Cougar News 4/1/19 – 4/5/19

What's happening at Small Middle School

Week of April 1, 2019 – April 05, 2019

Howdy Cougars!

Unlike our last correspondence, which was somber and filled with harsh news, this email is all about the good that is going on.

Firstly, let me start off by announcing that Small Middle School has officially been accepted into AISD’s Inaugural Transformation Zone! That’s right, thanks to our community’s want to be more autonomous, and the fact that we believe being part of the Zone will help us move from great to greater, we will be one of the 8 AISD schools to start the next school year off in the Zone. We are one of 3 middle schools selected and are excited to be the trailblazers of this unique and rewarding program. We met as a collective on Thursday and I left the meeting feeling more optimistic than ever due to assurances from AISD and the fact the 7 other principals felt the same about innovation as we do.

When it comes to education, the campus needs to be the unit of change. Innovation and new systems move at a snail’s pace when it is to spread over 130 campuses and served to over 80 thousand students. With autonomy comes speed and the ability to make decisions at a ground level for what is best for the students and communities we serve. We are allowed to investigate and eventually incorporate any new systems, schedules, or programs we feel will most benefit our student body. We’ve never been short of ideas; only on permission and the funds to make them happen.

What does this mean for Smallville next year and beyond? Rest assured that the culture and campus climate will not change one bit, nor will any of our flagship programs. What will change is how we pay for them and how can reinforce them. Our want has never been to add more programs into the fold, but rather to assure the ones we have now are here for the long haul. There are new systems to look at, and new programs to identify, but for the most part we want to be able to continue to provide what we have now for as long as we can without district interference.

There are a plethora of ideas I’ve heard from teachers, students, and the community about what we can do and our goal is to here even more. No idea is off limits! We’ve already engaged several stakeholders and plan on discussing their ideas post haste. One suggestion that is quickly gaining traction, and is as close to a no-brainer as can be, is the shift to a 9 weeks grading period. It makes so much sense you’re going to wonder why it hasn’t been the status quo and will undoubtedly inspire the district to follow suit.

This Friday, April 5th, there will be a general PTA meeting in the plaza (front of school) at 8:15 in the morning where I will be holding a Q and A session about the Transformation Zone. I hope to have more info to share by then and want to get a pulse from y’all as to what you would like us to pursue. If you can’t make it, not to worry, you can always send me an email.

Thanks for reading and for supporting Smallville USA.

Matthew Nelson
Small Middle School
(512) 841-6505

PTA General Meeting

Friday, April 5th 8:15AM

Come have coffee and learn about Small becoming a Transformation Zone School and get more details
 about 8th grade graduation.

We will also elect next year’s PTA Board


Save the Date!

When: May 10th 3:45 – 7:30 PM

What: End of year celebration and fundraiser

Why?  To have a great party and to bring in some much needed funds to help start off next year.

How do you Support? Become a Sponsor, Donate a Silent Auction or Raffle Item, Buy Wristbands and come to the event, Volunteer, Shop the Silent Auction.

Go to for all the details

Parents right now what we are really looking for are…

  • Sponsorship’s – To underwrite the cost of this event
  • Silent Auction Donations – So parents can get a good deal and we can advertise your business
  • Raffle Items – the kids win raffle tickets when they play the games. We would love some Kid centered prizes that we can raffle off to them. 
That will get us started, we will fill you in on more info as we get closer to the event.. Please check out our Splashfest website and\or contact with any questions, comments or ideas

Wondering what to do with your GT kiddo this summer?


This link takes you to a list of summer camps recommended for GT kiddos.  For most camps you do not HAVE to be GT identified, but the camp topics, pace, depth, complexity, and formats are designed to appeal to the GT student.

Online registration for the 2019-20 school year is open! Every year parents need to register their student(s) for the following school year. Please visit your PARENT CLOUD, click the “registration” tile to complete registration for the 2019-20 school year.

  • Please check to make sure your contact information is up to date (any address changes will need to be made at the school)
  • Please make sure your emergency contact information is up to date

If you are having trouble accessing your Parent Cloud please contact Diane Ewing 512-841-6710 OR contact Parent Technology Support at 512-414-9187


Social Emotional Learning

This week in PRIDE students will be learning about stress.  Their learning includes how stress can be good, how to manage stress, and ways to reduce stress. 
Mindfulness Minutes:
Jokes and laughter are a great way to help let go of stress.  This week, we will have a joke of the day for our mindful moment.
MondayWhat do you call a duck that gets all A’s? A wise quacker.
Wednesday: Clip included if you are interested in students watching the Pixar short  

What did one volcano say to the other? I lava you!

Friday: How does a cucumber become a pickle? It goes through a jarring experience.


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Great Thinkers

Let the fun and games continue!

We will meet in Room 204
March 7
March 14
April 4
April 11
April 25 

Our last meeting will be the Field Trip, May 2.  Look for an email regarding this event soon!

May 10 will be the carnival.  All participants in Great Thinkers need to have at least 1 adult from their family commit to one hour of working our carnival booth!   Questions?  email

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.


Cougar Transition Camp

Registration is currently being accepted for incoming 5th graders to Join us at our Cougar Camp. This camp is designed to help our future Cougars get comforable with Small Middle School. 

If your child would like to Join, Click here for more details and Registration

Bowie Freshman Soccer Camp

Monday – Thursday
June 3 – June 6

Incoming 7 th /8th grade Boys
5:30 – 7:30 p.m. $100.00

Incoming 9 th grade Boys
7:30 – 9:30 p.m. $100.00

To introduce campers to the Bowie Soccer Program and develop individual skills and fundamentals of soccer.

Due to construction at Bowie, Soccer Camp will be held at Austin Sports Academy

Located at 275 Lotus Circle, Austin, TX 78737

Click here for more details and sign up

Bowie Freshman Football Camp

Due to construction at Bowie, the camp will be held at the Tony Burger Stadium/Annex


Please drop off at the Tony Burger Annex on Jones Road


July 24-26

10:30am- 12:30pm

$100.00 Per Camper


All campers must bring or send a copy of a current physical exam to Coach Ables in order to participate.

Click here for more details and to Sign up

Austin High School

Summer Weight & Speed Camp

For All Sports

Session 1:  June 10-June 27 Session 2:  July 8-25x


When:                Monday–Thursday  7-9am (HS Athletes), 9-11am (MS Athletes/Incoming Freshman)

Cost:                     $60 per 3 week session (non-refundable). Checks payable to Austin High School Football.

Location:           Austin High School Weight Room and practice fields.

Click here for all the details and to sign up


Austin High Summer Basketball Camp

Registration link: 

Two ways to pay:
  • search for “Austin High Summer Basketball Camp”, OR
  • Check payable to Austin High School & mail to:  Austin High School, 1715 W Cesar Chavez; Austin, Texas 78703 :: C/0 Brad Ingram
The Austin High Basketball Camp will focus on teaching the fundamentals of basketball and will provide campers the opportunity to improve and have fun with the game.  Each camper will receive individual as well as group instruction from professional coaches. Coach Brad Ingram, head basketball coach at Austin High, will be the Camp Director. All equipment will be provided.  A concession stand will be available for snacks during breaks

Welcome to Austin Sunshine Camps!

Since 1928, ASC has been providing life changing camp experiences at no cost to low-income youth and their families. We believe the
campers we serve are at the heart of everything we do and every decision we make. Through healthy relationships and a sense of
belonging in our safe and caring learning environment, campers achieve success they never thought possible.

Click here for the details and Application


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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