We will host an informational session for families interested in learning more about our Advance College Academy (ACA) program and the new regional high school called CodeRVA.

Monday, November 7


Goochland High School Auditorium

ACA & CodeRVA Informational Meeting

Advance College Academy is the result of our partnership with Reynold Community College and provides high school students the opportunity to earn an associate degree while completing the requirements for their high school diploma.

CodeRVA is an innovative hybrid high school serving the Richmond region aimed at increasing the number of computer science professionals.  This regional high school is in the infant stages and developing quickly.

We will have officials from Reynolds and CodeRVA with us on November 7 – the perfect opportunity to learn about both programs!


A group of students from Goochland Middle School was featured at last Tuesday’s Virginia School Board Association’s Hot Topic Conference, held at the Chesterfield Career and Technical Center in Midlothian, VA.  The conference was dedicated to showcasing educational technology.  Among the presentation topics at the conference were “The Mobility Revolution”, “Coding in the Real World”, and “Rewiring Digital Content:  From Consumers to Creators”.  An innovation showcase was also included in the day’s events, featuring best practices in technology from across the Commonwealth.  The audience included school board members, superintendents, and educational leaders from across Virginia.  

Goochland Middle School students, selected based on their membership in a student-driven club formed to continue the work in coding and making that began in elementary school,  were asked to demonstrate their learning with the iPad at this year’s conference.  The students assumed the role of “iDocumentarians”, and in only a few hours collaborated to produce a single video that documented the experience of all of the conference’s participants.   

“This was all possible because we haven’t just given students iPads, but we have also taught them how to use these incredible tools for communication. These are the same tools that students have the opportunity to use to further their study both in and outside of school”, said Dr. John Hendron, Director of Innovation and Strategy.  “Kudos to our teachers at GMS for giving students the soft skills on how to use the iPads in this way. Participants were impressed—no doubt—by the amount of applause our ‘iDocumentarians’ received.”

GCPS, as part of its commitment to deeper, personalized learning and preparing students to be career ready, provides an iPad to each student in grades 3 through 8, and is planning to extend personalized learning to students in grades 9 through 12 with MacBook distribution to all high school students in 2017.  

Goochland County Public Schools’ investment in Career and Technical Education has resulted in significant growth in student enrollment and offerings since 2014.

According to Mr. Bruce Watson, GCPS Director of Career and Technical Education, the number of sections of CTE classes has grown from 72 to 100, and the total number of students enrolled has increased from 1,424 to 1,788, a 26% increase in 3 years.  

Goochland County Public Schools, in cooperation with the School Board and Board of Supervisors, has made Career and Technical Education a priority since the current School Board assumed office in 2011.  An investment of over 2.5 million dollars and the repurposing of facilities created state of the art culinary, heavy equipment, carpentry, nurse aide, and robotics classrooms that have attracted a wide variety of students, male and female, from across the district.  Career and Technical Education has created results across the curriculum.  “The skills students are exposed to in an authentic context in CTE classes reinforce the significance of many core content classes, including most math and science classes.  The success of CTE is the success of our entire district”,  said Watson.  

“I believe that Career and Technical Education gives all of our students a step up. It enhances the transcripts of all students, not only our college bound students”, said Mr. Michael Payne, Goochland County School Board representative from District 1 and Career and Technical Education Teacher.  “It gives them an opportunity to gain skills that can make them career ready after high school. I am very happy with the progress we have made in Goochland over the last five years and look forward to us moving forward with our business partners in giving our students apprenticeship and internship opportunities.”

GCPS plans to seek opportunities to grow its CTE offerings and explore partnerships with local businesses to fulfill its mission to make our students career ready.   

It is hard to believe that we now have one quarter of the school year behind us!  This past Monday, our teachers engaged in some rejuvenating professional development to prepare for the second nine weeks, which promises to be as exciting as our first quarter.

One of my favorite activities of the past two weeks has been taking time to speak to groups of students at all of our schools.  I am impressed with the quality and depth of the honest feedback our students provide, from our middle school students at GMS to our second graders at Byrd who told me their school is “5 star” when I met with them this past Wednesday.  It is a pleasure to interact with our students, but it is also very practical.  I take the feedback I receive from our students and incorporate it into the work we do as a leadership team at the district and building level.  I look forward to continuing these conversations with students at the high school and Randolph Elementary in the days ahead.  Preparing our next generation to make a positive impact starts with listening to student voice.

Students at Byrd Elementary School

I also enjoyed working alongside our talented food service employees today as I had the opportunity to serve lunch to our students at Randolph Elementary School.  I am continually impressed by the variety and the healthy offering provided by our food service employees.  It was a privilege to have the opportunity to spend time with these dedicated employees!

Dr. Raley serves lunch at Randolph Elementary

Goochland Middle School students were featured at yesterday’s Virginia School Boards Associate “Hot Topic” conference, where they showcased their digital documentation skills for school board representatives and administrators from across the region and state.  You can see a video of their work here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2RoczxiFfSkZVJ2RXc5NkttaU0/view

In other student events, our GHS drama department, led by Mr. Burch, placed first at the James River district theatre festival this week.  Our 8th graders will attend the Mission Tomorrow event, sponsored by Chamber RVA, and join nearly 12,000 other students in the region to explore the largest interactive career exploration event the state has seen at the Richmond International Raceway next weekend.  Fall sports teams continue to excel on and off the field.  Our sportsmanship was highlighted in USA Today after the frightening on-field collision that sent three Buckingham football players to the hospital, bringing both teams together to support their fellow players and ending the game.  I am happy to report that everyone was released from the hospital the following day.  Our athletes are more than players, they are true role models on and off the field.  

