Cooper COVID-19 Updates

March 24, 2020 

Hello Cooper Community!  

We hope you, your student/s, and the rest of your family are doing well and are safe during these unprecedented times. With the announcement yesterday from our Governor, we now know that our schools will remain closed for the rest of this school year.  While it has caused a lot of emotions for us who will miss working with our students, their safety and that of our staff and community remains the top priority. We know that we will miss important celebrations and milestones at Cooper and that is disappointing.  But, we are confident that we will continue learning and connect with our students through the upcoming FCPS Distance Learning Plan.

 

In the coming days, we will receive guidance from the Virginia Department of Education and FCPS as it relates to testing, the grading quarter, and distance learning.  We know you are eager for a specific plan for instruction and we will share information with you. In the interim, please continue to direct your child to the FCPS instructional resources for learning on Blackboard (Under the “MyFCPS” tab, Middle and High School Resources).  We want to reassure you that the Division has committed to developing a distance learning plan that ensures a collaborative and equitable experience for all FCPS students and families. Last week, our Cooper staff had an opportunity to engage in online professional development to prepare for instructing remotely. These preparations will continue next week.

 

We have created a Google form (click here) to identify Cooper students who are in need of a device to access distance learning opportunities.  If your child does not have access to a laptop, computer, or tablet, please complete the form by noon tomorrow, Wednesday, March 25.  We will contact those families regarding the specific details for distribution.  

 

Remember, Cooper Cougars think critically and are empathetic, respectful, and responsible global citizens.  This is even more important now as we start a new journey together. School is NOT closed, our building is, and we are excited about the opportunities that lay ahead to continue our virtual learning with our Cooper Community. “See” you soon online!

 

Warm Regards,

The Cooper Admin Team

Lisa Barrow, Principal

Maureen McLoughlin, Assistant Principal 

Michael Rath, Assistant Principal

Dana Scabis, Director of Student Services

March 15, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As you have seen from the Superintendent’s most recent message, all schools and offices are closed until further notice with the focus remaining on health and safety. We are unable to open the building to anyone at this time.  If you had an upcoming event on FCPS property, those events have been either canceled or postponed.

We know you are eager for additional information on your child’s instruction at Cooper MS.  FCPS will provide guidance on how the SOL and grading timelines may shift. However, the current emphasis is first on our health, the health of our faculty, and the health of our students and families.  As we navigate the uncertainty together, we are grateful to be part of such a dedicated school community.

While answers to many of your questions are still under consideration, I did want to address something we’re hearing consistently from parents related to grading/teacher directed instruction.  When teachers are directed to begin working again, they will resume grading student assignments.

Phase 1 of school closure (tentatively March 16-27) will not include any teacher-directed instruction. HOWEVER, FCPS does provide a variety of distance learning activities. Resources for all students can be accessed from the students’ Blackboard (FCPS 24/7) Accounts.  These activities are optional and will not be graded. Your child will see a module titled “Continuity of Learning Resources” with a picture of a lightbulb on the home screen when they first log into Blackboard and can access activities by grade level and subject area.  Students will log into Blackboard using the same credentials that they use to access the computers at school.  

As a reminder, our teachers will resume communication with you when they return.  We have asked that they too, take time to care for themselves and their families during this health crisis.  We too, want your students to continue learning as able, and provide the following additional  resources for your consideration at home:

Continuity of Learning Plan (including TV channels providing instructional videos):

https://www.fcps.edu/news/coronavirus-update-academics-distance

Middle School Continuity of Learning Resources: https://www.fcps.edu/academics/continuity-learning-plan/middle-school-continuity-learning-resources

Digital Citizenship: Click here to watch a Digital Citizenship Online Course for Families with Teens

Cooper website with Academic Resources: https://cooperms.fcps.edu/resources/resources-students/textbooks-and-homework-help

FCPS online catalog (electronic books, audio books, and lots of other resources) https://search.follettsoftware.com/metasearch/ui/100358

Virginia Department of Education-Curriculum Frameworks for each grade level/subject areas. (Math example)

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/standards_docs/mathematics/index.shtml

Access Books through Mackinvia https://fcps.blackboard.com/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_1439997_1&content_id=_41673575_1&mode=reset 

Distance learning is not intended to replace the school day. If you choose to engage in distance learning activities during this school closure, the expected times are 30 minutes per subject, including PE and electives. Students are encouraged to read for pleasure, be active, explore personal interests/passions, and continue to develop and use academic language.  You can create a visual schedule for your child and give them choice around the time they work in the different subjects. Build in free time so your child can take breaks and spend time engaged in their favorite activities. Below is a sample schedule:

9:00-9:30

English/Language Arts 

Reading activities: MyPerspectives, online texts 

Writing activities: NoRedInk

9:30-10:00

Math

Online texts, problem-solving activities, math games

10:00-11:00

Free time

 

11:00-12:00

PE/electives

Exercise, PBL Activities 

12:00-12:30

Lunch

 

12:30-1:00

Science

JASON learning activities, Khan Academy

1:00-1:30

Social Studies

Online textbooks, DBQ online

Thank you for assisting us with providing support to your children during this unprecedented time.  You may continue to use this google survey form to submit your questions to our administrative team: Parent Questions.  We will communicate with you as we receive answers and ask for your patience in this unique situation.

Stay safe and practice social distancing,

The Cooper MS Administrative Team

Lisa Barrow, Principal 

Maureen McLoughlin, Assistant Principal

Michael Rath, Assistant Principal

Dana Scabis, Director of Student Services

 

March 13, 2020

We hope you have seen the latest email from the Superintendent outlining the FCPS school closure for students through April 10.  This is new ground for all of us and we appreciate everyone’s flexibility and patience as we work through this ever-evolving situation. We are committed to supporting one another as we navigate new waters.  Please use this google survey form to submit your questions to our administrative team: Parent Questions.  We will communicate with you as we receive answers and ask for your patience in this unique situation.

While we will not see you for a few weeks, we will stay in touch via email with any county updates and continue our preparations behind the scenes for when we are able to welcome back our awesome students, whether virtually, or when we return to a normal schedule.  

We recognize that you may have many questions as it relates to instruction, grading, activities, etc.  Please know we will work with our county leadership to keep you informed of any information as decisions are made.  Our teachers will resume communication with you when they return.  We have asked that they too, take time to care for themselves and their families during this health crisis.

The Virginia Department of Education has recommended that all public school systems provide continuity of learning programming for the next three weeks. FCPS will promote digital and online resources to our students that will help student learning continue. This work will not be required nor graded.

Additionally, FCPS cable channels with learning activities are now available. New instructional videos are currently being developed and recorded and will be added to the programming shortly. Channel 21 includes elementary school programming, Channel 25 includes middle school programming, and Channel 99 includes high school programming. This content will also be available online at www.fcps.edu.

Please take this time to care for yourself and your loved ones.  Below are a few links that may support you:

Mental Health Resources and Emergency Services Information

FCPS Coronavirus Updates

Talking to Children About COVID-19

Families may come into the building Monday, March 16 during 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. if items need to be retrieved such as: 

  • Books and/or materials from your locker

  • Any items in your locker that might be needed in the next few weeks

  • Musical instruments, where appropriate

  • PE uniforms from the gym locker

  • Request a laptop if you do not have technology in your home

We look forward to seeing all of you again soon.

Warm Regards,

The Cooper MS Administrative Team

Lisa Barrow, Principal 

Maureen McLoughlin, Assistant Principal

Michael Rath, Assistant Principal

Dana Scabis, Director of Student Services