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.

Superintendent

 

 

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:

2018-2019

  • 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

2019-2020

  • 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.  

Dear Elementary Families,

On behalf of the GCPS team, we hope your family had a restful, happy holiday season.  We’re looking forward to an engaging, productive spring semester and a successful 2018 for our students, families, and staff.

This month, once again, Goochland County Public Schools will be embarking on a special project, a division-wide book club called Goochland Reads, formerly One District, One BookGoochland Reads is a unique program that provides elementary children at all grade levels with the opportunity to share the same book over the same time period.  Curious as that may seem at first, it actually makes sound educational sense.  Literacy experts recommend reading material out loud that is beyond a child’s individual reading level; the same experts support reading chapter books aloud with older children, even when they are able to read independently.

Our Goochland Reads committee selected a title that can be followed, understood, and enjoyed by younger students, but that will still captivate older children.  As the centerpiece of the program, every elementary school family will receive a copy of this same book and will be asked to share the literacy experience during the month of January.  The title was announced at a special school-wide assembly introducing the program and the book today, and your child should have come home today with his/her very own copy.  Families should also receive a shared community reading schedule so everyone can keep up at home.  Generally, you are asked to read one chapter each night—about 10-15 minutes.  We hope that you will find the time to participate in this special activity focused on community and the importance of literacy.

Reading aloud at home is incredibly valuable as it helps develop a strong foundation for all learning, as well as models lifelong literacy; moreover, it’s also a fun, worthwhile family activity.  With the Goochland Reads program, we aim to build a community of readers across our elementary school communities.  Everyone—students, parents, teachers, bus drivers, and administrative staff—will be participating.

In school, your child will be engaged in literary discussions and invited to answer daily trivia questions to encourage and celebrate participation.  We encourage you to make sure your family participates so your child can be included.  You will find that your child will take pride in knowing and anticipating the details of the story.  Throughout the month, everyone will be talking about the book!

Good luck!  We hope to talk with both you and your child about the book throughout the next four weeks.  When an entire school division reads a book, there’s a lot to talk about.  With your help, we will strengthen a community of readers in Goochland!

As we approach the new year, it is time for us to make preparations for the approval of our division’s instructional calendar.  This fall, I’ve been working in collaboration with the Superintendent’s Leadership Team, teachers, and administrative staff to create three years of instructional calendars that align with our strategic plan and our instructional philosophy.  Like this year, the focus of these calendars is on our core mission: teaching and learning.  Although there are some minor differences in each version, each calendar follows a similar structure to that of our current calendar to allow for ongoing breaks in instruction for our instructional team to develop their professional skills.  Each draft 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 for 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.

Highlights of each of the draft calendars are as follows:

2018-2019

  • Last day of school – Wednesday June 5, 2019
  • Spring Break – prior to Easter as it is late (April 21); No school for students after Spring Break on April 22 as it is a professional day for teachers.
  • Second semester begins on January 7, 2019
  • Winter break begins on Friday, December 21, 2018 and ends on Sunday January 6, 2019.  This is a two week break.  
  • One parent conference day in October
  • First day of school – Monday, August 20, 2018

2019-2020

  • Last day of school – Wednesday, June 3, 2020
  • Spring Break – after Easter; No school for students after Spring Break on April 20 as it is a professional day for teachers.
  • Second semester begins on January 6, 2020
  • Winter break begins on Friday, December 20, 2019 and ends on Sunday, January 5, 2020.  This is a two week break.  
  • One parent conference day in October
  • First day of school – Monday, August 19, 2019

2020-2021

  • Last day of school – Wednesday, June 9, 2021
  • Spring Break – after Easter; No school for students after Spring Break on April 12 as it is a professional day for teachers.
  • Second semester begins on January 4, 2021
  • Winter break begins on Friday, December 18, 2020 and ends on Sunday, January 4, 2021.  This is a two week break.  
  • One parent conference day in October
  • First day of school – Monday, August 24, 2020

Many school divisions in our region are moving toward instructional calendars with a Spring Break that will be during the first full week of April, rather than being scheduled around the Easter holiday.  School divisions who are discussing moving their Spring Break to the first week of April are also including the Monday after Easter as a day when students would not be in attendance.  Please take a moment to provide me with your feedback using this survey.

