Ron Clark is known for motivating everyone to learn, so much so that he travels the world sharing his approach with others. Thursday morning he came to Goochland and helped us hit the ground sprinting into the approaching 2015-16 school year.
We are happy to share a link to this Student Health & Wellness Guide, developed by the communications team at OnlineColleges.net. Though it has been created with college students in mind, the information is appropriate for our older students as well.
Physical health and nutrition have a direct, profound impact on students’ school experience.
As we seek together to maximize the potential of all learners, let’s keep students’ health at the forefront!
The Virginia Department of Education is asking parents and other members of the public to complete a 16-item online survey on improving annual School Performance Report Cards for schools, school divisions and the commonwealth.
The survey takes 15-20 minutes to complete. Responses are anonymous.
The survey may be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/
Goochland Middle School teacher, Anne Moore, was recently named by the President one of 108 mathematics and science teachers to receive the prestigiousPresidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. This year’s awardees represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity schools. The educators will receive their awards at a Washington, DC, event later this summer.
After an exhaustive search the Goochland County Public School division has named Mrs. Jennifer Waggener as Director of Exceptional Education. Mrs. Waggener replaces Debbie Beasley, who is retiring after a 40 year career in education, 27 of which were spent in Goochland.
“We are sad to see Debbie retire officially this year,” superintendent James Lane commented. “We are ecstatic about Mrs. Waggener’s leadership and believe she is the perfect choice!”
Mrs. Waggener has been with the division for 10 years and has worked in every school. She was initially hired as a school psychologist and has most recently been a supervisor of special education.
“I’m deeply honored to take on this new role,” explained Mrs. Waggener. “I’m especially excited to continue supporting and advocating for our students in this new capacity as part of team Goochland!”
Mrs. Waggener and her husband, Chris, live in Chesterfield with their two-year-old twin children, Wilson and Caroline. She begins her new position officially in July.
GES held its annual “Full STEAM Ahead Day” yesterday (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics).
The entire student body spent the morning collaborating and creating … all in search of the perfect solution to their grade level’s design brief. (Here’s an example of one of the six design briefs undertaken during today’s event: 5th grade design brief.) Some groups created wagons, others catapults (all from household recycled materials and “clean trash”), as they worked to meet the challenges set forth in their project-based assignments.
Thank you to Mrs. Lisa Brown, GES’ Gifted Resource Teacher, and the entire faculty for fostering creativity and critical thinking in this amazing school wide event. Mrs. Brown commented, “This truly is the best day of my year. I am always amazed at what children can imagine and create when the problem is open-ended.”
Goochland High School’s 2014-15 SOL/Exam Conversion Chart can be accessed here.
Congratulations to the following GHS students who are participating in the Congressional Art Competition through Congressman Brat’s office:
- Gracie Jones
- Shelby Greenburg
- Campbell Ferguson
There will be a reception at Capital One at West Creek to honor these students and display their artwork.
Well done Bulldogs!
You are invited to participate in the Capital Region Workforce Partnership’s first annual InspireYouth@Work Summer Opportunities Fair. This unique, regional job fair is a free opportunity for government, businesses and not-for-profit organizations to publicize their summer job, volunteer and leadership development openings suitable for youth ages 14 – 21. Some of the attending organizations include Lowe’s, Chick-fil-A, Richmond Kickers, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, Henrico Parks & Rec, DTLR, American Red Cross, Shamin Hotels, and many more.
Five GMS Eagles were accepted into the 2015 B.L.A.S.T. (Building Leaders for Advanced Science & Technology) Program, held on site at VT and UVa this summer:
- Hailey Hall
- Angela Thurston
- Margaret Black
- Berkley Winston
- James Hardy
Student achievement as measured in traditional ways (like multiple choice tests) provides great insight into students’ literacy skills, math skills, as well as their mastery of content (i.e. Do they know historical facts?). In Virginia achievement on the state’s SOL tests (Standards or Learning) is also directly tied to state and federal accountability for schools.
With our division’s strategic plan as a foundation, GCPS has prioritized individual student growth over traditional achievement. This is not to be confused with a disinterest in achievement or a lack of recognition that achievement is important; quite the opposite, student achievement is critically important. In isolation, however, traditional achievement tests provide an incomplete picture of student learning. Paired with individual growth measures, like the division’s MAP assessments (Measures of Academic Progress), students, families, and teachers now have a more complete picture of student learning at both a prescribed point in time as well as over time (i.e. fall to winter to spring and from year to year).
Moreover, we believe a prioritization of individual student growth allows our school community to focus on the division’s mission to maximize the potential of every learner; as such, strong achievement results are a natural byproduct. Perhaps equally important, we believe a focus on individual growth decreases stress associated with high stakes state testing and increases the likelihood of students being fully engaged in their school experience.
