Lucille M. Nixon School

from the principal

November 12, 2020

Dear Nixon Families,

Kindergarten teacher Jody Harrier invited me to look in on her students who were busily creating with paper, markers, crayons, scissors and glue. They were so engaged that they didn’t even want to stop to go outside for recess! I watched Ms. K’s 2nd graders working together to invent new games to play with cones and bean bags during their recess today. Students in Ms. Hayes' 3rd grade distance class carried on a class discussion today using the Schoology discussion board sharing ideas and responding with affirmations to each other about what they feel thankful for. (Families were mentioned often!) Earlier this week I watched a class of 5th graders playing basketball in the most inclusive, supportive manner. They were not all equally skilled at basketball, but they were sharing the ball and encouraging each other. I can’t help but feel that in the community of Nixon school, we are on a positive trajectory. I hope that you are feeling this way, too.

Supporting Learning at Home: Resource for Parents, Guardians and Caregivers

I am very pleased to be able to share with you a new resource for parents that has been developed by our PAUSD Director of Professional Learning, Dr. Kelly Bikle. Earlier this fall a short-term Parent Education/Advisory Committee engaged in dialogue around what would be helpful to parents for supporting learning and wellness at home. The committee, which included parents and teachers on special assignment (TOSAs), discussed the following guiding questions:

  • What support is needed for families to use Schoology, Seesaw, and Zoom?
  • What support is needed to help your student in distance learning?
  • What support is needed to help students become independent learners?

The parent group provided feedback and recommendations that informed the development of a new resource for parents, the Supporting Learning at Home website. The website houses videos, articles and information related to educational technology “how-tos”. There are short videos explaining the essential components of instruction which will provide insight into why and how teachers organize their work and your child’s work. There is further information on the affective impacts of learning; social and emotional resources; and strategies for fostering independence. Resources on the website are aligned with the professional learning provided to teachers, the SEL summer course for students, and ongoing work to support parents with educational technology. Feel free to explore the website and watch for information about each section in future newsletters!

It's the season for PiE!

The PiE Challenge Grant which I mentioned in my newsletter last week is nearing its end and we still need more families to make a donation. It is an important opportunity each year to have generous supporters in the community match our donations and double them! To reach our school’s goal for participation, we need 55 more Nixon families to make a contribution.

Funding from PiE is essential to our school. Because of donations to PiE, we can offer art and music programs that enhance the academics for each student as well as classroom aides and our counseling program. Special teachers for art and music at the elementary level were cut long ago in many California schools. We have managed to keep these for students this year because of the generosity of donors last year.

If you have already donated to PiE this year,please accept my sincere thanks. If you have not, I ask you to consider making a donation now. If you donate or pledge by November 16h, your donation can be matched by a Challenge Grant.

A donation, in any amount that is meaningful for your family, makes a difference to our community and our school.

You can find out all the ways to make a contribution on PiE's website at:

Making Plans for the Holidays?

On Monday November 9, Health Officers from 10 Bay Area counties issued joint recommendations for staying safe during the holidays. Their recommendations cover gatherings and travel, with recommended steps to reduce risk including:

  • Keeping gatherings small, short, stable, and outdoors,
  • Choosing not to travel if nonessential.
  • For those who are traveling outside the Bay Area, tips are provided to help avoid catching COVID-19 or spreading it to fellow travelers.
  • A 14 day self-quarantine is strongly recommended after a return from traveling, if your activities while traveling put you at higher risk of COVID-19.

For more information about their recommendations, please click on the joint recommendations link above.

With all of the transitions of the last six weeks, I am very happy to be settling into some routines. I spend more time welcoming and dismissing students and supervising recess and lunch than in my previous years, but our extra precautions are feeling like a natural part of the routines. I remain ever grateful for all of your support in making learning at home and at school work for our students.

Take care,

Mary Pat