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February 2009

W
e
are now in the short month of February that sometimes seems very
long! Hopefully, the warm spring air will become consistent as we
approach March. Since you may be stuck inside during the cold weather, think
about some ways to get involved with your child’s learning. February gives us
much to look forward to. We celebrate Black History Month, President’s Day,
and Valentine’s Day. And after a long holiday season, students and staff are back
full speed working toward their yearly goals and expectations.

K
INDERGARTEN REGISTRATION: It’s that time of year again!!! Kindergarten
registration began February 5, 2009. Hours of registration are 8:30 - 3:30 daily. Your
child must be 5 years old on or before August 31, 2009 to attend school for the 2009-2010
school year. The revised law moves the legal school entry age up by a month
and a half in an effort to reduce drop-out rates in later grades and make sure
students are ready for formal school when they begin kindergarten.
Documents required for registration are - a certified copy of your child’s
birth certificate (with the State Seal), immunization record (child must be up
to date on shots), and a proof of residence (a recent utility bill - gas, electric
or water, rental agreement or housing contract). After completing the
registration folder, you will be given a kindergarten health assessment form to
be completed by your child’s doctor to be returned to us on or before August
25, 2009.

C
AR POOL: Please be reminded that parents picking up their children in the
afternoon should utilize the car pool procedure that has been put in place at
Sycamore Creek unless picking up for an appointment or volunteering in the school.
Car Pool continues to run very smoothly and efficiently. Car Pool operates
from 3:00 p.m. until 3:15 p.m. We appreciate everyone who is following
procedure.

T
ARDIES / CHECKOUTS: Please be reminded that parents/guardians should
report to the main office when checking students in tardy or requesting that
they be dismissed early. We ask that students move to and from their classroom
unescorted. This will keep disruptions at a minimum. We appreciate your
cooperation with this policy.
L
ABELS FOR EDUCATION: Please continue to send in Box Tops and Tyson A Plus labels.
We are also collecting milk tops from Harris Teeter brand milk for gallon and half
gallon jugs. Thank you to the PTA for their assistance with collection and counting.

N
ATIONAL SCHOOL COUNSELING WEEK: February 2-6 was National School
Counseling Week. This week commemorates the importance of the role of the
school counselor in promoting student success through academic, personal/social and
career development. We appreciate Ms. Kirk, Sycamore Creek’s school counselor as
well as Wake County’s Counselor of the year, for all she does.

P
IECES OF GOLD: Pieces of Gold, an annual arts extravaganza produced jointly by
Wake County Public Schools and Wake Education Partnership, celebrates its 26th year
with the 2009 performance. More than 800 students and teachers work throughout the
year to produce a show that supports the curriculum as well as entertains an enthusiastic
audience. Pieces of Gold will be held on March 4, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at Progress Energy
Center for Performing Arts.

In addition to the performing arts show, Gifts of Gold features students work in the visual
arts. Each school in Wake County is encouraged to submit one piece of visual art for this
exceptional show. Winners are selected for each grade level, including “Best in Show”.
Sycamore Creek Elementary will be represented at Gifts of Gold!

Pieces of Gold and Gifts of Gold enable the community to view some of the best talent Wake
County has to offer while underscoring the value arts education has in a well-rounded
learning experience. The performance celebrates the many talents of students from around
our community and honors the hard work of our school community. Pieces of Gold alums have
gone on to pursue careers in a variety of areas. Broadway star Lauren Kennedy and American
Idol sensation Clay Aiken started their performing careers right here in Raleigh!
Sycamore Creek will have 4th and 5th grade students perform in the 26th Anniversary of
Pieces of Gold. Students will perform our very own “Sycamore Creek” song! Kyle the
Crocodile will also join in the fun and make an appearance at the end. Mr. Scheuer is very
proud of each student that will be performing and representing our
school. It is an honor to be a part of a performance like this! You can
purchase tickets through any ticket master outlet, or go online at
www.ticketmaster.com. Come out and see our crocs shine!
C
OUNSELOR’S CORNER: Children from the third through fifth grade will be
taking standardized tests this spring. These tests help the school measure
your child’s performance against state standards. There are many things you can
do at home to ensure your child’s scores correctly reflect his academic
capabilities. For instance, research shows children do better on standardized
tests if they get plenty of natural sugar the week preceding the test. Try giving
your son or daughter fruits and fruit drinks. In addition, making sure your child is
well hydrated is another documented test advantage.

