Perrone Robotics, a company located in Charlottesville, VA that develops infrastructure software, hosted the Byrd Elementary Robotics Team on October 9th. Students learned from experts in the field how technology can be used to support the design and creation of robotics and automation vehicles.

“It was a great experience!” exclaimed BES teacher, Glenda Hawk. “The students represented the school and division so well, asking thoughtful questions and displaying gracious professionalism.”

With special emphasis on safety in designing autonomous vehicles, the Byrd Team was able to ask questions and share their own solution for their First lego League challenge. They met “Tommy II,” a robotic car and even attempted to outbeat the laser of the security system developed by Perrone!

“The Goochland STEM program represents such a well focused program,” said Richard Carchman, member of Goochland’s STEM Advisory Committee. “How rewarding to see this robotics team of elementary children joyfully stretching their minds.”

The story made the front page of Charlottesville’s Daily Progress.

Charlottesville paper, The Daily Progress, features BES students on the front page this weekend.

We welcome GHS principal, Mike Newman, who contributed this blog post highlighting our high school’s recent inclusion in Virginia Living magazine’s Top High Schools list.

From Mr. Newman:

The October 2014 edition of Virginia Living magazine arrived this week. Among the stories included is one highlighting the state of education and “Featuring Top High Schools and Colleges.” Goochland High School is noted on page 123 in a section focused on science, math and technology.

The Virginia Living magazine writes, “Goochland High School’s recently expanded career and technical education program will offer 10 new courses this fall. A renovation of the CTE facility at the school includes new heavy-duty equipment; a simulator on loan from Luck Stone (a producer of crushed stone, sand and gravel) for the heavy-duty equipment operations program, kitchens for its culinary arts program, a new health science lab and a USMC JROTC facility.”

Many thanks to all who have contributed and helped to make this happen and to the Virginia Living magazine for including GHS in its article on top high schools.

Go Bulldogs!

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!

This past Friday, Saturday and Sunday the Goochland Middle School Technology Student Association (TSA) team competed at the state conference.  Over 2,000 students participated in the event and it was a great experience for our team.  Four students attended the conference and as a team entered the Junior Solar Sprint event.  Students designed and constructed a solar-powered model car using a specific motor and solar panel.  The students put in countless hours after school designing and problem solving. They used unique industry software to draw their design and used the Maker Bot 3D printer to make their design a reality.

Out of 20 total entries, the team of sixth graders ranked 5th: Hunter Clark, James DeLouche, Austin Payne and Conner Speight .

TSA is a extremely competitive event and even placing top ten at the state conference is a huge milestone that can often take several years for a chapter to accomplish.  We offer our sincere congratulations to these students and their teacher, Mr. Bouwens, on this amazing success!

The second annual Insights Conference, “Bridging the Data Divide,” will be held on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at the Hilton Richmond Hotel & Conference Center. Our superintendent, James Lane, will serve as a panelist!

The conference will open at 8:00 AM with registration, networking, and a demonstration of the Virginia Longitudinal Data System (VLDS). Sessions will run from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM with a break for lunch. The latest agenda is available here:

Goochland Superintendent, James Lane, will serve as a panelist at the Center for Innovation Technology’s Insights Conference June 24 at the Richmond Hilton Hotel & Conference Center

Speakers will include Aneesh Chopra, Virginia’s former Secretary of Technology, who also was appointed by President Obama as the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer, and Karen Jackson, the newly appointed Secretary of Technology for the Commonwealth. Registration for participants and speakers is now open.

Early bird registration of $75 is available until May 15, 2014 and a block of rooms is available. Registration and additional information can be found here: We hope to see you on June 24, 2014!

We want to share an exciting upcoming event called Ability Olympics where EVERYONE can be an Athlete! The event is for individuals with any disabilities ages 8- 22. The mission is to empower individuals by giving them the chance to compete and learn in a challenging and successful athletic environment. During this event, participants will have opportunities to sign up/compete in three different activity sessions showcasing a variety of activities. Participants get an opportunity to experience the life of an athlete. In addition, participants will get an opportunity to try sports/activities that peak their interest, but possibly have never tried. Each participant will be assigned a one on one mentor who will support him or her and his or her family throughout the day (i.e. during each event) and become his or her biggest fan! Sibling events and kids zone for young children also available.

The event is April 25-26th and kicks off Friday night with a social dance/meet and greet event. Families, participants, JMU students, and other volunteers will interact/get to know one another. Disability organizations will be present to share information, products, and resources.

Saturday’s all day event highlights sport opportunities for all different levels and abilities. Conducting sessions by classification or individual heats accommodates a wide range of involvement and ability. The list below provides examples of the activities that will be offered.

  • Aquatics and Track/Field Events (competing by classification: Orthopedic; Autism/Intellectual; and Learning/Hearing/Emotional Disabilities)
  • Basketball (Wheelchair basketball and 2 v 2)
  • Baseball/Softball (Beep Baseball, Traditional, and Modified)
  • Archery, Golf, Bocce, Tennis, Goal Ball, Judo
  • Numerous exhibitions (self defense, yoga/pilates, canoeing/kayaking, hand cycles, etc.)

The event is FREE OF CHARGE. Donations accepted to JMU Foundation Empowerment3 to support additional outreach events and future Ability Olympics

If you are interested in registering/attending or learning more the event, contact Katie Chapman at We are also asking for your help in sharing this event with others across state or mid-Atlantic region as we hope to EMPOWER many individuals with disabilities through this event and let them know that ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! Please RSVP by Monday, April 21st.

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.


Energy efficiency is quickly becoming a key player in Virginia’s growing economy. The field has been shown to generate more than $300M in economic activity, supports 9,400 jobs, according to a report released today by the nonprofit trade association Virginia Energy Efficiency Council (VAEEC).

Based on a census conducted last fall to which 300 firms responded, the report underscores energy efficiency’s critical role in meeting energy demand, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, cost savings, job creation and other state and national goals.

This is an important area for us to consider as we continue to enhance our career and workforce development opportunities for students.

On Saturday our newly formed Technology Student Association chapters at GMS competed in a flight challenge and a Career Preparation challenge.  We have been preparing for these competitions since October and even with missing many meetings due to inclement weather the students put in the extra time needed to get the job done.  TSA is an extremely competitive organization and for our first year I was very pleased with our results.

Austin Payne placed 3rd in this competition earning a spot to compete at Technosphere, the Virginia TSA State Competition that will be held a the Richmond Convention Center May 2-4, 2014.

The flight challenge was tough this year and had over 20 entries.  To compete in the Flight challenge students must design and construct a balsa wood glider and prepare a notebook with general information about their glider.  Our students gave it their best and Austin Payne finished 7th, Connor Speight finished 9th and Hunter Clark placed 10th.  James DeLoach also competed in the flight competition and probably built the best glider there.  Unfortunately, during testing that day, some parts broke that affected his glider’s performance and knocked him out of the top ten ranking.

All of these students worked very hard and will continue to work hard as we prepare for our next competitive event in May.  Also, big thanks to their families for supporting our TSA chapter and spending most of their Saturday with us at Glen Allen High School.

Austin Payne, GMS