Lucille M. Nixon School

from the principal

September 9, 2020

Dear Nixon Families,

What a week it has been! We entered the seventh month of battling a worldwide pandemic, continued to support our children doing elementary school on their computer screens, sought relief in an unprecedented heat wave, and now the fires across the state have made breathing unhealthy and the skies look like we have been transported to Mars! I try to stop myself from asking, “What next?” How about you?

Book Fairy Delivery this weekend!

The Nixon Book Fairies will be in your neighborhood again this weekend! Watch for an email or text that lets you know when they might be stopping by. We are asking that you put the books that your child has finished reading from the last delivery into the plastic bag with the label showing their name, etc. Put this bag on your front doorstep so the Book Fairy can pick it up when they drop off a new bag of books and supplies. If you forget to put the bag out or miss the time when your Book Fairy stops by, we will ask you to drop by Nixon next week and drop the labeled bag of books into the bin that will be next to the door to the theater. There will be signs making it easy to find. We will quarantine all books for four days before putting them back into our collections for redistributing to other students. This is the recommendation of the American Library Association. If you have misplaced the plastic bag that we used to distribute the books, please put them into another bag that you have on hand and label the bag with your child’s name and teacher’s name. We thank you for your help, and encourage you to give a big thank-you smile to your Book Fairy!

Plans for Reopening the School Buildings

The guidelines of the state of California for reopening schools require that our county be out of the “purple” category for fourteen consecutive days. On Monday of this week, the designation for Santa Clara County relative to Covid-19 was moved from “purple” meaning widespread to “red” which means substantial. You can read more here on the state website. At the PAUSD school board meeting on Tuesday evening, our Superintendent made clear that we are moving forward with plans to be able to open the elementary school buildings on October 12 if Santa Clara County remains out of the “purple” for two weeks.

At Nixon, we have begun to plan for welcoming children back into classrooms. We have a committee who is working on safety routines and procedures that we will teach to the students immediately upon their return. I am sure that you have many questions about our return plans and I will try to share information with you as quickly as I can. A full plan for reopening will be presented at the September 22 meeting of the PAUSD school board, so you may want to plan to tune into that. Everything is still in the “maybe” stage because we must first get over the hurdle of 14 days out of the “purple” zone.

Reading, Writing and Math Assessments

At the start of each school year, teachers complete some important assessments of students in reading, writing and math. We are not able to do this in our typical manner this year and will be using some alternate means. Teachers will share more specific information with you at each grade level. Here is what I need you to understand. These assessments are what we call formative assessments. This means that these assessments are used for the sole purpose of informing our instruction of your child. We need to figure out what your child knows and can do independently in order to know what next level of instruction will help him/her grow. Please be sure that you or a tutor do not sit next to your child and coach him/her through the assessments. It is counterproductive to have you or anyone else help your child in this situation. No major decisions are made based on these assessments except how to help your child make progress. Thank you!

I will close with a word of gratitude for the fire fighters working to save homes and forests across California. I love this beautiful state and hope that our efforts to limit the impact of climate change will be sufficient to allow my grandsons to grow up and experience the grandeur that we have taken for granted for generations.

Take care,

Mary Pat