Ryan Galil, Cooper Elementary fifth-grader, from left, gets some help with his tie from his principal, Leticia Gonzalez during an end-of-year recognition of the school’s student leaders.
HOUSTON – June 13, 2019 – Milton Cooper Elementary School in Spring ISD was designated a Gold Ribbon school by Children at Risk for 2019 and recently featured in the Houston Chronicle’s special School Report Card section for consistently earning an A or a B ranking from the organization while serving predominantly lower-income students.
Cooper Principal Leticia Gonzalez has led the school since it opened 14 years ago on Imperial Valley Dr. where she serves a diverse population of about 800 prekindergarten through fifth-grade students,
She said she has tried to make the work at the campus fun and engaging for staff and students while putting processes in place that provide consistency and ensure students stay on track academically. “We have a lot of systems to help us check ourselves,” Gonzalez said.
Children at Risk – a nonprofit that focuses on research and advocacy conducted quantitative and qualitative research at Cooper, over several months, to further understand Gold Ribbon schools’ success. They have created a “Blueprint for Success in High Poverty Schools” that can be used by other schools to improve their success rate. The five practices identified by successful campus leaders are:
- Set a culture of high expectations
- Communicate continuously with families
- Use data to drive instruction
- Support the whole child
- Reach outside the box for resources
Gonzalez was one of the five Gold Ribbon school leaders to be interviewed about the practices, and her remarks about the use of data to drive instruction were featured in the Houston Chronicle article.
According to the Children at Risk website, the organization reviewed 1,424 public and public charter schools across the Houston area. Children at Risk then calculates school rankings and assigns A-F grades in order to analyze the current quality of public education in Houston, identify trends, and spotlight schools, going above and beyond expectations. Houston regional rankings include schools in Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller counties.