Cougar News

Week of 11/2/20 - 11/6/20

Letter from Interim Principal Sammon

Smallville Community,


Well here we are, November 2nd starts our next transition phase and we are ready to open our doors and welcome our in person students and staff back to campus. We have been planning and tweaking our game plan to maximize safety and to create the best learning environment possible for both our virtual and in person students. As Mr. Nelson steps away for a few months welcoming a new baby to the family, we will be full steam ahead offering the Smallville experience that we all have been accustomed to over the past few years. As I take the helm and will be steering this boat, our shared leadership model will be at the forefront of how we operate. I will continue to lean on our talented administrators, teachers, and staff to help with decision making and to provide the best support we can to our students during an unprecedented time in educational history. I can tell you that we may not be perfect in everything we do, but we will always continue to focus on our core priorities of safety, academics, and school culture when making decisions.


Some of the changes we are implementing are based on addressing the needs of our entire school community whether you are on campus or at home. As of now, approximately 80% of our students are at home so we will offer an online Announcement Blog on our website and on student BLEND pages. Students or parents can refer to information daily and have the ability to refer back to information you may have missed. We want to make sure we create the easiest way to access important information as we continue on this journey.


Please continue to offer support to your students teachers and staff, as we all are working together to give your kids the safest and most productive learning experience possible. Side note, this is the most information I will send at one time because it is necessary for reopening, but my less is more philosophy will be in full swing in upcoming newsletters. Additional important reminders are below.



  1. Please make sure your student has a mask and wears it daily. Help remind them to walk on the right side of the hallway during passing periods and use the correct stairwell when getting to the next room. We will have staff in the hallway and staff will review this with them during 1st period on Monday.
  2. Charge laptops, bring the power cord, and headphones/earbuds everyday to school.
  3. PLEASE download the Austin ISD App, this has to be completed when they get screened everyday during the temperature check.
  4. Students may not have their specific content teacher in the room since this is dependent if the teacher is a remote teacher which means they will teach from home online to your student online.
  5. We will be letting students in the building at 7:50 each day so please do not bring them much sooner than this since we have no place to house students that are waiting to get in except outside on social distance markers. Once let in, they will report directly to their 1st or 2nd period class depending on if it is an “A” day = 1st or “B” day = 2nd.
  6. LUNCHES will be in classrooms from 11:20-12:25 and will offer a 10-15 outside time for students to get sunshine and fresh air (masks must still be worn outdoors and social distance will be monitored by staff). All outside periods are staggered in time and locations.
  7. We are in process of emailing all of updated schedules to show where your student will be located during the class periods. This will also be provided in the 1st period class as a printed schedule. We will have rosters printed and posted all outside in the front courtyard and bus ramp areas that students can see where they will be during 1st period.
  8. Bring a water bottle since water fountains will be off, but refill spouts will still work.
  9. NO SCHOOL on November 3rd, see everyone back the next day.



Thanks again for supporting our campus as we make our way back to school and adjusting to the ever changing needs of our kids and staff. Onward.


Assistant Principal / Interim Principal

David Sammon



Small Middle School

(512) 841-6708

david.sammon@austinisd.org

www.smallmiddleschool.org

Parent Guide to Transitions at Small

If you would like to learn how Small is handling transitions staring on November 2nd.


Click here to learn the details and join us Monday evening for Principal Q & A

Helpful Information from the Middle School Office

Starting this week - Pivot A/B Fridays

What a crazy year! We have updated our A/B Calendar AGAIN! Hopefully this will be our final draft. Please disregard any other copy of our A/B calendar you have and make sure you are using the 10/22/20 revision.


Click here for a copy you can print or bookmark on your computer.

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Starting this week - New Daily Schedule

As of 11/2/20 our Daily class schedule will change on Friday's from Asynchronous to Synchronous A/B. Click here to print the new schedule.
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Clint Small Swag Sale is On!

Some great Holiday gift ideas for your Small MS kids!


  • This sale is run by the band, however there are many items for the general Small MS community. Hoodies, beanies, caps, masks, & baseball jerseys are available.
  • There are two types of masks for sale. The basic mask is for anyone. The mask with a slit would only be for band students who are coming to school for class or rehearsals.(Percussion & Flute DO NOT use the mask with a slit.)
  • Items are delivered to your home so there is a shipping rate.
  • The grey hoodie in the sale is a henley style so not thick. This one also runs a bit small.
  • There are youth and adult sizes for most items.
  • Store runs for 2 weeks.

STORE LINK

National Junior Honor Society

7th Graders!!!!


  • Do you have at least a B average?
  • Do you show good character, leadership, scholarship, and citizenship?
  • Do you serve your community outside of the school day?



You may be a candidate for the National Junior Honor Society!


Click here for the application (includes student information, grade reporting, teacher recommendation requirements, and essay) and submit to your Advanced Academics Advocate christie.manners@austinisd.org by midnight, Dec 11.


Applications received after midnight, Dec. 11, 2020, will not be considered.

How you can help

THANK YOU to all of you that have donated snacks and headphones! The response has been amazing. We will let you know when more ideas come up.

Supporting one of our own

One of our student's recently lost their sister. Please considering supporting the family with their gofundme for funeral costs.

Yearbook Pictures

This is the announcement requesting pictures from Small families:


Please send pictures of your students or share them to Google Drive:


thomas.shoptaw@austinisd.org



  • 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.

AISD Covid-19 Cases

Some of you were asking where can you find how many Covid-19 cases have been reported per school. The district is keeping track of that and posting it on their website at https://www.austinisd.org/openforlearning/dashboard.

Is it your computer or the District?

Imagine if you will, you can't connect to a Zoom class. Is it your computer, your internet, something wrong at the district level? It is hard to figure out.


The AISD has created a page on their website to tell you when any of their systems are down. If you are having a glitch, Go to https://www.austinisd.org/technology/status to see if something is down.

Clubs at Small

Our Club list is growing. Click here to see what clubs we are offering this year and how to join.


More clubs have been added to the list and many are starting next week. Be sure to checkout our list of clubs and email the club sponsor if you are interested. They will add your student to the club blend page that will then appear in their Blend dashboard.

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.

Magnet High School Applicants

From your Advanced Academics Advocate....Are you interested in applying to LASA, McCallum, Anderson IB? Mrs. Manners will host two application and essay Zoom meetings to help students begin their application and essays to these AISD options for Advanced Academics. We will work on finding and completing the applications, asking teachers for recommendations, and drafting and editing short answer and essay questions.



4-5 pm Thursday, Nov. 12

4-5 pm Thursday, Nov. 19



If your 8th grader is interested in applying and would like some support, mentoring, or essay guidance, please have them send an email from their student email account to christie.manners@austinisd.org with the subject line Advanced Academics Application Assistance EOM and I will send them an invite to the BLEND tile with Date, Zoom, and other important application information.

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.
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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 emma.renaultvarian@austinisd.org or Co-Chair Chasee chappellhudgins@mac.com 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.

Safety Tools

The district would like you to be aware of some Safety Tools they have for your use if needed:


Crimestoppers Reporting Tool: https://new.tipsubmit.com/en/

AISD Safety Resources: https://www.austinisd.org/police

Green Academy Blog

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