The John Cooper School

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The John Cooper School
JohnCooperSchool Crest.png
One John Cooper Drive
The Woodlands, Texas 77381
United States
Coordinates30°10′30″N 95°31′34″W / 30.175°N 95.526°W / 30.175; -95.526Coordinates: 30°10′30″N 95°31′34″W / 30.175°N 95.526°W / 30.175; -95.526
College preparatory
MottoFrom Curiosity To Wisdom
Established1988; 30 years ago (1988)
Head of schoolMichael F. Maher
Average class size17
Student to teacher ratio11:1
Campus typeSuburban
  Green and Black
AthleticsMale and Female Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Middle School
Athletics conferenceSouthwest Preparatory Conference
Average SAT scores (2015-2016)1950[1]

The John Cooper School is an independent, college-preparatory, nonsectarian, co-educational day school located in The Woodlands, an unincorporated planned community in Montgomery County, Texas, United States.


The John Cooper School is an independent, college-preparatory, day school for students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12. The campus is located in a forested area of The Woodlands, Texas, a planned community of approximately 114,000 residents[2] located approximately 40 miles (64 km) north of Houston. Cooper currently enrolls 413 students in the Upper School (9-12), 312 in the Middle School (6-8) and 507 in the Lower School (PK-5) for a total enrollment of 1232.[1]


The John Cooper School was funded by corporate and private benefactors, parents, and other supporters in The Woodlands and the Houston metropolitan area. It was named in honor of Mr. John Cooper, the long-tenured Headmaster of Houston's Kinkaid School, who guided the school through its original formation and early years of operation.

Cooper officially opened on September 6, 1988, on a 43-acre campus designated for this purpose by the principal founder of The Woodlands, businessman and philanthropist George P. Mitchell.

The School began with an enrollment of 175 students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 7, and one additional grade level was added each successive year. The first senior class graduated in 1994.[3] The opening enrollment of 1234 students for the 2017–18 academic year represents the school's largest ever student body.[1]

In 2015, Cooper's headmaster Mike Maher stated that the opening of ExxonMobil's offices in north Harris County will increase demand for The John Cooper School.[4]


The campus has expanded in conjunction with the School's steadily growing student body. A new middle and upper school building for academics was opened in 1992.[4] Additions over the past 10 years include expansion to facilitate new PK classrooms and a PK playground, additional science and computer labs, a second gymnasium, a Student Center and lighted facilities for track and field, soccer, softball and baseball.[3]

The 38,000-square-foot Glenn Performing Arts Center opened in August, 2008, and features a 515-seat main stage theater, 125-seat black box theater and choir, drama, band and dance classrooms. A new Upper School Library, Middle/Upper School Health Center, and four additional classrooms were added in 2011 in addition to the Pugh Football Field. A new 16,500-square-foot Lower School 5th Grade classroom facility opened to the Lower School Student and Faculty Body for the 2013-2014 school year. In August 2016, the school opened the 45,000-square-foot Rock Math + Science Center which houses Middle and Upper School math, science, and computer science classes.[5][4] A new, 4,250-square-foot Lower School library building opened in spring of 2018, and the former library was renovated to consolidate administrative offices.


A non-profit corporation governed by a Board of Trustees, Cooper earned its first accreditation by the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS)[6] in 1998. That accreditation was renewed again in 2008. The School also holds memberships in the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC),[7] the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE),[8] the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB),[9] the Educational Records Bureau (ERB), and the Cum Laude Society of America.[10]

The Academic Program[edit]

Small classes, personal attention, an excellence in academics, arts, athletics, and community service form the cornerstones of a Cooper education. Cooper combines traditional educational practices with innovative programs to teach students to think, question, analyze, create, understand, and take responsibility for their world. Cooper is a diverse community.

Academics include English, mathematics, science, social sciences, foreign languages, computer science, physical education, visual and performing arts. Spanish is offered PK through Grade 12 and French is offered beginning in the sixth grade. Nineteen advanced placement courses are offered to Upper School students and for the last four years, The John Cooper School has been recognized by being nominated for the prestigious Siemens Advanced Placement High School Award for having one of the strongest AP math and science programs in the state.

Athletics and Extracurricular Activities[edit]

Over 75 percent of Cooper's Middle and Upper School students participate in at least one sport. Students choose to compete in girls' volleyball and softball, boys' football and baseball, and boys' and girls' cross country, soccer, basketball, track, tennis, swimming, and golf. Varsity teams compete in the highly regarded Southwest Preparatory Conference that comprises 19 independent schools in Texas and Oklahoma. The Cooper football team was established first in the fall of 2011 and began playing a full SPC schedule in 2016. The Middle School teams participate in the Houston Junior Preparatory Conference. The Middle School teams have a "no cut" policy and are open to all seventh and eighth graders.[11]

Extensive club, service, and leadership opportunities are offered at all grade levels. The school community contributes to the greater community through a wide variety club and service projects in all divisions as well as school-wide efforts such as the Habitat for Humanity Project that has partially funded and constructed Habitat homes each year since 1999, the Empty Bowls Project held each February to support and fund local hunger relief efforts, and the Dig Pink week held each October to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer. The Cooper Dig Pink fundraiser raised the most money in the nation in both 2015 and 2016.[12] Additionally, the school has an active chapter of the student run civic organization Junior State of America. Each year the Cooper chapter is one of the largest in Texas and has had many students involved on a state and national level through elections and leadership conferences.

Cooper graduates have 100 percent college matriculation[13] and are accepted to top colleges and universities, nationally and internationally. Each year students are named National Merit Finalists and Semifinalists, Commended Scholars, and Hispanic Scholars. In recent years, Cooper students have been awarded and accepted prestigious merit scholarships as well as local scholarships. Seniors in the Cooper Class of 2010 were offered over $1 million in merit scholarships and accepted over $250,000 from organizations and academic institutions.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Cooper At A Glance, The John Cooper School Website
  2. ^ The Woodlands Demographics, The Woodlands Development Company
  3. ^ a b The John Cooper School - A Brief History, The John Cooper School - A Brief History
  4. ^ a b c Olabi, Nora (2015-06-09). "Spring-area growth drives prep school expansions". The Spring Observer at the Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-03-26.
  5. ^ [1], The John Cooper School Website
  6. ^ ISAS Membership Directory, ISAS Website
  7. ^ NACAC Membership Directory, NACAC Website
  8. ^ CASE Membership Directory, CASE Website
  9. ^ College Board Institution Members,
  10. ^ Cum Laude Society Member Schools,
  11. ^ The John Cooper School Athletics, The John Cooper School Website
  12. ^ Staff Report (2017-05-09). "VOLLEYBALL: Cooper's DIG PINK fundraising efforts rank No. 1 in the nation for second consecutive year". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-05-10.
  13. ^ School Profile, The John Cooper School
  14. ^ a b Arno, David (20 September 2010). "Cooper graduates go viral with Dude Perfect". The Courier.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Booker T. Washington High School
National Academic Championship champion
Succeeded by
Zionsville Community High School