Vintage Photo Project at Goochland High School

This wonderful piece appeared in Richmond Magazine, detailing the ongoing work of the Goochland Historical Society in preserving and publishing treasured vintage photographs depicting life in the county. One of the installations is in the hallway of our high school, where pictures have been mounted and captions developed by GHS students and teacher, Kenneth Bouwens.

We look forward to additional promotion of this ongoing partnership between the school division and the Historical Society in the future.

GHS Senior Plans Kolor Me Katie 5K Event

Meghan Edwards, a senior at Goochland High School is partnering with four close friends to honor the life of Katie Anderson, plan a 5k, and raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She needs multiple sponsorships and donations and expects between 300-400 people at the 5K event, the “Kolor Me Katie 5K.”

Read Meghan’s Official Letter Here.

This would be a wonderful advertising opportunity for local businesses. Please consider joining Meghan in this endeavor and forwarding the opportunity to other potential sponsors and donors you know.

See Meghan’s Instructions to Sponsors Here.

Congratulations To BES Robotics

The Byrd Robotics Team had an incredible weekend in Harrisonburg at the 3rd Annual First Lego League Competition! They arrived in Harrisonburg Friday evening, ate together as a team and then headed to downtown Harrisonburg to march in the Christmas parade!

The team competed against 69 other teams in Division 1 on Saturday and Sunday all day at JMU. They enjoyed the JMU dining hall experience and classes at the campus as well. The team did a great job all weekend in all of their events.

Channel 12 covered the event here.

Our heartfelt congratulations to the BES Robotics Team members and community!

Community rallies support for the BES Robotics Team before the competition in Harrisonburg!

Support Former and Current Band Students November 12

Goochland Schools Faculty & Staff,
Please come out and support former and current students on November 12th, at 7pm, in the GHS Auditorium, when the Jazz Band and Percussion Ensemble will be hosting their Fall Concert.  These students are very dedicated to music and this is a great opportunity to show support for their interests!  The concert is free of charge.  Below is a list of the students who will be participating in the concert:
Jazz Band
Matthew McCauley
Travis Short
Noah Craig
Jerelle Jones
Emily Spangler
Giovanni Esposito
Phillip Goodman
Justin Miller
Anthony Dougherty
Charles Brown
Jaleel Jackson
Camden Harrahy
Percussion Ensemble
Jaleel Jackson
Cameron Ford
Josh Revercomb
Tyler McNeer
Jacob Clark
Charles Brown
Jordan “BJ” Lynch
Micah Allen
Brandon Fortune
I hope to see many of you next Wednesday!

BES FALL Festival a Big Success!

The F.A.L.L. (Families Actively Loving Learning) Festival was held at Byrd Elementary School on Thursday, October 30, 2014. Sponsored by the Title I Reading and Math team, the evening’s events included tricks for parents and students to improve reading and math skills, as well as sweet treats which were handed out by the teachers.

Over 250 participants attended this especially fun event!

Parents Tell Us How You Feel

Thank you for participating in our Parent Engagement & Satisfaction Survey.  This survey is part of a national project from the National Center for School Leadership which will provide great insight into how well we are engaging parents and families in the mission of our school division.

Click here for the survey in English

Un versión en español está aquí (Spanish version)

The confidentiality of your response to this survey is assured.  Your responses are absolutely anonymous. If you would rather take the survey using a paper copy, just ask your child’s school and one will be provided.

Important Information for Parents

Every year, millions of children in the United States catch enteroviruses that can cause coughing, sneezing, and fever. This year, the enterovirus that is most commonly causing respiratory illness in children across the country is enterovirus-D68 (EV-D68). Take basic steps to keep your child from getting and spreading EV-D68.

Click this link to find great information regarding this virus and how you can best protect your child from infection.

We are circulating this information throughout our schools as well and will continue to pass along these resources.

October Anti Bullying Month

We are honoring anti-bullying month in each of our facilities. Each school is pursuing activities to bring the issue to the forefront of student attention and to set the stage for a yearlong focus on honorable, respectful behavior among all GCPS community members.

GMS Principal Jennifer Smith stands next to the box in which students are encouraged to place anonymous feedback regarding bullying and behavior in the school.

We encourage you to note the updates we will offer throughout the month in the blogs and GCPS Facebook and Twitter feeds.

In Memory of Cole Starke

Please see this letter from Sheryl Holcomb. I encourage you to thoughtfully consider participating in these efforts as we continue to grieve the loss of this dear student and community member.

Dear Goochland Parents,

There is an African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and OUR village is founded on the support and strength we draw from each other. We are very fortunate to know our community is one that rallies together in time of need. We protect our neighbors’ children as we do our own and when one is lost, we all grieve together.

