The Goochland County Public School division was recently recognized by Niche.com among the top in several categories at both the regional and state level in their 2018 rankings, published last month at https://www.niche.com/k12/d/goochland-county-public-schools-va/   These ratings are based on a rigorous analysis of statistics as well as student and parent reviews for schools across the Commonwealth.  

Goochland’s distinctions in the 2018 rankings include:

  • #1 school division out of 17 in the Richmond region
  • #1 safest school division out of 17 in the Richmond region
  • #10 best school division in Virginia out of 132
  • #6 safest school division in Virginia out of 132

When determining a rating, Niche ranks various factors and weights different performance measures. The greatest weight is placed on an academic measure and is 50% of the rating. Culture & diversity, health & safety,  student & parent surveys, and teacher quality are each weighted at 10%. Resources & facilities are 5% of the overall assessment, while clubs, activities and sports are weighted at 2.5% each.

“Goochland County Public Schools is a proud and successful school division due to the efforts of our outstanding staff in all dimensions of our organization-teachers, leaders, staff,  students, parents, and the community that supports them,” said Dr. Jeremy Raley, Superintendent. “We are excited for this recognition and even more excited to continue to find ways to make the Goochland experience even better”

The recognition by Niche.com arrives after several recent GCPS recognitions, including the Virginia Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Award and the recent recognition of Mr. Jay Brockman as the Virginia middle school CTE teacher of the year.

Governor Ralph Northam and the state Board of Education announced yesterday that 349 schools and 16 school divisions earned 2018 Virginia Index of Performance (VIP) awards for advanced learning and achievement. The VIP program recognizes schools and divisions that exceed state and federal accountability standards and achieve excellence goals established by the Governor and the Board of Education.  Goochland County Public Schools was recognized as one of the 15 divisions earning the 2018 Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Award for its 2016-2017 student achievement.

“The teachers, principals and support staff in these schools share a commitment to academic excellence and meeting the needs of every learner,” said Governor Northam.  “I congratulate our educators, school administrators, and the students of these great schools for achieving the Commonwealth’s highest award for schoolwide excellence.”

Goochland County Public Schools, in addition to meeting Virginia SOL accreditation benchmarks with fully accredited status for all schools for over ten consecutive years, has made instructional innovation, engaging curriculum, recruitment and retention of quality personnel, and significant capital planning to support quality instruction areas of focus under the leadership of the current School Board and Superintendent, Dr. Jeremy Raley.  

“Our results are strong, we have a lot to be proud of,” said Dr. Steve Geyer, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction.  “I often get asked by colleagues across the state what makes our instructional program so successful. My response is always the same, ‘It’s our people.’”

Geyer added, “We have great kids and families – and we have the most dedicated, talented, caring educators anywhere. It’s their hard work every single day that’s at the center of our division’s success.”

The Goochland County Public Schools mission is to maximize the potential of every learner.  Read more about the 2018 Virginia Department of Education VIP Awards at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/news/news_releases/2018/06-jun27-gov.shtml

 

 

 

 

Although the 2017-2018 school year has barely ended, we are already preparing for the 2018-2019 school year that will begin in less than 11 weeks on August 20!  One of the most important areas of focus for our division in summer preparation is transportation.  We want to ensure that our families and students are given ample advanced information about transportation processes so that the first day of school is as smooth as possible.

Please note the following:

  • 2018-2019 bus routes will be posted on PowerSchool by noon on Monday, August 6.  PowerSchool allows parents to update their contact information for school and division communications, view attendance and grade information, and view bus information.  Visit https://powerschool.glnd.k12.va.us to log in.  If you don’t remember your login or password, click on the forgot login or forgot password links.  If you have not created an account, contact your child’s school office for the access id and password to create it.

 

  • In addition to PowerSchool, hard copy letters of bus routes and stop information will be mailed only to all rising Preschool, Kindergarten, 6th, and 9th grade families on August 6th. These families can expect these letters to arrive a few days later via US mail.  All other families will need to access PowerSchool or contact their child’s school after August 6 to access bus number and stop information. 

 

  • Summer school students will receive letters in the U.S mail with information on summer school hub bus stops prior to the beginning of summer school on June 25.

 

  • Families who wish to request an alternate bus stop for their child because they will be picked up at or getting off of a stop that is not their home address (grandparent, baby sitter, etc.) must apply using this link no later than July 27th: Transportation Alternative Stop Request

We will continue to update our families as we prepare for another great year in GCPS, including updates about our many improvements in transportation safety.  Active GPS installation is scheduled to begin this summer to follow last summer’s installation of cameras on all buses.  Extended stop arm devices are being used on several buses, and our radio upgrade is now complete in cooperation with Goochland County Emergency Services.  In addition to our safety upgrades, we continue to evaluate bus routes to maintain efficiency while reducing ride times as much as possible.

