GCPS community,

As the excitement about beginning a new school year builds, we have received numerous calls regarding school-specific “back to school” events. Please mark your calendars for these important activities we hope you can attend:

Back to School Nights:

  • Byrd Elementary – September 17 at 5:30 PM
  • Randolph Elementary – September 10 at 6:30 PM
  • Goochland Elementary – September 19 at 6:15 PM
  • Goochland Middle – September 23 from 4:00-7:00 PM
  • Goochland High – September 26 from 4:00-7:00 PM

Other upcoming events:

  • 9th Grade Orientation at GHS on August 8, beginning at 9:00 AM
  • “Business Day” on August 14 from 3:00 – 7:00 PM at ALL SCHOOLS – All parents should consider coming to school to handle any final registration issues, potentially obtain student schedules, sign forms, and pay fees.
  • Kindergarten Orientation on August 15 at 9:00 AM
  • Eagle Evolution (6th Grade Orientation) at GMS on August 8
  • Community Day at BES on August 24 (time TBA)

Please contact your child’s principal for specifics or information about any of these and other events.  Principals will also be sending home a letter to all families later this week with even more information.

As the year progresses, each school will update an individual calendar. Division-wide events will also be updated and all calendars can be accessed here, by navigating the scroll bar on the right side of the page (you will be able to select an individual school’s calendar or view multiple calendars).  Additionally, the 180-day school calendar as approved by the school board (i.e. includes dates for Winter and Spring Breaks, etc.) is here.

Fees – the fees recently approved by the school board are included in policy JN and will be updated in the school board’s policy manual.  In the meantime, the approved fees are posted here. Activity fees are only required in grades K-12 (Pre-School students do not pay activity fees).

Elementary School Fees

Fees are waived for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch (voluntary fees may not be waived)

 

  Activity and Consumable Material Fees Voluntary Student Activities

K-5

Student Activity Fee

$10.00

5

Recorders & Workbook

$5.00

Chorus Shirts

$15.00

Middle School Fees

Fees are waived for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch (voluntary fees may not be waived)

 

  Activity and Consumable Material Fees Voluntary Student Activities

6-8

Student Activity Fee

$10.00

6-8

Band

$8.00

6-8

Gym Uniform

$15.00

  

High School Fees

Fees are waived for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch (voluntary fees may not be waived)

 

 

Activity and Consumable Material Fees

Class Dues

Voluntary Student Activities

Post-graduate classes

9-12

Student Activity Fee

$10.00

11

Class fee

$25.00

12

Class fee

$10.00

12

All Night Graduation Fee

$10.00

9-12

Art/Graphic Art Activity Fee

$10.00

9-12

Adventure Games Activity Fee

$40.00

9-12

Marching Band Fee

$100.00

9-12

Color Guard Fee

$75.00

9-12

Parking pass (1/2 price for second semester)

$75.00

9-12

Yearbook

 $45 (before 9/1) $50 (after 9/1)

9-12

AP Tests

$89.00

9-12

JSRCC dual enrollment courses

Tuition determined by and paid directly to JSRCC. Reimbursement of 50% tuition for “C” or better, maximum 2 classes/year

9-12

JSRCC College Connection Courses

Tuition determined by and paid directly to JSRCC. Reimbursement of 50% tuition for “C” or better, maximum 4 classes/year

9-12

JSRCC Career Technical Courses

Tuition determined by JSRCC and paid by GHS. Non-reimbursable tuition cost to students is $250 per semester. 

9-12

Gym Uniform

$15.00

School Breakfast and Lunch

K-5

Student Breakfast

$1.15

K-5

Student Breakfast – Reduced

$0.30

K-5

Student Lunch

$2.40

K-5

Student Lunch- Reduced

$0.40

6-12

Student Breakfast

$1.25

6-12

Student Breakfast – Reduced

$0.30

6-12

Student Lunch

$2.50

6-12

Student Lunch- Reduced

$0.40

I look forward to seeing you at these great events as we start the year off with a tremendous burst of community support!

