Dr. John Hendron, our Director of Innovation and Strategy, and I recently had the opportunity to take our 360 degree camera inside Goochland High School to see the excellent work of our students and staff. We also had the chance to speak with students, staff, and Mr. Collier, GHS principal. Take a moment to use your mouse (or your fingers on your phone) to get the full 360 degree experience of the awesomeness of Goochland High School!
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 a budget work session aimed at identifying the many different personnel, programmatic, and resource needs of our school division that have been identified through the process to date. My presentation shared with the School Board on January 8 can be found here. 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 coming up on Tuesday January 29 at 6:30 p.m. when I will be presenting my recommended spending plan for next fiscal year. Please also join us at the many other upcoming public meetings on our budget.
- February 5th – School Board Budget Work Session – Goochland County Public Schools Central Office – 6 p.m.
- February 12th – Public Hearing on School Board Budget – Goochland Administration Building, Room 250 – 6:30 p.m.
- February 26th – School Board Approves 2019-2020 Budget – Goochland County Public Schools Central Office – 6:30 p.m.
- March 5th – Presentation of School Board’s Approved Budget to Goochland County Board of Supervisors – Goochland Administration Building, Room 250 – 3:00 p.m.
- March 6th – Districts 4 and 5 Town Hall – Hermitage Country Club – 7:00 p.m.
- March 13th – Districts 2 and 3 Town Hall – Central High School Cultural and Education Complex – 7:00 p.m.
- March 18th – District 1 Town Hall – Company 4 Fire House – 7:00 p.m.
- April 2nd – Board of Supervisors Public Hearing on County Budget – Goochland Administration Building, Room 250 – 7:00 p.m.
- April 16th – 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!
Today we kicked off Goochland Reads 2019, a program that encourages a larger community to engage in a common literary experience during a common period of time. Each one of our elementary students, teachers, and support staff received a copy of the Goochland Reads book at no cost – and throughout the month of January our schools facilitate a reading schedule that includes trivia questions, awards and recognition, and other engaging activities. This year’s selection is Wendy Orr’s Nim’s Island.
We have had an exceptional first half of this academic year! As I walk through our schools, I continue to see countless examples of the excellence that is ever-present in the Goochland County Public Schools. Our highly dedicated, talented, and expert instructional staff are providing students with exceptional learning experiences on a daily basis. I continue to be amazed by what I see taking place!
Thanks to everyone on Team Goochland, including our staff, students, parents, volunteers, and supporters who contribute daily to the many successes of our school division. Your investment of time, labor, and resources in our community’s future, our students, is why our school division continues to be recognized as a leader in public education in the Commonwealth. I am truly humbled to be able to live in and serve in this wonderful community!
As we approach a break in our instructional calendar, I hope that you will have an opportunity to rest, relax, connect with those who are important in your lives, and allows you some time to do what you enjoy! Best wishes for a joyous holiday season!
All three of our elementary schools annually welcome grandparents and extended family to school to enjoy a meal and participate in classroom activities with our students. This year, I had the pleasure of being a part of Grandparent’s Day at Byrd Elementary School. Over 450 parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and extended family participated in this incredible event!
Dr. Hendron and I joined in the fun and festivities as we took our 360 degree camera inside to capture this exciting event. As you watch, use your mouse or your fingers to pan around to get the full experience!
Budget season has begun! I am in the midst of collecting feedback to help me prepare my upcoming budget request. Again this year, I am seeking your perspective regarding ideas that you may have for budget initiatives as well as opportunities for efficiency. Please take a moment to share your thoughts with me via this survey. I welcome your thoughts, comments, and perspective. Results of this survey will be shared with the School Board at their upcoming December meeting.
It’s amazing how quickly this school year is moving! We are entering our 13th week of school and we are well into the second quarter of the school year. The momentum from an extremely smooth opening of school has continued as we remain on track for another fantastic year.
This week, our school division will be celebrating American Education Week, a time to pause and celebrate the work that we do as public educators to inspire the next generation of youth in Goochland to make a positive impact in our ever changing world. During the past several weeks, I have spent time in our schools, clinics, buses, offices, and cafeterias seeing the exceptional work that Team Goochland is doing on behalf of our students. Our Team demonstrates their commitment to excellence on a daily basis as they continually strive to provide our students world class experiences.
I have always had a great appreciation for the challenges that each of our teammates face as they teach, counsel, support, and encourage a talented and diverse student body. My appreciation for their talents became even greater than before just recently as I planned and prepared a short, 30 minute story and activity for 15 of our first grade scholars at Byrd Elementary. It definitely did not go as well as I planned. Remember Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop? You get the picture.
As I walk through our buildings, pop into classrooms, and conduct instructional rounds, I am impressed with our employees and their ability to capture the attention of our students, get them excited about learning, and engage them in memorable learning experiences. I know that they spend many hours sacrificing time away from their families to plan, prepare, and reflect on the work that they do in order to make this happen, and I am truly humbled to have the pleasure of serving our community’s students and families with them.
Thank you, Team Goochland! Thank you for your excellence, your academic optimism, and your willingness to create and innovate. Thank you for having the courage to try something new, and for serving as positive role models for our students. Our school division is amazing because of you, and I am forever grateful for the time, effort, and labor that you dedicate to making our school division awesome!