A Great First Week!

It is hard to believe that we have successfully completed our first week of school!  Even though classes have only been in session for five days, our students are actively involved in many different engaging lessons in their classrooms.  It did not take us long to get back into the swing of things!  Classroom routines were established early and students are becoming more and more familiar with their new schedules, procedures, and expectations.

As I visit classrooms across the division, I continue to be impressed by the work that is taking place!  In addition to my visits, I’ve seen many posts on social media from our staff that show how our talented teachers strive every day to provide our students with an exceptional academic experience!  Take a look at some of the pictures from our first week:

Students at Randolph Elementary School view the solar eclipse on the first day of school

Students designing and collaborating at Goochland Elementary School

Students at Byrd Elementary School working in the library

Students hard at work in Mr. Frago's classroom at Goochland Middle School

Students in Ms. Exum's classroom at Goochland High School

Our school division continues to excel in many ways!

Our proud tradition of excellence was affirmed by the recent release of assessment results by the Virginia Department of Education.  Goochland County Public Schools performance exceeds the performance of students across the state on every measure!  As a school division, our approach to academics is much more than performance on a singular measure.  Our focus will continue to be on student growth using an instructional approach that provides student with opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of their content in ways provide connections to authentic experiences in the world outside of school.

As we work to prepare our students to be world ready, it is important that we provide them with the digital tools that they will need to be successful as global learners.  This year, we are deploying MacBook Air devices to every student at Goochland High School.  This distribution began yesterday and will near completion today.  By the end of this week our students at the secondary complex will have had the opportunity to receive their own device, with middle school students receiving their own ipad.  Next week, we will begin the distribution of devices to students in our elementary schools.  

Passing out MacBook Air devices at Goochland High School

This year, we will also be providing students in first and second grade with their own ipad, to be kept at school.  It is our goal to have these devices in classrooms by the end of the first semester.  By the end of the first semester, we will have expanded our 1:1 initiative beyond grades 3-8 so that students in grades 1-12 will have access to their device.  I am proud of the work our technology team and for the support of our community that has allowed the implementation of this 1:1 program to be successful.  It is one of many things that makes our division stand out above the rest!

We are committed to continual growth and improvement in every department in our organization.  In that spirit, we continue to work with individual families to fine tune our bus routes and make adjustments in an effort to increase student safety and reduce ride times where possible.  This past week, pick-up and drop-off times have been adjusted on many routes in order to reduce the amount of time that students are riding to and from school.  We will continue to evaluate our routes and make adjustments where we can in the future.  I am thankful for your patience and your feedback as we have all worked together through this transition.  

This week, the steering committee, consisting of representatives from many community stakeholder groups from our community spent three hours pouring over enrollment and facility data to evaluate potential options for our division’s long term facility master plan.  This committee has agreed to forward four different options to be reviewed by our community at the next meeting to be held on Tuesday September 5 at 6:00 p.m. in the cafeteria at Goochland Middle School.  An additional community meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday September 6 in the multi-purpose room at Byrd Elementary School for families who are not able to make the event on September 5.  A website has been developed that includes all of the information that has been shared with the steering committee to date.  Please remember that these meetings are open to the public and all are welcome to attend.

If you do not already do so, please like our facebook page and follow us on twitter (@glndschools) and instagram (@goochlandschools).  Additionally, please stay up to date with all of the great things happening in our schools through our division leadership blog: http://leadership.goochlandschools.org.  

We have had a great first week of school!  I’m looking forward to week two!



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