Four of Goochland’s Schools Named Apple Distinguished Schools

Goochland County Public Schools is pleased ​to announce that four of its five schools have been recognized as Apple Distinguished Schools for 2017–2019 for focus on deeper learning with the 1:1 computing program using iPad. This year, the division expanded its program to K-2 classrooms in elementary schools, and students at Goochland High School now use MacBook Air. Students use these devices to help develop world ready skills such as communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. The division also uses innovative software to help achieve its mission of maximizing each student’s potential through software that can individualize a student’s specific needs in areas such as mathematics.

Apple Distinguished Schools are centers of innovation, leadership, and educational excellence that use Apple products to inspire creativity, ​collaboration, and critical thinking. They showcase innovative uses of technology in learning, teaching, and the school environment, and have documented results of academic accomplishment.

This year, Byrd Elementary School, Goochland Elementary School, and Randolph Elementary School were awarded this designation, alongside Goochland Middle School. Goochland High School was not eligible to apply for this recognition because of the developing stage of its program.

“This recognition highlights the strong support of our technology department, the commitment of our teachers toward deeper learning, and the support of our school board to incentivize instructional innovation,” remarked John Hendron, Ed.D., Director of Innovation and Strategy for the division. “We’re proud to bring cutting-edge, engaging experiences to students,” said Goochland County Public Schools superintendent, Jeremy Raley, Ed.D. “Using these devices, we’re preparing students for an uncertain future, but one we know will require technology savvy and critical thinking.”

Examples of student engagement using iPads can be found chronicled in a series of books that were produced by the principals and staff of each school, which was submitted for consideration for the title of Apple Distinguished School. Each school’s book is available on their school website. Teachers are using Apple Classroom to manage devices and Schoology is used by students and teachers to manage digital materials, to check for understanding, and engage in virtual discussions. Parents can use the Schoology system to monitor student progress in grades 3-12.

Goochland County Public Schools provides an innovative learning environment for over 2500 students in central Virginia across five schools. Every one of Goochland’s schools is fully accredited by the Virginia Department of Education. The division’s vision is inspiring and preparing the next generation to make a positive impact. Learn more at goochlandschools.org.

Contact Dr. John G. Hendron at 804-556-5623 or jhendron@glnd.k12.va.us for more information.

Goochland High Teacher Named NBC12 “Excellence in Education” Winner for November

NBC12 Reporter Sarah Bloom, accompanied by representatives from sponsor organization Henrico Federal Credit Union, came to Goochland High School last week to surprise Mrs. Melissa Black, GHS athletic trainer and dance instructor, as the winner of the NBC12 Excellence in Education Award for November.  Mrs. Black was nominated by a member of the Goochland community and selected by the Excellence in Education selection group from NBC12 and HFCU.  

Mrs. Black was surprised and overwhelmed to be recognized.  Mr. Christopher Collier, Goochland High principal, arranged for the surprise with a meeting scheduled under false pretenses.  “Mrs. Black is one of our most positive, dedicated, and versatile staff members.  She is recognized in every area of our program-athletics, arts, and the classroom.  I am not surprised at all that she is being recognized”.

The nomination received by NBC12 described Mrs. Black as inspirational:  “she has inspired many to continue their education in dance, sports medicine, athletic training, and even other medical fields by always being there for her students”.  

The NBC12 segment is scheduled to air Tuesday, November 7, at 4:00 p.m.

GCPS Director of Finance Earns North American School Finance and Operations Credential

Mrs. Debbie White, SFO, Goochland County Public Schools Director of Finance, was recently awarded the Certified Administrator of School Finance and Operations (SFO) certification by the Association for School Business Officials International (ASBO International).

The SFO Certification, a new certification by ASBO International, is granted to highly qualified individuals who fulfill multiple requirements, including demonstrating eligibility (through work experience and education), passing a comprehensive two-part exam that tests competency in accounting and school business management topics, and adhering to the ASBO International Certification Code of Conduct.

