Letter from PTO President

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Dear Cooper Parent Community,

I wanted to take this moment to reach out to all of you to offer virtual support and strength during these stressful times. As I write this, I am at my kitchen table doing math with my 3rd grader and overseeing my 8th grader’s math period. It would be an understatement to say math is not my strong suit, but we’re keeping calm and carrying on. In about 10 minutes, we’re going to clear our heads with some jumping jacks and then dive into writing. Later, we’ll do some cooking and take a walk.

None of us expected to be homeschooling or providing resources for caregivers to homeschool. Some of us may still be struggling to create a plan or, for those of us still working, just come up with a schedule of caregivers to close the gap. At this point, words like “unprecedented” are nearly a cliché.

I think we all know there is no such thing as the “right” response to this, other than to stay away from large groups and keep our hands clean. Some families will create a rigorous academic homeschooling agenda, others will spend more time outside observing nature and creating. Depending on your children’s ages, you may need a broad variety of these activities to meet each need.

As I see it, and this is my opinion only, the point is to try—as much as is possible in our high-achieving community—to keep our children’s stress at a minimum. This is a confusing time for them. Even if they’re clear on the actual facts of why our country is in a lockdown, they may not have the emotional bandwidth yet to process the enormity of this moment. And to be honest, we adults are still trying to get our arms around it all as well. One thing is for sure: this is an excellent opportunity for us to model resilience, for them and for us.

So be kind to yourselves, friends. Breathe. Have some chocolate. Cook if that relaxes you, order in if it doesn’t. If you haven’t already, make a schedule for your kids and try to stick to it, to preserve some order in your lives.  Here’s a sample schedule (courtesy NESCA):


The Cooper PTO website has a curated list of resources for your homeschooling plans: https://cooperpto.org/?p=7813

Please feel free to share your favorite resources with us: either via email questions@cooperpto.org or share them in the comments on our Facebook page where this link is also posted.

And stay in touch with us on Facebook! We’d love to hear your stories, see your pictures, commiserate, and learn from each other. If you don’t already, please “like” our Facebook page to be able to see what we’re all posting: https://www.facebook.com/CooperMiddleSchoolPTO/

Also, stay in touch with FCPS news via the coronavirus webpage. The page also contains fact sheets, videos, and other resources that you may find useful.  Additional information is available from the Fairfax County Health Department and the CDC .

Stay healthy, everyone.



Heather Murphy Capps

977 Balls Hill Road, McLean, VA 22101 |  Main Phone: 703.442.5800
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