Cougar News Back to School

What's happening at Small Middle School

Welcome Back Edition!

Upcoming Events

  • Wednesday, August 14th – Football Parent Meeting
  • Thursday, August 15th – Fast Pass to Success – 6:00 to 7:00 pm
  •  Football Equipment Distribution will be held on Thursday, August 15, from 12:00 – 3:30, and on Friday, August 16th, from 10:00 – 3:30.
  • Tuesday, August 20th – First Day of School
  • Tuesday, September 3rd – Back to School Night

See all upcoming calendar events here




Got questions for the new year? 
Check out our Back to School Guide!

Welcome back…sorta. Kinda? Maybe?

Some of you read the above and screamed with excitement, while some of you might have even had a tear well up in your eye when you came to the realization that it was time to send your baby bird back to h/her other nest. I promise not to tell which one you are 🙂

We are stoked for the new year and are gearing up for the teachers’ first day on campus on August 13th and then we’ll all work as one to welcome your fledgling back to the hallowed halls of Smallville on August 20th for what is guaranteed to be the greatest school year of your student’s life! How’s that possible you ask? H/she has already had the greatest school year of their life at Small, so what on Earth can y’all possibly do to make it better?

  • Adequate space! We will have every teacher in a room for the first time in 3 years. No hallway or cafeteria classes and no floating teachers. That’s great news for our staff and great news for your student as the lack of congested hallways and cafeteria should decrease some stressors. The good news is due to our forced creativity in regards to space, we now have some pretty workable learning spaces for kids and staff.
  • 9 Weeks Grading System! That’s right, due to our enrollment to the AISD Transformation Zone we are able to assess our kids with a 9 week calendar instead of the standard 6 week one used by other secondary schools. This allows for more Problem Based Learning activities in classes and increases the make-up and re-assessment window for our kids which should lower our failure and retention rate. We now have the time to actually assess what it is our kids have learned and can provide authentic, timely feedback.
  • CAT Days once a quarter! What’s a CAT Day you ask? CAT (Cougar Adventure Time) Days are opportunities for students to take 2 teacher-created electives with the emphasis on creativity and fun. Our teachers have been tasked with sharing their passion with others in an effort to create an even more-inclusive environment and they are loving the opportunity! Look for classes such as floorball, hiking, YA fiction, knitting, Harry Potter Club, Fantasy Sports, drone basics, and numerous others to come. Our students will spend the first half of the day attending their CAT courses and building relationships in PRIDE and then finish the day with grade-level and/or campus-wide assemblies. It’s our way to celebrate them for doing a great job and making our jobs so enjoyable.
  • Hello World on campus after school! In an effort to continue to provide our kids with the latest and greatest in technology education, we are proud to announce that Hello World will be hosting their after school programs here on campus beginning in September. Hello World has been at the forefront of innovative, STEAM-based education for kids for so many years that it was only a matter of time before we joined forces. They have the same goals we do; to prepare kids for the future jobs in technology in a fun, engaging way that sticks. Please follow the following link to find out more about their program and specific campus info. Make sure to let them know if your student is in Cougar Club to receive 15% off their already reduced rate. Hello World!
  • Fast Pass for 6th grade families! Instead of having one night for parent camp and then another day for 6th grade Passport to Success, we are combining the two to create an evening chopped full of info for 6th grade parent/guardians and students alike: Fast Pass! Students will meet in the cafeteria to receive their schedules (2 copies) and parents will head on up to the gym. While in the cafeteria, kids will learn tips and tricks for middle school success and fill out a “user friendly” version of their schedule. Parents will learn how to help their students safely navigate the middle school world in the gym and then all will be dismissed at 6:45 to meet at their 1st period class. It’s your first middle school test! Once all parties convene, feel free to walk the halls and check out where your student’s classes are and ask questions of our staff who will be there to ably assist. Here is a link to the Fast Pass SlideShow and materials we will be passing out the evening of. Fast Pass!
  • Small is in AISD’s Transformation Zone! You read about it above and no doubt are curious what else it entails, so I’ll break it down for you; we have the ability to be as innovative (within reason) and autonomous from AISD as we want! This being our first year, we’re starting slow with the 9 Weeks Grading System and CAT days, but are open to more awesome ideas. So, if you have ideas about new, innovative programs and/or systems other districts are doing, send them my way. No idea is too big (4 day school week, year-long school, etc…) and no idea is too small.
  • New staff members! We are thankful that we are not only the school of choice for top-notch middle schoolers in and around Austin, but also the school of choice for motivated, master educators as well! We are at the point where we no longer have to recruit the best teachers in Texas…they are blowing up my email just to have an opportunity to work here. Rest assured that each new teacher fits the Smallville model. Meaning, they are relationship builders, SEL coaches, masters of content, and believe that when you teach with the whole child philosophy as your guiding compass, good things are sure to follow. Look for more info about them in the weeks to come.
Those are just a few of the new initiatives that await your student when they throw down that Fornite controller and wake up before 10:00 a.m. for the first time in quite a while on August 20th. We are just as eagerly anticipating their arrival as they are and can’t wait to get to the business of getting down to business. Business here in Smallville means making connections with kids and helping each one of them achieve their own specific version of success, and folks, I’m here to tell you…business is good.
Matthew Nelson Principal Small Middle School (512) 841-6505 @smallprincipal

