Every year, millions of children in the United States catch enteroviruses that can cause coughing, sneezing, and fever. This year, the enterovirus that is most commonly causing respiratory illness in children across the country is enterovirus-D68 (EV-D68). Take basic steps to keep your child from getting and spreading EV-D68.

Click this link to find great information regarding this virus and how you can best protect your child from infection.

We are circulating this information throughout our schools as well and will continue to pass along these resources.

Perrone Robotics, a company located in Charlottesville, VA that develops infrastructure software, hosted the Byrd Elementary Robotics Team on October 9th. Students learned from experts in the field how technology can be used to support the design and creation of robotics and automation vehicles.

“It was a great experience!” exclaimed BES teacher, Glenda Hawk. “The students represented the school and division so well, asking thoughtful questions and displaying gracious professionalism.”

With special emphasis on safety in designing autonomous vehicles, the Byrd Team was able to ask questions and share their own solution for their First lego League challenge. They met “Tommy II,” a robotic car and even attempted to outbeat the laser of the security system developed by Perrone!

“The Goochland STEM program represents such a well focused program,” said Richard Carchman, member of Goochland’s STEM Advisory Committee. “How rewarding to see this robotics team of elementary children joyfully stretching their minds.”

The story made the front page of Charlottesville’s Daily Progress.

Charlottesville paper, The Daily Progress, features BES students on the front page this weekend.

When it comes to the spread of illnesses, prevention is invaluable. We encourage you to review the resources in this post and give special consideration to discussions with your children about the importance of washing hands thoroughly. Parents of young children, please consider not only talking about this issue but also demonstrating proper technique at home. Our nurses conduct “handwashing classes” in our elementary schools and your additional support at home will make a world of difference.

The resources below can help.

What Do We Recommend?

Our health professionals emphasize that what gets hands clean is the use of antibacterial soap with water and the friction of rubbing the hands together. Washing both sides, between the fingers and under in nails for as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday”, followed by rinsing all the soap off and using a clean towel or paper towel to dry will ensure clean hands and greatly minimize the spread of germs.

Resources for You

What About Water Temperature?

We follow the guidelines offered by the Department of Health and World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care specifically note:

“Apart from the issue of skin tolerance and level of comfort, water temperature does not appear to be a critical factor for microbial removal from hands being washed. (see page 31 of this document)

While hot water is available in most areas of our schools, it is not available in the oldest sections of the three elementary schools. All renovated areas of the elementary schools as well as all areas of the secondary complex do include hot water faucets which self regulate to 100 degrees.



We are honoring anti-bullying month in each of our facilities. Each school is pursuing activities to bring the issue to the forefront of student attention and to set the stage for a yearlong focus on honorable, respectful behavior among all GCPS community members.

GMS Principal Jennifer Smith stands next to the box in which students are encouraged to place anonymous feedback regarding bullying and behavior in the school.

We encourage you to note the updates we will offer throughout the month in the blogs and GCPS Facebook and Twitter feeds.

GCPS is serious about living, working and leading in alignment with the five Core Values expressed in our strategic plan. Additionally, we are thoroughly committed to the pursuit of our vision which calls us to be intentional about having a positive impact on those around us.

The ECCHO Awards will be given monthly at the school board meeting in recognition of students and staff who have exemplified that positive impact and the display of our Core Values.

During the September 9 board meeting, we recognized seven employees with the first ECCHO Awards:

  • Tim Greenway
  • Mike Verasstro
  • Kenny Bouwens
  • Zach Herbert
  • Daniel Allen
  • Staff Sgt. Dan Strong
  • Major Mike Petruzzielio
The nomination specifically highlighted these individuals’ display of Excellence, citing that “they performed quality work, painting the preschool facility as though it was their own home”, and Honor, because they are “committed to sacrificial service and leadership, intentionally had positive impact on others, thinking about the needs of another school and other teachers and students above their own.”

Goochland County Public Schools ECCHO Award winners. L to R: Dr. James Lane, superintendent, Tim Greenway, Mike Verasstro, Kenny Bouwens, Zach Herbert, Daniel Allen, Dan Strong, Mike Petruzzielio, Michael Payne, school board chair.

Congratulations to these employees who are giving hands and feet to our mission and vision!

We invite our employees to use the form below, found on the right of this page (“Educator Resources” page) to nominate colleagues or students for this award in the future:

Goochland High School was recently named a 2014 Blue Star School for achievement in financial literacy education by the W!SE organization in New York, New York. The is the second consecutive year GHS has received W!SE’s highest recognition.

This schoolwide recognition also comes on the heels of the teacher-level honor bestowed on Mr. Joe Fowler during the 2013-14 school year.

Congratulations GHS!

We welcomed more than 100 interested family members to this evening’s informational meeting. Officials from Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School and Blue Ridge Virtual Governor’s School joined us to present overviews of both programs. Eighth grade students and families interested in applying for either Governor’s School opportunity should contact the Goochland Middle School Guidance Office at (804) 556-5320.

The 2014 Fall/Winter Instructional Newsletter has arrived. Copies will come home with PK-8 students and are available in our schools. You may access an electronic copy by clicking the cover photo below:

Please see this letter from Sheryl Holcomb. I encourage you to thoughtfully consider participating in these efforts as we continue to grieve the loss of this dear student and community member.

Dear Goochland Parents,

There is an African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and OUR village is founded on the support and strength we draw from each other. We are very fortunate to know our community is one that rallies together in time of need. We protect our neighbors’ children as we do our own and when one is lost, we all grieve together.

I’m writing to let you know about a couple of opportunities you have to support a Goochland family member in an effort to honor their son. Cole Starke passed away suddenly on Sunday, May 25th of this year. During the summer, we’ve been collecting donations that have been designated to build an indoor batting cage at the Goochland High School. Cole loved his school, his community and his baseball. It is a comfort to his friends and family to know that he will still be a part of those things that he valued by dedicating this building in his name.

We will be selling these Bulldog Drawstring Bags that have been designed specifically for this cause and all profits will go to the building of the batting cage. They will be on sale for $15 and you can pick them up at the JV football game on Thursday, October 9th and at the Varsity Homecoming football game on Friday, October 24th. Supplies are limited so don’t miss out!

In addition, we have a Major League Baseball signed by JustinVerlander, and your chance to win is only $1. You can pick up your raffle ticket at either game.

Lastly, on Saturday, October 25th, we will be hosting the Cole Starke Memorial Home Run Derby during the Goochland Fall Festival. It will be held at Napa Field (right beside Taylor’s) and the event is scheduled from 12pm – 4pm. You can come any time to take part. There is a $5 entry free and GREAT prizes for each age group. Raffle tickets will also be available for purchase at the derby and the winner will be drawn at the end of the event. You do not need to be present to win! If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.

Please join us, have fun, and support our efforts to honor our friend. We look forward to seeing you!


Sheryl Holcomb