GES Distributed 10K in Food Lion Cards to Needy Goochland Families

The Goochland Education Foundation (GEF) recently distributed over $10,000 worth of Food Lion gift cards to Goochland families in need to make sure the children had food over the holidays. After receiving a $5,000 grant from the Richmond Christmas Mother Fund via The Community Foundation, a private donor matched the funds for the 2nd year in a row!  Our donors enabled the gifts to be distributed to 188 student families who participate in the Goochland County Public Schools “Brown Bag Program”.

Each family received two $30 Food Lion Cards, which were distributed through the school principals directly to the families before Goochland schools closed for the Winter Break.

“We appreciate so much the Goochland Education Foundation who applied for the grant, Food Lion, and the private donors who made these gifts possible,” remarked superintendent James Lane. “This kind of extraordinary generosity and collaborative work is what makes our community so special.  We have a significant number of students that leave our schools and don’t have enough food on weekends or the holidays.  This support helps so much.”

Volunteer Background Check Clarification

One of the hallmarks of  our tremendous County is the presence of an army of community volunteers. These selfless people give their energy, time and unique skill sets to the greater mission of inspiring and maximizing the potential of our students.

We feel it’s important to remind everyone of our stance on the issue of requiring volunteers to submit to a background check.

The Code of Virginia requires that:

As a condition of employment, school boards of the Commonwealth shall require any applicant who is offered or accepts employment after July 1, 1989, whether full-time or part-time, permanent, or temporary, to submit to fingerprinting and to provide personal descriptive information to be forwarded along with the applicant’s fingerprints through the Central Criminal records Exchange to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record information regarding such applicant. (Code Reference)

 

Let’s be clear. School Boards in Virginia are required by law to do a background check on anyone who’s going to work in the school division – no matter what capacity or how long they plan to work. Hourly tutors doing remediation for a week, evening custodians, substitute teachers – doesn’t matter. If we’re going to employ them for even one hour, the law says they need to be fingerprinted.

In Goochland, we have chosen to closely follow the guidelines for employees as we consider our volunteers. We have flexibility, but have chosen only to exercise it in very unique circumstances.

The guidelines we use include two simple questions:

  • Will the volunteer ever be unsupervised with children?
  • Will the volunteer be regularly spending time with children?

If the answer is “yes” to either question, we require a background check. Like the Code, we don’t not attempt to draw lines among people – those we know/don’t know, those our friends know/don’t know, those who seem trustworthy/seem suspicious, those with whom we’ve worked before/those who we’ve never met.

That’s a fruitless exercise and a very slippery slope. We all know people we trust explicitly and would never suggest they are a danger to your children. Our commitment is to ensure every parent that we will not give any adult access to their children, unsupervised or repeated, without ensuring that adult has completed the background check – the same one required by law of our employees.

We believe it’s our obligation to confidently look our community in the eyes and say we are doing all we can to ensure your children are safe at school.

It can be awkward to require those who have been volunteering in past years without the background check and doing inspiring work in our schools to submit to a fingerprint check. Those are often individuals who are well-known to be powerful positive influences in our community. It seems to be an affront to the selfless and generous spirit those people have poured out when we ask them to go through a criminal background check. It’s as though we think they might be criminals.

We don’t. Just as we don’t suspect the exemplary candidates to whom we offer jobs in our division to be criminals either. But as the law requires that we screen all employees, we extend that same level of precaution to all adults who will have repeated or unsupervised access to your children. No matter who they are.

Not because we suspect they need it, but because we want every parent to rest easy that we aren’t making that kind of subjective judgement call when it comes to the safety and wellbeing of their children.

We would never want to offend anyone, especially our wonderful volunteers. It’s even more important to us that every parent, after they put their children on a bus or drop them off at the school doors, goes into the day will absolute certainty that their children are safe.

Your child’s safety is non-negotiable.

2015 PTA Reflections Winners Announced

Last week the middle school and elementary PTA groups celebrated the participants and winners in the PTA Reflections Program.  They had an 800% increase in participation over last year!

