News & Notes - July 3, 2018
What's Happening at The Academies? 

July 9-13 -- Spanish Immersion Camp

July 23-27 -- Ms. Yado's Summer Art Camp

July 30- Aug 3 -- Hogwarts Summer Camp

Aug 15 -- School Begins! 
It's Official!
Principal Benton will lead SVA

Greetings SVA Community,

I am so very honored and pleased to be writing to you for the first time as the Principal of Sycamore Valley Academy!

I have been all-in for SVA since I met Ms. Dutton and began my journey here 5 years ago. I've always felt that I would do whatever was needed for our school to stay strong and succeed, in whatever capacity I possibly could. At this time, I feel that I can best contribute in the Principal position at SVA, and I'm so grateful that the hiring panel and The Academies Board of Directors felt the same way. 

I'm tremendously excited to lead this staff of incredible educators who have a shared heart for students and a shared desire to provide an environment for all students to achieve their personal best and find their gifts.

I'm also eager to continue working with you, SVA community! The immense support from families at SVA is at the core of who we are as a school, and I have such deep appreciation and respect for the relationships that we are able to build in this tight-knit family of learning. I'm committed to walking with you on this path in support of all of our scholars reaching for their personal best and making progress over time. 

I'm truly humbled by the support of this community as I made the decision to apply for this new role, and will ask for your continued support as I learn and grow as a school leader. I'm also pleased that the board took action to accept the recommendation for Mrs. Heather Rocha to become our new Vice Principal. She comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience and I'm so grateful to have her on the SVA team this year.

Again, thank you for your continued support and I can't wait to see you on campus sometime soon!

Much Love, 

Welcome Heather Rocha, SVA Vice Principal!

Dear SVA families, 
I'm so excited to join your amazing learning community!  I had the honor of providing input for the original Sycamore Valley Academy Charter petition and have ALWAYS wholeheartedly believed in this fabulous learner-centered school. As the mother of three very different children and an educator to many, I know how important it is to have a school that allows our children to grow at their level and in their way.  
Over the past six years, it has been wonderful to witness the success of Sycamore Valley. This success is because of all the tremendous families, staff, and awesome learners in the school community. I have shared the SVA mission with many, I have visited the campus several times over the years, and I very often encourage families to bring their children here if they want the best education for their child! 
So, of course, when the opportunity arose to be part of the SVA family I couldn't turn it down. I'm deeply honored to be selected by the Board, Ms. Dutton, and Mr. Benton as your Vice Principal and am looking forward to getting to know all of the families and staff this year.
As the administrative team prepares for our 2018-19 phenomenal learning adventure, I hope you're able to enjoy the rest of your summer.  Read a little, get some rest, and have lots of fun!  I'll see you in August!

Kindest wishes, 
Heather Rocha
We are all excited to welcome Mrs. Heather Rocha as SVA's new Vice Principal. A charter school advocate and long-time supporter of our school, Heather is the perfect addition to our family!  
Mrs. Rocha has been in education for 18 years including 12 years in administration. Prior to obtaining her master's degree in education and bachelor's degree in English, she worked in accounting, law, and insurance for 10 years. 
Mrs. Rocha's teaching career began at Farmersville High School before becoming principal at Visalia Charter Independent Study and growing that school into a personalized blended learning school. The school boasts a phenomenal performing arts program as well as culinary, engineering, science, parenting, and online education programs for 700 students.   
After eight great years in VUSD, Lindsay High School recruited Mrs. Rocha to continue development on their mastery-based high school program. The development included creating small learning communities for PBL within the school. Through Heather's leadership, the school added dual enrollment, Folklorico, performing arts and dance, the Cardinal Cafe, wrestling, and grew the agricultural program. Mrs. Rocha finished her tenure at Lindsay High with impressive academic improvements and a great learning culture. 
Mrs. Rocha is eager to join the SVA family as our new Vice Principal.  "I'm so excited to join the team to work with like-minded educators really transforming learning for all children."  Heather's other family includes three amazing sons and a step-daughter (13, 17, 21, 27) as well as two dogs and four cats.
When you see Heather on campus in August, say hello and welcome her to the SVA family! 

