Cunningham Messenger

September 17, 2020 - Social Media Edition

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

Principal's Message

Happy Thursday!

Week two is almost complete and we are off and running. This week Ms. Rodriguez and I were able to pop into many Zooms and see your amazing children talking, singing, and learning with their class. What seemed impossible on March 12th is now our reality and to see how far we’ve all come is impressive.

In the coming weeks we begin to see the expectations increase in the classroom and we will begin to phase in students. While we phase in students, please keep in mind that virtual learning will still be an option.

I highly encourage you to fill out the Parent-Pulse Survey for your children so that we can plan accordingly to staff and teach. A copy of the district video for returning to school is located at The Parent Pulse Survey can be filled out at This survey will be available for participation until 11:59 p.m. Monday, September 21.

Lastly, we are continuing to seek feedback on Virtual Learning. We can’t be successful without you and we remain committing to learning and improving as we learn through this experience. Please take a minute to provide us with your thoughts and ideas here.

We’ll see everyone bright and early tomorrow morning – at 7:45 – for Assembly and Character Awards!

Cobra Strong,

Heather Petruzzini


¡Feliz jueves!

La segunda semana está casi completa y estamos listos y funcionando. Esta semana, la Sra. Rodríguez y yo pudimos visitar muchos Zooms y ver a sus maravillosos niños hablando, cantando y aprendiendo con su clase. Lo que parecía imposible el 12 de marzo es ahora nuestra realidad y ver lo lejos que hemos llegado es impresionante.

En las próximas semanas comenzaremos a ver que las expectativas aumentan en el salón de clases y comenzaremos a incorporar gradualmente a los estudiantes. Mientras incorporamos gradualmente a los estudiantes, tenga en cuenta que el aprendizaje virtual seguirá siendo una opción.

Los animo encarecidamente a que llenen la Encuesta de pulso de padres para sus hijos para que podamos planificar en consecuencia al personal y enseñar. Una copia del video del distrito para regresar a la escuela se encuentra en La Encuesta de pulso para padres se puede completar en Esta encuesta estará disponible para participar hasta las 11:59 p.m. Lunes 21 de septiembre.

Por último, seguimos buscando comentarios sobre el aprendizaje virtual. No podemos tener éxito sin usted y seguimos comprometidos con aprender y mejorar a medida que aprendemos a través de esta experiencia. Tómese un minuto para brindarnos sus pensamientos e ideas aquí.

¡Veremos a todos brillantes y temprano mañana por la mañana, a las 7:45, para la Asamblea y los Premios de Carácter!

Nos encantaría escuchar sus logros (sus grandes éxitos) y su experiencia (áreas que podemos fortalecer) en el aprendizaje remoto. Puede ingresar sus comentarios aquí.

feedback here.

Big picture

Thursday, September 17th: 6 p.m. PTA Meeting. Pre-register for the meeting here:

Friday, September 18th: 7:45 - Whole School Assembly & Characters awards!

  • Please check your email for Zoom Information

Thursday, September 24th: Back-to-School Night.

Three Sessions available: 6 - 6:15, 6:20 - 6:35, 6:40 - 7:00

Zoom Codes for Meet the Teacher will be sent out via Messenger on Wednesday, September 23rd.

Tuesday, October 6th: Restart Phase-In Begins - see below for more information

October 12th: Change - Students will attend school - AISD Board has voted to change the Student Holiday to November 5th - Election Day

Big picture

SEL Focus - Self-Awareness

Dear Families,

Self-Awareness is the ability to tune in to your feelings, thoughts and actions. This includes being aware of “big feelings” that can sometimes overwhelm us. Self-awareness is a skill that needs to be nurtured and developed. Good emotional self-awareness builds relationship skills, self-advocacy skills, and coping skills.

Here are 2 ways to improve self-awareness in children -

1. Teach “I” statement

“I feel __(insert feeling word)___ when ___(tell what caused this feeling)___.”

For example, “I feel mad when you took my marker without asking.” or “I feel sad when you leave for work and I have to stay with a babysitter.” or “I feel jealous when my friends have a play date and I can’t go.”

“I statements” open up the door to honest communication and thoughtful problem solving. Children will better understand the cause and effect between experiences and emotions.

2. Continue to build children’s emotional vocabulary by introducing more complex, nuanced emotions such as frustration, loneliness, grief, jealousy, anticipation, wonder, gratitude, hope and peace. You can even model naming the emotion when you experience it yourself. “I am feeling really frustrated because you and your sister are not using inside voices while I am in my Zoom meeting.”

Scroll down for book recommendations to foster emotional self-awareness.

