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New charter school opens doors for first time

Posted: August 16, 2017 - 2:44am
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The new School for Arts Infused Learning on Blanchard Woods Road in Evans will have its first day of school Aug. 16. Principal Kristy Zgol called the opening “a dream come true.”

Excitement could be felt in the hallways and classrooms of the new School for Arts Infused Learning, as faculty and staff put the final touches on their rooms before welcoming its first students during open house Friday.

The school's administration prepared the newly constructed facility in just four short months to welcome some 400 new students in kindergarten through sixth grade.

SAIL superintendent and principal Kristy Zgol said the opening was more than just an open house, it was "a dream come true."

"There were a lot of nights working until midnight and getting here at 6 a.m when the sun was rising. Everybody that has been a part of this effort, they have put in 110 percent, everybody," Zgol said. "This is really a dream come true. For everybody, the board, the teachers, the families, everybody."

SAIL Dance Teacher Lea Daniele was taking photos of the exterior of her classroom before the open house, which was adorned with a pair of pink satin ballet slippers. Daniele, who recently moved from New York to Columbia County with her husband, who is in the military, said she has taught and practiced ballet for more than two decades, and is excited about teaching students about ballet in their everyday lives.

"Sometimes there's a stereotype about ballet. What I am planning to do is to be able to show the children that ballet is actually, you see it everywhere you go, throughout your daily routine, you do things that you don't even realize," Daniele said. "They learn French, they learn about their muscles, counting, movement, so there is a lot incorporated into one."

Second grade teacher James Davis said he was excited and nervous to meet his new students in the new school, and that he was most looking forward to being able to use his years of experience to keep his students engaged.

"It's different than the traditional public education school system," Davis said. "They're giving us an opportunity to bring our years of experience or things that we've learned to think how we want to engage our students and pretty much keep engagement forefront for our students."

Longtime McDuffie County kindergarten teacher Becky Morlan said she will begin the school year as a new SAIL teacher and her own three children will also attend the school.

"I am excited for my family. As soon as I heard about it, I called Kristy, and I asked what it was all about and that it fit well within my philosophy as a teacher and what I wanted for my children. So we are excited," Morlan said.

As teachers finished up last minute touches to the building, students and parents lined up outside the front of the school waiting for the doors to open.

And kicking off the new school, Zgol lead the long line of SAIL parents and students in a loud chant in unison.

"Ready, Set, SAIL!" was echoed by the crowd waiting to enter the new building.

And at 6 p.m., the first students made their way into the new building to awaiting faculty, staff and administrators.

The school will welcome students from mutliple counties across the area, not just Columbia County. Students were chosen from a lottery and Jenni Giles said her daughter Peyton will be one of the school's first third grade students.

"We are really excited, she's excited, she can hardly stand it. We just met her teachers, so we are super pumped and really excited about what it's going to do for her and her community," Giles said, adding that the school is a unique approach to education for her daughter.

"It gives her an outlet to think outside the box. Traditional schools are really nice and fun, but my daughter is a little special, so she thinks on a different level and I think this is exactly the ticket for her," Giles said.

The school's first day is Aug. 16.

 

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Comments (1)

Riverman1

Congratulations! This school

Congratulations! This school had lots of opposition from the public education swamp.