Cougar News

Week of 3/8/21 - 3/12/21

Letter from Principal Nelson

Cougar Nation

Seems like we just returned from a break (albeit an unexpected one) and are gearing up for the next one right around the corner. That’s right, Spring Break is set to begin here in the ATX on March 12th at 3:51 pm and last 9 days until the 21st. Hopefully, this break we will all be bestowed with lovely weather and our homes and highways will be fully operational.

Next week we will have even more teachers on campus working with kids in their respective classrooms and we are beyond excited. The more we begin to make the move towards normalcy, the better off we will all be. With more students and staff on campus, we want you to know that we will still be taking all social distancing measures and procedures as seriously as before, including the wearing of masks by all students and staff. We are making headway towards beating Covid-19 and the measures we have taken thus far need to continue to be enforced for the duration. Safety of students and staff is always paramount in all our decisions and the protocols we’ve been following thus far are the reason we can have so many new students and teachers back on campus. We mask up, we wash our hands, and we maintain 6 ft social distancing at all times.

Cafeteria: Due to the fact that our students have been doing such a fantastic job following procedures and being considerate of one another, we are confident in their ability to follow our cafeteria guidelines while sitting in their seat of choice. Meaning, effective Monday, March 8th, students will no longer be required to sit with their 5th/6th period class and can sit with whomever they wish. They will still need to have shields up, wear their masks when not eating, and leave a space between them and their friends, but the friend whom they are with will be of their choice. Please feel free to share this information with them and remind them that if at any time we see that safety measures are not being followed, we will return to assigned seats. Also, remind them this is their reward for adhering to the policies we’ve developed and for doing their part to help stop the spread of this dreaded disease.

Cameras on! The whole while I was on leave I never once missed talking to black screens with white type across them. Not one iota. It’s impersonal and even somewhat distracting when trying to teach. What I missed was seeing the bright shiny faces of our students. It changes the dynamics when we can all see one another and makes the classes more personal and special when we can see whom we are all sharing the experience with. Do what you can to urge your student to have their camera on when able and let them know that their smiles fuel our teachers to reach greater heights in the classroom. It changes the way we learn, the way we teach, and the way we grow as a community.

Have a great week and be sure to email me with any questions, concerns, or even kudos.

Matthew Nelson


Clint Small Middle School

(512) 841-6705

Last Chance to be in the yearbook

ATTENTION Parents, Students and Staff of Small Middle School,

This is your last chance to submit a photo for this years yearbook. What a wild year it has been and we want to see as many faces as possible represented in the yearbook. The deadline to submit a photo is a week from today, Wednesday 3/10/21 at 4pm.

All you need to do is go to this google form: and upload a current picture of your student.

Staff: we would love to see your smiling faces as well! Upload your photo TODAY!

Any questions? Email

Hawaiian day

Boy was it great to have some fun today. Hawaiian day was a big hit. We only had 2 teachers turn down the pineapple on Pizza. We had lots of treats and you will all be happy to know that the Science Department won the "Golden Pineapple" trophy in the hallway bowling tournament!

Thank you to all of you that sent in snacks and drinks to make Hawaiian day so much fun!

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Coming back on campus

We are hearing more and more grumblings about families thinking about coming back to campus.

We would be happy to welcome your student on to campus. I would highly recommend you contact their counselor to let them know that your student is coming. Our counselors have been meeting the kids in front of the school on their first day to make sure they know where to go and are comfortable on campus.

The first thing your student will need to do is to fill out the covid screener. If he/she has a phone, have them download the AISD app. If they don't have a phone, we can use the adult's phone that they are with at the time of drop off. The earliest your student can be dropped off at 7:45. The reason is that we cannot have a bunch of kids in one place like the Cafeteria or Gym like we used to, so we need to make sure all the teachers are in their classrooms to welcome the students, so they are all supervised on campus. We also need to take the students temperature before the parents leave incases there is a fever, they can just go home with the parent and not enter the building.

We do a stager release starting at 3:35 (again so not too many kids are together at once) the official end of day is 3:51.

Starting on Monday all teachers will be back on campus, your student will need to print his/her schedule and go to each classroom specified.

Things your student will need to bring:

  • Mask
  • Refillable Water bottle (water fountains are closed, except the bottle refill stations)
  • Chromebook and charger
  • Lunch if he wants (or Cafeteria Breakfast and lunches are free this year)
  • Snack
  • Maybe paper and pin for note taking
  • Printed Schedule

Please let me know if you have any other questions.


