Mrs. Jennifer Gates’ most recent blog post asks a worthy question …

Mrs. Gates is a fourth grade teacher at Randolph Elementary School and part of a growing team in Goochland who has taken the lead in designing and utilizing authentic assessment in their classrooms.

Goochland County Public Schools considers Integrated Performance Assessments (IPAs) to be an activity requiring students to demonstrate knowledge, understanding, skills, creativity and competencies through the creation of a product, either in groups or individually. IPAs allow students to synthesize and apply their learning to authentic contexts across subject areas. IPAs provide teachers with authentic measures of student performance.

GCPS considers IPAs to be an integral part of the division’s Balanced Assessment Project.

I encourage you to take a look at Mrs. Gates’ post, as well as the video she created to capture some of the division’s work related to IPAs.

In past years we have had several questions raised during the first week of school regarding transportation. Here are a few pieces of information pulled from the most Frequently Asked Questions:
  1. Returning students will not receive a “new” transportation schedule unless their bus assignment has changed. If you do not receive notice of a change, your child will ride the same bus this year as last year.
  2. Transportation schedules have been mailed out to all students that are new to the school system, all rising kindergarteners, rising 6th graders, students with bus route changes and students who have moved.
  3. Guidance counselors continue to submit new student information and we are assigning students to buses as they come in. At this point we are contacting parents of newly registered students by phone to arrange transportation.
  4. We will be tweaking the bus times during the first 10 days of school to maximize efficiency and minimize student wait and ride time. Parents will be notified if a child’s schedule will need to be changed for any reason.
  5. Some parents may choose to transport their child this year but until we hear from the parents that bus transportation is not needed, the student’s name will remain on the bus rosters.
  6. Parents or designee must accompany students in grades K-3 as they wait at the Bus Stop and be there to receive them each afternoon.  For safety reasons, parents of students in grades K-3 are asked to be at his/her child’s bus stop 5 minutes prior to their scheduled pick up and discharge times.
  7. As in past years, Bus Passes will not be issued for the first 2 weeks of school to allow drivers to become familiar with their new routes and students.
  If we can be of further help, please let us know. Everyone is excited to get the students back in school including the bus drivers. We are looking forward to a great school year! If you have any questions, please call our transportation department at 556-5361. Thank you for your continued support!

 

 

CAFETERIA INFORMATION

We are proud of our award-winning School Nutrition Program. Each week our school cafeterias feature locally grown produce through the Farm to School Program. Student meals can be prepaid at your child’s school or using www.MyPaymentsPlus.com. Students use their student ID numbers to access the online payment system. These numbers are given out during business night at each school on August 14. For information related to cafeteria services, included the Free and Reduced Meal Program, please contact 556-5604.

FREE AND REDUCED MEALS

If your child received free or reduced priced meals for the 13-14 school year, the benefit will continue for the first 30 days of school.   Benefits will end on September 29.  Please submit a free and reduced meal application (available in your school office or the school nutrition office 804-556-5604) before the deadline.

Households that are receiving SNAP or TANF for their children as of July 1 may not have to fill out an application. School officials will notify you in writing of your child(ren)’s eligibility for free meal benefits. Once notified, your child(ren) will receive free meals unless you tell the school that you do not want benefits.

If you are not notified by August 15, 2014, you must submit an application. The application must contain the names of all students in the household, the SNAP or TANF case number, and the signature of an adult household member.

 If you do not receive SNAP or TANF benefits for your child(ren), complete the application and return it to the school division. If you do not list a SNAP or TANF case number for the child(ren) you are applying for, then the application must have the names of all students, the names of all other household members, the amount of income each person received last month, and how often the income was received. An adult household member must sign the application and include the last four digits of their social security number. If the person does not have a social security number, check the box provided indicating none. You or your child(ren) do not have to be U.S. citizens to qualify for free or reduced price meals.

