GEF Distributed $10,000 in Food Lion Gift Cards to Needy Goochland Families

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P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Date:              January 19, 2016 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:        Dr. Peter Gretz, Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations pgretz@glnd.k12.va.us  |  (804) 314-1017  |  @glndschools www.glnd.k12.va.us

 

Headline:       Goochland Education Foundation Distributes Food Lion Cards to Needy 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.”

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GMS Recognized as a Top Middle School in the Nation

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P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Date:              January 12, 2016 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:        Dr. Peter Gretz, Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations pgretz@glnd.k12.va.us  |  (804) 314-1017  |  @glndschools www.glnd.k12.va.us

 

Headline:       Goochland Middle Designated as a National “Schools to Watch” School

Goochland County Public Schools is pleased to join the parents, teachers and students of Goochland Middle School in celebrating the school’s having been named to the “Schools to Watch” program by the Virginia Middle Schools Association and National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform.

“This recognition is well deserved for our exemplary middle school!” Dr. James Lane, Goochland superintendent, celebrated. “Our middle school is committed to personalizing the learning of every child and engaging parents and community members in a way that fosters excellence and shared commitment.”

In achieving this designation, Goochland Middle School is recognized for academic excellence, social equitability, and responsiveness to the developmental needs of middle school students.

“We’ve known for some time that Principal Rucker and her staff at Goochland Middle School are singularly-focused and exceptionally-qualified for helping our students thrive during the difficult years of early adolescence,” explained school board chairman, Kevin Hazzard. “You can feel the optimism when you walk through the doors at GMS. You can hear the brightness and positive assurance in the voices of the teachers as they interact with students and parents. GMS is a gem in our community so we’re truly grateful to see The National Forum recognize Mrs. Rucker and her staff with the Schools to Watch award for 2016.”

Schools to Watch is a nationally recognized, state-operated school evaluation program that focuses on students in grades 5-8. The program was developed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform.

“Being recognized as a School To Watch highlights our approach to student-centered learning, high quality instruction and student focused programming,” principal Jennifer Rucker commented.  “At Goochland Middle we strive to assist in the development of the whole student as they transition from elementary to high school.  This recognition reflects a true connection of dedicated faculty, staff, parents, community members and most importantly our exceptional students!”

Virginia is one of 19 states across the nation to participate in the Schools to Watch program. Goochland Middle school is one of 11 middle schools in Virginia to be named a 2016 School to Watch, joining 33 existing STW schools in the Commonwealth. Schools may apply for re-designation every three years.

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GCPS Receives National Budgeting Award for Third Consecutive Year

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P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Date: September 11, 2015 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Dr. Peter Gretz, Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations pgretz@glnd.k12.va.us  |  (804) 314-1017  |  @glndschools www.glnd.k12.va.us

 

Headline:       Goochland County Public Schools Receives National Budget Presentation Award

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) is pleased to announce that Goochland County Public Schools has again received the prestigious Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its budget presentation and communication. This national Award represents the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting and has been awarded to Goochland for three consecutive years. Goochland is the smallest of the 15 school divisions in Virginia to receive the award.

“Although we’ve received this award for the past three years, it’s important to note that we are continuing to improve our document and presentation,” explained superintendent James Lane. “The ratings we receive have been increasingly higher with each award year. We are proud to continue to ensure our community that the school board is handling funds with utmost responsibility.”

For her primary responsibility and diligence in the development and presentation of the school budget, Deborah White, Finance Director, also received a Certificate of Recognition. She also had the honor to speak at two state-wide conferences this fall on school budgeting.

Left to Right: Beth Hardy, John Wright, James Lane, Debbie White, Mike Payne, Jaymi Bell, John Lumpkins, Kevin Hazzard.

“The national reviewers offer a number of suggestions for improvement every year,” explained Deborah White. “To continue to achieve the award we must show that we have incorporated their recommendations into the next year’s document. This year we worked on telling the story of the unique challenges of the division and how the budget aligned with our strategic plan to meet those challenges and maximize the potential of every learner.”

John Hendron, Director of Strategy and Innovation, collaborated with Ms. White to integrate new nationally-recommended best practices in school budget processes which intentionally align the budget with the school division’s strategic plan document. Dr. Hendron and Ms. White also participated in an all-expenses paid 2-day workshop this fall in Chicago with GFOA leaders after being selected for the Alliance for Excellence in School Budgeting, a small group of school divisions across the country that are early implementers of the new best practices.

