• Cooper Principal's Message
  • Cooper Chronicles (4-30-23)

    Good evening, Tigers.  I hope that you have had a wonderful weekend and are ready to begin the week with vigor!

    Our third -  fifth graders will be tackling the Math portion of the GA Milestones on Monday and Tuesday, and our fifth graders will take the Science subtest on Thursday.  I know our students are ready to show what they know and what they have learned this year.  I encourage everyone to be on time so they can begin testing with their peers and get these tests knocked out.  Best of luck, Tigers!

    Our International Night is just around the corner.  We will celebrate the many different cultures that come together to make Cooper Elementary great.  I hope to see you at our school on Thursday, May 11 beginning at 5:30.  We will begin with our PTA Annual Elections, and then enjoy all the festivities for International Night.

    Do you have a rising kindergartner for next year? If you have not done so, please be sure to register him/her as soon as possible and get your appointment to meet with our registrars and one of our kindergarten teachers to finalize the registration process.  It has been a pleasure to meet our new parents and students at our registration events we've had so far.  I hope to get this right the first time... your child must be FIVE YEARS OLD on or before September 1, 2023 to be eligible for the 2023-2024 kindergarten year.

    As we truly hit the homestretch of this school year, I continue to emphasize three rules on the morning announcements.  I would sincerely appreciate your help reinforcing these rules... 1) Keep our hands and feet to ourselves... this includes swinging jackets around, pulling hoods on hoodies, and those mysteriously flying book bags; 2) Use only kind words; and 3) Keep things that don't belong in school OUT of the school (vapes, cigarette lighters, etc.). 

    Lastly, to address the elephant in the room, I appreciate being back on campus doing what I love to do.  I've shared with the staff that we need to continue to focus on our core business of teaching and learning despite the distractions that may come our way.  I want to share the same message with you, our community.  I truly appreciate the support I've seen, heard, and felt.  I stay committed to working with EACH & EVERY student, parent, and staff member to keep Cooper ES the very best school in the district.

    And with that, I will close.  Until we meet again... be good, be safe, and stay healthy!



  • Cooper Chronicles (3-24-23)

    Good afternoon, Tigers.  I hope you have had a wonderful week and are enjoying Georgia's Second Spring.

    A quick reminder to you... our students and staff will enjoy our Spring Break beginning Saturday, April 1 (no joke).  We will look forward to receiving well-rested, energized, and relaxed students back in the building on Monday, March 10.

    I wanted to continue with the discipline in the school and what I think will help, and I am asking for your help with this.  I am also going to add one little (not really little, but B-I-G) ask of you.

    I have said that our students MUST keep our hands and feet to ourselves at all times.  This is still true, but it is also a very hard thing to do.  Kids will be kids, and we want to encourage play.  However, the challenge we continue to have is when that play goes to the next level and turns into pushing or shoving, or even a fight.  I have jokingly said, "It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye!"  That's extreme, but also somewhat true.  It is innocent until our kids get hurt, get touched in the wrong spot, or the typical horseplay turns into a shoving match or fight.  When the admin team is asked to investigate an issue of pushing/shoving or a fight, it ALMOST ALWAYS goes back to someone not keeping their hands to themselves.  OR, part two, is when someone uses UNKIND WORDS.  The second emphasis with our students is to use only kind words.

    A term that I thought had gone extinct is making a comeback... ROASTING.  I've heard that word more in the past two weeks than I've heard in the last six or seven years.  It's like the 'keeping hands to self'... it's only a matter of time before one kid gets their feelings hurt, something inappropriate is said, or the verbal interaction turns physical.  Only using KIND WORDS would allow our school to be what I know Cooper ES can be, because OUR school has GREAT KIDS, GREAT TEACHERS, and GREAT PARENTS.

    So, keeping hands/feet to ourselves and only using kind words is my key to making this spring at Cooper wonderful.  I ask that you help us help your children know and live these basic expectations.  But wait, there's more...

    The last (I hope) ASK I have for you is to talk to your kids about bringing items to school that they KNOW are not OK to bring, like stun guns and vapes.  I sent out a school-wide communication to you about a stun gun being recovered here.  We've also recovered vape pens from some of our students recently.  Vaping is DANGEROUS, especially for developing lungs.  To think of our children actually vaping is very concerning.  The ask I have for you is this... if your child has access to a vape (parents, older siblings, relatives, etc.), please please please be sure to 1) let your child know that those things DO NOT come to school AND will result in a suspension, and 2) vaping is dangerous and can have serious long-term affects on their developing bodies.

    It is my prayer that our students and staff stay safe and protected from all risks and dangers.  Cooper Elementary School IS a WONDERFUL place to learn and work.  I'm convinced of this.  I want to keep it that way and make it even better, and your partnership and support is critical for us to achieve that. 

    I thank you in advance for your help and support as we work towards this. I wish you a wonderful weekend.  Until we get a chance to see each other again, be safe, be good, and stay healthy.

    Your VERY PROUD and OPTIMISTIC Principal,


  • Cooper Chronicles (3-17-23)

    Happy rainy Friday afternoon, Tigers.  I hope that today has been a great day of digital learning, and I hope that your weekend is going to be exactly what you need to rest up and recharge.

    Thanks to everyone that came out to our Literacy Night last night.  Our literacy planning team did an outstanding job putting together wonderful sessions that were enjoyed by everyone that came.  A special shout out goes to our staff that put all of this together, and a shout out goes out to the families that participated.  We appreciate you.

    Reminder... tomorrow is our PTA Spring Fling... 12-4 PM with a PTA meeting at 11:30.  We hope to see you here.

    Here is this week's rant...

    This week has been a challenging week with student behaviors.  Out of 1,489 students, we have about 65 students that have made choices that resulted in receiving one or more discipline referrals.  In the grand scheme of things, 65 out of 1,489 doesn't sound like a lot... and it isn't (about 4%).  However, anytime a discipline referral is written, processed, and communicated, it takes the child out of class for a chunk of time that they didn't need to miss. 

    As we ANTICIPATE the return of spring, I would like to give this charge to our students... KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF AND ONLY USE KIND WORDS!  If we could just do those two things well, our school and classrooms would be soooo different.  I've share this with our students via the morning announcements on two occasions recently, and will double down again next week.

    What we often see goes something like this... two or more kids playing around and goofing off, one kid takes it a bit too far and/or the other kid gets hurt or mad, that kid gets more aggressive and pushes/hits the other student, then they both sit in the office waiting to see an administrator to determine what had happened and what will be done about it.  It's almost like a Hallmark movie... very predictable plot with different characters.

    OR, some foul language or 'not so nice' words are spoken to a student, they are offended or take exception to the words and confront the other, then pushing/shoving/fighting happens.  Somehow, someway we need to equip our children with the skills they need to communicate with one another in a kind and respectful way, even if they disagree with each other.

    So, with the charge I give to our students I also ask for your help.  Encourage your child to go to the adults for help.  Encourage your child to keep their hands to themselves and let them know the possibilities when they don't.  Model for your child the kind and respectful way to communicate with another, even when you are upset or angry.  This is what we expect for our Cooper Tigers.

