Meghan Edwards, a senior at Goochland High School is partnering with four close friends to honor the life of Katie Anderson, plan a 5k, and raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She needs multiple sponsorships and donations and expects between 300-400 people at the 5K event, the “Kolor Me Katie 5K.”

Read Meghan’s Official Letter Here.

This would be a wonderful advertising opportunity for local businesses. Please consider joining Meghan in this endeavor and forwarding the opportunity to other potential sponsors and donors you know.

See Meghan’s Instructions to Sponsors Here.

The Goochland High School Scholastic Bowl Team was ranked number one in the James River District after a thrilling 13-3 season this year! The JV team was also undefeated this year, so we look forward to continued excellence in the future.

From Coach. Mr. Smith:

“Our students earning the #1 seed is a real student achievement, but is further testament of our teachers and their commitment to academic excellence. As with any competition, you always hope to put your best team out there to compete. Building on the momentum of reaching regionals last year,  Mr. Derrico and I reached out to our core teachers, seeking and encouraging our very best academic students to represent our school. Our students have delivered in every way. “

Scholastic Bowl is a great competitive forum offered through the VHSL. It enables students to excel and pursue their competitive interests off of the traditional playing field of athletic events.

From coach, Mr. Derrico:

“The students positively represented Goochland High School by demonstrating integrity and academic excellence throughout the entire season.”

Our sincere congratulations go out to these students and their coaches!

The division leadership team has been engaged in the third year of instructional rounds this semester. The “rounds” model is one borrowed from the medical field in order to better connect division administrators to the most important work that takes place every day in our division: teaching and learning in the classroom.

Here are some moments captured from this month’s instructional rounds:

The Coding Event at Capital One last week was extraordinary. With a vision for providing students across the nation with opportunities to experience hands-on, authentic instruction in computer coding (What is coding? Find the answer here), Capital One partners with a handful of school divisions who are serious about pursuing the relationship.

Goochland Middle School was fortunate to be one of two selected in the region!

Karen Harden jumped at the chance to cultivate this experience for her students. Using a curriculum written by Capital One professionals, she co-taught coding lessons once a week throughout the first semester.

The culminating project was an “app” that each student developed using their own coding language.

The Coding Event at Capital One gave students the opportunity to showcase their apps. Vice President of Technology, Ross Creasy, gave a compelling keynote talk during the extraordinary reception.

Students had no idea that at the end of the event Capital One would give each one of them their own laptop!

We are hopeful the partnership will continue and we are so thankful for the opportunity Mrs. Harden and Capital One offered to our students!


Three leaders with the Goochland County Public Schools recently completed a two year training and education program targeting the professional learning of school business and finance professionals.  James Lane, Superintendent, Debbie White, Finance Director, and Pete Gretz, Assistant Superintendent, were members of the first training cohort, a partnership between the Virginia Association of School Business Officials (VASBO) and the University of Virginia.

School Board Chair, Michael Payne, pictured with superintendent, James Lane, finance director Debbie White, and assistant superintendent of Operations, Peter Gretz.

The program covered topics in accounting principles, financial planning and auditing, purchasing and management systems, school law and general leadership. Practitioners from across the commonwealth gathered to learn from experts and university educators and to build a strong collaborative framework of support.

One of the fundamental goals of our strategic plan is to maximize the efficiency and safety of our operations. We are in an even better position to deliver exemplary support to the operational systems that undergird our mission of maximizing the potential of every learner.

We have revised the alternative “snow bus routes” that could potentially be used in periods of inclement weather. You can click on either route sheet below to enlarge:


“Will these alternate routes be used every time there is snow on the roads?”

No. Use of these routes is dependent upon main artery roads being safe for travel. We will coordinate our alternate system with VDOT so that they are aware of which roads need attention in order for these routes to be implemented.

“Does this mean we will never close school again for snow?”