In being recognized, GCPS satisfied 14 nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation designed to assess how well an entity’s budget serves as a policy document, financial plan, operations guide, and communications tool. During the last few budget cycles, the school board has placed special emphasis on transparency by putting a greater focus on past actual expenditures, community engagement in the process, and sharing all documents with the public.  The school board held a public hearing and a town-hall style workshop to get feedback in the development of the budget as well.

“Fiscal responsibility and transparency continue to be fundamental aspects of our governance,” said board chair John Lumpkins, Jr.. “We are honored by this award and we especially applaud Ms. White and the school administration for the exemplary work it represents.”

The Goochland County Public School Board is considered to have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other school divisions throughout North America. In addition to making both the budgeting process and associated documents accessible to the public, the board has also made its check register and credit card statements available for public review for the past three years through its website.

The Government Finance Officers Association is a nonprofit professional association serving over 17,800 government finance professionals throughout North America. The GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program is the only national awards program in governmental budgeting for both schools and local governments. For more information on the GFOA recognitions, see http://www.gfoa.org/awards.

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GCPS Schools Fully Accredited Again

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P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Date: September 11, 2015 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Dr. Peter Gretz, Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations pgretz@glnd.k12.va.us  |  (804) 314-1017  |  @glndschools www.glnd.k12.va.us

 

Headline:       All Goochland County Public Schools Fully Accredited Again

 

All Goochland County Public Schools have once again earned full state accreditation, as announced Oct. 28 by Dr. Stephen Staples, Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction.

“As we’ve said consistently, the measure of the value of a school’s success cannot be limited to a single test score,” said Goochland Superintendent, Dr. James Lane. “We maintain our focus on growth and progress, rather than achievement, but are absolutely proud of our schools’ accomplishments on the SOL tests.”

“Every school that earned full accreditation this year is another school that is better preparing its students for a lifetime of success,” Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton said in a statement accompanying the statewide results. For a school to earn full accreditation, students must have pass rates of 75 percent on Standards of Learning (SOL) tests in reading and writing, and a rate of at least 70 percent in mathematics, science and history tests taken toward the end of the 2014-15 school year. High schools must also meet state minimum requirements for graduation rates.

Statewide, 78 percent of Virginia schools, 1,414 out of 1,823, are fully accredited in 2015-16, up from 68 percent of schools a year before and the first percentage increase since 2010, when state officials began introducing higher performance requirements for schools.

Goochland is one of 37 districts to have all of its school achieve full state accreditation.

Stephen Geyer, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, added, “Student learning begins and ends with the classroom teacher – and our schools are filled with professionals who work tirelessly everyday to design and deliver instruction that’s relevant, meaningful, and engaging.  Our continued strong results are a tribute to them.”

For more information about the Goochland County Public Schools please see the most recent annual report, Explorations in Learning, available on the division website at http://www.glnd.k12.va.us/.

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Goochland County Public Schools Named Apple Distinguished Program

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P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Date: September 11, 2015 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Dr. Peter Gretz, Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations pgretz@glnd.k12.va.us  |  (804) 314-1017  |  @glndschools www.glnd.k12.va.us

 

Headline:       Goochland County Public Schools Named Apple Distinguished Program

 

Goochland, Virginia — October 29, 2015 — 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.

Goochland’s program began in 2013-14 as a pilot program in grades 3-5 at Goochland Elementary School before expanding to additional schools. This school year the program provides iPads for students to take home across the division in grades 4-7, in addition to the third grade at GES. Next year, the division plans on expanding the iPad program to grades 3-8. Creativity, personalization, individualization, and student passion are at the heart of Goochland’s approach to learning with individual technology. With iPad, teachers and students are working together to redefine learning, as it supports achieving the division’s mission of maximizing the potential of every learner.

The Apple Distinguished Program designation is reserved for programs that meet criteria for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence, and demonstrate a clear vision of exemplary learning environments.

“It is an honor to be recognized for trying to change what learning can look like for our students,” said Dr. John Hendron, Director of Innovation and Strategy for Goochland County Public Schools. “Putting new, powerful tools in the hands of our students is an incredible opportunity to prepare students for our vision of making a positive impact. We’re looking forward to the opportunities this recognition affords us to gain expertise and improve on our focus towards deeper learning.”

