Cougar News

Week of 3/22/21 - 3/26/21

Letter from Principal Nelson

Proud Residents of Smallville

Tis’ the last day before break and all through the school,

students are learning online and in classes and following rules.

All logged into Zoom while learning in BLEND,

Sharing experiences with teachers and friends.

The breakout rooms were filled with anticipation

As kids talked about their 9 day vacation.

We’ll miss you dear students,

do not throw a fit,

Now to the parents we say, “tag, you are it!”

Last year at this time we were met with the most unwelcome news imaginable as we learned of the pandemic and that campuses would close the next day. The next day became the next few weeks, and then the next few weeks turned into students learning remotely from home for the remainder of the school year. Our students left on March 12th and were not allowed back to campus until September. Many have yet to return.

Our students have grown immeasurably these last 12 months and have developed life long skills that will easily transfer to post-secondary success and the workforce. They became more self-sufficient, developed resiliency, and above all, increased their ability to be compassionate. We are so proud of them and their growth.

Our teachers’ toolkits increased immensely and they embraced the challenge of transitioning to online educators. They upped their game and made every effort to not only keep our students occupied but engaged. They created personal connections with students they’ve never met in person and learned how community extended beyond their classroom walls. Their want to improve and to reach out to every single student is how we have been able to stay afloat.

Our parents and guardians became as much a vital part of the classroom as our teachers and students. You created workspaces, assigned extensions, monitored student work, breaks, and screen time. You helped our students navigate the chaos and through it all and became Blend-Ninjas, Zoom experts, and Google aficionados. You grew as much as our students did and we thank you for that.

We are all stronger, more flexible, and more compassionate due to the events of the last 12 months. Take a few moments over the break to discuss the growth your student and your family have had over the last year and be sure to remind them we are not out of this yet.

Remember those we have lost and make a vow to do what you can to make sure all we come in contact with are safe and healthy.

Have a great break.

Matthew Nelson


Clint Small Middle School

(512) 841-6705

Auditions for the 21-22 Dance Team

Who: Current 6th or 7th graders interested in trying out for CSMS’s dance team.

When: Where:

Monday, March 29th 4:15-5:30 Zoom- Virtual Audition Workshop

Tuesday, March 30th 4:15-5:30 Zoom-Virtual Audition Workshop

Friday, April 2nd Audition Video due by midnight

Attendance on March 29th and March 30th for BOTH of the Audition Workshops is required to audition for Cougar Dancers.

Please fill out the interest form below if you are interested in trying out. Mrs. Kalash will send you an invitation to the Cougar Dancers Audition BLEND course once your interest form has been received.

Click HERE to access the interest form OR copy and paste this address:


Thank you to Small parent Angela Cruz owner of A Cup of Sugar. She baked, decorated, and delivered personalized cookies for our entire Small faculty and staff!

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Tennis Team

Congratulations to the 2021 Cougar Tennis Team

Baird, Jacob

Booth, Emma

Bullock, Josh

Campbell, Dylan

Garza, RJ

Orenstein, Jacques

Rogers, Neima

Schooley, Katriana

Sharin, jack

Sheets, Jesse

Shmeis, Ahmad

Stansbury, Karlin

Steynberg, Liezel

Thomas, Rees

Walker, Ava

First practice is Monday, March 22 from 4-5

Schedule will be passed out at practice

Bring water and appropriate PPE

Save the Date: Green Market Days

Small Green Academy Market Days-Cash or Check ONLY

This year's Market Days sale will be held from March 22-26. It will be from 4-5PM after school by the front office.

We will be selling staff and student handmade products. These products include soap, candles, jewelry, bird houses, bookmarks, and MANY OTHERS!

Please come out to support us! This is the Green Academy's only fundraiser. The funding for our projects comes solely from sales like this.

Coming back on campus

We are hearing more and more grumblings about families thinking about coming back to campus.

We would be happy to welcome your student on to campus. I would highly recommend you contact their counselor to let them know that your student is coming. Our counselors have been meeting the kids in front of the school on their first day to make sure they know where to go and are comfortable on campus.

The first thing your student will need to do is to fill out the covid screener. If he/she has a phone, have them download the AISD app. If they don't have a phone, we can use the adult's phone that they are with at the time of drop off. The earliest your student can be dropped off at 7:45. The reason is that we cannot have a bunch of kids in one place like the Cafeteria or Gym like we used to, so we need to make sure all the teachers are in their classrooms to welcome the students, so they are all supervised on campus. We also need to take the students temperature before the parents leave incases there is a fever, they can just go home with the parent and not enter the building.

We do a stager release starting at 3:35 (again so not too many kids are together at once) the official end of day is 3:51.

Starting on Monday all teachers will be back on campus, your student will need to print his/her schedule and go to each classroom specified.

