A group of students from Goochland Middle School was featured at last Tuesday’s Virginia School Board Association’s Hot Topic Conference, held at the Chesterfield Career and Technical Center in Midlothian, VA. The conference was dedicated to showcasing educational technology. Among the presentation topics at the conference were “The Mobility Revolution”, “Coding in the Real World”, and “Rewiring Digital Content: From Consumers to Creators”. An innovation showcase was also included in the day’s events, featuring best practices in technology from across the Commonwealth. The audience included school board members, superintendents, and educational leaders from across Virginia.
Goochland Middle School students, selected based on their membership in a student-driven club formed to continue the work in coding and making that began in elementary school, were asked to demonstrate their learning with the iPad at this year’s conference. The students assumed the role of “iDocumentarians”, and in only a few hours collaborated to produce a single video that documented the experience of all of the conference’s participants.
“This was all possible because we haven’t just given students iPads, but we have also taught them how to use these incredible tools for communication. These are the same tools that students have the opportunity to use to further their study both in and outside of school”, said Dr. John Hendron, Director of Innovation and Strategy. “Kudos to our teachers at GMS for giving students the soft skills on how to use the iPads in this way. Participants were impressed—no doubt—by the amount of applause our ‘iDocumentarians’ received.”
GCPS, as part of its commitment to deeper, personalized learning and preparing students to be career ready, provides an iPad to each student in grades 3 through 8, and is planning to extend personalized learning to students in grades 9 through 12 with MacBook distribution to all high school students in 2017.
Goochland County Public Schools’ investment in Career and Technical Education has resulted in significant growth in student enrollment and offerings since 2014.
According to Mr. Bruce Watson, GCPS Director of Career and Technical Education, the number of sections of CTE classes has grown from 72 to 100, and the total number of students enrolled has increased from 1,424 to 1,788, a 26% increase in 3 years.
Goochland County Public Schools, in cooperation with the School Board and Board of Supervisors, has made Career and Technical Education a priority since the current School Board assumed office in 2011. An investment of over 2.5 million dollars and the repurposing of facilities created state of the art culinary, heavy equipment, carpentry, nurse aide, and robotics classrooms that have attracted a wide variety of students, male and female, from across the district. Career and Technical Education has created results across the curriculum. “The skills students are exposed to in an authentic context in CTE classes reinforce the significance of many core content classes, including most math and science classes. The success of CTE is the success of our entire district”, said Watson.
“I believe that Career and Technical Education gives all of our students a step up. It enhances the transcripts of all students, not only our college bound students”, said Mr. Michael Payne, Goochland County School Board representative from District 1 and Career and Technical Education Teacher. “It gives them an opportunity to gain skills that can make them career ready after high school. I am very happy with the progress we have made in Goochland over the last five years and look forward to us moving forward with our business partners in giving our students apprenticeship and internship opportunities.”
GCPS plans to seek opportunities to grow its CTE offerings and explore partnerships with local businesses to fulfill its mission to make our students career ready.
P R E S S R E L E A S E
Date: October 14, 2016 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mr. Andrew R. Armstrong, Executive Director of Business Operations firstname.lastname@example.org | (804) 332 0965 | @glndschools www.goochlandschools.org
Headline: GCPS Students to Take Part in Mission Tomorrow
8th graders from Goochland Middle School will join about 12,000 8th graders from across the region at Mission Tomorrow, being held October 27 and 28 at the Richmond International Raceway. Mission Tomorrow is the Richmond region’s first interactive career exploration event for students and will feature over 100 regional businesses.
Among the goals of Mission Tomorrow are exposing students to a better understanding of the characteristics of 21st century careers, promoting their preparation for those careers, and delivering several planning resources, such as “Invest in What’s Next”, the “Virginia Education Wizard”, and various Career and Technical Education programs that have become a distinguishing trait of Goochland County Public Schools.
8th grade students have been targeted for participation because of the importance of the 8th grade year for decisions on scheduling and coursework pathways through high school and beyond. “I am thankful for the work of Chamber RVA and for the opportunities that will be provided to our students at this event”, said Dr. Jeremy Raley, GCPS Superintendent of Schools. “Career development begins early in a student’s academic career. This will be a tremendous opportunity for our students to experience the breadth of options that are available in our area. Our school division is working hard to prepare our students to be career ready in an ever-changing global economy. This event certainly supports our efforts!”
GCPS Career and Technical Education, Goochland Middle School, and the Department of Transportation have partnered to promote and organize this opportunity for students.
Mrs. Debbie H. White, Director of Finance for Goochland County Public Schools, received the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for her work in developing and presenting the GCPS budget for 2016.
The award represents a significant achievement by Mrs. White and Goochland County Public Schools. In order to receive the award, the budget had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess the budget’s effectiveness in the areas of a policy document, financial plan, operations guide, and communications device. For budgets beginning in 2015, approximately 1,550 participants received this award. Award winners have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.
The GFOA is a major professional association servicing the needs of approximately 18,700 appointed and elected local, state, and provincial-level government officials and other finance practitioners. The association is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, with offices, in Washington, D.C. The GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program is the only national awards program in governmental budgeting.
This represents the fourth year Mrs. White and GCPS have received this award.