Cougar News 10/1/18 – 10/5/18

What is happening at Small Middle School

Week of October 1, 2018 – October 5, 2018

Letter from the Small MS Admin team


In the absence of Mr. Nelson over the next few months (he is on leave taking care of his new born baby) we have planned extensively to make sure Small middle school is full steam ahead.  We will all be taking extra care to make sure we don’t miss a beat with our classes, programs, and supports for all of our students.  Our systems are in place and will continue to offer your children a world class educational experience focusing on both academics and social emotional learning.  Please reach out to us at anytime with questions and one of our administrators or staff will assist you.  

Please note that next weekend 10/5 – 10/8 is a 4 day weekend for the students. 10/5 is one of our District of innovation days for the teachers and will not reflect on the district calendar. 


Dave Sammon 
(Assistant Principal)

A note from our Counselors

Thanks to all the parents who made it out to our first Counselor Talk of the year.  We had a wonderful turn out and are so appreciative that you attended.  For those who missed it, please watched the video below.  We discussed a little bit about the brain, brain development and its functions; statistics regarding social media and teens; and shared parent control apps.  We also shared this article about “What do happy teens do?” Discussion and exchange of resources between parents was also rich and enlightening.  We can’t wait to see you on October 18 at 6 p.m. in our library. Austin Oaks Hospital mental health experts will be here to talk to us about anxiety in teens.  


Ms. Diaz (6th grade, Lead Counselor)
Ms. Krier (7th 
grade Counselor)
Ms. Casteneda (8th grade Counselor)

Help a Small Family

Unfortunately another Small Family has had a home fire that has destroyed everything. We are collecting gift cards for the family of one of our 7th graders. If you would like to help Jamia and her family. Please drop off a gift card to anywhere of any amount to our front office and we will make sure we get it to her family. Please contact Ms. Krier with any questions.


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A message from our SRO

We all are in a hurry in the morning. Over the years we have developed a system to ensure the safety and efficiency for drop off and pick up. But we all need to be on the same page for it to work. 

 Things we consistently see every morning that slow things down or are completely unsafe… 

  • Drivers on their cell phones not pay attention

  • Cars blocking the crosswalk

  • Cars not pulling all the way forward

  • Students need to get out on the side of the car with the curb, not into the flow of traffic

  • Students not ready to jump out quickly

  • Cars dropping students off in the parking lot slowing traffic 

  • Cars going around other cars not waiting in line

  • Cars dropping students off on Monterey Oaks Blvd.

  • Follow the arrows in and out of campus The front parking lot is a one way drive 

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions contact Officer Z at

PTA Custodial Appreciation Week -

October 1-5, 2018


You have one, maybe 2 middle schoolers at home, imagine having to clean up after 1300 of them.
As you know, middle schoolers are messy and our custodians are the hardest working people on this campus.  

Please join PTA in honoring all seven of our wonderful custodial staff for everything they do all year long to keep our school clean and safe. 

Jose, Gabby, America, Javier, Emma, Emerita, and Maria do an amazing job!
Drop off a card, flowers or some special treats to the custodians’ in the office anytime next week. 

Thank you!

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New Attendance Procedures

New this year, our Attendance Clerk is streamlining his system. The fastest and easiest way to get your students UNX absence changed to an excused code is to email Mr. Guerra at

If your student is home sick, please email him and let him know, if your student goes to the doctor, please take a picture of the doctors note and email that to him. 

By emailing him, within a few days, he will change the code and file the note electronically. This method is much quicker and easier than dealing with a bunch of little pieces of paper. 

Please take a moment to look at the Student Attendance Quick Sheet to better understand the Attendance Codes and contact Mr. Guerra with any questions. 


Gifted and Talented

Is your kiddo super-curious? 

Do they make connections between what they’re learning and everyday occurrences? 

Are they full of questions and ideas about how the world works? 

Do they pick up on directions and instructions before you finish the explanation? 

Your kiddo might qualify for the AISD GT Program.   The parent nomination window will open on November 2.  Watch this space for a link to Nominate and Permission to Test which will appear in the November 2 Cougar News.

Next week in this space:  What is the benefit of having my child identified as GT in AISD?

Teacher Tutoring Schedules

We have compiled an easy way to see when all the teachers tutoring schedules.

click here to see when each teacher is offering tutoring hours. If the teacher you need has not specified, please contact them directly. 

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Fun Run

Save the Date! November 16 

The kids will vote on a theme. 

  • Zombies?
  • Pokemon?
  • Heros vs Villians?
We are currently looking for sponsors and raffle Prizes – Contact Ms. Newell or see flyer below. 

Thank you to our Sponsors!

We are starting to get sponsors!!! 

Big shout out to…

  • Double Dave’s Pizza for donating free pizza coupons to be used as prizes.
  • Austin Ghost Tours – 4 free Tickets to an Austin Ghost tour to be Raffled off.
Be sure to check out the Austin Ghost Arbor Trails History\Ghost Walk every Friday and Saturday Night in October! Weekend fun right in our back yard!

WE ARE GIRLS conference

Our Counselors would like to let you know about the
WE ARE GIRLS Conference. 


“Ignite Her Power”

Saturday, November 3, 2018 from 9 am to 3 pm

Anderson High School, 8403 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759

Bus pick up at Small Middle School at 8:00 and will return at 3:30

Tickets are $30 per person.  You can apply for an individual scholarship. 

Get your tickets and more information at


Please contact Ms. Diaz with any questions



Bus Finder? 

Teacher Email addresses?


Blend Tutorials?


Click here for all the answers to your parent cloud questions. 

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Lasa Visits Small Middle School


Representatives from LASA will be at Small on October 4, 2018 from 1:30 – 2:06.  Current 8th grade students can sign up at the link below.




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. 

  1. Learn more about our academies at:

  2. Support the Austin High Vertical Team Community Night: September 28, 2018 at House Park 6:00 p.m. Food Truck; 7:10 VT Night Field Prep; 7:30 p.m. Kick Off

    Schedule a school tour at:

  3. Attend a principal coffee: November 15, 2018 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. in Cafe Austin to learn more about the new academies at Austin High

  4. Attend Maroon & White Night Showcase: November 29, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. starting in the Austin High PAC to learn more about what is means to be “Loyal Forever.” Explore your future and learn why.

Dance on the field with the
Austin High School Red Jackets!

Game is November 2nd


Register by October 19th to guarantee your spot!
Participants receive DINNER, a RED JACKET shirt, pompoms,
admission to the football game, and fun experience of learning
and performing a dance on the field! They will also join the RED
JACKETS in the Victory Line-up and sit and cheer with the RED
JACKETS during the first quarter of the football game.

Open to grades K-8. Cost is $50.

Click here for Registration information

Now Offered at Small Middle School!

Come See the Small Orchestra at the Monster Concert!

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