If students have any library books from last spring from ANY AISD campus they can be returned at Small. You can put them in the first floor book drop if you are on campus or drop them by the office if you are virtual. Your help is appreciated getting books back in our AISD libraries!

On Campus Students

Need to leave early?

It takes awhile for us to figure out what classroom a student is in.

Here is a trick to speed the process up!

If your student has a doctor appointment or just needs to leave early during the school day, please send them with a note. If the student comes to the main office with their parent note first thing in the morning, We will give your student a pass to leave class at the specified time. That way when you come to pick up your student, they will be in the office waiting for you. No searching involved saving us all precious time!


The snacks being sent to campus all year have been such a morale booster. We can't begin to thank you all enough for all your generous donations. We put snacks out daily for the teachers to swing by and get in our teachers lounge and twice a week our Counselors put together a snack and drink cart and walk around the school bringing the treats to our teachers in their classrooms.

They have gotten quite used to it and we are starting to run low. We have plenty of drinks and salty things for now, but if you are wanting to contribute, we could use more sweet treats. Cookies, chocolates, small candy and the like. Our teachers really feel the love when they can get a quick pick-me up.

Remember everything has to be individually wrapped for covid

Report Cards

Dear AISD Parent/Guardian,

The most recent report card for your student is now available for viewing on the Austin ISD Cloud .

In an effort to increase data security, pdf report card attachments will no longer be emailed.

To access the report card please login to and click on the tile "Report Cards".

For report card questions, please contact your student's teacher.

If you are having access or account issues, please call Parent Technology Support at 512-414-9187

Save the Date: Green Market Days

Small Green Academy Market Days-Cash or Check ONLY

This year's Market Days sale will be held from March 22-26. It will be from 4-5PM after school by the front office.

We will be selling staff and student handmade products. These products include soap, candles, jewelry, bird houses, bookmarks, and MANY OTHERS!

Please come out to support us! This is the Green Academy's only fundraiser. The funding for our projects comes solely from sales like this.

A/B calendar revised 2/26/21

As Mr. Nelson mentioned the district has stated that March 5th is no longer an asynchronous day. So it has been changed to an A day. Here is the updated calendar and remember you can always check out the calendar on our website if you are unsure as to what day it is.


NJHS Inductees from Spring 2020 AND Spring 2021-

You and your families are invited to a virtual induction ceremony hosted by members of LASA NHS and your NJHS Sponsor

Please mark your calendars for the evening of May 20th. More information to come in the Cougar News as the date approaches.

NJHS Induction Certificates for all inductees from this year and last year are in the office now and may be picked up M-F from 8-4 pm.

6th grade parents: Read the Cougar News in Fall 2021 for application information.

2021 Track Guidelines


Everyone makes the team. We will take the top three/four per event. You must have a current physical on file with the coaches.

Daily Practice- You will be held accountable for missed practices that are unexcused. If you know you are going to miss, you need to COMMUNICATE to a coach.

ALL COVID PROTOCOLS WILL BE FOLLOWED: must wear a mask, AISD APP – must be green, temperature check.

Practices: Monday and Wednesday – all runners. Tuesday and Thursday – all field events 4:00-5:00

Once you have completed your workouts and cool-down, check out with the coach and you can go home.

DO NOT STAND AROUND! If we see you standing and not working out, we will send you home and replace you.

Track Meets – Before each meet, the Coaches will decide who will go to represent Clint Small Middle School at the meets. This will be based on your ability/attitude/attendance.

Track schedule: start time varies according to schools attending/location (5:30/6:00).

Running events: 100m 200m 400m 800m 1600m 100m Hurdles, 300M Hurdles

Relays: 4 X 400M 4 X 800M 4 X 1600M

Field Events: Shot Put, Discus, Long Jump, Triple Jump, High Jump

On the Day of the meet: Meet at the Small Track OR Visiting Track. The coaches will give you a specific time and place on the day of the meet.

Coach Hernandez and Coach Holzman 841-6758

Coach Moore and Coach Johnson 841-6759

Green 2x4 Donation

Mr. Jeansonne and the Green Team are hoping to build sturdy shelving for plants and aquariums as well as a bunch of simple birdhouses. We would really appreciate any donations of usable eight-foot 2x4s and whole fence boards. Screws and nails are always appreciated as well.