    I thank you in advance for your help, and any feedback or insight you would like to offer would be greatly appreciated.

    Until we see each other again, be safe, stay healthy, and BE GOOD!



  • Cooper Chronicles (3-13-23)

    Good morning, Tigers.  I hope you are doing well and are not suffering too much with the loss of an hour over the weekend.  I find it quite odd that losing one hour can impact our bodies and minds so much!

    I would like to encourage you to complete the EES Family Survey.  The survey deadline has been extended to provide families the opportunity to provide valuable feedback to their child's school.  If you know anything about me, you know that I constantly look for ways to get better, to make our school better, and to provide the best educational opportunities for our families.  Let me hear from you.  Click HERE to take this survey and let your voice be heard.

    If you look at your calendar, you should have this Thursday marked down for Literacy Night.  We are sooooo excited for this year's Literacy Night and hope you will be able to join us for some relaxing fun and some just-in-time learning.  We hope to see you Thursday at 6 PM.  The book fair will be open from 4:30-6:00 for your shopping convenience.

    Friday, March 17 is a digital learning day.  Your child will have digital assignments to do.  Please let your child's teacher know if you need to have him/her bring their Chromebook home on Thursday.  Please be sure to return the Chromebook on Monday.

    Saturday is the PTA Annual Spring Festival.  The festival begins at noon.  A quick PTA General Meeting will begin at 11:30 with the primary purpose of electing this year's Nominating Committee as we prepare for Spring Officer Elections in May.  We hope to see you here on Saturday... rain or shine.

    A look ahead, and just so you know, World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), observed on March 21, is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012.  The date for WDSD being the 21st day of the 3rd month, was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.

    That's it for now. I wish everyone a wonderful week, and I hope to see you all very soon.

    Until then, be good, be safe, and stay healthy.

    Your VERY PROUD and EXCITED Principal,


  • Cooper Chronicles (2-24-23)

    Good afternoon, Tigers.  I hope you are all doing well and have some wonderful weekend plans.

    We have had a BUSY BUSY BUSY week!  It always seems that we somehow cram at least five days of stuff in short work weeks.

    Our Boosterthon fundraiser was very successful.  We didn't quite meet our $30,000 goal, but we were able to collect right around $20,000.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  With the help from our wonderful PTA, the school will be able to purchase a new digital marquee, support our fifth grade end of year events, support our student recognition program, and help support our students and teachers in the classroom.

    Reminder... if your child participates in an out-of-school activity (sports, dance, music, etc.) and they or their team has achieved a particular milestone, please email me (do not reply to this email) at paul.willis@gcpsk12.org  We would love to give your child and/or your child's team a shout-out on our morning announcements.  If your child is on a team, please include the names of all students that attend Cooper in your email.

    For those that came out to STEM Night last night, I hope you all had a great time and had some great experiences. I would like to thank Mrs. Davis and her team for planning wonderful events, organizing the team to provide the great experiences, and all of you for coming out to support our school.  The Fiducia Streak (black streak) won the one-day challenge for bringing in the most birthday items... congratulations Fiducia!  Thanks to all the streaks that brought in items.

    Today we had Mr. Aaron Reynolds come to our school and gave a presentation to all of our students.  Be sure to ask your child why they should be afraid purple crayons.  I want to thank Mr. Connor and Mrs. Sandberg in the media center for arranging Mr. Reynolds' visit to Cooper ES.

    Parents, remember that we have Early Release Conferences next week.  If you have not scheduled a conference, look at the email blast sent earlier today with information on how to sign up.  Wednesday and Thursday are early release days.  This means that students will be dismissed from school at 12:50.  Please ensure that your child knows how he/she will be getting home and that someone is home when they get there.  Also, buses arrive in a different order to load on those afternoons, so students will be released much quicker than normal.

    March 16 is our annual Literacy Night.  Our Literacy Team has already begun to plan some wonderful and meaningful activities for the WHOLE FAMILY... keep a look out for additional information SOON.

    Another Reminder... March 17 is a Digital Learning Day.  Students will not be learning in the building.  Teachers will have prepared activities and lessons that will be accessed via the internet.  If your child needs technology from school to access their learning activities on March 17, please be sure you communicate the need with your child's teacher.

    Finally, put March 18 on your calendar for PTA's Spring Fling.  This has been a very successful and fun event for all.  If you are interested in getting more information to reserve a booth, be sure to reach out to kendrablack@gmail.com  She will get you pointed in the right direction.

    I wish each and every one of you a wonderful, safe, and relaxing weekend.  Until we have a chance to talk again, be good!

    Your VERY PROUD and ENCOURAGED Principal,


  • Cooper Chronicles (2-10-23)

    Happy Friday, Tigers.  I hope you are all doing well and are ready for a busy weekend.  I hope you have a great weekend.  This is

    Thank you for every share and donation you all have contributed to our fundraiser. We appreciate everyone’s support as we raise funds for A NEW DIGITAL MARQUEE, 5th GRADE INCENTIVES, and STUDENT AND STAFF WELLNESS. If you haven’t registered your student on MYBOOSTER.COM, it’s EASY & FREE to do this weekend.

    Then, consider sharing with extended family and friends. And if you are able to, consider making a donation as well. Every share and donation adds up to make a BIG difference for our school.

    If your family does get a donation this weekend, you’ll be part of the Weekend Challenge! When your students get $2 per lap (which is $60 total in flat donations) or more in NEW pledges over the weekend, they’ll earn their regular rewards PLUS a bonus reward. In addition to that, the TOP CLASS with the most new donations gets to have indoor Recess with Winter, my real life baby goat, AND if we hit $15,000 by Monday - I get to SLIME Silli Lilli (Our booster Rep) on the Field! Please please please let me pour slime over the OVERLY ACTIVE Silli Lilli.

    I hope to see you tomorrow evening as our wonderful PTA hosts the annual Family Dance.  I look forward to seeing here from 6-8:30!

    The FunRun that was supposed to be today has been rescheduled for Tuesday.  We invite any and all to come out and cheer on our students AND celebrate the success of the fundraiser.

    Reminder... next week is a three-day week.  Students do not come to school on Thursday, Friday, and the following Monday.  I hope you enjoy your break and find time to rest and relax.

    Finally, I would like to take a point of personal privilege and thank you for your outpouring of love and condolences concerning my mother's passing.  My mother passed on January 27, my father's birthday .  He beat my mom to heaven 17 years ago.  Since his passing, all my mother has wanted is to be with him.  At 83 years old, and battling Alzheimer's Disease, my mom finally got her wish, has her mind unblocked, and a new body.  It is well with my soul.



  • Cooper Chronicles (1-27-23)

    Good afternoon, Tigers.  I hope that you have had an awesome week and are ready for a great weekend.

    I wanted to give you a quick update on our 'happenings' at Cooper, and make sure you have some dates on your calendars... it's getting busy this time of year.

