Lucille M. Nixon School

from the principal

August 6, 2020

Dear Nixon Families,

Welcome to the 2020-21 school year! We hope that you are enjoying these final days of summer vacation and that your children are looking forward to the start of a new school year on Monday, August 17th . We know that this year is starting out differently than any previous school year, but we are working hard to ensure that the start of this year is wonderful and engaging for every child. We are opening school with all students learning online. Our school board has indicated that October 12, 2020 would be the earliest date that in-person learning might begin. Together, let’s focus on the positive and do all that we can to make the unique aspects of online learning into assets. I want to acknowledge the toll that months of this pandemic have taken on everyone’s spirits, and also ask you to join us in celebrating the start of a new school year. Embracing new learning, new friends, new ways of doing school can be the building blocks of resiliency for any child in any year. Let’s help to write the history of this moment as one in which communities came together to support each other and the children.

Class Assignments

Your child’s class assignment will be communicated on August 12. Teachers will follow-up and share directions for joining the class online for the first day of school. I have received many, many requests for grouping students together in the same class, and it has not been possible to honor all of those. I understand that families may have organized themselves into small groups of learners, and one individual will be supporting the children with their online schooling. Our grade level teams of teachers are coordinating their schedules to enable this to work whether or not the children are all in the same class. I ask you to be patient and work with us. We know that we need your help, and we all want the children to succeed.

Chrome books

Every student, kinder through 5th grade, needs to have a chrome book to access school this year. Many students have a chrome book that was issued to them last spring. If your child has one of these, please continue to use this. Some students were issued an iPad last spring. We want you to bring back the iPads and exchange them for a chrome book. This will enable us to avoid some of the technical problems that we experienced in the primary grades. If your child has a personal computer less than five years old and you would prefer to use that, you are welcome to do so. This should not be an iPad or an older laptop. We will be issuing all other students a chrome book to use for school this year. Please pick this up along with other supplies as scheduled below.

School Supplies

We will provide the supplies that each student needs for school thanks to the generous support of our PTA. This year we will need you to come to school and pick these up for your child before school begins. We are also trying to provide each student with a bankers box. The box is intended to help each student keep their school supplies and books all together and ready to use wherever they will be doing school each day. Some of the bankers boxes have been backordered and may not be here by next week. We will distribute these just as soon as we can. Please arrange to come and pick up supplies as follows:

Thursday, August 13 between 12:00 and 2:00 pm - families with last names beginning A-L

Friday, August 14 between 12:00 and 2:00 pm – families with last names beginning M-Z

You will be able to get chrome books at the same time. We will have a drive-through arrangement for the supplies so you will not need to park and get out of the car. Be sure to wear masks – thank you!

Daily Schedule

The school day begins for all grades K-5 at 8:30 am. You can view the schedules for both kindergarten and 1st through 5th graders on the district website. Scroll down and click on the links to the sample schedules. The actual schedule for the topics to be taught in each instructional block will be shared by teachers in their Back to School Night presentations for you. Live instruction will occur at the start of each learning block and students should be sure to join the class zoom session at each of these times. Teachers will explain more about how the schedule will work in their Back to School presentations.

Save the Dates

Our teachers will be holding Back to School Night zoom meetings with parents on the evening of Tuesday, August 18th. Kinder and 1st grades will meet at 5:00 pm; 2nd and 3rd grades will meet at 6:00 pm, and 4th and 5th grades will meet at 7:00 pm. Teachers will share more information and the zoom links for these meetings. These meetings are very important opportunities to find out about how your child’s learning will be organized in this online format.

Instead of our usual Welcome Back Coffee and the principal’s presentation at Back to School Night, we will have a parent zoom meeting separately this year on Tuesday, September 1 at 6:30 pm. I would like to welcome you and share information about our plans for this school year. Our PTA and PiE representatives will join me, and I will answer questions that you may have at that time. Here is the zoom link for that meeting:

Back to School Packet

You will not be receiving a packet of information in the mail this year. Instead, all of the same information is being provided online on the Nixon website. This includes important information from two of our school community organizations who are most essential to our success. Building a strong school community is both more difficult and more essential this year than ever before. Please help us by joining our Parent Teacher Association and supporting both PTA and PiE at whatever level works for your family. Click the link above for the Back to School Packet.

I am beginning my 20th year as an elementary school principal! I love this work and am committed to continually learning how to improve in whatever situation I find myself. I couldn’t hope for a more dedicated, enthusiastic, caring team of teachers, specialists, aides, custodians, and office managers with whom to work. I look forward to working with you and visiting the children in their classes. Whatever the weather, dolphins swim together!

Take care,

Mary Pat

Lucille M. Nixon School

Mary Pat O'Connell, principal