Students working together at GES

Even with the challenges of the 2020-21 school year Goochland County Public School students continued their history of high achievement on state and national assessments. Additionally, Goochland High School seniors graduated at a rate that far exceeds the state average in previous years.

“Our focus last school year was getting students back into classrooms and taking care of our students, families, and staff,” Jeremy Raley, Division Superintendent, said. “Our primary focus was not on standardized tests, but the great work of our staff – and of our families who supported virtual instruction – ensured that our students continued to grow academically, despite the disruptions of 2020-21.”

Over 97 percent of Goochland High School seniors graduated in 2021 – a significantly higher percentage than the state averages in 2019 and 2020 of 92 percent. The Virginia Department of Education will release 2021 graduation data in September.

On Standards of Learning (SOL) exams, GCPS students exceeded the state average in all four of the core tested areas of reading, math, history, and science. “We made a purposeful decision several years ago to prioritize the individual growth of each of our students,” Stephen Geyer, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, said. “Traditional achievement measures like state testing are still important but not as important as taking each child as far as we can with their learning every single year. This approach provides a more complete picture of student learning and is a significant factor our success.”

GCPS students also took the nationally normed MAP assessment (Measures of Academic Progress) three times last year: fall, winter, and spring.  MAP is a nationally normed assessment that measures individual student growth in reading and math that the school division has been using for the past nine years. GCPS students in grades 2-8 exceeded the national average in reading and math, students in grades 9-11 exceeded the national average in reading, and in grades 9-12 GCPS students exceeded the national average in Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry. Students in kindergarten and first grade do not take MAP assessments.

“Overall, we are extremely proud of our results. Our students are making tremendous progress in our schools, and their outcomes are the direct result of the hard work of our talented, caring teachers,” Geyer said.

GCPS schools reopened for in-person instruction, five-days-a-week on August 23.