Cougar News 12/10/18 – 12/14/18

What is happening at Small Middle School

Week of December 10, 2018 – December 14, 2018

Upcoming Events

  • Dec. 3rd & Dec. 7th Boys Basketball Tryouts 
  • Dec. 11th Winter Choir Performance – Austin Oaks Church
  • Dec. 12th Counselor Talk – Self-Harm 6:00 pm – Library
  • Dec. 12th & 13th The Princess and the Pauper $5
  • Dec. 13th Winter Band Concert at Burger Center 7pm
  • Dec. 14 Winter Dance Performance $5
  • Dec. 18 Winter Orchestra Concert
  • Dec. 21 – Jan. 4th Winter Break 

See all upcoming calendar events here



Cougars Nation-

The events of this last week have brought our community together in several ways, while at the same time providing us opportunities to look deep inside ourselves as to how we handled it.  We administrators met yesterday morning amongst ourselves and representatives from the district to discuss the shortcomings with our communication to our community.  We also asked for assistance from the Superintendent’s office, and other schools about creating a rubric for school’s to follow in regards to parent communication for incidents such the one we experienced.  We wholeheartedly want to notify our community about any issues of concern sooner rather than later and vow to make sure we follow the communication credo of “too much too soon” in lieu of “too little too late,” Like I tell the staff at least 7 times a year, no parent has ever contacted me about sending out too much information. 

On the day we received information about the careless social media post regrettably made by one of our students, we immediately sprang into action.  Our admin team contacted our SRO and AISD police, and in no sooner than 10 minutes we had 3 uniformed police officers on campus investigating the claim.  After questioning and searching the student, contacting parents, and even performing a home check at the household, AISD police notified us that it was not a credible threat and that all students, staff, and members of the Small community were safe and sound.  We followed district protocol to letter of the law in regards to handling the investigation.  However, we failed our community on the events that followed.

The fault on our part was not sending the information out as soon as we received word all was clear.  We should have had an email blast out to community members as soon as possible and reached out to y’all to let you all know the campus was indeed safe and the business of educating students could return to normal. We strive to keep your student as safe and secure as possible and that includes their emotional state as well; yours’ too.

Know this: we would never knowingly invite any of our 130 staff members or 1,300 students to campus if we had even the slightest inclination that their safety was not fully guaranteed.  Days can be made up, tests can be retaken, and field trips and/or performances can be rescheduled.   I love this school, this community, and every single person who enters our doors. It is a privilege to serve as the Principal of this amazing school and I think of every student and staff member present as my family and I assure you I will always do whatever I can to keep my family safe. 

We owe all of our success to this close knit community and will do everything in our power to regain your faith in us.  If one person feels we dropped the ball in regards to our communication, then that is one person too many and we will do everything we can to assure you we care and love your student immeasurably. 

Matthew Nelson
Small Middle School
(512) 841-6505

Our Counseling department is accepting donations to help out CSMS families in need.

Please drop off gift cards to Target or HEB in any denomination to our front office.  Our counselors will be sure to get them to the families that need them.

If you have any questions please contact our lead counselor Ms. Diaz at


On Friday our fabulous PTA will be hosting their annual holiday Teacher/Staff Luncheon. 

We would love to have help with serving. If you would like to volunteer to help feed the teachers, click here to sign-up.


Please congratulate the 7th gr girls basketball team as they won the Lake Travis Tournament last weekend.  


We also want to say congratulations our advanced theatre students. Please congratulate them. Their play ” The Pauper Princes” beat out Gorzycki, Murchison, and Lamar for a 1st place win.

If you would like to see this award winning show we will have 2 performance next week Dec. 12 and 13 @ 6:30pm in the Cafe. 


New Policy for 2019-20 Transfer Requests

Austin ISD will begin accepting requests for school transfers for the 2019–20 school year on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019Requests may be submitted or mailed to the Office of Student Services (Room A200), Carruth Administration Center, 1111 W. Sixth St. during regular business hours, 7:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Applications for priority transfers and non-priority transfers will be accepted through 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019.

