Cougar News

Week of 3/29/21 - 4/2/21

Letter from Principal Nelson

Cougar Nation

By now you have received a survey from us in regards to your plans for this year’s STAAR tests. The survey is extremely important for us in regards to planning and in no way is meant to dissuade or persuade your choice; we merely need to be able to safely arrange testing areas within the CDC and Small’s social distancing guidelines. We need to know how many students we will have on campus for those days so we can staff and space accordingly. If you have not filled out the form yet, please do so at your earliest convenience.

While we encourage all of our students to take the STAAR test this go around, we understand if your family does not feel comfortable doing so and want you to know there will be no lasting repercussions for this choice. That being said, here is some information in regards to the STAAR tests as well as their scheduled dates. Do know that these dates are not set in stone (yet) and may change based on information from TEA, AISD, and/or our own survey.

  • All STAAR tests will be taken online on a school issued device. If you plan on taking the STAAR and do not have an AISD issued chromebook, please contact the office immediately.
  • If you currently have an AISD Dell Chromebook, please contact the office as these devices are end of life and cannot run the TESTNAV software necessary for the exams.
  • All online tests must be taken on campus, in a room/area with a trained proctor monitoring. This means no student will be allowed to take the test outside or individually. Individual testing will only be allowed if listed under a special accommodation in the student’s IEP or 504 plan.
  • Students who are remote learners and do not wish to take the STAAR tests will have their regularly scheduled classes with synchronized activities.
  • We are planning for all of our on-campus learners to take the STAAR tests unless otherwise notified.
  • All makeup days will occur 1 week after the original test date.
  • All dates and times for the tests are subject to change.

Please see the attached STAAR calendar for testing dates. All students will take math and reading tests, while 7th graders will also take a writing test and 8th graders will take a science and US History test as well.

If you have any questions or need further clarification, please feel free to send me an email.

Warmest regards.

Matthew Nelson


Clint Small Middle School

(512) 841-6705

Calendar Change

We have updated the A/B Calendar yet again. The only change is that April 9th will no longer be an Asynchronous day it will now be an A day. Please refer to this calendar dated 3/2/21

STAAR Testing Survey

As Mr. Nelson says, it is very important we know your students plans for the STAAR test. If you have not filled out the STAAR Testing Survey, Please scan the code below or click here to let us know your plans
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PTA Meeting/Guest Speaker

Join us on Zoom this Tuesday Evening (March 30th) from 6:30 to 7:30 for a PTA meeting and some insight from our guest speaker Dr. Mike Brooks. His topic is:

The Road Back to Normalcy After an Insane Year

Description: To say that it's been a difficult year is an understatement - a pandemic, lockdowns, quarantines, more screen time than ever, educational disruptions, a crazy election and heated polarization, and a blizzard in Texas! We have suffered, and our kids have too. Yet, there is hope. The vaccines are rolling out, and the promise of a return to normalcy is on the horizon. How do we make this transition though? How can we support our kids, and one another, as we try to get back on track with our lives? Psychologist and Small Middle School parent Dr. Mike Brooks is on this journey with you and will offer advice and answer your questions (or try to!) in this Zoom presentation on Tuesday April 30 at 6:30. We hope you will join us!

Please fill out this form to have the zoom link emailed to you. Dr. Brooks is also asking for questions you might like to discuss. You can add them to this registration:

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Cheer Try-Outs

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AISD Community Conversations

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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

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!

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

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.

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?

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!