Spring is officially here, though it may be hard to tell with the winter weather that we experienced earlier this week! Many may be wondering if we will need to make up any days as a result of the closing yesterday and today’s delay. At this time, no additional make up days are planned. April 23 would be a make up day only if we miss two more days of school between now and then. No change will be made in our scheduled Spring Break.
Despite the weather, Spring is a busy time for our school division as students are actively participating in athletic activities, final preparations are being made for Goochland High School’s Spring musical and students at RES and GMS are getting ready for this weekend’s state Destination Imagination competition. Even with the weather students were still able to take the Writing SOL this week. Spring will fly by with the end of the school year and graduation less than 9 weeks away! Hopefully warmer weather will be on it’s way so that we can enjoy the full beauty of Goochland’s springtime.
I know that school safety continues to be on everyone’s mind, and incidents nationwide since the Parkland, Florida incident underscore the need for our division to avoid complacency. Since my initial communication in February, we have been taking a close look at our training, processes, facilities, communication, and collaboration with local agencies toward enhancing student safety. Among those renewed efforts are the creation of a division safety task force that is in progress, targeted planning for after school crisis incidents to expand on current drills focusing on school day incidents, meetings with first responders, including the Goochland Sheriff’s Office and Fire-Rescue and Emergency Services, and plans for reconfiguration of our student, visitor, and staff parking at the secondary complex. We welcome your input in this process. If you are interested in serving on our division-wide safety task force, please take a moment to complete this brief online survey. I look forward to keeping our community updated on these and other efforts that are evolving quickly and will complement our previous plans, which include secure key access system installation in all school facilities, completion of the Informacast public address system to enhance communication, installation of active GPS on all school buses, and collaborative training exercises with the Goochland Sheriff’s Office.
You may notice next time you visit your child’s school that you will no longer simply be “buzzed in” to the facility after pressing the button at the main entrance. To reinforce the purpose of the secure access, our staff will ask visitors to announce their name and reason for visit before being granted access to the facility. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we work to make continual improvements to our security procedures.
Although safety is on our minds, there is still plenty to celebrate and look forward to in our schools in the weeks ahead. We recognized Olivia Bullard as an all-state chorus selection at last week’s School Board meeting. She is only 1 of 2 GHS students to every earn this recognition! Goochland hosted the SkillsUSA Region II competition last weekend, with Taylor Guy and Derek Powers earning first and second place medals in Heavy Equipment Operating and Jalyn Burns earning a second place finish in Culinary Arts. Our students are shining in many ways!
I am looking forward to our annual Reading Olympics will be held next week on March 29 at GES and am also pleased to announce the news that our MCJROTC unit has been fully funded by the United States Marine Corps! This is a major victory for our community! Thank you to everyone who advocated for this program with our Senators and Congressman Brat. As of result of this decision, we will be able utilize local funds that were previously allocated for the support of this program to meet our divisions many strategic objectives.
As I mentioned earlier, spring sports are in swing. Come and support our baseball, softball, tennis, track, and soccer teams this spring, where we return playoff-caliber teams and all-state players in all sports. In Goochland fine and performing arts, we will host our Fine Arts Festival tomorrow (March 23) beginning at 5 p.m. at GHS. April 27, 28, and 29 will feature the Goochland High School spring musical, Fiddler on the Roof, in the auditorium. Come and enjoy the work of our talented musicians and thespians.
Goochland County Town Hall meetings, which include valuable information about both our county and schools, conclude with the District 2 and 3 Town Hall held at the newly renovated Central High School facility on Dogtown Road Wednesday, March 28 at 7:00 p.m.
Thank you for your feedback and support during what has been a challenging time for public schools nationwide. I am proud of the awesomeness of our school division and thankful to have the opportunity to serve our talented students, dedicated staff, and supportive community! 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 http://leadership.goochlandschools.org. I look forward to seeing everyone at our many upcoming events in the future!