A new calendar year provides us with the opportunity to reflect on the previous year and the chance to prepare for new beginnings, growth, and change.  We have had a very successful start to our school year and are excited about the possibilities that exist for us in the spring of the year!  Our students are learning, growing, and shining in many ways!

Goochland County Public Schools is a proud and successful school division that has proven itself as a recognized leader in public education by providing students with innovative, engaging, and authentic learning experiences that will allow them to experience a true depth of understanding of our instructional content.  As we reflect on our past successes, we think about what our school division will need in order to maintain this success, while also identifying opportunities for us to continually grow and improve.  This process will guide us through the upcoming weeks as we work to develop a budget for the next school year that is aligned with our vision, mission, and core values.

Our budget development process began this past fall as we sought input from our principals and other division leaders regarding their identified programmatic, personnel, and other resource needs.  In addition, we asked our leadership team to critically analyze our current processes to determine whether or not there were opportunities to abandon past practices in an effort to re-allocate funding to newly identified needs.  We also sought input from our community regarding their perspective on our future budget needs, which has provided us with valuable feedback.  The results of that survey can be found here.

Over the course of the past two weeks, our School Board has conducted work sessions aimed at identifying the many different personnel, programmatic, and resource needs of our school division.  Information related to these work sessions can be found at these sites (January 10, 2017 & January 17, 2017).  As we make financial decisions in the coming weeks, it will be important that we provide a total compensation package for our employees that is competitive in our region so that we can retain the incredibly talented professionals we have and attract exceptional candidates when vacancies occur.  Additional needs that have been identified include the technology and personnel resources that will enable us to maximize each student’s academic potential as we prepare our students for the challenges of learning and working in the modern global economy.

As we work to develop a spending plan that will enable us to make progress toward accomplishing our strategic goals, it is important to us that we are recognized as a leader in fiscal efficiency, transparency, and effectiveness.  I hope that you are able to join us tomorrow (January 24) at 6:30 p.m. as I present my proposed budget for next year to the School Board.  If you are not able to attend, you can join us via live streaming video.  Please also join us at the many other upcoming public meetings on our budget.

  • January 31 – Budget Workshop – Goochland Administration Building, Room 250 – 7 p.m.
  • February 7- Public Hearing on School Board Budget – Goochland High School Auditorium – 6:30 p.m.
  • February 14 – School Board Budget Approval – Goochland Administration Building, Room 250 – 6:30 p.m.
  • February 21 – Presentation of School Board Budget to Board of Supervisors – Goochland Administration Building, Room 250 – 3:00 p.m.
  • March 21 – District 2 & 3 Town Hall Meeting – Central High School – 2748 Dogtown Road – 7 p.m.
  • March 23 – District 4 & 5 Town Hall Meeting – Hermitage Country Club – 7 p.m.
  • March 30 – District 1 Town Hall – New Fire Station on Hadensville Fife Road – 7 p.m.
  • April 4 – Board of Supervisors Public Hearing – Goochland Administration Building, Room 250 – 7 p.m.
  • April 18 – Board of Supervisors Adoption of County Budget – Goochland Administration Building, Room 250, 3 p.m.  

Thank you for the time, effort, and energy that you dedicate to supporting our students in their academic journey!


Jeremy J. Raley, Ed.D.




Capital One is proud to offer the 13th annualFuture Leaders Forum for Young Women on Saturday, March 18 at their West Creek Commons facility.  The Forum strives to help young women begin their personal leadership discovery journey by teaching them how to tap into their inner strengths and by challenging them to make positive changes in their lives and their communities. Participants will also have access to our Capital One associate mentors who offer guidance and advice, serve as role models for leadership, and facilitate small group discussions.

This year, Capital One has transitioned to an online process to make registration fast and easy.  The registration form is available here:  Future Leaders Forum for Young Women Registration Form

Complete the form and have your parent/guardian sign the Registration Permission / Emergency Medical Release Form by Friday, March 3, 2017.  

This Year’s Theme: “Let Your Light Shine”

Consider registering for this year’s event and inviting other young women who are interested in actively building their futures.  Remember that seats will be filled on a first come, first serve basis, so register early.

If you have any questions, please contact Capital One by sending a message to futureleadersforumforyoungwomen@capitalone.com.


