Cougar News – 4/13/20

Small Middle School Cougar News

2019-2020 
Week of 4/13/20 – 4/17/2020

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Smallville-

How was your student’s first week back at school? How was it for you? We as parents/guardians are in the midst of a huge change ourselves and it’s important we understand and accept our new roles as well. Whereas before our roles were defined as advocates, cheerleaders, meal providers, and mentors, now we have to include the duties of instructor, tutor, master scheduler, and disciplinarian into the fold. All whilst still continuing our responsibilities for work with restrictions being added to the plate, not removed. It’s a surreal experience for all of us and every one of us needs to make sure to take care of ourselves as much as we can so we are there for our family and our loved ones.

Here in Smallville, we preach the “Oxygen Mask” theory to all of our staff every chance we come together. The way the oxygen mask theory goes is that if you’re in the unfortunate position of being on a plane which is about to nose dive, you should secure YOUR oxygen mask before helping anyone else – including children. If you don’t, you risk not being able to help anyone at all. We know that if a caregiver is to be effective, he or she must first be well and able to provide care for those in need. We want our staff to be able to give 100% to our kids at all times throughout the day. If they can’t muster close to that number, then we invite them to take breaks, to recharge their batteries by doing something they enjoy, or even by taking a mental health day.

Please, please, please take care of yourself during this crisis. Please take care of yourself and provide yourself opportunities for you. Whether it be taking a long walk, watching an episode of your favorite show (I’m currently loving Outlander), tackling a crossword puzzle, or immersing yourself in your favorite book or podcast, set aside time throughout each day so your batteries can be charged and you can be there for your student, 100 percent. I believe they are worth it and I know you believe they are as well. Show them just how important they are by allowing yourself time for yourself, so that when you are with them you are able to be the most effective caregiver you can be.

Counselor Newsletter: If there is one group on campus who truly believes in the above, it is our amazing counselors. Please make sure to check out this week’s newsletter. In it you will find information for students, for parents, and for teachers. There is an SEL Challenge for students in regards to writing Haikus, but being true to the “Oxygen Mask” theory above, I invite you to take part in the challenge as well. Please feel free to send me your Haikus. One caveat though: yours must be written during time you are taking for yourself. counselor’s newsletter

Zoom Protocol and Safety: Shout out to parent Shellie Rosen for sending this info in regards to safe Zoom practices for all. Please click the following link to see how you and your student can make sure we are all being safe, professional, and proactive with this ever-changing platform: Zoom Safety

Hope your second week of home learning is smooth for everybody: your students, your loved ones, and especially for you.

If you have any questions, concerns, or need a confidence boost, send me an email.

Thank you

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

Thank You

As Teachers were calling students the week before last, we started to find some of our Cougar families in need. Our Counselors got right to work finding resources to help them. We want to send out a huge THANK YOU…
 

Thanks to the Small Middle School PTA and Save the Food Austin for donating HEB  gift cards to families this week.  Also, thanks to Austin Oaks Church for putting together and distributing food boxes for families and Hardies for contributing produce boxes. Last but not least, thank you to all the parents that got organized on Facebook especially Kimberly Parker and Leann Hilton for taking the lead. 

We are so thankful to these wonderful parents and organizations. 
 

AISD Crisis Support Fund

Together with the district, the Austin Ed Fund is announcing the AISD Crisis Support Fund – an effort to support our school communities by supplementing access to food services, health programs and remote learning. We will be closely monitoring the greatest need during this ever-changing situation and responding to new needs.

  • Meal Service – Additional costs of meal service including staffing and expansion of meal service to serve caregivers with daily breakfast and lunch.
  • Telehealth Medical Appointment Fees – Vouchers for fees for visits for students who are uninsured, ineligible for Medicaid and the free and reduced meal program.
  • Support for Remote Learning – Supplies, devices and internet connections for students and teachers to connect and learn.
  • Support for the social and emotional health of students, faculty and staff.

