Cougar News

Week of 5/17/21 - 5/21/21

Letter from Principal Nelson

Cougar Nation-

Next week is all things STAAR on campus, so here are a few tips, tricks, and schedules to get you ready for the event.

Who is testing? Every student in grades 6, 7, and 8 will be testing when on campus Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday, the 18th, will be the Math STAAR test, and Wednesday, the 19th, will be the STAAR Reading test. So, if your student is on campus, h/she will be testing. The only exception will be for Algebra students who have already taken the EOC Math test. Those students will learn synchronously in the Library on the 18th and then test with all other students on campus on Wednesday for Reading.

What about 8th grade? On Thursday, our 8th grade students on campus will take the Science STAAR exam while grades 6 and 7 will follow their normal schedule. Likewise on Friday, when our 8th grade students on campus will take the STAAR U.S. History exam.

Books? Regardless of which day your student is testing, please make sure they have a book or something to read upon completion. We are dedicating 4 hours to the exam and if they finish sooner, they’ll need to do something to occupy their time. ChromeBook use, phones, and even drawing are prohibited until all students in the testing room are done. We will have books available, but tis’ better to be prepared.

Can they eat? Since students will be eating a tad later than regularly, we suggest they bring some healthy snacks for the morning. Just make sure they are not too messy (cheetos for example) or produce an odor that may distract fellow testtakers (I’m talking to you Cool Ranch Cornnuts).

Test Hack #1: Remind students to pace themselves and to check and double check each answer before they submit. If they find themselves spending too much time on one question, make sure they know to skip it and to come back to it later. The future questions and answers may jog their memory or they feel more confident after a series of successes.

Test Hack #2: On these exams, there are 4 choices per question and one is always obviously not the answer. Once they eliminate that one, there are but three. One of the three will be way less correct than the other two, eliminate that one and then they will be left with only two choices. Worst case scenario then if they are still lost is that it basically a coin flip: 50/50. If they can use this strategy for questions they are unsure of, they’ll be much more successful.

Math Hack: One thing STAAR loves to do in regards to mutli-step problems is place the answer of step one, or step two, in the answer choices when there is still a 3rd step to complete. This makes the test more of a brain teaser, but they do it anyway. Make sure your student works out all the steps of the problem before h/she looks at the answer choices. Often times students will work step 1, see it as an answer choice, then immediately fill it in and move on. Make sure they know that TEA is deliberately trying to trick them into this answer and to continue working out the problem. We hate this technique because it’s not simiilar to real-world probems and just plain unfair. However, if they read and reread the question in its entirety and know how many steps they will need to reach an answer, they should be fine.

Where will they test? The majority of students will be testing on one of three locations: the Big Gym (7th grade), the Small Gym (8th grade), and the Cafeteria (6th grade). Exceptions will be for students who are receiving oral or small group accommodations. These students will test in four rooms on their academic floor: 100s (8th grade), 200s (7th grade), and 300s (6th grade). Your student will be given their testing room assignment on Monday and we will also have a list printed for them Tuesday morning hanging outside the cafeteria in the courtyard.

Testing Schedule: Attached is the schedule for testing next week. Next week's schedule If your student is on campus, they will follow the testing schedule. If learning remote, they’ll follow the online learning portion. Remote learners will have a similar schedule to what they are experiencing now, but with an extended lunch period. It is advised to use this extra time for reading since we will not be having PRIDE all week and that is when we normally require silent reading on certain days.

On-Campus Basics: The tardy bell rings at 8:15, Students are let into the building at 8:00 am. Each student must wear a mask, have their temperature taken and pass a covid-19 screening app to be let into the building. You can find the covid screener in the AISD App. Students are expected to finish the day after the STAAR exam. Make sure they have their schedule either printed or on their phones so they know where to go for their afternoon classes. School ends at 3:50, but we do a stagger release starting at 3:35.

There. That’s all we got for next week as of this writing. Chances are there will still be changes made prior. If and when those changes do occur, we will do our best to let you know before hand.

Have a great weekend!

Matthew Nelson


Clint Small Middle School

(512) 841-6705

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6th Grade Transition Camp

Yearbook Update!

Friday is the day that we will start giving out the yearbooks! If you have not ordered one, it is not too late. For On Campus students, you can pick up your yearbook during lunch. Remote Learnings can swing by the front office any day the following week from 8 - 4 to pickup their yearbook. You can still pre-order, or bring $40 cash or check to buy one.

Speaking of yearbooks, we have last year's yearbooks available at a discounted price. If you would like to by the 2019-2020 yearbook they are only $10. Come by the main office with cash or check and we would be happy to sell you one.
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Track Meet Results

Click here to see how your athlete did on the last Track meet.

Band Camp

For students continuing in our band program for 7th & 8th grade. Please visit the website for the August Band Camp information.