Dear Goochland Families:

Earlier this fall, our school division started the planning process for the development of our 2017-2018 instructional calendar. This planning involved discussions with building level administrators, central office administrators, and representatives from the Superintendent’s Leadership team comprised of teacher and parent representatives from each of our five schools.  These collaborative discussions have resulted in a draft instructional calendar that is found here for your review.

This instructional calendar was developed with the goal of providing a structure that would best support our division’s goals, objectives, and strategies related to student learning and outlined in our strategic plan. As we work to maximize each student’s academic potential through engaging experiences with deeper learning, it is important to provide the professional training and support that our instructional staff needs to accomplish this objective. As a result, the draft instructional calendar for next year provides for scheduled professional development days throughout the year that will be used to allow for school level and division level training opportunities. Additionally, these days will also provide time for our instructional staff to analyze student assessment data, design lessons, and collaboratively plan with their colleagues, and work in their classrooms. These types of opportunities are key to improving our practices and providing professional growth. There is also a designated parent conference day in the fall.

The Goochland County Public Schools has demonstrated its leadership as an innovative school division that strives for continuous improvement. There are many examples of this mindset that are visible every day. Most notably, we have worked towards capitalizing upon our instructional time for learning by reducing the frequency of assessments delivered to students.  This approach is reflected in the attached draft. In December and June, there are no designated days for midterm and final exams. The days at the end of the semester and the end of the year are full days, not early dismissals. Instructional staff will continue to have the autonomy and flexibility to assess students and their knowledge during these times and throughout the school year.

Although there have been some modifications to the proposed calendar in an effort to support our division’s instructional goals, this draft calendar maintains many of the traditional timelines for starting school, holiday breaks, and the last day of school that have been a part of past calendars. This draft has been shared with multiple stakeholders, including through meetings that have been conducted recently at our schools with our employees. I continue to welcome your comments, thoughts, and feedback in the coming weeks. Feel free to send me an e-mail (jraley@glnd.k12.va.us) or give me a call (804-556-5601).  It is my goal to present a recommended calendar for the 2017-2018 school year to the School Board at their meeting on January 10, 2017.  No action will be taken until the Board’s regularly scheduled meeting in February.

Thank you for the support and guidance that you provide to our students! We have had a very successful first half of this school year and we are excited about the experiences and opportunities that our students will have in the new year.

Jeremy Raley, Superintendent

Wow!  The first half of this year has gone by fast!  It has been fast, but it has been successful in many ways.  Our school division continues to shine inside and outside of the classroom and we remain a leader as our students and staff have represented our division in many ways at district, regional, and state events.  Our results have led us to being recognized by Niche as the 8th best school division in the state!  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.

As we ended our first semester, there has been a lot of amazing work taking place in our schools!  In early December, our students were provided opportunities to write code during activities in classrooms across our division.  Students at Goochland Elementary used Ozobots for their coding experience.  Students at Byrd Elementary School demonstrated their communication skills during their social studies fair.  These scholars conducted research on a history topic of their choosing and shared their knowledge with their classmates and visitors.  Both Goochland Elementary and Randolph Elementary collaborated on conducting a World’s Faire.  These students researched a country and spent time collaborating and sharing information about the culture, climate, food, and other important information with their peers.  We continue to provide our students with opportunities that will prepare them for future success!

Students at Byrd Elementary at the Social Studies Fair

I am proud to have the opportunity to work alongside the talented members of Team Goochland!  All of our employees are working to provide our students with positive experiences in every aspect of our division’s operations.  I witnessed this dedication as I recently rode along on a bus route serving Randolph Elementary Students and served lunch at Goochland Middle School.  Our administrative staff continues to strive for excellence as well.  I had the pleasure of conducting instructional rounds with our principals and instructional staff.  We observed classes together and were able to have engaging, reflective dialogue focused on developing a common understanding of successful teaching practices.

Dr. Raley rides with students from RES

Dr. Raley serves lunch at GMS

We have some impressive students!  Did you know that students at Byrd Elementary School raised over $2,000 to benefit charities in Goochland County?  This announcement was made at their recent winter concert where they celebrated and recognized the contributions of volunteers and public servants in our community.  What a great night for Goochland!  There is nothing like spending an evening listening to music performed by our high school bands and choirs to get you ready for the holiday season.  Thank you to our students and staff for sharing your talents with our community!  Your performances were most impressive!

