• Cooper Principal's Message
  • Cooper Chronicles (5-7-22)

    Happy Saturday afternoon, Tigers.  I hope you are all doing well.

    I want this Cooper Chronicles to have a singular focus... our school's PTA.  As I write this edition, I hear children's laughter, the thump of whatever the DJ is spinning, and can look out my office window and see a bunch of smiles from children and adults.  There are many familiar faces, and some faces that aren't so familiar.  Today's PTA Spring Festival has been a hit, and I wanted to give Mrs. Erica Clarke & Mrs. Sandra Johnson and their team a huge shout-out for putting this event together.  I trust that all of our vendors have had a good day as well.

    Also this week, PTA sponsored a lunch for our faculty and staff for Teacher Appreciation Week.  The food was absolutely amazing, the gift from PTA was very much appreciated by all, and the fact that teachers had duty-free lunch yesterday thanks to a wonderful team of volunteers just topped things off.  Thank you PTA.

    Also yesterday, PTA sponsored the fifth grade Get Your Glow On dance... and boy did they get their glow on!  Mrs. Diondra Douse-Chatters and her team presented our fifth grade students and teachers a wonderful evening of fun and laughter.  I have been given a video of one of our fifth grade teachers doing the wobble that I am willing to sell to the highest bidder... just sayin'!  Dr. Smith... I don't care what anyone else says, you got some moves!

    The W.J. Cooper Elementary School PTA is made up of PTA members... parents, teachers, and other staff members.  The funds that they use to provide the events like today's Spring Festival, last night's fifth grade dance, and yesterday's Teacher Appreciation Lunch are donated by you... our parents and families that participate in fundraisers.  So, I thank each and every one of you that have supported our PTA through giving of your monetary resources, by giving of your talents, and by the giving of your time.  None of this could have been done without you.

    Last item... this Thursday, May 12, is our school's Fine Arts Night and PTA General Membership Meeting.  This is the meeting in which the officers for the next school year are decided.  We need your participation to help our PTA continue to reach its vision of supporting our parents, teachers, school, and community... it takes all of these resources to make our school and community strong.

    With that, I wish you the very best weekend.  Have a great Mother's Day Weekend, be safe, be good and most of all... BEhave!

    Your VERY PROUD and GRATEFUL Principal,

    Paul

  • Cooper Chronicles (4-29-22)

    Happy Friday, Cooper Tigers.  I hope you have had a wonderful week and beginning to prepare to be the ‘tagged, you’re it’ in just a few weeks!  It is so hard for me to believe we are at the end of April, on the brink of beginning May!

    Thank you to everyone that participated in our Cookie Dough Fundraiser.  The money raised will help us provide continuing education opportunities for our staff, and will provide us resources to recognize our students and develop long needed student support programs.  Our top classes per grade level are: K- Mrs. Stetter, 1st- Mrs. Norman, 2nd- Mrs. Lee (top in the school), 3rd- Mrs. Poffenberger, 4th- Mrs. Hill, 5th- Mrs. Hairston, and Mrs. Krisher’s class.  Thank you so much for your support, and thank you the FABULOUS VOLUNTEERS we had helping us process the orders today- Mr. and Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Robinson, and Mrs. Young.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    As you may know, next week is National Teacher Appreciation Week.  This is a week set aside to recognize teachers for the hard work they pour into their students year after year.  At Cooper ES, we celebrate EVERYONE… clerks, paraprofessionals, teachers, custodians, school nutrition workers, office staff, etc.  It takes EVERYONE to make school happen.  I invite you to consider honoring your teacher next week with a kind and affirming note, or some other token of your appreciation.  I believe we could all agree that the role of the teacher and public school was magnified during the pandemic.

    On Monday, we are providing our staff with sodas and chocolate.  Tuesday they will receive chicken biscuits from our Grace New Hope Church business partner.  Wednesday will be the ‘DoNut Worry” donut day, and Thursday will be our regular Cookie Thursday with a little value added.  To top off the week, PTA is providing lunch for the entire staff (thank you PTA) and the teachers will have duty-free lunch (I’ll be sending out a call for volunteers early next week :-).

    Don’t forget about the PTA Spring Carnival next Saturday, May 7, from 12-4.  It is sure to be a FANTASTIC event with bouncy houses, a dunk tank, local vendors, and food trucks.  Entry and participation is provided to you FREE OF CHARGE by our PTA.  Food items and vendor sales is totally up to you :-)

    If you would like to help out there are two different time slots available.  Please complete this quick Sign-Up Genius to secure a spot.  We’d really appreciate your help.

    https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090e4aa4a82aa0f85-spring

    Our annual Fine Arts Night and PTA General Membership Meeting will be held on May 12.  We will begin the evening at 6 PM with our PTA General Membership Meeting and annual Officer Elections.  Once the meeting concludes, our 2nd & 4th Graders will have artwork on display that can be purchased.  You will be amazed at how much talent our students have.  Our 5th grade chorus students will perform also.  We will have our PTA Reflections entries on display, and can be picked up by families to take home that night.  

    The PTA General Membership Meeting and Officer Elections can be attended in person in our cafeteria or by Zoom.  A link will be sent out as we approach the May 12, 6 PM meeting time.

    Field Days… yes, we are having field days, and yes, we want you to be a part of them.  Here is the schedule for this year’s field days:

    Monday, May 16, 3rd Grade - 9:30-11:30               1st Grade - 12:30-2:30

    Tuesday, May 17, 4th Grade - 9:30-11:30              2nd Grade - 12:30-2:30

    Wednesday, May 18, 5th Grade - 9:30-11:30        Kindergarten - 12:30-2:30

    Again, we want you to come support your student and the class.  If younger siblings (not school age) are going to come with you, I ask that you be sure to provide the supervision necessary to keep them safe (bigger kids can be like bulls in a china shop).  Also, siblings that may be at Cooper will participate in their own field day at their grade level time.

    I know this Cooper Chronicles has been a bit lengthy, but I would be afraid you would be disappointed otherwise :-)

    Thank you all for a wonderful school year so far, and thanks for helping us end it STRONGLY!

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

    Your VERY PROUD and EXTREMELY GRATEFUL Principal,

    Paul

  • Cooper Chronicles (4-22-22)

    Happy Earth Day, Tigers.  I hope you have had a wonderful week and have great plans for the weekend.

    I won’t take too much of your time this afternoon… just a few reminders and shout-outs.

    Archer’s AgSTEM program is hosting a Plant Sale Fundraiser tomorrow from 9-2.  I encourage you to check them out in the greenhouse at Archer High School.

    As I mentioned in last week’s Cooper Chronicle, we had a great Town Hall meeting in which we discussed ways we might enhance every child’s overall school experience while they are at Cooper ES.  Mr. Kashella, on of our Assistant Principals, designed a survey to get information from you about extra curricular activities/clubs.  Please take a few moments to complete this survey so we can begin planning for the 2022-2023 school year.

    https://forms.gle/11y8tyG9YNswQ3uc8

    All Pro Dads met this morning.  Mr. Meadows was SOOOOO excited because we surpassed the century mark for overall attendance/participation this morning.  Thanks to all the moms and dads that came out this morning for a wonderful program.  Keep an eye out for our last meeting of the school year in May.

    Our Area 3 Council of PTAs met for their spring meeting last night at Archer HS.  They recognized students that had artwork submitted at the council and state levels.  The following students were recognized:

    Liam P. in first grade for his Visual Arts Entry                    
    Caleb D. in fourth grade for his Visual Arts Entry              
    Gwyn H. in fourth grade for her Music Composition Entry                    
    Anderson B. in fifth grade for his Literature Entry               
    Kennedi W. in fourth grade for her Film Production Entry                  
    Gabrielle F. in fourth grade for her Dance Choreography Entry                  
    Skylar R. in 4th grade for her Visual Arts Entry

    Congratulations to these artists!

    May 12 is our PTA General Membership Meeting and Fine Arts Night. Come join us to see how talented our students at Cooper are and the amazing work they produce.  

    With that, I will close.  I wish you all a wonderful weekend.  Be safe, be good, and stay healthy.

    Your VERY PROUD Principal,

    Paul Willis

  • Cooper Chronicles (4-15-22)

    Happy Friday, Tigers! I trust everyone in your household has had a great 'first' week after spring break.  We sure did!

    I wanted to give you a few things for this Friday in hopes that you will be uplifted, informed, reminded, and encouraged.

    First, thank to everyone that participated in our Fall PTA Fundraiser, we are in the middle of the Shade Sail installation on our playground.  Once complete, our students will have a shelter in place to protect against the hot Georgia sun while on the playground.  Your hard work and generosity for the school allowed PTA to purchase BOTH shade sails.  Thank you so much!

