Over 70 businesses and corporations will be featured at the 2017 Goochland County Public Schools Career Day on Tuesday, March 14 at Goochland High School between 8:30 and 12:00.  Representatives will include various local and national firms and corporations, including CarMax, Capital One, Luck Stone, Carter Equipment, Goochland Animal Clinic, Goochland Fire and EMS, Central Virginia Electrical Contractors Association, Mason & Hanger Architects and Engineers, and more.

The GCPS Career and Technical Education Department has organized this event for four years.  All students grades 6 through 12 will have a chance to explore and interact with representatives from a variety of careers.  

“This is the largest career fair ever for GCPS.  It brings our students-both those who plan to pursue post secondary education and those entering the workforce-exposure to the careers of the 21st century”, said Mr. Bruce Watson, Goochland County Public Schools Director of Career and Technical Education.

This year GCPS will open the Career Fair up to the greater community.  Anyone interested can visit Goochland High during the regular career fair hours of 8:30 to noon.

Goochland High School students James Deloach, Austin Payne, and Jack Williamson have been selected to attend the 2017 SPARK! Hackathon, to take place on January 28 and 29. James, Austin, and Jack were among over 90 applicants from 16 regional schools to apply for places at this year’s Hackathon.

In partnership with Mozilla, St. Anne’s-Belfield School will host the SPARK! Hackathon, a two-day event of learning and making that is open to high school students throughout the region and offers them a unique opportunity to get connected to industry experts and other students who are passionate about changing the world through technology.

A “Hackathon” is described on the SPARK! Website (www.spark.stab.org) as “an event where people come together to collaborate on creating tech that solve real-world problems”. Mozilla, the free-software community and maker of web browser Firefox, is partnering with SPARK! and sending mentors from across the nation to join the event.

James, Austin, and Jack’s interest in coding, computer science, and engineering was nurtured through their work in Programming and CTE courses offered at Goochland High School.   Mrs. Joanne DiTerlizzi work with all three students in the GHS Introduction to Computer Science class, a preparatory class for students brand new to programming. “James, Austin, and Jack are dedicated, hard working students who make special efforts to help other students in class”, says Mrs. DiTerlizzi. “They are great representatives of GHS at the Hackathon”.

Goochland High School was awarded “Blue Star School” status for its exceptional performance on the W!SE Financial Literacy Certification test in 2016. The “Blue Star School” distinction is limited only to schools in which over 75% of students pass the W!SE assessment with an average score of over 80%.

The W!SE assessment is a cumulative test administered to all students as part of the Virginia graduation requirement to successfully complete a course in financial literacy that began with the class of 2015. Only 283 high schools nationwide achieved Blue Star status, with only half of Virginia high schools achieving the distinction. Goochland High Economics and Personal Finance teacher Mr. Joe Fowler has led GHS to Blue Star Status, and has also been recognized as a W!SE Gold Star teacher.

Mr. Fowler displays the Blue Star Banner

“Regardless of the path our graduates take after GHS, they are all going to need to be able to manage checking account, credit, and insurance, as well as budget for future needs and goals”, says Mr. Fowler. “The skills they gain through Economics and Personal Finance will be skills that they use every day as adults”.

The requirement that all Virginia high school graduates pass Economics and Personal Finance was implemented in 2009 by the Virginia General Assembly and Board of Education to enhance student preparation for the realities of the 21st century economy.

The Virginia High School League (VHSL) recently announced Group 2A All-State Teams for the fall 2016 season, and Goochland High School was represented in both the football and girls volleyball selections. Individual performances were also recognized at the state level in theatre and cross country.

The Goochland High girls volleyball team, the undefeated 2015 Group 2A state champion, advanced to the regional semifinals in 2016. Alexis Wiggins, junior, and Casey Spencer, senior, were named to the second team all-state.

