Cougar News

Week of 11/9/20 - 11/13/20

Letter from Interim Principal Sammon

Smallville Community,

As promised, this newsletter will be shorter with a focus on quality over quantity. This has been a challenging week for all of us and the students and staff have done an excellent job adapting to the transitions and safety protocols we have in place. Many of our traditional school functions like basketball are returning slowly with a more cautious approach, but still returning and helping our kids feel like a school community once again. Hopefully we can continue to stay safe and offer more of all the activities that our students love to be a part of and is what makes our campus so special. The middle school experience is unique and will remain in their memories for life, we do not take that lightly and will always strive to make it the best it can be. As we turn the corner on another week, please continue to help support our campus by reminding your students to wear masks, keep a safe distance, and help clean up after themselves each day. We have also been working overtime to help students that have forgotten laptop power cords, earbuds, or laptops all together. Take a moment to remind them to charge these laptops at night, pack the power cord, and earbuds so they can learn without disruption.

We look forward to doing whatever it takes to make sure the upcoming weeks will offer opportunities for your students to be successful, feel more connected to our campus, and help them to make their way back from many months of major changes in the world. I cannot predict the future, but I do know that we will remain focused on supporting every single person on this campus and to constantly find ways to improve. One of our most important goals at school is to make our staff feel valued and appreciated. The donations that we have gotten the past couple weeks from parents in the form of snacks and drinks helped to give our staff that extra burst to serve the needs of your students. We hope to continue to do “Room Service” visits with your help, so please donate snacks and drinks so we can make this a tradition on campus.

Assistant Principal / Interim Principal

David Sammon

Small Middle School

(512) 841-6708

Teacher Room Service Treats

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Teacher Room Service

This has been such a success! The Counselors and Admin have been walking the halls at least once a day offering treats, snacks and drinks to very over worked teachers. Thank you to all of you that have donated! Keep 'em coming! The teachers are loving the snacks and iced drinks. Feel free to keep ordering from Amazon and having it shipped to Small (4801 Monterey Oaks Blvd. Austin Tx. 78749), or drop off items in the main office. Here are some new ideas:

  • Sodas (Coke, Dr. Pepper) - those went the quickest
  • Non-refrigerated fresh fruit with a "skin" (banana, oranges)
  • Left over Halloween candy
  • Wish list Snacks from Amazon

We have plenty of earbuds for now, so you can stop giving us those. Thank you all so much!!!!

PTA Zoom Meeting With Speaker

Save the Date! November 18th at 6:00pm

Join us for some PTA information and for a special guest speaker Dr. Mike Brooks. Dr. Brooks is an expert in adolescents and technology. He will talk about how to help kids cope and balance all their screen time as well as Social Media and how it affects the adolescent brain.

Please Register for this event and we will email you the link to the zoom meeting around noon on the day of the event.

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

Clint Small Swag Sale is On!

Some great Holiday gift ideas for your Small MS kids!

  • This sale is run by the band, however there are many items for the general Small MS community. Hoodies, beanies, caps, masks, & baseball jerseys are available.
  • There are two types of masks for sale. The basic mask is for anyone. The mask with a slit would only be for band students who are coming to school for class or rehearsals.(Percussion & Flute DO NOT use the mask with a slit.)
  • Items are delivered to your home so there is a shipping rate.
  • The grey hoodie in the sale is a henley style so not thick. This one also runs a bit small.
  • There are youth and adult sizes for most items.
  • Store runs for 2 weeks.


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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Updated Daily Schedule

As of 11/2/20 our Daily class schedule will change on Fridays from Asynchronous to Synchronous A/B. Click here to print the new schedule.
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Clubs at Small

Click here to see what clubs we are offering this year and how to join.

Here are some Club Updates. I will update the website with this info this week...

New Clubs to Add:

Clubs that have changed meeting times:

  • Art Anime Club is still meeting but now, Mondays after school from 3:40-4:45 pm at the same Zoom credentials.
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 week's Living Room Library from Ms. Sylvia.

Green Tech Academy 21-22 School year

Do you know any 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.

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.

National Junior Honor Society

7th Graders!!!!

  • Do you have at least a B average?
  • Do you show good character, leadership, scholarship, and citizenship?
  • Do you serve your community outside of the school day?

You may be a candidate for the National Junior Honor Society!

Click here for the application (includes student information, grade reporting, teacher recommendation requirements, and essay) and submit to your Advanced Academics Advocate by midnight, Dec 11.

Applications received after midnight, Dec. 11, 2020, will not be considered.

Supporting one of our own

One of our student's recently lost their sister. Please considering supporting the family with their gofundme for funeral costs.

Helpful Information from the Middle School Office

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.

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

Magnet High School Applicants

From your Advanced Academics Advocate....Are you interested in applying to LASA, McCallum, Anderson IB? Mrs. Manners will host two application and essay Zoom meetings to help students begin their application and essays to these AISD options for Advanced Academics. We will work on finding and completing the applications, asking teachers for recommendations, and drafting and editing short answer and essay questions.

4-5 pm Thursday, Nov. 12

4-5 pm Thursday, Nov. 19

If your 8th grader is interested in applying and would like some support, mentoring, or essay guidance, please have them send an email from their student email account to with the subject line Advanced Academics Application Assistance EOM and I will send them an invite to the BLEND tile with Date, Zoom, and other important application information.

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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!