    By partnering with our PTA and School Council, we hosted our second Town Hall last night here at school.  We honestly hoped for a little better turn out, but the folks that did show were not shy in sharing some great ideas on how we can make our school better and how we can partner with PTA and School Council to help make those things happen.  Mr. Kashella will be sending a survey out very soon asking for your input on what extra curricular offerings you would like to see AND SUPPORT here at school.  This is the first step in building some great programs to give our students additional experiences outside of the Academic Knowledge and Skills they get during the regular school day.  I hope I can count on your participation to complete that survey.  Keep an eye out for it!

    Reminders... student transportation is one of the key functions we have at the school... it applies to EVERYONE that comes to the building.  We have close to 30 bus routes that pick up our students each and every day and also take them home.  We also have a very large number of car riders at Cooper.  We have worked together in the past to hone our processes to maintain the safety of our students while trying to become more efficient.  I guess that is working because we STILL have a bunch of car riders.  We only have a very small handful of walkers, and a good amount of students riding day care vans to different facilities in our area.  Everyone has a way to get home.  What I want to remind you of is the process we ask you to follow when your child's transportation has to change.  We ask that you write a note for each and every day your child will not be going home the regular way home.  Email is not reliable due to a teacher being out of the classroom or the absence of our front office staff member that handles transportation (We love Mrs. Patty!).  A note is virtually fool-proof AS LONG AS your child gives it to the teacher or substitute :-)  If you happen to forget the note, CALL THE SCHOOL.  CALL, CALL, CALL.  I would rather you call so we can get your child home safely than us having to call you because they weren't picked up, or we get a call from you looking for your child in the neighborhood.  Those moments are scary and mostly can be avoided.  Please note that if you need to call the school, doing so BEFORE 2:00 is best.  If you have ever been in our lobby during that golden hour of getting our kids home you can testify that it is very fast paced and somewhat hectic.  Calling before 2:00 gives us plenty of time to get bus passes, notes, etc. to the child and teacher.

    Last thing... this time of year is a very busy time for followers of three largest religions in our area... Muslims, Jews, and Christians.  Muslims are currently observing Ramadan, the holy month that involves fasting.  Ramadan ends with the observance of Eid al-Fitr in early May.  Jews observe Pesach (Passover) this time of year which recognizes the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land.  And finally, Christians celebrate the resurrection of their Savior Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.  I find it fascinating that all three of these religious observances have their origin in the same region of the world.  I think that it is good to know different things about our neighbors... knowledge allows us to see how similar we really are, and also allows us to celebrate each other.  I challenge you to spend some time this weekend picking up some knowledge about those people within your circle that will enrich and enhance your understanding.  If I missed something here, or you would like to teach me something about you and your background, I would love to hear it.  Call me :-)

    I wish all of you, my Tiger neighbors, the very best this weekend.  Be good, be healthy, and stay well, my friends.

    Your VERY PROUD Principal,

    Paul

  • Cooper Chronicles (3-25-22)

    Good afternoon, Tigers.  I hope you are all doing well and ready for a wonderful weekend.

    I wanted to thank our PTA for the Meet and Greet before our PTA meeting last night… especially for the wonderful PIZZA!  Also, thanks to our partners at Johnny’s Pizza in Grayson… y’all have GREAT pizza.

    Also, a HUGE thanks to Sarah Hutton and her STEM Team for a fun and engaging STEM Night last night… I was intrigued that kids were playing music with potatoes and bananas!  Go figure!  According to an informal field survey, the Land of Lava was the most popular station.  All of the stations were great and I really appreciate all the time and effort our staff put into planning and running each event station.

    Remember that Spring Break begins April 4.  School will be closed April 4-8.  We will look forward to seeing students return on April 11.

    Our PTA is sponsoring a Town Hall Meeting on April 14 from 6:30-7:30 in the cafeteria.  We’d love to hear from you… what would you like to see from our PTA, what ideas or suggestions do you have, and how can we work together to make Cooper ES better?  Your voice matters and we hope to see you and hear from you on Thursday, April 14.

    Finally… save the date for our Spring Carnival on May 7 from 12-4.  It is sure to be a BLAST!

    Again, I wish you all a wonderful weekend!  Until we meet again, be good, stay safe, and be healthy!

    Your VERY PROUD and so glad we can have PARENTS in the BUILDING AGAIN Principal,

    Paul

  • Cooper Chronicles (3-17-22)

    Good morning, Tigers.  I hope you have been able to stay dry this week.  Remember, March comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb; and April showers bring May flowers… I don’t know if that applies to Georgia???

    Two things… action items for next week…

    Monday, March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day. Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused when abnormal cell division results in extra genetic material from chromosome 21. Cooper ES has several students with Down Syndrome, and we want to show our support to them and their families on this special day.  One way we can show our support as a school is to wear mismatched socks. This is a fun, spunky way to show our support.

    1st Action Item… wear mismatched socks on Monday, March 21.

    We have students hee that are Heart Warriors, meaning that they have been patients in the Kids at Heart Program at Children’s.  Miracles happen every day there, and if our Cooper Tigers can be a small part of the healing process for kids and families that have extended stays in the hospital, then I think we should.

    2nd Action Item… Our school has an opportunity to provide needed materials to child patients and their families at Children’s Health Care of Atlanta, Kid’s at Heart Program.  I would love to overwhelm the staff at Children’s with school supplies and comfort items (crayons, coloring books, colored pencils).  Here is the what and how and reward…

    WHAT… crayons, pencils, notebooks, construction paper, comic books, coloring books, colored pencils… just about any school supply you can think of.

    HOW… students bring in the items and place them in the boxes in the lobby.

    REWARD… knowing that we have shown compassion and empathy towards our peers, and knowing we have made a difference is the reward.

    Thank you in advance for supporting our students.

    Your VERY PROUD Principal,

    Paul

  • Cooper Chronicles (3-11-22)

    Happy Friday, Tigers.

    If you missed last night’s International Night, you missed out!  It was so great to see a good crowd come out and learn a little about the countries and cultures that make up our school.  We started out in the cafe with a family performing a  traditional Cuban song, and then challenged our families to identify as many flags as possible.  We have 62 flags displayed in our cafe.  Congratulations to the Wilson family for identifying 50 of them correctly… that’s right… 50!  We also gave prizes to the next 10 highest ‘scores’.  Congratulations!  A huge thank you to AP George Kashella for organizing this event, his support team of Cooper Staff and Teachers, and the families that presented.  Also, thanks to our PTA supporting this event.

    We are already making plans for our next International Night for May of 2023… begin thinking how you might represent your country and/or culture.

    I hope you already have STEM Night on your calendar for March 24.  Come join PTA at 5:30 for some elbow rubbing and pizza.  We’ll kick-off the evening festivities at 6:00 and wrap things up by 8:00.  We will also have our Scholastic Book Fair open to our families before STEM Night, so be sure to get here in plenty of time.

    I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  Until we meet again, be good, stay safe, and stay healthy.

    Your VERY PROUD and ‘INTERNATIONAL’ Principal,

    Paul

  • Cooper Chronicles (3-4-22)

    Happy Friday Cooper Tigers!  I hope you are all doing well and have thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful weather we have been blessed with this week.

    I know this Cooper Chronicle has some length to it, but hang in there.  The really good stuff is on the bottom!

    This week’s Cookie Thursday was sponsored by the Walker family and the Giles family.  We thank these families for their support of our faculty and staff.  The cookies were YUMMYlicious!  #BetterTogether!

    As I am sure you are aware, GCPS, in accordance with state and health district guidance, has shifted from MASKS REQUIRED to MASKS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.  For some, this is wonderful news, and to others, this is the worst thing that could have happened.  It is my responsibility to make sure no student, visitor, or staff member is ostracized for their decision to wear or to not wear a mask.  It is a choice, and we must honor individual choices. As a school, we will no longer be supplying masks.  If you would like for your child to continue wearing masks, please make sure he/she comes to school with one.

    Spring Picture Day is coming on Wednesday, March 9. Your child should have a flyer from our picture company in their Friday Folder today that has ordering information.  Since ‘green screen’ technology is used, please refrain from wearing green on picture day.  Individual pictures are ONLY for PRE-PAID orders. You may pay via the online link open until 4pm Tuesday or use the paper forms with payment on picture day.