Here is a beautiful quote from one of the GES judges, which sums up the intent of the program so well…

“All the entries are to be commended.  Any attempt to put one’s creativity out into the world for viewing and judgment by others is a victory!!   My hat is off to all the participants and to you for encouraging this in the kids!  It can only serve to add to their life experience.”

– Janet Melton,  Artist & Library Manager

The following students rose to the challenge and interpreted the PTA Reflections theme “Let Your Imagination Fly” through 5 different arts categories.  These students will move on to the District level of competition.

Goochland Elementary:

Primary Photography:  Colleen Steely (Kindergarten)

Intermediate Literature:  Elena Dewey (3rd grade)

Intermediate Dance Choreography:  Alison Croker (3rd grade)

Intermediate Film Production:  Nathan McGraw (3rd grade)

First Place Entries (highest judges’ score in the division category):

Primary Visual Arts:  Nathaniel Harris (Kindergarten)

Intermediate Visual Arts:  Elena Dewey (3rd grade)

Intermediate Photography:  Maya Jandzinski (5th grade)

Randolph Elementary:

Primary K-2

Film
  • 1st  Luca Gardner
Literature
  • 1st Kyranna Stratiou
  • 2nd Lia Melton
Visual Arts
  • 1st Sam Farkas
  • 2nd Cole Fields
  • 3rd Kyranna Stratiou
 Secondary 3-5
Film
  • 1st Caden Gardner
  • 2nd Charlie Darr
Literature
  • 1st Graham-Michael Mintz
  • 2nd Graham-Michael Mintz
  • 3rd Maggie Goodman
Photography
  • 1st  Graham Michael Mintz
  • 2nd Graham Michael Mintz
  • 3rd Graham Michael Mintz
Visual Arts
  • 1st McKinley Schatz
  • 2nd Kate Davis
  • 3rd  Raegan Kernan

Byrd Elementary:

Visual Arts: (K – 2nd Category)
  • 1st Place – Miranda Slayton  (2nd)
  • 2nd Place – Hailey Slayton  (2nd)
  • 3rd Place – Natalie Wiener   (1st)
Honorable Mention – Lucy Taylor (K) Honorable Mention –  Jake Potter (K) Photography:  (3rd – 5th Grade category)
  • 1st Place – Tyler Black  (5th)
  • 2nd Place – Olivia Thompson – Neisz  (3rd)
Dance:  K – (2nd Category)
  • 1st Place – Ailey Black
Literature: (3rd – 5th category)
  • 1st Place – Baraka Ganyuma
Literature:  (K – 2nd category)
  • 1st Place – Jalia Ganyuma

Goochland Middle:

Literature
  • First place, Madeline Gore, 7th, “Riding the Cyclone”
  • Ssecond place, Jessie Steadman, 8th, “Get Up and Dream Out Loud”
  • Third place, Mitchell Davis, 6th, “If I Won a Million Dollars”
Visual arts
  • First place, Jessie Steadman, 8th, “Forced Thoughts”
  • Second place, Bayleigh Allen, 6th,“Book and Butterflies”
  • Third place, Lorena Maier, 6th, “Imagine, Create, Inspire”
Photography
  • First place, Jessie Steadman, 8th, “Ignite Your Imagination,”
  • Second place, 6th, Makayla Nash, “Bee”
  • Third place, , Austin Payne, 8 “Wall Art”
Film Production
  • First Place, Sabina Rucker, 8th,Tell Your World
  • Second Place, Austin Payne, 8th, Flying Imagination
Visual Arts
  • First place, Jessie Steadman, 8 “Forced Thoughts,”
  • Second place, Bayleigh Allen, 6th, “Book and Butterflies”
  • Third place, Lorena Maier, 6th, “Imagine, Create, Inspire”
Dance/Choreography
  • First place, Kiersten Hamlin and Tanara Johnson, 6, “Imaginative
Dance”

Robotics Teams Excel in the Region

Congratulations to the six Goochland robotics teams that competed at L C Bird  HS in Chesterfield last weekend!