We are continuously monitoring needs and gaps as this situation is changing rapidly. Donations to the crisis fund will enable the Ed Fund to be responsive to the needs of our students and families during this challenging time.

Financial contributions to the AISD Crisis Support Fund can be made here, and offers of in-kind support can be shared here. For more information about the AISD Crisis Support Fund, visit www.austinedfund.org. For up-to-date information about AISD’s response to COVID-19, please visit https://www.austinisd.org/student-health/coronavirus.

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Free Sports Webinars

Athletes: Here are some webinars addressing Middle school Sports topics for Volleyball on 13 April at 1:00 – 2:00 PM and Track & Field (100m and 200m training – which would be good for all in order to increase speed) on 23 April at 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM.
 
 

Parent Project

Cougar Staff,
Nothing to see here.. Move along to the next section…

Cougar Parents, 
Click here to see what some parents are doing to say thanks to our amazing teachers and administrators and for ways on how to get in on the fun!

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Sample Learning From Home Schedule

Here is the drop schedule for when teachers will be placing activities into their courses. Pay close attention to 7th and 8th grade, who are dropping all activities at once, and make sure your student paces h/herself for the entire week. Remember, no more than 3 hours a day of online learning is what is recommended (more on that after you read the color-coded text below):

6th Grade-
Monday and Wednesday: English Language Arts and World Cultures
Tuesday and Thursday: Math and Science.

7th Grade-
Monday: All activities (2 per class) from all classes will be dropped.

8th Grade-
Monday: All activities (2 per class) from all classes will be dropped.

If your student is in 7th and 8th and all activities are dropped at once, it’s best you all refer to the schedule you’ve created which calls for no more than 3 hours per day, and each session at a max of 45 minutes. With the 45 minute max and 4 activities (an A-day or a B-day) that puts your student right at 3 hours. 3 hours online, that is. We still suggest filling the day with learning activities such as reading, journaling, drawing, or even working in the garden.

If you have yet to create a schedule that is working for your student, here is one we shared with them on Thursday as a template for their day. The times in the first column are not as important as the duration, so please put more effort into that (work 45 minutes, break, etc.) than with the start and stop times.

Sample Middle School schedule for optimal Home Learning:

Here is a sample schedule for our Cougars to use throughout this Home Learning Phase of the 2019-2020 School year. Feel free to tweak as necessary and know this is only an outline; different families and different students have different needs.
To note: studies cite that for maximum benefit, students should not exceed more than 3 hours a day involved in online learning. Our teachers are scheduling activities to honor this thought and we only suggest 4 activities (classes) a day each week for a total of 20.

Time TaskResources/Activities
Before 10:00Wake up and BreakfastTake a walk, do some yoga, get prepared for a day of learning
10:00-10:45Activity for the 1st class of the dayCheck BLEND and your emails; if your 1st class is complete, move on to the next one.
10:45-11:15BreakHelp with the chores around the house, make up your bed, and help with younger siblings if needed.
11:15-12:00Activity for the 2nd class of the day 
12:00-1:00LunchEat something healthy and more outside time if the weather permits
1:00-1:45Activity for the 3rd class of the day 
1:45-2:30Brain Break!Read some of your favorite book, draw for pleasure, or even work on a jigsaw puzzle
2:30-3:15Activity for the 4th class of the day 
3:15-4:00Put the finishing touches on the day and begin preparing for tomorrow.What studious activity can you do now to finish the day? Journaling, drawing, reading, Sudoku, and Crossword puzzles all keep your mind alert and ready for action.
4:00-DinnerHelp your family any way you canWhether it’s taking out the trash, helping with the yard, or taking care of younger siblings, see what you can do to help your family get through this together.

Paper Packets Available

Looking for some supplemental handouts for your elementary or middle schooler? 

Starting Wednesday, April 8th, Oak Hill Elementary will have paper packets of learning activities for grades PK-8th grade! You can pick them up on WEDNESDAYS ONLY between 11am-1pm. Just drive through the front drive to pick them up. We will have staff ready to deliver it to your car! 

