Governor McAuliffe and Virginia Council on Women Announce the 5th Annual STEM Essay Contest

Governor McAuliffe and the Virginia Council on Women announced the 5th annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Essay Contest for high school junior and senior girls.

The Council will award five $5,000 scholarships to female junior or senior high school students who will be pursuing a STEM career at an institution of higher education. One scholarship will be awarded in each of five geographic regions across the state. Additional scholarships may be awarded at the discretion of the Council.

The STEM Essay Contest was launched in 2012 with 170 young ladies from across the Commonwealth submitting essays focusing on the student’s vision for a future STEM education or career. The Council raised $10,000 and made three scholarship awards.

Last year, the Council received 381 essay submissions and thanks to the generosity of sponsors, distributed $33,000 in scholarships to five girls.

Please access contest guidelines and the application here.

GHS-JMU Partnership Thriving

Students at Goochland High School have the opportunity to take several college level courses, perhaps the most unique of which is the result of our partnership with James Madison University. During the 2015-16 school year we are hosting two JMU courses that pair a member of our high school faculty with a university professor within a co-designed and co-taught structure. The courses deliver 4-year college level rigor to juniors and seniors.

Monday, December 7, 2015 – Dr. David Dillard, History Professor & Graduate Program Director at James Madison University, facilitates a lively discussion in Mr. Patrick Brook’s “Civil War America” class, one of two JMU courses currently offered at Goochland High School

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

  • 1st  Luca Gardner
  • 1st Kyranna Stratiou
  • 2nd Lia Melton
Visual Arts
  • 1st Sam Farkas
  • 2nd Cole Fields
  • 3rd Kyranna Stratiou
 Secondary 3-5
  • 1st Caden Gardner
  • 2nd Charlie Darr
  • 1st Graham-Michael Mintz
  • 2nd Graham-Michael Mintz
  • 3rd Maggie Goodman
  • 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:

  • 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”
  • 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”
  • First place, Kiersten Hamlin and Tanara Johnson, 6, “Imaginative

Library Book Fairs Bring Smiles

Our library media specialists wear many hats: teacher, literacy expert, technology coach, research specialist …

Sometimes the hat is a goofy one that compliments a friendly monster costume.

Our students and families tell us each year how much they enjoy the book fairs our schools host. The events bring energy, excitement, and smile after smile.

We’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our library media specialists and their teams for the tremendous amount of work that goes into hosting a book fair – in preparation, during, and following. Thank you, also, to our families for supporting these great events!

Nov. 9th – 13th




*Introducing, writing, and doing activities with the letter Oo .  Will talk a little bit about Gg this week too.

**PLEASE SEND IN AN ITEM THAT BEGINS WITH / O/ for Show and Tell this week.

*Tracking words (pointing to words) in sentences at the bottom of the page.

*Learning to read the following TRICK WORDS: go, and, me  Reviewing: see, the, at, up, look, can, come, like, my.

*Reading and writing in our RAZ kids groups and reading groups.


*Working on NUMBER SENSE and doing activities with the numbers 0-10.

*Working ordinal numbers first-fifth.

*Creating even more fun patterns!


*Working in our unit of study on THANKSGIVING.  Our emphasis this week will be on Turkeys. Look for our Turkey Book to come home this week.

*Practicing for our play, A Thanksgiving to Remember.  (Please send in a white shirt to be tie dyed by Friday, November 13th!)


*Doing activities about fall. Our emphasis over the next few weeks will be on fall weather, fall leaves, and animals in fall.

*Going on a Fall Hike on our Nature Trail!

———> Over


*Read your “Book It” books for November.

NOVEMBER CALENDAR ACTIVITY:  Your child will receive a turkey with their name on it, if they can spell November (orally) and identify the numbers 0-10.

Please mark Tuesday, November 24th on your calendar!  Our Kindergarten classes will be presenting a short Thanksgiving play in our cafeteria. More information to come home soon.