Results:
  • BES- first place, Project Design Award;
  • GMS- first place, Core Values – “Dumpster Divers”
  • GMS – first place, Robot Design Award – “Clean Up Crew”

The award-winning GMS Dumpster Divers robotics team!

And, the GMS Dumpster Divers are going to the state competition at JMU the first weekend in December!  We celebrate the work of these exemplary coaches: Anne Moore, Carly Dachelet, Lisa Brown, Nate Potter, Candice Labbott, and Sherrill Kauffman.

Fall Athletic Success and Upcoming Events

Our scholar athletes have achieved tremendous success this fall!

Volleyball:

Join us in congratulating the Varsity Volleyball team beat R.E. Lee on Thursday night 3-1 in the semi-finals of Region 2A East Volleyball Tournament!  With the win, GHS will host the finals of the tournament at 5:00 pm on Saturday, November 14.  Admission for the game is $6.00.

Also with the win, the VB Bulldogs will play in the semi-finals of the VHSL State Volleyball Tournament on Tuesday, November 17.  With a win on Saturday, we will host and if we lose on Saturday we will be on the road.

Football:

We will host Wilson Memorial tonight in the first round of the Region 2A East Football Playoffs.  We are ranked #1 and Wilson is ranked #16.

With a win on Friday night, we would host the winner of Brunswick/Greensville game next Friday night, November 20 in the second round.

With a win on November 20, we would host again vs. another second round winner on Friday, November 27 in the third round.

And if we win on November 27, we would host again on Saturday, December 5 vs. the second highest ranked team from the West in semi-finals of the VHSL State Playoffs.   This would be a 2:00 game on that Saturday.

Cross Country:

Cross Country Bulldog Austin Bruce will be competing in the VHSL State Cross Country Meet on Saturday at Great Meadow, The Plains, VA.  2A runs at11:30.  The boys’ team won the conference meet and the girls came in second! Both teams competed in the 2A East competition last Wednesday.

Theatre:

Theater is competing in the 2A East Competition this Saturday at Prince Edward at 1:30.

Cheer:

Competition cheer finished 2nd in the conference! Well done!

 

Apple Executives Present GCPS with International Award

For its 1:1 iPad program at Byrd Elementary, Goochland Elementary, Randolph Elementary, and Goochland Middle Schools, Goochland County Public Schools is pleased to announce that it has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished Program for 2015–2017 for its implementation of deeper learning with iPad Mini and iPad Air.

Apple representatives presented the award during last night’s school board meeting. Pictured here, left to right: John Hendron (Dir. Strategy & innovation), Meg Wilson (Apple executive), Lauren Langley (Apple executive), Quentin Ballard (GHS Asst. Principal), Tom DeWeerd (Dir. Technology), James Hopkins (BES Principal), Jennifer Rucker (GMS Principal), Tina McCay (GES Principal)

November 2015 ECCHO Award Winners

A new cohort of ECCHO Award winners were recognized at the November 10, 2015 school board meeting. Having been nominated by colleagues, leaders, parents or students, these professionals were selected using a rubric designed to evaluate the scope and impact of the nominee’s display of the division’s core values.

Winners of the November 2015 ECCHO Awards , left to right: Lisa Hobbs, Amanda Steeley, Jacquie Hamilton, Suzanne Taylor, Stephanie Falconer, Amy Trowbridge.

The GCPS ECCHO Awards are an integral part of the Values Based Leadership model implemented throughout the division. We believe that the best way to maximize the potential of a learner, be it a student or an adult, is to create an environment in which the individual can live, work and lead in alignment with core values that resonate deeply as important, even non-negotiable points of conviction.

GCPS has identified five of these values: Excellence, Creativity, Courage, Honor and Optimism (ECCHO). The ECCHO awards highlight exemplary displays of behaviors that reflect an alignment between individual and organizational values.

