There has been a lot of focus in recent weeks on instructional calendars, weather delays & closings, our proposed budget, and the active flu season.  With so much happening around us, it is important that we take time to recognize the awesomeness of our students and staff!   

At our upcoming School Board meeting on Tuesday, we will be recognizing many of the accomplishments of our school division.  Our students and staff continue to amaze me!  The Lego Robotics teams from Byrd Elementary School and Randolph Elementary School will be recognized for their participation in the state competition in the fall.  The School Board will be recognizing Victoria Harris from Goochland Elementary School, this year’s GCPS spelling bee champion.  To round out our student recognitions, J.J. Lopez, our School Board’s student representative, will celebrate the accomplishments of our volleyball, football, and cross country student-athletes who earned all-state honors in the fall.

Victorian Harris, GCPS Spelling Bee Champion

On Tuesday, we will also recognize several of our staff who have authored articles that have been published in national publications.  Dr. Beth Fowler and Dr. Stacey Rainbolt authored an article in Educational Administration Quarterly regarding restorative discipline practices, while  Bea Leiderman’s article on collaboration on group projects was published in EdSurge.  Debbie White, our Director of Finance, also has an article featured in a national publication.  Her article on school division budgeting can be found in School Business Affairs.  Also recognized at the February School Board meeting will be Joe Fowler, who earned the Division 1A, 2A, and Private School Football Coach of the Year, and Shelliotte Lawson from Randolph Elementary, who completed a rigorous process to become a National Board Certified Teacher.  Finally we will recognize Joe Beasley and Amanda Steeley, who will serve as role models for the Virginia Department of Education for their work in using inclusive practices in their classroom at Goochland Elementary School.  Wow!  What an impressive group!

February is a month of important recognitions in schools nationwide.  We recognized our school counselors this week for National School Counselor’s Week for their tireless work with all of our students.  Our school counselors connect with every child, every year and cover everything from scheduling and course requests to crisis situations to college applications and much more.  This month, we also recognize our School Board and Diane Bennett, our School Board Clerk, as part of the Virginia School Board Association School Board and Board Clerk Appreciation activities.  The five members of our School Board are deeply committed to ensuring that GCPS continues to distinguish itself as an innovative and responsible division.  Their thoughtful support of our work in teaching and learning confirms that.  Thank you Goochland County School Board!

February is also Career and Technical Education month.  The highlight of our CTE recognition took place in late January at our annual Conundrum Day, where students and teachers from across the district spent their weekend morning working to solve complex problems with limited resources and teamwork.  At the high school’s curriculum fair last night, students had the opportunity to learn more about our new Academy for Architecture and Construction.  The Goochland County Public Schools continue to lead the way in preparing students to be career ready!  

With spring sports tryouts coming up in a few weeks we want to celebrate the accomplishments of our winter teams who are having another banner season. The Goochland High School and Goochland Middle School boys and girls basketball teams have had a great year!  Our boys basketball team at GHS has locked down the #1 seed in the James River district tournament, which will begin this weekend.  Our GHS girls team is the #2 seed in heir tournament.  Goochland will be the host site for the Region A tournament that will begin on Friday, February 16.   Our JV girls and boys have also had another banner year, with both finishing in the top 2 of the district.  Our swim team will travel next weekend to Swim RVA for the 2A state swim meet, and our wrestling team ended their season after a strong second place finish in the James River District tournament.

Goochland High School wrestling

In fine arts, I had a chance to attend the sold out production of Honk Jr. at Goochland Middle School and was beyond impressed with the skills of our cast and crew and the professional, first-rate job of GHS student directors Jack Paone and Heather Carter.  Congratulations to all of our student athletes and performers for a great winter.

Goochland Middle School performs Honk, Jr.

Please take a look at my latest blog entries at for details about our 2018-2019 operating budget.  You can also find details about the many events taking place this month to celebrate Black History Month in all of our schools.  Don’t forget that Monday, February 19 is now a make up school day.

Continue to stay up to date with our division’s events by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter (@glndschools) and Instagram (@goochlandschools).  Stay current with all of the great things happening in our schools at our division leadership blog at  We are looking forward to seeing you at GCPS events in the near future. Have a great weekend!



The Virginia Department of Education recently announced that National School Counseling Week will be recognized February 5-9, 2018.  Sponsored by the American School Counseling Association, representatives state: “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!

(Their schedules are so full, we couldn’t get all eight of them in the same place at the same time for a photograph!)

(L to R) Dr. Beth Fowler, GHS; Mr. Doug Getter, GHS; Ms. Beth Curfman, GES; Dr. Stacey Rainbolt, GMS; Ms. Sarah Ambrose, RES | Not Pictured: Ms. Kathy Albert, BES; Ms. Ashton Guza, GHS; Ms. Roberta Watson, GMS

Kindergarten registration for Goochland County Public Schools (and all of the Richmond metro region) will take place Thursday, April 19, 2018, 8AM-4PM.


