Goochland High School Senior Develops Scholarship and Music Festival in Memory of Classmate

Laura Grace Snow was a member of the GHS Class of 2019 who battled Juvenile Batten Disease from 3rd Grade until her death in February of 2018.  Despite losing her sight during Elementary School, life was never dark for Laura Grace.  During all of those years she maintained a positive outlook on life that was infectious to everyone with whom she came into contact.

Laura Grace had a profound love for music and never missed an opportunity to perform at school talent shows.  Her favorite artist was Taylor Swift and she could sing along to almost every song.  During Middle School Laura Grace and her family got the opportunity to meet another of her favorite singers, Carrie Underwood, through the Make a Wish Foundation.

Goochland High School Senior, Savannah Slater, has been friends with Laura Grace since they were toddlers playing at Hidden Rock Park while their older brothers played baseball.  Savannah has created a scholarship in memory of Laura Grace as her GHS senior project.  She has worked with the Guidance Department, Laura Grace’s Family, and GRASP Representatives to develop this scholarship designed to open the eyes of her fellow students to the needs of individuals with disabilities.

Savannah has chosen to generate funds for this scholarship by creating the Laura Grace Snow Memorial Music Festival.  The Laura Grace Snow Memorial Music Festival will take place on Saturday, March 2nd in the Goochland High School Auditorium beginning at 6 p.m.  Doors will open at 5pm for dinner and to purchase raffle tickets.

The Festival will include stage performances by fellow students, community choirs, and local musicians.  Commemorative T-Shirts will be available for purchase at the festival as well as raffle tickets for some creative gift baskets donated by community members.  Dinner may be purchased from the All-Night-Graduation Committee at the indoor concession stand.

Goochland High Football Earns All-State Honors, Bill Dudley Foundation Scholarship

P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Date: December 27, 2018 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

aarmstrong@glnd.k12.va.us  |@glndschools|www.goochlandschools.org

The Goochland High School football team, led by first year head coach Alex Fruth, compiled a 14-1 record and a trip to the VHSL Class 2 state finals. The team received numerous accolades, including several players named to the VHSL Class 2 All-State Football Teams.

The All-State First Team included 6 Goochland High players. Center Justin Hawk, offensive lineman Connor Duncan, defensive lineman Jamal Carter, linebacker Sam Brooks, defensive back Devin McCray, and defensive all-purpose player Kindrick Braxton were all named to the First Team.  Kicker Jacob Hayward was named to the All-State Second Team.  A total of 32 players were chosen to each All-State team from across the Commonwealth.  Each All-State selection committee is composed of eight football coaches, representing each of the four VHSL regions.

Goochland senior Sam Brooks was recognized as the 2018 winner of the Bill Dudley Foundation Scholarship, awarded at the Dudley Award ceremony sponsored by the Touchdown Club of Richmond.  The Bill Dudley Foundation Scholarship is awarded to the top scholar football player in the Metro Richmond area.  Sam was honored with the top collegiate football players in the Commonwealth at the Dudley Award ceremony.

Pictured: Sam Brooks receives the 2019 Bill Dudley Foundation Scholarship

The $5000 scholarship goes to the player that best distinguishes himself in the areas of academic performance, extracurricular activities, community service, and athletic performance.  Sam is the second Bulldog selected for the prestigious award in the past four years. Current Richmond Spider Reid Chenault won the award in 2015.

Spanish-English Help Night 2019

P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Date: December 26, 2018 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Goochland High Students Work to Coordinate Spanish-English Help Night

In an ongoing project in the Advanced College Academy Spanish 202 classes, Humanos de Goochland (https://humanosdegoochland.wordpress.com), Goochland High students determined that the population of both Goochland County and nearby neighbors includes a significant Hispanic population. Of that population, many are Spanish-speaking and have limited English proficiency.

Students worked with professionals in the community and have coordinated Spanish-English Help Night, or Noche de Ayuda: Español-Inglés.  This event is scheduled to take place at Goochland High School in the cafeteria from 5:15 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 10.

The event is open to the entire community and will provide information for any person with limited English proficiency related to school services, procedures, and materials. Visitors can also connect with professionals, learn about employment opportunities, and learn how to ask specific questions on various topics.  Volunteer interpretation services and materials will be available related to medicine and health care, finances and banking, home utility services, child care, community recreational activities, and faith-based organizations.

