Mrs. Cindy Charlton-Matejka, Grade 8 English, made a memorable day happen for her students last week.

On Wednesday, Bill Fitzgerald, news anchor for Richmond’s CBS 6, spent an afternoon with Mrs. Charlton-Matejka’s eighth graders. He talked with students about his experiences as a news broadcaster and how they are directly connected to his experiences as a student. Fitzgerald’s central message to Charlton-Matejka’s English students was to become as proficient with literacy as possible. “Read, write, and speak with clarity and thought every single day,” said Fitzgerald. “Your ability to do all three well will serve you in any profession — and in life.”

Mrs. Charlton-Matejka, her eighth grade class, and Goochland Middle School even got some outstanding on-air time thanks to Fitzgerald.

Richmond’s CBS 6 News Anchor, Bill Fitzgerald, addresses Mrs. Cindy Charlton-Matejka’s eighth grade English class.

The school board recognized February’s ECCHO Award recipients during the regularly scheduled February 10th meeting. Goochland’s ECCHO Award is designed to recognize individuals for displays of the the division’s 5 core values, Excellence, Creativity, Courage, Honor and Optimism.  The awards are held quarterly and honor recipients from each of the five schools and one from the division.

February 2015 ECCHO Awardees (L to R): Jaime Sprouse (RES), Connie Brice (BES), Ann Rohrer (GMS), Sally Hodges (GES), Jacob Webb (GHS), & Bill Lyon (Division), with Board Chair, John Lumpkins.

Individual employees or students are nominated by other members of the school community. The principal then leads a selection process using a rubric to evaluate the nominations and choose a winning recipient. Other nominees are also recognized and potentially included in the selection process for future recognitions.

We are especially proud to honor GHS student, Jacob Webb, nominated by his principal, Mike Newman. Jacob found $300 and could have kept it without anyone knowing. Instead, he lived out the core value of honor and submitted the lost money to the administration who were then able to return it.

The awards, themselves, are developed and created by CTE teacher Kenneth Bouwens and the GHS Digital Imaging students.

Congratulations to this quarter’s ECCHO Award recipients!

Goochland County Public Schools is sending a team of school district leaders to Raleigh, North Carolina, Feb. 11-12 to participate in the first of 12 Future Ready Regional Summits, designed to help district leaders improve teaching and learning through the effective use of technology. President Obama announced the regional summits at the ConnectED to the Future ConnectED to the Future Convening, hosted at the White House Nov. 19, 2014.  The summits are being hosted by the U.S. Department of Education and the Alliance for Excellent Education at N.C. State’s Friday Institute for Educational Innovation.

“We are honored to participate and eager to learn from our colleagues,” remarked division superintendent, James Lane. In addition to the superintendent, other participants are Dr. Steve Geyer, assistant superintendent for instruction, Dr. John Hendron, director of strategy and innovation, and Jenn Rucker, principal of Goochland Middle School.

Dr. Lane and the division leadership  are furthering Goochland’s commitment to becoming future ready by engaging in a series of workshops that offer expert support to create or build upon an existing digital learning plan that aligns with instructional best practices, is implemented by highly trained teachers, and leads to personalized learning experiences for all students, particularly those from traditionally underserved communities.

“Superintendents provide critical leadership to ensure that every child in their district benefits from what we know matters and what we know works for kids,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “The Future Ready Regional Summits will be a forum where local leaders can share knowledge with their peers, engage leaders from outside their region and better equip themselves with skills and tools necessary to provide students with what they need to be successful in life.”

The summits are an important step toward realizing the goals of the ConnectED Initiative announced by President Obama in 2013 to connect 99 percent of students to igh-speed Internet and empower teachers with the technology they need to transform teaching and learning. The regional summits are expected to engage more than 1,300 district leaders nationwide. The other 11 Regional Summits will be in Vancouver, Washington; Baltimore, Maryland; Atlanta, Georgia; Phoenix, Arizona; West Warwick, Rhode Island; St. Louis, Missouri; Redwood City, California; Denver, Colorado; Wadsworth, Illinois; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Dallas, Texas.

