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..

 

#   #   #

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

Goochland County Public Schools Ranks Among Top 10 Virginia Divisions for Special Education Outcomes

July 24, 2017

Each year all Virginia school divisions are required to submit data to the Virginia Department of Education in order to assess outcomes for students receiving special education services.  These outcomes include the division’s degree of compliance with applicable laws and regulations as dictated by IDEA, the division’s timely corrections to any previously noted compliance issues, and thorough and efficient submission of data required by VDOE and federal law.  Each division’s performance across these dimensions results in the Annual Performance Report (APR) for both the state and each school division.  

This year, Goochland County Public Schools ranked 10 out of 132 divisions in the Commonwealth based on data from the Annual Performance Report.  This represents an improvement from 13 out of 132 at the last report.  

Mrs. Jennifer Waggener, GCPS Director of Exceptional Education, attributes Goochland’s distinction to the collaborative efforts of staff and parents.  “Our exceptional education teachers  and staff are on the front lines of providing all of our students with both instruction that is tailored to their individual needs and goals and regular maintenance and communication with families, students, and staff to ensure compliance.  Our work in our buildings, combined with the regular feedback we receive from our Special Education Advisory Council, has created a culture of continuous improvement for our students with disabilities”.  

Goochland County Public Schools provides a variety of services to students with disabilities across all levels.  Learn more about our programming at http://goochlandschools.org/instruction/exceptional-education/special-education/ and learn about the VDOE Annual Performance Report at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/special_ed/ .

GHS Students Take Part in Distinguished Summer Learning Programs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Goochland, VA – May 17, 2017

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

Goochland Students Take Part in Distinguished Summer Learning Programs in Virginia and Beyond

Goochland County Public Schools provides many opportunities and programming options to all students.  For GCPS gifted and high ability students, Summer Residential Governor’s Schools represent a special opportunity to extend learning with students of similar interests from across the Commonwealth.  This Virginia Department of Education program provides rising juniors and seniors with intensive educational experiences in visual and performing arts, humanities, mathematics, science, and technology, or through mentorships in marine science, medicine and health sciences, or engineering. Students apply to these highly selective programs and are considered among hundreds of applicants from across Virginia.  If accepted to a summer Governor’s School, the student lives on a college or university campus for up to four weeks in the summer.  Students are involved in classroom and lab work, field studies, research, performances, and seminars with noted scholars, visiting artists and other professionals.  

Two students from Goochland High School have been accepted to summer residential Governor’s Schools.  Sydney Meiller is a rising junior and will be attending the Governor’s School for Visual and Performing Arts to be held at Radford University.  Sydney has been recognized for her performance in several school productions, and is also a student in the Blue Ridge Virtual Governor’s School, one of two academic-year Governor’s School programs available to GHS students.  Bryce Russell, a rising senior, was accepted to the highly competitive Governor’s School for Math, Science and Technology to be held at Lynchburg College this summer.  Bryce participates in the Advance College Academy program at GHS and will complete an associate degree while still a senior in high school.

Rising senior Chloe Lyda will participate for the third year at the Brown University Pre-College Summer Program held at Brown University, an Ivy League institution located in Providence, Rhode Island.  Chloe was awarded a full scholarship to participate in the program and will take a two week-long intensive English course, a subject of particular interest for her.  She will live on the campus of Brown during her study.  Chloe is a student in the GCPS Advance College Academy program, is active in student government, and is currently the student representative to the Goochland County School Board.

For more information about any of the programs mentioned, please contact Raye Rector, Coordinator of Gifted and Federal Programs, at rrector@glnd.k12.va.us or 804.556.5610.

 

###

 

GCPS Leaders “Shadow a Student”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Goochland, VA – May 15 , 2017

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

GCPS Leaders Take Time to “Shadow a Student” in 2017

            This spring Goochland County Public Schools leadership answered the call to “Shadow a Student”, with twelve senior leaders taking a day to walk in the steps of our students throughout the division. The “Shadow a Student Challenge” was developed by the School Retool initiative, a professional development fellowship that “helps school leaders redesign their school culture” toward cultures of deeper learning through creating a community of change (http://shadowastudent.org/).

GCPS leaders, including Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Raley, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Dr. Steve Geyer, and members of senior leadership from operations, instructional technology, finance, CTE, and exceptional education were paired with a student for a day as partners and observers. Staff members rode the bus to school with students, ate lunch, sat in on classes, and discussed the student experience.