    We are so excited to have our first International Night on Thursday, March 10.  Did you know that our school families represent over 57 countries around the world?  The diverse cultures and backgrounds that come into our building is amazing and makes our school stronger.  Come join us at 6 PM as we kick off our International Night in the cafeteria with a LIVE performance representing Cuba.  Afterwards, stroll ‘around the world’ and get your passports stamped by visiting tables/booths that will represent nearly 20 countries. End the evening with us back in the cafeteria with a performance representing the Philippines. A huge thank you goes to Mr. George Kashella and the many volunteers that have been working behind the scenes to make this event awesome!  Check out this introductory presentation for International Night.

    https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1IPId5WIBS7Py5sfHW27M2ik7NvheRyT0YD5K_QmZ4Cs/edit?usp=sharing

    Our next All Pro Dad meeting will be held on Friday, March 18 at 7:30 AM.  Dads… if you haven’t gotten plugged into this yet, YOU NEED TO.  Moms… if your husband hasn’t come to these yet, make him!  Mr. Meadows does a great job leading our All Pro Dad Chapter and is always looking for a FEW [more[ GOOD MEN.  RSVP here… make sure we have enough CFA biscuits :-)

    https://allprodadchapters.com/chapters/10504

    Also in March we will have our annual STEM Night and PTA General Membership Meeting.  On Thursday, March 24, come enjoy pizza supplied by our PTA, chat with our fine PTA Executive Committee Members, and get ready for a wonderful night of exploration and imagination.  The PTA Meet & Greet begins at 5:30 with STEM Night and PTA General Membership Meeting from 6-8 PM.

    I’ve saved the best for last… I’m so excited to announce that Cooper ES is OPEN to volunteers and lunch visitors AGAIN!  We have not been able to have classroom volunteers in TWO YEARS… that is hard to believe.  If you are interested in volunteering or visiting for lunch, please be sure to read our school’s procedures below:

    Volunteering

    1. Volunteer time must be coordinated through the teacher in advance.  There are times where additional adults in the classroom can be very helpful, and times where additional adults in the classroom can be a distraction.  Our master teachers know when leveraging volunteers can be most effective.

    2. Volunteers must check in and out through our RAPTOR Visitor Management System when coming to the school.  This requires a driver’s license, passport, or some other official form of identification.

    3. When volunteering, no videos or pictures can be taken of students.

    4. Some volunteer experiences are outside of the classroom (Friday Folder stuffing, preparing for projects, etc.)

    Visiting for Lunch

    1. We love to have lunch visitors!

    2. Visitors must check in and out through our RAPTOR Visitor Management System when coming to the school.  This requires a driver’s license, passport, or some other official form of identification.

    3. Only parents/adults authorized for the student may visit (people listed in the student database).

    4. Parents and their children must sit at the designated Parent Table (inside to the right of the cafe).

    5. Visitors can only eat with their child… classmates cannot join.

    6. When visiting, no videos or pictures can be taken of students.

    7. Visiting for lunch is only for lunch… Please do not follow your child back to the classroom and/or playground.

    8. Please do not bring items (balloons, flowers, stuffed animals, etc.).  Your student will not be able to take those items back to class.

    9. Outside food is strongly discouraged (but know that I love CFA Waffle Fries)

    Until we meet again, I pray that you have a wonderful weekend and are able to enjoy the beautiful weather.  Be safe, be good, and stay healthy!

    Your VERY PROUD Principal,

    P

  • Cooper Chronicles (2-27-22)

    Happy Sunday evening, Tigers!  I hope you had a wonderful and restful weekend.

    I would like to thank the Dennis family and the Rodriguez family for sponsoring this weeks Cookie Thursday.  This was the first time we had family sponsors.  Our teachers and support staff LOVED the fresh baked cookies.  

    Remember, this week is Read Across America Week.  An email was sent on Friday Morning with a list of events for the week... tomorrow being College Wear or Location Wear.  I look forward to seeing All the Places We Will Go :-)

    Are you interested in working part-time at Cooper ES?  We are looking for additional Cafe Monitors.  Cafe Monitors help keep the flow going in the cafeteria and monitors students while they eat.  If interested, apply for Job #72796 Temp/Misc through GCPS. We would love to have you join our team.

    Many of you will be having conferences with your child's teachers this week.  This is a wonderful time that is set aside to hear from the teacher and find out what's next for your child.  All conferences will be held via Zoom.

    Please remember that Wednesday, March 2 is a scheduled Digital Learning Day for your student, and Thursday is an Early Release Day.  School will release at 12:50, so expect your child home earlier than usual.  If you need to make alternative transportation arrangements, please be sure to send a written note to your child's teacher detailing the arrangements.

    Masks... we have switched gears as a district and have lifted the Mandatory Mask Requirement.  Masks are still encouraged.  We will continue to encourage regular hand washing, have hand sanitizer available to all, and promote good hygiene habits.

    March 10 will be our International Night.  We currently have about 20 countries represented... come out and learn with us from 6-8 PM.

    March 24 is our STEM Night and PTA General Membership Meeting.  Keep an eye out for more details to come.

    That's it for now... enjoy the rest of your evening.  Be good and stay healthy.

    Your VERY PROUD Principal

    Paul

  • Cooper Chronicles (2-16-22)

    Good morning, Tigers.

    Last year in the midst of the COVID 19 Global Pandemic we witnessed all essential workers... EMTs, Police Officers, Nurses, Doctors, Teachers... so many people doing their very best just to keep up with the challenges we were facing.  There is a saying, "If you don't feed the teachers, they eat the students."  Treats, even the most simple, go a long way in saying, "We recognize the challenges you are facing, and we appreciate you for facing them with us."  Hence the beginning of Cooper Elementary School's COOKIE THURSDAY campaign.

    Each Thursday, our cafeteria workers bake about 150 cookies... mostly chocolate chip, and the administrators push a cart around to each classroom and deliver the teacher (and all support staff) a freshly baked cookie.  Thursdays at Cooper have been the same ever since.

    I would like to invite you to partner with the school in co-sponsoring one of our Cookie Thursdays that we have left this school year.  For $25 through MyPaymentsPlus, you can help us buy a case of frozen cookie dough from Sam's Club (they have the BEST cookies).  We will let our staff know which families are sponsoring that Thursday.

    The Thursday just before Winter Break we surprised the students with cookies also... they always ask if they can have one when we deliver them to the classroom, and this time we said YES.  We would like to do that for our students again.

    Here are the particulars... each case costs about $35 and contains 144 cookies.  We have 14 Thursdays in this school year.  It would take about 10 cases to give each of our students a cookie... so we would be looking to partner with 25-50 families for the remainder of the year.

    If you are interested, go to your MyPaymentsPlus account and choose the AGAPE COOKIE contribution.

    Our staff and I certainly appreciate your support.

    Be good, stay safe, and stay healthy.

    P

  • Cooper Chronicles (2-11-22)

    Good day, Tigers.

    In the last Cooper Chronicles, which I know was very long, I had included some information about our International Night on March 10.  Since then, we have had only ONE response...

    Please please please consider sharing with our school community the wonderful and beautiful things of your culture.  I look forward to seeing and learning so much from you.

    I'll leave it at that... and the survey link :-)   https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSewIwWFrGRf5bNp9lemNISHXh0WEXU3nhQn60Dyeb7kqt143g/viewform?usp=sf_link

    Be good and stay safe.

    P

  • Cooper Chronicles (2-8-22)

    Good day, Tigers.

    The last Cooper Chronicles was perhaps the BEST one I have ever written… it had wit… it had humor… it was direct with a soft point… the bad news is that only a fraction of it was sent AND I didn’t save my Word Doc.  So, you’ll have to endure a second version that will not be nearly as good as the original.  Lessons learned… don’t brag (I told our PTA board that it was the BEST before I ever sent it) and SAVE SAVE SAVE.

    Counselor Appreciation Week… National School Counseling Week 2022 (#NSCW22) is February 7-11, 2022, to focus public attention on the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems. National School Counseling Week, sponsored by ASCA, highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. National School Counseling Week is always celebrated the first full week in February.  Our school counselors, Mrs. Tran and Mrs. Muma, serve over 1,400 students.  We love our counselors at Cooper ES, and want to thank Mrs. Tran and Mrs. Muma for serving our students and families.

    PTA Newsletter… PTA has begun publishing a monthly newsletter that I will send via the Cooper Chronicles, as well as send home a copy with your child.  PTA will send the newsletter via their MemberHub service to all PTA members as well… you will be well covered with newsletters!

    PTA Newsletter-February

    Family Dance… the Family Dance is just around the corner.  If you plan on coming but have not yet bought a ticket ($5 individual or $20 per family), please do so ASAP so we have an accurate count for ordering food.  You can purchase tickets online through MemberHub.  The dance will be held on Saturday, February 12 from 6-8 PM.  I look forward to our students and their families having a great time.

    International Night… we are planning a wonderful International Night for Thursday, March 10 from 6-8.  We are looking for families that are willing and eager to share their culture with us… whether your culture has ties to the Appalachian region of VA, or a region of Africa.  Cooper ES values and appreciates the many different cultures represented by our families and believe that each of us as individuals can learn from each other.  Thank you in advance for facilitating that learning AND opening yourself up to being a learner.

