FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: GOOCHLAND, VA – AUGUST 16, 2016
Goochland County Public Schools Continues to have 100% of its Schools Meet Full State Accreditation Standards
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 twenty-one benchmarks by an average of 18%.
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 five 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 there needs to be an urgency there. Our focus on individual growth ensures that 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, 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 October 11 meeting, following the Virginia Department of Education’s finalization of statewide School Quality Profiles scheduled for late September/early October.