Cougar News 1/7/19 – 1/11/19

What's happening at Small Middle School

Week of January 7, 2019 – January 11, 2019

Howdy Cougars!

Happy New Year! Happy New Year! Happy New Year! We are beyond excited to start 2019 off here in Smallville on Monday and can’t wait to greet your student and wish them a Happy New Year as well! We’ve been informed by the Etiquette Police that we have up until MLK Day (our next big holiday) to wish all a Happy New year, so tell your student to expect at least 14 more days of holiday greetings!

Make sure your student knows to head to his/her PRIDE class the first thing in the morning for about 10 minutes and then off to their regularly scheduled A-Day. With the new semester comes new schedules, so we want to pass them out first thing during PRIDE and help direct them on their merry way. Tuesday will be a B-Day and students should head to their 2nd period class to start the day.

After an extended break our teachers know our students may need some time re-adjusting to the fast-paced world of middle school, so expect plenty of systems to be readdressed. In fact, one study by some guy with lots of letters after his name stated that 15 days away from school for a middle school kid is the equivalent to missing 67 days, so we are planning on front-loading classes with loads of classroom expectations and to revisit all the procedures we spent the first 90 days learning. Middle school is not a sprint; it’s a long distance race that requires careful attention to form and function in order to reach the finish line safely.

On a personal note, I will be back on campus full time this semester and am excited to get to spend so many hours with my favorite things on the planet: your kids! We have the greatest students on the planet and I can’t wait to walk and talk with them about all the goings on in their lives and crack jokes again. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve absolutely loved being at home with Baby Q these last few months, but it’s now time to trade “goo goos and ga gas” for high fives and howdys.

Thanks again goes out to you, our amazing staff, and especially our students for allowing me the opportunity to spend these precious few months with Clint Small’s newest Cougar. None of the gift which was my paternity leave would even be remotely possible if it weren’t for the fact that we have great kids who love their school and make it such a pleasant place to attend and work.

Happy New Year!

Matthew Nelson
Small Middle School
(512) 841-6505

Westcreek Greenway Trailhead Project

Westcreek Greenway Trailhead Project & Structure Built Near Small

The neighborhood next to Small (Westcreek Neighborhood) has worked for several years on a Neighborhood Partnering Program project, co-sponsored by the City, for trailhead improvements in the Greenway area behind Small/Patton. Small’s Green Tech Program has been a partner in this endeavor as well.  The project’s purpose was to improve safety and trail usability in this wooded area (a stone pathway near Brush Country now provides a dry crossing!) while beautifully establishing its use for neighbors, school children, etc. You’ll notice that a new trailhead structure with benches is near completion, situated in the right-of-way adjacent the school’s track (south side of the school). A split rail fence and small gateway is also being built at Westcreek Drive near Cana Cove.
The neighborhood, city and school are working together on solutions to prevent parking in this grassy area near the school’s track, not only to protect the structure but also the extensive tree root system. Please remember that no parking is allowed there on the right-of-way or on the adjacent school property area.  
For more information about the trailhead project, you can visit or contact the Westcreek Greenway Committee Chair, Jennifer Voss via email at

2018-2019 NJHS Important Dates

  • March 8, 2019
    Information meeting during PRIDE in front of the Counselor’s Office
  • March 11, 2019
    Pick up applications from the Counselor’s Office
  • March 15, 2019
    Last day to pick up an application from the Counselor’s Office
  • April 18, 2019
    Final day to turn in applications (no exceptions)
  • Week of May 6, 2019
    Letters go out to students who are accepted into NJHS
  • May 21st
    Induction into NJHS 6pm in the cafeteria

NJHS Candidate Community Service Hour log

Candidates should record a minimum of 10 hours between January 11th – February 14th.


A Message from our Counselors


Schedule change requests will be addressed on a case by case basis this semester.  Please contact your child’s counselor  if your child’s schedule needs to be changed.  If your child selected the class that they are currently in as a choice on their choice sheet, changes will not be honored. Thank you so much for understanding. 

Cynthia Diaz                                      Sarah Krier                                   Carmen Castaneda
512.841.6713                                    512.841.6711                              513.841.6715  



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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Social Emotional Learning

This week students will form part of a community circle. Students will be asked to think of something they wish to accomplish and then
formulate a plan to work towards accomplishing their goal.

Mindfulness Moments

Monday: THINK-PAIR-SHARE Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” That starts with intention. Consider, in this moment, how you want to be in this world. How might you remind yourself to be more intentional about that?  

WednesdayTHINK-PAIR-SHARE What would you try if you knew you could not fail?

Thursday: THINK-PAIR-SHARE What important relationship would you like to improve the most this year?

Friday: THINK-PAIR-SHARE What would you like most to be acknowledged for so far in your life?


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Clint Small will be participating in the Cap10K middle school challenge this year! All registration for the Cap 10K Middle School Challenge will be online.  Registration for the Middle School Challenge is currently offered at a discounted price.  In order to register go to and click on ‘Register Now’ at the top of the page.  On the registration page click on ‘Register Now!’ then select ‘School Team Member’.  When you fill in the participant information there is a drop down titled ‘Team Name’, select Clint Small Middle School from the list of teams, then complete the registration process. We have a great opportunity to win money for our PTA so sign your student and the whole family up to run or walk in a great race. If you have any questions, please contact Thanks!

Great Thinkers Club

Happy Holidays Great Thinkers! 

Here’s our calendar for Jan and Feb, as far as I know at this time.  Occasionally meetings are called and I will give you as much notice as I can if I can’t hold GT Club.

  • Jan 10- no meeting, people are still getting in the swing of the New Year

  • Jan 17 – Creative Storytelling and UIL investigations

  • Jan 24 – no meeting, Mrs. Manners off-campus that day

  • Jan 31 – no meeting, Mrs. Manners will be doing GT testing that day

We will meet on all Thursdays in February! 

Look for information in this space regarding our May field trip to The Austin Panic Room!  

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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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. 

SCOUTS BSA TROOP 19 JOIN SCOUTING NIGHT: Are you interested in Scouts BSA for girls? Starting in February 2019, girls ages 11 through 17 can join all new troops for girls. Go kayaking, camping, hiking, rock climbing and more while developing skills and friendships that will last a lifetime. Troop 19, chartered by St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, will be hosting an informational session on Sunday, January 6th from 4-5:30. We will be meeting at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in the Parish Center’s Siena Hall. The address is 4800 Convict Hill Rd, Austin, TX 78749. Stop by to learn more and register! For more information about Troop 19, or to contact us, visit

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