School Details
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About This School

Sycamore Canyon School is a public middle school in Newbury Park. The principal of Sycamore Canyon School is Jon Sand, who can be contacted at jsand@conejo.k12.ca.us. 1,388 students go to Sycamore Canyon School and are mostly White, non-Hispanic; Hispanic; and Black, non-Hispanic. 4% of the Sycamore Canyon School students have "limited English proficiency." 2% of the 1,388 students here are paying reduced lunch prices. The student to teacher ratio at Sycamore Canyon School is 21:1. Sequoia Middle School is one of the nearest middle schools.

Extracurricular Activities

  • Arts

    • Band
    • Ceramics sculpture
    • Chorus
    • Computer arts
    • Dance
    • Drawing painting
    • Orchestra
    • Photography
    • Theater drama
    • Video film production
  • Languages Taught

    • French
    • Mandarin
    • Spanish
  • Sports

    • Badminton
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Cheerleading
    • Cross country
    • Field hockey
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Lacrosse
    • Martial arts self defense
    • P.E. classes
    • Soccer
    • Softball
    • Tennis
    • Track
    • Ultimate Frisbee
    • Volleyball
    • Wrestling
    • Yoga

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
White, non-Hispanic 72% 65%
Hispanic 5% 20%
Black, non-Hispanic 2% 2%
Asian 19% 9%
Multiracial 1.0% %
Filipino 1% 1%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.6% 0.7%
Unspecified 0.6% 3%
Pacific Islander 0.1% 0.3%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.1% 20707%

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 2% 16%
Limited English proficiency 4% 10%

Community Rating & Reviews

  • (1 year ago)

    Sycamore Canyon is a better than average school but not quite my "ideal" school. The majority of the teachers my child has had in the past were wonderful and caring and maintained parent communication throughout the year (not so much in grades 4 and 5). The bullying that goes on in the middle school is a problem that must be addressed by the adminstration. It does exist but is completely ignored by the staff. School to parent communication is mediocre at best - mostly relying on telephone messages or verbal student messages. I don't want to spend my family time on the computer on the school website after being on a computer all day at work. I miss the paper messages. My child maintains all A's and B's through her hard work at home and her good teachers. All in all I like the school and am glad to be a part of the Sycamore family.

  • (1 year ago)

    This is a good school because of the neighborhood - most parents hold advanced degrees and pay close attention to the education of their kids. There are very dedicated teachers - every day we see some teachers walking out when we pick up kids from Childcare after 5 30PM. But also some teachers could not remember students names after a whole school year (my kid had a teacher like that before). From my own experience the previous principal was responsive to parents concerns and I felt he cares about the students. I do not see that from the current principal - he listens to you with a pre-determined decision so it is a waste of time. It is very frustrated but understandable - in the end it is OUR 24 hour job as a parent but only his 8 hour day job why bother. Overall I am dissappointed about the school's leadership. This is virtually one elementary school and one middle school maybe too big for one principal to handle.

  • (1 year ago)

    Beginning the 6th year at Sycamore and I feel lucky to have this school in my neighborhood. It is a great facility with strong teachers who deliver results both in API scores and with individual students. I find it easy to get involved in the classroom as the art parent and overall. The after school enrichment is plentiful and the on-site after school child care is so good that my son is delighted to go. I agree that the parent/teacher/administration communication could be better but that is a two way street. I have found everyone to be very responsive to my questions and concerns you just have to speak up. The opportunities for improvement 1. Add a more extensive/inclusive GATE program 2. Stop adding trailer style classrooms to the campus 3. Prioritize parent communication & requests feedback - especially when breaking new ground (example - I found out my son would have a "team" of 2 teachers that would trade off on different days of the week at back to school night weeks after school started and though it was an "experiment" I was not asked once the entire year for my comments on how it was working. This was a big miss on the part of the teachers/administration.)

  • (1 year ago)

    I have to disagree with some of these reviews. Parents are involved when it comes to volunteering in the classroom but attend a PTA meeting and you will see five parents there at most. The same parents help with every PTA function and it's often difficult to find enough parents to help run events. The parents are expected to do a lot of work with their children outside of the classroom and homework and testing are excessive. High test scores are in large part due to the amount of support parents give their children at home. The teachers are definitely hit or miss; there are some amazing teachers who truly love their jobs and there are others that are merely mediocre. The new principal has a lot of potential and I am hoping that he brings great change to the school.

