Cougar News

Week of 12/7/20 - 12/11/20

Letter from Mr. Sammon

Smallville Community,

As we continue adapting and evolving to find ways to create the best learning options for our students, we appreciate the kind words and praise from many of you in the community. As a campus our priorities stay the same so that we can offer a safe and meaningful learning environment for all learners whether they are on campus or at home. We have many unknowns that are ahead of us, but focusing on the needs of students is front and center. We know things have not been the same and we all miss the social interaction, laughter, and voices that echo in rooms and hallways throughout our campus. The balancing act of keeping everyone safe, providing personal interactions, and offering learning opportunities has been beyond challenging. Thank you for supporting us and trusting us to continue and find ways to make this all work for your students. At the end of the day after all the paperwork, spreadsheets, emails, comments, compliments, meetings, after hour work, grading, and planning we remember why we are here. Kids. Have a great weekend and we will be in touch to provide you with any additional information you will need for any changes that may take place.

Reminders and News:

  • Parents please fill out the student survey that was sent out yesterday so we can plan for the Spring semester. We have many moving parts that can only be planned properly if we have the information requested. Thank you for doing that.
  • Our High School credit Keyboarding class will be converted to a Middle School level class in the Spring. We do not have the personnel at this time that can offer the high school credit.
  • Per my request from the district, during Mr. Nelson’s absence, I requested an administrative sub to help support the campus and keep up with the endless tasks so that we can continue to run smoothly especially in this difficult time. Her name is Anna Garza and she has provided some information about her below.

A note from Ms. Garza:

I am very excited to be joining the Small Middle School Staff as the Substitute Principal in Mr. Nelson's absence. I know that together with the administrative team, we will continue to keep our community safe, healthy and well educated.

A little personal stuff….. I have one beautiful daughter and 2 precious granddaughters. I also have 2 handsome twin (step) grandsons that I’m lucky to have in my life. Fortunately, I get to see them almost daily since they live just around the corner from me. I do have a full and happy life that includes the work I continue to be passionate about.

I have been a part of this wonderful school district for over 40 years. I was a classroom teacher for 20 years, served the district as an assistant principal for 2 years then transitioned into a principal role. I was an elementary principal for 11 years. I retired 9 years ago thinking I could be a stay at home grandma and take care of my first granddaughter. I was really only kidding myself as I’ve never been a stay at home person. Once the new school year started, I signed up to substitute for administrators. I have subbed on many campuses, to include 8 of our middle schools, for both assistant principals and principals.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to support you and your family during these unprecedented times. From my observations in the few days I’ve been here, our faculty and staff are doing a wonderful job of engaging our students in their daily work. As Mr. Sammon stated above, I am here to support and help keep everything moving smoothly. -Anna Garza

Have a great weekend,

David Sammon


Small Middle School

(512) 841-6708

In Room, or In Zoom?

In Room, or In Zoom, that is the question!

We need to get the final count of how many students plan to be on campus starting in January so we can plan the best course of action to keep everyone healthy and safe!

If you have not filled out the Survey regarding your family plans for Spring semester, Please do so ASAP. This information is just for Small Middle School for planning purposes.

Spring Survey:

Thank your for your help in this matter.

Big picture

Click here to download a copy of the Physical


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

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Small Choice Fair Video

Check out our Video for the Middle School Choice Fair!

PTA Zoom Meeting With Speaker

Thank you to those of you that were able to join us for our PTA meeting. It was an amazing discussion with Dr. Mike Brooks. He was nice enough to send us a handout of what was discussed. Click here to get the handout.

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

Big picture

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.

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.

Save the date! Wacky Winter Week is coming soon!

Big picture

Attention 8th Graders

Big picture
Big picture

Theatre Class Spooky Radio Project

Small Theatre Students Present Spooky Radio Theatre

The theater students have writing and performing radio drama scripts, based on the book Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. If you would like to check out their haunting and hard work, click the links below.

8th period

1st period

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.

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.

Green Academy Blog

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