Middle School Student Life
Middle School Advisory groups are created long before students step foot in a classroom in August. Each June, teachers and deans get together to decide "best fit" situations, in which students are paired with teachers who will be a good match. Fifth and sixth grade advisories are mixed gender, while seventh and eighth grade move to a single gender system. Advisories meet each morning and are a combination of business (announcements, upcoming calendar dates), conversation (often tying in character development and core values or exploring different topics related to health and well-being), and fun (Friday morning trivia).
The advisory council is a small group of students that help faculty plan the annual Middle School theme, and organize activities that reinforce this theme throughout the year. They plan advisory games such as our annual Pumpkin’ Chunkin’ and Big Wheel Derby, and events including a community outing to a Charlotte Checkers hockey game. Working with the staff at the Special Olympics of Cabarrus County, this team coordinates volunteers to assist with the local Special Olympic games.
Punkin' Chunkin', Big Wheel Relay, Doughnut Duel - they are all part of Middle School Advisory Games, a fun way for students to engage in friendly competition. Every few weeks, during lunch, advisories work together and compete in a series of fun, minute-to-win-it games. There's a kick-off day in the fall and a final game day in the spring, offering a fun academic break while promoting bonding and team spirit.
Battle of the Books, Elementary Battle of the Books, Science Olympiad, Model UN, and Envirothon are among the academic competition teams currently facilitated by faculty. Other Middle School clubs may be created based on student interest. Clubs meet during lunch or during a designated club time in order to accommodate student athletes. Cannon's “Beyond the Bell” enrichment program offers other options for student participation.
Overnight field trips, while offering some recreation, are primarily scheduled to enhance and broaden the Cannon School curriculum and are chaperoned by Middle School faculty. Traditionally, students participate in the following overnight trips:
|5||Kanuga||September||team building, environmental, history|
|6||Charleston, SC||September||marine science, history|
|7||Camp Cheerio||September||physical challenges, leadership development, teambuilding|
citizenship, government, history, culminating middle school experience
What is the role of a Middle School Dean?
A Middle School Dean is someone who oversees the daily life of a middle school student. They engage in everything from academic concerns to leadership opportunities, and everything in between. They lead the teams of teachers at each grade level, coordinate and plan events and interdisciplinary projects, act as mentors for student life discussions, and coordinate the advisory program. If you are new to independent schools, a Dean is similar to an assistant principal, yet they do so much more. Discipline falls under them as well, but this is a minor part of their work.
Cannon School’s honor code supports the belief that honor is the most important quality of personal character. It involves being trustworthy, as well as trusting others. Each student is expected to support the honor system through his or her personal actions, as well as through verbal and written pledges.
Cannon School believes in the importance of reaching out and helping others in our school community as well as communities beyond our campus. By embracing a model of service learning, students at each grade level investigate topics that interest them, work in teams to identify specific needs, and develop action plans to address those needs. Our teams have hosted guest speakers from more than eight organizations including Special Olympics, the Society of St. Andrew Gleaning Network and the Cabarrus County Soil & Water Conservation District.
Students also get off campus to learn and engage. In the past, our Middle School students have:
- picked and cleaned cabbage, sweet potatoes, and green beans at the Share the Harvest Community Garden
- collected and delivered canned food to the Salvation Army
- visited the Cabarrus County Bilingual Preschool to build English language skills by making toy horses out of pool noodles.
Through each of these projects, students develop a better understanding of the importance of civic participation and the way communities work. They build critical thinking and problem solving skills, and ultimately apply what they learn to improve communities in real, meaningful, and lasting ways.
Students from all four grade levels (5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th) comprise the Middle School Student Council; there are usually four students from each grade. Members are elected by their peers and serve for a year. Serving on the Council is a leadership position, and duties include helping to communicate news and events to the student body, planning social events, and helping where needed in other aspects of student life.
One of the highlights of our “long block” days is the Workshop period. This 50-minute block provides teachers with additional time outside of a regular class, thereby allowing them to explore an academic focus more deeply with an entire grade. This time is often spent focusing on cross-curricular topics/projects, diving more deeply into a certain topic or subject, and/or working more closely on a particular academic skill.
Learn about our Fifth Grade program.
Learn about our Sixth Grade program.
Learn about our Seventh Grade program.
Learn about our Eighth Grade program.
Learn about what makes Middle School Student Life so memorable.