These calendars remain in draft form as I continue to receive feedback from parents and our community prior to making a recommendation to the School Board on January 9, 2018.  No action will be taken until the Board’s regularly scheduled meeting in February.  I continue to welcome your feedback via this survey, e-mail, phone or in person.

 

 

At a special called meeting on Monday, December 4, the Goochland County School Board concluded a transparent process of developing our school division’s long term facility master plan.  This process started in June 2017 and included substantial analysis of our school division’s student enrollment, facility conditions and capacity, and educational adequacy.  A crucial component of the work to develop this plan was the involvement of representative stakeholders from each geographic region of our community.    

During the School Board’s discussion and deliberation, they expressed their appreciation for the time that the committee has dedicated to the process, the level of analysis involved in their recommendation, and the perspective that they brought to the process.  The School Board supports the recommendation of the committee, a realistic expression of the school division’s needs based on credible data, that was presented to the Board of Supervisors on November 28 at the joint work session.

Within the framework of the steering committee’s recommendation, in order to assist the county with planning, the School Board prioritized the work that they felt must happen in the next five fiscal years (by FY 2023):

Construction of a new Goochland Elementary School on a new school site – 500 student capacity $22,040,000
Goochland High School/Goochland Middle School improvements: Career and Technical Education (CTE)/STEM addition (30,000 sq feet); Program and systems upgrades at secondary complex; Build auxiliary gym, wrestling room, and athletic fields $16,125,000
Total $38,165,000

 

There were multiple factors involved in the School Board’s decision:

  • These projects will have the most immediate impact to the greatest number of students from all geographic regions of our community.
  • The school with the poorest Facility Condition Index will be replaced.  At the same time, additional capacity will be added that will alleviate overcrowding at the division’s other elementary schools.
  • Improvements at Goochland High School and Goochland Middle School proactively address capacity issues, create program enhancements at the secondary complex, and will be of benefit to all students of Goochland County.

Byrd Elementary and Randolph Elementary projects were also prioritized as follows:

Construction of a new Byrd Elementary School on new school site – 400 student capacity – constructed between FY 2024 and FY 2028 $17,400,000 plus land (FY 2023 cost), estimated to escalate by 6% annually to $20.1M by the FY 2024-2028 timeframe
Construction of a new Randolph Elementary School on a new school site – 500 student capacity – constructed between FY 2029 and FY 2033 $22,010,000 plus land (FY2026 cost), estimated to escalate by 6% annually to $29.5M by the FY 2029-2033 timeframe

 

As a part of the deliberations on Monday, the School Board felt that delay of the Byrd and Randolph projects beyond the timeframe recommended by the steering committee would make new construction of Byrd on a new site the most economically reasonable plan .  Many factors were considered in this decision including equity, long term projected maintenance costs, difficulty of coordinating major construction on an active school site with limited septic capacity, limited flexibility for parking/construction access, and the impact that the delay would have on the facility condition and educational adequacy of the 1997 section of the building.  With this approach the Goochland community would have three new elementary schools by FY 2033.  Included in the long term cost of these projects is a 6% cost escalator referenced by our school division’s consultants as construction costs are expected to increase significantly in the future due to projected labor and materials costs.  

Thank you to the Goochland County Board of Supervisors for providing the financial support for the develop of our division’s long term facility master plan.  Through this process, we have received a substantial amount of enrollment and facility data that will allow us to make prudent fiscal decisions regarding our facilities in the future.  Deliberations on the School Board’s approved long term plan will continue in the coming weeks.  Now that the County has received this request from the School Board, the County Administrator will present his recommendation to the Board of Supervisors for the county’s overall  25 year Capital Improvement Plan.  The School Board’s projects will be a part of his presentation.  This presentation will take place on Monday December 11 at 3:00 p.m.

Next week on Tuesday December 12, the School Board will vote to approve its 25 year Capital Improvement that includes not only the projects in the long term facility master plan, but other division needs as well, including transportation.  This meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. and is also open to the public.
Following these meetings, the Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the 25 year plan presented by the County Administrator this Monday.  This public hearing will take place on Tuesday January 3.  The time of this meeting is yet to be determined.

 

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