Byrd Elementary School

2704 Hadesnville-Fife Road, Goochland

(804) 556-5380

Goochland Elementary School

3150 River Road West, Goochland

(804) 556-5321

Randolph Elementary School

1552 Sheppard Town Road, Crozier

(804) 556-5385


Please find additional information regarding kindergarten registration here: English version  |  Spanish version


Last Saturday morning more than 120 students in grades K-8, 30+ GCPS team members, and dozens of parents and community volunteers arrived at Goochland Middle School for several hours of STEM-inspired challenges.  Teams of elementary students designed, built, tested, and redesigned structures made from recycled materials … all with the aim of withstanding the wind tunnels awaiting them in the school’s gymnasium.  Meanwhile, teams of middle school students solved escape-room-style puzzles, used coding to program robots, and helped design engineering challenges for the younger participants.

After several days of snow-covered roads, it was a weekend event that brought engaged learning and inspired students back into our schools!


On Tuesday of this week, I presented the School Board with a balanced, needs-based budget that provides the personnel and resources that will move our school division forward on our journey to maximize the potential of every learner.  The initiatives outlined in this proposed budget align with our strategic plan and are aimed at maintaining our position as a leader in the Commonwealth.

The full presentation is available here.  However, I wanted to provide you with a summary of the different aspects of the proposed budget.

Goal 1:  Prepared for Life through Deeper Learning

  • 1 Science Teacher at Goochland High School
  • 1 Teacher at Goochland Middle School to teach science and STEM electives
  • 1 division-wide instructional coach to provide job embedded  professional development for reading instruction
  • 1 division-wide instructional coach to provide job embedded coaching and profession support to teachers in math
  • Keeping the new teaching position added this school year for next school year at Byrd Elementary School
  • Additional Sections for Goochland High School ACA program (psychology and biology)
  • Title I Parent Outreach Facilitator at Byrd Elementary School
  • Additional funding for gifted program
  • Increasing the per credit tuition for ACA from $25 to $30.
  • Division funding to reduce the burden placed on families with certain instructional and co-curricular fees
  • Additional funding for Career and Technical Education
  • Funding for the continuation of Goochland High Schools Marine Junior ROTC program
  • Funding for athletics and activities at the secondary complex
  • Funding leveled books for elementary schools to complete the third year of a three year plan to provide these literacy resources to schools
  • Funding for software purchases and continued funding for Kajeet devices
  • Increased funded for summer instruction

Goal 2:  Improved School Climate – Attract and retain quality teachers and staff

The proposed budget includes funding for a total compensation package for our employees that is competitive in our region.  This will help us to retain the incredibly talented professionals we currently have, and to attract exceptional candidates when vacancies occur, and reward our exemplary employees for their performance.  The budget includes $444,071 in funding for salary improvement, funding for potential revisions to certain classified salary scales, and funding for internal equity adjustments.  The School Board will be discussing employee total compensation further at their work session on January 30.

This proposal includes funding that will allow the school division to absorb the projected increase in health insurance premiums. This means no increase in out of pocket health insurance costs to employees who choose our high deductible plan or our $500 deductible plan (slide 55).  This is significant as other neighboring governments may pass some or all of any increase in health insurance premiums to their employees.

One further employee benefit that is outlined in the proposed budget is an increase in funding for tuition reimbursement and an increase in the daily rate for substitute teachers, long term substitutes, and substitutes for instructional assistants (slide 57).  This initiative should help us retain our most talented and reliable substitutes, while at the same time increase the new candidates to our available pool.   

Goal 3 – Safe Schools with Effective Management

  • Additional funding to meet the needs of students with disabilities
  • Additional capacity for data reporting from MAP assessments and updated enrollment projections
  • Funding for finance department compliance and reporting
  • Replacement of Promethean Boards
  • Funding for transportation, to include active GPS and enhanced fleet tracking
  • Additional funding to support our division’s technology infrastructure
  • Funding for preventative maintenance on all division facilities

In addition to the personnel resources and programs identified for us to accomplish our strategic objectives as outlined above, this proposed budget includes opportunities for us to re-purpose and reallocate current resources by abandoning specific practices and processes, thus allowing us to use the funds previously allocated to these practices to fund our strategic needs.  These recommendations are outlined on slide 70.

In all, the proposed budget for next year includes additional expenditures in the amount of $1,098,284 or 3.5%.  Overall, 70.3% of next year’s budgeted expenditures will be focused on our instructional program with another 7.8% in Technology.  These additional expenditures are offset by new revenue from state, Federal, and local sources. The proposed increase in funding from the Goochland County Board of Supervisors is in the amount of $760,000. Total funding from our local government for the fiscal year is up 3.48% and is at a projected $22,590,000.

