Cougar News – 1/6/20

What's happening at Small Middle School

2019-2020 
Week of 1/6/20 – 1/10/20

Happy New Year!

2020 is finally here, and while we may not have flying cars or jet-packs like we were promised, we do have AI, wearable tech, driverless vehicles, and Disney Plus. The future we dreamt of when we were kids is now a reality for our youth and our task as guides and mentors is to prepare them for whatever innovations or updates it throws at them. I know our staff is ready for the challenge as I’m sure y’all are as well, so let’s greet 2020 with the same determination and care that got us this far.

School Starts on January 8th: Just a reminder that we will be having Staff Development on Monday and Tuesday of next week so you get an extra day with your students before they head back to school. Think of it as a Holiday gift from all of us. Some AISD schools will be starting on the 7th, but Small and the Bowie HS vertical team schools will all start on the 8th. We will use these two days to work with our teachers on Executive Functioning training, responding to diversity, new technology updates, and also receive training from AISD PD and APD on Critical Response. We want to add as many tools to our teachers’ toolkits as possible so all can be prepped and ready for an amazing second semester.

New Cell Phone Policy: We will no longer allow cell phone usage on campus this semester. We now have the available technology so we will not have to rely on BYOD (bring your own device) to ensure all students have access. Students are still allowed to have their phones with them, but we want them out of sight. Meaning, yes kids can have their phones on their person or in their backpack, but they need to be either silent or powered off. We ask that you help remind them of this new rule prior to the start of school and support us by not calling or texting them on their phones during the day. If you need to get word to your student, please call the front office. We have student aides, office staff, and even administrators who will gladly get the message to your student.

When it comes to cell phone usage, we have been doing a decent job of monitoring (this step is taking monitoring to a whole new level), but know we need to do a much better job of mentoring with our kids for this to be a success. These devices aren’t going away, and with the way tech is improving and becoming more and more a part of our day, we owe it to our kids to teach them how to use these devices responsibly and with purpose. One way we can all lead by example is by putting our phones away when spending quality time with one another, and even explaining to our kids why we are using our devices at the time: checking showtimes for a family movie, ordering dinner, checking the weather for a potential picnic, or even adding a reminder for groceries. Then, we show them that when you’re with people you care for and respect, you put it away and soak as much time with one another as you can. Teach them to appreciate the difference between being social and social media; you’ll find they’ll prefer the former more so than the latter each and every time.

Hope you enjoyed your time getting your vibe on with your tribe and are as ready as we are to blast off into 2020! We can’t wait to see your student here on Wednesday and are thankful they were able to spend time with those they love and who love them over the break.

Matthew Nelson
Principal
Clint Small Middle School
(512) 841-6705
matthew.m.nelson@austinisd.org
www.smallmiddleschool.org
Follow me on Twitter: @smallprincipal-

Wednesday Bell Schedule

We will start our A day in your Pride Class on Wednesday so you can grab your second semester classes, then follow the regular A day schedule. 

 

Got Something to donate?

Thank you to our student council for sponsoring the Recycle Bin

2020 - 2021 School Year Course Selection events - Save the date

Girls Soccer Tryouts

We are holding girls soccer tryouts on the following dates, from 3:45-5:30:

  • 8th graders: Thursday, 1/9/20 

  • 7th graders: Friday, 1/10/20

Boys Basketball Schedule

Attention 8th Grade Parents

Dear 8th grade parent/guardian, 

Small Middle School is committed to help your 8th grader have a great transition into high school. This year, we are offering meetings with our counselor, Mr. Coleman, to help simplify the transition process. In these meetings you will learn about high school transition, HB5, high school graduation requirements and endorsements.  Use the link below to sign up for a one-on-one 20 minute meeting. 

https://signup.com/go/qvCNdPv 

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 Thanks, 

Martin Coleman
Small Wellness Counselor

High School Question & Answer Panel

Save the date!
January 9th from 6 pm to 7 pm 
In the cafeteria

 There will be a panel of parents from the various high schools within Austin ISD. This is a great opportunity for 8th grade parents to get the parent perspective of the different high schools and get their questions answered.  

Hope to see you there!

Buy a Yearbook!

Have you purchased your yearbook yet? 

The price goes up after winter break, so be sure to get your yearbook today! 

Only $40!

Click here to order online

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PT-YAY News

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

Austin High at Small

Save the date

January 21st from 6 to 7 pm
Small Cafeteria

Austin High will be here to discuss transitions from Small to Austin high school

ATTENTION 8th Graders heading to Bowie

Parents of 8th graders heading to Bowie, Please take a look at this months newsletter from Mr. Robinson. It gives lots of information about the transition events planned for incoming freshmen to Bowie High School.

Read Mr. Robinson’s Newsletter here

COURSE SCHEDULING FOR 2020-21 SCHOOL YEAR

We will soon start the course selection process for next school year, 2020-2021. Before Thanksgiving break, we began introducing important information that will help prepare students for this upcoming process.

Here are some of the topics and links to watch them:

  • What is the Difference Between Levels (Academic, Pre-AP, AP, ACC Dual-Credit, UT OnRamps)? Click here

  • How Many AP classes Should I Take & What About Summer Work? Click here

  • New Schedule & Level Change Procedures Click here

  • Who are These People and How Can They Help Me (School Counselor, College & Career Counselor, Registrar)? Click here


In January, teachers will show videos detailing courses and pathways. These videos will provide descriptions of courses, identify prerequisites, show how students will spend their time, outline homework expectations, and skills/interests/habits needed for success.

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