Cooper Chronicles (10-1-21)
Happy Friday, Tigers! I hope that you have had a great week and are ready for a wonderful weekend. I wanted to share a few things with you that will hopefully get us through our upcoming Fall Break, and then some.
First, I would like to thank everyone that came out to our PTA Fall Festival last Saturday, and a double double thank you for all the PTA Volunteers that made this event so successful. I had a blast in the dunk tank, and appreciate Mr. Meadows, Mr. Hahn, Mr. Ludke, and Mr. Welsh for being great sports and sharing the dunk tank fun. It was wonderful to see our campus full of life with smiles, laughter, and kids being kids. It really makes me long for all the COVID stuff to pass by so we can have even more fun!
Our STEAM ENGINE fundraiser is chugging right along. We've given away a mini-fridge stuffed full of cash to Knox in Mrs. Spears class, and an iPad to Dylan in Mrs. Kollinger's class. We have one more mini-fridge to give away. Eligible students for the mini-fridge drawing on Monday will be those that have sent 20 or more emails to friends and family... that's it. So far we have had 646 students participate, so there is still room for more. The fund raiser ends on October 13.
Fall Break is right around the corner! We will have short week next week (M, T, and W). Fall Break begins Thursday, October 7. Students return to school on Tuesday, October 12. The building will be closed over Fall Break. I wish you all a very safe, relaxing, and satisfying Fall Break.
Fall Conferences are coming soon as well. Conferences are Wednesday, October 20 and Thursday, October 21. Wednesday, October 20 is a Digital Learning Day for all of our students. On Thursday, students will get out of school 2 hours early. Don't forget to plan for transportation/child care on these Fall Conference days. Your child's teacher will be sending out conference sign-up information right after Fall Break.
We are currently seeking interested parents to serve as lunch monitors. This is a paid position for approximately 2.5 hours per day. If you are interested, apply online using job code 72796. We do our best to provide our teachers with a duty-free lunch every day and rely on our lunch monitors to help make that happen. Once you have completed your application, email me and I will share the next steps.
I would love to have your feedback on the proposed GCPS calendars for the 2022-2023 school year. Click HERE to go to our web page to view the three proposed calendars and leave us your feedback. Thanks to everyone that has already left some very valuable feedback. You may have to hit refresh a time or two to get the pages to fully load...
Finally, I would like to thank our School Council as we held our first meeting of the year this week. Ms. Diondra Douse was elected chairperson, Mr. Nevin Miller was elected vice-chairperson, and Ms. Kareen Hussett-Mckoy was elected secretary. Also on the council are Ms. Dahlia Prophet, Ms. Jaime Watson, Ms. Antionette Brock, Ms. Christina Brown, Mr. James Meadows, and Mr. Antonio McCloud. I look forward to working with these women and men this year as your representatives to the school council. Our next meeting will be held on November 4.
I wish everyone a happy and safe weekend. If you are doing youth sports this weekend, I hope your team plays the best game possible and gets the 'W'. Until next time, be good, be safe, and stay healthy!
Your VERY PROUD and STILL SOGGY Principal,
Cooper Chronicles (9-10-21)
Good afternoon, Tigers. I hope you are all doing well and are ready for a beautiful weekend.
I just wanted to let you know a few things that will make your weekend FANTASTIC...
How would you like your family to be known as an All Star Family? Join the school on our Math Night on Thursday, and get your family's name up on the Hall of Fame wall for all of our students to see. I know that when we are able to partner together to help our children/students, we all come out winners. Join us for Math Night (via Zoom) and learn a few 'tips and tricks of the trade'. Our Math Planning Team will have some wonderful activities and ideas just for you that can be used with your child at home. Having your family's name on the Wall of Fame will be special for the faculty and staff, as well as your student to see.
All Pro Dad... dads that are already registered as All Pro Dads received an email from James Meadows about the upcoming meeting on Friday, September 17 at 7:30 AM on the blacktop. If you have never registered or participated with this great organization before, we'd love to have you join us.
