Cougar News

Week of 3/1/21 - 3/5/21

Letter from Principal Nelson

Howdy Smallville!

Greetings and salutations! I am writing to you today from the hallowed (yet frigid) halls of Smallville for the first time in what seems like an eternity. True it’s only been a few months, but it has certainly been way too long and believe me when I say (write) to you that it is good to be back and communicating with each of you.

Thanks to our incredible staff and our admin team for keeping the ship afloat in and in tip-top shape during my leave. There’s never a good time to be off campus, and these last 4 months might be considered the worst times ever to not be present, but due to the professionalism and support of our team I was able to spend quality time with our newest family member. We welcomed Kaylin Jade Nelson into the world on November 5th, 2021 and she is a complete and utter joy! Please see attached pics for reference:

Now that I am back on campus officially and have completed Mr. Sammon’s mandatory, new employee indoctrination, complete with a scavenger hunt and being forced to watch his HS Football HIghlight reel several times, I am ready to get back to the task at hand. The task at hand is to make sure our students feel connected and comfortable in their own skin, whether online or at home, and to grow each day academically and social emotionally. That’s the goal, and it may look different from week to week, but if we focus on the above, no amount of pratfalls can deter us.

Next week will look the same as school did prior to the Freeze with students coming to campus, following the same systems and protocols as before, to learn and grow with their classmates. Your student should know the routine and not expect too many changes in the next few weeks, with the exception of seeing more teachers in their classrooms. We are making our way back to normalcy and are fortunate to have more and more teachers grace our classes with their presence and expertise.

One note for next week in regards to Friday: Friday will be an A day, not an asynchronous one as previously noted, so make sure your students are prepared to follow their typical A-day (1,3,5, PRIDE, 7) is followed.

Thank you and if you have any questions, concerns, or kudos, please feel free to send them my way.


Matthew Nelson


Clint Small Middle School

(512) 841-6705

A/B calendar revised 2/26/21

As Mr. Nelson mentioned the district has stated that March 5th is no longer an asynchronous day. So it has been changed to an A day. Here is the updated calendar and remember you can always check out the calendar on our website if you are unsure as to what day it is.


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.

2021 Track Guidelines


Everyone makes the team. We will take the top three/four per event. You must have a current physical on file with the coaches.

Daily Practice- You will be held accountable for missed practices that are unexcused. If you know you are going to miss, you need to COMMUNICATE to a coach.

ALL COVID PROTOCOLS WILL BE FOLLOWED: must wear a mask, AISD APP – must be green, temperature check.

Practices: Monday and Wednesday – all runners. Tuesday and Thursday – all field events 4:00-5:00

Once you have completed your workouts and cool-down, check out with the coach and you can go home.

DO NOT STAND AROUND! If we see you standing and not working out, we will send you home and replace you.

Track Meets – Before each meet, the Coaches will decide who will go to represent Clint Small Middle School at the meets. This will be based on your ability/attitude/attendance.

Track schedule: start time varies according to schools attending/location (5:30/6:00).

Running events: 100m 200m 400m 800m 1600m 100m Hurdles, 300M Hurdles

Relays: 4 X 400M 4 X 800M 4 X 1600M

Field Events: Shot Put, Discus, Long Jump, Triple Jump, High Jump

On the Day of the meet: Meet at the Small Track OR Visiting Track. The coaches will give you a specific time and place on the day of the meet.

Coach Hernandez and Coach Holzman 841-6758

Coach Moore and Coach Johnson 841-6759

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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.

Heads up! The week BEFORE Spring Break (3/8 - 3/12)

Start planning your outfits for the week of 3/8.
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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:

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!

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

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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.

Help! Yearbook Pictures

We would love to have each student in this year's yearbook. We have been brainstorming all different ideas on how best to do this, and the winner is... You!

Please take a quick moment to upload a current picture of your student into this form and we will put that picture in the yearbook. Enter your pictures here:

Questions? Email

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.

Check out this week's Small Virtual Library from Ms. Sylvia that focuses on Women's History Month!

Advanced Art

6th and 7th graders who wish to apply for Advanced Art for the 2021-2022 school year should contact either Mr. Tabares fred.tabares@austinisd.orgor Ms. Levine for an application.

Applicants must have had at least 1 semester of art

Ordered a Yearbook Yet?

LBJ High School Information

Early College Program Application and Information

Essentially, the ECHS program at LBJ gives our Jaguars the opportunity to earn up to 60 hours of college credit (the first two years of ANY major) at Austin Community College (an Associate's of Arts in General Studies degree) by the time that they leave high school, all for free, including books, supplies, and transportation (when we're finally not virtual anymore)! This means that, if they successfully complete the full program, they'll be entering their 4 Year University as a junior! Additionally, each ACC class is considered an AP class, in terms of a GPA boost, so our ECHS students rise up the high school ranks fairly quickly and most end up Top 10 percent, which allows for automatic admission into all Texas public universities, except for UT Austin, which is Top 6 percent for automatic admission right now, but who knows what it'll be by 2025, right?

The benefits to ECHS for your awesome students go far beyond that, though! Taking ACC classes while still in high school prepares them BEAUTIFULLY to tackle their 4 Year University! While most 18-year-old freshmen entering college for the first time usually struggle with getting acclimated to the differences between high school and college, our ECHS graduates, on the other hand, are ready to go right away, and they know the drill! It's also just a great experience to be sitting in college classes with adults, and to be exposed to such advanced material at that young age is an absolute game-changer for them.

Here's the link to my ECHS Application:

TSI Information

To begin taking college classes at ACC, the kiddos will have to pass the TSI, and it's been very recently changed to TSI 2.0! It's still a reading and writing exam (plus math a little later down the road), but they've changed the format a bit! Here's a link to student information and sample questions for the new TSI:

Texas Success Initiative Assessment 2.0 (TSIA2) – ACCUPLACER | College Board

Learn more about the TSIA placement tests for students enrolling in public colleges and universities in Texas.

If you could also post/send that link, I'd SO appreciate it! Once the students apply using the ECHS application, I reach out to them to introduce myself and to make arrangements for them to TSI test with me ASAP!

Transfer Information

If the students are coming on transfer, parents will need to complete the transfer request under the parent portal. They should look for the application called: Online Student Transfer Request and choose LBJECHS. They should TOTALLY feel free to call or email me for help on that!


Here's the link to the tribute video that I made for my 2020 ACC Degree Earners. They clearly didn't get to walk across the ACC stage, so I brought their ACC graduation to their houses! This video will give you a good idea of where our ECHS students go to finish their degrees after graduating from us!

My 2020 ECHS ACC Degree Earner

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.

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Clubs at Small

There are a lot of Clubs To choose from. Click Here to see a list and how to join.

Remember that these clubs are an extra service the teachers are offering you and that all school rules apply. Please come and take advantage of the extra social time with other students who are interested in the same thing as you are!

If you have questions, please email the club sponsor.

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!

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