Dinner has been donated and will be served to participants and guests from 5:15 until 6:00.

Students are still seeking volunteers, preferably with Spanish language skills, in any community organization.  Contact Ms. Olivia Exum, GHS teacher facilitator, at oexum@glnd.k12.va.us or contact Morgan Butler, GHS student, Spanish National Honor Society president, and project leader, at 18butlerm@glnd.k12.va.us for more information.

 

 

 

 

Randolph Elementary “Space Tamales” are Lego Robotics State Champions

P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Date: December 4, 2018 — 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

The Randolph Elementary School Lego Robotics Team, the “Space Tamales”, took home first place at this weekend’s state championship competition for the First Lego League.  The competition took place in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

The team’s innovation was the Space Tamale Blanket, a design that used hydrogen rich recyclables such as styrofoam and polyethylene to protect astronauts from galactic cosmic rays.  The team’s work also led to the development of applications that could protect pilots and flight attendants.

Coaches Sherrill Kaufmann, Randolph Elementary School gifted resource teacher, and Sean DeArras were joined by mentors Ann DeArras and RES teacher Johanna Schmeichel.  Team members include Brogan Boyle, Caroline Lohr, Kyranna Stratiou, Jesus Gonzalez, Edwin Ramirez, Johnny Vega, Armando Baltazar, and Joshua Gaskill.

Coach Sherrill Kaufmann is proud of this accomplishment, the culmination of months of work.  “This has been a labor of love for all of us-coaches, students, and their families.  We are excited to be recognized, but the teamwork, the innovation, and the creativity have been the real reward.”

The Space Tamales have been approached about sharing their project at the national level.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Krystle Demas Recognized as Tech Coach of the Year by VSTE

P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Date: December 3, 2018 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

At today’s annual conference of VSTE, the Virginia Society of Technology in Education, Goochland County Public Schools Instructional Technology Coach Mrs. Krystle Demas was recognized as a “tech coach of the year” for 2018.  VSTE is the state’s largest technology and education professional organization and operates as a chapter of the International Society for Technology in Education. VSTE recognized three individuals from among tech coaches in Virginia at its awards program.

Mrs. Demas serves as an Instructional Technology Coach at Randolph and Goochland Elementary Schools and was nominated for her dedication to improvement of student outcomes, support of teachers, and her work to maximize the potential of others through her positivity. She was named Goochland’s employee of the year last spring and was also selected as a presenter at this year’s VSTE conference. Mrs. Demas was part of the team at RES recognized for the G21 Gold Award in August.

“It’s an incredibly humbling experience to be recognized by VSTE as one of the top tech coaches across the state,” said Mrs. Demas. “I feel fortunate to work with a dedicated team in Goochland and with so many incredible teachers across two schools.”

Dr. Jeremy Raley, Superintendent, congratulated Mrs. Demas on her recognition.  “We are so fortunate in Goochland to have Mrs. Demas on our team.  She is a perfect example of the value our staff brings to the experience of our students and how that distinguishes our division.”

Goochland County Public Schools employs 4 full time Instructional Technology Coaches to support teachers and students in creating engaging instructional experiences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goochland Middle School Principal Jennifer Rucker Promoted to Coordinator of Professional Development in Chesterfield County Public Schools

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: GOOCHLAND, VA – October 10, 2018

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

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

At their monthly meeting yesterday, October 9, the Goochland County School Board accepted the resignation of Mrs. Jennifer Rucker, principal of Goochland Middle School.  Mrs. Rucker has served as the principal of GMS since 2012, having arrived to Goochland after tenures as a school counseling director in Henrico County Public Schools and assistant principal in Charlottesville City Schools.

Mrs. Rucker will become the new Coordinator of Professional Development for Chesterfield County Public Schools, where she will work with staff to perform a variety of duties, including the implementation of leadership development,  division-wide events, and staffing for the CCPS Department of Professional Development.