Just a few days ago the Virginia Board of Education equipped schools with a new means of further reducing undue pressure on students by providing students in grades 3 through 8 with the opportunity to “retake” failed SOL tests depending on the associated circumstances. You can read the Board’s full press release here.
In response GCPS is working to develop a May testing calendar that provides efficiencies for these new allowances for students. Additionally, we are creating further means of communication for our families in preparation for another spring testing season.
Please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s principal, school counselor, Mrs. Jennifer Bocrie (Division Director of Testing), or me if we can answer questions or provide additional information. Many thanks!
The Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) has released its 19th annual VSBA Showcases for Success directory, highlighting successful K-12 programs in Virginia’s public schools. Featured programs fit within one of two categories –Virtual/Blended Learning and Career & Technical Education.
Goochland has been specifically recognized for three programs, the 1:1 mobile device initiative, Goochland Middle School STEM partnership with VCU, and JASON Learning project. Full descriptions of the programs are available here.
“In addition to highlighting some of the best practices taking place in Virginia’s schools, the Showcases for Success directory can serve as a starting point to develop similar programs in other school divisions,” said Gina G. Patterson, VSBA executive director.
“We are extremely proud of our inclusion in the ‘showcases’ document,” remarked Bruce Watson, Director of Career and Technical Education. “Goochland’s approach to implementing these initiatives will be an excellent model for other divisions hoping to develop similar programs.”
For more information about the VSBA Showcases for Success, contact Gina Patterson, VSBA executive director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or434-295-8722.
BES’ Alyson Foskey was awarded 3rd place overall in the Richmond District PTA Citizenship Essay Contest. The topic of the essay was, “I can positively influence my peers by…” Her family was invited to a reception held last week Atlee High School, where she received a very nice certificate!
We understand Alyson’s teachers are encouraging her to share her exemplary essay at the 5th grade graduation ceremony!
Well done, Allyson!
In recognition of the innovation and success of its Values Based Leadership (VBL) initiative, Goochland County Public Schools (GCPS) has been named a District of Distinction by District Administration. Goochland County was among 62 districts across the nation that were honored in the March 2015 round of Districts of Distinction, the magazine’s national recognition program for K12 school districts.
“We are pleased to honor Goochland County as a District of Distinction,” says JD Solomon, editorial director at District Administration magazine. “Like all our honorees, Goochland County Public Schools serves as a model for school leaders across the country.”
GCPS began its journey into values based leadership in 2012 in partnership with Luck Companies.
“A big congratulations from all of us here at Luck Companies for yet another round of recognition of your commitment, hard work and leadership,” remarked Mark Fernandes, Luck Companies Chief Leadership Officer. “We look forward to our continued work together in support of your mission to ensure all students are provided to opportunity to realize their full potential.”
“The next step in that process for us is to develop the leadership potential in our students, through the development of a leadership curriculum that includes the identification of each student’s own values,” Hendron adds. “We are indebted to the Luck Companies of Goochland, Virginia, for sharing their decade-long experience with values-based leadership.”
GCPS introduced the VBL model to its leadership team and launched a six-year strategic planning initiative that is still underway. Currently, the district is designing a leadership curriculum for students. The district’s ECCHO awards recognize the “excellence, creativity, courage, honor and optimism” in staff and students working to better their schools.
Goochland County Public Schools will host a Job Recruitment Fair at Randolph Elementary School Saturday, April 18th from 9AM to 1PM. On-sight interviews will be conducted for candidates interested in positions in the following areas:
- Food Service
- Maintenance/Custodial Services
- Bus Drivers
- Substitute Teaching
This event is open to the public and we are especially interested in meeting those who live in Goochland that would be interested in employment with the school division.
Please click here to pre-register and secure your interview today!
For more information, contact Lisa Hobbs at (804) 556-5630.
GCPS staff & families,
This is a reminder that the student holiday originally scheduled for March 23rd will now be a regular instructional day, in accordance with the 2014-15 school calendar. Parent-teacher conferences will still be held on March 23rd at each school from 4:30 to 7:00PM. This is a great opportunity to dialog with your child’s teachers about his or her progress in school.
The draft 2015-16 school calendar is available for review. The school board will consider the calendar for adoption during its regularly scheduled meeting March 10th.
Highlights of the calendar:
- 180 instructional days
- First day for students is August 24, 2015
- 3 full & 2 half professional days built in
- full 2 weeks for winter break
- Wednesday before Thanksgiving remains a holiday
- Spring break a full week after Easter
- 9 full make up snow days built in
- School year ends June 3rd
As in past years, a committee of faculty and parent representatives from each school collaborated to develop this draft, incorporating the sentiments that have been expressed through personal interaction and survey responses. We are confident this calendar serves the GCPS students and community well, but we certainly want to hear from you.
You can contact your child’s principal or any member of the GCPS leadership, simply reply to this blog post, or contact your school board representatives directly.