Cougar News

The Weekly Newsletter of Clint Small, Jr. Middle School

Newsletter for September 19th - September 23th

Letter from Principal Nelson

Greetings Cougar Nation!


In response to our ever-expanding student population, and the want for our kiddos to get to class on time and stress free, we are happy to announce that beginning Monday, September 19th, we will increase our passing period to 5 minutes!


New Bell Schedule: When the 4 minute passing period was discussed and tested last year, our attendance was under 1,000 and students were typically assigned to 2 floors maximum. This year our numbers have increased over 30% and we now have a majority of our students utilizing all 3 floors. To keep backpacks out of classrooms for safety concerns (not enough room), and to allow our students the opportunity to arrive at class on time and hopefully less stressed, the move to 5 minutes was decided upon by Leadership. Now, kids should have plenty of time to use the restroom, swing by their lockers, and even fill up a water bottle if the need presents itself. As a campus, our default has and always been “we do what’s best for kids,” and we believe this definitely is.


Since there is no such thing as “creating time,” we instead have to “borrow time.” For this change to take place, and ensure no instructional time is lost, we will be starting the school day at 8:18 am. Buses will still pick up and drop off at the same times. I repeat- buses will pick up and drop off at the same times. The first bell will ring at 8:10 am instead of 8:15 and students will have 8 minutes to make it to their first period class. We will not be counting tardies the first few weeks during first period in an effort to allow students and parents time to adjust. The new schedule is attached.


Leveling of Classes: The district has finally received the attendance numbers for all 130 schools and has granted us permission to begin leveling classes. Instead of sending us new teachers, they are going to let us create new sections. This is definitely our first choice as we can build on the relationships already built and there isn’t an unknown, as we know our current staff is top-notch. This means that our class sizes will be smaller, which will allow for more hands on activities, opportunities for more project based learning, and will allow for a better student-to-device technology ratio.


It’s important during this process we make sure our students know why these changes are taking place We never want to alter or change a student’s schedule unless it is necessary. When we have a smaller student to teacher ratio, regardless of what class or level, it is best for everybody involved. We will work hard to minimize the amount of changes to any one student, but there may be instances where more than one class is altered. We plan on starting with 7th grade this week and then having all grade levels completed before the end of the 6 weeks. Again, this isn’t ideal in regards to the timing, but the pay-off will be huge in the fact that our class sizes will be smaller.


Twitter Feed: If you’re curious as to what your kids are creating or learning during the day, be sure to follow me on Twitter @smallprincipal I try to update it daily with what is going on a school and share pictures from the various events I am lucky enough to attend.



Matthew Nelson

Principal

Small Middle School

(512) 841-6505

@smallprincipal www.smallmiddleschool.org

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Order your Homecoming Mum TODAY!

Deadline to order is 9/23 - Mum's will be delivered to class on 9/30 for students to wear on homecoming day 10/4!

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Did you know....

Small Middle School Collects Box Tops?


Cut them, and have your student drop them off in the office! Our fabulous PTA will take it from there. You would be surprised the amount of money that comes in from such a small effort!

A Message from our PTA


We have new spirit wear in stock and hope to have our new

online store up and running next week!


Please see our flyer below about our upcoming meeting and special guest speaker Mr. Brooks. We hope to see you all there!


We have started front office and workshop volunteer training. If you are interested and haven't filled out the form. Please email Anita Lockamy at alockamy@gmail.com


To Fill out the Volutneer Form - Click Here



Order your Mum's Today and don't forget, if you haven't Joined PTA Yet, Please go to our website!

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Back to School Information - ATTENTION Response required

If you haven't done this already, Please fill out this form today!


It is imperative that we have a record that YOU, the parent(s)/guardian(s), are aware of, and agree to our policies and procedures here at Small MS.


We have created this Fabulous Signature form to make it easy! You will get the info you need, and we will know you read it by signing the form. It's a win, win for us all!


DEADLINE to complete the signature form is September 2, 2016 - If you are as excited as we are to not have all that paper get lost in your student's backpack, please fill out this form ASAP to show us your support!


If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Newell at 512-841-6701 or jennifer.newell@austinisd.org.

Yearbooks!

Start your year off right! Order your 2016 - 2017 Yearbook today!


You can order online Here or Click here to print an order form.


Order forms can also be found in the front office.