After a lengthy discussion with the school board regarding Tobacco Use on School Premises (Policy KGC) during their past two meetings, Mr. Newman (GHS Principal), Ms. Smith (GMS Principal) and Dr. Lane (Superintendent) have decided with the support of the school board that we will no longer have designated smoking areas at the secondary complex.  Smoking has been prohibited for students for many years; however, the major impact to this regulation will be for adult fans at GHS sporting events.

Prior to this school year, there has been a designated smoking area in the GHS athletic complex immediately upon entry to our stadium.  The smoking area has been adjacent to the band concession stand at football games and smoke often filters into the band section of the stadium.  Mr. Newman has also reported issues with the smoking receptacle smoldering from time to time, which we consider a major safety issue.  We were one of the few high schools left in Virginia that still allowed any smoking inside the stadium.  After considering a relocation of the smoking section, we ultimately determined there are no better or safer locations that will allow us to safely monitor and maintain crowd safety in the stadium.

We are sorry for the inconvenience to our fans that smoke cigarettes and e-cigarettes, but we feel that this decision is in the best interest of the safety of our students, portrays the best image of a healthy lifestyle for our students, and prevents other fans from having to endure second-hand smoke.

We have not had smoking at our elementary schools since before I began as superintendent, so this regulation update does not have an impact on current practices at the elementary level.  In effect, though, we are now a completely smoke-free campus school division.

Mr. Newman is in the process of placing “No-Smoking” signs throughout the exterior of the secondary complex.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Dr. Lane

GCPS Elementary School Families, Teachers, and Students,

Last evening the school board and GCPS administration discussed the end time for elementary schools and determined that the correct and best end time each day for our Pre-K – 5th grade students would be 3:10.  Prior to today, we have been communicating the end time as 3:15 based on board approval in March 2014; however, on April 8, 2014, after a long discussion about providing more time between the elementary and middle school end times to offer BES and RES parents who have children at both the elementary school and middle school an easier transition, we determined that 3:10 was a better time.

We apologize for the confusion. We believe the earlier end time is best for our students and we hope the extra five minutes will help our families.  At the board meeting last night, several of our leaders spoke to the benefits of the 3:10 end time and the board confirmed the intent to keep the time approved in April.  All afternoon bus routes will arrive five minutes earlier than expected (based on previous communications) in the afternoon only.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly with any questions or concerns.

All elementary schools (RES, GES, BES) – 8:20 – 3:10

All secondary schools (GMS and GHS) – 8:15 – 3:20

GCPS Community and Parents,

As the excitement about beginning a new school year builds, we look forward to the many “back to school” events that are scheduled in our schools. Please mark your calendars for these important activities we hope you can attend:

All Schools:

  • Kindergarten Orientation, 12:00-1:30PM, August 14
  • Business Night, 3:00-7:00PM, August 14

GHS:

  • Back to School Night, 5:00PM, September 15

GMS:

  • Back to School Night, September 16, 6:30PM

RES

  • Open House, August 14, 3:00-7:00PM
  • Back to School Night, September 11, 6:30PM

GES

  • Back to School Night, September 18, 6:30PM

BES

  • Back to School Night, September 23, 6:00PM

Please contact your child’s principal for specifics or information about any of these and other events.  Principals will also be sending home a letter to all families later this week with even more information.

As the year progresses, each school will update an individual calendar. Division-wide events will also be updated and all calendars can be accessed here, by navigating the scroll bar on the right side of the page (you will be able to select an individual school’s calendar or view multiple calendars).  Additionally, the 180-day school calendar as approved by the school board (i.e. includes dates for Winter and Spring Breaks, etc.) is here.

Transportation Questions

We are extremely proud of our transportation department and the service we provide to families. Thanks to the school board and board of supervisors, we were able to purchase two new buses last year and have a plan to regularly replace outdated vehicles to maintain maximum safety for our students.

Bus route information was mailed to the homes of all students new to GCPS, including families of rising Kindergarten students. In addition, all rising 6th graders and those whose route may have changed received information regarding transportation. Families with any questions about transportation are encouraged to contact 556-5367.

