The Goochland County Public Schools School Board selected Miss Chloe Lyda, current 11th grade student at Goochland High School, to serve as the student representative to the Board at the November monthly meeting on November 8.  Her term will begin with the December monthly meeting on Tuesday, December 13.

Miss Lyda has distinguished herself at Goochland High School both in and out of the classroom.  She has volunteered with the Goochland Education Foundation, served as the 9th and 10th grade class president, received the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Award in 10th grade, and attended the Brown University summer program for the past two years.  Miss Lyda currently serves as the Goochland High School SCA president and is a member of four different academic honoraries, including National Honor Society, as well as the Minority Advisory Council.

Mr. Christopher Collier, Principal of Goochland High School, is excited for Miss Lyda’s work representing the student voice on the Board. “Chloe will provide a true representation of our entire student body and is passionate about making a difference in her community. I have no doubt that Chloe will represent the students of Goochland County Public Schools well”.

Student representatives to the Goochland County School Board participate in many aspects of the Board’s work, including providing feedback and input during monthly meetings from their seat on the dais.  

As part of a continual improvement process, our school division works to create an annual budget and financial plan that is aligned with the goals outlined in our school division’s strategic plan. From an instructional perspective, it is our goal to maximize each student’s academic potential through engaging experiences and deeper learning as we prepare our students for the challenges of learning and working in a modern global economy. It is also our goal to maximize resources to meet the needs of our instructional program by providing safe, efficient, and transparent operations, while effectively managing our facilities and programs.

As we prepare to develop our upcoming budget for the 2017-2018 school year, we want to ensure that we maximize the utilization of the local, state, and federal funds that we receive for the operation of our school division. Through our transparent development of our school division’s budget, we want to hear from our community about ideas that you have for recommended additions and increases to our current budget. We also want to hear from you about ideas that you may have to be more effective and efficient with the resources that are currently available.

What do you think should be included in next year’s school division budget? What can we do differently to save money so that those dollars can be spent on new ideas? Should we stop doing or change something so that we can start doing new things? Are there ways we could streamline our operations and be more efficient?

If you have an idea, we’d like to hear from you. It can be something you know that works at another school division, something that you’ve seen in another business, or an idea you’ve come up with that you think might help us do our jobs better and more efficiently.

We also want to know if there are new programs or expansions of current programs that you would like us to consider that would improve the instructional opportunities that we are able to provide for our students.

All suggestions are welcomed and will be considered. Please respond to this survey by Friday, December 2nd, 2016, so that we can review them in time to report back to the school board or consider attending the December 13th School Board meeting (6:30 pm, Goochland County Administration Building, Room 250) and make your comments publicly.

Thanks in advance for sharing your ideas with us!

This week, school divisions across the nation are recognizing the significant contributions of public school employees.  American Education Week provides us, as a school division, with an opportunity to celebrate public education in our own community.  Goochland County Public Schools has A LOT to celebrate!  There are multiple measures that point toward the continuation of our school division’s tradition of academic excellence.  We continue to make progress in the quality and depth of instruction that our school division is providing to our students and we are recognized as a leader in engaging our students with authentic learning experiences!  Many of our staff have been actively involved in professional presentations at the state and national level and have also been published in professional publications.

Goochland is the home of a State Technology Teacher of the Year and State Champions in Volleyball and Tennis!  On a multitude of student performance measures, we outshine our colleagues from across the Commonwealth!  We are also proud of our recognition as an Apple Distinguished Program and the accomplishments of Byrd Elementary as a Distinguished Title I School and Goochland Middle School as a School to Watch!  Our division has also been recognized by the Government Finance Officer Association for excellence in preparing our annual budget.

These successes come as a direct result of the countless hours all of our employees have dedicated to our school division.  Each day, our entire instructional team works together to provide an academic atmosphere where students will be empowered to collaborate with their peers, think critically about content, solve problems, be creative, and communicate with others in a variety of ways.  

