Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Parent Lighthouse Team

In addition to the Cooper Staff Lighthouse Team and the Student Lighthouse Team, we now have a Parent Lighthouse Team! This team of dedicated parents is already hard at work brainstorming ideas on how they can help promote and enhance the Leader In Me model within Cooper and at home. We look forward to implementing many new ideas that strengthen our leadership culture!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Leadership is Everywhere!

Wow!  What a month it has been at Cooper.  We have been busy with so many amazing events and leadership is blossoming!

We had one of our best camps yet!  Spring camp has always been a wonderful experience for making memories and celebrating friendships as students' time at Cooper draws to a close.  However, Fall camp is an opportunity for classes to build community and establish a caring, trusting environment at the beginning of the school year.  Our students represented Cooper well with their attentiveness to the instructors and willingness to take new risks and lead in amazing ways.  This year we built in a teacher time for teachers to do team building activities with their classes.  Staff have been able to build on the team work and leadership established at camp into their classrooms.

The Cooper Walk-a-thon was also a big success.  What a gorgeous day it was to be outside!  Our students were so respectful during both the walk and the assembly.  Cooper leaders surprised us all by surpassing our school goal of $7,000.  Together, we raised $7,636.  This money will be used to support our Leader in Me initiatives at Cooper.  The Student Lighthouse Team will be establishing how to use this money for the school with ideas such as leadership assemblies, Work-a-thons, Leadership Day, Career Day, etc.

The Walk Begins

Having Fun

Winner of the Plymouth Whalers raffle

Franklin cheerleaders show their spirit for Cooper.

After the Walk-a-thon, over 700 members of the Cooper community returned for Cooper Family Fun Night.  The Cooper PTA outdid themselves pulling off an amazing, family focused event.  Thank you to Lori O'Dell and her team for all of their hard work.  

Cooper Costumes

The Wrecking Ball

Cooper Students took the initiative to fundraise for a great cause.

Cooper teachers and administrators got pied!

Finally, a big thank you to Sally Erickson (6th grade teacher) and Annette Garbutt (Informational Technology teacher) who helped collect and vet applications, and interview our students for school-wide leadership positions.  We had almost 270 students apply for and receive a Cooper leadership position.  These positions include advertisers, beautification team, greeters, celebration planners, gardeners, hosts, letter writers, news reporters, photographers, recycling, spirit singers, tour guides, etc.  In addition, Bill Lietz (6th grade teacher) chairs the PTA leaders and Service Squad and currently has approximately 60 student leaders in these positions.  Lastly, Jeremy Cybulski, who runs our Rock Star Savers Program, has just made his selection of 24 students after a rigorous application process.  Wow!  This is just the beginning.  It is our school goal to have 100% of our students serving in a leadership position at Cooper.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Camp is Coming!

This year we are embarking on a new and exciting opportunity.  We will be having 6th grade camp in the October.  There are two reasons for this change.  First, fall camp allows teachers to work on building community and setting the expectations for the year.  Second, state testing and assessment requirements no longer permit us to go to camp in May, as MEAP testing will occur during that time.

Sixth grade camp will take place the week of October 13-October 17.  The week is divided into two groups.

Oct 13-15 Camp for Martin, Spence, Daraskavich, McGlinch, Cohan, Backiel, Hiser, and Gates

Oct 15-17 Camp for Lietz, Erickson, Kopacko, Mansour, Kimball, and Webster

There is a Parent Informational Meeting this Thursday, September 11 at 6:30 in the Cooper Cafe.  This will be an opportunity for you to learn about Howell Nature Camp and have any questions answered.  There will be no babysitting available.  Sixth grade students will have their own informational sessions at school during the day but are welcome to attend the Parent Informational Meeting as well.

In addition, all camp paperwork is due Friday, September 12.  Additional camp paperwork can be found on the Cooper website at

Finally, if you are interested in chaperoning 6th Grade Camp, please send in your paperwork, along with your child's by this Friday, September 12.  There is a Mandatory Chaperone Meeting on October 8th at 6:30.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Happy First Day of School Cooper Families!

We had a wonderful first day of school as our Cooper Leaders met their teachers, reunited with old friends, made new friends, explored the “new” Cooper, and learned their expectations as a student in a Leader in Me school.

On behalf of the Cooper staff, thank you so much for all of your flexibility, patience, and understanding as we underwent a major building renovation this summer. Cooper is the oldest building in the district and required extensive renovation. The first day Cooper staff were allowed in the building was the evening of Wednesday, August 27. Cooper teachers only had one workday to set up their classrooms. When they came in last Thursday, there were a number of electricians, painters, movers, and custodial staff still working in the building. Teachers tried to set up classrooms around hanging wires and freshly painted walls. Many of the teachers came in over the holiday weekend to complete their final preparations. We have the best staff in the district and commend all of the hard work our wonderful Cooper teachers have put in for the arrival of our students.