This work is not mandatory, and does not replace the Blend work the teachers are posting next week. It is just something extra for your kids to work on at home because learning never ends!

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Living Room Library

Counseling Corner

Temporary Counselor Contacts

  • 6th Grade – Ms. Castaneda 210-816-2927
  • 7th Grade – Ms. Diaz 210-816-2217
  • 8th Grade – Ms. Krier 512-774-4855

Student Email Access

 
Students need to remember to check their Student email accounts regularly. 
Not sure how? 
Check out this video ——>

Resources for Families

Food *

*We’re working on getting a food distribution center closer to campus. As soon as we receive word, we’ll notify everybody

Diapers 

Medical

Mental Health

Employment

Housing Resource/Eviction Prevention 

Senior Needs

Other

Here’s some additional resources from another source…

Medical (Ayuda Medica)

  • Urgent Care Kids & Virtual Care Kids: Due to the threat of COVID-19 Virtual Care for Kids is expanding the partnership with AISD to include at-home telemedicine care to serve our families and reduce the spread of the virus. Virtual Care for Kids has agreed to waive all copays for all AISD telemedicine visits. If your child is uninsured and doesn’t receive free/reduced lunch, the AISD Crisis Support Fund (https://austinedfund.org/crisis-support-fund/) is providing vouchers to families to receive telemedicine care for free. Before we can treat your children, you need you to register them at https://urgentcarekids.com/aisd/. We urge parents and guardians to act now and not wait until you have a medical need. To see a provider visit: https://virtualcarekids.com.
  • Urgent Care Kids & Virtual Care Kids Si su hijo no tiene seguro medico y no recibe almuerzo gratis o a precio reducido, con la ayuda del Fondo de Apoyo para Crisis del AISD (https://austinedfund.org/crisis-support-fund/), se está proporcionando cupones a las familias para recibir atención de telemedicina de forma gratuita. Antes de que podamos atender a sus hijos, necesitamos que los registre en https://urgentcarekids.com/aisd/. Invitamos a los padres de familia y tutores legales a actuar ahora y no esperar hasta que tenga una necesidad médica. Para ver a un proveedor de servicios de salud visite https://virtualcarekids.com.

Food Services (Servicios de Comida)

  • AISD Meals: Austin ISD Food Services will prepare and provide meals for children under the age of 19 and their parents or caregivers at more than 70 locations while school is closed due to COVID-19 precautions. Meals are be available Monday-Friday. Find more informatin about locations at https://www.austinisd.org/covid19/meals
    Comidas de AISD: Austin ISD Food Services preparará y proporcionará comidas para niños menores de 19 años y sus padres o cuidadores en más de 70 ubicaciones mientras la escuela está cerrada debido a las precauciones COVID-19. Las comidas estarán disponibles de lunes a viernes. Encuentre más información sobre ubicaciones en https://www.austinisd.org/covid19/meals
  • Travis county Food Bank: Food Bank one-time home delivery service: call 512-972-5133
    Banco de alimentos del condado de Travis: servicio de entrega a domicilio del Banco de alimentos (entrega a domicilio solomente una vez): llame al 512-972-5133
  • Travis County Community Center at Oak Hill
    8656 W. Hwy 71, Suite 100
    512-854-1230
    Hours: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Thursdays open until 7 p.m.) They also offer help with utilities and other resource needs. Call for social services support.

    Horario: lunes a viernes de 8 a.m. a 5 p.m. (Los jueves abren hasta las 7 p.m.) También ofrecen ayuda con los servicios públicos y otras necesidades de recursos. Convocatoria de servicios sociales de apoyo.

  • Abiding Love Lutheran Church (Oak Hill)
    7210 Brush Country Rd. Austin, Tx 78749
    512-892-4040
    Drive through to pick up food on Mondays between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m.
    Conduzca para recoger comida los lunes de 1:00 a 3:00 p.m.
  • Foundation Communities – Southwest Trails
    8405 Old Bee Caves Rd Austin, Tx 78735
    1st and 3rd Wednesdays 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Times subject to change. For questions, call (512) 301-2442.

