About

A Brief History


Mr. John Cooper
The John Cooper School was founded through the generosity of corporate and private benefactors, dedicated 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, whose expertise and counsel 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 Mr. George Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell is the founder and original developer of The Woodlands, a planned community of over 100,000 residents located 40 miles north of Houston.

The School began operations with an enrollment of 175 students in Prekindergarten through Grade Seven, and one additional grade level was added each successive year. The first senior class graduated in 1994. The opening enrollment of 1,232 students for 2016-17 represents the School’s largest ever student body.

A non-profit corporation governed by a board of trustees, Cooper earned its first accreditation by the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS) 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 of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC), the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB), and the Education Records Bureau (ERB).

The campus has expanded in conjunction with the School’s steadily growing student body. A capital campaign in 2001 supported the construction of a Middle/Upper School Gymnasium and track, additional fine arts classrooms, and a third middle school science lab. Additional funding supported the expansion of the Middle/Upper School classroom building; five classrooms, two computer labs, and new guidance and college counseling offices were added.

A Student Center opened in October, 2005, featuring a dining hall, meeting rooms, and student lounge areas. A 38,000 square foot Glenn Performing Arts Center opened in 2008, featuring band, choir, and dance rooms, a 125-seat black box theater, and a 520-seat main stage theater.

In 2011, a new Upper School library and four classrooms were added, synthetic turf was installed on the football/soccer field, and a scoreboard naming Pugh Field was erected. A Middle School football program was also initiated as part of a multi-year plan to develop football as a fall sport on the varsity, sub-varsity, and Middle School levels. An Upper School football team (Grades 9-11) was added to the football program for the 2012-13 school year.

In August of 2013, the school opened a 16,000 square foot classroom addition to the Lower School, which facilitated the addition of 62 new Lower School students. This addition includes rooms for all 5th grade classes plus a music room, computer lab, and Spanish classrooms that are used by students at various Lower School grade levels.

In August of 2016, the school opened the Rock Math & Science Center, which spans three stories and includes 50,000 square feet of interior space. Included in the Center are three classrooms and laboratories for Middle School Science, six for Upper School Science, and seven for Mathematics. The Center also houses a Computer Lab, Robotics classroom, Forum classroom, Outdoor Roof Garden, and 135 seat Lecture Hall.


Established in 1988, The John Cooper School is a recognized leader in PK-12 college preparatory, independent education.

© 2015-17 | The John Cooper School