I’m writing to let you know about a couple of opportunities you have to support a Goochland family member in an effort to honor their son. Cole Starke passed away suddenly on Sunday, May 25th of this year. During the summer, we’ve been collecting donations that have been designated to build an indoor batting cage at the Goochland High School. Cole loved his school, his community and his baseball. It is a comfort to his friends and family to know that he will still be a part of those things that he valued by dedicating this building in his name.

We will be selling these Bulldog Drawstring Bags that have been designed specifically for this cause and all profits will go to the building of the batting cage. They will be on sale for $15 and you can pick them up at the JV football game on Thursday, October 9th and at the Varsity Homecoming football game on Friday, October 24th. Supplies are limited so don’t miss out!

In addition, we have a Major League Baseball signed by JustinVerlander, and your chance to win is only $1. You can pick up your raffle ticket at either game.

Lastly, on Saturday, October 25th, we will be hosting the Cole Starke Memorial Home Run Derby during the Goochland Fall Festival. It will be held at Napa Field (right beside Taylor’s) and the event is scheduled from 12pm – 4pm. You can come any time to take part. There is a $5 entry free and GREAT prizes for each age group. Raffle tickets will also be available for purchase at the derby and the winner will be drawn at the end of the event. You do not need to be present to win! If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.

Please join us, have fun, and support our efforts to honor our friend. We look forward to seeing you!


Sheryl Holcomb


Former GHS Student Featured in Richmond Family Magazine

We are proud of Abbie Allison, former Goochland student who received her diploma in only three years! Abbie is featured in this month’s Richmond Family Magazine in an article that highlight’s three exceptional Richmond teens for their big dreams and even bigger determination.

Goochland’s former Teacher of the Year, Jay Sykes, speaks to her talent and grit in the article.

Abbie, we are watching and proud of the positive impact you continue to have on the world around you!

Gallup Student Poll Coming in October

GCPS families,

We will again be administering the Gallup Student Poll measuring Hope, Engagement and Well-being.

The poll is absolutely anonymous and will be administered during school hours. Over 600,000 students from over 2,000 schools, nationwide, will participate in the survey. The data we receive will not identify any specific students, but will give us a picture of how our students are perceiving their experience with us generally.

View the Student Survey Questions Here.

If you would like to opt your child out of the survey, please contact me directly in writing, either by email or letter, no later than Monday, October 6, 2014.

Temporary Computer Issue at GMS/GHS Cafeteria

There is a server connectivity issue with the Point of Sale (POS) computer system at the middle and high school.  This has affected the receipt of electronic payments through the MyPaymentsPlus system for 9/30 and 10/1.  The problem is being resolved as quickly as possible.

In the meantime we are manually scanning over the payment information as it comes in to the nutrition office so that the folks operating the cafeteria registers have accurate and current information regarding student accounts.

It should not have any impact on your child’s experience in the cafeteria. If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Join Us for the Great Southeast Shakeout

October 16th marks the day when schools, businesses and families across the southeast region will participate in an annual “Shakeout”, earthquake preparedness drill. Earthquakes can provide unsettling circumstances, no matter where you are when one hits – be it school, home, or the grocery store.

It is wonderful practice for us all to be prepared with some fundamental steps that have proven to minimize risk and damage during these events in the past.

In addition to our own Crisis Manual and in-house materials, we utilize the resources offered by this organization.

Half of the battle in emergency response is being prepared before emergencies come. We invite you – no matter who or where you are – to participate with us.

Let us know how we can help.



Press Release Superintendent’s Contract Renewed

During its regularly scheduled workshop on September 23, 2014, the Goochland County Public School Board voted unanimously to appoint superintendent James Lane  to a new four-year contract.

“We’ve been thrilled with our partnership with Dr. Lane and the tremendous work he has led our division to accomplish,” remarked board chairman and District 1 representative Michael Payne. “He is everything we were looking for in a leader.”

Lane came to Goochland in December 2012, having signed a four-year contract after previously serving as superintendent of Middlesex County. The board’s decision this past Tuesday granted him two more years with the new contract which extends through June 30, 2018.  The school board has taken a methodical approach in considering this extension with discussion, as evidenced in school board agendas, for nearly two months following the successful completion of the superintendent’s evaluation over the summer.

Elizabeth Hardy, from District 4, served as chair at the time Lane was hired and expressed her support for the decision as well. “James has met all of our expectations during his first two years in Goochland,” Hardy remarked. “Our desire to grant another four years to his contract speaks to the confidence we unanimously have in his leadership and our desire for the very best for the Goochland community.”

