Cougar News

Week of December 19, 2022

Letter from Mr. Nelson


Can we talk? Just you and me? Merely a private, polite conversation between two dear friends discussing something near and dear to our hearts: Student safety and crosswalks.

We need to have this conversation because things are getting out of hand. It’s getting where manning the crosswalk has become too dangerous for man, beast, staff member, or even police officer. The crosswalk is there to help pedestrians cross safely from one side of the street to another. It’s not unique to Smallville; you can find these white-marked zones at nearly every intersection in Austin. We urge students and adults to cross the street in these designated safe zones. However, the zone near us is not as safe as it should be.

All drivers must yield to pedestrians crossing in a crosswalk, even when the driver is permitted to make a left or right turn. Drivers must yield to pedestrians crossing in a crosswalk. Drivers cannot pass another vehicle that has stopped for a pedestrian crossing the street. Also, here’s the BIG ONE, drivers cannot proceed through the crosswalk until it is 100% clear of pedestrians.

That means if our students are crossing Street A to Street B and make it to the medium, drivers cannot move forward until the pedestrians are all the way off the crosswalk. Basically, anytime anybody is anywhere in the crosswalk, you shall not pass. Remember, there is no such thing as half a crosswalk, only 100% of one, and we are allowed to proceed once all persons are entirely off the crosswalk.

Sadly, I always assumed the drivers endangering our beloved students were commuters trying to cut through to MoPac or 290, not members of the Smallville Faithful. Much to my chagrin, our very own parents/guardians are guilty of trying to beat the rush and speed over the crosswalk before it is completely clear. In an effort to get their student to campus on time, they are endangering others, which is something we cannot stand for.

So, here’s what we are going to do about it. As drivers of vehicles, you will do your absolute best to adhere to the State Laws about crosswalks and be on the lookout for all pedestrians at all times in the morning and in the afternoon. If you see a gaggle of middle schoolers on the crosswalk, you will not pass until 100% of the gaggle is completely clear, which means no driving until they make it from point A to Point B. Period. There is no grey in this situation; it is black and white.

Now, here’s what we’re going to do to assist. Firstly, we will keep manning the crosswalk until the City of Austin provides us with a crossing guard, and we will also tell our staff not to mark any tardies until 8:30 a.m. each day. This way, you can feel ok about taking your time and ensuring student safety. We’d much rather have a kid show up a tad after the first bell of the day (8:20) than jeopardize the safety of others. I know this will work for you since y’all are part of our family and want what we want, safety for students. As for the commuters who are only using Monterrey Oaks as a thoroughfare, we can train them together.

See, aren’t we glad we had this little talk?

Matthew Nelson


(512) 841-6705


Congratulations Coach J!

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If you are interested in running the Cap10K this year, sign up to be a part of Small's team! The race takes place on April 16th. You can register at and select "School Team Member" to receive a discounted rate. When it asks for details, be sure to select "Small Middle School" as your team. Contact with any questions. Happy running!

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The Oak Hill Parkway project

The Oak Hill Parkway project will be closing the crossover between Old Fredericksburg Road and Harper Park Drive beginning as early as December 12. Drivers will be routed to the next U-turn. This closure is expected to last about six weeks. I understand the disruption this may cause Small Middle School staff and parents. I apologize for the short notice.


As we get closer to the Winter Break we have been experiencing a rise in Covid, Strep, Flu and RSV cases. We can use your help by donating lysol and lysol wipes to the main office. If your child has covid, please email and complete the following intake form.

Wacky Winter

It is that time of year where we like to dress up! Encourage your students to join Mr. Nelson and our Student Council in dressing for the theme of each day in December.

Teachers who participate can enter to win prizes. Here are today's announcements where we pulled the winner from yesterday's wear red. Stay until after the credits where one of the teachers ran down to give us something very much needed...

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Order a yearbook online!

Our yearbook is a full color celebration of everything that makes Small special; it's a great fun way to preserve all your student's fond memories of Small. The book is $35 before the holidays. The price goes up to $40 in January. Get your yearbook today!

Click here for the easy link:

If you have any yearbook questions, please email Mr. Shoptaw at

Holiday donations for Small Families in need

The Small Counseling department is looking for donations to help our families in need this holiday season. We would love your support and are grateful for anything that can you can contribute. Please see the image for details.

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Counseling Corner

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Counseling Newsletter #3

Click here for helpful information from our amazing counselors. They have a new one each week!

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Every chromebook comes with 1 charger. If your student loses that charge, you must purchase a new one. We do not have extra chargers in the office to loan or give out.

Click here to purchase or see what charger you need for the school chromebooks.

Thank you to our Gold Sponsors

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