We are excited to announce that the new transportation and maintenance center in Oilville is in full operation. The parking lot was paved last week and the new sign, designed by John Hendron, was installed this afternoon.

We offer a special word of thanks to school board members, JD Wright and Mike Payne, who gave their time and energy in doing the exterior painting themselves, saving the division costs and giving the new facility a personal touch. They even added two GCPS logo “G’s” on the side of the facility.

John Hendron designed the new facility sign.

We look forward to an official ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday, September 25 at 4 PM, just before the County & Schools Employee Picnic at Hidden Rock Park.

August and September have ushered in the first advisory committee meetings of the new school year. We have many.

These meetings are always open to the public, and we welcome interested stakeholders to the second round:

GES teacher, Joe Beasley, displays the GCPS values of creativity and excellence every day in his classroom. He pulls out all the stops, relentlessly pursuing new and invigorating ways to help his students hook into learning.

Take a look at the Scientific Method Song, written by Joe and his students:

 

As Dr. Geyer put it recently, “Joe, your students will remember you, your class and the content when they’re 60. Thank you for making learning fun.”

Absolutely.

The Rotary Club has recently donated $2,880 to cover all 4th and 5th graders’ attendance at the Richmond Symphony Discovery Series Concerts. Students will travel to Richmond’s Carpenter Theater to experience this one-of-a-kind musical tribute. Instructional activities to compliment the event will further expose students to the world of artistic expression and music.

Dr. Geyer and the elementary principals are confirming the dates for each school’s trip and those details will be communicated to parents soon.

Please join us in thanking the Rotary Club for this generous investment into the lives of our young people.

Students and parents took in a great deal of information at the open house designed for families whose GHS students are participating in the high school’s new EMT course.
Bruce Watson – Director of CTE, GCPS; Kenneth Williams – Paramedic Program Director, VCU; and Jay Gould – Director of the Center for Trauma & Critical Care Education, VCU (l to r)

I thoroughly enjoyed attending Mr. Newman’s Commitment to Graduation assembly at Goochland High School last Thursday. Students were given an opportunity to interact with speakers, both outside and GHS staff, and to engage in important discussions about their future, what it takes to persevere during high school and the ultimate goal of securing a Goochland High School diploma.

As always, Mr. Newman’s words were sincere and profound and the environment was one of respect and nurture.

GHS staff, thanks again for taking such great care of our future graduating classes and ensuring our students reach their goals.

Debbie White, GCPS Director of Finance, has done an exemplary job developing clear and detailed budget documents for the current fiscal year. There are four documents associated with the budget, housed on the GCPS Budget Updates section of the division web site:

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Expenditure Reports
  3. Operating Fund Line Item Detail
  4. Appendices and Glossary

If you haven’t done so already, we encourage you to take a few minutes and explore these documents. The narrative portions provide clear, accessible explanation of the various aspects of the total budget, how the board’s priorities drive the line item activity.

I’m confident you will find this an approachable, transparent and forthright presentation of the financial engine behind the work of the school division.

Many thanks to Mrs. White and her staff!

The division instructional leadership will be engaged in Instructional Rounds once again this school year. The “rounds” model is borrowed from the medical field in order to better connect division administrators to the important work taking place in classrooms every day.

The backdrop for our GCPS efforts thus far has been City et al.’s book entitled Instructional Rounds in Education.

The book is described as, “a network approach to improving teaching and learning,” and its main focus is to assist educational leaders and practitioners in developing a shared understanding of what high-quality instruction looks like and what schools and divisions need to do to support it.

During our rounds, small teams visit classrooms and other instructional spaces (gymnasiums, band rooms, athletic fields, etc.) over the course of a morning or an afternoon. Our primary objectives continue to be:

  1. to increase division leaders’ presence in our schools and classrooms;
  2. to ensure our connectedness to the hard work of teaching and learning; and,
  3. to demonstrate support to our professionals and the division’s commitment to teamwork.

We completed our first set of Instructional Round this past week, as teams visited Byrd Elementary School, Goochland Elementary School, Goochland Middle School, and Goochland High School.

Division administrators in our classrooms … exactly where we need to be.

Ms. Megan Donovan, grade 1, leads her students inside from a life science lesson in the Byrd Elementary School courtyard.

A student at Byrd Elementary School is ready to share his answer during a Fundations early literacy lesson.

Ms. Holly Swift leads a literacy lesson for an eager group of second grade students.

I’m thrilled to share a new way we can support local business and support our schools. The White Hawk Music Café has committed to donating 10% of the proceeds from sales every Monday night listed belowall school year long! – to each of the respective schools.

I encourage you to visit the White Hawk, especially on the Monday’s corresponding to your specific school. Enjoy great food and pour resources directly into the classrooms of your child’s school.

Please join me in thanking Terry and the generous staff of the White Hawk for investing in our school division this way!