We know that transparent and ongoing two way communication is key to ensuring that you and your family  have a positive experience.  Even with technology, the best and most reliable form of communication is to contact the Department of Transportation directly via telephone with any questions at 804-556-5361.

 

 

 

The Virginia Department of Education recently announced that the Goochland County Public Schools Utility/Heavy Construction I and II program has been selected as the Region 1 winner from among 38 high schools in 16 central Virginia school divisions of the 2018 Creating Excellence Program Award.  The Creating Excellence Awards are presented annually to recognize exemplary programs and partnerships that promote excellence in career and technical education.

The GCPS Heavy Equipment Program, taught by Mr. Michael Verrastro, is unique in the Commonwealth, and has worked collaboratively with community organizations and equipment suppliers from around the state to provide students with the opportunity to gain firsthand experience in the operation of heavy equipment.  Students have used their skills to enhance several projects in the division and the county.

“Our heavy equipment program has been a great source of pride for our school division,” said Mr. Bruce Watson, Director of Career and Technical Education.  “The skill of Mr. Verrastro, the enthusiasm of our students, and the support of our business and community partners have allowed us to engage our students in ways that cannot be found in any other school or division”.

Mr. Verrastro demonstrates Heavy Equipment for GES students

Mr. Verrastro demonstrates Heavy Equipment for GES students

 

The GCPS staff will be recognized at an awards luncheon on June 14, hosted by the VDOE Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education.  Heavy Equipment is one of many CTE offerings that have distinguished GCPS in creating a balanced experience that engages all students in deeper learning.  

 

 

 

 

On Tuesday, May 1, Goochland County Public Schools held its second Celebration of Excellence at the newly renovated Central High School Cultural and Educational Center to recognize 2018 retirees, Teacher of the Year, Employee of the Year, Team of the Year, and for the first time this year, Volunteer and Rookie of the Year.  The Celebration of Excellence featured food prepared and served by Goochland High Culinary Arts students and GCPS Food Service, and plaques were made by our GCPS Career and Technical Education Department.

The Goochland Education Foundation joined Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Raley in presenting awards to the evening’s distinguished recipients:

  • Liz Alford, Goochland High Teacher of the Year
  • Patrick Gordon, Goochland Middle Teacher of the Year
  • Simone Jones, Byrd Elementary Teacher of the Year
  • Jaime Sprouse, Randolph Elementary Teacher of the Year
  • Kelley Taylor, Goochland Elementary Teacher of the Year 

Ms. Kelley Taylor, 1st grade teacher at Goochland Elementary School, was selected as the Goochland County Public Schools 2018 Teacher of the Year.  She will be considered with teachers from across the Commonwealth for the honor of being the 2018 Mary Bicouvaris Virginia Teacher of the Year.

The GCPS Employee of the Year is Instructional Technology Resource Coach Ms. Krystle Demas. 

The GCPS Team of the Year is the GHS Counseling Team, which includes Dr. Beth Fowler, Mr. Doug Getter, and Ms. Ashton Guza.

The inaugural Rookie of the Year is Ms. Katie Schihl, Special Education teacher from Goochland Middle School.

GCPS Volunteer of the Year is Dr. Richard Carchman, for his service in all our schools, especially at Byrd Elementary.

Goochland Public Schools retirees Ms. Kim Bachmann, Mrs. Deborah Blackburn, Mrs. Margaret Dickerson, Ms. Linda Drake, Mr. Bryan Gordon, Ms. Deborah Riggan, and Ms. Tina Taylor account for over 140 years of experience in Goochland County Public Schools.

Ms. Katie Schihl, 2018 Rookie of the Year

Ms. Katie Schihl, 2018 Rookie of the Year

GHS Counseling Team of the Year

GHS Counseling Team, Team of the Year (L-R, Dr. Beth Fowler, Dr. Raley, Ms. Ashton Guza, Mr. Doug Getter

2018 Employee of the Year

Mrs. Krystle Demas, Instructional Technology Resource Coach, 2018 Employee of the Year

Dr. Richard Carchman, 2018 Volunteer of the Year

Dr. Richard Carchman, 2018 Volunteer of the Year

Ms. Kelley Taylor, 2018 GCPS Teacher of the Year

Ms. Kelley Taylor, 2018 GCPS Teacher of the Year

 

 

 

 

 

 

At their monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 1, the Goochland County Board of Supervisors swore in Mr. John L. Lumpkins, Jr. as the Supervisor for District 3.  With Mr. Lumpkins’ departure from his position as Chair of the Goochland County School Board to assume his Supervisor position, the School Board met on Wednesday, May 2 to conduct the business of School Board re-organization and planning to fill the vacancy for District 3 representative to the School Board.