  • (1 year ago)

    The pocketbook can't BUY high testing scores. Those scores don't just fall out of the sky. The students of Sycamore are producing those scores through hard work and because they are learning everyday at this school. I have worked in some of the schools throughout the district and I am always surprised at the narrow path of learning opportunities given at those schools compared to the wide array of learning opportunities for the students at Sycamore Canyon School. My children LOVE Sycamore and I know they are getting a great education.

  • (2 years ago)

    I never worry who will be their teacher. My children are challenged have fun and the communication is always open. My daughter was not enjoying recess and her teacher spent the whole recess observing to get to the bottom of it....she wanted to be inside writing stories and they made that possible. They care about each child as an individual!

  • (2 years ago)

    The school is terrible the teachers are mean and most students are bullied. My 7th grader chose 2 elective (tech and choir) and was bullied because she was 'geeky' and 'boring.' I thought that this school had a smarter wiser group of students who wouldn't discriminate or bully. But I was wrong. The school advertises the exact opposite of what it is. And lastly I rated teacher quality and principal leadership 1 star only because there was no 0 stars.

  • (2 years ago)

    We have been at Sycamore Canyon for K-2nd grade. We have not experienced any problems with teachers or staff. On the contrary teachers have been excellent and the caring staff is above all others. My child enjoys going to school every day and the academics are the best around. I am taken back by the 2011 parents that have left bad feedback about this school...I can only guess that they are the "school-choice" parents who don't live in our DVR community. This is an amazing school with amazing teachers and super involved parents!

  • (2 years ago)

    We had such high hopes for this school; it is unfortunate that Sycamore cannot deliver even 10% of my husband s and my expectations. In Junior High you face a gauntlet of bullies you must take tech as an elective (Band/Choir and you set yourself up for MORE bullying) and the teachers are just plain mean. One of them even calls her room The Princess Palace so unprofessional and tacky. In PE you are graded on being able to ace the sport thus those in club sports will do well; others will receive F s despite best efforts. I have no hopes based on new leadership the problem is cultural and will never change. We have had enough despite the scare tactics Sequoia has to be better than this cruel place.

  • (2 years ago)

    Notice how all the reviews are extremely positive or negative? Please don't dismiss that other peoples' reviews are valid and based on inexcusably bad experiences with uncaring teachers & a principal who turns against anyone who questions the school. Everyone deserves equal opportunities to have a good teacher unfortunately that's not feasible at this school. It's a step in the right direction that the current principal and dean are leaving Sycamore as of June 2012. I hope the incoming faculty realize the poor judgement of their predecessors and work to make this school a supportive and positive experience for all the families of this community.

  • (2 years ago)

    I am grateful to have had Dr. Sand as the principal at Sycamore Canyon as I really felt that he cared for the children the school and the programs they offered. I also feel the same way about my daughter's teacher..She has the same type of caring and nurturing that goes into teaching the children. She's given my child more opportunities to fully utilize her abilities. I have seen my child learn so much within the year not only from the daily homework assignments but also the things that she would say or talk about that went on during the classroom. The staff here are also very helpful. It's been a wonderful kindergarten experience for my child and beyond our expectations!

  • (2 years ago)

    Parents please take the reviews seriously. I know everyone wants to go to a brand new clean school but please do not judge a book by its cover. It is true beautiful school in a beautiful neighborhood but that is all. Teachers just care about high scores. Children are a product here a commodity. They are not valued or treasured. Talent is not developed here. Love of learning is not developed here. Kindness is most certainly not developed here. Sycamore Canyon earns the high test scores on the backs of the students and the pocketbook of the parents. Any of the other NP schools will produce a happier and smarter child.