Digital Learning Day... our first DLD is scheduled for Tuesday. K & 1st will receive work packets on Monday, and 2nd-5th graders will have asynchronous (recordings, tasks/assignments, etc.) instruction. Teachers will be available for questions via a live Zoom link that they will provide you.
PTA Spirit Wear... PTA Spirit Wear... PTA Spirit Wear
Get your Cooper ES Spirit Wear now... our PTA has some wonderful offerings and have partnered with Chrissy's Creations to make purchasing a breeze. Visit HERE to go directly to the ordering page.
Tomorrow marks the 20 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. So many of us can remember EXACTLY where we were when we heard the news... many of our families were in NYC when the attacks happened. I challenge you to take time to reflect on the events of 9/11 and everything that has happened in our country that directly relates to that fateful day... and remember the families and lives that were so deeply impacted then. I also challenge you to look for the blessings we have in our lives and give thanks for them.
I am thankful for you, the Cooper Community, for allowing me the privilege to lead this school. It is my honor and pleasure to serve you and your family.
As you enter the weekend, be good, stay safe, and be healthy!
Your VERY PROUD and PATRIOTIC Principal,
Cooper Chronicles (9-3-21)
*Long Cooper Chronicle Warning**
Good afternoon Tigers. I hope you are all doing well and are looking forward to a well-deserved, three-day, Labor Day weekend. I am sure that our students and teachers are ready for the extra rest.
I have a lot of information to share with you and quite a few attachments. Buckle up and let's go!
Free and Reduced Price Meals Application
I am very happy that we are able to offer both breakfast and lunch to ALL of our students at no cost to you. This is certainly a silver lining in the gray clouds of Covid-19. However, because of this, Cooper ES and Gwinnett County Public Schools stands to lose out on federal funds tied directly to the number of students we have the qualify for free or reduced price meals. Additionally, families that qualify are also eligible for other services beyond school meals. If you think you might qualify, go to THIS WEBSITE to begin the online application process.
School Council Voting
We have had several parents that said, "Yes!" when called upon to serve the school through the Cooper Elementary School Council. Now it is time to select THREE of these volunteers to represent you and our community. Take a few minutes to read these short biographies and then CLICK HERE to vote. The three individuals receiving the most votes will be elected to the council. Voting ends on Tuesday, September 7 at noon.
9/6 - Labor Day, School Closed
9/12 - 9/18 - National Arts in Education Week (big Reflections Push)
9/14- Digital Learning Day #1, All Students
9/15 - 10/15 - Hispanic Heritage Month
9/16 - Math Night, 6:00-7:30 (virtual only)
9/21 - Fall Picture Day & Fundraiser Kick Off
9/25 - PTA Fall Festival, 10 AM - 2 PM
PTA would like to thank you for your attendance and participation in our first General Membership Meeting. The budget for the 2021-2022 school year was approved. We are excited to kick-off our annual fundraiser with the Step It UP - STEAM program. Keep an eye out for more information on how you can help support Cooper ES PTA and help your child earn some great prizes.
Reflections, PTA's flagship arts program, is underway. We will be using the morning announcements to stoke our students' interest. If you want to get an early start, visit the school's webpage to see the rules and print off an entry form. All entries are due to the school on October 1. It is my hope and vision that Cooper ES is VERY WELL represented at our local council level, District 12, and the state. I can't wait to see the talents of our students shine. This year's theme is, "I can change the world by...".
We will host our PTA Fall Festival on Saturday, September 25 from 10 AM - 2 PM. Our planning committee is looking at fun and games for the whole family, as well as plenty of vendors that will be selling their goods. It is sure to be a great time, and the planning team was very aware of the Georgia vs. Vanderbilt football game. If you are a vendor and would like to find out more information about renting space at the Fall Festival, contact the PTA by email PTACooperTigers@gmail.com. We would love to partner with you. PTA is always looking for volunteers, so you can use that same email address to let them know you are interested!