    Interested in sharing?  Let us know what you have in mind.  Some ideas are sharing traditional and/or ceremonial clothing, family traditions, traditional and/or ceremonial dances or music, childhood games, or anything else you might like to share.  It is our hope that we have many countries and cultures represented for our International Night… let us know by completing this International Night survey.

    PTA Nominating Committee… as part of our PTA Officer Elections processes, we are required to select a 3 person plus one alternate committee to make up the Nominating Committee.  The Nominating Committee is responsible for finding interested volunteers to fill the PTA Officer positions on PTA.  Currently, we have 2 Co-presidents, 1 Vice President, 1 Treasurer, and 2 Secretaries.  To be eligible to serve on the Nominating Committee, you must be a current PTA member and willing to meet with committee members to do the work.  Let PTA know you are interested by emailing PTA at PTACOOPERTIGERS@gmail.com.  The Nominating Committee will be approved by the General Membership at our March 24 General Membership Meeting.  Officer elections are on May 12.

    Car Rider… thanks to all of our car riders for making this process work a bit more smoothly.  Honestly, we just have A LOT of car riders and it takes time to funnel through the process.  You should count on AT LEAST five minutes from first entering the parking lot at the stop light to drop off… if it takes less than that… yay.  Also, for efficiency, be sure to keep the gaps tight, especially in the ‘drop zones’, and make sure your child is ready to exit with their bookbags in tow.  (The original email had some kind of funny statement about coming to a ‘slow roll’ and signing permission slips before car rider…). What is considered ‘Tardy’? Our school day begins at 8:50 sharp.  Morning announcements start at 8:45, and most always ends by the 8:50 bell.  Students need to be in class at 8:50… that is why the car rider line is shut down at 8:48… some of our kids have a ¼ mile hike, UPHILL, just to get to their class! 

    In an ideal world, our students would all be in the building by 8:35, which would give them time to unpack, get settled, and begin reading a book… we call this time Cooper Reads.  Once the announcements start, and the tardy bell rings, we have groups of students moving all over the building meeting with different teachers for Tiger Time.  Tiger Time is a focused intervention time that is planned for students… those needing a bit more time with the teacher gets it in small group during this time… students that need to be ‘extended’ get it during this time… students working on increasing their reading levels have focused lessons during this time.  This is a CRITICAL time in our students’ schedule.  It is important for our kids to be here.  

    I know many families have many different reasons for not riding the bus.. I get it.  You choose.  But, to let you know, all of our buses are unloaded by 8:35 each morning… just sayin’.

    Yearbooks… buy your yearbook now and avoid heartbreak in the spring.  Yes, that was a bit dramatic, but EVERY YEAR we sell out, and EVERY YEAR I have to tell parents (and teachers) that they’ll be put on a waiting list that RARELY ever gets a chance to get used.  Buy today through MyPaymentsPlus for $31.

    Well, I think I got it all covered.  My apologies for the mix up before, and thank you for taking the time to read this one now.

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

    Your VERY PROUD Principal,

    Paul

  • Cooper Chronicles (2-4-22)

    Happy Friday, Tigers.  I hope you have all been well since we were last together.

    As I hope you are aware, February is Black History Month.  Each school day this month the students are introduced to one prominent person from American History, most of which are part of our K-5 AKS.  In partnering with PTA, your child has the opportunity to answer a series of questions each week via the W.J. Cooper Elementary School PTA Facebook page.  Students getting all the answer correct are entered into a drawing for a Chick Fil A gift card.  Winners are announced each Monday during announcements for the previous week’s trivia questions.  Be sure to look at the five people introduced this week and help your child answer the questions via the FB page.  It is our hope that maybe your child can share some interesting information with you

  • Cooper Chronicles (1-21-22)

    Good afternoon, Tigers.  I hope you are all doing well and are ready for a wonderful weekend.

    We have definitely gotten back into the groove for the second semester.  Can you believe that today was our 100th day of school this year?  I will tell you from years of experience, it only speeds up from here.  The spring semester flies by, and before you know it we will be at the end of May and ready for a fun-filled summer.  But, hang on!  We are not quite there yet.

    The second semester is so much fun because learning bursts wide open.  First graders experience the second semester light bulb moment where they just really accelerate their own learning, kindergartners are looking more and more like first graders, and our fifth graders begin to THINK they are middle schoolers :-)  I look forward to this semester and anticipate we will be able to give our kids the best learning opportunities and experiences we can despite the COVID obstacles we have faced this year.  We will not only survive... we will thrive.

    I've noticed an interesting data point this week... we are averaging about 50 late check-ins (tardies) each day.  It is our goal to have kids in the classroom ready to learn no later than 8:50.  Our morning news program comes on at 8:45 each morning and is over by the beginning of our instructional day, 8:50.  I know that some mornings are just more tough than others, especially with nasty weather... I get it.  However, I still have the responsibility for properly accounting for kids that aren't in class by 8:50.  I've heard there may be morning car rider issues that are making people getting in line as early as 8:30 not getting to class before 8:50.  I'll be making some observations and speaking with our car rider team to see what we need to do to keep this from happening.  We'll find solutions where solutions are available... just hang in there with us.

    PTA... we would like to welcome Ms. Brittany Beckett to the PTA Executive Committee as our Recording Secretary.  Ms. Beckett and her family moved to our area last year and wanted to get plugged in to the school.  She found PTA a wonderful way to give of her gifts and talents.  Ms. Beckett has three girls: a fourth grader, a first grader, and a future Tiger.  Welcome to the team, Ms. Beckett.

    If you would like to give of your gifts and talents, we are looking for a PTA Treasurer.  We'd love to have you.  Email ptacoopertigers@gmail.com to let us know you are interested.

    I wish you all a wonderful, happy, fun-filled, and safe weekend.  Be good and stay healthy!

    Your VERY PROUD Principal,

    Paul

  • Cooper Chronicles (1-14-22)

    Good afternoon, Tigers.  I hope you have had a wonderful week and will be able to spend this weekend enjoying your family and some time off.

    Remember that school is closed on Monday, January 17 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  It is said that this is not a 'day off' it is a 'day of service'.  Whether you spend time with your family or choose to serve others, I encourage you to at least reflect upon the words and deeds of Dr. King and let those words and reflections bounce around in your heart... I assure you that you will be better after than you were before.  One quote from Dr. King is applicable today as it was over 50 years ago and I want to share it with you:

    “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  If we could all use these words to guide our steps, our world would be so much better!

    COVID... grrrrr.  I T-H-I-N-K that this current spike will fall as rapidly as it increased; however, if I have learned anything through this pandemic it is that I should not predict or anticipate anything.  I do hope that we will once again see a lull in the community's COVID numbers, and that we quickly figure out how to flip from the COVID Pandemic mindset to more of an endemic thought process.  We must do our part to mitigate the spread of ALL germs to keep us healthy and safe.  Thank you for doing your part.

    PE Announcement... please be sure to have your child wear appropriate footwear when scheduled for PE.  Wearing appropriate footwear minimizes the risk of injury to yourself and others.  We want our students to be active in PE, and wearing appropriate athletic footwear is one of the components of full participation in the activities.  If you have any questions, be sure to reach out to Coach Blair or Coach Larsen.

    Inclement Weather??? We don't often get any substantial snow or ice in this part of the country, but when we do, people GO NUTS!  If we have a frozen participation event AND you get communication of a school closure from the district, then PLEASE make sure your child is ready for learning by 9 AM.  Way back in the olden days we used to get the day off when it snowed... not any more :-(  Don't tell anyone I said this, but if we do have a snow event AND for whatever reason you are not able to complete the day's learning, DON'T PANIC... make the most of it and communicate any difficulties with your teacher.  School will still be here when you return.

    Upcoming Events... mark your calendars!

    Tuesday, January 25, Digital Learning Day- this day will be mostly asynchronous learning.  NO KIDS IN SCHOOL

    Saturday, February 12, PTA Family Dance- we are soooo looking forward to this event... plans are in the works and we have a wonderful team heading up the planning.  Keep a look out a little later this month for more information.  

    February 17-21- Winter Break?? Pre-Spring Break??  Whatever you want to call it, students have this time off from school.

    I do wish each of you a wonderful weekend.  Thank you for sending your kids to us each and every school day.  

    Until next time, be good, be healthy, and stay safe!

    Your VERY PROUD and OPTIMISTIC Principal,

    Paul

  • Cooper Chronicles (12-3-21)

    Happy Friday, Tigers.  I hope you all have had a wonderful week and are primed for a great weekend.

    I heard there is a football game this weekend that many of us are interested in.  I typically don't take sides, but my three favorite college football teams are the VT Hokies, UGA Bulldogs, and anyone playing Alabama.  So, Go Bulldogs!

