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Is Cannon School a good fit for your family?

September 25, 2014

October marks the start of the Admission Open House season at most independent schools around the country.  This is a great time for parents to visit a number of schools to get a sense of which school “fits” their family best.Open House Boys2

Cannon School hosts Admission Open Houses on Thursday October 9 at 7:00 pm and Saturday November 8 at 1:00 pm.

These open houses are great opportunities to meet Cannon teachers, administrators, parents, and students — all of whom are eager to answer questions and share information about their experiences.

To learn more and to RSVP, visit the Register for Open House tab at the Cannon School web site.

We hope to see you on campus soon!



Cannon School is a JrK -Grade 12 independent school located in Concord, NC

Cannon School: A Parent Testimonial

September 24, 2014

“Cannon is a community where parents care about the education of their children.  Teachers are flexible and class sizes afford the opportunity for individual attention.  Students are happy and they care about each other.”

Cannon School ParentCannon414-545

Cannon School Science Teacher Connects With Community

September 22, 2014

“Students have the opportunity to practice yoga in my classroom…and after school on Thursday,” says Monty Coggins, Science Department Chair at Cannon School, in Angela Poffenbaugh’s faculty feature entitled The Most Important Thing Is The Here And Now.” “It is remarkable to see the community that is building up around these practices.”

Monty Coggins engages with students in his AP Environmental Class.

Monty Coggins engages with students in his AP Environmental Class.

Not exactly what you might expect to hear from a guy who has been teaching high school science for the past 34 years.

But, once you get to know Coggins, you realize that teaching yoga during his free periods is just another way he connects with the community around him.

“There are a lot of reasons I love teaching,” Coggins explains. “The biggest reason is the relationships I have with people and the opportunity I have to watch people grow and learn and gain a sense of confidence in their abilities.”

Monty Coggins is profiled in Cannon School’s first installment of Celebrating Community, a new web site feature.

Read more about Coggins here and check back often for more features on our Cannon School faculty and staff.

Cannon School is a JrK-Grade 12 independent school located in Concord, NC.

Reading: Digital vs. Print (Is there a clear winner?)

September 10, 2014

Schools like to tout technology.  And in seemingly infinite ways, new technologies offer students experiences that are potentially richer, fuller, and more engaging than anything their parents did in school.Page 5 - option 2


(Of course there’s a but!)  

According to Hollly Korbey‘s recent post at Mindshift, there also continues to be healthy debate around the pros and cons of students use of technology — specifically as it relates to reading on digital devices.

“While ever more schools adopt textbooks and student reading materials to digital readers like iPads and Chromebooks,” Korbey writes in Can Students ‘Go Deep’ With Digital Reading? “…some recent research suggests students may comprehend more from reading print.”

At Cannon School, we see the benefits of students using technology to engage with content every day.  At the same time, we acknowledge the need to constantly assess our motivations for introducing new technologies.

Read Korbey’s complete blog post here.

Cannon School is an independent school located in Concord, NC.



Can grit impact our creativity?

September 2, 2014

Over the past decade, educators and researchers have identified “grit” as a trait that can significantly impact student achievement.  Recent studies, however, raise some questions about grit’s impact on student creativity.openhouseboy

As Sarah D. Sparks writes in ‘Grit’ May Not Spur Creative Success, Scholars Say in the August 20 edition of Education Week,  “Well-known studies by developmental psychologist Angela L. Duckworth and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania have found that a person’s ‘grit’—a measure of conscientiousness and perseverance—could predict everything from graduation rates at West Point to National Spelling Bee champions.

But, as Sparks point out in the same article, some scholars are now calling into question the impact of grit on the creative process.

One skeptic is Magdalena G. Grohman, the associate director of the Center for Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology at the University of Texas at Dallas. “When you look at it, these [areas studied by Ms. Duckworth] are well-defined areas and the rules for achievement are well-defined in those areas,” [Grohman] said. “We know what to do to get good grades, what to do to stay in military school, and what to do to win in contests such as spelling bees. The rules are pretty clear on what the achievement is and what success is in these domains. But what about creative achievement?”

Read more at Education Week. (Free registration may be required to read article in its entirety.)

Cannon School is a JrK – 12 independent school located in Concord, NC.

Screen limits

July 16, 2014

As parents and teachers, we all know that too much screen time is not a good thing.  And yet, many of us are so addicted to our own phones and tablets we hardly have the energy to monitor how our children are spending their time!

Credit: Thinkstock

Credit: Thinkstock

Guess what?  Many of our children are spending too much time looking at screens.  Guess what else?  We, the adults in their lives, need to help them redirect their focus.  (For the record, the sad irony that I am sharing this information in an online blog post is not lost on me…so as soon as you finish reading this, put down your screen and go interact with your family!)

A recent post on our Facebook page (there’s that pesky irony again…) included a link to an article in Scientific America that spells out pretty clearly some of the benefits of reducing kids’ media time.

In  “Kids on Screen-Time Diet Lost Weight and Got Better Grades,” Douglas Gentile makes the case that parents (that’s us!) have a vital role to play in setting appropriate boundaries.

“Children whose parents set more limits on the amount and content of media were now getting more sleep, had gained less weight (lowering their risk of obesity), were getting better grades in school, exhibited more helpful and cooperative social behaviors in school, and were less aggressive with their peers (as seen by the classroom teachers),” Gentile writes.

Yikes!  I gotta get home to unplug a few things…

Read Gentile’s article and share any comments you have about his findings.  Even better, send us some suggestions for how we can set limits on our kids’ (and our OWN!) media intake.

Bill Diskin is director of admission and financial aid at Cannon School.  He can be reached at

 Cannon School is a JrK-12 independent school located in Concord, NC.

Teachers benefit from grit

July 14, 2014

We’ve explored the importance of grit a number of times over the past couple years — that sense of passion, perseverance, and stick-to-it-ness that can help ordinary students do extraordinary things.2014-07-08-TNTPFortWorth140_685x257-thumb

Now there’s some interesting research on how grit can enhance the work of teachers — especially first year teachers.

Betsy Aronson, in her TNTP blog post “Can Teachers Learn Grit?,” writes:

“Conversation around ‘character education‘ often includes questions of how we can support students to develop grit and why it’s important to do so, particularly in high-poverty schools. But the concept of cultivating grit in teachers is a new one for many of us.”

New concept or not, it makes sense that teachers sometimes need to dig deep to tap into the passion and strong will that led them to the classroom in the first place.   After all, nobody ever said that the world’s most important profession wouldn’t be without its challenges.


Cannon School is a JrK-12 independent school located in Concord, NC.


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