Cougar News – Week of 9/30/19

What's happening at Small Middle School

Week of 9/30/19 – 10/4/19


When it comes to teaching SEL (Social Emotional Learning) we go at it two-fold: overt lessons in our PRIDE classes, and by working with and teaching our students in real-world situations how to cope with all the challenges of middle school. The success (understatement) of our CAT Day was largely due to a combination of the two. In fact, we could view the monumental triumph, herein known as Cat Day, as the test we have our students take to see if our two-fold approach works. Well citizens of Smallville, I’m here to tell you that our kids aced the exam!

Sure, we administer multiple choice tests now and then (rumor has it there are some big ones in May) but the true litmus test as to whether your student has the tools to survive in the hectic world which is middle school is by placing them smack dab in the middle of it! We knew we could have 6th, 7th, and 8th graders all in the same classroom based on similar interests, with teachers new to them, because we have provided them with the tools necessary to thrive. Lunches were completely heterogeneous, all grade levels, and went by without a hitch because we all respect one another and are able to coincide with one another because we all are here for the same reason.

All this being said, we do recognize there were flaws in the system: ensuring all kids could sign up for their classes, issues with the Student Cloud and logging in, afternoon activity in the cafeteria didn’t go as smoothly as we wanted (try sandpaper smooth). So as part of our continuous improvement cycle, we are fine-tuning the system, processes, and communication so all students can enroll in their desired courses. We’re looking at incorporating the system used in high school, FIT, which uses our student database and allows HS students to take a different FIT class every day of the week. However, for this system to be successful, it is imperative that students know how to sign into the student cloud.

See below for CAT Day Slide Show

8th Grade Chromebook Roll Out: They are here! On October 3rd we plan on deploying 463 Chrombooks. We are stoked as this roll out will allow the push down of technology currently used in 8th to 7th and 6th grades. Then, we may officially be at a 1-to-1 which will be epic as it will allow more opportunities in the classroom and could effectively eliminate any and all cell phones (BYOD) from campus. 8th grade parent/guardians, If you have not signed up through the cloud yet (Click here for instructions), please do so immediately. Our goal is to have 100% of our kids with permission forms in by next week in order to administer 100% of the Chromebooks allotted to us. If you are on the fence because your student already has tech, get off the fence and sign the form! We want to be able to use the Chromebooks for STAAR Science and Social Studies testing in

May, but in order to do so students must have devices with the TEST NAV app and we have to have the ability to lock all other programs out during the testing window, which the AISD provided Chromebooks allow. If you have tech, keep it home and have your student use the Chromebook at school.

Hope you and yours have a safe weekend. Thanks for reading and as per usual, if you have any ideas, questions, or even kudos, feel free to email, call, or even swing by.

Matthew Nelson
Clint Small Middle School
(512) 841-6705
Follow me on Twitter: @smallprincipal-

Enrichment Fees


If you have not paid your grade level enrichment fees this year, please do ASAP. As of today 6th grade can not pay for their field trip in October due to not enough funds. 

Please click on the link below to see your grade level enrichment fee for this year. 

  • 6th Grade – Pay online, or  a check in a sealed envelope given to Mrs. Gonzales
  • 7th Grade – Pay online, or a check in a sealed envelope given to your child’s Science Teacher
  • 8th Grade – Pay online, or a check in a sealed envelope given to your child’s Social Studies Teacher
To pay online go to If you plan on writing a check, please make check out to Small Middle School and  include your students name and ID number on the check and on the outside of the envelope. 

Attention 8th Grade Parents

On Thursday, October 3rd, AISD is distributing a chromebook to every 8th grader on campus. This is their computer to be used for this school year. They will take it home and bring it back like a text book. They will be responsible for keeping it safe and making sure it is charged. Before we can give them out, each student must have a consent form signed by their parent.  – This is only for 8th Grade students. 

