Dear Elementary Families,

On behalf of the GCPS team, we hope your family had a restful, happy holiday season.  We’re looking forward to an engaging, productive spring semester and a successful 2020 for our students, families, and professional educators.

This month, once again, Goochland County Public Schools will be embarking on a special project, a division-wide book club called Goochland Reads.  Goochland Reads is a unique program that provides elementary children at all grade levels with the opportunity to share the same book over the same time period.

Our Goochland Reads committee selected a title that can be followed, understood, and enjoyed by younger students, but that will still captivate older children.  As the centerpiece of the program, every elementary school family will receive a copy of this same book and will be asked to share the literacy experience during the month of January.  This year’s selection is The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin.  The title was announced at a special school-wide assembly introducing the program and the book today, and your child should have come home with his/her very own copy.  Families can also find a shared community reading schedule by clicking this link.  Generally, you are asked to read one chapter each night—about 10-15 minutes.  We hope that you will find the time to participate in this special activity focused on community and the importance of literacy.

Reading aloud at home is incredibly valuable as it helps develop a strong foundation for all learning, as well as models lifelong literacy; moreover, it’s a fun, worthwhile family activity!  With the Goochland Reads program, we aim to build a community of readers across our elementary school communities.  Everyone—students, parents, teachers, bus drivers, and administrative staff—will be participating.

In school, your child will be engaged in literary discussions and invited to answer daily comprehension questions to encourage and celebrate participation.  We encourage you to make sure your family participates so your child can fully participate.  You will find that your child will take pride in knowing and anticipating the details of the story.  Throughout the month, everyone will be talking about the book!

Good luck!  We hope to talk with both you and your child about the book throughout the next few weeks.  When an entire school division reads a book, there’s a lot to talk about.  With your help, we will strengthen a community of readers in Goochland!

Does your child’s anxiety or perfectionism cause you concern?  Is he or she stressed about grades, homework, acceptance into a program and/or university?

Students of all ages appear to be experiencing the effects of increasing pressures and demands from all directions.  Parents and educators worry about how to help children navigate their world.  Please join us to hear from an acclaimed, nationally-recognized expert on this topic.  Dr. Tracy Cross has presented hundreds of times all over the world on this topic … and he’s coming to Goochland!



We will host an information night for families interested in learning about three of our advanced high school programs on Monday, October 28 at 6:30PM in the Goochland High School auditorium: Advance College Academy (ACA), Blue Ridge Virtual Governor’s School (BRVGS), and Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School (MLWGS).  Goochland County Public Schools team members will be joined by officials from J. Sergeant Reynolds Community College, BRVGS, and MLWGS to provide an overview of each program and answer questions.

The information night will be tailored to families with students in grades 4-8, though it’s open to anyone interested in learning more about these programs.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Our learning walks are the next step in our seven-year commitment to the instructional rounds methodology: a model borrowed from the medical profession aimed at better connecting division leadership to the important work taking place in our classrooms every day.  The backdrop for our original efforts in 2012 was Elizabeth City’s book entitled Instructional Rounds in Education.

While our “rounds” approach to date has been designed primarily for division administrators, we are evolving our model to one focused on teachers visiting other teachers.  It seems so common sense, but the reality is the education profession is not naturally conducive to peer-to-peer learning during the vast majority of the instructional year.  Simply, teachers are busy doing great work with students and have little to no time to see their peers in action.  Our learning walks will provide the structure and support necessary to make it possible. 

Each set of “walks” will be followed immediately by a team reflection, which will be facilitated by our instructional coaches.  It’s during this portion of the school visit that team members will have the opportunity to process their own learning, articulate observations and interactions, and learn from one another.  From start to finish, our learning walks will be non-evaluative—their singular objective being to improve teaching and learning in Goochland by providing our teachers with the opportunity to learn from other teachers at work.  

This year’s learning walks will take place per the following:

Wednesday, September 25, 8:30-10:30AM

Host Sites: Byrd Elementary School & Randolph Elementary School

Wednesday, October 23, 8:30-10:30AM

Host Sites: Goochland Elementary School & Goochland Middle School

Wednesday, February 26, 8:30-10:30AM

Host Sites: Randolph Elementary School & Goochland High School

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Kindergarten registration for the 2019-20 school year will take place Thursday, April 11.

Families may register at any of our three elementary schools between the hours of 8AM and 7PM.  If completing registration on this date (or time) is not possible for your family, please give the school a call and arrange an alternate date/time as close to April 11 as possible.

Byrd Elementary School – (804) 556-5380

Goochland Elementary School – (804) 556-5321

Randolph Elementary School – (804) 556-5385

Please find further details for our kindergarten registration process here: English version; Spanish version.

GCPS participates in a unified regional effort to host registration on the same date; this year that date is Thursday, April 11.  Smart Beginnings of Greater Richmond (SBGR) has led the way in bringing together 15 school divisions in the metro Richmond area in an effort to streamline the process as well as the advertising in advance of the event.  SBGR has also put together some excellent resources for families that can be accessed here via their website.

We look forward to welcoming your family to the GCPS family!


For the seventh consecutive year, we would like to recognize and thank our STEM Advisory Committee for making Conundrum Day happen for our students.  This year’s event promises to be the best yet!

Students will participate in a morning full of exciting hands-on experiences focused on problem solving, critical thinking, and engineering.

Grades K-2 & 3-5, Exploring Extreme Weather

Teams will explore extreme weather conditions and participate in a design challenge that provides an eye opening perspective on factors that contribute to unforgettable weather.        

Grades 6-8, An Adventurous Escape

Teams will rely on critical thinking and teamwork to make their way out of escape challenges that will push them to think waaaaaaay outside the box.

Registration is available through this form or via our schools’ websites.

7th Annual Conundrum Day

Saturday, March 9


Goochland Middle School

– FREE –

School Bus Transportation Available on Abbreviated Routes

Preregistration is Required

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

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

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

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

African-American History Museum

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

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

Celebrations and Contributions of Famous African Americans

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

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

Explorations of Contributions: Famous African Americans

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

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

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

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

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

African-American Legacies

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