Transportation employees are the first face that our children see after they leave their homes and ensure the safe transportation of our children to and from school.  Our custodial and maintenance employees provide a safe, clean, and comfortable place to work and learn.  Food service employees provide the nourishment our students need in order to be ready to learn, while our school nurses meet the varied medical needs of a diverse student body.  School counselors provide the support and direction students need to forge a path toward career readiness.  School-level and central office administrative and support staff provide leadership and take care of many important jobs so teachers can focus on the business of teaching.  

There is no doubt that you are inspiring our students, our next generation, to make a positive impact on the world around them.  I am proud of the work all of you are doing to create globally competent, world-ready students who are the future leaders of our community, our state, our nation, and our world.  The talents and skills you share, as Team Goochland, with our students allow our division to be successful now, and will enable us to be excellent well into the future!  Thank you for making a difference!

Jeremy J. Raley, Superintendent

As Goochland County Public Schools celebrates American Education Week, we want to express our appreciation to the employees of our school division for the work they do for the students they serve each and every day!  In the fast-paced, hectic world, we fail to take the time to stop and reflect on the critically important work that we, as a school division, are doing. The fact is, every day, our talented employees are inspiring and preparing our students, our next generation, to make a positive impact.

Throughout every school day, GCPS employees have opportunities to impact the lives of the students who board our buses, eat in our cafeterias, feel safe in our facilities, and benefit from the many different services we offer. The experiences and lessons our employees provide our children serve as the foundation for future success of our county, state, nation, and world.  Our community is the beneficiary of our employees’ work with our students!

Goochland County Public Schools is a leader in public education and we have achieved success in a multitude of settings. None of our success would be possible without the dedication and talents of our exceptional employees. Our employees are role models who diligently labor every day for the students in Goochland County.  In the word of William Butler Yeats, our employees are not “filling a pail,” but are “lighting a fire.” They are lighting a fire in our students that we hope will burn for years to come in the form of educated citizens who shape the future as educators, health care providers, public safety officials, mechanics, engineers, and community leaders.

Author Jim Collins writes, “Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” We encourage our community to join us this week, Nov 14 – Nov 18, in expressing our thanks to all of our GCPS employees as we maximize the potential of all of our learners and ensure that our students have the skills, knowledge, and opportunities they will need to become successful members of a global community.  It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of this community where such dedicated people give their talents and efforts to ensure our students experience success.

Thank you GCPS employees for everything you do!

Kevin Hazzard, Chairman, District 2

Beth Hardy, Vice Chair, District 4

Mike Payne, District 1

John Lumpkins, District 3

John Wright, District 5

Dr. Jeremy Raley, Superintendent of Goochland County Public Schools, was joined yesterday by members of the GCPS Executive Leadership team at Goochland High, Goochland Middle, Goochland Elementary, and Randolph Elementary to surprise the recipients of the inaugural Strategic Innovation Grants.  These grants include funding from between $450 and $2500, and were awarded based on a rigorous selection process that involved a committee of school and community representatives.  

2016 Grants were awarded to:

  • Wes Farkas, Lucas Gibbs, Tim Greenway, Mike Verrastro and Amy Henneberger from Goochland High School for the construction of an archery range for the secondary complex.
  • Beth Alvis and Kim Austin from Randolph Elementary for the purchase of Osmo,  an augmented reality platform aimed at developing social-emotional skills, creativity, and collaboration.
  • Erica Borges, Jennifer Curfman, Auster Hecker, and Heather Wilckens from Randolph Elementary for the development of Brewing Justice,  a partnership with nonprofits toward developing global responsibility.  
  • Megan Glasco and Tara Stacey from Goochland Elementary, for Creative Writing with Legos, to acquire Lego Education StoryStarter materials to teach literacy.
  • Michele Hope from Goochland Middle School, for design of instructional stations with a focus on environmentalism designed in direct response to student interest.
  • Krystle Demas (ITRC at GES, RES, and BES) and Sarah Smith from Goochland Elementary for the development of Ozobots to integrate computer science concepts and content in an effort to promote innovation and creativity.
  • Stephanie Clark, Elizabeth Ferguson, Jennifer Gates, Katie Hadd, Gloria LaFlamme Brandi McCain, Valerie McLaughlin, Jaime Sprouse , Suzanne Taylor and  Susan Vaughan from Randolph Elementary for redesign of the student-led nature trail aimed at enhancing sustained experiential learning opportunities.