“Future ready is about helping district leaders leverage technology to empower teachers, engage students, and close persistent equity gaps by creating a learning environment where all students have access to the tools and expertise they need to be prepared for the future,” said Richard Culatta, director of the Education Department’s Office of Educational Technology (OET).

The summits are open to district leadership teams that have made a commitment to developing the human and technological capacity needed to transform teaching and personalize learning using digital tools, by signing the Future Ready District Pledge. Already, more than 1,500 district superintendents nationwide have taken the pledge.

For more information about the OET, including resources for students, parents and educators, visit  #FutureReady

As a follow up to this post, we provide the following communication from the Department of Education for staff and any interested citizens:

The current outbreak of measles in the United States has been highly covered in the media.  To date, there have been no reported cases of measles in Virginia.  In 2014 there were two cases and none were reported in 2012 or 2013.  Despite these facts, school staff may still have concerns about their students and themselves.  The information that follows is intended to provide staff with information to make informed decisions regarding their personal status with regard to measles immunity.

There has been no change in the vaccination recommendations for adults regarding the measles vaccines.  You would be presumed immune against measles if you meet at least one of the following:

Written documentation of adequate vaccination:

  • One or more doses of a measles containing vaccine administered on or after the first birthday for preschool-age children and adults not at risk
  • Two doses of measles-containing vaccine for school-age children and adults at high risk, including college students, health care personnel, and international travelers
  • Laboratory evidence of immunity
  • Laboratory confirmation of measles
  • Born in the United States before 1957

Provider-diagnosed disease, without laboratory confirmation, is not considered acceptable evidence of measles immunity

If an adult, born after 1957, and not in a high risk group, wishes to receive a second dose of vaccine it would be allowable under the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Inactivated vaccine was given between 1964 and 1967.  If you are not sure which type of vaccine was given, you should consult your health care provider to determine if laboratory testing for immunity or re-vaccination is appropriate.

As always, hand washing remains the best way to avoid becoming ill.  If you are sick, you should stay home until fever-free for 24 hours without medications to reduce fever.  Cover your cough and wash hands after coughing or sneezing.


CDC, general information on measles:

CDC, measles vaccination information:

If staff members are concerned about measles immunity, they should consult their primary health care provider.  Questions may be addressed to the school nurse, local health department immunization coordinator, or Tia Campbell, school health specialist at the Virginia Department of Education, or804-786-8671.

GCPS community,

Many of you are aware that a recent fire took the home of three of our students. GHS is accepting monetary donations from the community through its bookkeeping office that will go directly to this family. Students and families wishing to contribute to this fund can make checks payable directly to GHS. Cash donations are also acceptable, and receipts will be issued for every donation.

Please consider donating to this important cause.

Goochland County Public Schools officially introduced this year’s One District, One Book (ODOB) program today. Our elementary schools each held a kickoff assembly, at which time all 1,097 elementary students received a copy of E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web.

Copies of the book were also distributed to county leaders, teachers, administrators, bus drivers, and food services staff, so that conversations around this year’s ODOB selection can flourish within the school-community.

The program is designed to foster shared literacy experiences at home, and the division has asked families to commit to 10-15 minutes of reading each weekday evening during the month of February.

You can learn more about the program in my January 12th post.

Mrs. Ferguson’s 4th grade class

This Center for Disease Control health alert was distributed to healthcare facilities and providers (and schools) to educate people and provide guidance regarding a recent outbreak of the measles. Here is an excerpt:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and State Health Departments are investigating a multi-state outbreak of measles associated with travel to Disneyland Resort Theme Parks (which includes Disneyland and Disney California Adventure). The purpose of this HAN Advisory is to notify public health departments and healthcare facilities about this measles outbreak and to provide guidance to healthcare providers. Healthcare providers should ensure that all of their patients are current on MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. They should consider measles in the differential diagnosis of patients with fever and rash and ask patients about recent international travel or travel to domestic venues frequented by international travelers. They should also ask patients about their history of measles exposures in their community. Please disseminate this information to healthcare providers in hospitals and emergency rooms, to primary care providers, and to microbiology laboratories.

Read the full alert here and contact your child’s school nurse with any questions.