Cougar News

Week of 10/26/20 - 10/30/20

Letter from Principal Nelson

Cougar Nation-

Any amount of success I have experienced in my life has been due to a considerable amount of luck and to my allegiance to the 5 Ps of success: Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. Adhering to this mantra is also the main reason why Smallville has been so proactive and resilient for so long. Nothing can break us down because there is literally nothing we haven’t prepared for. We plan for every worst case scenario there is, then hope for the best.

Now, we are in need of your help. We need as accurate data as possible for which students will be returning to campus on November 2nd so we can plan accordingly. We have a new task before us, one that is daunting but welcome, and with more known variables, we know we can provide a completely safe environment for all students and staff. We’ve all read how TEA and AISD have stated that social distancing will be maintained “when feasibly available,” but if we have all the numbers beforehand, we can erase that portion in quotation marks completely. Our ability to maintain the same social distancing parameters the COA and Travis County have prescribed for all campus participants can happen if we have an accurate headcount.

Attached is the latest survey sent out by AISD in regards to Learning Preferences for November 2nd. 11/02 remote/on campus survey

Please fill this out as soon as you can. The district will close the survey on the 28th but we’re asking for all Smallville Families to have their information in before midnight on Monday the 26th so we can have a head start. Your student also has been given a survey in PRIDE basically asking the same questions. We ask for you to encourage h/her to fill that out as well. There’s no such thing as too much data, but unfortunately there is such a thing as too little. Please help us follow the path of the 5 Ps by providing us real time numbers.

On a personal note, shortly after we return to campus for transitions and more face-to-face teaching, I will be taking off for the next few months to take care of the newest edition to the Nelson clan. My beautiful wife Robin and I are expecting the birth of a new daughter on November 5th, and I will be away from campus the next 3 months taking care of and bonding with Lil’ K. We are beyond blessed and so grateful to welcome her into our family. Even though the timing isn’t optimal, we will both be giving her the 24/7 attention she deserves during this phase of her life.

The only reason I am even able to be away from campus during this time with so much going on is due to the fact we have an amazing staff and the most professional administration team in all of Texas. I trust this team completely and know that my presence will not be missed, save for a few less corny jokes, and that our students’ journey will be the same with somebody else temporarily at the helm. David Sammon ( who has been with us these last 4 years as an Assistant Principal will serve as the interim in my stead and he is beyond ready for the role. He puts kids’ safety first and foremost in his decisions and also adheres to the 5 Ps, more so than I could ever even hope to. He knows that when it comes to doing what’s best for kids, we work with a hive mentality and that the best idea always wins, regardless of who produces it.

Thank you for being so supportive of our team. We love working with kids and only want to do what’s best for them, pandemic or otherwise. We will all make it through this together if we maintain focusing on what’s important; the safety of our loved ones.

Have a great rest of the weekend and please help us be as prepared as possible by filling out your survey today.


Matthew Nelson


Small Middle School

(512) 841-6705


Parent Guide to Transitions at Small

If you would like to learn how Small is handling transitions staring on November 2nd.

Click here to learn the details and join us Monday evening for Principal Q & A

Emergency Principal Q & A

If you still have questions about what school will look like with transitions, Mr. Nelson will be on a Zoom Call at 5:00 pm this Monday 10/26/20.

Check your inbox Monday around Noon we will email you the zoom link.

If you don't get it email

New Pivot A/B Fridays

What a crazy year! We have updated our A/B Calendar AGAIN! Hopefully this will be our final draft. Please disregard any other copy of our A/B calendar you have and make sure you are using the 10/22/20 Revision.

Click here for a copy you can print or bookmark on your computer.

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New Daily Schedule

As of 11/2/20 our Daily class schedule will change on Friday's from Asynchronous to Synchronous A/B. Click here to print the new schedule.
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How you can help

Many of you have been asking how you can help support the teachers, especially the ones on campus. We have an idea...

There are 2 things that we need on campus to help the teachers and staff

  • headphones
  • Snacks\drinks

The kids are contently forgetting or losing or breaking their headphones we would love to have supplies on campus that we can just give to them. They are relatively cheap on amazon. I have added some to our wish list. It would be great if you could purchase a set and have them shipped to the school.

Another idea to keep up moral is to offer Snacks to our Teachers. In our wishlist I have just put random individually wrapped snacks and drinks. We would love to have them on hand to hand out to the teachers. If you don't want to order from amazon and have them shipped feel free to pick up any kind of snacks or drinks and drop them in the front office. This Friday we would like to walk around with a snack and drink cart and give our teachers a pick-me-up!

Please send the orders or drop off the items by Thursday this week.

Thank you!

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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.

AISD Covid-19 Cases

Some of you were asking where can you find how many Covid-19 cases have been reported per school. The district is keeping track of that and posting it on their website at

Middle School Office Newsletter

If you need more info on Blend, and Parent Cloud. Check out the newsletter that the AISD Middle School Office put together. It is full of helpful information.

Is it your computer or the District?

Imagine if you will you can't connect to a zoom class. Is it your computer, Your internet, something wrong at the district level? It is hard to figure out.

The AISD has created a page on their website to tell you when any of their systems are down. If you are having a glitch, Go to to see if something is down.

Clubs at Small

Our Club list is growing. Click here to see what clubs we are offering this year and how to join.

More clubs have been added to the list and many are starting next week. Be sure to checkout our list of clubs and email the club sponsor if you are interested. They will add your student to the club blend page that will then appear in their blend dashboard.

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 Living Room Library.

Check out this weeks Living Room Library from Ms. Sylvia.

Green Tech Academy 21-22 School year

Do you know 5th Graders that are interested in applying for our Green Tech Academy for next school year. Please help spread the word that we are doing Zoom Q & A meetings instead of tours this year.
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Address the CAC Committee

If you are interested in speaking to our CAC using our Citizen Communication time, please email our CAC chair Emma Renault-Varian or 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.

Safety Tools

The district would like you to be aware of some Safety Tools they have for your use if needed:

Crimestoppers Reporting Tool:

AISD Safety Resources:

Green Academy Blog

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