Things your student will need to bring:

  • Mask
  • Refillable Water bottle (water fountains are closed, except the bottle refill stations)
  • Chromebook and charger
  • Lunch if he wants (or Cafeteria Breakfast and lunches are free this year)
  • Snack
  • Maybe paper and pin for note taking
  • Printed Schedule

Please let me know if you have any other questions.


If students have any library books from last spring from ANY AISD campus they can be returned at Small. You can put them in the first floor book drop if you are on campus or drop them by the office if you are virtual. Your help is appreciated getting books back in our AISD libraries!

On Campus Students

Need to leave early?

It takes awhile for us to figure out what classroom a student is in.

Here is a trick to speed the process up!

If your student has a doctor appointment or just needs to leave early during the school day, please send them with a note. If the student comes to the main office with their parent note first thing in the morning, We will give your student a pass to leave class at the specified time. That way when you come to pick up your student, they will be in the office waiting for you. No searching involved saving us all precious time!


The snacks being sent to campus all year have been such a morale booster. We can't begin to thank you all enough for all your generous donations. We put snacks out daily for the teachers to swing by and get in our teachers lounge and twice a week our Counselors put together a snack and drink cart and walk around the school bringing the treats to our teachers in their classrooms.

They have gotten quite used to it and we are starting to run low. We have plenty of drinks and salty things for now, but if you are wanting to contribute, we could use more sweet treats. Cookies, chocolates, small candy and the like. Our teachers really feel the love when they can get a quick pick-me up.

Remember everything has to be individually wrapped for covid

Report Cards

Dear AISD Parent/Guardian,

The most recent report card for your student is now available for viewing on the Austin ISD Cloud .

In an effort to increase data security, pdf report card attachments will no longer be emailed.

To access the report card please login to and click on the tile "Report Cards".

For report card questions, please contact your student's teacher.

If you are having access or account issues, please call Parent Technology Support at 512-414-9187


NJHS Inductees from Spring 2020 AND Spring 2021-

You and your families are invited to a virtual induction ceremony hosted by members of LASA NHS and your NJHS Sponsor

Please mark your calendars for the evening of May 20th. More information to come in the Cougar News as the date approaches.

NJHS Induction Certificates for all inductees from this year and last year are in the office now and may be picked up M-F from 8-4 pm.

6th grade parents: Read the Cougar News in Fall 2021 for application information.

Green 2x4 Donation

Mr. Jeansonne and the Green Team are hoping to build sturdy shelving for plants and aquariums as well as a bunch of simple birdhouses. We would really appreciate any donations of usable eight-foot 2x4s and whole fence boards. Screws and nails are always appreciated as well.

If you are able to help, feel free to drop off your donation in the main office and contact Mr. Jeansonne at for any questions.

The Austin ISD 2020–21 Family Survey

The Austin ISD 2020–21 Family Survey is now available and is accepting responses online through March 5, 2020. Please click the link below to access the survey.

Families are encouraged to participate so they can share input on district and campus performance. The survey includes questions about how well school staff and leadership communicate with parents, as well as how easily parents may communicate about their students and how families learn about programs offered at their school. Due to COVID-19, it is especially important this year to provide your opinion to ensure we are providing a great experience for you and your child.

The results will help district leadership learn how to best to improve services for our students.

To take the survey:

Motion Cameras

Update: We are up $2317.00 towards our goal of $4392. Thank you to those of you that have donated. We can now purchase 42 cameras!

As Mr. Sammon said, we are hoping to get enough money to purchase 1 motion camera per classroom. These camera's follow the teacher around the classroom so they can interact with the kids in the room AND the kids at home at the same time. Our goal is to get 80 Cameras we have 8 and they are $55.00 each. If you can, please click the button below to donate to this project.

SEL Mural Project

Another Project you might want to get involved in is the Murals the couneslors are working on.

The Small Middle School counselors are super excited to star a special community project. We are hoping to paint two murals in front of the counseling office in collaboration with Small Middle School families. The murals will be made in efforts to promote unity and celebrate diversity.

We are in need of donations that will help in painting the murals and are looking for volunteers to come in shifts and help collaborate in making the murals come to life. Please review the available slots below and click on the button to sign up to donate or to volunteer. Thank you!

Click here to check out the murals we will be recreating

Click here to see what they need and/or to volunteer to help:

For all families registering new or returning students, a Parent Cloud Account must be created before you can access the online registration system.

Please visit to create a Parent Cloud Account.

For specific questions regarding online registration, contact

Parent Support Line at 512-414-9187 or

For all other registration questions, contact

Giovana McGettrick 512-841-6710 or

Parent Guide to Online Registration: English Spanish

*Registration must be completed annually.

