Cougar News

Week of 8/24/20 - 8/28/20

Letter from Principal Nelson


We trust you and your family are in good health and spirits whilst reading this correspondence. We have been afforded more family time than we ever imagined possible, and I trust it has all been beneficial...for the most part at least.

Expect a few phone calls in the upcoming days from our staff in regards to making sure you are prepped and prepared for the first day of school September 8th. We want to make sure that each and every one of our students not only has the necessary devices to access school remotely, but also the necessary internet connection. If you have not already gone to the parent tile in the cloud to request technology, then our more than helpful staff will be ready to fill out the form for you during the call and all you will be required to do is pick up said device or devices at one of the AISD hubs. For our families, the closest location for device pick up is Crockett High School, which is located at 5601 Manchaca Road, Austin TX 78745.

Before you go to curbside pick up, check out the attached form for the estimated wait time at this and other locations. The demand is high, so please make sure to check. Regardless, do expect to spend some time waiting in line. Also, make sure to have your student’s name as it appears in TEAMS and ID number readily available.

We want to make sure that all of our students have the tools needed to log in and start remote learning from home on September 8th. Our teachers have been using this extra time given to us by the delayed start fortifying their lessons and activities and we promise engagement, rigor, and socialization throughout the process. We are ready to put the last 3 months of school behind us and start anew with better training, more access for students, and the ability to create social activities in a digital classroom.

What you can do prior to the launch of school:

  • EIther pick up your Chrome Book from an AISD curbside location or prepare another machine of your choosing as your student’s main computer.

  • Help your student create their learning space for synched lessons and asynchronous activities. They’ll need to be able to sit up straight and have an area near the computer to take notes or write down ideas. Remember, the quieter the area the better. Also, try to keep it away from nearby TVs.

  • Go over the first week of school schedule with them sep 8-11 sched and make sure they know that they are to be on Zoom, with the camera on, at the beginning of each scheduled class. After attendance, they will be allowed to have the cameras off, but we need to see their pearly whites so we can give them credit for the day for the first 5-10 minutes.

  • Make sure they know that even though they will be meeting with their teacher and classmates at a specific time, live, a lot of the work they are to complete will still be asynchronous. Point at the times you feel they should best complete the activities (before 1st:7:45-9, during lunch: 11-1, or after their last period of the day: 3:00-4:00). If you can direct them towards working on asynchronous activities during these times, the evenings and weekends can be strictly devoted to self-care and family time.

  • Be prepared to help troubleshoot with them during the first few days. We’ve streamlined and simplified how we present the lessons, but there will always be issues we did not foresee.

  • Lastly, and this is the most important piece; explain to them the “why” behind the “what” of online learning. We put our students’ safety and health, and the safety of our staff and families, ahead of all else and online learning is the safest way to conduct classes during this pandemic. Nobody in education thinks this is better than in-person teaching, but due to the risk of spreading Covid to each other and our loved ones, we have to learn online until the CDC and Travis County deem appropriate. We’ll do our best to make it fun and worthwhile, while at the same time sharing why we’re doing this; if you do the same, we’ll make it a much smoother transition for our kiddos.

More information to come, from me and from AISD. Make sure to check your emails daily and to have these conversations with your student to better help then navigate this difficult time.

Have a great weekend and if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to send me an email.

Matthew Nelson


Small Middle School

(512) 841-6705



Schedules are set to be released on Sept. 4th in the parent cloud. On that day, log into your cloud and click on the Parent Self Serve and take a look at the report card tab.

Not sure what those Acronyms on your students schedule stand for? Here is a cheat sheet!

