News & Notes - January 11, 2018
What's Happening at The Academies?   

Jan 17 -- SVA School Tour

Jan 18 -- BOA School Tour

Jan 21 --  *NO SCHOOL* Holiday

Jan 28 --  *NO SCHOOL* Staff Development

Feb 11 -- Admissions Info Meetings 

Feb 18 -- *NO SCHOOL* Holiday


It's Time to Apply for 2019-20 Admission!

Please join us in spreading the word about our excellent schools. Be sure you share this link to our *new* electronic application with anyone who might be interested in attending Sycamore or Blue Oak next year.  The printable form is also available for download here.  

Help Us Spread the Word!

Now that you have packed away your holiday decorations, why not display your school pride? Stop by your school office to pick up a yard sign today! Signs are reversible with SVA and BOA sides. Please display your sign prominently through the admissions period and store in a safe place for use again next year. 

Dear Friends,
I am so proud of what The Academies has accomplished in such a short period of time. As we approach the midway point in our seventh year at Sycamore Valley and the second year of Blue Oak Academy, I am grateful for the hard work and support that has brought us to where we are today! Our staff and student body have grown considerably and, together, we have established school communities that feel like a family. Our campuses are our homes, where we are establishing traditions and taking care of one other. Our students continue to surprise even their own parents with 
the level of achievement they are able to attain when given an accepting and enriching learning environment in which to grow.
Our schools were founded to provide a world-class education to the children of the Central Valley. We understand that a great school gives its students the chance to reach their full potential while motivating the continual improvement of nearby schools as well. This means our schools not only serve our enrolled families, but they also create a ripple effect of raising expectations broadly in our community. Sycamore Valley Academy and Blue Oak Academy are bright spots in public education, and we are proud of the model we provide. At our schools, students feel seen, heard, cared for, and supported to achieve at the highest levels. With our enriched curriculum and meaningful learning experiences, we are empowering the next generation, truly making our community a "land of opportunity."
Our school community works hard to ensure that students are provided with an outstanding educational opportunity. In addition to the love and dedication of our people, we rely upon the financial support of our community to keep our schools running.
In addition to carefully selected academic curriculum delivered in student-responsive classrooms by a team of dedicated educators, we provide exceptional, hands-on 
enrichment  in science, Spanish language, and the arts for all students beginning in kindergarten. Elective courses are offered to students beginning in fifth grade with options ranging from coding and robotics to theater and band. Giving to our organization helps cover the  additional expenses incurred to ensure that every student receives these assets. Additionally, your contribution directly supports our effort to provide a top notch 21st century learning experience by providing technology for use in our classrooms and funding the professional development of our educators , equipping our staff to provide students with memorable and deep learning experiences to last a lifetime.
Our seasonal giving campaign is underway and we are asking for your support to ensure we can continue to provide high quality academics, enrichment, and opportunities to scholars. We are asking all of our friends and families to contribute to our Scholar Fund this year. You can send your contribution to the school or visit our websites to donate electronically. We encourage our school families to establish a monthly donation. The donate button on our websites will give you the option to establish a recurring donation with one click. You can also establish an automatic donation to recur from your online banking account. This can make giving painless for families while sustaining our work in Visalia throughout the year.
Thank you for helping us build our programs. Our schools would not be the successful institutions they are without your support.

With gratitude,

Ruth A. Dutton
The Academies CMO

Leadership Openings 

The following job postings are now open on 

Safety First! 

Please pay special attention to safety during pick up and drop off times at our campuses. Please do not park in the drop off lanes. Obey all traffic laws at all times and be aware of pedestrians and other drivers, please! 

Check out these reminders from the California Driver's Handbook:

Reduced Speeds Around Children
Always drive slowly and carefully near schools, playgrounds, parks, and residential areas because children may suddenly run into the street. Also, many children have not yet developed the ability to judge speeds and distances well enough to cross streets safely when cars are moving fast.

Never make a U-turn  where you cannot see clearly 200 feet in each direction because of a curve, hill, rain, fog, or other reason, or w hen other vehicles may hit you. 

Near Railroad 
ATTENTION Blue Oak Families! There are uncontrolled tracks near the BOA campus.
The speed limit is 15 mph within 100 feet of a railroad crossing where you cannot see the  tracks for 400 feet in both directions. You may drive faster than 15 mph if the crossing is controlled by gates, a warning signal, or a flagman 
At railroad or  train crossings:
  • Look in both directions and listen for trains. 
  • Expect a train on any track, at any time, traveling in either direction. If you need to stop after crossing the tracks, wait until you can completely cross the tracks before proceeding. Make sure your vehicle clears the tracks before you stop.
  • Never stop on the railroad tracks. Remember that a train cannot stop quickly or swerve out of the way. If you are on the tracks, you risk injury or death.
  • Watch for vehicles that must stop before they cross train tracks. These vehicles include buses, school buses, and trucks transporting hazardous loads.


We are partnering with local business Twice Upon A Time for their Bows-4-Books fundraiser. Each bow is $5.00 and proceeds from sales go toward purchasing books for your school.

Bows are selling like hotcakes right now at SVA and BOA. Stop by the front office to purchase your very own school spirit bow. Makes a great stocking stuffer! 

All Drifter, Performance and Fine Gauge sweaters are marked down right now too!


February 9th will be The Academies night 
at the COS Basketball game! 
Details coming soon. 

Our schools offer a convenient option for student breakfast and lunch. Meals are provided by through contract with Visalia Unified School District's Nutritional Services Division and are delivered daily to our cafeterias.

Breakfast - $ 1.25 per day    Lunch - $2.00 per day   Milk - $0.35 per carton

You can pay for lunches at school with cash or check,  or pay  online with the  service . An app is available so you can easily use this service on your smartphone. If you have not already done so, you will need  to register, create an account and  provide an ID number for each student .  Contact the front office of your school to obtain your child's student ID number.
Next SVA PTO Meeting
Next BOA PTO Meeting

Monday, January 14 Monday, January 14
6:00PM 6:00PM
Round Table Pizza Round Table Pizza
Packwood Creek Center Mary's Vineyard Center
4035 S. Mooney Blvd.
1691 E. Noble Ave.

If you would like to share any ideas or add an agenda item for discussion at the   PTO  meeting please   email  it to at least one week prior to the meeting.  

Spanish translation available at meetings. 
¡Estamos muy contentos de compartir que ofrecemos traducción en español en nuestras reuniones!  ¡Hay que trabajar juntos!

Family Support

Why Read 20 Minutes a Day?

Did you know that reading helps build student success? We're sure that you know this, but here is some more evidence to show that reading really does have a significant impact on a child's foundation in learning.

Let's break it down...

A child who reads 20 minutes per night reads 3,600 minutes per school year and is exposed to 1,800,000 words. Wow!

Initially, kids can't read for 20 minutes on their own, but early readers benefit from reading with a parent. The child can read a short book, then listen to a read-aloud or picture book with a parent. The blossoming reader can hear a fluent reader and build vocabulary.

Teachers in our 1st & 2nd grades are noticing greater academic growth in students who consistently read or are read to at home each night compared to those who do not. This is reason enough to make reading a regular part of your child's day.

("The Case for Reading 20 Minutes a Day." Fairhill School and Diagnostic Assessment Center , 27 June 2016)

Click the image to discover 20 books that make kids kinder! 
Community Events
Know of a community event you'd like to share? Email information and images to Claudia Van Groningen
The Academies CMO| 559.622-3236 |