No. It is absolutely possible that we will need to close schools again for inclement weather, even with these alternative routes in place. Main artery roads need to be safe for travel before we implement these routes. It should also be noted that these alternative routes are disruptive for many parents’ schedules. They enable us to open schools but they still require that people make personal arrangements that often pose an inconvenience.

These routes will only be used when (a) the main roads that feed the routes are safe for buses and (b) our only alternative would be to close the schools.

“Will there be approximate pick up/drop off times posted?”

Parents are now asked to meet the buses five minutes before the pick-up/drop-off time. When and if we implement these routes, we ask parents arrive at the stops ten minutes early.

“What about children who don’t have transportation to get to the alternate stops?”

The alternate bus routes do provide an opportunity to open schools during extended periods of inclement weather, provided the main arteries of travel that “feed” the alternate stops are clear and safe. The alternate routes, however, are not always convenient for families and they do not fully mitigate the disruption that comes with schedule changes related to unsafe road conditions.

Late openings, early dismissals, and school cancellations disrupt the patterns of many families’ routines. Parents are often forced to make childcare arrangements, sometimes at the last minute. Often parents find it necessary to miss work so they can be home with their children.

The alternative bus routes address some of those issues, but not all. Anything other than door-to-door transportation service will necessitate parents arranging for children to be brought to the common stop identified in the alternate route system. If it’s raining or excessively cold, some may find taking their children to the alternate stop problematic.

Alternate routes are typically only implemented when the division is in danger of missing an inordinate number of days. They enable us to open schools and continue instruction; they do not solve many of the convenience issues parents face during weather-related schedule changes.

“Does this mean children will be dropped off at the alternate stops in the afternoon and parents will need to be there to pick them up?”

Yes. Parents will need to arrange to meet the bus at the alternate stop ten minutes earlier than their regular drop-off time. Though this will cause disruption to many parents’ schedules, I can assure you will only implement these routes when the alternative would be an entire day of absence. Unfortunately there is no other method of establishing an alternate route that avoids unsafe, uncleared secondary roads except to implement stops that are not door-to-door.

“What if I determine that the conditions are not safe for me to transport my child to the alternate bus stop. Will my child’s absence be excused?”

Yes. On days when our schools are open using the alternate snow routes, we will excuse absences for students whose parents are unable to transport to and from the alternate bus route. Students who drive whose parents deem the conditions unsafe for driving will also be excused on days when the alternative routes are implemented.


There’s no better place to be during the weeks leading up to the winter holidays than an elementary school: the activities, the smiles, and the contagious positive energy. Every time I get a chance, during the month of December, to spend time with our youngest students and the teachers who lead their learning, I love to share a story. While I’ve been able to share several in person over the past two weeks, I’m leaning on technology to help me be even more present.

Here are two of my favorites holiday classics.

The Goochland County School Board is pleased to welcome a new student representative to the board, Jaymi Bell. Ms. Bell is an eleventh grader at Goochland High School and comes to the new position with principal Michael Newman’s highest accolades.

Jaymi Bell, GHS Junior, addresses the board after their unanimous approval of her appointment as student board member.

Matt Austin, a senior, completed his final meeting as student board member December 9th, during which time board chair, Michael Payne, passed the gavel to Austin and allowed him to lead the entire meeting. Mr. Austin was the recipient of the VSBA Scholarship Award, awarded to only three individuals in Virginia and presented during the annual conference in Williamsburg in November.

“These students bring an invaluable contribution to our work as a board,” explained Mr. Payne. “It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to partner with the students and to get an authentic view of what’s going on in our schools through their eyes.”

Front, L to R: exiting student member, Matt Austin, newly appointed student member, Jaymi Bell, Jaymi’s mother, Princess Bell, Bath Hardy.
Back, L to R: Kevin Hazard, John Wright, John Lumpkins, superintendent James Lane.


Jamie Bell will assume her seat on the school board for the first time during the January 13, 2015 school board meeting.