Mrs. Debbie White, Director of Finance, spent the day at the Goochland Elementary Preschool Program. “After boarding the bus at Byrd Elementary at 7:45, I spent the day watching the teaching staff work tirelessly to engage each child with their very unique needs and observing how much they cared about each child. The adults were quick to cover for each other whenever it was needed to meet those needs. It is difficult to comprehend just how much work is done for our students unless you walk in their shoes”, she said.

Mr. Andy Armstrong, Executive Director of Business Operations, described his day at Randolph Elementary. “In my 13 years as an administrator, I have spent a lot of time making 30 minute observations, meeting with staff, talking about teaching, and engaging with students, but nothing compares to seeing things from the student perspective the way I did as a shadow”.

GCPS leaders who participated in the Shadow a Student challenge debriefed about their experiences and continue to integrate their observations into planning for continued deeper learning in Goochland classrooms as defined by School Retool: mastering rigorous academic content, learning how to think critically and solve problems, working collaboratively, communicating effectively, directing one’s own learning, and developing an academic mindset — a belief in one’s ability to grow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goochland Middle Teacher Recognized as National STEM Ambassador

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Goochland, VA – May 5, 2017

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

Goochland Middle Teacher Recognized as National STEM Ambassador

Mrs. Anne Moore, Goochland Middle School Career and Technical Education Teacher and Robotics Coach, has recently been distinguished with the honor of becoming one of only ten National Science Teachers Association(NSTA)/National Council of Teachers of Mathematics(NCTM) STEM Ambassadors in the United States.  Mrs. Moore, who was previously distinguished as a Presidential Award Winner for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, is a member of the first cadre of STEM ambassadors.  

Her award places her among an elite group of experienced teachers who will advocate on behalf of teachers within policy and research dialogues at the national and local level.  Details on the STEM Ambassador program can be found here:  http://www.nsta.org/about/clpa/ambassador.aspx

Mrs. Moore is excited to represent Goochland County Public Schools on a national level.  “I am very honored to have been chosen and appreciate the wonderful work we do in GCPS that supports STEM instruction and development”.  Mrs. Moore will spend several days in Washington, D.C. this summer meeting with federal leaders and training to effectively advocate for STEM education at all levels.

Goochland County Public Schools has become a state leader in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education, incorporating various content areas into growing Career and Technical Education classes that allow students to experience science and mathematics in context with authentic experiences.  Mrs. Moore and her colleagues at Goochland Middle School have integrated authentic learning and STEM into the middle school curriculum through greater collaboration and project based learning.   

GCPS Recognizes Distinguished Employees and Retirees at the “Night of Excellence”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Goochland, VA – May 3, 2017

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

Goochland County Public Schools Recognizes Top Teachers and Staff at the Night of Excellence

On Tuesday, May 2, Goochland County Public Schools held its first “Night of Excellence” at the Goochland High cafeteria to recognize 2017 retirees, Teacher of the Year, and for the first time, the Employee and Team of the Year.  The Night of Excellence featured food prepared and served by Goochland High Culinary Arts students and GCPS Food Service, and music was provided by the Goochland High School Jazz Ensemble.  

The Goochland Education Foundation joined Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Raley in presenting awards to all of the evening’s distinguished recipients:

 

  • Mr. Neil Burch, Goochland High Teacher of the Year
  • Mrs. Jennifer Gates, Randolph Elementary Teacher of the Year
  • Ms. Katie Gill, Goochland Middle Teacher of the Year
  • Mrs. Sarah Smith, Goochland Elementary Teacher of the Year
  • Mrs. Rachel Wiggins, Byrd Elementary Teacher of the Year

 

Mrs. Jennifer Gates, 4th grade teacher at Randolph Elementary School, was selected as the Goochland County Public Schools 2017 Teacher of the Year.  

The GCPS Employee of the Year is Randolph Elementary Custodian Ms. Nikki Harris.  The GCPS Team of the Year is the Preschool Team, which includes the ECSE and Head Start staff, located at Goochland Elementary.

 Goochland Public Schools retirees Mr. John Dacey, GHS teacher;  Mr. Forrest Henley, Transportation;  Mrs. Martha Wunsh, BES nurse; Ms. Delores Johnson, Custodian; and Mrs. Alva Allen, secretary account for 130 years of experience in public education, with 125 of those years in Goochland County Public Schools.