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)

“The selection of Goochland’s iPad initiative as an Apple Distinguished Program highlights our success as an innovative and compelling learning environment that engages students and provides tangible evidence of academic accomplishment,” said Dr. Stephen Geyer, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction. “When we are visiting the 1:1 classrooms,” added Dr. James Lane, Superintendent, “we’re seeing types of student creation that just a few years ago would have been impossible, by choosing a mobile computing device. As we develop more digital content in addition to purchasing content, I see a future not too far off where iPad helps us re-imagine what learning can look like, when it comes to new, innovative apps, individualizing assignments for students based on their needs, and helping our teachers design engaging projects supporting the power of social learning.”

Goochland County Public Schools is a leading public school division of 2560 students, located in central Virginia between Charlottesville and Richmond, along the James River. Goochland has been recognized as a top-performing district throughout Virginia, and has been nationally recognized for its use of data to improve learning and communicate with stakeholders.

 

Web: www.glnd.k12.va.us

 

Press contact: Dr. Peter Gretz, Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations

Phone: (804) 314-1017

Email: pgretz@glnd.k12.va.us

 

Program representative: Dr. John Hendron, Director of Innovation & Strategy

Phone: (804) 556-5623

Email: jhendron@glnd.k12.va.us

 

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Tom DeWeerd Announces Retirement

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P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Date: September 11, 2015 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Dr. Peter Gretz, Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations pgretz@glnd.k12.va.us  |  (804) 314-1017  |  @glndschools www.glnd.k12.va.us

Headline:        LONG-STANDING GOOCHLAND SCHOOL LEADER ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

When Tom DeWeerd looks back on his 36 years in public education, the word that comes first to his mind is, “rewarding.”

“While I feel tremendous pride in having been a part of preparing so many students for their future endeavors,” DeWeerd commented, “it is a true gift to have learned so much from them over the years.”

This is exactly how so many of his colleagues feel about their work with Mr. DeWeerd, describing him as a knowledgeable, kind and generous leader who has helped innumerable young educators navigate the challenges of leadership.

Tom DeWeerd, currently the Director of Technology and School Administration, has been with the Goochland County Public Schools for 21 years and a resident of the county for 18 years. He began his education career immediately upon graduating from Rutgers University in 1979. After several years teaching English in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, DeWeerd came to Virginia in 1986, where he taught at Varina High School in Henrico County for the next five years.

Tom DeWeerd, GCPS Director of Technology & School Administration, is retiring after 36 years in education.

He left the classroom in 1991, assuming the roles of assistant principal and Director of Vocational Education in Hopewell and Prince George, respectively. He came to Goochland as principal of Goochland High School in 1995, where he remained for five years before assuming district-level leadership as a Director. Over the past 16 years he has held a variety of leadership positions, serving as Director of Technology, Career & Technical Education, Secondary Education and Administration.

“Tom DeWeerd has been an integral part of the leadership of this school division for a very long time,” superintendent Dr. James Lane remarked after the board officially accepted the retirement letter. “While I personally congratulate him on a long overdue break from an extensive career, we will miss his spirit and his expertise terribly.”

When asked about his plans during retirement, Mr. DeWeerd’s thoughts go toward his family. He has been married to his wife, Susan Umidi, for 38 years. They have two daughters, both graduates of the Goochland County Public Schools, and three grandchildren. He thoroughly enjoys his role as “Pop-Pop” and looks forward to more time with them.

DeWeerd, left, works on a project with Director of CTE, Bruce Watson.

The Goochland County School Board approved DeWeerd’s retirement during its regularly-scheduled business meeting October 13th. His retirement is effective February 1st, though he intends to remain a part of the leadership on a part-time basis for at least the remainder of the 2015-16 school year.

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GOOCHLAND COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS WIN NATIONAL AWARD FOR DATA USE TO IMPROVE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

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P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Date: September 11, 2015 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Dr. Peter Gretz, Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations pgretz@glnd.k12.va.us  |  (804) 314-1017  |  @glndschools www.glnd.k12.va.us

Headline:        GOOCHLAND COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS WIN NATIONAL AWARD FOR DATA USE TO IMPROVE STUDENT                             ACHIEVEMENT

WASHINGTON (October 1, 2015)—The Data Quality Campaign today announced Goochland County Public Schools (GCPS) is the winner of the 2015 Flashlight Awards for District Data Use. The award recognizes one school district a year for its use of data to answer questions, empower educators, and transparently communicate with parents and the public.