We are preparing to welcome members of our community to see the great work happening in our schools during American Education Week the week of November 14!  I will have more details available on my next message about all of the activities taking place.  Check our district website, Twitter, and Facebook to stay updated on this as well as all of our happenings here in Goochland.

Did you know that our school division has an ibook?  This book, Deeper Learning by Design, details the implementation of our 1:1 technology program and our approach to use technology as a tool to enhance student’s deeper learning experiences.  Our ibook can be downloaded for FREE  by clicking here.

Our School Board and Board of Supervisors will conclude their Town Hall meetings next week on Monday, October 24 with District 1 at Byrd Elementary starting at 7:00 p.m.  All of these meetings are public and you are welcome to attend.  

Again, please continue to stay up to date with our division’s events by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter (@glndschools) and Instagram (@goochlandschools).  Stay current with all of the great things happening in our schools at our division leadership blog at http://leadership.goochlandschools.org   Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Raley, Superintendent

8th graders from Goochland Middle School will join about 12,000 8th graders from across the region at Mission Tomorrow, being held October 27 and 28 at the Richmond International Raceway. Mission Tomorrow is the Richmond region’s first interactive career exploration event for students and will feature over 100 regional businesses.

Among the goals of Mission Tomorrow are exposing students to a better understanding of the characteristics of 21st century careers, promoting their preparation for those careers, and delivering several planning resources, such as “Invest in What’s Next”, the “Virginia Education Wizard”, and various Career and Technical Education programs that have become a distinguishing trait of Goochland County Public Schools.

8th grade students have been targeted for participation because of the importance of the 8th grade year for decisions on scheduling and coursework pathways through high school and beyond.   “I am thankful for the work of Chamber RVA and for the opportunities that will be provided to our students at this event”, said Dr. Jeremy Raley, GCPS Superintendent of Schools.   “Career development begins early in a student’s academic career. This will be a tremendous opportunity for our students to experience the breadth of options that are available in our area. Our school division is working hard to prepare our students to be career ready in an ever-changing global economy. This event certainly supports our efforts!”

GCPS Career and Technical Education, Goochland Middle School, and the Department of Transportation have partnered to promote and organize this opportunity for students.

As we begin to close in on the end of our school division’s first nine weeks of school, I continue to be impressed with the innovative and engaging instruction that is taking place in our schools every day.  As I walk through classrooms, I see students who are eager to learn and teachers who are working hard to facilitate instructional opportunities where students can have deep and enriching learning experiences with their content.  The teaching and learning that is taking place in our school division is amazing!

October will be a busy month with many different activities taking place.  Our School Board will have its regular monthly meeting on on Tuesday October 11 beginning at 5:00 p.m. in the County Government Center.  Additionally, our School Board and Board of Supervisors will be conducting Town Hall meetings beginning next week.  All of these meetings are public and you are welcome to attend.  

  • District 4/District 5 – Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at Hermitage Country Club, 1248 Hermitage Road, Manakin-Sabot, VA
  • District 2/District 3 – Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at the Goochland Library, 3075 River Road West, Goochland, VA
  • District 1 – Monday, October 24, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at Byrd Elementary School 2704 Hadensville-Fife Road, Goochland, VA

We will also hold a teacher professional development day on Monday, October 17.  This will be a student holiday and there will be no school for students.

This month, our school division will also be focusing on proactive measures to promote awareness of school bullying and will be working in collaboration with parents, students, and our community to recognize the programs and initiatives that we are currently implementing to provide our students with a safe learning environment.  Many of these activities can be found on our school websites and Twitter feeds.  One of our highlights is the work that is being done at Goochland Middle School by our Bully Prevention Team.  This group of students serve as ambassadors to work with their peers to reduce the prevalence of bullying.  GMS kicked off their bully prevention activities on October 6 with messages from students, Ms. Rucker, and Mr. Collier.  Students were challenged to be a H.E.R.O (Help Everyone Respect Others) and to have the Courage to let a responsible adult know if there are situations where bullying is taking place.

Bully Prevention at GMS

We had a fantastic homecoming at Goochland High School last week.  Homecoming activities on Friday featured a live broadcast by Candice Smith at NBC 12.  Check out this highlight video!  Congratulations, also, to Debbie White, our Director of Finance, for earning National Recognition for her work in preparing our school division’s budget.  Ms. White was recognized for the fourth year in a row by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for her expertise.    

Please continue to stay up to date with our division’s events by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter (@glndschools) and Instagram (@goochlandschools).  Stay current with all of the great things happening in our schools at our division leadership blog at http://leadership.goochlandschools.org   Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Raley, Superintendent

The division leadership team has been engaged in instructional rounds for the past four years. This morning marked the beginning of year 5 of “rounds” – and, always, it provided us with a firsthand look at the incredible teaching and learning that happens every single day in our classrooms, libraries, labs, and gymnasiums.

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.

Here are a couple moments captured this morning at Goochland Middle School:

Mrs. Susan Duty's Jazz Choir

Mrs. Susan Duty’s Jazz Choir | Wednesday, October 5


Ms. Brooks' 6th grade English class, just returning from their literary Pokemon scavenger hunt throughout the entire school

Ms. Erin Brooks’ 6th grade English class, having just returned from their literary Pokemon scavenger hunt throughout the school