    I want to give a huge shout out to all our parent volunteers that have supported our school this week.  Our Reindeer Lane volunteers have been absolutely fantastic.  We sent out a plea for more volunteers and that request was answered... THANK YOU!  Seeing all of you in the building, helping our students pick out the very special gifts for their loved ones, and watching you help the children make VERY IMPORTANT decisions on how to spend their money wisely down to their very last quarter... big stuff!

    FYI... Reindeer Lane will be open all next week, with the final shopping day on Saturday, December 11 from 9-11.  If your child's class has already been to the Reindeer Lane and you want/need for him/her to go back, please communicate that with their teacher and he/she will be sure to get them there.

    And today... we needed volunteers for the Bookmobile visit organized by Mrs. Pemberton.  Our volunteers helped 1,260 students pick out the perfect book for them over a period of just a few hours.  Wow!  We couldn't have pulled that off without our amazing parent volunteer support.  THANK YOU!

    Reminders...

    Our annual 5th Grade Chorus Concert will be IN PERSON in our gymnasium on Thursday, December 9 at 6 PM.  I AM SO EXCITED!!!  Remember that masks are required in all GCPS facilities.  I hope you can make it out.

    Pancakes with Santa and Holiday Bazaar is on Saturday, December 11 from 9-1.  I am very excited about this event and look forward to seeing our families celebrate the season with us AND get some great shopping in... we have about 30 vendors signed up to offer their goods/services to our community.  I am sure there are many treasures to be found.  Be sure to PREORDER your Pancakes with Santa tickets via My Payments Plus... this helps us prepare enough pancakes for you :-)

    Finally... we are doing a SILLY HOLIDAY HAT DAY on Monday.  I look forward to seeing some CRAZY hats.

    With that, I sign off for the week... be good, be safe, and stay healthy.

    Your VERY PROUD and FESTIVE Principal,

    P

  • Cooper Chronicles (11-9-21)

    Good afternoon, Tigers.  I hope you and your children had a WONDERFUL digital learning day.  I know our faculty and staff were here in the building planning the next couple weeks of lessons, gathering instructional materials, and making copies for the rest of this week and next.  We thank you for the opportunity to have a day to focus on these very important "teacher tasks".

    I just a few things to mention... first, as we approach Veteran's Day (November 11), I encourage to look at the online padlet we have on our main webpage.  There you'll see how many veterans are represented by our students... great grandfathers, uncles, aunts, fathers, mothers... and I know that not every veteran associated with Cooper ES is listed.  I am grateful for the sacrifice of our veterans and their families for stepping up and supporting taking the oath to defend our constitution against all enemies.  We live in a GREAT nation that is not perfect, but is made up with people with the tenacity, vigor, and drive to make us better and better. Without our military... past, present, and future, we would not be free to challenge the thinking of our nation's leaders, shakers, and movers.  THANK YOU VETERANS!

    View and/or add to the padlet HERE.

    In honor of Veteran's Day on Thursday, let's show our nation's pride and appreciation by wearing Red, White, and Blue.

    PAJAMA DAY... yep, we are having another PJ Day on Friday.  This PJ Day is in support of our United Way Student Campaign.  Please have your child bring $1 to support United Way and wear PJs all day!  But wait... there's more... THIS IS ALSO A STREAK CHALLENGE... each streak will earn 1 point per dollar.  Which streak will win the school's Streak Spirit Banner????  Streak buckets will be at each main entrance... kids drop their $$ in the bucket when they get to school, we count it up, and announce the winner that afternoon.

    Town Hall... Cooper ES, Cooper PTA, and Cooper ES School Council is teaming up to host a Cooper Community Town Hall on Tuesday, November 16 at 6:00 PM in the school's cafeteria.  MASKS ARE MANDATORY.  Come hear a brief introduction to the school, PTA, and School Council, and then we want to hear from you... we want to know how we can more closely partner with you and your family... how we can get better as a school... and how we can best use our resources.  We will have a HARD STOP at 7 PM.  I look forward to seeing you here.

    That's it for now... I wish you a wonderful HUMP DAY tomorrow, and a great ending to this week.

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

    Your VERY PROUD Principal,

    Paul Willis

  • Cooper Chronicles (11-4-21)

    Happy Friday Eve, Tigers!  Can you believe that school is CANCELED tomorrow so people can celebrate the World Champion Braves????

    I don't know if the parents get nearly excited as our staff and students do when there are sudden, unexpected days off, but I hope we can all agree that our kids and staff could use the surprise break. Parents... I wish you the best!

    I honestly THOUGHT that I had shared the Character Pumpkin winner and the Classroom Candy Collections winner on our morning news show last week, but I can't find anyone to corroborate that for me... so I am guessing I probably need to do that... again.

    The winning Character Pumpkin was Mrs. Crawford's 2nd Grade Class... BABY YODA.  This was definitely a favorite!  Overall, the Character Pumpkins brought in over $400 that was used by teachers to buy books for their classrooms.  Congratulations Mrs. Crawford!

    Ms. Dadovic's class won the Candy Collection contest by bringing in 106 lbs of candy!  Ms. Dadovic's class wins the PTA Spirit Trophy and a pizza party for their efforts. Grade level winners are... Ms. Newman, Kindergarten, with 36 lbs; Ms. Simms, 2nd grade, with 45 lbs; Dr. Perrer, 3rd grade, with 43 lbs; Mrs. Pruehs, 4th grade, with 40 lbs; and Mrs. Davis, 5th grade, with 70 lbs!  The BEST news of all... it was ALL handed out at our Trunk or Treat even on 10/30.  Thank you all who donated candy for this wonderful event.

    I won't keep you long... but I do want to wish everyone a wonderful extended weekend.  Be good, stay safe, and take time to celebrate even the smallest of victories and the big ones, too.

    Your VERY PROUD and EXCITED for a BREAK Principal,

    Paul

  • Cooper Chronicles (10-29-21)

    Good Friday afternoon, friends.

    A huge thank you goes out to those All Star Families that participated in our Family Literacy Night last night.  Our staff did an amazing job presenting timely information to make that bond between home and school even stronger.  We are truly #BetterTogether.  Unfortunately, I put the wrong Zoom link to my story last night and was really bummed I didn't have anyone attend... until I realized I had made the mistake.  I went ahead and read the book, and I just have to say that I NAILED it!  I recorded it and will get it out to anyone interested in hearing about Mr. Keene and his Fine, Fine School.

    I wanted to remind everyone that tomorrow is our Trunk or Treat event at Cooper from 5 PM- 9 PM.  Our PTA  has lined up quite a few cars for you to visit, and our classrooms collected 340 lbs of candy, and we are very eager to give all of that right back to you :-)

    Next week is our Red Ribbon Week observance.  Red Ribbon Week is a serious but fun way to let everyone know that drugs have no place here.  We'd love for your student to participate with us.  Monday is Put Drugs to Sleep...wear your pajamas to school.  Tuesday is Put a Hat on Drugs... wear a hat for $1.  Wednesday is our Lei Off Drugs day... PTA is supplying leis for everyone, and we encourage everyone to wear Hawaiian styled clothing. **This is Picture Make Up Day and Digital Learner Picture Day.

    Thursday's theme is Team Up Against Drugs... wear your favorite sports team apparel, and Friday is Celebrate Cooper day by wearing your Tiger spirit wear.

    We have a Digital Learning Day coming up on November 9.  I'll be sending out a link to our 2nd-5th grade families to request a Chromebook after this email hits your boxes... please be sure to complete the form by the due date.  Late requests will be honored as we are able to considering staffing concerns and availability.

    I wish you each a very happy, a very safe, and a very relaxing weekend.  Be good!

    Your VERY PROUD and HALLOWEENED OUT Principal,

    Paul

  • Cooper Chronicles (10-19-21)

    Good day, Tigers.  I hope you are all having a wonderful day.

    I am attaching a document that your child's teacher may reference during conferences this week.  It will also be referenced in next week's Literacy Night by Mrs. Litt.  It would be helpful to be familiar with each of the actions of all stakeholders for information purposes, but focusing on the Parent/Community Actions woudl be adventageous.

    Gwinnett Literacy Actions for Teachers, Students and Community-English.pdf 

    On another note, we will need to change the calendar for Make Up Picture Day and Picture Day for Digital Learners.  It was originally scheduled for October 26.  We will reschedule to Wednesday, November 3.

    In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I would like to PINK OUT the school on Tuesday, October 26.  So many of our studnet's families and our staff's families have been impacted by Breast Cancer.  Let's show our support by wearing pink! 

    We have a lot of activities and events ongoing and coming up... I'll do my best to communicate those with you using our different communication tools.  Thanks for all your support. 