 

GHS Volleyball Player and Coach of the Year

Please join us in congratulating these exemplary scholar-athletes and coach from Goochland High School. The GHS Volleyball team has a 22-0 record, having beaten every opponent 3-0, every time!  In addition to the all-conference selection awards below, Madelyn Ott was named Player of the Year and GHS Volleyball Coach Jennifer Erixon was Coach of the Year!

2015 Quad Rivers 34 All-Conference Volleyball Selections

  • Madelyn Ott, Middle Hitter, GHS Senior
  • Josie Summitt, Setter, GHS Senior
  • Maddie Parker, Outside Hitter, GHS Senior
  • Alexis Wiggins, Middle Hitter, GHS Sophomore
  • Casey Spencer Libero, GHS Junior

Goochland was the Conference Champion and will advance to play Amelia in the Regional competition.

GHS Volleyball team currently has a 22-0 record!

 

What Programs Should GCPS Career & Tech Offer Next?

The Career and Technical Education Department is seeking community input about current and possible future CTE courses at Goochland Middle School and Goochland High School.  The survey will be available from now until November 20th, 2015.  The survey consists of approximately 10 questions and should take less than 15 minutes to complete.

Click here to access this survey.

The information will help the CTE department with program evaluation and help identify future needs within CTE.  Please note that no identifiable information will be gathered or used. The survey is completely anonymous.

 

Congratulations Dr. Ballard!

Please join us in congratulating Goochland High School assistant principal, Quentin Ballard, who has earned his doctoral degree! Quentin earned a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies from Virginia Tech last week.

Quentin Ballard, Ed.D., GHS assistant principal

Quentin’s research was focused on how students access advanced math and science courses in Virginia’s high schools.

We are extremely proud of the work he and his family invested in this tremendous accomplishment. His commitment to scholarship and excellence is an exemplar for our students!

Farm to School Continues to Thrive in Goochland

Goochland’s Farm to School program continues to thrive! Here, a partnership between Chef Stephanie Charnes’ culinary arts students at Goochland Tech and nutrition staff at the secondary complex brings gourmet fall treats using locally-grown foods to students!

Begun in 2009 when nutrition supervisor, Lisa Landrum, had a vision for bringing more locally-grown produce and foods into school cafeterias, Farm to School has expanded. Once each week locally-grown foods comprise the entire menu in every school cafeteria. Local farmers come to teach students about the processes they use to develop healthier, organic foods as they’re served in the school cafeterias.

 

RES Students Raise 3K for Charity and Celebrate Honor

Randolph Elementary kicked off the school year with the theme of “Recognizing Every Strength.” Not only did students acknowledge their academic strengths, they also found other ways to show they were strong — as leaders, athletes, good citizens and great friends. One initiative resulted in a fundraising competition with Kent Horner from HCA Virginia Sports Medicine.

For two weeks, students from RES competed against Horner, a local Physical Therapy Assistant, through a fundraising battle. RES 4th graders raised just over $1,150 for Wounded Warrior Project.  Students wanted to honor recent veterans because, “They fought for us, now we can fight for them.”  Horner collected $2000 for IamRVA, a new nonprofit focused on bike safety.  IamRVA funds will benefit area kids who have suffered a traumatic brain injury from biking accidents.

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The culminating event was an athletic challenge between RES students and Horner.  Volunteers from HCA Sports Medicine and IamRVA met with about 55 students after school on September 23rd.  Horner’s team brought out a variety of fitness equipment and set up several events.  The afternoon included planking and wall sit competitions, a kickball challenge, tire and telephone pole flips, obstacle courses, and a kettle bell toss.  The highlight was an all-time classic:  Tug of War.  The students defeated Horner, the volunteers, and the teachers…twice!

The students were declared victorious in the athletic portion of the competition, while Horner took the fundraising.  With a tie resulting, it seems there is no choice but to schedule a rematch for spring!

If you are interested in supporting either cause or would like more information please contact: Jennifer Gates (jgates@glnd.k12.va.us)

https://fundraise.woundedwarriorproject.org/rtt/Fundraising/individual/Kids-VS-Kent

http://iamrva.com/kidsvskent/

 

Could You Be Our Newest Bus Driver?