“I am so honored to be the superintendent in Goochland and have shared several times that this is truly my dream job, Dr. Lane shared. “I am excited about the confidence the school board has shown in our school division’s progress and with this extension I promise to continue to work tirelessly on behalf of our students.”

Free Travel for VSUP Educator

2015 FREE Travel Scholarship for a VSUP Educator to China, Peru, or Finland and Switzerland. 

EF Education First is offering a full travel scholarship to educators from across the United States.  At least ONE of the fifty scholarships that will be awarded nationwide will go to a VSUP educator.  Winners will be selected on the basis of their interest in and commitment to global education initiatives within their state.  Selected recipients will travel to China, Peru, or Finland and Switzerland, a unique opportunity to earn professional development credit while discovering their destination with other like-minded educators.  Please see the attached application and destination flyers for more information.  The DEADLINE for applications is Sunday, November 30, 2014.  *Please note that the dates of the China tour are June 22- July 1, 2014, not those listed on the attached flyer.

2015 EF Global Citizen Scholarship for Students in Grades 9-12 In June 2015, recipients of EF’s annual Global Citizen Scholarship will travel for free to EF’s Global Student Leaders Summitexamining Innovation and the Future of Education. They will explore London, Paris and Davos, Switzerland, collaborating with globally minded students from around the world to solve pressing issues in global education.  Eligibility is open to students in grades 9-12.  To apply, students create a video, digital media project, or essay that addresses the questions outlined on the attached flyer as well as on the EF website at The DEADLINE for applications is Friday, October 31, 2014.

Vote for Imagination Station Playground Today

GCPS community,

RES teacher, Mrs. Spessard, provided this wonderful post, Please consider voting:

Ever wanted to build your own playground?  Now your children may have the opportunity to do just that!  Elk Hill, a partner with Goochland County Public Schools, is the only finalist selected from Virginia to possibly win two Imagination Station Playgrounds.  Each Imagination Station Playground includes huge tinker toys that kids may use to build their own play set.  Should they win, one set would be available to GCPS to borrow.  What a great addition this could be to our STEM programs, field days, class picnics, etc. Elk Hill is up against several large public schools so they need as much support as possible.  You may vote once a day at from now through September 26. Elk Hill has partnered with Goochland County Public Schools for four years providing needed support to students and their families.  In addition to helping us, Elk Hill supports children in Powhatan, Charlottesville, Albemarle and New Kent Counties.


September 11 Remembrance Service

Goochland County will once again hold a community-based September 11th Remembrance Service. The service will begin at 7PM on September 11th at Company 1 (180 River Rd West). The focus of this service is to remember the almost 3,000 individuals who lost their lives in Manhattan, Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon.

All are invited to attend.

Cafeteria Payment System Problem Resolved


Due to a glitch in the GCPS student information system file, some of our student accounts became inactive in the MyPaymentsPlus online payment system and parents were unable to utilize their children’s meal accounts.

This problem has been fixed.   We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused to our students and parents. We do encourage parents to take advantage of the online payment system and are confident there will be no further difficulties with that process.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Gretz or Mrs. Landrum if you have any questions.

Transportation Reminders and FAQ

In past years we have had several questions raised during the first week of school regarding transportation. Here are a few pieces of information pulled from the most Frequently Asked Questions:
  1. Returning students will not receive a “new” transportation schedule unless their bus assignment has changed. If you do not receive notice of a change, your child will ride the same bus this year as last year.
  2. Transportation schedules have been mailed out to all students that are new to the school system, all rising kindergarteners, rising 6th graders, students with bus route changes and students who have moved.
  3. Guidance counselors continue to submit new student information and we are assigning students to buses as they come in. At this point we are contacting parents of newly registered students by phone to arrange transportation.
  4. We will be tweaking the bus times during the first 10 days of school to maximize efficiency and minimize student wait and ride time. Parents will be notified if a child’s schedule will need to be changed for any reason.
  5. Some parents may choose to transport their child this year but until we hear from the parents that bus transportation is not needed, the student’s name will remain on the bus rosters.
  6. Parents or designee must accompany students in grades K-3 as they wait at the Bus Stop and be there to receive them each afternoon.  For safety reasons, parents of students in grades K-3 are asked to be at his/her child’s bus stop 5 minutes prior to their scheduled pick up and discharge times.
  7. As in past years, Bus Passes will not be issued for the first 2 weeks of school to allow drivers to become familiar with their new routes and students.
  If we can be of further help, please let us know. Everyone is excited to get the students back in school including the bus drivers. We are looking forward to a great school year! If you have any questions, please call our transportation department at 556-5361. Thank you for your continued support!