*Be sure to save and turn in your BOXTOP FOR EDUCATIONS labels!

*Thursday, November 12th  Kindergarten will be saying the pledge of allegiance during our PTA Veterans Day meeting.  Please meet in my room by 6:15 on Thursday night.


I am thankful for such great children and parents,

Mrs. Neiditch

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.


One District, One Book Preview

In January Goochland County Public Schools will be embarking on year 3 of a special project, a division-wide book club called One District, One Book (ODOB). ODOB is a unique program that provides elementary children at all grade levels with the opportunity to share the same book over the same time period. Curious as that may seem at first (the notion of fifth graders reading the same book as kindergarteners), it actually makes sound educational sense. Literacy experts recommend reading material out loud that is beyond a child’s individual reading level; the same experts support reading chapter books aloud with older children, even when they are able to read independently.

Our ODOB committee selected a title over the summer that can be followed, understood, and enjoyed by younger students, but that will still captivate older children. As the centerpiece of the program, every elementary school family will receive a copy of this same book and will be asked to share the literacy experience during the month of January.

The title will be announced at a special school-wide assembly introducing the program and the book immediately following the winter holiday, and your child will come home that week with his/her very own copy. When the books are distributed, families will also receive a shared community reading schedule so everyone can keep up at home. Generally, you will be asked to read one chapter each night—about 10-15 minutes. We hope that you will find the time to participate in this special activity focused on community and the importance of literacy.

We look forward to this year’s exciting announcement in January!

QRC 34 Volleyball Update

Quarter-final Results from Tuesday, 11/3:                                                                               Greensville beat Brunswick 3-1                                                                                Amelia beat Bluestone 3-0                                                                                      Nottoway beat Prince Edward 3-2

Semi-Final:  Thursday, 11/5:                                                                                Goochland will host Greensville at 6:00                                                                    Amelia will host Nottoway at 6:00

Finals:  Saturday, 11/7:  (If at Goochland then the start time is 4:00 and if at Amelia the start time is 6:00)


Athletic events for the week of November 2, 2015

Athletic events for the week of November 2, 2015:

Monday, November 2:

1.  The scholastic bowl team travels to Prince Edward for their matches with Prince Edward & Bluestone starting at 5:30.

2.  The varsity football team travels to Prince Edward for their make up game at 7:00.

Tuesday, November 3:

1.  The Quad Rivers Conference 34 Volleyball Tournament kicks off at 6:00.  The Goochland team is seeded #1 and has a bye.  They will not play until Thursday.

Wednesday, November 4:

1.  The girls & boys cross country teams travel to Panorama Farms in Charlottesville to compete in Region 2A East Cross Country Meet.  The boys race starts at 3:00 with the girls race at 4:00.  The boys team placed first in the QRC 34 meet and the girls team came in second to Nottoway.

Thursday, November 5:

1.  The GHS varsity volleyball team will host a semi-final game in the QRC 34 Volleyball Tournament at 6:00.  Cost for the game is $7.00.

Friday, November 6:

1.  The varsity football team has a regular season bye.

Saturday, November 7:

1.  With a win on Thursday night, the varsity volleyball team will host the finals of the QRC 34 Volleyball Tournament at 4:00.

Annual School Report

Team Goochland,

We have released our annual school report!  This document is a publication that outlines all of the success in GCPS and all our schools over the past year along with data to support our trajectory of excellence.  We sent one home with every student in our community; however, you can also find the entire report online HERE.

Oct. 26th – 30th


*Introducing, writing, and doing activities with the letter Uu

*Tracking words (pointing to words) in sentences at the bottom of the page.

*Learning to read the following TRICK WORDS: up.  Reviewing: look, see, like, I, come, my, at, the.

*Writing as “authors” in our Writing “Community”.

*Writing and reading our very own Halloween books!

*Working in RAZ Kids on a new story.


