Sycamore School opens doors

Among those attending a grand-opening celebration for the Sycamore School were, from left, board members Christina Tripodi Mitchell, Thea Bartha and Joy Candelieri; Karen Bate of Awesome Women Entrepreneurs; Head of School Karyn Ewart; staff and board member Bryan Shaw; Kate Bates of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce; and Tina Leone of the Ballston Business Improvement District.

A crowd of 60 community leaders, students, families and supporters gathered Sept. 18 to celebrate the grand opening of the Sycamore School, which began classes in Arlington Sept. 5 with an inaugural class of students in sixth to eighth grades.

“I believe school can be a place where students not only develop a love of learning, but we can provide them with a great education in a way that doesn’t stress them out,” said Dr. Karyn Ewart, founder and head of school.

Among those offering remarks about the role of small schools and the innovative use of commercial space for education: Arlington Chamber of Commerce CEO Kate Bates; Ballston Business Improvement District CEO Tina Leone; Karen Bate, founder of Awesome Women Entrepreneurs; and Justin Miller of the Caruthers Group.

“More than 80 percent of our inaugural students are coming from public school,  which tells me that our community is aching for smaller class options and more individualized learning,” Ewart said at the event.

The school aims to deliver a “low-stress, high-interest environment.” Plans call for expansion into high-school grades next year.