The draft 2015-16 school calendar is available for review. The school board will consider the calendar for adoption during its regularly scheduled meeting March 10th.

Highlights of the calendar:

  • 180 instructional days
  • First day for students is August 24, 2015
  • 3 full & 2 half professional days built in
  • full 2 weeks for winter break
  • Wednesday before Thanksgiving remains a holiday
  • Spring break a full week after Easter
  • 9 full make up snow days built in
  • School year ends June 3rd

As in past years, a committee of faculty and parent representatives from each school collaborated to develop this draft, incorporating the sentiments that have been expressed through personal interaction and survey responses. We are confident this calendar serves the GCPS students and community well, but we certainly want to hear from you.

You can contact your child’s principal or any member of the GCPS leadership, simply reply to this blog post, or contact your school board representatives directly.



SPARCLERS “FROZEN FOLLIES” – PreK (4+) through Rising Kindergarten | Rising 1st-4th Graders

Length: One Week Dates: July 20 to July 24 Hours: PreK-K 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Rising 1st-4th and Rising 5th-8th 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Cost: $170* | $230 Location: Randolph Elementary School (Goochland County) * Extended care available for SPARCLERS Jr. (1:00-3:00 p.m.) for $60. Journey with us through the world of performing arts in just one week! SPARC’s youngest campers will learn the building blocks of performance—singing, acting, and dancing—as they work together to create a final show for family and friends on Friday. Every day of SPARCLERS will be filled with imagination, friends, and lots of fun! Frozen Follies is all about having a really cool summer! Campers will have fun exploring some of their favorite cold weather characters through storytelling, song, and dance—from penguins, to snowmen, reindeer, ice castles, and more! Join us as we explore an Icy Summer Wonderland filled with fun surprises!

Registration Options – Register now for a summer of fun at SPARC!

SPARC PERFORMING ARTS CAMP – Rising 5th – 8th Graders

Length: One Week Dates: July 27 to July 31 Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Cost: $230 Location: Randolph Elementary School (Goochland County) This one-week camp focuses on acting, singing, and dance. Students will learn age-appropriate games, exercises and performance material that will be showcased for friends and family on the last day of camp.

Registration Options – Register now for a summer of fun at SPARC!

“Type 1 Speakers” is the term used to describe the guest presenters that our elementary schools host throughout the year as part of the division’s schoolwide enrichment program. Type 1 Speakers are experts in their respective fields, whether an accomplished scientist, a published author, a collegiate athlete, or an elementary student who has spent hours researching a topic.

Earlier this school year, I saw Ms. Georgia Bush from the James River Association serve as a Type 1 Speaker at Byrd Elementary School, and I was thrilled by the student engagement she generated. As a follow up to that experience, I thought it would be cool to talk with some students at BES and hear directly from them about the influence the division’s Type 1 Speaker program has had on them over the years.

Last week I had the opportunity to spend time with Mrs. Glenda Hawk, Gifted Resource Teacher at Byrd Elementary School, and several fourth and fifth grade students discussing the impact Type 1 Speakers have had on their lives. From astronomers to Triple A baseball players, the students I visited with recalled with great detail the speakers, their message, and the impact it had had on them.

A.J. Condrey, fourth grader, described the message he’s carried with him since Rob Burns, a former football player at the University of Virginia, served as a Type 1 Speaker two years ago. “Mr. Burns really had a big influence on me. His message was to give 100% effort every day and to never give up — on the athletic field and in the classroom. I still think about his message today.”

Mrs. Hawk described Type 1 Speakers as, “a critical part of our overall gifted program at the elementary level. The entire student body gets to hear directly from experts, which often spark their own interests to expand their learning and make connections to their own lives. The Type 1 Speaker program is foundational in nature and probably has the greatest impact because every student benefits from the experience.”

Mrs. Lisa Brown, Gifted Resource Teacher at Goochland Elementary School, stated, “In my opinion we have had some amazing Type 1 Speakers over the past four years. I know that we have had two GRIPs [Gifted Research Interest-Based Projects] that were spawned directly from the Type 1 Speaker experience, in addition to many children who have been enriched in smaller ways.”

(l to r) A.J. Condrey (grade 4), Max Nichols (grade 4), and Mrs. Hawk

(l to r) Savannah Cave (grade 5), Porscha Suttle (grade 5), A.J. Condrey (grade 4), and Heath Davidson (grade 4)

Ms. Georgia Bush from the James River Association was a “Type 1 Speaker” at Byrd Elementary School this fall. She discusses Virginia’s watersheds with the 5th grade team.