Mrs. White has served as the GCPS Director of Finance since 2012, during which time she has been awarded the Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Presentation Award four consecutive years.  

“School business officials are the chief fiscal officers for school districts and hold an influential position in the community,” says John Musso, CAE, RSBA, executive director of ASBO International. “By earning the SFO certification, professionals validate their specialized knowledge and demonstrate a commitment to high standards and ethical practice in school business management.”

School business officials who have earned the SFO Certification commit to ongoing professional development, renew the certification annually, and undergo recertification every three years.

“Mrs. White’s leadership, skill and visibility as a Director of Finance is exceptional”, says Dr. Jeremy Raley, Superintendent.  “Her work ethic and attention to detail in helping us to responsibly manage our funds are key ingredients in our overall success as a division”.  

The Association of School Business Officials International (www.asbointl.org) is a global professional association of more than 5,000 school business management professionals who are responsible for financial decisions in K–12 school districts, community colleges, universities, and state departments of education. Founded in 1910, it sets the standard for accountability, transparency, and integrity in school business management practices and provides professional growth opportunities and certification to advance the profession. For more information, please visit www.asbointl.org

Goochland Education Foundation and GCPS Partner to Award 2017 Strategic Innovation Grants

P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Date: October 6 , 2017 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Mr. Andrew R. Armstrong, Executive Director of Business Operations  aarmstrong@glnd.k12.va.us  |  (804) 332 0965  |  @glndschools www.goochlandschools.org

Dr. Jeremy Raley, Superintendent of Goochland County Public Schools, was joined yesterday by members of the GCPS Executive Leadership team and Mrs. Cyndy Brown, Executive Director of the Goochland Education Foundation, at all Goochland schools to surprise the recipients of the 2nd annual Goochland Education Foundation Strategic Innovation Grants.  These grants total nearly $15,000 dollars, including funding from between $400 and $2700 for 12 separate grants, representing each school in the division.  Goochland Strategic Innovation Grants were awarded based on a rigorous selection process that involved a committee of school, foundation, and community representatives.  2017 grant awards and descriptions can be found at this link.

“We were beyond excited about the response we received this year to our call for faculty and staff to apply”, said Dr. Raley, Superintendent.  “The Goochland Education Foundation worked hard to provide us with even more resources this year to recognize the work that our innovative teachers are doing to plant the seeds for continued deeper learning in every classroom, and we cannot wait to showcase this work at our 2nd annual Strategic Innovation Grant symposium in June”.    Mrs. Cyndy Brown, Goochland Education Foundation Executive Director, is excited to see the grants in action this year.  “I am thrilled with the way the teachers responded to the Goochland Education Foundation’s challenge of ‘taking risks’ in order to reach new heights in innovative educational practices. All of the proposals reflected the GEF’s vision of visionary educational experiences that will help prepare the students for living and working in a fast-changing technological 21st century.”

The Goochland Strategic Innovation Grants will culminate in a professional development symposium in June of 2018, where winners of these grants will come together to share what they learned, collaborate on new ideas focused around deeper learning, and share how their risk-taking can be implemented in regular instructional programming.

 

GCPS Continues to Exceed the Virginia On-Time Graduation Rate

Today the Virginia Department of Education released state-level data on the on-time graduation rate for the class of 2017, noting that 91.1% of the 95,348 students of the class of 2017 earned a Board of Education-approved diploma, a slight decline from the 91.3% of students of the class of 2016 who earned diplomas.  This represents a dropout rate of 5.8% for the class of 2017.  In the Commonwealth, 88.4% of black students graduated on time while 94% of white students did the same.  Among students with disabilities in the Commonwealth, 87% graduated on time.

In Goochland County, Dr. Stephen Geyer, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, presented GCPS graduation rate data as part of the overall student assessment presentation to the Goochland County School Board at its September 12 meeting.  Goochland’s overall on-time graduation rate for the class of 2017 exceeded the state, with 96% of GCPS seniors graduating on time in 2017.  This represents the latest step in overall improvement from the GCPS 90% on time graduation in 2013.