    First, we kick-off our local school fundraiser with our friends from Boosterthon on Thursday, February 2.  Keep an eye on the school's FB page because some information has already been posted.  Our school's goal is $30,000 which will go towards a new digital marquis to replace the dinosaur we currently have (look at Trip ES to see what a newer sign looks like), support our 5th grade students end of year activities, and also to support our staff and student well-being.  The fundraiser ends with the Boosterthon Fun Run on Friday, February 10.  We will publish the schedule and hope that you will be able to join us as we have our students complete the Fun Run.

    PTA did a fundraiser in the fall that was very successful, and they have supported our school, our students, and our staff VERY WELL.  There are some things that PTA isn't able to do for the school due to state and national PTA guidelines, so the school will need to raise funds to support these other programs.  Just for your information, the PTA has invested thousands of your donated dollars to purchase books for our media center and for the book machine.  Additionally, PTA has sponsored the Fall Festival and is planning the Family Dance (February 11) and the Spring Fling (March).  We appreciate our PTA and thank you for supporting us through them.

    Friday, February 3 is a digital learning day.  Please be sure to communicate with your child's teacher the technology needs you will have for your student to have a successful digital learning day.

    On Saturday, February 11, our PTA will host our Family Dance.  Flyers have gone out, and information is on our FB page.  We hope to see the whole family come out for good fun, good food, and some 'groovy' moves on the dance floor.

    I hope this information gets you updated for the next few weeks.  I wish you a wonderful and safe weekend.

    Your VERY PROUD and APPRECIATIVE Principal,


  • Cooper Chronicles (1-13-23)

    Good afternoon, Tigers.  I hope that you have had a great week and you managed the storm that blew through our area yesterday afternoon.  What a rain!  Please keep in your thoughts and prayers those people in the parts of GA that were harder hit, and those in Alabama and other places that were much more severely impacted by yesterday's weather.

    Reminder... Monday is a holiday in recognition of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  I ask that over the weekend that you reflect upon his life and work, how his work has impacted us today, and how much we still have to do to achieve his vision of America that he shared way back in 1963.  We will look forward to receiving students back in the school on Tuesday, January 17.

    Some other notable dates for this upcoming week... January 20 marks the 100th day of school.  Traditionally, our kindergarten classes have had counting activities that highlight the 100th day.  If you have a kindergartner, keep an eye out for communication from your child's teacher.  Also on Friday, January 20, our ALL PRO DADs will meet in the gym beginning at 7:30.  Be sure to register for the meeting by clicking HERE .

    Finally, as you plan ahead, remember that Friday, February 3 is a Digital Learning Day.

    My Car Rider Experience...I had a meeting at Archer HS yesterday morning and didn't arrive on our campus till later in the morning.  Because the time was perfect, I decided to have get the car rider experience from the parent perspective.  I turned off of Ozora Road at exactly 8:43 AM and slowly weaved through the car rider line.  I made it through the gauntlet and, if I had a kid in the car, I would have been able to drop him/her off.  I exited the parking lot, taking a left on Ozora Road, and turned left into the front parking lot.  There I saw MANY (like 5) cars trying to drop students off behind the cafeteria.  THAT'S A BIG NO NO!.  I was able to park in my convenient PRINCIPAL PARKING spot just as the bell rang indicating the start or Cooper's academic day at 8:50.

    The reason I share my experience with you is that I have the opportunity to hear from some that our car rider procedures need adjustment.  I am all about Continuous Quality Improvement... the idea in which we should try to get better in all we do. That philosophy is a cornerstone of my being a school leader.  Bottom line is that kids need to be in their classroom ready to learn at 8:50.  We cut the car rider line off at 8:48, which is understandably frustrating to those that get caught just behind the cut-off while watching the car in front of them continue on.  I get it and I understand your frustration.  The 8:48 time wasn't arbitrarily selected... through observation, we have found that two minutes allows the number of cars to unload prior to the 8:50 bell.  ALL of our car rider staff have teaching/supervision responsibilities that begin at 8:50.  So really, we should cut the line off at 8:40 so our staff and students can be where they are supposed to be with their materials at 8:50, but I'm not gonna do that.  I will add that kids that come into the classroom after the 8:50 bell are counted tardy whether they made it through the car rider cut off time or if they were checked in by a parent. 

    So, I say to you that have gotten caught in the cut off... I'm sorry.  Our intent is not to inconvenience you.  We just want to honor the expectations we have from our community to provide a quality education to our students and be wise stewards of the time we have our students in the building.  I'd love to hear any ideas or thoughts on how we can improve this practice... reach out and we can chat.

    That's enough for today... I hope you and your family have a WONDERFUL weekend.  Until we see each other again, be good, be safe, and stay healthy!

    Your VERY PROUD and OPEN-MINDED Principal,


  • Cooper Chronicles (1-6-23)

    Good afternoon, Tigers, and Happy New Year!  I hope that you and your family had a great holiday full of rest, relaxation, and memories.

    We were excited to welcome back our students yesterday, and have welcomed many additional families to our school from near and far.  If you are new to Cooper ES, welcome to our school.  We are glad to have you in our community.

    Your child's teachers have taken advantage of the two-day week by reinforcing our school's rules and expectations, and reviewing classroom procedures.  Students in grades 1-5 will be completing their iReady Diagnostic Screener for Language Arts next week, and we begin the downhill slide of the 2022-2023 school year.  It is unbelievable how quickly the school year has gone by.

    1st semester report cards are in the works.  We will print review copies for teachers on Monday, and they will be sent to the district to be mailed shortly thereafter.

    Thank you to those that have completed the survey I sent just after break, and a reminder on Tuesday.  We have just shy of 300 surveys completed.  We are hoping for many more, but we now have enough to begin our work.  Thank you for having that conversation with your child about the adult at school they feel comfortable going to if they need help, if they have great news, or if they have any questions or concerns.  I've extended the survey to Sunday night at 11:45... if you have not had that conversation with your child yet, please do and let me know via THIS LINK.  We want to make sure EVERYBODY has SOMEBODY at school to talk to.

    Thank you for your support of our school.  Let's have a great 2nd Semester.

    Your VERY PROUD and RESTED (not arrested) Principal,


  • Cooper Chronicles (12-9-22)

    Good afternoon, Tigers.  This edition of the Cooper Chronicles will be super short... but syrupy sweet!

    Pancakes with Santa and Holiday Bazaar is TOMORROW... I hope you plan to come on out and support Cooper's Relay for Life Team.  The admin team will be flipping pancakes... and at least one of us LOVES to throw pancakes, so come in paying CLOSE attention!

    You will be able to support local vendors and make a dent in your holiday shopping.  Lastly, the jolliest of all elves will be here for pictures (additional charges apply).

    The Pancake part is $5 per person, no more than $15 per family.

    TIA for your support of Cooper ES and our Relay for Life Team.

    Your VERY PROUD and READY TO TOSS Principal,


  • Cooper Chronicles (12-2-22)

    Good evening, Tigers.  I hope that you have had a wonderful week, and your plans for the weekend are to relax and enjoy the holiday season.

