October 16th marks the day when schools, businesses and families across the southeast region will participate in an annual “Shakeout”, earthquake preparedness drill. Earthquakes can provide unsettling circumstances, no matter where you are when one hits – be it school, home, or the grocery store.

It is wonderful practice for us all to be prepared with some fundamental steps that have proven to minimize risk and damage during these events in the past.

In addition to our own Crisis Manual and in-house materials, we utilize the resources offered by this organization.

Half of the battle in emergency response is being prepared before emergencies come. We invite you – no matter who or where you are – to participate with us.

Let us know how we can help.



Goochland High School Officially Commissions its new Marine Corps Junior ROTC unit at the Goochland High School Stadium at 2pm Wednesday, October 1st. 

The Ceremony will recognize the 117 MC JROTC Cadets who represent the very first class of students in this program at Goochland High School. The Guest of Honor for this event will be Colonel Wesley Fox USMC Retired, the most decorated living retired marine, a Medal of Honor Recipient and true legend in the Marine Corps. The event will include the Quantico Marine Corps Band and Silent Drill Team from the Marine Barracks in Washington D.C., a Marine Aviation fly-over and landing for static display, a section of 155mm howitzers from Richmond’s Hotel Battery 3rd Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment, the Richmond area Marine Corps League Honor Guard, several WWII-Korean War Veterans in battle dress and a WWII Marine Corps static display.

Numerous local Marine units will also be present, including Marines from Ft. Lee, area recruiting officers and members of the other three MC JROTC units in the Richmond area along with many veterans of all services. All GHS students and many GMS students will attend and the public is cordially invited to experience this great event in Goochland history.

The establishment of this unit at GHS culminates two years of cooperative effort by Goochland County Public Schools’ leadership, the board of supervisors, and the school board. The October 1, 2014 event is supported by the James M. Slay Detachment of the Marine Corps League and Goochland’s American Legion Post 215.

The event will be held in the GHS Stadium, with a rain location of the high school auditorium.

During its regularly scheduled workshop on September 23, 2014, the Goochland County Public School Board voted unanimously to appoint superintendent James Lane  to a new four-year contract.

“We’ve been thrilled with our partnership with Dr. Lane and the tremendous work he has led our division to accomplish,” remarked board chairman and District 1 representative Michael Payne. “He is everything we were looking for in a leader.”

Lane came to Goochland in December 2012, having signed a four-year contract after previously serving as superintendent of Middlesex County. The board’s decision this past Tuesday granted him two more years with the new contract which extends through June 30, 2018.  The school board has taken a methodical approach in considering this extension with discussion, as evidenced in school board agendas, for nearly two months following the successful completion of the superintendent’s evaluation over the summer.

Elizabeth Hardy, from District 4, served as chair at the time Lane was hired and expressed her support for the decision as well. “James has met all of our expectations during his first two years in Goochland,” Hardy remarked. “Our desire to grant another four years to his contract speaks to the confidence we unanimously have in his leadership and our desire for the very best for the Goochland community.”

“I am so honored to be the superintendent in Goochland and have shared several times that this is truly my dream job, Dr. Lane shared. “I am excited about the confidence the school board has shown in our school division’s progress and with this extension I promise to continue to work tirelessly on behalf of our students.”

YOU ARE INVITED – Only 3 more days until we celebrate the Goochland YMCA’s 10th year anniversary which is on Sunday, September 28th from 1 pm – 4 pm at the Goochland Family YMCA. We’re having a family-friendly outdoor event which will feature:

  • Music – Trongone Band
  • Brunswick stew cooked on site with cornbread, local honey and hot dogs for kids
  • A Moon Bounce for kids
  • Clown
  • Photo Booth
  • Trucks (Fire Engine, School Bus and Sheriff’s Vehicles)
  • Outdoor pool will be open for swimming
  • Farmers Market Vendors will be at the Y
  • Go_Go frozen yogurt will be on site as well   

Congratulations to Byrd Elementary School, who has been recognized as a Virginia Naturally School for a 4th consecutive year. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries determines eligibility for this recognition based on “efforts in supporting environmental conservation and stewardship.” BES is one of 52 schools to be named a 2014 Virginia Naturally School.

