In the fall of 1990, Cleveland School District officials called together parents, teachers, administrators, and community leaders and asked them to design a school where learning happens for all students regardless of race, economic background, or family status. Hayes Cooper Center for Math, Science, and Technology was the result of this planning.
Hayes Cooper Center is a magnet school for the Cleveland School District, and attendance is by choice. The school serves families of PreK (3 years old) to Sixth Grade. Students are randomly selected each February from formal applications taken from across the district. The school seeks to eliminate minority isolation in the district at the elementary school level by maintaining a 50/50 racial balance.
It is a unique elementary school where every student is prepared for a secondary education, and ultimately, life. The faculty is filled with innovative, board certified, master teachers. The students are given a well rounded curriculum with music, computer, library, science lab, PE, and INSPIRE, Cleveland School District's gifted program. Family involvement is crucial; home-school partnerships are key to Hayes Cooper Center's success.
The Center has drawn regional and national attention for its high quality academic program, innovative programs, and effective math and science instruction.
Hayes Cooper began his work for the Merigold School System in 1937 at the old Merigold School. Back then, all the grades were in one building which was located on the east side of Old Highway 61 (currently Martin Luther King Jr. Street that runs though Merigold). Mr. Cooper worked as an assistant for a year and then in 1938, he became lead janitor.
Mr. Cooper was a true professional and a kind man. He was dearly loved by everyone, and children looked to him as a dear grandfather figure. He was very dedicated to his work at the school. During World War II when gasoline was hard to come by, Hayes Cooper rode his bicycle to work over two miles each day from Mound Bayou in the Delta heat and winter ice. He was married to Alice Cooper, and they had two children.
The old Merigold School burned in 1950, and Hayes Cooper decided to retire. When a new school was built in 1960 where the Hayes Cooper Center for Math, Science, and Technology is located today, it was appropriately named for the man who had been such an important part in the lives of so many Merigold children. His spirit of hard work and dedication can be seen in the school community of Hayes Cooper Center today.