Based on the tuition fees, this school is rated Average, to low average. I now have experience with public schools, Cooper and another private school. The main difference between Cooper and other private school is price. The difference vs public schools (lower school) is mainly with regards to instruction and extracurricular activities and choices. It is better in Cooper in the Lower School, but not any better in the Middle School and Cooper is definitively worse in the Upper School. I do see now why people drop the school in High School. If your goal is socializing with The Woodlands elite, then Cooper is for you. If you are looking for a the best education, it may not be it.
Unfortunately this is a hit and miss situation. With 25 years of existence, the school is going through a change in faculty and administrative staff, thus leaving holes in the consistency of education and method. With many great teachers retiring, it is hard to keep the level of excellence throughout the grades.
Homework in the lower school is just right, whereas homework in the middle school is not only excessive but also senseless. My children spent over 2 hours a day working on Homework. Writing flashcards and doing "active reading" for hours have decreased their interest in literature and their curiosity to find new authors and themes.
In the lower school and prior years, there was an emphasis in ethics and respect. I found as the kids grow older, that the school does nothing to improve the spirit of fellowship among the students. There are a lot of disgruntled faculty and it shows in the way they treat children
The faculty is first rate, caring, and helpful. They are always accessible to the students. Most have advanced degrees. The student/teacher ratio provides personal attention at a level that is often not provided at very large public schools.
Sometimes the amount seems staggering, but the students value the preparation for college that they are receiving. They tend to do very well in the many different colleges in this country and abroad where they are enrolled. They usually report that college classes are less difficult than their classes at Cooper were.
My grand-daughter has had the privilege of attending this amazing, academically challenging school for ten years. I can't imagine a better experience or better environment. She is eager to get to school every day. The fine arts opportunities are second to none, and the performing arts are mind boggling. The Cooper Flying Dragons (aerialists) will astound you. I find nothing negative about this school. We feel that it is more important than even her choice of universities. She will have no problems in that department because of the outstanding preparation given to her by Cooper. It is worth every sacrificial penny! You could not make a more important investment in your child's education.
My son has been at Cooper since pre-K. He has had wonderful teachers each year. Teachers focus on the individual learner. Any discipline problems that we have seen are handled quickly and fairly. The school nurse is quite involved at the elementary level.
Cooper is a good school if your child is already very academically talented , wants to be able to play sports but isn't good enough for one of the public school teams. While there are some good opportunities and good teachers, it isn't worth the very high tuition. Our oldest attended from K to 6th, was an A student and then went to McCullough. The academics at Cooper were not materially better, certainly not enough to justify the tuition. If your child is a bit rambunctious (as our youngest was) and not the top of the class or you aren't a wealthy donor to the school, this is an awful school. The lower school administrators looked for every tiny opportunity to punish our child and ultimately made our youngest feel like a complete failure, even though our child was a solid B student. It is very hard to believe how poorly the administrators treated a young child who was never mean but a bit mischievous and rambunctious. We pulled our child out and put our youngest in public school, which has been so much better. It took a year or two to overcome some of the social issues which were exacerbated by the Cooper environment. The academics in The Woodlands public schools are almost the same as Cooper. Therefore I suggest you save your money and avoid the overprotective parents of Cooper and the administrators who just seek to weed out students who aren't top of the class or children of wealthy donors! One mother called the school and was absolutely outraged that our child had told their child Santa wasn't real when directly asked and they actually sent our child to the office for this.
Cooper was good to get our kids off to a good start in K and 1st but we are so glad to have our 40k a year back and our youngest out of that unhealthy environment.