FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Where can I find the school handbook?

SPS Parent Handbook


What are the school hours?

School is in session from 7:55 AM - 2:25 PM. On early release Wednesdays, school is dismissed at 11:45 AM. The school doors open in the morning at 7:45 AM.

Who do I call if my child is absent?

You should notify the school’s absentee line whenever your child is expected to be absent or tardy. Please call 978-443-1080 prior to 7:45 AM with the student’s name, teacher’s name, date, and reason for absence/tardiness. Phone messages are crosschecked with the teacher’s absentee reports when the daily attendance has been received in the office. For any absent student without a phone message or previous notice, a call will be placed to the parents, either at home or at work, to verify the absence. In the event that the school cannot reach a parent, the emergency numbers previously provided by the parent will be contacted. If no emergency contact can be reached to verify a child’s absence, the Sudbury police department will assist in locating the missing child.

What are ILAP days?

Early release ILAP (“Improved Learning for All Plan”) are scheduled for every Wednesday during the 2020-2021 school year. These afternoons are designated for teacher professional development, parent-teacher conferences and class placement meetings. On early release Wednesdays, school is dismissed at 11:45 AM.

How does my child get to school and home?

The school day starts at 7:55 A.M. If a child arrives after 7:55 A.M., they will be marked tardy and must acquire a tardy slip from the main office to enter class. Students may begin entering their classrooms at 7:45 A.M. There is no supervision before 7:45 A.M., so please be sure that children are not dropped off any earlier than 7:45 A.M., unless they attend SED or are participating in our breakfast program.
 
Drop Off:     

Parents dropping off students by vehicle enter our main driveway and wait in line at the front of the school. A teacher will be on duty outside during drop off every morning to help direct traffic in this area. When it is your turn, pull all the way up to the front of the line and allow your children to exit on the passenger side of the car. Should your children require extra time to unload, please park in the main lot and walk your child into the lobby.

Walkers - Our crossing guard is available at 7:45 A.M. to help students safely cross the street on their way to school.

Bus Riders - Buses will unload at 7:45 A.M. in the back of the school. In the rare instance that a bus is late causing students to arrive after 7:55 A.M., they will not be marked tardy.
 
DISMISSAL

The school day ends at 2:25 P.M. On early release days, school ends at 11:45 A.M.

Pick Ups:        

From the entrance road into Nixon School, turn right into the main parking lot and then a left at the end of the parking lot. From the stop line, proceed right into the live drop-off circle and stop at the red stop sign and wait in line until your child arrives at your car. Live pick-up is when drivers remain in their cars. Nixon staff will be on duty to assist.



Walkers - Students may walk to and from school with written permission from their parent/guardian. There is a Crossing Guard on duty before and after school to escort students across the street.

Bus Riders - Teachers will walk students to their buses at the end of the day.   Buses load at the rotunda at dismissal time. A bus pass is required to ride the school bus. If a child has a bus pass and would like to take a different bus home (to visit a friend), he/she may do so if (a) we have a note from the parent/guardian requesting this change for the day and (b) we have sufficient space on the desired bus to accommodate the change. Requests must be submitted to the Main Office by the start of school (you may also send the request days in advance). Please be sure a back-up plan is in place should it be impossible to honor the request due to space.

If your child is picked up or walks home on a regular basis, please be sure to complete and return the Nixon dismissal notes (available from the Nixon store). If there are any dismissal changes from the child's regular schedule, please be sure to put the change in writing to the classroom teacher. Without written notice from a parent, we will follow the standing procedure for the student for that day.

How do I get a bus pass for my child?

If your child would like to ride the bus to school, you must fill out a transportation form available on the SPS website under “Departments – Transportation”. 

Where do I find my bus stop location and schedule?

Bus routes and stops are determined by the SPS Transportation Office. The bus schedule and stop information is available online on the SPS website under “Departments – Transportation.”

How do I find something my child left on the bus?

For items left on the bus, please contact bus dispatch directly at (978) 443-8631.

Can my child buy lunch at school?

Yes, the cafeteria is operated by Whitsons Culinary Group. Lunch costs $3. One or more main lunch entrees are offered each day, along with weekly alternate meals, which are more further described on the lunch menu located on the Nixon School website. Milk can be purchased separately for $0.75. Breakfast can also be purchased for $1.25. Children can pay cash or families can establish an online meal payment account with My School Bucks. You will need your child’s meal code number in order to fund his/her online account. Your child’s code can be obtained from the SPS Food Service Coordinator, Annalisa Michielli.

Does the school provide snacks?

No. Students should bring their own snacks and drinks to school each day, in addition to their lunch if you are not purchasing from the cafeteria. Your classroom teacher will let you know if the children will have more than one snack-time per day and will also notify you of classroom allergies. Please do not send in snacks that contain any of the classroom allergens and instruct your children to refrain from choosing items from their lunch for snack if such items may contain classroom allergens.

How do I get a school directory?

Each year, the PTO publishes a school directory listing names, addresses and telephone numbers of students, as well as class lists and other helpful school-related contact information. For 2020-2021 school year, the directory will be available online to all families by registering as a PTO member at nixonpto.org. 
 
A reminder to all parents that the directory should only be used for purposes related to its student body and its faculty/staff, and may not be used for any commercial solicitations.

What are MCAS?

As part of the Education Reform Act of 1993, the State Board of Education has instituted a system of student assessments that culminates in a must pass assessment in Grade 10 in order to graduate from high school. The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) now requires our students in various grades to participate in testing in the areas of Reading, English and Language Arts, Writing, Mathematics, and Science. The purpose of this assessment is to determine the progress individual students have made in acquiring the knowledge and skills as outlined in Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. In addition, this testing gives us a snapshot of a student’s progress to date as measured by one assessment. Other ways in which students are assessed include standardized tests, classroom assessments, and teacher-created assessments, and student’s in-class performance and products.

The following are currently the grades and content areas in which MCAS testing is scheduled to take place:

•   ELA Composition | Grades 4 and 7

•   ELA Reading Comprehension | Grades 3 – 8

•   Mathematics | Grades 3 – 8

•   Science/Technology Engineering (STE) | Grades 5 and 8


Can I give my teacher and administrators a gift?

It is the policy of the School Committee to discourage the giving of gifts to teachers and administrators. Donations in a teacher’s name may be made at each of the schools through SERF and the PTO. Money received in such a manner is used to purchase library books, prints of artwork and other items that benefit the entire school. Massachusetts Law limits the amount of any personal gift a staff member may receive to $50 from an individual. (Collecting contributions from a group of parents to present as a class gift to a teacher is limited to $150 and cannot identify participating parents – it must be from the “class”). However, the monetary limit is not applicable if the gift from an individual or group is for the classroom, such as student materials, books or other similar items.

The formal policy states:
"In general, a public employee may not accept any gift worth $50 or more that is given because of the position he or she holds.  Public employees may accept gifts that are worth less than $50, but they have to disclose in writing that they have done so if, based on the specific circumstances, a reasonable person would think that the employee might unduly show favor to the giver or the giver's child, or be influenced by the giver.
The law prohibits gifts to public employees, not gifts to public agencies.  You may give gifts to a public school , or a particular classroom, in which case the $50 limit does not apply."