Bond workers will continue to finish up work throughout the month of September. Due to the continued work, Cooper’s Open House and Curriculum Nights will be held in October. We will welcome fifth grade families on Monday, October 13th and sixth grade families on Monday, October 20th. We always welcome parent questions and visitors, however, it is best to set up visits with teachers prior to your arrival. Please stop in at the office to sign in and receive a visitor pass. Mr. Taylor and Mrs. Aherne are available for questions, tours, etc. and can be reached by phone or email.

We look forward to a great year of Learning & Leading together!

Our New Entrance

Cooper Staff 2014-2015 
Mrs. Kimball leads her 6th graders to their new classroom!

Mrs. Bubar leads her 5th graders to their new classroom!

Ms. Gates and Mrs. Licata lead 5th graders to their rooms!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Team Cooper Updates

Well, it’s hard to believe it’s the end of another terrific school year!   This summer Cooper will be undergoing a major make-over as part of the Phase 1 schools bond renovation.  Cooper will look completely different in the fall.  Here are some of the renovations taking place this summer:
·       All new double pane insulated windows
·       All outside doors replaced
·       New foyer with entrance through the main office
·       New entrance way with signage, columns, and benches
·       New ceiling tiles
·       New floor tiles
·       New painting
·       Redoing the bathrooms
·       New lighting
·       New lockers
·       Vertical unit ventilators
·       New white boards
·       Upgrade to WiFi capability
·       New PA’s, phones, bells and alarms, clocks, exit signs
Due to the renovations, the building will not be open this summer.  All staff must be out of the building as of Friday, June 13 at 3:30.  The District is asking that students, staff, and the community please stay off Cooper property during the renovations as it will be very unsafe.  As of right now, we are being told that the first day we may have access to Cooper is Thursday, August 28.  This means that teachers will only have one day in their classrooms before students arrive on Tuesday, September 2.  The rooms and building will not look as good as usual but we will do our best to have it ready to welcome our students on the first day of school!
Packet pick-up for 5th and 6th grade students will be held at Hayes Elementary School, 30600 Louise Westland, MI, on August 22.  Students will receive their packet which contains school information and their classroom teacher assignment.  We will not hold our usual Parent Orientation Night in August due to the lack of access to the building.  Parent Informational Nights for incoming students were held June 5 and June 9.  Due to the renovations, Cooper Curriculum Night and Open House will be held much later than usual.  Cooper’s Curriculum Night and Open House for 5th grade students will be held October 13, 2014 and for 6th grade students on October 20, 2014. 
Just another reminder that Livonia Public Schools has  two millage renewals on the ballot in August.  Again, these are renewals of two millages that have been in place for the last 20 years.  The first is a tax on business only and the state expects that all districts will pass this millage. It is essential to our operation, as it raises in the neighborhood of $20 million annually. The second is our sinking fund renewal, which generates money each year for projects outside the scope of the bond issue, such as emergency repairs, roofs, parking lots, etc.   This is also key to maintaining our schools.  The total request is the lowest amount in the past 20 years. There is information on our website:  Cooper will not be a voting precinct this summer due to the renovations.  Our precincts will be moved to Hayes Elementary for the August election.
We hope you have a wonderful summer sharpening the saw!  Thank you for sharing your children with us.  We look forward to seeing everyone in the fall!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Parent Lighthouse Team Forming

As a Leader in Me school, we currently have a Staff Lighthouse Team as well as a Student Lighthouse Team. The next phase of our Leader in Me implementation is to create a Parent Lighthouse Team, which will help us continue our mission of Learning & Leading at Cooper. We met this past week with some parents to brainstorm ideas on how to develop this team. The list below are just some of the ideas that came out of this meeting:
  • Include at least one parent from each classroom on the Parent Lighthouse Team.
  • Host a book study around the Leader in Me book by Stephen Covey.
  • Increase communication with families to inform and support the 7 Habits at home (i.e. email blasts,  blog posts, notes home in backpacks, and social media).
  • Reach out to new families to welcome them and to help foster a sense of community (i.e Class of 2022).
  • Support a student driven community outreach activity.
We are so grateful to the parents who were able to join us to help generate so many suggestions and ideas. We are excited to get this team up and running in the fall! Stay tuned for more information when we return to school in September.

In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about the Leader in Me, you may be interested in reading the book as well as The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families. Both of these books were written by Stephen Covey.

