The Cannon Connection
2021-2022 Newsletter for Cannon Elementary Families
January 23-29, 2022
Good morning Cannon families,
GCISD will welcome students back to campus on Monday, Jan. 24. We appreciate the patience and cooperation of parents and families this week as we had to close school for a couple of days due to widespread teacher absences. We know that school closures are not easy on anyone, but we simply did not have enough staff or substitutes to safely operate our schools. We are hopeful that our staff and students have had the time to recover that many of them needed.
Below is important information regarding GCISD’s response to COVID-19.
The District is monitoring the rapid spread of the Omicron variant and the impact it is having across the District. Here you will find an interactive graph that allows you to see the trend of active COVID-19 cases in GCISD by both date and campus. There are several classrooms and grade-levels that are rapidly approaching 20% positivity rate across the District. As a reminder, here are the thresholds for elementary class quarantines that were implemented in Fall 2021:
If a classroom has a 10% positivity rate for COVID-19, additional COVID protocols will be temporarily implemented including placing desks in rows facing the same direction, providing students with a desktop divider, based on availability, for the classroom. Students will take their individual desktop divider with them to art, music and the cafeteria when feasible. Students will remain in cohorts to the extent possible in PE to limit contacts.
If a classroom has a confirmed 20% positivity rate for COVID-19, students must quarantine for a designated period of time and will transition to remote conferencing.
If your student has been exposed to COVID-19 or is demonstrating symptoms, they may participate in remote conferencing.
As a reminder, GCISD encourages students and staff to wear a mask, wash their hands and watch your distance. Additionally, if your student is experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, please keep them home until they receive a negative test result, an alternative diagnosis from a physician or until 10 days have passed. If you are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test, your student must remain home until you have received the results. If a family member is positive, and you wish for your student to enter into remote conferencing in an abundance of caution, they may do so by contacting the campus directly.
Finally, many staff members are testing positive for COVID, which requires a substitute in order to continue with in-person instruction. If you are interested in applying to be a substitute teacher, the application may be found here.
I will send communication directly to homeroom classrooms to keep you informed of 10% positivity and 20% classroom quarantine. Please understand that numbers are rapidly changing, and I will send communication as promptly as I can. At this time, we have 4 classes returning from quarantine Tuesday, January 25, one class returning from quarantine Monday, January 24, and 5 classes currently at 10% positivity. Thank you for your continued support and help as we navigate this fragile time of high COVID spread!
Proud to be your principal,
Middle of Year Performance
Federal Report Card Dissemination
Texas school districts are required to share the information in the Federal Report Card with you as part of its obligations under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA). Data is available for both the district and each campus on our website at https://www.gcisd.net/departments/accountability/school_report_cards.
Federal Report Cards for the state, all districts, and each campus are also available on the Texas Education Agency’s website at: https://tea.texas.gov/Finance_and_Grants/Grants/Federal_Report_Card/.
January Book of the Month Challenge - Roxaboxen; In this amazing story, neighborhood kids turn a barren field into a town with nothing but rocks and their imaginations.
Cannon Cardboard City Challenge - Cardboard City Creations can begin coming to the library on January 18.
January - Kids Heart Challenge
January 25 - 3rd -5th Reading Benchmark Testing
January 27 - 3rd-5th Math Benchmark Testing
February 2 - 5th Science Benchmark Testing
Testing and Referral for Gifted and Talented services and the Aspire Academy
Referral Window: January 10 - January 28
Testing Window: February 1 - February 28
January 24-28 - Holocaust Remembrance Week: SB 1828 and the Texas Governor’s Office have designated the week of January 24-28, 2022 as Holocaust Remembrance Week. The purpose of this designation is to educate students about the Holocaust and to inspire in students a sense of responsibility to recognize and uphold human value and to prevent future atrocities. Elementary instruction is tied to our Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and is age appropriate.
February - Black History Month
Thursday, February 3 - 101st day of school - show your spirit by dressing the part; Dress like your 101!