Utilities (Servicios Públicos)

The following companies have temporarily suspended natural gas service disconnections due to non-payment for Coronavirus situation: Atmos Energy, CenterPoint Energy, Texas Gas Service.

Las siguientes compañías han suspendido temporalmente las desconexiones del servicio de gas natural debido a la falta de pago por la situación de Coronavirus: Atmos Energy, CenterPoint Energy, Texas Gas Service.

  • Austin Energy: Please contact the Customer Care team at 512-494-9400 if a customer needs any of the following services:
    • Make payment arrangements or determine eligibility for Customer Assistance Programs to help with utility bills
    • Reconnect utility services
    • Start or stop utility services
  • Austin Energy: Comuníquese con el equipo de atención al cliente al 512-494-9400 si un cliente necesita alguno de los siguientes servicios:
    • Un acuerdo de pago o para determine la elegibilidad para los Programas de Asistencia al Cliente para ayudar con las facturas de servicios públicos
    • Reconexión servicios públicos.
    • Iniciar o desconectar servicios públicos

Immediate Housing Needs (Necesidades inmediatas de vivienda)

Austin City Council approved an ordinance, and the Mayor adopted an Order, supporting tenants directly adversely impacted by COVID-19. Tenants who cannot pay rent will have 60 days before a landlord can proceed with eviction. Reminder: rent will still be due. The ordinance requires a landlord to provide a “notice of proposed eviction” prior to issuing a notice to vacate. The ordinance applies to both commercial and residential tenants.

The Travis County Justices of the Peace have a standing order posted indicating there will be a eviction settings held until after April 1, 2020.

The Neighborhood Housing and Community Development (NHCD) Department offers information and referrals to assist impacted community members with immediate housing needs including resources for homeowners and resources for renters.

Avoiding Mortgage Foreclosure website provides information about refinancing or modifying mortgage loans, lowering payments, or other solutions to avoid foreclosure.

Rental Payment Assistance website provides resources to help pay rent and utilities.

Eviction Resources are available to assist residents with legal assistance, emergency grants for rent or utilities, alternate housing, short-term motel vouchers, or placement in a local shelter.

Austin Tenants Council provides counseling related to the eviction process, tenant-landlord issues, mediates disputes, provides workshops, and identifies fair housing issues to resolve or minimize discriminatory housing practices.

Austin City Council aprobó una ordenanza, y el alcalde adoptó una orden, apoyando a los inquilinos directamente afectados negativamente por COVID-19. Los inquilinos que no pueden pagar el alquiler tendrán 60 días antes de que el propietario pueda proceder con el desalojo. Recordatorio: el alquiler todavía será debido. La ordenanza requiere que el arrendador presente un “aviso de desalojo propuesto” antes de emitir un aviso de desalojo. La ordenanza se aplica tanto a inquilinos comerciales como residenciales.

Los jueces de paz del condado de Travis tienen una orden permanente publicada que indica que habrá una configuración de desalojo hasta después del 1 de abril de 2020.

El Departamento de Vivienda Comunitaria y Desarrollo Comunitario (NHCD, por sus siglas en inglés) ofrece información y referencias para ayudar a los miembros de la comunidad afectados con necesidades inmediatas de vivienda, incluidos recursos para propietarios y recursos para inquilinos.

El sitio web de Evitar la ejecución hipotecaria proporciona información sobre la refinanciación o modificación de préstamos hipotecarios, la reducción de pagos u otras soluciones para evitar la ejecución hipotecaria

El sitio web de Rental Payment Assistance proporciona recursos para ayudar a pagar el alquiler y los servicios públicos.

Los recursos de desalojo están disponibles para ayudar a los residentes con asistencia legal, subvenciones de emergencia para alquiler o servicios públicos, vivienda alternativa, vales de motel a corto plazo o colocación en un refugio local.