*Working on NUMBER SENSE and doing activities with the numbers 0-10. Learning to write our 0-10. Focus on 0-5 this week.

*Working on more/less and before/after.

*Creating even more fun patterns!


Working in our unit on Fall Celebrations. Our Book Character Day is Friday, October 30th  Please send your child’s costume to school in a bag. Your child’s costume must fit OVER your child’s regular clothes. Our Fall Celebration will be that afternoon at 2:30p.m.**Please NO masks or play weapons.



*Learning about BATS.

Over ——->



*Be sure to save and turn in your BOXTOP FOR EDUCATIONS labels!

*Your child will receive a GHOST with their name on it to go on our October Calendar if they can spell October (orally), and read the following words: look, at, a, my, I, the, this, see, like.

*October 21st – 27th  Book Fair Week.  October 27th is the last day to purchase books.

*Wednesday, October 28th we will watch Theater IV perform Sleeping Beauty

*Friday, October 30th is Book Character Dress up day!  Please fill out the form and return.

*Friday, October 30th is our Fall Treat from 2:30-3:00.

*Guest Reader Time!  Parents are invited into the room Monday-Thursday from 2:50 to 3:00 to read to the class.  If you would like to participate please email me a specific day or date and we can get you all set up.  If the time does not work please let me know and we can work something out.  We have plenty of books in the classroom, but you are more then welcome to bring your own books from home.  The students like to pick them out at home and really enjoy this time.  Look forward to seeing you!

*  If your child has headphones at home and would like to bring them in to use on Technology Fridays, please send them in. :)

Happy Fall!

Mrs. Neiditch

Reminder of Fall Concert

Our fall concert is just around the corner.   All students in the GMS and GHS choral program will present our Fall Concert on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 7:00p.m. in the auditorium.   Please join me in welcoming Henry Baskerville, our guest pianist for the evening.   Mr. Baskerville will play several selections on the piano, as well as perform with several of our student singers.   It will be an exciting evening of music with a wide variety of music being performed.   All students should arrive by 6:30 for warm-ups and to prepare for taking the stage.

What to WEAR???


Girls-Black dress pants or skirt, white blouse and dark shoes

Boys-Black dress pants, white shirt, neck tie, and dark shoes


Jazz Choir-Red sequined dress, black character shoes

GHS Mixed Choir-

Women-Black or red dress, black shoes, pearl necklace

Men-Black dress pants, black shoes(You need to get) white shirt, red vest and bow tie(I will provide)



Instructions for Entering Numbers and Email Addresses into Powerschool


Just a reminder that getting set up to receive important notices from the schools on your cell phone by text or email is very easy! You can enter multiple phone numbers and email addresses so school messages will come right where you want them to.

Instructions are here.

We strongly encourage you to take a few moments and do this!

GHS Advance College Academy Informational Night

Goochland High School’s Advance College Academy (ACA) is a program partnership with J. Sergeant Reynolds Community College that provides students with the opportunity to earn an Associate of Science (A.S.) Degree alongside their Virginia high school diploma.

We will host an ACA informational evening for families on Wednesday, October 21 at 6:30PM in library media center at Goochland High School.

GCPS’s Advance College Academy is coordinated by Ms. Raye Rector, Coordinator of Gifted and Federal Programs, in cooperation with the leadership team at Goochland High School and J. Sergeant Reynolds Community College.