Through our budget process, there were programmatic and personnel needs that have been identified, but are currently unfunded in this proposal.  These needs were given very careful consideration.  If additional revenue is available in the future, the following needs have risen to the next level of funding priority for future consideration (slide 85):

  • Instructional Technology Resource Coach
  • CTE Teacher for Secondary Complex
  • Funding for a division-funded Reading Specialists cohort for GCPS teachers
  • Additional funding for Promethean board replacements
  • Funding for malware protection for division-wide devices
  • Mechatronics unite for CTE engineering program
  • Funding for a study to analyze all division extra-duty stipends

In summary, this proposed spending plan for next year provides the resources to support our journey toward continued excellence as we ensure that we are providing ALL of our students with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities that are so crucial for students to become successful members of a modern global community.

Several public meetings will be taking place in the coming weeks as the School Board and the Board of Supervisors make final budget decisions for next year.

  • January 30th – School Board Budget Work Session – Goochland Administration Building, Room 250 – 6  p.m.
  • February 6th – Public Hearing on School Board Budget – Goochland High School – 6:30 p.m.
  • February 13th – School Board Approves 2018-2019 Budget – Goochland Administration Building, Room 250 – 6:30 p.m.
  • February 20th – Presentation of School Board’s Approved Budget to Goochland County Board of Supervisors – Goochland Administration Building, Room 250 – 3:00 p.m.
  • March 7th – Districts 4 and 5 Town Hall – Hermitage Country Club – 7:00 p.m.
  • March 20th – District 1 Town Hall – Fire Company 4 – 7:00 p.m.
  • March 28th – Districts 2 and 3 Town Hall – Central High School – 7:00 p.m.
  • April 3rd – Board of Supervisors Public Hearing on County Budget – Goochland Administration Building, Room 250 – 7:00 p.m.
  • April 17th – Board of Supervisors Approve County Budget – Goochland Administration Building, Room 250 – 3:00 p.m.

I hope that you are able to attend.  As always, please let me know if you have questions or need further clarification regarding anything contained in this proposed budget.


As we begin a new calendar year, we reflect on the successes of the first half of our academic year and look forward to the possibilities that lie ahead for us in the Spring!  January is also a time for us to accelerate our planning for the start of another school year in August.  This future planning begins with the development of our annual operating budget, a budget aligned with our vision, mission, and core values that will provide the resources to allow us to build upon  our many past successes and our desire to continue to shine as a leader in providing students with an exceptional academic experience.

Our annual budget development process began in October as input was solicited from key division leaders regarding their identified programmatic, personnel, and other resource needs.  In addition, our leadership team was asked to critically analyze our current processes to determine whether or not there were opportunities to abandon past practices in an effort to re-allocate funding to newly identified needs.  Feedback from our community has also been a part of this budget development process as input was sought from our stakeholders, including staff, citizens, and students regarding their perspective on our division’s budgetary needs.  There was a lot of valuable feedback that was shared through this process.  The results of this community survey was shared with the Goochland County School Board in December and can be found here.

So far this month, the Goochland County School Board has conducted two different public budget work sessions aimed at identifying the many different personnel, programmatic, and resource needs of our school division that have been identified through the process to date. Presentations given to the School Board are available for the public to review and are available at these links (January 9, 2018 & January 16, 2018).  The budget development process will require a prioritization of the future needs of our school division and the utilization of available financial resources in alignment with our division’s identified goals in our strategic plan.  These goals include providing the curricular and personnel resources that will enable us to maximize each student’s academic potential as we prepare our students for the challenges of learning and working in the modern global economy.  Additionally, we will work to provide a total compensation package for our employees that is competitive in our region so that we can ensure that we can retain the incredibly talented professionals we have and attract exceptional candidates when vacancies occur.

Fiscal efficiency and transparency are also critically important as we work to develop our future spending plan.  There will be several future meetings where there School Board and the Goochland County Board of Supervisors will be discussing and making decisions regarding next year’s budget.  I hope that you are able to attend the School Board’s next meeting on Tuesday January 23 at 6:00 p.m. when I will be presenting my proposed spending plan for next fiscal year.  Please also join us at the many other upcoming public meetings on our budget.

  • January 30th – School Board Budget Work Session – Goochland Administration Building, Room 250 – 6  p.m.
  • February 6th – Public Hearing on School Board Budget – Goochland High School – 6:30 p.m.
  • February 13th – School Board Approves 2018-2019 Budget – Goochland Administration Building, Room 250 – 6:30 p.m.
  • February 20th – Presentation of School Board’s Approved Budget to Goochland County Board of Supervisors – Goochland Administration Building, Room 250 – 3:00 p.m.
  • March 7th – Districts 4 and 5 Town Hall – Hermitage Country Club – 7:00 p.m.
  • March 20th – District 1 Town Hall – Fire Company 4 – 7:00 p.m.
  • March 28th – Districts 2 and 3 Town Hall – Central High School – 7:00 p.m.
  • April 3rd – Board of Supervisors Public Hearing on County Budget – Goochland Administration Building, Room 250 – 7:00 p.m.
  • April 17th – Board of Supervisors Approve County Budget – Goochland Administration Building, Room 250 – 3:00 p.m.