  • PLTW GA/MD = Green Architecture & Medical Detectives
  • PLTW DM/AR = Design and Modeling & Automation and Robotics
  • PLTW FS/EE = STEM Exploratory
  • PLTW ME/ST = Magic of Electrons & Science of Technology
  • TOUCH SYS = Keyboarding
  • ENVIRON SCI IND = Capstone
  • PLTW CSIM = Computer Science
  • APP 8 or APP 7 = APP Creators
  • STEM EXPLORTY 7 = Cougar Campus and the Community
  • STEM EXPLORTY 8 = Farm to Table
  • TH MS 3 = Theater Production
  • Screen Script = Intermediate Theater
  • PE/Functional Fitness = These make one yearlong course for 6th grade that is required
  • 6th & 7th grade students who were in reading and double blocked math at Small last year will continue in these courses
  • Incoming 6th grade students placed in reading and math elective were placed based on 4th grade scores

Speaking of Acronyms

You might have noticed at the bottom of each newsletter there is an option to give feedback. One of our incoming 6th grade parents took advantage of that and dropped us a note. They requested an Acronym Cheat Sheet. They said that there is a lot of terminology that is new to them and could we please explain it. We thought that was a great idea, so we put one together.

Click the button below to go check it out. If you don't see an acronym you have been wondering about on the list, feel free to email and we will add it!


Dear Clint Small athletes and families,

The following forms must be turned in prior to the start of the school year to participate in middle school sports and/or the Athletics class.


  • Medical History Form (updated for 8th grade year, no doctor signature needed, discard the second page.)

  • If you completed a Physical your 7th grade year, you DO NOT need a new Physical for 8th grade. If you are new to Athletics or AISD, you will need a Physical.


  • 2020-2021 AISD Physical (Dated after 04/15/20)

  • Medical History Form

To access these forms, click on the following Link:

2020 Physical Form English (PDF)

2020 Physical Form Spanish (PDF)

In order to screen students before school starts, we are asking families to do one of the following options

  1. Drop off forms in-person

On Wednesday, Sept., 2 students can drop off all forms at the Bus Ramp of Clint Small according to the following schedule:

9:00am - 10:30am All 7th Graders

10:30am - 12:00pm All 8th Graders

Make sure all spaces and signatures are complete(in pen). Coaches will check the forms. We will keep the medical history and or the Physical form and remind you to complete the online portion.

2. Email documents and virtual health screening

Alternatively, medical forms can be downloaded, printed, filled out, scanned, and emailed back.

Coach Herndandez and Coach Moore will review the forms, if there are any issues the coaches will contact you.

If you have any questions or concerns about any of the forms, please contact Coach Hernandez( or Coach Moore(

We will have blank forms for those who need a form on Sept. 2nd.

Please wear your mask and follow all Covid guidelines. Do not leave your car, we will come to you.

Missing Vaccination Record

Hello Cougar Parents,

We have over 400 students that our records indicate are missing one or more required vaccination. If you have not already, please email or fax in your child’s current vaccination record.

If your child is a seventh grader you are more than likely missing Tdap and meningitis which is given typically after age 10 or 11. Your child might be up to date on all their shots especially if they go in for checkups yearly but we just are missing records.

Please get these to me as soon as possible so that your child will not be excluded from school.

Records can be emailed to me at or faxed directly to me at 512-841-6745.

A picture of a current vaccination card emailed to me will work. Please let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to seeing everyone soon.


Becky Jenschke

Small Middle School Health Room

Parent Information Meetings

Small is hosting a few parent events:

Juntas para Nuevos Padres de Familia en Small Middle School:

  • New Parent Camp: Monday, August 31st 4:00 pm - This is for parents that are new to Small Middle School
  • New Parent Camp Spanish: Monday, August 31st 7:00 pm
  • Principal Q&A: Wednesday, September 2nd 1:00 pm or 5:00 pm - Choose one of the times offered. This is for returning Parents to Small, Mr. Nelson will talk about what this school year will look like.

Please click here to register for any of these parent meetings. Once you are registered, we will email you the zoom link a few hours before the event. If you have any questions, please email

Haga click aqui para registrarse a la junta de Nuevos Padres de familia que Ud. prefiera. Una vez que se registre se le enviara un enlace web para la reunion virtual via ZOOM unas horas antes del evento. Si tiene Ud. alguna pregunta en espanol contacte a

Open for Learning

AISD is doing a great job communicating to parents their plans for opening the schools. You just need to know where to look. We recommend checking out their new web page called Open for Learning. It will be updated regularly.