Mental Health (Servicios de Salud Mental)

  • Vida Clinic: Our school based mental health partner, Vida Clinic, is offering teletherapy services to the Austin ISD community beginning Wednesday, Mar. 18. These services will allow adults and students to access quality mental health services right from their own homes. To learn more or schedule services, contact our Vida Clinic Care Team at 512-518-2209 or by email at vidacare@vidaclinic.org.
    Clínica Vida: Nuestro socio de salud mental en las escuelas, la Clínica Vida, está ofreciendo servicios de teleterapia para la comunidad del Austin ISD. comuníquense con nuestro equipo de atención de la Clínica Vida al 512-518-2209 o por correo electrónico a vidacare@vidaclinic.org.
  • Travis County Integral Care
    Adult & Children Mental Health Services Update:
    Most Integral Care adult and child mental health services are now being provided by telephone or telehealth. Please call 512-472-4357 for telephone and telehealth services. Press 1 for English, then 4 to speak to our staff. Hours: Monday – Friday, 8am to 5pm
    24/7 Crisis Helpline: Our 24/7 Crisis Helpline continues to provide immediate support to people experiencing a mental health crisis 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For help, please call 512-472-4357. Press 1 for English, then 1 for crisis support.

    Please call 512-472-4357 for telephone and telehealth services. Press 1 for English, then 1 to speak to our staff.
    Hours: Monday – Friday, 8am to 10pm; Saturday, Sunday and Holidays, 10am to 8pm

    Actualización de servicios de salud mental para adultos y niños: la mayoría de los servicios de atención integral para adultos y niños

    Los servicios de salud ahora se prestan por teléfono o telesalud. Llame al 512-472-4357 para obtener servicios telefónicos y de telesalud. Presione 1 para inglés, luego 4 para hablar con nuestro personal. Horario: lunes a viernes de 8 a.m. a 5 p.m.

    Línea de ayuda de crisis las 24 horas, los 7 días de la semana: nuestra línea de ayuda de crisis las 24 horas del día, los 7 días de la semana, continúa brindando apoyo inmediato experimentando una crisis de salud mental las 24 horas del día, los 7 días de la semana. Para obtener ayuda, llame al 512-472-4357. Presione 1 para inglés, luego 1 para apoyo de crisis.

    Llame al 512-472-4357 para obtener servicios telefónicos y de telesalud. Presione 1 para inglés, luego 1 para hablar con nuestro personal.

    Horario: lunes a viernes de 8 a.m. a 10 p.m. Sábados, domingos y festivos, de 10 a 20 h.

Technology (Tecnología)

  • Internet:
    • Charter is offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.

      Charter
      ofrece acceso gratuito de banda ancha y Wi-Fi de Spectrum durante 60 días a hogares con estudiantes de K-12 y / o estudiantes universitarios que aún no tienen una suscripción de banda ancha de Spectrum en cualquier nivel de servicio de hasta 100 Mbps.

      Para inscribirse llame al 1-844-488-8395. Las tarifas de instalación no se aplicarán a los nuevos hogares de estudiantes.

    • AT&T is offering Internet access to qualifying limited income households for $10/month through the Access from AT&T Program. Eligibility has been expanded to households participating in the National School Lunch Program and Head Start.

      AT&T frece acceso a Internet a hogares elegibles de ingresos limitados por $ 10 / mes a través del programa Access from AT&T. La elegibilidad se ha ampliado a los hogares que participan en el Programa Nacional de Almuerzos Escolares y Head Start.

Childcare Options for Parents/Guardians Who Work for Essential Businesses (Opciones de cuidado infantil para padres / tutores que trabajan para negocios esenciales)

Other ways you can help!

Small Animals

Hello Cougar Nation and Neighborhood Animal Lovers,

 

We have received several inquiries about animal care and feeding during this Covid-19 shutdown.  Please be assured that the animals are well-cared for: fed and watered daily. If you are interested and able to do volunteer animal care, we have a feeding schedule sign-up sheet.  Please send me your contact info (email and phone#), and I will share the Google Doc with you. Then you can sign up for open dates or stand-by feeding. We have a very strict routine with the animals, so you will need to attend a training session (approximately 30 minutes) before you begin.  Thank you for supporting the Green Academy at Small.