Summer Strength & Conditioning Camp at Burger Annex

(Must have a new physical dated after April 15)

Monday, June 7- Thursday, July 29

8:00-10:00 am

7th & 8th Grade Football Camp at Burger Stadium/Annex

(Must have a new physical dated after April 15)

Monday, July 26-Wednesday, July 28

8:00-10:00 am

Freshmen Football Camp at Burger Stadium/Annex

(Must have a new physical dated after April 15)

Monday, July 26-Wednesday, July 28

10:30-12:30 pm

First day of football practice will be Monday, August 2

Have You Registered Online for the 2021-2022 School Year?

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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 to create a Parent Cloud Account.

For specific questions regarding online registration, contact

For all other registration questions, contact

Parent Guide to Online Registration: English Spanish

*Registration must be completed annually.

Use the Online Registration Status Self Check to verify if online registration is complete.

Athletic Info for Next School year

Austin High Softball

Click here to let Austin High know you are interested in Austin High Softball:

Interdisciplinary Artificial Intelligence Summer Program by MIT Graduate Students

Inspirit AI offers live online (25 hours) enrichment programs that expose high school students (Grades 9-12) and middle school students (Grades 5-8) to fundamental artificial intelligence concepts and the opportunity to build socially impactful projects in areas including art, journalism, education, and more.

Taught by our team of graduate students from Stanford and MIT, students receive a personalized, interdisciplinary learning experience with a student-teacher ratio of 5:1. Students of all backgrounds may apply here for our high school program and here for our middle school programs by April 30th. For detailed course information, check out our high school website and brochure or our middle school website and flyers. Please contact Aidan at with any questions.

Attention 8th Grade Families

Save the Date!

8th Grade Promotion Ceremony

Last Day of School 6/3/21 at 10:00 Am


Drive thru Promotion Certificate Pick up scheduled for 6/4/21 Time TBD

The Small Virtual Library

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 Small Virtual Library.

This week is all about summer reading, check it out:

Austin High Newsletter


Induction Ceremony for 2019-2020 (current 8th graders who were selected for NJHS as 7th graders last Spring) and for 2020-2021 (current 7th graders who have been recently selected) NJHS members will be held on May 20th at 7:30pm. Current NHS members from LASA will be hosting and welcoming new members and we will have a very special guest speaker! The virtual ceremony should last about half an hour (no commute time!)

Mrs. Manners, your NJHS sponsor, has the emails for the students in 7th and 8th grade as well as the adults-of-7th-graders and she will send a Zoom link to those emails closer to May 20th. If you are an adult-of-an-8th-grade NJHS member who would like to attend the virtual ceremony, please send an email to with the emails of anyone you'd like included (grandparents, bonus parents, etc). Please include the name of your NJHS member and "Zoom Link Request" in the subject line.


Since we have so many families that live outside our attendance zone, we are trying to create some carpool groups for next year. If you are interested is a possible carpool for next year, fill out this form.

Cougar Club

We are bringing back Cougar Club for the 21-22 School year! If your student needs a safe place to go after school enroll them into Small's Cougar Club. Click here to register for next year.

Check out the flyer below

Austin High Basketball Camp

When: June 28 – July 1

Where: Small Middle School gym


  • Boys and Girls entering 3rd – 5th grades 9:00 am – 12:00 noon
  • Boys and Girls entering 6th – 9th grades 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Cost: $100 per camper

The Austin High Basketball Camp will focus on teaching the fundamentals of basketball and will provide campers the opportunity to improve and have fun with the game. Each camper will receive individual as well as group instruction from professional coaches. Coach Brad Ingram, head boys basketball coach at Austin High, will be the Camp Director. All equipment will be provided. Students will need to bring their own water bottle.

Sign up online at link and pay at (search for Austin High Basketball Camp)

Austin High Community

Dear Austin High Community,

As always, it's a great time to be a Maroon! Click here to view the March/April Principal's Report.


Amy Taylor, Austin High School Principal

Austin High Swim Team

We have three dates available for TRYOUTS

(1) Thursday, April 22

(2) Thursday, April 29

(3) Thursday, May 6

These will all start promptly at 7:15am and should be over before 8:00am. This will give the kids time to get to school or home in time for their first class of the day. These tryouts will take place at the pool where we train, the Austin Swim Club on Southwest Parkway. Swimmers should arrive by 7:00 with their suits already on and have a mask on as they enter the facility. Parents will not be allowed into the facility/on the pool deck during the tryout (per Austin Swim Club policy), but they are welcome to watch from outside the fence. If you have any further questions about the tryout process, check out:

Attention 8th Graders goin to Travis High

Ordered a Yearbook Yet?

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 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, 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

Green Academy Blog

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