I hope this message finds you and your family well, cool, and enjoying the pace of summer in our county. In our school division we are taking the time to refresh, relax, reflect, and prepare for the 2017-2018 school year that will begin for our students in only 8 weeks!
In the meantime, I have been amazed at the energy and enthusiasm our teachers and staff have brought to our summer professional development and STEM camp this June. We kicked off the summer with our Strategic Innovation Symposium on June 6 and 7, which featured the recipients of our 2016-2017 Strategic Innovation Grants, funded by the Goochland Education Foundation. Over 70 teachers, leaders, and community members, (including our County Administrator and representatives from our Board of Supervisors and School Board) spent the day at Goochland High School and Goochland Middle School to learn from one another. Our teachers were already planning to integrate the engaging concepts shared at the Strategic Innovation Symposium into their plans for the upcoming school year before the dust had even settled on 2016-2017. For many teachers, the first week of vacation is a time of exhaustion, but for our special GCPS teachers, it was a time to celebrate and plant the seeds for continued deeper learning in 2017-2018.
An inter-disciplinary team from GHS presents at the Strategic Innovation Symposium
Last week, with the generous support of Luck Stone, CapitalOne, the Goochland Rotary, Goochland Chamber of Commerce, and Dominion Resources, we conducted our 6th annual GCPS Stem Camp at Goochland Middle School. STEM camp once again provided students with unique, hands-on, inquiry based opportunities to collaborate, explore, design, build, and test the products they constructed. Those products included 3D modeled quadcopters, underwater craft, robotics projects, and marine vessels! Our dedicated teaching staff, supported by community volunteers from our STEM Advisory Committee and Carmax, made our 2017 STEM camp another great example of what makes Goochland a division of distinction in the Commonwealth: innovative, hands-on, project based learning that comes together as a result of the time and efforts of school, community, and business partners. Thank you to everyone who participated in STEM camp! We hope to see you again in 2018.
Scenes from STEM Camp 2017
This week, we also started GCPS summer school at Goochland Elementary, Goochland Middle, and Goochland High School. Mr. Joe Beasley, 2016 GCPS Teacher of the Year and GES 5th grade teacher, is in San Antonio, Texas as part of his recent recognition as a PBS Digital Innovator. Additionally, a team of teachers led by Dr. Steve Geyer participated in a VDOE Performance Assessment Workshop with regional and state partners last week. Goochland County Public Schools continues to shine as a leader with the success of our instructional program!
If you are driving near our facilities, you will see some work taking place. At Byrd Elementary a full replacement of rooftop HVAC units is now in progress and is scheduled to be completed by mid-August. Next week, we will be making extensive roof repairs to all of our elementary schools. Our maintenance and custodial staff has been busy at work refinishing floors and deep cleaning our facilities. The finishing touches are also being put on a newly finished and painted GHS gym floor and auditorium stage floor.
You can keep up with all that is happening in our division by following us on Facebook, Twitter (@glndschools) and Instagram (@goochlandschools). Please continue to enjoy your summer and I will keep everyone updated on summer events and dates to remember for August. Thank you for your support!
Jeremy Raley, Superintendent