Cougar News

Week of 9/25/17 - 9/29/17

Small Middle School Calendar

Click here to see the upcoming events for CSMS

Letter from Principal Nelson

Howdy Cougars!

This is Austin. We love our queso, patio seating at restaurants, and the diverse population our fair city attracts. There are a million reasons why this is the best city in the United States to live in and it’s easy to understand why so many people (we’re the 11th largest city in the nation) move here each and every day. The one downside of living in this utopian metropolis is the traffic and congestion our growth creates. Rush hour is actually four hours, and if you miss your window, a 15 minute commute can easily reach 45 minutes. Other than planning ahead and leaving early, there aren’t many options to avoid the inevitable congestion that engulfs the weekdays. That being said (written actually), here are some tips and tricks to get you in and out of Smallvillle quickly and safely, which should at the very least provide a jumpstart to the rest of your day:

Pick Up and Drop Off:

Drop off:

  • Make sure to drop your student off in front of the school (East side) in the mornings. Please be mindful of the crosswalk and pull up as far as possible when doing so. Also, have your student exit the sidewalk side of the car and only cross at the crosswalk. Do not drop students off in the bus lane.
  • All students are to meet in the cafeteria in the morning. We open the doors shortly after 7:00. At 7:45, we dismiss 6th and 7th grade students to the gym until the first bell, while 8th grade stays in the cafeteria. If any 6th/7th grader arrives after 7:45, they will still enter through the cafeteria before they make their way to the gym. If they are eating breakfast, then they may eat their breakfast in the cafeteria before heading upstairs.
Pick up:
  • Pick up is a different beast altogether as it is not staggered as it is in the morning. One way you can help is by pulling all the way up to the front of the line when picking your student up; leave no gaps! We will teach them to walk towards the front of the line to meet you. By doing this, and adhering to the traffic arrows, we can get you to the rest of your commute in no time. Like in the a.m., have then enter your vehicle from the sidewalk side.
  • Be mindful of our kids because they are not going to be mindful of you. Their head will be in the clouds, or cellphones, and may not be as observant as we want them to be. We need to be more observant to make up for that fact.

So far this year we are seeing some extremely courteous driving and applaud y’all’s teamwork and efforts to ensure our students’ safety. Ms. Holmes says this is the nicest group she’s been around and looks forward to helping out each and every morning.

Parent Learning Walk on 9/27/17:

We want to extend a warm welcome to our 6th grade parents and guardians for our first learning walk of the school year on Wednesday. We will all meet as a group at 8:30 in the cafeteria and then check out the morning classes in small groups. We will dedicate our time to the 3rd floor academic wing and the 400s (electives). For our 7th and 8th grade parent/guardians, look for your learning walk in mid-October.

Parent Volunteer Shout Out! Big UPS to mom Jami Kirkland for volunteering for the lunch shift this week. She took to it like a pro and was courteous and professional with our students. She also followed our rule about not assigning trash to any one person or entity. It’s “our” trash and we all need to help clean it up. Assigning trash to a student typically elicits a “it’s not mine” response, so this way we avoid the blame game and help build a stronger sense of community.

Thank you for reading and we look forward to seeing several of your shining faces here next week.

Matthew Nelson


Small Middle School

(512) 841-6505


Carta del Sr. Nelson en español

Una traducción de la carta del Sr. Nelson será publicada aquí dentro de 24 horas.

CSMS Clubs - 3 New Clubs formed this week!

Our Club webpage is up and running. New clubs are still forming. For all Small MS club information go to

How does your student create a club? They need an idea, some friends that want to join and a teacher sponsor. So if you student wants to form a club, they need to approach their favorite teacher and see if they will sponsor. Many clubs are student run, but they need a location and a teacher to supervise.

If your student wants to join a club already in progress, they just show up!

Note: A few of our clubs require registration and money, Check out our club page for more details.

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Friends of CSMS Animals

At Clint Small Middle school we love having the goats, chickens and ducks to interact with the students. And the animals love spending time with the children as much as the children enjoy the animals. But what happens when the kids go home and school is over? The goats, chickens and ducks go to their pens and wait for the next day.

The time they are alone in their pens can cause

  • boredom
  • behavioral
  • health issues

How you can help:

We want to offer enrichment to the animals at Clint Small Middle school. We are designing a program to provide the animals the opportunity to express natural

species-appropriate behaviors. We hope to do this, by providing variety within the animal’s environment each day. We want to offer new food items, objects to manipulate, nest materials and novel scents.

Would you like to contribute to the enrichment of our animals? We are going to provide a list of desired items each week that would offer the animals enrichment and you can also purchase enrichment items on our "Friends of CSMS Animals" amazon wish list.

This week we are looking for

  • carrots
  • leafy greens
  • bananas.

If you happen to be at the store and want to throw in an extra bag for your Clint Small animal friends I know the animals will be forever grateful!!!!

Feel free to drop your items in the front office and we will get them to the Green Teachers. NOTE: if we ever end up with too much to use, we will donate them to the Austin Zoo.

Thank you!!!!

Cougar Online

Cougar Online is proud to debut our first story of the year about Mr. Brook's Green Tech Academy. The interviews were conducted by Small students: R. Espinosa, A. Norton, and S. West. These students did it all and deserve a big Cougar hooray!

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Please label your children's items

The lost and found is already overflowing. Please take the time to label your students items ie: lunchbox, backpack, binders, jackets, etc., so they can be easily found. Thank you!!!

Costa Rica Trip

Students taking Spanish have an opportunity to go to Costa Rica! If your student is interested, please plan on attending a parent meeting on September 28th at 6:00 pm in room 302.

Parents make the difference!

Small Middle School has lots of ways for you to stay involved in your student's school, without hovering and embarrassing your child (unless you want to). They are just so sensitive at this age ;). If you plan to help out in any way, please fill out our volunteer involvement form to let us know what area's you would like to learn more information about. This form does not commit you to anything just a way to get you more details about opportunties.

2017-2018 Volunteer Form

New this year: Small Middle School is partnering with APIE to do background checks for volunteers. If you plan to volunteer on campus in anyway, please do a quick background check. This is the same system as most elementary schools. Get your background check done now so you are ready to go when your favorite volunteer opportunity pops up!

APIE Background check

If you have any questions about volunteering please contact our Volunteer Coordinator Bridget Brown at

Sheep at Small Middle School?

One of our 8th grade students thinks so and is putting together a capstone project to make it happen. Check out her GoFundMe page to learn more and donate to her project.

2017-2018 Yearbooks On Sale Now!

You can order your yearbook online anytime. Click here