 

Peace, Love, Eggs, Milk & Manure

Chris Brooks

christopher.brooks@austinisd.org

 ——————————–
Collections, Donations for families in need in our immediate area:
A lot of you have asked us how you can directly help members of our Small community, so we are attaching a link to an Amazon Wish List where you can purchase much needed items for our Southwest Austin community. Items collected will be packaged and delivered for local families in need. Here is the link to the site, please share it with everyone you know. SW Austin wishlist

 

 

From Small Parents Marie Leann and Kimberly

Hello my name is Kimberly Parker and I am a parent of a child who attends small Middle School I was hoping that during this time of disaster people would be willing to help out their neighbors in need those seeking help and those willing to help out. We are taking donations in the form of household products such as toilet paper, paper towels, hand and body soap, hand sanitizer and all cleaning products. As well as non-perishable food items such as soups dry/can, noodles,rice, pasta sauce,tuna fish, beans, vegetables.. Walmart and HEB cards will be accepted so they can get things such as meat or medication or any other essential items needed.. NO CASH donations will be accepted! Please consider helping out our neighbors that may be having a difficult time right now or even just sharing this info with a family you know in need. You may contact me at Kimberlyjeanmard3@gmail.com or at 512-770-0285 via text message for further information on donation drop off or pick up availability. If you are interested in the free breakfast and lunch program offered by AISD you can pick it up at Crockett High School 11-1pm children do not have to be present we are working on getting a sight closer at Small or Patton.. I will be picking up meals and bringing them to the Alexander Oaks Community. I will be Distributing a limited number of meals daily at 12:45
Thank you’ll so very much!!

This is from Marie Leann:

I was contacted by a fellow parent that’s backed by school counselor/teachers at our middle school. We have a community in Southwest Austin that are in need of food and basic essentials. I have spoken with the counselor and the parent leading this charge and am trying to help the parent and the community in need.

We are trying to make food packs for several families. I will be purchasing several items for this need but we do need more. If able to provide any or all of food items below, I will coordinate with the other parents to compile these food packs and provide these to those families in need.

Items needed per food pack:

  • Bread
  • Eggs
  • Cereal
  • Lunch meat
  • Cheese
  • Milk
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Canned vegetables of any kind
  • Pasta
  • Pasta sauce
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Chicken and/or hamburger meat
  • Soap
  • Toilet paper

Our school, as a whole, does not meet the numbers to have Austin ISD provide meal delivery or a close location for the district provided meals for children that are otherwise (during school days) on reduced lunch and free meal programs. We have a couple parents traveling to pick up meals from another area, but they are only able to pick up so many meals and it is not enough to feed those in need in our area.

If you’re available to pick up meals some days from Crockett, please let me know as this will be helpful in providing more meals to those in need.

If you’re able to deliver food items from the list, we will be coordinating to make the food packs and deliver to the families in need.

If you’re able to help with the amazon wishlist, those items will go directly to the lead parent coordinating for delivery.

https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/2B68USVXN4FFN…

As a note, we are working on getting a site set up at our school to be able to give these items to the families in our community in need, but we aren’t sure if we’ll be able to do that based on the current state of affairs and the restrictions placed on Austin ISD faculty by the district.

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Cougar Camp Postponed

Cougar Camp has been postponed. If you have already paid, you will be issued refunds. Once we know how things will look for next school year. 

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Avid at Austin High

If you are planning on going to Austin High next year and want to be part of the AVID program, please make sure you fill out application at https://forms.gle/95McJQUps2EAL8mg7 and also complete the online interview at https://flipgrid.com/6539988f  Let Ms. Krier know if you have any questions.

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!

JOIN Small PTA Anytime: Parents help make Small a place for Middle School kids to grow in to young adults.  The PTA is a group of parents and teachers working together to create the excellent academic and experience enriched environment we all enjoy at Small Middle School. Click here to become a member today!

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