The Blue Ridge Virtual Governor's School will create a collaborative learning community for academically motivated high school students that emphasizes service, leadership and the development of skills necessary for success in the 21st century, with an instructional focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

BRVGS Address:

14455 James Madison Hwy. Palmyra, Va 22963

Blog Index
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Rising Freshmen Introduced to BRVGS Program and Peers

Class of 2018 students attended BRVGS Orientation for new 9th graders held June 25th at Best Western Zion Crossroads. Coursework, expectations, field trips, and summer assignments, were discussed. Students also engaged in self assessments, peer introductions, and cooperative group problem-solving activities. Over 90 of the 131 students enrolled participated in the day-long event. A short parent information session was conducted at the end of the day.

Students were given take-home information in folders. Summer work will be mailed home the first week in July to all students who were unable to attend Orientation, and Parent Packets will also go to those who requested them.

Summer readings and assignments can be accessed online at Please note that students are required to read and answer questions only for the prologue and first two chapters of Guns, Germs and Steel for their summer work, along with the article and "Tools of the Historian" terms included in the packet. Students are not required to read the entire Guns, Germs and Steel book.




World History Summer Work Clarification

There have been several questions regarding the summer work for BRVGS World History.  Students are required to read and answer questions only for the prologue and first two chapters of Guns, Germs and Steel for their summer work, along with the article and "Tools of the Historian" terms included in the packet.  Students are not required to read the entire Guns, Germs and Steel book.

For those who were not able to attend the Orientation, packets with the readings and question will be mailed in the first week of July.  Please contact BRVGS director Marc Carraway at or by cell phone at 434-989-3972 for any questions.


New Freshmen Orientation Scheduled for June 25th

New freshmen entering BRVGS this fall will spend  a day getting to know each other and learning about their Governor’s School program during Freshman Orientation on Wednesday, June 25th at Best Western Zion Crossroads. Students will be introduced to  faculty, staff, and other 9th-graders from seven counties.

Transportation will be offered to and from each member high school.  Please click on 2014 Orientation Bus Schedule to see the scheduled departure and drop-off times. Students must have a signed permission slip to ride the bus.   

Beginning at 10:00 a.m., the day's agenda will include career planning, cooperative problem-solving/creative thinking activities, expectations and policies review, peer interaction, and a pizza lunch. A brief information meeting for parents will be held at the conclusion of Orientation, at approximately 2:30 PM.

Students will be assigned summer work to complete at home for their World History classes, which officially start when high school fall sessions resume. Summer work packets will be sent home with students on Orientation day, and can also be accessed by going to Packets will be mailed to students unable to attend Orientation.

The entire BRVGS freshman class will convene again once the school year begins for all districts.


National Tournament Spotlights BRVGS Forensics Students

Four BRVGS students participated in the National Catholic Forensics League Grand National Tournament in Chicago recently. Jordan Taylor, Camryn Powers, Summer Davis, and Shannon Blow, all from Madison County High School, traveled to Illinois for the May 23-25 competition. Shannon placed fifth in the nation in Oral Interpretation.

She beat the 232 students who qualified for nationals in that category, and surpassed thousands who participated in this category across the nation,” said Jordan Taylor. “She worked very hard this season not only in forensics, but in school as well”.

Shannon noted that qualifying for the tournament is “an accomplishment we are very proud of...The forensics team at Madison has made amazing progress this year, and many BRVGS students are a part of it.”

In interpretation and speech events, the top 24 contestants or duo teams (quarter and semi-finalists) receive trophies at the culminating awards ceremony. The top six are recognized individually.

Founded in 1951, the NCFL is an organization of private and public high schools dedicated to promoting and supporting speech and debate activities in the US and Canada.The NCFL Grand Tournament is one of the largest high school debate competitions in the nation, attended by speech and debate students from nearly 600 schools across the United States and three countries.

Congratulations to Shannon, Jordan, Camryn, and Summer for your efforts, dedication, achievements, and selection to this national event!



Students Join Summer Montpelier Archeology Team

James Madison's Montpelier website photo

Five BRVGS students will dig in the dirt this summer when they participate in the Archeology Field program at Montpelier, the home of  U.S. President James Madison and Dolly Madison. Devon Burger, Sasha Morgan, and Lauren Staton from Fluvanna, and Kat Topf and Abby Whitlock from Louisa will be part of the Montpelier research team during their week-long experience in Orange. The students, all 2014-15 seniors, are taking the program for a variety of reasons: college credit, BRVGS Senior Internship placement, and/or personal discovery.

The current historic archeology of the 18th and 19th centuries mansion grounds is focusing on how the enslaved and owners’ lives intersected on the formal grounds and larger plantation, and also on uncovering the picturesque landscape design that Madison implemented in the 1810s.

In addition to their excavation work, the students will engage in lab work (processing of artifacts and samples), lectures, and tours of the mansion and various archaeological sites on the property, including the Slave Cemetery, Mount Pleasant, plantation farm complex, Civil War encampments, and the Gilmore Farm.

Participants in the Montpelier Archaeology Expedition program stay at Arlington House, an antebellum home located on the estate's historic grounds.