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Class Acts: A Peek into Cannon’s Classrooms

September 17, 2015

Bill Diskin:

Cannon School students in action!

Originally posted on Cannon School's Blog:

Class Acts highlights some of the amazing things that happen in our classrooms on a day-to-day basis. Is there something that you think is noteworthy and should be highlighted? E-mail Amy Reiss at

Kindergarten Explores Recycled Art


As a fresh take on “healthy living,” the new afternoon Kindergarten program is exploring recycling as a way to care for your planet. Mrs. Rendi Powers led a dialogue and a series of activities as a guest speaker on this topic on September 4. Students reviewed the basics of recycling in school and at home, and then used their own recycled materials from our classrooms to create various building and creative art projects.

Kindergarten plans to continue recycling materials throughout the year, and coming up with inventive new ways to “reuse” and not always “buy new.”

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“Private” schools are open to the public

September 11, 2015

Bill Diskin:

Given the news about the popularity of “private” schools in the U.S., this post from 2012 seems timely (again).

Originally posted on Cannon School Admission:

Given the seemingly endless list of challenges facing our nation’s public schools, more and more families are exploring other options for educating their children.

Many families, it turns out, are beginning to take a closer look at what are commonly known as “private schools.” Until now, it seems, many parents assumed that “private schools” were, well, private.

“I just always assumed that the private schools were only for the wealthy kids,” a parent admitted recently. “I never imagined that we could afford to send our kids there.”

It is true that these non-public schools charge tuition.  And it is true that these schools require that students meet certain academic requirements to enroll.  But it is not true that these schools are private.

Private School” is terminology left over from the 1960s and 1970s.  Over a decade ago, the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) actually launched a…

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Americans prefer independent schools

September 10, 2015

According to reports from the Council for American Private Education (CAPE), more than 40% of Americans surveyed believe “private” schools are the best education option available.  “If they were given the opportunity to select whatever school they could for their child, more Americans would prefer a private school than any other option, according to a national poll released this summer by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice and Braun Research, Inc.”1

Read a summary of the CAPE report in the September issue of Cape Outlook.

Read the entire 2015 Schooling in America Survey study at the Friedman Foundation web site.

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

Teaching Middle School Girls — A National Study

August 18, 2015

Independent School Magazine recently published some initial discoveries from a national study focused on Teaching Middle School Girls More Effectively.  Page 5 - option 2

Researchers Shannon H. Andrus, Peter J. Kuriloff, and Charlotte E. Jacobs completed the study, and their summary of findings offer a number of interesting insights for teachers and parents of middle school girls (and boys!).

“For girls, the most significant characteristics of engaging lessons are that they be clear, well organized, relevant, and collaborative,” they write. “Within a learning environment that exhibits those qualities, girls respond well to having opportunities to participate in class discussions, engage in hands-on learning, complete (often in groups) multi-modal projects, be creative, and participate in out-of-class experiences.”

Read the entire article.

Cannon School is a Jrk – Grade 12 independent school in Concord, NC.

Where’d you get your math anxiety?

August 14, 2015

Lots of students suffer from math anxiety.

The question is, WHY?

According to some researchers, the answer is clear. Parents, it appears, are passing their own math anxiety on to their children.  Cannon515-690

In her blog post, The Family Roots of Math Anxiety, Education Week reporter Sarah D. Sparks summarizes a series of studies coming out of the University of Chicago.

“Students whose parents reported high math anxiety made significantly less progress in math over the course of a year, and they were more likely to become anxious themselves—but only if their anxious parents sweated through helping them with homework,” Sparks writes.


But it gets worse.

In some cases, the parents studied were not even actively helping with homework.

According to Sian Beilock, one of the University of Chicago researchers, parents’ comments about math can impact their child’s experience with the subject.

“Our work suggests that if a parent is walking around saying ‘Oh, I don’t like math,’ or ‘This stuff makes me nervous,’ kids pick up on this messaging and it affects their success,” Beilock said.

Read The Family Roots of Math Anxiety.

Read more about The Performance Lab at The University of Chicago.

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

New Student Orientations

August 12, 2015

Bill Diskin:

We look forward to seeing our new families (and all 5th and 9th grade students and parents!) this Friday at New Student Orientation.

Originally posted on Cannon School's Blog:


The Cannon School Admission Office invites new families to New Student Orientations on Friday, August 14.

  • Junior Kindergarten Families
    8:30 a.m. Parents drop students off at their classroom
    8:45 a.m. Mrs. Michelle Alexander, Head of Lower School, meets with parents in the Cannon Performing Arts Center
  • New Lower School Student Families (Kindergarten through Grade 4)
    9:15 a.m. Cannon Performing Arts Center
  • New Middle School Student Families
    10:00 a.m. Cannon Performing Arts Center
    Orientation is for all rising 5th grade students and parents, and all new 6th-8th grade students and parents
  • New Upper School Student Families
    11:00 a.m. Cannon Performing Arts Center
    Orientation is for all rising 9th grade students and parents, and all new 10th-12th grade students and parents

We invite all families to visit the Dining Hall following your orientation time to attend the Information Fair. Here, you can:

  • Turn in your medical forms
  • Meet your bus driver
  • Learn…

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An Open Letter to Cannon School’s Faculty and Staff

May 12, 2015

The following letter was written by a Cannon School 11209757_1163476757011866_7384682328480788665_nparent who wishes to remain anonymous, but wanted to express gratitude for the work of our faculty.

An Open Letter to the Teachers of Cannon School:

I see you. For fourteen years, I’ve seen you hauling loads of stuff into the school before it’s light. And I’ve seen you carrying stuff out of the school hours after the buses left. I’ve seen red marks on papers. Smiley faces. Notes to “see me.” I’ve seen you hug my children. Lots of hugging. I’ve seen you march at graduation and sit around a table in the cafeteria, hoping nobody will interrupt those few moments of adult conversation in the middle of the day.

I’ve heard about your witty comments. Your passionate lectures. Your disciplinary decisions. I’ve heard about what you do in your spare time, and I can’t believe you have spare time. I know the number of papers to grade. Tests to correct. Essays to comment upon. I know your day doesn’t end at 3:00 or start at 8:10.

I want you to hear this from my heart: what you do matters. And more than that, you have made a profound impression on my children, which they will carry with them forever. The words you say every day spark new thoughts, observations, and opinions in those who hear them.

Thank you for teaching. Thank you for treating my children with respect. Thank you for sharing yourself with them over and over and over, even if it seems like they are daydreaming and will never remember a word. Trust me, they remember. And they are better for your words of wisdom, encouragement, wit, and truth.

And thank you, again, for the nights in your home that you spend grading and planning and doing other stuff for work when you could be at play yourself. Your work is some of the most important work in the world. The kids may not really understand this until they are ready to enroll their own children some day. But I know it.

I see you when you laugh with students in the hall. When you walk to your car by yourself. When you show up at a game you are not coaching. And I see those who coach.

There are not enough words in the world to express the gratitude you deserve. So I guess I just want to say this: I see you. I can’t imagine not seeing you doing the things you do every day. You are helping us make wonderful people and send them out in the world to do wonderful things. This is your job. You do it well.

Thank you.


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