The VHSL State Theatre Festival recognized Tevin Davis, senior, as the Group 2A Outstanding Actor for his performance as Captain Hollis in Kaleidoscope. The Goochland theatre ensemble finished fourth in the state festival.

Austin Bruce, senior, placed among the top 10 individual finishers at the VHSL 2A state cross country meet with a time of 16:55.

The Goochland High football team advanced to the state semifinals in 2016. Of the 32 players selected from the state for each of the first and second teams, Goochland High was represented on the first team by senior running back Marcus Burton, junior defensive lineman Ricky Mayfield, senior defensive end Clay Brooks, senior defensive back Calvin Martin, senior offensive lineman Josh Clarke, and senior defender Cordell Mattox.

The excellence recognized across diverse sports and activities is exceptional, said Goochland High Athletic Director Bryan Gordon. “Very few schools do such excellent work in different activities. We are proud to provide quality opportunities for our students to shine on the field, on the stage, and on the floor”.

Goochland County Public Schools have distinguished themselves with a variety of extracurricular and athletic offerings at both the middle and high school levels, where traditional sports such as football, basketball, and baseball compete each year at the same level as swimming, cross country, theatre, scholastic bowl, and tennis, where students and teams have also achieved at the district, region, and state level.

“It is no secret that deeper learning requires more than only what happens in the classroom. Our students learn the value of sportsmanship, teamwork, and collaboration with the guidance of our dedicated coaches and sponsors”, said Dr. Jeremy Raley, Superintendent of Goochland County Public Schools.

Winter activities and sports continue with wrestling, basketball, indoor track, debate, forensics, swimming, band, and chorus.

The Goochland County Public Schools were recently recognized by Niche.com as the 8th Best School District in Virginia.  This rating is based on a rigorous analysis of statistics as well as student and parent reviews for schools across the Commonwealth.  In a statement released by Niche, GCPS “achieved this ranking by scoring highly on a variety of factors including SAT/ACT scores, student-teacher ratio, the quality of colleges that students consider, and reviews from students and parents”.

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.

In addition to receiving this recognition as one of the top school divisions in the Commonwealth, Goochland High School ranked in the top 100 of public high schools in the state.  Dr. Jeremy Raley, Superintendent for Goochland County Public Schools, attributes this success to the talented employees who work for GCPS and the investment that the Goochland County Community has made in public education.  “This accomplishment is made possible by the skills and talent of our dedicated workforce who strive every day to maximize the potential of every learner.  In addition, this success is the result of a supportive School Board and community that values excellence”.

Goochland County Public Schools have demonstrated their superior performance across all dimensions of the total school experience .  In addition to this most recent rating, GCPS is only one of 10 school divisions in Virginia to have all of its schools fully accredited for 10 straight years.  On state assessments, Goochland students outperformed the Virginia state average in SOL pass percentage in all content areas.  Goochland students had the 6th best social studies scores in the state and the 11th best reading SOL scores when compared to other students in the Commonwealth.  In addition, GCPS has received recognition by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for serving as a model for budget development and Kenny Bouwens, a teacher at Goochland High School, represents the division as the State Technology Education Teacher of the Year.  

“Goochland County Public Schools is a proud and successful school division that has demonstrated its success as a leader in providing students with innovative and authentic learning experiences that will allow students to gain the skills and abilities that are needed to be successful in a changing global economy.  We are proud of our accomplishments and look forward to continually striving to inspire and prepare our students to make a positive impact in the world around them”. – Dr. Jeremy Raley, Superintendent

For a full list of the 2017 rankings methodologies and data sources from Niche, visit k12.niche.com/rankings

The Goochland County Public Schools School Board selected Miss Chloe Lyda, current 11th grade student at Goochland High School, to serve as the student representative to the Board at the November monthly meeting on November 8.  Her term will begin with the December monthly meeting on Tuesday, December 13.

