Week of 2/15/21 - 2/19/21
Letter from Mr. Sammon
Wow it is cold outside. Lots of good stuff happening around campus this week. Teachers and staff are continuing to find ways to engage all learners whether you are at home or in person on campus. We have also had lots of parents reach out to help donate funds to purchase webcams that allow our teachers more flexibility in teaching within the room. Thank you to all the parents that have given money to help this cause and allows us to provide a better learning environment for your students.
We have also had many parents reach out to me this week notifying us that they are ready to send their child to in person learning on campus. We are excited and ready to welcome all of these new faces on our campus. When you are ready to send your child, let us know and we will get them setup with a counselor visit to help transition them to Small. Again, your preference for your child is what we will continue to adapt to by providing the best educational experience possible. Kudos to our staff for continuing to find ways to be flexible with what works best for our students. I have been amazed with how much the community has offered to help donate items so that we can continue to support our staff and campus operations. No doubt these are tough times, but we keep finding ways to make things work. Thank you all for that help, I genuinely appreciate what you have done for us and with us.
Lastly, sometimes we have to create our own fun and we had planned to have our 1st Annual Hawaiian Day on Friday that would have included Hawaiian shirts, dresses, hats, food, music, and a staff Bowling Tournament. Our students were encouraged to join in on the fun (except for Bowling since we don’t like to lose to kids) and feel that Aloha spirit. Many things in life we cannot control like the weather but we can control rescheduling it for next Friday. If you would like to donate some Hawaiian food items or any food please do so next Friday for our staff festivities. An important lesson we teach our kids is that we choose how we see the world and how we deal with adversity. When life gives you lemons you make it Hawaiian Day. Have a great weekend and be careful in this winter weather. Please keep an eye out on the Austin ISD website or social media sites for any delayed starts or updates over the weekend.
Reminders / Announcements
Welcome to our new Latin / World Cultures teacher, Isabelle Mullen. She is dynamic, student centered, and fits in well with our Small campus culture. She is also our third Mullen so officially goes by M3.
- Please continue to donate if possible to our Paypal link to help with our Mobile Webcams, it really helps us to provide a vantage point to include all learners.
- Thanks to all the people that donated items for our Hawaiian Day festivities, it means a lot to us all. We will keep those items for next Friday and hopefully get some more for the rescheduled event.
- If you have a new student coming to campus, be sure to download the Austin ISD app and do the health screener before arriving that morning. It will speed things up for everyone. Also let us know how we can make them feel welcome and ready when they arrive.
Kudos to our counselors that have been running around all over campus, making phone calls, replying to emails, and a hundred other things to help support our students.
- Kudos to a 6th grade student that told me my “outfit” looked great (jeans and a college shirt) this week. She gets the “NO HOMEWORK EVER PASS” for her eye for fashion and making my day.
Don't forget that Monday 2/15 is a student holiday.
Small Middle School
SEL Mural Project
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:https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B0F49A4A72BA6FE3-selmurals
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: https://forms.gle/LaqhPWT22FGWKLAM9
Thank you for your interest and support!
McCallem Expo Knight
Here are the most recent updates to our upcoming Expo Knight event for Thursday, February 25th from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm via zoom.
Expo Knight is our annual event for rising 9th grade course faire and choice sheet night. If you have any questions, please contact our
Academy Director, Gabe Reyes at 512-937-0430.
EXPO Knight invite: https://create.piktochart.com/output/52174305-ms-flyer-expo-knight
MS FLYER EXPO KNIGHT | Piktochart Visual Editor
McCallum HS EXPO KNIGHT 2021 February 25, 2021 6:30 - 7:00 PM: Welcome Interim Principal Nicole Griffith and course presentation by counselor Cristela Garcia- VIA ZOOM
Meeting ID: 946 1196 1617
Passcode: GoMac 7...
Sheet1 McCallum High School Core Pathway MATH SEQUENCE,ALGEBRA 1 (Advanced or Reg*) * Must take with SLHM,GEOMETRY (Advanced or Reg), ALGEBRAIC REASONING,ALGEBRA 2, 1. Pre-Calculus 2. College Prep Math 3. AP Statistics ALGEBRA 2 (Advanced or Reg), 1. Pre-Calculus (Advanced or Re...
Choice Sheet for Incoming 9th Graders: https://forms.gle/wRX6RNiSFX4sF2yr8
Texas Rent Relief
Texas Rent Relief Program 2/15/2021
New funding for Rent Relief and Support just approved in Texas. Please see the link for specific information to share with families, starts 2/15/21.