    Have a TIGERriffic Day!

    P

  • Cooper Chronicles (10-16-2021)

    Happy Saturday, Tigers. For those of you that have games this weekend, I wish you the very best and hope you get the 'W'.  Most of all, I hope you play your very best game.

    **Long Cooper Chronicle Warning**

    Fundraiser Wrap-up... THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your participation and support of our annual PTA Step It Up Fundraiser.  The Cooper Community collected just over $74,000, meaning our STEM programs will get about $3,700 and our PTA will be able to fund all of the planned projects for the school year.  The financial support provided by the Cooper Community never disappoints... thank you all for your help!

    I am hoping that your child has told you all about their STREAK, and for which STREAK they have been selected.  We've been waiting semi-patiently for the right time to get our students involved with Cooper's STREAK initiative, and I am SOOOO excited to get this underway.  As a quick summary, the word STREAK is an interesting word for a group of tigers.  Although all of our staff and students are in eight different STREAKS, we are all TIGERS and will continue to work together to meet our common goals #BETTERTOGETHER.

    The STREAK idea was developed by a small group of staff with the hope of bringing an element of excitement, an opportunity for our staff to get to know other staff outside of their typically 'circle', to create a vertical system of organization for our staff and students to support and uplift each other, and to provide a structure for healthy competition within our school for a number of different purposes.  The names of the each streak was based on our five Tiger Traits (Trust, Integrity, Growth, Effort, and Respect, as well as a couple more character traits such as Friendship, Courage, and Dreamer.  The languages that these character traits were translated to are languages that are represented within our school community.  I can proudly say as your principal that all of our students, at a minimum, are now bilingual :-)

    The eight STREAK names, the language of origin, and which color they are represented by are below:

    Fiducia- Italian for TRUST- Black; Integridad- Filipino for INTEGRITY- Pink; Vekst- Norwegian for GROWTH-Green; Napor- Croatian for EFFORT- Purple; Mahalo- Hawaiian for RESPECT- Royal Blue; Amistad- Spanish for FRIENDSHIP- Red; Isibindi- Zulu for COURAGE- Orange; Reveur- French for DREAMER- Yellow

    I mentioned that healthy competition was one of the reasons why the planning team developed the STREAK program.  The staff have 'competed' in two challenges since the start of the school year.  The first was the first streak to have 100% PTA membership (a longstanding expectation that I have had for staff) and a Name That Flag competition with the countries that are represented by our school community (over 50!).

    The first student & staff STREAK CHALLENGE begins Monday and supports our Great Days of Service project.  Beginning Monday and ending Thursday we will be collecting CANNED FOOD and other non-perishable food items to support our local food bank.  Students and staff will bring in their items and place them on their streak color.  The items will be counted and the winning streak will earn 200 points and bragging rights.  Although this is a streak competition, we area all working together to support our community... #BETTERTOGETHER

    Just a reminder that student/parent/teacher conferences are next week.  Wednesday is an ASYNCHRONOUS LEARNING DAY (students learn from home and do not report to the building) and Thursday is an early release day (don't forget to make arrangements for your child getting home safely).  We will begin dismissing students at 12:50 on Thursday.  Conferences are a great opportunity for teachers and parents to focus on their student's progress, to determine what strategies may be needed for academic growth and acceleration, and to determine what other things need to be worked on.  We know that the pandemic has impacted the learning of many of our students and that the recovery period will be YEARS... plural, YEARS.  It is important that we view each other (teachers, parents, students, support people, etc.) as PARTNERS and team members focused on the student.  I ask that you keep the spirit of #BETTERTOGETHER as you meet about your child and always focus on their academic growth and their development as a responsible, contributing member of our society.

    Literacy Week... October 25-29 is our Literacy Week with a few different activities.  Our Book Fair Family Night will be on Tuesday, October 26 from 4:30-6:30 IN THE BUILDING (insert applause).  We welcome you to come to the media center, shop for a great book and fun items, and support our media center all at the same time.  Wink, wink... coming to the Book Fair Family Night could earn your streak some points and you a prize... wink wink. 

    Another wonderful event that will be taking place is our annual Character Pumpkin Decorating Contest.  Each classroom has been asked to decorate a pumpkin as a book character.  Our students, staff, and parents will VOTE for their favorite pumpkin.  

    Literacy Night will be on Thursday, October 28 and will follow a very similar structure as Math Night.  We are looking for more ALL STAR FAMILIES to put on our WALL OF FAME.  Kids have LOVED seeing their family name on the Wall of Fame from Math Night, and I know they will be looking for their family names for Literacy Night.  The Literacy Night is designed to give families some timely tips and strategies to support literacy in the home... #BETTERTOGETHER

    Calendar Items

    10/18-10/21- Great Days of Service Canned Food Drive and Streak Competition

    10/18- Bus Driver Appreciation Day; 50th Day of School (Kindergarten)

    10/20- Digital Learning Day, Parent/Teacher Conferences

    10/21- Early Release (12:50), Parent/Teacher Conferences

    10/25-10/29- Literacy Week

    10/26- Digital Student Picture Day, Make Up Picture Day; Last day for Halloween Candy Collection Contest (pounds by class) for Trunk or Treat

    10/28- Literacy Night (via Zoom)

    10/30- Trunk or Treat, 5-9 PM

    10/30-11/5- Red Ribbon Week

    Shuwee... that was a LONG one!  Thanks for taking the time to read it.

    Until we are able to meet again, be good, be healthy, and stay safe!

    Your VERY PROUD and #BETTERTOGETHER Principal,

    Paul

  • Cooper Chronicles (10-1-21)

    Happy Friday, Tigers!  I hope that you have had a great week and are ready for a wonderful weekend.  I wanted to share a few things with you that will hopefully get us through our upcoming Fall Break, and then some.

    First, I would like to thank everyone that came out to our PTA Fall Festival last Saturday, and a double double thank you for all the PTA Volunteers that made this event so successful.  I had a blast in the dunk tank, and appreciate Mr. Meadows, Mr. Hahn, Mr. Ludke, and Mr. Welsh for being great sports and sharing the dunk tank fun.  It was wonderful to see our campus full of life with smiles, laughter, and kids being kids.  It really makes me long for all the COVID stuff to pass by so we can have even more fun!

    Our STEAM ENGINE fundraiser is chugging right along.  We've given away a mini-fridge stuffed full of cash to Knox in Mrs. Spears class, and an iPad to Dylan in Mrs. Kollinger's class.  We have one more mini-fridge to give away.  Eligible students for the mini-fridge drawing on Monday will be those that have sent 20 or more emails to friends and family... that's it.  So far we have had 646 students participate, so there is still room for more.  The fund raiser ends on October 13.

    Fall Break is right around the corner!  We will have short week next week (M, T, and W).  Fall Break begins Thursday, October 7.  Students return to school on Tuesday, October 12.  The building will be closed over Fall Break. I wish you all a very safe, relaxing, and satisfying Fall Break.  

    Fall Conferences are coming soon as well.  Conferences are Wednesday, October 20 and Thursday, October 21.  Wednesday, October 20 is a Digital Learning Day for all of our students.  On Thursday, students will get out of school 2 hours early.  Don't forget to plan for transportation/child care on these Fall Conference days.  Your child's teacher will be sending out conference sign-up information right after Fall Break.

    **Help Wanted**

    We are currently seeking interested parents to serve as lunch monitors.  This is a paid position for approximately 2.5 hours per day.  If you are interested, apply online using job code 72796.  We do our best to provide our teachers with a duty-free lunch every day and rely on our lunch monitors to help make that happen.  Once you have completed your application, email me and I will share the next steps.

    I would love to have your feedback on the proposed GCPS calendars for the 2022-2023 school year.  Click HERE to go to our web page to view the three proposed calendars and leave us your feedback.  Thanks to everyone that has already left some very valuable feedback.  You may have to hit refresh a time or two to get the pages to fully load...

    Finally, I would like to thank our School Council as we held our first meeting of the year this week.  Ms. Diondra Douse was elected chairperson, Mr. Nevin Miller was elected vice-chairperson, and Ms. Kareen Hussett-Mckoy was elected secretary.  Also on the council are Ms. Dahlia Prophet, Ms. Jaime Watson, Ms. Antionette Brock, Ms. Christina Brown, Mr. James Meadows, and Mr. Antonio McCloud.  I look forward to working with these women and men this year as your representatives to the school council.  Our next meeting will be held on November 4.

    I wish everyone a happy and safe weekend.  If you are doing youth sports this weekend, I hope your team plays the best game possible and gets the 'W'.  Until next time, be good, be safe, and stay healthy!

