In our most recent blog from Communications and Marketing, we wrote about our paid (outbound) advertising for our Fall, 2018 marketing campaign. Among our initiatives was inclusion in private school guides in Indianapolis Monthly and Indianapolis Star. We have just wrapped up an October/November run on WFYI radio, and also completed a pair of Facebook campaigns that targeted Early Childhood families not already at Sycamore. On the flipside, we are working on inbound marketing as well, providing content for those who are searching for private schools, for gifted education, and for Indianapolis-area schools for their children. We balance both inbound (people searching for us and for relevant content) and outbound (where we are strategically searching for potential students and parents to see our messages and ads).
I was once a parent at Sycamore and no matter how much I believed that Sycamore was the right choice for my children, it was sometimes painful to write tuition checks. As a parent, I found it interesting to learn that tuition did not cover the full cost of educating my children. Sycamore’s model of tuition plus philanthropic gifts to cover the budget is a very common independent school model.
One of the characteristics often found in gifted children is a deep curiosity. Curiosity can be defined as the intense desire to explore novel, challenging, and uncertain events. Curious children are filled with wonder. An important benefit of being curious is that a person is very open-minded toward new ideas, interests, and adventures.
How many of you had chores for which you were responsible as a child? How many of you require your children to do chores? Do your children understand what chores are? One small study, done over a period of 25 years, found that the best predictor of young adults’ success in their mid-20s was whether they participated in household tasks at age 3 or 4.
Patrick Juday / Chief Financial Officer and Afternoon Traffic Controller
Slowly and steadily, we have implemented improvements to traffic safety, including yield and stop signs, speed bumps, directional signs, lane striping, and cones. Over the last several years (has it really been years?) that I have been working my second job as the traffic controller at afternoon carpool, I have learned much about what it takes to be an intersection traffic controller.
During my thirty-one years as Director of Admissions at Sycamore, the question I have been asked most often is "How do I know if my child is gifted? "Identifying children with high academic and intellectual potential can be extremely complicated. The process often includes some type of formal assessment. Listed below are other key components we at Sycamore use to generate reliable information that informs the identification process.
Patrick Cauley / Director of Technology / Sycamore School
Integrating math and technology can be tricky. Many times, teachers use apps on iPads or use websites like IXL, Mathletics or more to have students practice skills and then track the students progress. That’s fine and those apps do provide a much-needed service especially in the data-rich educational classroom of today.
Sycamore was quite a drive for us, about 45 minutes each way in good traffic. And it was expensive. My father was a serviceman for a heating and air company and my mother was a cardiac nurse at St. Francis, working mainly on weekends. Even though it was a stretch for us geographically and financially, my parents knew the value of a great education and wanted to provide the best for us. Sycamore, to them, was worth every sacrifice.
Jennifer Williams - Head of Early Childhood // Sycamore School
Why are games important and why have we enjoyed them for generation after generation? Why is game playing so valuable for young children? 1. Inherent in game playing are social skills such as sharing, waiting, and turn-taking. 2. Children also experience disappointment when a game or turn doesn’t go as they hoped 3. They begin to realize that luck can change quickly while playing a game. 4. When children play games with others of various ages, parents, grandparents, siblings, etc, they also learn valuable communication skills.
(Click the headline to open the full story and see Jennifer's Top 10 Games)
Jennifer Williams in the Head of Early Childhood (Preschool - K) at Sycamore School. She was a kindergarten teacher for more than 20 years.
Rob Nichols // Marketing and Communications // Sycamore School
Let’s start with something simple: the Sycamore car magnet. The one with the big red leaf.
When someone sees a Sycamore School logo on a car magnet or in a print ad or a video on YouTube, we want him/her to think something good about us, to associate Sycamore School with intelligence and compassion. We love it if our core character values (respect, moral courage, empathy, and relationships) pop into their head. That kind of branding doesn’t happen in one day. Or one week. It happens over time. And it’s most effective if it feels organic, real, and unobtrusive. Here's how we are doing it in 2018-19:
"The emphasis on STEM — science technology engineering and math — they're very important. But the arts, the humanities, physical education, are just as important. So that's the first thing. I always encourage parents to take a look at the curriculum."
Read article posted online at npr.com about how to find a school your kids will love. Below, read Sycamore's Head of School Diane Borgmann's thoughts on the piece, and choosing a school in Indianapolis.