Month: November 2017
In the next seven weeks, the School Board will be working with the Goochland County Board of Supervisors to finalize its long term facility plan as a part of the County’s overall 25 year Capital Improvement Plan. This work started last June and involved multiple representatives from our community in a transparent process that involved a great deal of data collection, analysis, and review. At this point, the steering committee of community representatives has provided their recommendation to the School Board for consideration. There will be several meetings that will be taking place between now and January 3 when the School Board’s plan and the County’s plan is expected to be finalized.
Once again this fall, Byrd Elementary School hosted an evening event for families and community members with an eye on helping others. The BES Farmers’ Market is an opportunity for students, family members, and teachers to work together to develop specialty products for sale, the money raised by the event aimed at giving back to our community.
Megan Donovan, first grade teacher, shared enthusiastically, “The Farmers’ Market was a tremendous success! We raised $2,725 that will be donated to the Goochland Free Clinic and Family Services, American Red Cross, and put toward having trees planted on the BES playground. Our students, parents and staff worked very hard to make a difference in our country, our community and right here at BES. We couldn’t be more proud!”
James Hopkins, Principal, said, “The Byrd Elementary Farmers’ Market was a great success! We raised nearly $3,000 for charities as well as for shade trees for the BES playground. It brought the school and community together to celebrate helping one another. The students along with their teachers and volunteers did an outstanding job of creating items that were sold to the public. The event was well attended and enjoyed by all!”
Goochland County Public Schools is pleased to announce that four of its five schools have been recognized as Apple Distinguished Schools for 2017–2019 for focus on deeper learning with the 1:1 computing program using iPad. This year, the division expanded its program to K-2 classrooms in elementary schools, and students at Goochland High School now use MacBook Air. Students use these devices to help develop world ready skills such as communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. The division also uses innovative software to help achieve its mission of maximizing each student’s potential through software that can individualize a student’s specific needs in areas such as mathematics.
Apple Distinguished Schools are centers of innovation, leadership, and educational excellence that use Apple products to inspire creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. They showcase innovative uses of technology in learning, teaching, and the school environment, and have documented results of academic accomplishment.
This year, Byrd Elementary School, Goochland Elementary School, and Randolph Elementary School were awarded this designation, alongside Goochland Middle School. Goochland High School was not eligible to apply for this recognition because of the developing stage of its program.
“This recognition highlights the strong support of our technology department, the commitment of our teachers toward deeper learning, and the support of our school board to incentivize instructional innovation,” remarked John Hendron, Ed.D., Director of Innovation and Strategy for the division. “We’re proud to bring cutting-edge, engaging experiences to students,” said Goochland County Public Schools superintendent, Jeremy Raley, Ed.D. “Using these devices, we’re preparing students for an uncertain future, but one we know will require technology savvy and critical thinking.”
Examples of student engagement using iPads can be found chronicled in a series of books that were produced by the principals and staff of each school, which was submitted for consideration for the title of Apple Distinguished School. Each school’s book is available on their school website. Teachers are using Apple Classroom to manage devices and Schoology is used by students and teachers to manage digital materials, to check for understanding, and engage in virtual discussions. Parents can use the Schoology system to monitor student progress in grades 3-12.
Goochland County Public Schools provides an innovative learning environment for over 2500 students in central Virginia across five schools. Every one of Goochland’s schools is fully accredited by the Virginia Department of Education. The division’s vision is inspiring and preparing the next generation to make a positive impact. Learn more at goochlandschools.org.
Contact Dr. John G. Hendron at 804-556-5623 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
This year, during the week of November 13, schools and school divisions across the country will be celebrating American Education Week. This week gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect on what makes us proud to serve our community as members of the Goochland County School Board. Our school division is recognized for excellence on many fronts: student performance, school safety, engaging instruction, financial management, balanced assessment, technology integration, community partnerships, and a commitment to innovation. The achievements of our division are grounded in our strategic plan and would not be possible without the contributions of our dedicated employees and supportive community.
American Education Week marks a great opportunity to celebrate our schools, our students, and our team members. It is also the perfect time to extend a special invitation to our families and community members to join us in our schools and see firsthand what makes our division so strong.
We are steadfastly focused on the quality of every student’s school experience. We believe it should be engaging, relevant, and personalized. On any given day in our schools, our talented and dedicated employees are providing students with exceptional academic experiences that are focused on providing them with the content knowledge and skills that will enable them to achieve future success. We have teachers who give countless hours before school, after school, and on Saturdays to provide students with additional instruction to ensure their success. We have a fine arts program that rivals those of divisions twice our size. We have STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) programs recognized by the state of Virginia as models of school, community, and business collaboration.
In Goochland, we have teachers who have organized their classrooms around Scrum, an innovative approach used in the business world to facilitate collaboration and engage participants toward the completion of a task. We have team members who’ve partnered with state and national experts to develop student assessments that move past traditional multiple choice test items to important skills like communication, critical thinking, and creativity. We have team members and community partners who’ve come together to provide our students with real world learning opportunities like internships, work site apprenticeships, and experiential learning at places like the Goochland Courthouse Green and Second Union Rosenwald School Museum.
We also have a talented and dedicated support staff of team members whose work is often behind-the-scenes, but without their attention to detail and focus on excellence would not allow our school division to shine. It is the contributions of all of our Team that has allowed us to perform at this high level. During this week of national attention on education we want to thank everyone who gives of themselves to make Goochland County Public Schools a school division of excellence.