BES holiday performance donation

Don’t forget to check out our reminders about inclement weather changes at http://goochlandschools.org/2016/11/21/inclement-weather-procedures-2016-2017/, and be ready for winter weather which will likely be on the way soon.  Please continue to stay up to date with our division’s weather closings, delays, and events by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter (@glndschools) and Instagram (@goochlandschools).  Stay current with all of the great things happening in our schools at our division leadership blog at http://leadership.goochlandschools.org.  

Our students and staff have been have been working hard every day inside and outside of our classrooms!  There is no doubt that everyone has earned some need time to rest and take a break from our normal school routines.  As we prepare for some time away from school, I want to thank you for an extremely successful first half of our school year.  I sincerely hope that you and your family have a joyous holiday season!

Jeremy Raley, Superintendent


It’s hard to believe that December has arrived and we are nearing the halfway mark of the school year here in GCPS.  Although December is a short month with our students beginning their winter break at the end of the day on Friday, December 16, we have many events taking place that I am sure you will want to know about in the two weeks ahead.

This week, Byrd Elementary will hold their winter performance at Goochland High School on Monday, December 5.  Goochland Elementary will take the stage at GHS for their winter performance on Wednesday, December 7 at 6:30, and Goochland Middle School’s band and choral winter concert will take place on Thursday at 7:00 in the auditorium.  

Next week, Goochland High School will hold their band and choral concert on Monday, December 12 at 6:30 and their dance recital on Wednesday, December 14 at 6:00 p.m.  Finally, you can catch Randolph Elementary grades 2-5 performing on Thursday, December 15 at Goochland High beginning at 6:30.  We hope you come see our talent in action as we celebrate this season in Goochland.

Also next week, the Goochland County School Board will hold its monthly meeting on Tuesday, December 13 at 6:30 p.m.  We are now developing our budget for 2017-2018 and hope to receive your feedback.  One opportunity to provide your feedback will be during the public comment period at the December 13 board meeting.  Come and let us know what you feel our division needs to prioritize as we grow and continue to prepare our students to make a positive impact.

Fall sports came to a finish this weekend as our Goochland Bulldog football team saw their season conclude in the VHSL Group 2A state semifinals.  Congratulations to our players, coaches, and staff for another fantastic season that we are all very proud of.  Our student athletes, coaches, and staff had a superb fall season, from football to volleyball to cheer to cross country to theatre to scholastic bowl.  These teams went deep in their district and regional contests.  Winter sports are now in full swing!  Come support our basketball, wrestling, swim, and forensics teams who are now entering the regular season.

Goochland Middle Schools’ “Tiger Trackers” Robotics Team competed this weekend in the state competition, and this past week I had the opportunity to judge some amazing art work from our elementary students at an event that came together thanks to our PTA and community volunteers.  Thanks to our art teaching staff and to the community support that made this happen for our kids.  

If you have not done so already, PLEASE go to https://www.michaelandson.com/jingle-submissions/ and vote for Goochland Elementary’s entry into the “2016 jingle contest”.  It could earn $5,000 for GES!  We have some future superstars at GES who you can see in action, too.  

Don’t forget to check out our reminders about inclement weather changes at http://goochlandschools.org/2016/11/21/inclement-weather-procedures-2016-2017/, and be ready for winter weather which will likely be on the way soon.  Please continue to stay up to date with our division’s weather closings, delays, and events by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter (@glndschools) and Instagram (@goochlandschools).  Stay current with all of the great things happening in our schools at our division leadership blog at http://leadership.goochlandschools.org   Have a great week!

Jeremy Raley, Superintendent

This week, school divisions across the nation are recognizing the significant contributions of public school employees.  American Education Week provides us, as a school division, with an opportunity to celebrate public education in our own community.  Goochland County Public Schools has A LOT to celebrate!  There are multiple measures that point toward the continuation of our school division’s tradition of academic excellence.  We continue to make progress in the quality and depth of instruction that our school division is providing to our students and we are recognized as a leader in engaging our students with authentic learning experiences!  Many of our staff have been actively involved in professional presentations at the state and national level and have also been published in professional publications.

Goochland is the home of a State Technology Teacher of the Year and State Champions in Volleyball and Tennis!  On a multitude of student performance measures, we outshine our colleagues from across the Commonwealth!  We are also proud of our recognition as an Apple Distinguished Program and the accomplishments of Byrd Elementary as a Distinguished Title I School and Goochland Middle School as a School to Watch!  Our division has also been recognized by the Government Finance Officer Association for excellence in preparing our annual budget.

