The Cannon Connection

Staff Information & Updates 9/2/13

The Week in Review

What a wonderful start to the 2013-2014 school year at Cannon! By the end of the day on Friday, all Kinder-5th grade scholars (except for 2 who have parents coming in Tuesday morning) have been issued their iPad!! Thanks to all of you for your help with this effort to accomplish this so quickly - all of the reminders to parents really helped!! In addition, scholars across the grade levels were actively engaged in community building activities, engineering-related design challenges, and getting apps downloaded on their iPads - ready for use next week. Check out some of these first week activities in:

Kindergarten Dual Language

1st grade Dual Language

2nd grade

3rd grade

Each week, I will be providing staff information and updates through this newsletter, The Cannon Connection. Please feel free to provide me with any suggestions or other feedback you have that will make this a useful communication tool for our school staff.
Have a great week!

Dates to Remember

9/2 Student & Teacher Holiday
9/3 BoY Reading & Writing Inventories begin
9/5 PLC Week A - Kinder; 5th; 1st
9/7 MAPS Testing Window Opens - 2nd - 5th
9/10 U.CAN Meetings - 3:00 - 3:45
PDAS Section 1 - Teacher Self-Report due
WatchD.O.G.S. Dads Recruiting Event - Pizza Party 6:00 p.m.
9/13 PLC Week B - 3rd; 4th; 2nd
9/17 STEM Leadership Team meeting - 3:00 - 3:45
9/20 PLC Week A - Kinder; 5th; 1st
Online Trainings Checklist/Form Due to Tona
9/21 PTA Back to School Family Cookout - 12:00 - 3:00 p.m.
9/24 CEC Meeting - 3:15 - 4:00
9/25 Early Release - K-5th 11:45
9/26 Early Release - K-5th 11:45
9/27 PLC Week B - 3rd; 4th; 2nd
Last day for BoY Reading & Writing Inventories
10/1 U.CAN meetings 3:00 -3:45


  • STAFF PUZZLE PIECES that have been turned in look awesome!! If you have not already turned yours in, please give it to Mandy by Wednesday, 9/4. She will be creating an awesome display to showcase how our staff and scholars "fit together" to make Cannon the BEST!
  • LESSON PLANS should be turned in to CAN.Share - Lesson Plans 2013-2014/grade level/month/date/teacher folder each week, no later than 10:00 Monday morning.
  • HALL OF FAME SCHEDULES will be provided for you early this week by Mandy. Please check the schedule carefully and make note of the dates that have been assigned to you. Allow sufficient time to contact/invite parents to attend and submit your "narrative" to Debbie, so that she can prepare the display for the hall. If you need to switch dates with another staff member, please do so in a timely manner. If you miss your week, do not just choose an alternate date to present, without checking with Tona first for approval.
  • CHANGES IN STUDENT/PARENT HANDBOOK include removal of policy/information about homework, tardiness, drop-off procedures, and the library. There are several new items in this year's handbook. Please make sure you have reviewed the handbook and include the changes about DRESS CODE in your communications with parents. These changes and specific criteria about dress code can be found on page 36 of the handbook. Please note that these changes in dress code apply to school staff/personnel as well. Revealing clothing, low-cut blouses/dresses, spaghetti straps, tank tops, etc... are not appropriate apparel for work. Also, please note that a description of Cannon's STEM program is included in the revised handbook and can be found on page 21. You can access this year's handbook by clicking on this link: GCISD Student/Parent Handbook


    Show your support for Cannon PTA by completing the PTA Membership form and submitting it along with your $8 annual dues to the PTA mailbox by 9/10/13. Also, you can order a PTA Cannon STEM Spirit shirt for only $12. You can also show your support of Cannon PTA by attending/volunteering at family events scheduled throughout the year. Their first BIG event is the Back To School Family Cookout, scheduled for Saturday, September 21st from 12:00-3:00.

    Be sure to include PTA's Facebook link in all of your parent communication this year. Check out their page right now and help earn money for our school, by clicking on the Give With Target link. Cannon will receive $1 for every vote! Spread the word!

    Vote for Cannon here


    • STUDENT iPAD ORIENTATIONS have started in several classrooms already. Please make sure you are using the orientation lesson plans and other documents provided by Trisha & the Instructional Technology team. Students are expected to demonstrate their understanding of the iPad expectations and responsibilities outlined in this orientation. These resources are stored in a Google Docs folder and can be accessed by using this link: Click here for Student iPad Orientation Docs
    • TEACHER WEBSITES & BLOGS need to be updated no later than Friday, September 6th. Please make sure your website reflects your current teaching assignment and have been updated with current schedules, classroom information, etc.. Several teachers already have their 2013-2014 blogs actively in use! As a STEM campus, all teachers are expected to have blogs, which showcase scholar learning. Additional ways to showcase learning and communicate with parents should be done with classroom/grade level Twitter accounts, Wikispaces, Remind101 or other text reminder options, etc... Our 1:1 STEM Campus Blog will be coming soon...stay tuned!


    We will be experiencing a leaderSHIFT this year at Cannon, as we restructure leadership opportunities, in order to increase and recognize leadership capacity in all staff! As discussed in our back-to-school professional development:

    • Grade level/department teams will operate through SHARED LEADERSHIP, rather than through the traditional Team Leader/team model. Each team will be responsible for determining what role each team member will take responsibility for this year. Everyone on the team needs to have a voice and be responsible for how the team functions. For example, a team may assign roles such as Communications Manager (responsible for newsletters & other grade level communications with staff/administration) Financial Manager (responsible for budget, ordering supplies, collection of money for fundraisers/field trips, etc...) Social Coordinator (might include duties such as organizing gift exchanges/collections for staff parties, showers; student recognitions; taking photos/videos and sharing with campus administration and/or district reps to highlight/showcase grade level events) etc... there are MANY options and ways roles and responsibilities can be shared among teams. Please send an email to Anne & Tona, by 9/10, to let us know how your team will operate this year. Be creative!! Rotate responsibilities, so that everyone has a chance to lead in multiple ways!
    • CAMPUS TEAMS - Each team needs to designate a representative for the following: CEC (meets 6 times per year); EMT (Emergency Mgmt. Team - meets quarterly); All K-2 teams need a grade level rep. for each content area (math, ELA, SS, Science); 3-5 teams will be assigned based on content area taught. Please send names of all of these grade level reps to Tona and Anne as soon as possible.
    • STEM LEADERSHIP TEAM - We would like to invite anyone on the Cannon staff to be part of this leadership team! This team will be responsible for promoting "all things STEM" at Cannon and we want those who serve on this team to be enthusiastically involved in actively promoting the mission and vision of all aspects of Cannon's STEM program, including: helping to create/design a STEM culture @ Cannon; attending/presenting @ local/state/national STEM-related conferences; participate in site visits & hosting campus visitors; developing/aligning STEM curriculum; designing STEM family events; etc... This team will meet 8 times during the school year. If you are interested in being part of this team, please send Tona an email by 9/10, to express interest.


    • Turn in staff puzzle piece to Mandy by 9/4
    • Update teacher website by 9/6 & get blog and other social media started!
    • Join PTA by 9/10, vote for Cannon on PTA website & buy a PTA shirt, if interested!
    • Send all requested team information to Tona by 9/10
    • Complete Student iPad Orientations
    • Finish all online trainings and turn in checklist by 9/20