Key Calendar and Daily Schedule information

It is a good idea to bookmark these in your browser to refer back to

Have you Registered 20-21?

We still have some students that have not registered for this school year. Every year parents must register their students so that we can have the most current contact information.

This is also where you give permission for things like going to the nurse and/or having a picture in the yearbook etc. We need to have the most current information in our records. If you have not registered yet, Please click the link for the instructions below.

Not sure if you registered?

  • Click here to learn how you can see if you did or did not.

Is your student new to Small this year?

Join us for a new Student orientation. If you student already did the cougar camp with the counselors, they do not need to attend.
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Curbside Meals

Meals are still available at 70+ curbside and bus stop locations throughout Austin. Find sites, times and more info at


Las comidas aún están disponibles en más de 70 ubicaciones, en banquetas o paradas de autobús en todo Austin. Encuentre sitios, horarios y más información en

#AISDProud #WeAreAISD #SomosAISD Austin ISD Food Services

New AISD App for your phone

We are excited to tell you about the new app from AISD. Eventually it will be the one stop shop for all things from the district and Small Middle School. You can follow our school so when we have important information to share, we can send out an alert and you will always be in the know. Download the app today, then find Small and any other school your kids may go to and click the follow button. It is still in it's beginning phase, but has huge potential and I envision us using it alot.



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How to Order a chromebook

We are in the process to make sure every student at Small has what they need to be successful for this upcoming distance learning. If your student needs a chromebooks please watch the video below for instructions on how to request one from the district.

If you are have trouble with your chromebook please contact Family Support line at 512-414-9187

Here is a new Middle School Newsletter with everything
you need to know about Technology Distribution.

Main Office Open for curbside service

We wanted to let you know that we are all working from home. If you call the main line, one of our amazing front office ladies will happily answer your call and help you with any questions you have.

But some of you may need to come to the school for any number of reasons. We have decided to offer Curbside service for those of you that need to pick up or drop off anything to the school.

Curbside Hours 9am - 5pm:

  • Tuesdays
  • Thursdays

When you get to the school, just text the curbside number (we will have it posted outside) (512)798-0998 and text us what you need. We will respond and run outside with your item to to grab what you have. Please wear a mask for the safety of our staff.


The Office Team


Yearbook pickup is still availble on Tuesdays and Thrusdays for curbside. We also have a handful of books left that we can sell. Call anytime or come by next Tuesday or Thursday for more details.

School Supplies

As you may have heard, most middle and high school students don't shop for school supplies until after the first day of school. The reason is, every class has their own needs.

This is a little frustrating for those parents that want to get a jump on the good deals that go on during summer and not wait until everything is sold out. Especially this year when things are so up in the air. We have created a basic sample list to get you started. If you see a good deal, go ahead and pick up some of the times below.

Small Middle School 2020-2021

School Supply List BASIC ITEMS TO GET YOU STARTED until class specific lists are received:

  • Pencil pouch
  • Poly folders with pockets and brads, various colors
  • Blue or black pens
  • #2 pencils
  • Colored pencils
  • Markers
  • Highlighters – six colors
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Glue/Glue sticks
  • Notebook paper
  • Composition books (not spirals, one per class)
  • Binders, dividers
  • Backpack (large enough for supplies as no lockers are assigned)

NICE TO HAVE and may or may not be required:

  • earbuds
  • dry erase markers
  • pencil sharpener
  • planner
  • index cards
  • hand sanitizer
  • flash drive
  • wireless mouse
  • tissue
  • combination lock for gym locker
  • water bottle

Gifted and Talented

Christie Manners

To nominate your student for the 20-21 year for Gifted and Talented. Please click on the following link to complete the form and give permission for your child to enter the candidacy process.

GT Nomination Google Form - English

GT Nomination Google Form - Spanish (coming soon!)

If you do not have online access, paper forms available in English and Spanish are available in the front office. Please use the online link above if at all possible.

Click here for the GT Newsletter

Green Academy Blog

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