The Texas Rent Relief Program can help renters with the following costs starting as far back as March 13, 2020 (this means you could potentially request assistance for up to 11 months of past due bills):
- Past due, current and up to 3 months of expected rent costs
- Past due, current or up to 3 months of expected utility and home energy expenses
- After the initial 3 months of forward assistance, you can apply for 3 additional months of assistance if funds are still available
- If renter has received assistance in the past, they can apply for assistance again as long as it does not cover the same time period which they already received assistance.
When does the Program begin and what is my deadline to apply?
The Program begins accepting applications Monday, February 15, 2021 at 8 a.m. Central Time and will remain open until all available funds have been committed. The duration of the Program will depend on the number of eligible applicants. Applicants that think they may be part of the priority groups should apply no later than February 28, 2021 for priority review.
For all applications received by Feb. 28, TDHCA will first review and commit funds to applicants who meet one of the two priority groups below:
- Have incomes at or below 50% Area Median Income, OR
- Households where one or more household members are unemployed as of the date you apply for assistance, AND one or more household members (this can be the same household member) were unemployed for 90 days prior to the date you apply for assistance.
How to Apply
Complete an online application at TexasRentRelief.com OR
Call a program representative at (833) 9TX-RENT (toll free) to apply over the phone. The toll free number offers access to assistance in multiple languages.
Renter households must have an income no more than 80 percent of area median income (AMI)
AND one or more members of the household must attest in writing that they have either:
- qualified for unemployment benefits, OR
- due to or during the pandemic:
* experienced a reduction in income,
* incurred significant costs, or
* experienced other financial hardship.
- AND one or more individuals within the household must demonstrate they:
* are at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, which may include a past due utility or rent notice or eviction notice, OR
* live in unsafe or unhealthy housing conditions.
As part of the Program application, all tenants and household members must submit the following documentation so we can confirm eligibility:
- Government- or current public school issued ID for at least one household member on the lease
- Copy of rent or lease agreement (or rent receipt)
- Notices of late rent payment or notice to evict, if applicable
- Copies of past due utility bills, if utility assistance is being requested
- Income Documentation for all household members above the age of 18 (or head and/or co-head of household if all members are under 18) must be provided from one of the two options below:
Acceptable annual income documentation:
Other acceptable income documentation:
1. If you have completed your household’s federal income taxes for 2020, you will need to provide one of the following:
- Filed 2020 IRS Form 1040
- Filed 2020 IRS Form 1040-A
- Filed 2020 IRS Form 1040-EZ
- 2. If you have not yet completed your federal income taxes for 2020 OR you are not required to file a federal income tax return for 2020, you will need to provide all of the applicable income documentation under one of these two categories:
- 2020 IRS Form W2
- Current Social Security Benefits letter or 2020 Form 1099-SA (including benefits paid to minors)
- 2020 Form 1099-R
- 2020 IRS Form 1099-MISC for contractor income
- Check stubs from your employer for the previous 30 days
- Current unemployment benefits letter including gross benefit amount
- Current letter from your employer verifying gross wages (pay rate, hours/week, pay date)
- Current Pension/Retirement Benefit letter (if applicable)
- Current Annuity Payment letter
- Current Interest Statement 1099- INT
- Current Dividend Statement 1099- DIV
- Certification of Income Form (for Self- Employed or Cash Income)
- Zero Income Form
Congratulations to this year's NJHS inductees!
- Miles Leifeste
- James Peterson
- Drake Farris
- Landen Schipper
- Braden Hawn
- Sebi Segura
- Lily Phelan
- Mateo Sanchez-Olazaran
- Harper Lang
Please congratulate these students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, character, and citizenship. Mark your calendars for the evening of May 20th where we will celebrate via Zoom the induction of NJHS members from this year AND inductees from Spring 2020. More information on this event will be forthcoming.
Parents may pick up certificates at CSMS curbside on M-F from 8am - 4:30pm, or if you'd prefer to have the certificated mailed to you, please email email@example.com.
Have You Registered Online for the 2021-2022 School Year?
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 portal.austinisd.org to create a Parent Cloud Account.
For specific questions regarding online registration, contact
Parent Support Line at 512-414-9187 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For all other registration questions, contact
Giovana McGettrick 512-841-6710 or email@example.com
*Registration must be completed annually.
Help! Yearbook Pictures
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: https://forms.gle/FVhSBupWdgnPRDnk9
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ordered a Yearbook Yet?
Check out this week's Living Room Library from Ms. Sylvia.
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: https://forms.gle/SJ6uVrz5TxX34RZm8
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:
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!
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!
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:
This is the announcement requesting pictures from Small families:
Please send pictures of your students or share them to Google Drive:
- camp outs
- backyard gardens
- next to Austin landmarks and murals
- with pets
- baby pics with name of student
- anything celebrating student success and creativity:
- 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.
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
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!
Questions about the PTA? Contact SmallPTA2020@gmail.com
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 email@example.com 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 CAMPAIGN TO RAVE!
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