14-15 Back to School Information

GCPS Community and Parents,

As the excitement about beginning a new school year builds, we look forward to the many “back to school” events that are scheduled in our schools. Please mark your calendars for these important activities we hope you can attend:

All Schools:

  • Kindergarten Orientation, 12:00-1:30PM, August 14
  • Business Night, 3:00-7:00PM, August 14


  • Back to School Night, 5:00PM, September 15


  • Back to School Night, September 16, 6:30PM


  • Open House, August 14, 3:00-7:00PM
  • Back to School Night, September 11, 6:30PM


  • Back to School Night, September 18, 6:30PM


  • Back to School Night, September 23, 6:00PM

Please contact your child’s principal for specifics or information about any of these and other events.  Principals will also be sending home a letter to all families later this week with even more information.

As the year progresses, each school will update an individual calendar. Division-wide events will also be updated and all calendars can be accessed here, by navigating the scroll bar on the right side of the page (you will be able to select an individual school’s calendar or view multiple calendars).  Additionally, the 180-day school calendar as approved by the school board (i.e. includes dates for Winter and Spring Breaks, etc.) is here.

Transportation Questions

We are extremely proud of our transportation department and the service we provide to families. Thanks to the school board and board of supervisors, we were able to purchase two new buses last year and have a plan to regularly replace outdated vehicles to maintain maximum safety for our students.

Bus route information was mailed to the homes of all students new to GCPS, including families of rising Kindergarten students. In addition, all rising 6th graders and those whose route may have changed received information regarding transportation. Families with any questions about transportation are encouraged to contact 556-5367.

Cafeteria Information

We are proud of our award-winning School Nutrition Program. Each week our school cafeterias feature locally grown produce through the Farm to School Program. Student meals can be prepaid at your child’s school or using Students use their student ID numbers to access the online payment system. These numbers are given out during business night at each school on August 14. For information related to cafeteria services, included the Free and Reduced Meal Program, please contact 556-5604.


Elementary School Fees

Fees are waived for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch.



  Activity and Consumable Material Fees Voluntary Student Activities


Student Activity Fee



Recorders & Workbook


Chorus Shirts



iPad Fee


Middle School Fees

Fees are waived for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch.



  Activity and Consumable Material Fees Voluntary Student Activities


Student Activity Fee






Gym Uniform



High School Fees

Fees are waived for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch.



Activity and Consumable Material Fees

Class Dues

Voluntary Student Activities

Post-graduate classes


Student Activity Fee



Class fee



Class fee



Gym Uniform



All Night Graduation Fee



Art/Graphic Art Activity Fee



Adventure Games Activity Fee



Marching Band Fee



Color Guard Fee



Parking pass (1/2 price for second semester)





If purchased before September 1


If purchased between September 1 and January 2


If purchased after January 2


AP Tests



JSRCC dual enrollment courses

Tuition determined by and paid directly to JSRCC. Reimbursement of 50% tuition for “C” or better, maximum 2 classes/year


JSRCC College Connection Courses

Tuition determined by and paid directly to JSRCC. Reimbursement of 50% tuition for “C” or better, maximum 4 classes/year


JSRCC Career Technical Courses

Tuition determined by JSRCC and paid by GHS. Non-reimbursable tuition cost to students is $250 per semester.



$90/credit hour


School Breakfast and Lunch



Student Breakfast



Student Breakfast – Reduced



Student Lunch



Student Lunch- Reduced



Student Breakfast



Student Breakfast – Reduced



Student Lunch



Student Lunch- Reduced


GCPS Shares Leadership Initiative Nationwide

We are excited to have been asked to author a blog post for Education Week regarding our partnership with Luck Companies and the integration of a values based leadership model. Education Week is a nationally recognized source of information related to critical issues facing American schools and has been awarded the Online Journalism Award. In the article we explain the importance of asking the right questions and the transformational impact the resulting conversations have had among our leaders and throughout our division.

Editor, Jill Berkowitz, recently shared that the article had been the most widely-read among superintendents across the nation. Additionally the post was circulated by ASCD, a global leader in educational program development and publishing  that reaches superintendents, principals, teachers, professors, and advocates from more than 138 countries.

Our journey toward living and working intentionally, in alignment with a defined set of core values and belief statements, continues. We are excited about the upcoming sessions we have scheduled with Tom Epperson, one of Luck’s VBL executives, and look forward to further engaging teachers, staff and community members in the ongoing discussion of how to best maximize the potential of every learner in the GCPS community.