    Your VERY PROUD and STILL SOGGY Principal,

    Paul

     

  • Cooper Chronicles (9-10-21)

    Good afternoon, Tigers.  I hope you are all doing well and are ready for a beautiful weekend.

    I just wanted to let you know a few things that will make your weekend FANTASTIC...

    How would you like your family to be known as an All Star Family?  Join the school on our Math Night on Thursday, and get your family's name up on the Hall of Fame wall for all of our students to see.  I know that when we are able to partner together to help our children/students, we all come out winners.  Join us for Math Night (via Zoom) and learn a few 'tips and tricks of the trade'.  Our Math Planning Team will have some wonderful activities and ideas just for you that can be used with your child at home.  Having your family's name on the Wall of Fame will be special for the faculty and staff, as well as your student to see.

    All Pro Dad... dads that are already registered as All Pro Dads received an email from James Meadows about the upcoming meeting on Friday, September 17 at 7:30 AM on the blacktop.  If you have never registered or participated with this great organization before, we'd love to have you join us.

    Digital Learning Day... our first DLD is scheduled for Tuesday.  K & 1st will receive work packets on Monday, and 2nd-5th graders will have asynchronous (recordings, tasks/assignments, etc.) instruction.  Teachers will be available for questions via a live Zoom link that they will provide you. 

    PTA Spirit Wear... PTA Spirit Wear... PTA Spirit Wear

    Get your Cooper ES Spirit Wear now... our PTA has some wonderful offerings and have partnered with Chrissy's Creations to make purchasing a breeze.  Visit HERE to go directly to the ordering page.

    Tomorrow marks the 20 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  So many of us can remember EXACTLY where we were when we heard the news... many of our families were in NYC when the attacks happened.  I challenge you to take time to reflect on the events of 9/11 and everything that has happened in our country that directly relates to that fateful day... and remember the families and lives that were so deeply impacted then.  I also challenge you to look for the blessings we have in our lives and give thanks for them.

    I am thankful for you, the Cooper Community, for allowing me the privilege to lead this school.  It is my honor and pleasure to serve you and your family.

    As you enter the weekend, be good, stay safe, and be healthy!

    Your VERY PROUD and PATRIOTIC Principal,

    Paul

  • Cooper Chronicles (9-3-21)

    *Long Cooper Chronicle Warning**

    Good afternoon Tigers.  I hope you are all doing well and are looking forward to a well-deserved, three-day, Labor Day weekend.  I am sure that our students and teachers are ready for the extra rest.

    I have a lot of information to share with you and quite a few attachments.  Buckle up and let's go!

    Free and Reduced Price Meals Application

    I am very happy that we are able to offer both breakfast and lunch to ALL of our students at no cost to you.  This is certainly a silver lining in the gray clouds of Covid-19.  However, because of this, Cooper ES and Gwinnett County Public Schools stands to lose out on federal funds tied directly to the number of students we have the qualify for free or reduced price meals.  Additionally, families that qualify are also eligible for other services beyond school meals.  If you think you might qualify, go to THIS WEBSITE to begin the online application process.

    School Council Voting

    We have had several parents that said, "Yes!" when called upon to serve the school through the Cooper Elementary School Council.  Now it is time to select THREE of these volunteers to represent you and our community. Take a few minutes to read these short biographies and then CLICK HERE to vote.  The three individuals receiving the most votes will be elected to the council.  Voting ends on Tuesday, September 7 at noon.

    2021-2023 School Council Bio.pdf 

    Upcoming Dates

    9/6 - Labor Day, School Closed

    9/12 - 9/18 - National Arts in Education Week (big Reflections Push)

    9/14- Digital Learning Day #1, All Students

    9/15 - 10/15 - Hispanic Heritage Month

    9/16 - Math Night, 6:00-7:30 (virtual only)

    9/21 - Fall Picture Day & Fundraiser Kick Off

    9/25 - PTA Fall Festival, 10 AM - 2 PM

    PTA News

    PTA would like to thank you for your attendance and participation in our first General Membership Meeting.  The budget for the 2021-2022 school year was approved.  We are excited to kick-off our annual fundraiser with the Step It UP -  STEAM program.  Keep an eye out for more information on how you can help support Cooper ES PTA and help your child earn some great prizes.

    Reflections, PTA's flagship arts program, is underway.  We will be using the morning announcements to stoke our students' interest.  If you want to get an early start, visit the school's webpage to see the rules and print off an entry form.  All entries are due to the school on October 1.  It is my hope and vision that Cooper ES is VERY WELL represented at our local council level, District 12, and the state.  I can't wait to see the talents of our students shine.  This year's theme is, "I can change the world by...".

    We will host our PTA Fall Festival on Saturday, September 25 from 10 AM - 2 PM.  Our planning committee is looking at fun and games for the whole family, as well as plenty of vendors that will be selling their goods.  It is sure to be a great time, and the planning team was very aware of the Georgia vs. Vanderbilt football game.  If you are a vendor and would like to find out more information about renting space at the Fall Festival, contact the PTA by email PTACooperTigers@gmail.com.  We would love to partner with you.  PTA is always looking for volunteers, so you can use that same email address to let them know you are interested!

    2021 Fall Festival Flyer.pdf 

    Archer Youth Sports Programs

    My child is an Archer Tiger at Harbins ES.  He has played both basketball and baseball through the Archer Athletic Association.  Sports is a great outlet for him, and I appreciate the coaching, mentoring, and friendships he develops with other kids from the other Archer Cluster elementary schools.  I have attached two different flyers, one for Youth Wrestling and the other for a Youth Softball Night.  If either of these programs/events interest you, I would encourage you to check them out.

    2021-2022 Youth-MS Registration Info.pdf          Youth Night 2021 Softball Game Announcement.pdf 

    If you made it to this point in this edition of the Cooper Chronicle, thank a teacher!

    I wish you all a WONDERFUL weekend.  Recharge, reboot, relax... all while staying safe and staying healthy.

    Be good!

    Your VERY PROUD and GRATEFUL Principal,

    Paul

  • Cooper Chronicles (8-20-21)

    Happy Friday afternoon friends and families.  I hope you have had a WONDERFUL week and are ready for a wonderful weekend.

    I am pleased to report that after having two full weeks of school under our belt, our car rider processes are balancing out and we aren't having the MEGA lines we had at the beginning of the year.  A huge shout out to Captain Car Rider and the staff out there in the morning and afternoon that make everything work safely and efficiently.

    School Council... we are looking for volunteers to serve on Cooper's School Council.  School Council meets between three and four times per year and is made up of parents, community members, and school staff.  Each elected member serves a two-year term.  If you are interested in serving on Cooper's School Council, please complete this nomination form

    Buses continue to be periodically plagued with woes, though.  Bus Supervisor Tracy Nabers is doing a great job getting our students safely to and from school despite huge challenges and obstacles.  Unfortunately, some of our buses have to 'double-back' for another route which pushes back our pick up and drop off times.  I know Ms. Nabers, her bus drivers, and all of us at Cooper appreciate your patience and understanding.

    Curriculum Night is right around the corner... this Thursday, August 26 will be our VIRTUAL Curriculum Night.  I will send out a Zoom link with an invitation to join us for our PTA General Meeting starting at 6 PM.  This meeting will be followed by your child's Curriculum Night meeting via a link your teacher will send out following the PTA meeting (6:30ish).  We hope you are able to join us for both the PTA General Membership Meeting and your child's Curriculum Night.

    A note from Coach Blair and Coach Larsen... please make sure your child is wearing appropriate shoes when he/she has PE.  Crocs, boots, sandals, and flip flops are not appropriate footwear for physical activity.  Your child will not be able to participate in the scheduled activity if their footwear could cause an injury.

    I know the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases, especially the nasty Delta Variant, is concerning to so many.  It concerns me, as well.  Let's make sure we are doing EVERYTHING we can to mitigate the spread... wash hands often, exercise good coughing/sneezing practices, and wear well-fitting masks.  I want to do everything I can to keep kids IN SCHOOL... and it will take ALL of us working together to make it.

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

    Your VERY PROUD Principal,

    Paul

     

  • Cooper Chronicles (8-06-21)

    We made it, Tigers!  We made it through the first three days without any major hick-ups or issues.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for your patience and understanding and we got the 2021-2022 school year officially underway.

    For those folks new to Cooper ES... the Cooper Chronicles  is the main communication tool used for school wide communication.  I try to keep them relatively short and concise, but they occasionally go long.  Keep in mind that you may need to do something with your email application to allow these to come through instead of going to spam or junk mail (which I find very offensive :-)

    Although the official first day of school was Wednesday, August 4, we will welcome our 4th and 5th grade students into the building for the first time on Monday.  We are so glad that they'll be here.  For those parents, it is SOOOOOO important that your child AND teacher knows how they are getting home on those first days in the building.  You can't over communicate this part (as long as all the communication says the same thing).

