Week of 12/14/20 - 12/18/20
Letter from Mr. Sammon
We are going into our last week before a longer holiday break and still have so much to be thankful for around our campus. I forget how nice it is to have a conversation with some of our students and had a chance this week to chat with a few of them. I asked how things were going and what they thought about school these days. Several indicated that things are fine, but things are different. I couldn’t agree more. The problem is fine is not enough and that something is missing. How you feel is what drives us, inspires us, motivates us, and influences how your day goes each day. As complicated as things are in life right now, the simple things are what really matters and that is what the middle school student cares most about. Those simple things include making friends, feeling liked, laughing, school dances, sports games, clubs, and feeling like you are connected to something or someone. We cannot and do not lose sight of what really motivates and matters to our kids. Academics is important, but without the social elements that help them grow and learn it all falls short.
Please help to encourage your child to keep trying and finishing out this semester strong. If they can find a way to be successful now, it will serve them well later if any challenges arise in the future. This last week will be important as teachers finalize grades and put some finishing touches on a treacherous past few months. We will try to have some fun this week as teachers will most likely find those festive Christmas sweaters, hats, and blinking light necklaces. We could all use some fun and reminders that we have almost made it to a nice long break. Many lessons have been learned by all of us and our goal is to learn from what we have done and find ways to get better both as educators and as people. Short and sweet this week, stay safe and have a great weekend.
Have a great weekend,
Small Middle School
Reminder Friday is a Student Holiday
Spring Computer Science Classes + Private Tutoring (Small discount!)
Hello World, a virtual computer science program, will be offering after-school classes for Small Middle School students this spring (use discount code SPRINGAISD15 for 15% off tuition). Each course spans six weeks and includes weekly 1:1 private tutoring sessions, goal-driven independent learning, and time for creativity and passion projects. Courses are designed by PhDs from MIT, Stanford, and Rice University, and all courses are taught by professional engineers. Learn more here: www.helloworldstudio.org/hello-world-institute
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: https://forms.gle/ztHh3K8L4pCqfhMx9
Thank your for your help in this matter.
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
Small Choice Fair Video
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
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.
Check out this week's Living Room Library from Ms. Sylvia.
Save the date! Wacky Winter Week is coming soon!
Attention 8th Graders
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.
Green Tech Academy 21-22 School year
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.
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 email@example.com or Co-Chair Chasee firstname.lastname@example.org 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.