Click here to learn more details: Everyone-1_AISD_English_final_080519.pdf 

If you would like your student to receive a chromebook, we encourage parents to go to the parent cloud sign the consent form. 

  • Go to 
  • Sign in like you would to check their grades or attendance
  • Click the magnify glass and search for “Everyone to one” tile
  • Click it and follow the instructions. 

Deadline to sign is October 1, 2019Without this parent signature, students will not be given a chromebook

We are looking for 4 – 8 volunteers to help with the roll out. If you are available on Oct. 3rd from 7:30 am to 9:30 am please email

If you do not have wifi at your home, please fill out this form

Atención padres de octavo grado,

El jueves 3 de octubre, AISD está distribuyendo un libro de cromo a cada alumno de octavo grado en el campus. Esta es su computadora que se utilizará para este año escolar. Lo llevarán a casa y lo traerán de vuelta como un libro de texto. Serán responsables de mantenerlo seguro y asegurarse de que esté cargado. Antes de que podamos entregarlos, cada estudiante debe tener un formulario de consentimiento firmado por sus padres.

Haga clic aquí para obtener más detalles:  Everyone-1_AISD_English_final_080519.pdf 

Si desea que su hijo reciba un libro de Chrome, alentamos a los padres a que vayan a la nube de padres y firmen el formulario de consentimiento.

Vaya a
Inicie sesión como lo haría para verificar sus calificaciones o asistencia
Busque el mosaico "Todos a uno"
Haz clic y sigue las instrucciones.
La fecha límite para firmar es el 1 de octubre de 2019: sin esta firma de los padres, los estudiantes no recibirán un Chromebook.

Si no tiene wifi en su hogar, complete este formulario


  • 6th graders will be traveling to the Paramount Theater on Tuesday, October 8 to view “Thirst for Power,” a documentary about global water shortages.  
  • This subject relates both to the Social Studies and Science curriculum.
  • Students will leave at 9:00 a.m. and return no later than 12:50.  
  • Students WILL EAT LUNCH AT SCHOOL from 12:55 – 1:25.
  • Students will travel with their PRIDE classes via Austin ISD school bus.
  • If you have not already paid the 6th grade enrichment fee, please do so as soon as possible. We have not yet collected enough money to cover the cost of this trip, although the Paramount has graciously extended us a payment extension.
  • We will not be taking any parent chaperones for this event. 
  • Please email Ileana Gonzalez, 6th grade Team Lead with any questions or concerns. (
Parents will also receive an email from their Social Studies teachers with the same information.

Next Counselor Talk - Vaping

Save the date!

The next counseling talk will be
November 12th at 8:30 am

Guest speaker will be here to discussing
teen vaping.


We need to let the presenter know how many people are coming so
please click here to RSVP. 

We hope to see you there!

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Please RSVP For this FREE Event

This class is being offered by a new TaeKwonDo studio opening next month in Belterra. They are a CSMS Family and want to give back to our community!

We need to see how many people want to come, so if your student or family plans to join GrandMaster Park for a free self-defense class at Small Middle School, Please click here to sign up for one of the sessions below. 

All classes will be in the cafeteria. The student only classes will begin right after school and go until 4:30pm. The family session on Oct. 7th will start at 6:30pm.

  • Oct 7th – 6th Graders 
  • Oct 8th – 7th Graders 
  • Oct 9th – 8th Graders 
  • Oct 7th 6:30 – 7:30 Family Class
Please contact with any questions.

LASA Visit

LASA is coming to Small on October 10th during PRIDE to meet with students in the library.  If your 8th grade student is interested in applying to LASA, please fill in the google form so they can attend this informational meeting.  

Small Counseling Office

Dear Parents,
Our counseling office has adopted a Guinea Pig from a parent who donated her (Punkie) as a therapy pet for our students when needed.