Miss Lyda has distinguished herself at Goochland High School both in and out of the classroom.  She has volunteered with the Goochland Education Foundation, served as the 9th and 10th grade class president, received the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Award in 10th grade, and attended the Brown University summer program for the past two years.  Miss Lyda currently serves as the Goochland High School SCA president and is a member of four different academic honoraries, including National Honor Society, as well as the Minority Advisory Council.

Mr. Christopher Collier, Principal of Goochland High School, is excited for Miss Lyda’s work representing the student voice on the Board. “Chloe will provide a true representation of our entire student body and is passionate about making a difference in her community. I have no doubt that Chloe will represent the students of Goochland County Public Schools well”.

Student representatives to the Goochland County School Board participate in many aspects of the Board’s work, including providing feedback and input during monthly meetings from their seat on the dais.  

As part of a continual improvement process, our school division works to create an annual budget and financial plan that is aligned with the goals outlined in our school division’s strategic plan. From an instructional perspective, it is our goal to maximize each student’s academic potential through engaging experiences and deeper learning as we prepare our students for the challenges of learning and working in a modern global economy. It is also our goal to maximize resources to meet the needs of our instructional program by providing safe, efficient, and transparent operations, while effectively managing our facilities and programs.

As we prepare to develop our upcoming budget for the 2017-2018 school year, we want to ensure that we maximize the utilization of the local, state, and federal funds that we receive for the operation of our school division. Through our transparent development of our school division’s budget, we want to hear from our community about ideas that you have for recommended additions and increases to our current budget. We also want to hear from you about ideas that you may have to be more effective and efficient with the resources that are currently available.

What do you think should be included in next year’s school division budget? What can we do differently to save money so that those dollars can be spent on new ideas? Should we stop doing or change something so that we can start doing new things? Are there ways we could streamline our operations and be more efficient?

If you have an idea, we’d like to hear from you. It can be something you know that works at another school division, something that you’ve seen in another business, or an idea you’ve come up with that you think might help us do our jobs better and more efficiently.

We also want to know if there are new programs or expansions of current programs that you would like us to consider that would improve the instructional opportunities that we are able to provide for our students.

All suggestions are welcomed and will be considered. Please respond to this survey by Friday, December 2nd, 2016, so that we can review them in time to report back to the school board or consider attending the December 13th School Board meeting (6:30 pm, Goochland County Administration Building, Room 250) and make your comments publicly.

https://goo.gl/forms/HujX0RXMtizRemCw1

Thanks in advance for sharing your ideas with us!

Dr. Jeremy Raley, Superintendent of Goochland County Public Schools, was joined yesterday by members of the GCPS Executive Leadership team at Goochland High, Goochland Middle, Goochland Elementary, and Randolph Elementary to surprise the recipients of the inaugural Strategic Innovation Grants.  These grants include funding from between $450 and $2500, and were awarded based on a rigorous selection process that involved a committee of school and community representatives.  

2016 Grants were awarded to:

  • Wes Farkas, Lucas Gibbs, Tim Greenway, Mike Verrastro and Amy Henneberger from Goochland High School for the construction of an archery range for the secondary complex.
  • Beth Alvis and Kim Austin from Randolph Elementary for the purchase of Osmo,  an augmented reality platform aimed at developing social-emotional skills, creativity, and collaboration.
  • Erica Borges, Jennifer Curfman, Auster Hecker, and Heather Wilckens from Randolph Elementary for the development of Brewing Justice,  a partnership with nonprofits toward developing global responsibility.  
  • Megan Glasco and Tara Stacey from Goochland Elementary, for Creative Writing with Legos, to acquire Lego Education StoryStarter materials to teach literacy.
  • Michele Hope from Goochland Middle School, for design of instructional stations with a focus on environmentalism designed in direct response to student interest.
  • Krystle Demas (ITRC at GES, RES, and BES) and Sarah Smith from Goochland Elementary for the development of Ozobots to integrate computer science concepts and content in an effort to promote innovation and creativity.
  • Stephanie Clark, Elizabeth Ferguson, Jennifer Gates, Katie Hadd, Gloria LaFlamme Brandi McCain, Valerie McLaughlin, Jaime Sprouse , Suzanne Taylor and  Susan Vaughan from Randolph Elementary for redesign of the student-led nature trail aimed at enhancing sustained experiential learning opportunities.

