Located within the mid-Atlantic region of the US, Goochland is a traditionally-rural county within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Situated just west of Virginia’s capital of Richmond, it’s a stage for exploring history and natural beauty, and it offers easy access to major urban centers due to its proximity to interstates and airports. Explore Goochland’s past through the Goochland Historical Society.
The public schools in Goochland County are managed by our school board and our superintendent, Dr. James Lane. Dr. Lane welcomes you to explore more about our schools and our expanding, supportive community.
Goochland County was created in 1727 from Henrico Shire, which was one of the eight shires into which the Virginia Colony had been divided in 1634. At the time of its founding, Goochland County stretched from Tuckahoe Creek on both sides of the James River and west including the land that later became the counties of Powhatan, Cumberland, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Albemarle, Amherst and Nelson.
In the earliest days of Goochland County, education of children was solely the responsibility of parents. Tutors, plantation schoolhouses, old field schools, and private schooling were available to families who could afford to employ others to educate their children. Families who could not afford formal education taught their children what they knew, sought apprenticeships for their sons, and looked to the Bible as the only available textbook.
The Goochland County Public Schools were opened in 1870. They have been in operation continuously since that time. The budget has grown from $6,275.50 in 1886 to over $24,000,000 in 2007. Goochland County was the first school division in Virginia to offer transportation to its students: a horse-drawn wagon. In 1890, there were seven schools; through the 1950s there were as many as 61 schools.
Historically, the Goochland County Public Schools have been a reflection of the communities they serve. Today, ethnic, economic and racial diversity, increasing population, residents’ higher expectations, and high profile accountability are forces that create conditions for continuous change in our community and our schools.
Currently, Goochland County Public Schools has a K-12 enrollment of ~2400 with 49 children in pre-kindergarten programs. The K-12 enrollment has increased 8.8% since 2002. In addition to the increasing number of students, the demographics of enrollment have changed substantially since 2002.
Today there are three elementary schools (Byrd Elementary, Goochland Elementary, Randolph Elementary), one middle school (Goochland Middle School), and one high school (Goochland High School). There are two centers, one serving pre-school children and gifted children in grades 3-5 and another serving students who require an alternative setting.
Natural growth and development have a strong heritage in Goochland County. At the time of its founding in 1727, Goochland was a frontier area and offered a natural setting for large plantations and country estates. Tuckahoe Plantation, boyhood home of Thomas Jefferson, is the oldest recorded "River Plantation" in the country. The narrow, cedar lined lane still captivates approaching visitors as it did galloping horsemen centuries ago. Goochland County has been the scene of evolution in transportation. George Washington’s Kanawha Canal gave way to the railroad. Winding, country roads which once serviced travelers from Charlottesville to Richmond became local thoroughfares, Routes 6 and 250.
With the creation of Interstate 64, Route 250’s role became that of a commercial and industrial business corridor. Agriculture, forestry and mining are still vital to our economy. Today we have fewer farms, but these more contemporary establishments are geared to crops, cattle and horses. The tradition of controlled growth continues as major companies discover Goochland to be affordable, well located, and free of the hustle of city and suburban traffic.
The growth patterns of the greater metropolitan Richmond area have placed Goochland County in the best of two worlds. Goochland is located on the western border of this fast, growing region. Our businesses have the convenience of urban roadways and the comfort of open, rural space.
Interstate 64 serves as a link between Goochland and major markets throughout the eastern region of the United States. The intersection of I-64 and I-295 is only three miles east of Goochland, providing easy access to Interstate 95 and the major cities of Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City and Boston, and to Interstate 85 south to Charlotte and Atlanta.
Route 288 is a new regional highway that circumvents Richmond and passes through eastern Goochland. This links Goochland, Henrico, and Chesterfield Counties, and provides even easier access to Interstate 95.
Goochland County’s location puts us within reach of countless cultural activities from historic Civil War battlegrounds to numerous museums and theaters in the Metropolitan Richmond area. Williamsburg, Washington D.C., the Blue Ridge Mountains, and Virginia Beach are all within a two hour drive.