The staff and administration at Nixon Elementary School has been hard at work creating a peaceful environment for their students to learn in.
During the State of Nixon School presentation at the Sudbury Public Schools Committee meeting on Oct. 23, Principal Joni Jay said the work is paying off as reports of aggression and rumors have declined recently.
"The calling of mean names is decreasing," she said, "but it still needs work."
Reports of physical aggression or threats is down to three percent over a months time, while rumors and exclusion is down to seven percent.
Issues on buses or at bus stops was higher, with a reported 39 percent of students saying they have witnessed bad behavior. But that is down from 64 percent reporting during the 2009-10 school year.
"We're feeling good that that number is coming down," Jay said.
The reason behind the improved behavior comes from certain strategies the administration has installed, which includes the school motto "Nixon kids don't like it," having peace assemblies and allowing adults to pick teams.
"The teams are always different and no one is picked last," she said.
Although Jay was proud of the improvements, she admitted there were areas for improvement in academics. The school has added math and data coaches to help with the learning of the district's common core.
"Teachers have a lot on their plates," Jay said. "Keep in mind, they do it with eagerness and enthusiasm."
"Our teachers are overworked, and some teachers are with their students more than the parents," he said. "I feel sometimes we aren't able to communicate with them because of that. The fact you are all going above and beyond is huge.
"In your presentation tonight, you talked the same about the strengths and weaknesses, and that’s awesome. We’re all not perfect. You identified the weaknesses, came up with plan and executed. That’s amazing."
School Committee member Lucy St. George was also pleased with the direction Nixon was going in.
"The staff here has always been wonderful and dedicated," she said.