Cafeteria Information

We are proud of our award-winning School Nutrition Program. Each week our school cafeterias feature locally grown produce through the Farm to School Program. Student meals can be prepaid at your child’s school or using www.MyPaymentsPlus.com. Students use their student ID numbers to access the online payment system. These numbers are given out during business night at each school on August 14. For information related to cafeteria services, included the Free and Reduced Meal Program, please contact 556-5604.

Fees

Elementary School Fees

Fees are waived for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch.

 

 

  Activity and Consumable Material Fees Voluntary Student Activities

K-5

Student Activity Fee

$10.00

5

Recorders & Workbook

$5.00

Chorus Shirts

$15.00

GES

iPad Fee

$35.00

Middle School Fees

Fees are waived for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch.

 

 

  Activity and Consumable Material Fees Voluntary Student Activities

6-8

Student Activity Fee

$10.00

6-8

Band

$8.00

6-8

Gym Uniform

$15.00

  

High School Fees

Fees are waived for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch.

 

 

Activity and Consumable Material Fees

Class Dues

Voluntary Student Activities

Post-graduate classes

9-12

Student Activity Fee

$10.00

11

Class fee

$25.00

12

Class fee

$10.00

9-12

Gym Uniform

$15.00

12

All Night Graduation Fee

$10.00

9-12

Art/Graphic Art Activity Fee

$10.00

9-12

Adventure Games Activity Fee

$40.00

9-12

Marching Band Fee

$100.00

9-12

Color Guard Fee

$75.00

9-12

Parking pass (1/2 price for second semester)

$75.00

9-12

Yearbook:

$45.00

If purchased before September 1

$55.00

If purchased between September 1 and January 2

$60.00

If purchased after January 2

9-12

AP Tests

$89.00

9-12

JSRCC dual enrollment courses

Tuition determined by and paid directly to JSRCC. Reimbursement of 50% tuition for “C” or better, maximum 2 classes/year

9-12

JSRCC College Connection Courses

Tuition determined by and paid directly to JSRCC. Reimbursement of 50% tuition for “C” or better, maximum 4 classes/year

9-12

JSRCC Career Technical Courses

Tuition determined by JSRCC and paid by GHS. Non-reimbursable tuition cost to students is $250 per semester.

9-12

JMU

$90/credit hour

 

School Breakfast and Lunch

 

K-5

Student Breakfast

$1.20

K-5

Student Breakfast – Reduced

$0.30

K-5

Student Lunch

$2.45

K-5

Student Lunch- Reduced

$0.40

6-12

Student Breakfast

$1.30

6-12

Student Breakfast – Reduced

$0.30

6-12

Student Lunch

$2.55

6-12

Student Lunch- Reduced

$0.40

Virginia Commonwealth University is celebrating its School of Education’s 50th Anniversary by extending a unique invitation to area school divisions. We’ve accepted.

In recognition of the School of Education’s celebration, Goochland County Public Schools and VCU have partnered to offer a great opportunity to Goochland educators for the Fall 2014 semester. VCU’s tuition cost for this 3-credit course is $297. GCPS is further defraying the cost to our educators by sponsoring each registrant an additional $97, making the total cost to our employees $200. (This remaining amount does qualify for tuition reimbursement by following the division’s tuition reimbursement protocol.)

TEDU 494 Topical Seminar in Education is a course taught by GCPS division leaders (Drs. Lane, Gretz, Hendron, and Geyer) on key topics related to teaching and learning. It is a three-credit course and may be used for license renewal points (90) by individuals holding a bachelor’s or graduate degree. [Please note: This special course is restricted by the university to students NOT currently participating in a VCU program.]

To enroll in VCU’s anniversary course with GCPS, please complete the registration form and the residency form and return them both to Mrs. Diane Bennett at the division administrative office by Monday, August 25. Tuition checks will be collected the first day of class (Monday, September 22) and should be written to “Goochland County Public Schools.” The course will be limited to the first 20 participants.

TEDU 494 will meet at GHS on Mondays from 4-7PM: September 22-November 17, 2014; you may access a draft syllabus here.