I had the tremendous pleasure this morning of joining our leadership team in welcoming 23 new teachers to Goochland County. We began in the new Community Room of JSRCC. After we all introduced ourselves, we engaged in an interactive discussion about our newly defined core values.

New GCPS teachers discuss the division’s core values during New Teacher Academy at JSRCC.

New Teacher Academy continues through the week, providing folks new to our division with an opportunity to meet colleagues, establish a great relationship with a veteran mentor, and develop their role with the organization. Wednesday the group meets at the Science Museum to do continue the orientation and enjoy some creativity.

I’m thrilled to partner with these new colleagues to look forward to a year of maximizing the potential of every learner.

New teachers, welcome to Goochland!

I’m thrilled to join GHS principal, Mike Newman, in announcing to our community that the Marine JROTC program will be coming to Goochland High School next year! You may have been following our pursuit of this wonderful opportunity for our students. The application process was involved and extremely competitive and I give credit to Mr. Newman, Mr. DeWeerd, Mr. Watson for leading this tremendous effort and bring our division to top priority through the process.

There will be significant planning that will take place throughout the school year. The program will officially open for students at the start of the 2014-15 school year and will foster a deeper connection with the values that undergird our strategic plan. Students will have a multitude of opportunities to participate in activities that teach discipline, critical thinking and collaboration. There is a unique community service component as well that will enable students to exercise leadership skills and contribute to the improvement of their school and greater communities as well.

Thank you again to Mr. Newman. We look forward to including this exceptional program in our division’s offerings.

I had the opportunity this week to share a morning with some extraordinary educators in one of John Hendron’s summer tech classes. This one was specifically designed to enhance our ability to navigate Keynote and create more powerful, memorable presentations.

As always, John was stellar. The class was engaging and I learned a ton – namely:

  • It cannot be said enough: less is always much, much more when designing slides. There’s nothing worse than a presentation in which someone reads a heavy-print slide to a heavy-laden audience…
  • Look for themes in your graphics. Catchy, provocative images are useful – and always better than text – but they should, themselves, tell a story. Try to integrate them around a theme.
  • Change is good. Don’t be afraid to use the transition effects to enhance your audience’s  reception of your points, especially where bullets are concerned. Having key words dance behind you onto a tastefully sparse screen while you elaborate from your own anecdotes is energizing for your audience. Don’t just throw up a bulleted list – make it artistic.

I’m looking forward to my next presentation, putting to work the great tips I picked up from this class. We are fortunate in GCPS to have access to such exemplary training.

Thanks, John!

One of the topics that finds its way into so many of our strategic planning and mission/vision conversations this year is the idea of what Seymore Papert calls, “Hard Fun.” A few nights ago, during a school board work session on the strategic plan, the superintendent voiced what our leadership team espouses so passionately, that we want learning to be fun.

I’ve attended meetings in the past where people have been skeptical of public school classrooms, especially given the more recent emphasis on creative strategies and a de-emphasis on “sage-on-the-stage” lecture. I join the superintendent in hoping to capture the hearts and minds of our students in lessons that are, indeed, fun.

But it isn’t entertainment we’re after. We aren’t trying to appease children or sidestep the necessary disciplines that students need to adopt as they develop character and learn responsible citizenship. On the contrary. Hard fun in the classroom actually requires those disciplines and helps to establish them, much moreso that its over-worn counterparts from yesteryear.

Hard fun indicates that students are hooked by a fascination and determination that leads them to pour themselves into what they’re learning. If you’ve ever seen a young child relentlessly trying to set the last block on top[ of a staggering tower of several previously lain blocks, you’ll recognize the relentless persistence that accompanies hard fun. It isn’t entertainment. It isn’t easy.

It’s engaging.

That’s what we’re after. We’re looking for instruction that causes children to call their work “fun” because it’s hard rather than in spite of being hard…