Our school goals and objectives are guided by our district’s focus on the New Jersey Student Learning Standards, which form the basis for instruction and assessment at all grade levels. Additionally, a tremendous focus is being placed on infusing technology into our curriculum, so that our students are equipped with 21stcentury skills and experiences.
Efforts are concentrated on meeting the needs of all students through Differentiated Instruction. We believe this philosophy helps individual students achieve their potential at their own pace. The delivery of the curriculum meets the needs of varied learners in a developmental approach for enhancing skills and advanced performance. This sets our expectations high for ALL students. Our school also prides itself on the inclusion of various Special Education programs, inclusive of our TIDES program which spans PreK – Grade 5 and our REACH program, which serves students in Grades K-4. We continue to embrace all students and work to provide constant and consistent growth in an inclusive school setting.
Nixon School is identified as a Title 1 School with a Targeted Assistance Program. Title 1 funds provided in the 2016-2017 school year will be used to fund an early-intervention program entitled, Kinder S.T.A.R.S., for our academically at-risk Kindergarten students, as well as an academic needs based program entitled, Pathways to Learning, for our academically at-risk First Grade and Second Grade students. As we launched the 2016-2017 school year in July, we offered a summer program entitled S.A.I.L. This Title 1 summer program served students who were academically at-risk in grades K-4, as well as incoming Kindergarteners who demonstrated a need for Kindergarten readiness skills via our administration of the Brigance Early Childhood Screen. New this year will be a Parent Academy that will be offered four times over the course of the school year. Through this Academy, parents/guardians will be supported in their efforts to aide their child’s development at home. To encourage family participation, child care will be offered and dinner will be served to all participants. All of these programs enable children who are academically struggling to receive supplemental educational assistance.
In addition to developing and offering programming that aims to meet the needs of our struggling learners, Nixon School is proud to provide a push-in enrichment program for all our students in Grades K, 1 and 2, as well as a Gifted and Talented program for qualifying students in Grades 3 and 4. Additionally, students in Grades K-4 benefit from the implementation of a high quality, ongoing and systematic World Language program, which is facilitated by a highly qualified world language teacher.
In our efforts to develop the whole child, our school has also adopted the OLWEUS Bullying Prevention Program, as well as the Bucket Fillers philosophy as the basis for our character education initiatives. The children’s book, Have you Filled a Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids
, by Carol McCloud, is based upon the work of Merrill Lundgren and has become a central text at Nixon Elementary School. Through a variety of means, inclusive of our Promoting Social Successes Morning Meeting schedule, Peaceful School Bus meetings, whole school assemblies, daily Morning Announcements conducted by students, classroom initiatives, and lessons based upon core character traits (respect, responsibility, caring, fairness, and trustworthiness), Nixon School strives to make bucket filling a way of life for students, staff, families, and our community.
The Nixon School Parent Teacher Association is also an integral part of our school. The PTA supports us in a variety of ways. In addition to supplying us with high quality assemblies and Cultural Arts programs, their fundraising efforts permit us to enhance our program with an array of exciting materials. The PTA also supports our school’s Husky Garden, which is an enclosed area that encompasses activities from all subject areas throughout the school year and enables students to enhance their life skills and knowledge of weather and organic farming by participating in hands-on activities on a regular basis. These very dedicated parents also help to provide the funds needed for many teacher grants that promote our educational philosophy. The PTA also continues to provide volunteer programs and staff appreciation lunches.
Nixon Elementary School is a place where students, staff, and community members can come to enjoy learning in a safe environment. The partnerships that have been established between parents, students, staff, and community members will continue to drive our efforts to make Nixon School a place “Where Dreams Begin.”