    First, I hope you have gotten the word that GCPS has made Tuesday, December 6 a Digital Learning Day.  This decision was made because of the run-off election.  I would like to encourage all of you to vote, and also to make sure your children have what they need to have a successful digital learning day.  If you have not done so already, be sure to communicate with your child's teacher what your technology needs are for the DLD.

    I also wanted to remind you that our Pancakes with Santa and Holiday Bazaar is coming up on Saturday, December 10.  Come out, enjoy the admin team flipping pancakes (be ready to catch one... you never know where they'll be flying) and support local entrepreneurs and small business owners.  Our Relay for Life Team greatly appreciates your support.  Doors for participants open at 9 AM, and we hope to be out of pancakes no later than noon... maybe even before then...

    If you've been keeping up with the news and social media about Gwinnett County Public Schools and the struggles some schools are having with student discipline, then I would guess you are concerned, or at minimum, wondering about your child and his/her experience at Cooper ES.  I count my blessings DAILY to be an elementary principal, and ESPECIALLY Cooper's principal.  We have great families that send us great kids each and every day.  Out of our 1,474 students, just 1.7% have had a formal GCPS Discipline Referral this school year... that's 26 students. 

    We have the opportunity to speak with students about discipline EVERY SINGLE day to correct mild behaviors that never reach the point of referral.  Some students receive local referrals for their behavior that does not count in the 26 students with referrals.  We are an elementary school and we look at behavior incidents as learning opportunities.  Some of the learning opportunities have a referral attached to them, but most do not.  Here is what I would like for you to know about the discipline at Cooper.

    • I/we understand that YOU send your child to school with the basic assumption that they will be physically and mentally safe... and learn!
    • Most behaviors can be taken care of at the classroom level. However, some behaviors must be handled by an administrator.
    • Most of our referrals are for PUSHING/SHOVINGCLASSROOM DISRUPTIONS, and BUS DISCIPLINE.  When a referral is made to the admin team for these behaviors, it is usually because the behavior has continued despite classroom teacher interventions OR the behavior was so egregious that a referral was warranted.
    • Our goal is to keep kids in the classroom.  However, there are times when a child needs an opportunity to refocus and learn appropriate responses to different situations.  We have different on-line interventions/learning opportunities available to us that we use for students that need them.
    • Students that repeat behaviors that we have provided interventions for them are handled differently than one-time situations.
    • Unfortunately, some behaviors require exclusion from class/exclusion from school.
    • FIGHTING (when two or more students actively engage in physical aggression towards each other despite using opportunities to seek adult assistance) will almost always end up with an out of school suspension.  "Defending myself" has a high standard that is difficult to achieve in the school setting.
    • Behaviors that keep the teacher from teaching and/or the other students from learning despite teacher intervention is not acceptable and will be cause for temporary removal of the student from that setting.  Persistent/repeated disruptions of the learning environment will likely result in an out of school suspension.
    • Teaching and expecting our students to use only KIND WORDS and to KEEP HANDS (and all other body parts) TO SELF would reduce a lot of behaviors that result in referrals.
    • We want to keep all of our kids engaged with learning in the classroom... anything other than that is a loss for the adults, the child, and the class as a whole :-(

    I know this isn't the most fun aspect of school and it is not intended to cast a shadow on your weekend.  I challenge you to have a discussion with your child about their experiences in the classroom and how they would describe a typical reading lesson... or math... or specials class.  Drill down by asking specific questions and really listen to what they say.

    OK... need something funny... how do cannibals freshen their breath?  With Men Toes!

    With that, I wish you all a wonderful weekend.  Until we see each other again, be good, be safe, and stay healthy.



  • Cooper Chronicles (11-11-22)

    Happy rainy Friday afternoon, friends.  I hope you have had a wonderful week and are ready for an even better weekend.

    Today is Veteran's Day, and I would be remiss to not give a big ol' shout-out to the men and women that have served and are serving our country through the United States Armed Services.  I think we sometimes take for granted the peace we have living in the United States.  We wouldn't have that without a strong military and the sacrifices made by the service members and their families.  So, thank you to those that have served and are serving.  I appreciate your service.  

    If you are at school anytime in the next week or so, be sure to look at the Veteran's Wall near our main lobby to see those that are close to our Cooper family that have served.  I want to pay close attention to the four gold stars that are on four different Veteran cards... the gold stars represent Gold Star Families... families that have lost a loved one in the line of military duty.  They have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country and deserve all the honor and recognition from a grateful nation.

    I wanted to remind you that we are hosting our Thanksgiving Feasts next week.  We invite you to dine with us and celebrate this season of thankfulness and gratitude.  Please be sure to have enough money 'loaded' on your child's MyPaymentsPlus account, or bring the smallest bill to pay for a $3.75 lunch.  The exact schedule was sent home a few weeks ago, but here is a 30,000 foot overview of the schedule:

    November 14

    * Grade 3  service times from 10:30-11:15 by class

    * Kindergarten service times from 11:45-12:30 by class

    November 16

    * Grade 4 service times from 10:30-11:15 by class

    * Grade 1 service times from 11:45-12:35 by class

    November 18

    * Grade 5 service times from 10:30-11:15 by class

    * Grade 2 service times from 12:00-12:50 by class

    American Education Week will be observed by us next week.  American Education Week is designed for the school to look outward and recognize our parents, support personnel, and our community and celebrate how we all work together to grow our students into productive citizens.  Some different ways we celebrate this week at Cooper is by inviting parents into our classrooms to see the what and how of your child's learning.  We are also celebrating our support staff that do so much work to set the stage for us to teach, like our office staff, custodial staff, school nutrition staff, and our instructional support staff (paraprofessionals and instructional clerks).  We could not be successful without each and every person working together and completing their individual tasks day in and day out.  Finally, we really hope to celebrate our staff by recognizing the institutions of higher learning they attended.  We hope to have a little fun, and also answer some questions from our students about college and the importance of education.

    The question of the week was, "What happened?"  Students were asking that as they left the building on Wednesday, and came into the building on Thursday.  On Wednesday, a construction crew installed an additional wall and set of doors in our main lobby.  I am hesitant to outright tell our students that the wall was put there to keep bad people out, but that is why it was installed.  Providing another layer of security to our school is a good thing, and we will get used to it soon.

    I don't think we'll do another Cooper Chronicle next week as we leave to enjoy a week of Thanksgiving Break, so I would like to challenge you to reflect upon the blessings in your life over the next few weeks... the people, the things, the opportunities and experiences.  Sometimes we don't think of the "bad things" being blessings, but they are if you can learn and grow from them.  One of my favorite authors, with whom I share a name, in my very favorite book wrote this... "Give thanks in ALL circumstances..."  All means all, and that's all that all means.

    I am grateful for all of you and the opportunity I have to be your principal.  As a principal, I have the blessing to be with people and celebrate their successes and accomplishments as well as be with people in some of their lowest spots and crisis.  I have always loved being a principal, and consider it an honor to lead Cooper Elementary School.  So, thank you for entrusting me and entrusting the school to take care of your children day after day.

    Until we meet again, be good, stay safe, and be healthy,

    Your VERY PROUD and THANKFUL Principal,


  • Cooper Chronicles (11-4-22)

    Good afternoon, Tigers.  I hope you are all doing well.