“Our teachers continue to amaze us with their constant commitment to being more innovative and engaging in their classrooms”, said Dr. Raley, Superintendent.  “We are very appreciative for the support of the Goochland Education Foundation on behalf of our students.  This is hopefully only the beginning of what we can do to continue to support deeper learning in our classrooms”.  

The Goochland Strategic Innovation Grants will culminate in a professional development symposium in June of 2017, 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.

strategicgrants

Schools across the country will host guests and events to celebrate American Education Week during the week of November 14, 2016.  Goochland County Public Schools will participate this year with special events in and out of the classroom, along with many special guests from the community.

Several distinguished guests have already shown their commitment to Goochland County Public Schools by taking part in school activities.  Mr. John Budesky, Goochland County Administrator, and Goochland County Sheriff James Agnew read to students at Goochland Elementary School last week.  

The work of the GCPS staff will also be highlighted during American Education Week.  Members of the GCPS Board recognize the work of district staff.   “Goochland County Public Schools is a leader in public education and we have achieved success in a multitude of settings. None of our success would be possible without the dedication and talents of our exceptional employees. Our employees are role models who diligently labor every day for the students in Goochland County”.   

Dr. Jeremy Raley, Superintendent of Schools, agrees. “Our successes come as a direct result of the countless hours all of our employees have dedicated to our school division.  Each day, our entire instructional team works together to provide an academic atmosphere where students will be empowered to collaborate with their peers, think critically about content, solve problems, be creative, and communicate with others in a variety of ways”.

Goochland County Board of Supervisors District 1 Representative Susan Lascolette and Goochland NAACP President Sekou Shabaka will visit Goochland High School, while District 2 Representative Manny Alvarez will visit Randolph Elementary.  All schools will be open to visitors from the community during normal school hours during the week of November 14.  

Activities featured in schools to commemorate American Education Week will also include a Google Hangout online discussion with a local legislator, teacher recognition, middle school mathematics night on Tuesday, November 15, and guided tours, among many other activities.  

Any citizens who wish to take part in American Education Week activities can call their child’s school or GCPS Central Office at 804-556-5630.  

A group of students from Goochland Middle School was featured at last Tuesday’s Virginia School Board Association’s Hot Topic Conference, held at the Chesterfield Career and Technical Center in Midlothian, VA.  The conference was dedicated to showcasing educational technology.  Among the presentation topics at the conference were “The Mobility Revolution”, “Coding in the Real World”, and “Rewiring Digital Content:  From Consumers to Creators”.  An innovation showcase was also included in the day’s events, featuring best practices in technology from across the Commonwealth.  The audience included school board members, superintendents, and educational leaders from across Virginia.  

Goochland Middle School students, selected based on their membership in a student-driven club formed to continue the work in coding and making that began in elementary school,  were asked to demonstrate their learning with the iPad at this year’s conference.  The students assumed the role of “iDocumentarians”, and in only a few hours collaborated to produce a single video that documented the experience of all of the conference’s participants.   

“This was all possible because we haven’t just given students iPads, but we have also taught them how to use these incredible tools for communication. These are the same tools that students have the opportunity to use to further their study both in and outside of school”, said Dr. John Hendron, Director of Innovation and Strategy.  “Kudos to our teachers at GMS for giving students the soft skills on how to use the iPads in this way. Participants were impressed—no doubt—by the amount of applause our ‘iDocumentarians’ received.”

GCPS, as part of its commitment to deeper, personalized learning and preparing students to be career ready, provides an iPad to each student in grades 3 through 8, and is planning to extend personalized learning to students in grades 9 through 12 with MacBook distribution to all high school students in 2017.