“Our teachers continue to amaze us with their constant commitment to being more innovative and engaging in their classrooms”, said Dr. Raley, Superintendent.  “We are very appreciative for the support of the Goochland Education Foundation on behalf of our students.  This is hopefully only the beginning of what we can do to continue to support deeper learning in our classrooms”.  

The Goochland Strategic Innovation Grants will culminate in a professional development symposium in June of 2017, where winners of these grants will come together to share what they learned, collaborate on new ideas focused around deeper learning, and share how their risk-taking can be implemented in regular instructional programming.


screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-6-53-18-amOur robotics teams performed beautifully at the First LEGO League regional tournament on Saturday.  Congratulations to all of our student participants, coaches, and families!

– Randolph Elementary School Bat Builders: 1st place for Robot Design, Division 1
– Goochland Middle School Whale Watchers: 1st Place for Core Values Award, Division 2
– Goochland Middle School Tiger Trackers: Champions, Division 1 (on to the State Tournament in December at JMU)

We are now well into our second nine weeks of school and November is here.  The weeks ahead leading into the holidays will be filled with many special events both in our schools and in our community.  We have many things to celebrate and look forward to in GCPS that I am excited to share with you in today’s message.

Last week, I had the chance to participate in the Byrd Elementary School physical education activity that featured our students using their fancy footwork to escape the “spiders”  in Ms. Hall’s amazing obstacle course.  The excitement of our students and the work and energy that Ms. Hall puts into her class is truly amazing!

Students at Byrd ES in p.e. class

Our 8th graders visited the Richmond International Raceway for the Chamber RVA “Mission Tomorrow” program, which included over 10,000 8th graders from across the region learning about career options and preparation with hands-on activities, informational materials, and demonstrations from hundreds of organizations and businesses.  This was a great experience for our 8th graders to start thinking about their future and of being career ready.

This past weekend, I had the chance to chaperone a 6th grade trip sponsored by the James River Association to Presquile National Wildlife Refuge, where Goochland Middle School students and chaperones had an overnight experience exploring nature, being out on the James River, and getting the most hands-on learning you can imagine.  I am grateful to the James River Association for their support and we hope to continue to work with them to give more students this unique experience in the future.

Students at GMS doing water experiments on the James River

On Monday, I rode a bus route with one of our talented and dedicated drivers, Tracey Guy, to experience first hand the work our bus drivers and transportation staff do to get our kids safely to and from school each day, covering hundreds of miles across our county.  Transporting our most precious cargo each day is a job that requires skill, patience, and most importantly care for kids. Thank you to our bus drivers and transportation staff for the great work that you do every day for our students!

Dr. Raley rides a school bus

We have an exciting two weeks ahead, starting this weekend with the GHS Drama Department production of “Treasure Island” tonight, tomorrow, and Sunday.  Our Drama Department is one of many programs experiencing great success this fall.  Our defending state champion girls volleyball team clinched a spot in the regional playoffs this week,  football completed an undefeated season and will have a bye this weekend before playoffs begin next week,  Girls and boys cross country both won their conference.  Competition cheer won the conference championship, and we sent several golfers to the regional playoffs.  Congratulations to ALL of our athletic and extracurricular groups!

On Wednesday November 9, I will be announcing the winners of the inaugural GCPS Strategic Innovation Grants, all made possible through a collaboration with the school division and the Goochland Education Foundation.  Look for news on social media and on the website with information on Thursday.  Don’t forget that American Education Week is the week of November 14.  We will host several community leaders and invited guests all week at all of our schools.  All citizens are invited to visit our schools during the week of November 14 to celebrate public education in our community and recognize the exceptional work of all of our employees.  A list of the events that will be taking place can be found at this site.  We are proud to welcome you to see the great things happening in Goochland County Public Schools!

We will also hold our monthly GCPS School Board meeting this Tuesday, November 8, beginning with a policy workshop and closed session at 5, followed by the general meeting at 7:00.  All meetings will take place in the County Administration Board Room.

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   Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Raley, Superintendent