Laura Grace Snow was a member of the GHS Class of 2019.  She battled Juvenile Batten Disease from 3rdGrade until her death in February of 2018. Despite losing her sight during Elementary School, life was never dark for Laura Grace.  During all of those years she maintained a positive outlook on life that was infectious to everyone with whom she came in contact.

Laura Grace had a profound love for music and never missed an opportunity to perform at school talent shows.  Her favorite artist was Taylor Swift and she could sing along to almost every song. During Middle School Laura Grace and her family got the opportunity to meet another of her favorite singers, Carrie Underwood, thru the Make a Wish Foundation.

Goochland High School Senior, Savannah Slater, has been friends with Laura Grace since they were toddlers playing at Hidden Rock Park while their older brothers played baseball. Savannah has used her Senior Project to create a Scholarship in memory of Laura Grace.  She has worked with the Guidance Department, Laura Grace’s Family, and GRASP Representatives to develop a scholarship designed to open their fellow students eyes to the needs of individuals with disabilities.

Savannah has chosen to generate funds for this scholarship by creating the Laura Grace Snow Memorial Music Festival.  The Festival will include stage performances by fellow students, community choirs, and local musicians.  Commemorative T-Shirts will be available for purchase at the Festival as well as raffle tickets for some creative gift baskets donated by community members. Dinner may be purchased from the All-Night-Graduation Committee at the indoor Concession Stand.

Please join us for The Laura Grace Snow Memorial Music Festival on Saturday, March 2nd in the Goochland High School Auditorium beginning at 6pm.  Doors will open at 5pm for dinner and to purchase raffle tickets. Come out and enjoy the show.

Please join us for an opportunity to have a conversation about ideas and opportunities to strengthen inclusive, caring, and safe learning environments in our schools.  This event is a partnership between the Goochland County Public Schools, our Minority Student Achievement Advisory Committee, and the Goochland Minister’s Conference of Goochland and Vicinity.  All are welcome!

 

Community Conversation with Goochland Baptist Ministers and Minority Student Achievement Advisory Committee

 

 

This year, the excellence of the Goochland County Public Schools has been recognized by many agencies, including the Virginia Department of Education, the Government Finance Officers Association, and Niche.com!  We have received multiple recognitions for our academic success, our security initiatives, our strong financial practices, and for meeting the needs of students with disabilities.  We are the home of strong extra-curricular programs and can tout many professional accomplishments by our employees.  Our school division is seen as a leader both inside and outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia in many ways!

These successes are the result of a supportive community, talented students, and dedicated employees who strive daily to inspire and prepare our students to make a positive impact.  This past fall, our school division’s leadership team began the process of developing an overall compensation plan that would continue to position our school division at the top of our competitive market and recognize the many contributions of our talented teammates.  After many months of discussion, this compensation plan was approved by the Goochland County School Board at its meeting on Tuesday February 12.

The highlight of the approved plan is the goal set by the Board to become the leader in overall compensation among competitive regional divisions.  This bold move affirms our school board’s commitment to recognizing the contributions of our employees through a competitive overall compensation plan that includes salary, benefits, and a collegial, collaborative work environment.  The policy also provides clarity to employees on salary placement, movement on the salary scale, salary adjustments, and stipends.

I applaud the Board for their bold leadership and for their commitment to a compensation plan that will allow our division to recruit and hire new teammates, while also retaining our current highly talented employees.  Click here to view the approved Compensation Plan.

 

It is time to recognize our finest here in Goochland County Public Schools.  In addition to the 2019 Teacher of the Year recognition, which is being coordinated by leadership in each our schools, we will again recognize our GCPS Employee of the Year, Team of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, and Rookie of the Year.  
 
Please take a moment and visit the links below to make your nominations by March 22.  We will recognize our teachers, employees, team, volunteer, and rookie of the year along with our retirees at our Celebration of Excellence this spring.

Parenting the Love and Logic Way®Classes Begin April 11 As parents, you have only a few years to prepare your children for a world that requires responsibility and maturity for survival. That thought alone can send shivers down your parental spine! Goochland County offers the Parenting the Love and Logic Way® education program, an interactive series of four two-hour sessions. The workshop help parents to provide a nurturing environment which encourages children to make healthy choices. It is based on a win-win approach to parenting that teaches young people how to be responsible, and parents how to establish healthy controls. WHEN: April 11, 18, 25 & May 2 5:00 pm – 7 pm WHERE: Goochland County Administration Building; Room 270 1800 Sandy Hook Rd. Goochland, VA 23063 COST: FREE- Space is limited Please contact the Goochland County Office of Children’s Services at 556-5875 or mjones@goochlandva.us to register.

The safety, security, and well-being of our students, staff, and visitors has been, and will continue to be, a priority for our school division.  Prior to the tragic events last year at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, there were many safety processes and protocols that had already been in place.  Following this event, we planned for and implemented many more practices to increase the safety and security of our facilities and school division operations.  I wanted to take this opportunity to provide an update on the status of our ongoing safety initiatives.

Personnel

In mid-January, Deputy Scott Leabough began his full time assignment as School Resource Officer at Goochland Middle School.  Deputy Leabough was selected through a collaborative interview process with the school administration and the Goochland County Sheriff’s Office.  He has a tremendous amount of experience that will contribute to the overall safety, security, and climate at Goochland Middle School.

