Cougar News 9/10/18 – 9/14/18

What is happening at Small Middle School

Week of September 10, 2018 – September 14, 2018

Upcoming Events

  • 9/11/18 Football vs Paredes
  • 9/12/18 Parent Learning Walk 9 am
  • 9/13/18 Dual Language Potluck
  • 9/13/18 Volleyball vs Paredes
  • 9/21/18 Principal Coffee 8:30 am 
  • 9/27/18 Counselor Talk – 9 AM – Social Media
  • 9/27/18 Austin Pizza Garden Spirit Night 
  • 10/16/18 Picture Retake Day

See all upcoming calendar events here



Letter from Principal Nelson

Residents of Smallville-

Let’s get right to it; do we really need Back to School Night?  By the 3rd week of school you have hopefully already received communication from your student’s teachers, so there isn’t the pressing need to give them your email or contact info.  Also, most classes have websites or BLEND classes attached to them so you can see what your student is working on as well as upcoming lessons and projects.  Then there’s the grade book.  With Parent Connect (email Diane Ewing for more info) you can see your student’s grades in real time as well as set up alerts for tardies, missed assignments, or even when the grade dips below 80.  So, the question we ask is whether or not Back to School Night at the secondary level is really all that necessary. 

The answer is an emphatic yes!  

Back to School Night is our favorite night of the year as it allows you to catch a glimpse of what your student is experiencing every day and lets you meet the people who will be spending the next 170 days with your student.  You get to see the passion our teachers have for teaching and their dedication to their craft.  You also get a better sense of how things work in the classroom (where to turn work in, where the agenda is written, etc..), so you can better support your student at home.  Sure it’s only 7 minutes, and some of the info you’ve seen or read before, but the one thing technology has yet to replicate is the warm feeling of meeting somebody face to face.  We need more nights like these so kids can see more evidence of the partnership between home and school.  We are a team with one unified goal: creating the best possible future for our kids.  We have signed on for the task, as have you, and nights like Back to School Night help remind us of our purpose.

That being said, we are always looking on ways to improve the evening, so if you have any ideas or tips or tricks from other schools, please email me and let me know.  With an event as important and informational as Back to School Night, we owe it to our stakeholders to make sure it is as meaningful as can be.

Parent Learning Walk:  After seeing all there is to see in an empty classroom, why not catch a glimpse of what’s happening during school hours as well?  The perfect opportunity to see what it is our teachers are teaching will take place this Wednesday, September 12th from 9:00-10:00 a.m.  We love to show off and welcome all into our classrooms to see first-hand all the neat projects our kids are working on.  This Learning Walk will be geared towards our 6th grade parents, but if we have enough interest for 7th or 8th grade, I’m sure we can convince another administrator to grab a second group.  We’ll meet up in the cafeteria for a brief intro and then spend about 45 minutes visiting classrooms.  Afterwards, we’ll debrief and let you tell us what you liked, what you wish you had seen more of, and even what you’d like to see less of.

If you can’t make this Learning Walk, not to worry, we’ll have more shortly.  Look for info on the scheduled 7th and 8th grade Learning Walk in future publications. 

Parent/Guardian Volunteers:   Today in the Library we had around 18 caregivers meet with Mrs. Bridgett Brown to learn how they can give back to our campus.  All in attendance were eager to ably assist in any manner available: front desk, library, copy room, and even in the cafeteria!  We are so excited to have so many people interested in helping our staff out here at school.  If you missed the information session, not to worry, you’re still eligible to volunteer for any of the above by contacting Mrs. Brown.  Send her an email and let her know you’re ready to serve on the front lines (

Thanks again for reading and for choosing Small.  It was nice to see so many smiling faces last week and we look forward to seeing more of them in the future.

As per usual, if you ever have a question, complaint, or even kudos, please send them my way. 

Matthew Nelson
Small Middle School
(512) 841-6505

Dual Language Potluck

All Dual Language families are invited to join us Thursday, September 13th for the first Dual Language Potluck get-together in the cafeteria from 5:30-7:30. 

Each family is encouraged to bring a dish as we enjoy fellowship and food while hearing about all of the exciting things coming this year in the program.

Todas las familias de los alumnos de Lenguaje Dual se invitan a la primera reunión del programa, el jueves 13 de septiembre en la cafetería de la escuela.  

Cada familia puede traer un plato típico para compartir con los demás y disfrutar la compañía de otras familias de LD mientras hablamos de todo que viene en este año en Lenguaje Dual.


Campus Advisory Council

What is the Campus Advisory Council (CAC)?

The Campus Advisory Council is a committee of parents, students, business and community representatives, teachers, principals, and other campus staff. The formation of CACs is required by state law (Texas Education Code, §11.251). Specific functions of CACs include providing review and comment on:

  • Campus Educational Program
  • Campus Performance
  • Campus Improvement Plan
  • Campus Staff Development Plan
  • Campus-Level Waiver Requests to the State
  • Campus Budget

Small Middle School is looking for new members to join our CAC. 
If you would like to be on this years CAC Committee, please Click here to apply. 