TACMO Summer Enrichment Program

For  SVA and BOA s tudents entering grades 1-4 in 2018-19

It's not too late to join the fun!  
We have only a few seats remaining in the following sessions: 

Click the links below to register. 

Minimum enrollment must be met to provide this opportunity. Under-enrolled sessions will be cancelled two weeks prior to the session. 

NOTE: Summer Enrichment is provided by TACMO and is not part of the academic year. Participation is voluntary. Many services provided during the academic year will not be provided during the Summer Enrichment Program. There will be no school administrator or school nurse on duty. Students who are involved in behavioral incidents in the last month of school will not be allowed to attend the Summer Enrichment Program. Site Principals and specialist staff will use their discretion to protect the safety of all children when communicating behavioral concerns to the Program Director. 

Program Director: Claudia Van Groningen
SVA Bus Rider Registration 

Attention SVA Families! 
It's almost time to sign up to ride the bus to and from SVA next year. PLEASE READ the following information about bus rider sign-ups! 

The SVA administration and Board of Directors have chosen to invest in transportation service in order to provide  equitable community access to our educational option. In order to provide the greatest impact for our investment in this service, providing access to our school to those who would otherwise not be able to get here without hardship, we have located our bus stops in the areas of Visalia's greatest need.  

Reserved seats on the bus are limited and will be granted on a first come, first served basis with priority access given to those who are eligible for the federal student meal program. In the event that we have more students than available seats, a waitlist will be formed after all free and reduced-price meal eligible students have been given seats. As always, if you do not truly need to use our student transportation service, please do not reserve a seat for your child. 

Please complete this form between Monday, July 9 at 8:00AM and Friday, August 10 at noon. The form is also available on our website

NOTE: if you access this form before July 9 at 8:00AM, you will not be allowed to submit a response. The form will be active at the above scheduled time. 
After School Program  Registration Now Open

We offer affordable, enriching after school care for our students as a service to our community. Our program fees are on a sliding scale based on income. Please read the registration form carefully to learn about our billing and payment options. 

Please use this form to register your child for The Academies After School Programs.
Land's End Free Logo Promotion

Stock up now on school uniform items for next year and get your school's crest embroidered for FREE! Order now, this offer expires July 9!

Uniform Dress Code Reminder
Our schools have a uniform dress code, emphasizing our school colors and de-emphasizing designs and branding that are distracting and divisive within the student body.
Clothing that meets our dress code standards may be purchased at any store, however French Toast and Lands' End offer the option to have an SVA or Blue Oak Crest embroidered on many compliant clothing items. Isn't that awesome?

PLEASE NOTE: Our dress code is always in effect for outerwear (jackets, sweatshirts, sweaters, etc) too. Finding solid color outerwear styles free of logos and embellishments can be a challenge. We encourage you to purchase outerwear from the school uniform sites of Land's End or French Toast. 

SVA Uniform Dress Visual Reference Guide


Classroom Announcements Coming Soon! 

Keep an eye on your mailbox during the first week of August. Your child will receive a postcard from their 2018-19 teacher. 

Substitute Custodian
The Academies Charters is seeking a backup daytime custodian. F ingerprint clearance is required. 

The Academies Charters have an experienced and dedicated teaching staff, but we are always looking to expand our sub list. 

If you or someone you know has the desire to be a substitute teacher at our amazing school, has a bachelor's degree, has passed the CBEST, and is willing to get a substitute credential and fingerprint clearance we would love to grow our team. 

If you are interested please email Shauna Dolin at
Know of a community event you'd like to share? Email information and images to Claudia Van Groningen
The Academies CMO| 559.622-3236 |