Cougar News – 4/20/20

Small Middle School Cougar News

Week of 4/20/20 – 4/24/2020

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The ides of March have given way to the ides of April and it seems like an eternity ago when we received a 3:00 a.m. wake-up call saying school would be cancelled for Friday, March 13th. Well, that eternity was only a little over a month ago and schools reopened (yet campuses remain closed) for our students on April 6th, so we could all begin to return to a sense of normalcy. The norm being students learning.

While the norm of students learning has not changed, the manner in which they do certainly has. We’ve traded 8 hours a day in a 3-story building, surrounded by 1,231 eager beavers, for up to 3 hours a day online in the privacy (or as private as we can get it during the quarantine) of our own homes. Different for sure, but the goal remains the same whether hustling and bustling in the hallowed halls of Smallville or working on the dining room table surrounded by siblings, we want our kids to learn something new about a subject and about themselves. A simple goal that can be attained at any location or any situation our students find themselves in.

Make sure they are aware that we all know this is new and that a lot of the comforts they’ve been accustomed to will not be readily available to them, but that together we can all continue to learn and grow. Learning is a life-long goal for us all and cannot be thwarted by outside interference. They/we/you/I control what it is we learn from something and what we do with our newfound knowledge.

This home-learning phase will be splattered with mistakes throughout, made by all of us, and what we do today will not look the same as what we do tomorrow due to our ability to recognize what is not working and our want to fix it. We will make adjustments daily and tweak as often as possible to make sure we are getting the most out of the process. This whole process has been compared by some as “painting the wings of a plane while in flight,” and that, I believe, is a true metaphor for what it is we are all facing at this time.

Just make sure your students know that we have the best pilots in the country, have access to all the paint necessary, and have a top-of-the-line navigation system to guide us through the process.

That’s right, the CSMS Smallville has been approved for departure and is ready for take off. Please buckle your safety belts, place your tray tables down, and put your seats in their upright position.

Have a great weekend and be safe.

Thank you

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


Capstone Projects

Our Green program was built from the ground up. Each year some of our 8th graders take on independent projects to help give back to our school. Many of the everyday curriculum you see in our green classes started as a capstone project from former students. Two of this years 8th graders shared their projects with me so they can be permanently displayed on our website. 

If you want to check them out go to :

If you have an 8th grader who has completed a capstone project his year, let me know and I will feature it on our new capstone page on our website


If your student is missing all our fuzzy and furry friends at Small be sure to check out the Green Teams Instagram page. It is full of pictures and current video’s of our Small Animals at play. 

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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 For up-to-date information about AISD’s response to COVID-19, please visit

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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



Mental Health


Housing Resource/Eviction Prevention 

Senior Needs


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 ( is providing vouchers to families to receive telemedicine care for free. Before we can treat your children, you need you to register them at We urge parents and guardians to act now and not wait until you have a medical need. To see a provider visit:
  • 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 (, 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 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

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
    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
  • 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
    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
    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
    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
  • 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.

      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)

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 and also complete the online interview at  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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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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