If you are able to help, feel free to drop off your donation in the main office and contact Mr. Jeansonne at for any questions.

Spirit Day's this week

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The Austin ISD 2020–21 Family Survey

The Austin ISD 2020–21 Family Survey is now available and is accepting responses online through March 5, 2020. Please click the link below to access the survey.

Families are encouraged to participate so they can share input on district and campus performance. The survey includes questions about how well school staff and leadership communicate with parents, as well as how easily parents may communicate about their students and how families learn about programs offered at their school. Due to COVID-19, it is especially important this year to provide your opinion to ensure we are providing a great experience for you and your child.

The results will help district leadership learn how to best to improve services for our students.

To take the survey:

Motion Cameras

Update: We are up $2317.00 towards our goal of $4392. Thank you to those of you that have donated. We can now purchase 42 cameras!

As Mr. Sammon said, we are hoping to get enough money to purchase 1 motion camera per classroom. These camera's follow the teacher around the classroom so they can interact with the kids in the room AND the kids at home at the same time. Our goal is to get 80 Cameras we have 8 and they are $55.00 each. If you can, please click the button below to donate to this project.

SEL Mural Project

Another Project you might want to get involved in is the Murals the couneslors are working on.

The Small Middle School counselors are super excited to star a special community project. We are hoping to paint two murals in front of the counseling office in collaboration with Small Middle School families. The murals will be made in efforts to promote unity and celebrate diversity.

We are in need of donations that will help in painting the murals and are looking for volunteers to come in shifts and help collaborate in making the murals come to life. Please review the available slots below and click on the button to sign up to donate or to volunteer. Thank you!

Click here to check out the murals we will be recreating

Click here to see what they need and/or to volunteer to help:

Green Academy Blog

In case any of you are interested, here is our Green Academy Newsletter. We call it the Green Leaf. It is just a basic updated on projects and fundraisers.

We are also beginning to take orders for our Handmade soap. We are calling it "Clint's Small Batch". We have 22 different options. They are in relative short supply, as we only have about 12 of each type. If the soap sells well we will make some more. We will also try and make more of the "best sellers". The soap still needs a few more weeks to finish curing. We will begin selling start March 8, the week before Spring Break. Bars are $5. If you have friends or families interested, please share the link. I will be willing to ship bars in packs of 2 for $5 to cover shipping and packaging. Order Soap Here:

Thank you for your interest and support!

Have You Registered Online for the 2021-2022 School Year?

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For all families registering new or returning students, a Parent Cloud Account must be created before you can access the online registration system.

Please visit to create a Parent Cloud Account.

For specific questions regarding online registration, contact

Parent Support Line at 512-414-9187 or

For all other registration questions, contact

Giovana McGettrick 512-841-6710 or

Parent Guide to Online Registration: English Spanish

*Registration must be completed annually.

Help! Yearbook Pictures

We would love to have each student in this year's yearbook. We have been brainstorming all different ideas on how best to do this, and the winner is... You!

Please take a quick moment to upload a current picture of your student into this form and we will put that picture in the yearbook. Enter your pictures here:

Questions? Email

The Small Virtual Library

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 Small Virtual Library.

Check out this week's Small Virtual Library from Ms. Sylvia that focuses on Women's History Month!

Advanced Art

6th and 7th graders who wish to apply for Advanced Art for the 2021-2022 school year should contact either Mr. Tabares fred.tabares@austinisd.orgor Ms. Levine for an application.

Applicants must have had at least 1 semester of art

Ordered a Yearbook Yet?

LBJ High School Information

Early College Program Application and Information

Essentially, the ECHS program at LBJ gives our Jaguars the opportunity to earn up to 60 hours of college credit (the first two years of ANY major) at Austin Community College (an Associate's of Arts in General Studies degree) by the time that they leave high school, all for free, including books, supplies, and transportation (when we're finally not virtual anymore)! This means that, if they successfully complete the full program, they'll be entering their 4 Year University as a junior! Additionally, each ACC class is considered an AP class, in terms of a GPA boost, so our ECHS students rise up the high school ranks fairly quickly and most end up Top 10 percent, which allows for automatic admission into all Texas public universities, except for UT Austin, which is Top 6 percent for automatic admission right now, but who knows what it'll be by 2025, right?