The Small Virtual Library

Our amazing Librarian, Ms. Sylvia, is so good at recommending books and fostering the kids' love of reading, that she has a whole blog about it! She updates it every week. Be sure to click the link below each week for her new installment of her Small Virtual Library.

Have You Registered Online for the 2021-2022 School Year?

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Green Academy Blog

In case any of you are interested, here is our Green Academy Newsletter. We call it the Green Leaf. It is just a basic updated on projects and fundraisers.

We are also beginning to take orders for our Handmade soap. We are calling it "Clint's Small Batch". We have 22 different options. They are in relative short supply, as we only have about 12 of each type. If the soap sells well we will make some more. We will also try and make more of the "best sellers". The soap still needs a few more weeks to finish curing. We will begin selling start March 8, the week before Spring Break. Bars are $5. If you have friends or families interested, please share the link. I will be willing to ship bars in packs of 2 for $5 to cover shipping and packaging. Order Soap Here:

Thank you for your interest and support!

Ordered a Yearbook Yet?

Yearbook Pictures

This is the announcement requesting pictures from Small families:

Please send pictures of your students or share them to Google Drive:

  • camp outs
  • trips
  • backyard gardens
  • next to Austin landmarks and murals
  • with pets
  • baby pics with name of student
  • anything celebrating student success and creativity:
  • costumes
  • customs
  • sports
  • art
  • playing an instrument
  • holding up a favorite book

Our yearbook will be a colorful keepsake of the good things that happened this year.

It will be unique. But, this year our campus is Austin, our neighborhoods, cougar homes, and wherever our cougars roam.

We are looking into doing a drive by Picture Day - Look in future newsletters for more details.

Small PTA Info

PTA Hassle-Free November Fundraiser

Click here to donate

This has been a crazy year for all of us, and Small’s PTA is no exception. Our Spring Carnival, which provides over half our annual budget didn’t take place, and it’s unlikely to happen in 2021. Our school store, the Cougar Cage, is closed indefinitely. We need your help more than ever!

The PTA budget will be used to fund unique supply needs of pandemic-era classrooms like chargers, extension cords, and headphones. We’ll provide guest speakers for parents - coming November 18th, Dr. Mike Brooks on screen time - and we’re working on creative community-building events that can be done virtually.

We hope to raise $30 per child. We know it's a hard time for many families in our community, and we appreciate any donation you can make. And don’t forget corporate matching if your employer participates. Thank you for your ongoing support!

Donate to the PTA here

Join the PTA here

Questions about the PTA? Contact

Address the CAC Committee

If you are interested in speaking to our CAC using our Citizen Communication time, please email our CAC chair Co-Chair Chasee for the meeting Zoom details.

Citizens Communications. For all regular and other plenary meetings of the CAC, time at the beginning of the meeting shall be set aside for citizens communications. This time is specifically for non-members to make comments to the CAC. The Co-Chairs may limit the time for citizens communications and the time given to individual speakers. The Co-Chairs shall ensure that the district’s “Citizens Communications and Visitor Guidelines” are applied. Under these guidelines, except for requests for clarification, dialogue shall not occur between speakers and members. If the CAC is interested in hearing more from a speaker, the speaker may be invited to a future meeting and placed on the agenda specifically for that purpose. Or, the CAC may call a special meeting specifically for the purpose of open dialogue with non-members (e.g., a “community conversation”), but it must be posted for discussion on a specific topic or topics.


Parents, are you looking for a way to give back to teachers and staff at Small Middle School?

We (A handful of Small Parents) have found a free and very effective way to show some love and thought we would share it with you all.

RAVE: Recognizing All Valuable Employees

Let's send some sparkly gratitude to our faculty & staff this holiday season with an AISD RAVE submission!

  • Does your student have a favorite teacher?
  • Has someone at Small (or any other AISD School) gone above and beyond for you and your family?
  • Do you want to support teachers and let everyone (Teacher, Principal, AISD District) know about it?

All of our faculty and staff have gone above and beyond this semester. The best free, easy, sparkly way to show our gratitude is via the RAVE form on the AISD website (link below.) It only takes a couple of minutes to complete!

This form is received by AISD administration. RAVE submissions mean a lot to teachers and staff. It's equivalent to a virtual hug! And, there's never been a better time to remind the Superintendent how indispensable they all are.

Please submit a RAVE for any teacher or staff member (current or from school years past.)

Maybe send one or two a day! You do need the first and last name of the employee you wish to RAVE about. Those can be sourced on Small's Staff Directory :

Flooding AISD administration with positive feedback will make an important and lasting impact. Let's make this holiday season sparkle a little extra with RAVES!

RAVE: Recognizing All Valuable Employees

Thank you,

Small Parents

Green Academy Blog

Did you know the Green Academy has a blog? Check it out!