We are looking for inspiring individuals to join our excellent fleet of transportation staff members and drivers! Our drivers have an incredible impact on the mission of our division. They are the first point of contact for many students and can set the tone for the day.

Are you interested in sharing in this role? We’d love to talk with you about it!

Please give us a call to discuss the possibility of you joining our team:

Betty Thurston
Supervisor of Transportation
556-5367
 
Demetra Harris
Human Resources Specialist
556-5603

GCPS RECEIVES 24K GRANT AWARD TO SUPPORT SAFETY UPGRADES

Goochland County Public Schools have been chosen to receive $24,000 in funding to support safety preparedness initiatives during the 2015-16 school year. Governor Terry McAuliffe announced last week that the Commonwealth has awarded $6 million in School Security Equipment Grants to help ensure the safety of Virginia’s schools.

The committee that developed the grant application included:

  • Sonny Turner, Maintenance Supervisor
  • Peter Martin, Network Administrator and Technical Services Coordinator
  • Robin Powers, Accounting Technician
  • Tom DeWeerd, Director of technology and Administration
  • Bruce Watson, Director of Career & Technical Education
  • Peter Gretz, Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations

The grant funds will support key initiatives, identified through the work of the GCPS Crisis & School Safety Task Force as well as continued partnership with the Goochland Sheriff’s Office and Fire and Rescue Department. Specifically, this year’s award will enable the division to:

  • establish communication between Goochland High School and Goochland Tech,
  • establish communication between Goochland High School and Goochland PREP,
  • upgrade communication between Goochland Elementary and the ESCE Preschool (2nd floor of Goochland Tech),
  • provide new two-way radios to all schools, including Goochland Tech, the ESCE Preschool, and Goochland PREP,
  • install amplification of the intercom system in shop labs at Goochland Tech where noisy equipment and machinery can make communication challenging, and
  • purchase and implement a “Panic Button” software solution that will enable access to a mobile panic alarm, emergency notification, real-time location tracking, and a mass update system to better facilitate communication and resolution of emergency situations in all school facilities.

“We intend for our schools to be places where students, staff and community members can pursue deeper learning,” superintendent James Lane said. “As we work together to maximize the potential of every learner, we must also commit to ensure that all of our schools are safe.”

The School Security Equipment Grant program was established by the 2013 General Assembly in the aftermath of the December 14, 2012, mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.

“All those who visit our schools throughout the school year will be safer today because of this grant award,” school board chairman John Lumpkins said. “This will provide our schools and first responders with necessary tools to respond quickly and effectively if a security threat does arise.”

GCPS and Historical Society Celebrate Start of Incredible Partnership

The History in our Hallways event at Goochland High School last week was a tremendous success. What started as an idea in superintendent James Lane’s vision for decorating school hallways has blossomed to become a thriving partnership between the Goochland Historical Society and the school division, involving students and community members in an inspiration project.

DSC_0174 DSC_0161 DSC_0197 DSC_0188 DSC_0169 DSC_0195 DSC_0208 DSC_0221

During the reception, the photographic displays were unveiled as community members toured the high school, treasuring the memories depicted. Members of Mr. Bouwens digital productions class stood by the photos and gave living captions, including unique pieces of history surrounding the shots. Chef Charnes and the Goochland Tech culinary arts students provided refreshments, served throughout the school.

 

“This is only the beginning,” remarked Dr. Lane. “We intend to expand this project to involve more and more photographs and community members. The possibilities are really limitless.”

 

GCPS Receives 24K Grant to Support Safety Upgrades

Goochland County Public Schools have been chosen to receive $24,000 in funding to support safety preparedness initiatives during the 2015-16 school year. Governor Terry McAuliffe announced last week that the Commonwealth has awarded $6 million in School Security Equipment Grants to help ensure the safety of Virginia’s schools.