The Leader in Me by Stephen Covey


Friday, April 25, 2014

Leadership Day 2014

Our third annual Leadership Day held on Thursday, April 17 was a huge success! We had almost 90 guests comprised of educators, school board members, community members, business leaders, city council members, and the Livonia mayor in attendance! Our guests were greeted at the door, checked in and escorted to the library by students. Our emcee for the day, Gabby, welcomed our guests and invited them to learn about Cooper's journey as a Leader in Me school. They were introduced to each of the 7 Habits by different student leaders. Some of the students chose to write about what a selected habit means to them, while others sang, chanted or performed a habit. Student tour guides were on hand waiting to take small groups around the building to talk with students about how leadership and the 7 Habits are infused into what they do and learn each day. Our guests had an hour to tour the building, visit classrooms, talk with students, look at data walls and see various displays throughout the building where students were eager to share information. They then headed back to the library where students shared their Leadership Notebooks and held a student panel for questions to be asked of them. The day ended with lunch in the cafe and a musical performance by our talented vocal and instrumental groups. A great day was had by all as our student leaders really shined!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Leadership is Everywhere!

When you first walk through the doors of Cooper, you are greeted with welcoming messages and quotes on the walls that depict leadership and The 7 Habits, including displays that show how the habits are being integrated into the curriculum. You will also see students in various leadership roles: greeters, student lighthouse team members, library leaders, blog leaders, Rock Star Saver leaders, gym leaders, and photographers to name just a few. The last couple of months at Cooper have been filled with additional opportunities for our students to utilize and show off their leadership skills. We have had vocal and instrumental concerts, Seussical, Battle of the Books, various after school clubs, and students practicing for the Variety Show. On March 20th, Cooper students and staff were able to share what we are doing as a school to create a culture of leadership. The Leader in Me Symposium Series selected Cooper to be a part of their tour in which 94 educators from around the state came to see what we are doing to promote leadership and to learn from our students. The students did an amazing job and all of our guests were very complimentary! When given the opportunity, our Cooper kids really do shine and we are so proud of all of them! They are certainly living our school mission: Learning and Leading!

306 students on 47 teams participated in this year's Battle of the Books.
Students synergize during the battle!
Leadership is everywhere!
Leadership is everywhere!
Our guests for the LIM Symposium were intrigued by what our students had to say about leadership!
A student shares her leadership notebook with a guest!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Habit 1 - Be Proactive

Being proactive is often referred to as the habit of choice, which means that you take responsibility for your choices and behavior. According to Stephen Covey, there is a space between the stimulus and response, and it is in this space that you have the potential to choose your response.  To be proactive means that you have the foresight to think and act ahead of anticipated events. It means that you take conscious control of your life, set goals, and then work towards achieving those goals. Rather than waiting for life's events to happen to you, you take control and engineer your own events.

Reactive Language
•I’ll try
•That’s just the way I am
•There’s nothing I can do
•I have to
•I can’t
•You ruined my day
Proactive Language
•I’ll do it
•I can do better than that
•Let’s look at all our options
•I choose to
•There’s gotta be a way
•I’m not going to let your bad mood rub off on me

Habit 1 - Be Proactive

Are You Proactive or Reactive

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Building Leaders ~ Our Third Annual Career Day

For this year's Career Day, we were fortunate to have 38 different professionals come to Cooper to share information about their jobs and how leadership plays a role in what they do each day. We are so grateful to all of them for taking time out of their busy schedules to prepare such outstanding presentations to share with our students. In addition to learning about various professions, our students also had the opportunity to display and practice their leadership skills. Many students helped us get ready for Career Day, and others served in leadership roles such as registrars, travel guides, greeters, photographers, hosts, singers, and speakers on Career Day. The morning began in the library with a welcome from Mr. Taylor and Mrs. Aherne. Under the direction of our vocal instructor, Mrs. Danke, a group of students then sang and performed the Leader in Me cup song. Tour guides then called speakers by name and walked them to their respective rooms to present.

Students each had a lanyard and card that had their schedule on it for the morning, which included the profession they would be hearing about as well as the room in which they needed to go. They each did an amazing job traveling to the various rooms and were a respectful audience for our guests. At the conclusion of the third session, students went back to their classrooms and the speakers went to the library for lunch, which was generously donated by Jimmy Johns. The morning concluded with some of our students sharing the 7 Habits and how leadership has had an impact on their lives both at school and at home. We were so proud of how passionate and authentic they were when they spoke about leadership! We continue to learn from them everyday!

It was truly an exciting morning! Our student leaders not only learned a great deal, they did an outstanding job in everything they did to help make the day such a success!