Beth Hardy, Chair, District 4 John Wright, Vice Chair, District 5 Mike Payne, District 1 Kevin Hazzard, District 2 John Lumpkins, District 3
Now that the leaves have fallen from the trees and there is a chill in the air, we are definitely in the midst of autumn. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, many of us are thinking about the arrangements that we need to make for travel, meals, and visiting guests. Thanksgiving is definitely a time for us to pause and give thanks for our many blessings. It is a time for us to share our gratitude with others and reflect on life’s simple pleasures.
This week during American Education Week, I want to pause to give thanks for you. In the words of former President John F. Kennedy, “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” For over a year, it has been a true pleasure having the opportunity to serve alongside you as we strive to accomplish our school division’s mission. I have witnessed on many occasions the amazing opportunities and experiences that you provide our students inside and outside of the classroom. You have spent countless hours at night and on weekends, giving of your time, talents, and financial resources to ensure that all of our students have access to the resources that they need in order to be successful.
I am proud of your optimism and your devotion to maximize the potential of every single one of our learners! You believe in our students, share resources, and collaborate to ensure each student’s success! Our instructional staff are leaders and masters at your craft and demonstrate great skill in the art of providing students with engaging experiences that are relevant and geared toward preparing them to be global citizens. At the same time, our support team faithfully provides the resources and environment that allows innovation and excellence to happen in our classrooms.
Earlier this month, I attended a professional development activity with instructional staff from other school divisions. As I listened to conversations among these colleagues, it reinforced for me the exceptional work that we are doing in Goochland to prepare our students for future success. This experience only strengthened my unwavering belief that the Goochland County Public Schools has the best teachers, administrators, and support staff in the Commonwealth! I am so very lucky to serve our students and our community with you!
Helen Walton, wife of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton has said, “It’s not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells the kind of life you have lived.” As educators, you have made a far reaching impact on the lives of our students that will last a lifetime. Thank you for everything that you do to make a positive difference in the lives of our children!
The ending of daylight savings time marked the transition from one competitive season to another. As our students begin to make preparations for tryouts and the extra-curricular events that will take place this winter, we want to celebrate the many successes and accomplishments of our students and our staff from the Fall.
Team Goochland has achieved a tremendous amount of success this season! This success is a direct result of all of the sacrifices, dedication, and hard work that made these accomplishments possible! It is exciting to see that all of this success was not isolated to one team or one school. All of our teams had an amazing Fall season!
The Goochland High School Band participated in several competitions this Fall and even hosted one event at GHS. In every one of these competitions, our Marching Bulldogs excelled as they were recognized for their talent at each event!
Our GHS Cheerleaders had also had a very successful Fall as they qualified to compete in the AA cheerleading state finals this past weekend. Your hard work and dedication has paid off! Congratulations on a great Fall!
Senior golfer Meghan Wright represented Goochland High School at the state golf tournament. Meghan is the first golfer in recent memory to represent the Bulldogs at this event.
Another success from this past Fall was our high school production of Little Shop of Horrors! Many, many hours of set design, practice, and choreography resulted in an exceptional event earlier in October! Our parents and community came out in strength to support our thespians.
For the first time in school history, Goochland High School has two District Skills USA officers. Taylor Guy and Derek Powers will be representing us in these leadership positions for this Career and Technical Education student organization. Students in our heavy equipment operators class demonstrated their skill at the State Fair this fall and were also recognized for their talents at the Richmond Area Municipal Contractor’s Assocation annual banquet in October.
We still have several of our teams who are still actively competing at the state level. Our varsity football team finished their regular season with a perfect 10-0 record and will be playing in the first round of the regional playoffs this Friday at 7 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium.
Our Bulldogs varsity volleyball team finished the regular season without losing a set! Four Bulldogs made the James River first team with one making the second team. Alexis Wiggins was named James River District Player of the Year and Coach Erixson was named District Coach of the Year. Our Bulldogs have two wins in regional play and will host the regional finals Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m. versus Poquoson. Let’s pack the gym and support our lady Bulldogs!
Our boys and girls cross country teams have also had a very successful Fall season! Both of our teams made it to the state meet for the first time ever. They will be competing in the state meet this weekend. Good luck Bulldogs!
This past weekend, our elementary and middle school robotics teams competed in the regional First Lego League competition. Our students fared well as the team from Randolph Elementary finished second and our team from Byrd Elementary finished first! Both of these teams will represent us at James Madison University at the state level competition.
In addition to these accolades, our employees have received notoriety as well. Beth Ferguson, 4th grade teacher at Randolph Elementary has received the honor of serving our community this year as the Goochland Christmas Mother. Jim Frago, science and social studies teacher at Goochland Middle School, was recently recognized for his instructional innovation in a nationally-recognized publication, Education Week. Melissa Black, athletic trainer at Goochland High School was recognized by NBC 12 for demonstrating Excellence in Education. Earlier this Fall, Debbie White, our Director of Finance was awarded the Certified Administrator of School Finance and Operations (SFO) certification by the Association for School Business Officials International. She is only one of seven professionals in the Commonwealth of Virginia to earn this credential.
Stay tuned for an announcement that will be made publicly early next week that has affirmed our position as a leader in technology integration with our one to one digital initiative!
We continue to be a leader in the Commonwealth both inside and outside of the classroom. I’m continually impressed by the level of engagement and instruction that is taking place inside our schools every day! We have talented and hard-working students who are supported by dedicated teachers, coaches, families, volunteers, and community! Our accolades would not be possible without the contributions of everyone on Team Goochland! There is no doubt that the Goochland County Public Schools is a school division of excellence!