The committee that developed the grant application included:

  • Sonny Turner, Maintenance Supervisor
  • Peter Martin, Network Administrator and Technical Services Coordinator
  • Robin Powers, Accounting Technician
  • Tom DeWeerd, Director of technology and Administration
  • Bruce Watson, Director of Career & Technical Education
  • Peter Gretz, Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations

The grant funds will support key initiatives, identified through the work of the GCPS Crisis & School Safety Task Force as well as continued partnership with the Goochland Sheriff’s Office and Fire and Rescue Department. Specifically, this year’s award will enable the division to:

  • establish communication between Goochland High School and Goochland Tech,
  • establish communication between Goochland High School and Goochland PREP,
  • upgrade communication between Goochland Elementary and the ESCE Preschool (2nd floor of Goochland Tech),
  • provide new two-way radios to all schools, including Goochland Tech, the ESCE Preschool, and Goochland PREP,
  • install amplification of the intercom system in shop labs at Goochland Tech where noisy equipment and machinery can make communication challenging, and
  • purchase and implement a “Panic Button” software solution that will enable access to a mobile panic alarm, emergency notification, real-time location tracking, and a mass update system to better facilitate communication and resolution of emergency situations in all school facilities.

“We intend for our schools to be places where students, staff and community members can pursue deeper learning,” superintendent James Lane said. “As we work together to maximize the potential of every learner, we must also commit to ensure that all of our schools are safe.”

The School Security Equipment Grant program was established by the 2013 General Assembly in the aftermath of the December 14, 2012, mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.

“Virginia students, teachers, administrators, support staff — and the parents and others who visit our schools throughout the school year — are safer today because of this program,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said. “This program enhances school safety and gives our schools and first responders the tools they need to keep out intruders and respond quickly and effectively if a security threat does arise.”

 

BES Students Announce Year’s Theme

We were inspired by a group of exemplary students from Byrd Elementary School who confidently shared their school’s 2015-16 theme with the school board last week.  Students took turns sharing the meaning of “KEYS” (K= know your potential, E=everyone involved, Y=you give your all, S=setting high goals).

BES Eagles wait to address the school board.

Well done BES Eagles!

Sandie Warwick Presented with VSBA Media Award

The GCPS school community was honored to join the school board in highlighting the fair and balanced communication of matters related to the schools and education in the commonwealth that are so characteristic of Sandie Warwick’s work as a local blogger. Board chairman, John Lumpkins, presented Mrs. Warwick with the VA School Board Association’s annual Media Honor Roll Award during its regularly scheduled September 8 business meeting.

GCPS school board chair, John Lumpkins, honors Goochland blogger, Sandie Warwick, with the 2015 VSBA Media Honor Roll recognition.

 

Mrs. Warwick has maintained her blog, Goochland On My Mind, since 2008. Please join us in thanking her for faithfully reporting the activities – both the triumphs and the challenges – of the local schools and government.

Congratulations Mrs. Warwick!

Join Us for the Town Hall Meetings

The Town Hall meetings are a wonderful way to learn about the exciting things happening in the schools and county departments. You have the opportunity to interact with members of both the school and county governing boards, superintendent, county administrator, and a host of other department leaders within both organizations.\

Statement About Meningitis from Dr. Lane

A Message from the Superintendent:

“Team Goochland,

We were notified by the health department that a teenager who was served at a facility in Goochland died from a possible case of bacterial meningitis. We were very sad to hear this tragic news and encourage everyone to keep the family in your thoughts.

Based on the information that we have received at this point, we have no reason to believe that any Goochland County Public Schools students have been in contact with this child. GCPS does not operate the facility where the child was served nor have any GCPS students attended this school in recent history.  Additionally, we do not believe the affected child was a permanent resident of Goochland County.

Because our students are not directly involved in this incident and we have no reason to believe that our students were in the vicinity of the affected child, we encourage any concerned parents or citizens to contact the Goochland County Health Department for further questions.

For contact information for the health department, please follow this link:

http://www.co.goochland.va.us/Departments/Departments(GZ)/HealthDepartment.aspx

If any of the information we have reported changes significantly, we will let you know as soon as possible.”