Cougar News 2/4/19 – 2/8/19

What's happening at Small Middle School

Week of February 4, 2019 – February 8, 2019

Howdy Cougars!
Let’s start 2 grassroots movements with this newsletter. We need all of you who are reading this (my parents, Jennifer before she posts it, and one of the teachers on the 3rd floor) to start demanding that the Super Bowl be played on Saturday and that Election Day be a National holiday. There is nothing worse than watching kids and teachers (mostly teachers) trudge in to work on Monday morning after staying up late watching the big game with tummy aches and headaches. In fact, studies show that the day after the Super Bowl is one of the most often missed days of the year all across the USA. Move the game to Saturday and let us spend a day recouping before the weekly grind. As for the teams, they’ll still have 13 days to prepare for the game so I think it’s manageable on their end. As for Election Day being a holiday, I’m afraid that it might make too much sense for it to actually come to fruition. However, it can’t hurt trying to get it recognized as one.

And now for the latest and greatest from Smallville:

2018-2109 Small Middle School Teacher of the Year: Please put your hands together for this year’s TOY: Rebecca Smootz! Mrs. Smootz is one of our fantastic 8th grade teachers who specializes in teaching middle school kids! True, U.S.History is the content she is attached to, but her speciality is imparting valuable life lessons and teaching common sense. Her students will tell you she makes U.S. History fun and that the projects and activities they do in class deepen their understanding and allow them to be creative. The teachers and staff here on campus will wholeheartedly agree, but also inform you of a lot of the things she does for us behind the scenes: she assists with creating our Master Schedule, she is one of our Campus Testing Coordinators, she helps plan and create our SEL lessons with the SEL Committee, she is our 8th grade Team Leader, and she also helps creates various schedules we use throughout the year. In fact, before we unveil a Pep Rally, or testing day schedule, we always ask “has it been Smootzed?” before we publish. On our campus, she is a lot like BASF: she doesn’t make a lot of the products you use, she makes the products you use better.

2018-2019 Small Middle School Teacher of Promise: This year our TOP is first-year teacher Caitlin Laughlin! Though she seems like a seasoned vet (she did her internship through St. Edwards through us), this is in actuality her first year as one of our awesome SCORES teachers. She specializes in making sure each kids she comes in contact with gets the most out of class and has the opportunity to reach their full potential. Whether she’s teaching a Social Skills class, or sharing SEL lessons with her PRIDE, or assisting in our Science classes with inclusion support, she puts her all into each task and does so with a positive attitude. We are so thankful she chose to share her love of education with us and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

2018-2019 Small Middle School Classified Employee of the Year: Join me in tipping your hat to this year’s recipient, Mrs. Bridget Brown! Nothing beats a first impression, and it’s always important to put your best foot forward, so we do this by making sure Bridget is one of the first smiling faces guests see when visiting campus. She knows almost every student and stakeholder by name and is always quick to share or listen to a story. She not only is best gatekeeper this side of the Pecos, she also organizes and manages our parent volunteers and is a sponsor for several of our UIL events. She is certainly a “Jill of all Trades” and is constantly amazing us with how hard she works and how well she performs each task she is given.

We are fortunate that bestowing these awards on these 3 individuals is such a daunting task due to the fact we have so many staff members who merit the same consideration. We have the most positive, hardest working group of professionals in the district and every single one of

them could share equally in the above awards. We’re fortunate that the professionals on our campus love doing what they do and do so extremely well.

Have a great weekend and have fun watching the Small Middle School of the NFL, the Patriots, play in the big game on Sunday.

 Matthew Nelson
Small Middle School
(512) 841-6505

6th Grade Choice Sheet

Click here to download your
6th Grade Choice Sheet.

Watch the video below for instructions

7th Grade Choice Sheets

Click here to download the
7th grade Choice sheet


I think they are still working on the 7th & 8th grade videos. I will post them here when I have them.

Note from the Counselors: 

 Choice sheets will be given out in chunks during Pride this week. By Friday every student should have one. 

Computer Science (YR) & Computer Science (SM) have now changed to PLTW Computer Science for Innovators & Makers (YR) and PLTW APP Creators (SM)
Green Building has now changed to Manufacturing & Construction



We’ve had only 10% of parents fill out the Parent survey so far. 

AISD would like to get a solid idea of how our families feel about our school. They use this information for the  strategic plan scorecard. 

Please take a moment to tell AISD your thoughts about Small Middle School. 

This dance is a reward for hitting our Fun Run Goal!
The Dance is free, but concessions are not - any money raised will go to Student Council.

We need Chaperones! 

If you are free and want to join us, email!


Social Emotional Learning

This week in PRIDE, we will be celebrating Black History Month by kicking off a door decorating contest.  Our mindfulness moments are also centered around prominent African American historical figures. 


Guess Who? 
I was the first African American to attend an all-white elementary school in the South. For my protection, I had to be escorted by U.S. Marshals to and from William Frantz Elementary School that first day. 
Answer: Ruby Bridges


Guess Who? 
I was the first African American justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. I’m best known for the trial of Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. After this the “separate but equal” doctrine in public education was overthrown.
Answer: Thurgood Marshall


Guess Who? 
I was an American jazz singer, songwriter, and actress.  I was nicknamed “Lady Day.” “God Bless the Child” and “Strange Fruit” are my most popular songs. 
Answer: Billie Holiday


Guess Who? 
I was a scientist who made hundreds of products from peanuts, sweet potatoes, pecans, and soybeans. Some of these products included adhesives, dyes, and a rubber substitute. 
Answer: George Washington Carver

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Basketball Scores

Clint Small vs Bailey

8A 43 – Bailey 44
8B 25 – Bailey 32
7A 28 – Bailey 36
7B 19 – Bailey 31

Vs Bedichek


8A 48 – Bedichek 42
8B 52 – Bedichek 21
7A 41 – Bedichek 13
7B 34 – Bedichek 28

Vs O.Henry

8B 19 – O.H. 32
A 47 – O.H. 35
7B 18 – O.H. 42



Sustainable Living in Germany & Switzerland Trip - June 2020

Travel to Germany and Switzerland to learn how they are leaders in Sustainable Living. 

Informational Meeting Tuesday February 19th 6pm in Mrs. Dietz’s room (202)

To learn more about this international STEM trip opportunity, click the link here!

Recycling. Clean energy. Cars of the future. Germany and Switzerland
have been at the forefront of some of the world’s most forward-thinking
approaches to technology and energy. And it’s easy to see why—these
countries are a perfect blend of European charm and start-up culture.
Learn about Germany and Switzerland’s innovative sustainability efforts
by seeing state-of-the-art models of renewable energy, urban farming,
and eco-tourism. Be a part of the creative conversation firsthand as you
embark on an urban quest in the green city of Freiburg, hike through an
Alpine glacier, and discover a vast underground city in a nuclear bunker
in Lucerne.

For more information, please join us in room 202 for a
parent meeting regarding this trip. 


Akins High School

For those of you going to Akins, Here is a look at their choice sheets. 

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 March 11th – April 14th.



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. 

STEM Summer Camp for Girls – Tuition Free 

Click here for more details


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