iPad Initiative and Deployment Nights
Our 1:1 pre-deployment nights for parents held at the start of September were designed to let us help families establish Apple ID accounts for use with the iPads. We currently have almost everyone accounted for with an Apple ID for each student. We have been working behind the scenes with Apple to make this process simpler in the future. Since those nights, we have been working with a technical team from Apple on how to expedite app installation during deployment evenings and they will be providing technical staff during deployment evenings to assist us and our families.
Our iPad deployment nights will be:
– Byrd Elementary – October 1
– Goochland Elementary (All grade levels) – October 2
– Goochland Middle – October 16
– Randolph Elementary – October 9
Times and more details will be posted very soon on the division website. This night is imperative for your child’s success with the iPad and includes an education component both for students and for their parent(s). We cannot give your child an iPad unless you attend deployment night. We are excited about the potential this new device will have in helping us this year in providing engaging, deeper learning experiences for students at Goochland Elementary (grades 3-5), Byrd (5th), Randolph (5th), and Goochland Middle Schools (6th).

We have gotten several questions about our teacher blogs recently.  See below and please let us know if you have any other questions!
Teacher Blogs
This school year we gave a new option to teachers regarding our blogging initiative. Since 2005, we’ve encouraged our teachers to share classroom news, post homework assignments, and to write about their experiences as educators through the blog format. As we plan for a transition to a new digital learning environment division-wide in grades 3-12, we realized that the process of sharing these types of information would be even easier for teachers and ultimately convenient for our parents using Schoology.
Currently our principals are working with our teachers to ensure that our teacher blog addresses are added toPowerSchool so that parents can still browse teacher blogs – whether they are hosted through our WordPress server or in Schoology. These updates are required for teachers who have moved their blogs or have joined us as new teachers this school year.  We’ve also begun the process of updating each school’s website with the new blog links for teachers.  We have given our veteran teachers the option to choose Schoology or WordPress this year.  For instance, if you are a middle school parent, go to the GMS Teacher Page (http://www.glnd.k12.va.us/index/gms/teachers/), if your teacher has the “W” icon, then this teacher is using WordPress.  If your teacher has the “S” icon, then they are using Schoology.  Both Schoology and WordPress blogs are open to the public.
In October, we will be starting our parent login access to Schoology so that interested parents can see, beyond blogs, individual course updates for teachers trying Schoology this year. We’re excited about bringing even more transparency to our instructional programs.
Online Homework
While our schools have cutting-edge network connectivity to support instruction across all five of our schools, we do realize that broadband access is not a possibility in every home here in Goochland. We have reinforced this notion with our teachers as of late so that no homework going home will require internet access to be successfully completed. We do not want having access to online resources to prevent any student from being successful.

As Institutional Members to the MathScience Innovation Center, all GCPS educators have the opportunity to participate in exceptional professional development workshops throughout the year at no cost. MSiC’s current PD feature is designed for elementary teachers and is entitled “Fall Into Math & Science.” Workshops include Spooktacular: A Virtual Celebration of Math & Science (grade 3), Making the Most of Math Workstations (K-2), STEM: The Recipe (3-5), and Mastering Math Tasks (grade 3).

The “Fall Into Math & Science” series is scheduled for October 7 & 8 from 4:30-7:30PM.

Please visit their full invitation to learn more.

Internet access is a challenge in many parts of Virginia, our community is no exception. While success in school is certainly not dependent on connectivity at home, we are always pursuing creative solutions for our students to extend and deepen their learning outside of school hours (i.e. the creation of rich, digital learning content that does not rely on an at-home Internet connection; the pursuit of grant opportunities that could result in free MiFi devices for in-home use; etc.).

We wanted to make our families aware of a program called “Internet Essentials from Comcast” that provides broadband access at significantly reduced rates for families who “have at least one child eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program.”

If you have questions about the National School Lunch Program, please contact your child’s school or Ms. Lisa Landrum, Supervisor of School Nutrition, at (804) 556-5604.