Lucille M. Nixon School

from the principal

March 24, 2021

Dear Nixon Families,

Get ready…many of us are about to flex again! In his update to the community last Friday, Superintendent Austin explained that the Center for Disease Control had changed their guidance for schools to allow 3 feet spacing between students in elementary classrooms when mask use is universal, instead of the previously recommended 6 feet. This means that more students at desks can fit into a classroom. Larger cohorts of students are being allowed. The California Department of Public Health aligned with this recommendation over the weekend and our district is preparing to modify our practices in light of this change.

At our school board meeting last evening, news was shared that elementary hybrid classes will return to five-days-per-week in-class instruction in the coming weeks. There will be no changes for our distance classes. Here is the planned roll out of the changes at Nixon:

April 5-9 – Spring Break for everyone

April 12TENTATIVE - 5th grade Nixon hybrid classes return 5 days per week We are working with district staff to make this happen. We do not yet have everything finalized, so 5th grade families will hear directly from their teachers and me if we are successful.

April 19 – Grades 3, 4 (and 5 if they do not return on April 12) hybrid classes will return 5 days per week.

April 26 – Grades K, 1 and 2 hybrid classes will return 5 days per week.

We will maintain our strong commitment to the safety measures we have in place including increased classroom ventilation in excess of recommendations, completion of the health screener for each student daily, 6 foot distancing while eating with masks off, plastic shields on each desk, playing in classroom cohorts within rotating playground zones; handwashing, and extra cleaning/disinfecting, etc.

There are many details to be worked out, desks to be moved and fitted with plastic shields, lunch seating to be arranged, etc. so we appreciate your patience. All Nixon staff along with district support teams in the Maintenance and Operations department are stepping up and helping us to pivot one more time as the understanding of this virus and the trajectory of the pandemic continue to evolve. Doing the very best we can for our students remains our highest priority.

In order to address any further questions that you might have about this change, I will host a zoom Parent Meeting next Tuesday, March 30 at 6:30 pm. Here is the zoom link for that meeting: Come join and bring your questions.

Issues of Race in Our Country and Our Community

In my last two newsletters, I have shared links to resources ( PBS: Talking to Young Children about Race and Racism PAUSD 7 Day Equity challenge, 21 Day Equity Challenge ) for talking with students about issues of race and racism. Just one week ago, the shootings in Atlanta caused many of us to stop and take notice of the anti-Asian racism which has been growing through this year of the pandemic. As difficult as it is, we must ourselves face the truth about our country and our historic patterns and ongoing mistreatment of people based on ideas of race and ethnicity. We must not pretend that children are not watching and do not see. Ideas about race begin forming at young ages, so let us engage with them as the opportunities arise. To all in our community who have felt the pain of racist mistreatment, I cannot share your pain, but I can work together with the entire Nixon staff to impact the hearts and minds of our students to build a more just future.

Take care,

Mary Pat

Important Dates

Spring Break - April 5-9; (Friday, April 2 is a minimum day in our district so kindergartners get out of school 15 minutes early and 1st- 5th graders get out 10 minutes early.) Enjoy!

CAASPP Testing (State of California assessments) for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders will be administered April 19 through May 7. We need all 3rd -5th grade students to be present in school - or in their distance classes. Do not plan any family trips. Specific schedules are being adjusted based on changes described above in this newsletter and will be communicated by your child's teacher.