Cougar News 1/14/19 – 1/18/19

What's happening at Small Middle School

Week of January 14, 2019 – January 18, 2019

Cougar Nation-

The rust of the Winter Break has worn off and kids and staff are back to the business of getting them most out of a hands-on, project-based education. Our teachers were so glad to see our students’ shining faces and welcomed them back into their rooms with open arms. This semester is longer than the fall’s, and the stakes are definitely higher as the testing season nears, but the 80 days we spent prior building relationships and getting to know each of our kids should carry us through it all.

Principal Coffee Talk on January 23rd at 8:30 a.m.: The main focus of this conversation will be about AISD and Small’s exploration into becoming a Transformation Zone School. However, if there are other issues or items you wish to discuss, please feel free to attend and ask questions. For those of you unfamiliar with what becoming a Transformation Zone entails, it basically allows campuses to make decisions for their campus based upon its’ needs. AISD has over 80,000 students and over 130 campuses, so it is near impossible to create programs or systems that benefit each campus and can adequately address their needs. Becoming a Transformation Zone School would allow Small to continue to seek out new ways to excite and educate students, while also allowing us to continue to honor the amazing programming we already have. There is also more flexibility in how we spend the money allotted to our campus as there are certain services we pay for we can do away with, as well as new services we can add. We would still remain part of AISD and have the strong foundation of one of Texas’ largest urban school districts to support us. It’s like I told our staff, we’re not becoming an island; we’re looking into becoming a peninsula. Feel free to email me prior to the meeting with questions and/or concerns.

New Additions to Small: Please join me in welcoming the newest addition to our staff: Ms. Corinne Leithner! Ms. Leithner is our new 7th grade math teacher and we are beyond pleased that she agreed to share her passion and energy with our students. She graduated from Texas State University and is certified to teach math, health, and even PE. She is a firm believer that learning is a lifelong process and has already fallen in love with our community and our culture.

Also, we are honored to have Marlinn Conway fill in these next 6 weeks as a permanent substitute for Mrs. Hall. Mrs. Hall is out on parental leave and our new guest teacher brings over 23 years of experience teaching theater to our future thespians. She cut her teeth teaching in Houston and has already made quite a few connections with her new students.

Social Media Post: Yesterday we informed the community about a possible social media threat we investigated. AISD police were here on campus shortly after a parent contacted us around 7:30 a.m. We met with police and shared the information we received and decided the post, while vague in its communication, definitely merited further investigation. The police were able to speak with student and family well before school had even started and informed us that the message was not a threat and that the campus was indeed safe. We want to thank them for the timeliness of their response and also thank our community for looking out for the safety of our students. In this day and age, we cannot afford to assume something is harmless, a joke, or even a typo; we take any and all information shared with us about our students’ safety seriously and will investigate every claim as thoroughly as we possibly can.

It’s been a great week here on campus and we are honored to get to share it with your student.

Happy New Year! (I’m within the limit)

Matthew Nelson

Small Middle School
(512) 841-6505

Social Emotional Learning

This week our SEL lesson will focus on helping empower students to be self-advocates. Students will learn skills and be given ideas to help them communicate with their teachers regarding academic concerns.

Mindfulness Moments:  

Monday: If I asked any student (a friend of yours), what 3 words would they use to describe you? If I asked any of your teachers, what 3 words would they use to describe you? (Extension: What do you think about the way friends and teachers perceive you? Do you like it? Would you like to change it? Why or why not)

Wednesday: What motivates you to do your very best?

Thursday: What is one think you can do today, tomorrow or within the next week to make someone’s day?

Friday: What was one of your favorite things that you learned at school this week?

Note: On January 22 & 29, students will be part of a lesson on Creating a Culture of Respect. This lesson covers the following:

               -Definition of harassment, as well as the implications and consequences of harassment

               -The importance of respecting each other’s bodies, personal space, and boundaries

Please complete and submit the OPT OUT permission slip to your child’s PRIDE teacher should you not want them to participate. Thank you.

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We are getting the Carni Crew back together and are looking for some new members. if you are interested in helping us plan this years Splashfest, join our Facebook group at
Save the Date: May 10th 3:40pm to 7:00 pm
First meeting is at Cane Rosso, this Wednesday, January 16th at 11:30
For more information Contact

Basketball Scores for January 10 vs Paredes.

7A Small 36 – Paredes 10

7B Small 32 – Paredes 7

8A Small 32 – Paredes 61

8B Small 40 – Paredes 16

Next games are Thursday, January 17 vs Bailey.

7th Grade plays at Bailey.  8th Grade plays at Small.

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.


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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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!  


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

2 thoughts on “Cougar News 1/14/19 – 1/18/19

  1. As a very active parent of the Small Girls Basketball Team, it really offends me that the girls basketball team that for the first time in a VERY LONG time that the Small Middle Girls Basketball Team won the City Championship has not been acknowledged for their accomplishment.
    This is my second request for girls sports to be recognized.
    Thank you

  2. Hi Beverly,

    I thought we did have the picture and congratulations in the newsletter right after it happened, we had it everywhere else. We put it on Facebook, the daily marquee for 2 weeks, and in the daily announcements. But when I went back and looked, you are correct, it did not get put in the newsletter. I put in whatever the teachers and coaches send me. I am pretty far removed from the sports so if it doesn’t get sent to me, I don’t think to add it. Anyone can send me things though, Feel free to send me the sports info, or remind the coaches to send it to me and I happily will put it in. All entries to the newsletter need to be emailed to me by 12:00 pm of the Friday that they want it to go out. You are right, those girls worked hard and that was a huge accomplishment that deserves to be recognized.

    Thanks for your feedback,
    Jennifer Newell

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