Archer Youth Sports Programs
My child is an Archer Tiger at Harbins ES. He has played both basketball and baseball through the Archer Athletic Association. Sports is a great outlet for him, and I appreciate the coaching, mentoring, and friendships he develops with other kids from the other Archer Cluster elementary schools. I have attached two different flyers, one for Youth Wrestling and the other for a Youth Softball Night. If either of these programs/events interest you, I would encourage you to check them out.
If you made it to this point in this edition of the Cooper Chronicle, thank a teacher!
I wish you all a WONDERFUL weekend. Recharge, reboot, relax... all while staying safe and staying healthy.
Your VERY PROUD and GRATEFUL Principal,
Cooper Chronicles (8-20-21)
Happy Friday afternoon friends and families. I hope you have had a WONDERFUL week and are ready for a wonderful weekend.
I am pleased to report that after having two full weeks of school under our belt, our car rider processes are balancing out and we aren't having the MEGA lines we had at the beginning of the year. A huge shout out to Captain Car Rider and the staff out there in the morning and afternoon that make everything work safely and efficiently.
School Council... we are looking for volunteers to serve on Cooper's School Council. School Council meets between three and four times per year and is made up of parents, community members, and school staff. Each elected member serves a two-year term. If you are interested in serving on Cooper's School Council, please complete this nomination form
Buses continue to be periodically plagued with woes, though. Bus Supervisor Tracy Nabers is doing a great job getting our students safely to and from school despite huge challenges and obstacles. Unfortunately, some of our buses have to 'double-back' for another route which pushes back our pick up and drop off times. I know Ms. Nabers, her bus drivers, and all of us at Cooper appreciate your patience and understanding.
Curriculum Night is right around the corner... this Thursday, August 26 will be our VIRTUAL Curriculum Night. I will send out a Zoom link with an invitation to join us for our PTA General Meeting starting at 6 PM. This meeting will be followed by your child's Curriculum Night meeting via a link your teacher will send out following the PTA meeting (6:30ish). We hope you are able to join us for both the PTA General Membership Meeting and your child's Curriculum Night.
A note from Coach Blair and Coach Larsen... please make sure your child is wearing appropriate shoes when he/she has PE. Crocs, boots, sandals, and flip flops are not appropriate footwear for physical activity. Your child will not be able to participate in the scheduled activity if their footwear could cause an injury.
I know the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases, especially the nasty Delta Variant, is concerning to so many. It concerns me, as well. Let's make sure we are doing EVERYTHING we can to mitigate the spread... wash hands often, exercise good coughing/sneezing practices, and wear well-fitting masks. I want to do everything I can to keep kids IN SCHOOL... and it will take ALL of us working together to make it.
Until we see each other again, stay safe, stay healthy, and BE GOOD!
Your VERY PROUD Principal,
Cooper Chronicles (8-06-21)
We made it, Tigers! We made it through the first three days without any major hick-ups or issues. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your patience and understanding and we got the 2021-2022 school year officially underway.
For those folks new to Cooper ES... the Cooper Chronicles is the main communication tool used for school wide communication. I try to keep them relatively short and concise, but they occasionally go long. Keep in mind that you may need to do something with your email application to allow these to come through instead of going to spam or junk mail (which I find very offensive :-)
Although the official first day of school was Wednesday, August 4, we will welcome our 4th and 5th grade students into the building for the first time on Monday. We are so glad that they'll be here. For those parents, it is SOOOOOO important that your child AND teacher knows how they are getting home on those first days in the building. You can't over communicate this part (as long as all the communication says the same thing).
Parents of K-3 students that have 4th and 5th graders... if the transportation for your children is changing for Monday like I have heard from many parents, please be sure to let your child know and their teacher. I anticipate our transportation systems in the afternoon to get much more precise and settled as we have all of our students in the building.
If you are trying to catch a great deal on back packs now that the big rush of school shopping is done, and you find the PERFECT book bag for your child, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make sure you cut off their transportation tag and SEND IT TO SCHOOL with them so we can reattach it with a zip tie. In order to ride a GCPS bus, students MUST have a bus tag or bus pass generated from the office.