The benefits to ECHS for your awesome students go far beyond that, though! Taking ACC classes while still in high school prepares them BEAUTIFULLY to tackle their 4 Year University! While most 18-year-old freshmen entering college for the first time usually struggle with getting acclimated to the differences between high school and college, our ECHS graduates, on the other hand, are ready to go right away, and they know the drill! It's also just a great experience to be sitting in college classes with adults, and to be exposed to such advanced material at that young age is an absolute game-changer for them.

Here's the link to my ECHS Application:

TSI Information

To begin taking college classes at ACC, the kiddos will have to pass the TSI, and it's been very recently changed to TSI 2.0! It's still a reading and writing exam (plus math a little later down the road), but they've changed the format a bit! Here's a link to student information and sample questions for the new TSI:

Texas Success Initiative Assessment 2.0 (TSIA2) – ACCUPLACER | College Board

Learn more about the TSIA placement tests for students enrolling in public colleges and universities in Texas.

If you could also post/send that link, I'd SO appreciate it! Once the students apply using the ECHS application, I reach out to them to introduce myself and to make arrangements for them to TSI test with me ASAP!

Transfer Information

If the students are coming on transfer, parents will need to complete the transfer request under the parent portal. They should look for the application called: Online Student Transfer Request and choose LBJECHS. They should TOTALLY feel free to call or email me for help on that!


Here's the link to the tribute video that I made for my 2020 ACC Degree Earners. They clearly didn't get to walk across the ACC stage, so I brought their ACC graduation to their houses! This video will give you a good idea of where our ECHS students go to finish their degrees after graduating from us!

My 2020 ECHS ACC Degree Earner

Yearbook Pictures

This is the announcement requesting pictures from Small families:

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

  • 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.

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Clubs at Small

There are a lot of Clubs To choose from. Click Here to see a list and how to join.

Remember that these clubs are an extra service the teachers are offering you and that all school rules apply. Please come and take advantage of the extra social time with other students who are interested in the same thing as you are!

If you have questions, please email the club sponsor.

Small PTA Info

PTA Hassle-Free November Fundraiser

Click here to donate

This has been a crazy year for all of us, and Small’s PTA is no exception. Our Spring Carnival, which provides over half our annual budget didn’t take place, and it’s unlikely to happen in 2021. Our school store, the Cougar Cage, is closed indefinitely. We need your help more than ever!

The PTA budget will be used to fund unique supply needs of pandemic-era classrooms like chargers, extension cords, and headphones. We’ll provide guest speakers for parents - coming November 18th, Dr. Mike Brooks on screen time - and we’re working on creative community-building events that can be done virtually.

We hope to raise $30 per child. We know it's a hard time for many families in our community, and we appreciate any donation you can make. And don’t forget corporate matching if your employer participates. Thank you for your ongoing support!

Donate to the PTA here

Join the PTA here

Questions about the PTA? Contact

Address the CAC Committee

If you are interested in speaking to our CAC using our Citizen Communication time, please email our CAC chair Co-Chair Chasee 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.


Parents, are you looking for a way to give back to teachers and staff at Small Middle School?

We (A handful of Small Parents) have found a free and very effective way to show some love and thought we would share it with you all.

RAVE: Recognizing All Valuable Employees

Let's send some sparkly gratitude to our faculty & staff this holiday season with an AISD RAVE submission!

  • Does your student have a favorite teacher?
  • Has someone at Small (or any other AISD School) gone above and beyond for you and your family?
  • Do you want to support teachers and let everyone (Teacher, Principal, AISD District) know about it?

All of our faculty and staff have gone above and beyond this semester. The best free, easy, sparkly way to show our gratitude is via the RAVE form on the AISD website (link below.) It only takes a couple of minutes to complete!

This form is received by AISD administration. RAVE submissions mean a lot to teachers and staff. It's equivalent to a virtual hug! And, there's never been a better time to remind the Superintendent how indispensable they all are.

Please submit a RAVE for any teacher or staff member (current or from school years past.)

Maybe send one or two a day! You do need the first and last name of the employee you wish to RAVE about. Those can be sourced on Small's Staff Directory :

Flooding AISD administration with positive feedback will make an important and lasting impact. Let's make this holiday season sparkle a little extra with RAVES!

RAVE: Recognizing All Valuable Employees

Thank you,

Small Parents

Green Academy Blog

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

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