These 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.  

Transportation employees are the first face that our children see after they leave their homes and ensure the safe transportation of our children to and from school.  Our custodial and maintenance employees provide a safe, clean, and comfortable place to work and learn.  Food service employees provide the nourishment our students need in order to be ready to learn, while our school nurses meet the varied medical needs of a diverse student body.  School counselors provide the support and direction students need to forge a path toward career readiness.  School-level and central office administrative and support staff provide leadership and take care of many important jobs so teachers can focus on the business of teaching.  

There is no doubt that you are inspiring our students, our next generation, to make a positive impact on the world around them.  I am proud of the work all of you are doing to create globally competent, world-ready students who are the future leaders of our community, our state, our nation, and our world.  The talents and skills you share, as Team Goochland, with our students allow our division to be successful now, and will enable us to be excellent well into the future!  Thank you for making a difference!

Jeremy J. Raley, Superintendent

As Goochland County Public Schools celebrates American Education Week, we want to express our appreciation to the employees of our school division for the work they do for the students they serve each and every day!  In the fast-paced, hectic world, we fail to take the time to stop and reflect on the critically important work that we, as a school division, are doing. The fact is, every day, our talented employees are inspiring and preparing our students, our next generation, to make a positive impact.

Throughout every school day, GCPS employees have opportunities to impact the lives of the students who board our buses, eat in our cafeterias, feel safe in our facilities, and benefit from the many different services we offer. The experiences and lessons our employees provide our children serve as the foundation for future success of our county, state, nation, and world.  Our community is the beneficiary of our employees’ work with our students!

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.  In the word of William Butler Yeats, our employees are not “filling a pail,” but are “lighting a fire.” They are lighting a fire in our students that we hope will burn for years to come in the form of educated citizens who shape the future as educators, health care providers, public safety officials, mechanics, engineers, and community leaders.

Author Jim Collins writes, “Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” We encourage our community to join us this week, Nov 14 – Nov 18, in expressing our thanks to all of our GCPS employees as we maximize the potential of all of our learners and ensure that our students have the skills, knowledge, and opportunities they will need to become successful members of a global community.  It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of this community where such dedicated people give their talents and efforts to ensure our students experience success.

Thank you GCPS employees for everything you do!

Kevin Hazzard, Chairman, District 2

Beth Hardy, Vice Chair, District 4

Mike Payne, District 1

John Lumpkins, District 3

John Wright, District 5

We are now well into our second nine weeks of school and November is here.  The weeks ahead leading into the holidays will be filled with many special events both in our schools and in our community.  We have many things to celebrate and look forward to in GCPS that I am excited to share with you in today’s message.

Last week, I had the chance to participate in the Byrd Elementary School physical education activity that featured our students using their fancy footwork to escape the “spiders”  in Ms. Hall’s amazing obstacle course.  The excitement of our students and the work and energy that Ms. Hall puts into her class is truly amazing!

Students at Byrd ES in p.e. class

Our 8th graders visited the Richmond International Raceway for the Chamber RVA “Mission Tomorrow” program, which included over 10,000 8th graders from across the region learning about career options and preparation with hands-on activities, informational materials, and demonstrations from hundreds of organizations and businesses.  This was a great experience for our 8th graders to start thinking about their future and of being career ready.

This past weekend, I had the chance to chaperone a 6th grade trip sponsored by the James River Association to Presquile National Wildlife Refuge, where Goochland Middle School students and chaperones had an overnight experience exploring nature, being out on the James River, and getting the most hands-on learning you can imagine.  I am grateful to the James River Association for their support and we hope to continue to work with them to give more students this unique experience in the future.

Students at GMS doing water experiments on the James River

On Monday, I rode a bus route with one of our talented and dedicated drivers, Tracey Guy, to experience first hand the work our bus drivers and transportation staff do to get our kids safely to and from school each day, covering hundreds of miles across our county.  Transporting our most precious cargo each day is a job that requires skill, patience, and most importantly care for kids. Thank you to our bus drivers and transportation staff for the great work that you do every day for our students!