Teacher Breakfast

What better way to welcome the Teachers back then to feed them?

On Thursday, August 15th, our wonderful PTA is sponsoring a Teacher Breakfast and we are asking for parents to donate items and/or volunteer time to help with the event. 

If you would like to show our teachers how much they are loved, Click here to sign up!


Welcome to Small.  

We have an excited Board ready to lead the PTA this year! We will be meeting the 3rd Monday from 8:15 -9:15 AM all are welcome to sit in and hear what is going on. 

We will have our 1st General Meeting on the First day of school, 8/20 at 8:15 AM. Join us for coffee, an update from Principal Nelson on the Transformation Zone plans, and to vote on our PTA Budget for this year!
Here are the Board Members: Please see the two OPEN positions where we need your help. Contact me for more information at

Small PTA 2019-2020
Maria Archuleta: President

Corinna Dougherty: VP Membership
Paradise Taylor: Treasurer
Jennifer Newell: Fundraising 
Daryl Pruett: Parliamentarian  
OPEN: Secretary/Communications
Rebecca Walston: Recognition Chair
Chasee Hudgins: Spirit Items and Cage Sales
Cathy Hoss-Poole: Co Chair Tech Academy Liaison
Carol Willman: Co Chair Tech Academy Liaison
Gina McCool: Green Academy Liaison
OPEN: Dual Language Academy Liaison

Matthew Nelson: Principal
Sara Teel: Teacher Liaison
Last year the PTA raised over $30,000 to support our kids and teachers!  We primarily dd this through Splashfest wristband sales and Sponsorships. Money raised goes directly to the teachers and clubs that ran booths so that they do not have to spend their own money making Small the great learning environment it is.
Here is how the funds got distributed…
Join us, we need you now more than ever! Join PTA link 
Maria Archuleta, mom to twin 8th grade girls
Small PTA President

Thanks again!

2019-2020 Volleyball Announcements



  • 7TH GRADE GIRLS SECOND DAY OF SCHOOL (plan on attending both days)
  • MUST HAVE A PHYSICAL PACKET COMPLETED AND TURNED INTO COACHES. If you do not have a physical you will not be allowed to tryout.
  • Once teams are chosen, Practices will be held in the morning for ALL 7th grade teams (A,B,C) 6:45 a.m.-8:00a.m.
  • All 8th grade teams (A,B,C) will practice in the afternoons 3:45-5:30

Please email Coach Hernandez with any questions.


The Athletic Booster club is an important part of Small’s Athletic program. We have been a successful program because of the support we receive. The Booster club provides for equipment to all programs (the district does not provide for some equipment). The Booster club pays the stipends for our C team coaches. Small provides a C team in: Volleyball, Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, Boys Soccer, Girls Soccer, Cougar Running club.

The Booster club is in need of parents to help run the program.

  • Co-Presidents: help with managing the Facebook page, sending out information to parents from Coaches. Overseeing all the fundraisers for the Booster Club
  • Concession lead: help with purchasing items for the concessions and inventor, organizing the concession stand for the games.
  • Homecoming lead: help with organizing the dance. Which includes finding DJ, chaperones, selling wristbands during all lunches and in the mornings.
  • Faculty Games lead: help with selling wristbands during all lunches and in the mornings.

We need HELP with all of the positions. Please contact Coach Hernandez to sign up for a position

Football Tryouts

Here is a list of upcoming football events

Football Parent Meeting:

  • 8/14/19 at 6PM

Football Distribution:

  • Football Equipment Distribution will be held on Thursday, August 15, from 12:00 – 3:30
  • Friday, August 16th, from 10:00 – 3:30.

Football Tryouts:

  • After School starting the first day August 20th.

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


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