Cougar News

Week of 2/1/21 - 2/5/21

Letter from Mr. Sammon

Smallville Community,

My short time away from campus this past couple weeks allowed me to think about and process many things that makes our school community such a great place. We offer so many programs that allow students to try new things and learn about the world around them through outdoor education, technology, music, art, and many other offerings. Not only that, we have the staff that is passionate about these programs and they inspire our students with a genuine love for what they do. We have had many months of turbulence and uncertainty yet we have been able to navigate through these times and lean on what makes us strong which is our purpose. It is very easy to forget why we are here daily and that is to serve our school community with a plan and a purpose. As we turn the corner into our next chapter of the year, we will continue to lean on each other and our community to find ways to make our campus the best it can be.

I sent out an email this week with a sign up sheet to encourage our staff to use the beautiful outdoor spaces around our campus with students. The change of scenery is not only great for the brain but allows them to appreciate the gardens and art that surrounds them on the campus. We know the tremendous benefits that fresh air and sunshine can bring to our brains and our hearts so we will get outside when we can. We have also spent time doing learning walks to find ways we can continue to make the in person experience better for our kids and ways to create concurrent learning experiences. We have purchased extension cords for webcams so that teachers can start walking around the room while still engaging our virtual learners and serving the in person students simultaneously. This is not an easy task as teachers are having to still use computers to teach but it will offer opportunities to merge our student populations in a virtual world. Positive is the name of the game and we will keep moving forward with a continuous improvement mindset.

Lastly, this week we are saying goodbye to a couple of teachers that have been a significant part of our school community for many years. Their dedication to our kids and passion for learning will be very difficult to replicate and we wish them the very best in the future. Mr. Poliakoff and Ms. Renault-Varian, we cannot say thank you enough for the time, energy, and passion you gave to our students.

Reminders / Announcements

  • Lunches continue to be in the cafeteria to allow student some social time in a safe space and we will soon begin offering outdoor time during lunches as well

  • Outdoor class spaces are now being used by the campus through a sign up system

  • Basketball games are being played with limited spectator attendance

  • We announced our Teacher of the Year, Ms. Crow and our Teacher of Promise, Ms. Hemenway. Congratulations to both of them.

  • Our in person student numbers have been around 100 this past week for the campus

  • PLEASE continue donating snacks and drinks to the campus, many thanks to all of you that donated already. These items are given out to staff multiple times during the week on our “snack cart” as we roll it through the campus and visit with teachers.

Have a great weekend,

David Sammon


Small Middle School

(512) 841-6708

Congratulations Ms. Crow - TEACHER OF THE YEAR!

Teacher of the year is given to the teacher who goes above and beyond for our kids. They are voted in by their peers. Ms. Crow is the perfect example the Maya Angelou quote: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Ms. Crow does a wonderful job making students and teachers alike feel a warm glow when she enters a room.

We are so proud of her Mr. Poehl has invented a new Teacher of the Year Parking place!

Ms. Crow will now represent Small at the District Salute celebration.

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Congratulations Ms. Hemenway! - TEACHER OF PROMISE

We are so lucky that Ms. Hemenway chose to teach her first year ever at Small Middle School. She is very dedicated and the kids love her. Each year the district asks us to award a first year teacher with a Teacher of Promise Award and Ms. Hemenway has proven that she has what it takes to be an amazing teacher and a welcome addition to our staff.
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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

Parent Support Line at 512-414-9187 or

For all other registration questions, contact

Giovana McGettrick 512-841-6710 or

Parent Guide to Online Registration: English Spanish

*Registration must be completed annually.

Help! Yearbook Pictures

We would love to have each student in this year's yearbook. We have been brainstorming all different ideas on how best to do this, and the winner is... You!

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:

Questions? Email

Bowie High School Event

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Virtual Incoming 9th Grade Showcase

February 3rd, 2021


Travis High School Event

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Topic: P-Tech Information

Time: Feb 1, 2021 06:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 962 9915 9218

Passcode: PTech

Attention 8th Graders

Ordered a Yearbook Yet?

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.

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.

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:

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.

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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.

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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

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

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Green Academy Blog

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

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