Sycamore Academy of Science and Cultural Arts

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About Us » Past, present, future…the story of Sycamore Academy

Past, present, future…the story of Sycamore Academy

REMEMBERING where we’ve been, where we are and where we are going…
In 1992, California became the second state in the nation to adopt public charter school legislation.  Presently there are about one thousand charter schools throughout the state, each with its own unique program, emphasis, and/or focus.
A charter school is a public school created by a group and authorized by an existing local public school board.  The "charter" is the educational contract between the charter school and the authorizing district and contains specific goals and operating procedures for the charter school.
A charter school is exempt from many laws governing school district except where specifically noted in the law.  California public charter school do participate in standardized testing.  Charter schools are nonsectarian in all operations and may not charter tuition or discriminate.
It is the intent of the California Legislature under state law that charter schools operate independently from the existing school district structure as a method to accomplish the following:
  • Improve pupil learning.
  • Increase learning opportunities for all pupils, with special emphasis on expanded learning experiences for pupils who are identified as academically low achieving.
  • Encourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods.
  • Create new professional opportunities for teachers, including the opportunity to be responsible for the learning program at the school site.
  • Provide parents and students with expanded choices in the types of educational opportunities that are available within the public school system.
  • Hold the schools established under this part accountable for meeting measurable pupil outcomes and provide the schools with a method to change from rule-based to performance-based accountability systems.
  • Provide vigorous competition within the public school system to stimulate continual improvements in all public schools.
Our charter was authorized by Lake Elsinore Unified School District on June 25, 2009 and opened for approximately two-hundred-forty students on September 14, 2009 in a temporary location. 
In 2010, Sycamore Academy went through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation process and gained full accreditation for the K-6 program.
The faculty, staff and Governing Board of Sycamore Academy have worked diligently over the last several years to build financial stability for the school, even with the serious economic crisis that has plagued education.  Presently, the Ronald Reagan Charter School Alliance, the governing board for Sycamore Academy, is searching for property to purchase and expect to have a school built within the next two years (done in 2015).
In 2013, Sycamore Academy renewed its WASC accreditation one full year ahead of schedule. 
On October 10th, 2013, the Lake Elsinore Unified School District voted to approve the renewal of Sycamore Academy of Science and Cultural Arts.  The charter is now approved through June 30, 2019 with the expansion to 8th grade.  Sycamore Academy added 7th grade in the 2014-2015 school year and 8th grade in the 2015-2016 school year.