Cooper Elementary School is located in the Billings Park neighborhood | Explore Superior©

Cooper Elementary Exceeds Expectations


Cooper Proposed Improvements Will Enhance Success

By Brett Brodeen

At Cooper Elementary School, we have a fabulous staff that works really hard for each and every one of our students and their families. Over the last five years Cooper has made some amazing growth and is becoming more recognized across the state as a result of these gains.

Cooper designated as “Exceeding Expectations”

On state accountability reports Cooper was designated as a school “Exceeding Expectations” being on the cusp (1.5pts) of a school “Significantly Exceeding Expectations,” a distinction that is held by only two other elementary schools (with a greater than 50% economically disadvantaged population) in the entire state!

Class in session at Cooper Elementary in Superior | Explore Superior©

Example of an “open concept” classroom at Cooper Elementary in Superior (ExploreSuperior©)

So it is safe to say Cooper is known for its student achievement. Cooper is also known as an older school or maybe more accurately as a “deficiently” designed learning environment! I have seen these two views of the school separate from each other until recently.

Cooper was designed in an era when schools were built with an open concept. When the pods were originally constructed there were very few walls. Over the last 40+ years we have had to add different structural components. However, one obstacle that has not been resolved is the use  of a classroom as a hallway/walkway for other classrooms.

Cooper Elementary Classroom | Explore Superior©

Cooper Elementary classroom that doubles as a hallway (ExploreSuperior©)

As I was in a classroom observing a lesson, I watched as important instruction was put on pause as an entire classroom walked through on their way to music class. It struck me how tough this must be for our students. The teacher was just getting to the key learning of the lesson and the students learning activities were building up to crescendo when everything came to a screeching halt!

The teacher then did a good job refocusing these young learners attention. However, it was too late, their learning momentum was lost. As I thought more and more about this simple 2-3 minute episode I observed I realized that this is something each of these children have to deal with multiple times each day.

If Superior residents are able to support a referendum, this coming April, I am excited to see how our students will perform in an educational optimal learning environment!

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