Lucille M. Nixon School

from the principal

March 3, 2021

Dear Nixon Families,

We’re closing in on the one year anniversary of the day last spring when we were told to close the schools to protect everyone’s health as the Covid-19 pandemic gathered momentum. We’ve used up all the adverse adjectives across this very long year to describe our situation. Despite the challenges, we have worked together tirelessly to support our students in both their learning and their well-being. We should all be proud of what we have accomplished.

As we begin to plan for next school year, I need to tell you that this will be my last year as principal of Nixon School. I have decided to retire at the end of June. I will be 68 in April and have considered retirement for the last couple years. I want you to know how glad I am that I stayed this year. Your caring, generous support has sustained all of us at Nixon as we took on the work of learning together and modeling for our students how to respond when our lives are abruptly altered, and we must develop new skills and strategies to move forward. I will be forever grateful for your kind words of encouragement, your cooperation with our plans and your participation in our efforts to “swim together.” I will continue to do my best as your principal for as long as I am in this role.

You are welcome to share this information with your children if you would like. I will wait until later in the spring to talk with them about the coming change. It is my sincere hope that Fall, 2021 will be a time of great excitement as our schools open more fully with increased opportunities for students, staff and families to come together in person. It will be an appropriate time for new leadership and fresh ideas. Thirteen years ago, when I began as principal of Nixon, this was already a wonderfully successful school in a caring and engaged community. What a pleasure it has been for me to lead this school! I know that Nixon will continue to be a place of joyful learning for its students well into the future.

Becky Brewer, Nixon’s school secretary for the last 20 years, has asked me to share that she will also be retiring this June. I will share more about Becky in an upcoming newsletter. I will also keep you informed as information becomes available regarding the process that our district leadership will use in selecting my replacement. Ever onward!

Take care,

Mary Pat

7 Day Equity Booklist

Our Nixon librarian, Laura Lajeunesse, and her PAUSD elementary school librarian colleagues have put together a marvelous resource for our students, families and teachers which continues the theme of the recent 21 Day Equity Challenge. It is called the 7 Day Equity Booklist. You are encouraged to spend 7 days with your children reading at least 8 books. They have provided a curated collection and a discussion question for each day. Want go the extra mile? Form a book club and work with some friends! There's no due date and no grades. There are books, videos, questions and opportunities for deeper connections and understandings.

Talking to Young Children about Race and Racism

Here is a link to a new half hour PBS program “PBS KIDS Talk About: Race & Racism.” It features authentic conversations between real children and their parents, and includes content from PBS KIDS series Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Arthur and Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum. The show features kids and their parents talking about race and racial justice-related topics in an age-appropriate way, such as noticing differences in race, understanding what racism can look like, and embracing the role we all have to play in standing up for ourselves and each other — offering viewers ideas to build on as they continue these important conversations at home. This is most appropriate for parents and our younger students – kinder to 2nd grade. However, there are sections which would be appropriate for students up to 5th grade. Perhaps the best part for older students is at the end where Amanda Gorman (National Youth Poet Laureate) recites her poem about talking about race which begins at 25:19.