Cooper Elementary School Teachers Gear Up For New School Year

SUPERIOR, WI- If you’ve ever wondered how long it takes teachers to get ready for a new school year, here’s an idea.

“I don’t think I could calculate all of the hours. I think it’s something you think about all summer,” 3rd Grade Teacher, Sandy Archambeau says.

After a fire in April of 2018 pushed back the opening of Cooper Elementary School, staff and students alike are ready for the new year.

Moving from a school that was built in 1970, you can see some of the big upgrades to the new and improved elementary school right as you walk in the doors.

“The amount of windows and light. Natural light. All of that will have a direct impact on student learning and student outcomes,” School Principal, Aaron Lieberz says.

The gym, security system and ventilation system are also new additions- but this isn’t all about the students.

Principal Aaron Leiberz is hoping the surrounding community will take full advantage of the facility as well.

“For clubs and organizations. Some strengthening family series. We’ve got a lot of ideas, and a lot of people have shown interest in using this space. We want this to be a community space,” Leiberz says.

The space has everything students need for a smooth transition into their new environment: from calming colors to flexible chairs.

“I think that’s what we try to do for the students. To really listen to their needs,” Sandy Archambeau says.

Archambeau is also on the furniture and planning committee, helping design the desks and chose the vibrant colors you see all around the school.

“If I come back in my next life, that’s what I would like to do. We all were planning and doing some research on the colors. How children react to certain environments.”

The summer is nearing an end for these educators.

“Bill Nye, Bill Nye. That’s what the students used to refer to me as,” 4th Grade Teacher, Patrick O’Connell says.

The teachers have been back to the books since Tuesday, and they will incorporate even more social and emotional learning this year.

This provides a safe environment for everyone.

“For a kid to sit in their classroom where they are comfortable. A kid to have access to resources. For kids to have an area where they can go and learn differently.”

4th Grade Teacher Patrick O’Connell has been teaching for over twenty years, and like to include a little fun in the classroom too.

“Yup. I’m going to bring hacky sack back. We play a game called silent ball which is a good way to get kids to work together and have some fun. Being quiet is also a byproduct.”

This is his first year teaching at Cooper Elementary School, so there’s a lot of supplies to move in and unpack.

“Little nic-nacs or things that kids kind of connect with you to your life. Whether you’re a Packers fan or a kid that loves the outdoors.”

That connection, helps these instructors shape America’s youth.

“Everything you do matters. You have to work hard at being intentional every moment because it could be a tough point in a kids life as far as what they are going through and what role model a teacher can serve as.”



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