    I want to thank everyone that has participated in our United Way student campaign this week with Monday's Character Dress-up Day, and today's PJ Day.  Every dollar collected goes directly to our school's United Way campaign to help those that need it most right here in our community.  We have one more day scheduled coming up... I've already scheduled a reminder for you that will come the day before our HAT DAY.

    With November here, we are now honoring Native American Heritage Month in which we high lite important people from that culture that have made an impact.  Everywhere you look we can see the influence of America's first peoples.  On our morning announcements we are able to high lite those important people, both past and present, as well as high lite books in our media center that students can read to learn more.

    American Education Week us just around the corner (November 14-18).  This will be a VERY busy week at Cooper ES with our Thanksgiving Feasts days (flyers sent home last week).  Thank you to those that have volunteered to help out on those days.  It will be VERY important to the smooth operation of things on these days to have money on your student's MyPaymentsPlus accounts to cover all meals (adult/guest meals are $3.75) for those days OR have the smallest bills possible so we can provide changes for those that need it.

    Also during this week will be the rebirth of our Parent Participation Days on November 15 and November 17.  As a school before the pandemic we set aside two days during American Education Week to host parents IN our classrooms... that's right... IN our classrooms.  I will be sending a separate email tomorrow at 1 PM with more information and the link to sign up for one of the time spots for your child's classroom.  LIMITED SPOTS ARE AVAILABLE (8 PER CLASS) SO KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THE EMAIL IF INTERESTED.  Our teachers do amazing things each and every day for each and every child, and it is my honor to be able to allow you to catch a glimpse of that during American Education Week.

    Please remember that November 8th is a Digital Learning Day.  Students will have assignments provided by their teacher.  NO NEW LEARNING is taking place... but important practice will be provided for students.  Please let your child's teacher now as soon as possible if your child needs technology support on November 8.

    Election Day is also scheduled for November 8.  Cooper ES is a voting precinct, but check to be sure you know where to vote, and thank you in advance for exercising this very important right you have.

    I don't want to go down too deep on this next part, but I think it is important for me to be real with you.  We are partners in education... we are still Better Together (even though our cluster slogan is Each & Every now), and we depend on you, the home, for so many critical schooling aspects.  As my assistant principals and support teachers can attest, we spend A LOT of time intervening in all sorts of behaviors ranging from a chronic classroom disruption to fighting.  I announced this morning to make sure our boys aren't taking apart the filters in the waterless urinals (GROSS!!) and for our students to not scribble on the campaign posters for our fifth grade students running for School Council positions.  I've had numerous conversations with students that our words are powerful, and we should only be using kind words that lift each other up, not tear others down.  I am asking for your help in having conversations with your students about school and what they see in their classrooms and hallways.  We have GREAT students, GREAT teachers, GREAT parents, and a GREAT community.  It will take all of us to make sure we maintain the GREATNESS of Cooper ES.  

    Here are some upcoming dates to keep in mind...

    • November 8- Digital Learning Day
    • November 9- Fall Picture Retakes
    • November 11- Veteran's Day
    • November 14- Thanksgiving Feast Day for Grades 3 and KK
    • November 15- Parent Participation Day, Grades KK - 2
    • November 15- PTA Sparkles Spirit Night, 6-9
    • November 16- Thanksgiving Feast Day for Grades 4 and 1
    • November 17- Parent Participation Day, Grades 3-5 & Principal for a Day
    • November 18- Thanksgiving Feast Day for Grades 5 and 2
    • November 21-25 Thanksgiving Break

    I told you we have a lot going on in November.

    I wish you all a wonderful weekend.  Until we see each other again, be good, be safe, and stay healthy.

    Your VERY PROUD and THANKFUL Principal,


  • Cooper Chronicles (10-28-22)

    Good afternoon, Tigers. I hope that you have had a wonderful week and are ready for a great weekend.

    Recent feedback from some of our stakeholders is that my emails have become too long... sorry about that.  It's just so hard to condense all the great things going on at Cooper in a few short paragraphs.  But, I'll give it a go...

    We are fine... doing great things... Book Fair was amazing... thanks to our volunteers that helped with it... Character Dress Up day is Monday in support of our United Way campaign... PJ Day is on Friday... Our STREAK Shoe collection competition ends Monday... Our Heart Challenge ends Monday, also.

    Our Thanksgiving Feasts are scheduled for the November 14, 16, and 18... flyer was sent home today.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be sure to have enough $$ on your child's MyPaymentsPlus account to cover everyone's meals.

    Parent Participation Days are coming on November 15 and 17... I can't condense that, so I'll just send another email early next week :-)

    I want to wish our Archer Football Teams that are in the playoffs the best of luck as they face off tomorrow for the 2nd round of playoff games.

    And... finally... Go Dawgs!

    Be good, be safe, and stay healthy!

    Your VERY PROUD and MAN OF FEW WORDS Principal,


  • Cooper Chronicles (10-21-22)

    Good evening, Cooper Tigers.  I hope you are all doing well and that you have had a great week!  Welcome to the weekend.

    This week has been National Bus Safety Week... a week focused on bus safety and an opportunity to thank our GCPS bus drivers.  GCPS buses travel over 23.7 million miles each year safely bringing our kids to school and safely taking them home.  Bus drivers are often the first GCPS employee our kids see each day, and also the last.  I want to thank our 30+ drivers, monitors, team leaders, and our wonderful supervisor, Tracy Nabers. 

    Thank you for your participation in our fall parent/teacher conferences.  It was so good to see so many conferences held in person.  Zoom is a wonderful tool that has its time and place, but it's hard to beat face to face conferences in the learning environment.  Also, thank you for your support of our Book Fair.  We appreciate your support and we are proud to be able to get quality books in your hands.

    On behalf of our faculty and staff, I would like to thank you and our PTA for the lunch from Diablo's they supplied on Wednesday.  It was very yummy, and gave our teachers the boost they needed to be able to do a bulk of their conferences.  THANKS PTA!

    I would like to invite you, our partners in education, to review and provide feedback on some upcoming curriculum/instructional resources changes/proposals.  I would encourage you to not only look at what is being considered for elementary school, but also look at middle school and high school resources... they may be there when your child gets there...  click here to begin.

    A couple of things for you this weekend... beyond your regular rec league football playoffs, fall baseball tournaments, and more stuff like that...

    McConnell Middle School is having their Literacy & Learning Festival tomorrow from 11-2.  They have many vendors, some great food, great games, and other fun events ready for you.  I know they would love your support. 

    Also, Cooper ES is hosting our annual PTA Trunk or Treat beginning at 4 PM.  A little more than a dozen cars have signed up to open their trunks to you, and our PTA has graciously purchased plenty of candy to give out... and when I say plenty, I mean that I haven't seen so much candy in one place in my whole life!  Get a jump on your Halloween festivities with our Trunk or Treat.  This is a no-cost event to you supplied by our PTA.