  • (2 years ago)

    Horrible experience at this school. Principal is an egotistical elitist sweeps parents' problems under the rug & feels the school is perfect based on API scores. Principal brags Sycamore is the best private school at a public price & "meets needs of gifted students"- we found both to be untrue. Principal and dean have serious power issues. Cronyism runs deep between the principal & CVUSD so good luck getting anyone to acknowledge problems at a higher level. Principal says all his teachers are excellent and it is just not true (ask parents). If you get a great teacher & your child isn't bullied I can see how the school might work for some. I agree with the prior post that "a dose of humility" is long coming. If you have issues with this school do your child (& others) a service & at least email CVUSD's superintendent. Maybe finally some changes will take place at this school if enough people are not scared to speak up. If this school fails to treat you and your child with decency move on. There are a growing number of families in DVR who have found private schools to offer better academics social environments & teachers who can be fired (without union threats).

  • (2 years ago)

    Would score it higher but the administrative staff is weak kneed when it comes to providing a safe learning environment that is free of bullying including bullying by parent volunteers and the occasional teacher. I've had either amazing teachers for my children or one I would never let teach my children if I had a choice. They scorn those with learning disabilities and fail to perform as required. I think they could benefit from a healthy dose of humility. The neighborhood is affluent but who cares?

  • (2 years ago)

    While the school caters to the majority average there are opportunities for students who want to challenge themselves. There are programs such as Odyssey of the Mind Math Counts Reflections Science Fairs & Competition etc. I am so happy that the principal teachers and parent volunteers actively support and seek out these types of programs. The Middle School environment is excellent. High performing kids are differentiated with the Honors programs giving them a chance to develop high academic calibre. My daughter is now a freshman in High School and she continues to excel academically. I attribute that to the quality of the Sycamore Middle School and the rigor she went through for 3 years. I cannot thank the school enough for giving my child a challenging and enriching school experience!

  • (2 years ago)

    It is a fine school for a perfect child. If there are any struggles at all your child is stepped over like road kill. They have no time to slow down and help. The administration is oblivious to an enormous bullying problem. Some teachers are very good and others are very bad. It is a pretty new school and has some nice features but if I had it to do over again I would have picked a different school.

  • (3 years ago)

    Excellent teachers attentive staff lots of volunteers beautiful facilities and councelors that really care about the kids. Not sure why all the negative reviews. It is a competitive academic environment but they offer numerous opportunities to the students who need some extra help. Have an 8th grader 4th grader and one in K. The K has 21 kids 2 full time certified teachers and 2 parent aids each day. I feel so fortunate because my student does need the extra instruction. I don't think reducing the curriculum to suit the needs of a small percentage of the students that can't keep up is the way to go. Like any public school it is hard to meet the varied needs of the population. It must be so much easier for teachers in private schools where the kids are of a similar academic level.

  • (3 years ago)

    I give this school 5 stars because I compare it to other schools I have gone to in Bell Gardens & Lakewood CA where Academics standards were not that high....and I see what my kids do and it way better than what I was expected to do. Also knowing that our kids will have to compete in a new Global enviornment one filled with kids that are edcuated in China India Japan etc where academic standards and expectations are very high we need to get our kids prepared for the competition and it starts in Elementary. If we can get them used to higher level of standards and expectatiions I feel like they will be ready for the competition when we send them off to Universities and eventually the workplace. Finally I say to the teacheres bring on the homework...more the better.

  • (3 years ago)

    Ditto! The previous review was right on the money..excuse the pun. My 2 daughters scored "Advanced" in STAR testing were blessed with good teachers and achieved high marks all year. But this means little to a school system that caters to the "Average" and those who write the large donation checks. As a class volunteer (a must this allows one to know 1st hand what is happening in the class room) I saw teachers sacrifice valuable lesson content for interruptions of indiscipline students that distract and rob others of quality learning. There are exceptional students at this school they just go unnoticed and misunderstood while problem students get their attention and time. There are many rules & regulations . At these tender ages school should be fun & enjoyable not a burden. My 2nd Grader dreaded Sunday night knowing school & homework were the next day. Heck! I did not have these feelings until Grad School. We leave S.Cal next summer. I can hardly wait. 2 yrs in this school is plenty! My advice to New Enrollees... Remember you are the Parent Not the school. My advice to Administrators seeking Ratings... It is Elementary School! Not Grad Law or Medical School.

  • (3 years ago)

    Great teachers excellent parents participation.... clean buildings and love the diversity... It is a little competitive surrounding but still it is a good motivation for the kids. I love this school.

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