Cougar News

Week of 10/30/17 - 11/03/17

Small Middle School Calendar

Click here to see the upcoming events for CSMS

Letter from Principal Nelson

Howdy Cougars!

I write this to you as I walk the halls in the 400 wing witnessing one of the best combinations of real-world, work experience and education that Austin, TX has to offer...Smalloween! This event is more than a fundraiser; it’s an opportunity for students to apply the skills they’ve acquired in Art and Theater to a much needed job skill. There is an entire industry devoted to this fantasy industry and the performers, set designers, prop builders, make up artists, writers, and marketers are able to live comfortably off their creative endeavors. Our kids are involved in every aspect of the production, from design to implementation, and get to see first-hand how their unique skills can easily transfer to the workforce. The show lasts roughly 8 minutes (6 if you sprint through the clown section like I no doubt will) but the experience of participating in this event should last a lifetime and may even change the trajectory of some student’s career path. Now, thanks to Mrs. Hall, Mrs. White, and Mrs. Levine, they know there is a job out there where they can be as creative, and as scary, as they wish to be.

We are constantly searching for projects such as Smalloween which allow our students to apply the skills they’ve acquired during their time in AISD to real-world, relevant experiences. More often than not, kids aren’t that astute at seeing forests, merely trees; our job is to change that. We need them to see that there is a connection between what they’re learning in math and science, and all classes for that matter, and the real world. We work hard with our lesson planning to help them discover the symbiotic relationship between what is taught and how it is applied. Projects such as Smalloween do just that.

If you have any problem/project based ideas or experiences you think would benefit our students, please send them our way. I’m not saying we’ll be able to participate in all or any of them, just that it never hurts to have as many brains as possible working for our kids.

Have a safe, warm weekend and remind your students that we are allowing Halloween costumes on Tuesday at school, providing they are school appropriate (no masks or look alike weapons).


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.

Fun Run Basics

Our 2nd annual Zombie Fun Run will kick off next Friday. We will be sending out a special mid week Fun Run newsletter with all the details this Wednesday. Here are some basics to get your started.

Save the Date!

Friday, November 17th 2017

We will hold 3 -30 minute runs - One fun run per grade level

  • 7th Grade will run at 8:30
  • 6th Grade will run at 10:00
  • 8th Grade will run at 2:10

The Event:

All Students will get to run in this super fun event. We will have a balloon arch to start the race with a DJ, 2 obstacle courses, safety zones, and multiple challenges to re-establish health points. Top earners can become the Zombies themselves.

Each runner will have 3 streamers (health points) taped to their upper arms and backs. Our "Zombies" will try to pull the the streamers off as they run the specially designed track for 30 min. There will be safe zones where our runners can earn back health points by doing challenges. All this with a live DJ blasting the tunes and letting the runners know what is going on in different parts of the track and how much time is left. Last year we had a blast and this year, we are making it bigger and better! ... AND Yes, parents can get in on the fun!


Students will create webpages where they can get pledges from family and friends for the run. There are lots of prizes to be had!

Look for the mid week 2017 Zombie Fun Run Newsletter on Wednesday with all the details.

School Goal is $25,000 that is less than $30 per student!

BIG SHOUT OUT to RSVP2Fun for being one of our sponsors! Need a DJ or Balloon Arch? Contact them for that and any kind of event planning needs and ideas!

Interested in applying to LASA?

Join the Great Thinkers Club after school on Thursday, Nov 2 as we work together to hash out some ideas for the essay and short answer questions! Mrs. Manners will help with editing and revision suggestions.

LASA is coming! LASA is coming!

On Thursday, Nov. 2nd LASA will be visiting to recruit students at 1:40 (during PRIDE). Remind your student to get an invitation from their PRIDE teacher on or before Wednesday and turn it into Ms. Diaz by Thursday morning. After school on Thursday, Mrs. Manners will have space, time and computers to assist students in applying for LASA.

Internet Safety for Kids and Teens

Free Parent Workshop:

Internet Safety for Kids and Teens

  • Parents will learn about general guidelines for online safety
  • Parents will leave this presentation with the knowledge of what cyberbullying is
  • Parents will learn online safety tips and recommendations for elementary-aged children and adolescents

Who: All Parents and Guardians

When: Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Time: 6:00- 7:30PM

Where: Austin Child Guidance Center- Conference Room

810 West 45th Street

Austin, Texas 78751

Cost: FREE

Childcare: Available for children 2 years old and older at no cost.

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Cougar Dancers at an Austin Spurs Game

The Cougar dancers will be performing at an Austin Spurs game during half time on

Friday, November 3rd.