    Additionally, I invite you to donate canned goods & non-perishable food items for our Great Days of Service project.  All donated food will be given to our local food cooperative that serves families right in our neighborhoods.  This is a streak competition as well... so make sure your child's streak is well represented.  The winning streak will earn bragging rights and a HUGE shout-out on the announcements.  All of us will know that we did our part to help our community and those in need.

    That's certainly enough for now... thanks to those that hung in there and got to the bottom of this email.

    Until we see each other again (which I hope is tomorrow), be good, stay safe, and be healthy!

    Your VERY PROUD and CLASHY (yep, I did it) Principal,


  • Cooper Chronicles (10-18-22)

    Good morning, Tigers.

    I wanted to remind you that our annual Trunk or Treat is scheduled for THIS SATURDAY, October 22, from 4-8 PM.  The theme this year is SUPER HEROES!

    We are looking for parents and community members to decorate their vehicles for this event... PTA will supply the candy!  It's a WIN-WIN :-) 

    TrunkorTreat Flyer.png 

    To register a TRUNK for the Trunk or Treat, email ulanc1st@gmail.com

    In addition to Trunk or Treat, we are doing a ONE DAY ONLY canned food/non-perishable food drive on Saturday.  This is a STREAK COMPETITION, so we'll see which streak will come out on top.  Last year the Isibindi Streak won the canned food drive.  All donated food items will be donated to our local food bank cooperative.  So, even if you are not able to stay for the Trunk or Treat, bring your canned food items by the school and help your streak SCORE a win.

    I look forward to seeing you all on Saturday!

    Be good!


  • Cooper Chronicles (10-15-22)

    Happy Saturday, Tigers.  I hope that you had an opportunity to enjoy a BEAUTIFUL fall day.

    Tomorrow, many of our student athletes will participate in the annual Gwinnett Football League Cheer-Off at the Gas South Arena. Our youngest girls will begin at 9:00, and our 5th grade girls will begin at 2:10. Please send good-will thoughts to our students and their teammates as they compete for top squad.

    We have recently added a new guidance counselor to our staff.  Mrs. Zola Delva joins Cooper ES after serving as an instructional clerk and upper grades teacher at Kanoheda Elementary School.  Mrs. Delva has already begun meeting our students and other staff members.  She joins our other two counselors, Mrs. Tran and Mrs. Bramel, to support our students and their families.

    This coming week will be very busy for us at Cooper ES... and many of you :-)  Remember, Wednesday and Thursday are EARLY RELEASE DAYS.  Students will begin to load buses at 12:50 on these days, so they'll be getting home more than two hours earlier than usual.  The EARLY RELEASE DAYS provide additional time for our teachers to have parent/teacher conferences for their students.  I hope you have had an opportunity to sign-up for a conference this week.  I'll send additional reminders on the two early release days.

    The proposed calendars for the 2023-2024 school year will be on display in the school's main hallway during conference week, along with a poster to collect your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions.  Please take a few minutes while you are here to look at the calendars and leave your thoughts.  The school district is very responsive to constructive feedback provided by all of our stakeholders, so don't miss your chance to be heard.

    Cooper ES PTA is hosting their annual Trunk or Treat on Saturday, October 22 from 4-8 PM.  Dawn your costumes, come to the school, and get your candy buckets filled with the "first fruits" of Halloween.  

    School safety has always been my  primary responsibility.  Unfortunately, in this day and time we have to take school safety and security even more serious.  In addition to our monthly fire drills and annual tornado drills we are required to do, we also are required to practice HARD LOCKDOWNS with our students and staff.  This coming Tuesday, we will partner with our cluster School Resource Officers and conduct our first HARD LOCKDOWN DRILL for this school year.  Our faculty and staff will go into their protective posture, and the SROs will check our building and provide constructive feedback so we can improve our practices and procedures.  

    On a better note, Friday, October 21 is our next All Pro Dad meeting at 7:30 AM on the blacktop beside the gym.  It is so good to see our attendance numbers get back to pre-COVID levels, and always look to add more families to this wonderful group.

    I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend.  Be safe, be good, and stay healthy!

    Your VERY PROUD and SOMEWHAT TIRED Principal.


  • Cooper Chronicles (10-5-22)

    Good day, Tigers.  I hope you have had a great week so far.

    Funny story... I was at the ball field last night when I overheard one of our parents say, "Are we out Monday for fall break, too?".  I realized then that I have not communicated that to you.  So, for those that may not know, Gwinnett County Public Schools will be closed for Fall Break beginning Thursday, October 6 - Monday, October 10.  Students return to school on Tuesday, October 11.  I know our faculty and staff have earned this break, and I hope that your family will enjoy the the break.

    Be sure to ask you child how our school is honoring Hispanic Heritage Month (9/15 - 10/15).  Each morning on the announcements, one of our fourth grade students tells the school about one of the books in our media center that exemplifies and/or honors people groups with Hispanic heritage.  The books often talk about overcoming obstacles and modeling empathy for the readers.

    Additionally, our classrooms had a chance to compete to be the first to recognize and submit the name of the country when a portion of the national anthem for that country was played on the announcements.  Also, many classes have gone on a scavenger hunt, exploring posters of Hispanic countries in North, South, and Latin America.  Finally, we have showcased historic figures in our country's history, as well as contemporary and world leaders that share their Hispanic heritage through our scrolling announcements throughout the school day.

    Now that my conscience is clear, and I feel relatively confident we won't have any children show up for the next few day, I wish you all a very safe, relaxing, and as-exciting-as-you-want-it break.

    Be safe in your travels!



  • Cooper Chronicles (9-30-22)

    Good afternoon, Tigers.  It looks like we avoided a majority of what Tropical Storm Ian was going to bring us this weekend, which hopefully means that your original weekend plans can work out.

    We've had a great week at Cooper ES.  It feels like we are finally getting into a groove with our instruction, our processes, and procedures.  I know we will continue to have distractions and bumps in the road from time to time, but we are well into the 2022-2023 school year and our kids and staff are doing amazing things.

    I had the opportunity to meet with the Cooper Elementary School Council this morning for our first meeting of the year.  I would like to thank each parent and staff member on the council, and especially thank Mr. Pena, Mrs. C. Brown, and Mrs. McKoy for accepting leadership positions on the council this school year. I can already tell that the group is eager to learn about our school and will continue to provide great feedback from the community.  I was able to share the districts Our Blueprint for the Future: Building the Bridge from Empathy to Excellence and our Local School Plan for Improvement  (LSPI) that supports the district's vision and priorities.  As a school, we are focusing on Cultural Competence, the Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS), Opportunity and Access for each and every one of our students, our Results-Based Evaluation System, and finally, our efforts around Post Secondary and Workforce Readiness.  Our school's LSPI will be published for the community very soon... council members got a sneak preview :-)

    Many of you have heard from the district this afternoon via phone, text, and email about wanting to hear from you on the different calendar options would best suit you and your family.  If you recall last year, we welcomed parent feedback and took a vote from the community on the calendar options.  The district listened closely to what the community said and approved a calendar that pulled the best parts of the other options.  I say this to encourage you to take some time to study the calendar options and provide specific feedback.  Perhaps we will have a fifth option that meets everyone's wants and needs.