There have been several policy/regulation changes made this fall, including the following:

  1. Tracking transfers now include students who attended the highest two grades at a school but moved out of the attendance area prior to the submission deadline for priority transfers (last day of January).  They will be able to apply for a tracking transfer to the middle or high school their school tracks to.  Policy still states, however, that priority transfers, including tracking, will not be accepted to frozen schools.  FDB Local.
  2. Tracking transfers do not apply to transfers to a school to attend an application based program, including a magnet program.  FDB Local.
  3. If a student attending a magnet or application program leaves the program, they can apply for a transfer to the comprehensive program (if it is not their school based on address), but it will be processed on a first come, first served basis with other requests.  FDB Local.
  4. Special consideration will be given to students who have attended a school based on address for at least two consecutive years, move into another AISD attendance area, but wish to remain at that school.  Student Services will highlight these students for the Associate Superintendents to consider (if space is not already available) with or without an appeal.  FDB Local.
  5. The fall deadline for transfers will be three weeks prior to the first day of school instead of August 10.  FDB Regulation.

A list of the FROZEN schools will be announced by Dr. Cruz at the December 17th Board Meeting. Please visit the district website, for more information on the 2019-20 transfer application and process.

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A message from the Soccer Coaches:

They have cancelled all B-team and C-team games this weekend and have moved our A-team game and time.  We will now be facing off against Murchison’s A-team at 10:30 (later than normal) and at House Park Field. 

Social Emotional Learning

This week our Cougar Community Lesson will focus on Suicide prevention.  Please remember to fill out the Opt Out Letter should you not want your child to participate. Students will learn the following:

  • CDC suicide facts
  • Demystifying Myths & Facts
  • How to help someone who may be suicidal
  • How to get help if you’re in crisis
  • Small Middle School Procedures
  • Jason Foundation APP

Mindfulness Moments:

Monday: What is mindfulness? Why do we do it?
Share the following definition with students: “Mindfulness is paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally”.  Ask students to think-pair-share what their thoughts are about the definition of mindfulness.  Then discuss how it is human nature to focus on past events and worry or think about the possibility of future happenings. Mindfulness helps us focus on just the now.  It is scientifically proven to help us with processing information and emotions more efficiently.

Wednesday:Mindfulness Moment
Click on the link for a guided mindfulness moment.  For kids who do not wish to close their eyes and follow, offer doodling or reflective writing at this time.

ThursdayMindfulness Moment:
Click on the link for a guided mindfulness moment.  For kids who do not wish to close their eyes and follow, offer doodling or reflective writing at this time.

FridayMindfulness Moment:
Click on the link for a guided mindfulness moment.  For kids who do not wish to close their eyes and follow, offer doodling or reflective writing at this time.


CBE is Credit-By-Exam. A Credit-By-Exam (CBE) program allows you to earn credit or appropriate placement for what you already know.  Students can pick and choose subject matter exams offered by Austin ISD through UT High School.  Languages other than English are an example of CBE exams most popularly taken by middle school students.  Find out more information about CBE using the link below. If you are interested in your child signing up for a CBE, contact your child’s counselor for a registration form.

2018-2019 CBE Deadlines

Spring: Friday, January 4

Summer 1: Tuesday, April 30

Summer 2: Friday, May 17

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Please do not drop off or pick up in the Bus area (parking lot near the track). This is a safety issue. Not only that, we guarantee you will be stuck in there for a while while we safely load or unload our students from the bus. All pick-up and drop-off traffic should be done in the front of the school.

Thank you,

CSMS Safety and Transportation teams

Runoff Election


The at-large District 9 position will head to a runoff election after none of the three candidates received 50 percent or more of the vote.  Arati Singh and Carmen Tilton will participate in a runoff election for this position on Tuesday, December 11.    


Tilton lead the three AISD candidates with 72,037 total votes, but only gained 40.13 percent of votes in the race. Singh’s 65,489 votes represented 36.49 percent of votes cast.


Please mark your calendar and remember to get out and vote!!



We are very excited to provide you with this easy link to buy this year’s yearbook.

Last year it sold out, so be sure to act now.

This yearbook will be a super colorful hard cover keepsake of all your child’s happy memories of the school year.

Prices go up after the winter break. 

Download form here: RJshoppingdatenight

One thought on “Cougar News 12/10/18 – 12/14/18

  1. Thank You. I am so impressed how the entire Small Family handled these last few days. I would not dare to mention names because it was a school family effort. Principal/ assistant principles/ administrators/counselors/teachers & Officer Z and APD. I’m so very proud to be a part of the Clint Small Family💜💜💜

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