do not intend to use it. 

The priority application deadline is July 15.

New this year: All bus riders and their parents must attend a mandatory transportation meeting at Back to School Night. You will be notified of the date and time of the meeting at the email address you provide on the form.

Use this form to apply for bus transportation for the 2016-17 year. Please fill out a separate form for each student. 

NEW 2016-17 Bus Routes:
Route 1- Houston, Fairview, Crestwood
Route 2- Four Creeks, Mineral King, Royal Oaks

Schedules for pickup and drop off will be posted on our website once they are finalized. Please check for updates over the summer. 

Middle School Admissions Info

Our innovative student-centered middle school program is growing for the 2016-17 year. Currently, there are only a couple of openings remaining for new students. 

We'll have new elective options 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 admission, linked here, and detailed information about our program, linked here. 
Parent Satisfaction Survey

You should have received an email from Ms. Dutton in the last weeks of school that contained a link to our annual parent satisfaction survey. We've received 80 responses so far. Help us reach our goal of full 100% participation  and take a few minutes to complete the survey this weekend. 

We'd really love to hear from everyone! 
Since 1990, Camp Invention has taken summer fun and transformed it from ordinary to extraordinary! 

Local educators lead a week of hands-on activities created especially for 1st-6th graders. Children will spend their time constructing and personalizing a DIY solar-powered cricket with a unique habitat and taking apart electronics to assemble something new. Lessons explore connections between science, technology, engineering and innovation. 

Camp will run July 25-29, 9:00AM - 3:30PM each day. 

Visit www.campinvention.org or call 800.968.4332 for information and to sign your student up! Any additional questions may be directed towards Mrs. Padilla at [email protected]sycamorevalleyacademy.org.


Horse and Reader Camps 

Fight summer academic slide with reading, writing, art, science, math, horsemanship, and riding at Visalia's J-Bar Ranch Camps. 

One and two week sessions are available for youth grades K-8. 

For more information contact Jan Loveless, PhD:  [email protected], 559-798-1510. Check out J-Bar on Facebook. 
Free National Park Access for 4th Graders

The National Park Service is providing FREE access to all National Parks to all 4th graders in the U.S. 

Visit the Every Kid in a Park website to learn more and to get your free pass to America's natural wonders and historic sites.  
2016 CAASPP


The results are rolling in and SVA scores are up from 2015! Schoolwide average growth per grade level, in terms of percentage of students who met or exceeded the standard, is five points in English Language Arts and seven points in mathematics. Nice work! 
Get out the Vote! 

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.   

If you'd like to share information about political events and opportunities to engage our community in the political process, please email [email protected]

Next PTO Meeting


PTO will begin meeting again in August. Have a great summer! 

Round Table Pizza
4035 S. Mooney Blvd. 

Sycamore Valley Academy | 559.622.3236 | [email protected]
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