Cunningham Messenger

August 20, 2020 - social media edition

All the News from the Coolest Little School in South Austin!

Principal's Message

Happy Thursday!

We are up and running! All staff are back and at work and we've been immersed in learning and preparing for our virtual start!

The school year kicks of on September 8th; the first four weeks of school are remote learning! We are so excited to see our students in their Zoom Rooms as we start the year virtually. Hopefully, we can be together again soon!

In the coming week's we'll be adding some sections to help all of us have a successful start to the 2020-21 virtual school year. These include:

  • Counselor's Corner - Ms. O'Connor will share strategies we can all use to help us support student's Social & Emotional wellbeing
  • Reopening Highlights - Sharing specific information from the Austin ISD and Cunningham Reopening Plans.
  • Tips & Tricks for Virtual Learning - We'll share tried and true strategies from educators and other parents. If you've found something that really worked for your family, send it to and we'll highlight it here. We all learned and developed strategies in the Spring to conquer remote learning and the Cunningham Village is here to support each other now!

I've received a few emails about student schedules. Student learning will start daily at 8:00 with every classroom engaged in a virtual Morning Meeting. On Friday's we will continue to hold a school-wide assembly where we honor each Cobra for their unique strength! Throughout each day there are synchronous lessons being taught by your homeroom teacher (and aligned across the grade level) and there will be time for independent practice and choice - so that we can develop student independence and agency. A more detailed copy of your grade level schedule will be shared next week.

We hope this new format feels both informative and helpful. Let us know how we can support you and your family during these challenging times!

Heather Petruzzini, Principal

Mensaje de Directora

¡Feliz jueves!

¡Ya estamos de arriba para abajo alistándonos! ¡Todo el personal está de regreso y en el trabajo estamos inmersos aprendiendo y preparándonos para nuestro comienzo virtual!

En la próxima semana, agregaremos algunas secciones de apoyo para todos y así ayudarnos a tener un comienzo exitoso este año escolar virtual 2020-21. Éstas secciones incluyen:

El rincón de la Consejera: la Sra. O'Connor compartirá estrategias que todos podemos utilizar como apoyo para el bienestar social y emocional de los estudiantes.

Puntos Importantes para la Reapertura: se compartirá información específica sobre los planes de reapertura de parte del Austin ISD y de Cunningham.

Consejos y Trucos para el Aprendizaje Virtual: compartiremos estrategias que fueron usadas con éxito por educadores y otros padres de familia. Si usted ha logrado encontrar o llevar alguna estrategia que realmente funcionó para su familia, por favor de compartirlo e enviarlo a y lo compartiremos por este medio. ¡Todos aprendimos y desarrollamos alguna estrategia en el semestre de primavera pasado que nos ayudó a manejar con éxito el aprendizaje remoto ahora Cunningham Village está aquí para apoyarse uno al otro!

Heather Petruzzini, Directora

Big picture

August 21st: By this date, you should receive an email and a phone call from your child's teacher.

August 24th: 6:00 - 7:00 pm - Principal Coffee Chat 3.0. This week we will not present - but rather this will be an open forum for you to ask questions and we will answer them to the best of our ability.

  • Please see your email for Zoom link

September 3rd: Meet the Teacher via Zoom. Homeroom teachers will reach out to schedule small group sessions with the class.

September 3rd & 4th: Socially Distant Supply Pick Up @ Cunningham. More information coming.

September 8th: First day of School for the Virtual Village

  • 2:45pm - Schoolwide Assembly via Zoom
  • Please see your email for you Zoom link

September 11th: 8:00 - First Schoolwide Friday Assembly featuring Ms. Petruzzini, Ms. Rodriguez, Ms. O'Connor, and Ms. Quigley. We will host this every Friday morning via Zoom and then repost later on the Cunningham Cobras social media channels. (Yes, we will still give out character awards every Friday!)

  • Please see your email for Zoom link

September 24th: 6:00 - 7:30 Back-to-School Night - Homeroom Teachers will Send out Zoom


October 5th: Restart Phase-In Begins - more information forthcoming

October 12th: Staff Development, No School For Students

Big picture

Welcome Back!

The Counselor’s Corner will be a space where I share information about how to best support your student(s) and yourself during these uncertain and daunting times in our community and country.

Links to my counseling website and virtual counseling sign-up are coming soon!

I am so happy to have you all here with us on this journey. We hear you. We see you. We value you.

With peace, love and gratitude,

Ms. O'Connor

Big picture
Big picture

Face Coverings/ Cubiertas faciales

Austin ISD is following CDC guidance for schools regarding the use of face coverings. Wearing a face covering will be required for all students, staff, and visitors while on Austin ISD grounds. As recommended by the CDC, time will be dedicated to teaching and reinforcing the use of face coverings. Staff and students are encouraged to bring their own reusable cloth masks/face coverings to ensure a comfortable fit. In the event a student forgets a mask/face covering, masks will be provided at the school for use by the student for that day. Reusable cloth face masks must be washed daily. Bandanas and face masks with air vents will not be allowed.

Austin ISD respeta las directivas del CDC para las escuelas en relación con el uso de cubiertas faciales. Se les requerirá a todos estudiantes, el personal y los visitantes el uso de cubiertas faciales mientras se encuentren en los terrenos del Austin ISD. Se le recomienda al personal y a los estudiantes traer sus propias máscaras/cubiertas faciales de tela reutilizables para garantizar un ajuste cómodo. En caso de que los estudiantes olviden sus máscaras/cubiertas faciales, se proporcionarán máscaras en la escuela para que las usen los estudiantes por ese día. Las máscaras faciales de tela reutilizables se deben lavar diariamente. No se permitirán las bandanas y las máscaras faciales con ranuras de ventilación.

Big picture
Big picture

The Joy (and practicality) of TIMERS!

One of the questions we've received frequently this summer is how to help manage the schedule of home learning while families work. During asynchronous learning times (time not directed / led by the teacher), it may be helpful to use timers so that students can work independently so that you can accomplish the tasks you are working on. We use timers all the time in classrooms but in our experience - this is a gradual build-up - start small and build-up to the desired time. Below we recommend a few tips and tricks to help students manage their time so you can work.

TIP: The passage of time is a hard concept to grasp so any time we can give young students something to compare it to, that helps! When we teach time in school we often compare it to another experience - its as long as an episode of Wild Kratts, it is as long as it takes you to brush your teeth, tie your shoes, the drive to school, etc. It does not stick immediately, but it helps create a framework for understanding - a short, long, or super long time.


Got a tip or trick that works in your home? Send it to and we'll feature it in an upcoming newsletter.

School Supply List