All three of our elementary schools annually welcome grandparents and extended family to school to enjoy a meal and participate in classroom activities with our students.  This year, I had the pleasure of being a part of Grandparent’s Day at Byrd Elementary School.  Over 450 parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and extended family participated in this incredible event!

Dr. Hendron and I joined in the fun and festivities as we took our 360 degree camera inside to capture this exciting event.  As you watch, use your mouse or your fingers to pan around to get the full experience!

Budget season has begun!  I am in the midst of collecting feedback to help me prepare my upcoming budget request.  Again this year, I am seeking your perspective regarding ideas that you may have for budget initiatives as well as opportunities for efficiency.  Please take a moment to share your thoughts with me via this survey.  I welcome your thoughts, comments, and perspective.  Results of this survey will be shared with the School Board at their upcoming December meeting.

It’s amazing how quickly this school year is moving!  We are entering our 13th week of school and we are well into the second quarter of the school year. The momentum from an extremely smooth opening of school has continued as we remain on track for another fantastic year.

This week, our school division will be celebrating American Education Week, a time to pause and celebrate the work that we do as public educators to inspire the next generation of youth in Goochland to make a positive impact in our ever changing world.  During the past several weeks, I have spent time in our schools, clinics, buses, offices, and cafeterias seeing the exceptional work that Team Goochland is doing on behalf of our students. Our Team demonstrates their commitment to excellence on a daily basis as they continually strive to provide our students world class experiences.

I have always had a great appreciation for the challenges that each of our teammates face as they teach, counsel, support, and encourage a talented and diverse student body.  My appreciation for their talents became even greater than before just recently as I planned and prepared a short, 30 minute story and activity for 15 of our first grade scholars at Byrd Elementary.  It definitely did not go as well as I planned. Remember Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop? You get the picture.

As I walk through our buildings, pop into classrooms, and conduct instructional rounds, I am impressed with our employees and their ability to capture the attention of our students, get them excited about learning, and engage them in memorable learning experiences.  I know that they spend many hours sacrificing time away from their families to plan, prepare, and reflect on the work that they do in order to make this happen, and I am truly humbled to have the pleasure of serving our community’s students and families with them.

Thank you, Team Goochland!  Thank you for your excellence, your academic optimism, and your willingness to create and innovate. Thank you for having the courage to try something new, and for serving as positive role models for our students.  Our school division is amazing because of you, and I am forever grateful for the time, effort, and labor that you dedicate to making our school division awesome!

Students had a four-day weekend last week, likely a welcomed opportunity to catch up, get ahead, and rest! Meanwhile, the work of the school division rolled on as teachers spent Monday with families engaged in fall conferences. Some started as early as 7 o’clock in the morning and others as late as 8PM in order to accommodate as many schedules as possible.

Tuesday was a day focused on adult learning, and our approach was customized to ensure the time was meaningful to all involved. Opportunities like this are few and far between during the busy schedule of the regular instructional year – and the GCPS team made the very most of the time we had!