Would you consider donating food, bedding for our guinea pig? We thank you in advance for your support. Your donation is greatly appreciated

To find out more, please contact Ms. Ewing ( or Ms. Holmes (

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The DukeTIP program offers students with qualifying scores an opportunity to take the SAT.  Registration, payment, and transportation to and/or from the test is handled by families.  Here is the link if your student has a qualifying score and you would like them to participate in the program.

Before you go to the website, you will need to know your student’s STAAR Scores from either of the previous two years. 

Either of the two most recent test administrations may be used, and students need only qualify on one subtest. Qualifying scores are:

  • 2018 STAAR (English) 5th Grade Scores: Math of 1845 or greater, Reading of 1781 or greater, Science of 4531 or greater
  • 2018 STAAR (Spanish) 5th Grade Scores: Math of 1707 or greater, Reading of 1767 or greater, Science of 4161 or greater
  • 2019 STAAR (English) 6th Grade Scores: Math of 1881 or greater, Reading of 1783 or greater

If you have any questions, please contact your Campus GT Advocate
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Save the date! 

October 10/10/19

Author James Kennedy will be on campus to talk about his book 




OCTOBER 25th 2019!
Hello Clint Small parents and guardians! 
Now that “back-to-school” has come and gone, the next order of business for Theatre & Visual Arts is to start launching effort to make the
2019 Smalloween haunted house and dance a success of Cougar proportions. 
Mrs. Murray < >or Mr. Tabares < > if you have any questions about these roles.
Currently, we are working for light fixtures, blacklight light bulbs and doll heads by the hundred (yes, seriously).
Thank you for your support and Go Cougars!
Below is a Sign-Up Genius link for various roles we would like to have filled by parents and guardians. Please feel free to email
Please stay tuned here for further announcements or calls for various needs.
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Germany and Switzerland

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

This trip is planned for June 2020

To learn more about this international STEM trip opportunity, Join us for an informational meeting on September 24th at 6:00pm –

If you missed the meeting but want more information, please contact

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, Contact Sarah Dietz at
parent meeting regarding this trip. 

Small School Big World wants you to join us in Germany and Switzerland!

Want to travel to Europe to see a state-of-the-art Green Tech auto factory?
Care to enjoy touring a Zero Waste city?
Love to see beautiful architecture and stunning natural vistas?
Stay in the middle of the action and enjoy excellent accommodations and cuisine?
Join us, Spring Break 2020!
Information meeting Monday, Sept 23rd 6:30pm in the Library!
Have questions?  email or 


Join the PTA and show your support for Small Middle School!

Austin High Theatre Production

Joins us for a unique theatre production of “All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten” featuring the Austin High School faculty. The production is being performed by 30+ faculty members and administrators while the students serve as designers, technicians, costumers and more.

Based on Robert Fulghum’s best-selling books, Kindergarten takes a funny, insightful, heartwarming look at what is profound in everyday life. This tightly woven adaptation has earned standing ovations from Singapore to Prague— from L.A. to D.C. It’s an evening of theatrical storytelling in revue format, with monologues, dialogues, and multiple voice narration, enhanced through the use of live piano underscoring, which provides fluidity, charm, and emotional texture, and seven optional original songs.

The delightful stories feature colorful characters such as:

  • a shy little boy who insists on playing the “pig” in his class production of Cinderella and steals the show;
  • a man whose dream of flying carries him high over Los Angeles—in a lawn chair buoyed by surplus weather balloons;
  • a “mother of the bride” who’s staged a perfect wedding—until the bowling ball of fate rolls down the aisle;
  • and a modern-day Greek philosopher who finds the meaning of life in a piece of broken mirror from World War II.

These stories celebrate our very existence, from the whimsy of childhood to the wisdom of old age. 

Performance Dates and Times:

  • September 23 & 24 at 7 p.m.
  • September 29 at 2 p.m. 
  • September 30 at 7 p.m.

Admission: $5 per person

To purchase tickets online, visit or for more information, contact Annie Dragoo at 512-414-7311.

Save the Date - 10/19 Austin High Monster Concert

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