The new administration has really debased the culture and enthusiasm that has permeated Cooper for years; a tradition, if I may. At $25,000, I feel the Academy is a far superior option, and even The Woodlands High despite its larger class sizes. Overall, other privates schools would offer a much better student experience with similar academic standards.
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.