The Career and Technical Education Department is seeking community input about current and possible future CTE courses at Goochland Middle School and Goochland High School.  The survey will be available from now until November 20th, 2015.  The survey consists of approximately 10 questions and should take less than 15 minutes to complete.

Click here to access this survey.

The information will help the CTE department with program evaluation and help identify future needs within CTE.  Please note that no identifiable information will be gathered or used. The survey is completely anonymous.


Congratulations to the following GHS students who are participating in the Congressional Art Competition through Congressman Brat’s office:

  • Gracie Jones
  • Shelby Greenburg
  • Campbell Ferguson

There will be a  reception at Capital One at West Creek to honor these students and display their artwork.

Well done Bulldogs!

GCPS staff & families,

This is a reminder that the student holiday originally scheduled for March 23rd will now be a regular instructional day, in accordance with the 2014-15 school calendar. Parent-teacher conferences will still be held on March 23rd at each school from 4:30 to 7:00PM. This is a great opportunity to dialog with your child’s teachers about his or her progress in school.

You may remember the inspiring collaboration that began last year between RES 4th grade students and GHS seniors. The two groups partnered to build a beautiful courtyard at RES, do some student mentoring and tutoring, and begin work on the GHS courtyard as well.

That partnership has continued to flourish. This month Mrs. Gates and Mrs. Yearout-Patton will be visiting the Executive Mansion in Richmond with their seniors and 4th graders. The teachers have worked through Delegate Peter Farrell who has been most impressed with the professionalism of the teachers and students.

We look forward to sharing pictures and news from the students’ tour later this month!



The Byrd Robotics Team had an incredible weekend in Harrisonburg at the 3rd Annual First Lego League Competition! They arrived in Harrisonburg Friday evening, ate together as a team and then headed to downtown Harrisonburg to march in the Christmas parade!

The team competed against 69 other teams in Division 1 on Saturday and Sunday all day at JMU. They enjoyed the JMU dining hall experience and classes at the campus as well. The team did a great job all weekend in all of their events.

Channel 12 covered the event here.

Our heartfelt congratulations to the BES Robotics Team members and community!

Community rallies support for the BES Robotics Team before the competition in Harrisonburg!

I cannot believe it was an accident when I encountered Ms. Hall’s interactive obstacle course at Byrd Elementary School just moments after hearing Dr. Peter Gray’s provocative talk on “The Decline of Play.”

Gray, a research professor and author of Free to Learn, asserts that play – free, expressive interaction necessary to learning – has been sacrificed to what he calls a “schoolish view of child development.” Take a look at about 6:50 into the video:

A “schoolish” view. It’s offensive. And he’s right.

He refers to the myth that kids learn best when they learn from adults, period. And he attributes that to a widespread philosophy at work in schools, spreading now deeper beyond the classroom walls into the rest of a child’s world. All decreasing the importance – and availability – of play.

And he says play is necessary to learning. Watch the video, read his book – and agree or disagree.

Having spent 26 years in this field and raising three of my own, I agree without hesitation. Kids learn a great deal when they are free to play, to roam, to explore, to create, to question, to wonder.

Imagine the wash of comfort I experienced when I encountered Karen Hall’s Halloween maze, designed to incorporate creativity, collaboration and kinesthetic strategy into a smorgasbord of what would invariably be seriously fun for Dr. Papert.

Ah yes, I remember. Goochland is different.

I’m reminded of our deep commitment to personalized learning in Goochland. Our pledge to strive for engagement – not entertainment – but the kind of involvement in learning whereby kids become resilient, persistent, and gritty, committed to their work, co-designers of lessons.

Our work to build authentic assessments that are truly formative.

Thank you, Ms Hall.

May fun be “hard” for our students. And let them play on…





From today’s Press Release:

Goochland was one of 22 school divisions of the 132 in Virginia to have 100% of its schools earn full state accreditation.  This compares to 36 such school divisions last year and 87 the year before, during which both years Goochland maintained full accreditation.

“I’m so proud of our results,” said James Lane, Goochland superintendent. “Our school community has worked diligently and focused on the right things. This accreditation validates our focus on maximizing every learner’s potential.”

Goochland is in the top 3 regionally in all core academic areas (reading, writing, mathematics, science, and history) based on overall achievement as measured by the state’s SOL tests in grades 3-12.  For a second consecutive year, Goochland was #1 regionally in writing achievement. The division is especially proud of this recognition.

“Writing is the only one of the state testing areas that requires students to think critically and demonstrate understanding through the development of an original  product, “ explained Stephen Geyer, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. “In this case it’s a piece of writing. All other state assessments are generally multiple-choice in nature.”

Goochland also finished in the top 3 in all areas when compared with the top 10 highest funded school divisions in Virginia (based on per pupil expenditure).  Goochland’s per pupil expenditure ranks the division 57th of 132 in spending in the state.  More specifically, Goochland’s state ranks in achievement and per pupil expenditure are as follows:

 Area: State Rank: Percentage:

  •  Reading 13th Top 9.8%
  •  Writing 7th Top 5.3%
  •  Math 9th Top 6.8%
  •  History 19th Top 14.4%
  •  Science 16th Top 12.1%
  •  Per Pupil Expenditure 57th Top 43.2%

Advance Placement (AP) results are also on the rise at Goochland High School.  Sixty-seven percent of students tested received a score of 3 or higher during the 2013-14 school year.  That’s up from 55% the year before and 33% the year before that.  Goochland’s 67% “AP pass rate” is higher than both the state (65%) and global (61%) “pass rate.”

Finally, Goochland High School’s graduation rate is 95%, far outpacing the state and regional graduation rate, as well as the benchmark for state and federal accreditation.

Having focused on student engagement and maximization of individual student academic growth, we are thrilled to report that Goochland was a top performer on last spring’s SOL tests. We were the top scorer in the region on the writing test, and second in reading, math and history – 3rd in science.

Read the full press release here.

This confirms our belief that a focus on pedagogy and improved relationships with our students with a passion for seeing every learner grow academically is of utmost importance. And scores on achievement tests, such as the SOL’s, will reflect that commitment to excellent instruction.

Great work, GCPS community!

Since receiving the wonderful news of the two GHS students to be admitted to the Cochrane Summer Economics Institute, another Bulldog has been selected for this distinguished opportunity!

Chase Doczi is the third GCPS student to have been chosen to attend this institute, joining J.T. Massey and Meghan Edwards.

Only 35 rising seniors have been chosen from among the entire Greater Richmond area. This is an incredible honor for these three scholars as well as the Goochland community. Not only to have students participate, but to have multiple students in a given year chosen during such a competitive process speaks volumes about these students’ commitment to excellence and the support they’ve been given by their GHS teachers and parents.

We look forward to learning more about their experience at the Institute and the internship this summer.