“We are pleased to honor Goochland County Public Schools for creating a culture in which education data are used as a tool to empower parents and educators,” said Aimee Rogstad Guidera, president and CEO of the Data Quality Campaign. “Goochland leaders and teachers are now using data to help make the best decisions possible in the greatest interest of each student.”

GCPS superintendent James Lane during expert panel discussion on innovating use of data.

Data are much more likely to be used—and to be used well—when they meet the needs of teachers, families, and the community. In light of this, GCPS’s three-tier approach to measuring student progress—student academic growth, social-emotional measures, and school climate—was created in collaboration with parents, school leaders, and the community. The district then crafted an action plan with key benchmarks and a data system to support and report their progress.

GCPS’s roadmap to student data success relied heavily on professional development and data literacy training for school leaders and teachers. District leaders rolled out their data-driven initiative slowly, to give teachers an opportunity to reflect, respond, and ask questions. They also specifically emphasized that data would be used as a “flashlight and not a hammer” to help teachers improve their impact on students success.

“Our culture is one of trust. We’re going to check our egos at the door and use this data to maximize the potential of every student,” said GCPS superintendent Dr. James F. Lane. “It’s a totally different conversation when you can peel away to a deeper level of detail, to help a parent really understand what their child needs to work on, as opposed to that they just need help in general.”

Today, Goochland teachers are better equipped to individualize instruction for students, driving their continued success and resulting in high levels of academic success for students. GCPS is 1 of 22 school divisions—out of the 132 in Virginia—to have had 100 percent of schools reaching full state 2014-15 accreditation.

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GCPS Raises $5,500 During Amazing Raise Campaign

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P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Date: September 11, 2015 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Dr. Peter Gretz, Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations pgretz@glnd.k12.va.us  |  (804) 314-1017  |  @glndschools www.glnd.k12.va.us

Headline:       GCPS RAISES $5,500 DURING AMAZING RAISE CAMPAIGN

Goochland, VA

The Goochland County Public Schools (GCPS) partnered with the Goochland Education Foundation (GEF) to participate in the Amazing Raise campaign this year. School community members were called upon to contribute to the campaign, specifically seeking to have at least 50 individuals willing to wake up at 6:00 AM and contribute at least $50.

Not only did the Foundation recruit the minimum number of participants, but so many people contributed so quickly that GCPS was awarded the Early Bird Prize, doubling the amount contributed

“We are so thankful for the efforts of our school community,” remarked superintendent Dr. James Lane. “It’s humbling to know so many were willing to wake up early and selflessly give of their time and resources.”

All total, the GEF raised $5,500 that will go to support the inspirational work happening in Goochland’s classrooms directly.

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GCPS Receives 24K Grant to Support Safety Upgrades

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P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Date: September 11, 2015 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Dr. Peter Gretz, Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations pgretz@glnd.k12.va.us  |  (804) 314-1017  |  @glndschools www.glnd.k12.va.us

Headline:       GCPS RECEIVES 24K GRANT AWARD TO SUPPORT SAFETY UPGRADES

Goochland, VA

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

“We have been applying for this support for the past two years,” commented assistant superintendent, Peter Gretz. “We are thrilled to be able to take another significant step toward upgrading the security and communications among our facilities.”

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.”

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Local Blogger Honored with VA Media Award

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P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Date: September 11, 2015 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Dr. Peter Gretz, Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations pgretz@glnd.k12.va.us  |  (804) 314-1017  |  @glndschools www.glnd.k12.va.us

Headline:       GOOCHLAND BLOGGER RECEIVES MEDIA AWARD

Goochland, VA

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.

“We are thrilled to present this award on behalf of the entire school community,” remarked chairman John Lumpkins. “Sandie is a tremendous asset to our community. Her fair and accurate approach to keeping this great community informed is exemplary.”

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

 

Goochland superintendent, James Lane, further commented, “I appreciate so much the courageous and respectful manner with which Mrs. Warwick shares information. I hope everyone will join us in thanking her for faithfully reporting both the triumphs and the challenges of the local schools and government.”

Mrs. Warwick has maintained her blog, Goochland On My Mind, since 2008.

 

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