 

 

    

 

Goochland County Public Schools Featured in 21st Annual VSBA Showcases for Success Directory

Date: April 18, 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

Goochland County Public Schools Featured in 21st Annual VSBA Showcases for Success Directory Goochland, VA – The Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) has released its 21st annual VSBA Showcases for Success directory, highlighting successful K-12 programs in Virginia’s public schools. Goochland County Public Schools is one of 56 school divisions from across the Commonwealth that has programs featured in the directory. Programs from Goochland County Public Schools are:

Alternate Route to Licensure in Goochland Schools

The path to full licensure for provisionally licensed teachers can be long, time-intensive, and expensive. Goochland County Public Schools created a seminar experience for four CTE teachers and submitted a proposal to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to create an alternative path to licensure.   Once the plan was approved, part one of the plan was implemented in April, and the four teachers met with the instructional team to begin the field practica, professional reading, direct instruction, and collaborative work sessions.   Part two of the program was conducted for five days in June where the teachers engaged in face-to-face instruction and discussions led by experts from within our school system.   The program provided training in human growth and development, curriculum and instruction, instructional design based on data, classroom management, and foundations of education and reading.   

Curriculum and Innovation Teacher Program

GCPS offered four teachers extended contracts to help us develop high-quality, project-based learning experiences for students in grades 3-8 so that their peer teachers could better benefit from having first-class exemplars of PBL that focused on deeper learning.  Deeper learning has been the focus behind our internationally-recognized 1:1 implementation with iPads in grades 3-8. Research has consistently demonstrated that an infusion of new technology without modifications to pedagogy will not deliver increases in student achievement.  By providing teachers a variety of PBL experiences aligned to our own Virginia SOL and the eight standards for high quality project-based learning by the Buck Institute, in combination with professional development and coaching, the work undertaken first in the summer with these teachers is now bringing deeper learning experiences to our students in the elementary and middle-school grades.

Performance Assessment Partnership

Goochland County Public Schools’ Balanced Assessment Project is built on an equilibrium among both assessment purpose (achievement versus growth) and assessment type (traditional versus nontraditional).  Entering the fourth year of our assessment work, we are seeing strong outcomes for students along with positive impacts to day-to-day classroom instruction.  As part of the next evolution of this work, we have established a strong partnership with Chesterfield County Public Schools and Dr. Chris Gareis from William & Mary University in the development of nineteen signature performance assessments that will used K-12 and evaluated cross-divisionally during the 2017-18 school year.  These performance assessments are being developed by teachers and are aimed and measuring “the five Cs” along with content knowledge.  This work represents best practice in terms of the Virginia’s local alternative assessment framework; moreover, it demonstrates one promising approach to providing students, teachers, and parents with a more complete picture of student learning.

The full VSBA Showcases for Success directory is available at www.vsba.org/showcases. It includes division-wide programs, as well as those at elementary, middle, and high school levels. Featured programs highlight successful programs related to Innovative Programs, School Initiatives, and Partnerships.  For more information about the VSBA Showcases for Success, contact Gina Patterson, VSBA executive director, at gina@vsba.org or 434-295-8722. ###

Goochland County Public Schools Career Day to Take Place on March 14

Over 70 local and regional businesses will be featured at the 2017 Goochland County Public Schools Career Day on Tuesday, March 14 at Goochland High School between 8:30 and 12:00. Representatives will include various local and national firms and corporations, including CarMax, Capital One, Luck Stone, Carter Equipment, Goochland Animal Clinic, Goochland Fire and EMS, Central Virginia Electrical Contractors Association, Mason & Hanger Architects and Engineers, and more.

The GCPS Career and Technical Education Department has organized this event for four years. All students grades 6 through 12 will have a chance to explore and interact with representatives from a variety of careers.

“This is the largest career fair ever for GCPS. It brings our students-both those who plan to pursue post secondary education and those entering the workforce-exposure to the careers of the 21st century”, said Mr. Bruce Watson, Goochland County Public Schools Director of Career and Technical Education.

This year GCPS will open the Career Fair up to the greater community. Anyone interested can visit Goochland High during the regular career fair hours of 8:30 to noon.