We continue to strive toward meeting the many socio-emotional needs of our students.  My proposed budget for the 2019-2020 school year includes a request to increase school counseling staffing at Goochland High School through the summer months as well request for a full time License Mental Health Counselor to serve as a resource for teachers and administrators and to provide direct services to students at our secondary complex.

Infrastructure and Capital Improvements

There have been many changes to access to our division’s facilities that are easily noticed by our visitors and guests.  Exterior access controls and door position sensors have been installed at strategic locations on all of our division’s facilities.  In addition to these measures, ALL exterior locks are currently in the process of being re-keyed. These devices will allow our school division to restrict and control access, while also having documentation regarding the dates, times, and locations when facilities are accessed.  Bids have been secured for the installation of cameras at our elementary schools, with installation to begin in the Spring. An additional layer of security has been added with the installation of transaction windows at both Goochland Middle School and Goochland High School. These transaction windows allow our staff and families to more efficiently handle routine transactions at our schools-dropping off items for students, sign in and sign out-while reducing traffic in our office areas and thereby minimizing risk associated with individuals moving past the secure lobby areas of the middle and high schools.

Crisis Planning and Training

Our proactive approaches to improve and increase safety and security continues through the work of our School Safety Task Force as well as our ongoing collaboration with Goochland County Fire-Rescue and Emergency Services and the Goochland County Sheriff’s Office.  As a result of this collaboration, staff have been trained in bleed management techniques. In the next month, bleed management kits will be installed in strategic locations (like our AEDs) for use in a crisis situation. We continue to conduct drills with students and staff on all of our safety processes as all division-wide crisis plans have been reviewed and revised.  Future training and collaboration will focus on scenario exercises and drills that will be conducted with our different partner agencies.

Our School Safety Task Force, comprised of staff, students, and partner organizations, meets bi-monthly to discuss areas of concern, provide action items to school leadership, and gather feedback toward enhanced safety.

Safe Schools Anonymous Reporting

Please remember that we have a division-wide anonymous reporting system.  This system allows you to report any threats or concerns related to bullying anonymously via text message, website, e-mail, or phone call.  Links can be found on any school website and also here.

Threat Assessment Training for Parents

This past Fall, all of our students and staff at Goochland Middle School and Goochland High School received training and awareness of our division’s threat assessment process.  Parents can also access this training at www.schoolthreatassessment.com Enter the parent code to begin:  pncwub

Transportation

Throughout the Fall, we have been working in collaboration with the Goochland County Sheriff’s Office and Goochland County Administration to develop an ordinance (pp. 140-141) that will allow our school division to issue a summons for a $250 fine to a motorist who does not obey the flashing lights on our buses when stopped.  We are able to complete this process now that exterior and dash cameras have been installed on the routes where this happens the most. The Goochland County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on this Ordinance tomorrow (February 5) at 7:00 p.m.

Although we initiated and completed many safety initiatives in the past 12 months, we do not want to become complacent.  Your feedback, recommendations, and thoughts on areas of improvement or concern are always welcome. Please feel free to contact me via phone, e-mail, or in person when you see me at many of our division’s events.  Thank you, as always, for everything that you do to support the excellence of the Goochland County Public Schools!

 

 

The Virginia Department of Education recently announced that National School Counseling Week will be recognized February 4-8, 2019.  Sponsored by the American School Counseling Association, the organization states: “School counselors work with all students to remove barriers to learning by addressing academic concerns, social/emotional issues and career awareness for postsecondary options.  Comprehensive school counseling programs help to increase student achievement and are a vital part of the educational process for all students.”

Our team of school counselors is one of the very best anywhere!

(from left) Beth Curfman, GES; Beth Fowler, GHS; Kathy Albert, BES; Ashton Guza, GHS; Sarah Ambrose, RES; Roberta Watson, GMS; Stacey Rainbolt, GMS; Doug Getter, GHS

B Y R D   E L E M E N T A R Y   S C H O O L

African-American History Museum

All classes have selected a famous African American who has contributed to the shaping of our country through action and literature.  Students will demonstrate their learning through school-wide displays.

G O O C H L A N D   E L E M E N T A R Y   S C H O O L

Celebrations and Contributions of Famous African Americans

Classes will research a famous African American and depict his or her contributions and accomplishments in shaping our country.  Students will create a three-dimensional printed artifact, green screen video, and/or life-size representation of the famous African American to be displayed in the library.

R A N D O L P H   E L E M E N T A R Y   S C H O O L

Explorations of Contributions: Famous African Americans

In addition to mastering the famous American curriculum embedded with each grade level, students will be studying and exploring the profound musical contributions of Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Marian Anderson and Aretha Franklin.

G O O C H L A N D   M I D D L E   S C H O O L

Carving the Path for Discovery: Exploring the Academic Impact of African Americans

Students will explore the impact African Americans have had across the core academic content areas: science, history, English, and mathematics.  Students will create slides that document contributions; these slides will be projected on the school’s daily digital announcements.

G O O C H L A N D   H I G H   S C H O O L

African-American Legacies

Academic departments have designed project-based lessons and planned classroom activities that spotlight contributions of African Americans.  Daily announcements will highlight African-American heroes, culminating with presentations and student performances during the final week of February that showcase African-American culture.