Cougar News 11/19/18 – 11/30/18

What is happening at Small Middle School

Week of November 5, 2018 – November 9, 2018

Howdy Cougars!

A HUGE thank you to all the parents, guardians, friends, fans, and staff who came out to today’s Fun Run to help make the day an enormous success!  For those of you who made it out, you got to see first-hand how much fun our students can have and how an updated version of “tag” can help them re-discover the kid in themselves again.  It was 30 minutes of movement followed by a well-deserved celebration and Thanksgiving send off.  Yes, the event is crafted to raise money for our school, but once each grade level arrives all thoughts of fundraising fall to the wayside and we are reminded of why we all chose to come together here in Smallville: we are all like-minded in the belief that kids should have fun while learning and the more fun they have, the more they learn. 

We are keeping the website alive over the break in case any out-of-towners or traveling well-wishers care to donate to our worthy cause.  Explain to them, or better yet have your student explain to them, how we are fundraising so our school can remain the best middle school in all of Central Texas.  Let them know our school is not in the process of going from good to great, but rather from great to the greatest!

Thanksgiving Break:  For the next 9 days students will be off for Thanksgiving and then will return to hit the ground running as we only have 4 weeks until the end of the semester.  End of course exams and benchmarks will be administered during this time so it’s vitally important students do not slide during this break.  As much as you can, have your kids read some each day and share with them some of the ways we adults maintain our mental acuity (crossword puzzles, sudoku, board games, etc..) separate from digital media.  Try to limit their screen time and increase their family time as this truly is the best time of the year for celebration and fellowship.  Thanksgiving is the number one celebrated holiday in America because all people of all backgrounds who call this wonderful nation home take time to express gratitude with those whom they love the most and get the opportunity to spend valuable time with friends and family from near and afar. 

We are most thankful to you and your family for choosing Small Middle School and our main goal throughout the year is to make sure you and your student feel this each and every day.  Personally, I am most thankful for your faith in our culture and trust in our staff which has allowed me to spend these last few weeks with my family.  Our team is a dang good one and one of the reasons why is because we acknowledge you and your family as a large part of it. 

Thank you for your support and Happy thanksgiving.

Matthew Nelson
Small Middle School
(512) 841-6505


We are so close!!!!! - It is not too late to help!

As of today (Saturday, 11/17), we are at $27,546 with 7 days left to go. 

THANK YOU to everyone who has created an account and gotten pledges or has donated directly!!!

To those of you that have meant to, it is not too late and we need you. We are only $2,454,00 short of our goal of $30,000 and we still have 7 days left to contribute. 

Any donations and pledges that come in over thanksgiving break will still be eligible to win prizes. We will distribute prizes the Monday – Thursday the week we get back with the big drawings on Friday. 

How: Register your student at

Be sure to share on Social Media, and/or e-mail your link to family and friends!
Donations can be made until 11/25/18 

For all fun run details: Go to to learn about all the details. 

We had a blast at the event and are very thankful for all the volunteers and
sponsors who made this possible!!!

Save the date, Friday 11/30 The athletic department will hold the rescheduled homecoming dance. 

More details to come!

Runoff Election


The at-large District 9 position will head to a runoff election after none of the three candidates received 50 percent or more of the vote.  Arati Singh and Carmen Tilton will participate in a runoff election for this position on Tuesday, December 11.    


Tilton lead the three AISD candidates with 72,037 total votes, but only gained 40.13 percent of votes in the race. Singh’s 65,489 votes represented 36.49 percent of votes cast.


Please mark your calendar and remember to get out and vote!!


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.

Want to go to Greece?

Last chance for the Greek Trip!

If you are interested in going to Greece for Spring Break 2019, the deadline to sign up and pay your deposit is Dec 1st!
Don’t miss out on an amazing tour!

Contact for details if you are interested in coming with us to Greece!

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!


*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


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 
  • Mounted projector in the Cafeteria
  • Upgraded Sound system for the stage
  • Various supplies
  • New this year we need to compensate for district shortfalls. Things the district used to pay for they don’t anymore due to their  budget crisis.
 If you have any questions please contact

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.)

Back to top

  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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