With Peace, Love, & Gratitude,

Ms. O'Connor

Tech Tips

Austin ISD Phase-in Period / Periodo de transición por fases del Austin ISD

Week 5 - October 5 - 9 (Facility Capacity 25%)

  • Students receiving specialized services (life skills, social behavior skills, SCORES, early childhood special education, and/or auditory/deaf education)
  • Children of staff returning to the school at which they are enrolled
  • Grade levels: ES - PK3, PK4, K; MS - 6; HS - 9
  • Newcomers Year 0 (PK, K) and Year 1
  • Siblings of students in prioritized group(s) for this week

Week 6 - Oct 12-16 (Facility Capacity 25%)

  • Grade levels: ES - 1, 2; MS - 7; HS - 10
  • Students receiving specialized services (resource, dyslexia, 504, speech only)
  • Siblings of students in prioritized group(s) for this week

Week 7 -Oct 19-Oct 23 (Facility Capacity 50%)

  • Grade levels: ES - 3, 4; MS - 8; HS - 11
  • Newcomers Years 2 and 3
  • Siblings of students in prioritized group(s) for this week

Week 8 - Oct 26-Oct 30 (Facility Capacity 50%)

  • Grade levels: ES - 5 (6 when applicable); HS - 12
  • Siblings of students in prioritized group(s) for this week


Semana 5: 5-9 de octubre (25% de la capacidad de las instalaciones)

  • Estudiantes que obtienen servicios especializados (Destrezas de la Vida Diaria, destrezas de comportamiento social, SCORES, educación especial preescolar o educación para personas con impedimentos auditivos o sordas)
  • Hijos del personal que regresa a la escuela en la cual están matriculados
  • Grados: primaria: PK3, PK4, K; secundaria: 6.°; preparatoria: 9.°
  • Nuevos en el año 0 (PK, K) o año 1
  • Hermanos de estudiantes en los grupos priorizados de esta semana

Semana 6: 12-16 de octubre (25% de la capacidad de las instalaciones)

  • Grados: primaria: 1.°, 2.°; secundaria: 7.°; preparatoria: 10.°
  • Estudiantes que obtienen servicios especializados (recursos, dislexia, 504, solo dificultades del habla)
  • Hermanos de estudiantes en los grupos priorizados de esta semana

Semana 7: 19-23 de octubre (50% de la capacidad de las instalaciones)

  • Grados: primaria: 3.°, 4.°; secundaria: 8.°; preparatoria: 11.°
  • Nuevos en los años 2 y 3
  • Hermanos de estudiantes en los grupos priorizados de esta semana

Semana 8: 26-30 de octubre (50% de la capacidad de las instalaciones)

  • Grados: primaria: 5.° (6.° cuando sea pertinente); preparatoria: 12.°
  • Hermanos de estudiantes en los grupos priorizados de esta semana

Learn How to use Tumblebooks with Ms. Quigley

Tumblebooks is a great resource for reading!

Big picture
Big picture

Upcoming PTA Meeting Information

Texas PTA asks that we only provide Zoom links to those who pre-register for the meeting, which you may do here:

The meeting schedule for the rest of the year is:

  • September 17
  • October 1
  • November 5
  • December 3
  • January 7
  • February 4
  • March 4
  • April 1 (Elections meeting)

Dates are subject to change. All meetings will begin at 6pm.

We'll be discussing some of these things at our first meeting in September, but if you know some ways you'd like to get involved now (especially if you want to chair any of the efforts listed above), feel free to email us at

Please be sure to join our PTA! You must be a current member of Cunningham PTA in order to vote on PTA business during our meetings, and we must have at least 10 paid members present in order to conduct official business. We have two options for joining:

1. Visit, fill out our membership form, and follow the instructions to pay via PayPal

2. Visit, choose "Join PTA" and search for Austin ISD - Mary E Cunningham Elementary.

Dues are $10 per person, and your dues help fund PTA programs locally, statewide, and nationally. At Cunningham, your dues help us to sponsor events, support learning needs, and are used for staff appreciation. Last year, Cunningham PTA gave back over $2000 to support the purchase of supplies and fund programs and subscriptions in our classrooms. This year, we're planning for more.

Looking forward to a great year!
-Cunningham PTA Board

Michael Marks, President
David Dupont, VP - Aide to President
Carissa Crabtree, VP - Communications
Amy Campbell, VP - Membership
Briana Garica, Secretary
Emily Chapa, Treasurer

School Supply List

A Handbook for Blend & Seesaw

Your one-stop-shop as a Caregiver for Blend (all grades) and Seesaw (for Pk - 2nd).

Un Manual de Blend y Seesaw

Tu ventanilla unica como cuidador para Blend (todos los grados) y Seesaw (para PreK-2do)