Dr. Raley rides a school bus

We have an exciting two weeks ahead, starting this weekend with the GHS Drama Department production of “Treasure Island” tonight, tomorrow, and Sunday.  Our Drama Department is one of many programs experiencing great success this fall.  Our defending state champion girls volleyball team clinched a spot in the regional playoffs this week,  football completed an undefeated season and will have a bye this weekend before playoffs begin next week,  Girls and boys cross country both won their conference.  Competition cheer won the conference championship, and we sent several golfers to the regional playoffs.  Congratulations to ALL of our athletic and extracurricular groups!

On Wednesday November 9, I will be announcing the winners of the inaugural GCPS Strategic Innovation Grants, all made possible through a collaboration with the school division and the Goochland Education Foundation.  Look for news on social media and on the website with information on Thursday.  Don’t forget that American Education Week is the week of November 14.  We will host several community leaders and invited guests all week at all of our schools.  All citizens are invited to visit our schools during the week of November 14 to celebrate public education in our community and recognize the exceptional work of all of our employees.  A list of the events that will be taking place can be found at this site.  We are proud to welcome you to see the great things happening in Goochland County Public Schools!

We will also hold our monthly GCPS School Board meeting this Tuesday, November 8, beginning with a policy workshop and closed session at 5, followed by the general meeting at 7:00.  All meetings will take place in the County Administration Board Room.

Please continue to stay up to date with our division’s events by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter (@glndschools) and Instagram (@goochlandschools).  Stay current with all of the great things happening in our schools at our division leadership blog at http://leadership.goochlandschools.org   Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Raley, Superintendent

It is hard to believe that we now have one quarter of the school year behind us!  This past Monday, our teachers engaged in some rejuvenating professional development to prepare for the second nine weeks, which promises to be as exciting as our first quarter.

One of my favorite activities of the past two weeks has been taking time to speak to groups of students at all of our schools.  I am impressed with the quality and depth of the honest feedback our students provide, from our middle school students at GMS to our second graders at Byrd who told me their school is “5 star” when I met with them this past Wednesday.  It is a pleasure to interact with our students, but it is also very practical.  I take the feedback I receive from our students and incorporate it into the work we do as a leadership team at the district and building level.  I look forward to continuing these conversations with students at the high school and Randolph Elementary in the days ahead.  Preparing our next generation to make a positive impact starts with listening to student voice.

Students at Byrd Elementary School

I also enjoyed working alongside our talented food service employees today as I had the opportunity to serve lunch to our students at Randolph Elementary School.  I am continually impressed by the variety and the healthy offering provided by our food service employees.  It was a privilege to have the opportunity to spend time with these dedicated employees!

Dr. Raley serves lunch at Randolph Elementary

Goochland Middle School students were featured at yesterday’s Virginia School Boards Associate “Hot Topic” conference, where they showcased their digital documentation skills for school board representatives and administrators from across the region and state.  You can see a video of their work here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2RoczxiFfSkZVJ2RXc5NkttaU0/view

In other student events, our GHS drama department, led by Mr. Burch, placed first at the James River district theatre festival this week.  Our 8th graders will attend the Mission Tomorrow event, sponsored by Chamber RVA, and join nearly 12,000 other students in the region to explore the largest interactive career exploration event the state has seen at the Richmond International Raceway next weekend.  Fall sports teams continue to excel on and off the field.  Our sportsmanship was highlighted in USA Today after the frightening on-field collision that sent three Buckingham football players to the hospital, bringing both teams together to support their fellow players and ending the game.  I am happy to report that everyone was released from the hospital the following day.  Our athletes are more than players, they are true role models on and off the field.  

We are preparing to welcome members of our community to see the great work happening in our schools during American Education Week the week of November 14!  I will have more details available on my next message about all of the activities taking place.  Check our district website, Twitter, and Facebook to stay updated on this as well as all of our happenings here in Goochland.

Did you know that our school division has an ibook?  This book, Deeper Learning by Design, details the implementation of our 1:1 technology program and our approach to use technology as a tool to enhance student’s deeper learning experiences.  Our ibook can be downloaded for FREE  by clicking here.

Our School Board and Board of Supervisors will conclude their Town Hall meetings next week on Monday, October 24 with District 1 at Byrd Elementary starting at 7:00 p.m.  All of these meetings are public and you are welcome to attend.  

Again, please continue to stay up to date with our division’s events by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter (@glndschools) and Instagram (@goochlandschools).  Stay current with all of the great things happening in our schools at our division leadership blog at http://leadership.goochlandschools.org   Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Raley, Superintendent