    One thing the School Council ribbed me about this morning is the length of the Cooper Chronicles... I don't see why they would mention it, but I want to be sensitive to it :-).

    So, with that, I wish you a very safe and happy weekend.  Until we see each other again, be good, be safe, and stay healthy.



  • Cooper Chronicles (9-23-22)

    Good afternoon, Tigers.  I hope you soaked up all the great fall weather today, and have plans to soak it up this weekend... you never know when full summer is coming back when you live in Georgia!

    We had a great time with our Day of Awesomeness today.  I can't think the volunteers we had that signed up to volunteer enough for their help, and the volunteers that DROPPED everything today to help us out in a lurch... THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!  Without you, we only would have had a Day of Fun... not a Day of Awesomeness.

    Speaking of AWESOMENESS, don't forget about our PTA Fall Festival tomorrow from 12-4 here in our front yard.  I look forward to seeing you and your family come out to enjoy each other, the food, and the fun that your PTA has put together.  I know it is going to be a great day.

    Have you thought about working at Cooper ES?  Wouldn't it be cool to have the same schedule as your child?  We are currently staffing two special needs pre-kindergarten classrooms.  We are still looking for one teacher and two paraprofessionals.  If you are interested in being considered for any of these positions, please apply online through GCPS.

    Lastly, I know a lot of our students play team sports and/or are involved in outside activities.  I would love to include any highlights to games or events on our morning announcements.  If you are a coach or associated with a team that has Cooper students, please email me the highlights and I'll do my best to give a shout out on the morning announcements, or have them included in the Sports News portion of our announcements.  DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL... email me at paul.willis@gcspk12.org.

    I hope to see you tomorrow at the ball field or at the PTA Fall Festival.  Until then, be good, be safe, and STAY HEALTHY!

    Your VERY PROUD and AWESOMED-OUT Principal,


  • Cooper Chronicles (9-9-22)

    Good afternoon, Tigers.  I hope you all have had a great week and are ready for another wet weekend.  For those of you that have been in Georgia since around 2007, do you remember when we had to conserve water because of the drought and Lake Lanier was so low?  I find it interesting how things swing so far on extremes.

    We've had a great week at Cooper.  Our PTA Bingo Night was soooo much fun.  We appreciate everyone that came out... especially the volunteers that made everything happen... THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

    Also, we hosted the first round of Grandparent's Day lunches for our Kindergarten and First Grade students.  We served about 160 guest lunches, plus our students and staff.  Thanks to all the grandparents and special friends that came out to enjoy time with our students.  We do it again on Monday for grades 2 & 3, and on Wednesday for grades 4 & 5.  A special thank you is owed to our parent (and grandparent) volunteers that helped make today happen so smoothly.

    We did learn a thing or two from today... exact change would be GREATLY appreciated if the grandparent's meal was not purchased through MyPaymentsPlus, and if ice cream is wanted, BRING DOLLAR BILLS.. that would help a lot!  Parents, please let your parents know these things to make their time here more enjoyable.

    Here are a couple of things coming up that you will need to know about...

    September 12- Gparents Day Lunch for 2nd (12:30 PM) & 3rd (1:18 PM)

    September 13- Sparkles Skate Night, 6-9 PM

    September 14- Gparents Day Lunch for 4th (12:00) & 5th (10:50)

    September 15- PICTURE DAY (I'll be looking for some Picture Day Heroes... volunteers to make sure students are looking their best for the camera)

    September 16- Digital Learning Day... be sure to let your child's teacher know by Wednesday if they will need a device to complete their learning on Friday.  This is ASYNCHRONOUS INSTRUCTION... meaning the teacher will not be conducting lessons during the day.  Students will have opportunities to practice skills they have already been exposed to.

    September 23- Day of Awesomeness... this will follow the students special's schedule...

    September 24- PTA Fall Festival, 12-4.  I heard I will get a pie in my face?????  Try me :-)  I throw back!

    Thank you all for everything you do to help us help you.  Until we meet again, be good, be safe, and stay healthy!

    Your VERY PROUD and WORE-OUT Principal,


  • Cooper Chronicles (9-2-22)

    Good rainy afternoon, Tigers.  I hope you are all doing well.

    I have some information I would like to share with you, so I'll jump right into it.

    Ground Zero... don't forget that we have a THREE-DAY WEEKEND.  No school on Monday.  We'll see everyone back on Tuesday.

    Ground Zero Zero... PTA Bingo Night is September 8 from 6-8 PM, and our first SPARKLES Spirit Night is September 13.  We look forward to having a TON OF FUN with you!

    First, we love to have your support at Archer HS football games (or any GCPS high school sports games).  However, please know that it is an expectation that children remain under the supervision of a parent or guardian at all times.  Thanks for your help with that, and GO TIGERS, BEAT THE HAWKS!

    Second item of interest... some of you that have come to visit the school or volunteer have experienced the Raptor System... the Raptor System is what we use to scan drivers licenses and print visitor badges.  This process takes a little more time that our old system, and during busy times can cause a back up.  This can be frustrating... I get it.  However, we have processes in place to ensure the safety of our students and staff, so I appreciate your patience.  You may want to add a couple minutes to your arrival time during busy times to account for the possible back ups, like during lunch service times or early checkouts prior to a holiday weekend.

    Last thing... and this is a bit heavier... in the academic world there is a term called PRODUCTIVE STRUGGLE.  The idea of a productive struggle is to stretch a person (student), but not break a student.  For example, for a student to grow as a reader, he/she will have some moments that things will be tough, which results in a struggle.  However, the student finds a solution to the problem and masters that skill and moves on in their learning.  Without allowing the student to struggle, we would be robbing the opportunity for thier brain to develop good problem solving skills and ways to find different solutions.

    The term PRODUCTIVE STRUGGLE can also apply to behavioral/social situations.  I know that as a parent (I have four children msyelf) it is HARD to see your child struggle emotionally.  As my children's father, I have a natural feeling to swoop in and 'save the day' by preventing any heart-ache, pain, or grief to any one of my kids.  However, I also know that without allowing those struggles, they would not be the adults (three of them are 20 and over) that can navigate this complicated world independently.  We have to 'gift' our kids with the opportunity to problem solve, to find solutions to problems, and to experience some discomfort to allow them to grow... this is HARD... I know.  But it is also SUPER IMPORTANT.

    I'm no Dr. Phil or Oprah, but I hope this little bit might help you understand how we allow students to struggle productively.

    I wish you all a wonderful three-day weekend in which you have wonderful experiences with your family.

    Until we meet again... be good, be safe, and stay healthy!

    Your VERY PROUD and TIRED Principal.


  • Cooper Chronicles (8-26-22)

    Good afternoon, friends, and HAPPY FRIDAY!  I hope that you've had a great week and plans of fun and relaxation for the weekend.

    Thanks to all for coming out to our Curriculum Nights this week.  I appreciate the fact that our after school events sometimes conflict with sports, activities, and other commitments.  Curriculum Nights give parents a great opportunity to connect with their child's teacher, learn a bit more about what the year will look like, and have any dangling questions answered.