The game starts at 7:30pm and is at the Cedar Park Center

(2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park TX 78613)

You can use the link below to purchase discounted tickets to the game.

$19 - MVP Section (Normally $30) $12 - Champion Section (Normally $22)

The deadline to purchase discounted tickets is Tuesday, October 31st at midnight.

This is a great chance to see a basketball game (at a discounted rate) and support the Cougar dance team!

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Our Scholastic Book Fair is here!

Monday October 30th - Friday November 3rd in the Small Library
Help us reach our fundraising goals by shopping in person or online! Click the link for more information.

Online shopping Oct 23rd- Nov 10th with no shipping cost.

If you're interested in signing up to help with Book Fair, the signup is embedded in the usual volunteer Signup Genius.

Parent GT Nomination Form

The parent nomination window is now open and will close at midnight on November 15! (Late nominations not accepted) To nominate your child to participate in the AISD GT program, complete this form. This year, GT testing and portfolio building will take place over two days, Feb 15-16, during school hours. If your child is already identified in the GT program, you do not have to re-nominate. Every year the Clint Small GT program expands to include more exciting activities! This year, we added the Great Thinkers club. Apply now to see if you can join the fun!

Click here to nominate your child for Gifted and Talented

Spring Break in the British Isles

It's not too late! Register by Nov 1 to guarantee the current trip cost! We have 10 people joining us on the trip. The more the merrier!

CSMS NJHS - Harvey Help

NJHS is sponsoring a classroom effective by Hurricane Harvey

Ms. Kelly is a 7th - 12th grade science teacher at Community Christian School. Her school was completely flooded by the waters of Hurricane Harvey. Currently all the students of Community Christian are having class in a bowling alley with "walls" made from curtains and table clothes. Ms. Kelly lost all of her science supplies. Please consider making a donation to her classroom through her Amazon Wishlist page.

Thank you,


Día de los muertos

Our Spanish Teachers have been busy creating a Día de los muertos altar display of the Day of the Dead. To help spread cultural awareness to our school. If your student would like to participate, they are welcome to bring in additional items or pics of loved ones if they choose to share.

Here is some info and an event downtown this weekend

More information about Día de los muertos can be found here:

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Fun Run Sponsorships

We are starting to gear up for our Second Annual Fun Run! Last year's run was a huge success! It was a fun day for the students and brought in over $24,000 that we have used to enhance the educational experience here at Small...

Here is a small sample of the items that were purchased with last years money.

  • A mounted projector for the Cafeteria
  • A mounted projector for the Band Hall
  • 10 tablets with keyboards for the ELA deparment
  • $5000 worth of computers for the Science Department
  • Math games and manipulatives
  • Lighting equipment for the photography class
  • Safety railings for the choral risers
  • Scholarships for tutoring and summer camps
  • ELL reading books and magazines
  • Spanish books for the Library to support our Dual Language
  • Materials for an outdoor pizza oven for the green classes

Looking for Raffle Items and Sponsors

How can you help?

We are currently looking for incentive items that we can give or raffle off to the students for hitting specific goals.

  • Do you have a connection to a local business that might want to sponsor for free advertising?
  • Or know someone who is willing to donate coupons for free food that will bring students and their families into their establishments? - Thank you Double Daves for the free Pizza Coupons!!!
  • Or have a connection to someone who can donate a bike, or a gaming system or a huge gumball machine, anything that will get the kids excited to participate?

If so contact

Sponsor us through PayPal

Download Paper copy of sponsorship form here

Thank you to the sponsors we have gotten so far...

Last week we thanked Diana Nateja: Need a math tutor? Diana Nateja is one of our $100 Missing Arm Sponsors.

This week we want to send a big THANK YOU out to Brian Smith from Double Dave's for donating 300 Free 2 topping Large Pizza Coupons that we will be giving out as part of our $100 Pledges prize. It will be just one of the amazing items that we will be giving to the kids at the $100 donation mark.

Big thank you to Brian and our other sponsors that have signed up for this year.

  • RSVP2Fun
  • Today's Vision
  • Double Dave's Pizza in Arbor Trails
  • Premiere Dance Center
  • Billy's on Burnet
  • Whole Earth Provisions
  • Diana Mateja - Math Tutor

Amazing Raffle Items donated by Local Businesses
  • Grace Ballet
  • Book People
  • Via313
  • Bath and Body Works
  • Starbucks

We still need more... consider partnering with Small Middle school!

Cougar Online

There are now 6 Stories written and produced by the students! Check out their hard work!

In other news...

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2017-2018 Yearbooks On Sale Now!

You can order your yearbook online anytime. Click here