The Data Quality Campaign today announced Goochland County Public Schools (GCPS) is the winner of the 2015 Flashlight Awards for District Data Use. The award recognizes one school district a year for its use of data to answer questions, empower educators, and transparently communicate with parents and the public.

“We are pleased to honor Goochland County Public Schools for creating a culture in which education data are used as a tool to empower parents and educators,” said Aimee Rogstad Guidera, president and CEO of the Data Quality Campaign. “Goochland leaders and teachers are now using data to help make the best decisions possible in the greatest interest of each student.”

Data are much more likely to be used—and to be used well—when they meet the needs of teachers, families, and the community. In light of this, GCPS’s three-tier approach to measuring student progress—student academic growth, social-emotional measures, and school climate—was created in collaboration with parents, school leaders, and the community. The district then crafted an action plan with key benchmarks and a data system to support and report their progress.

GCPS’s roadmap to student data success relied heavily on professional development and data literacy training for school leaders and teachers. District leaders rolled out their data-driven initiative slowly, to give teachers an opportunity to reflect, respond, and ask questions. They also specifically emphasized that data would be used as a “flashlight and not a hammer” to help teachers improve their impact on students success.

“Our culture is one of trust. We’re going to check our egos at the door and use this data to maximize the potential of every student,” said GCPS superintendent Dr. James F. Lane. “It’s a totally different conversation when you can peel away to a deeper level of detail, to help a parent really understand what their child needs to work on, as opposed to that they just need help in general.”

Today, Goochland teachers are better equipped to individualize instruction for students, driving their continued success and resulting in high levels of academic success for students. GCPS is 1 of 22 school divisions—out of the 132 in Virginia—to have had 100 percent of schools reaching full state 2014-15 accreditation.

Goochland Middle School’s Anne Moore has been invited to join a diverse group of key education leaders for a climate education event that will also be live-streamed.
On Thursday, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is hosting a special Back-to-School Climate Education Event from 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM. We are so proud to have our very own Ms. Moore at the table, included in teh discussion and impacting education on a national level! For this event, OSTP will welcome approximately 200 participants – including exceptional high school students, educators, and key leaders in the education community from government, academia, philanthropies, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. Presentations will demonstrate new and innovative ways to increase climate-learning opportunities for students and to equip educators with science-based information and resources. The program will consist of an interactive climate “assembly,” fireside chats with senior officials, demonstrations of new free online educational resources, and a panel featuring outstanding student leaders. From 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM EDT on Thursday, August 20, you’re invited to tune in to the livestream of the Back-to-School Climate Education Event.

Please join me in congratulating Robin Powers, GCPS Accounting Technician, who recently completed all certification requirements through the VA Institute of Procurement to become a Virginia Contracting Associate. The certification requires a rigorous program of classroom instruction and a comprehensive exam.

Through this certification Robin has demonstrated an exemplary knowledge of procurement law, regulation and policy and has positioned GCPS to reach even higher levels of excellence in purchasing.

We applaud Mrs. Powers, pictured below with GCPS Director of Finance, Debbie White, for her commitment to excellence in public purchasing!

Robin Powers, left, with Debbie White.

The Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) has released its 19th annual VSBA Showcases for Success directory, highlighting successful K-12 programs in Virginia’s public schools. Featured programs fit within one of two categories –Virtual/Blended Learning and Career & Technical Education.

Goochland has been specifically recognized for three programs, the 1:1 mobile device initiative, Goochland Middle School STEM partnership with VCU, and JASON Learning project. Full descriptions of the programs are available here.

“In addition to highlighting some of the best practices taking place in Virginia’s schools, the Showcases for Success directory can serve as a starting point to develop similar programs in other school divisions,” said Gina G. Patterson, VSBA executive director.

“We are extremely proud of our inclusion in the ‘showcases’ document,” remarked Bruce Watson, Director of Career and Technical Education. “Goochland’s approach to implementing these initiatives will be an excellent model for other divisions hoping to develop similar programs.”

For more information about the VSBA Showcases for Success, contact Gina Patterson, VSBA executive director, at gina@vsba.org or434-295-8722.