Friday, February 4 - National WEAR RED for Heart Disease Awareness - Go RED!
February 7 - 11 - School Counselor Appreciation Week
February 11 - Cubs will exchange Valentine's with their classmates ❤️
Monday, February 14 - Student Holiday NO SCHOOL, Staff Professional Development Day
February 21-25 - National Engineering Week
January Book of the Month Design Challenge: Cannon Cardboard City
Do you or your Cannon scholar need to talk to Mrs. Coburn?
Do you or your Cannon scholar need to talk to Mrs. Coburn? Looking for counseling or social-emotional resources? Check out the Counselor’s Corner with Mrs. Coburn. Click on the pictures on the bulletin board. Here you will find links to many resources including ways to contact Mrs. Coburn, ways to destress, and a parent newsletter aligned with our guidance curriculum PurposeFULL People. Honesty is the character trait we are focussing on in December. We will talk about honesty, meaning to live truthfully in our words, actions, and thoughts. How will you practice Honesty at home? Check out the activities.
Lunch Visitors ~
Per the recent GCISD guidelines (still listed below) for visitors and volunteers, we may allow lunch visitors beginning Sept. 7th. We have made accommodations at Cannon to have lunch visitors eat with their Cub spread out in the cafe on the booth side, which allows guests to socially distance and can accommodate up to 6 families per grade level lunch. Families will only be permitted to eat with their Cub (Sorry, no friends). Thank you for cleaning up and throwing away trash after your family lunch!
Lunch guests will still sign-in through our secure vestibule, complete the COVID screening, and meet their Cannon Cub at the entrance to the cafeteria before proceeding to the booth table area for lunch. We will post the next month of lunches to sign-up for around the beginning of each month here in The Cannon Connection and it will remain linked in the lunch section at the bottom for the remainder of the month. We ask that you please be courteous to the rest of the community and limit lunch visits with your child to no more than one per month so that all families have the opportunity to visit. We appreciate your cooperation. Each family needs only 1 slot reserved. For example, Mom, Dad, and sister may all come eat lunch with their Cub. Only Mom needs to be registered as 1 visitor to reserve 1 booth together. When it asks for quantity of visitors, please select just 1. You may bring whomever you want on the day you check-in at the school office to sit at your family booth. Please understand we are unable to accept walk in lunch visitors.
All lunch visitors must sign up - January Lunch Sign Ups
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is transitioning all state assessments to be administered online by the 2022–2023 school year. To support this change, GCISD will be administering all state assessments online this Spring and is encouraging students to visit the practice tests site released by the TEA to prepare for online testing. For upcoming testing, students will be using district issued personal devices.
The online practice tests familiarize students with the general tools, designated supports, and accessibility features that may appear in online tests. In the practice site, there are features that may be turned on and off for students with identified accommodations such as text-to-speech and spelling assistance. Organized by grade level and subject, all 2018, 2019, and 2021 STAAR released tests are also available on the online practice site . Please visit this link for instructions on how to access the practice site.
To view upcoming online STAAR testing windows and dates, please visit our website.
More specific information about student testing days will be coming soon. Please submit a help desk ticket if you are having trouble launching a test.
STAAR Practice, Practice, Practice ~
Check out this opportunity to practice but before you do, know these important things:
1. All 3rd-5th grade students should practice at least three times before testing in May.
2. Students have an actual login they will receive while here at school. THIS practice above is only the "Guest View".
3. Play with the "Guest View" so you can see EVERYTHING!!
4. When your student(s) sign in with their personal login (we will give them those when they practice at school), they WILL NOT see everything the "guest view" offers because their site will be tailored to their personal accommodations - IF they have any.
5. Check out this detailed instruction sheet to see how to log in as a guest so you and your student can play around with it.6. You don't have to complete or have your student practice an entire test but I HIGHLY recommend that you look through it. As the leader of the staff that has already played with it, I found some unique things that would've thrown me off if I didn't practice. Get your students to see what the site has to offer.
