May 7, 2014, is National School Nurse Day. Join us in celebrating National School Nurse Day as a way to foster a better understanding of the role of school nurses in the educational setting.

Today’s children face more chronic health illnesses (e.g., asthma, diabetes, food allergies, etc.) than ever before. The knowledge, assessment skills, and judgment of licensed professional school nurses help ensure the provision of quality health care to children. School nurses take on a variety of roles every day. For many children, the school nurse is the only health professional they may have access to, except in emergencies. This becomes even more important as the prevalence of chronic social, emotional, and other health problems increase.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), asthma is the leading chronic illness among children and adolescents in the United States. On average, in a classroom of 30 children, about three are likely to have asthma. Further, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Today, approximately one in every 400 children and adolescents has type 1 or type 2 diabetes. According to a study released in 2013 by the CDC, food allergies among children increased approximately 50 percent between 1997 and 2011. The CDC reports that food allergies are a growing food safety and public health concern that affect an estimated 4-6 percent of children in the United States. School nurses help develop, implement, and monitor Individualized Healthcare Plans for these students.

We appreciate our school nurses, who contribute to our local communities by helping students stay healthy, in school, and ready to learn.

I was honored to join our board to present Mac Stuckey, President of the CarMax Foundation Board, with a certificate of dedication naming CarMax to the Virginia School Board Association Honor Roll during last night’s school board meeting. The CarMax Foundation has partnered with GCPS to create outdoor learning spaces at our elementary schools and provides volunteer support for our STEM Camp initiative.

The GCPS School Board also named Dominion Virginia Power and Luck Companies to the VSBA Honor Roll.

We are thankful for their generous support and partnership!

Pictured here with Mac Stuckey (center) and GCPS Board Chair, Michael Payne (right).

The family and community events at Byrd Elementary School are world class. This evening’s Farmers’ Market was another shining example. Hundreds of students, siblings, parents, grandparents, teachers and support staff participated in BES’ philanthropic event, both as vendors and as consumers. One fourth grade student described his preparation for the Farmers’ Market as, “the hardest I’ve worked all year – and the most fun I’ve had!”

This evening’s event supported directly Byrd Elementary School’s aim to “Grow Great Citizens, Locally and Globally.

Byrd Elementary School Farmers’ Market – April 22, 2014

We wanted our school community to be aware of this unique opportunity for rising high school juniors and seniors.

James Madison University describes the Summer Honors Institute as, “a unique week-long program where talented rising high school juniors and seniors get a first-hand look at life in a dynamic university and its Honors program.”

The weeklong (7/13-7/20) institute will provide students with a great opportunity to get a close glimpse of college life: live in a college dorm, sample classes, and engage with professors and current students. Participants will hear from representatives from JMU’s Admissions Office, who will explain the college admissions process, offer tips, and answer questions. Representatives from the Career and Academic Planning Office will provide advice regarding the selection of a major and career preparation. Additionally, Honors Program staff members will explain how participation in an honors program can enhance the college experience. There will also be opportunities for students to participate in a variety of fun activities on and off campus.

Greater detail re: JMU’s Summer Honors Institute can be accessed HERE.

Byrd Elementary would like to invite you to its second “Byrd Farmers Market” event on April 22, 2014 from 5:30 – 7:00 PM in the Multi-purpose Room. The theme at Byrd Elementary School this year is, “Growing Great Citizens-Locally and Globally”.

Students, individually or with their class or families, are creating products to sell at the Farmers Market to raise money to be donated to assist schools in Zanzibar, Tanzania Africa through an organization called CHaRA – Construction Health and Relief Acts.  Funds will be used to purchase school desks, provide clean water for schools, provide school uniforms and supplies, as well as to support food programs for a school. This organization is a global partner in an endeavor to give BES students an opportunity to expand their knowledge and help others in need outside our community.

For more information visit:

Prices will be reasonable!


Come join us at the Byrd Farmers Market!

Congratulations to Goochland High School for a first-place tie in the region for the Governor’s ONLINE Challenge in Personal Finance. On Wednesday, April 9th, Mrs. Voyack and her students competed in the state competition at VCU. Goochland High School was one of only 14 schools invited from throughout the Commonwealth to participate in the state competition.

Team Members:

  • Maddie Wright
  • Elizabeth Waldrop
  • Abbie Allison
  • Cary PIllow

Students were given a case study on a family and had to prepare a report detailing their recommendations to the family, including a presentation outlining their suggestions.

Local school board members were treated to an impressive display of creativity and faced some tough decisions in selecting the 2014 winners of the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA)  Southside Regional Art Contest on April 9, 2014 at Goochland High School. The contest was part of the regional forum hosted by Goochland County Public Schools. Student art from the elementary, middle, and high school levels represented each school division in the competition, which was judged at the regional forum for area school board members.

Sabine Rucker from Randolph Elementary School was the Elementary winner. Sabine’s piece will be framed and displayed in the regional offices in Charlottesville and State Department of Education in Richmond.

In addition to the art contest, attendees were treated to an extraordinary meal prepared by GHS Culinary Arts students in cooperation with the school nutrition staff. Comments were offered by the superintendent and regional VSBA representatives, including GCPS board member, Beth Hardy, also Vice Chair of the Southside Region.

After the meal, participants enjoyed a professional learning seminar in the newly established forum space in Goochland High School. Following an introduction by Dr. James Lane, division superintendent, Dr. John Hendron, Supervisor of Instructional Technology, and Dr. Stephen Geyer, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, offered a keynote and learning activity designed to give the audience a snapshot of how Goochland is embracing a focus on student engagement in its new strategic plan.

Dr. Lane greets the audience as he introduces the keynote speakers, Dr. Hendron and Dr. Geyer.

“The event was stellar,” remarked Michael Payne, Chairman of the GCPS School Board. “Several members indicated that this was the best learning event they had attended. I was extremely proud of our school division and the tremendous work that went into planning the event.”

Visit this page for more pictures of the event.




We are pleased to share the approved 2014-15 school calendar. The board voted unanimously on April 8th to establish this calendar after a recommendation from the Calendar Committee and several days of deliberation. Stakeholders provided feedback regarding the start and end dates, holidays, and school schedules.

Please note that the start and end times for each school are listed in the bottom right of the Calendar. Elementary schools will start at 8:20 and dismiss at 3:10 next year.

Click on the calendar image below to access the full size calendar:

There have been no additional changes to this year’s calendar (13-14) or school schedules.

Our sincere appreciation goes out to the dedicated members of the Calendar Committee who devoted incredible time and insight to developing this calendar.