Virtual Summer School Program – 2 Courses Offered Online

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Health and PE 9 – Mrs. Anne McGee, Teacher

We are excited to announce that Goochland County Public Schools is piloting a virtual summer school program for the summer of 2015 offering courses in Economics/Personal Finance and Health and Physical Education 9. The requirements for these two courses normally offered during the year can be met by participating in this summer school opportunity in Edgenuity, our online curriculum provider.

Students will be accepted into our new summer courses on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be a tuition fee for these courses unlike the summer school credit recovery courses. This program will appeal to students who are academically motivated and may have an interest in freeing up their school year schedule for additional electives.

GCPS staff will regularly monitor each student’s progress in Edgenuity and inform parents and appropriate staff if standards are not being met.

If you and your child have an interest in the program, please contact your student’s school counselor. Some basic requirements and an application for this program are attached.


Goochland Education Foundation (GEF) Scholarships

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GOOCHLAND EDUCATION FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP - There are three $500 awards being offered but all use the same Online form: CTE/Trade, Academic and Arts/Humanities. Application available Online DEADLINE - May 5, 2014

GOOCHLAND TEACHER OF THE YEAR (TOY) SCHOLARSHIP - There is a $900 scholarship being awarded by the Goochland Teachers of the Year (TOY) this year. This is for a studetn interested in pursuing a career in education. This  application is also Online. DEADLINE - May 5, 2014

Parents — Worried About Social Media?

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Regarding Social Media:
A GCPS Hosted Roundtable for Awareness

—–  Join us on Thursday evening, Feburary 13, 2014 at 6:30 PM at the Community Room at Reynolds Community College, Goochland Campus.

How aware are you about the impact social media has on your child? How aware are you about how to use these tools safely? Are you interested in knowing more about how your son or daughter is using their cell phone? We’ll cover this and more in a roundtable event with guests that includes GCPS teachers, principals, the Goochland County Sheriff’s Department, and GCPS students. This event in free.

We would like to know how many might be attending, so please RSVP –



Parent Access to PowerSchool – Resource

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If you have not yet used the parent access to see your child’s grades and attendance, here is a quick You Tube guide to help you.

If you need additional help or have questions, please contact your child’s school counselor for assistance.

Adult GED Classes

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Adult GED classes start this evening in the training room on the main floor of the Goochland County Public Schools Central Office.



So we want to make the world a better place?

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In our leadership meetings, we have talked about our vision.  One strong and overarching theme, to make the world a better place, emerges.  In this blog post, an English teacher learns from research about her students that sometimes what we think we are doing with students is only happening in our heads, not theirs.

We need to continue exploring how to help students understand the link between what we are teaching and what hopefully they are learning with the bigger world outside our classrooms.

Showcase Debate & Forensics Tonight!

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Come tonight to see students showcase higher order thinking with forensics and debate.  These students under the direction of  Mr. Neil Burch have been successful in this new program.

Come tonight . . . 6 p.m. Goochland High School Auditorium

Invested… Stakeholders in Learning

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In the upcoming newsletter from our schools, Explorations in Learning, one GMS teacher, Leona Barnes is quoted — “Student engagement occurs when students are actively invested in their own learning . . . they see themselves as stakeholders in their own learning.”

This statement is the tip of the iceberg for Ms. Barnes.  She is the epitome of the teacher/facilitator who works daily to keep ‘her kids’ involved in learning.   When she was asked to define engagement she wrote:  ”Tom, thanks for asking me.  It really allowed me to step back and analyze what I do with the students.”  She appears to reflect frequently about the way she teaches.  Her full statement describes her philosophy of engagement.

Definition:  From my vantage point, student engagement occurs when students are actively invested in their own learning.  In other words, at this point in the learning process, they see themselves as “stake-holders” in their own learning.  I feel like I’m in “teacher heaven” when this happens in my classroom. 

 As I was reflecting on this question, I realized that there were several strategies that I keep in mind to foster student engagement:

1.  Each unit begins with a big question.  Students have to view their learning with a sense of “wonderment.”  Giving them an opportunity to express what they would like to learn in relation to our unit engages them right at the beginning.

2.  Material is presented in small “chunks.”

3.  Students are given a variety of ways with which to work with these smaller pieces of information.

4.  Once students have mastered all of these pieces of information, they have to put it together to make sense of the whole. (Sometimes, I start with the “whole” and then we analyze the “pieces.”)

 Because the lesson was broken into smaller steps, students will arrive at #4 feeling a sense of confidence and security, so it’s easier to take risks when learning.  I’m also very careful as to what kind of feedback I give when students are engaged.  The feedback must always be stated positively, so that students will continue to feel confident and secure during this learning process.

Thanks Mrs.Leona Barnes for your exciting teaching and your visionary instructional leadership at GMS.

Be a Role Model for Teen Driving

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Today, our driver’s education teachers and our GHS resource officer met to discuss the Partners for Safe Teen Driving Program that would provide a program for parents and a guide with what parents need to know before their teen drives.

Many school divisions across the Commonwealth are requiring such a program before students get the required paperwork to complete the Virginia Driver’s Education Course.  Parents and students attend the program together.  It has proven to save lives.

Our school board has asked that GHS participate in this initiative.  We have just gotten started.   The GHS internal television network, News 2, will be airing some Public Service Announcements about safe driving as our teachers and our the sheriff department work together to create this important new program.

A walk down Fairness Boulevard at BES

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Visiting Byrd Elementary School (BES), this morning I was struck by the positive engagement of students with their lessons. Just walking into almost every classroom in the school to view what was happening on the Tuesday morning after Labor Day, our small team of administrators, witnessed good instruction in action.  We are talking more and more about going beyond the minimum, going beyond the standards, going to a place called “engagement” and active learning.  I will talk more about this in blogs this year, but I can say . . . you know it when you see it.

Of course, this is not good enough.  We need to be able to identify it, quantify it, describe it, talk about it, and duplicate it.  Engaged students does not just happen.  It takes good planning.  Much like the well-organized learning environment we found as we walked the halls of BES yesterday, teaching and leanning is obvious around every corner.


Hallways at BES have names and one of them, “Fairness Blvd” already has some student work posted on the wall.  Here again, good planning produces results.  Here is a sample