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

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.

 

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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.