Lucille M. Nixon School

from the principal

August 20, 2020

Dear Nixon Families,


We are underway! All the planning and replanning, the learning of tech skills and tools, the reading and studying of the state and local guidelines are now being put to the test! Can we make online learning work for the children? We are giving it our best effort, and I can see that the children are doing the same! Once again, I want to acknowledge all of your efforts to figure out how to support your child in this endeavor.


Thank you very much to all who attended our teachers’ Back to School Night presentations on Tuesday evening. We do appreciate your support and hope you feel that you understand our plans for instructing online as we begin this school year. If you were unable to attend Back to School Night, please contact your child’s teacher as many of the sessions were recorded.


There is quite a variety of information in this newsletter. I hope you can find a few minutes to look through it, and I hope to see you soon at one of the upcoming events.


Take care,

Mary Pat

Books for Nixon Students

In elementary education, teaching children how to read and encouraging enjoyment in reading are right up at the top of our priority list. To succeed, we need to provide children with strong instruction, access to books and lots of time to read. We are asking your help with the second part of this formula – providing access to books. We have lots of books in our classrooms and library, and we need to have a system for distributing and collecting these books with our students.


In partnership with our PTA, we are organizing parent volunteers into teams of grade level “Book Fairies” to help us implement a system for lending our classroom and library books to students. Teachers and our classroom aides will organize books (and other class materials) into large plastic bags, labeled individually for each child. We will wear masks and gloves to ensure safety. The bags will be organized into neighborhood groups for each grade level. We are hoping to identify a parent volunteer in each neighborhood who would drop off the bag of books and materials at the doorstep for other students in the same neighborhood. We’d like to do this every two weeks for as long as we are in this online only arrangement for school. If you are willing to help us with this effort, please fill out the google form linked here. Some 5th grade parents may have already volunteered at their grade level Back to School Night and do not need to complete the form a second time. We would really appreciate your help!

Click here to become a Nixon Book Fairy

Help us get books to students in your neighborhood

How You Can support Reading and Writing at Home During the Year Ahead

We have news of a wonderful opportunity for parents! Next Thursday, August 27, at 3:00 pm PST, Dr. Lucy Calkins and Dr. Mary Ehrenworth of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP) are offering a zoom webinar specifically for parents across the country sharing their advice about ways parents can support their children’s growth as readers and writers. Lucy Calkins is the Robinson Professor of Children’s Literature at Teachers College, Columbia University and the Founding Director of the TCRWP where the curriculum we use for teaching phonics, reading and writing in PAUSD is written and constantly updated. Nixon teachers and I have attended many professional development sessions through TCRWP which we always find to be of the highest quality. If it is at all possible for you to join this online session, I encourage you to do so. I will also be listening in to see what I can learn. You can register for the session at this link: https://bit.ly/tcrwpfamily.

Nixon Parent Meeting with the Principal

Please plan to join us for my Welcome Back Parent Meeting on Tuesday, September 1 at 6:30 pm. I will have information to share with you as will our PTA and PiE representatives. This will be the first opportunity to gather parent feedback about our online learning program. I am very interested in what is working as well along with the challenges you are facing in supporting your student in this arrangement. Here is the zoom link for that meeting.

Virtual Social Event for New Families, Especially Kindergarten!

Please join us for a Sunday Social Hour hosted by our Nixon PTA and PiE leaders. Get to know some other families and ask whatever questions you may have! Sunday, August 24 at 4:00 pm. Here is the zoom link to that event.

School Site Council

We are in need of two additional parents to serve on our Nixon School Site Council this year. Our site council is made up of five parents and five Nixon staff members. We work together to review data about student learning and social and emotional health. From this, we develop an annual plan for continuous improvement. We meet monthly, usually on Monday afternoons.


"Site Council is a wonderful way to learn about (and help shape) Nixon's larger goals and plans for our children's academic and socioemotional development and well-being. It's also a great way to share your experiences with Principal O'Connell, the teachers, and staff. I've learned so much from being part of this committed group of teachers, staff, and parents, and I'm going to miss being part of the council next year! I really encourage you to participate---Site Council will be one of the many happy memories I have of Nixon." - Nixon 5th grade parent Jeanne Tsai


If you possibly interested in serving on the Site Council this year, please me at moconnell@pausd.org.

Device, Apps & Internet Needs

Families experiencing difficulty with technology including needing a chrome book, getting internet access , or difficulty with accessing Schoology, etc. should submit a request for assistance here: Let’s Talk

Reminders about classroom zoom sessions

For parents of youngest students, please be sure that the child is using a PAUSD chrome book or one in which the child’s name appears with their picture in Zoom. If the child is accessing the zoom session through Schoology, using the child’s PAUSD account, the correct name should appear. For reasons of privacy and security, we cannot allow adults who are not district personnel to join the zoom sessions. We understand that adults are certainly near or in the vicinity of most of our students, but we cannot allow the adult to join as an additional person in the zoom group. Thank you for your understanding.

Lunch Program

Many families are experiencing reduced income due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Should you be interested in free or reduced lunch, applications are below. More information can be found here.


Families that received free or reduced lunch during the 2019-2020 school year need to reapply by September 24, 2020, to avoid being charged for meals.


If your child is eligible for free and/or reduced-price meals, he/she may also be eligible for other school program benefits when fees or costs are involved. Please always feel free to contact Nixon secretary, Becky Brewer, or me, your principal.