Our school division is the beneficiary of a supportive community of parents, citizens, and volunteers who have made an investment of their time, talent, and resources to ensure that our students are provided the resources and opportunities that they need in order to receive an exceptional education.  Thank you for the part that you play in making this possible!  

Jeremy J. Raley, Ed.D.




The Goochland County School Board approved new leadership and committee representatives for the 2018 calendar year at its monthly meeting on Tuesday, January 9, 2018.  

Mr. John Lumpkins, Jr., District 3, will succeed Mrs. Beth Hardy as Chair of the Goochland County School Board.  He began his official duties as chair during the January 9 meeting.  This is Mr. Lumpkins’ second term as chair, having previously served in this role in 2015.

Mr. John Wright, District 5, served as the Board’s Vice Chair last year and will continue to serve as the vice chair for the 2018 calendar year.  Mrs. Diane Bennett was appointed Clerk of the Board.

Several committee appointments were also named, including:

  • Mr. John Wright, Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School Representative
  • Mr. John Lumpkins,  Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School Alternate
  • Mr. Kevin Hazzard, Blue Ridge Virtual Governor’s School Representative
  • Mr. Michael Payne and Mr. John Wright, GCPS Facilities Committee

The Goochland County School Board will meet again on Tuesday, January 16, for a budget work session.  The public is invited to attend.


As you know, this past Fall, I worked in collaboration with a variety of stakeholder groups including the Superintendent’s Leadership Team, comprised of teachers and parents, administrative staff, and our community, to create a multi-year instructional calendar that aligns with our strategic plan and our instructional philosophy.  I have worked to be transparent and inclusive in this process as multiple drafts have been shared through email, blogs, social media, and optional faculty meetings at each school.  Survey data has also been collected to gather feedback in this process.

As a result of all of this feedback, I have prepared a two year instructional calendar that I will be presenting to the Goochland County School Board for their review as an information item on their January 9, 2018 agenda.  Like this year, the focus of these calendars is on our core mission: teaching and learning.  Each calendar follows a similar structure to that of our current calendar to allow for ongoing breaks in instruction for our instructional team to grow and develop their professional skills.  Each version includes 193 teacher work days and 180 instructional days for students.  Additionally, each draft includes full instructional days prior to winter break and the end of the year to allow us to maximize instructional time and allow our teachers the professional autonomy and flexibility to assess students.  Make up days, if needed, are marked to facilitate future planning.  Like this year, each version maintains many of the traditional timelines for starting school, holiday breaks, and the last day of school that have been a part of past calendars.

In early December, I solicited feedback regarding a potential change in the schedule for our Spring Break.  There was overwhelming support to move our Spring Break to the first full week of April.  This is a change that will allow our employees and our families to align their break with public school systems in the Richmond metro region.  Additionally, each calendar recognizes Good Friday by having no evening activities or events scheduled.  Friday April 19, 2019, will be an early dismissal at 1:00 p.m.  The Monday following Easter is scheduled as a professional day for teachers; schools will be closed for students.

Highlights of each of the draft calendars are as follows:


  • First day of school – Monday, August 20, 2018
  • One parent conference day in October
  • Winter break begins on Friday, December 21, 2018 and ends on Sunday, January 6, 2019.  This is a two week break.  
  • Second semester begins on January 7, 2019
  • Spring Break – Monday, April 1, 2019 through Friday, April 5, 2019
  • Early dismissal on Friday, April 19, 2019; No School for Students on Monday, April 22, 2019
  • Last day of school – Wednesday, June 5, 2019


  • First day of school – Monday, August 19, 2019
  • One parent conference day in October
  • Winter break begins on Friday, December 20, 2019 and ends on Sunday, January 5, 2020.  This is a two week break.
  • Second semester begins on January 6, 2020
  • Spring Break – Monday, April 6, 2020 through Friday, April 10, 2020
  • No School for Students on Monday, April 13, 2020
  • Last day of school – Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Throughout this process, I have received feedback sharing multiple perspectives.  These recommendations are reflective of comments that I have heard from employees, parents, and our community and maintains a structure that will support our continued instructional success.  After my presentation on January 9, the School Board will be slated to take action at their regularly scheduled meeting on February 13.  I continue to welcome your thoughts and perspectives as we work to make a final decision on these calendars in the coming weeks.