The meeting dates are on our website at…

CSMS Family in need

We just found out that one of our 7th grade families lost everything in a house fire last Monday. We don’t have many details, but will start collecting gift cards to help them in their time of need.

They are still trying to process, but it sounds like they will need to replace everything.
Gift cards to anywhere would be much appreciated.  

If you want to donate to help Marcello and his family, feel free to drop off a card in the
Main Office or the Counseling Office and we will make sure to get it to his family.

Or you can donate to a gofundme page in their honor. 


Turn in those summer Box Tops you collected!  Students can drop them off in the front office or the library.  All Box Tops will benefit the Small Middle School Library.

Enrichment Fee

Please pay your students enrichment fee as soon as your can, our teachers are waiting for those funds to purchase curriculum and other items to enhance the educational experience for all our kids.
Please read the enrichment letter for your students grade level below. 


CSMS... The more you know

There is so much going on here at Small Middle School, we will try to give you tips and tricks about our school in this section each week!

Sprinklers in the rain?


It’s raining, why in the world would Small have their sprinklers on? 

If you have ever driven past Small on a rainy day, you may have asked yourself that question. We frequently get phone calls letting us know that the sprinklers are on. Especially during big rains. 

Did you know…

The big retention pond in the front of the school collects the rain water and the when the water is at certain level the sprinklers kick on to distribute the water out of the pond. 

So, When you see sprinklers in the rain, know they are doing their job! 


Where’s the bus app

Find your bus on a map
using your Cell phone

Tired of guessing where the buses are? Where’s The Bus can show you the locations of buses on a map.

It works in real time, and anywhere in the world! Don’t ever miss your bus again!


Try it for yourself. Visit the Apple Store or google play store and search where’s the bus.

Parents PLEASE pay attention to the drop off map below.
DO NOT drop your student off in the parking area or on Monterey Oaks Blvd. 


After School Clubs

Chef's ClubMs. KrierMondayLearn how to cook from one of our students here at Small and then eat what you cook. There is a $10 supply fee. Please see Ms. Krier to sign up.
8th Grade Baking ClubMs. KrierWednesdayThis group bakes a variety of dishes throughout the school year. Space is limited so you must sign up through Ms. Krier.
Dungeons & Dragons ClubMr. JeansonneWednesday 3:45-5:30 Room 110Students participate in a fantasy role-playing game set in an imaginary world based loosely on medieval myth.
Warrior Cat ClubMs. BrownWednesday 3:45-4:30 Room: 210Continuation of last years 6th grade club
Oztag Flag Rugby ClubJoe MooreThursday 3:45 - 4:30
Starts in April
Learn and play non contact Flag Ruby - We will Start in November (after football season)
Student CouncilTeelThursday 3:45 - 4:45 ish Room: 207Student Council is rooted in campus leadership and community service.
Texas Youth & Government (YMCA affiliated)Bright & SilerMonday 3:45 - 4:30Civics engagement program to teach the fundamentals of democracy
Philosophy clubMs. CrowTuesday 3:40 - 4:30 Room 305We discuss all things philosophy! Each club we do a round table discussion of philosophical questions and read about philosophers.
Gay Straight AllianceMs. Renault-VarianThursday - 3:40-4:30 Room 301
Animal ClubMr. BrooksMonday - 3:40 Room 213Hang out with the sheep, goats, chicken and ducks
7th grade baking clubMs.Diaz2nd and 4th Thursday of the month - 3:40We meet in front of the counseling office.
Harry Potter ClubMr. MullenTuesdays - 3:40 - 4:25 Room 100 Starts 10/22/19

Spring Break in Greece

Want to visit the ancient oracle at Delphi?  The parthenon?  The theatre at Nafplia? Join us for an informational meeting on 

Wednesday,   Sept 19
CSMS Library
6:00 pm

Practice your Spanish in SPAIN

Patriot's Pen

Each year more than 132,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. The national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $55,000, with each first-place state winner receiving a minimum of $500 at the national level. 

The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300- to 400-word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief.

The 2018-19 theme is: Why I Honor the American Flag ~ Click here to learn more.

Foreign Exchange Student

Hi there, have you ever thought about hosting a high school foreign exchange student?? A local exchange student coordinator, Brittany Root, is still looking for a placement for one last student. Host families come in all sorts of shapes and sizes; families with young kids, families with teenagers, empty nesters, and even families with no kids.
An-Ting, from Taiwan, is looking forward to strengthening her English during her exchange year and hopes to go on her first camping trip with her host family. She is already attending Austin High School, but can change schools if needed.
If you, or anyone you know (they do pay $200 for successful referrals), may be interested in hosting An-Ting please email her at…and make sure you let her know Small Middle School PTA sent you!



4 thoughts on “Cougar News 9/10/18 – 9/14/18

    1. Hello, All you need to do is find a teacher sponsor. Have your student ask their favorite teacher, or maybe there is a teacher with the same interest. Then they send me the information and I add it to the list. The clubs usually advertise for them selves.

    1. Yes, 6 – 8 are all welcome to join a club. I even think there is going to be a 6th grade baking club. I will find out more and post it on the website today.

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