Among student subgroups, GCPS also exceeded state averages for on-time graduation.  93% of black students, 97% of white students, and 90% of students with disabilities graduated on time from among the Goochland class of 2017.  “The work our faculty and staff in Goochland has undertaken to provide various programs and options to become career ready, including Career and Technical Education, online learning, and dual enrollment courses, has really opened up pathways to students who may not have been as engaged in their experience in the past” said Dr. Geyer.  “There is always work to be done to focus in on how we can tailor the Goochland experience for all of our students to ensure that each graduates prepared for the demands of the 21st century”.

More details, including cohort reports for schools, school divisions, and the state are available at www.doe.virginia.gov.

Goochland Prepares to Celebrate Farm to Table and National School Lunch Weeks

Beginning next week, Goochland County Public Schools will join divisions across the Commonwealth and the nation to celebrate the work of our School Nutrition Services with “Farm to School” week October 2 through 6, and National School Lunch Week October 9 through 13.

The GCPS menu will feature locally grown produce next Monday through Thursday, including broccoli, kale, sweet potatoes, cabbage, and lettuce direct from Goochland farms to celebrate Farm to School week.  On October 4, GCPS will participate in the “crunch heard ‘round the Commonwealth”, with all students having the opportunity to enjoy a Virginia grown apple at 10:00 a.m.  Apples are being donated by Richmond Restaurant Service.

On Friday, October 6, Farm to School week ends with locally sourced entrees on GCPS menus, including beef from Brookview Farm and chicken from Keenbell Farm, both located in Goochland County.  The Goochland Culinary Arts class will prepare a local squash soup and apple dessert to be served by students in the cafeteria.  Dr. Jeremy Raley, superintendent, will serve lunch to students to add to the celebration.

“We have worked to add variety and quality to our options for our students in the past few years, including the popular ‘My Way Cafe’ options offered weekly and the inclusion of locally sourced ingredients in several offerings”, said Lisa Landrum, Supervisor of GCPS Nutrition Services.  “Our staff is proud to serve breakfast and lunch each day to our students, and we look forward to celebrating in the weeks ahead”.

In addition to the offerings during Farm to School week, National School Lunch Week will include a new improved burger, a new crispy breaded chicken drumstick, and coloring activities for elementary students.  All students will receive a free Italian ice on Friday.

Goochland County Public Schools Seek Opportunities to Provide the Victims of Natural Disasters with Support

As the residents of Houston, Texas and other parts of the nation continue to recover from the tragedies and destruction brought by recent hurricanes, the students and staff of Goochland County Public Schools are working together to support those affected.

Goochland County Public Schools is extending their mission of maximizing the potential of every learner through various activities in most division schools to help the victims of recent natural disasters. “Helping others is a way to build positive relationships”, says Randolph Elementary School principal Dan Gardner.  “This is deeper learning and social emotional awareness in action, and we are excited to help”.

Goochland Middle School’s Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) will be partnering with Randolph Elementary School’s fourth grade students to collect items to be sent to those in need.  A generous parent will be assisting in the transportation of those items.

Goochland Elementary School will be supporting a police department as well as a Houston school starting in October.  GES recently established the “Hands Helping Houston Covey Club”, with the goal of meeting every month to plan and implement fundraising opportunities.  This month they plan to start a “dollar drive” to support the Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

The Randolph Elementary School Community will be collecting personal items as well as school related items to support disaster victims.. “As a Journey School we teach how acceptance isn’t just about tolerating and embracing differences,” says Gardner.  “It’s also about accepting the burdens that others may face”.

For more ways to support those affected by recent events, please consider these charity options located in the most highly affected disaster areas:

  • Houston SPCA
  • Houston Humane Society
  • Houston Food Bank
  • Food Band of Corpus Christi
  • San Antonio Humane Society

Goochland County Public Schools’ efforts toward providing hurricane relief support the division goal of  inspiring and preparing the next generation to make a positive impact.