Mr. John D. Wright, District 5 representative, was unanimously approved by the Board to serve as Chair, a position he assumes immediately. With his approval as Chair, Mrs. Beth Hardy, District 4 representative, was selected as the Vice Chair.  Mr. Michael Payne, District 1 representative, will now serve as the alternate to Mr. Wright on the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School Board.

The School Board approved the following calendar for the appointment of the District 3 representative, who will serve in the position until a special election in November of 2018:

  • The Tuesday, May 8 School Board meeting has been moved to Tuesday, May 15, beginning with open meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the County Administration Building Board Room located at 1800 Sandy Hook Road, Room 250, Goochland, VA 23063.
  • On Tuesday, May 15, School Board members will review applications for the interim board member during closed session.  All applications must be submitted by 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, May 14 to Diane Bennett, School Board Clerk, in order to be considered.  Only individuals submitting completed applications will be considered. Applications are available online at this link.
  • Applicants will be given the opportunity to address the Board during public comment at the Tuesday, May 15 School Board Meeting.  The Board will not be responding to candidates who address the Board regarding their interest in this interim position during this public comment session.
  • A special School Board meeting will be held on Thursday, May 30 to deliberate about interested applicants and appoint the District 3 Board representative.
  • The successful applicant will be appointed on May 30 by the School Board and will be sworn in before the first meeting with the Board on June 12.

Any questions about the process can be directed to Ms. Diane Bennett, Clerk of the School Board of Goochland County at dbennett@glnd.k12.va.us or 804-556-5630.

 

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.

 

Goochland County Public Schools is pleased ​to announce that four of its five schools have been recognized as Apple Distinguished Schools for 2017–2019 for focus on deeper learning with the 1:1 computing program using iPad. This year, the division expanded its program to K-2 classrooms in elementary schools, and students at Goochland High School now use MacBook Air. Students use these devices to help develop world ready skills such as communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. The division also uses innovative software to help achieve its mission of maximizing each student’s potential through software that can individualize a student’s specific needs in areas such as mathematics.

Apple Distinguished Schools are centers of innovation, leadership, and educational excellence that use Apple products to inspire creativity, ​collaboration, and critical thinking. They showcase innovative uses of technology in learning, teaching, and the school environment, and have documented results of academic accomplishment.

This year, Byrd Elementary School, Goochland Elementary School, and Randolph Elementary School were awarded this designation, alongside Goochland Middle School. Goochland High School was not eligible to apply for this recognition because of the developing stage of its program.

“This recognition highlights the strong support of our technology department, the commitment of our teachers toward deeper learning, and the support of our school board to incentivize instructional innovation,” remarked John Hendron, Ed.D., Director of Innovation and Strategy for the division. “We’re proud to bring cutting-edge, engaging experiences to students,” said Goochland County Public Schools superintendent, Jeremy Raley, Ed.D. “Using these devices, we’re preparing students for an uncertain future, but one we know will require technology savvy and critical thinking.”

Examples of student engagement using iPads can be found chronicled in a series of books that were produced by the principals and staff of each school, which was submitted for consideration for the title of Apple Distinguished School. Each school’s book is available on their school website. Teachers are using Apple Classroom to manage devices and Schoology is used by students and teachers to manage digital materials, to check for understanding, and engage in virtual discussions. Parents can use the Schoology system to monitor student progress in grades 3-12.

Goochland County Public Schools provides an innovative learning environment for over 2500 students in central Virginia across five schools. Every one of Goochland’s schools is fully accredited by the Virginia Department of Education. The division’s vision is inspiring and preparing the next generation to make a positive impact. Learn more at goochlandschools.org.

Contact Dr. John G. Hendron at 804-556-5623 or jhendron@glnd.k12.va.us for more information.

 

Dr. Jeremy Raley, Superintendent of Goochland County Public Schools, was joined yesterday by members of the GCPS Executive Leadership team and Mrs. Cyndy Brown, Executive Director of the Goochland Education Foundation, at all Goochland schools to surprise the recipients of the 2nd annual Goochland Education Foundation Strategic Innovation Grants.  These grants total nearly $15,000 dollars, including funding from between $400 and $2700 for 12 separate grants, representing each school in the division.  Goochland Strategic Innovation Grants were awarded based on a rigorous selection process that involved a committee of school, foundation, and community representatives.  2017 grant awards and descriptions can be found at this link.