Car Riders... I know it has been really backed up in the morning and afternoon. We have begun looking into possible solutions, but hesitate to implement any until 1) we have all of our students back, and 2) we see how things settle as time goes on. Again, I have heard from many parents that their children will begin riding the bus once their older siblings come back to school, so our car rider numbers may decrease a little. Captain Car Rider, aka James Meadows, told me that we have been averaging about 50 more cars than we have in the past. That is a lot! Adjustments will be made as needed.
The Archer Cluster elementary schools have agreed to have our Curriculum Night on August 26 via Zoom. We'll send out more information with specific times and how the schedule will look as the plans are finalized.
Lastly, I want to briefly introduce some of our new staff members that have joined the Cooper Team... Mr. Trey Larsen, PE; Mr. Rob Blair, PE; Mrs. Lynn Thompson, 1st Grade; Ms. Tiffany Dadovic, 1st Grade; Mr. Matt Repak, 4th Grade Teacher; Mrs. Angela Robinson, MoID Teacher; Mrs. Jasmine Jeffries, IRR Teacher; Mrs. Kristi Bridges, IRR Teacher; Ms. Lara Muma, School Counselor; Mrs. Dana Schaeffer, School Clinic Worker; Mrs. Nicole Johnson, Paraprofessional; and Mrs. Kimoy Jackson, Paraprofessional. We are very excited to welcome these ladies and gentlemen to our staff.
Thanks again for a great week. Enjoy your weekend and take time to recharge and refresh.
Until next time, be good, be safe, and stay healthy.
Your VERY PROUD and TIRED Principal,
Cooper Chronicles (7-30-21)
Hello Tigers! I hope you are all well and are as excited as I am to begin the 2021-2022 school year.
I wanted to provide some details about Monday's Open House:
- Masks are required in all GCPS facilities. We greatly appreciate you helping us ensure our faculty and staff can continue to report of duty, and that we can have our students back in the building!
- Open House hours are from 8 AM - 11 AM. To limit the number of people in the building AND to accommodate parking, we have divided the time by students last name
- A-I is from 8 - 9
- J-Q is from 9 - 10
- R-Z is from 10-11
- We must do a hard stop at 11 AM... our staff has a meeting shortly after and must turn items in prior to meeting
- Feel free to bring your school supplies to leave in the classroom... this may make the first day a bit easier for your student
- Open House is for ALL students... in person learners AND students that have been opted out of in person learning (digital)
- The Open House process begins for EVERY ONE in the gym for transportation. Even DL students... take the opportunity to see when a bus will be running through your neighborhood in the event you switch to in person learning AND/OR for days your child must come for different assessments.
- In person students that have completed the registration process will then go to their classroom to meet their teacher.
- DL students should go to the MEDIA CENTER to pick up any materials/supplies needed.
- Haven't completed registration? If not, you will complete registration in the MEDIA CENTER. After completing registration, your child will be placed in a class and you can meet their teacher.
- Medical needs or concerns? If your child currently has a medical plan, or if you think your child MAY need a medical plan, be sure to stop by the school clinic to get more information and to speak with our clinic worker.
- Finally, go to the cafeteria to join PTA (get put on the Wall of Fame), check out student clubs, get information from our school nutrition folks, learn about the YMCA program here at Cooper, sign up for All Pro Dads, and TURN IN YOUR RAFFLE TICKET for some cool prizes!
Condensed version... Monday, 8-11, GYM, CLASSROOM, CAFETERIA, HOME :-)
I am so excited to see all of you very soon and get this school year underway.
Until then, be good, be safe, and stay healthy.
Your VERY PROUD Principal,
Cooper Chronicles (7-23-21)
Good morning, Tigers! I hope you are all doing well and have had a safe, relaxing, and fun-filled summer. I cannot wait to see your smiling faces soon.