Mrs. Rucker has led the transformation of Goochland Middle School, a school that has been recognized as a National School to Watch and Apple Distinguished School, during her tenure.  She is appreciative of the support of the GMS community during her term as principal. “There is nowhere I would have rather been a principal than here at Goochland Middle School. The students, families, teachers, staff, and leaders at GMS and in our division have supported our commitment to deeper learning, a safe school environment, and fulfilling our mission to maximize the potential of every learner.  I am excited for this opportunity to grow in Chesterfield, and wish the best to GCPS!”

Mrs. Rucker will serve as principal of GMS through October 19, at which point Mrs. Amie Potter, current GMS assistant principal, will begin in the role of interim principal.  Mr. Patrick Gordon, current GMS math teacher, will assume the role of interim assistant principal.

GCPS will begin recruiting for the new principal of GMS in the coming weeks.  All GCPS job opportunities can be found at www.goochlandschools.org/jobs  

 

GCPS Celebrates Farm to Table and National School Lunch Weeks in October

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: GOOCHLAND, VA – October 1, 2018

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

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

This 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 this week, October 1 through 5, and National School Lunch Week October 15 through 19.

This Thursday, October 4, Goochland Middle and High Schools will serve their locally sourced menu consisting of local beef, chicken, lettuce, broccoli, gala apples, and grapes.  Our Goochland Technical Center Culinary Arts students will be on hand to distribute samples of Virginia foods, and the Center for Rural Culture will have an information table to educate about local foods.

Goochland County Public Schools Nutrition Services works regularly with local and regional vendors to provide healthy and popular options to students.  In the past two years, locally sourced ingredients have been integrated into several regular offerings, the weekly “my way café” has been a popular choice for students who want to customize their meal, and this year’s offering of freshly-made personal pizzas has proven another popular option for students.  Lisa Landrum, Supervisor of GCPS Nutrition Services, is proud of the work of her staff on behalf of the students of Goochland County.  “We are proud to serve our students and extend the innovation and excellence of Goochland County Public Schools into our school nutrition program.  Our staff is committed to providing our students with healthy and delicious meals to fuel them for learning every day.”

You can learn more about GCPS Nutrition Services and see the weekly menu at http://goochlandschools.org/about-goochland/nutrition-services/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Goochland County Public Schools Accredited Under the Revised VDOE Accreditation Standards

P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Date: September 28, 2018 — 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

Yesterday the Virginia Department of Education released accreditation ratings for all schools and school divisions of the Commonwealth under the newly created school accreditation standards.  An overview of Virginia results and an explanation of the newly revised accreditation standards can be found at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/news/news_releases/2018/09-sep27.shtml.  

These accreditation ratings are based on the results of the 2018 Standards of Learning tests, and are designed to assess school performance based on school quality indicators for academic achievement, achievement gaps, and student engagement and outcomes.  

92% of Virginia schools were accredited for 2018-2019, and all five Goochland schools are among those accredited schools.  Detailed information about school and division accreditation ratings can be found at http://schoolquality.virginia.gov/.  

Goochland County Public Schools exceeded the state average for student performance in math, science, and reading, and students with disabilities and black students met or exceeded the state average in the same content areas.  GCPS also exceeded the state average for kindergarten students meeting literacy benchmarks.

This represents more than a decade in which all GCPS schools have been accredited at the highest level designated the Virginia Department of Education, a distinction shared with only a handful of Virginia school divisions.  

This distinction is now determined by both traditional achievement measures as used in the previous accreditation system and the added criteria assessing school performance by individual subgroups and student engagement.  School leaders credit Goochland’s pursuit of innovation, growth, and engagement before test results in all classrooms as the source of success. “The new accreditation ratings validate our work to go further than overall ratings and to identify and improve outcomes for all of our students,” said Dr. Jeremy Raley, Superintendent. “The work of our teachers and staff has distinguished us in the Commonwealth and beyond, and we will continue to identify the areas where we can still improve and maximize the potential of every learner in Goochland County Public Schools.”  

Highlights from the division’s Spring 2018 SOL results include:  

  • Goochland students outperformed the Virginia state average in SOL pass percentage in all four core academic areas: reading, math, social studies, and science
  • Goochland’s reading scores ranked thirteenth in the state out of the 132 school divisions in the Commonwealth and second in the region
  • Goochland’s math scores also ranked thirteenth in the state and first in the region

Dr. Stephen Geyer, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, described Goochland’s focus on a balanced approach to instruction and assessment as a key to the division’s success.  “Every child’s learning is important, and that requires our instructional program to be balanced. Students need direct instruction. They also need opportunities to explore what interests them.  Students need to work collaboratively with their peers. They also need opportunities to demonstrate their learning independently. It’s this kind of balance across our entire division that prepares our students for success.  Even more important, we have the most talented, caring teachers anywhere – and it’s their dedication that makes our school community shine.”

