Goochland High School Graduates

 

College Preparation Workshop

  • For Students in Grades 6 thru 12 & their Parents Presented by CAPUP/Project Discovery-Powhatan & Goochland
  • Saturday, March 4, 2017
  • Second Union Baptist Church, 2843 Hadensville-Fife Road, Goochland, VA
  • 8:45 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Topics

  • The Advantages of Attending Community College (JSRCC) and the College’s Transfer Agreement with the Four (4) YearUniversities – Dr. C. Booker, EdS, JSRCC’s Recruitment Coordinator
  • Show Me the Money & More About Financial Aid – Ms. T. Robinson, M.Ed., State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV)
  • College Admission Basics – Mr. K. Jenkins, Director, The College Place – Richmond
  • College Life … “What I Wish I Knew Then That I Know Now “ – Panel of College Students
To RSVP and For More Information Contact: Deloris Shelton at 804.690.8786 orDShelton@capup.org

With our three day President’s Day weekend upon us and only a little over three months of school remaining in the 2016-2017 school year, this is a great time to reflect on the recent progress and accomplishments of our students and staff.

This past Tuesday’s School Board meeting featured several recognitions of the great work of our division.  Our students continue to amaze me!  At Goochland Middle School, Caroline Webb was recognized for earning the  Prudential Spirit of Community Award and Ashley Thompson was designated the Be Strong representative for bullying prevention for Virginia.  Also making an appearance from GMS were the Tiger Trackers robotics team, who competed at the state Lego Robotics competition and have incorporated environmental awareness and cross-curricular connections into their collaboration this year.  Mr. Frago’s students from his Modern Smarts after school club even brought in the “augmented reality sandbox” to give our School Board an up close, hands-on experience with this incredible example of deeper learning, collaboration, and student-led work.

School Board Members view the A R Sandbox

Also recognized at the February School Board meeting were two of our outstanding staff members, Goochland Middle School teacher Anne Moore, whose partnership with VCU in environmental education was cited in the VCU annual report, and Goochland High School teacher and head football coach Joe Fowler, who was recognized for his work in the classroom with the W!SE Blue Star distinction for success on the financial literacy assessment and for his work on the field, which earned him the Division 1A, 2A, and Private School Coach of the Year.  Thank you Mrs. Moore and Mr. Fowler for your dedication to our students!  

February is a month of important recognitions in schools nationwide.  We recognized our school counselors earlier this month for National School Counselor’s Week for their tireless work with all of our students.  Our school counselors connect with every child, every year and cover everything from scheduling and course requests to crisis situations to college applications and much more.  We also recognized our School Board and Diane Bennett, our School Board Clerk, as part of the Virginia School Board Association School Board and Board Clerk Appreciation activities.  The five members of our School Board are deeply committed to ensuring that GCPS continues to distinguish itself as an innovative and responsible division.  Their thoughtful support of our work in teaching and learning confirms that.  Thank you Goochland County School Board!

February is also Career and Technical Education month.  The highlight of our CTE recognition took place last Saturday at our annual Conundrum Day, where students and teachers from across the district spent their weekend morning working to solve complex problems with limited resources with teamwork.  Students at Goochland High School will be celebrating National FFA Week next week and will be visited by the leadership of the Virginia FFA.

With spring sports tryouts just around the corner we want to celebrate the accomplishments of our winter teams who had another banner season.  GHS swim sent several individuals and teams to the state finals this week in Christiansburg.  Both boys and girls basketball teams had a successful year and Bryan Herrera was our first wrestler to advance to the state finals.  In a GHS sports moment more important than results, senior basketball player Jack Twombly, with the support of Coach A.J. Nash and his teammates, raised over $3,100 for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in honor of his mother, Joan, who passed away last November.  Jack’s work makes us all proud here in Goochland!

In fine arts, I had a chance to attend the sold out production of Willy Wonka at Goochland Middle School and was beyond impressed with the skills of our cast and crew and the professional, first-rate job of GHS student director Tevin Davis.  Congratulations to all of our student athletes and performers for a great winter.

Please take a look at my latest blog entries at http://leadership.goochlandschools.org/ for details about our 2017-2018 operating budget and 2017-2018 school calendar.  You can also find details about the many events taking place this month to celebrate Black History Month in all of our schools.  Don’t forget that Monday, February 20 is a student holiday and professional day with parent conferences beginning at 4 p.m.  Students should not report to school.

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.  We are looking forward to seeing you at GCPS events in the near future. Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Raley, Superintendent

 

There has been a lot taking place over the past several weeks as we have been working to develop our proposed budget for next year.  Much of this work concluded with action taken by the School Board at their meeting last night.  I wanted to provide you with a summary of their action.