    Parents of K-3 students that have 4th and 5th graders... if the transportation for your children is changing for Monday like I have heard from many parents, please be sure to let your child know and their teacher.  I anticipate our transportation systems in the afternoon to get much more precise and settled as we have all of our students in the building.

    If you are trying to catch a great deal on back packs now that the big rush of school shopping is done, and you find the PERFECT book bag for your child, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make sure you cut off their transportation tag and SEND IT TO SCHOOL with them so we can reattach it with a zip tie.  In order to ride a GCPS bus, students MUST have a bus tag or bus pass generated from the office.  

    Car Riders... I know it has been really backed up in the morning and afternoon.  We have begun looking into possible solutions, but hesitate to implement any until 1) we have all of our students back, and 2) we see how things settle as time goes on.  Again, I have heard from many parents that their children will begin riding the bus once their older siblings come back to school, so our car rider numbers may decrease a little.  Captain Car Rider, aka James Meadows, told me that we have been averaging about 50 more cars than we have in the past.  That is a lot!  Adjustments will be made as needed.

    The Archer Cluster elementary schools have agreed to have our Curriculum Night on August 26 via Zoom.  We'll send out more information with specific times and how the schedule will look as the plans are finalized.

    Lastly, I want to briefly introduce some of our new staff members that have joined the Cooper Team... Mr. Trey Larsen, PE; Mr. Rob Blair, PE; Mrs. Lynn Thompson, 1st Grade; Ms. Tiffany Dadovic, 1st Grade; Mr. Matt Repak, 4th Grade Teacher; Mrs. Angela Robinson, MoID Teacher; Mrs. Jasmine Jeffries, IRR Teacher; Mrs. Kristi Bridges, IRR Teacher; Ms. Lara Muma, School Counselor; Mrs. Dana Schaeffer, School Clinic Worker; Mrs. Nicole Johnson, Paraprofessional; and Mrs. Kimoy Jackson, Paraprofessional.  We are very excited to welcome these ladies and gentlemen to our staff.

    Thanks again for a great week.  Enjoy your weekend and take time to recharge and refresh.

    Until next time, be good, be safe, and stay healthy.

    Your VERY PROUD and TIRED Principal,

    Paul

  • Cooper Chronicles (7-30-21)

    Hello Tigers!  I hope you are all well and are as excited as I am to begin the 2021-2022 school year.

    I wanted to provide some details about Monday's Open House:

    • Masks are required in all GCPS facilities.  We greatly appreciate you helping us ensure our faculty and staff can continue to report of duty, and that we can have our students back in the building!
    • Open House hours are from 8 AM - 11 AM. To limit the number of people in the building AND to accommodate parking, we have divided the time by students last name
      • A-I is from 8 - 9
      • J-Q is from 9 - 10
      • R-Z is from 10-11
      • We must do a hard stop at 11 AM... our staff has a meeting shortly after and must turn items in prior to meeting
    • Feel free to bring your school supplies to leave in the classroom... this may make the first day a bit easier for your student
    • Open House is for ALL students... in person learners AND students that have been opted out of in person learning (digital)
    • The Open House process begins for EVERY ONE in the gym for transportation.  Even DL students... take the opportunity to see when a bus will be running through your neighborhood in the event you switch to in person learning AND/OR for days your child must come for different assessments.
    • In person students that have completed the registration process will then go to their classroom to meet their teacher. 
    • DL students should go to the MEDIA CENTER to pick up any materials/supplies needed.
    • Haven't completed registration? If not, you will complete registration in the MEDIA CENTER. After completing registration, your child will be placed in a class and you can meet their teacher.
    • Medical needs or concerns?  If your child currently has a medical plan, or if you think your child MAY need a medical plan, be sure to stop by the school clinic to get more information and to speak with our clinic worker.
    • Finally, go to the cafeteria to join PTA (get put on the Wall of Fame), check out student clubs, get information from our school nutrition folks, learn about the YMCA program here at Cooper, sign up for All Pro Dads, and TURN IN YOUR RAFFLE TICKET for some cool prizes!

    Condensed version... Monday, 8-11, GYM, CLASSROOM, CAFETERIA, HOME :-)

    I am so excited to see all of you very soon and get this school year underway.

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

    Your VERY PROUD Principal,

    Paul

  • Cooper Chronicles (7-23-21)

    Good morning, Tigers!  I hope you are all doing well and have had a safe, relaxing, and fun-filled summer.  I cannot wait to see your smiling faces soon.

    Our Open House is scheduled for August 2 from 8-11.  To limit the number of people in the building and manage parking, we have broken the times down by alphabet as follows:

    A-I from 8-9

    J-Q from 9-10

    R-Z from 10-11

    Open House is very important for you to attend.  Not only will you be able to meet your child's teacher, you will be able to ensure a smooth start by getting a lot of 'administrivia' taken care of, like TRANSPORTATION (that's a BIGGIE), PTA, School Nutrition, orient yourself to the building, and updating your information like address, phone, email, etc.

    Staggered Start for Students

    Our calendar this year has a staggered start for students.  K & 1 students start IN PERSON learning on August 4th.  2nd-5th grade students will begin Digital Learning on August 4th as well.  Your child's 2nd-5th grade teacher will explain how that works when you come to Open House.

    2nd and 3rd grade students begin IN PERSON learning on August 5th, and 4th and 5th graders begin IN PERSON learning on Monday, August 9.

    If you have opted your child out of IN PERSON learning, you will hear from your child's digital teacher with information about the Digital Open House sometime early next week.  It is important to know that your child is still a Cooper Tiger, and Cooper Elementary School is here to support you and your family.  We invite you to attend the IN PERSON Open House so that you can pick up materials and supplies you will need for your child.  School begins for ALL digital learners on August 4.

    Switching from DIGITAL to IN PERSON Learning

    August 2nd is the absolute last day to OPT OUT of IN PERSON learning.  After August 2, no students will be permitted to move from IP to DL.  However, students may return to IP learning at any time.  If your family makes the decision to return to IN PERSON learning, please contact me (email or phone) and I'll explain the process.  Just a few items would need to be coordinated, but we would welcome your child into the building as soon as humanly possible.

    Technology Needs

    If your child has opted out of in person learning and needs technology support, you will be able to check those items out on August 2nd during our Open House (8-11) by visiting the Media Center.

    If you have a child in the 4th or 5th grades and need technology support for the first few days of school (August 4-6), then you will be able to pick up those items on August 2nd during our Open House (8-11).  You will begin the process in the classroom and end it in the media center.  Your teacher will let you know what to do at Open House. 

    Please note that all devices checked out MUST be returned when your child returns to IN PERSON learning.

    Getting Ready for the School Year

    I posted an article on our W.J. Cooper Elementary School Facebook page that is really geared towards our newest students (K&1).  It's a good read full of great information and ideas.

    One thing that will be of GREAT help is to take care of much of the paperwork required for the school year (handbooks sign offs, attendance protocol sign off, etc.).  You do this through your MyPaymentsPlus account.  You will also be able to make your VOLUNTARY contributions (clinic, supplies, technology) AND join our PTA.  We want to make sure EVERY CHILD is represented by at least one parent/adult member to our school's PTA.

    Did I hear someone say, "Yearbook"?  EVERY YEAR we sell out of yearbooks, and EVERY YEAR we have to tell parents and students "Sorry".  Our yearbook sales will begin no later than TUESDAY, July 27 through MyPaymentsPlus.  Be sure to secure your yearbook early so you won't have to scramble to find one later.

    Breakfast and Lunch

    Breakfast and Lunch will be provided to all students free of charge this year because of the federal grant the state has received.  We are very excited that each and every child can start their day with a nutritious breakfast and sustain their learning day with a nutritious lunch.  Approximately 38% of our students have benefited from the national School Lunch program by receiving free or reduced price meals.  This is an application process.  IT IS STILL VERY IMPORTANT TO COMPLETE THE APPLICATION PROCESS EVEN WITH NO-COST MEALS THIS YEAR.  School and district funding is impacted by the number of students/families that are eligible for this program.  If you think you qualify, have qualified in the past, or wonder if you do qualify, be sure to go ahead and complete the online application as soon as possible.  It is quick, easy, and fast.  Here is the link to the information page and online application:

    www.gcpsk12.org/Page/24166

     

    I am so excited to begin the 2021-2022 school year.  So much work has been done and is being done RIGHT NOW to make sure we have a wonderful school year.  I look forward to seeing you back in the building and at all of our events we have scheduled this year.  Although we are not completely back to "normal", we are getting close.

    Until I get to see you again, be good, be kind, and be safe.

    Your VERY PROUD and VERY EXCITED Principal,

    Paul

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