Goochland County Public Schools Continues to Reach Full State Accreditation in all Schools

Yesterday the Virginia Department of Education released accreditation results for schools and school divisions of the Commonwealth of Virginia, noting that 86 percent of Virginia’s 1,823 public schools were rated as fully accredited for the 2017-2018 school year based on performance on the 2016-2017 Virginia SOL tests.  65 of 132 divisions statewide included all schools designated as fully accredited for 2017-2018.

Goochland County Public Schools continues its strong track record of having each of its five schools fully accredited by the State of Virginia.  State accreditation is based on student pass rates on Virginia’s Standards of Learning (SOL) tests in English, mathematics, history, and science, as well as the division’s graduation rate.  GCPS exceeded each of the state’s five overall benchmarks by an average of 15%.  Goochland County Public Schools also has the distinction of receiving fully accredited status in all schools for the 11th consecutive year, sharing the distinction with only 10 of the 132 divisions in the Commonwealth.

While this distinction is determined by traditional achievement measures, school leaders believe it’s the division’s focus on what’s best for students that has led to the success.  “Our mission to maximize the potential of every learner is at the heart of everything we do,” said Dr. Jeremy Raley, Superintendent.  “Accountability is important, but Goochland is far beyond a singular focus on minimum proficiency tests – and that’s really what the state’s SOL assessments are.  We’re proud of the tradition of excellence in Goochland and we embrace the challenges of continuous improvement.  These results are one of the many indicators of the excellence that is pervasive in our school division.  There are many ingredients that go into accomplishing these results.  The key ingredients are all of our hard working and dedicated employees who strive every day to meet the academic needs of all of our division’s learners and a supportive community that places a significant value on the importance of education”.

Goochland’s overall performance and accreditation rating was the result of a division-wide portfolio of strong achievement in many content areas.  Highlights from the division’s Spring 2017 SOL results include:

  • Goochland students out-performed the Virginia state average in SOL pass percentage in all content areas (English, Math, Social Studies, and Science)
  • Goochland’s fifth grade science scores ranked first when compared to fifth grade students from 132 other school divisions in the Commonwealth
  • Goochland’s world geography scores ranked first when compared to other students from 132 other school divisions in the state.
  • Students in Goochland earned the 5th highest SOL pass rate in social studies in the Commonwealth 
  • Goochland’s reading scores ranked 2nd in the region and 14th in the state
  • Student’s scores in writing, math, and science ranked in the top 25 in the state

Dr. Stephen Geyer, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, described Goochland’s focus on academic optimism as a key to the division’s success.  “Every child’s learning is important, and our school division has created a culture built on academic optimism.  Our belief that every student can be successful and that every student has strengths to celebrate is a primary reason for our continued strong performance.  Moreover, we have remarkable teachers who work incredibly hard every day on behalf of our children and families.”

Despite the school division’s exceptionally strong overall results, team members remain committed to continuing to elevate expectations, as well as to targeting areas of relative weakness.  Raley stated, “While we certainly have a lot to celebrate, we face the same challenges that most school divisions across the state and nation face when it comes to achievement gaps for our African American students.  We have made some great progress in reducing the achievement gap for some of our subgroups with exceptional growth for our students with disabilities.  Even with this growth, we still have more work to do.  We are committed to closing these gaps, while continuing to raise the bar for every student.”

Goochland County Public Schools Continues to have 100% of its Schools Meet Full State Accreditation Standards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: GOOCHLAND, VA – AUGUST 16, 2017

Contact: Mr. Andrew R. Armstrong, Executive Director of Business Operations

aarmstrong@glnd.k12.va.us | (804) 332 0965 | @glndschools www.goochlandschools.org

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) released official results of state testing today, and Goochland County Public Schools (GCPS) continues to shine.  Virginia public schools administer 29 state assessments each year, tests that are based on the the Commonwealth’s Standards of Learning (SOL).  The results of these assessments, along with graduation rates, provide the framework for Virginia’s school accountability system and the VDOE’s School Quality Profiles.