October 5th- 9th

*Introducing the letter Mm . We will be reviewing the letters Tt,Bb, Ff Nn. PLEASE PRACTICE IDENTIFYING THESE LETTERS AND SOUNDS NIGHTLY WITH YOUR CHILD!!!!! *Tracking words (pointing to words) in sentences at the bottom of the page. *Learning to read the following TRICK WORDS: like,, look, at, me, see, I, the. *Writing as “authors” in our Writing “Community”. *Doing activities in our unit on NURSERY RHYMES. MATH: *Working on NUMBER SENSE and doing activities with the numbers 0­10. **Please note: we will be doing more than simply identifying and writing these numbers. *Working on more/less and before/after. *Working on one­to­one correspondence. SOCIAL STUDIES *Seeing a Fire Safety Program on Tuesday *Working in our unit on Fall Celebrations. SCIENCE: *Working in our unit of study on our 5 SENSES.
Special Announcements: *Be sure to save and turn in your BOXTOP FOR EDUCATIONS labels! *YOur child will receive a GHOST with their name on it to go on our October Calendar if they can spell October (orally), and read the following words: I, a, my, the, see, like, look. *ROADRUNNER ON THE RUN IS FRIDAY! KINDERGARTEN “RUNS” FROM 2:15­3:00!!!! WEAR TENNIS SHOES!!!! *Friday, October 16th No School for students *Monday, October 19th No School for students. Parent Teacher Conferences 12­7 *Thursday, October 22nd is Grandparents’ Night following our PTA meeting. *We will start our PAL testing this week. **See the attached letter.

How to update your Powerschool Account.

For those of you with a Powerschool account you can update your email, phone and text message preferences by following the directions under the “Family Connect, School Messenger” tab on our website.  For families with younger students you can call the school to check your information, or call and ask for a Powerschool Registration letter to set you up for the future.  I urge you to get things set before we start getting into the colder season.

Does GCPS Have Rules About Homework That Requires Internet Usage?

Teacher assigned schoolwork to be completed at home should never require Internet connectivity.  One of the tremendous benefits of 1:1 student technology (currently iPads in grades 4-7) connected with a division-wide learning management system (Schoology) is that content can be downloaded to student devices so that access is “anytime” and does not require Internet connection.  An additional benefit is that parents can also have access to the same learning materials as their child.

One issue we have seen come up occasionally involves missed classwork versus homework.  There have been instances when a student has missed work that was facilitated in class relying on the Internet connection available within our schools.  In these cases we expect our teachers to work individually with students to ensure makeup and mastery of the missed classwork in a manner that does not require Internet connection at home (i.e. the student may make up the missed work during school hours or the student may be given an alternate assignment that does not require Internet connection to be completed at home).  A major project may also require internet usage, but our teachers give students either time in class or after-school to complete any necessary research.

The digital conversion in schools is a transition (not unlike the transition that took place in education hundreds of years ago when students were provided copies of course textbooks); GCPS will be most successful when we partner with our families along the way.  If something’s not working well for you or your child, please let us know.  The best way to begin this dialogue and problem solving is by connecting directly with your child’s teacher and/or principal.

If you would like more information about how to connect to your child’s schoolwork in Schoology or if your child is being assigned homework that requires the internet, please contact your child’s principal or teacher to share your concerns.

Sept. 29th – Oct. 2nd


*Identifying, writing, and doing activities with the letters  Nn.

*We will be reviewing the letters and sound Bb, Ff, Tt.  Your child should be able to identify each of these letters, the sound they make, and their sounds at the beginning of words. Please practice nightly with your child!!!

*Learning to read the following Trick words:  like,come, look, at, me, see, I, the.

*Writing as “authors” in our Writing “Community”.



*Working on the concept of one-to-one correspondence.

*Recognizing, creating, and extending ABC and ABB patterns


*Looking at the different sizes of apples.



*Continuing our unit of study on Fall Celebrations.

S.OL.:  K.1 K.2 K.8 K.9



*Starting our unit of study on our 5 SENSES.

*Doing activities in our unit on Fall.  We will continue our focus this week  on APPLES!

* S.O.L.K.1 K.2 K.4 K.6 K.8


Special Announcements:

*Be sure to save and turn in your BOXTOP FOR EDUCATIONS labels!

*Friday, October 9th Roadrunners on the run.  Kindergarten (and 1st grade) will warm up at 2:15-2:25 (with Ms. Hanna) and will start their run at 2:25-3:00.

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.”