Budget

I am excited to inform you that last night our School Board approved the 2017-2018 Operating Budget for Goochland County Public Schools.  This operating budget is a culmination of months of collaboration and dialogue among staff, community members, and our School Board.  I am excited for what it will allow us to do to continue the great work of our division as we continually work to inspire our next generation to make a positive impact and maximize the potential of every learner.  

This proposed budget will be presented to the Goochland County Board of Supervisors at their next meeting on February 21.  It reinforces our commitment to quality instruction and efficient operations within our division.  Among the highlights are raises for all employees, including a revised teacher salary scale, that will place Goochland County at or above the median salary at all pay levels for teachers in the central Virginia region.  These raises are not offset by an increase in health care costs, as we were able to maintain our competitive benefits without any premium increase for this year. We are very happy to take care of our great teachers and staff in this manner.

Our budget also provides funding to add several instructional positions, including additional support in mathematics, added computer science classes, and an instructional technology coach, who will serve students and teachers in modeling deeper, engaged learning as we move into our first year of our one to one laptop initiative at the high school.  Our budget will also add preschool instructors and a gifted resource teacher at the secondary complex to meet the needs of our middle and high students.  

We are able to accomplish these and several other goals in our balanced 2017-2018 operating budget with thoughtful work in evaluating current programming, abandoning practices that have outlived their usefulness, and gathering feedback from all stakeholders.  Links to an executive summary of the approved budget and additional detail can be found on the School Board’s February 14 meeting agenda.

School Board Streaming Update

Recently, school divisions across the nation have been cited by the U.S. Department of Education and the Office for Civil Rights for a failure to provide adequate accessibility to individuals with disabilities on school and school division websites.  Our staff, led by Dr. John Hendron, has worked to make our website a model in accessibility so that all of our viewers can easily access the information we make available.  We have been working with the Office for Civil Rights for feedback as we continue to monitor our online presence and ensure accessibility.

Unfortunately, the requirements for accessibility to bring our current live streaming application of our Goochland County School Board meetings into compliance are cost and labor prohibitive.  The ongoing, annual cost of streaming and archiving video that is accessible using closed captioning was over $10,000.  Viewership statistics also indicate that the live stream has dwindled in usage in the past few years.  The Board has decided that these funds can be better used in support of our instructional initiatives.  Our School Board and staff have discussed several alternatives to the current streaming service that will accomplish the goals of maintaining transparency while still meeting the accessibility requirements of the Office for Civil Rights.

We will continue to make all of our meeting agendas available at our website, which includes links to all available presentations and documents.  Meetings are, of course, open to the public.  Citizens and staff are welcome to attend.  In lieu of our live streaming, which ended with yesterday evening’s live stream, we will post detailed minutes of each School Board meeting online once they are approved by the Board.  We regret to have to end the live stream but the usage data clearly indicated that the cost could not be justified, and we are confident that our meetings will continue to operate in the same spirit of transparency that has defined the work of our School Board for the past five years.  

Calendar

Our School Board approved the 2017-2018 GCPS School Calendar at yesterday evening’s meeting.  Our calendar has been developed and reviewed by instructional staff, parents, and division staff in cooperation with the School Board, and I am excited that our calendar will provide our staff with the much-needed time to collaborate, plan, and grow through more frequent staff development and planning time.  The approved calendar is reflective of our division’s leadership as an innovative school division as we capitalize upon our instructional time for learning by reducing the frequency of assessments delivered to students.  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.  Additionally, the approved calendar will maintain many of the traditional timelines for starting school, holiday breaks, and the last day of school that have been a part of past calendars.  The approved 2017-2018 calendar can be found here.  Highlights are below:

  • August 7 – New Teachers Report
  • August 14 – All Teacher Report
  • August 21 – First Day of School
  • October 23 – Parent Conferences
  • November 22 to 24 – Thanksgiving Holiday
  • December 20 to January 1 – Winter Break
  • April 2 to April 6 – Spring Break
  • June 5 – Last day of School

Thank you for everything that you do to support and make a difference in our community’s future, our students.  I am thankful and grateful for your investment of time, effort, and energy!

On Tuesday of this week, I presented the School Board with a balanced, needs-based budget that provides the personnel and resources that will move our school division forward on our journey to maximize the potential of every learner.  The initiatives outlined in this proposed budget align with our strategic plan and are aimed at maintaining our position as a leader in the Commonwealth.

The full presentation is available here.  However, I wanted to provide you with a summary of the different aspects of the proposal.