Our Open House is scheduled for August 2 from 8-11. To limit the number of people in the building and manage parking, we have broken the times down by alphabet as follows:
A-I from 8-9
J-Q from 9-10
R-Z from 10-11
Open House is very important for you to attend. Not only will you be able to meet your child's teacher, you will be able to ensure a smooth start by getting a lot of 'administrivia' taken care of, like TRANSPORTATION (that's a BIGGIE), PTA, School Nutrition, orient yourself to the building, and updating your information like address, phone, email, etc.
Staggered Start for Students
Our calendar this year has a staggered start for students. K & 1 students start IN PERSON learning on August 4th. 2nd-5th grade students will begin Digital Learning on August 4th as well. Your child's 2nd-5th grade teacher will explain how that works when you come to Open House.
2nd and 3rd grade students begin IN PERSON learning on August 5th, and 4th and 5th graders begin IN PERSON learning on Monday, August 9.
If you have opted your child out of IN PERSON learning, you will hear from your child's digital teacher with information about the Digital Open House sometime early next week. It is important to know that your child is still a Cooper Tiger, and Cooper Elementary School is here to support you and your family. We invite you to attend the IN PERSON Open House so that you can pick up materials and supplies you will need for your child. School begins for ALL digital learners on August 4.
Switching from DIGITAL to IN PERSON Learning
August 2nd is the absolute last day to OPT OUT of IN PERSON learning. After August 2, no students will be permitted to move from IP to DL. However, students may return to IP learning at any time. If your family makes the decision to return to IN PERSON learning, please contact me (email or phone) and I'll explain the process. Just a few items would need to be coordinated, but we would welcome your child into the building as soon as humanly possible.
If your child has opted out of in person learning and needs technology support, you will be able to check those items out on August 2nd during our Open House (8-11) by visiting the Media Center.
If you have a child in the 4th or 5th grades and need technology support for the first few days of school (August 4-6), then you will be able to pick up those items on August 2nd during our Open House (8-11). You will begin the process in the classroom and end it in the media center. Your teacher will let you know what to do at Open House.
Please note that all devices checked out MUST be returned when your child returns to IN PERSON learning.
Getting Ready for the School Year
I posted an article on our W.J. Cooper Elementary School Facebook page that is really geared towards our newest students (K&1). It's a good read full of great information and ideas.
One thing that will be of GREAT help is to take care of much of the paperwork required for the school year (handbooks sign offs, attendance protocol sign off, etc.). You do this through your MyPaymentsPlus account. You will also be able to make your VOLUNTARY contributions (clinic, supplies, technology) AND join our PTA. We want to make sure EVERY CHILD is represented by at least one parent/adult member to our school's PTA.
Did I hear someone say, "Yearbook"? EVERY YEAR we sell out of yearbooks, and EVERY YEAR we have to tell parents and students "Sorry". Our yearbook sales will begin no later than TUESDAY, July 27 through MyPaymentsPlus. Be sure to secure your yearbook early so you won't have to scramble to find one later.
Breakfast and Lunch
Breakfast and Lunch will be provided to all students free of charge this year because of the federal grant the state has received. We are very excited that each and every child can start their day with a nutritious breakfast and sustain their learning day with a nutritious lunch. Approximately 38% of our students have benefited from the national School Lunch program by receiving free or reduced price meals. This is an application process. IT IS STILL VERY IMPORTANT TO COMPLETE THE APPLICATION PROCESS EVEN WITH NO-COST MEALS THIS YEAR. School and district funding is impacted by the number of students/families that are eligible for this program. If you think you qualify, have qualified in the past, or wonder if you do qualify, be sure to go ahead and complete the online application as soon as possible. It is quick, easy, and fast. Here is the link to the information page and online application:
I am so excited to begin the 2021-2022 school year. So much work has been done and is being done RIGHT NOW to make sure we have a wonderful school year. I look forward to seeing you back in the building and at all of our events we have scheduled this year. Although we are not completely back to "normal", we are getting close.
Until I get to see you again, be good, be kind, and be safe.
Your VERY PROUD and VERY EXCITED Principal,