Cougar News

Week of 10/12/20 - 10/16/20

Side note to Mr. Nelson's letter

Before you read Mr. Nelson's letter below, know that I was supposed to send this out yesterday, but I decided to watch football instead of check my emails. Oops! Sorry!


Letter from Principal Nelson

Cougar Nation-

Please note that tomorrow is a traditional (in a sense) school day and not a student holiday. The scheduled Staff Development/Student Holiday that was marked for 10/12 has been moved to Tuesday, November 3rd; Election Day. It’s a bold, new move by AISD and a few surrounding districts and one of the first steps taken towards making this day a National Holiday.

Last week we opened our doors to students who had selected “on-campus learning” as their choice on the AISD Learning Preference Survey. We were excited to have students on campus for the first time since March 12th and spent the last week ensuring our systems were in place and that staff and students are aware of and always practicing social distancing guidelines. With our boots on the ground systems check, we were able to see all of our planning and preparation in action and are ready to add a few more ways for kids to engage. We now have special areas for students in Band, Orchestra, and Choir to perform/practice without disturbing others or feel embarrassed, as well as areas for students to participate in PE and Athletics. It’s not ideal, but it does allow a student to work on their craft in a manner that is not disruptive.

As we progress through the semester and you wish to change your current learning placement, please email and we will make sure to update your preference. If you chose to work remotely and wish to return to campus, please know that it will take a few days for us to complete the process to ensure there is space and coverage. If you chose to return to campus and wish to stay remote, which is perfectly acceptable as well, simply let us know so that we can update our internal records.

Whether remote or on campus, all students will be learning tomorrow from 8:20 a.m. until 3:51 p.m. The schedule for last week went well and we do not foresee any drastic changes anytime soon. That being said, please email me any concerns or questions you may have about the schedule, asynchronous learning versus synchronous learning, or about Fridays.

Have a great day and remember the student holiday slated for tomorrow is moved to Election Day for a reason, so that as many people as possible can vote. Small Middle School will be a voting station so feel free to come up on that day to let your voice be heard. Regardless of who you vote for, please share the experience with your student and remind them that voting is a civic duty we all share.


Thank you,

Matthew Nelson


Small Middle School

(512) 841-6705


Donate to Families in need at Small

Hello Small Families!

Because of COVID-19, there are 21 families within our Small community who have expressed a need for assistance with rent and/or bills to our school counselors. Many families have also expressed a desire to help. This fundraiser has been set up as a way for us to make this happen. The goal is to raise as much money as possible to be distributed equally among those who need it. If you are able to contribute, any amount will help!

Donations will be accepted through Friday October 16th, and then all funds raised will be distributed to families by the school counselors. This is a great chance to make a big difference to people struggling within our school community.

Click here to Donate

Thank you!



OCTOBER 19, 2020

4:00-5:30 IN THE GYM

ALL Athletes will enter the gym on the second floor using the bus ramp stairs.

Bring appropriate workout clothes and shoes.

COVID PROTOCOL must be followed:

Must wear mask at ALL times

Screening will take place using AISD APP.

And temperature checked


Bring your own Water JUG,

Small water bottles will not be enough

Athletic Reminder


Pink Patch Project

Big picture

A/B Calendar

The AISD Board of Trustees have removed the Oct 12 Holiday and have made Voting Day November 3 a Student Holiday. Please delete any old A/B Calendars you have and use this one.

Click here to Print

Big picture

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.

Art & Anime Club

What: Clint Small Middle School Art & Anime Club!
Who: ALL currently enrolled CSMS students of interest in one or both art & anime- regardless of experience.
When/Where: Fridays via Zoom from 10:10-10:55 (F2F meetings will be determined at a much later date - announcements will be made then).

Clint Small's Art & Anime club will begin meeting virtually on Fridays during your asynchronous learning time.

If you don't know what anime/manga is and want to learn more, this is a great place to be! Even if you've got shelves and shelves of manga and are a long time subscriber to crunchyroll- this is STILL the place to be! Expand your knowledge or share your expertise! This time will also be for art students to meet and discuss different art strategies they're using or different artists that they may be admiring online or in real life here in Austin. See you all on Friday!

Free COVID-19 Testing

Free COVID-19 Testing Available in Austin-Travis County

Free testing available for those who:

  • have COVID-19-related symptoms
  • have had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19
  • have traveled outside of Austin/Travis County in the last 14 days


  1. Click on “take a self-assessment” at:
  2. If this is your first time to request a test through Austin Public Health (APH), you will have to create an account through the APH website in order to take the assessment. You will see the following:
  3. After you have created and verified your account, you will click on “schedule a test.”
  4. Complete all the information requested to determine if a COVID-19 test is recommended.
  5. If a COVID-19 test is recommended, you will be prompted to enter your zip-code/address to schedule COVID-19 testing at a testing site near you.

To view FREE testing sites provided by APH, go to: Free APH Testing Sites

Find COVID-Related Resources here: urces

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:

Our amazing Librarian Ms. Sylvia is go 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.

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.

Update your Contact Info

Did you know that parents can update their email preferences by signing into their Parent Cloud Account -------> Parent Self Serve------->Student-------->Edit Contact Info and Notifications (See below).

Make sure your Contact info is always up to date!

Big picture

Discipline Matrix

Ever wonder how Small handles Discipline? Click here to read our Discipline Matrix

Distance Learning Attendance

Attendance will be taken very differently this year, but is still so important. Please take a moment to watch the Attendance video below to learn more.

If you have any questions, contact our new attendance clerk Bettina Schmitz at 512-841-6702

Attendance Video - English

Attendance Video - Spanish

Green Academy Blog

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