The end of our school year is drawing near with just over 6 weeks left before students and staff leave for the summer.  It is so very hard to believe that the end of the school year is that close! For veteran educators, we all know how crazy the end of the year can be with concerts, field days, paperwork, and the final push to get students across the finish line for the year.

Before these last few weeks get away from us, this week provides an opportunity to pause and give thanks for the tireless efforts of our dedicated and talented team.  There will be many different activities that schools will be doing this week to recognize Teacher Appreciation Week. You will be provided meals, treats, and multiple thank you notes as your efforts are recognized by students, parents, colleagues, and our community.  Take a moment to soak in all of these accolades, because you most certainly deserve all of them and many, many more!

Please know that it is an absolute pleasure to have the opportunity to serve with you as we strive daily to maximize the potential of every one of our students and make a positive impact in their lives.  I know that our instructional team dedicates countless hours to plan actively engaging and meaningful lessons for our students. You strive daily to innovate and find creative ways to help students achieve academic success.  I am in awe every time that I have the pleasure of seeing you in action!

I have also seen first-hand the pride that our bus drivers, custodians, and other operational staff have as they support the ongoing success of our Team.  On many occasions, I have talked with our teammates who are quick to point out that the roles of our support staff are much larger than cleaning the floors or dispensing medication.  We are successful because of the contributions of EVERYONE on our team!

I have said before that although we all wear different titles and play different roles on our team, everyone on Team Goochland is an educator who seeks opportunities to prepare our next generation for success.  “The best thing about being a teacher is that it matters. The hardest thing about being a teacher is that it matters every day” – Todd Whitaker. For ALL of our team, what you do every day DOES matter. You are making a positive impact every day!

Please know that the time, talent, and efforts that you dedicate to our school division are greatly appreciated.  It is because of you that the Goochland County Public Schools is, and will continue to be, the standard setter for public education in the Commonwealth.  Thank you for all that you do!

Jeremy

 

On Tuesday of this week (April 17), the Goochland County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the county’s budget for 2018-2019 which also includes our school division budget. The County budget includes $32,678,827 for the School’s operating budget and $1,900,000 for the School’s capital improvements budget, identical budgets approved by the School Board on February 13, 2018. The operating budget will allow the School division to hire one new science teacher at the middle school and one new science teacher at the high school as well as two instructional coaches that will work with teachers to maximize student potential in reading and math, for a total of 370 school-based staff.

All staff will receive the equivalent of a 2% raise with no increase in out of pocket expenses for health insurance for employees who choose our high deductible plan or our $500 deductible plan.  This is significant as other neighboring governments may pass some or all of any increase in health insurance premiums to their employees.

A summary of the proposed, now approved, budget can be found by clicking here with additional detail regarding next year’s budget can be found by clicking here.  The capital budget will allow for security projects at each of the schools, a roof repair at Randolph Elementary School, and a $500,000 set-aside to build a new Goochland Elementary School in 2022.

Many members of Team Goochland spend countless hours working to identify the many strategic needs of our division for the upcoming school year.  Thank you for all of the time and effort that went into this process! It has also been a pleasure working with County staff and the Board of Supervisors who have clearly placed an emphasis on investing in public education in our community.  We are extremely fortunate to have a strong partnership between our School Board and our Board of Supervisors and are grateful for their support!

 

Many of you may be aware that Friday, April 20  is being advertised as the National School Walkout.  It has come to our attention that some of our high school students may participate in this event.  Like the student-led walkout that took place on March 14, our school division will neither encourage, nor will we discourage student participation.  Employees will not be active participants in this event, should it take place.

If a student-led walkout takes place, it is expected to be different from the one that occured last month as we anticipate that students who leave school for this walkout will not return to class.  While our school division respects the right of students to engage in an expression of their voice, we do not support, nor do we condone unauthorized leave from the school grounds during the instructional day.  This Friday, we are planning for a normal instructional schedule. We expect students will attend classes for the duration of the day.

We want to provide advance notice that students who voluntarily choose to walk out tomorrow will be counted with an unexcused absence unless a parent or guardian provides a written note requesting that their child’s absence be excused.  Elementary and middle school students will not be permitted to leave school school grounds unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Our school division’s code of conduct outlines the consequences for students who leave school ground without permission.

It is also important for our students, parents, and guardians to know that once a student leaves school grounds, our school division is no longer able to provide for their safety.  Students who leave school grounds and do not return do so at their own risk.

Please feel free to contact your child’s principal or my office if you have any questions.  As partners in your child’s academic experience, it is important that we work together to foster their success.

Jeremy J. Raley, Ed.D.

Superintendent

 

John L. Lumpkins

Chairman, Goochland County School Board