“We were beyond excited about the response we received this year to our call for faculty and staff to apply”, said Dr. Raley, Superintendent.  “The Goochland Education Foundation worked hard to provide us with even more resources this year to recognize the work that our innovative teachers are doing to plant the seeds for continued deeper learning in every classroom, and we cannot wait to showcase this work at our 2nd annual Strategic Innovation Grant symposium in June”.    Mrs. Cyndy Brown, Goochland Education Foundation Executive Director, is excited to see the grants in action this year.  “I am thrilled with the way the teachers responded to the Goochland Education Foundation’s challenge of ‘taking risks’ in order to reach new heights in innovative educational practices. All of the proposals reflected the GEF’s vision of visionary educational experiences that will help prepare the students for living and working in a fast-changing technological 21st century.”

The Goochland Strategic Innovation Grants will culminate in a professional development symposium in June of 2018, where winners of these grants will come together to share what they learned, collaborate on new ideas focused around deeper learning, and share how their risk-taking can be implemented in regular instructional programming.

 

Yesterday the Virginia Department of Education released accreditation results for schools and school divisions of the Commonwealth of Virginia, noting that 86 percent of Virginia’s 1,823 public schools were rated as fully accredited for the 2017-2018 school year based on performance on the 2016-2017 Virginia SOL tests.  65 of 132 divisions statewide included all schools designated as fully accredited for 2017-2018.

Goochland County Public Schools continues its strong track record of having each of its five schools fully accredited by the State of Virginia.  State accreditation is based on student pass rates on Virginia’s Standards of Learning (SOL) tests in English, mathematics, history, and science, as well as the division’s graduation rate.  GCPS exceeded each of the state’s five overall benchmarks by an average of 15%.  Goochland County Public Schools also has the distinction of receiving fully accredited status in all schools for the 11th consecutive year, sharing the distinction with only 10 of the 132 divisions in the Commonwealth.

While this distinction is determined by traditional achievement measures, school leaders believe it’s the division’s focus on what’s best for students that has led to the success.  “Our mission to maximize the potential of every learner is at the heart of everything we do,” said Dr. Jeremy Raley, Superintendent.  “Accountability is important, but Goochland is far beyond a singular focus on minimum proficiency tests – and that’s really what the state’s SOL assessments are.  We’re proud of the tradition of excellence in Goochland and we embrace the challenges of continuous improvement.  These results are one of the many indicators of the excellence that is pervasive in our school division.  There are many ingredients that go into accomplishing these results.  The key ingredients are all of our hard working and dedicated employees who strive every day to meet the academic needs of all of our division’s learners and a supportive community that places a significant value on the importance of education”.

Goochland’s overall performance and accreditation rating was the result of a division-wide portfolio of strong achievement in many content areas.  Highlights from the division’s Spring 2017 SOL results include:

  • Goochland students out-performed the Virginia state average in SOL pass percentage in all content areas (English, Math, Social Studies, and Science)
  • Goochland’s fifth grade science scores ranked first when compared to fifth grade students from 132 other school divisions in the Commonwealth
  • Goochland’s world geography scores ranked first when compared to other students from 132 other school divisions in the state.
  • Students in Goochland earned the 5th highest SOL pass rate in the Commonwealth
  • Goochland’s reading scores ranked 2nd in the region and 14th in the state
  • Student’s scores in writing, math, and science ranked in the top 25 in the state

Dr. Stephen Geyer, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, described Goochland’s focus on academic optimism as a key to the division’s success.  “Every child’s learning is important, and our school division has created a culture built on academic optimism.  Our belief that every student can be successful and that every student has strengths to celebrate is a primary reason for our continued strong performance.  Moreover, we have remarkable teachers who work incredibly hard every day on behalf of our children and families.”

Despite the school division’s exceptionally strong overall results, team members remain committed to continuing to elevate expectations, as well as to targeting areas of relative weakness.  Raley stated, “While we certainly have a lot to celebrate, we face the same challenges that most school divisions across the state and nation face when it comes to achievement gaps for our African American students.  We have made some great progress in reducing the achievement gap for some of our subgroups with exceptional growth for our students with disabilities.  Even with this growth, we still have more work to do.  We are committed to closing these gaps, while continuing to raise the bar for every student.”