Once again, Goochland’s pass rates outpaced state averages by a comfortable margin:

Assessment Subject GCPS 2017 Pass Rate Virginia 2017 Average Delta
Reading 85% 80% +5
Writing 82% 79% +3
Mathematics 85% 79% +6
Science 86% 82% +4
History 92% 86% +6

Goochland remains one of just a handful of school divisions in Virginia to have all of its schools meet full accreditation standards each of the last ten years.  While this distinction is determined by traditional achievement measures, school leaders believe it’s the division’s focus on what’s best for students that has led to the success.  “Our mission to maximize the potential of every learner is at the heart of everything we do,” said Dr. Jeremy Raley, Superintendent.  “Accountability is important, but Goochland is far beyond a singular focus on minimum proficiency tests – and that’s really what the state’s SOL assessments are.  We’re proud of the tradition of excellence in Goochland and we embrace the challenges of continuous improvement.”

Dr. Stephen Geyer, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, described Goochland’s focus on student growth as a key to the division’s success.  “We have definitively prioritized individual student growth over traditional achievement measures.  Every child’s learning is important, and a true sense of urgency should accompany that mindset.  Our focus on individual growth ensures this urgency – and strong outcomes on traditional measures like SOL tests simply become a byproduct of doing what’s best for students.  Our teachers have embraced this philosophy, and it’s their talents and commitment to our children that makes our division’s success possible.”

Despite the school division’s exceptionally strong overall results, team members remain committed to continuing to elevate expectations, as well as to targeting areas of relative weakness.  Raley stated, “While we certainly have a lot to celebrate, we face the same challenges that most school divisions across the state and nation face when it comes to achievement gaps for our students with disabilities and our African American students.  We have made some great progress in these areas, especially recently, but we have more work to do.  We are committed to closing these gaps, while continuing to raise the bar for every student.”

Goochland’s math results have have increased by six (6) percentage points over the past three years for African American students, while math results for students with disabilities followed a similar impressive trend: increasing by five (5) percentage points over the same time period.  However, Goochland’s reading results declined by three (3) percentage points since last year for the division’s African American students, while reading results for students with disabilities showed a slight increase of two (2) percentage points.

The school division plans to present its annual comprehensive data report to the School Board at its September 12 public meeting..

 

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Two Goochland Schools Receive 2017 Virginia Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Awards

Date:  August 8, 2017 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   

Contact: Mr. Andrew R. Armstrong, Executive Director of Business Operations  aarmstrong@glnd.k12.va.us  |  (804) 332 0965  |  @glndschools www.goochlandschools.org

Two Goochland Schools Receive 2017 Virginia Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Awards

Today, Governor Terry McAuliffe and the state Board of Education announced that 386 schools and 17 school divisions earned 2017 Virginia Index of Performance (VIP) awards for advancing learning and achievement.  The VIP incentive program recognizes schools and divisions that exceed state and federal accountability standards and achieve excellence goals established by the governor and board.

231 schools from among the over 1,800 schools in Virginia were recognized with Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Awards, and both Byrd Elementary and Goochland Elementary were recognized as recipients of the 2017 Distinguished Achievement Award.

Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Raley was excited but not surprised by Byrd and Goochland’s recognition.  “Having seen the tremendous work of our staff and support of our community at both Byrd and Goochland Elementaries, it is great to see our Board of Education and Governor recognize the efforts at these schools.  We will continue to aim for more than the minimum everywhere in Goochland County Public Schools”.  

The Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Award was earned by 231 schools that met all state and federal benchmarks and made progress toward the goals of the governor and the board.

“School success is based on student success and each of these awards highlights a school or school division where young Virginians are being well prepared for the challenges ahead,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said.

More information about the VIP incentive program for schools and school divisions is available on the VDOE website:

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/statistics_reports/va_index_performance_awards/index.shtml