Lucille M. Nixon School

Whatever the weather, dolphins swim together!

October 15, 2020

Dear Nixon Families,

We welcomed back kindergartners and first graders to four of our classrooms this week to join our Learning Center students on campus, and it has been as successful as we might have hoped! Some students transitioned to new Nixon teachers both within the in-person classes and in our distance classes. The students have impressed us in each of these groups with their flexibility, cooperation and good spirits. They are lively, but readily adjusting to the many changes in the daily routine made necessary by our situation. These young children who are at school are keeping their masks on, observing the distancing markers painted on the walkways, and washing their hands many times a day. I have managed to get in my 10,000 steps each day this week with multiple trips per day to welcome and dismiss students on the Tolman side of campus!

While our classrooms look largely the same, there are important differences. Each student has an individual desk; we no longer use shared tables. The students’ desks all have a plastic shield on three sides. All desks are distanced to provide 6 feet spacing between the students. I can share more details about our safety protocols in upcoming communications and meetings.

We have a note of appreciation to all of the parents of students returning to campus who have been filling out the online health screener using the new PAUSD Parent Square app (accessible through the PAUSD parent portal). There are a lot of new procedures, schedules and procedures that require adjustments in family schedules. Thank you for your support!

It matters to us that our distance learners continue to feel fully part of our Nixon community. The curriculum remains the same no matter which choice a family makes. Our grade level teams will remain well synchronized as we move through the school year. For parents of full time distance learners, we encourage you to stay engaged with the activities being promoted through the classrooms and through our PTA, such as school spirit days (mostly themed dress-up activities) and the PTA virtual Halloween pumpkin festival. Please read your eNews as well as your child’s teacher’s newsletter. Our recent Super Heroes Fun Run was enjoyed by lots of Nixon families!

Class Placements

By 5:00 pm on Monday, October 19, parents of all second and third graders will receive an email with information about your child’s teacher, placement into hybrid or distance learning and, if you chose hybrid, the cohort ( A or B) to which your child has been assigned.

Once again, all PAUSD elementary principals met to arrange classes based on the choices that second and third grade parents submitted in the district survey for hybrid or distance learning. We are fortunate that all Nixon second and third graders will remain with our Nixon teachers. We will be welcoming a small group of Escondido students into our 3rd grade distance class. Around two thirds of our families so far have selected the hybrid model for instruction and the remaining third have chosen to continue in the distance model.

Parents of fourth and fifth graders will receive an email from PAUSD on Monday, October 19 with the information for how to make a selection for your children between the distance and hybrid models. You will need to make your choice by Monday, October 26.

Parent Information Zoom Session

I will offer another parent information zoom meeting for second through fifth grade parents on Wednesday, October 21 beginning at 6:00 pm. The zoom link for this meeting:

We have been working very hard for many weeks in preparation for the return to school for those children whose families are ready to do this. I sincerely hope that, through widespread compliance with the recommended safety practices for mask wearing and social distancing, our management of this pandemic will continue on a positive trajectory. We will continue to hope that the many dedicated scientists hard at work on potential vaccines will succeed sooner than later. Whether or not you are choosing to have your child come in person to school, I encourage you to join in a moment of joy that we are taking a small step towards normalcy. Nixon librarian, Laura Lajeunesse, wrote an email to our staff today and in it she said, “Last night I couldn’t stop smiling and my mood was completely lighter. When I stopped to think what was different I knew it was because I spent my day at Nixon and back to the job I love.” It has been a long seven months since we closed our schools last March. I know that there are hard months ahead of us, but for a moment, let’s smile together!

Take care,

Mary Pat