    Our PTA General Membership Meeting had to be rescheduled.  Keep an eye out from messaging from our PTA about when we will be able to hold our first General Membership meeting of the year.  If you have not yet joined PTA, please do by going to https://wjcooper.memberhub.com and visiting the online store.  We'd love to have grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins as members also. Your membership matters!  

    Thanks to everyone participating in our STEP IT UP Fundraiser. 479 students/families have registered for the STEP IT UP program and over 4,000 emails have been sent.  That's amazing!  It's not too late to participate and still be eligible to win awesome prizes.  Look back at some previous emails to get the information you need.

    Do you love high school football?  I love watching our Archer Tigers give it their all on the field.  Tonight is Archer's first home game.  As a help to our high school faculty and staff, please be sure that your child is accompanied by a parent/adult to any Archer High School sporting event.  We want everyone to have a great time and cheer on our Tigers, and sometimes our young people need some on-the-spot reminders that only a parent can give :-)

    Finally, and perhaps most importantly... WE NEED YOU!  We are looking for volunteers to be on our School Council.  W.J. Cooper Elementary School's School Council is a group of parents, staff, and community members that meet a few times a year (3-4) to help guide and council me as I lead this school.  You may nominate yourself or anyone else through this GOOGLE FORM by Tuesday, August 30 at 12:00 noon.  Anyone nominated will be asked for their willingness to serve for a TWO-YEAR term and complete a short bio to be shared with our school community as we vote.  The three candidates with the highest number of votes will become part of our School Council.  

    I think this will do it for now... I wish you a very safe, restful, and exciting weekend.  Until we meet again, be safe, be good and stay healthy.

    Your VERY PROUD and RECOVERING (the Rona) Principal,


  • Cooper Chronicles (8-10-22)

    Hello Parents and Families!

    We are excited to offer a way to give back to W J COOPER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!  On 8/18/2022 we will be kicking off an event to help raise funds that will benefit all of our students and staff. Our Step It UP! program, will help with funding Classroom supplies and learning tools.  In addition to: New technology, curriculum enhancements, and  innovative learning  materials.

    It is going to be AWESOME;  we are excited to get started!

    A few things to note:

    • This program will be very easy for you. It only requires about 10 minutes of your time.
    • Your students can earn great rewards, just for their effort. No money required!
    • This is an online, donation-based fundraiser, and the email and text message donation requests can go to people you know anywhere in the world. That means no direct pressure on your shoulders.

    Students will be bringing home more information next week after our Launch Party presentation. Please help your student register and complete the Golden Ticket assignment THAT VERY NIGHT! All students who complete the Golden Ticket assignment will receive fun PRIZES and it does not require any money to register.  We will also have some fun drawings for a $250 Amazon Gift Card and four Mini  Party Fridges stuffed with CASH!

    I will be sending a few more emails throughout the two-week program.  Please contact me directly if you have any questions.  Thank you in advance for your support!

    Your VERY PROUD Principal,

    Paul Willis

  • Cooper Chronicles (8-3-22)

    Good afternoon, Tigers.  I hope your student's day of in person OR digital learning went well.

    We had a great day, accomplishing all three of our goals with just a few hiccups.


    Please make sure you have communicated clearly with your child's teacher about how your child will get home tomorrow.  Car Riders... if you think today's car rider process went well, please don't use today's experience to set your timing in stone... only having two grade levels in the building today could have painted a false picture.  Tomorrow will be much busier.  Please be kind to each other (driver to driver) and extend grace.  The school has absolutely no control or influence over what happens off our campus, except for asking our community to be kind.


    Please remember parents cannot go past the lobby.  The only doors parents should enter are the main doors in the front of the building (not the car rider doors).  The front of the school is very busy with buses beginning as early as 8:00.  Please be careful and stay out of the bus lane during drop off and pick up.

    Breakfast and Lunch

    Students are able to eat breakfast at school.  Breakfast is paid for at the regular student rate, reduced rate if qualified for reduced price meals, and at no cost for those qualified for free meals.  Students in K-2 should go to the cafeteria upon arriving at school, then to class.  Students in grades 3-5 can grab breakfast in the grade level hallway.

    Please help your child learn how to open any lunch packaging.  We will have a lot of adults on hand to help, but we don't want to keep any child waiting for help.  Remember that we do not have a way for students to heat their food.

    It will be very helpful in for breakfast and lunch for students to know their student ID number.  They will type their number in on a keypad.  Knowing their number will help them get through the line quickly.

    Finally, we ask for a two-week period to allow us to get our students accustomed to our rules and processes in the lunch room before having visitors.  However, I know that we have students with birthdays in early August.  If your child has a birthday before the two week period and you would like to have lunch with them, please feel free to do so.  Otherwise, please give us that time to get things smoothed out.

    Let's have another great Day 1, Part 2 tomorrow as we welcome the rest of our students back to school.

    Be good, be safe, and stay healthy.

    Your VERY PROUD and TIRED Principal,

    Paul Willis

  • Cooper Chronicles (7-25-22)

    We're back!!!!  Good evening, Cooper Tigers!  I hope you are enjoying every last bit of your student's summer vacation, and are eager to allow us to spend a good chunk of time with them M-F in the near future.

    I would like to extend the warmest Cooper welcome to our new families... those with kindergarteners coming up and those that are just joining our school community.  I would also like to welcome back all of our returning students and families... WELCOME TO COOPER!

    We welcomed back our teachers and staff members today. We sugared them up on donuts and made them sit for long periods of time while throwing tons of information at them.  It has been a long day, but it has been a good day.

    You will begin hearing from your child's teacher this week via email, telephone, and/or post cards.  They are all very eager to meet their students and families, and I know you are eager to hear from them.

    Put August 1  from 8:00-11:00 on your calendar... this is our OPEN HOUSE.  We are staggering by alphabet just to manage our parking lot, traffic flow, and the number of folks in the classroom at one time.  Our teachers have a staff meeting/working lunch beginning at 11:30, so we aim to finish up then.


    8-9      Last Names A-I

    9-10l    Last Names J-Q

    10-11  Last Names R-Z

    It is very important to come to Open House, especially for students in 2nd-5th grades.  2nd-5th grade students will begin school DIGITALLY on August 3, and report to the building on August 4.  These students will be issued laptops for the Digital Learning Day, and for students in grades 3-5, the laptop issued to them will stay with them throughout their schooling in GCPS!

    I will be sending out chunks of information this week and next, so please try to look at these... you won't want to miss out on any critical information.

    Until the next Cooper Chronicles, be good, stay safe, and be healthy!

    Your VERY PROUD and EXCITED Principal,

    Paul Willis

Our Very Proud Principal, Mr. Paul Willis

  • Mr. Willis

Mr. Willis and Our Amazing AdminTeam

  • Cooper Admin Team

Mr. Willis and our Vulcan Business Partner

  • Mr. Willis and Vulcan Business Partners

Mr. Willis on Career Day

  • Mr. Willis on Career Day