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Goochland Middle School has 537 students in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades combined. There is some diversity in this small student population. The largest group is the 375 white students followed by the 133 black students. There are 2 students who are American Indian and 4 Asian students. Our school has 22 Hispanic students and 1 unspecified; none of these are ESL students. Sixty-eight students receive Special Education services, and 6 receive help with speech and hearing. Thirty students get reduced lunch and another 88 receive free lunch. At Goochland Middle School we take pride in meeting the needs of our entire student body.
GMS is currently a six through eighth grade school.
Contributed by Christopher “Bo” Greenwood, while an 8th grader at GMS. He is a student of the GHS Class of 1997.
Revised 3/07 by B. Cooley
Since it was built in 1938, Goochland Middle School has gone through a series of changes, not just in the building itself, but also in the name, the schedule, and in the races of people attending school. Mr. Pennington was the school’s first principal.
Throughout the middle school’s fifty-nine years, the building has evolved. In 1962, children were first served warm lunches in the new cafeteria. Later in the summer of 1967, the gymnasium was added, and it remains unchanged today, thirty years later. At one time, the middle school had an auditorium, but it was later turned into additional classroom space as deemed necessary. Finally in 1988, a multipurpose room was added. Goochland Middle School has also undergone numerous name and grade changes. In 1938, the school was originally named Central High School.
The former high school consisted of grades nine through twelve. Then, in 1969 the high school was converted into Goochland Junior High, composed of grades eight and nine. In 1980, the school added grade seven and dropped grade nine. An additional wing was added to the school in 1985 to accommodate the sixth grade. It was at this time that the Junior High became known as Goochland Middle School with grades six through eight.
With name and grade changes came schedule changes. Currently, the Middle School runs on a block schedule. However, when the school was a high school, it ran on a six period schedule; then later changed to a seven period schedule when it converted to a junior high.
One of the most notable changes in the Middle School occurred with the integration of the all black school in 1969 - 1970. Prior to integration, Central High School was the only all black high school in the County. The other high school, Goochland High was for whites only. With total integration of the county schools, Central High was converted to Goochland Junior High School.
To conclude, Goochland Middle School has experienced a plethora of changes: in the building, the name, the schedule, and the students. However, one aspect remains the same; Goochland Middle School continues as it has for fifty nine years to provide quality education for all county students.
by H. L. Hancock
In 1987 Goochland Middle School really came into being with the addition of the sixth grade class. This was made possible by the building of a new wing, (the seventh grade hall), and the addition of the multipurpose room where Band and Chorus meet. Over the years student populations have grown, the daily schedule has changed, and the curriculum has evolved to better meet the needs of our students. Although the ethnic population in the county has changed very little, the county’s general population is growing. Goochland Middle School has experienced a 6.9% increase in the number of students between 1993-94 and the 1996-97 school years. At the same time we are watching the county’s elementary population increase 22%. Goochland County Public Schools have made plans for the construction of a new middle and high school as soon as approved by the Board of Supervisors. Currently there are 419 students attending Goochland Middle School (using the September Attendance reported to VDOE). There are 122 students in the sixth grade, 148 in the seventh, and 149 in the eighth. The 1997-98 school year’s incoming class of sixth graders is expected to exceed 170 students.
When the first sixth grade class arrived at GMS, the school was on a seven period day. The teachers studied ways of changing or modifying the student schedule and in the 1993 school year the sixth grade spearheaded the testing of a block schedule. Mathematics and Language Arts met for longer periods of time than classes in Social Studies, Science, Health & Physical Education and Exploratory courses. The following year the entire school, as well as the high school went to block scheduling of all classes. Although the master schedule has continued to evolve year after year, the basic concept of allowing longer or more frequent blocks of time for Language Arts and Mathematics has been a consistent component. Goochland Middle School has always offered the basics in language arts, mathematics, science and social studies as well as health & physical education, vocational and elective courses. A greater demand for the highest quality education and advanced courses that better prepare students for high school and a more complex world has meant that the middle school needed to make changes to its curriculum to answer the challenge.
As previously stated, changing to a block schedule allowed more emphasis on core subjects, but we have used the flexibility of the schedule to broaden the course offerings. During the 1994-95 school year 22 sixth grade students enrolled in pre-algebra. The next year one-third of the sixth grade (50 students), were enrolled in pre-algebra. In the 1995-96 school year Algebra I was offered in the seventh grade and consequently Geometry was offered to those eighth graders in 1996-97. For the past three years all sixth graders have been taught computers as part of their exploratory courses. In the current 1997-98 school year all seventh and eighth graders are being taught keyboarding in a new computer lab. Foreign language electives in French, Spanish and Latin are being offered to both seventh and eighth graders for high school credit
Currently we still use the block-schedule and offer a gifted academic program, an accelerated academic program, as well meeting the needs of special education and regular students. The past few years have brought many more technological resources for classroom integration, and a larger staff to meet our needs.
For the past few years this building has been a middle school with just sixth and seventh graders, because we had outgrown the current facilities. The eighth grade moved to the High School and the first phase of the new middle school was built. We look forward to having all three middle school grades together again next year, 2007-08 school year, when the entire Middle School wing of the High School-Middle School complex is complete.
Throughout our history Goochland Middle School has strived to provide each student with the skills necessary to be successful. As young learners continue to grow and develop into mature and productive citizens, and we continue that spirit as we prepare our current students for the 21st Century.
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