Lucille M. Nixon School

from the principal

November 19, 2020

Dear Nixon Families,

The holiday season is beginning and we are all trying to figure out how to make it both safe and joyful for our families. I love to cook when I have time, so I’ll be making Thanksgiving dinner on

Wednesday, and my husband and I will deliver it on Thursday morning to my two children and their families who live in the East Bay. We’ll all heat up the food and Facetime together when we eat. This will be nothing like our usual Thanksgiving gatherings with over 20 family members and friends, but it will certainly be memorable!

Progress Reports

Your child’s first trimester progress report will become available to you tomorrow, November 20, 2020, but not in the usual manner. Progress reports have been shared with parents through Infinite Campus in past years. This year, the reports will come to you through ParentSquare. All parents of students in the hybrid program are familiar with Parent Square because you have been using it to complete the daily health screener on days your children are attending school in person. ParentSquare is accessible to all PAUSD parents through the ID portal. You need to be sure that you are using your own ID information and not your child’s since ParentSquare is only accessible to parents. Once you log into the PAUSD Parent Portal, look for the logo shown to the right above. You will receive an email tomorrow with directions for accessing the progress report through ParentSquare. Those emails should go out by tomorrow afternoon. If it does not, I will send you text updates. It is the first time that we are using this new platform (app?) and we hope it will be seamless!

In this first progress report, I encourage you to focus on your child’s success in managing our very altered way of attending and participating in school. Notice the teacher’s feedback regarding your child’s ability to attend to online instruction and complete tasks when not in school. If this is still challenging for your child, that would be an important conversation to have either in your parent conference or in a meeting that you request. With your child, find the successes in the report. Celebrate those! What we are asking of children demands far more in terms of self-awareness and self-management than we have ever typically asked of them. When I visit classrooms, in person or online, I see children trying hard to do what is being asked.

Mental Health & Learning: Living in Uncertain Times

Our PAUSD PTAs have partnered with Children’s Health Council, to offer parents a webinar on PAUSD students’ mental health and learning. The events will include a panel of experts who will discuss how children are being impacted by this unusual situation as well as ways to support children’s sense of well-being. The panel presentation will be followed by a Question and Answer period. The event will be presented twice, on Dec. 1 and Dec. 7, 6:30 top 8:00 pm. Please choose only one evening to attend. You must pre-register here:

Supporting Learning at Home: What is Instruction?

The first module in the new PAUSD website, Supporting Learning at Home, is entitled “What is Instruction?”. To learn, human brains need time to interact with and apply new skills and information. Effective instruction is organized to provide time for students to practice, collaborate, and receive feedback about their progress. The module includes an overview of the elements of instruction, how those elements fit with synchronous and asynchronous instruction, and ideas for supporting learning at home.


Isn’t it wonderful that there is a holiday each year that encourages us to stop and count our blessings? As I take time to consider all for which I am grateful, I’d like to mention our teachers. I have seen up close how hard they have worked across all of the months of this pandemic, their openness to learning new ways to teach and their collaboration to benefit all of the students. I am grateful for my family and my health. I am grateful to live in a place where so many comply with the recommendation to wear masks and for the skill and the perseverance of the scientists working to produce the vaccine we so desperately need. I am grateful for the beauty of the bay and the foothills. Despite the hardships of the moment, there are so many reasons to feel grateful, and taking time to think about them is good for all of us. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and spread the gratitude! (Thanks to Courtney Smith for the rainbow over Nixon photo taken on Wednesday morning!)

Take care,

Mary Pat