The Goochland County School Board approved new leadership and committee representatives for the 2018 calendar year at its monthly meeting on Tuesday, January 9, 2018.  

Mr. John Lumpkins, Jr., District 3, will succeed Mrs. Beth Hardy as Chair of the Goochland County School Board.  He began his official duties as chair during the January 9 meeting.  This is Mr. Lumpkins’ second term as chair, having previously served in this role in 2015.

Mr. John Wright, District 5, served as the Board’s Vice Chair last year and will continue to serve as the vice chair for the 2018 calendar year.  Mrs. Diane Bennett was appointed Clerk of the Board.

Several committee appointments were also named, including:

  • Mr. John Wright, Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School Representative
  • Mr. John Lumpkins,  Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School Alternate
  • Mr. Kevin Hazzard, Blue Ridge Virtual Governor’s School Representative
  • Mr. Michael Payne and Mr. John Wright, GCPS Facilities Committee

The Goochland County School Board will meet again on Tuesday, January 16, for a budget work session.  The public is invited to attend.

 

As you know, this past Fall, I worked in collaboration with a variety of stakeholder groups including the Superintendent’s Leadership Team, comprised of teachers and parents, administrative staff, and our community, to create a multi-year instructional calendar that aligns with our strategic plan and our instructional philosophy.  I have worked to be transparent and inclusive in this process as multiple drafts have been shared through email, blogs, social media, and optional faculty meetings at each school.  Survey data has also been collected to gather feedback in this process.

As a result of all of this feedback, I have prepared a two year instructional calendar that I will be presenting to the Goochland County School Board for their review as an information item on their January 9, 2018 agenda.  Like this year, the focus of these calendars is on our core mission: teaching and learning.  Each calendar follows a similar structure to that of our current calendar to allow for ongoing breaks in instruction for our instructional team to grow and develop their professional skills.  Each version includes 193 teacher work days and 180 instructional days for students.  Additionally, each draft includes full instructional days prior to winter break and the end of the year to allow us to maximize instructional time and allow our teachers the professional autonomy and flexibility to assess students.  Make up days, if needed, are marked to facilitate future planning.  Like this year, each version maintains many of the traditional timelines for starting school, holiday breaks, and the last day of school that have been a part of past calendars.

In early December, I solicited feedback regarding a potential change in the schedule for our Spring Break.  There was overwhelming support to move our Spring Break to the first full week of April.  This is a change that will allow our employees and our families to align their break with public school systems in the Richmond metro region.  Additionally, each calendar recognizes Good Friday by having no evening activities or events scheduled.  Friday April 19, 2019, will be an early dismissal at 1:00 p.m.  The Monday following Easter is scheduled as a professional day for teachers; schools will be closed for students.

Highlights of each of the draft calendars are as follows:

2018-2019

  • First day of school – Monday, August 20, 2018
  • One parent conference day in October
  • Winter break begins on Friday, December 21, 2018 and ends on Sunday, January 6, 2019.  This is a two week break.  
  • Second semester begins on January 7, 2019
  • Spring Break – Monday, April 1, 2019 through Friday, April 5, 2019
  • Early dismissal on Friday, April 19, 2019; No School for Students on Monday, April 22, 2019
  • Last day of school – Wednesday, June 5, 2019

2019-2020

  • First day of school – Monday, August 19, 2019
  • One parent conference day in October
  • Winter break begins on Friday, December 20, 2019 and ends on Sunday, January 5, 2020.  This is a two week break.
  • Second semester begins on January 6, 2020
  • Spring Break – Monday, April 6, 2020 through Friday, April 10, 2020
  • No School for Students on Monday, April 13, 2020
  • Last day of school – Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Throughout this process, I have received feedback sharing multiple perspectives.  These recommendations are reflective of comments that I have heard from employees, parents, and our community and maintains a structure that will support our continued instructional success.  After my presentation on January 9, the School Board will be slated to take action at their regularly scheduled meeting on February 13.  I continue to welcome your thoughts and perspectives as we work to make a final decision on these calendars in the coming weeks.  

Dear Elementary Families,

On behalf of the GCPS team, we hope your family had a restful, happy holiday season.  We’re looking forward to an engaging, productive spring semester and a successful 2018 for our students, families, and staff.

This month, once again, Goochland County Public Schools will be embarking on a special project, a division-wide book club called Goochland Reads, formerly One District, One BookGoochland Reads is a unique program that provides elementary children at all grade levels with the opportunity to share the same book over the same time period.  Curious as that may seem at first, it actually makes sound educational sense.  Literacy experts recommend reading material out loud that is beyond a child’s individual reading level; the same experts support reading chapter books aloud with older children, even when they are able to read independently.

Our Goochland Reads committee selected a title that can be followed, understood, and enjoyed by younger students, but that will still captivate older children.  As the centerpiece of the program, every elementary school family will receive a copy of this same book and will be asked to share the literacy experience during the month of January.  The title was announced at a special school-wide assembly introducing the program and the book today, and your child should have come home today with his/her very own copy.  Families should also receive a shared community reading schedule so everyone can keep up at home.  Generally, you are asked to read one chapter each night—about 10-15 minutes.  We hope that you will find the time to participate in this special activity focused on community and the importance of literacy.

Reading aloud at home is incredibly valuable as it helps develop a strong foundation for all learning, as well as models lifelong literacy; moreover, it’s also a fun, worthwhile family activity.  With the Goochland Reads program, we aim to build a community of readers across our elementary school communities.  Everyone—students, parents, teachers, bus drivers, and administrative staff—will be participating.

In school, your child will be engaged in literary discussions and invited to answer daily trivia questions to encourage and celebrate participation.  We encourage you to make sure your family participates so your child can be included.  You will find that your child will take pride in knowing and anticipating the details of the story.  Throughout the month, everyone will be talking about the book!

Good luck!  We hope to talk with both you and your child about the book throughout the next four weeks.  When an entire school division reads a book, there’s a lot to talk about.  With your help, we will strengthen a community of readers in Goochland!