Nixon Elementary Weekly Update

September 7, 2020

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New Format for Communication

Nixon Families,

I am using a new format for my weekly communication to you. It is my hope that this electronic newsletter will be more user friendly and streamline my emails to you. In these newsletters, you will receive new information and updates throughout the year and a new newsletter link will be sent weekly at the beginning of the year, and then move to a monthly school newsletter as in past years. I will also continue to do video updates for those who prefer that format and will link those in my emails along with the electronic newsletter.

Have a wonderful week!

Jeni Goebel, Principal

Nixon Elementary

Nixon Building Updates

Nixon Learners will be onsite starting September 21!

In case you haven't heard the great news, Nixon Elementary will be fully operational for the first day of in person classes (September 21st)! The many crews we have had at our building since the storm have been hard at work so we can get back to the building when the rest of the district returns. There will NOT be any need to use Harding Middle School for our learners this fall, which means not only will we be back on site, but so will the Harding Middle schoolers--this is fantastic news for our entire community.

If you are a Nixon family with children who will be participating in remote learning for this school year, your children will also start school (online) on September 21st. Device and materials pick up for all remote learners will be September 16th and September 17th from 10-12 pm and 4-6pm. We hope families will be able to find a time between these two days that work best for them. This will be a drive thru pick up--if you do not have a vehicle, we will also have cones set up to mark where parents who are walking up should stand. When you arrive, please have a paper with the following items listed to make the pick up of devices easier: Child's First Name, Child's Last Name, Child's Grade Level. If you have multiple children, please have a paper for each child.

Please note: If you want to change your Return to Learn selection (in person or remote learning), you need to do so by September 11th. We are asking families to make a semester-long commitment to their learning choice. If you would like to switch your Return to Learn selection, please email Mrs. Goebel (

Beginning of the Year Updates

This is a short list of updates for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. More detailed information will be coming, but here are some basic Need to Knows for the start of the school year.

  • There will not be an Open House or materials drop off this year. In place of this, we will be having a virtual Open House for families to meet their child's teacher, learn more about how their classroom will run, and see how first day drop off and pick up will work at Nixon (things will be a bit different this year).
  • We will not be allowing parents into the building for the first day of school and we are asking all first day pictures to be taken at home instead of in front of the school this year. We are sad we won't have the chance to meet face-to-face, but we also want all of our learners, staff and families to be healthy.
  • Children will enter the building between 8:30-8:50 am this year and will go directly to their classrooms. In order to promote social distancing, we will be serving breakfast in the classroom this year and will not be having our normal before school recess. Please do not drop off your child before 8:30, as there will not be supervision to watch children or keep them distanced.
  • We will have a staggered dismissal at the end of the day for all learners. I am waiting to hear more from transportation about those children who are bussed, but note that car riders, walkers, daycare riders, and bussers will leave the building at different times at the end of the day. I will communicate the finalized plan before the start of the school year so families can make plans.
  • Class lists will be shared with families during the week of September 14th. At that time, I will also share the information about the Virtual Open House for families. As a reminder, we are following a cohort model this year, so your child will only have 1 classroom teacher and learners will not be shared between classrooms.
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Tanager Supports Available (a note from Mrs. Kinsella)

Hello Nixon Families-

I hope you all are hanging in there. As we slowly get back to school (remote and/or in-person), things are going to be very different. We know through remote learning, relationships and connection with school needs to be prioritized, and with in-person learning, an emphasis on safety and adaptation to new school rules will also be important. Optimistically, things WILL get back to normal, we just don’t know when. Encourage your child to have the mindset that these environmental changes (mask, social distancing, etc) are temporary changes and are not forever changes. These last 6 months may seem like a LONG time for us, and especially for children, but planting that seed of HOPE that things will get better helps our overall mental health.

Some children are able to accept change and can adapt easily, while others may struggle. If your child is struggling, here are some things to watch for:

  • finding it hard to concentrate

  • not sleeping, or waking in the night with bad dreams

  • not eating properly

  • quickly getting angry or irritable, and being out of control during outbursts

  • constantly worrying or having negative thoughts

  • feeling tense and fidgety, or using the toilet often

  • always crying

  • being clingy

  • complaining of tummy aches and feeling unwell

To add a layer of support, the Cedar Rapids School District is putting Tanager Place therapists in every building. Tanager Place offers video conferencing for remote students and can meet with other students within the school building during the school day. This eliminates transportation barriers and/or time barriers for families. Please contact me, Denise Kinsella, Nixon School Counselor, to get this service up and running for your student at any time throughout the school year.

Take care everyone!

Denise Kinsella

School Counselor

Nixon Elementary