Here are some other strategies:
• Build your child’s reading stamina. Gradually increase the amount and time he reads in one
session. He can take a break by closing his eyes for a minute or two.
• Send your child to bed early the night before the test.
• Review common words in test questions, like evaluate and predict. Practice by
asking him to evaluate what he’s read or predict what might happen next in a story.
• Make sure your child wears comfortable clothes and has extra pencils and erasers
on the day of the test.

On test day, tell your child to:
• Read each question carefully. Underline key words.
• Read questions first before reading the passage. Then look for the answers as he reads.
Most elementary students can remember two questions at a time.
• Answer questions he’s sure about first. Then go back to the more difficult ones.
• Cross out answers on multiple choice questions he knows are wrong.
• Pace himself. He shouldn’t spend too much time on one question.

Tell your child to “Just do your best!” Assure your child of your unconditional love with a
hug.

F
IRST IN FITNESS: We are excited to report that the 2009 Sycamore Creek First In
Fitness team is working hard and preparing for the countywide athletic competition that
has been moved to Thursday, March 12th. Our student-athletes have been practicing Monday
- Thursday mornings at school and recording their individual workouts at home to track their
progress. Parent volunteers have been doing a great job assisting with coaching individual
events during each practice session to ensure maximum benefits. Our athletes are taking
this opportunity seriously and carrying themselves with extreme pride. We will be
taking 49 athletes to compete in 7 different events that include: Mile Run, 100 yd.
Dash, Shuttle run, Pull Ups, Standing Broad Jump, Speed Rope, and the Triathlon. The
top boy and girl performers in each event in grades 2-5 were selected based on their
fitness test scores in Physical Education classes. We are carrying a great group of kids
to represent Sycamore Creek at our inaugural competition. There is not a doubt that
we will impress fellow athletes, parents, and organizers with not only our athletic
prowess, but our pride and character as well.
C
HARACTER CORNER: Integrity is the Character Trait selected by Wake County Public
School System for focus during the month of February. The definition of Integrity
taken from the “Character Education Informational Handbook & Guide”, produced
by the Public Schools of North Carolina, is “having the inner strength to be
truthful, trustworthy and honest in all things; acting justly and honorably.” Concern
for Integrity is ever present in our lives from the many scandals of Wall Street to
the political arena as well as in education such as discussions of cheating being on
the rise in high schools and colleges. It is only now, early in the lives of our
children, that we can foster the roots that integrity stems from, to give them a
passionate dedication to the value of ones own integrity that will withstand
question.

Integrity at Home: The Teaching Character, Parents Guide by Dotson & Dotson offers
these ways to encourage honesty in your child.
! Verbally encourage your child when he or she is honest.
! Discuss honesty and dishonesty when you see examples on TV or at the movies. Talk
about the consequences of choices made.
! Insist your child apologize to the injured person when he or she is dishonest. Require
they compensate the owner if something is broken or stolen. Model honest behavior.
Don’t ask your child to tell someone you’re not home when you are home. Remember
“they learn by watching you”.
! Help your child problem-solve situations that tempt him or her to be dishonest.
! Discuss “little white lies” and whether they think they are different from “regular
lies”. Also discuss how it makes you feel when someone is dishonest with us.

T
HANK YOU: Sycamore Creek Crocodiles would like to thank Daniel Beeke, a senior at
Leesville Road High School, for building two benches on our campus. Daniel designed and
built the benches for his Eagle Scout project. The benches are located near the K-2 and 3-
5 playgrounds and being enjoyed by the staff and students.

Another thank you goes to Cub Scout Den 1 from Pack 352 along with Hughes Pittman &
Gupton, LLP. Together, they planted over 500 flower bulbs throughout the flower beds in
the front of Sycamore Creek Elementary. Yellow and orange Tulips, yellow and white
Narcissus, and purple Crocus were planted. It was a fun day for the Scouts as they learned
about erosion control and flower bulb planting. They also completed several requirements
for their Cub Scout World Conservation Award. We can’t wait for the spring!

D
ATES TO REMEMBER:

2/5: Kindergarten Registration Begins! 3/2-3/13: Track Change request window
2/9-2/20: Book Fair at Sycamore Creek 3/2-3/6: Read Across America Week
2/12: Family Book Fair Night from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. 3/4: Pieces of Gold Performance @ 7:00p.m.
2/13: Cultural Arts Program-Bird Man Dave @ 9:00 a.m. 3/5: Early Release Day @ 12:00 p.m.
2/25: Fifth Grade DARE Graduation 3/12: First in Fitness
3/16: Advisory Council Meeting @ Green Hope