Cougar News 11/12/18 – 11/16/18

What is happening at Small Middle School

Week of November 5, 2018 – November 9, 2018

Let’s thanks our Small teachers and staff by dropping off a pie or two (or more) for this Thanksgiving holiday on Friday Nov.16 between 8 am and 3 pm. Small PTA hopes that all teachers and staff will have one delicious pie to take home for the holidays.


*Looking for a Host Family!*

Have you ever been curious about hosting an exchange student? Here’s your opportunity! A German exchange student who is currently attending Austin High, is needing a new host family because her current family had an emergency and can no longer host. She is a scholarship student who is very bright and sociable. Would you be willing to open you heart and home to her for 6 months? Dates: before Dec 1st until June 2019.  Provide: a real bed (can be a shared room), meals, and a loving home with parental guidance in exchange for an intercultural experience you will never forget! [Must live in the Austin High attendance zone] Contact me today if interested: Robin McGee (512) 710-7819


Save the Date! The Clint Small Music Department will be holding its annual Pancake Breakfast this year on Saturday, December 1. We are at a NEW location this year: Waterloo Ice House in Circle C (9600 Escarpment Blvd.) The breakfast will run from 7:30-9:30 AM and will feature an all-you-can eat buffet with three different kinds of pancakes, sausage, orange juice, and coffee. Tickets are $12 each (no special pricing for children). You may purchase tickets through your child’s music teacher beginning Monday, November 12. We are only selling 200 tickets to this event so don’t miss out!

Why we Fund-raise

Here are just some of the examples as to why we fund-raise each year…

  • funds scholarships for any student that needs financial assistance.
  • Mr. Nelson sent me to the National Council of History Education’s annual conference last April. I went to a tons of sessions and brought back all kinds of awesome ideas for my classroom. Thank you Mr. Nelson. Thank you Mr. Newell fro organizing it all.
  • The 8th grade team has used the funds to help off set some of the cost of online curriculum so students have to pay less the next year and upgrades to our current tech (new charging cables, new iPad covers, new headphones). We also plan on asking for shelving units in the bathrooms so students don’t have to put their agendas/backpacks on the RR floor.
  • The district will not pay for subs while our GT coordinator tests the GT kids, so Fun Run Money is used for that.
  • The Latin classroom is *very* grateful for the new Latin Library; students have been able to choose from a wide variety of engaging stories during silent reading time.
  • Fun-Run allowed us to order extra ipads and ear buds for the classroom. It also helps with additional classroom supplies.
  •  20 Chromebooks to support blended learning in the CIC classroom!  Awesome…thank you Small!
  • The Dance Department bought costumes for a performance, as ll as help funded professional development for me to attend the Texas Dance Educator’s Association Convention.
  • Last year, Mr. Nelson paid the registration fees for the counselors to attend ASCA (American School Counselors Association) Conference.  The counselors we’re delighted and generated so many new cool ideas for our students. We are now working on developing a system to increase attendance, have aligned our goals to school goals, have created a book club, and have new tools in our toolkit to help students manage emotions, stress, and anxiety. We’re even inspired to learn about the brain and the bottom-up approach and put on a training of our own in the future.
  • Storage Portable
  • ELA student workbooks
  • ELA class sets of books
  • Magazine subscriptions for Dance
  • Buses for field trips
  • Shades for the Cafeteria
  • In 2016, I used Fun Run funds to purchase bouncy bands and sensory cushions for my classroom.  Students vy for a seat at the desks with the bouncy bands and cushions as they help fidgety students get some energy out and not disturb the class.  Over the years, some have broken because they’re so popular! I’m hoping to have some fun run funds to replace! In 2017, Fun Run Funds purchased a large whiteboard that I had mounted behind my screen.  My students  use it like a DIY Smartboard! 
  • STAAR Prep PD for teachers 
  • Chromebooks and cart for Science 
  • Green curriculum 
  • books for Latin classes 
  • Storage for calculators
  • Shades for cafe 
  • Go Love Now student assembly
  • Smallbucks cafe tables and stools, artwork 
  • Annual PD Conference for all counselors 
  • New technology for main office 
  • Various supplies 
 If you have any questions please contact

How you can help!

Register your student at

Be sure to share on Social Media! Donations can be made until 11/25/18 

Want to skip the Social Media part? If you would prefer to just cut a check and bypass the social media part, your student can drop it off in the main office with their name and pride teachers name, and they will still earn all the prizes. 

Volunteer at the event Sign up here

Company matching: Some Companies will match your donation. If you work for one of those companies, let them know and see if they will match your donation.

Sponsor the run to help underwrite the cost of the event. Click here to learn more

Check out our Journalism class’ press release

Raffle Items students can win!

Blend Parent Training

Please join us for a parent overview of Blend.  BLEND, Austin ISD’s new digital learning space, was created to provide parents and guardians with the information necessary to support their child’s use of BLEND. Come join us for a short orientation that will help you understand the mechanics of BLEND and give you a better understanding of your child’s expectations at school. 

This class will be taught by 7th grade science teacher, Laura Rice.  Ms. Rice is the Campus innovation Coach has been using BLEND for over 2 years. 

November 13th from 8:15 – 9:30 – Room 206

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Here’s what’s going on this week in our Cougar Communities (SEL):

Mindfulness Moment: Think of something kind you can do for someone in the next week. Who would you the kind deed for? What would you do? How would it make that person feel? Encourage students to carry through with their kind deed.
Mindfulness Moment: What does kindness mean to you?
COUGAR COMMUNITY: This week, we will continue to work on our Diversity Challenge.  Students will be allowed the opportunity to work on their class poster.  Remember, only one picture (or drawing) is needed for each of the 30 words provided. We look forward to displaying PRIDE posters and learning more about each other’s cultures.
Mindfulness Moment: What is the kindest thing that anyone has done for you?
Mindfulness Moment: What are you most grateful for?
Mindfulness Moment: Did you do the kind deed that you planned on doing?  How did it go? How did it make you feel?

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Please click on the following link and complete the survey to nominate your student for GT testing in the spring. You will need your kiddo or their schedule to complete the link. The nomination window closes on November 16th at midnight. 

Fill out this form to nominate your student for the gifted and Talented program at CSMS.  


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Calling Small Middle School Artists to participate in Small PTA Reflections Program.

 Entry Requirements: Each entry must be the original work of the participating student. Help from an adult or collaboration with other students is not allowed except in the Special Artist Division. Other individuals may appear in or perform a student’s work, but the work itself must be the creative product of one student only. Students can participate in more than one categories: Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography, Visual Arts, and Spacial Artist Division. For more information, please see here:

For English:

For Spanish:

 Please contact Nu Chanpheng (Reflections Program Chair) for any questions or concerns at or cell#919-271-2345

Great Thinkers

1.) I miss you!
2.) I have been called to a meeting that I need to attend on Thurs. Nov 15.  Unfortunately, that means I won’t be able to hold a Great Thinkers meeting.  Bummer!
3.) Great Thinkers will return in full-function on Nov.  29.  Be ready for the GT Thinkers “Soon-to-be-Annual” Great Scavenger Hunt and Logic Puzzle Race!   (If two parents could come to help supervise, I’d surely appreciate it!  Please email me  if you can help supervise a small team of kiddos.)

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  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.

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