Testing for Gifted & Talented (GT) Services and/or the ASPIRE Academy
Kindergarten through 5th Grade currently enrolled students may be referred and tested for GT services and/or the ASPIRE Academy during the windows
Referral Window: January 10 - January 28
Testing Window: February 1 - February 28
GT Decisions mailed: March 28
ASPIRE Decisions mailed: April 27
Visit the Advanced Academics Website (https://bit.ly/GCISDGTID) to refer your child for testing, and please allow thirty minutes to complete the “Parent Inventory/Permission to Test” online form.
If you are unable to refer your child online, you may pick up a paper copy of the referral form in the front office of your home campus.
For more information regarding the testing process, please view one of the following videos below. All videos can also be found at https://bit.ly/GCISDGTinfo
The GCISD Early Childhood Development Center is hiring!
The ECDC is a childcare center available to employees of GCISD for children ages 6 weeks to 3 years. We have part time and full time positions available with flexible schedules. The District is offering quarterly retention payments of $500 to full time employees, childcare benefits and competitive compensation. Full time applicants can apply here. Part time applicants can apply here.
Pre-K Lottery Open Now
GCISD offers high-quality, full-day Pre-Kindergarten programs at nine elementary schools, and families can begin applying for the 2022-2023 school year now.
Applications for the GCISD Pre-K Tuition-Based lottery are available now and will be accepted through Friday, January 21. More information on GCISD's Pre-K program, including a link to the application, can be found at www.GCISD/PreK.
NOTE: Applications that become available next week are for only tuition-based Pre-K. State-funded Pre-K applications will be available later this semester.
2022-2023 Instructional Calendar
On Monday, December 13, the GCISD Board of Trustees approved the student and staff instructional calendar for the 2022-2023 school year.
A few highlights from the 2022-2023 instructional calendar:
Students will begin classes on Wednesday, August 17.
Students will have a four-day weekend from October 29 - November 1, with October 31 and November 1 being Professional Development Days.
Classes end for the first semester on Wednesday, December 21. The second semester begins after Winter Break on Monday, January 9.
Teachers return from Winter Break on Friday, January 6, for a Professional Development Day.
Spring Break is March 13 - March 17.
Students and staff will have a four-day weekend in April (dependent on the need to makeup one or both inclement weather days).
Classes are finished on Thursday, May 25.
The calendar can be viewed and downloaded as a PDF: 2022-2023 GCISD Student and Staff Instructional Calendar
*iUniversity Prep and Collegiate Academy instructional calendars will be released at a later date.
GCISD COVID-19 Resources
Please visit www.GCISD.net/COVID19 for lots of additional resources from the District pertaining to COVID-19. There you can find all of the following information, plus more:
GCISD COVID-19 Testing Center
As a reminder, Consent forms for the COVID-19 Testing Center are now located in Skyward. Access forms using the instructions found here for STUDENTS (VIDEO Instructions). After submitting the information in Skyward (Family Access for Students and Employee Access for Staff), Skyward will send you an email confirming that you signed your consent.
Beginning on Monday, August 23, remote conferencing will be available for students who are unable to attend school in-person because they are in quarantine as the result of being a close contact or test-positive for COVID-19.
Approved by the Texas Education Agency, remote conferencing is a mechanism by which online instruction can be provided for those who are temporarily away from campus for reasons related to COVID-19. It is important to remember this is not GCISD Online, a temporary remote learning option for elementary students that families were made aware of last week.
Cafe Menu Update!
Please see the updated menu attached. Nutrition services has indicated the vegetarian friendly items in green. In addition, they have added a couple of plant based menu items on the menu. They also plan to offer a hummus box daily in addition to the baked potato that is available. All menu items are subject to change due to availability. Students may always select a vegetable plate that consists of two vegetables, one fruit, one grain, and milk.
Teacher Favorites and Amazon Wish Lists
Check out the TEACHER FAVORITES page on the PTA website to learn more about your teachers and staff and to see their AMAZON CLASSROOM WISH LISTS. **Updated last week**