 

GCPS Projected to be 100% Accredited Based on VDOE Release of 2018 State Testing Data

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: GOOCHLAND, VA – AUGUST 23, 2018

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

aarmstrong@glnd.k12.va.us | (804) 556 5605 | @glndschools www.goochlandschools.org

Goochland County Public Schools State Testing Results Project Full State Accreditation in 100% of its Schools Under Revised Standards

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) released official results of 2018 state testing yesterday, and Goochland continues to shine.  Virginia public schools administer 29 state assessments each year based on the Commonwealth’s Standards of Learning (SOL).  The results of these assessments are now considered in conjunction with additional criteria to determine the accreditation status of Virginia schools.  Beginning with the ratings for 2018-2019, to be announced on September 27, schools under the new accountability system will be scored on multiple school quality indicators as performing at one of three levels: Level One (at or above standard), Level Two (near standard or improving) or Level Three (below standard).  Schools will also be evaluated on progress in closing achievement gaps in English and mathematics, raising overall achievement in science and reducing chronic absenteeism. High schools will be evaluated on their success in raising graduation rates and reducing dropout rates.  These revisions are designed to provide a more comprehensive view of school quality, place increased on emphasis on closing achievement gaps and encourage continuous improvement for all schools.

“The revised accreditation system is a significant improvement and will provide a more holistic evaluation of school quality,” said Dr. James Lane, former Goochland superintendent and current Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction. “It includes multiple factors to comprehensively evaluate Virginia’s schools, requires continuous improvement for every school, shines a light on the needs of all students and ensures tailored and effective support for schools needing assistance. Our ultimate goal is for every Virginia student to attend a school that maximizes their potential.”

Score data indicates that GCPS continues to shine both in the region and in the Commonwealth, with Goochland’s pass rates outpacing state averages by a comfortable margin:

State Test Virginia Goochland
Reading 79% 85%
Math 77% 85%
Science 81% 86%
History 84% 92%

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 eleven years.  Despite the school division’s exceptionally strong overall results, team members remain committed to elevating expectations and implementing innovative programming for all students.  “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,” said Dr. Jeremy Raley, Superintendent.  “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.”

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

Goochland County Public Schools Awarded the VDOE Distinguished Achievement Award

P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Date: June 28, 2018 — 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

Governor Ralph Northam and the state Board of Education announced yesterday that 349 schools and 16 school divisions earned 2018 Virginia Index of Performance (VIP) awards for advanced learning and achievement. The VIP program recognizes schools and divisions that exceed state and federal accountability standards and achieve excellence goals established by the Governor and the Board of Education.  Goochland County Public Schools was recognized as one of the 15 divisions earning the 2018 Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Award for its 2016-2017 student achievement.

“The teachers, principals and support staff in these schools share a commitment to academic excellence and meeting the needs of every learner,” said Governor Northam.  “I congratulate our educators, school administrators, and the students of these great schools for achieving the Commonwealth’s highest award for schoolwide excellence.”

Goochland County Public Schools, in addition to meeting Virginia SOL accreditation benchmarks with fully accredited status for all schools for over ten consecutive years, has made instructional innovation, engaging curriculum, recruitment and retention of quality personnel, and significant capital planning to support quality instruction areas of focus under the leadership of the current School Board and Superintendent, Dr. Jeremy Raley.  

“Our results are strong, we have a lot to be proud of,” said Dr. Steve Geyer, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction.  “I often get asked by colleagues across the state what makes our instructional program so successful. My response is always the same, ‘It’s our people.’

Geyer added, “We have great kids and families – and we have the most dedicated, talented, caring educators anywhere. It’s their hard work every single day that’s at the center of our division’s success.”

The Goochland County Public Schools mission is to maximize the potential of every learner.  Read more about the 2018 Virginia Department of Education VIP Awards at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/news/news_releases/2018/06-jun27-gov.shtml