Goal 1:  Prepared for Life through Deeper Learning

  • 1 Teacher at Goochland High School to start a computer science program (.5 FTE) and to provide additional instruction to students in geometry and algebra I (.5 FTE)
  • Stipends for 4 additional teachers to work as curriculum innovators in the summer to develop project based lessons for teachers to utilize as a resource in planning engaging and authentic learning experiences for students
  • 1 Instructional Technology Resource Coach for the secondary complex
  • 1 Instructional Technology Resource Coach for Byrd Elementary School
  • 1 Technology Support Technician
  • Re-structure of preschool program to offer more opportunities for students in need
  • Increase in school-based allocations for materials and supplies to schools
  • Funding for the athletic program at Goochland Middle School
  • Funding for increased tuition at Governor’s Schools
  • Funding for continuation of Strategic Innovation Grants
  • Continuation of Veterinary Technician program for the second year
  • iPad leases

Goal 2:  Improved School Climate – Attract and retain quality teachers and staff

The proposed budget includes the funding needed for a total compensation package for our employees that is competitive in our region.  This will help us to retain the incredibly talented professionals we currently have, and to attract exceptional candidates when vacancies occur.  A proposed revision to the teacher salary scale is recommended for next year that allows our salaries to exceed the current median for our market at steps 0-20.  This is a transparent salary scale that has a structure that includes definitive increments in pay from step 0-24.  This structure will allow teachers to be able to easily identify what their salary will be in future years with a year of successful performance.  The proposed salary scale is found on slides 47 and 48. Teachers at steps 25 and above will receive a 1.75% increase to their current salary.

In addition to a revision to the teacher salary scale that is competitive in our labor market, this proposal includes a 1.75% across the board raise for all non-teaching staff.  Additionally, there is no proposed increase in out of pocket health insurance costs to employees who choose our high deductible plan or our $500 deductible plan (slide 51).  As a result, the benefits of the proposed salary increases are not negatively offset by an increase in health insurance premiums.  

One further employee benefit that is outlined in the proposed budget is a reduction in the cost of tuition charged for students of our employees that live outside of our county.  This proposal includes a reduction from $1,250 currently charged to $800 next year, a savings of $450 per year for our employees.  This decrease to our employees is offset by a proposed increase to families of non-resident students who are not employed by Goochland County by $500 per year.

In all, the total cost to the school division for the proposed salary scale revision for teachers, raises for non-teaching staff, health insurance increases, and mandated increases for the Virginia Retirement System is proposed to be $827,718 for next year.

Goal 3 – Safe Schools with Effective Management

  • Stipend for a webmaster at each school to increase accessibility to all viewers
  • Closed captioning of archived School Board meeting video in order to comply with Federal regulations
  • Contracted services to support our special education program
  • Online safety training resources for employees
  • Support for division food service program
  • Process for washing exterior of school buses
  • Preparation for 1:1 implementation at high school with higher summer 2017 technical staffing costs
  • Increase software costs for personnel evaluation and other software subscriptions

In addition to the personnel resources and programs identified for us to accomplish our strategic objectives as outlined above, this proposed budget includes opportunities for us to re-purpose and reallocate current resources by abandoning specific practices and processes, thus allowing us to use the funds previously allocated to these practices to fund our strategic needs.  Some of these are outlined on slide 65.  Other reductions include:

  • Restructuring summer school offerings
  • Abandoning the practice of reimbursing $150 for students who pass dual enrollment classes with the exception of students taking English (we will continue to pay full tuition to all students who demonstrate a financial need).
  • Consolidating 3 current bus routes with minimal ridership without negatively impacting space on routes and travel time
  • Reducing legal budget
  • Savings from utilizing a different process for background checks
  • Utility savings
  • Eliminating specific contracts

In all, the proposed budget for next year includes additional expenditures in the amount of $1,045,712.  Overall, 70% of next year’s budgeted expenditures will be focused on our instructional program with another 8% in Technology, the majority of which are instructional costs (1:1 devices, classroom software, technology resource coaches – slide 76).  These additional expenditures are offset by new revenue from state, Federal, and local sources with a proposed increase in funding from the Goochland County Board of Supervisors in the amount of $670,000 for a total of $21,830,000.  This equates to an increase in local support of 3.2%.

Through our budget process, there were programmatic and personnel needs that have been identified, but are currently unfunded in this proposal.  These needs were given very careful consideration.  If additional revenue is available in the future, the following needs have risen to the next level of funding priority for future consideration (slide 87):

  • Additional half-time teacher for HS math
  • School testing/ACA/Dual enrollment coordinator for GHS/GMS
  • Secondary gifted resource teacher
  • Administrative Intern stipends
  • Funding for fine arts program (uniforms & instruments) at GHS
  • Funding for flexible furniture options division-wide
  • Compensation increase for all staff not on teacher salary scale from 1.75% to 2%

In summary, this proposed spending plan for next year provides the resources to support our journey toward continued excellence as we ensure that we are providing ALL of our students with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities that are so crucial for students to become successful members of a modern global community.

Several public meetings will be taking place in the coming weeks as the School Board and the Board of Supervisors make final budget decisions for next year.

  • 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.  

I hope that you are able to attend.  Thank you for everything that you do to make a positive difference in the lives of our students!

 

 

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.

Superintendent

 

    

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