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 toES, 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/SHOVING, CLASSROOM 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.
Your VERY PROUD and BLESSED BEYOND MEASURE TO BE YOUR Principal,
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:
* Grade 3 service times from 10:30-11:15 by class
* Kindergarten service times from 11:45-12:30 by class
* Grade 4 service times from 10:30-11:15 by class
* Grade 1 service times from 11:45-12:35 by class
* 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 :-)
To register a TRUNK for the Trunk or Treat, email email@example.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!
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 joinsES 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 atES... 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.
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!
Your VERY PROUD and ATTENTIVE EAVES-DROPPING Principal,
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 atES. 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 theElementary 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... 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.
Your VERY PROUD and SOMETIMES LONG-WINDED Principal,
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 atES? 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 hasstudents, 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 firstname.lastname@example.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)
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:
Your VERY PROUD Principal,
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,
Cooper Chronicles (7-25-22)
We're back!!!! Good evening,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 warmestwelcome 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 !
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 nexts, be good, stay safe, and be healthy!
Your VERY PROUD and EXCITED Principal,